Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I love you all and it was so great to see you as we got to Skype for Christmas! You are amazing! I am glad you are all doing so well. We had a great Christmas dinner with a family in the ward. I didn’t have much time to write today, but I love you tons! I promise to send a big letter next week! 


Elder Christensen

Monday, December 8, 2014

Piedra Aguila

We went somewhere pretty cool this morning. Its called Piedra Aguila. It is a sweet look out point in the middle of Chile and you can see the coast on one side and the Andes Mountains on the other side! It was sooooo cool!! I have got a lot of photos to send today so I will send my letter in parts. These first two are from a look out point on the way to the National Park. This is Angol. You can see the volcanoes in the background.

Alright, so we had a cool week, so I will try to get as much out as possible.
First off I loved reading mom's update about each of you this morning. I love thinking about each of you. Mom, I loved the thoughts you shared with me and I appreciate that you would love to be a “fly on the wall” or a “dog in the street” to see what I do everyday. But I guarantee that you don’t want to be a dog on the street here. I have seen so many messed up dogs here and they are all filled with fleas and ticks. The other day I saw one with its tongue coming out through its nose (try and picture that). And today I wasn’t too happy with the blood sucking flies at the National Park either. Last week we contacted a street with three giant German Shepherds inside almost every gate.

So, the funny story of the week was that I woke up at three a.m. in the morning one day to our neighbor pounding on the wall. I was convinced he was dying or getting robbed or something. Five seconds later he was down pounding on the door. When one of our companions opened the door he came barging in and yelling at us. It turns out he was just mad because our fan was keeping him and his wife up. Pretty nuts, right?

On a more spiritual note I really appreciate your love for me. I loved the thought of not just being a “sheep herder” as I have the opportunity to interact with and help others, I am striving to be a shepherd. Thank you for those thoughts on the Atonement.

We had a really great week. The "He is the Gift" video is working miracles. We found 21 new investigators this week and at least 18 of them were from the video when we offered to share it with the people here. Such a great way to share the gospel. We also found a couple people who had already seen it on the internet because friends had shared it with them.

I am doing really well, just trying to do better every day! I love you guys tons!

Have a great week,

Elder Christensen

Monday, December 1, 2014

He Is the Gift

Hello Everyone.

I am doing really well. I have had a pretty average week. We talked to a lot of people this week and it is a little bit harder to teach, but everything worked out in the end.

We are really excited to start with the Church’s Christmas Campaign this week and it should go really well. There is a great new Mormon Message the Church released. We are going to focus pretty much everything we do on the real meaning of Christmas and tying it in to the restored gospel. It is going to be great. I downloaded all of the Christmas Mormon Messages today and we are going to share those videos. We are also going to share family home evenings about the Christmas story. We are also going to help the members share the Christmas message. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this Christmas. Even though it feels nothing like Christmas, because of the heat. I am so excited. This is going to be the best Christmas I have ever had. We are going to work so hard. We are going all out.

Today I was able to watch "Ephraim’s Rescue" for the first time since you sent it to me. It brought back such tender feelings as I was reminded of the stories of the pioneers. I am so grateful for their example and will always remember them. They went through so much and I hope that I can work a little bit harder for this great cause. I was feeling frustrated this week because we were working hard,  but I kept feeling like I was coming up short. I loved watching the movie today because that is exactly what happened to Ephraim. He just wanted to be a good man, but felt like he kept coming up short. I loved the line at the end. The mother of the boy tells him Ephraim is a holy man. Ephraim then tells her that he has more faults than he can count. Then she asks him how he is able to perform the miracles and he says, "I TRY". I know I come up short a lot, but I feel like I do keep trying and that gave me so much hope when I heard that. I love that story. I loved the closing lines of the movie because it talks about how the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to help others by bettering ourselves. I also liked how Ephraim talks about how there were many people who needed rescuing that Fall and that one of those people was himself. I testify of this. My mission is saving me as I continue to learn and grow. I hope I can do a little better each day.

I love you tons! You are all amazing! Have a great week and try not to have too much fun skiing!


Elder Christensen

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Have Seen the Blessings of the Church

Working hard and loving it with Elder D

Hey Everybody,

I am doing well. You guys are the best and have been on my mind a lot this week. We have such an amazing family and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

This week I have had a lot of tender thoughts go through my mind as I think about the gospel and how it blesses our lives. We are teaching some very great people right now and their questions often make me think. Last night we were teaching a guy who had been in a serious car accident a few months ago. It was a fantastic lesson. I really felt the spirit as we taught him and Elder D felt it as well. He asked us if we were born in the Church. Sometimes when people ask me that I worry that they won’t take me seriously, because they figure this is all I have ever known. When I answered “yes” his answer surprised me. He said it was interesting that we had such conviction, especially as young men to what we believe. He talked about how the youth today aren’t usually prone to be so strongly rooted in the gospel. He talked about how people in general need some tramatic event to bring them to the gospel. He was astounded that we were so devoted. He asked us “why?” The first thing that came to my mind was... Because I have seen the blessings of the Church and I am so happy here! That is why we do it!

I love being a missionary. It is such a great experience to get to know and talk to so many wonderful people each day. I have developed a lot this week as I have really strived to be more personal. We had stake conference and the stake high counselor, who is over missionary work, talked about how important it is for us to be sincere and how through the smallest actions we can share the gospel. Another sister who spoke talked about how through a small message in twitter or some other social networking program her brother-in-law came to know the gospel. What can we do each day to share the gospel in some small way? I have come to the realization that in every moment we have the chance to affect someone else’s life, as well as our own, for good or bad. It is our responsibility to affect it for the good. The small decisions do matter! Every moment we have the opportunity to do something just a little better. We just need to identify what it is we need to work on in that moment. If we just made a mistake we can do just a little bit better getting back up the next time.

Another thing that has astonished me is the importance of being humble. I talk with so many people everyday who miss the chance of the eternities to hear the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They miss it because they do not want to open their ears to hear. It has made me think. What do I miss because of my pride? We must humble ourselves so that we are receptive to the promptings of the spirit. We cannot afford to miss them.

I know that I make mistakes every day and I am overwhelmed when I realize how blessed I am. I am so grateful for the example of the pioneers and I hope that I can follow their example every day. I hope that I can humble myself sufficiently to receive the promptings and guidance of the spirit more clearly. I know the Church is true. It can’t not be true!

I love you all so much and hope I can be more like you!

Have a great Thanksgiving and ponder how blessed we are to have the fullness of the gospel in our lives!!!!!

Elder Christensen

Monday, November 17, 2014

Working Hard

Saying goodbye to a great companion in Los Angeles

Today Elder D and I were in charge of the zone activity and set up a sweet dodge ball bracket. We almost went undefeated but lost to my good friend Elder U's team. I think everyone really enjoyed it. I love my companion and where we are working.

It is so hot here and we haven’t even started summer yet. Someone told me today that Angol and Chillan are the two hottest cities in Chile. I don’t know if that is true or not, but if it is we are in for trouble this summer.

We have been working a lot to build our teaching pool this week. We are teaching the husband and son of a recent convert family that Elder D and his companion baptized a couple of weeks ago. This is a really great family and we really love them. We also found a nice family and we helped the dad a little bit with some remodeling in the house. We put up some sheet rock in his house. It brought back fun memories of putting up sheet rock with Andrew and Grandpa Reed in Heber a couple years ago. Anyways, we are really trying to teach more families.

I also had a great interview with President Bluth this week. Well, that is all for now. I have got to go. Sorry if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Love you tons!!!!

Elder Christensen

Wonderful people Elder G and I taught in Los Angeles.