Sunday, August 11, 2013

July 27, 2013

Howdy all,

Glad that you got home safe and sound from pageant (and so quickly too). I'm glad that you've been able to enjoy that for so long, and I'm excited to participate next year. I'll be there to help with everything mom, don't worry about it.

This week went a lot better than the week before. I figured that would happen. We got the chance to have some good lessons, and we've been able to find a couple of new investigators. We've really been getting more contacts than usual lately, and that has been nice. Now if we could just get a Hill Cumorah Pageant referral, that would be amazing. 

Well, this week I passed my 18 month mark on my mission. It has actually gone by really fast. Looking back, I've had some really incredible opportunities and moments on my mission. I've loved it, and I'm looking forward to my time that's left. It doesn't feel like that much. I'll just have to take it one day at a time.

I think last week I mentioned that I would be getting a new companion. Elder Tshizanga is still hanging around in the office with me (we've now been together for 5 months), but we've added a new flavor to the mix. Elder Mary is a lot of fun, and seems to be a good missionary. It'll be interesting being back at three. I am always learning about how to handle that. A fun fact is that the first lesson Elder Mary taught as an office missionary was in the French Cultural Center (this is cool because Elder Mary is French). We recently started teaching someone that works there. That's a cool little place, sometime we'll have to go down there on a P-day and really check the place out. After that maybe we will hit the Chinese cultural center. That would be interesting.

Zone conferences will be this week. Should be good. I always enjoy getting the chance to mingle with some of the missionaries I've been in districts and zones with before.  

No, Uncle John never sent me that story. I never got it at least. Maybe he mailed it and it got lost. That happens from time to time here. 

For the moment I'm not terribly tired of being in the mission office. There is enough new stuff going on, and I'm able to contribute enough that I don't really get bored. I don't really worry about it, President will move me when he needs me moved. All I really know is that I will finish my mission as a trainer. We have a LOT of missionaries coming in in October.

Are you ready for this? I got to do the orientation for a new American missionary this week. He's from North Salt Lake, went to Orchard Elementary. He thinks he knows Grandma and Grandpa C. It's a small world. We also oriented our first Nigerian sister. For some very weird reason I can't explain, she makes me think of Stacey.
Okay, I've got a story you never saw coming. Elder and Sister Semken took us out to eat the other day. Why? Because the last time they went to that restaurant, their waitress was interested in the church. Taking us to lunch was their idea of giving us the referral. What restaurant was this? Livingstones, a pizza parlor. That's right, I ordered a pizza last week (and because you just finished Pageant, I ordered the Niagara). It was alright, but too many mushrooms. That was something I never would have done before the mission though. Also unexpected was the music they were playing there. Queen's "Radio Gaga" was playing when we showed up, and it proceeded to play through Bangles, Pet Shop Boys, Simple Plan, Pseudo Echo, and Billy Idol among others. It was by far the most unexpected blast of pre-mission culture I have ever had. Good thing that was a pizza restaurant, the temptation to go back there isn't too high.  

In my personal study I had a really good lesson from Alma 1. I think it's a lesson that the Book of Mormon teaches a lot, but it seemed really clear in this chapter. One of the seeming contradictions of the Gospel is having peace during trials. I saw 4 main ways we can work to have that: be constant in obedience to commandments, bear trials with patience, take time to listen to the Word of God, and give of goods to poor and needy. What I really like is how in verse 29 it says that it was the "stability" of the church that led to the blessings. If we are doing what we are supposed to do, that gives us a foundation that can whether whatever may come. We have to have faith IN that foundation as well, if we don't know that it exists then we can still falter.

Okay, well, I love you all very much!
Elder Christensen

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