Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 3 - Inman, SC - 7/29/13

It's been awhile since I've been able to write home... So I'm pretty grateful that today's P-Day! I have so much to say in such a short amount of time so I'll try to do this quickly!

I made it here to South Carolina safely :) I absolutely love it! It's so green! I don't miss the mountains too much yet just because the trees are so tall that I can't see how flat South Carolina really is. The humidity here is pretty crazy though! It's been raining a lot so when the sun comes out, it's basically death because the humidity is so bad!

The first few days were pretty nice because President and Sister Holm were easing us in to being missionaries. It was just a lot of trainings and discussions. Last Tuesday, we started off our day with going into a "Sacred Grove" that President Holm made for the missionaries here. It was so peaceful and green! It was basically the greatest thing ever! Then we started to leave and it turns out that we were right outside of the Columbia Temple! It was seriously the greatest! We didn't do a session but we did get to go inside to the waiting room and hear from the Temple President and the Temple Matron! It was such a cool way to start the day.

Later, I ended up having my first experience with tracting. It was... Interesting. The last door my temporary companion and I knocked on ended up being a Bible teacher and he was super nice. We prayed with him and he asked if he could leave us with a treat. I thought the "treat" was going to be like a bottle of water or something... No. It was a Christian rap. It was the greatest thing of my life!

Anyway, my companion is Sister Sarah Craig. She's 19 and from St. George. It's really weird for me to have someone younger than me training me... But she's way cool. We get along pretty well so far. We are opening up the Boiling Springs area for sisters and it has been a pretty cool experience being here because apparently this mission hasn't had sister missionaries for over 30 years! We visited a member, who's a 29 year old widow living in this area her whole life, and her two daughters a few days ago and she told us that we were the first sister missionaries she's ever seen! Then the teenage girls in the ward are just going nuts over us because they want to serve as well. It's just a good time to be a sister missionary.

Funny story! Sister Craig and I were driving Benji (our car named after King Benjamin) and pulled off the side of the road so we could go knock on some doors. The roads here are very narrow so we just pulled off onto a dirt hill. I got out of the car and saw how it was parked and thought it was funny so I took a picture by it. When we came back from knocking we tried to get out of the dirt... And we were stuck big time! The reason we were stuck is because the dirt was so wet from the rain and Benji kind of sunk into the mud. So we said a prayer and a few seconds later some nice man helped tow us out! True story!

I'm sorry for such the long email but so much happened that I had to tell! Hopefully next week's email isn't nearly as long! Love you all :)

Sister Dent and I at 3:30 in the morning headed to the Salt Lake Airport. Don't we just look so excited?

First day dinner in SC!

Me with Pres. & Sis. Holm

Benji stuck in the mud...

Me and Sister Craig

Friday, July 19, 2013

Week 2 - MTC - 7/19/13

Can you believe that I've already been here for 9 days? This is crazy! I feel like it's gone by so fast and I'm glad it has... I'm just a little freaked out that I'm going to be in South Carolina on MONDAY! That's going to be quite the adventure! We have to be up and at the travel office at 3:30 in the blessed AM. This will be fun... Our flight leaves at 7:05 and we'll be getting to SC around 2ish. I'm so excited :) Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about my week.

First of all, I've been teaching "investigators" here and the first guy that Sister Dent and I have been teaching is so chill. His name is Tim Murphy (except it's really one of our teachers acting as one of his investigators from his mission) and he was very interested to hear about what's different about our church. He's been progressing really well! Almost too well... So when we were asked to teach another "investigator" (who is usually a convert being paid by the MTC to come act like they did before they joined the church), I was hoping that she'd be harder... And she was. She's a die hard Catholic with a Mormon husband but she didn't think that anything that she believed was wrong. It was hard... We only taught her twice so we didn't make any progress with her but at least we had a good relationship with her! Teaching here has prepared me a lot more for what I'll be dealing with in SC which definitely made me excited!

Guess who came to speak at our Relief Society Meeting on Sunday? Just guess. Carole Mikita from Channel 5. I was freaking out a little bit. She's so awesome! She talked to us about her conversion story and how she gets to travel around the world for her job and everything. I definitely decided that I want her job. I mean she's an anchorwoman, a radio talk show host, AND she gets to travel! That's just plain awesome!

Later on Sunday, we got to do a Temple Walk around the Provo Temple. It was pretty great and the closest I'll get to getting inside that temple for the next 18 months because the temple is closed until August. This is the worst. But I'll live I guess.

Sister Smith, Warden, Dent and I were all in the missionary choir this last week. It was pretty awesome! We sang "Nearer My God To Thee" for the Tuesday Devotional for Gordon B. Hinckley's son, Richard G. Hinckley. It was a pretty neat devotional. He talked a lot about how to become better missionaries which is something I always like to hear about!

I've been getting along with my district so well especially this week! They are basically the best! We've been getting along pretty well. I'll give you an example. My companion was looking pretty down the other day and I know that quoting Nacho Libre will cheer her up (It's true). So I asked her what was up and she said oh nothing! So I said back to her "Don't make me quote Nacho Libre to you!" At that moment, one of the elders started singing Encarnacion to her and we sang alternate lines to her. It seriously sounded like we rehearsed it. It was probably the best thing ever. I'm kind of famous for that now. No big deal. It's kind of sad to think that we probably won't see any of the elders again because all of the elders are all going to Uganda and we're all heading to South Carolina. We're going to keep in touch for sure though!

I have seen so many friends here at the MTC! It's so fun! The two people I've enjoyed seeing the most were definitely Elder Bryce Chamberlain and Elder Jordan Welch!

Anyway, that's all I can think of for now! Thanks for all of the support I've been getting! You guys are seriously the best! Until next week when I email you from the glorious South Carolina! Love you!

Sister Christensen

That's me hugging the cream soda tree. Seriously though... It smells like cream soda! It's so good!
Me and Sister Dent outside of the Provo Temple (it's closed this month).

My whole district (Left to Right: Elders Whitehead, Sherwood, Lassig, Workman, Thornton, and Ferrara and Sisters McNeely, Schauerhamer, Warden, Smith, Christensen and Dent) outside of the Provo Temple.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week 1 - MTC - 7/12/13

Hey there!

Let me tell you a bit about my first experience here. I cried as I walked away from my family for 18 months... I'll admit that. But like 5 seconds later and ever since then, I've been so busy that I haven't had time to think about crying! That's probably a good thing though. I definitely like staying busy! So I walked through some doors to get my missionary name tag and on the little pouch they gave me, it said my companion's name... turns out it's Sister Jessie Dent who was the girl from my student ward who's going to the same mission as me. I feel like it's been a blessing for both of us so far to be companions! I'm grateful for her and her patience with me especially when I forget so many things at our residence or in the classroom and have to go back (We've already had to do that twice today... I need a better memory). The other sisters in my district are super cool. We're all from Utah so the mission reunions will be pretty sweet. We have Sister Smith from Lehi, Sister Warden from Tremonton, Sister McNeely from Syracuse, and Sister Schauerhamer from Alpine. On top of that we have at least two other districts of girls going to South Carolina on the 22nd. I'm so pumped to go out there but I know that I need to be in the MTC right now and that I still have a lot to learn.

One of the coolest experiences I've had thus far is definitely when we were singing "We'll Bring the World His Truth" the first day with all the new missionaries. Instead of singing "And we will be the Lord's missionaries," we sang "And we are now the Lord's missionaries." It's a really simple experience but I was kind of in shock like I am a missionary of the Lord now. I've been preparing my whole life for this moment, whether I knew it or not, and it was finally there. I may or may not have started crying at that point... Don't judge me!

I love you all! And here are some pictures for fun :)

Sister Christensen

Sisters McNeely, Schauerhamer, Christensen, Dent, Warden and Smith after our first day at the MTC. Please notice our Noob stickers.

All of us pointing to SC on the map.