Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 20 - Inman/Boiling Springs, SC - 11/25/13

I've been out for 1/4 of my mission already! Can you even believe it? It's gone by so fast! And what better way to celebrate this milestone than with something that Sister Gardner likes to call "Miracle Week." Allow me to elaborate.

First we had the No More Strangers Devotional, where President Holm came to Boiling Springs to talk to the less-actives, recent converts and non-members just to explain what our church is all about. Before the devotional, I got to do my interview with President Holm. He is such a cool mission president! I'm so grateful for him! He told me that I should start practicing the piano once a week so I can develop that talent again... That will be fun for me though! I started playing this last week and I can't believe how much I miss playing the piano! And guess what? I led the music for that devotional. Hahah. I lead the music so much. I'm pretty sure it's my new calling in life. People were asking me if President Holm has asked me to lead the music for everything but he hasn't. It's just an unofficial thing.

On Thursday, Sister Gardner and I went on a spontaneous temple trip with Sister Andersen from our ward. That was the first time since I've been out that I've gone to the temple and HOLY COW! It was freaking amazing! I have seriously missed going to the temple! It was so awesome and we were so grateful for Sister Andersen for taking us! It definitely made me appreciate our temples in Utah so much more because we had to drive 2 hours to get there instead of a 10 - 15 minute drive.

Also on Thursday, we got two referrals for families! One was for a Cambodian family. The husband (still not sure of his name because we haven't really met him...) is a less-active but we didn't have his records. We found him because the Elders in our area knocked into his sister, for whom we also didn't have records. The sister is now coming to church and wanted to get her family involved in the church so she sent us over to her brother's house. We met C and her 4 kids on Friday. She grew up Buddhist. C really wants a church and wants to get baptized. She told us this within the first 10 minutes of us knowing her. She was like "I'm excited to get baptized!" We were like "Whoa! Let's teach you about our church first!" It's been an interesting experience because she has no knowledge about God. It's been really unusual for us to teach her because everyone that we've taught has a basic understanding of God or Jesus Christ but not really her. Luckily for us, we have a guy in our ward who used to be Buddhist so he's going to help us out a little with that! Who would have thought that I'd be teaching a Buddhist in the Bible Belt? Not me.

The other referral was from Bishop. It was for a less-active, Sister M, who just moved back into our ward with her 6 grandkids. None of her grandkids are members but Sister M wants them to be. So we're going to start teaching them now! We're actually going over tonight to see them! It's going to be interesting because Sister M's a member but she doesn't know anything about the church... We'll have to teach her along with her grandkids so we're pretty pumped!

Then on Saturday, we got this call from Bishop Fore. He wanted to show us a "video that they made to show to investigators" and he "wanted our opinion on it." So we went over to his house and he pulled up the video on his laptop. The video started out with "Cody's Mission Call." I was racking my brain for Codys in our ward. Then I saw my little brother on the screen and for some reason, it didn't phase me. I was like "Oh it's just Cody opening up his mission call. ... WAIT WHAT?!" No one had even hinted to me that Cody had his mission papers in so I started bawling, which was slightly embarrassing because Sister Fore was filming me to send my reaction to y'all. But it was so awesome! And Cody's going to the England London South Mission! Holy crap! I'm so proud of that kid! So is the Boiling Springs ward. Just to let y'all know, Bishop Fore has shown some of the ward members that video and told the whole ward council about it so Cody's kind of famous here now. We're all very excited for him! God save the Queen ;)

So remember how I said that we had two referrals of families to teach? Well... All of them came to church yesterday! We had nine investigators at church! I can't even believe it myself since I've been lucky just to get one person at church! I was thrilled! It was a little nerve wracking because I had to give a talk yesterday in front of these nine investigators, all of the Elders’ investigators and the rest of my ward. But it was still a sweet sacrament meeting!

So that sums up our Miracle Week! I'm sure that it will continue through to this week as well! I thank you all for your prayers in my behalf and for all of the support and encouragement I've received! It really means a lot to me! I love y'all and I'll talk to you next week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Ether 12:6 - "... For ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith"

With Sis. Gardner in front of the Columbia South Carolina Temple

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 19 - Inman/Boiling Springs - 11/18/13

Oh my goodness. What a crazy week! I mean it was a great week because Elder Bednar was here in my mission and the weather has been so nice! It's 68 degrees right now! But I feel like a lot of things did not go as planned. It was kind of hard on both me and Sister Gardner so we're very grateful to have a new week and start with a clean slate!

Since not a whole lot of awesomeness happened this week, let me just tell you about Elder Bednar. First off... On Tuesday, President Holm called us. It was a little scary! I had no clue why he was calling. But I answered anyway. He called to see if I could lead music for the conference. Of course I said yes!

On Saturday, we didn't have time to really do anything since the conference was in West Columbia. That's basically a 2 1/2 hour drive from where we're at and we needed to be at the building by 4:45 pm. So we left around like 1:30 and started driving. I haven't made a drive like that since I was going to Snow! It was kind of nice to go on a road trip of sorts again!

Anyway, we got to the building and got all 230ish of us missionaries all set up for a picture with Elder Bednar! It was awesome! I got a picture with my favorite apostle! Look for it on Facebook! I'm sure it will be up on the mission page shortly. I'm in the front row wearing a raspberry shirt and a black and white scarf :) Pretty sure that made my life.

So we went back into the chapel and we had a three hour discussion about how we can get our investigators to learn by the Spirit. It was probably the coolest experience ever! I think it was especially cool because I really was not expecting it to be a discussion. I was more or less expecting a three hour lecture. But instead, we'd ask him questions and he wouldn't even answer the questions! Instead he'd ask us back questions and we'd receive the answer for ourselves. I realized that that is the pattern I need to be using for my investigators. I've been giving them easy answers to hard questions but instead I need to let them think for themselves. Then after the meeting, we got to shake his hand. That was seriously the coolest thing ever. Elder Bednar is still my favorite apostle. He has changed my whole mission and my life, that's for sure!

Other than that, life is going pretty well! I'm grateful for this time to be a missionary! I get a lot of encouragement from my family, my friends and the ward I'm currently serving in! It's kind of the best! I'm very blessed! Oh by the way... We're totally getting mini iPads before the New Year! It's a good time to be a missionary!

Have a blessed week :) Love y'all!

- Sister Amy Christensen


Me and Sister Stout on exchanges! (I came out with her so we're pretty good friends!)

Sister Gardner and I on our way to see Elder Bednar!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 18 - Inman/Boiling Springs, SC - 11/11/13

These weeks just keep going by faster and faster. I almost want time to slow down but at the same time, you know you're doing something right when the time goes by so quickly!

This week has been an interesting one for sure. I got my first bashing. Hahaha. It's true! Well I guess I didn't bash. I always tell Sister Gardner that people can think that we're a cult, they can think we're crazy but we will not allow them to think we're rude. So we just took it. He called us Joseph Smith-ites... It's actually kind of funny now that I look back at it. The poor guy.

Sister Gardner and I had two kick butt member present lessons this last week! One was with D at the Kitchens' home where we talked more about how we can have prophets on the earth today and they we watched "The Restoration." During the movie, D actually leaned over to me and said "I'm getting closer to the rod of correctness, aren't I?" I don't really know what that's supposed to mean. If he means the truth, then yes. Yes he is. I just sat there and smiled at him. He's so going to get baptized one of these days! I'm pumped!

Then there was another lesson with this lady, L. She is so cool! The reason she let us in the door the first time is basically because she wanted to know if we were a cult. The last time we went over, we gave L 3 Nephi 11 to read. I guess she had some questions about baptism so she went on the website and started researching in between our visits. I thought that was awesome! We came back with a ward missionary, Sister Andersen and taught the Restoration. The lesson went extremely well but right now, L still wants to study more about it. I'm ok with that! We'll be going back next week and I'm pumped to teach her the Plan of Salvation especially since she's had some deaths in the family recently.

On Saturday, I took Abbie, a Laurel from our ward, out on a "mini mission." Where she was with us from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm to experience what a mission was really like. I think it was definitely an eye opening experience for her. I mean we just did a bunch of knocking really. We did get into a house to teach a lesson though! We taught the Restoration to an Evangelical Athiest... Yeah. I don't know what that is either. I asked the guy what he believed and he never really answered me. But I guess his wife met with missionaries before and she had a Book of Mormon. I asked her how her experience with her was and she said it was very positive. That's good right? I think she only met with them because she's a religion major... But we're going to drop by and see them again one of these days.

Get this... ELDER BEDNAR IS SPEAKING TO OUR MISSION ON SATURDAY! *Cue Victory Dance* Oh yeah! I'm so excited because he is my favorite apostle! I'm so pumped! I'll be sure to let y'all know how that goes!

Well that's all for this week! Have a blessed week! I love y'all!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Sister Gardner, Sariah (we still don't know her last name), Abbie and I during the mini-mission!

Me and my companion for the day, Abbie!