Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week 33 - West Columbia, SC - 2/24/14

My dear family!

What a week this has been! I feel like not a whole lot has happened... but a lot of lessons are being learned!

We got a lot of contacting done this week! We've been at a standstill with a lot of our progressing investigators for a while so we figured it's time to get out and go to work! We've found a few formers and leads that we're trying to work with so I guess I'll keep you posted on how that goes in the upcoming weeks!

So I finally got to go to the mission home! It's only been 7 1/2 months since I've been out. Hahah. It's such a beautiful home! But we got to do some service there by cleaning up after the incoming missionaries left. It was pretty sweet! Plus Sister Holm gave us these cute little SCCM aprons to thank us for it! Sister Manning and I got matching ones! We just love them!

We saw K and her mom this week and they are doing excellent! We committed them to read and pray together as a family and they're all about it! K (mom) even said "Yeah... I though it was about time that we started to do that together!" They are golden! They also gave us these huge boxes of chocolates for a "late Valentine's Day" present! Hahah. They're too sweet! I love them and I'm so happy that they've come into my path!

As for (recent investigator), she has had some stuff come up that has caused her to have some hard feelings towards the church. We talked with her last night and told her that the church is true and the people are not. I think that she has a better understanding for that now, thank goodness for inspired questions! We honestly wouldn't have been able to do that without the Lord! This week will be the week! I have all the faith in the world!

Yesterday, I had a realization. This week alone, I've shared a lot of personal stories about my life before the mission with less-actives and investigators. I realized that the Lord was preparing me then to help the people of South Carolina now. I had some trials that I went through that have helped people here. It's crazy how the Lord has made a plan for me and has preparing me for this moment in my life before I even thought about serving a mission! I totally related it to Alma 26:30 in my personal studies this morning. It was probably one of the coolest moments on my mission thus far.

This upcoming week should be a good one. We don't have any super cool plans yet but I can just feel it! I've had to rely a lot on the Lord lately and I think it has just made me love being a missionary even more! I hope that y'all have a blessed week! Go and talk to everyone about the gospel :) Love you!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Me outside of the mission home. (This is a week after the ice storm... it was like 70 degrees at 10 am! This is some bipolar weather!)

Me and Sister Manning in our matching SCCM aprons! We made cinnamon rolls for a RS activity where we were supposed to bring 5 of our favorite things. My favorite thing is food... so yeah...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week 32 - West Columbia, SC - 2/18/14

Hello Family!

This has been a crazy week! I guess I'll start out by talking about all the crazy weather we've been having. Last Tuesday, we started getting some snow. In Utah, if we got those few snowflakes, that would be no big deal. But in South Carolina, these people have no clue how to drive in it! The only weather they can drive in is sunshine really! Hahah. Sad but true.

So back to the snow. We actually received a text from the ZL's saying that there was an ice storm that was supposed to happen Tuesday night into Wednesday so all the cars were going to be grounded. We headed in for the night and woke up the next morning to a bunch of ice! Probably a good 2 inches of it. So the ice from the storm looks just like snow... But it's super slick. We had fun walking around in it for a few hours. We only got to knock for 2 hours that day and then we went back in for the rest of the day.

The next day, there was still a ton of ice on the ground! We still couldn't use the car which was a bummer! We actually did a mission wide prayer to ask in faith for the ice to melt so we could get out to work! Around 3 that day, our prayer was answered! The roads were cleared up so we could drive! It was marvelous! Since then, it's been pretty nice weather. I mean, it's going to be in like the 70s this week so I hear! I can't complain!

As for the "earthquake" that happened... We didn't feel it. When we first heard about it, we just thought the guy who told us was under the influence at the time (Which was a very real possibility). But people in our ward were telling us about it too! I guess it happened around 10:20 pm but Sister Manning and I were saying our night prayers at the time. So I guess the Lord was blessing us for being so immersed in our prayers by not letting us feel it. Hahah.

Well our week was completely thrown off because of the ice storms so not a whole lot happened. We did celebrate Valentine's Day with the D’s so that was cool. We taught K (10 year old girl that just got baptized) and her mom, K about the importance of the Holy Ghost now that K has that and we had dinner with them. So that was basically our Valentine's date! Hahah. Other than that, Valentine's Day was just like any other day.

Unfortunately, T still hasn't come to church to be confirmed. We talked to her the night before about coming and she was good to go but she didn't show up because she had a headache. We've got to get her confirmed...  But on the bright side, we did have 5 of our less actives/recent converts at church on Sunday! So that's good, right?

Also transfers are tomorrow but Sister Manning and I are both staying in West Columbia! Woo hoo! We still have a ton of work to do so this will be a good transfer!

I love y'all! Have a good week! And write me some letters ;)

- Sister Amy Christensen

Our District! Sis Manning, Me, Elders Montgomery, Burk, Judd, Manwaring, Thompson, Blackner

Free Bo Berries because of our name tags!

Walking in the ice storm!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Week 31 - West Columbia, SC - 2/10/14

Good morning family! It has been a pretty warm week this week and can I just tell you that I've been loving it! It makes me a little nervous for the Summer though if the weather has been in like the 50s - 60s in February... This will be interesting.
Well this week we had "The Big Lift!" I don't know if you remember but I went on a Big Lift exchange like my second or third week in the field. The Big Lift is just a giant exchange to get everyone pumped up about missionary work! It's cool because you see a lot of miracles when you're on an exchange! I don't know why... But you do. This week I had a crazy cool contact! So we were in the bathroom at Bojangles when these two ladies came in. I was out in the main part of the bathroom and one lady looked at my name tag and saw it said Jesus Christ on it. She asked which church I went to and I told her the name of our church and where it was located at. She then replied "Oh! Is that the same church that Gladys Knight goes to?" I told her it was and she said "If she's a part of that church, it must be good! I've been looking for a church and I'm going to check it out!" Unfortunately they aren't in our area... They aren't even in our ward boundaries... But it was still awesome! She's going to get baptized!
Sister Manning and I have been on so many exchanges this transfer! We've been on four exchanges. Usually a regular companionship only has like one per transfer. We're clearly not your typical companionship. Right after The Big Lift, we went straight into another exchange. Yeah. It was intense. It was with one of the Traveling Sisters so she could work her area too. So this transfer has basically been the exchange that never ends.
Unfortunately we didn't have any investigators at church again yesterday. T didn't show up again either... Last week her dad's health was failing and yesterday she had to take her son to the doctor because he had food poisoning. We talked to her last night and she's still on board to be confirmed. We're praying that she'll be confirmed this week! 
On the bright side, we did have three less-actives at church yesterday! That's pretty good! Sister C was one of them and she brought her friend's 17 year old son with her. He has never been to a church before so that was his first experience. He was a little lost... But he's willing to go back to church again! He even committed to go to mutual this week! Pretty cool, right? We're going to meet with him again next week after church at Sister C's house! I'm excited to be working with him!
That's all for this week! Just to let you know, I may or may not be emailing you next Monday since it's President's Day. But who knows! Transfers are next Wednesday and if either Sister Manning or I are called to be trainers, we will have meetings all on Tuesday so we'd have to use a member's computer on Monday. We'll see what happens! I love y'all! I'll talk to you next week :)
- Sister Amy Christensen
Sister Manning, Sister Belyea and I after the Big Lift!
Our jam packed day! A lot of the appointments didn't follow through... But still! I can't believe we had that many appointments!

So I found these Sully masks at Walmart...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 30 - West Columbia, SC - 2/3/14

Wow. What a week this has been! I feel like every week has been going by faster and faster! I love it! I know that it's going by fast because I have grown a greater appreciation for being a missionary! Well let's begin this email, alright?
Well there was a "snow storm" this last week. I guess it was pretty bad considering South Carolina never gets snow. We got a good two inches over night. It made the roads pretty slick so we had permission to stay in until the roads cleared up. Sister Manning and I tried to work anyway! We walked to a less active's house but he wasn't home... So we went back home until like 1. It was pretty ridiculous because everything closes when they even hear the word "snow." The next day when there was no snow on the ground, McDonald's, Subway, and even the library was closed because it was "too cold outside." It was like 35 degrees. It wasn't that bad. I was laughing because of how silly it was. People in the South wouldn't survive a Utah winter.
We've been working with this less-active lately, S. She's kind of the best. She is a singer and performed on cruise ships for a while. She also cuts hair so she's going to be my new best friend. Hahah. She was only less-active because she had a job at a Baptist church as an organist and their services were at the same time as ours. Well she got fired this last week and we committed her to come to church yesterday and she did! She loves the church though! She's definitely going to be one of my favorite people I work with.
We went to this other less-active's house after dinner (This is important to know) this last week and she was cooking the whole time we were there. We were like "Should we just come back another time?" And she was like "No! I'm making this for you!" She made us spaghetti and fixed it up for us. It was seriously a whole plate, to the edges, full. Sister Manning and I ate the whole thing! We are champions!
So let's get on to the baptisms! They went through! K was baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday, on her 10th birthday! She loved it! Then T was baptized on Saturday... She kind of didn't come to church yesterday for her confirmation. We're meeting with her tonight to talk to her about that. Let me just tell you that it was heartbreaking to not see her in church. Man. Let's just hope she'll be in church next week!
We had our interviews with President Holm on Saturday. He's the greatest! He told me that I'm one of the most low maintenance missionaries in the mission and he really appreciated that. I was actually very happy to receive that compliment. He's such a good man. I can only hope that Cody has a mission president just as good as mine!
Well my dear friends and family! It's time for me to depart! I love you all though! Have a blessed week :)
- Sister Amy Christensen
Sticking a Book of Mormon through a dog door. In the words of Elder Holland, "Be a little persistent!" (Side note: I didn't really do that... I just joked about it.)
Check out that snow!
Sister Manning, K and me
Me, T, J (her member son) and Sister Manning

Baptism Bathroom Selfies :)