Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 38 - West Columbia, SC - 3/30/14

My dear family and friends,

WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?! This last week has by far been the fastest week of my mission! Sister Manning and I both agree that it feels like it should be Thursday right now. I guess we shouldn't complain... It's really a great thing that time is going by so quickly. It means we're doing something right!

Last Monday was probably the best P-Day of my mission. We went to the Fort Jackson Army Base with Sister McHaley and Sister Creager to take some cool pictures and go to the museum there! It was way cool! It was strange though because we had to take off our name tags... There's no proselyting on the base! So when you see the pictures of me there, know that there's a reason that I didn't have my name tag on. After that, we stopped by the state capitol to take some pictures since we were in the area. And then (if that wasn't enough), we went bowling! It was the first time I've been bowling in 9 months! Get this! On my first bowl, I got a strike! Oh yeah! I still have my game on even as a missionary!

This week we got to do some service for one of our former investigators, Marie. Marie is an "etern-igator." She has been investigating for the past year and she gets really close to being baptized... But she's also in a relationship with a less-active who “anti”s her. No good. We helped her plant her vegetable garden and invited her to come to the Women's Broadcast on Saturday. Spoiler Alert: She came. She really liked it! Which was awesome.  Kaetlynn and Kristi Duckett also came to the broadcast and they loved it! It was really neat for all of us to experience!

Sam Harris is doing great! We had a lesson with him and a member of the bishopric on Saturday and it was awesome! Sam told us that he believes the church is true and that he wants to go to the temple. He's preparing himself right now because he knows it's an honor to go. He's kind of hesitant to have a set baptism date but right now he's shooting for May 10th!

So... Transfers are coming up this week... Sister Manning is leaving :( I'm staying in West Columbia. But that's not all! I'm going to be training again! I'm one of three sisters who will be training this transfer! How crazy is that?! I'm pumped! I'm so grateful that the Lord is allowing me to train one of His sister missionaries again!

Well that's all for this week! Next week's email should be a good one! Love y'all! Have a blessed week!

At Fort Jackson! I place the mission first!

Me and Sister Manning by some tank at Fort Jackson

Me and Sister Manning at the Capitol

Bowling with the Sisters! Me, Sister Manning, Sister Creager, Sister McHaley

Planting with Marie!

Me, Grace Jennings and Sister Manning. Grace is one of the members of our bishopric's daughter and she loves the missionaries.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 37 - West Columbia, SC - 3/24/14

Hello Family and Friends!

Just to let you know, I had a pretty great birthday! Sister Manning was super awesome and treated me to Cold Stone and we went to Piggly Wiggly (a southern supermarket similar to Albertson's) to get some Pig shirts. Yeah... that was my true heart’s desire for my birthday... I also got my birthday package on my birthday so that was pretty cool. It was a pretty good 21st birthday if you ask me!

This week has been full of finding! We were having a hard time getting lessons with our investigators for some reason. We'd be good to go until right before the lesson and they'd call us or text us telling us that they were sick. No good! We got creative with our finding! We walked the Saluda River on Friday to find since it was a beautiful day! It was creative but people weren't very receptive to that unfortunately... But I guess I can say I've done the river walk now!

Speaking of finding, we had like 10 minutes before a dinner appointment and we decided to knock around the member's house. Well we went two doors up from the member and guess what? There was a less-active living there and we didn't have her records! Once we introduced ourselves, she said "I was baptized Mormon!" I was like "Wut." We set up a return appointment with her and she seems like she's going to be one who would come back to church. I'm excited to keep working with her!

I don't know if I told you about Tonell Jenkins... She's quadriplegic and has been investigating for a long while. We like to call people like that "etern-igators," or eternal investigators. She wants to be baptized but hasn't been able to make it to church. Her van finally got fixed but now she can't find anyone to get her to church. We told her we'd get someone in the ward to come get her on Sundays. We also committed her to baptism on April 19! I'll keep you updated on how that goes!

That's all for this week! This upcoming week is the last week of the transfer and we will get transfer calls on Saturday about what's going on! I'll be sure to keep y'all updated on that! Love you! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Me and a cool painting on the Saluda River!

Piggly Wiggly shirts! "I'm Big On The Pig!"

Piggly Wiggly shirts and shamrock glasses from home for my birthday!      

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 36 - West Columbia, SC - 3/17/14

(Note from Mom - Today is Sister Christensen's birthday!!) 
So I'm kind of 21 right now. This is really weird... But cool I guess! So far it's been a really cool day! The Traveling Sisters and Sister Manning totally decked out the apartment and made pancakes for my birthday! And Sister Manning gave me a present, too - it's like a little garment bag that I can separate my garments from the rest of my clothes. It's pretty sweet! I've been totally blessed with the best companion! We're actually going to Cold Stone and Piggly Wiggly for my birthday today. I'm pretty pumped!

This week has been pretty great! It started out with exchanges last Tuesday with Sister Anderson from California. Turns out she knew some people I went to school with so that was pretty crazy! We had a lot of really cool things happen like just catching less-actives at home who typically aren't at home and having lessons at door steps. I love exchanges because of the miracles they bring!

Then we had Elder Zwick come and talk to the mission! He was so awesome! I got a lot of really cool stuff from the trainings he gave. Some of the things that I learned from that conference is to not look back. There are some things that we're missing out on by being on missions that we might look back on or past mistakes that we have made but we need to stay focused on the now! I also liked that he related being pure in heart leads to having a sure foundation. Pure = Sure. Also when I went up to shake his hand, we had a conversation. Oh man. He was telling me how he knew the parents of the sister in front of me and how he'd like to get to know my parents! Hahah. That's a good compliment to my parents! But then he asked where I was from and he guessed I went to Alta. So that was pretty cool... He's a cool man. He'll be speaking in the Saturday Session of General Conference so look for him!

After Elder Zwick, we had the Relief Society Birthday party! It was the "Emma Awards" and it was kind of like a great big get to know you type thing. But it was so much fun! We were all nominated for an "Emma" and received one! It was bomb! There should be pictures on Facebook soon!

On Saturday, we did something that I haven't done for a long time - tracted. I mean, sure we knock on doors around houses of leads, less-actives, investigators, etc. but we walked and knocked for an hour and a half! Thank goodness that it was great weather! And guess what? I have a sweet tan line on my foot now from it! Hooray for awkward missionary tan lines! That will be the first of many this upcoming summer, I'm sure of it!

Well that's all I have for you this week! Thanks for all the birthday wishes! I'm going to have the best birthday I can possibly have because I only get this one on the mission! Love y'all! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen
Me and Sister Anderson

I found Sister Gardner at the Elder Zwick conference! That was a happy reunion like in Alma 17:2! (Props to the photo bomber!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Week 35 - West Columbia, SC - 3/10/14

My dear family and friends!

How's it going? Life in West Cola is pretty good! It's been even better since it stopped raining! It was seriously raining from like Monday through Friday night. It was gloomy and cold, like in the 40s! I did not like it one bit! Now it's beautiful weather and in the 70s. That's what I'm talking about! And I thought Utah weather was bipolar. Psh. Nope. Not compared to here.

Last week I told y'all about S and his electronic cigarette... We went over on Tuesday just to check up on him and how he's doing with the program. We have been prayerfully discussing how we could let him know about how the e-cig was not going to benefit him in the long run without running him off. We needed to be bold but not overbearing. Well we knocked on his door and could only stay a minute because his wife wasn't home and we couldn't get any members to come with us. He opened the door and told us that he hadn't smoked in a week and he hadn't picked up his e-cig for the two days prior! He realized "on his own" that he needed to give it up because it was too similar to smoking. Holy cow! I was blown away! It was a total answer to prayers! I know that God helped S realize that he didn't need the e-cig anymore!

Other than that, it wasn't all too eventful of a week! I wish there was more for me to talk to y'all about... We stopped by a lot of our leads' homes and got in to do lessons which was awesome! We even got in to teach a bunch of less-actives. Overall, Sister Manning and I had 18 lessons this week! That's pretty great! I've only hit our mission goals of 20 lessons a week twice and that's the highest I've ever had other than the 18. So I'm pretty proud of us!

Elder Zwick of the Seventy will be coming to speak to us this week! I'm way pumped! It's going to be such a cool meeting! He's basically going to be talking to us about PMG Chapter 4 which is something I've been trying to improve on in my teaching! I'll let you know how it goes next week!

Thanks for all your love and support! I appreciate all y'all do for me! Just keep on praying for me and write me some letters... That would be cool! Love y'all! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

P.S. Happy birthday Josh!  (Sis. Christensen's nephew turned 3!)

So I clashed big time on this one rainy day - Blue umbrella, blue dress and a teal bag? I was not amused. Hahah.

This is Emily Linder. She's a cute little Beehive who made me and Sister Manning those rainbow loom bracelets or whatever they're called... I just know they were made popular after I came out here. We all posed with our bracelets she made us after dinner last night. She's such a cool girl.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 34 - West Columbia, SC - 3/2/14

My dear family! This has been quite the week! We've been blessed with a lot of miracles and exciting things happening.

To start it all out, we went over to S' house last Tuesday to help him quit smoking. He's the one who went to the bishop wanting to be baptized. Well we asked him for his pack of cigarettes and he just up and got them for us along with his lighter! I was all giddy inside! I've never had someone give me their pack of cigarettes so that was awesome! We've checked up on him a few times and he hasn't touched a cigarette since. However he's hung up on his electronic cigarette... Any suggestions to get him off of that?

We also saw T this last week. I don't know if I've talked much about her but she's a quadriplegic. She's confined to a wheelchair and loves the gospel! She loves the pamphlets we give out! She calls them "little lottery tickets." They all make a ton of sense to her. The only thing that's keeping her back from being baptized is that her van has been broken down and she's had no mode of transportation. But guess what? She's getting it fixed! Her van wasn't in front of her apartment the last few times we were in the area so we think it's in the shop! Woo hoo!

Just for the record, there's this super good Southern restaurant called Lizard's Thicket here in Columbia. Sister Manning and I discovered it on Wednesday. Oh my lands. It was so good! The next day we had a member meal and they were like "Hey! Let's go to Lizard's Thicket!" We were okay with that because it was awesome! When we got there, the same lady waited at our table. She kind of embarrassed us by saying "Didn't I see y'all here last night?" "... Yes..." Our poor members felt so bad that we had already gone there. It was just embarrassing all over the place!

I have the best news ever! T P got confirmed yesterday! *Cue celebratory dance* Oh man. I literally did a double take when I saw her in church. She keeps giving me grief for it. She was like "I told you I'd be here, Sister!" Man. I was so happy she was there! We finally completed that baptism! I just can't tell you how great that was to get her there! I know the Lord was teaching me patience in the month of February. I now realize that I've grown a lot in helping T realize the importance in coming to church. It was a pretty neat experience now looking back on it!

Well that's all I have for this week! I love y'all! Thanks for all your love and support! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Sister Manning and I with our first pack and lighter!

A true southern meal from Lizard's Thicket - Chicken Fried Steak, Mac and Cheese, Fried Okra and cornbread! Mmm mmm!

Five letters in one day? This is what happiness looks like.