Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 42 - West Columbia, SC - 4/28/14

Good morning from West Columbia! This has been quite the week. Well kind of. Nothing huge happened... But a lot of great little things did! It was like what I was talking to Dad about earlier. In 1 Nephi 16, Nephi says "And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things." Totally read that in the scriptures this morning. That's scripture application at its finest, folks!

Blessing #1: We had 6 member presents this week. Well 4 of them were with investigators and 2 were with less-actives/recent converts. That's the most I've ever had! We have some great members in the ward that were willing to drop everything to come with us. It was awesome!

Blessing #2: Sam is still on date! We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Sabbath day and Tithing this week. He's just soaking it all in! We're very excited for him to be baptized on May 10th!

Blessing #3: We taught this lady, Linay about the Restoration this week. When we asked her to kneel down and pray with us about Joseph Smith, she said "Oh... I already believe he's a prophet! But I'll kneel down and thank God that I believe he's a prophet!" Wut. I've never had that response before. Needless to say, we're going to be working with her a lot!

Blessing #4: We met this lady as we were knocking and she told us about her affiliation with the church. Her parents and siblings are members but she is not. She didn't want much to do with the church but somehow she told us about how she remembers when some elders gave her a priesthood blessing after she had severe burns and had to get skin graft surgery. I took that time to tell her about how I too have a skin graft experience and relayed to her how that experience can make us stronger people (Ether 12:27). She's willing to let us come back and share a message with her now. I'm not saying that it's all because of me that happened. But I know the Lord placed me in the right place at the right time to share my personal experiences.

Blessing #5: We had a ton of people at church yesterday! Like a member of the bishopric counted and we had 155 people there! That may not sound like a lot but for here, it is! We even had a less-active there, Sister Demasi who hasn't come to church since I've been here. It was awesome! Everyone loved the turn out we had! I mean, we didn't even have that many people at church on Easter. I was just thrilled!

That's basically the five major things that happened this week. It was a pretty good week if I may say so myself! I'm looking forward to another really good week this week! I love y'all! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

The napkins we got from Moe's told us to make art out of them. So Sister Johnson taught me how to make it into a heart. #WelcomeToMoes (It said to hashtag that on the napkin so that's why I did that.)

We show up to Tanya's to teach her and we were wearing matching shirts! We're pretty much some cool kids, right?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 41 - West Columbia, SC - 4/21/14

Happy (belated) Easter everyone :) I hope everyone was able to have a good Easter and that you were able to remember our Savior and His atoning sacrifice throughout the day yesterday.

First things first! We were told by our mission office that our mail for the missionaries is being tampered with! I've had a letter sent to me where the envelope was cut in half but that's not the worst that's happening. I guess that missionaries have sent packages home but when their families open up the packages, there's nothing in it. The mission office suspects it has to do with people who don't like Mormons and the titles "Elder" and "Sister" on the mail. We're going to be trying a new thing where we don't put Elder or Sister on letters. So when you write to me, please just put Amy Christensen. Hopefully that will help settle things!

So I had a really cool experience this week! I've had a prompting to ask Tanya about her Hispanic neighbors for a while now. So a few days ago, we asked her if her neighbors would be interested in hearing more about the gospel. Right in the middle of our meeting, she gets up and says "I don't know. I'll go ask them right now!" So she did! Long story short, her neighbors said that they'd let the Spanish Elders come over! The Spanish Elders went over and put the mom on date to be baptized and yesterday the whole family came to church! They loved it! It's really helped Tanya strengthen her testimony and now she kind of just has this fire in her belly about the gospel. It's pretty awesome! I'm so proud of her.

Easter was alright. We didn't really do much. We just went out to work. Nothing too special. But we ate Otter Pops. That was pretty cool. I decided that eating Otter Pops on Easter is going to be my new Easter tradition now because of it!

Now here comes the follow up! Were y'all able to watch the Because of Him video and share it on Facebook? I hope you were! If not, you missed out big time! As missionaries, we used that as a finding tool the whole week! It was so awesome! We showed it to members, less-actives, and non-members. Even ones that didn't want anything to do with the church, they couldn't deny how awesome it was! One of our less-actives started crying during Because of Him! True story. I know that video was made to help us strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. I know that Because of Him we can live again. He made it so we can have a new beginning again and again and again. I'm truly grateful for Christ's example and for all that he's done for me personally.

Well, I've got to get heading out. I love y'all and hope y'all have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

I parked in minister parking and it was legal! Hooray for being a missionary!

Me and Sister Johnson on Easter Sunday with the Easter baskets from my loving parents!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 40 - West Columbia, SC - 4/14/14

My dear family and friends!

First off, I'm officially half way through my mission! Oh my goodness. I don't even know where this time is going. It's kind of freaking me out.

We had some great things happen this week! One, for example, was S finally accepted a baptismal date! He's going to be baptized on May 10th! He's been pushing back his baptismal date for so long so for us to finally get him on date was a success! When we were talking to him about his baptism, he said that he's excited to "become a part of God's family forever." He's pretty much golden.

As for T... well... she got dropped this last week. She was not willing to keep some of the commandments to be baptized which was kind of a shocker for us. It was definitely a heartbreaking lesson for us. But we'll see what happens with her in the future.

This past Thursday was Sisters Conference which was awesome! We learned a lot of new ways to work as missionaries and I got to see a lot of my old friends and companions! I was pumped to see the girls from my MTC district again! Apparently we're the only sisters’ district from the group we came out with that's still all here. I guess some other sisters have left for one reason or another. I also got my "posterity" picture with Sister Gardner (Who's been out for 6 months now! Man! I'm feeling old!) and with Sister Johnson. Pretty awesome!

This last Sunday was a good Sunday for us! The D’s, T P, K E (a less-active we've been working with) and S all came to church! Sister Johnson was so cute about it! She was grinning from ear to ear. I guess it was a good reminder for me that even though not everyone that we committed to come to church came... but we had a really good turn out and I should be grateful for that.

Now I have one commitment I'd like to leave with y'all. There's a video on Go watch it. As missionaries, we are committing everyone to watch it! It's a video about our Savior and how He is the Reason for the season. It's going to be a big video! YouTube will be having advertisements for it all week through Easter. Approximately 109 million people will see the ad for the video and will hopefully watch the video. But spread the word about it. Share it on your social media! Hashtag about it #BecauseOfHim. I know that sharing the gospel with people face to face may be intimidating but this is a way to hasten the work! So please do it! I'll follow up with y'all a week from today because just like Elder Ballard reminded us last week, an invitation is basically worthless without a follow up.

Well I love y'all! I'm excited for Easter this upcoming Sunday! It's a good time to remember the atoning sacrifice of our Savior! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Me and my posterity - Sis. Johnson and Sis. Gardner
My MTC District! Sisters Warden, Smith, McNeely, Schauerhamer, Christensen and Dent

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 39 - West Columbia, SC - 4/7/14

Greetings Family and Friends!

This week has been a crazy one. It seems like we've just been so busy with everything from transfers to ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) to Conference. Needless to say, this week has just flown on by!

I found out which sisters I'd be training with since there were only three sisters that came in this transfer. The crazy part about it is that the other two sisters came out with me last July - Sister Smith and Sister Stout. We were excited that we get to go through this experience together though.

Now for the news! I'm training Sister Tiffany Johnson! She is 19 and from Ogden, Utah. She's also 5 feet tall so I'm going to kind of feel like a giant for the next few months. She's been adjusting to the missionary life quite well and we just ended Week 1 of her training yesterday. This week has just flown by!

We've been staying busy teaching and weirdly enough, we've had all the bizarre lessons right when Sister Johnson came. Like we had a lesson in a McDonald’s on Thursday and some people almost started a fight right behind us... right as we were talking about baptism during the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. Kind of crazy, right?

Well, Conference came and went. I loved it! It was amazing because I wrote down 5 questions that I had going in to Conference. Every question was answered! That's the first time that has happened for me! I know that the Lord was, and still is, mindful of me and of the questions I had. It definitely strengthened my testimony to know that these conferences truly are from the Lord.

I wanted to invite y'all to take Elder Ballard's invitation seriously and invite someone to learn more about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ once every quarter. I know that the members of the church looking for teaching opportunities is the way y'all can help hasten the work even if you're not full-time missionaries. I promise that you will have more peace in your life as you do this. As President Holm always says, "Peace is a gift from God for a job well done."

Lots of great things are happening this week! 1) As of today, I have been baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 13 years. 2) Cody goes on his mission to England London South on Wednesday! Cheerio mate! Good luck, brother! I'm excited to hear about your experiences in the mission field! 3) I will hit my halfway mark on Thursday! Time is going by swiftly and I know it's because I'm doing the Lord's work, His way.

I know that this period of time that both Cody and I have chosen to serve the Lord is the best thing that we can be doing. We have a very sacred calling as missionaries and I'm excited for Cody to join the missionary ranks! He's going to do great! I know how much I've changed for the better and I'm excited for him to experience the same thing.

I love y'all! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Me, T and Sister Manning
Check out all the pollen on my shoes. This is nasty stuff. You should see what my car looks like in the mornings when we go out to work.

Me and my new companion, Sister Johnson, earlier today!