Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 51 - Latta, SC - 6/30/14

Hello :) Sorry I'm on a bit late! The library in my new area (not going to spoil the surprise yet) had some computer problems and then my new companion (still not going to tell yet) wanted to get her hair dyed before meeting our new mission president on Wednesday so... yeah. Now here I am at a member's home emailing after my companion. My apologies again.

Well, I'm out of West Columbia! Sister Johnson finished up her 12 Week Training and she's on her own now! I'm sure she's doing great in that area! We both needed the change because we were getting too comfortable together. It doesn't make leaving any easier. I really liked the area and the people I was working with. But it's all good!

On Wednesday, we went to transfer meeting and . . . drum roll please! I'm now serving in the Marion Branch with Sister Madelyn Parker who's from Las Vegas, Nevada! She came out with Sister Johnson two transfers ago.  Here are a few fun facts for you! 1) I've wanted to serve in a branch my whole mission and 2) I actually went out knocking with Sister Parker her first few days in the mission before they were all assigned companions! What are the odds of that happening? Marion is a really big area actually! We cover Latta, Dillon, Marion, Fork, Lakeview, Sellers, Linkside, and Mount Calvary. Very big compared to West Columbia!

Well, getting back on my first day, we found out that our air conditioning was broken. You cannot have broken A/C in the summer in the South. It was 93 degrees in our house and it was super humid. It was awful so with President Holm's permission, we stayed over at a member's house until it was fixed the next day.

If that's not bad enough for the first few days, our tire popped the next day! But let me tell you something good that came from it! We were pulled off on the side of the road waiting for our Branch Mission Leader to come save us. Sister Parker suggested we go out to knock the area at least. As we do, a guy riding his bike looked at us and said "Do you need help?" Sister Parker said that we were fine but I figured the Lord placed this guy in our path for a reason. I asked if he knew how to fix a tire and he said he did and that his dad was a mechanic. That was a miracle! Then we were talking to him about the church as he was fixing our tire and it turns out that he's this super prepared guy! Definitely a tender mercy of the Lord.

One thing that I love about Marion is that the people here are all so prepared! We're finding a lot of very interested people and I'm excited to be working with them! I'm just very happy to be in Marion! I've adjusted quickly and very well! I'll let you know more of my branch adventures next week!

I realized that the 4th of July is this week! It's been a year on the 4th that I've been set apart as a missionary! How neat is that? The time is going by so fast! I'll be sure to do something fun for my year mark!

Anyway, I've got to get going! We still have to wash our car and eat dinner in the next 50 minutes. Yikes! Wish us luck! Love y'all! Have a blessed week and a great 4th of July!

- Sister Amy Christensen

One of mine and Sister Johnson's last days together.

Us and W. This perfectly describes his personality.

The D family at our last visit together.

Posterity! My grandma, me and my daughter all living in West Cola.

Me and Sister Parker

No A/C! I look like a hot mess!

Spare tire on the car... whoops!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 50 - West Columbia, SC - 6/23/14

Hello Family and Friends!

It's been quite the interesting week! So many things happening, so little time!

So first of all, we had such a cool experience. We were just out working the other day when we saw a guy, Tony lifting some watermelon out of his truck into a shed nearby. We went over to talk to him and see if we could help and he actually let us! That rarely happens because people are like "Oh... I don't want y'all to get dirty..." But he let us! While we were helping, we were telling him a bit about the church. It turns out that he's been traveling to Georgia to attend church! We told him our church was like 15 minutes away and he was excited to hear that! Right before we left, Tony's friend came over and said "Sorry I'm late! Do you still need help getting the watermelon out of your truck?" Tony was like "No! These ladies came over and started getting to work! They didn't even give me the excuse that they didn't want to get dirty! It was an answer to prayers! God is good." I agree. God is good! He placed us right where he needed us. If we wouldn't have been willing to talk to everyone, we wouldn't have been effective tools in the Lord's hands.

Zone Conference was this week. It was rough on my emotions... Mostly because President and Sister Holm called it "Transitional Training." It was basically President preparing us for President and Sister Turner coming in next week. I'm excited to be working with President and Sister Turner but it was hard to say good bye to President and Sister Holm. Ugh. Missionary problems. It was a really good meeting other than that though! It gave Sister Johnson and I the fire in our bellies that we need to keep working :)

Willie's doing good. We went over last week and taught him about tithing and prophets. We basically didn't even need to teach him tithing. We asked him what he knew about it and he said "It's 10% of your gross income, not your net. It goes to help the church." We were like whoa. Then he loved learning about fast offerings because the money goes to help those in need. Then when we taught him about prophets, he was like "I already believe that President Monson is a prophet of God!" Alright! We can work with that! We're hoping to put him back on date to be baptized tomorrow night when we see him!

Get this! Yesterday at church, Sam comes up to us and I guess he's been extended a calling! He has been progressing so well! Sister Johnson and I are very proud of him!

Well... Some of you have already heard the news I guess via Facebook... But yes. The rumors are true. I'm being transferred out of West Columbia. I've had a lot of good memories here and I feel like I've grown a lot since I first got here. I'm excited and ready to move on though. I don't know where I'm going yet. I'll find out on Wednesday at our Transfer meeting! The suspense is killing me! I know that I'm going where the Lord wants me to be at for this point of my mission.

That's all for this week! I'll tell you more details next week! Love y'all! Have a blessed week :)

My first #MissionarySonicRun! We got Nerd Slushies. Just to let you know, they're delicious!

Me and Sister Cafaro

Me with Tanya and Jordan Park. They think they're funny. Hahah.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 49 - West Columbia, SC - 6/16/14

Week 49 – June 16, 2014

Family and Friends!

It's been a pretty interesting week. We've put in a lot of hard work in and I'm grateful that I get a slight break today (I say slight because often times, P-Days are more stressful than other days for me. So much to do, so little time).

We had exchanges this week and I got to go out with my mission grandma, Sister Roundy! Sister Roundy trained Sister Craig who trained me. Thus she is my grandma! We had a lot of fun in West Cola. We were invited to contact 15 people a day at our district meeting that day and then we went out and actually contacted 15 people! We even met all of our lesson key indicators that day including member presents, other lessons and lessons taught to less-active or recent converts (LARCs). It was a miracle! I feel like these last two exchanges have built upon each other. With Sister Creager, I learned how to talk to everyone. With Sister Roundy, I learned how to talk with everyone. I'm learning how to make our approaches more friendly and more than just "Hey! We're missionaries! We want to talk to you about Christ and how much He loves you!" Not that I ever do that... but to give an example.

Then yesterday was a proud day for me as a missionary. Sam passed the sacrament for the first time and he also gave a talk about how he felt when his sons were baptized. It was a really good talk! I was just sitting there grinning. He's so awesome! I'm definitely just blessed to be working with him!

So I got on a bit later today because we just got back from the Riverbanks Zoo! We went for Sister Roundy's birthday today. This is my second time going but we got in for free this time! I guess the other sisters know someone. I'm not complaining! We saw President and Sister Holm there too! It was really neat. We got to talk to them for a minute! They are some of the neatest people and they'll be gone in a few weeks. I'm so sad about that... But it was still cool to run into them there. We went to feed the birds and right as I threw away my nectar cup and started to leave, three birds landed on me! I didn't even know what to do with myself except give my camera to Sister Johnson to take pictures. Needless to say, it's been a pretty good day.

Well, that's about it! Sister Johnson and I are finishing up the final week of her 12 Week training program this week! So that's exciting! We'll get transfer calls on Saturday which will also be exciting. Who knows what will happen, especially since I've been here for 6 months. We'll see in time though! I love y'all! I'll tell you what happens next week! Have a blessed week :)

-  Sister Amy Christensen

Me and Sister Roundy! Posterity for the win!
Happy Father's Day!
Not sure what to think about this . . . .
Me in SC with the popcorn that Pres Holm bought for us. I didn't know what to do with it except hold it... that's not the last you'll see of the popcorn. :)
Me and Sister Johnson (and the popcorn) with some lion statues.
Feeding the giraffe!
Me and the penguins!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 48 - West Columbia, SC - 6/9/14

Hello Family and Friends!

This week has gone by so fast! It's amazing! Especially since we had kind of a chaotic P-Day last week, I didn't think it would go by as fast as it did. But hey! I'm not complaining!

W is doing well! He's gone an entire week without drinking any beer and now we're going to be working with some of his other Word of Wisdom problems. W is really pretty solid! He chose to come to church yesterday over his daughter's wedding. Who does that? W does, that's who! But we're happy he sees the importance of attending church. One of our ward missionaries has totally taken W under his wing which has been really nice! Our ward missionary has introduced him to several converts in our ward and looking out for him in priesthood meeting when we can't be there. W's definitely going to be baptized one day!

On Saturday, we were asked to go help out for a senior prom... at an Assisted Living Home. So it was literally a "senior" prom. It was awesome! The people in charge specifically asked for sister missionaries from our church to go help with hair, make-up, etc. Since Sister Johnson was a CNA and she's good with hair and make-up (I can barely do my own), she helped the seniors get ready mainly. I just talked to them about their lives since I know I'm good at talking. It was a lot of fun. We couldn't take any pictures with them for privacy reasons... But we took a selfie outside of the Assisted Living Home for the sake of memories.

Something Sister Johnson and I have been working on is teaching when we find. I realized that we would find people at home and since we weren't expecting to see them, we'd be like "So when can we come back to visit y'all." That really bothered me. So on Saturday and Sunday, I made it a goal to teach these people even if it was on the door step. And that we did. We got three lessons that way and we got six new investigators! I gained a new testimony of how teaching when you find is very important!

In my personal studies this week, I read about Abinadi in Mosiah 11 - 17. I had some new insight that I don't think I've ever really had before. Abinadi died preaching the gospel, yet he didn't live to see one person converted from his efforts. That has been very humbling for me. Lately we've been in a finding stage. We're looking for new people to teach but we can't seem to find anyone super solid. Instead of being discouraged, I just need to keep going. The Lord will make sure that my efforts are not wasted just like Abinadi. We know that Alma was converted because of Abinadi's efforts and he converted thousands! So even if we plant that seed of testimony, that seed will grow into something great! I hope that made sense...

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

- Sister Amy Christensen

Q: Why don't we use candles in our church services?
A: Because they are wick-ed... And they "wax" strong in their wick-edness.

The hottest day since I've been in South Carolina! I'm bracing myself for the rest of this summer!

Only in the South would you see this sign.

Sister Johnson and I after the "Senior" Prom.