Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 55 - Latta, SC - 7/28/14

Good Morning from Latta, South Carolina! It's been quite the eventful week so let's get down to the nitty gritty!

Well I went exchanges this week with one of our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Wood! We stayed in Marion and it was a really... odd exchange. Because the Sister Training Leaders have bed bugs in their apartment, we weren't allowed to do a 24 hour exchange - we did a 6 hour exchange instead! It was extremely short! But it was a good one nonetheless.

Speaking of bed bugs, I definitely didn't even know they actually existed until I was in the South. They bite a lot and they aren't pretty bites! Pray that I don't get eaten alive by them! :) Hahah.

This past week was Pioneer Day! I'm so grateful for the pioneers that made the trek from Illinois to the great Salt Lake! I read a talk by President Uchtdorf called "All Is Well" on Pioneer Day! It made me realized how blessed I am because of their sacrifice! Also I realized a year ago on Pioneer Day, I was opening up the Boiling Springs area for sisters. I'm kind of a modern day pioneer. No big deal ;)

Ok. I need to tell you about Brother J. He is the most elect person, probably in the history! Since I last talked to y'all about him, we've taught him the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of Wisdom, the Ten Commandments, and Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. And he came to church yesterday! He loves everything! He's still really set on his baptismal date for August 16th! Please pray for him though because he's living with his mom who is kind of anti. He needs all the prayers he can get!

So I have a funny story for you! I've found that I sleep talk a lot on the mission. A few nights ago, Sister Parker said that I was talking in my sleep and I said "Please turn to page 529 of Preach My Gospel!" On page 529 of the Book of Mormon is Moroni's promise so I guess I was mixing that up in my dream or something. Whenever we read Moroni's promise with an investigator now, we just both look at each other and start laughing! It's a good time!

Now I'll leave you with a cool thought. President Spencer W. Kimball said "Make no small plans, they have no magic to stir mans’ souls. This is the vision I have for the South. I believe one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together. There are hosts of marvelous Baptists, members of the Church of Christ, Methodists, and Catholics, who are honorable people and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love him. As they see their church veering off to the right or the left of those basic teachings, they will begin to search for truth. And as pivotal teachers come into the church and have influence, we will see the time when we will baptize hundreds, and thousands, tens-of-thousands, in your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be Temples plural in the South State. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people." Pretty neat, huh? You can definitely expect good things to come from the South!

Anyway, I've got to get going! I love y'all! Write me! Have a blessed week :)

- Sister Amy Christensen

Selfie of Sister Parker and I at the Little Pee Dee State Park for our Branch's Pioneer Day activity.
Definitely had to pump the car tire up! Thanks Dad for teaching me how to do it!

Sister Parker and I finally had some boiled peanuts since the Weatherford's gave them to us! They're actually not too bad!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 54 - Latta, SC - 7/21/14

My dearest family and friends!

I'll tell you what - South Carolina has more rain, thunder and lightning storms than I ever imagined to be possible! We've had like 3 flash floods and at 4 this morning, Sister Parker and I woke up to our room constantly lighting up from the lightning and also from our house vibrating from the thunder. Not ok. We are some sleep deprived missionaries on this fine P-Day.

Another thing is I've never been chased by dogs while I've been a missionary... Until I came here. I've been nearly attacked by two dogs this week! I was saved our investigator, Mack for one of the times since one near attack was by his dog. Then the other one I booked it to our car and chilled in the back seat for a while. It's been crazy! I feel like I've had the real missionary experience now!

The tender mercy that happened to us this week is most definitely from a potential investigator, Brother J. When we first met him, we said we were Sister Christensen and Sister Parker and he was like "You may call me Brother J!" Ha ha. Well we didn't see him for like 2 weeks after we first met him because of conflicting schedules but when we went back on Saturday, he said "I checked out and I read everything! I read your Articles of Faith and I really liked those! Let me just say this... you guys are the real deal!" My jaw dropped. Usually if we don't see someone for a while like that, they don't keep their commitments or anything. But Brother J surprised us! We invited him to be baptized on August 16th and he accepted!

Yesterday we had Branch Conference and we were so excited! We were convinced that we'd have at least 14 investigators/less-actives/recent converts there because everyone was so solid when we invited them and re-committed them... We only had one show up. It killed us on the inside. Now M and R are off date (but they'll be back on date soon!) and Adrian and his family will need to come the next two Sundays in a row. We're doing a church tour with them tonight so hopefully that will help out!

Everything's going just great here in Marion! I love the branch! I love the people! I love the area! I love my companion! I love being a missionary! I hope y'all have a great week! Love you!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Chillin' with cold treats from Mickey D's!

Will the real Sister Christensen please stand up? Sister Parker forgot her tag for church yesterday and I just so happened to have another one so I let her borrow it!

The District - Me, Sister Parker, the Nolans, Elder Roetker, Elder Smith

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 53 - Latta, SC - 7/14/14

Good afternoon from Latta, SC! How's everything going? I hope well! Let me just tell you about one of the crazier weeks I've had out on my mission!

We had a rough start to the week. Investigators were dropping like crazy. Within a few hours, four people dropped us. It wasn't a complete heartbreak though because the people weren't really progressing. But even our progressing investigators dropped off the face of the earth. I won't lie, I was a little stressed about it. But Sister Parker and I know that there is opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11) and something good was bound to happen.

Well first, we got a media referral. This guy M wanted a Holy Bible. He's clear up at the top of our area but since we have a rental car (meaning we have unlimited miles), we figured we'd go. M and his girlfriend, R, were outside and R ended up wanting a Bible too. They are the most humble people! They accepted a Book of Mormon and want to learn more from us. Not only that but during that visit, they also accepted the invitation to be baptized! They are some prepared people and we're hoping to get them to church this week so they can still be baptized on August 2nd!

Then on our way to Zone Training Meeting, we had to get gas. As we were stopped at the gas station, this car was blasting one of the most vulgar songs I've heard in my life. We're just sitting there singing "I Am A Child of God" while we're filling up. Sister Parker had the impression to give him a pass along card for some strange reason but we followed it and gave him one. Later that day, we got another referral from Temple Square. The guy we gave the card to, A, actually called the number and was interested in learning more! Wut. We went over on Saturday night and taught his family. We put all six of them on date! A seems the most sure of the six to be baptized. We're seeing them tonight and stressing the importance of this baptism in comparison to any other baptism they may have had already.

Back to ZTM, we had interviews with President Turner then. He's a great man! I love him already! Except in my interview, he said "It looks like you're a seasoned missionary!" I cringed. I just love being a missionary so much I don't want to be a seasoned missionary yet! It means my time's coming to an end! But other than that, we had a pretty good meeting! I'm excited to be working with President and Sister Turner for the remainder of my mission.

Also, get this, I used American Sign Language for the first time on my mission this past week! We contacted some people on their friend's porch and one of the ladies mentioned how their friend's daughter was deaf. I haven't even heard of anyone being deaf in any of my areas thus far so I was like "It's time to use my talents!" The daughter came out and I asked her what her name was and told her my name. Since it's been a few years since I've signed all that was coming back to me was how to say "Nice to meet you," "Chemistry," "Turtle" and "Read this." There wasn't much I could say about chemistry or turtles so I pulled out a pass along card and asked her to read it. She thanked me and said something else to me in sign language that I couldn't understand... So I just went with it. It was still cool though! I got to contact someone in sign language!

Well that's all for this week! Thank you for all your love and support! I'd love to hear from all y'all! Anyway, have a blessed week! Love y'all!

- Sister Amy Christensen

No better way to celebrate my year mark than with peaches and ice cream!