Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 68 - Latta, SC - 10/27/14

Hey y'all!

Oh my goodness. Can I just tell you how crazy slash great of a week it was? It's weird because the beginning of the week was not all that eventful but the end of the week - BAM! All kind of great things were happening! I'll really just touch on three of the main events from this week though!

First of all, we had the Fall Festival this week! We had an amazing turn out! We had 93 people there! I know that may not sound like a lot compared to a Utah ward... But when we typically have 40-50 people at church every Sunday, it's amazing! Sister Parker and I decided to dress up but you can't really do much to dress up as a sister missionary... So we dressed up as each other! It was so much fun! We also decorated our trunk with copies of the Book of Mormon #MissionaryStatus. The best part about it is that John and Faye Csondor came to it and also Melissa McCoy came with her mom, step-dad, and niece! We were so happy! They all really enjoyed themselves so that's a plus right?

This weekend was Stake Conference! It was amazing! The Saturday Night session focused a lot on missionary work. Two recently returned sister missionaries spoke and President and Sister Turner spoke as well! It was great! The Sunday Morning session was just as great too! It talked a lot about being in the world but not of it and gaining charity. I got a lot out of both conferences! Want to know the best part? Yesterday, Ricky Bourgoin and Brother Josh got the Melchizedek Priesthood! Want to know an even better part about it? Our branch mission leader pulled some strings so that Sister Parker and I could attend the ordinations (That usually doesn't happen here, I guess)! It was the best Sunday I've had in a while!

Now the moment you've all been waiting for - transfer calls! Drum roll please! ... I will be staying in Marion and Sister Parker is off to a new area! But here's some more news for you! Saturday morning, I was in the middle of sharing what I learned in our companion study, when all the sudden, our phone rings. It was a call from President Turner. I stop talking and start panicking! I answered the phone and President wanted to talk to me! So the news is ... I've been called to train yet again! My third and final daughter in the mission field!

Wow. I'm just amazed. Partially because I've been praying to train my last two transfers. I know that training will help me keep my mind in the mission field in this time when most missionaries get "trunky". It just amazes me about how the Lord hears and answers our prayers! It happens with anything from us needing to get rides to stake conference (which we got a ride to both sessions when we weren't expecting one to either) to us wanting to get milkshakes (we didn't actually pray about that... But we both really wanted one when we were in Florence and our member bought us some) to me training. There are so many simple ways that the Lord expresses His love for us. I'd like to invite all y'all to look for those little tender mercies in your lives. I know that as I've looked for the blessings in the little (and big) things, I've been a happier person!

Unfortunately I won't know who my trainee is until Wednesday but we'll be heading to Irmo for the trainers meeting tomorrow. I'll keep y'all posted next week on my new adventures here in Marion! Thanks for all your support! I love y'all! Have a blessed week and happy Halloween :)

- Sister Amy Christensen
Sister Parker and I dressed up as each other for the branch's Trunk or Treat!

Us with the Nolan's before they left the Marion branch for the mission office.

I'm pregnant... again!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 67 - Latta, SC - 10/20/14

Hello Everyone :)

It's Week 6 of the transfer! This transfer has gone by way too fast! I can't believe we're about to start a new one… but on to the things of this week!

We have been extremely blessed this week! We picked up a lot of new investigators, including some formers! Melissa is back on board! She had a lot of struggles in her life lately but after she read Alma 32, she felt so much better about everything! It shows how important it is to read the scriptures! They can definitely apply to us today even though they were written so many years ago!

Then we picked up Linda and Glomaine. They're the mom and sister of a recent convert, Ronald. They want to be baptized but the problem is that they don't have any transportation and they don't live near anyone to get to church. They actually don't even live in our branch's boundaries but they live closer to our building than to the neighboring branch's. We had a cool miracle though! We found out that Ronald's cousin goes to Marion every Sunday for church at the same time that we have our church services and they're willing to take all of them to church! With that, we felt more comfortable with putting them on date for baptism because they'll be less likely to fall off! They're on for November 15th, Ronald's birthday!

Then there's John and Faye! Faye is doing amazing! She has read through 1 Nephi and John's still in Alma. He's very excited to get to Helaman! Hahaha. We taught the Word of Wisdom this week and they are a bit concerned about not being able to drink coffee and tea... So that's going to be quite an obstacle to overcome. Please keep them in your prayers! We want them to continue to progress!

Brother Josh is still doing great! He blessed the sacrament for the first time yesterday and he was also interviewed for the Melchizedek priesthood yesterday! He should be receiving the Melchizedek priesthood next Sunday at Stake Conference.

Remember the 40 Day Fast we did in Boiling Springs? I'm bringing it into Marion! We brought it up in Branch Council yesterday and we suggested that the Branch Council did a trial period for next week to see how it goes. We want to get the branch excited for missionary work and opportunities and we feel like this will be the best way to do it!

That's about it for this week! It's been pretty good! I know that this upcoming week is going to be even better! Thanks for all the support and prayers! Love y'all! Have a blessed week! Now go write me some letters! ;)

- Sister Amy Christensen

Tracting in the Forests of SC!

This is my face when I receive one letter in two weeks "... Yea, we desire to know the cause of your thoughtless state." Alma 60:6.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 66 - Latta, SC - 10/13/14

Hello Family and Friends!

It's been an interesting week! Sister Parker and I were talking about how the days went by slow but the week went by so fast. Time is warped on the mission. I don't know how else to explain it.

Well, we had interviews with President Turner this week! I feel like it went pretty good. He did the interviews differently than President Holm. He asked us what we were studying, what our study methods were and what the most valuable thing we learned this week was. The interview was only about 10 minutes long. While Sister Parker was having her interview, I was talking to Sister Turner. I saw she had a picture of Sister Johnson and I asked how she was doing since I trained her. I guess she's still in West Columbia and she's training! I'm a Grandma! I never thought I'd live to see the day! I was excited for her!

We had a really good week with John. We finally got to meet with his wife, Faye and she's all on board! We've taught/re-taught the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week! Each lesson has gone really well, especially the Restoration. We brought Sister Weatherford with us to that lesson. She's a convert to the church and she used to be a part of the Holiness religion, which is what Faye's religious background is. The Spirit was so strong during that lesson! It was incredible! Then we went over last night with their next door neighbor and taught the Plan of Salvation! Faye said that everything makes sense and even John said that he learned something new! It was perfect!

So yesterday, we were just sitting in Sunday School while one of the elders started teaching the lesson. After about 10 minutes of teaching, his companion walked out of the room and this panicked look came across his face. So we got up to teach while he went after his companion. Before the mission, I don't think I could just pick up a spot in the lesson and start teaching. I would have been way too nervous. But it worked out really well for us yesterday! It was a great lesson about Charity. I'm glad that I've been able to learn how to teach while I've been out on my mission so I can be called upon in situations like that!

Here's some food for thought! Last night in our lesson with John and Faye, John started making a comment. He turned to his neighbor and said "I'm not sure if you've ever invited me to church..." and then continued on with saying how he's been going to a lot of different churches searching for the right one. That phrase stood out to me. How many people do we come in contact with, whether it's a neighbor or a co-worker that we can invite to learn more about the gospel? I want to invite y'all to pray for missionary opportunities and to have the courage to act on those spiritual promptings. We shouldn't be keeping anyone from having the chance to learn about the restored gospel!

Well that's about it for this week! I love y'all! Have a blessed week :)

- Sister Amy Christensen

This is what happy missionaries look like after they've knocked into a less-active whose records aren't in our directory.

Our "P-Day Eve" festivities start after we finish planning on Sunday nights and they include jamming out to music!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 65 - Latta, SC - October 6, 2014

In the words of Elder Christofferson, "Muy buenos dias!'

Got a lot of stuff to tell you this week and not a lot of time... So forgive me for cutting to the chase :)

First of all, Brother Josh was interviewed this week for the Melchizedek Priesthood by President Cabaniss! Wahoo! He's on track to getting the Melchizedek Priesthood by the end of the month at Stake Conference! We're excited for him!

We have been seeing this lady, Jenny. She's what we call a "church hopper" but she was very interested in coming to our church. We've left her a few sticky notes and she had them laying around her house. We went over last Monday and she said "I'm going to find your church tomorrow and put one of these sticky notes on there so you know I found it." Well we went over on Wednesday for branch coordination and we found the note! She actually did what she told us! We didn't believe it happened! Ha ha. We were pumped!

Then remember John, the guy who read half of the Book of Mormon? He called us last Wednesday! We got a voicemail from an unknown number so we listened to it and he said "This is John!" We were so excited! We thought we'd lost him! But we saw him yesterday right before Conference with President Cabaniss to teach him the first part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It went pretty well! It went kind of long but that's because John has a lot of questions! I'm ok with that. He's just looking for the truth!

Also while the Elders were in the Priesthood session, they allowed us to go see our old investigator, Cherrie who moved into their area. I guess Saturday evening was the only night that she and her fiancé could meet with them so they let us go! Unfortunately, she couldn't talk for long but she was excited to see us! She told us that she would come to church if she got a ride... Needless to say, we got a ride for the Elders' investigator and she came! She loved it and said she was going to come back next week! Wahoo!

Anyway, on to Conference! Wasn't that amazing?! You know how I've been coming up with questions each Conference I've been out? Well I took these questions to heart this time around. I prayed and studied about which questions to ask rather than just having questions come to mind. Some of the questions were very unique and I was worried that they wouldn't be answered... But all 6 of my questions were answered! Even questions I didn't know I had were answered! Only the Spirit can do that! It's hard to pick a favorite though... They were all fantastic! I did love the talks by Elder Godoy, Elder Ballard, Elder Bednar, President Uchtdorf and President Monson however! They were great! To top that off, both John and Jenny came to the Sunday Morning session of Conference and Jenny even brought her cousin! It was fantastic! John thought it was interesting and Jenny and her cousin, Kim said that they were coming back next week! Perfect way to end the weekend!

I will say this though. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Conferences as a missionary. I feel like I've received a lot of insight and guidance for myself. I hope that I will continue to seek to have this same guidance as I continue on throughout my life!

Well that's it for this week! I hope y'all look over your Conference notes and see what you can apply better to your lives! I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today! He can give us the guidance we need for our lives and we will be blessed as we follow him! I love y'all! Have a blessed week!

- Sister Amy Christensen

Jenny was here!

Sad that Conference is over . . . .