Saturday, September 1, 2012

August 27, 2012 (Kearney, NJ)

It's INSANE how quickly this transfer passed by. And this is only the first one. I was talking to Elder Key about how quickly I felt it went and all he did was laugh and say "You have no idea."
Elder Storey is getting transfered, which means that I will be getting a follow-up trainer tomorrow at the conference. It's going to be great though. Elder Ream (zone leader, also getting transfered from Central Newark) told me that he was super glad his trainee got a follow up trainer because he learned things from his f-up trainer that Elder Ream NEVER would have been able to teach him. Hopefully that's the way it will be. I'll miss Elder Storey though. He was great and exactly what I needed. He taught me a great many things but mostly he taught me how to love your investigators and have eternal patience with them. Goodness gracious is he patient.

So this week, we taught Lydin again (finally!). She's still progressing, reading the Book of Mormon and keeping up on her prayers. She said she feels like she needs to learn some more but when she does that she'll be baptized. I can't remember if I told you about her but she's like 21, from Ecuador, is a hostess at Applebees, and is REALLy sweet and nice. Always willing to listen and always keeps commitments, EXCEPT for coming to church. Super frustrating. That's one of the biggest things we're working on with her. The importance of church. Nobody realizes that. And it's hard to get them to really understand.

We also taught Mario a few more times. Mario is in his 50's, from Ecuador, lives with his "esposa" (though not married), but wants to be baptized. The problem is, is his esposa, Lola, is not super into the idea of marriage, as well as being a member too. They live above a super active, really devoted member family, which consists of Ronald (16, has a mohawk, loves working out, comes out with the missionaries frequently though) Rosa (Ron's mom, endowed, incredible member, supports the ward really well) and Ron's grandmother (also awesome, also a super devoted member in the ward). Anyway, we're continually working with Mario to try to get him to set something up with Lola while we're there. He's really funny and nice and always wears a yellow or grey tank-top. I'm telling you guys, the tanktops here are in abundance.

A few nights ago, Elder Storey and I did a music lesson at a Thursday night family night at the Castro's house. We played the guitar and sang hymns and talked about music and why we use it in the gospel and the spirit that it brings and whatnot. Afterwards, Hermana Castro asked me to come play "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy" in spanish at a ward activity on Saturday night. I said sure. So we went and I sat down and started playing in front of about 40 members and NOBODY started singing with me. They all just looked super confused. So I frantically looked over at Hermana Castro who swept in to rescue me. She showed me the lyrics and guess what? DIFFERENT LYRICS. Not the regular lyrics for Brightly Beams. So we started over and I was a little peeved and embarrassed and I looked back at Elder Ream, Winslow and Storey, and they were all busting up and taking pictures. It was funny though. OH and afterwards Elder Ream (who is the ward pianist and probably the best pianist I've ever met) started jamming on piano and guitar and we were going NUTS. Both of us soloing and shredding and playing jacked-up versions of hymns. It was so rad. He's incredible at taking a chord progression and just JAMMING. Goodness I love music so much.

A super less-active family started coming back to church. They're in the zone leaders area, in Harrison and Central Newark but it's SUPER AWESOME to see that light come back into their life. They have been inactive for 19 years and yesterday the father of the family recieved the Priesthood. Incredibly experience. He's going to be baptizing his daughters next week. I'm really excited for them.

Good week. Time to start anew with a new companion and a new-take to missionary work. This area is really slow moving and my goal is to speed that up in whatever way I can. I got a really good compliment from Elder Storey the other day. We were talking to our investigator Israel and Elder Storey basically just praised me for being able to walk right and just talk to people as if I was friends with them. It felt good to hear that because I've been feeling low lately, basically that I'm just a crappy missionary work, because we haven't had any baptisms or confirmations. But it was wonderful to hear that, especially from Elder Storey.

I'm super backed up on letters right now. I have to write 10-11 people. So sorry if you don't get letters for a few weeks. BUT I LOVE ALL OF YOU.
Keep reading your scriptures and praying. I mean it.

Elder Niels Christensen

CHRIS: got your letter. Writing you today.
Hayley: I don't know if you're sending a letter soon or have already sent one... but I'm sending one today.
Bekah: LOVED YOUR LETTER still/ Writing you today.
Lydia: writing you today FOR SURE.
FAMILY: I'll try to start writing you next week. Love you.
VERINA: totally got your letter. Next week I'll write you.


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