Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 1, 2012 (Kearney)

The subject line is what's written on the back of garbage trucks around here. And it's hilarious ok?

I am doing great. We had an incredibly week this week. Here's what I wrote in my weekly letter to President Jeppson (slightly revised):
Dear President Jeppson,
"This past week as been very rewarding, full of miracles and hard work. We started off on Monday evening, of course, visiting a less active guy named Christian. When we got there, his girlfriend was there (whom he has a son with) and he wanted us to teach her. She was so ready and willing to change, a little stubborn, but very understanding and wanting the best for her family.
I love seeing the people that the Lord truly prepares to receive this Gospel and enter into the waters of baptism. We don't have a date with her yet, as they need to repent and get married, but she said that she would be baptized. The only problem is, we're not going to see them for a little while. But I have FAITH that she will continue to progress and they will see the powerful change overtake their family.

We got 5 new investigators this week, 2 of which are 16 year old cousins who have already been baptized, however their old ward in Florida lost their baptismal papers. They both have really strong testimonies and have both come out on Team-Ups with us, but now they need to wait to come out with us again, as they're considered "investigators". It's cool that they get this opportunity though, to enter into this covenant again with God, especially after having a really sound understanding for their age. Elder Magleby and I have been teaching them the lessons again, which has brought a lot of joy to my heart. Especially the simple fact of being able to start from lesson 1 and move through them. These two kids are golden. Obviously.
I learned two really valuble lessons this week. One was a very humbling listening experience. After teaching a lesson to a returning family (because the 9 year old daughter was baptized) we chatted just for a few minutes afterwards. The husband of this family is not a member, and he loves to argue with us, however, we are pretty good at staving him off and not giving him things to feed on. Anyway, he went upstairs after the lesson and Elder Magleby began helping the 9 year old girl with some homework. I was chatting with the Hermana and she began talking with me about all these hardships and trials concerning her husband and her daughter and with the church and how she was feeling. I stood there in the kitchen and listened. And instead of trying to speak back and give her counsel, I simply listened as she broke down into tears and continued to pour out her heart and soul to me. I couldn't help but smile after I responded simply and powerful, according to the spirit. Being a member of the church is difficult, but it's so incredibly worth it.
The second lesson I learned is that as a missionary, I have become rather hard-hearted when it comes to hearing what other people believe. We had a street lesson with a black guy named Melvin. He obviously wasn't spanish but we felt like we needed to talk to him. As we did, he simply brought up the fact that he felt like he was already so blessed and that God had given him everything. He was very humble and willing to listen and even shared some of this insights on religion. It was fascinating and I feel like everything he said was a part of the gospel of Christ. I can learn so much from the people I teach, it's amazing.
Elder Magleby and I are continuing to do well. We have realized that we are NOTHING alike. However, it does not stop me from loving him and trying my hardest to help and serve him. I love the strange unity we have. We celebrate our differences and work well off the things that we're both good at.
Missionary work is glorious."

Another awesome thing I learned this week is how wonderful the church is. Everything about it is perfect. But I feel like I have grown so much simply by being a member. There were so many incredible lessons I learned just by going to church and doing the things I was supposed to be doing, (even if I didn't do all those things for a while). But those things have jumped out at me and have helped me to realize how incredible it is be a member of the church. I will NEVER go inactive. That would probably be the most hypocritical thing I could do in my life.
I have learned to incorporate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the my life and I have a hard time believing that it will ever leave.

My stomach is making the most gnarly noises right now. Sorry this letter isn't that funny.
Kent: Writing you back today. Thanks so much for your letter.
Hayley: Write ME.
Bayley: I'm writing you NEXT week for sure. Sorry I'm the lamest.

Family: I love alll of you. Thanks for your words, support, wisdom and excellence. It has been great to have you on my side.
"It's gonna be glorious day." -Radiohead

Elder Christensen

PS - I finally got around to posting some photos. Sorry for taking forever. I'm not sure about which one is which but here are some easily identifiable captions:
-Delicious muscles from dinner at Bro. Jackson's house
-Dark clouds on Ferry Street in Newark
-Elder Magleby and I on Wilson Ave, in Kearney
-Shopping receipt at ShopRite.
-HUGE slices of pizza at Gina's Pizza

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