This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to watch women's conference. For those of you who don't know what that is every April and October the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints holds a conference with speakers from all the leaders of the church. The Saturday before is a meeting called women's conference when the leaders of the Relief Society (the women's organization of the church)
the Young Women's program and the Primary (the children's organization) as well as a member of the first presidency speak to the women of the church ages 8 and up. It is a night of education and spiritual upliftment and it was exactly what I needed! I highly recommend President Uchtdorf's talk, for everyone not just women. It can be found on Lds.org I believe, or very soon if it isn't already up. Or you can listen to the entire meeting as well. I'm also excited for this conference, not just for the revelation, but to see who will be filling the 3 vacancies in the Quorum of the 12. The conference
will be broadcasted on BYU tv, on the Internet and at stake centers starting at 10 mountain standard time on Saturday. I invite everyone, member and nonmember to tune in to at least one session. Those who will be speaking are incredible. Just think of it as watching a TED talk or two.
This was also a pretty good week for missionary work. We have a new investigator, Jesus, who is progressing so well! He is the brother in law of a member in the Ward. After our first lesson he told us that his entire life he has been afraid of entering different churches but this time all he felt was peace and comfort. We are both super excited to be able to teach him and help him towards his baptismal date of October 18!
That's about all that has been going on here, I hope everything is well for all of you!
Hermana Anna Christensen
Monday, September 28, 2015
Monday, September 21, 2015
This week was awesome!
First of all we had mission tour with Elder Echo Hawk of the 70. For those of you who want to know he gave a talk in the April 2012 General Conference called "Come Unto Me Oh Ye House of Israel" it's a good read, I highly recommend it. It was so cool to just be able to learn from him and his wife, as well as my mission president and his wife. All of them are such great examples of what I want my marriage to be like and I loved listening to their counsel. My favorite part was by Sister Echo Hawk. She talked about how we as missionaries need to make sure that the things that we teach become totally and completely part of us, written upon our hearts is how she put it, so that way there is never a chance that we fall away from the church. It has become a new goal for me and I plan on working on it throughout my mission and my life.
This week was also the festival international to celebrate Independence Day in Mexico and most of Latin America. There was food from Guatemala, and all parts of Mexico, and pupusas (my favorite
food) from El Salvador. There were also traditional songs and dances preformed by the different organizations. My favorite was the Mexican hat dance my the primary kids. They won't win any prizes for skill but they made up for it in pure enthusiasm. My companion was in the El Salvadorian dance. She did a super good job too. I decided that I just wanted to watch and learn this time but next year, who knows I may give dancing a shot.
We also did find time to do missionary work this week. We set a baptism date with one of our investigators Carlos and started teaching a woman named Maria. There's also a chance we might get to visit the visitors center at the temple with a recent convert this week, which we are super excited about. Stay tuned next week to see if it gets to happen.
I hope all is going well for all of you. As always the invitation is open for communication of any kind.
Hermana Anna Christensen
Pictures: the beginning of the El Salvadorian dance, my companion and I afterward, and my zone minus one set of hermanas after the zone activity today.
Monday, September 14, 2015
This week was weird. My internal clock has now been set to missionary time, which is Sunday is church, Monday is P-day, Tuesday and Wednesday are normal days, then Thursday is District meeting, Friday is weekly planning and Saturday is normal, and then repeat over and over and over again. This week however we had a zone meeting on Friday, which means that we were supposed to weekly plan on either Thursday or Friday, and that we didn't have district meeting on Thursday. Our normal family home evening on Monday night was also moved to Thursday, and we had exchanges, so this week was just weird.
However the work is really starting to pick up here. As always we do a lot of work with less actives and recent converts. It's really interesting to see all of the different reasons that people first joined the church, and then also why they stopped attending. In some cases it's for a job, others it's because their family isn't supporting them in going to church. It has made me really grateful for a family who has always supported me in everything I have decided to do, from the school I attended to serving a mission now. It makes everything so much easier.
This week we were also able to have a bunch of first lessons. It's really cool to look back and realize all the little miracles that went into making those lessons happen. Like with one guy, Carlos, we found while I was on exchanges with one of the sister training leaders. We were looking for someone else, who lived in apartment 32, but some how I turned 32 into 7, so that was the door we knocked. We set up an appointment with him for the next day and ended up having a great lesson with him. But when we first got to his lesson he was in the shower so we decided to visit a women we had visited a little while earlier and invited to an activity. The time of the activity had changed so we went to tell her about it. As we went we were able to hold the door for a woman with a shopping cart. That woman invited us back to her house, gave us water, and listened to a little bit of our message. We have another lesson with her this week as well. I love being able to see all the little ways that the Lord works to help us out as missionaries. I also love that I have learned to appreciate even the smallest miracles that happen every day. A quote by Elder Bednar sums it up pretty well I think, "The tender mercies of the Lord are real and do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence." I can testify of the truth of that.
This is going to be another great week as well, we have mission conference this week with Elder Echo Hawk of the 70 and then a festival that celebrates the culture of Latin America on Friday. I am so ready for inspiration during the conference and then some really really good food during the culture event.
I hope this week finds all of you well, and that we can all take a few moments this week to recognize the small tender mercies of the Lord.
Hermana Anna Christensen
Monday, September 7, 2015
Anna's district in the back, Anna and her companion, Hermana Diaz.
Hermana Diaz holding a kitten because it's cute.
I don't really know what to talk about, it was just a regular old week here. On Tuesday we had some lessons cancel, but we did have two lessons with 2 sweet little old ladies. Both are sick so can't attend church as much as they would like. One of them is from Brazil, and speaks both Portuguese and Spanish. The other always gives us Sunny-D and cookies. It's really fun.
On Wednesday we spent most of the day fixing Hermana Packard's bike. It took us a lot longer than expected but it's working just fine now. We also had dinner with Hermana Padula. She feeds us on every Wednesday and she is probably one of my favorite people I have ever met. She is from Guatemala and she and her daughters make amazing food. She also has a super strong testimony. It's hard for her because she is the only member in her family, but she shares it in whatever way she can with them.
Thursday was district meeting. It was different because of your new district leader Elder Lane. He did a super good job though. We learned about contacting people by looking for ways to serve them. It was really good. He had us read a talk beforehand, "Developing Good Judgement and Not Judging Others" from the April 2010 General Conference. It offered really good advice about how to make good decisions in life, but not making hasty decisions about others. I feel like it was very helpful and a good reminder.
Friday we had to go to the 6 month training meeting out at the mission office in Arcadia. We learned more about adjusting to missionary life, handling stress and the like. It was really good to see President Villanueva and his wife. They are both great examples and I look up to both of them a lot. We also had weekly planning which is never very much fun but is still a very important thing to do as a missionary. It's during that time where we plan lessons and figure out how the week is going to go.
Saturday we spent mostly out on our bikes visiting old investigators and people that have the potential to become investigators. It's how we spend most of our time if we don't have a lesson. It makes me very grateful to have an iPad because all the information needed is in Area Book or on Google maps. It is very helpful.
Sunday we didn't get to do much after church because Hermana Diaz wasn't feeling very well. Fortunately she is better so we can work hard this week! Like I said it wasn't the most exciting week in the world, but it was a week in the mission field so that counts for something.
I hope all is going well for all of you, that the weather is cooling down and that there might even be a little rain. (None for us thus far)
Hermana Anna Christensen