Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014 All are safe in Hachioji

Dear Family,
Everything's still going on like normal in Hachioji, so It haven't heard much about what happened 
​with the volcano eruption ​
or what's being done to help. Without google or anything, it's pretty hard to find
​ out​
 about anything hats happening, but that's ok.
Thank you so much for helping the with the
​ family search 4 generation ​
 booklet! President Wada wants all the missionaries to have that available as a tool to help missionaries in their efforts to find people to teach. Already, he has made so many tools and teaching aids available through the IPads so that we can pretty much tie the gospel into any aspect of life and relate directly to each person's individual needs. It's an incredible blessing to have all 
 resources, but it requires a lot of training and practice and patience to use all of them wisely and effectively.
Family History work and temple work ha
 really taken on a new meaning for me as I've begun to think of each person as a unique child of God with a personality, worries, fears, joys, successes. All of the desires that I have also exist in people who are living and in the billions of people who have passed on. Through their efforts and because of their actions, we have all that we are. Our names, genetics, talents, history, etc. With all 
the advances in technology and the connectivity of social media and the Internet, Family History and its potential has accelerated exponentially! 

I'm so excited that all of you are getting involved
​ in Family History​
! And for Bennett and Aaron, just remember that while it may seem small, your efforts are bringing eternal blessings to people who have been waiting for hundreds and thousands of years. You can make a difference, and I hope you'll give it your all!

Good luck in your performance Bennett! Sing and dance like you mean it! You never know when those skills will come in handy. Already, I have had several opportunities just because of my singing!

This week was pretty much a lot of contacting and traveling until the weekend. For the first time on my mission, we were actually able to teach lessons to investigators. My companionship was fairly new to Hachioji so we really had no potential or new investigators, but our efforts have been paying off!
Sunday was a really busy day for the missionaries so I completely forgot! All the missionaries had a total of 8 investigators come to church. My companionship had 2 of our potential investigators come, and we taught lessons to both of them afterwards! Up to this point, I had really only taught 2-3 real lessons because we really haven't had many opportunities, but we've been incredibl
 blessed as we've put forth our effort and followed our President Wada's counsel. One of our investigators is a former investigator who stopped investigating a while ago
​.  H
e kept coming to our English class anyways. I began to make friends with him and helped him with English questions, but I noticed that he would always ask questions about the missionaries so this last week I invited him to church, but he didn't come. So I invited him again, and this week he came! He said that he really loved the feeling of coming to church and meeting with old friends and 
at he felt a great feeling during the meeting. As I talked to him, he told me that he never actually prayed before, even though the missionaries had committed him. He said that he wasn't even sure that he wanted to know if God is there, but from his questions, I know that deep down he really does have  a desire. I made him promise to say a prayer last night, and at first, he kept asking a lot of what if questions, like "what if he doesn't answer" or "what if 10 minutes go by and still don't have an answer". I wasn't
​ ​
really sure how to answer those questions, but I told him that worrying about things like that isn't important, especially since he hasn't even prayed yet. He said he just felt weird praying to someone he doesn't believe in yet, but I told him that he wouldn't find out through any other way. I just told him that miracles and answers to prayers won't come to those who don't put forth the effort. When I asked him what he would do if he received an answer to show he had
​ ​
real intent, and he said simply that he will be baptized. I don't know the result of his prayer, but I know that I've been praying my heart out for him. Whether or not something comes as a result, I believe that I did what I could, and although I'm not sure what I'll do if he says nothing happened, I'll just keep loving him and hope that the Lord has his own timing.
We also taught a 16 year old young man named D, who is one of the happiest, friendliest people you will ever meet! We first met him about two weeks ago while we were streeting (he actually stopped us), came to a Ward barbecue and from then on, he's been very open to learning more. We taught him the first lesson after lunch, and everything made sense logically to him. He's a very bright kid and an astute listener, but he said he wasn't sure if he was able to believe that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. He didn't want to commit to very much because he still wanted to learn more about religion before deciding which was ultimately the true church. It seemed like he thought reading the Book of Mormon was a much bigger commitment, like baptism, but we stressed that reading the Book of Mormon is really how to learn more about our church. He did say his first prayer at the end of the lesson after an example by Elder Tipene, and he said that he is still interested in learning more! Our investigators have definitely all had very unique backgrounds and perspectives, but I love them all! Teaching is both one of the hardest, but also the most rewarding experiences when you see people's faith begin to work and grow.
The biggest lesson that I've learned this week is about the importance of extending clear and bold invitations and the role of agency. Without clear choices, it's impossible for people to truly exercise their agency. As missionaries, if we beat around the bush and procrastinate asking the difficult questions, they never get the chance to choose for themselves, and we are limiting their agency. The worst thing that can happen is they say no, and after that, you can worry about what to do! 

Invite boldly and don't fear what may happen as a result!

I love you all and pray that you will have success in all of your endeavors!
Elder Christensen

1. Dinner at the Bishop's house
2. BYU Hawaii English Speech Contest


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