Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014 Lots of love from the land of the Rising Sun!

You probably have said it, but it's nice to hear it again too! It's so inspiring to see these return missionaries and the testimonies that they've gained from their service, and I hope that I will be able to be the same way!  Props to Aaron for killing it once again (in football), and don't worry, Boise High football isn't my favorite so congrats on the win! Blake better represent the Christensen name well on the ultimate frisbee team! I definitely set a high bar so he better go get some Callahan's or some crazy layout grabs if he wants to make it out of my shadow! Just kidding I love ya Blake! Wow, Homecoming seems like such a long time ago for me, but I remember that it was awesome so have fun Bennett! Don't just stand around at the dance either. You got to get out and dance, ok? 

This week was pretty dang exciting! We had some lessons, splits, transfer calls, dinners with ward members, and pretty much the whole mission package! I got to teach my first two real lessons, which was one of the best experiences of my mission so far. I definitely need to work on a lot, but I took a lot of positives away too. We had dinner this Sunday with the 山岡 family, and it was amazing! The son and father both speak English fluently, but we spoke mainly in Japanese. 兄弟 and his wife graduated from BYU Provo with President Wada, and they are both very similar people! We had some French fries, fanta, shrimp, pasta, and many other unhealthy things, but it was nice to shake things up a little. I shared a little spiritual thought  on the many different kinds of missionary work that are available and necessary, specifically temple ordinances. If you have time, go to the temple! It is an amazing place with an amazing spirit that you can't find anywhere else!
Nothing bad has come of the blitzes yet, but we haven't had more an about 40 people doing it at once, and we're usually pretty spread out amongst a sea of Japanese people so it's been okay so far! A was busy this week so he wasn't able to make it to church, but we had our first real lesson with him on Friday! It was an amazing experience for me, and I know that I felt the Spirit very strongly! He was pretty apprehensive and hesitant to make any commitments yet and wanted a couple more lessons before he decides anything,  I believe that he did feel something too! Hopefully, we can address that in our next lesson, which will hopefully be this week. I really have been trying to focus my study and efforts on consecrating my life and missionary work so that I can have the constant companionship of the Spirit because I know without a doubt that I need it to teach. The Japanese people are very cautious about making decisions quickly, and it usually takes several meetings with people before they even begin to really trust you and open up about their desires and feelings. However, there are always exceptions, and I'm just trying to treat each person like I would want to be treated and help them with whatever they need! We can't force anything on anyone. We can only invite and help them see the amazing blessings that come from a life of faith. We can't find true joy, peace, happiness, love, friendship, satisfaction, and all other praiseworthy things in his world! if we don't have a sincere love for the people, they will sense it. Sincerity and trust are some of the most important things in missionary work and relationships in general. The life of a disciple of Jesus Christ isn't the easiest one, but it is the most rewarding one! I know that this is true, I hope that we can all work to dedicate our lives in pursuit of praiseworthy things! Arise and shine everyone because the time for action is now!

Lots of love from the land of the Rising Sun,
Elder Christensen
Beginning English Class

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