Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! November 24, 2014

There really isn't a holiday like Thanksgiving in Japan so we've had
the opportunity to a lot of explaining and sharing the many blessings
that we have! In the past, missionaries have been invited to the
various military bases for Thanksgiving dinner, but since the number
of missionaries has grown pretty rapidly, they are limited those
dinners to missionaries who are already on the bases :( However, we
are not so easily beaten here in Hachioji. Our district has planned a
Thanksgiving dinner during our weekly English Class on Wednesday so we
plan to introduce Thanksgiving the American way to all of our students
and anyone else who wants to come! There's a CostCo fairly near to
Hachioji so we have already prepared turkeys, stuffing, mashed
potatoes, pies , rolls, and the rest of the good stuff! Hopefully, we
can help the people of Japan realize just how much there is to be
grateful for in this life!
As far as packages go, normally they just get sent from the Mission
Home, but for Christmas gifts it might be different. Speaking of
Christmas, when would be the best day to Skype you all? It's coming up
pretty fast and it's weird to think I've already been out for 6
We have transfer calls next week so Next time I email I will know
whether or not I'm staying in Hachioji!
It's been a long time since I've been able to see a baptism, but
hopefully, that day will come someday! As long as other people are
able to do it for me, then I think I'll be ok with waiting.

This week was a little out of the ordinary for me since I came down
with a pretty bad cold. As much as I felt comfortable, I tried going
out every day, but there were several days when Ward members told me
that I should just go rest. Even with a strange schedule, we found
several potential investigators who we are trying to keep contact with
and invite to more activities. In other news, one of the other
companionships of Elders set a baptismal date with one of their
investigators! His name is Y and he's a fireball. During their
first lesson, he said up front that he wasn't interested in the church
and didn't want lessons, but that he still wanted to come to church on
Sunday. Since then, he hasn't missed a single block of church, and
many people assumed that he was already a member. He's created a plan
to baptize everyone in his hometown so that they will be more
accepting of his choice to be baptized! He may not be my investigator,
but I'm grateful that I was able to see his growth to this point.
We've been working much closer with the ward these last few weeks, and
hopefully, this helps us  take the next step in our work. The members
here are so caring, and despite their busy schedules, they make time
for the missionaries as best as they can for lessons and meals! Please
pray for them in all of their endeavors and that they will be blessed!
One thing that came to my mind as I was studying this week is why
sometimes we are asked to suffer. It is certainly for our growth,but
just as Christ, through suffering all things, was able to perfectly
understand our own trials, we, through suffering, are better able to
minister to the needs of others who may be struggling. We must always
remember that Christ first descended below all things so that he could
then rise above all things and fulfill his role as our Savior and
Ephesians 4:8-10

I love you!
Elder Christensen
Dominos Pizza!!

Zone Conference

Adam's companion and his sweet skills!

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Hello again!
I was pretty surprised as well! I know that sometimes Boise has some weird weather, but that is still an incredibly unusual surprise! Although I'm sure that Bennett and Aaron aren't complaining, right guys? Thank you so much for the stories about Grandpa! I've already had the opportunity to share some of them with people as I've talked about my family, and they are truly incredible!
Now that there's snow, do you have any winter plans to go skiing, sledding, or trips to a yurt?

Look for missionary opportunities in all that you do! I've really been wanting to see if I can start a missionary blog while I'm on my mission, but I need to work out a few details and talk to my mission president so we'll see how hat goes! There are so many ways we can help others find the truth that they are so desperately seeking, and I know that with all of your talents you will find some pretty incredible things to do!

I've been thinking a lot about the power that we each have to influence those around us, and as the world is becoming more connected, we have some incredible opportunities to make a difference. We certainly can't do everything, but as we apply ourselves, work with those around us, and follow the subtle promptings of the Holy Ghost, God is able to work miracles through us for the benefit of countless people who have died, are still living, and even those who have not yet been born. We are all key pieces in the grand design that our Heavenly Father has so lovingly and carefully prepared for us, and if we so choose, we can be the means of doing truly incredible things during our short time on is earth.

Our work in Hachioji has largely been focused on building relationships of trust with the people who we have already met, but who do not currently have a desire to receive any lessons. It's been difficult to accept the fact that some people just do not want to learn more about our church as of now, but I hope that over time they can feel through our love and see through our examples the kind of blessings that they can receive for themselves if they are just willing to take a leap of faith!

I love you all!
Elder Christensen

Eating at Denny's

Service activity
Service at Takao Park

Monday, November 10, 2014

Adam's e-mail from November 10, 2014

Oh my dear, dear family! How can I tell you all the ways that I love
you! Even though I can't be there with you, please know that I'm doing
all that I can to do what you taught me and be a fitting
representative of our family name and the name of Christ.
I wish I could have been there to laugh and cry and share in
remembering Colin and Grandpa, but knowing that you all were there
together makes it easier to deal with. The pictures were perfect, and
I would love to see as more if you can send them! Can you send me more
stories of Grandpa as well? There was only so much that I found out
before, and I would love to learn as much as I can!
I don't really remember those names, but I might remember faces! My
memory of O'Fallon is pretty fuzzy, but maybe it would jog my memory!
Also, I thought of another thing that I would like if you can send it!
I was just thinking about those little devotional quote books and
remembered how helpful and inspiring those were to read each morning!
You really did teach and prepare us well for the challenges we will
face, and I will be forever grateful for your and Dad's endless
sacrifices on our behalf. All the long nights, the long talks, the
careful preparation, the inspired guidance, the exciting traditions,
the delicious food, the loving hugs and kind words made all the
difference in my life!

Things have been pretty difficult here in Hachioji lately, with most
of our investigators dropping contact with us and the others just not
really having any interest in progressing. There is still so much that we can improve
on, and I'm trying hard to be patient. I'm trying to do all that I
can, but also be not too critical. I've been trying to find fun, new
ways to shake things up and too be a little more astonishing rather
than "blending in" to masses of people.
Miracles are still happening though, even if they're not what I would
normally expect.
One miracle that have seen happened yesterday as we were heading to a
members home for a meal, and we saw a man tending to some plants
outside his house. Usually, people will talk for a little before
making it clear that they don't want to talk, but this man
spoke with us for an hour and a half and really opened up his heart to
us. He said several times that he wasn't particularly interested in
religion, by with his wife passing away recently and his sons moved
away, he felt lonely and in need of a friendly presence in his life.
He was more than willing to meet again, and for the first time, we
actually know where one of our investigators lives so Howe can visit
him again! I still didn't understand a lot if what he said, and I was
tempted to invite him and move on, but I felt prompted to wait and
listen and be the person who would be there for this man when no one
else would. No one deserves to be alone in this life, and I know for a
fact that Heavenly Father is watching out for this dear child of God
and for Each and every one of us. His love is real, and you can feel
it in your own lives if you humbly go before him in prayer and offer
up a willing and a faithful heart. I don't know what will happen with
him, but I would be so grateful if you would keep him and us in your

I love you all so much and look forward to sharing more memories with you!
Elder Christensen

1. Youth Cooking activity

Adam's e-mail from Nov. 3, 2014

I'm pretty jealous about those experiences in St. George! I've don't
think I've ever been to the Tabernacle before, or I don't remember
with we went. I can't begin to describe how grateful I am for all of
the amazing family experiences, traditions, and relationships that we
have and the strength that they give each and every day! They truly
prepared me for this mission and have already blessed me so far! Is
school and life going well with everyone? Any interesting experiences?

I experienced several miracles this week, and although I don't have
time to share them all, I hope that I can give you an idea of the
amazing work in which we are all a part.
We had the opportunity to meet with Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the
Seventy last Friday and receive specific instruction on how we can
better apply Faith, Hope, and Charity in our missions. There were many
amazing insights shares, but one thought that he shared really
inspired me. In the Bible, in every instance but one, when the Savior
was moved with compassion, a miracle followed. The one instance
without was in Matthew 9.

36 ��But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on
them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having
no shepherd.

37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous,
but the labourers are few;

38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth
labourers into his harvest.

He then said that we, as the 88,000 missionaries in these latter days
are the the miracle to this last case. We are the answer to the
faithful prayers of millions of ancient people. Receiving that sort of
revelation from a General Authority is an experience I won't soon

We also had several finding miracles, and although they haven't led to
anything yet, I hope and pray that they will. We were passing out
English Class flyers and talking to people at a train station west of
Hachioji, and several people, expressed sincere interest in our
message and the church. One man came right up to me and asked "Are you
Mormon?" in Japanese, and at first, I thought he was going to go off
on a rant. But instead he got really excited and said that he wanted
to meet again soon. He has yet to contact us again, but it was still
an incredible experience!

I love you all! Stay strong and keep being amazing!

Elder Christensen

Adam and his new companion