Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Adam's transfer to Hodogaya! February 25, 2015

Dear family,
I love you all! How can I explain the events of this week in a short
amount of time? First of all, my time in Odawara has drawn to a close,
and I'll be transferring to Hodogaya to be with Elder S,  my
second Japanese companion. I feel as though I've met him before, but I
don't really know for sure so I'll keep you updated soon! As a quick
run through,

1. One day of pure miracles Saturday the 21st; the first man we talked
to we went to his house, taught a full lesson, and gave him a Book of
Mormon, met a less active who has been really hard to contact,and  had
a incredible conversation about the necessity of this latter day
church with a potential investigator.
2. Combined Mission Conference with Elder Ballard, Elder Rasband, and
Bishop Stevenson; They all spoke about the absolute necessity of
complete obedience, become master teachers, especially about the
Restoration and PMG chapter 3 lesson 1, and taking advantage of every
opportunity given to us to preach and testify. Elder Ballard is truly
an incredible missionary and is one if the great missionaries of this
era, and when he spoke to us, I was moved by his desire, testimony,
and Spirit. He told us that teaching requires incredible amounts of
practice, but that it is indispensable in missionary work. My pride is
still an obstacle that I need to overcome since I tend to talk too
much and not listen or pay attention to teaching for understanding.
Fortunately, I have a lifetime of practice!

I wish I had more time, but I want you all to know that this work was
never meant to be for just a few people or for just a few years and
then be done. This is a work of eternal proportions and will role
forth until it fills the world with light!

Love, love love,
Elder Christensen

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Adam's post from February 17, 2015

Dearest Mom, Dad, Amanda, Blake, Bennett, Aaron, and my friends all
around the world,
I wish I had enough time to say all that's been going on in my head
the last last, but I didn't plan out my time well today and only have
a few minutes so I'll try to make the most of the time that I have and
I pray that the Spirit will guide me to say something that will help
you all.
Our investigator with a baptismal date decided to stop meeting with us
and coming to church because he became incredible busy with his
physical training that he does to fight his diabetes. When we offered
to stop by and give a message or help out (he lives alone with his
mother who's fairly aged), he replied that he couldn't take the time
so it isn't worth the effort.
In gospel principles, we studied the meaning of honesty and how it is
simple in principle, but the temptation to be dishonest frequently
overcomes our better judgement.
I don't know all the reasons why the real world seems so much harder
and more complicated than the simple truths that we all know and feel
in our hearts. I don't know why religion seems to be the cause of so
much of the conflict in the world, and and there is nothing worse than
feeling like you're surrounded by influences at you can't escape and
you can't fight. We were able to teach a simple lesson at church to
the father, who is not a member, of a part member family about
Heavenly Father. As we taught, I felt in my heart, without a shadow of
doubt, the burning truth that God is there, that he loves us, and that
he is doing everything in his power to help us along. All we have to
do is have the faith to reach out, to let go of our own doubts, and
trust in Him. I promise that He will help you, and I testify of that
truth as a representative of Jesus Christ. If you seek after Him with
an honest heart, you can know of this truth for yourself, and when you
do, please don't hesitate to talk to one of the thousands of
missionaries around the world. It can get pretty lonely out here
sometimes, and I'm sure it would probably be one of the happiest
moments of their lives as well as yours.
Love you all,
Elder Christensen

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adam's nugget from February 9, 2015

Dearest mother, father, sister,brother, brother, brother, and friends, and family,

I read recently in the Old Testament, New Testament, and in the Book of Mormon about the practice of offering sacrifices and the connection between our determination to serve God and the types of "sacrifices" that we offer as a reflection of that commitment. In ancient times, they offered the firstling of the flock, unblemished. In the New Testament, the account of the widow's mite illustrates what constitutes a true sacrifice. Can we say with confidence that our sacrifices to God are the best that we have to offer? Are we holding back some part of ourselves because of doubt, fear, or stubbornness? I'm far from perfect, but the most joyful moments I've seen are when I put aside those concerns and lay everything on the table and let God do the rest. I hope that we can all think of something we're holding back and in a spirit if humility, let it go, and I promise that the blessings will come for God has promised it.
Elder Christensen

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Monday! Adam's e-mail from February 2, 2015

Happy Monday!
You know, it's kind of funny how a 6 hour drive home seems so short to
us in America, but for most Japanese people anything longer than a 2-3
hour trip seems unbearable! I've heard so many times that Tokyo is so
far from Odawara, but in reality it's probably the same distance as
Twin Falls.
This week I've spent a lot of time reflecting on past experiences,
past companions, past problems and working to learn from them in order
to help both in the present and in the future, and one thing that
stood out to me is that I've always hesitated to commit fully to
anything, people, goals, etc. and it's led to me not achieving as much
as I think God has planned for me. Part of it comes from a fear of
failure and part of it comes because I like so many things that it's
hard to make up my mind between what's right and what's a fleeting
fancy. Coming on a mission has taught me several things. First, God
does not expect us to do everything by ourselves. There are 15 million
people living in the Tokyo area, and there is not possible way I can
help all of them by myself, but I can do my best to help those few
people that God has blessed me to come in contact with. The worth of
souls truly is great in the sight of God, and there is also a time and
a season for everything under the heavens. God has his own timing for
everything, and our responsibility is to be ready, worthy, and willing
to do it. With that in mind, I've made a firm commitment to be a more
dedicated, compassionate, bold, diligent, and Christ like missionary
to my companion Elder N, our investigators and friends, branch
members, and random people on the street. We were blessed to meet 3
new people who have agreed to let us teach about the restored gospel
of Jesus Christ, and one of them, A, lives about 30 seconds from
the church, but had never heard anything about it before. We first saw
him as we were walking down the street, but he turned and went into
his home. Not to be deterred, we went and rang the doorbell, and to
our surprise the door opened to him sitting on the floor. We started
talking, and it turns out he had thought about joining a Christian
church years ago, but had never taken any steps to do so. After he
came to church yesterday, he has a lot more questions than before, but
we're working to help him build his faith step by step until soon he
can go on his own! Keep us in your prayers!
 Let us not take any relationships or the trust of others for granted.
It doesn't matter how much time or effort it takes because one can't
place a price tag on a true friend. Someone who loves you enough to be
straight with you sometimes and tell you when you're doing something
wrong, but will never, ever abandon you and will always make you a
better person than before.
And don't forget that the little acts of kindness are the most important!
Love you with all my heart,
Elder Christensen

The man with me in the picture lives n Meridian and came here for work and to visit a
mission companion who lives in our branch! I just can't seem to escape