Monday, March 30, 2015

Loving the spring in Japan! Letter from March 30, 2015

Dear Mom, Dad, Amanda, Blake, Bennett, Aaron,
Things are as hard as ever, but especially the last few weeks, I've
learned a few things that have completely changed my view of myself!
Actually, the picture in the last e-mail
is at a park in Futamatagawa where we sometimes go to
talk to people! Nothing makes people happier than walking in a
beautiful park in the spring!
Planned service opportunities, ones that aren't too time consuming or
that don't require a long term commitment are difficult to find, but
we try to do little things each day to make a difference. I actually
just ran a baby's shoe back to a mother who dropped it while walking!
No Easter plans yet, but we're not ruling anything out! We'll try to
work out some plans for this week!
​At the talent show we are planning, ​
'm hoping to sing at least one song by myself, one as an entire
district, and maybe even one as a companionship if Elder 
 is feeling bold! I'm sure it will end up being pretty lighthearted sincemost of the participants will simply doing their best to share little
hobbies, but everyone wants to do their best so hopefully they don't
stress too much. I know a lot of people, myself included, worry about
being perfectly skilled, but yesterday, I realized that there is a
much deeper and more important principle that we must fist recognize.
Weakness isn't sin! There is an amazing article in the April Liahona
that talks more about it, and I would love to hear all of your
thoughts after you read it this week ;). For me, coming on a mission
has given me an opportunity to not only learn more about how amazing
Christ is, but also to meet some incredible people who are miles ahead
of me spiritually and mentally, which has given me a LOT to think
about. In other words, I have become painfully aware of my weaknesses
(man, there are a ton too!) Whenever you, as an imperfect human, look
to a perfect example like Christ and seek to improve yourself, you
will very quickly realize that you have a long, long, long way to go.
There are so many people who are so good at showing love, at teaching
others the lessons, at meeting new people, and you may even get down
on yourself too and begin to wonder, "I can't do this. I'm 'sinning'
basically every second anyway so why put myself through even more pain
to try and attain the unattainable?"
If you are thinking this, stop it! I love you, but you have to stop!
If you are actually breaking a commandment, then that is a different
story and requires confession and immediate change, but if you simply
are struggling to overcome a weakness, then be patient, study the
scriptures and the words of the modern day prophets, and realize that
true growth takes time. We were able to spend some time with a young
man from church on Sunday and talk about starting preparation for
serving a mission. We even got to practice a little conversation as if
he was talking to a friend about personal beliefs, which wasn't
planned and was way fun! He wasn't really sure what to say or do, but
we knew exactly how he felt and made the most of it. There's a lot
more that could be said, but I would just like to bear my testimony
that faith in Christ and true humility allows us to gain a strength
and a power beyond anything you could ever imagine. His sacrifice
isn't just there to heal us after we make a mistake, but it
strengthens us and gives us the courage to get back out there one more
time, to love someone who refuses to love us back, to be a little less
lazy, to be a little more Christlike.

Love, love, love from the missionary who's a little bit less of a perfectionist,
Elder Christensen
1. Loving the spring flowers!
2. Our awesome ward member Brother Oishi

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