Thursday, May 21, 2015

E-mail from May 19, 2015

Dear mom, dad, and family,
I'm so happy that you all are working so hard in life and making me proud in all you do! Already, it's been a pretty crazy start to the transfer with Elder S! He's on his 14th transfer, but because of crazy circumstances, he's actually ended up with 15 companions total. He's a quiet guy, kind of like me, but he's really good at listening to people and working through concerns instead of throwing in the towel early. Since I'm guilty of that sin, it's an incredible blessing to be with him, especially while learning to take on the extra responsibility of being a district leader here in Hodogaya. I feel like I know what to do, but the lack of experience really makes it feel like walking in the dark. You want to go the right way and keep moving, but the fear of bumping into a wall or stepping off a ledge, always makes you more hesitant. It definitely gives a new meaning to "walking by faith"! 
Overcoming fear with faith really is my goal for this transfer, and honestly, I believe that this simple principle can be applied to anything we do in life, church related or not, so please give it a shot! Faith is "believing that the best will come with whatever happens to us" or "a hope for things which are not seen which are true" (Finding Faith in Christ/Alma 32:21). When walking in the dark, it's easy to let the fear of something unexpected happening suddenly nag at our mind, and every little thing gets blown out of proportion. Your thoughts probably go something like this "I just know I'm going to run into something. I know it. I just know it. It's going to hurt so bad." And BAM, you run into it and then complain about how right you were and how pointless it is to walk in the dark and how someone should just turn on the light because it would make everything SO much easier.  And honestly, you would be right, it would be SO much easier, but who grows from having everything handed to them on a platter. The people who complain about walking in the dark would also find something else to complain about even if it was completely light. This life is sometimes the darkest room there is, and regardless of whether we like it or not, we all have to walk through our own dark room. However, I know that this dark room isn't some cruel joke or a dreamlike illusion for which there is no purpose. This life is a special opportunity for us to learn, by faith, to rely on the only lasting source of peace and happiness, the only true power in this world and the source of true strength, Jesus Christ. There is no substitute for His plan, and in the end, there is no greater success than for those who CHOOSE to follow Him, even if it doesn't always make sense or even if it's a little more difficult or seems random. For those who are truly afraid and truly suffering as they walk through that room, please know that for those who are willing to humbly ask for it, there is hope in Christ and there are people around you willing to lift you up as well!

That was kind of a long comment, but as I've learned to walk by faith, I'm able to face each new day with a smile and confidence. I have no idea how I'm going to do all that I'm expected to do as a district leader or as a missionary in general, but like Kevin says in Home Alone "I'm not scared anymore!" It really is a good feeling!

Please keep our investigators K and D in your prayers and also pray that this Hodogaya ward will be blessed to see the baptism that they have been praying so long for!

I love you! I love you! I love you!
Elder Christensen

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