Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New City and New Companion September 28, 2015

There are 6 missionaries in Kamakura, which means that both Heavenly Father and President Wada trust us here to find people who are prepared to hear about the gospel! I've gone back to the "less populated" parts of the mission where there are just hundreds of thousands, not millions of people to talk to! The ward has about 60 people who come actively, and many more less active. So many of the ward members are bright, energetic, and fired up, which gives me energy too! We have several investigators who have all begun to take lessons recently. Lots of interest in learning, but the faith to make changes in their life is still something we are trying to help with.  

A hasn't responded to our messages yet since he's gone to America. I first made contact with his family with Elder M, while we were housing one night. His mom answered the ping pong box and said they weren't interested in religion. At that point, we had no idea who A was. Fast forward several transfers, and Elder M and I were in a store getting chopsticks before going to meet an investigator, when I saw a tall boy and a younger girl walking in front of me. I wanted to talk to them, but I wasn't sure what to say at first. They stopped and looked at some ice cream, and I went over and began talking to the. That was A and his younger sister. At the time, they were unsure about making any promises, but we invited them to church. The next transfer, Elder N ran into him on the street without knowing who he was, but A remembered me and wanted to come to church the next Sunday, which he did! When I went back to his house to visit him, I realized that I had been there before and how incredible the whole experience was! Who would of thought that the son of the woman who turned us down would be interested and then bring his mom to church?! That is simply a miracle, and I am grateful God let me see it!

My new companion is Elder P from Payson, Utah! He's a singer and a fan of hearing long stories! I love you all so much! 

Tell me all the good news from Conference!

Love, Elder Christensen

Monday, September 21, 2015

Transfers and new friends! Sept. 21, 2015

Dear Mom!
We did hear about transfers this last Saturday, and after 7 and a half months in this lovely place called Hodogaya, I'll be transferring to Kamakura, home of the giant Buddha statue! Check it out online;It's pretty big and Japanese! Actually, our ward and Eikaiwa went there for a trip my first transfer here so not a first, but still a first for living there! My companion is Elder P  from  Utah, which is right next to Spanish Fork and although asked, it seems that he doesn't know the Anderson's, sorry! 
Care shoe polish would be fantastic! I would love to have some thoughts and testimonies from everyone that I can share with people or put into Books of Mormon. I think that should be all from me though!
There are usually one or two missionaries in each area who are there for over 6 months, which provides a nice foundation of trust in both the ward, at English class, and with investigators and experience for the younger missionaries. It was a little strange being that missionary for the first time in my mission, and I feel like I may have gotten a little power hungry  and a little cocky by the end. By cocky, I mean assuming that I need to take the lead in everything and be the first one to answer, volunteer to do something, or assign something to be done. 
I seem to spend so much of my time looking up to incredible people and dreaming of the moment when I can be that great, that when I finally am in that position of leadership, I expect everyone to look up to me in the same way that I did. As I've thought about the person I want to become, I don't want to be a solitary leader who does everything on his own, no matter how skilled or intelligent I am. To be honest, it's lonely and only leads to conflict with those around you and overconfidence in yourself. There is a reason why there are so many councils in this church and no solitary leaders. The only person who has the right to solitary leadership is God. No normal human should ever think himself as more important than another, but as a fellow imperfect brother or sister. Once we realize this than we can all learn to rely on the one person who gave everything, his life, his blood, his whole being, so that we could overcome our weaknesses, and that person is Jesus Christ. We all need saving, and no one is excluded.
Mom, I just want you to know that what you did for that girl is literally the thing I most aspire to emulate! To all the people who receive this email, please never forget the people around you. Take the time to make someone's day. If you're busy, I understand. Maybe it's only that one person on the bus to work or in the lunch line, but I promise you that it's THOSE actions, those Christ-like actions that make this world a better place. I promise that if we take that little effort without fear, we will notice that when we lift our hands and serve, God truly does bless us as well.

On the invitation of Elder A's father, we had an elder's lunch at a steak restaurant called Hungry Tiger. For those of you who don't know, today was a holiday in Japan called 敬老の日 or respect the elderly day. At this restaurant, we took our orders and began to talk amongst each other. When the waiter came back, I asked him whom he was specifically honoring for this holiday. He replied that there was a server who had worked there for 48 years and that everyone was honoring him today. I asked the waiter if he could invite that man over so I could say thank you in person, and he agreed. Mr. Oi was one of the kindest people you could ever meet! He let us take a picture, and I bet he came back about 5 times after that to say thank you, give us some chocolate, and then say thank you again. We told him we were missionaries, and that he was a truly special person! I have no idea what happened after that, but I am grateful for little miracles and people that God places in our life. 
Good luck at Homecoming Bennett! Be a gentlemen and a stud! 
You're going to to amazing playing at halftime Aaron! Play some Kenny G too( I know he's not the best, but I like him!)
Love you all,
Elder Christensen

Also, this is  friend Andy came to church with his mother and sister yesterday! He is planning on getting baptized before going to Las Vegas for boxing next week! Do we know anyone their who he can meet and go to church with? Keep him in your prayers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8,

Dear Mom, 
I honestly don't have much to say right now, but I want all of you to know that I love you! We have a couple lessons this week. One is with a 19 year old young man, who is an example to me of what it means to have a strong will and to do what jt takes to reach your dreams. I realized that in my desire to find those who have prepared to hear about the Restored gospel, I neglected to hone my ability to actually teach them and to help them take their own steps of faith on the path towards building a relationship with God and being able to say that they know that the Restored gospel is true, that Jesus Christ is their Savior, and Joseph Smith was actually a prophet of God. Extending appropriate commitments is especially difficult for me because I often feel like I don't know what they need. 
Recently, the meaning of looking forward with an "eye of faith" has taken on a new meaning, and I have realized that in many scenarios I don't quite endure to the end in faith, but occasionally let doubts or insecurities creep into my heart. One moment I may have faith like a lion, but the next day, I feel just as incapable as a little child yelling because he can't do something by himself and can't get what he wants. When I really look at all that I've accomplished, everything of worth came because of my Heavenly Father's willingness to reach out and help. He has blessed me with everything that is good in my life, and I pray that I can give even a little bit back.

Love you with all my heart,
Elder Christensen