Monday, August 29, 2011

Out One Whole Month!

I can't believe it has already been a whole month! I am almost done with this transfer but I actually hope to stay in Tohatchi unless I become a Zone Leader with my companion, which would be weird, but we will see what happens. We are planning on at least 4 baptisms this month in Tohatchi! We are extending so many invitations that I know that as soon as they come they will know that this gospel is true and they will want to be baptized! We are trying to catch people at home and are switching up our schedule a little bit because some people have been avoiding us on purpose but we will get them!

Well there has been an increase in Peyote meetings lately. Peyote is legal here in the reservation. The Catholic Church has a sweat lodge at the back of their church and they also have a stained glass picture of a Medicine Man Jesus, I think that is kind of funny. It makes it tougher for us to teach people that it is not right to participate in things like that though. They use their own understanding to justify their actions. There is a good scripture in Proverbs, I think it's like Chapter 21 or something and it says "Hearken not unto thine own understanding, but let the Lord guide you in all things." I think we can apply this to ourselves too.

We have a church here in Tohatchi but the Branch President and his counselors live like 30 minutes away! When people need to get access to the Store House or something, it is hard for them to get that permission. I am learning Navajo and when I can say my testimony in Navajo I will let you know, LOL!

Well that is all that I have for the week. I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support!

Elder Christensen

Teaching in Tohatchi

Mom and Dad,

I have been doing better out here. I think I am adapting pretty well and I also have been praying more and that has helped.
Right now we have an average of 20 people that come to church. We are working with 15 less active families to try to get them to come back and 15 or so investigators. This is a tough area and it is as close as one can get to a life of poverty and trouble. I don't know what you have heard about the Indian Reservations but I can pretty much say that it is true and is getting worse.
We haven't been very successful out here because everyone says that it does not matter what religion you belong to because we are all praying to the same God or Spirit. It is hard to ask them questions or to tell them that prayer alone doesn't save us, because the people here either don't want to listen or they just don't understand. Most of them can't read very well and all we can do is explain it more simply and ask them questions. If and when they answer, they usually just tell us a story about why prayer is all that they need and that is the end of it. I have been studying about prayer and faith in action and the only thing that I can say so far is that without action or without getting up and working hard to show God that we really want those blessings, we are not really going to get anywhere. God isn't going to give us blessings that we don't deserve or something that we did not work for. I know there are some blessings he gives because he loves us and wants us to be happy, but I don't know how to tell someone that prayer alone won't save us and why. That is something that I am working on right now.

Mom and Dad, I can't tell you how much it means to me that you love us so much and you will drop everything that you want to do or like to do to help us be better. There are so many broken families here and most of them are single moms, so when we find a family that has a mom and a dad we are always excited! I love you guys so much and am glad you have pushed me to do things and support me out here on a mission.
Tell everyone that I love them and can't wait to hear from ya all!

Elder Christensen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Loving Tohatchi

Hey Everyone,
     Thank you for all of the e-mails!  I love hearing from you guys and I am loving my mission!  I have finally gotten over the homesickness and am working really hard.  We have a non-member family who loves the missionaries and they love what we are doing.  They feel that we are actually changing the community bit by bit and they let us come over to their house at least 3 times a week because they keep us sane.  They are like parents to us and if we didn't have them we would probably be in big trouble or dying of salmonella or something, LOL.
     My comps name is Elder Seals and he is great.  He has helped me alot. I love getting handwritten letters because I can read them and reply when I have time during the week.  It keeps me from losing my mind LOL!
     Well the town drunk hasn't bothered us this week, but we did run into some more.  I will tell you more about that in my letters that I write this week.
     Well my spiritual thought for the week is about action.  There are countless Navajo's here who believe that they have been saved because they prayed about it.  We tell them that is a good start but that the only way to be cleansed of our sins and not just forgiven is through baptism with the proper authority.  If we are just forgiven and not cleansed of our sins we still cannot achieve the greatest kingdom because no unclean thing can dwell with God.  Through Christ and his atonement we can receive that cleanliness that we can't have otherwise!  It is really hard to explain this because alot of the natives here can't read very well.  They have a hard time talking to us and understanding us.  I have been praying lately to let the spirit help them understand what we say is true and hopefully it will.
     I hope you all are doing great and I am so glad I have this opportunity to serve the Lord and try to repay Him!
     May the force be with you!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Day In Paradise?

Hi Guys,
     Well here I am on the reservation in Tohatchi.  There are 700 members and only 25 come to church so the work is immense and I need a few words of encouragement!  I need to get my mind off of home eventhough it's only my first week here.  I can only e-mail once a week and that is a killer but thanks for the goodies everyone.
     We met the town drunk my first day here and of course he was drunk.  He keeps stopping by our place since I got here except for Friday.  He keeps yelling at us and calling us devils because we wouldn't go to this church meeting with him.  Real nice guy, right?  Other than that, there are some really great people here.  I will tell you about them in the next e-mail. 
      I know this sounds weird coming from me but guys don't take school for granted!  I am living in an area where the people reject their education and the society on the Reservation is taking a heavy toll.  The people don't want to work, they struggle so much and they expect everything to be given to them.  It makes me so sad to see so many lazy people.  I can see how being self-reliant and a hard worker are super important.  Sometimes when we work hard we don't get anything but sometimes by working hard we can be an example to others and by being a good example like Jesus, then people see how good of a person you are and they want to try to be like you.
     Do you remember when I was getting set apart and the Stake President said I will be sought after for blessings?  Well my first Sunday here I was asked to confirm someone.  I was nervous but I think I did ok.
    Remember to be a light and an example to those around you.

Love you all,
Elder Christensen

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's The Rainy Season

Hello Everyone,
     Well it hasn't been that hot down here, it is the rainy season, there have been some big storms and some flooding cause the ground here is mostly sandy.  I am in a small town called Tohatchi in the Gallup Stake and there is no one around us!  We are in the middle of no where!  I feel so lonely when we are not doing work that I get homesick.  I draw pictures and I learned how to catch flies in a water bottle, ya weird stuff I know.  Besides exercising and planning at night I am really bored!!  We have a couple of games but it's hard to play when it is only the two of you in a trailer!  Oh and when I first got here I opened the door and I almost cried because my companion's old companion did not clean and there was mold everywhere!  Mold growing in the sink, on all the plates, in the shower and in the toilet!!  I have been cleaning a lot and bit by bit it is mostly gone.  All that is left is the stove and microwave.
     Thanks for the thought you send mom, it is nice boost.  I keep asking myself how am I going to survive here for 5 more weeks and is scares me, but if I trust in the Lord then it will all be okay!
     Yes as you can tell by the picture the mission president sent, I am the tallest one out here so far.  Would you please send my bike stand?  That will be important because I have a couple of projects I would like to do for some non-members who are awesome!  They keep me and my companion sane. 
     Well I think my time is almost up.  I love you and a good scripture to read is Jeremiah 51: 20-21.

Love you all,
Elder Christensen

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Letter from the Mission President

Dear Brother and Sister Christensen,
     It was wonderful to meet Elder Christensen as he arrived!  We are grateful to have him as a full-time missionary in the New Mexico Farmington Mission.

     I had a personal interview with Elder Christensen to get acquainted with him.  We held a heart-warming testimony meeting in the evening, I felt his spirit as he bore his testimony.  The next morning Elder Christensen met his trainer.  We select trainers that we believe are the most obedient, hard working and most skilled missionaries.  We talked about how blessings come by obediently working in unity.  Elder Christensen left the mission home with a big smile and great anticipation.

     Experience shows that once new missionaries become immersed in daily missionary work, feelings of homesickness dissipate and they begin to feel the warmth of the Holy Ghost.  You and your missionary will be blessed as your communication with him helps him focus on his purpose to invite others to come unto Christ.  As a reminder, it is against Church policy for full-time missionaries to have visits from family members, relatives and friends except a phone call on Mother's Day and Christmas for 30 to 40 minutes.

     Enclosed is a picture of Elder Christensen and his trainer, with Sister Jones and me.  Rest assured that next to our own family, our most important responsibility is to love, watch over and strengthen our missionaries.  May the Lord bless you with the knowledge that your missionary is well cared for, as he serves the Lord.

With our love,
President and Sister Jones

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ready to go!

Hey Mom and Dad,

The MTC is fun but I am so ready to get out of here!  I have been taking a lot of pictures and most of them are of the Provo Temple.  My sensitivity to the Spirit has grown so much!  Even though I am not in the field yet, me and my companion have 4 investigators so we spend, well I spend my extra time learning and making lessons for us to teach with.  My companion is a convert but is trying his best to learn so I help him as much as I can but that means that I teach most of the time.  Oh and some elder gave me a pie so I am going to trade it for something.

So how is Jordan doing?  How is the car?  What blessings have come since I left?  Dad that is cool that you were able to go with the scouts and tell Jordan to keep working hard.

I just wanted to tell you both how much I love you and love the Savior and I have found a new love for all of his people.  I want Jordan and Britt and well, Ashley to know how much I love them too and miss them.

Love Elder Christensen

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Last Week at the MTC!

     Hey this is my last week here at the MTC and then I will be leaving here on Monday the 8th!  So ya, things have been going well here and mom you should have everyone e-mail me when they get a chance because I have more time to e-mail now than I thought I would.  I am curious to know what has been going on at home and how everyone is doing!
     So we went and did temple work today which is always nice and brings the spirit for me for the rest of the week.  My favorite experience this week was going to a devotional on Tuesday and Gerald N. Lund spoke.  You know that guy who wrote The Work and The Glory.  Anyway he had some really cool stuff to say about faith and how we can get the word to soften our investigators hearts and let them hear the word so they can begin their journey of faith and their path back to our Father in Heaven. 
     Well that is it.  You might get a phone call from me about 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning on Monday so be ready!