Monday, June 29, 2015

Final Email!

Well the time has come for my final email before I return home. I can not even believe that the time has come for me to leave. I am just so grateful for the opportunity I have had to served here in Houston. I have been taught so much, and I know this is where the Lord would have me be. I am grateful for all I have learned and for the way in which the Lord has built me up and strengthened me! I am so grateful for the age change that took place and for the time where the spirit witnessed to me that it was the time for me to go! I know that this is the Lord's work, and it will continue to hasten and expand more fully to every nation kindred tongue and people. So great things continue to happen! 

This week was amazing! We hit it so hard this week, and were just able to see some amazing miracles! We were able to meet with more less active members that have shown interest in beginning to come back to church. And some of them we have been meeting with for a while now and they are now been coming back to church consistently. And they are wanting to get a temple recommends. 

 One of which we had a incredible baptism with Brother Hoyer! It was such a blessing! I had the opportunity to be able to baptize him. After he was baptized we went and changed. And before we went back in we were able to talk with one another. And he thanked us for helping him get to the point he was at. And he talked about how amazing the journey was. And I was able to look at him and just tell him how this is going to be a wonderful Journey for him. And luckily it doesn't end but it has just began. And told him fight and do everything you can do to be in the temple in 1 years time. And I was able to testify to him of his decision and how the temple will bless his life forever. They are such an amazing family! 

Brother Hoyer was able to be confirmed in church on Sunday. After he was called up and sustained by the ward as the newest member he was just beaming with light! That has always been one of the things I have loved seeing on my mission! And you really can just see such a difference in Brother Hoyers Countenance. 

Well we had a great sacrament meeting, and then right after the high councilor  spoke the bishop got up and asked me to come up and share my testimony with the ward. He told the ward he wanted to do this because of how long I have served in the ward and they great things they have seen happen with the ward over the last few years. I was so grateful for the chance I had to bear my testimony to the ward. And the spirit was so strong. And I wish to also share my testimony now. And I hope and pray that the holy ghost can testify to each of you of the truthfulness of the message. 

Over these last two years like I said I have learned so much! But most of all I have come to an even great knowledge of our savior Jesus Christ! I know that he lives! I testify that he is the Christ. I love how often in the scriptures the Lord personally invites each of us to come unto him. And this is an invitation that is always there for us. There is never a point in which he is not standing at the door ready to answer. I know that he preformed the atonement, and by so doing overcame the effects of the fall. I know as we turn to him. That is when we can find true strength. 

Brothers and Sisters I testify that Christ has felt our sorrow. He has born our grief. He has felt every pain that we have felt. And he did it all for the reason that he could help us. So that is why when we humble ourselves even in the hardest of times and turn to him, we can find relief. I know and testify that Christ came here to the earth and established his church. And that he served and ministered and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. He taught us the things that we must do that have peace in this live and and peace and salvation in the life to come. He also came and he gave the priesthood authority to his apostles. 

I know and testify that after the time that the apostles were killed and the authority was taken from the earth. That after many years the Lord reached out in love again to his children. And called Joseph Smith to be a prophet here in the last days. I testify with my whole soul that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet and that he saw and spoke with God the Father and Jesus Christ. And that through the prophet Joseph Smith that the same church which Christ had established was brought back to its earth in its fullness. And by so doing as we listen and head the the council that has been given to us by living prophets that we will be guided safely home. 

The gospel dispels all darkness from our lives. And it enriches and teaches us. I know and testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And does contain the fullness of the everlasting gospel. Those of you who have not fully come to the knowledge that this is true I exhort you to reach The book of Mormon and ponder it in your hearts. And then ask God in the name of Christ if it is true. And I testify to you that as you do so that the Lord will reveal to you the truthfulness of the the Book of Mormon as you go to him with a sincere heart and ready and willing to act upon the answer you receive. 

I also testify that the commission that the Lord sets forth in the Book of Mathew is in full force today. And that the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be taken to every nation kindred tongue and people. And with the blessing of technology and with our faith. Each of us can help fulfill that divine commission. I know that this is the Lords work. I testify that he stands at the head and does lead and guide it through his authorized representatives! 

And I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet! And he speaks the word and will of the Lord. Hearken unto it with all of your might and see the change that takes place in your life. I testify you and your family will be blessed for time and all eternity by doing so.

I also testify also with the restoration that with the restored gospel and authority on the earth that families can be together forever. This is the will of the Lord. And the way in which is is made possible is through our savior Jesus Christ. Brothers and Sisters there is safety found within making and keeping covenants. I again testify as we do so we will be protected and we will have no need to fear for the Lord will guide us through the storms we face in each of our lives. And I know that these things are true. For the spirit has manifested itself to me that they are. And as a called representative I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

I hope each of you have a great week and I will see you soon. 
Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Last Pictures with the members of the great 
College Park Ward! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Faith & Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessing of Heaven

  Another great week has flown by yet again. And week after week the Lord is continuing to bless us. This last week has been amazing! We had the opportunity to be able to go to the temple this last week as a district. And it was much needed.  Our mission president has talked about how he wants to continue to build our faith in Jesus Christ. 

He explained how he was pondering on how to do this, and his thoughts came to the old testament. He remembered the experience of Moses shortly after he was called to be the prophet and to go talk with the people. He prepared by to going  up to the mountain of the Lord. Now anytime the scriptures talk about the Mountain of the Lord we know the Lord is referencing the temples. And so by Moses going to the mountain of the Lord he received strength. And so after thinking about that President asked for each district to attend the temple and ponder on these questions. 

What are the blessings of faith? 
How do we increase our faith? 

And as we were able to ponder on these questions so many answers and impressions came to me for the people that we are teaching now, and as well as thoughts about my own faith. And just being able to ponder on those things brought me so much closer to the Lord. And coming out of that temple session I just felt so amazing! It helped strengthen my testimony for the need of going to the temples and the happiness that is found with in.

 Going to the temple is one of the biggest blessing we can experience on this earth. It is the place in which we can feel closest to God. And as faithful members of the church we are able to enter the temples and experience the greater sense of peace and clarity that comes in to our lives as we focus on the things our Father in Heaven wants for us. I would invite each of you to evaluate your efforts in making it to the temple. 

Many times in our lives we think that we don't have time to be able to make it to the temple. And truthfully by not going to the temple you are denying yourselves the blessings that our Father in Heaven wants to give you. Life does get busy, but I promise each of you that as you show your faith by setting aside the time to go to the temple the Lord will bless you with the time to accomplish the other things you need to get done. 

Just as we learn in the Ether 12:6, we can only receive a witness after the trial of our faith. I also promise you do this you will have a great sense of purpose and peace in your lives. And the blessings you receive will go far beyond what we can see now. 

In addition to this week we were able to set another baptismal date with someone in the YSA ward that we have been working with. His name is Michael, and he has been progressing well. He mentioned to us that his reading in the Book of Mormon has helped him to feel so good! And we were able to teach him how those feelings come from the Holy Ghost and it was testifying to him that the things he was doing was right! And then we were able to teach the plan of salvation and then set a baptismal date for July 18th. The Lord continuing to place people in our path that are being prepared! 

And then last night was probably the best way to end our week. We were able to teach Brother Hoyer last night. And just seeing him each week there has been a change in his countenance you can tell that he is feeling the spirit that comes from reading the Book of Mormon.  

And we were following up on his experience in reading the Book of Mormon while he was gone. He read from the end of 2nd Nephi up until Mosiah 20 in less than a week. And he just said he feels really good about it. And then we followed up by asking him the big question. We asked how he was feeling about this baptism. 

He paused and then went on to continue by saying he was excited as he could be! He said he felt he had received his full answer this last week and is ready to go forward with being baptized. Now before hand we had set a date with him to be baptized July 4th 2015. But after talking yesterday he asked if we could move it to this weekend. He said he would do anything to be ready by then. We only had two more lessons to teach him before he would be fully ready, and he assured him that he would be able to do ready by Friday. And he then said Friday is the day he wants to enter into the waters of baptism. 

The Lord answered our prayers. Since we have been back in College park we have prayed for him continually, and then we were able to start teaching him. And then we continued in fasting and prayer that we could be ready and receive his answer. And as always when we sacrifice for the Lord he will answer when we call. And he did that by helping giving Brother Hoyer the answer to his prayer.

And in addition to that he has asked that this upcoming Friday that I go forward with baptizing him. I promise Brothers and Sisters that the Lord does hear and answer our prayers! If you feel you haven't been receiving the answers to prayers, continue to hang on and know that he will answer. And have the faith that the answer that comes is what will be best for us.  The Lord is mindful of each of his children. And Many times our faith and our answers to prayers depends on us going to the Lord and asking for his help. And when we depend on the Lord he will be there to lift us up and help us with what ever we need if it be his will. 

So last night we were able to finish the commandments lessons, and then we will be going back tonight to finish teaching him. And he will be interviewed and ready to go by tomorrow! Things truly are going so so well! I am grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary. I now this is the Lords work, and testify and we unite with his will and do our part in helping with his work, great shall be our joy! 

Well I hope all y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Put your trust in the Lord!

Letter from 6/15:

Hey everyone! 
This has been an incredible week! 

We were able to have some great meetings and lessons with some of the Less active members in our ward. There has been some families we have been working with. And both families are taking steps to coming back to full activity. We are getting there focus changed to the temple, and as we have done so and reminded them of the blessings that the Lord wants for them it has helped to increase and strengthen their faith. It has caused them to pray for the desire to act and by so doing it has brought much more happiness and peace to there lives! It has been such a great blessing to be able to see that. 

This past week we were able to meet with Brother Hoyer twice. We taught him the plan of salvation the first time we went over this week! And it was a powerful discussion. And by the time we had finished the lesson we were getting ready to invite him to be baptized. And as we talked with him, he discussed how he really wanted to be in the Celestial kingdom. And we asked him why he wanted that. He explained he wanted to be with his family and with God and Christ. And so we told him that he was exactly right, and that is what Heavenly Father wanted for him. 

And then we asked what were some of the first steps he would need to take in order for that to happen. He said he wasn't sure. So we turned open to John 3:5 and asked him the question, " What do we need to do in order to be able to inherit the kingdom of God. And answered by saying baptism. As soon as he said that the spirit entered the room with even more power. We asked him, "Brother Hoyer, do you now see why it was we invited you to be baptized last time? After thinking for a few seconds he said he understood, and again the spirit was just so strong! It was such a blessing. 

So after we invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ by preparing him self to be baptized on July 4th! He accepted the date and said he would pray and prepare himself for that time. We were able to meet with him the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we had a great lesson with him! He is just progressing so well! 
We also did a  finding exchange with the  Woodlands 1st area. I was able to go out with the district leader in that area and we saw some great things happen.. Going into it I was determined to not leave until we found a new investigator. So we started with a prayer and started knocking at around 610 after dropping off the other companionship.  And we knocked for almost two solid hours. 

The first door we knocked a lady answered and said now wasn't a good time but she asked if we could come back by in the next few days. It was awesome to see that to start off our night. And we had a handful of others that said we could come back at another time. But there were many houses that we knocked where no one had answered. And we literally knocked an entire neighborhood. But like I said I wasn't going to leave until we found someone. And so at around 750, I looked over and told The elder I was with that  we had ten minutes to find someone and that we should stop and pray for the Lord to bless us with a miracle. 

So we did so and we prayed, and after knocking for about 15 more minutes, and the last house in the entire neighborhood across the street from when we parked our car: a 17 year old guy answered and started talking to us. We talked about the activities of the church and he seemed interested in going to them. And then Elder Pace asked if we could come back by another time. He said he was busy, and so I asked him if we could teach him right then and he said we could . So we taught a 15 minute restoration lesson with him, and set a return appointment for tomorrow. And turns out this guy is dating a member from one of the wards in spring. 

So we prayed with him and then left after.. We prayed after to thank the Lord for letting us teach, and then I testified to this Elder that is is because of their faith that it happened. And it was just a great teaching opportunity to teach him that as we put our full trust in the Lord and are determined to find those prepared that he will bless us with the opportunity. Truly we receive a witness after the trial of our faith. The Lord is aware and he answers our prayers! 

The Lords truly is at the head of his work, and I know and testify that as we put our trust in the Lord that we will see miracles. I would like to invite each of you to continue putting your trust in the Lord and look for opportunities to bring others closer to Christ. I know he will bless you with the opportunity. We just need to be willing to truly act, and then the promptings will come. 

Well I hope y'all have a great day! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Lords Promise to each of us!

Another week has gone by way to fast! But it has been another great week! We had MLC this last week, and we had all of the iPads distributed to us to take back to our zones. I didn't end up getting one because I only have a few weeks left, the rest of the mission is now using iPads. It will still be a few months before they are using the iPads to there full use. But it was a great meeting we really focused on finding, and how we can do better at helping our investigators progress to baptism.

We were also able to meet with Brother Hoyer this week, and we had just an amazing lesson with him. We taught the restoration, and it was one of the most powerful restoration lessons I have been in. The first vision always invites the spirit so powerfully. So after talking about Joseph Smith, the first vision, and the book of Mormon, we asked Brother Hoyer what it would mean to him if everything we taught him was true. And he just took a second to think. 

And Sister Hoyer just bore her testimony at that point of how much the church has helped her in her life, and immediately the spirit came even stronger to the room. Brother Hoyer was just sitting quietly listening for a second and he went on to tell us, how he is praying that everything we taught him was true. He said this spiritual journey he has been on was a long and difficult journey. He said he wanted to fine the truth so he could feel at peace.  

We then testified to him that this was true, and that as he would continue to read the Book of Mormon and then pray about it he would be able to receive and answer. We testified how once he found that answer he would be able to experience that peace in his life. And then at the conclusion of this amazing lesson, we extended a soft baptismal commitment to him. And he accepted. So we will be meeting with him this next week, and we are excited. We will be going back and teaching him the full plan of salvation, and we think that will help answer a lot of questions. We are so blessed because the Lord is leading us to these people who are truly prepared to receive the gospel. 

And like I said we had zone meeting this week, and we focused on finding alot with in our zone. And so I trained on that part. And the part I focused on was found in Doctrine and Covenants 100, 4-8

Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.
 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
 But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.
 And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.

I just love the promises that are found with in these scriptures. And they apply to each of us so well. Where ever the Lord sends us in our lives it is expedient for the building up of the kingdom of God. And the first thing we are asked to do is raise our voices and then we have the promise that the Holy ghost will give unto us in the very hour and the very moment what we need to say. 

That is a powerful promise that is given by the Lord. And when it talks about lifting up your voice that is even simple invitations for others to come unto Christ. Where it be friends who are members of our faith, or even with those we home and visit teach. But I love in vs 7 what the Lord commands us to do. 

He tells to to declare whatsoever thing we declare in his name. Well you hear that and you ask what does that mean. The Lord is asking us to bear our testimonies with others. And a testimony is such a powerful tool that we have to protect us as well as bring others closer to our savior. 

And in vs 8 The Lord promises as we do this the Holy Ghost will bear record of all things that we say. If we believe that they will feel the spirit when we testify then we have the promise they will.  Many times we think that people we know aren't receptive, or they aren't ready to accept the gospel or come back to church. And sometimes this is true. But until you invite and bear testimony we can't say that. Remember you are where you are at for the salvation of many souls. This is a great and eternal work we are apart of. 

I promise each of you as you continue to exercise faith and then act, you will be able to teach and testify with power. And as you ask the Lord for those experiences they will come. I know and testify of that to be true. I would just invite each of you to really pray for opportunities to reach out to those around you and pray to know the best way to reach out to them! And as you do so you have the Lords promise that he will help you. I testify of that.
This week has also been great because we were able to meet with some other recent converts and less actives that no one from the ward has been able to contact. And a few of them we met with this week  expressed that they want to start coming back to church! And so now we will be able to meet with them more regularly and help them as they are coming back to church! It was so great because we had two of them start come to church yesterday! 

And speaking of church yesterday was just an amazing Sunday! Fast and testimony meeting was so great in both the family ward and the singles ward. But in the family ward it was amazing to see Sundae Lewis get up and go bear her testimony of her experience coming in to the church. It was so pure and so powerful. Over all it turned out to be just a wonderful Sunday. The spirit was so strong! 
The church is true! And it is such a wonderful time to be living and be a member of Christs restored church. 

Well I hope y'all have a great week

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

​(one of our members has some be hives, and so he let us go over and get a picture by them! )

The work of the Lord continues!

Hey everyone,

This was another great week! Sundae Lewis got baptized one Saturday! And the spirit was so strong! We met with her on Tuesday night to finish teaching her, and to go over the details of her being baptized. She said that after she had pondered on her experience at church on Sunday and the way she felt when she read the book of Mormon she had received an answer. And so at that point she knew it was right and wanted to be baptized. 

It was so exciting! So that night we went over the baptismal interview questions with her, and she was so prepared. Just as she answered the interview quotients you could tell that she had received a personal testimony of the things in which we were able to teach her. And so a lot of this last week was getting the logistics of the baptism figured out, and preparing the program to be a spiritual experience her Sundae. 

These details would include getting the baptismal clothing, getting the building reserved and then also getting the interview set up. So there was a lot of planning that had to go into making it a good baptism. We also wanted to make sure that the building was clean for when the baptism happened. So we went Friday night to the building and cleaned it for two hours! 

Last week when a baptism took place they had some problems with Ants getting in the font. We did not want that to happen again. So we went to clean it all out. So that way the next day we could just go by and fill the font. Well we showed up the next morning ready to fill the font, and we looked into the font and found more ants everywhere! We were in a mad dash to clean the font again to make sure it would be ready. We went and got a vacuum and cleaned  them all out of the font so we could begin to fill it. 

Luckily everything still turned out well, and we were able to get the font filled and we took care of the problems with the ants so we wouldn't have anymore problems. But the adversary defiantly was trying many different things to have this baptism not work out very well. We had a hard time with a bunch of outlets in the building working, so we couldn't get the t.v to work so we could play Mormon messages in between the time of the baptism, and the rest of the talks. But like I said when the baptism was all said it done, it was wonderful! 

You could tell that Sundae have felt clean after coming up out of the water. She was smiling so big, and was happier than ever. And then Sunday when she received the holy ghost she was even happier. Everyone could notice and feel the great spirit she had with her. The Lord truly has been preparing Sundae for the gospel. And I am again so grateful for this wonderful gospel! 

I love seeing others show their faith, and follow the footsteps of the savior. And as they do so they begin to have there heart changed and softened by the spirit, and they repent and make those changes in there life that bring them closer to our savior, and help them to feel joy. And then as they take those steps to be baptized and receive a full remission of sins and receive the gift of the holy ghost, they experience true joy. 

I am so grateful for our Savior and I know and testify that because of his atonement we can all experience the joy that our Father in Heaven wants us to feel! And we can have true peace of mind in knowing His plan. What a great gift. 

This week we also stayed very busy with many teaching appointments! We are finding more people to teach in the singles ward, and are having more opportunities arise in the family ward. The work is just exploding here! There truly just isn't enough time in a day! 

Another great thing that happened this week happened yesterday. We had an appointment with a part member family that we have been getting to know better. The husband isn't a member, but he is like one of the coolest guys! We met with them last night and he began to ask us some questions about the plan of salvation and baptism. And so we were able to begin to answer them for him, and we had a great gospel discussion for about 1 hour. 

And it was able to help answer some of his questions. But soon after we had left we got a message from his wife, and she had talked with him after we left. He said he wanted to take the discussion from the missionaries! My companion and I both literally jumped out of our seats. We were so excited. So in the coming weeks we will be meeting more with them, and I think they will continue to progress very quickly. They are such a great family! Well that is about all I have to report on from this last week. 

I would again just ask you to please be pray for missionary opportunities, and be specific. Think of way you could reach out to people and pray to the Lord and present your plan to him. I testify as you do so you will be ready to help those whom are being prepared to receive the gospel. 

I hope y'all have a great week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Disciples in a Digital Age!

This last week has gone by so fast, and has just in such an inspiring week! Sadly I don't have as much time to explain everything that happened. But we were able to get in with a handful of our investigators this week. 

We met with Brandon, and he told us that now he realizes the full commitment that baptism is. He knows he wants to be baptized, he just doesn't think right now is quite the best time. But he said he wants to continue to meet with us, and then when he goes off to School next month he wants to get in contact with the missionaries there, and start working towards baptism once some of those things start settling down. But it has just been incredible to see the change that has taken place in him in the last 7 weeks. The Gospel truly can changes peoples live!

With Sundae we met with twice and we taught her the rest of the commandments. She mentioned that she wasn't feeling quite ready for baptism. She knew this would be the right path she just didn't feel that she had received and answer to the Book of Mormon yet. So going into Sunday we prepared her the best of our abilities to receive an answer. We discussed the importance of the sacrament, and invited to to pray specifically about the Book of Mormon during the sacrament. We knew that our mission president would also be speaking in our ward on Sunday so we called him to ask him if he would be willing to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon, and keep Sundae in mind as he was speaking to help address any concerns she had. 

We prayed so hard that during church that she would be able to receive an answer of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Her baptismal date was scheduled for this next Saturday, but her receiving and answer would depend on if she would go through with it. We talked with her after church to see how she felt and to see if she had been received an answer. She mentioned that she still wasn't quite sure. So we told her that was fine and set up a return appointment for tonight. 

And then today after our mission conference about the ipads we got a message from her asking if it was to late for her to still be baptized for this coming week!!! So we are going to meet with her tonight to discuss the details of what needs to happen for her to be ready. But it just goes to show that the Lord will answer our prayers! Just as Sundae was sincere in her prayer, and as she came prepared to receive and then she pondered upon it she was able to receive and answer. So we are excited. We will try to still get everything to work out so it can be this week! 

Last night we were also blessed to have the opportunity to go over to the Mortensen's home for a family home evening with an investigator family that we are working with! And it was so great! The spirit was so strong, and you could tell the family that came loved it. After we were able to talk to them for a little bit about when we can meet again. They are taking the steps to find out if the Book of Mormon is true. And as they continue to do that they will be able to receive and answer. We stayed there a little bit longer after the family left because we had a pretty big storm hit yesterday. And so when the time came it was like 10 and we just decided to drive home in it because we need to go. We got home safe, but over this past few days we have had some good storms coming through. But it was such a great night! 

Well I know I kinda mentioned this, but today we had a mission conference. We received training on the ipads that are here. We will get the ipads in the next week and a half. But we talked about truly how the Lord is hastening his work with this wonderful technology we have! Christ called his disciples and asked them to drop everything they had to follow him.  We know  also at the end of his ministry the commandment the Lord gave was to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. And how that commandment is still in full force today. We see in today's world everyone has access to a phone, and to the internet. This is common in almost every part of the world. This technology that the Lord has blessed is a wonderful tool to help us fulfill that commandment that he has given unto us. 

With these wonderful tools we will be able to reach out to reach so many more of the Lords children! And it will be such a great way to also help our investigators progress as we will be able to keep in better contact with them, as well as we will be able to use different Skype and face time feature to teach more people. Now that part of it won't come for a few weeks, but that is eventually where this mission will be.  We had Elder Nielsen of the first quorum of the seventy come and instruct us today. It was so inspiring! I know this email does not do it justice, but I just have such a strong testimony that this is the Lords work! I know that he is hastening his work! We are so blessed to be apart of it! 

I would just invite each of you to think of ways you and your families can use this Technology to spread the gospel, and use it to help lift and strengthen your families.  Talk about it over dinner or even during family home evening. I promise you as you prayerfully consider this that the Lord will help you know what you can do to accomplish this. And that you will have a great joy as you become a disciple of Christ in this digital age! 

I hope y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Lord stand at the head of this great work!

Hey everyone! It was another great week to be in the woodlands! We were able to see a lot of really great miracles! 

On Tuesday we were able to meet with a former investigator named Andralia. I was teaching her right before I left college park for the first time. And at one point she had a baptismal date.  The Chappells invited her over to their home to watch meet the Mormons. They wanted to have us over for lunch and for the movie and a discussion with Andralia. And as we watched it there was such a great spirit that came. We talked with her after the movie to ask her what her thoughts were. 

And she just began to start talking about her experience when she first starting meeting with missionaries. She talked about how her relationship with God changed as she was reading and Praying daily. The reason she stopped meeting with missionaries was because her family was not happy with her decision to meet with the missionaries. So we were talking one with another and we invited to start meeting with the missionaries again, and she accepted and said she was so excited. She said she was ready to give it another try. And so we will be meeting with her this upcoming week, but that was a big miracle we saw this week with her. 

On Wednesday we did an exchange with the Woodland 1st Elders. And I stayed here in our area for it. But during the day we had planned for several people that we were suppose to meet with. But it was just one of those days where appointments fall through. So most of the afternoon we were just going from place to place trying to get in with someone. And we were contacting anyone we could find along the way. But we continued to work hard, and that night the miracles came! 

After having a great appointment with some members and committing them to take the next step with their missionary we left with a prayer. The spirit was strong, and we went out to meet with David who I talked about a month ago. We were scheduled to come back and meet with him. But as he came to the door he decided he did not want to meet with us anymore. We tried to help resolve his concern, but he was was interested. 

After this point we had planned to go and drop by a member that the ward has been trying to contact for a while. We went and knocked on this members door, and this guy answered. We asked if this member was there and he said that she no longer lived there. He mentioned that he had also been receiving mail for this member. He said he still had one letter that hadn't been sent back yet. He invited us into his home while he went to get it. Then it was sweet because after he gave us the letter, he asked us who we were. 

And then he proceeded to as us to share our message with him. Now he didn't have a whole lot of time, so we did a brief restoration.  And the things we talked about were very similar with the things that he had been talking about. After teaching about the Book of Mormon he asked us when we can come back and teach him again. And so we set up a time to come back this next Saturday! It was amazing. But the miracles continue. 

We left his home and with in 30 seconds some one coming down the stairs in the same apartment complex said hi to us. His name was Greg,and he said it had been a few months since he talked with us. We introduced ourselves, and he said he talked with some other missionaries about 2 months ago and they gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He said at first he wasn't sure if he was going to read it, but then he said it is time that he looks more into it. He asked if he could take us out to dinner on Tuesday and then we could teach him more about the Book of Mormon. 

It was just an amazing night. And even though things didn't go exactly as planned earlier, the Lord saw our efforts and he blessed us with teaching opportunities. The Lord is truly at the head of this great work!

Thursday we also got a call from President Chappell. He said the Red Cross had called him and they need some help that next day.We have been having alot of Rain here this last couple weeks in Texas. So we have been having some flooding taking place. He told us that President Mortensen was ok with us helping out with this service project, and asked if we could gather our zone to help out with it. They needed 11 missionaries, and they needed us from 8:00 am till 5:00pm. They wanted to us to help load there vans with supplies to give to those who are being affected by these floods, and we also went out to gather information about the flooding and the damage that took place up in the Montegomery and Magnolia area. 

So we went there the next and helped them for the day. It was a great experience. After loading up the vans we went out on the road with some of there other volunteers, and we went to different areas that were reported to have flooding. The first area we needed to go to we couldn't make it into because one of the road was flooded over, so they have to wait for the water to go down just a bit so they can get some clean up crews back into this neighborhood. But luckily the other neighborhoods we were assigned to check didn't have any damage to them. 

So the rest of the time we were helping we were looking at maps of where the creek was and checking neighborhoods around it to make sure no one was affected by it. It was a great opportunity to help out where we could. The Red Cross was grateful, and said they really liked being able to work with our missionaries and members because of their happy attitudes and they way they interact with others. It just goes to show that our example as we serve can make a difference in the way people view us and the Church. 

​( This was a field that was flooded by a creek near by up in the country of Montegomery parts of this were about 3-4 feet deep)

And to finish off the week we had another great temple tours. This time around I did not give any of the tours, but we went in hopes that our investigator Brandon would show up. And we also took another companionship down form our zone that was had there investigators there. Now sadly Brandon did not end up coming, but while we were there we saw the different tours go through. 

These temple ground tours have been so great to be able to have! And at the end of one of them there was some one who was talking to our mission president. And they had a few questions, so President was teaching them. But another set of sisters in my old zone brought one of there investigators they have been teaching. She is a baptist minister. And she had some questions that she was confused about. The sisters signaled for me to come over and start talking to her. They wanted to me to try and help address some of the concerns of this investigator. 

We had a great discussion. I talked with her for about 40 min last night while President was talking with some of the  other people. "This lady is open to learning more, and she really is searching for truth. She is reading from the Book of Mormon everyday, and she is also praying to know. And the concerns that she had all came back to knowing if the Book of Mormon is true. If the book of Mormon is true then we know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet and that the authority of God is on the Earth today! 

We know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Gods kingdom here upon the earth.   And so I just testified to continue to read everyday, pray, and don't stop meeting with the sister missionaries. I promised her as she did so that she would receive and answer. I talked to sisters just briefly after with some ideas they can use to help her find her answer.

 The Church is so true! I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord! He really is at the head of this work, and I know as we all continue to strive to serve him and pray for missionary opportunities and pray for the those who are being prepared for the gospel to be found, they will. I testify of these things! 

So the time as also come where the ipads are here in the mission. We will be receiving training next week of how to use them and after the training we will be using ipads here in the mission!   We are so lucky to be living in a day when the gospel is on the earth so we can be led by living prophets and apostles. It is inspiring that the Lord is enlightening minds to develop technology that enables the message of salvation to reach all of His children.  The Lord is blessing this work, and it will continue to go forth.  Miracles will also coming with this blessing of technology. 

Well I hope yall have a great week! 
Elder Joshua V. Christensen

(Tracting after a storm, and this is Elder Graves in this picture.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A week of exchanges and miracles!

Hey everyone! 

This week was a pretty great week! We are continuing to see some great miracles take place here in the woodlands. The Lord is continuing to bless us! We are seeing more and more baptismal dates being set through out the zone. The Lord will continue to make it flourish. We also had some great miracles happen this week. We were able to go on a couple different exchanges this week. One was with one of our district leaders. And the other one was with the assistants. Both exchanges we were able to see some great miracles come from. 

 When I was with Elder Thomas we stayed here in the college park area, and we were able to find one new investigator.That same day we met with Christian who was a former investigator, and we had a great restoration lesson with him. There were so many points where the dots connected for him and he understood so much better. He said how it made so much sense he couldn't stop smiling! The Spirit was strong and we were bold with our commitments and he accepted. We will hopefully be meeting with him again this week on Thursday. 

  We also had a stake meeting that night. Many of you may be familiar with the new program has been using called Just Serve. It is a website that posts different service opportunities that can be found through out the community. So as zone leaders we sit in on this stake Just serve council, and we discussed the best way that we are wanting to get this all rolled out to the stake.  It was about and hour and a half meeting, and we had some great discussion on when we wanted to present this to the different wards in the stakes. And originally they said they would present after the summer when everyone starts getting back to school. And it was a great idea to do it at that time because many of the members here in the Woodlands go to Utah or other Places during the summer. So many of the members are gone. 

But as we were counselling one with another I kept receiving the prompting to try and get it rolled out before summer gets out. And the thought that kept running through y head was, if we can get people to feel the spirit of this before summer starts during the summer they can be doing service opportunities and feel the great spirit that comes from serving others. And now only that they will gain a stronger testimony of service that will lead members to want to continue to offer service into the next school year. If we were to present it once everyone would be back many people would be so busy with school and work and other things so not as many people would be using this great program that the church sponsors. 

So after saying that we began to council some more and we came to the agreement that it would be harder to get it all ready by summer, but it would be worth it. It was just a cool experience for me because it just grew my testimony so much of the revelation we are able to receive as we council and talk about the things the Lord would want us to do. 

The other exchange went great with the assistants. I went to the Woodlands 2nd ward and we were able to teach some of there investigators, and we were also able to go knocking some different doors and we were able to find them a new investigator also that  day! It was wonderful.

We had zone conferences on Friday and they were amazing! It was a real eye opener for me! It made me see how fast my mission is coming to a close. We discussed about a lot of things things that will definitely help me when I am home. But at the end of zone conferences they have the departing missionaries give there departing testimonies, and they called me up right at the end. 

Now of course I still have a transfer, but it just made me realize how short this time is that I have to serve the Lord! And it motivates me that much more to work as hard as I can until the end! But the great thing is even once I am done with the mission my spiritual progress does not end. This is one of the big things I focused on  during my testimony. I told everyone how the spiritual growth that takes place on our missions should be a catalyst for our spiritual growth through out the rest of our lives. This life is a life of progression to become like our savior. 

A question I would like you to ponder on is "How am I doing with my spiritual progression." When was the last time I had a spiritual witness that these things were true? I would invite you to evaluate yourself, and set goals and plans of how you can continue to progress in this great gospel. 

I know that as you do so you continue to strengthen your relationship with you Father in Heaven! And you will have a great spirit in your home! I testify of these things! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen. 

( Just before skyping home to talk to the family after tracting out a neighborhood!)

​( zone conferences)

The Road to Emmaus

Email from May 4.......

Hey everyone! This last week has been another great week! We were able to have MLC and as a mission council one with another about standards that we could set as a mission to increase your vision, and raise the faith of the mission. Some of the new standards that we have established have to do with the number of investigators we have each week at church, as well as the number of member present lessons we have. It just makes so much sense, as we strive to increase things the progress our investigators will make towards coming closer to Christ will increase so much! Its such and exciting time to be a missionary and be apart of the church when so much growth is taking place. 

We also were trained by President Chappel, and he talked to us about how to have more success in our contacting and finding. He had us share some examples of some of the things that have happened in our ward of the past couple weeks. We talked about the miracle with David and teaching him about the Book of Mormon. 

(This is me, and my companion is on the left of me. He is a new zone leader that I am training. Elder Harris is on the left of him, he is the first missionary I trained, and then Elder Platt is on the end.)

  We also had a great training about the Sacrament. We read the account of the Saviors Resurrection that takes place in Luke 24. I absolutely love this so much! 

This talks about to people who were on the Road to Emmaus, and they were discussing about the events that happened previously. So they talked about Christ and his Crucifixion. Starting in vs 13 this is what we read. 

 13 ¶And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

 So an important this to see right now is the fact that Jesus Christ joined with them on there Journey. But did they recognize him? No they didn't, it talked about how there eyes were holden. So at this point in the story, they didn't have the eyes to see. 
 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Now we see here that Christ is beginning to teach these men. We can see he checks to see what they understand before he begins to teach them. Now we know at this point in the story that they still do not recognize Christ. But Christ will continue to teach them. 
 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

 So from those vs, what did Christ expound to them. How did Christ teach them, what did he use? We see that Christ teaches them using the scriptures. But we see they still don't recognize Christ. Now we can liken this unto our lives. So often as we are searching for answers to questions we are reaching the scriptures we are praying, but it seem like we can't find the answers we need. This isn't always the case, but there are times in our live when we feel like this. But as you read these last few vs, look for what Christ did to "open their eyes."

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

 So what made the difference? We see that it was after Christ gave them the sacrament that their eyes were opened and they recognized Christ. They even acknowledged after that they had felt the spirit. They felt good when they walked with Christ and when they were taught the scriptures but there understanding didn't fully come until they had partaken of the Sacrament. I found that to be so interesting as I studied this. It made my testimony of the sacrament increase so much. I know with out a doubt as we put in the preparation just as the men in the story did, through scripture study and prayer, and then we are prepared to partake of the sacrament we can find a greater sense of peace in our lives, and we can find answers to the questions we may have. I know this to be true! I just would like to invite each of you to think about what you can do this next week to best prepare for the sacrament. I promise you as you do you will truly find so much more spiritual strength in your day to day activities. I know that to be true! 

This week we also had a conference call with our zone. We had a great discussion as a zone to the things that we needed to do to take our zone to the next level in being much more committed to the Lord. And since we had this discussion and zone meeting we have been seeing so many more miracles in the zone. 

One we have seen this week in our area came on Saturday when we taught our investigator named Sundae. We had a powerful restoration lesson with her, and she accepted a soft commitment for baptism. She also came to church the next day, and we are meeting with her tonight so teach the Plan of Salvation and hopefully extend a baptismal date to her! The Lord is truly blessing This ward and this zone. 

We have also been able to meet with our other investigators this week also! Great things are happening with them. Each of them are taking the steps to come closer to Christ! So over all it was just a great week! 

I hope each of you have a great week! Sorry it was a shorter email in terms of the things that happened this last week. We are just short on time! 

Please keep looking for those opportunities to serve others around you. Pray for them and be willing to act upon them and the Lord will help lead you to those who need help! I testify of this! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Just after our zone meeting we had a meeting about service opportunities in the area. 

The Lord is guiding His work in The Woodlands!

Email from April 27th. Behind on posting again....

Miracles are happening here in College Park! I love The Woodlands so much! So when we got here a few weeks ago our teaching pool was not very big. And we didn't know any of the people the missionaries had been teaching. We were trying to get a hold of them with very little success in doing so. Elder Graves and I talked and I told him how we are going to work our tails off in this area, and we are going to see success. He was all in and we started going hard! 

The first two weeks we had great things happening in terms of building the trust of the members! But this last week we have seen miracle after miracle! It has just been so amazing! The Lords is truly directing his work here, and we are just so blessed to be apart of it. So Monday we were able to go over and meet with a part member family. And we were able to do family history with them. The Husband is not a member, but he is an amazing guy! We were able to have a great conversation with him. 

 We were able to meet with some of the recent converts in the ward and to meet with Robert. I think I mentioned to y'all last week about Robert. We have been working with him to work towards going through the temple to receive his endowment. This past few weeks I have been really pondering about what things we can do to be able to help the zone rise to a higher sense of commitment. And out of our zone, our area, the assistants area, and the singles ward have our best chance of baptisms right now for the month of may and June. So we talked and decided that we would call the assistants to ask them about there plans for people they are working with in their wards. And after talking to them for about 5 minutes we got a call from our bishop. And he told us that there was a family of 5 that live up in Jacobs reserve that were taught by missionaries the previous week, and they want to keep learning more form the missionaries. Our mouths just dropped. 

It was only a few days earlier we discussed trying our best to find a family that we could teach. And a family that could experience the blessings of the restored gospel together. The bishop told us that they would be at the ward activity that following Saturday and they would be attending church and the mission presidents fireside. The spirit was so strong when we found out, and we were so grateful that the Lord had been hearing our prayers and seeing the efforts that we have been putting forth. 

We called the assistants back to let them know of the miracles that are happening. So often through out my mission I have heard, "no one baptizes in the Woodlands." But the entire time I have been here I knew that it was possible. And especially where I have served the majority of my mission in the Woodlands being able to see the growth take places has been amazing. And each week at church we have more and more families who are moving into the ward! The Lord is preparing for some incredible growth in the church to take place here in the Woodlands! 

This week we also went over with some other elder to help them with their weekly planning. We spent probably 4 hours at least planning with them for their upcoming week. It was a great teaching opportunity, and you could tell that as they did they were able to feel the spirit confirm to to them about going into the details of planning. Because this is a eternal principal. And it relates very well with families. But planning is so important, because as we have problems or questions in our life. As we study them out and we make plans and take them to the Lord. We can know and gain the assurance of the things that he would have us do. As we plan effectively and put the Lord first, we will have the time to accomplish all the things we need to do, and we be able to see the blessings of the Lord more fully in our lives. 

We also met with another one of our investigators who will be moving at the end of the month. He is agnostic, and he has been taught a bunch of the lessons. But we really made the lesson focused on prayer. The reason why it is hard for him to progress from where he is at right now is because he doesn't have a testimony that there is a God. But we are continuing to work with him, and we are excited for the change that will take place in him as he comes to that knowledge. He is a really cool guy though!

We met with our Bishop Friday night and talked with him about all the great things happening in the ward! We talked alot about the relationship between missionaries and members. So often we think that as long as the missionaries are obedient as they can be and are prepared then the Lord will bless them success. Now this is true, but to really hasten the Lords work, He needs to be able to trust the missionaries, and the wards. If the Lord can't trust the ward to make sure the recent converts are going to be cared for and nourished by the good word of God, and will be remembered, then they won't be put in the missionaries path. And that is why it is so important the the members and the missionaries come together with His work. Because that is how he will hasten it. There are so many people that are prepared, and many of them will be found as the members continually exercise their faith in inviting people to learn from this missionaries. This is why we are seeing so many miracles in the ward right now! The Lord is trusting us and the members, and just with in one week our teaching pool has gone up by 7. The Lords is blessing the ward! 

We also had that ward activity I mentioned just a little bit earlier in my email. Our ward did a family history ward reunion. The family history specialists put the activity together. It was an opportunity for people to come learn more about there family history, and the Miatello family came and they were welcomed so warmly by the ward. We also got to talk to many of the members about their missionary work, and so many members are saying how they have friends that they are working with, and they want to meet with missionaries. So great things are happening. 

Sunday was a busy but wonderful day. My companion and I had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting. We spoke on the 8th article of faith.  It was a great meeting and we had 4 non members at church. The members also greeted them so warmly. We also started back with the singles ward. We will now be helping out with both wards. And right as they started sacrament meeting in the singles ward we got a text from the sisters saying their investigator broke down on Woodlands Parkway, and that she had run out of gas. So they wanted us to go help her get to church. So we drove over and made some phone calls to some members in the family ward, and were able to get some help for her, and then we were able to help get her to church. So it was an adventure yesterday, but we finished off the day with a powerful mission president fireside. The Miatellos also came to that, and they set up and appointment for us to come teach them on Wednesday! 

 I have such a strong testimony that as we continue to do the little things the Lord has asked us to do that we will be able to bring others unto Christ. This is a divine and eternal work and we are blessed to be apart of it. Please be praying for missionary opportunities and the missionaries in the area. And see the miracles that take place. I promise that to you! 

I hope y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Family history activity. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Lord Provides!

Hey everyone! It was another great week to be back in the Woodlands! We were able to see some great miracles happen this week! We ares till trying to get some more traction in the area with how new we are still, but little by little we are getting there. We were able to meet with alot of Less active members. And it has been so great to see how involved the members are getting! There really is just this renewed excitement in the ward for missionary work! It is amazing! 

Tuesday we also had interviews with our Mission President, and this time around we did them just a little bit different. In the past we would have big groups of  missionaries come in and they would receive training as the mission president would pull people out to interview them. But this time we had them on a schedule where a new companionship would come in every 30 min. So we had them come in shifts. And while one was being interviewed we were with the other looking through their area books as well as help train them about how we can get wards more involved with new member discussion of recent converts. 

So that took up almost our whole Tuesday. So even though it was sad that we weren't out working in our area that day we still saw miracles. We were able to help missionaries have a raised vision of what they can accomplish in there wards, as well as during interview we kept getting texts from some of our ward members. 

So one text came from a member of another ward asking if we could come help them move an investigator into our ward boundaries that following Sunday and that she has been very receptive to the gospel and wants to come to church. And then we also got another message that  Sister Chappel was in contact with one of our former investigators that was really close to baptism while I was here. And that she was setting up a time for us to meet with her! So even though we were out of the area miracles were happening! 

And then also Sister Hoyer went over to get a limited use recommend to go do baptisms for the dead at the temple. She came with her family two weeks ago to the temple grounds tour. And after she decided that she wanted to renew her recommend and learn more about family history. So it is really cool because we will actually have the opportunity tonight go over and teach them more about family history! So we are so excited for that! 

This week we also realized that we needed to spend more time out finding because we didn't have  a big teaching pool at the moment! We have a lot of great potential coming, but at the moment it is smaller. So we talked with each other and said that we needed to put a great effort in to find those who were being prepared by the Lord. And then for the next few days we set new goal and plans for finding. 

Thursday we saw a great miracle with finding! So this week has been pretty rainy here in Houston. We have had some intense thunder and lighting storms. And we promised from 6-8 that we would go knock doors. And so we started right at 6. And the first 15 min were great. But then it began to start raining. So we went back to our car to grab our Jackets, and we put them on and then we started walking back and the rain turned into a crazy storm! We were soaked in like 10 min easy! And it rained like that the rest of the night! 

We went door to door and people just started laughing at us because there are to Mormon missionaries who are soaked still trying to go out and find people to teach. And it was fun being out in the rain, but for the first hour and a half that was the response we would get from people. But we did meet a lot of really nice people through out that time. But we just kept going knowing that we had committed to the Lord to do better, and we knew that we would provide someone for us to teach! 

And then at 7:30 a guy named David opened the door! He saw how wet we were and asked us how we were doing. And then after he asked us which denomination we were from. And so we told him that we were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was nice but immediately said "no no I am quite fine, have a nice night" And so I asked him if he had heard any thing about the church or had any questions that we could answer. And he just replied back saying, " No it's the fact y'all have another Bible that I don't like." I then asked him if he would allow us to explain our belief on The Book of Mormon, and that he didn't need to accept it, but just let us explain it. He sat quietly thinking for about 5 seconds, and then opened the door and told us to come inside.  

 He left the room for a second and he was going to grab us some towels, and then I asked if he had his Bible that we could use because it was so wet we left our full set of scriptures in the Car. As he left to get it I turned to Elder Graves and told him to pray for me. I wanted to use a different approach to explaining The Book of Mormon than I have used a few other times. I think I have shared this way with y'all a few times, but I would explain with talking about the 12 tribes of Israel. 

 So when he came back we had and opening prayer, and I asked him about what he understood the Bible to be. And he explained that it was the word of God. And I asked him how the word was revealed to God's children. And he then said how it was revealed through the prophets and the apostles. And then I asked him, who was the primary record keepers of the Bible, and he didn't know that one, so I just explained that it was primarily the tribe of Judah, and that is why the Bible is reference in the scriptures to the stick of Judah. And he then understood that part. 

I then began to talk about the 12 tribes of Israel and how they were God's covenant and chosen people. And he agreed with that. I asked him if God were to reveal his word to the other tribes also if it would hold equal weight with the Bible in terms of being the Word of God. He said absolutely. I continued to talk about how we know that the Bible is the record form the tribe of Judah, but I asked him what happened to the other tribes of Israel. He said that they were carried away into Babylon. And I asked him how many tribes were carried away. And he wasn't quite sure. So I told him how 10 were carried away. 

So I said, " ok so 10 were carried away into Babylon, and then we know about Judah, what happened to the other tribe?"    He replied, "oh my goodness, the lost tribe!" And by this point he is like on the edge of his seat. He was asking me to tell him about it. So I opened up in his bible to Ezekiel 37: 15-18, and he read about the stick of Judah and the Stick of Joseph coming together and being one in our hand. So he said the stick of Joseph is the missing tribe. 

This whole time you could tell that the spirit was testifying to him. And then told him he was correct and then pulled a copy of The Book of Mormon out of my back pack and put it on the table and he just went silent. He understood, but he was still a little bit hesitant. 

And so my companion started testifying immediately about the Book of Mormon, and then committed him to read the Book of Mormon. And he said he wouldn't read the whole thing but he would commit to read for two hours out of it and then pray and ask God if the things we had taught were true! The spirit was so strong and you know that he felt it. And he asked us to come back in about two weeks. So we left with a prayer and he offered it and he was so open and sincere in wanting to find out if it was true!  

So we again see how merciful the Lord is to us. And that as we do our part that the Lord will place people in our path. I was so nervous to explain the Book of Mormon that way but that is what I felt I should do, and the Lord helped fill my mouth with the words needed. I am so grateful for the spirit and for my Father in Heaven! This is such a great work to be involved in. And like I said in the beginning we planned from 6-8 to find, and we walked out of his house right at 8:00. The Lord provides according to our faith and desires if it is His will. 

Well to finish off this week, we helped move the investigator into our ward, and it was a great experience, and she was very interested in coming to church and starting to learn. So she will be at church next week, and hopefully we will start teaching her soon after that. 

And Sunday we had a wonderful stake conference! It was such an inspired meeting, and then we were able to go meet with some different members in the ward. We had two other families that wanted us to come over to meet there neighbors and try to start teaching them! So we just see the Lord continuing to bless the area!  So it was just a great week! 

Well I hope y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen