So this week has had its ups and its downs, I can honestly say that this has been the hardest week and the best week of my entire mission so far.
So I don't remember if I mentioned this in my email last week, but we have new sister missionaries in the ward. We are excited to be able to have them here. The work here in College Park is just going to take off I feel. But we have been doing our best to help them get to know the ward and trying to get them all of the things that they need. So it has been a stressful week for me, and I felt on edge or a good part of the week.
We added four new people into my district so now we have 12 people in the district which is pretty big for a district here in this mission. So that made me a bit nervous. We have been trying all week to get in contact with our investigators, and we haven't had much success with that. But we were able to meet with Lexi yesterday and her dad is now letting her get baptized and her mom seems to be interested. So we set a date with her to be baptized on January 11th. So we are excited to be able to see her to continue to progress.
So kinda like I said this whole week has been just crazy and stressful, but absolutely 100% worth it. We were able to get to know many of the members of the ward a lot better. We were able to get in with some of the Less Active members of our ward and talk with them and see how they were doing. But here are some of the miracles we were able to see this week.
Monday we were schedule to have dinner with the Bishop and his wife, and so we went over there and the house was dark. We looked at each other and wondered if they had forgot about it. So we said if that was the case we wouldn't bring it up with them. So we knock and Bishop answers the door, and he looked at us and wondered why we were there. He said that he was getting ready for bed. And so we ended up talking to him for a little bit and then we left close to 7:00pm.
So we thought well we could do a couple of things, we could 1. Go work for an hour and a half and then go in and eat and plan a little early, or keep going. Well the thought that went through my head was, well from 6-9 is the best time for us to be out and to proselyte. So I told him I think that we should just stay out and keep going. He agreed and we kept going on.
Well we went and taught a couple lessons over by the mall, and then we thought we would go visit some members who were in our ward, the Chappels. They are actually in the mission presidency. So we started talking to them because they got back from a trip. So while talking to him our phone rang and Elder Harris answered it. And it was a long call, but after he looked at me and his eyes were just beaming! It was a call from the Prows family saying that they had talked with Lexi and basically her dad gave her permission to be baptized and her mom was interested in coming to church! So this was a huge miracle for us, but it doesn't stop there.
Within 3 minutes of that phone call we got a couple of messages from another one of our investigators that have been taught in the past. We have been trying to meet with them for almost 3 months now, and she texted us and told us she wants us over this Tuesday to talk with them. She also invited her non-member friend that is interested in learning more! This was absolutely huge for us! Definitely a blessing of staying out and working hard!
Tuesday we went to an interfaith Thanksgiving event. It was where we went and we listened to different religions that talked about what they believe. Our Bishop was talking about temples at it so we went and got to meet some amazing people! That night we got to teach some lessons to people that were curious about learning more.
Wednesday we went and helped out some members of our ward, and went around trying to find more people to teach as well. So that was good, but that was about it for Wednesday.
Thursday we had a weekly planning and we met with the Sisters to try and help them out. And then we went back to work to find people to teach.
Friday we had district meeting and that went well. And then we met with the Bishop that day along with the Sisters and correlated what was going on in the ward and how we would try to divide up the missionary efforts. But we decided not to divide it up so we will just all work together in the area which really is what is needed.
Saturday we went and met with different less actives and with some different members and we were able to get in with some of the less actives and we got to talk with them. But I had the most incredible experience that happened to me. This has been the most amazing thing that has happened to me on my mission so far, and has really grown my testimony of this church.
So we went to one of the less active members of our ward named James M. And so the first time I heard about this family was 2 1/2 months ago when in ward council they said that there youngest son would be able to go on a mission. Well when they said that I took a mental note to remember that. Well through out those couple months we tried to stop by a couple different times and we would leave cards, but we never go any replies. Well we were in the area where this family lived and I thought to maybe try back at this home.
So we drove there and we knocked on the door, and he cracked the door and said, "Who is it?" We told him who we were and he said ok just a minute, and closed the door. He was putting his dogs away and while he was doing this we got a call from the sisters asking us about directions on how to get somewhere. So I am trying to help them find out where to go and he answers and lets us in. I told him I was so sorry, and he said it was fine, but my companion was talking to him and he asked Brother M where he use to live and he said, Orem, Lindon and Provo. I heard the word Lindon and that stuck with me.
So I finally was able to get off the phone with the sisters, and I asked him immediately which part of Lindon he lived in. And he said 835 East Lindon, now I don't now why in my head that made me think of my grandpa, I am not even sure exactly what his address is, but I had the thought to ask about my grandpa. So I looked at him and asked do you know a Lloyd Christensen? He looked right at me for a few moments and his eyes watering a little, and said this to me. " How do you know that name?"
I explained to him that was my grandpa Christensen. He continued to look and me, and he said this. " I know him, I worked for him." My grandpa use to have his own typewriter business, he worked for my grandpa for many years. He said that because of my Grandpa Lloyd he was where he was today. He got started off with typewriters and later go into word perfect, and now works with a college down here in Texas. But he told me how much my grandpa helped him. And he knows a good portion of my family on the Christensen side.
Brother M served a mission in Colombia and that is actually where he met his wife. Well once he was home and after he got married he told me that My grandma and grandpa put together their wedding reception at their home in Orem by the University Mall. My Uncle Reese came and took there photos, and he knows my uncle Peter. They use to always go water skiing up at Deer Creek together. He told me he know knows my father and worked with him a little bit. He opened up so much. The spirit was so strong and my eyes were watering.
I then went on to tell him about how my grandpa was doing, and I told him that my grandma Marilyn Christensen passed away on June 1st 2001. And he was sad to hear that. He continued to tell me how much my grandma also helped him. The spirit was so strong and I felt like my grandma was right by me on the couch during this meeting. We continued to talk about it, and sadly we didn't have a lot of time to talk. But at the end he looked right at me again and he was almost crying, and he said, " Every time I have come in to contact with a Christensen I have questioned them and asked if they knew Lloyd Christensen, and now you are right here in front of me. His Grandson, and this was absolutely meant to happen. You came here and you found me!"
At this point we were both in tears. After this he said he wants to come to church, he wants to come back, and after talking to him I went out to the car and just started crying again! It was incredible! I have such a strong testimony that we are sent to places for certain reasons, to find certain people.
When I got my mission call I prepared myself, and said I would go any where. And when I opened my call at first I was happy to go to Texas, but I did wonder if it was the right place for me. I can tell you with all of my heart that I KNOW that this is where I am suppose to be. I know that all mission calls are inspired from God. God knows all of his Children, I know that it was not coincidence that James M worked for my Grandpa and not coincidence that I am here in Texas in his ward. God has a plan and he knows the people we can touch in each of our lives.
I know that this gospel is true, I know that there are others out here that I am suppose to help. So after a long week it was the most rewarding week. This email doesn't do the experience justice but it will have to suffice for now.
Keep up the good work and I hope all Y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Elder Joshua V. Christensen