Monday, April 28, 2014

Acting upon promptings we receive!

Hey everyone!! This week has been another busy but great week! :) Monday we went around and just met with some different members. So it was a good night. 

Tuesday we met with one of our new investigators named Courtney. We may be handing her off to the sister missionaries. But we taught the restoration to her. She seemed to understand it really well. She was able to answer almost all of the questions that we asked to her. Later on that day we were also planning on meeting with one of our investigators named Andralia, but she had to reschedule. So we went to check in on the youth that night to see if they brought any friends that were not of our faith. But then we just ended the day street contacting. 

We had some great opportunities street contacting, we started out at the waterway and talked with a guy named John. He seemed willing to listen, but not very interested in learning more. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. 

But a cool miracle we saw came that night! So we were done walking around the waterway at around 8:35, and so we went over to market street and pulled up at about 8:45. We said a prayer before we went out, and I said in my prayer, "Heavenly Father we have the faith to teach one  more lesson in these next 15 min, so please place someone in our path and we will talk to them." Well we did one loop around market street and it was getting close to nine, and my companion wanted to just head back to the car so we would be to our apartment at nine. I told him we will do at least one more lap around. 

We said hi to a guy standing out in front of a Starbucks and we passed by him. And we took like 4 steps passed him and I had the thought to turn back and talk to him, but before that thought was even finished I found myself stopping and turning so fast to go back and talk to him. I don't think my body has ever acted upon a prompting so fast in my life! But I asked him if he would be willing to listen to a message about Jesus Christ. And he said that he would love to. 

So we started teaching him, and his friends came up. And we had a good discussion on priesthood authority! They talked a lot about different passages of the bible, and I also felt blessed because the Holy Ghost was able to bring things to my mind of what to say.  They seemed like there were interested, so hopefully we will get back in contact with them. 

But we can see that as we take the time and we put our faith in the hands of our Heavenly father he will show us miracles! I know that because we stayed just a little bit longer we met this guy and his friends! So we  will see what happens with them! I am so grateful for the tender mercies that we receive! Our Father in Heaven truly does watch out for us! 

Thursday we just did our weekly planning, and then went and visited with some different members. And then we were out just trying to get people to talk to. 

Friday. Elder Neville and I went to Spring District's  district meeting. We have been going around and just making sure all of the training has been getting all the way down to the missionaries! And so it was a great meeting and we just talked a lot about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. And we went through some many scripture references, but I loved going through them. We know that the main role of the Holy Ghost is to testify of truth. And we can feel that through the feelings of peace, joy, and happiness. We also know that once we are baptized we can have the Holy Ghost continue to teach us, and bring things to our remembrance. The Holy Ghost will prompt us to do things and as we follow these promptings we will be able to help bless the lives of those around us.  So even as we go through hard times we can remember the love of our Father in Heaven, and continue moving forward on the path of discipleship. 

 After district meeting Elder Neville and I went out and wanted to try and find some new investigators for the missionaries in that area. So we went and we were using the gps to find parks and ponds in the area to go and walk around. And we were over by the church, and we were driving through a neighborhood, and we thought about turning around and I just had the through to go left into a neighborhood, and we ended up knocking the street we turned onto. And For like the first 10 houses no one answered or they were not interested. But then we said we would keep going. 

So we knocked some more houses and one of them opened up, and I invited them to learn more, and then felt prompted to just go right into teaching before they really had time to finish the answer. And they started to ask us questions about the things we were teaching. We used the pictures in the front of copies of the Book of Mormon, and we taught about it. This was a catholic family that we were talking to, and they wanted to learn more about what we were teaching, so we handed that referral off to the sisters who were in that area. Again we see as we put faith in our Heavenly Father and listen to promptings he will guide us to those who are prepared! And now it is our role to keep following up with them to help them progress. 

We just went around and tried to talk with different members, and Saturday night our ward did a talent show and invited there friends who are not of our faith. And it was a great night! And Austin was there! That was the first time I had seen him in quite a while! After he was baptized he dropped off of the radar for a little while, but to see him again was great! He seems to be doing well, and I think he will be attending the singles ward. 

And then Sunday Morning we had a great stake correlation meeting, and I feel that me and Elder Neville have been working hard to help the zone. And I think we really have gained the full trust of the stake presidency! I always love going stake correlation! They are so sincere about making sure the needs of the members and recent converts and investigators are met! 

It really has been a great week! But I have been able to continue to read through the Book of Mormon! I am trying to get that finished by the end of June. But I have been learning so much as I have looked for how I can use the enabling and strengthening power of the atonement. Time and time again we see how obedience to Gods commandments, faith, and prayer, all play into using the enabling power of the atonement. Those are only some of the ways we can use it! 

I am so grateful for how much my testimony has grown of the atonement since I have started this challenge! I would again invite all y'all to do this same thing! You will see great blessings come from it, and I can  promise that to you because I have seen that so much more in my missionary work. I do not hesitate to go and to talk to people about the gospel. I feel like I am acting quicker on promptings, and I feel that I am really desiring the salvation of others souls as I go out! It is such a great blessing! I know that it will help us all as we do it!  

I hope all y'all have a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Monday, April 21, 2014

The enabling and strengthening power of the Atonement

     Howdy everyone!! I hope everyone had a great Easter week! It was such a great time to sit down and really ponder on the blessings of the atonement! I love this last week! It had its rough patches, but overall this week has been full of miracles and tender mercies! 

Monday night we switched and I went on an exchange with the district leader over in the Legends ward. And we went and really did see miracles. That night when I got there we just planned and were ready to set out and find a new investigator for the next day, and we wanted to get in with there bishop and with some other members to talk with them about some things. So we got that all set up and talked for a little while about how things were going with the work, and what we could do to help.  We were both excited for the next day to go out and just work.

Tuesday! I got to leave the apartment by 10:00am! That was such blessing! I have only been able to do that a couple of times on my mission, because of training missionaries. So we got out nice and early and got to work! We biked over to a part of there area, and we were thinking of which houses to knock. And I recognized a members house from a previous exchange I had done in this ward. So we went to go check on those members and just let them know we would be in there neighborhood and asked if they would know of anyone who would be interested in learning more. They told us a couple places to try, and so we knocked those doors. Many people on this street we knocked weren't very open, but we kept going  down and knocking. 

Well about an hour into it we saw a miracle! We knocked on this door, and a man named Kevin answered the door and invited us straight in and started asking us questions and we were able to talk with him. He wanted us to come back later that day and teach him the first lesson. Unfortunately we couldn't make it back that day so we said we would come by during the weekend and he said that would be great! That was honestly the first time on my mission I have seen anyone interested from knocking doors.  It was such a great blessing. 

Well we continued getting in with different members that day and we saw some different people. Well later that night after a good day of work we went back to the home they lived in. And they live with a non member, but the missionary forgot to grab his keys before he left for the day and the house was locked! And there was no way to get in! We had to get all my stuff packed up before we were switching back, and so in my head I said a prayer and asked to help us find a way to get in. Well the other missionary walked in to the garage and he saw a random key on a table cluttered with tools, and he picked it up and brought it out. He put it in the door and turned it and it unlocked! I know that Heavenly Father Answers our prayers and he does really listen! I was so grateful for that tender mercy, and immediately after we opened the door we both said a prayer thanking Heavenly Father for helping us out!

Weds we did some service and then we also met with Randy again in the park! And we just answered questions for him and then after we had planned to go to the water way to try and contact people. Well I had a thought that we needed to go and visit a different member who lives in a small apartment complex. So we went and visited with Brother Marks, and after we ran into another member who was talking to her nonmember friend about the gospel, and we were able to answer some of her questions. 

And then another miracle happened. A guy named Robert got off the elevator and saw us and asked where we had been? He said he tried to contact us and wants his girlfriend Courtney to get baptized. He told us to go up and set and appointment up with her. We were kinda confused and were in shock that this just happened, so we went up and said a prayer to have the spirit to be with us and know what to do, and we knocked and talked with her for a couple minutes. She said she wanted to learn more and wanted us to come back on Tuesday at noon for a lesson! So we will go back tomorrow to teach her, and here boyfriend Robert. And I guess Robert is a less active member that was baptized when he was young. So that was a great miracle. 

We had the great opportunity to have interviews with the mission president. It went really well and we received some great training on how we can do better at keeping our area books up to date. 

And then after that we went and helped out Roy(Our bishops neighbor) with some work around his home. He is getting surgery soon, and needed some help. 

Well to end the night we got a call from our mission President, and he asked us to go with him up past Huntsville to speak at a youth conference with him! That was pretty cool! So we told him we would love to go, and he said to meet him at a store near us and we would drive up together. 

We got a early start because we had to meet President at 7:15 am. We drove up with him, Sister Pingree, and his son Joseph. We were with him from 7:15 till around 3:00pm. It was a great day! The youth conference was Book of Mormon themed and so they had king Benjamin s tower, and also the youth were all dressed up in costumes. 

Just a fun thing we did, and for the record it was President Pingree's idea while we were waiting for the youth. So we did a cow pie throwing contest! And yeah I won! :) Look at the great form! :) 

Sunburn after being at youth conference all day.

We went and got to talk to 4 different rotations of youth about preparing and having a desire to serve a mission. Each rotation had about 80 youth in it. It was a cool thing! The spirit was so strong there and we were all able to testify about the great blessing of serving missions! 

I really tried to explain to them that the age change for the mission is a great opportunity, but it does not mean that you have to serve right out of high school! The decisions is very personal and is between you and God! So you need to diligently study and pray to know when the right time to go. And then I also talked to them about going where ever you are called to go. 

I told them that I took 5 years of Spanish in high school and I wanted to go and serve speaking in Spanish. And then I got my call and I was so excited and when read my call I was called to serve in the Texas Houston Mission English speaking. A couple of the youth thought it was a little funny, but then right after I was able to bare powerful testimony that if I didn't come here to Texas, I would never have met bother Marshburn. And I told them the story of how I met him! I know God is mindful of all of his children and that is why I have been sent here to Texas. There are people that I am suppose to find and meet! After it was all over, I was able to talk with some leaders and with some youth and they said it went really well, so I was happy for the opportunity to go that day!!! :)

We went around and tried to get in with different members and also just try to talk with everyone that we could. With it being the week of Easter we tried to share messages about Christ and His Atonement with people. And there were parts of when it was hard and discouraging! Alot of the time down here in the Bible belt the common response is, I already know Jesus, I am Christian, or I am saved and then they just reject us completely. 

And the reason I said it was hard wasn't just because of being rejected over and over, but it was knowing how much this knowledge has blessed my life and how it can help others, and then them not even wanting to try and listen. But that really is what happens alot, but it is so comforting to know that as we do everything we can to help others out, our Father in Heaven will bless us! I am so grateful for the chance I have to be out here and share the gospel with the people in Houston! I love it here and I would not change it for anything! I love being involved in this great work! And I testify that it is true! 

We had a wonderful sacrament, and the spirit was felt so strong, and I just love the peace that came from it. I love the time we have to partake of the sacrament and renew our covenants. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ! I know that because of Him we can receive help in all aspects of our lives. He really did suffer for everything thing we go through and he knows how to help us! He stand knocking at the door and we just have to open it up and let Him in! (Rev. 3:20) 

I know that Christ lives! He lives and He loves us and we wants to help us! He was resurrected and because of that one day we will all have the chance to have perfect glorified bodies! I know that this is true and this knowledge has blessed my life so much! I know through the Atonement we can be strengthened and do things that we didn't even think we could! We will be able to pass through affliction and trials with the knowledge that we are not alone! I testify of the truthfulness of these things and say that in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

One other quick thought. This is an invitation the Mission President received from Elder Bednar. And he re extended this challenge to us. 

1. Find a paperback copy of the Book of Mormon.

2. Read the book cover-to-cover and highlight any passage that helps you answer the following question: “How can I use the enabling and strengthening power of the Atonement?”

3. Write a one-page summary of what you learned.

We were promised that if we would do this, we would come to know the Savior better, learn to access added strength from the Atonement, and become more effective servants of Jesus Christ. I know that this will bless y'all lives! I have just done it for a week and my understanding of the atonement has already increased so much!  

Well I hope y'all have a blessed week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Great week in the Woodlands!

  Hey everyone! This week was a great week! Sorry today's email might be shorter, I am pressed for time this week. We had the opportunity to go Golfing today! So that was really fun! I I played alright for not touching a club in 10 months. But it was a good stress relief! I have always enjoyed doing it! 

But last Monday night to Tuesday night I was on an exchange with one of the Elders from our district! We were in a bike area near our area. We had a good exchange. On Tuesday we also volunteered at one of the big churches here in the Woodlands. They were doing banquet for one of the places that the Glen Loch Elders volunteered for, so we just helped people find which tables they were assigned to sit out. 

So we did that for the morning, and for the afternoon we just planned on going around on our bikes and trying to visit with less actives in there ward that they did not know. We were able to get in with alot they didn't know and were able to check in. And they seemed to be doing really well! They will have opportunities now to go back and visit with the less actives and hopefully help them with anything they may need! 

Wednesday we went back to Roy's house to help him out with some cleaning in his shop. He will be getting ready to get surgery in a couple weeks, and just needed some help getting things ready before then. So we were over there for a good part of the morning after our studies. We then just went around and tried to visit with different members for the rest of the afternoon, and we tried to get back into contact with Diana and her family. It has been a while since we have been able to get in contact with them so we went by their home to check on them. They were getting ready to head out, but we talked with them for a little while. 

And then that night we had dinner with a family in our ward and went through and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to them, and it was a great lesson. The members here are beginning to really look hard to find people who we can teach! I know that as we continue to teach them, they will have more of a  desire to share the gospel. If y'all have copies of preach my gospel, I would invite you to study the lessons of chapter 3, those simple doctrines will bless your lives so much, and you will have a stronger testimony and desire to help share the gospel where you live! 

Thursday we went and did our weekly planning for a good part of the morning. That was great for us, and then that afternoon we had a meeting with our Bishop. We just talked about how things went during the past few weeks with the missionary work. He has been busy or out of town the past couple weeks, so we were trying to get him caught up with the different things going on. We had our appointments for that night fall through on us, but we just ended up walking on the waterway and through the mall to try and find more people who have been prepared to share the gospel.  But over all it was a great day!

Friday me and my zone leader comp elder Neville went up to Conroe's district meeting. We went, and it was a great day. We taught about the atonement. We really worked on trying to teach the atonement as simply and powerfully as we could. And I am just so grateful for the atonement! With out it I would not be where I am now! Because of the atonement (which encompasses when Jesus Christ suffered in the garden for our sins, hung and died upon the cross, and was resurrected 3 days later) we can find peace and happiness in our life. We can be forgiven for our mistakes, and when we go through hard times whether it is pain, or sickness or anything we can receive help and strength! 

I am grateful for that and I know that the power of the atonement is real! I have felt it so much in my life, and I can testify that nothing you are going through or will go through will have power to overcome you. And it is because of the atonement! Christ has suffered for everything we feel, so he truly can help us because he has felt everything we will ever feel. The atonement was done on a very personal level for each and everyone of us. I promise you as you use it that you will feel closer to our Heavenly Father! And you will feel the spirit more abundantly.  

For the rest of Friday we stayed in Conroe and tried to find more people to teach for the missionaries there. And it was great because that day we ran into a family that didn't speak any English, so again I was able to use some of the Spanish I know and talk with them for a little bit. I invited them to learn, but they were uninterested. But I love just being out and inviting people to learn more! 

Saturday we had a great day!!!!! It was a bit of a crazy day, but it was good! Our Stake did a craw-fish boil. And we had about 2400 people who said they were coming. And so we went over in the early afternoon to help set up, but as well as that me and Elder Neville were helping coordinate with all of the missionaries that were there. And it was such a great night! 

Game at the craw-fish boil

We had so many non members there, and we met so many people! We kept walking through the chapel at points, and we found companionship's giving church tours! It was such a great activity that the stake did. That night me and Elder Neville gave 2 church tours and they both were referrals for different missionaries. 
They were powerful tours, and the people wanted to come to church! So that was way cool! 

Well that was about it for this last week, but I am just so grateful for the opportunities we had to go out and serve and be about the Lords work! I am so grateful for this gospel and I am so happy for the chance I have to be here in Texas and share that with others! This is a glorious message we have and I am grateful for it! Please look for ways to share it with others! I know it will bless your life!

I hope yall have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

General Conference!!!

Hey everyone!! Hope everyone has had a good week! This week has been a busy week, but it has been a good week. Monday wasn't anything to exciting. Just P-day and then we had dinner at our bishops house that night. And then at the end of the night I was dropped off at the Woodland Elders apartment because we were going on an exchange for Tuesday. 

So I was with my zone leader companion Elder Neville. We had MLC this week, so we drove down to the TC Jester church building. We had such a great meeting with President Pingree and the assistants. There was so much training that was presented. We had a training on how to use Preach My Gospel more effectively in our missionary work. We also talked alot about the Book of Mormon and the power of it. Then we were trained on the first principle that we teach as missionaries. 

The principle is, God is our Loving Heavenly Father. Now I know alot of times that I have taught this lesson, I have just blown through this point. After this training though my thoughts have been changed and my eyes have been opened to the importance of teaching this principle with power. If we can help people truly understand this concept then it will make it easier for them to accept other things that we teach. 

We talked alot about the characteristics of God. We read in D&C 130:22 that he has a body of flesh and bone. We know he loves us because he sent his son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins and overcome the obstacles of physical death, and spiritual death which is when we sin or become separated from God because of sin. Genesis 1:26-27 we learn that we were created in Gods image. And there are many more characteristics that I would invite you to go find and learn about. 

As we learn more about our Loving Heavenly Father through sincere scripture study, we will be able to have our testimonies strengthened and we will feel closer to Him. And the final part of the training was by far one of my favorites. 

We talked about doing church tours and teaching about the sacrament. We read in Moroni 4:3 which is the prayer they offer when blessing the bread for the sacrament. And as we read it we see that there are things we promise God, and in return he promises us something back. We promise to 

1. Take Christ names upon us.
2. Remember Him
3. Keep his commandments

God Promises
1 That we will have his spirit to be with us. 
2. We will have eternal live as we partake of the bread and water each week and strive to continue to do better. (John 6:54)

I love this concept because this is exactly what we promise when we are baptized and when we partake of the sacrament we renew those covenants. Well we went and role played teaching this in the chapel, and it was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had. We all were completely silent as we walked into the chapel and the spirit was so strong. We each whispered as we taught this sacred principle, and after we came back at the end we all agreed the we felt as if we were in the temple. That was how peaceful it was. I have a whole new respect for the chapel and the sacrament. And I testify that as we make the sacrament meaningful each week, we can feel the spirit just as strong as when we are in the temple. Even if there are crying and screaming kids, we can still feel this peace if we try to to make it meaningful!

We had a couple of teaching appts set up, but one of them fell through. The sisters wanted us to come with them to a teaching appointment with two new investigators they have. The sisters said that these new investigators had some questions about the bible so they wanted to bring me along to help answer questions that they might have. Well that is the appt that fell through but right after we went to meet with one of the members we have been working with to quit smoking. And we wanted to meet with him in a park. So we went there , but when we got there and started talking with this member someone came up and asked if he could use our phone. His name was Luis and you could tell this man didn't speak alot of English, but after he was off the phone I started to talk with him a little bit in Spanish. 

My Spanish was pretty bad because I really haven't used it since High school, and all of the vocab that I knew I totally forgot. I only have used Spanish for a couple of door approaches while I have been out but other than that I haven't used it. Well between so English and Spanish I was able to communicate with this guy, and we started reading through the introduction of the Book of Mormon. I kept trying to explain different principles to him as he read the El Libro De Mormon. I got to sit and talk with him for about 1 hour or so, but before I left I asked him if he would read 3rd Nephi 11 and I was actually able to talk about it in Spanish and it was such a miracle. We got his info and got a hold of the Spanish sisters and they had an appointment for the next day.

We had our studies and had a good long weekly planning, and after that we did some family history and then we went and tried to get in with some different members. That night we gave a ride to the Spanish sisters back from the teaching appointment with Luis. And it turns out that he is super prepared! He read what I asked him to read and he loved it so much! He wants to get baptized and wants to keep learning more! Talk about a tender mercy from the Lord! It was a great week!

We had zone meeting and I was pretty stressed going into it. I don't even know why. Over all the meeting went by really well. We were worried that the training we presented was pretty long, but the other missionaries received it very well. Again we did the role play with going into the chapel and again we had such a great spiritual experience. I think all of the missionaries benefited from the training. I also just have such a strong testimony that the training that was presented by president to us was from God! I know that the things that were taught were meant to be taught and will benefit our mission greatly! 

Saturday and Sunday
General Conference was so dang good! I love listening to the prophet and the apostles! We are so blessed to be able to have them here. I loved all of the talks so much! But there were a couple of themes that I really would like to touch on today. We can see that the world is changing more and more. We can see that the family is under attack, and it has been for many years now. But we can see from this conference that we must be prepared to defend out beliefs. We must be ready to exercise our faith and our courage! We will all come to a point where we must be steadfast and immovable, when we must stand up and defend this great church we are apart of! "Now be strong, live the gospel faithfully even if those around you aren't Defend your beliefs with courtesy & compassion but defend them. Times will get harder, but at the same time the church will continue to grow. 

As we listen to the prophets and apostles and we do what we need to do we will be kept safe. How do we do this? This is the next thing I want to talk about. We must be having DILIGENT DAILY SCRIPTURE STUDY AND PRAYER. These are going to make the difference in our life! As we do this we will be blessed. We will have the opportunity to have the spirit to be with us so much more. This is so important! Don't ever take it for granted. I have such a strong testimony of this and I testify to you that we must all do this! I am so grateful for this general conference and all that it has done for me. We are disciples of Christ and as we follow him diligently we will be prepared for when hard times come. Please review and go back frequently to these talks that were given. Take the time and study them. They will bless you and your family. And again I know this to be true and I testify of it! 

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

A week of service!

Letter from Monday March 31, 2014:

Howdy everyone! Things this week have been pretty well. We had some cool things happen and alot of great opportunities to serve. Monday started we had our normal p-day, and then that night we were able to go over to Brother Marshburn's home. He talked about trying to get his family to sit in on the discussions. And so we were hoping that they would all be there. But when we got there they had some other things pop up. So we just went through the restoration with him. And while teaching it in the beginning I was asking him questions. And he was answering them just fine. But then like half way through the lesson he started asking questions that an investigator would ask. And so it took me a second to turn it more into a role play and go off the question. But as soon as we made the switch we had such a great lesson. The spirit was so strong, and it was just a great lesson! I think it was also a really good experience for my companion Elder DeLuca. I let him answer alot of his questions, and he did great. But it was so good to be able to go over that an teach him. And then we just ended the night at our ward mission leaders. We just talked with him a bit and that was when Elder Peterson said good bye to them. So over all it was a really good night. 

We drove up to transfers in the morning to drop Elder Peterson off, and we were there for a little while helping people out. And then we also had to run over to the mission office for a bit to pick up so different supplies. So that was mainly what we did that morning. It was kinda hard to see Elder Peterson go, but he will do a great job! He was asked to serve as a district leader in the Klein Wood ward. 

Well we got back to our area and we had some referrals that we needed to go and check on. And so we also did some tracting with it. We were able to meet some different people, but sadly none of them were interested in learning more. But we then and talked a little bit with Ashlie. She is our leasing consultant at our apartment Complex, and the sister missionaries have been teaching her. So we went in there to see how she was doing and she mentioned that she wanted us to do more object lessons with her. Well me and one of my former companions exhausted all of our ideas for object lessons so we weren't sure what we were going to do. We told her to give us a subject she wanted the lesson on, and she chose the Resurrection. Elder DeLuca began to teach her about the resurrection, and I just pondered what I could do to make up an object lesson that had to do with that. So I was looking around and finally I was able to make one up. 

I used one of the nice pens she had on her desk, and I compared that pen to our bodies. I explained that because of the fall that came with Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit, our bodies became mortal and subject sin and death and pain. Well I took off pieces of the pen and explained those points and then compared the ink cartage to our spirits. When we die our spirits go to the spirit world where those who live good lives and follow that example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone who holds that restored priesthood authority of God  will dwell in a state of happiness. And when the resurrection comes our body and our spirit will be reunited and I put the pen back together and explained that we will have perfect glorified bodies. And they they will never be separated again. It was a cool experience to see how the spirit can work through someone. This object lesson was really simple, but it was good and the spirit was there. I have such a powerful testimony that our Heavenly Father does love us and he does help us in our time of need. 

We went and helped out at PCI again this week. And I just love being able to help out over there. The people who come are such great people and they are so great to talk to. But following that we went over to Randy's house. We have been helping him to quit smoking and we had a really good lesson with him about patience. And again the spirit was there and it helped Randy to want to try even harder to try and quit smoking. So we will keep praying for him and help in in any way that we can. Some of the other plans we had for that night ended up falling through, so we went contacting at the water way.

We went over to our bishops home and helped him out with some of his taxidermy, and also had our weekly missionary meeting with him. It was good because I feel that we were really able to help relieve some of the stress from bishop and he was able to help us out and give us ideas on places we need to go and visit and members that we need to check in on. We then went back and did some of our weekly planning. We weren't able to finish. We were planning in the business center in our apartment and Ben walked in so we were talking with him for a little while and invited him to come with us to watch general conference this next week.  

And then we had dinner with the Christensen family in our ward and taught a great lesson with the sisters on the laws and ordinances section in preach my gospel. It talks about a lot of great things. And I would invite y'all to take some time in family home evening and talk about some of the sections and try to apply it to you families life. I know it will greatly bless you!

Friday we had district meeting, and our new district leader Elder Weaver did a great job. I met him for the first time, but apparently he came out in July with one of the other districts. So we flew in together but we didn't meet. But after that we went and volunteered at a Presbyterian church and helped them with rummage sale there were setting up for. One of the sisters in our ward called and asked us to go over and help her out. But we were able to help and meet some great people! 

We participated in our ward service project and we went around and helped clean up trash around the woodlands. And it went over really well. At the end we went to North Shore Park and had lunch with alot of people from the community and we were able to talk with some of the people there about the church which was great! Right after this we went back to help at the Presbyterian church and helped them again until we had to go to another service project that was coming up with one of our members. So we went to the members home and helped them with some things and then they asked us if we could mow there neighbors lawn. And we said that we would love to. 

And so we started doing that and the neighbor walked out and it turned into a great missionary opportunity! And in a couple of weeks we will go back and help them fix there fence so we can meet there neighbors that live behind them. I love seeing how excited the ward is getting about missionary work and you can tell that they are looking for more opportunities to share the gospel! We had so many great chances to serve this week, and we were blessed for it, and I know that others were blessed as well! Service is the way we can soften peoples hearts and help bring then closer to Christ!

Sunday we saw a very cool miracle! Our church meeting was about to begin, and we sat down and we had a sister from another ward walk up to us and ask us if we were expecting anyone to come to church. We told her we weren't and she said that she saw someone walking around the back of the church in Jeans and and looked kinda confused. So we walked around the whole building trying to find him. And so when we went back to sit down we saw in the back the person that the sister was talking about. We went back and introduced our selves. And I guess Elder Peterson and DeLuca met this guy at Market Street while I was on an exchange. So I never had met him but he ended up coming to church! So that was really cool! He seemed interested in coming back, and he said he wants to come and see what general conference is this next week! He lives out of our area, so we will have to pass him on, but he is definitely one who the lord has been preparing to hear the gospel! And to finish the day we went around to different less active members and members and were able to see how they were doing and share brief lessons with them.  So it has been a great week!

Well I look forward to being able to  watch general conference this week, and I know that I will be able to find answers to prayers and see miracles come from it. I would like to invite all y'all to write down a couple questions you want to have answered in general conference and then pray before it starts to find an answer. And I PROMISE you that you will be able to find an answer to that. Our Heavenly Father is mindful of us and he will answer our questions as we prayerfully go into these meetings and search for an answer. I know this to be true and I know that if you do this that you will come out of these meetings feeling closer to our Father in Heaven and you will have the spirit to be with you more. I know this to be true! And I say that in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

I hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen

One Picture is when we first started cleaning up at the service project on saturday, and the 2nd is when all of us finished, we were walking back to the park we met at.