Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Mission President!

This week has been another crazy week as we have prepared for the new mission president, but as well as that we have seen some incredible miracles. We have spent alot of time in the office. So we have been doing reports for a good portion of the week, and also we have been trying to get introduction conference and interviews planned for these coming weeks with the new mission president. 

But before I talk about that I want to talk about a very great experience we have had this week! 
 This last week we were able to go to the temple for a specialized training with our Mission President and the temple president! And that was such a special event for us. We were given some question in the previous week that we were able to ponder on. Our President gave us these questions after reading in D&C 138

On October 3, 1918, President Joseph F. Smith was studying the scriptures and was “reflecting upon the great atoning sacrifice that was made by the Son of God, for the redemption of the world” (D&C 138:2).  He received a vision of the spirit world.  During the vision, he witnessed the spirits of the righteous.  He explained that these individuals “had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus” and that they “had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God

Here are the questions he gave us. 

1. What does it mean to “offer sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God?”

2. What implications does this have for me and the type of sacrifice I need to make in my life?

3. How do temple covenants help me to offer such a sacrifice?

As we pondered on these questions I had such a sacred experience where as I studied I truly felt so enlightened and like I had truly received. I felt so prompted and inspired that what it means to offer a sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, means a couple of different things. 1, that we need to follow him, and that starts with the covenant of Baptism. And when we follow him we promise to take Christ's name upon us, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. But what also really stuck out to me was the fact that we need to completely submit our wills to our Father in Heaven's. Christ was the perfect example for this. 

We see time and time again how his whole life he was about the Fathers business, (Luke chapter 2) and did our Fathers will. So as we approach hard times, we need to pray and seek what Gods will for us is. And as we obey him and his will, he is going to bless us, and we will become better Disciples for Jesus Christ! Also we are here all with the same purpose. We all are here to prepare to return home and live with our Father in Heaven again! And that is exactly what God wants for us. So we are here to serve people and help them along the path that leads to eternal life. 

I wish I had more time to share more of this experience with you. Well this was preparation for our temple trip on Tuesday. We went and had a wonderful session at the temple. And after we were able to go to one of the training rooms and have a discussion with the Mission President and Temple President! During this discussion I learned so much! We talked about these questions that we have pondered, and again I just felt so good, and learned so much!! I know that I have been so blessed for this opportunity! Again I wish I had more time to talk about it, because this email does not do the experience justice. 

We and Elder Hillebrant had new leadership training out in Magnolia. We went and had the meeting with all the new missionaries who have been called to a new leadership position. That meeting was a couple hours long, but I feel like it was a good meeting. I was pretty nervous at first with this training. A lot of the missionaries in the training were missionaries who had been out a lot longer than I have. But many of them said that the meeting really helped them feel prepared to go and have there different meetings, so I was happy to hear that. On the way back Kyle texted us, and we set up an appointment with him for the next day. 


We also were able to meet with our investigator named Kyle this week. I can't remember if I mentioned him in my former email, but he was being taught by the missionaries up until the point of baptism. The week before he told his parents he wanted to get baptized, and his parents were upset with him and his decision and ultimately talked him out of having that desire.  

Since then he stopped reading the Book of Mormon, and so the previous week we had a lesson with him and talked to him about reading the Book of Mormon. Then we had set a return appt for this last Thursday. Well we decided for this lesson we wanted to bring up baptism with him again since it had been a couple months since they discussed it. We decided to have a lesson at the temple and we wanted to bring our mission President. 

So we went and we taught about the true nature of God. How he has a body of flesh and bone (D&C 130:22) and how he shows his love to us. And just had a sweet lesson where the spirit was strong. We invited him to be baptized and he hesitantly said yes. Well before we went on I asked him if he had prayed to know if baptism was something God would have him do, and he said he hadn't prayed and asked. Well we committed him to pray and to ask God, if the lesson we had taught him about the true nature of God was true, and to also ask if he should be baptized. 

 We got a message from Kyle early that morning. He told us that he had received and answer to his prayers. He told us that he ready from Mosiah Chapter 10 until Alma Chapter 30 that night. He read about 120 pages from the Book of Mormon!!! He said he then prayed about Gods true nature, and about baptism, and he had such a sweet experience. 

He told us that night after he got to bed he had a dream in which he came to know that God had a body of flesh and bones, and confirmed that he should be baptized. God told him in the dream to follow his heart and soul on this one. He told him that he would lead Kyle to making the right decision. 

When we heard about this experience our minds were blown!! Both of our jaws were dropped and the spirit was so strong as he told us his dream. Well we asked him if we could meet at the temple again Saturday afternoon. 


Well the time came to teach Kyle again. We got to the temple around one, and it began to start pouring rain. We ran to one of the sides of the temple under some trees, and there was an older lady who was trying to stay dry. We told her we could go run to our car and get her an umbrella. So sprinted through the rain storm towards the car, and we ran right by a big group of people who were huddling right by the temple doors waiting for the rain to stop. We probably looked ridiculous, but we were determined to help this lady. 

Well we got to the car, grabbed the umbrella, and right as we opened it and took 10 steps, the rain completely stopped, and we were completely soaked. We got back and the older lady thanked us for running all the way to grab it, and we went our separate way. 

Well we get a message from Kyle after saying he just woke up, and wanted to reschedule for 3. Well we went to go pick up a member who could come and teach with us. When 3 came around we went and taught another great lesson with Kyle. He told us more details of the dream that he didn't mention in the messages he sent us. But we have committed him to be baptized July 26th, and he accepted! 

We were scrambling to get on our way to church. The morning we spent in the office setting up the interview schedule for the coming weeks. When the time came we went to our car to drive to church and noticed on of our tires was flat. Luckily we were blessed to be at the mission office. We ran inside and grabbed the keys to our 2013 Silverado and we were back on our way! I guess that is one of the perks to being able to be in the office! It has been fun to drive a Silverado again. So we are using that car until Tuesday when we can get our van in to get our tire repaired. We have been so busy this week we haven't had time to take it in. 

That has been our week. Even though it has been long, it has been so worth it. I have felt the spirit so strong, and we were able to accomplish the things that we needed to get done. I know the Lord has let us see so many miracles this week!! God is so good to us, and he has blessed us so much! I know that this is His work, and as we do our best to do his will, we will be blessed more than anything else! I would invite y'all to continue looking for missionary experiences! I know if you pray, you will find opportunities! I Promise that and testify of it! 

I hope y'all have a wonderful week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

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