Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A wonderful Christmas Week.

 Again this week we don't have a ton to report on! Being in a singles wards during the holidays its a bit harder to meet with many of our investigators as well as members. But it was a wonderful week! We did have members have us over for Christmas eve and Christmas! And then of course being able to see the family was great! So it was a great Christmas!

 So one of the big things we are working on right now is working to find more investigators. We have pondered a lot about what things we can improve on. And the big thing we have decided on is to find effectively in a YSA (Young Single Adult)  ward we need to be working through the members. So we are going to make a bigger emphasis to have members help us by bringing there friends to activities as well as institute classes. Activities definitely play a big role in finding people to teach in the ward.

So to also find more people we went through our area book more in depth this week and called about 35 former investigators. We were able to get a hold of quite a few of them, and then there are a handful of people that would like to meet up again! So we are hopeful that we will see some great miracles come from that! 

And also we had our ward mission leader call us this week and invite us to come play basketball with him and a bunch of his friends who aren't members. And he brought some of his less active friends also.  At the end of the game we had a great lesson with them! We heard from our ward mission leader the next day that one of his less active friends after hearing the message on faith in Jesus Christ now wants to take the steps to be active and make his way to the temple! It was a great opportunity. 

He also told us that many of his friends thought very highly of us. They were impressed that we didn't let the game get to us, or get us to competitive. In there words they said, " I totally just blocked him and all he did was smile and give me a high five saying nice block! Who does that!" 

Now as funny as that sounds it really made me ponder. They saw something different in us that caught their attention. It was as small us not getting upset with a game. When we are baptized we promise our loving Father in Heaven to take the name of Jesus Christ upon us, and always to remember him as well as keep all of his commandments. Now focusing on taking Christs name upon is and always remembering him play a huge role in helping other recognize the light of the gospel. 

When we honor these covenants and as we stand as examples of our Savior Jesus Christ people will notice. They will feel a difference. That feeling they have will be the spirit testifying to them that there is something more for them! Now a lot of times they may not realize this at first, but little by little your example will bring people closer to Christ! I love the saying, " Preach the gospel always and when necessary use words! " Your example will go far beyond what you expect. 

I would just really invite you to ponder on this last week, and think to yourself. How did I take Christs name upon me this week? Did I look for opportunities to serve others? How can I improve this next week? 

I promise you that as you take these thoughts into consideration that you will be able to help others come unto Christ! Many will see and feel of the light that you have! I know these things to be true! 

I hope y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas time!

Hey we don't have alot of time this week, but just wanted to give a brief update with this last week! We spent a lot of time just preparing for out Christmas zone conference. It was such a great time! We had the conference on Friday, so the night before we were up a bit later getting everything set up! I think it was a fun thing that the missionaries were able to come to! There were great talks given by president and Sister Mortensen on the atonement of Jesus Christ as well as His Birth. 

 Other than that this week we went on an exchange. I was able to go back to the white oak ward which is where I was first at when I arrived here in Texas. It was great! We had a couple of lessons that were set up that day with some of their investigators! One of their progressing investigators right now is named Will. And we went to teach him about the Plan of Salvation! It was great because when we got there he had one of his friends that were there. And so we began to teach him also about the plan of salvation! And at the end of the lesson we invited to be baptized! He said yes and accepted a date for Jan 17th! 

So the work is continuing on! I love it so much! We are seeing so much success right now in the mission! I am just so glad to be apart of this great work! I know it is the Lords work and that we are blessed to have the opportunity to be apart of it! All you need is a desire, and you are called to the work! 

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Remember the true meaning of Christmas and I promise you will have a very memorable and joyous Christmas time with your families! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Hey everyone! 

Again I can not believe another week has gone by so fast! December is just flying by! Well 
things have been going really well this week! We are continuing to work with our two progressing investigators. Right now they both have baptismal dates for December 27th. There names are Christian and Alicia! 

We have been meeting with Alicia since late September, and then we started meeting with Christian a couple weeks ago. We were able to meet with them a couple times this week and things have been going so well! I went on a mini exchange on Thursday so we could have one of our zone leaders meet Alicia. 

So during that time I was back in college park. It was fun to be able to meet with some of the members up there again, and we were able to talk to them about He is the Gift video. But with our investigators they are doing very well!  As they continue to read from the Book of Mormon they are gaining their own spiritual conversion. 

They were both at church yesterday and it was such an amazing Sunday. Our Ward decided to do a Christmas program this last week. So if was a very powerful experience. It was perfect for the investigators we had there! 

Other than that we spent the week checking on referrals. We have been getting more and more lately! It has been such a blessing and our teaching pool is now increasing! The Lord is blessing us so abundantly! Also we were visiting one of our missionaries in the hospital this week who got and infection in his hand after wrecking on his bike. But he is doing great now !

I just want to share one miracle real quick that we saw this week! So on Saturday night. So we got home around 8:45. And we were walking around the complex to see if anyone would be out walking. And so then went through different buildings and we found this guy who was just sitting one of the flights of stairs. And we invited him to watch the He is the gift video. 

And after watching it he began to ask us more about what we do as missionaries. And we were able to answer him and talk to him more about the church and the teachings of Jesus Christ. He mentioned how he had some friends who had passed away a couple weeks a go in a car crash. He said he had been thinking more and more about what our purpose is here on the earth. And we were able to talk to him briefly about the plan of Salvation. And he accepted a return appointment. 

So just because of the video it opened up missionary opportunities, and as well as that it caused him to think more in depth about what role Christ has played in his life! I know that as we continue to share that video with others that it will bring many unto Christ. And millions of Gods Children can experience the true spirit of Christ this Christmas season!! I know that to be true! 

​( Very top part of our Christmas Tree) 

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

More Random Picks from Josh:

You would be so proud of me! I totally fixed this! Like father like son! 

Finding those the Lord has prepared!

Life is just so good!  I am loving being a missionary! It has been kinda a crazy week with transfers, but we have also seen some crazy miracles! For the most part things with transfers went pretty smoothly. I just can't believe how fast time is continuing to fly by. I am not sure how much longer I will be able to serve as an assistant, but I sure have enjoyed it. 

 Well I don't have a lot of time to email today so this will need to be a bit shorter. But this week we have seen some incredible miracles with our investigators. And previous to this we were having such a hard time getting in and meeting with our investigators. And so I was pondering this last week about what things we could do better to help the people we are working with. And I just had the thought that we got to be making sure we are getting our weekly planning in each week. 

Sometimes with how busy we are we don't get the opportunity to get our weekly planning done. And this is somethings I have been wanting to make a greater priority with. Weekly planning is the time that we get to sit down and have a divine appointment with the Lord where we can seek and learn his will for our individual areas. I have some  amazing spiritual experiences where I felt I received direct revelation about lessons we need to teach and how to overcome there concerns or questions. 

And so with that being said as we sat down and pleaded for the help of the Lord, we were guided with the things we needed. We planned lessons for two our our investigators we have been working with, and they went so well! 

(This is one of the missionaries I worked a lot with while I was in the Woodlands. He has finished his mission and we dropped him off at the airport on Wednesday.)

Alicia is one of our investigators we met with later in the week after our planning. We had planned to teach the plan of salvation because she has continued to keep her commitments to read the Book of Mormon. And we were feeling like she was ready for the plan of salvation. So we decided we would have this lesson at the temple this last Friday. 

Just before our lesson with her we met with one of the recent converts in our ward named Evan. And he was getting ready to leave when he ran into one of the members that was coming to teach. Well we invited both of these members to come join us for the lesson with Alicia. And it was such a powerful lesson with her. We were master teaching and she was understanding so well. And there were some different points where this recent convert Evan just jumped in and started teaching. 

There is a saying by Boyd K. Packer that is when a testimony is found as it is shared. And literally as Evan taught he began to see even more fully how strong his testimony was! It was incredible! And we ended by inviting her to prepare to be baptized on Dec. 27. She accepted!! She was about to bring up concerns but Evan jumped in again and testified to her to really just remember back to the way that she felt since she has been meeting with missionaries. And so it helped her to overcome some of her concerns. So she is pumped! She texted after saying she would do her best to find her answer! 

And then also our investigator Christian we planned for also in weekly planning in depth got back in contact with us. And he has had a rough week. He lost his grandfather this last week and that is why he didn't show up to our appointment with him. But we asked what we could do to help him out. And he mentioned that he just wanted to meet up with us! 

And as we planned previous to that we had planned to go in and teach him the Plan of Salvation. That right there is just another testimony builder of the fact that God is aware of all of his Children. I know that to be true! So Saturday he also came to frisbee and got to be fellowshipped really well with members of the ward. He mentioned that he wanted to come to church also. So we gave him all of the information. 

  So fast forward to Sunday, he came and he loved church so much! This last week was fast Sunday. And we were getting right towards the end of the meeting. There was a common theme of people talking about trials and how we go through trials to make us stronger. And it touched him so much. So he said, " I think I want to go up there." and now remember this is his first time ever coming to church. So he went up to bear his testimony. And it was almost like he has been a member for his whole life. 

He thanked the missionaries for helping him. And he mentioned how when we started teaching him he had the question of how to know if this church is the true church. He said to me, " I have heard so many different stories about these churches coming up and being "true". How can I know if yours is any different. " And he is using this example during his testimony and then he said, " I had this question and I posed it to them......................... and then, Christensen just had this big old smile on his face as he looked at me. And he said,  Christian the beauty of this message is  you can know for yourself.   Pray and ask God to know if this is true! I testify to you that He loves you, and he will answer you!" 

 Christian said at that point he was going to give his all to know if it was true. And again while bearing his testimony he said, " Some of you know that I use to work t the Galleria Mall. And it required me to have to work on Sundays. Well since then as I have prayed, He has taken that job from me so I can be at church." He was laughing and said if that is a good enough answer I don't know what is. He just then continued to testify of his experience of him coming to know if this is true! It was such a powerful testimony meeting! 

And just as I mentioned that when Evan testified he found his testimony the same happened to Christian. Members were thanking him after for his testimony. And many thought he was a member. And just told them. I am preparing myself to be baptized. So we will meet with him on Wednesday. And we plan to also to extend a baptismal date to him for the end of the month. 

I have a firm testimony that the Lord is preparing his children. Christian and Alicia are just two examples of that! There are so many more who are prepared. It just takes our effort in reaching inviting people to come closer to Christ. With the initiative that the church has with He is the Gift, it makes it so easy to be able to invite people to come closer to Christ. Christ is the Gift, so again I just want to invite you to prayerfully think of who you can Share the Gift with this Christmas season. I promise you as you do you will experience the true joy of Christmas. And you will feel Christ loves more abundantly this season. 

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

Some more pics from transfer week. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

He is the gift.

  Sorry this is going to be another short email. It has been a really crazy day for us. But I can not believe that we are officially into December now! Where is the time going! These last few months have gone by so fast. 

   This last week has been another great one! We were able to have our mission leadership council. And so we help lead many of the discussions, and then we finished out by helping watch the role plays that were taking place. And we were able to help provide feed back and training. We practiced teaching the Plan of Salvation again. We are doing everything we can to master our teaching here so that we can be the most effective in helping bring others unto the truth. And helping them to receive the restored gospel! I love it so much!

Then of course later in the week we had a wonderful thanksgiving. We had the chance to go over to our mission presidents home. We got to spend sometime with his whole family! They are such a great family and every time you are with them you just learn so much from them and there family. 

It was also nice to because while we were there we had some opportunities to discuss more about transfers. We have taken a lot of time this week with preparing for transfers. But it was such a nice day and a great chance to spend with there family.  

These were just some of the main things that we did! But something I really wanted to take some time to talk about is the new video the church has put out called He is the Gift. Many of you may be familiar with this already. But if not I would encourage you to look it up. The church is going big this Christmas with helping spread the true message of Christmas. 

  This last Easter the church also made a video called Because of Him. And that was a great success! There were about 4 million people who viewed the video. Now the reason I say this little fact is to set up this next statement. The church is estimating about 220 million to see the He is the Gift video. I may have already mentioned this in past emails also. 

But the Church has bought the mass header on youtube for the month of December. And it will start December 7th. And then the Church has bought video boards in Time square in New York City. And the video is such a great video! Here is the link for the video.  As you watch it please think of who you could share this with to help bring them joy this Christmas season. 

You can also find it by going to 

See it is such an amazing video! But to help spread this to as many people as we can, we as members need to share it. You may have noticed in your ensigns that they have packets of pass along cards for he is the gift. That is one simple way you are able to share it. You can also post it on Facebook, twitter, or any other social media way. 

I would just invite you to please just do your best to share it. I promise you that it will bring such a stronger spirit of Christ in your home this Christmas season! It will bring you and your families closer one with another as you unite in sharing it together.  This is the Lords work and this is just one more way we see that the Lord is hastening His work! I testify of that!

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

( here is a pic of the mission presidents fireside the week before. )