Thursday, January 22, 2015

The work is booming in Tomball!

Hey everyone! 

Things are going great in my new area! Elder DeLuca and I are back in business and we are going full on!  It is nice to be back and being able to proselytize full time again! I am going to miss having the opportunity to work with so many missionaries, but I am excited to be able to focus on my own zone again! 

And so far this week we have seen some great miracles! So like I have mentioned in previous email, we have been really focusing on finding new investigator from 6-8 pm. That time is set apart each day for finding. And coming in to the zone I had a goal of wanting to have each area be finding new investigators weekly! I hope that all the missionaries in my zone will be able to have plenty of teaching opportunities. 

So this week we had a lot of phone calls we were making discussing goals that have been set already, and following up on how they were doing and asking what things we could do to help! We have also been out almost every night talking with everyone in the neighborhoods that we go to to find. And this week we were able to get 3 new investigators, and even a couple of families that said we could come back. 

One family we got in with the husbands name was Bill, and we had knocked for about 2 hours with having little success in the area we were in. And then the very last house is when the Lord blessed us. We knocked and Bills wife answered the door and before we even said anything she invited us in to talk with her and Bill! The Lord truly does provide!  So after seeing these miracles we started sharing them with the zone. We have been trying to encourage and just get everyone as excited as we can! And it has been paying off. 

  Its been cool to see just his week even how the missionaries look at contacting at night differently. I love the example of Alma and his bretheren in Alma 26.  

27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills;

 Even though there are still people who are not excited when they have missionaries knocking on there door, the missionaries are doing everything they can to share the message and help bring others to Christ. With this and their increased faith we are all seeing miracles. This zone's average for finding in the past has been about 4-5 new investigators per week. This last week we got 18! So we are getting the ball rolling! I am just so happy and blessed to be apart of this great zone!  

Also this week we have been on the Tomball Lone Star campus trying to get LDSSA up on this campus. And so it was cool because on Wednesday they had a club fair day. So we went and were advertising for the club, and we and we had different people coming up to us and asking us questions! It was so great! So that is another thing that we are working on. We are also trying to use the campus as a way to find and help out these young adults! And then to finish this week we had a baptism! It was a great week! 

But yeah that has been our week so far! I wish I could have more time to share with yall the great things happening! But it will need to wait till next week! I hope all yall are doing well and keep praying for missionary opportunities I know the Lord will bless you with it! 
I hope yall have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Monday, January 12, 2015

Time for transfers!

 So I am getting transferred this week! And originally I was planning on being sent back to an area that I previously have served in. One where I was able to get to know the members really well and gain their trust. 

But as we met with our mission president on Wednesday to discuss transfers. We started off with a prayer so that the spirit could help guide us. And then after the prayer we dove right in and started discussing the thoughts we had of where people should go. Well about 10 mins in President Mortensen just looked over at me and said, " your going to a new area, I received revelation last night about where you need to be!" Immediately my stomach dropped with the surprise. I stood there waiting for him to tell me where my next assignment would be and then he smiled and said," I think I will let the boil with in you for a little bit! So he had me wait about 30 min until he told me where he would have me serve. After having me suffer he let me know where I was going. 

He asked me to go serve as a zone leader in our Klein 2 zone. I will be serving in the Tomball 2nd ward there. And it will be cool because I will get to serve with a companion that I actually trained. But after next transfer the Klein 1 and 2 zones will combine and I will be over that zone. And it will be the largest zone in the mission. So it is going to take some work but I am calm knowing that the Lord will bless me and strengthen me! I am excited to be back out and help out in a zone where I can work with more missionaries! It will be a great experience. But my new address will be:

Elder Joshua V. Christensen
1515 Rudel Dr. APT# 1207 
Tomball Tx, 77375

So that is the news for right now. But this last week we were able to see many miracles! We had two exchanges planned as well as conference for all of the YSA missionaries in the mission. So it was a busy but great week! 

It was Tuesday I was on an exchange in College Park. And we had the chance to teach one of of the people they were working with. They met Marissa on Lone Star campus, and then began teaching her. She had come to church a couple of times, and has loved learning. But she had some family and friends that found out she was learning from the missionaries. And they began to question her decision and so it started to bring up more questions about if she should be doing this or not. 

So we knew she had questions coming into the lesson. So we were prepared to answer that. She had questions about our beliefs on Heaven as well as Hell, as well as the kingdoms of glory. (being in the south it is very common to have questions like these.) So we went through and answered many other questions she had. She has a very sincere desire to learn. 

So we were able to teach her from Mathew 25, as well as we referenced Alma 40: 11-14.( In the Book of Mormon.)  Now these scriptures expound on the belief of Heaven and Hell. Alma 40: 11-14 helps us to understand this principle. I would invite you to read it and look for..
1. Where does our spirit go after our life here on earth. (Vs 11)
2. What is the state of the righteous, and where does that sound like to you. ( Vs 12)  
3. What is the state of the wicked, and where does that sound like. ( vs 13) 
4. And now look for how long they are in this state. ( vs 14) 

So while many believe Heaven and Hell are our final destinations, they are not. It is a state of mind that we are in while we are in the spirit world. So we taught this to Marissa and she understood it.  Then she had questions about the kingdoms of glory. She asked where in the bible do we learn about the kingdoms of glory. And so we took her to 1st CRN 15:40-42. We taught after the spirit world we are resurrected where our bodies and our spirits are brought back together never again to be separated. And then we will be judged according to our works and desires. Then we are judged into one of the kingdoms of glory. 

She asked if there were any other references. And so then the spirit brought back a scripture into my mind. It is 2nd CRN 12:2 Now as you read this look for what Paul was caught up to. Now can there be a 3rd Heaven with out a first or a second? Here Paul is seeing a vision of the kingdoms of glory. 

We testified so strongly to her that we know for our selves that this is true. "This is the plan God has prepared for all of his children to return home. And truly the goal is to get to the highest kingdom of Glory known as the Celestial Kingdom! That is where God wants us to be because that is the only place where we can live with God and our families forever! I want you to take a second and really think about that. Do you feel this is something that you desire?" 

I would invite you to ponder on the same question. Marissa then replied that this is what she wanted. And we began to teach the key to get there. In the new testament Christ teaches us the way to enter into the kingdom of God. In John 3:5 read and look for what Christ says we need to do to enter into the kingdom of God. 

Marissa read this and we asked that question. She replied back by saying she needed to be baptized. We told her she was exactly right! This is what Christ teaches us directly out of the Bible. We need to follow the example of Christ and be baptized to return home to him. Now this is just the key to open the gate that returns to Him. So we extended the invitation to her to prepare herself to be baptized the first week of February. And she was very nervous about it. She said she still had her concerns. 

Now if many of you can remember my email from the previous week where I talked about Peter and how he overcame his concerns. Now we went through this with Marissa. just as I explained it in the email last week. And after she felt the Spirit testify to her that it was true. She identified the winds in her life. She saw that here situation in "leaving the boat" of friends and family to follow Christ was more important. And it is for the reason of it is the way to return home to God! I know this to be true! And she felt it that day! So we had a powerful lesson with her and now she is ready and continuing to prepare herself for that day. 

 I again in closing just want to bear my testimony that God does have a plan for us. And he wants us to return home and live with him again. And not just us but our families. There is power and spirit that will come into your life as you focus on getting you and your families on the path returning to God! I know that to be true and I testify that it is the celestial kingdom God wants us to return home to because it is the place Heavenly Father has prepared for us to be with our families. 

I would just invite you to ponder on what you need to do now knowing this. What is the next step to prepare your self to return home and live with God someday? And think of who you can help out along the way! Again I know these things to be true. 

Well I hope y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

(Goodbye to some of the Ward members)

Monday, January 5, 2015

It is going to be a great year!

Sorry, Today we  were talking to our mission president for a couple hours about transfers, and we also went ice skating, and it took us longer to get back then we expected because of the traffic here! 

So we won't really be able to write along email! I am sorry about that! Next week I will catch you up on all of the details. But I will try to highlight the great things that happened this week! 

So we had MLC on Tuesday, and sad to say but it will be the last one that I will be teaching at! Not everyone knows yet, but I will be getting ready to go back out into the field! It will be a great experience to be fully out and really apply all of the wonderful things that I have been taught! I am so grateful for President Mortensen and for all the things I have learned! Now transfers are still a week away , but we have already discussed that I will be leaving the office. 

But we did a training on Fasting as well as a wonderful role play on Mathew 14. We really have been having alot of missionaries run into the concern that a investigator does not feel quite ready yet to make the decision to be baptized. And this is a very common and sincere concern. But now when we are teaching we have a tool to help them overcome concerns and feel at peace with their decision to be baptized. And what is great is this applies to so much more than just baptism. 
I would just invite you to go read this experience and think about these questions. 

Starting in vs 27-28 look for:
1. Who comes to the apostles and look in vs 28 for what peter desires of Christ. 
2. How does Christ respond to Peters desires?
3. How would you feel if you were in Peters shoes and the lord specifically invited you to come out to him! ( Remember that Peter is leaving the safety and comfort of the ship. Everything that he knew before to follow our savior!) 
4. How do you think Peter felt after Christ invited him to come?

So we know in vs 30 that Peter walks out on to the water. And we know that he begins to sink. 
5. So look for what causes Peter to sink, and how did peter feel?

6. What are the winds in your life that sometimes causes you to feel afraid or feel like you are sinking? 

When Peter was focussing on Christ he was walking upon the water. But when he took his sight of of Christ be became afraid. He saw the winds and he began to sink. I think that this is a very important principle that we see. And think about what someones natural reaction

​is when they are sinking. They reach out for help. I love this visual of Peter reaching out to Christ. 
7 Now look in vs 31 and see how Christ responds to Peters cry.

Christ responds immediately to Peter and grabs him. Christ will alway be there to lift us up! He will never let us fall! We do go through trials and pain sometimes to help us grow! And even during the time it happens we feel like we are sinking! It is very natural to feel that way and be hesitant to leave the boat. But as we follow the example of Peter we will be blessed. But remember Peter had to reach out also, so I would just invite you to think of what things you need to do in your life to reach out so Christ can help you. This may be more effect daily scripture study, personal prayer, and temple attendance. It may be serving others or having a positive attitude. Just ponder about what you can do and then have a hope in Christ that he will save you and help you! I know that to be true! 

This principle also applies in the work place or in school or what ever setting we are  in. Sometimes we have decisions that are placed in front of us that cause us to have to leave our comfort zone or "leave the boat". Maybe walking out of a movie or standing up for what you believe. I just know again as we put our trust in the lord we will not fail! He will lift us up and help us become better than we were! I would again just invite you to ponder how you can apply these principles in this upcoming year and they will help you to have an amazing year where you can grow your relationship with our savior Jesus Christ! I know that to be true and I testify of that! 

Sorry again this is so short but I will catch y'all up on everything next week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen