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)

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