Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Emily sent us the following email on Monday, June 23, 2014:

Hello, hello, hello!

First of all, Mom, Dad, Skibby!  Your conversation counters are the coolest things ever!!  You are the best M16 gadget team that anyone could ever ask for!

This week we were out walking through neighborhoods and we walked past a Buddhist temple.  Apparently there were 100 different monks that had traveled there for a 10 day stay where they were going to be praying constantly.  The head monk never came out of the main room.  Lots of other monks were there basically on 24/7 food duty cooking all sorts of Vietnamese food to feed to the monks.  We walked past and talked to one of the helpers and she filled us in on the going-ons.  We were leaving and this delightful little Asian woman got me to come and eat some of the food prepared for the king of the monks. I love how food is always the universal way to show love! <3

Oh precious Soila got baptized!  It's actually spelled Zoila.  She has been so excited about her baptism for a very long time!!  She was like a child on Christmas.  She was all smiles, she bounced into the church and kept clapping her hands together because she couldn't hold the excitement in!  Soila has a pretty amazing story because she was the referral of a menos active.  Lillian and I have a love-frustration relationship (of course) because she is a menos and church attendance has become my passion.  Soila can't read, but when she works really hard she can force herself to sound words out.  She started reading in the Book of Mormon.  It was painful to work through a verse with her.  Each word came at a cost.  Soila strained her mind to be able to read the words so she could get through a verse most days.  When we started teaching her, she didn't really know how to pray and was very nervous and uncomfortable with praying.  Soila gained so much confidence and experienced the joy of being able to accomplish something beyond her abilities.  She is reading in the Book of Mormon.  Her reading amount is humble, but her efforts and her faith are so pure and so great. 

When Soila had changed into her baptismal whites and was sitting there, I saw little tears appear in her eyes.  She has understood the impact of a baptism and desired to feel completely clean for long time.  It was sweet to see such a humble woman get to enjoy the blessings of the restored gospel.  That is the impact of the first vision in all of our lives.  Because God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, Soila could make the covenant of baptism with Heavenly Father.  She can feel clean and light. 

Yesterday at the baptism, Hna. Hardy and I sang Divina Luz.  The whole time I watched Soila because there wouldn't have been any other way I could've done it.  She wouldn't look me back in the eyes because her eyes were starting to get teary and I knew she knew that if she looked at me she would cry.  It was so sweet. 

Then after the baptism when she left the font soaking wet, she gave me a big hug in the bathroom and started crying and praising Heavenly Father.  It was the neatest experience to witness. 

Are you guys watching the world cup?  Everyone here loves it! 

Teodoro was at church yesterday and he seems to be doing great!  I don't see him as much, but I am able to visit him whenever I want to :)

The president is a great man.  Transfers are coming in about 1.5 weeks.  I am anticipating leaving the area. It won't be real unless I get a phone call.  I will be able to tell you guys next week if I am going or staying!  Ah!

There are so many good people here in the mission that I love so much!  Many of them are members and many or them are missionaries.  There is an incredible force of missionaries going and doing.  I am constantly touched by the quality of people around whom I get to serve.  It is a privilege to get to have them in my thoughts and in my prayers.  You guys are also in my prayers.  Thanks for everything!

Love, Agent Christensen ;)

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