Friday, September 26, 2014

We received a letter from Emily on September 20, 2014.  She had written it earlier in the week.

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Heidi y Peter!

I love you guys so much!

We had a wonderful night tonight!   First we had a lesson with Octavio.  We tried so hard to find a member to come with us, but after many phone calls, we just had to go member-less. 

Octavio.  42 years old.  Male.  Humble, smart, gentle, kinda reminds me of Peter.  We arrived and called him and he let us in the complex.  We told him we were going to try to get the member that lives in his complex to come with us too.  He waited at his house for us while we didn’t find her, called more members and prayed for help.  After the prayer we were feeling pretty confident that something would fall into place.  We invited the lady just getting home if she would like to hear a spiritual message we were about to share with her neighbor and she almost agreed.  In the end we just taught him at his door.  It was such a wonderful lesson. :)  He read the foyetto we left with him...all of it.  He even tried explaining it to his wife even though she is less open (mas duro) to things like this.  He was almost apologizing when he was telling us he wanted to come to church, but he needed to take it slowly with his wife because she didn’t understand why he wanted to meet with us.  Keep in mind, this is our second lesson with Octavio.  He than tells us that in order for him to know if all he read in the foyetto is true, he has to read the Book of Mormon.  Wednesday, he intently ready Moroni’s promise and he agreed to pray.

Rebeca.  We stopped by her on the way home.  Rebeca has been one of our favorites for a long time.  With our luck she should have her baby this Sunday.  We stopped by after giving her a little break so she could miss us.  She was overjoyed to see us on her porch again.  We were warmly and excitedly welcomed in.  She was there with her husband Julio, and we just laughed with them and left them with a prayer and a commitment to have a family prayer nightly.  Jessenia is the member we picked to be her friend and today Jessenia drove her to her doctor’s appointment.  They are genuinely friends.  It’s perfect because they both have fire in them so they can find each other exciting.  I’ll send you a picture of Rebeca.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

I’m beat.  The heat is killing us slowly.  We found Mariade los Angeles for the first time in 2 weeks (since we found her).  She is back from Mexico and recovering at her house. 

Today we met the neatest Persian man.  He was looking for an apartment along Saticoy and Mason where we were crossing.  He is a modern-day pilgrim.  He felt undeniable feelings that God lived, which caused him and his family to be persecuted in Persia.  He fled to Turkey so he could have religious freedom.  His son is currently in a Persian jail because of his beliefs.  Ali told us that he was still looking for the truth about God.

Ali is too smart to be thrown off or diverted from his desire to learn about God.  He petitioned us for the difference between “Mormons” and the other religions.  He kept saying, “this is the same, this is the same,” until se told him God called another profet named Joseph Smith and his eyes lighted up as he exclaimed, “this is different.”  He latched onto the picture and wouldn’t let us get through the First Vision because he insisted on being told exactly who the 2 personages were.  Upon being answered, he exclaimed, “Oh yes, I know!”  He had a dream about receiving an answer like that from God. 

Upon hearing about the Book of Mormon, he wanted it in his hands while the magnitude of the book rushed over him like waves.  “Give it to me”...  I suppose it was a request, but it was not very negotiable.  I wish people would stand up for their salvation like Ali did.  You had to witness it, but it was like a child discovering a treasure or unraveling a mystery and having too much uncompromisable desire to even be able to hide the anxiety.  I would call it the best contact of my mission.

Bezos y abrazos, Hna. Christensen

p.s.  Hna. Avila thinks I should go by “Harper” when I return to the real world.
p.p.s.  We get transfer calls this Saturday  xoxo

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We received the following email from Emily on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014:

Dear Familia,

Hna. Avila and I are still together.  We have transfers in about 2 weeks....AHHHH!  One of us will stay in the area, one of us will leave.  

German and Francisca are going to start taking the temple classes.  

I prepared a lot for my talk last Sunday and I think I did a good job.  I was amazed to see that God could take a girl that didn't know Spanish, and after a year have her give a talk in very understandable Spanish.  I definitely can feel that he is the one behind all that I do.  

Teodoro took an unexpected trip to Mexico.  

Adrian is getting married this month!  I should give you his phone number so you can call him!  I really love him.  I wrote him this week and asked him if he'd like to meet you when you come.  

I think driving home together will be really fun :)

Our district is working really hard.  We have a lot of quality investigators, but getting people to actually come to church is like pulling out their teeth.   Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't have to push them as much as I do.  

I experienced desanimo and frustration this week after our investigators didn't come to church.  I recovered though :)

We have brought back a bunch of menos activos.  

We had some finding miracles.  Maria de Los Angeles and her husband Constantino were just waiting for missionaries to knock on their door.  The only way we even made it to their house is because we set a contacting goal and I was determined to die of thirst and sweat into a puddle before we were going to surrender.  We got further and further into this neighborhood following our hispanic sensors.  Maria has a Book of Mormon that was given to her by her cousin.  It seems like he did a wonderful job gently planting seeds so that we could find them.  We had them find their Book of Mormon so we could teach them about what it was.  They felt the spirit and both ended up crying.  They said that if it was true, they would want to be members of the true church.  She wanted us to pray for her because she was going into surgery the next day.  She was still recovering Sunday from her surgery, but she is a very tender woman and she feels like she should already be a member of the church.  
besos y brazos, 

Friday, September 5, 2014

We received the following letter from Emily on Monday, September 1, 2014:

Hey familia!

How are you doing? :)

I feel like I never have even 2 seconds to myself and sometimes that is really hard for me.  We are having Elder Larisen (70) come to visit our mission pretty soon.  We are all supposed to be preparing a short talk on how to be a more consecrated missionary.  Also, I am giving a 15 minute talk this Sunday on Christlike attributes.

This is good news:  tomorrow we have our a quick every-other-transfer interviews with the president and I have everything ready for the ecclesiastical endorsement.  It’s weird to me how this option sort of came out of the blue.  It feels a lot to me like I am re-living my deciding to go to SUU.  The idea came...  would never really be an option...  but then we open that path as a possibility and then once open it presents a more tempting option and you feel the spark of excitement.

Yoni y David
They are the cutest boys, but they are not progressing.  We can’t even get them to pray out loud.  They are so shy it is painful.  It is so sad, but I think we will just have one last lesson with them and then hope missionaries find them in the future.
I was hoping to sell my bike but instead someone is borrowing it because theirs broke.  Maybe she’ll want to just buy it because the one she was using before is really old and mine is still nice.

Anyway, I love you!  I’ll talk to you soon!  Love, Emma