Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Emily sent the following email and pictures on Monday, October 6, 2014:

Hey family, 

Don't worry about writing to me too much and taking up time.  There is nothing I would rather do than read the things you've written to me.  I love it because I miss you a lot.  

I loved Conference very very much.  President Hall sent us an email telling us about the common themes that he saw in conference and...let me just say that that man has some really good organizational skills.  I'll paste some of his remarks later so you can read them.   

I also really liked Bednar and I think it was D. Todd Christopherson from the Saturday morning session.  He talked about justice and mercy.  I have thoughts on about every talk, but there isn't really any way for me to tell you all of them right now.  It is incredible that we can hear the words of latter day prophets.  

We had to take our car in because it got recalled.  We spent about 4/5 hours at the dealership and them they took us to get a rental car after they discovered an ...oil pan leak?  It was neat because the girl helping us had offered us to be driven wherever we would like so we could wait out the recall in a more comfortable place, but when I asked her if she had any female drivers and received the 'no' we resigned ourselves to wait it out in the dealership.  We met a man in the dealership who had served his mission in Venezuela.  It was neat to speak with him in spanish and see members even in the car dealership.  

Our helper at the chevy dealership found his only female driver from Enterprise to come and get us.  We met another member there that had served his mission in Guatemala.  

You'll never guess what I'm driving!  I told them to give me their most exciting rental and I left with a big black Silverado. :)

I accidentally left our keys in out little chevy cruz, so it has been an adventure getting into our apartment.  The manager is loaning us an extra key to our apartment, but getting into the complex is a little tricky and I don't have a mail key so I haven't been able to get mail.  Hopefully we are able to get our car back in the next few days.  

Our mission received the iPads.  They were going to give them to us on Wednesday, but then another mission that was given the iPads had some missionaries that decided to misuse them, so they have put us on hold while they decide what they want to do.  This is really sad because we were so close.  I know I'd said many times before that we were going to get them and then they never came, but this time it really was for real.  

We had MLC (mission leadership Council) on Wednesday.  I wish I could've had the perspective I felt in that meeting from the beginning of my mission.  The president spoke on a variety of topics that we wanted us to later present to our zones.  The president is very good at explaining the processes and context of everything that happens.  For instance, every transfer meeting, the president talks about callings and releases so that everyone understands that callings in our church don't work like promotions and it isn't a sign that you did something right.  Reciprocally, it also means that being released from a calling doesn't mean you did something wrong.  President Hall doesn't know why people are called, but the Lord does and he will call in the tool that he needs for the amount of time that he needs it.  He talked about the function of councils in the church and how once there is a council at any level (ward, stake, etc.) every member of the council is encouraged to have full expression of opinion and they speak for the whole, not just for their respective organization.  This means that the primary president doesn't have to keep quiet when they are talking about other matters in the ward and only gives input on matters concerning the primary.  Everyone on the council is a fully equal member.  That is part of the definition of the council and councils only work when they work like that.  That means that my voice isn't just the voice for the women, but that I can speak about our whole zone and our whole mission, not just the women sector.  President Hall is very good at being fair and just and showing everyone they are valued.  

We talked about Nefi and his bow, about the different reactions of laman and lemuel compared with nefi.  Nefi breaks his hi-tech nimbus 2000 steel bow and when Laman and Lemuel begin to murmur, Nefi gets some wood and does the best he can with what he has.  Then he goes to the prophet to ask for direction.  We also covered the mission training plan, working with members, and general conference.

We took all the messges back and planned a ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) and presented it on Friday.  I think we did a really good job at presenting the things that the president wanted covered, but incorporating the things I've been thinking would help out our area.  It's cool because usually sister training leaders are called to be companions of hermanas that are already sister training leaders, but Hna. Rodriguez and I both were called without previous time in this calling.  It's neat because this way we don't follow the traditions of our fathers.  It's just interesting how it worked out, and I think the president did it on purpose.  

Dad, I love hearing about the sports :)  I actually don't see many fans or much team wear.  

Hna. Avila got called as a sister training leader too.  I don't think this has every happened before that someone as young as she gets called to be over missionaries all older than she is.  She is in the burbank zone and I am still in ECR.  I got to see her at MLC and then I saw her at conference.  

Our mission got together and we got a special preview of "meet the mormons". I liked it, but I didn't like it as much as I was hoping to like it.  I know the church is really excited about it and they are hoping it will go really big.  Did you hear about the conference Bednar did a bit ago to members teaching them how to do online proselyting?  He said something like, "I exhort all of you to sweep the world with social media as with a flood"?  Something to that effect :)  We saw clippits of it between conference and I felt the magnitude.  We watched conference at the spanish stake center.  They have one chapel where it is all in spanish and one where it is all in English.  The Spanish people watch all of conference with voice overs.  There was an English voice over for the spanish speaker, which was sad.  I probably wouldn't get the message as powerfully if I were to watch it is Spanish, but I would be able to understand the talks because...gospel language..it's what we do.  

German and Francisca invited us over to their house to celebrate Erick's 12th birthday.  They are so excited to meet you!  They are some of the best people in the world.  Having them here helps me while I don't have you guys.  They feel like family and they are humble and precious and sweet.   They would be willing to do anything for me.  I invited them to come to our house over Christmas break.  :)  I would love to be able to treat them and let them eat food at our house for a change.  I don't think this could really happen because German only has the 24th and the 25th off of work and Francisca only has the 25th, but I extended the invitation.  I even offered to call his boss to ask for special permission for him to get work off ;)  And then I volunteered you, Dad, to call his boss and ask for him to have work off ;)  They could come and go through a session at the Salt Lake Temple with you and me and Heidi <3  I can't think of anything cooler.  They would love to hear you, mom, play the piano and have us have a nativity program.  

We dropped Carmen because she wouldn't come to general conference.  The battle is real.  

This is President Hall's summary of conference:

Always follow the prophet and don’t get distracted, but strengthen your testimony through personal revelation.  

Always follow the prophet
• Elder Lynn G. Robbins: "Which way do you face?" 
• Elder Eduardo Gavarret: "Yes, Lord, I will follow Thee" 
• Elder Russell M. Nelson: "Sustaining the prophets" 
• Sister Carol F. McConkie: "Live according to the words of the prophets" 

Don’t get distracted
• Elder Dallin H. Oaks: "Loving and living with differences" 
• Elder Quentin L. Cook: "Choose wisely" 
• Elder M. Russell Ballard: "Stay in the boat and hold on!" 
• Elder Larry S. Kacher: "Trifle not with sacred things" 

Strengthen your testimony through personal revelation
• President Boyd K. Packer: "The reason for our hope" 
• President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "Receiving a testimony of light and truth" 
• Elder Jorg Klebingat: "Approaching the throne of God with confidence" 
• Elder L. Tom Perry: "Finding lasting peace and building eternal families" 
• Elder Craig C. Christensen: "I know of these things of myself" 
• President Henry B. Eyring: "Continuing revelation" 
• Elder Robert D. Hales: "Eternal life — to know our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ" 
• Elder Richard G. Scott: "Make the exercise of faith your first priority" 

I'll send you some pictures. :)

Love you, 
Hermana Christensen

Emily wrote, "Starting from the left, we have Edilberto, me, Oscar, and Teodoro.  Edilberto loves me.  He told me on Sunday that I was Peter's hand.  This is a reference from the last general conference.  There was a talk about how we don't just invite people, but then we reach out our hand to lift them.  He told me I was this hand for him when he needed it.  He told me he had something for me from Mexico and excitedly led me toward his car where he revealed: Teodoro!  Back from Mexico!  And Oscar too!  Oscar told me I was an Angel.  He got baptized after I left Arleta, but I found him and taught him his first lessons and didn't give up on him even when he disappeared to Nicaragua.  Soon after meeting Oscar the first time, we found him walking alone Van Nuys and in my excitement to see him, Oscar took me by a lot of surprise and nearly kissed my cheek in greeting.  
These are members of the Roque family at General conference.  The two boys you see on your right are Yoni y David.  David is on the end.  I couldn't believe that they came to conference!!  It might just be time to go back and see if they are ready to read in the Book of Mormon :)  Hope.

Proof that the iPads arrived

Zone Training Meeting

Erick's 12th birthday party  (L-R: Hna Rodriguez, Emily, Francisca, Erick, & 2 other sisters)

General Conference

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