Monday, June 24, 2013


I love it here. Okay, are you ready for this?
BRUCE IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! Can you believe we met him on my first day here?! He has been prepared and is so elect. He's incredible. His testimony is so strong and we couldn't be more excited for him. Expect pictures from the baptism next week!!!
This week was a week full of new languages. We learned so much from our investigators about where they're from and their different languages (we only taught ONE American this week!). I learned how to say stuff in Chinese, Swedish, Kurdish, Portuguese, Luganda, and more!

I'm learning so much mentally, but I'm also learning so much spiritually! I can feel myself being stretched every single day which is awesome because that is how I know I am growing. I realized this week that deciding to go on a mission was the best decision of my life thus far. I absolutely love it!
One of the random highlights on my week is that on Thursday, we saw the first fireflies of the season!!! I had never seen fireflies before! I still don't understand them. They are so magical. I caught three and kept them in a jar for a while before letting them go. It was awesome!
We also met an interesting guy while Sister Dixon and I were on exchanges in Williamston. He is a pentecostal pastor and he has had a crazy life! He has been stabbed multiple times and shot 5 times! He showed us the scars on his stomach and the bullet holes in his back! Crazy!!! He talked to us a little bit about how he used to be a part of the Native American tradition, and his name was "Two Bears" and he was a warrior. He was also in a biker gang and dealt drugs. Then he became a Mormon for a while and "got clean"! What?! Haha but then when he divorced his wife (who was the one who introduced him to the church), he stopped going and decided to become a pentecostal pastor instead. He was really funny and also a little crazy. I liked him.

We meet the most interesting people here! We meet with people from a ton of different religious backgrounds. Last week we had lessons with a Hindu man from India, a Muslim man from Saudi Arabia, and a Chinese man who had never heard of God - all in one day! It's awesome being here and getting a taste of the world. All in East Lansing, Michigan - who'da thought?!
I love this work and all that it teaches me. I used to be worried about balancing optimism and realism on the mission, but I am realizing that being optimistic IS realistic on a mission. God is capable of incredible miracles, we just have to have the faith that He will deliver. This is His work and if anyone wants us to be successful missionaries, it's Him! I love and miss you all! Thanks for your continued support as I'm away on this mission. I hope you all have an awesome week!
<3 Sister Christiansen

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Wow, this week has been incredible. We have seen so many miracles. They're just piling up!

Bruce is the guy from Shanghai we met on my first day here. Since then, he has been to church twice and meets with us regularly. He LOVES the Book of Mormon, and every time he comes to church he's like, "I am just so happy here!" We love him. And he has a baptismal date! Can you believe it? Last night we met with him and did some reading together from the Book of Mormon. That's when we asked him if he'd want to get baptized in a few weeks. He said he wants to think about it, which is what we like to hear because then it means they're taking the decision seriously! It's a big commitment that we don't ever want anyone to rush into. Then, at the end of our lesson, he said a prayer. His English is very good but he's still working on it. It's amazing to hear him pray though. He said, "I feel very nervous and excited about my baptism date, but I am already feeling that this is true. I know that this church can help anyone, and when I read the Book of Mormon, I feel like I am holding a torch in my hand and am walking through the darkness." We were all tearing up by the end of his prayer! The Spirit was so strong, and we were so happy to know that the Book of Mormon has been giving him guidance in his life. It truly is the word of God, no doubt about it.

We also had some pretty hilarious/awesome experiences this week. On Friday, we taught a woman from Burma who lives in downtown Lansing. On the way there (we got a ride from a member), we looked out the window of the car at just the right moment and saw three people in huge, papier mache planet costumes crossing the street! Earth, Mars, and Saturn! It was the greatest thing! Every time I think about it, I smile. (Side note - to anyone who's seen "Angus," it was JUST like Georgia's olive costume...hahaha!)

ALSO I SAW A CAT WHILE DOOR-KNOCKING. This one guy had a cat with long, white and grey fur and BIG BLUE EYES. She was so fluffy and adorable. He wants to meet with us again. YES!
I'm learning more about my companions each day and I love them so much. Sis. Probert is basically Amanda Bynes. Like, "She's the Man" Amanda Bynes, not 2013 Amanda Bynes. I don't know how else to describe her. Haha she is SO GREAT. We are always laughing and singing and joking with each other (when we're not teaching or studying, of course!). 
Sister Dixon is SO. AWESOME. She met Nicolas Cage once at Disneyland!!! Hahaha and she is teaching us Portuguese. It's so fun! Also, I just found out that Sister Dixon told her family to look up my Danish TV show, so for Family Home Evening, they found it and watched it. WHAT! Haha. Apparently they watched the episode where I got eliminated, so they all wanted to tell me that they're so sorry and that they hope I get to go back to Denmark one day. I can't stop laughing.

Happy belated Father's Day, Dad! And happy early birthday, Amber!!! I love you both!

Hope you all have an amazing week! I am loving Michigan so much. I never want to leave MSU! 
I love you all!

<3 Sister Christiansen

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I. Love. Michigan.

I got assigned to my first area and I am serving on the MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS!!! I am totally in love with the area. There is SO MUCH diversity! I've been here for 5 days and I've already taught people from China, Iraq, Myanmar (Burma), Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Korea, and more! I am loving this. 

I am in a trio companionship because one girl is waiting for her visa so she'll be serving here until she goes to Sao Paulo, Brazil! We are SO HAPPY she's here though. Her name is Sister Dixon and she is amazing. Our trainer (the experienced companion) is Sister Probert. She's from Oregon and has the most amazing spirit. She is SO STRONG in the gospel and is such a great example to us. I'll attach a picture of us three at the end of the email. 

We don't have a car because we literally live across the street from campus, and that's where we do most of our work. But all the other sisters in the mission have full-time cars, so when I change areas (probably in about 6 months), I will definitely have a car! You stay in your first area the longest because you have 12 weeks of a training program with your trainer and then my trainer, Sis. Probert, will probably get transferred (she's been in this one area since January!) and Sis. Dixon will probably be in Brazil, meaning I will be the one left to train the new missionaries! I would be SO HAPPY to stay here that long! Like I said, I am madly in love with the area and these people. 

There are trees EVERYWHERE here! Surrounding the campus there are just these beautiful, tall, bright green trees making this awesome forest. It's like, Sacred Grove status. It's incredible.

Okay, I have to tell you about one of the guys we're teaching lessons about the church to. His name is Rooney and he's from Iraq (well, Kurdistan, because he REALLY doesn't like the rest of Iraq apparently). He works for the US military as a Kurdish and Arabic translator. He's had a rough life and has some crazy war stories. But he is HILARIOUS. He just says the funniest things. Like yesterday, I texted him asking if 6 would be a good time for a lesson, and he just responded, "6 looks like 9 but just upside down." LOL WHAT? We love him. 
Rooney also works in a gas station, and his biggest pet peeve is people coming in and asking him why the gas prices are so high. He'll usually just be like, "I don't know! I'm not Obama!" But yesterday, one lady was yelling to him about it and he got really mad. When he was telling us the story, he was like "You girls know about "NOT" jokes, right?" and we were like, "Uh, yeah....?" I guess when the lady was yelling at him, he looked at her and was just like "I hope the gas price will go down." And she quieted down and was saying "thank you" or something, when he just cut her off and was like "NOT!" Hahaha we couldn't stop laughing when he told us the story.

Oh and then there's Yasir! He's also from Iraq, but not the Kurdish region. He's been coming to church and is so hilarious. On Friday, the missionaries teach a Book of Mormon class and that was the first time I met Yasir. I was in the middle of talking about something and all of a sudden he raises his hand, and in his awesome, thick accent goes, "Are you from England or something?" When I said no, he was like, "Then why do you remind me of Harry Potter?" Haha what?! He is so hilarious. I think it was because I was wearing a collared shirt with a sweater over it that kind of looked like a Hogwarts uniform. but it was still so unexpected and funny when he said it. 
At Book of Mormon, he bore his testimony and said that he knows this is the true church. He was like "I always wondered, where are the people who love like Jesus? And then I met the Mormons and now I know." It was so sweet!!! We love him.

The last guy I want to talk to you about is Bruce! We knocked on his door on mine and Sister Dixon's first day in the area! Right after I knocked on his door, his neighbor in the apartment complex opened HER door. Sister Probert and Sister Dixon left to go talk to her, but then Bruce opened the door! I was by myself on his doorstep! But I just started talking to him and it was so great! He accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and has been reading it. He came to a lesson and the ward BBQ on Saturday and loved it. He came to church yesterday, too! He's making lots of friends. He's from Shanghai, so we gave him a Chinese copy of the Book of Mormon, too, and he's been reading that! He is our miracle.

Sorry this has been so long! I love my area but I have no pictures of anyone from home to put on the wall above my desk! If any of you are bored, feel free to write me/send me pictures! Wow, I am so demanding. I'm sorry. Like I said, don't feel obligated, but also feel obligated. My apartment address is:
Sister Carly Christiansen
4912 S. Hagadorn #103
East Lansing, MI 48823

That one will go directly to my apartment! I miss you all and love hearing from you! Hopefully you'll all have a good week!

Love you all!
<3 Sister Christiansen

P.S. The picture is me and my companions! It goes Sister Dixon, Sister Probert, then me! I was exhausted that day. Ignore the dark circles. BUT AREN'T MY COMPANIONS GORGEOUS? I love them!

Friday, June 7, 2013


Hi everyone!
First off...
Remember that lady Lawanna who screamed at us for 30 minutes? The one we were teaching? Well we went back, even though we were terrified, and had the greatest experience ever! She opened up to us about her drug-addicted mom, growing up in foster care, and her battle with cancer. By the end of the lesson we were all in tears! She told us that she really wants a relationship with God, so we taught her about how prayer is very personal and how she can talk to God whenever she wants. She told us she would pray and listen for answers/look for God's hand in her life. She also shared with us her strong testimony of the Bible and we learned so much from her. Later, she told us she's been happier since praying, and that made US happy! After the first lesson, we were about to cry because we were terrified to go back, but after our second lesson with her, we were crying because we didn't want to leave! We were able to experience God's love for her. We felt it. It was incredible.
I almost forgot. There's a tree here that smells like vanilla.
I eat so much here. The cafeteria is just full of wonder. Our district always sits together at a table. The other day, we did this thing where Elder Gregory would call a random missionary over to our table and ask them their name. As soon as the Elder or Sister would say their name, our entire table would stand up and in unison say "Welcome, Elder ____" or whatever their name was. Then we'd clink our glasses and toast them haha. It was hilarious.
I saw Cassie Coltrin! My suitemate from freshman year! We got to see each other a few times actually! It's been great. She can't wait to serve in Vegas! I also see Brother and Sister Skidmore (my seminary teacher) all the time! They can't wait to serve in Zambia!

Can you believe I leave tomorrow for Michigan?! We have to be to the shuttle by 4am! My address in Michigan (for at least a while... I'll update it later if it changes but they'll still forward stuff to me) is:
Sister Carly Christiansen
1400 Abbott Rd. Suite 310
East Lansing, MI 48823
Write me letters! They make my day! ...But don't feel obligated... JUST KIDDING, FEEL OBLIGATED!
I'm out of time, but I just want everyone to know that I love them and miss them! I can't wait to be in Michigan! I'll update everyone next Monday! I'll be able to email every Monday starting next week!
<3 Sister Christiansen

PS I saw Erika Mahterian in the MTC!


Hi everybody!
Turns out while I'm in the MTC, my email days are Tuesdays. But after June 5th, they'll be Mondays for my whole mission! I will be in Michigan starting June 5th. I can't wait!
The MTC is so rad. One of the first people I saw when I arrived was Elder Austin Allan! We were both in a hurry but he still bowed to me and said something in Korean! We see each other around a lot! It's great having that connection to home here!
My companion is incredible. Her name is Sis. Manchester and she is the sweetest person. She is SO STRONG in the gospel and isn't afraid to tell you her beliefs! She's a great example to me. Also, once she cried while watching Ellen. Actually, that happened a few times. How awesome is that?
Our classes are amazing. BROTHER AARON BLATTER FROM MY HIGH SCHOOL IS ONE OF MY TEACHERS! We have about 6 hours of class per day and about 5 hours of personal or companion study in between. The food is delicious. I eat like 3 entrees at each meal. Plus dessert. I wake up at freakin 5:30am every day AND I DON'T EVEN MIND! It's insane! I actually get excited to wake up. What's up with that?! We go to sleep at 10:30 every night. The first morning here, not only was I up on time, but I was also the first girl in the showers! WOOOO! I love the schedule here. What. Yeah, I don't understand.
I AM ALWAYS EXHAUSTED AND HAPPY HERE. IT'S THE CRAZIEST THING! I love it so much. I am learning at such an accelerated rate. The Spirit is so strong here. It guides everything we do. I feel like the Spirit has left like, only twice in the last 6 days. Other than that, we can always feel its influence. We are so blessed with safety and knowledge and guidance... EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It's overwhelming and amazing. I have been so stretched and as a result am growing more than I thought was possible.
We got to go to the temple this morning and it was incredible. On Sunday also, we walked to the temple as a district and just enjoyed the grounds and took pictures. I'll attach them here!
Oh I got a calling! I'm the Sister Training Leader which is basically the title for a Zone Leader but we focus on uplifting and helping all the sister missionaries. The day I reported to the MTC, 350 elders reported also, but 375 SISTERS ARRIVED!!! WE ROCK!!!
We've been practicing teaching. Our first investigator is on his third lesson with us but his testimony is so strong and he wants to get baptized! He's been reading scriptures and going to church and praying. He's so happy which makes US so happy! Our SECOND investigator is from the south and screamed at us for 30 minutes! It was terrifying. Her name is Lawanna. She's awesome. We got a second appointment because we held strong to our beliefs and that impressed her, so we're going back Wednesday!

Now time for funny stories!!!

There's a dude here from Zimbabwe who used to watch international television. Yesterday, he came up to me and was like "I FINALLY FIGURED OUT WHERE I'VE SEEN YOUR FACE BEFORE." Apparently he recognized me from the homepage of the site where he watches all his international TV. Now every time we see each other we say "ALT FOR DANMARK!"
One day, I was super exhausted, and kept almost falling asleep in class. Luckily, Elder Gregory, one of the elders in my district, had this watch on that kept reflecting light into my eyes and waking me up. Elder Gregory is hilarious. He thinks I'm insane though.
I have an MTC bucket list! So far I've crossed off "Eat three dinners in one sitting at the cafeteria," "Actually enjoy working out" (<-- THANKS TO MY AWESOME 4-SQUARE SKILLS), "Write a 5-page journal entry," "See Elder Allan," "Go to the temple," "Experience a testimony that brings me to tears" (okay we cry like, every day here, out of joy, stress, excitement, love, the Spirit, EVERYTHING),  "Read 5 chapter in Mormons Bog (the Danish Book of Mormon) without translation help," "Sing in the shower," and "Learn to bear my testimony in another language." It's so radical here. Everything is amazing. SORRY THIS IS SO LONG.
What it comes down to is... This place is incredible. I am so happy and learning SO much. I miss you all! See you soon!
<3 Sister Christiansen
P.S. THIS IS OUR DISTRICT! We're all going to Lansing! My companion is just to the right of me. I love her. I love them all!