Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 38! What!!

This week was incredible! Our investigator Josh got baptized! He is 11 years old, and just a couple weeks ago, his mom was baptized, too! They are so great! Here is a picture of us!

Also, the girl next to me is my AMAZING companion, Sister Carlson! I love her SO MUCH, as I have probably already shared. She is the greatest!

I have very very limited time to write today, unfortunately, but I do need to include one story...
Yesterday, the greatest thing ever happened during sacrament meeting. The announcements had already been made, but the bishop paused and whispered something to his counselors, who looked up towards the ceiling as he spoke. The whole congregation was confused as to why the service had been put on pause. Then the bishop went back up to the microphone and explained the situation...

"Not to alarm anyone," he said, "but there is a bat in the light at the back of the chapel..."

The chapel has these HUGE hanging, domed lamps, and sure enough, as the whole congregation whipped there heads around, we could see the distinct outline of a small little bat flitting around in the dome! The glass was too slick for him to climb out, so he was just hanging out in there! The whole congregation just started busting up laughing. It was the most unexpected announcement the bishop could have made! 

When the laughing died down, the bishop went on and said, "Well, moving right along to the sacrament!" which started another round of laughter!

It was so absurd and unexpected. After church, we helped some men get a HUGE ladder up in the chapel, and one man picked up the bat with a glove and put it in the bag to take it to a safer place. It was just so odd and hilarious.

Sorry I can't write more, but know that I love and miss you all! Here's my Facebook thought of the week!
Have a fantastic week!

<3 Sister Christiansen

Week 37! I am in LOVE with Mt. Pleasant!

Okay quick correction... Last week I meant it's been a good 6 MONTHS in Holt, not 6 weeks. Oops.

Moving right along...  I AM IN MT. PLEASANT! I am typing this email on the computers in the beautiful library at Central Michigan University! I love being back on campus! People are so open minded and ELECT! 

Being a Sister Training Leader is new but exciting. The biggest change right now for me is that we use FACEBOOK. What?! The leaders in this mission get to use Facebook to find and teach people in their areas. So I have a missionary Facebook! So crazy! I obviously can't add or look up anyone from home. I thought that would be tempting, but it's actually just not at all. Facebook has actually become one of our most effective tools here! You can teach multiple lessons at one through chat, and people open up so much more online! You can link them to videos that help teach the message, and you can add their friends and find more people to teach! It has been so helpful! The other day we taught 5 lessons in 3 hours! It's so cool!

There are so many fantastic things about Mt. Pleasant and Central Michigan University. I don't even know where to begin. Just know that everything is SO GREAT, as usual! The life of a missionary really is the best. Blessings always come when we are sharing the gospel. They come to us as missionaries and they can come to anyone else who strives to bring others closer to Christ!

My companion is Sister Carlson and she is the absolute greatest. We are already the best of friends. I will attach a picture of us here next week! 

Overall, I love it here. I know this is exactly where the Lord wants me, and I can't wait to serve the people here! 

Attached below is a thought I shared on my Facebook this week - I know that this gospel makes us so happy!
Love you and miss you all! 

<3 Sister Christiansen

Week 36! Transfers

As if the subject line didn't give it away, we got our transfer calls this week and I am going to be leaving Holt. :( I will miss Holt so much but we did have one of the best weekends ever. It was a good way to end the transfer. We had two baptisms! The first one was ASHER!!! Our 9-year-old investigator! His dad is the one who has a signed Shepard Fairey print and is from San Francisco! Here is their family on the day of Asher's baptism! I LOVE THEM! Asher is in the orange shirt.

Quick funny story about Asher... in the baptismal interview questions, they ask you if you've ever committed a serious crime, and when our district leader was interviewing Asher, he adjusted the questions to better suit a 9 year old. He asked, "Asher, have you ever done anything really bad?" Asher just got really quiet then goes, "Well... this one time... I was at a sewage plant... And I found a frog on a leaf, and, well... I lit it on fire. I don't think it died but I know it was probably hurt a lot." I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. He is such a funny kid.

THEN.... BILL GOT BAPTIZED! It was such an incredible experience. He's the one who just got married! The Spirit was so strong. I couldn't stop crying when he got baptized! I could just feel how proud of Bill Heavenly Father was. I love Bill! Here we are after the baptismal service!

Oh wait, so now for the TRANSFER NEWS! I am going to Mt. Pleasant! I will be serving on CMU campus! I've been asked to go up there to be a Sister Training Leader, which is basically just the girl version of a zone leader. I'll be training the sister missionaries in the Midland zone which is exciting and also terrifying! I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve, though. I know I will learn a lot.

My new address is:
1617 Flynn Ln. Apt. B
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

YAY! I am excited to serve in Mt. Pleasant but will miss Sister Brems SO MUCH. She is training a new missionary though, which means I'm a grandma! Woohoo! She's going to do great things!
This is our district! I will miss them all! They are bonkers.

In our mission, the missionaries sign their desk's once they leave an area. I got to sign mine this week! IMMORTALIZED. Haha

Well, it's been a truly incredible 6 weeks in Holt. I wouldn't trade it for anything! Now onto a new adventure in Mt. Pleasant! I arrive tomorrow. Wish me luck!

<3 Sister Christiansen

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 35!!

Hi all! We had a wonderful week but we also have a lot of errands to do today so I can't email for long.
The highlight of this week was church yesterday! Three of our investigators came and it was wonderful. Then something SO GREAT happened. I still sit up front with Brother Hunter who's Deaf because I help sign interpret for him. Well, yesterday during the part of church where anyone could get up and share their testimony (what they know to be true), Brother Hunter went up! He brought Brother Peterson up with him, who is the other interpreter in the ward. Brother Hunter signed a powerful testimony while Brother Peterson dictated it into the microphone. It was so wonderful! He told his conversion story, then explained that he had become inactive for many years, until the missionaries came by. It was funny because while he was signing the story, he pointed right at me and Sister Brems sitting in the congregation! He joked about how we gave him the extra push he needed. He had the whole congregation laughing throughout his stories. Everyone loves him so much. I never want to leave Holt!
On that note, however, transfer calls are this Friday :( I think I'm leaving because I've been in this area for 6 months and most people don't stay in one area longer than that. I know anything can happen, though. I know wherever I end up is exactly where the Lord needs me, so that is comforting! I will let you all know next week what happens!
I have one quick spiritual thought I wanted to share. Our mission president shared this story in a stake missionary meeting this week. He served his mission in the northeastern states, and got to a point where he was very discouraged. He hadn't baptized anyone yet, and was worried he was a bad missionary. He had an interview with his mission president (who was Boyd K. Packer!), and told his mission president all the work he had been doing, asking if there was more he was supposed to do to have more success. The response President Packer gave was, "Elder Hess, you're doing all the right things, you just haven't been doing them long enough."
I think that is such a great principle. We don't always receive blessings for obeying the commandments immediately, but as long as we are diligent, they always come. You are all such great examples to me. Always keep working hard and God will bless you!
Now in closing, I'd like to share a wonderful video that the Mormon Newsroom released. It gives a great introduction to and summary of the Mormon Church. Whether you're a member or not, will each of you watch this brief video? To learn more about the basic beliefs of the church, you can also go to
Here's the video!
I love you all!
<3 Sister Christiansen

Week 34 of serving the Lord

It was such a WONDERFUL WEEK!!!
We started having more lessons at the church building, which always invites the Spirit so strongly! This week, we watched "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" with an investigator, and then afterwards the investigator received a priesthood blessing (because she's had a migraine for 2 weeks and even constant Imitrex dosages hasn't been helping her).
The Spirit was SO STRONG. Afterward we asked her to say the closing prayer and she was pretty hesitant. But Brother Dale (the member who gave her the blessing) told her to just speak from her heart to her Heavenly Father. She prayed so sincerely and it literally brought everyone to tears! It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.
She came to church this Sunday and said that since that day, her migraine has been gone and hasn't returned! Miracles happen all the time today! We are so grateful to be able to witness them so frequently!
Later, we had another lesson at the church with the family who hasn't come to church in over 20 years. It was their kids' first time in the church. Talk about POWERFUL. Afterwards, we watched the shorter Restoration video and had a discussion about the blessings of the gospel. We asked the family what questions they had for us.
Brother Hatfield, the dad, just paused and asked, "Why did you knock on our door?" We told them the truth - that we had been going through our ward directory and didn't recognize who the Hatfields were. We both felt the strong impression to stop by, and that's when we knocked on their door. Brother Hatfield responded and said, "That's interesting. I was just curious, because a couple months earlier, we had started talking about the possibility of going back to church. I guess sometimes you just need a little extra kick to get there."
It was so awesome to be able to be instruments in the Lord's hands for their family! We started expressing our love for their family, and telling them how grateful WE are that we got to meet them. All of a sudden, Sister Hatfield just started crying. She tearfully said, "My heart is just so full right now." It was a powerful moment. The Spirit was so present. The kids want to come to church and be baptized. Brenden, their 13 year old son, was crying as well. It was so precious. They are the greatest family!
The family came to church yesterday, and said they'll be back next week. Miracles! All is well in Holt, Michigan :)
Sorry I can't write more, but I just wanted to let you all know that I know without a doubt that any person who applies the teachings of this gospel into their life will become better for it. I can say that with absolute conviction. That is why I am a missionary. I know that as we live God's commandments, it will always bring an increase of happiness, and that's why we're here! Humans exist "that they might have joy"! I know that is true. I love you all.
<3 Sister Christiansen

Week 33!

Okay, I have to write quick because we only have limited time today! We didn't get to write yesterday because the library was closed for MLK day, but that's okay!
We had some awesome experiences and funny stories this week.
First of all, our investigator Dessiree (who we taught while she was in labor) has been progressing so much! She prays all the time now, and has seen it help her in all aspects of her life. This week, she told us the greatest story ever... Basically, she was playing a Toy Story 3 video game with her 6 year old daughter, Vinnie. They had been trying to get past one point in the game ALL DAY, and so finally, she looked to the heavens and said, "Dear Heavenly Father, PLEASE help me get through this level!" They tried one more time, and in the words of Dessiree, "I kid you not... we beat the level." When they passed, Vinnie looked over at Dessiree with wide eyes, shocked, and said, "It worked." Haha it was so awesome. God even cares about those little moments in our lives!
We also had an awesome lesson with a family that hasn't been to church in over 20 years! Their kids have never been inside a Mormon church. We've been teaching them, though, and this week we invited them to come back to church. The father paused, then said, "You know, we've been going to another church, but I don't feel the Spirit there. I've felt the Spirit here tonight." Then his wife said, "Me too." It was SO POWERFUL. They decided to pray as a family and ask if it's time to go back to church. Woohoo!!!
We also had another miracle this week! We have been dropping by this woman's house a lot in the last few weeks but she's never home! This week, we parked outside her house and prayed so hard that she'd be home! We were like, "Heavenly Father, please help Rosemary to be home. We REALLY want to meet with her and share this message with her!" We closed our prayer, and right as we said "amen," a car pulled into her driveway! She was home! She got out of her car and came straight up to our van because she recognized it as "her missionary's van!" It was such a tender mercy!
Before I close, I want you all to know of the love and appreciation I have for my Savior and for His sacrifice. I am here today because I have a loving Heavenly Father who has guided me throughout my life. He wants to guide each of us. His purpose, His entire work, is to bring us eternal happiness. How incredible is that?! I know that following God's plan will bring us happiness in this life and in the life to come. "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual."
I love you all!
<3 Sister Christiansen