Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 43!

Oh my goodness, this week was AMAZING! Sister Pyper is incredible! We work so well together! We are both so excited for this transfer. We know miracles are coming, we can feel it!

First piece of good news... We found out that ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is visiting our mission!!! He is coming in May to speak to all of us missionaries! WOOHOO!!! I can't wait! For those of you who don't know who Elder Holland is, here's a highlight from his most recent General Conference address about depression. He's the BEST!

One highlight from this week was the amazing lesson we had with our investigator, Henry! We taught him at a skate park. It was the greatest thing. We literally sat on top of the half-pipe and had a gospel discussion. Believe it or not, the Spirit was so strong! He committed himself to go to church every week and to read and pray every day! He also wants to get baptized! He is SO cool!

On Saturday, we had a dinner with the women at church before watching the General Women's Meeting at the church. The theme was uniting women worldwide, so there were globes EVERYWHERE! I was in Geography-major heaven! 

The sister on the far right is Sister Pyper, my beautiful new companion! 

Before Sister Carlson left, we made a rainbow cake from a mix my mom had sent me. It went... okay... Haha here's a picture of the end result.

Anywho, I hope you all are having the best week ever. I probably say that all the time, but I mean it! All of you are near and dear to my heart and I thank you so much for your support!

<3 Sister Christiansen

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 41!

This week was great! We had half-mission training which meant super inspirational messages from our mission leaders! We learned so much about living the gospel and becoming more like Christ. my favorite quote came from a missionary who goes home to Sweden this Wednesday. He said, "My life goal is to always emulate Jesus Christ. I think that is the best thing I can do with this probationary state." He also said, "Life is just too short to hate things, or people." I love that! It's so true! Words of wisdom.

We also learned this week that our mission president has met and used to work with MISTER ROGERS. It was exciting news.

This week we were also able to pick up a lot of new investigators which means we'll be busy busy busy in this next week! Busy is the BEST!

I have some terrible news, though. We have so much to do today that I have to go! But I will make up for this terribly short email and write more next week!

In the meantime, all of you should check out this story of a man and how the Book of Mormon changed his life. I know that book is true, and that it can bring us SO close to God. It's changed my life for the better, and it will continue to do so. Here's the video!

I hope you all have an amazing week! I have so much love for each and every one of you, and I know God loves you even more than that! Don't forget that! The prophet Thomas S. Monson said, "God's love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love - It is simply always there."

<3 Sister Christiansen

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 40!

Hi everyone! Some amazing things happened this week!

First of all, we had our Missionary Leadership Council this week. That is where all the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders in the mission meet together with President and Sister Hess and discuss the mission. Then we get a home-cooked meal at the mission home! It was wonderful! But here is the best part... My first two companions (Sister Probert and Sister Dixon) are both Sister Training Leaders right now! Sister Dixon is back at MSU and Sister Probert is at Western Michigan University. That means that WE REUNITED!!! All three of us were in the same place again for the first time since we got transferred! SO HAPPY!!
Sister Dixon is a Sister Training Leader even though she is still technically waiting for her visa to Brazil! Crazy! But she is one of the best missionaries I've ever met so I'm glad the mission realized how much they needed her in a leadership position. I love these ladies so much!

Second amazing thing that happened this week.... We have the COOLEST new investigator! So on Thursday Sister Carlson got sick so she napped for a few hours. While she was napping, I decided to go through the teaching records of old, former investigators that stopped meeting with the missionaries. I called about 20 of them and no one was interested in meeting up again. Then Sister Carlson woke up and we were getting ready to go to our dinner appointment, but I just felt like I needed to call one more person. I looked at the next name in the binder ("Josh") and gave him a call. He hadn't seen missionaries since he was 21 (four years ago) and he was SO excited to talk to us! In one short phone call, he explained to us his thoughts and beliefs which included gospel truths such as the Light of Christ (what the world calls a "conscience," ultimately), our spirits existing before and after this life, that he feels like prophets still exist, and that science and religion don't have to contradict...AHH!!!!!! It was so incredible! We scheduled a time to meet up and visited him on Saturday!

It was the BEST LESSON EVER. Josh has been studying physics his entire life, and it has given him this unshakable faith in God. It was the most mind-blowing lesson of my life. The whole lesson was basically "Josh-explains-his-thoughts/theories-in-scientific-terms-and-we-teach-him-what-we-call-the-exact-same-principle-in-gospel-terminology." SO AMAZING! We taught him the plan of salvation and laid out a diagram of it on the table. He paused, pointed at it, and said, "I believe this. I believe all of this." The Spirit was so strong! In the course of one lesson, he used scientific theories and facts to explain the existence of our spirits, the Light of Christ, his thoughts on the creation of the world, and why God is loving, not an "angry God." And they were all in perfect harmony with what the Church teaches! It just proves that TRUTH=TRUTH. He found truth one way, we got to the same conclusion another way, and now we can collaborate and learn from each other.

I want all of you to know that I KNOW this gospel is true without a doubt in my mind. I know it. I love it with all my heart. It's brought me incomprehensible joy, and I know it can do the same for anyone who applies its teachings to their life.

This video lays out the Plan of Salvation (what we taught Josh) in a really cool way and explains it brilliantly. Please watch it! It's really interesting!

I love you all a miss you! Have a great week!

<3 Sister Christiansen

Week 39!

Hi everybody! Quick updates from this marvelous week!

First of all, we have been going on exchanges like crazy! Exchanges are when we get to swap places with another sister missionary for a day or two. That way, Sister Carlson and I get to see how the sisters are doing and train them on anything they can improve. It is a lot of fun but also very exhausting. We had one last week and two back to back this week! It's really great being able to have that time to get to know the sisters better, though. It's been so wonderful!

This week we also had the opportunity to go to a club meeting on campus with the elders! The club is the Dogma-Free Society, and all the members are either atheists or agnostics. But they love us! And we love them! We do a lot with their club and want to start doing joint service projects. It's way fun. We had a discussion at their club meeting this week about morals and raising children. It was so friendly and respectful and a great experience. We all learned new things.

Everything is seriously so amazing at CMU and in Mt. Pleasant. The work is hastening! Sister Carlson and I have been trying to find ways to use Facebook more effectively, and this week we decided to post a question as a status and have members and non-members comment with their answers. The question we asked was "What makes you happy?" which fostered an incredible discussion! Here's a screenshot of the results!
30 other people commented and shared how the gospel, their family, and other things have brought happiness into their lives. It was a great discussion.

I hope you are all having the best week ever! I love you all!

<3 Sister Christiansen