Friday, June 20, 2014

Week 54 in Michigan

Oh boy, it's been an amazing week!

Although, we did get some very sad news... Sister Pyper is getting transferred :( I will miss her so much! These last 3 months we've spent together have been some of the best three months of my mission! She's going to BYU though, so I know we will reunite!

We have had so much fun together. Last Monday we decided to take some weird-effect pictures on the Macs... yes I know, we felt like we were in middle school again. But it was so much fun! These sum up Sister Pyper and I pretty perfectly...
Moving right along, the work in Mt. Pleasant has been exploding! It will be sad to see Sister Pyper go, but she gets to come back for baptisms, and we have four scheduled this transfer! My new companion is called Sister Oswald, and I've heard she's amazing! I will meet her tomorrow. Woohoo!

Sister Pyper and I found a free Methodist church this week! We were so excited! Completely free! What a great deal!
 Okay, hardy har, I'll stop now. Thank you for continuing to read through all this craziness.

This week we hung out with a few new friends from India. They made us authentic Indian food and it was SO SPICY. I thought I had built up a spice tolerance, but it was just a tolerance for Americanized Indian food. This stuff was the real deal. I definitely enlisted some divine assistance to help me finish the plate. The problem was, one I finished, our host would immediately pile more on! I survived though. It was a delicious flavor, but also involved a lot of pain haha. I love being on such an international campus.

Oh boy, I just want all of you to know how happy I am to be out here on a mission. There's no place else I'd rather be. We meet the most incredible people each day. Being able to see the gospel transform their life is the most wonderful thing in the world. Mission life is the best life. 

Also, Happy Father's Day to my wonderful dad! During Sacrament meeting yesterday, the speaker was giving all these stories of amazing dads, and my companion leaned over and said, "Okay, but none of those dads taught their kids how to breath fire." She's right. I have the coolest dad. Sorry everyone, I win. Haha I love you so much, Dad!

I miss you all and hope you have the most wonderful week! Also, happy early birthday, Amber! 

<3 Sister Christiansen

Week 53 in Michigan, whee!

I love Mt. Pleasant!
It's been the most incredible week, as usual.

There is some sad news, though. President and Sister Hess go home this month :( So after MLC this week, I made sure to get a picture with them in the exact spot we had stood (exactly a year earlier, might I add) when I first arrived in Michigan and met them!
I will miss them so much!
This week was full of wonderful things, too! Like Half-Mission P-Day! This only happens once a year, but basically, half of the mission (about 100 missionaries) meets at a park and we play in the sun for 5 hours! It was awesome. Our half met in Mt. Pleasant so we didn't even have to drive far! The experience is best described with a series of pictures...

I reunited with my mom/trainer, Sister Probert! AND my daughter & grand-daughter, Sister Brems & Sister Rogers! Family reunion!
 Just like the great mom she is, Sister Probert pushed me on the swing!
 Then we held the first official meeting of the "Doctrine-Free Society," where we basically threw out obscure doctrinal questions and speculated about the answers for an hour and a half while everyone else was playing kickball... #noregrets. This is the Doctrine-Free Society. We plan to hold meetings post-mission at BYU, too... lol.
It was a great activity and a great week! The people we're teaching have all been doing so wonderfully! We have a few upcoming baptisms. We can't wait! 

Transfer calls are this Friday and I really really don't want to leave Mt. Pleasant! I'm praying I get to stay another transfer. I love it here and I love the people we're teaching so much! 

Our top investigators are Aki and Austin, and they are both people I totally would've hung out with before my mission. We all just feel like good friends, which helps so much in missionary work because then they feel more comfortable opening up to you. Those two are so great and I feel so blessed to have met them. They're the type of people that I always want to stay in contact with! Keep them in your prayers! I would greatly appreciate that :)

Thank you for your love and support. You all mean the world to me! 

Have an amazing week!
<3 Sister Christiansen

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Week 52 in Michigan!

This week was great!

We had stake conference this week and Elder Grant C. Bennett of the seventy came! He was so cool. He's from Boston and has lived such an awesome life. 

GET THIS. The week before stake conference, it was driving me CRAZY that I couldn't remember the name of this one major city in Israel. Geography-major-me was going insane trying to remember. We don't have Google, so I had no clue how I was going to do this. I know this sounds silly, but I prayed and asked God to help me remember the name of that city. But after I prayed, all I could remember was that the city's name started with a T. Nothing else! UNTIL Grant C. Bennett got up in stake conference a week later and said, "I just got back from Israel! I flew out of Tel Aviv this morning..."  TEL AVIV! It was a miracle! 

I went up to him afterwards and told him he had answered my silly prayer. He was like, "That's so funny, because as I was talking about Israel I was thinking, 'This has nothing to do with my topic. Why am I talking about this?'" But there was a purpose! The point of this story is to remind you all that God cares about the little things in life! He can answer any prayer :)

At stake conference, I also met a woman from Midland who has been reading my mission blog! It was so cool to meet her! Shout out to Barbara! She was so awesome!

One of out investigators has a ball python that he keeps in a tank with stop signs on top so it doesn't get out. I just thought that was hilarious.

Last thing! A new "I'm a Mormon" video has been released and it's about one of the MANY Mormons who work for Yo Gabba Gabba! This guy is the voice of Brobee and dances in the Plex suit! SO COOL! Here's the video. Hahaha

I hope you all see miracles this week! I love you all!

<3 Sister Christiansen

I'm sick of counting weeks! But it might make it easier to keep these in order. Dang it. WEEK 51!


1. WE MET ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND AND ELDER HALLSTROM AND SHOOK THEIR HANDS! Elder Holland looked into each one of our eyes and smiled and based what he talked about for 2 hours on what he felt we needed to hear after that. IT WAS AMAZING. We all left feeling so inspired. He especially talked about not reverting back after your mission to the person you used to be. He really wants us to hold onto the things we've learned and not fall back into old habits after the mission. Elder Holland is hilarious, and my favorite quote from the whole night was when he said:
      "If you go back to who you were before your mission, I'll shoot myself. I'll shoot myself! And we'll blame you. We'll put your name in the Church News." 
      It was so funny. He is a crack-up. At the end, he bore such a powerful testimony. At one point he said, "I have not given my life to following a cunningly-devised fable. This gospel is not a cunningly-devised fable. This is God's truth."
     I know that is true, and I want to echo his words. I didn't leave friends, family, concerts, work, and school to devote my life to a cunningly-devised fable. I know this is real. It's all real. It changes lives. I see it every single day. I'm here because it's all true. 

2. This week I also got to hold a letter that Ernest Hemingway himself loaded into a typewriter, filled with words, and hand-signed ("Hemmy") at the end! AHHH! Thank you, museum-worker, for letting me unlock the glass case and touch everything in the Hemingway collection!

3. I ALSO SAW MY FIRST AMISH FAMILY! They were in a horse-drawn buggy on one of the backroads and we drove past them! I've heard there are a lot of Amish communities out here, but I hadn't met anyone Amish yet. They seemed so lovely! I was in such admiration of their complete satisfaction with such a modest lifestyle. I wish I was more like that. OH! The horse also made eye contact with me as we drove by. AN AMISH HORSE LOOKED AT ME! HOORAY! 

4. We had a hilarious investigator come to church yesterday. He's from Detroit. We met him on Saturday and he said he'd come to church even though he's "kind of racist towards white people." He said it's just something he needs to work on, though. Haha it was a HILARIOUS Sunday. During the sacrament, where we take a small bite-sized piece of bread to remember Christ, he leaned over and said (after taking a piece of the bread), "I feel like a bird." I don't know why, but I just thought that was so funny. He's the coolest. He also taught us the secret handshake of the Detroit Community Basketball Team. We've made it. 

5. I also hit my one-year mark! What?! May 22nd was the day I entered the MTC last year. Bonkers! Life is crazy and moves way too fast. 

Sorry this email is so lengthy! I try to help fight reader's fatigue but with this email I know I have failed. Oh well, thank you for reading!

I love you all!

<3 Sister Christiansen