Monday, March 28, 2016

3/28/2016: Week 28 - Easter Week

Happy Easter!

I spent Easter with the P family. They have five kids. FIVE. So it felt like we were a part of the family but also left me feeling a little homesick. We ate lunch all together, and then the wife brought out chocolate Easter eggs, brigadeiro, and little chocolate balls for dessert. We were all eating as the husband tried to open the package of chocolate balls, when *POOF* the entire pack exploded all over the room. The husband, who has a really serious face, just shrugged, picked up a handful of them and yelled "WAR" and began pelting them at us and at his kids hahaha. The kids then joined in, all throwing them at their dad, and one landed in his mouth, and he just ate it and continued the war. Then the wife joined in, threw one at her husband, and it went up his nose. The war stopped after that.

I also gave a talk in church this week! I am not going to say that it went well, but I will say that I have now given a speech, in Portuguese, in front of a bunch of Brasilieros. 

We also visited with another less active member this week, and she told us that she had been praying for help when two angels (Sister S and I) showed up on her front porch. It's always good to hear that you are an answer to someone's prayer. 

I also ate more cow tongue.

And last, but definitely not least, we were talking to R about the commandments the other day, and Sister S pretty much laid them all down in about two minutes, while challenging her to baptism, which she accepted! It was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever been in. When we were leaving, I got out of the car and almost yelled at her to give me her coffee. She then went into the house, got all the coffee, and handed it over to me. So Sister S and I took some victory photos with the coffee before throwing it triumphantly into the trash.

Sister Christensen

Bye Bye Coffee!

Monday, March 21, 2016

3/21/2016: Week 27 - My Companion the Pack Mule

Hello Everyone!

This week was a little rough because I hurt my back (curse you messenger bag). I stayed home one day and have been recuperating. Thanks to my wonderful companion, I am feeling much better! This whole week she has been carrying the things of two people. And she does it so happily! I haven't heard her complain about it once. She just loads up the bag and we go to work, singing and playing as usual. She reminded me a lot of Christ. Sometimes, we are unable to carry our own bags. We can't do it ourselves. We need someone willing to take our burdens from us. Christ has already paid the price. We just need to let go and give our bag to Christ. We do our part, and he will handle the rest.

Easter is coming up, and I just want to share my testimony of Christ. I know that He lives. He paid the price for our sins, and because of him, we have hope in this life. We have hope that things will get better. We have hope that we can become better. We can leave behind all of our pain and our worries if we just trust in Him and His atoning sacrifice. Christ loves us. It is because of His love for us that he died, it is because of His love for us that he lives again.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!

Sister Christensen

Monday, March 14, 2016

3/14/2016: Week 26 - English Classes and Miracles

Hello all!

This week was really great. It started great, it ended great, and there was a lot of greatness in between. 

First of all, Sister S and I had the opportunity to do a service project in a school. We basically went there, and spoke with students who are currently trying to learn English. We walked into each classroom and introduced ourselves to them in English. The teacher would then ask if anyone understood, and the class would then collectively reply "No...", which is probably good considering that my English is a little iffy right now, and I definitely wasn't speaking very correctly. Then when they learned that we spoke Portuguese, the entire room started to yell and ask us a million questions about the US, English, and what we liked about Brasil. We were basically celebrities. It was pretty cool.

We also had a division this week, and I worked with Sister Q. We were knocking on doors, and we found a man who has been taking care of his wife for five years. She has stayed in the same bed, not talking, not moving, just breathing and opening and closing her eyes, for five years. He told us that he needed someone to help him take care of her, and asked if we knew anyone who was in need of a job. We took down his information and left with a prayer. The next day Sister S and I went to visit a less active member who had recently moved there, and who we knew was searching for a job. We told her about the opportunity, and she got so happy. She told us that she had been praying for a job when we showed up, and she then told us that she would go to church every single week once she had the money to do so. 

We also met a new investigator named B. His wife is an inactive member, and so we had a lesson with them about the Book of Mormon. We explained what it was, and its importance, and then asked him if he was willing to read and pray about it. He responded, "Look... I am going to be really honest with you..." (and at this point we got a little sad because we know how the rest of that sentence usually goes) "... but I am looking for a church." We almost didn't believe that he said that! So then we invited him to church the next day, and he accepted.

At church the next day, we saw B, R, and E. Our class was HUGE! There were 9 people in the class (a mix of less actives and investigators) just from the efforts of Sister S and I this week. We have worked crazily hard to help these people, and it is wonderful to see the fruits of our labors.

Sister Christensen

Monday, March 7, 2016

3/7/2016: Week 25 - Six Month Mark!

Hello everyone! 

I have officially hit the six month mark! Only one year left and I will be home enjoying the snow and peanut butter.

This week was crazy and a little bit stressful. We had so many things to do and so little time! I got a CPF number here (so I am basically a Brazilian now), and it rained...A LOT!. 

I also got to thinking this week about the work I have done here. While we have been struggling to baptize in this area, we have reactivated a lot of members, including one really neat family. We are currently helping the father overcome some addictions and stay firm in the church so that he will be able to receive the priesthood and baptize his son. The family then will set goals so that they can be sealed together in the temple for all time and eternity. :) It has been truly amazing to watch them grow. You can see how the light of Christ changes people, families, and relationships. 

As missionaries, we also hear a lot of excuses from people about why they can't talk to us, like "I am cleaning the house" or "maybe some other day, if God would want it". But my favorite happened the other day when one man, full of piercings in one ear came out and said the following, before we had even introduced ourselves: "I can't... because I am moving the TV... and he is coming... so its a little... tight." I don't know who was coming or why he was moving the TV, but we left him in peace because three excuses in one has to be a new record! 

Sister Christensen