Monday, November 24, 2014

Find Him Through Our Eyes

and a cool sunset pic
Another challenging week. A lot of zeroes were seen on our daily totals and it has been pretty rough trying to get people to set up with us. Because of all of the meetings we had this week our finding time was really cut down on some of the more effective days. So it was a hard week and unlike last week, we didn't see the miracle of reaching the mission weekly minimum goal. But we aren't discouraged! 
This is Wayne , my friend
In fact, we had something happen that hasn't happened while I've been here, until yesterday. An investigator, George, came to Church! (We had previously thought he ran away, but he came back from the hospital). It was very exciting. Even more so because it was the Stake Conference which was pretty far from our area.
George lives in an old folks home and his story is pretty interesting. His family is back in America managing the business George started. He flew to China to start his restaurant there, but became ill and had to fly back to Taiwan. And he has been stuck here ever since. They won't let him leave but he still has hope. I don't know if you remember what little I said about him, but he has been taking the lessons for a while and is starting to really understand and believe in this wonderful message. Because he is old he can't walk too far and has no scooter or car, so we had some great member support in getting him to and from the meeting. We haven't yet met with him to discuss what he thought but we are going up to his house tomorrow. 

a beat up house that was cool
The meeting itself was uplifting and wonderful. It was our stake conference which is not too irregular but it was made special by the speakers. We heard from the Cantonese area 70 that spoke in conference twice this week. Once on Saturday and the other during that meeting. Both times were very uplifting and were good for the missionaries because he grilled the members on member work haha! He was very funny and spoke in English with a Mandarin translator because his English is better than his Mandarin. It was really funny. 
We also heard from President and Sister Day. They were both awesome! Sister Day shared her conversion story and also had a translator and President Day is still really good at Chinese so he did his whole talk in Chinese! It was very awesome and he helped us learn how to better use some of our tools as members and missionaries. It was a really good meeting. 

Me ridin a dino.
But sadly after that meeting our five scheduled lessons were all canceled and that goal we might have reached was sort of dashed against the rocks. So it was a hard day. The finding was really hard and not as productive as we would have hoped but we did get to meet with Guo DX. He is Zhang DX's main chef at his restaurant. (I don't expect you to keep up on all these names because I barely can.) He came out and asked if he could pray with us for his dad. He then said a wonderful prayer and showed a lot of faith. He is interesting because he rarely shows interest but he did yesterday and it was quite wonderful. 
dropped my name tag into their sewer system and an old man helped me lift the grate and it was nasty but I got it out.

A fun experience we had yesterday was with a man named Huang DX. We had never met or seen this man before but last night he came up to us and with more than a little alcohol on his breath he said " I do not want to live anymore." He told us over and over again how he doesn't want to live and how his family wouldn't care. We even called his family and they said they didn't care if he died. It was really sad. As he cried, I looked into his eyes and the sorrow and despair was almost overbearing. We shared the Plan of Salvation with him and told him that he is a child of God and that he is loved. He cried and cried. We talked with him for about an hour and then he said he had to go and walked away. We didn't know if we would see him again but this morning we saw him walking and waved him down. He is alive and well and as I looked into his eyes I could see the love of Christ. 
We find ourselves being tested each day. Those trials will drive us and drive us till we are at the breaking point. We will break under the pressure and we will be unable to resist falling. Unless we rely on Christ. Christ is the only way we can overcome trials. Through his grace Brother Huang lived another day and was able to see the sun again, and through his grace I have found the strength to rise each day and to find those who are falling. 
The pure love of Christ never will fail us. As I have been learning to rely on him, I have found this statement to be more and more true.
A question I have been asking myself recently is, what do people see when they look into my eyes? I don't yet know the answer but I know each day we should try to help others find Him through our own eyes.
Elder Christensen

Monday, November 17, 2014

the head and heart

This week was really hard. When I write in my journal you can tell I have had a hard day when the journal entry is really short. And this week's entries fit into about one paragraph. 
rain gear

Our numbers for lessons hit complete zeros for 3 days and others were quite low. I must say I was getting quite discouraged... I should not have been, because it lowered our effectiveness but I was pretty down some of those days. By Sunday we were only up to 7 lessons and, as you know, it is a mission goal to have a minimum of 12 lessons a week. Daxi is a hard area but we have usually been able to get up to at least the minimum of 12. We were pretty down because we had to get five lessons in one day and it wasn't looking too bright when no investigators showed up for Church. 
old people we played bachi ball with
Though one of our recent converts who is also fairly less active did come and stayed for Sacrament. So we were happy about that.  Another one of our recent converts, Liao Jiemei, is very active and even bore her testimony during Sacrament, which was really powerful and very moving. We were able to meet with her afterward and we taught the 4th lesson, so she is getting really close to being done with the after-baptism lessons. 
a grosss bathtub

Our ward mission leader came up to us after the lesson and asked if we could help with the choir. We were anxious to get finding because of our lack of lessons, but he promised us, as our mission leader, that if we stay and help we will be able to get the four more lessons we needed to reach our goal. So we stayed and sang for an hour, stopped by our house and grabbed food for dinner, and headed up to Daxi to start finding.
 We went to the park and a group of students surrounded us and were asking all kinds of questions about America. The girls all wanted to take pictures with us it was soo funny! We gave them the English class tract but didn't have a lesson. After a little while we weren't having much success so I thought we could visit our friend Xue Zhi. He has memorized the Chinese dictionary and can find any character in seconds. He is quite old, which usually warrants the Buddhist opposition, but he always welcomes us in. We were able to share a quick message about learning in the Church and our purpose and he prayed with us. This was a small miracle that it went so well but we still needed three more! 
a doner kebap
We ate our humble dinner of pears, guavas, and oats on a bench overlooking the valley of Daxi, and then decided to stop by Pan Dixiong's shop. Pan DX had recently returned to southern Taiwan, which was a heavy blow because he was one of our few investigators who was really progressing and not just in knowledge but in faith. As we rode past we looked in and HE WAS BACK!! We stopped quickly to make sure our eyes weren't deceiving us. he came out and told us to come back around 7! SO we left and went finding again. We met some cool people but no one who was very interested. Around 6:55 we started back towards Pan DX's. But right next to his shop a man was working on his car so we stopped and began to talk to him. His name Lu DX, and he is what some may call a golden investigator. He has definitely been prepared and it was very exciting for us to meet with him.
a cool shack
We talked about our beliefs for a little while then he said a very beautiful prayer and we said goodbye. We walked the ten steps into Pan DX's shop and he sat us down. In the past his boss has not been necessarily cold to us but she hasn't been very welcoming either. Today was very different. She brought us crackers and sat down with us to listen in. We began with a wonderful prayer by Pan DX and then switched off reading through Alma 26. Afterward, we each shared our favorite part and Pan DX bore his testimony. He said it was because of us that he was able to get this far and have this testimony. I would have loved to take credit but I know the spirit has been working with him for quite some time. He has heard, knows and believes each lesson but was never able to go to Church because of work. But when he returned he told his boss he would only work for her if he could get sundays off! We were very excited! We said a prayer and were on our way. We are hopeful that our lesson with Pan DX had an affect on his boss, who is a less-active in her own church. Every little thing matters. 
elder mcclellan when we were on exchanges

shaved ice! it is soo good, i got red beans and brown sugar balls and sweet and condensed milk on mine soo very good
So I have faith she will come to find the truth quite soon. Soon after leaving we ran into Chen Baba who's son is one of our other investigators. He mentioned that his Christian friend was at his shop and that we should stop by. SO of course we did! He (Ding DX) was there and we had a very powerful discussion with him. He is very active in praying and reading in the Bible. Elder Dexter shared an experience and he set up another time to meet. We are very excited to meet with him again and have faith that he has been prepared too. So we reached our goal, and what a miracle that was! This hard hard week ended very beautifully. I am very grateful for that experience. My head got in my way all week. When we let our faith and heart lead our actions we will be more open to revelation and we will be more prepared to find those who have been preparing for their whole lives.
My favorite Uchtdorf talk is " Is it I?" That is a question I ask myself every single day. It makes me think a lot about my choices and who I am. I was converted a while ago. I just didn't tell you too much about it. It was in the mtc. I wrote a talk on conversion just for myself. But that experience really tested me. I sat in class and just felt like dying. I felt so unworthy and similar to how adelide felt. But like she felt afterwards I was lifted up and now I am in the most wonderful place in the world doing the most wonderful things. Life is wonderful.
I am definitely converted every single day. Every kind person converts me again.  I have grown to appreciate kind people. Thank you for your letters I just got them. 

I love you,
Elder Christensen

P.S. thank you to Nana and Papa for sending me letters!! I just got two and loved them! Thank you also to Bishop Stewart for the ward updates, I love getting them! And especially thank you to Lillie Jane. I love your letters!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Hi Family!

I will talk about last P-Day as that is the source of most of my pictures. We were picked up by Elder Dexter's friends from a previous area. Raycong, Qiu Qiu, and Karen. They are awesome! We had a really good time. 

We went to a small town called Inge (een-gah) and looked at all their shops and stuff. We found this Ronald McDonald there and we took some very wonderful pictures with him. 

We headed back but it was a little late so we went straight to a lesson with one of our less active recent converts, Chen Jiemei, and they helped us teach her and they each shared their conversion stories with her and now she seems a little more eager to go to Church (but she still couldn't come this last Sunday). 

Raycong is my favorite, he talked to me the whole time and turned to me and told me his conversion story in English so I understood all of it. All of them come from families where they are the only member. He was worried that his mother would be angry if she knew he was baptized so he didn't tell her for a little over a year. When he did tell her she was sad because she said she would have wanted to attend his baptism. It made him really sad and he seemed pretty regretful. 

So immediately after he shared that with Chen JM, she told her mother that she was baptized (because she hadn't told her mother either). It was a really powerful message. They are awesome members. 

 This week was another challenging but amazing week. We had a lot of trials/ things that didn't go as planned, but also saw some pretty amazing miracles. We had seven lessons scheduled this week where we were stood up, but we took those 7 hours and went finding and met some cool people who were definitely prepared. 

Though most of those people don't reside in our area, we got their information and hopefully gave a few golden referrals away to other missionaries. As we walked through a park looking for people with hats as our finding method, we met one man named Dima who is native to Taiwan but has very good English. He is a tour-guide, which explains the English and for some unknown reason he was visiting Daxi this one day. 

He hates his job for a few reasons, number one being that because he travels so much he is unreliable, so all of the girls he has dated have broken up with him and he is getting older so he is wanting to get married. He said he is looking for happiness through church and has been exploring religion. We shared a message about the restored gospel and he prayed with us and took a Book of Mormon! 

That was one of the many miracles that makes it worth it. To find someone who is truly prepared and interested in hearing this wonderful message. My companion and I believe it was a miracle we ran into him but we aren't sure if he has been contacted yet. So fingers are crossed.

Early last week we ran into a woman in the grocery store and she had very good English so we gave her an English tract and invited her to our class. She said she would see and we thought nothing more of it. But then English class came around and she showed up! AND she brought a friend! 

Her name is Joe and her friend is named Sharon. They were very involved in the class and stayed the whole time! Even through the spiritual thought! But they left right after before we could catch them so we are hoping they come again. After class my companion split off and taught a recent convert named Liao Jiemei. She is so awesome and is really active. 

I got to see my beloved Perkins at a training meeting
While he taught I talked to a guy named Odin. He was baptized because a Mormon family once was very kind to him. So be charitable and love everyone. Never give up hope and always have faith, because your example and strength may bring others unto Christ. I love you, each and every one. 

Elder Christensen

p.s.WOAH JARED IS HOME!!! WOAH!! I love that guy. Tell him I love him
And ANDREW!!! Woah that was soo fast.. What the. How is he doing???????
DOUG didn't write me but I am short on time and I know he loves me so it is all good.
We have been fed twice! but ya compared to everynight like it was in Idaho.. it is not the same.
OH MY GOODNESS! IT IS ALMOST YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!! You are so old!! haha happy birthday mom. I won't get to write to you on your birthday but I love you so much and I hope you know that I know I wouldn't be out here without your example to me and all that you have done to raise me right.
I am doing super well and I will not stop doing that (srry not srry).
Love you and hope you enjoy my email.