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!

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