Monday, April 25, 2016

The Lord is there to guide the way if we let him!

Wow okay! So this week has been crazy!!! Lots of good learning experiences!!! First of all my companions found out I was ticklish.... NOOOO hahaha oh man, its so funny!!!! And we almost died by like all kinds of dogs on Tuesday... but don´t worry everybody! I am alive and breathing!!! 

But really I saw a lot of miracles and I am learning more how to listen to the spirit! Which is like the COOLEST THING EVER!!!!! We were contacting and I initiated contacts with a lady named B., who is the sweetest grandma you would ever meet, and she received us and we have had two lessons with her, and she read the pamphlet we gave her and tried to look up the scriptures and everything! So we invited her to church this week but it was her birthday and she had tons of family at her house so we called her and sang her happy birthday in English yesterday!!! AWWW I LOVE HER!!!! You don’t understand!!! And her granddaughter M. drew a picture of us!! So cute!!! But it was amazing because I really was led to her, and man, if there´s one thing I have learned on my mission so far, it´s that the Lord prepares people, and he prepares the way to find them! We just have to listen for the spirit to guide us! IT’S SO COOL!!!!! 

I am so lucky to be in Machali!! First of all since it has rained so much and it’s getting cold, I can see snow on top of the mountains!!!! WOOOO I love it!!! I just want to go to the mountains so bad though!!
But I am also so lucky to be with my Hermanas, and I am learning so much from them!!! I want to be just like Hermana Al-Malki someday!!!! We got to have a heart to heart this week and man, she is so amazing!!!! Man I just feel like I am so little but I am learning so much! Every single day!!! And the Spanish is coming!!! I made a goal to read the Book of Mormon in two months... in Spanish... which is 11 pages a day... which is SO HARD but it has already helped me SO MUCH!!! With Spanish too! This week I really helped contribute to the lessons and extend invitations, and start them! I am finally learning how to be a real missionary!!! And I feel like I can almost understand everything!!! But man I have a long way to go! Baby steps!!! 

Another fun thing this week was our giant plan of salvation we presented to P.  (my best friend, she is an investigator of the other hermanas) and she told her parents she is getting baptized in two weeks! And she is amazing!!! She has such a strong testimony and is sharing it with EVERYONE!!!! I love that girl! 

I just want to say before I leave, this work is so incredibly inspired! I cannot do this without Christ´s help!! I am SO grateful for the chance to be here and learn, and I have learned I absolutely cannot do this alone! And truly, the Lord is there to guide the way if we let him! We’ve just got to open our eyes and see the miracles in our lives because I promise they´re there!!!!! And we are God´s hands to bring about miracles in other people´s lives!

"God provides the means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings." Mosiah 8:18

 I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!! Have the best week EVER EVER EVER!!!! And go change someone´s life, okay? :) 

Much love, 
Hermana Christensen 

Monday, April 18, 2016


SO MUCH FUN!!!! This week I had the reunion de Nuevos and I got to see Hermana Hilburn!!!!
It was the sweetest reunion ever!!! I love her so much! And it was so fun to see everyone after 6 weeks apart!!! They are all doing so good! District 7 going strong!!! 

And also..... ROBERTO GOT BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!! AHHHHHH WHAT A MIRACLE!!!! It was one of the most stressful and exciting days of my life!!! So when it rains in Chile.... it RAINS man!!! This morning it finally cleared up but before that it has been raining for five days straight!!! And not just raining... I mean dumping buckets!!!! Seriously! So what happened was on Saturday we go to clean the church and the font is full of cold, dirty rain water... because they shut off the water!!! But sweet Roberto didn´t care, he was getting baptized either way!!! He was so happy! And I am so happy for him! But the work has just begun! We are going to continue to work with him to teach him all the lessons again and get him attending and a calling in Machali. The baptism turned out so nicely! After members started showing up a half hour late... but they came! And his parents came all the way up from Concepcion! But he was so happy! It was an amazing sight to see him so happy and excited!!! And he announced to everyone him and Roc. (his girlfriend) plan to get married in the Temple!!!! AHHHH SOOO CUTE!!!!! I love them!!! So yeah. That was absolutely incredible!!!! 

Yes! Cambios did happen! But I´m staying in Machali with Hermana Darley and Hermana Cook and Hermana Al Malki are staying with us in our house too!!! Miracles man!!!! I am so happy we are all staying!! We have SO much fun!!!
But yeah! Machali life is amazing!!! Especially in the rain because I LOVE the rain!!! I jump in puddles and sing hymns at the top of my lungs and laugh when people answer the doors and say "vayase por su casa!" because they think we are crazy to be out in the weather! Seriously Chilenos are allergic to rain! They cancel school because of rain!! haha but this rain was crazy!! All the streets were rivers! And we got hosed by the buses passing by many times!! :) And PS it’s funner when you scream when you get splashed!!!! 

Yup!!! This week has been full of learning, miracles, and reunions with my CCM companions! I really really really am loving the mission! And I feel like I am learning so much about the gospel and just how amazing it is! I can´t imagine what my life would be like if I didn´t come on a mission!! I am so happy to be staying with Hermana Darley! I am learning so much from her, she is an absolutely incredible missionary!!! This week we found a bunch of nuevos!! First of all the Papa de M. He has recently started listening in on the lessons and participating.  We invited both of them to baptism again, but again, they want a testimony and to be sure of themselves and the church before they commit to a date! But they are learning and progressing well! We just need to get her to church! She committed this week but then called and said her water was shut off so she couldn’t shower... she´s just scared to come to church! But she promised next week! So we are going to hold her too that! Other nuevos we found are J. and S. They both speak perfect English and want us to teach them in English! We had one lesson with them but we really are staring from the basics because they don´t believe in God. They are both young too, so we always need members with us! But N. and Sof. are our last nuevos. N. is the mom of Sof., and she works all day every day because she is separated from her husband. But we had a really amazing lesson with her last night! She has explored lots of different churches but hasn´t been baptized in any of them because she feels like baptism in a huge decision, it’s really important, but she knows she has to do it. She has so much faith and prays morning and night, and throughout the day! We invited her to baptism, and said, “Well, if you ask God, and get an answer that these things are true and you should be baptized, will you do it? “And she was like of course! Why would I not if he gives me an answer! And it was amazing!!! She really has something special! And her daughter too! The spirit was so strong in that lesson, and even though I can only bear a simple testimony, I bore it with all my heart, and I felt so full of love for her! I just want her to find the joy of the gospel! She said she is still waiting for like that click, when she knows which church is right, but she hasn´t found it yet, and I just wanted to scream, you can find it! We have it! But I didn´t... but I testified and it was a miracle lesson! And I learned bearing your testimony, ALWAYS makes you feel better! And brings the spirit!!! I love this gospel so much! It’s just so true it’s insane!!! I know that God is aware of his children and he prepares the way for them to receive the gospel when they are ready! I just hope N. can figure it out! But we are here to help her! 

Oh and I forgot to mention... the other week this guy stopped us in the street, took our picture for his little web page thing, but wait... turns out it wasn´t some little web page! IT WAS LIKE THE REAL LIVE NEWS!!!! Ha-ha so there’s a beautiful picture of us soaked in the rain with no makeup that EVERYONE has seen!!!! All of Machali! Seriously all the members have seen it and shared it on Facebook! And every person we talk to mentions it! Ha-ha oh man too good! Its fine guys! I’m a celeb in Machali practically! ;) Just kidding but its hilarious!!! 

Well that´s about it for this week! But just so you all know, this gospel is so true!!!! One thing I have learned this week is the best way to feel better is to share your testimony. Seriously. And we ALWAYS have the spirit with us to guide us! And oh how I have taken advantage of that great gift in the past but it is so real! This gospel is amazing and it changes lives! It really does. I have no doubt in my mind that this is the true church on this earth! I love it so much! And I can´t wait to share its hopeful message with others this cambio! I love you all! I´m always praying for you!!!! Remember, the church is true, the book is blue, and most important, GOD LOVES YOU!!!! 

All the love in this little Chilean´s heart, 

Hermana Christensen :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

A bike crash, getting in the news, and an upcoming baptism!

Hey Everyone!  So this week Ashley didn’t have time to write, but she send a copy of her journal pages, so I typed up what she wrote there!

4/5  Monday was a great P-day!  We played soccer with our zone and it was so fun!  I scored like 4 goals!  My little soccer background is paying off!  Haha!  That, and the majority of our zone are gringos!  And it doesn’t matter how good you are because we just laugh!  And I can do that!  Just about everyone we talk to says how young I look, or that I look like a doll, or they pinch my cheeks or touch my nose!  It’s so funny!

4/6 Yesterday, miracle, P. got home just as we went to visit her so we got to teach her!  And she is awesome!  She has such a strong testimony of Christ!  It’s amazing!  Me and her were laughing so hard over silly little things!  She knows so much!  I hope she can accept the gospel because I think it would be so good for her!  We left a Book of Mormon with her.  But apparently she’s a little mixed up with maybe some witchcraft....It’s weird.  Machali means land of witches!  But, we’ll see!

We did service this morning.  I love Elder Merias y Cabanay!  They are so funny and I can finally understand them better so I actually get their jokes now!  Haha!  The Machali Ward missionaries are getting along great.  So much fun!  I love it here!  It’s getting cold because it’s fall now!  We really need to find more people so PRAY HARD!  I’m working hard!  I love this place!  Oh, also last night Hermana Al-Malki short-sheeted all of our beds as a late April Fool’s joke—SO FUNNY! 

I love divisions!  Today I had them with Hermana Cook!  We had an AMAZING lesson with an investigator.  He is AWESOME!  And it was the first time I taught Lesson 3.  It was awesome!  And I shared an awesome scripture and left him a chapter to read!  Man, he is amazing!  And we had a lesson with P. The lesson went in a totally different direction but it was awesome and we all felt the spirit!  Even P. said she did when we talked about miracles! 

Today was our first rain!  And my coat is BOMB!  And we look sick on our bikes with trench coats, neon construction vests, helmets AND hoods.  So sweet.  The sun poked out for a GLORIOUS sunset!  I swear it was like the 2nd Coming!  Seriously!  It was a glorious day!

4/7  Yesterday was one of the strangest days of my mission!  We had a GREAT zone meeting!  And I learned a TON!  So that rocked!  But we didn’t do much proselyting because we had to plan Roberto’s baptism!  So we did!  And then we went to work!  But this guy stopped us and took our picture for his community web page thing and basically interviewed us!  And then… we were heading back to our area and…. I had MY FIRST FALL!  Yes, it’s true.  I thought I was invincible, but clearly I’m not!  Haha!  It was probably funny to watch!  I tried to get back on the sidewalk, and there’s that little edge and my bike decided to keep going forward…but my body decided to dive onto the cobblestone!  Haha!  It was so funny!  Scrapes and bruises, no mas!  And a nice man helped me get my chain back on!  Mini milagro, for sure! J  So we went back to the house early because I looked like a bloody and bike-greasy zombie!  But it was so funny! 
And last night I had a dream AGAIN where I got home from my mission and I didn’t remember/learn ANYTHING!  In my dream I was like, Okay, I know this is a dream, so I tried to wake up, but in my dream I woke up at home and I was like, NOOOO!  It was SO REAL, but it’s like Scrooge!  I have a second chance!  Thank heavens! 

Today has been AWESOME!  I went on exchanges with Hermana Fowers!  I love her!  And I had my first real sopapilla today!  And I’m seeing little sopapilla stands popping up everywhere as we are entering invierno!  There are like little scones!  SO GOOD!  But I’m going to get fat.  Dang.  But today was awesome and we taught two whole lessons without natives!  BOOYAH! And it was a miracle because I got to see C. again.  Oh, I love her!  And little Emilia.  She came over and sat in front of my Jesus picture and just stared at it.  And man.  She knows Him, I know it!  It was such a sweet moment!  I loved it!  We got to serve C. and clean up a little bit!  Anything to ease her burdens.  She has so many right now. 

4/9 Yesterday I was with Hermana Giraldo. She only has 2 more weeks than me in the mission, but she is Colombiana.  We went and saw Hermana L.!  And we had such a spiritual lesson. She told us all about her husband and how he died and it was so moving because we testified of eternal families and that she can see him again.  She was so happy that she started crying!  And she wants to do temple work for her ancestors!  It was so good!  She is such a good lady!  And said, “Every time I feel alone, the missionaries always show up!”  Ah, I love her!  I hope she comes to church on Sunday!

And FREAKIN’ HERMANA GIRALDO KNOWS AUSTIN BAKER!  Like what?!  And he took the picture of her family that she brought on her mission and she showed me!  Ahhh!  Crazy!  I have been asking everyone from Columbia what part they are from because Austin told me there was a hermana that was going to my same mission around the same time.  So I asked her what part and she said like 5 hours from Medellin, so I was like, Oh yeah, I have a friend there!  And she asked me what his name was and I said, Elder Baker, and she was like, Baker…Baker… Ya!  I know him!  And I was like, WHAT?!  Yeah!  Really!  He was on splits one day and they went to her house and then she said she was going to the Chile Rancagua Mission and he was like Wait!  I have a friend going there!  Ya, weird.  She also saw him at a conference and he took a picture of her family and that happens to be the only pic she has with her!  Ah, so cool!  The world is so small!  So I showed her some of my friend pictures that he’s in and it’s him! So we took a picture and we are going to send it to him!  SO COOL!  Man, South America in a small world when you are Mormon! 

Last night we had a lesson with M. and it was amazing!  Hermana T. is awesome and she came with us.  We taught Lesson 3 and it rocked.  I felt the Spirit so strong!  And it was one of those moments where you never want to leave, ya know?  And a little victory:  I have  a really hard time understanding her dad, but at the end of the lesson, we asked what they now understood, and I really didn’t understand what he was saying, but he kept saying “Well, like she said…” and pointing to me!  So even though I was feeling like I wanted to cry because my Spanish was struggling and I couldn’t express everything I wanted to express, the Spirit was able to work through me, and something I said was able to touch his heart.  Just doing the best I can is enough!

(End of journal pages)

Here is the quick note she sent to me:

Hey Mom!!! So this week was super funny! Yes, I am way happy!!! But here’s a quick summary because I have no time.  I crashed on my bike, but just got scrapes, and we were in the news, and so we are like celebs now! Haha!  And R. is getting baptized this Saturday and I couldn’t be happier for him! M. is amazing is starting to understand the atonement, but she hasn’t accepted a date yet. I love Machali and I hope I don’t get transferred!  And its fall here and I LOVE it! Two falls in one year!   Woooo!!   Love ya!

Monday, April 4, 2016

This work is so inspired!

I LOVED CONFERENCE!!!! IT WAS JUST WHAT I NEEDED!!!!!!! And Elder Eyring’s talk at the beginning and especially Elder Holland’s at the end were DIRECTED AT ME!!!!!! And everything in between too! I was super lucky to watch conference in English!! They had an English room for the missionaries in the stake center so I got to see it all!!! Man. I have never felt so homesick / at home in my life! It felt so natural to watch conference in English and it was such a miracle for me! I am so much more at peace.  And I have never been prouder to be from Utah in my life! Whenever I would see the temple I’m like, that’s my home!!!!! Ha-ha, so much stinking fun!!!
One thing that really struck me during conference is you don’t have to be perfect to be worthy, and I realized I was striving too much for perfection, and was so upset that I wasn’t perfect, and of course we should strive for perfection, but we aren’t going to get it in this life! And as long as I am doing to best I can, it is enough! Like Elder Holland said, as long as I am striving to keep the commandments, and even just hoping, if that’s all we can do, it is enough! :) Oh, I felt so much peace during conference! I LOVE THIS CHURCH!!!! 

With my comp, things are going great!! I really do love her with my whole heart.  My Spanish got worse this week though, but conference was a big part of that! Ha-ha, but new week, new goals!!! I told her ONLY SPANISH! I AM SERIOUS!!! And she is being a lot more helpful! It’s kind of hard sometimes because we have been working super hard, but not much has come of it, and we had to drop like 3 investigators. R. is good for baptism, except he has no friends in Machali, just his girlfriend in Cachapoal, so that’s a problem, but he passed his interview for baptism which is good! But we might postpone his baptism, just so he can be a little more converted to the gospel.  I don’t know. We are praying about it! With M., she is still super awesome! But we are not! Three members canceled with accompanying us to lessons so we couldn’t teach her this week, and her mom made cake for us and everything! But she is amazing and really wants to gain a testimony of our Savior! She is amazing! And I hope she doesn’t lose interest because of us not being able to teach her!!! But she’s good! :) 

This week I learned more than anything else that THIS WORK IS SO INSPIRED!!!! Literally every second of every day!!! I know it is! I can see it!!!! We had to go on unexpected divisions this week so I, last minute, had to take 2 hermanas to my sector to work and I had no plans! So I took a few minutes and prayed for help to guide me, and Heavenly Father totally did! The second house we knocked on, the lady let us in! And we taught her a lesson! And she wants us to come back! And that was the first time in my mission we have entered on a contact!!! It was incredible!!!!! And then later we were walking in the same neighborhood to find more futuros, and this less active was talking to her neighbor and told us to visit her! But we wouldn’t have met her otherwise!!!!!! MIRACLES, MAN!!!! 
Also the miracles kept coming!!!! I GOT TO GO ON SPLITS WITH HERMANA FOWERS THIS WEEK!!! One of my best friends from the CCM!!! And it was like the best day of my life! Once again, miracles happened!!! First of all, we were able to teach a whole lesson in Spanish, with asking questions and understanding and everything by ourselves! And the spirit was so strong!!! It was the best lesson yet!!!! And then later, we contacted this house, the lady let us in, totally opened up about her whole life, and we were able to understand every word because she is a language teacher in a school so she doesn’t speak Chilean Spanish, but real Spanish! And Heavenly Father knew we were going to be there so he blessed us with her because he knew we would be able to understand her!!! Oh, it was amazing!!! I have so much love for her!!!! 
Anyways, the work is good! It’s so inspired! And I am so happy to be here!!! 
And that’s all! You guys are perfect! Sounds like another great week! Tell Christian CONGRATS!!!!!!!!! I was praying so hard for him all week!

Okay, I love you all!!!! And heaven is always cheering you on! Every second!!!

Hermana Christensen