Monday, January 30, 2017

One year in Chile, this country that I have come to love so dear!

This week for me---what a rollercoaster!!! I can´t even tell you how many prayers have been said for the fires here in Chile!! The fires haven´t affected us at all thankfully! There´s just LOTS of smoke in the air! It´s just so sad to hear all the stories of the people who have lost everything! Insurance basically doesn´t exist here, so they literally don´t have anything when their houses or jobs burn. It´s so sad! But it´s okay! I know that God hears the prayers of the righteous! And we are going to have a ward fast! I love our ward! They are SO good!! 

So this week we have been seeing LOTS of progress with J., and O. and E.! We are preparing them for baptism! But they are SO converted to this gospel, it´s incredible! I love when they share their experiences and testimonies with us! Oh they are so good! Now we just have to make sure everything goes through! :) 

It´s highly probable that I am going to leave Rauquen this next week, in transfers, but all I can say is I am so happy here, but I will be so happy anywhere! Come what may and love it! :) I just love being a missionary! And more than ever, I know that God knows me, and knows what’s best for me! I want nothing more than to be an instrument in his hands! :) 

It´s been a good week of learning though! A good week to really analyze where I am at in my personal conversion, what I am doing, what I need to change, and how I am going to change it! I am working on building my faith so I can be more bold and talk to more people, because really, everybody needs the gospel! And I know there are so many more people waiting to hear this sweet message!! 

This week in my studies of the scriptures, I realized the importance of humility even more than before! I love the promises the Lord makes with the humble! So as I strive to humbly submit to his will, I come to know my Savior more and more! It´s a great way to learn about who Jesus Christ really was! I love this gospel! I love being a missionary!! 

Thank you so much for your prayers! We can feel them!! :) I love this country! I love my life! But more than anything, I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!! :) 

Have the best week! Sending lots of love!!! 

Hermana Christensen

**And here are some of her thoughts in her journal about her one-year mark:

“I made it.  Today I have officially marked one year in Chile, this country I have come to love so dear! Exactly one year ago, I woke up, put on my favorite missionary dress, said goodbye to my family, and with more excitement in my heart than ever before, I set out on a journey that would change my heart and my life forever!  Today I know should be a day of celebration, but I feel a little sad because I know the time is just going to go by even faster!  And I love my mission. Oh, how I love it.  Why?  Because it has changed me.  It’s changed my nature, and I have come to really know my Savior in a way I never have before!  I love him so much!  I can’t put into words my gratitude for him! 
One year mark
I am so imperfect, but he’s so patient.  He always gives me another chance!  Even when I mess up!  Even when I let my fears get the best of me!  And he strengthens me to become what I’d never dreamed of becoming! …My greatest desire is to give my whole life to him!  My whole heart!  For now and forever! …I just want to always be ready and worthy to be an instrument in his hands!  So when he needs someone, he knows he can count on me!  That’s my biggest wish for my life.”  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Not burned yet, even though all of Chile is burning!

 *** There have been huge, fast-spreading wildfires across central Chile, due to drought,100+ degree temperatures and strong winds.  Ashley's mission is in the two regions of Chile that have been hit the hardest. The fires are not in her exact area, but the smoke is, so she's been breathing that in.  So, please keep the people of central Chile, and especially those fighting the fires, in your prayers. And please pray that they can get the fires out.  Thank you! ***

 My week has been amazing! Full of adventures on our bikes, trying not to wet our pants from drinking so much water, fashionable missionary shoe tan lines, the most amazing zone training with President, losing my voice, then getting it back, eating more watermelon this week than I have in my whole life and eating almost 2 packs of icebreakers in our companionship, having P., J., E., and Ju. all came to church, and not getting burned yet even though all of Chile is burning :(.  I am really learning how to be an instrument in God´s hands, and I am loving every minute of being a missionary for the Lord! :) 

This week was slow with lessons, but as usual, FULL of miracles! I cannot even tell you how perfect God´s plan is! He literally is up there just putting everything in place! Everyone that needs a little lift, he puts in our path, and we are literally just so happy to be little instruments in his hands! AH, it´s the best!!! 

This week O. said she had repented of all of her sins! Recently she´s been so happy! So positive! And so blessed! She said it was luck, but E. said, Nooooo, it´s blessings from God! That´s right E., you know it! :) But they are doing great! Olga didn´t come to church yesterday, but she didn´t go to work! Also, J. came to church!! WHAT A MIRACLE!!! Oh, he is progressing so much! Omar was his buddy to show him around the chapel, and to sit with him in his classes! He said he felt relieved in the chapel! AH, the church is so true!!! I LOVE church! I LOVE the sacrament! I LOVE fresh starts! I LOVE the miracle of repentance! I LOVE this amazing plan God has for us! Incredible. 

So this week I was talking with my companion, and I had been really stressed recently, and I didn´t know why, but we realized it´s because I realized how little time I have left! This week I will complete exactly one year down here in Chile.  I can tell you, it´s literally been the BEST year of my life! I never thought I would be able to experience SO much joy! But with that being said, this last third of the mission, I want to give my ALL to the Lord! I literally have the rest of my life to rest, to sleep, to relax, but in these six months, I want to give every second, every breath to my Savior. I love my Savior. He has changed my life! The least I can do is bring a little bit of his light to his children here in Chile. I love this gospel! It´s absolutely perfect! It could not be perfect! And every step we take with our Savior, are steps of light! He is the light! WOW! I just love him! 

And I love all of you guys so much! Thank you for your love and support! Have the Best week ever!!! Keep sharing the love! :)

Lots of love from your fav lil’ Chilean, 

Hermana Christensen :) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Spies from the States?!

This week has been absolutely INCREDIBLE!! Full of so much learning and growth! Especially with our new investigators! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It's incredible how much there is to learn about this gospel! And I am so grateful I can learn a little bit more every day! And guess what?! We met the goal for lessons with members this week! For the first time ever! WOW!!! It´s so true that when we do the plans, the goals come!!! Thank you for believing in us!! 

Hermana G. continues to change my life every day! Two words. Funnel Theory. I don´t know how she does it but it´s incredible! But I know Heavenly Father loves us! He has sent us so many miracles! 

So we had 5 fechas this week! The most I have had in my whole mission!!! AHHH!!! But after yesterday, two of them fell through. P. and N. didn´t come to church, but it´s okay because we were going to have to change their fecha anyways because they want to get baptized, but we feel like they still are lacking a spiritual experience, and real firm testimony of the church. And they are being really flakey lately :(  They are amazing and have lots of faith! It´s hard for them to understand everything too because they are still learning Spanish! But little by little they´ll get there! 
O. and E. are doing so great! SO GREAT!!! They all came to church again and stayed for all the classes! And we had an AMAZING lesson with them! We went over eternal marriage and the law of chastity again, and they committed to live the law of chastity before their baptism! They understand they can repent. O. is gaining her own testimony! It´s incredible!!! S. and J. are having lots of couple problems, there is a big lack of communication, but they both want to change! And we are teaching both of them! We have invited them to have a meeting with the bishop so he can help them with their marriage problems! But they are amazing and progressing! Also we found two new investigators this week! G. and A.! They are incredible! And J. is still amazing! We are so blessed the Lord has trusted us with such amazing people! 

This week I learned a lot about the resurrection! It truly is the greatest and miraculous gift God has given to man! Wow. Every day I am more and more astonished because of this perfect plan God has made for us! All we have to do is accept it! I love you all! Have the best week ever!! :) 

Hermana Christensen 

*****And here is something funny that was in Ashley's journal this week!  She was on intercambios (exchanges) with Hermana F. from Argentina and they were knocking doors when they had this funny interaction with a man.  After exchanging hellos, he said:
Him:  "Ohhh, are you guys Jehovah's Witnesses? Do you have The Watchtower or something?
Them:  "No, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
Him: "Wow!  What a long name!"
Them:  "People many times call us Mormons."
Him:  "Oh no!  You're Mormons?  No, the Mormons are spies sent from America!  They come enter your houses and write things down, whether you're right or left.  Then they send the information to America.  No, no, they are here to trick the people."
Them: "Ummm"
Him:  "And sometimes they teach 'English class' and that's when they start getting in your business!  This girl (pointing to Hermana F), where's she from?"
Them:  "Argentina"
Him: "Ya, okay. And her?"
Them: "United States"
Him:  "See?!  Spies from the States!  Wow!  Well, have a good day!  Try not to trick too many people!"
Them:  "Haha, okay!  We'll try not to trick the people!  Can we give you a picture of Christ?"
Him:  "Oh, no, no, no, no!  Nothing with Christ!"
Them: "Oh, okay!  If you need anything, we're here!"
Amazing sunset at the end of the day!

Attachments area

Monday, January 9, 2017

A great week of growth!

Hello Loved Ones!!! :) 

Esta semana ha sido genial! Ha sido una semana de crecimiento!!!(This week has been great!  It's been a week of growth!) We have been working hard to find new people! And we have been learning a lot together as a companionship! But I am doing great! I love the mission! And I really love Hermana Gr! My companion literally changes my life every single day! I don´t know how that´s possible! But it´s true! We had a really good conversation this week about how we want to change, and how we want to continue everything we are doing here in the mission, after the mission too! But we know we have lots to change! And we are trying to change! We really want to leave the natural man behind, to be able to reach our potential as missionaries and as people too! AHHH she´s amazing! How am I so blessed?? 
Yummy fruit from members!

P. and N. have a fecha for 21 of January, but they have been difficult to find this week! This cambio, we have been needing to find new people to teach, and we have! We have lots of really amazing new investigators and lots of futuros with lots of potential, so that´s about where we are at right now! But I know we can do a lot better! We made plans this week to do the plans, first of all, but also to talk to literally everyone! EVERYBODY NEEDS THE GOSPEL!!! Have you ever just felt like wow.... it´s SO sad that these people don´t know where to find hope? Where to find real joy? Where to feel peace? And rest from the world? It literally breaks my heart! And when I think about how much this gospel can change their lives, it´s really hard to stay silent about it!! I know there is literally nothing more important than what we have to share!!! So we are going to share it with literally EVERYONE here in Chile!!! 

This week we found Jose. AHHH JOSE!!!!  We gave him a Book of Mormon and the first lesson we had with him, was literally like one of the lessons from The District! He is SO ready for the gospel!!! He told us that he was looking for a way to change, and then we came and knocked on the door and presented him with what he was looking for! He has plans to read the Book of Mormon every day! He is so good! So prepared! So we are just trying to find the Joses of our sector, those people who are so prepared for the gospel!! Recently they´ve been showing up all around our sector!!! HOW AMAZING!!! 

Lastly, this week we had intercambios, and there could not have been more precise timing!! I got on the bus to go to the sector of this Hermana and she just started crying, because she has been so stressed, and felt like she couldn´t do it! But with her, we were able to study atonement together! Especially about the enabling power of the atonement. It was so powerful!!! I am so amazed by the power the atonement has! I literally will never be able to express the love I have for my Savior, and the gratitude I have for his atonement. The sweet testimony of this Hermana touched my heart! She said she hadn´t been applying the atonement in that way, and thanked me for showing her a different perspective, because she had forgotten that side of Christ´s atoning sacrifice. But it is so real! There isn´t anything more real in this world! It was amazing! I know everything is inspired, because God has a plan, a perfect plan, for each one of his kids! I love this gospel! More than anything else! 

Thank you so much for all your love and support! Have the best week ever!! 

Hermana Christensen 
Investigator, who is a clown, making a balloon character

Posing with Balloon Hermana G!
Making a bucket list

Monday, January 2, 2017

Wow, what a week of growth!

Wow what a week of growth! I am so amazed by how much I can learn in just one week! From Consejo, to answered prayers, to amazing studies, new insights, miraculously running into ex- missionary Elder Maxfield and his wife, New Year’s, new goals, a growing testimony, finding golden investigators, and ending the week with the most powerful Noche de Hogar with O. and E.! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! I could not be happier! :)  I don´t know how God answers all my questions but he always does! I love the spirit so much!!  But that´s been the theme for this week! Lots of learning and lots of personal revelation! I know what God is trying to teach me, I finally figured it out! He always answers my prayers! All I know is this gospel is absolutely incredible!! 

My companion, you already know, is the BEST companion in the whole world! She is helping me so much in my progression as not only a missionary but as a person too! I could not be more blessed! This week we decided is the week where we reach all of the goals! We have ALL the tools we need! We are the only ones getting in the way! 

Our sector! Oh my heavens this week has been amazing! We have 4 fechas, we got 2 on Monday! P. and N. from Haiti! So humble, so excited to learn about this gospel!!They are AMAZING!!! S. is progressing SO much! She literally is so converted! She is willing to do anything to be baptized and every day she convinced her pareja a little bit more so they can get married so she can get baptized! She told us she has repented and left behind all her sins, but she needs to be baptized so she can feel that relief, AHH she is so amazing! She said she feels like she finally found what she´s been searching for her whole life!!! WOAH!! SO AMAZING!!!  E. is so converted to this gospel! He goes to church as stays for the classes every week! He has come to church 9 times! And he fasts every month! Yesterday he fasted! I could not be happier for him! We are still working hard with O. to help him experience what her husband is experiencing, but yesterday we had a family night, we watched The Testaments, and in the end, almost everyone had tears in their eyes, including O. She felt it. And when we asked her about how she felt, she told us she loved the repentance of Jacob, that´s what impressed her the most. It was incredible. They are an incredible family!

OH yeah! And this week when we went one day to contact, we found Jose. We said a prayer before we started to contact to find someone that we could give a Book of Mormon to, and we found Jose. He listened to us in the heat for about 15 minutes in the hottest part of the day! We shared a summary of the Restoration and testified! And he was more than willing to accept us again! It was one of those contacts where you just know they are going to accept the gospel! Jose is a chosen one! I know without a doubt that God is always preparing people for us! It´s just up to us if we are willing to find them or not! 

I love my life! I love this gospel! And I love being able to share it with everyone! This is the Lord´s work! He directs every second! I just feel so blessed to be part of it! I love my Savior, and I cannot wait to meet him again someday! :) I just want to make him proud! :) 

Have the BEST week everybody! And just remember there´s a little Chilean missionary that loves you so much! 

Hermana Christensen :)

*Ashley also told us in her email that there are 3 other sister missionaries from her MTC district that are now sister training leaders, too, so she gets to see them at her meetings!  And one of them, her MTC companion Hermana H., is now companions with her former housemate that she loved so much, Hermana A.! 
Three more sister training leaders from her MTC district!

With dear friends Hermana A. and Hermana H. at Consejo