Monday, February 27, 2017

How happy I am giving my all to the Lord!


Yet another AMAZING week here in Santa Cruz! I really love this place! We never stop seeing miracles!!! So week we found a bunch of people from Venezuela, ate lots of ice cream, had a lot a prayers answered, intercambios, interviews with president, lots of laughs, talking to literally EVERYONE in the street, capillas abiertas, and on top of all that we have a new assignment! I am so excited! We are being send to work in another sector and branch in Paniahue to strengthen the branch, and relief society and find new people I am SO EXCTIED!!! 

But I think the biggest thing I have learned this week is just how happy I am giving my all to the Lord! When I give him everything I don´t even have time to think about myself! And I don´t really like thinking about myself so it works for me! But I have a new favorite scripture!!! So just thinking about how God uses broken things, and imperfect things, and for me, an imperfect person, this scripture gives me a lot of hope!!! 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

¨And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for  my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ´s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.¨

I love you all! I hope we can all find new strength as we learn to really on the infinite Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love this work with all my heart. It´s all true. Have the best week! 

Hermana Christensen 

**Since her email was short this week due to computer troubles, I am including a excerpt that I typed up from her journal: 

25 Febrero 2017
"We just had the best day ever!  We had capillas abiertas (an open house at the church)!  And it was like crazy with everyone running around everywhere!  Well, basically it was us running around everywhere because the elders were in the baptism room!  We were short on members and missionaries and the refreshments got there an hour and 15 minutes late!  Haha!  But I was just so happy the whole time!  I just wanted to bring EVERYONE to church!  I was just like, AHH!  And even though it was crazy and we had to run everything and organize everyone as we were going, I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father because we saw SO many miracles!  I love all the hermanas here!  They all taught so well!  S. came! And she was so excited to learn more!  She left with a Book of Mormon!  Lots of menos activos came!  And one of the neighbors we invited with Hna. Andrea came!  OH! What a day! But the best part was the baptism at the end of the day!  The elders' investigator N. got baptized!  He is a kids that used to be into drugs, who is changing his life!  I just LOVE being at baptisms!  They are so powerful!  Just being in the same room as someone making a covenant with God, and knowing that when they walk out of the water, their lives will never be the same is just so powerful!  It really does bring tears to my eyes!  I love the spirit so much!  I love the peace I feel in the chapel!  I was so happy!  Even though it was a crazy day, I was just SO happy!  Today I gave my all!  You know what the difference was?  I turned ALL OUT!  I did not for one second think of myself!  I love that so much!  I want every day to be like that!  Every day is going to be like that!  Because after all, my life is not mine!  It's all for Him!  One of the little moments I loved from today was walking and singing Primary songs with Hermana Hilburn and really thinking about the message!  I just love being a missionary!"

Feet tan lines!
Future sister missionaries!

Matching hermanas!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Just follow the wind

I LOVE SANTA CRUZ!!!!!!!!!! 

Welcome everybody to the PRETTIEST SECTOR IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!!! Wow!!! What a week it has been! We have been working SO hard! We have been talking to everybody! And we have been led by the spirit to amazing families!! But more than anything else, I feel like Heavenly Father has really been teaching me this week! I have learned SO much through the spirit! It´s crazy because I feel like as soon as I finally strengthen one weakness, or I finally feel like I got it down, Heavenly Father is like, Oh wait, you have a lot more to work on! And then he shows me what else I can improve, but not only that, he gives me opportunities to try to improve! How cool is that? God just loves me so much! :) I JUST LOVE IT!!!!! 

 So Hermana H is incredible! She literally makes me so happy! We laugh SO HARD together!!! Haha President didn´t know what he was doing when he put us together! :)  
But actually, he probably did know what he was doing because we have seen SO MANY MIRACLES this week!!! So F., set her own fecha for 17 of May. She said she is going to give it three months to try to stop breaking the word of wisdom and law of chastity and change her sins, and if she sees progress, she will get baptized! Woooohooo!!!!  It´s awesome because basically she said she doesn´t want to feel guilty before God like she does right now! 

But more than anything else, I just want to let ya´ll know that PRAYER WORKS!!!!! We started off this week with all the excitement in the world to convert all of Almendrosa right? And so we decided, before we started contacting, we were going to start with a prayer. I said it, and at the end, Hermana H looked up at me and said, ¨Hermana, this is going to sound really weird, but I feel like we need to follow where the wind is blowing.”  Without even thinking I said ¨Okay!¨ and we felt the wind blow us to the corner of the street, then it changed directions, so we followed, and it blew us right to a man who was trimming his tree outside his house.  Long, long story short, he invited us in and we taught him and his wife, and they were excited to invite us back. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?! Literally, prayer works. The spirit is amazing. And I will never stop being amazing by how the spirit always leads us to those who are waiting for the gospel. Even if he has to carry us to them in the wind. :) 

I love you all so much! Keep praying!!!! (Cuz it always works!!!) And have the BEST week ever!!!! 

Lots of love from this happy lil’ Santa Cruzana, 

Hermana Christensen 

Monday, February 13, 2017

My new area is SO AWESOME!

This week's email from Ashley was her answering my many questions!

1. How is your new area? Are you adjusting well? Are you happy?
 My new area is SO AWESOME!!! I really feel like there’s a lot of potential! The thing is I got here, and last cambio it was Hermana Al-M's last cambio, and so they had lots of stuff to do for her, so we don’t really have investigators but we are finding so many people!! BUT SANTA CRUZ IS SOOOOOO PRETTY!!!!!!!!!!! I really really really love the country so so much! I literally feel so lucky to be here!!! But YES I am so happy!!! This week we have contacted people, Lots of people! And we taught a Spanish Class to a bunch of Haitians! There’s so many of them here! The little branch is SO CUTE!! The members here are incredible! They are so strong!!! I really love Santa Cruz! I will admit this past week has been a little bit hard to adjust, to adjust to a new area, working with different people, etc. but it has not been bad at all! I LOVE HERMANA H!! We are so happy to be together! And the whole mission KNOWS how much we love each other, so the funniest part of this week was going to Consejo (the monthly training meeting at the mission home with the mission leaders)! There are 6 Hermanas from my MTC group that are Hermana Leaders right now too, and the best part was to hear all the reactions of everyone else when they found out we were companions!!! Ha-ha, we are just so happy!!! :)
 It was sad to leave Rauquen, but I will be back!!! I am happy for new opportunities! And there is a LOT of work to do here! But honestly, that’s just what I wanted! God always answers my prayers! I was praying for a change that would help me to WORK WORK WORK because I love it when you get to that point where you just forget about yourself and you just give your whole heart! I LOVE that! And I feel like I am getting to that point again! I lost it for a little bit, but I’m back there! I LOVE THE MISSION!!!! So I would say yes I am happy! :) 
2. What is the branch like?
 The branch is great!!! It’s so small but so cute! There’s a lot of helping the members with their callings and filling in! They are awesome though! Attendance this week was really good apparently!!! And we had 3 investigators in church!!! But usually like 30-40 are at church! 
3. How has it been serving with Hermana H again?   IT’S BEEN AWESOME!!! Honestly I love her! But it's been really weird transition hahahah because I love her so much, and we get each other like completely, but there’s some things we do differently, but we are getting there!!! But I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!! It’s been AWESOME!!! She even agreed to come running with me in the mornings!!!! She has changed so much! She told me I have too! And that I am more confident now!! WOOOOO go team!!! But really I LOVE her!!! We teach really well together! Still! After a year we still got our rhythm!! She rocks. But she is SO good at contacting! I just am amazed! I love her! 
4. Was it hard to leave Rauquen and Hermana G?
Yeah, but not too hard because with her, it’s not the end.  And then she gave me an "I can do hard things" necklace at Consejo after 3 days without her, and I CRIED!!! Hahaha I love her too much!!! :) 
5. What are some things you like about your new area?
IT’S SO PRETTY!!!!! And the people here are SO nice! Literally you talk to anyone in the street and they are SO friendly!!! And it's so small! You can walk everywhere!!!! It's SO PRETTY!!!!! And I love the hermanas in our house!!! But the people! I like the country people a lot more!!! Our sector has a few really new neighborhoods that have lots of potential! I really love it!!! 
6.  Do you know any of the other missionaries in your district/zone?  Elder G. came to my zone with me!!! We were in Rauquen together for 6 months! He is like my brother! I love him! And I knew Hermana H, but other than that, nope! BUT Elder Lee is in my zone! I talked to him!!!! He’s cool! It was so funny! He was like "I think our parents are like really good friends" and I was like yep!!! Hahahaha 
2 Curico Zones

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

All my dreams have come true!

 Excerpt from Ashley's Journal:
So as a mission, 200 missionaries in the Chile Rancagua Mission all started fasting at 3 pm on Saturday.  We were fasting about the wildfires that have been burning up Chile!  And at 6:30 pm approximately, while we were in Hermana Jovi's house, she said, "It's raining."  And we all got silent for a minute to hear the light pitter-patter on the glass, and let me tell you, that moment was MAGIC!  I was like, NO WAY!  I felt just like someone in the scriptures who was praying and fasting for the mercy of the Lord and it came!  I love fasting!  It really works!It was like one big cloud with thunder and everything that came, for just under an hour and passed right on by!  It was like God just placed one lil' cloud to sweep through Chile!  To sweep through our mission!  Everyone was SO happy!  I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers!  Every one!

Her letter:


 she loves and always wanted to serve with again!) ALL OF MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE!!!!! I CAN DIE HAPPY!!!!!!!! 

It has been my dream my WHOLE mission to go to Santa Cruz! It´s more campo! More farmers, more animals, I am SO excited!! Okay so sorry for that little moment of excitement but I am SO excited!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!! These cambios couldn´t be better!!! I am so sad to leave Hermana G., she truly has changed my life, but it´s all good cuz it´s just the beginning!!! We are going to be friends for life so I´m okay with that!!! AHHHHH!!!!! I literally don´t understand how God loves me SO much!!! 

Okay so surprise! I am leaving Rauquen! But oh what a journey it´s been! I am definitely not the same person I was when I got here; I have totally changed 360 degrees! Every area for me will be a sacred place because of how much Heavenly Father touched my heart in that place. How much the spirit taught me, how much love I felt for these people who are changing their lives, and how much hope I have seen enter into the hearts because of our Savior Jesus Christ. And when you let him in your heart, you will never be the same again. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for this time I have had with the amazing people of Rauquen, and I have loved every step I have taken with these sweet spirits!!! 

AHHHH que emocionante!!!! :) But oh how God loves me! I KNOW he loves me! I don´t understand just how much he loves me!!! I try to think why does he love me so much?!?!? I don´t think I will ever be able to understand it!! But I am just SO excited!!! And SO grateful for God and his perfect timing!!! He really is a God of miracles! 

Speaking of miracles, this week has been incredible! We found 4 new investigators, and we saw just how God led us to them! But I want to share a quick story about Alicia! Alicia we taught only one time before, but her husband was there asking all kinds of questions trying to test us or something, so it wasn’t very spiritual but on Saturday we got to teach just her, and we taught her about Faith. There´s a reason it´s the first principle of the gospel because it motivates EVERYTHING!!! But it was a great lesson! She has so much desire to grow her faith! But what impacted me the most was at the end, we finished with a prayer and got up to leave, and she said, "Thank you so much for coming! That made me feel so good! Really I didn´t think I would feel this way," she paused, and in the silence the spirit was so strong you could almost touch it, tears began to stream down her face, "I´m sorry for being emotional, but I just feel so good." Oh my little heart. I love Alicia with my whole soul! We told her that feeling was God´s spirit. Ah, she is such a sweet innocent spirit! We don´t know everything about her, but I know our Savior does, and I don´t know why we had to teach her about faith, in Alma 32, but the Savior does, and I know all that love I felt for her, the Savior felt a million times more! But after, she just stood there, standing with the keys in her hands, but she kept lingering, asking a question or two occasionally, but doing anything to just stay in that moment. To stay in the spirit. To not leave that moment where everything was perfect! That really hit me. Her desire to keep the spirit really hit me. I think too often we take for granted that we have a member of the Godhead with us at all times. I know I sure do! And I think we forget how easily he can leave. But I love this gospel, because I can have the spirit with me in EVERY moment! And I am so happy to be helping others achieve the same gift!!! 

Well family, that´s about it! I love you SO much!! Thank you for all your love and support!!! Just know you are ALWAYS in my prayers! And I could not be happier to be a little instrument in the Lord´s hands down in Chile! :)

With all the love in my heart, 
Hermana Christensen 

***So I have been following Hermana Hilburn's missionary blog since the start of their missions!   I read back over her blog to learn a little bit more about Santa Cruz.  She said that the Santa Cruz district is one of the smallest districts with the largest number of less active members (menos activos) in all of Chile.  So she will be working in a very small branch with lots of menos activos! ***