Thursday, April 25, 2013

Where Has the Time Gone? (week 4)


Studying with my comp.


 This week FLEW by! I literally feel like I just wrote to you yesterday! Good news: We get our travel plans tomorrow!! But we don't find out if our visas come until a couple days before we leave. . So keep your fingers crossed! We might be getting re-assigned for a bit. Two of  our teachers are leaving tomorrow to go to Hawaii and they wont be back until the day before we leave! And another one is leaving for this next week... We are so sad because we have THE BEST teachers and we love them!! But seriously, I have been watching other districts struggle with their companions, districts, and teachers and I am so so blessed and grateful for what we have.
Our Swede T's!
 Last week was pretty rough with the language and getting a little stressed out, but this week has been awesome. There is a quote that says, "Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for wonderful things to happen." This is so true. I feel like with every hard lesson, or day, or week, I learn a great deal of humility and love for this work. And when I do that, I am grateful. And sure enough the lessons and days and weeks get better. I loved what you said in your letter Mom about humility. It is so true that we HAVE to go through periods of time in our lives of struggle. If we don't, then we do not humble ourselves and learn to lean on Heavenly Father to help us. Yes the language is hard and no, I can't speak it very well right now... but I will. If I could speak it well now, then I wouldn't learn humility and patience, and I wouldn't learn to rely on the Lord. Everyday I remind myself that life is good. And it truly is. There will always be ups and downs, but to notice the ups and the downs is what is important. The downs help us learn and grow and the ups teach us to be happy and grateful. When we have ups, we need to seek to help those that are having downs. And with the ups and the downs we need to pray to our Heavenly Father with gratitude for the challenges that help us learn to stand on two feet and for the blessings that come when we do.
Temple Day
In class on Saturday our teacher Brother Dunn, told us a story of teaching a lady in Sweden from the Phillipines and her son who has down syndrome. He told us how he had worked with kids with disabilities before his mission and that he knew he needed to be the one to teach this mother and son, and that he needed to tell them of Gods wonderful plan for us. All of us were touched and it was a very spiritual experience. For me, it made me think of the investigators I am going to teach that only I will be able to touch and help because of what I know and of what I have learned and gone through. After his story I started thinking about Lillie and I was out of control crying as I thought of her and our picnics up the canyon and going on hikes together with just me and her. I MISS HER. I want her to tell me her silly stories she has that she would tell me when I picked her up from school. Give her a big bear hug for me!!
I loved the cousins emails this week. I love that we are all teaching the same gospel and that we are all learning how to be strengthened and how to serve in many different ways. Uncle Jeff C. Sent me the nicest letter this week. I needed to hear what he shared with me and I was so grateful to hear from him. He sure knows how nice it is to get mail as a missionary, with having three of his kids out!! I am so excited to hear where Will got his mission call! 7 cousins out at once... we are blessed. I want to start a cousin group email so we can keep in touch throughout our missions. Are their emails all just their first names & then last name? Let me know if you figure that out.
Mom, I loved what you said about desiring to believe. You said, "Desire to belive is my new slogan. I desire to believe. Therefore, I do believe and since I believe, I have faith and since I have faith, I know everything will work out." This was perfect for me to hear this week. We taught an amazing lesson about faith to one of our investigators this week in swedish. He was so worried that he HAD to know it was true and I felt overcome to share those words you shared with me. I got a little chocked up as I told him that even the smallest desire to believe, is a step of faith. Our faith grows as we continue to learn and go through things that test our faith. We don't have to KNOW, we just have to BELIEVE. That's what I loved about Elder Hollands talk and about what you shared with me and about dad's strong belief in only having to believe.
GROWTH. Every day I grow but especially on days that I can appreciate what has helped me grow. This week it was the little things that have helped me grow. When I understood my teacher speaking in swedish, when I read the scriptures and understood what was going on and how I could benefit from what I read. When I thought of Lillie and how I can become more like her. Meek and submissive. When I taught a lesson about faith and felt the burning desire in my heart to believe and to share what I believe.
all min k√§rlek,
Sister Adelide

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adelide and her cousin Elder Spencer Christensen at the MTC

Adelide's letter April 11, 2013

My dearest family,
HOLY PACKAGES!!! You guys made me feel like a queen! I am so grateful for the packages you put together and for all of the mail I have received. I LOVE getting mail. It makes my day 10x better! Wow st george sounded like a blast! I loved that you told me all of the details of your hike in Zions. I can just picture it-- so beautiful. I love hearing of your every day lives and I feel so special to get a letter from my mommy almost every day. I hope you don't feel like you have to write me everyday but I sure do enjoy it!! I feel like your right here with me. Mom, your gift idea of the t-shirts is PERFECT! The girls keep wanting to buy swedish shirts here that are so ugly so they will be so happy when we get the shirts you have made! We are all either a small or a medium :). I am so grateful that you sent me the cousins emails. They are so fun and inspiring to read and it makes me feel like I am truly not doing this work alone. Will you send me some pictures of the family? Like your favorite ones of hen, lil and han and of you and dad of course? I want more pictures to look at!!! As for pictures from me... The cord you sent me will work in Sweden but it wont work on these computers! We have to have a weird SD card reader which I can get at the book store but they are all sold out so I will get on that ASAP. I might just send you my sd card and then you can send it back to me. Let me know what you think will work best, otherwise you might not get any pics from me from the mtc... 
Last week during gym time I was doing yoga by myself and some italian sisters asked me if I would teach them so I became really good friends with the italians and i started teaching them yoga! The class went from two sisters one day to ten sisters the next day! Every day at gym more sisters come and I lead a yoga/ abb class. hahaha it is so funny. Everyone that is playing volleyball or basket ball just stares at us like we are so weird but the sisters love it and i LOVE IT! I have also been running a lot and it is so nice to have that time to think. Thanks mom for calling the cafeteria haha there was a huge sign on the door enterance that said "Adelide Christensen GO SEE THE DIETITION" or however its spelled... hahaha so I went in and Diane talked to me and told me that I could eat in this special little room that has way healthy food! I was happy because I have litterally just been eating a banana and peanut butter at every meal. So last night I ate quinua and vegetables. yummmm.
MTC MIRACLES: Ok this is the dumbest story ever but it left me and my companion laughing about it for days so I am going to share it with you. We were both craving these huge ice cream snickers bars and we both decided that we wanted the snickers one instead of twix. So, I swipe my card and of course type in the numbers for the twix... Which I can't eat because I am allergic so my companion was like oh its fine I will just eat the twix and get you a snickers and I was like, no you really don't have to d... ok thanks. So we go in our room and we are eating them so fast because we had class in ten minutes and my companion literally has like one bite left and she says, "this twix bar doesn't even taste like a twix! it even has peanuts in it!" SO I go over and look at it and dun da da dun! IT WAS A SNICKERS hahahahaha So in the end we both got what we wanted and the snickers bar was wrapped in a twix bar! HA. And she didn't even notice until it was almost gone! HAHA we were dying. Truly a miracle.
Adelide's MTC District and another district going to Sweden on the same day. Only 2 Elders!
The work here is still hard but still fun. Everyday we wake up and get to work! Lots of studying and lots of learning. Our teachers will occasionally do funny things like make us walk around our classroom building counting each of our steps in Swedish. haha it was so hilarious- we were all taking huge steps so we didn't have to count as high. They also had us run outside in our skirts and flats and up the stairs and around the building and back to the class room to wake us up. haha then they taught us about stress management which came at the perfect time. We were all getting a littles stressed out with all of the new lessons we will have to be teaching soon. Tomorrow we have to teach 3 times! ahhhh. But, I realized how much I really want to do this work after we taught our investigator yesterday. We went from reading every part of our lesson off of a paper to bringing in notes with only english written on them! We went in with our lesson planned out in english and while we were in there we slowly transfered everything into Swedish. It was an amazing experience and although I know my sentences weren't perfect, i felt the spirit so much stronger. We were able to look at our investigators eyes and really speak to him, slowly and simply but it made all of the difference. The hardest part is that there is so much more that I want to tell him about (even though he isn't a real investigator) but because I don't know all of the swedish to do that, I just have to rely on the words that I know and hope that it will make sense. It is a wonderful experience and I can't wait to teach real investigators in Sweden. 
I learn here each day not only how to be a better missionary, but how to be a better person. The girls in my district are all so excited to be mothers, and so am I. We talk often of how this missionary experience will spiritually mature and prepare us to be the mothers that we want to be. I can't imagine becoming a mother without having the experience of serving a mission. I love the girls in my district and we have become so close with each other. I love being able to spiritually learn with them and share our testimonies with each other. This week I have especially become close with the elders and other sisters in the other district. I love the friendships we are creating here as we are adapting to a different lifestyle.  
GENERAL CONFERENCE aka an MTC holiday!! It was so amazing to watch conference here at the MTC. So many of the talks spoke directly to me and I loved all of the ones that you guys mentioned to me in your letters. One of my favorite talks was by President Uchtdorf during the Young Womans General Broadcast. READ IT. He talks about our journey here on life. He says, "how is your journey going? Are you doing all that you can to live up to who you want to become? I love asking myself those questions daily. How is my journey going? Am I doing all that I can to live up to who I want to become? Many times, my answer is no. And when it is no, I write down lists of ways that I can improve. This life is about improving. It is about finding our own ways to return back to our Father in Heaven. When I am not doing the best that I can do, I do not become upset with myself. Rather, I look at ways that I can do it differently and try again the next day. I have always loved doing this my whole life and i have been applying it more to my life while I have been on my mission. At the end of Uchtdorf's talk, he says, "It is not your responsibility to convert others, that is the Holy Ghosts responsibility. But it is your responsibility to bare witness of this gospel and to NEVER lower your standards." He also says, "Speak the universal language. That language is love, the language that gets rid of hatred and fear. It is a language of understanding, serving, and comforting." This is exactly what I needed to hear this week. Swedish is hard, and I feel at times that I am the worst in my class. I am struggeling with memorizing and especially with conjugation but, I know that I can speak the universal language of love. And through love, I will be able to conect to the people of Sweden no matter how hard the Swedish language is. I will be able to understand, serve, and comfort the people and let them know that there is a plan for them here on Earth. God commands us to be of good cheer and that is how I want to live always. Cheerfully enjoying every thing that comes my way, no matter how hard or long the road.
I LOVE YOU ALL. I am so grateful for you and your examples in my life. Thank you for your support.
LOVE, Sister Adelide

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Our first letter from Adelide!

I can't even start to describe my experience at the MTC. It has been amazing. The first day, I was the first one to my class so I went in and my teachers only spoke in Swedish. I had heard that this would happen and that it stresses out a lot of missionaries but I ABSOLUTELY loved it. I just sat in there and enjoyed not knowing what they were saying but getting so excited to one day be able to speak this beautiful language. My companion is Camille Hauglid (the girl that we had the Swedish party at before we came) and she is so sweet and easy going which is perfect for me. My district is ALL girls (8 of us) and they are all so funny and awesome. I love them. We work hard but we also know how to have fun. The other day we were studying for about two hours and then all of us turned around and looked at each other like: "ya, lets be done with this." so we talked and laughed for another hour. We told our mission president and he told us that he was happy that we got to know each other. Haha- only fun times when you have 8 hilarious girls in one room. The other district is 6 sisters and 2 elders so all in all there are 16 sisters and 2 elders. We are really close with the other district and we all do everything together. The swedish is coming along and we have taught our first investigator five times now!! I still have to use notes but I am able to pray and bare my testimony without looking now and I have memorized "our purpose" in svenska! I have seen Michelle Warner a lot which has been so comforting. The first night she came in and talked to me for a half hour and helped me unpack. I have pretty much seen everyone from OLY- I had just been hanging out with them the week before and now we are all missionaries which is awesome and weird. I saw spencer twice before he left- he is doing great and we got caught up on MTC life. So as you can see... my pday is on Thursday which is why you haven't heard from me, except for I did write home on my second or first day but I am guessing you never got it because you are in SGEEZY livin life.
Easter Sunday was one that I will never forget. Sitting in a room with 4,000 missionaries all partaking of the sacrament and singing "called to serve" together, brought joy to my heart. We heard from Bishop Causee- the bishop presiding over the church, and his cute wife. Sister Causee said: "Pray every day and work hard! You don't want to waste one minute of your mission." I absolutely agree. I have been trying my hardest to not waste one minute. And I have loved every minute of being here. I love my companion. I love the girls in my district. I love my teachers. I love the language. I love my classes. I love the devotionals. I love reading the scriptures, I love preach my gospel. I love the service. I love the learning. I love teaching. I love the gym. I love the people. I love my new friends. I love seeing the mountains. I love getting letters. I love the uncomfortable times that have helped me grow. I love the positive attitudes that surround me. I love singing the army of heleman at every meeting. I love the encouragment. I love the strength. I love the feelings that I feel as I study and ponder and pray. I love learning about christ and I love reminding myself of why I am here. Most of all I love the constant spirit that I feel throughout the day. I was worried at first that I wasn't feeling the spirit as much as I should be because I have always heard of the "special spirit you feel at the MTC." And one of my teachers, brother Bloomfield, told me: If you have grown up in a spiritual home then you are used to constantly being able to feel the spirit, so when you get here, you still feel good but its not an extra spirit that you feel. Kids who don't grow up in a home that is constantly filled with love and the spirit, think that the spirit here at the MTC is so amazing, which it is, but I am so grateful to have been raised in the home that I was raised in where the gospel was the center of everything we did. Family scripture study, family prayer, family dinner together etc. Our home wherever it may be, has always been filled with the spirit because of our family and what we believe.
Bishop Causee said: "You may think that you can't do this, but you know that with the Lords help you can do it! And you will LOVE it." This is so true. I have not broken down of feeling homesick or of feeling like this work is TOO hard yet but I know that those days will come. I also know that this work would be impossible to do without the Lord but because I have the Lords help, I can do it and I will love it. I loved the constant reminder throughout the Easter day of my savior and of his love towards each of us. To remember what He has done for me and what I can do to become more like Him and become closer to Him. On Easter night, we had a devotional by Sherry Dew, and she spoke on having our main focus be on the Lord and how His message is able to change people. She said "Who is influencing you and who are you influencing." I loved her message because it made me think of who I am, who I can influence, and most importantly of all of the amazing people who have influenced me one way or another and have helped me get to where I am now.
I love this adventure and I would not want to be any where else. I miss you all but I am so grateful to be here. I want every girl who has thought of going on a mission, to go. I have only been here for a week and it is hard work but I can already see the blessings from going on a mission. Everyone and anyone can do this work if they have a strong desire to serve and if they are worthy to serve. Jag alskar dig!