Monday, February 17, 2014

Alla Hjärtans Dag

HI. First of all.... I GOT THE BEST LETTER IN THE MAIL FROM HENRY AND I AM SOOOO EXCITED FOR HIM TO GET HIS CALL ON WEDNESDAY!!! #joiningthearmy. (I know that mom told me that hashtags are going out of style but they are still in style with all of the missionaries here because we aren’t really included on the whole "being in style" thing.) Anyways... my guesses are: Sweden (det är min önskan\desire) or Japan because I can totally see him going somewhere ASIAN with his Asian eyes. ;)
I also got the BEST valentines package. THANKS MOM. My tongue hurts so good from all of the candy and I was dying like on the floor laughing when I saw the ugly troll faces. . . hahahahahhahahhaha that was the best surprise. It brought me right back to a year or so ago when we were in that store in gateway on the floor laughing so hard at those faces because they are so ugly and we were making those videos ha.ha.ha. good good times. But really... thank you for the letters and the little presents. I loved it all. I am the LUCKIEST.

We have a couple investigators that we were able to teach but this area is a little on the downward slope so we are going to be finding a lot within the next month or so to get it going again. One of our investigators is Grace. She is from China and it is so fun and interesting to teach her because it is literally like teaching a child. She has no knowledge of God or Christ so we are starting with the very basics. She loves meeting and learning more but she also views everything as a "nice story" instead of real life, which is understandable. But we love her and we are excited to continue working with her. 

Our other investigator is Anicet. He is from Africa and ONLY speaks french. It is pretty difficult to teach him. We have had some translators but mostly we just type everything in on google translate back and forth which takes a lot of time and a lot of patience... but its worth it! He has a strong belief in the Bible which is good, but it's also hard to get him to understand the Book of Mormon. 
We had a fun valentines day or Alla Hjärtans Dag! We made lots of cookies and delivered them to members and less actives and I also went on sister splits to Södertälje. (Hahahaha- I am imagining you trying to pronounce that). I have always loved Valentine's day because mom has always made it a day to show our love to everyone around us not just to someone we are interested in hahaha.  We should of course show our love to others everyday but it is a fun holiday to celebrate LOVE! The first and greatest commandment.

Syster LaFontaine and I have so much fun together. She is so funny and we work hard together. I am sooo blessed with my companions! Every time there is a transfer I feel prepared to get a hard companion but I just love 'em all.

We have some amazing members. The Forsman family is from Utah and they are Awesome. The dad, Mike, was born and raised in Sweden as a little boy so he speaks Swedish and they live here now with their three little kids and literally run the Katrineholm Branch. They do everything and nothing starts (like Sacrament meeting) until they are there. BUT yesterday they all spoke in sacrament meeting and announced that they are moving to Stockholm in two weeks. All of the missionaries looked at each other like "crap." hahaha We and the active members are really going to have to step it up. #eek.

Seven of the members were just baptized a month or so ago. The mom, the dad, their three daughters and two of the daughters boy friends. They are from Iran and only speak Persian... 

*so many language barriers* 
but they are so humble and sweet and I love them. I was watching the mom yesterday in sacrament meeting as Amber Forsman was speaking and tears were running down her face the entire time. It was cool because everyone in that room that saw her crying knew that she couldn't understand Amber, and yet she could because the spirit was so strong. It brought me to tears.

Another member, E......, is from Africa and only speaks English. She got baptized in Nigeria three years ago and left to get away from her husband. I can't say much more about her except she is a SAINT. She has her baby O..... here in Sweden and her other baby is still in Africa with her sister. She has no money and her life is not easy but she comes to church each week with a smile on her face. She is so humble and honest and kind. I just sat on her little couch this past week holding little O..... she was playing with my rings and bracelets and necklaces... and E....... was telling us about her life and of how much she loves the gospel and I had tears in my eyes for her. I just want to give her all that I have. She needs more (clothes, food, the simple things) and yet she is content with what she has and the situation that she is in.

This morning I read some talks that mom sent me in the mail from Elder Holland and as I was reading "The Miracle of a Mission". . . I just started BAWLING. I got onto my knees and just sobbed and prayed to tell Heavenly Father about how grateful I am for my mission. I AM SO GRATEFUL TO BE HERE. I love every second of it. I love everything that I am learning, all of the opportunities I have to teach and share this message, and I love this land that I am in. I know I say this a lot but I cannot imagine my life without these experiences. And I am happy to say that I have CHOSEN to love it. Not everyday is sunny or warm. Not every person smiles back or listens. Not every lesson is perfect. Not everyday ends with feeling like we had success. In fact those things hardly every happen but IT'S OKAY! Because this is God's work and He knows what he is doing. I am just an instrument in His hands... and that is an amazing opportunity.

I am so grateful for choice. I think you (mom) and I must have had the same thoughts this week because she taught her young women’s class on choice. I started thinking a lot about the agency we have to choose after I read the scripture Alma 26:41 "But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of war between the nephites and the lamanites, many had become hardened because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and MANY WERE SOFTENED because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility." IT IS ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE. We GET to choose. I choose happiness and light and love and joy and peace and hard work. I am still working on humility... but everyday I am humbled by my weaknesses and I try so hard to overcome them because I know that through God, I can.

Thank you for the letters and talks and packages. I got a letter from Olivia this week with wedding pictures. They were beautiful! And CONGRATS to little David Brinton for getting baptized! I got the cutest picture of him with his scriptures in the mail and I hung it up in my room :). I can't wait to hear about Henry and I hope you all have the best week ever!

BYE!! love me

p.s. You should have seen me trying to lead the music yesterday in church. . . I should have listened when you tried teaching me... i know... but it was pretty pitiful. I just swung my hand back and forth. 4/4 is easy but 3/4?!?! didn’t quite work the same. he he he.

(This is a note from Adelide's mission President:)
Syster Christensen, What a great beginning you and Syster LaFontaine have experienced in Katrineholm! I am so grateful for your faith, diligence and love for the people. Everywhere you go there is sunshine and goodness. The smiles of Maria are surely repeated over and over, as others see and feel of the hope there can be in the message you are called to share. We send our love and confidence for and in you and your companion,

President Newell

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