Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The End of the Beginning.. Dun.. Dun.. dunnnnn‏

Today concludes the end of my CCM experience! Tomorrow I am off to Texas! (Fun fact, in Spanish Texas is pronounced Tay-has.. So theres that) Anyway... This week was one of the best weeks I have had here! And also one of the saddest.. Esta Bien! 

Let me begin with one of the coolest experiences I have ever had! So on Friday we had a surprise TRC. TRC is when we just go in and teach random people. Real people!! Not teachers! Well anyway, on Friday a ward came to TRC for their ward activity. I think it was a primary activity because there were so many little kids! They called our district in to teach and it was one of the coolest things ever! All the little kids had little missionary tags that said future missionary. I died a little inside. It was so precious. It made me so excited to get out in the field and start teaching for real! The kids were so honored that they got to talk to the cool missionaries. (Because lets be real.. we are pretty cool..) They had such a little light and excitement about them. Missionary work is the best! 

I also had to speak in sacrament this week... I have avoided it for the whole time I have been here and finally Presidente Machado realized I hadn't had an opportunity to speak. Haha! The talk was on faith so it wasn't that bad! I am a little nervous for this Sunday though.. I have a feeling the ward I am assigned to is going to call me up and have me bear my testimony and introduce myself. My Spanish is pretty good but it sure isn't great. Oh well! I am sure the gift of tongues will help me get my message across! Pray for me! Our district also had to sing in sacrament meeting. We decided to sing la oracion de un niño. (A childs prayer) It is really hard to sing in spanish!! It goes super fast!

This week we also had to take a little spanish test on the computer... They would give us 20 seconds to read this story and then we would have to teach a lesson to the person in the story. It was.. fun... I passed so I guess I can survive in my mission! 

I also had to give the missionary purpose in front of the whole CCM last week. It went fine.. except when I get really nervous I smile really big.  So I guess when I went up there I was a little too energetic and I made everyone laugh... Haha.. I was so embarrassed.. But its ok! It takes a special kind of person to make 300 people smile! Oh and David Archuletta was here visiting and I missed him! He was just in the area and he stopped by the CCM and I missed the whole thing. I am only slightly bitter about it. 

We also had to say goodbye to our district this week. It was so sad! A few tears were shed. It is amazing how close you can get to a group of people when you are all unified in the Lords work. My district was my little family while I was here and I am going to miss them so much! But it is ok because I know we are all called to do great things! 

Well anyway, I hope you are all having a great week! I love you all so much and you are all in my prayers! Remember who you are and what you stand for! Until next week my loves! 

Hermana C.   

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Houston...here I come!

Hello!! Que Pasa? This week has been one great week! I can´t believe how fast the time goes here! One more week and I will be in Houston! WOOOOOO!!! We leave next Wednesday and I am SO. PUMPED.

So we watched a devotional from Elder Bednar on Sunday. It was amazing and pretty much changed my life. I have no idea what it was called but if you need something to do, look up Elder Bednar Provo MTC devotional.. cookie monster.. natural man.. And hopefully  you can find it! It was phenomenal. He talked about how the Atonement is the character of Chirst. It was all about how we all need to turn outward when the natural man would turn inward. I decided to get a little paper back Book of Mormon and just mark it looking for examples of true conversion and the character of Christ. It has been amazing! This gospel is so amazing! Also, I read another great talk from Elder Bednar this week! It is called The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality. I would challenge you all to read it! It is a good one!

We taught our investigator more this week. Here is a funny story! So we were teaching her about the Word of Wisdom and she explained to us that she has an addiction to cigarettes and she doesn't think she can quit. So I decided to share with her 1 Nephi 3:7 (ya know.. the Lord will give us no commandments unless he prepares a way for us to accomplish it) Anyway, I told her that Nephi was faced with the challenge of building a ship and knew that he could do it through the Lord.. And that she could do anything through the Lord as well.. It was a great lesson! Except afterwards I realized I used that scripture in the wrong context.. And then I felt bad for teaching false doctrine. Haha! My life is so awkward. 

Speaking of awkward.. Here is another story.. So the whole time I have been here I have been DYING for a street taco. I real mexican street taco!! None of my teachers will take my pesos and go get me one!! Anyway.. We were walking back from service the other day and this man on this bike thing (It looks like the little motor bike on Nacho Libre) comes up and asked us if we liked tacos! I got so excited because I thought he was going to give us one! So I ran over to him and was like YES! YES! YES! I LOVE TACOS! Then he just looked at me and said "Yo Tambien" (Me too..) Then he drove away and i sat down in the middle of the street and almost cried. The end. 

I have also had to be the investigator literally every day this week! Our teachers will do a teaching demonstration and they always ask me to be the investigator! Im not going to lie.. It gives me a little bit of anxiety because I have to do it in front of everyone!!! But at the same time it is really fun.. I always just pick a family member or a friend and act like them! It is so cool to see how the gospel can bless the lives of every single person! Everyone needs this message! Tonight I have to lead the whole CCM in the missionary purpose.. In spanish! I have been practicing every day but I could use some prayers because I am super nervous! Haha! It will be fine! 

One last thing.. There are these candy bars that I have just discovered.. They are called Bueno Bars. And they are very very very bueno! They are little globs of hazelnut butter wrapped in a cookie and dipped in chocolate.. I die a little inside every time I eat them. SO. GOOD. 

Sorry this one is a little short! I hope all is going fantastic back in the states! This gospel is so true! I would like to challenge everyone this week to share the gospel with someone somehow! People need this message in their lives! Have a wonderful week! I love you all!! 

LOL (lots of love)

Hermana Christensen 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Life Lessons and Maggot-y Mangos‏

Hey there bears! Que paso?? So this week went by ridiculously fast. I can not believe that it is already p day again! Time is flying!! Anyway... Not a whole lot happened this week! Just class.. class.. and more class.. Dont get me wrong! I LOVE it here!! But I am getting ready to go out in the field! Only two more weeks! WAHOOOOOO!!

So on Sunday we watched Meet the Mormons. It was my first time seeing it and it wasnt what I expected! It was super good though! As I was watching it, I realized how amazing it is that people all over the world are influenced by the message of El evangelio de Jesucristo (the gospel of Jesus Christ). Watching how the gospel has changed people made me super pumped and excited to go out and share it!! Wooo! Yay for missionarys! 

Let me tell you something I learned this week.. So the whole time I have been here I have thought that my Spanish has been pretty fantastic! Until this last week.. I have no idea what was up but for some reason this week, the language was just really hard! I had a humbling experience when after a lesson, my teacher told me my Spanish seemed really basic. It made me kinda sad at first because I thought I was doing super good! But then I decided that there was no point in getting all sad about it! We are given correction so that we can learn and grow. And learn and grow I did! I decided to fast for help with learning the language! I fasted and have been pouring out my soul every day to the Lord for help! I have learned that there are a few things we need in order to qualify for the gift of tongues. First, we need to pray, pray, pray, and pray some more! Next we need to be actively working to receive the promised blessings! I have been speaking the language as much as possible and have been studying my little buns off and holy cow the blessings have come! By the end of this last week, I knew more vocab and phrases then ever before! And the lessons started to come a whole lot easier! I feel like a switch was just turned on in my brain because the Spanish is starting to really click! During our lesson we had with our investigator yesterday, I was able to share personal experiences as well as doctrine for the first time ever! Every thing just flowed together! So moral of the story... If you are struggling with anything in your life, forget yourself and get to work! :)

So I decided I haven't really told you much about my lovely comp! So here we go.. Hermana Jorgensen is from Gilbert Arizona and is pretty much my soul sister. She likes space cat shirts, movie quotes, and of course the gospel! I love her to death! She is such a blessing! And the great thing is that she is going to Houston with me! We have two other Hermanas that we hang out with pretty much 24/7! They are in our room with us and in our district and are going to Houston too! Their names are Hermana George and Hermana Gaylor! They are both super funny and we all get along smashingly! I really got blessed to have such amazing girls! 

We decided that our casa is in the ghetto of the CCM. Literally, our house is a dump. There are these massive spiders and cucarachas. It is quite nasty! None of the other houses have this problem! All our grass is dead and our lights are always flickering! It is so fantastic! The bathroom is.. well.. nevermind.. And I have all ready told you all about the mysterious sounds of the city we hear all night! Haha! And for some reason.. Every night our casa phone rings at precisely 11:16pm and wakes us all up. I guess it is just all part of the CCM experience! Haha! It is just funny because all the other Hermanas have these lovely clean homes with flowers and cute yards. Not that I am bitter or anything! Living in the ghetto just builds character! 

Let me tell you the story of my mango addiction. The comidor has had fresh mangos for us every single day! It has been so wonderful! I have been eating mangos like they are going out of style! Until Saturday.. Hermana George was cutting open her mango and it was filled with MAGGOTS. I was disturbed for days. So just as soon as it started, the addiction has ended, and I will never eat another mango again. So theres that. We have also been getting so much helado from our friend, David. I will send a picture of him! Haha! We have a meeting place outside the comidor where he deals us the ice cream! It is so funny! Also.. In other news, It has been about 80 degrees every day here! I have gotten pretty tan. I think I could be considered a native. Just in case you were wondering!

Well my loves, I hope all is going well in the states! I miss you all and am sending lots of love! Thank you so much for all the emails!! You are all the best!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Christensen 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Feliz Dia de Marmonta‏

Hello! Hello! Hello!!
How are all y´all doing? This week went by crazy fast!! I cant believe it is already p day again! Thank you all for the emails! First things first... Jarett. You have better be kidding when you said One Direction broke up. I almost cried when I read that. Just kidding! But for realzz.. That better be a joke! So I had a couple of super sweet experiences this week!! First of all, it was fast sunday this week! It was so cool! We had a fast and testimony meeting in our little branch. I felt so strongly that I should go up and bear my testimony! Except I was a little nervous because it all had to be in español! So I prayed and told Heavenly Father that I was going to go up and bear my testimony but I was going to need a little bit of help with the language! So I walked up there and just started talking! Not really sure what I said but I was able to do it! It was a testimony builder to me that when we pray we also have to act! Action on faith brings blessings! It was so awesome! 

We now have three investigators that we are teaching! I love teaching investigators! The spirit is always so strong and it feels so good to share the gospel with people! On Wednesday we have this thing called TRC. I am not sure what it stands for.. i think its teaching random converts.. but dont quote me on that! Anyway, we go into this room and teach a random person. Some of them are members and some of them are just people they pull off the street. We had our first one last Wednesday. I had felt I was doing pretty well with my Spanish.. then I went in and talked to a couple of people and completely lost all my confidence. Haha! Just kidding! It was an awesome experience but I had NO idea what they were saying half the time! The Mexican people talk so fast!! One lady was saying something about the gospel and then all of a sudden she was talking about frijoles. I was super confused! Haha! It was an awesome experience though! And for only having 3 weeks of Spanish.. We did pretty well! I am excited to do it again tomorrow!

I have made lots of friends with the Latinos here! I think they think I am a native because they always come up and start talking to me.. I just smile and nod and act like I know what is going on! I LOVE the Hispanic people! They are all so funny and humble and I love them all! I made friends with some Latino hermanas! I help them with English and they help me a ton with Spanish! We are always talking and having fun even though half the time we cant understand each other! Its great! There is a cleaning lady named Claudia who is pretty much one of my best friends. Hermana Jorgensen and I do service with her on Wednesdays and she is the coolest lady ever! I LOVE MEXICO!!!!

This week I was introduced to the game of cage soccer.. During gym, we have a big group of hermanas who will get together to play! We call ourselves the Cage Hermanas! It is so fun! Usually I hate soccer but this is intense. Pretty much its just soccer that we play with this rock hard ball inside a cage. It is soooooo much fun! I have played it almost everyday! My legs are pretty black and blue but it is so worth it! Haha! When I get back, I will introduce you all to the glory of cage soccer!

Here is your funny story for the week! Yesterday there were a bunch of cannons and fireworks and mexican music blaring outside in the city! We all thought it was because it was groundhogs day! Haha! So we asked our teachers if the people of Mexico took groundhogs day very seriously.. I wish you could have seen their faces! They had NO idea what we were talking about! Haha! Try explaining groundhogs day to someone.. Just try. And now try to do it in spanish. They could not believe that we recognized a holiday where a groundhog just comes out of his house to see his shadow! It was the funniest thing ever! They totally thought we were joking! We made them look it up to prove that it was a real thing! It was so so so hilarious! 

In other news, we went to the temple today!! Unfortunately, the temple is closed because they are fixing the cooling system so we didn't get to go inside.. But it was still great none the less! The temple is about 40 minutes from the CCM so we got to go on another fun ride through the city! It was so much fun! I kinda like Mexico City.. at first it scared me but I like it now! You just would not believe how different it is from the USA. We got to go to the visitors center at the temple! It was wonderful! Even though we didn't get to go inside the temple, it was still great to just be near it! There is such a wonderful spirit there! I bought a Mexican shirt and a Mexican backpack at the little gift shop. I'm pretty much look like a native now!

Well keep me posted on all of your lives! I love and miss you all! Thank you for all of your support! I know this church is true and I am so blessed to be a missionary!! Until next week!! 

Hermana Christensen

p.s. here is a sad story.. the cord to my camera is gone.. I was pretty sad because I thought I couldn't send any pics this week..  But luckily one of my companions has the same camera and let me borrow hers until I find it. The end.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sketchy Bees

Yay for P day! This week has been so much fun! I seriously LOVE it here! This is probs the most fun I have ever had in my entire life! First of all.. Thank you all for your emails! They make my life! I am so sorry I can not respond to each of you individually! I love you all so much! Also.. HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY JOSHY!! I hope your day was super fun! And mom and dad and fam, thank you for the cards you put in my luggage! I loved them! You are all the best!

Ok. Story time. So this week has been super great! My Spanish is actually pretty good! We finished teaching Alejandro and we are now teaching two new investigators named Miriam and Mirna. They are just our teachers but it still feels totally real! When we taught our very first lesson to our first investigator, we could only talk for like 15-20 minutes. Now Hermana Jorgensen and I can teach for a solid hour, no big deal. So here is a neat story. We watched a devotional the other day from Elder Bednar. He said that often we pray (when learning a new language) to have our mouths filled before we will open them, when we really just need to prepare, study, and open our mouths and then they will be filled with what we need to say. Well... We were teaching Miriam her first lesson and I had the strongest impression to invite her to be baptized. I have been trying and trying to memorize the baptismal invite but I just can not seem to get it. Well there I was with no notes or anything and feeling like I should invite her. So I decided to test out Elder Bednars words. And it was amazing. I started saying it and the words just came! I was able to say the whole thing to her without hesitation. The spirit was so strong and she actually started to cry. Then I started to cry and then Hermana Jorgensen started to cry and it was great. Probably one of the most spiritual experiences of my life! I have learned that as we prepare and exercise our faith, we will receive promised blessings. The church is so true my friends. 

So I got stung by a bee this week.. It was just hanging out in my hair and when I brushed it away it decided to sting my finger. Hermana Jorgensen was freaking out because it was really weird looking and she thought I was going to die. I made her take the stinger out but she only got half of it! Haha! My hand has been swollen and red for like 5 days and we could not figure out why. I was freaking out because I thought maybe my hand would have to get cut off or I would have to go to some sketchy mexican doctor. This went on for a couple of days and then we realized it was just the other half of the stinger. No biggy. So we performed a quick little surgery and all is well. Moral of the story, bees in mexico are really scary and Hermana Jorgensen is never allowed to touch me ever again. 

Every monday night we have family night with our zone. We play signs and have a spiritual thought and sing hymns and its super fun! Well every time a district gets ready to leave, they pass down these objects to some of the other missionaries. Its been a zone 12 tradition for years. They are things like the special string, the book of knowledge, this jar of peanut butter that has been passed down for who knows how long, and so forth. Its like the highest honor to be given one of the items. Well, our zone leaders where getting ready to leave and they brought out the most treasured and sacred one of them all: the metal soccer ball. The metal soccer ball is the top of a trophy (the CCM used to be a high school) that some missionary got a hold of years ago. It has been passed down in our zone FOREVER. It is seriously legendary. Well guess who got it! Yup. Me. The zone leader himself passed it down to me. All the elders in my district are so jealous. Our district leader keeps begging me to let him have it. There are a bunch of notes inside the ball that missionaries have added over the years. You can only get them out of this tiny hole in the ball with tweezers. Hermana Jorgensen and I have been working on it for a couple days and so far we only got one. But we keep telling the Elders that we got them all out.. and that they contain all the secrets of the CCM. Its pretty great. 

Funny story! So we made friends with this little old man in the comidor (where we get our food). His name is David but we call him king David. He is so funny. During dinner he will go smuggle some ice cream bars, hide them in his jacket, and then discretely pass them to us. Its the best. There is also a forbidden forest here. It is this little patch of trees that no one is allowed to go near. Legend has it that one time an Elder was playing ultimate Frisbee in the forest and ran into a tree and broke his face. Everyone is always cracking Harry Potter jokes about it (the forbidden forest, not the elder). Its so funny. There are also some cannons somewhere near the CCM that go off every once in a while (at least i think they are cannons)... So we always joke that its like the hunger games.. because we are district 12.. and there are cannons.. so its funny. And sometimes when we are trying to go to bed we hear some mexican man yelling over a megaphone. We always crack up laughing because it sounds EXACTLY like the guy on Nacho Libre who calls out the names before the wrestling match. Mexico is my favorite place ever! 

Some of you asked me about the food. So let me tell you. It is FANTASTIC. Sometimes the breakfasts are really weird.. Like on Sundays they always feed us sub sandwiches. And sometimes there is this weird dish that looks like hot dogs in salsa. Mexicans just dont really like breakfast foods. I am getting used to having tacos in the morning though. It  is so good. The chocolate milk here is to die for. It is literally just melted chocolate ice cream. I love it!! Except the people of mexico do not like cold drinks.. so the milk is always warm and that grosses me out a bit.. but it tastes so good so its fine! 

Some one else asked me about my schedule.. So here is a brief summary! We wake up, get dressed, go study for 45 minutes. Then we eat breakfast, have an hour of gym time, and go to class for 3 hours. Then we have lunch, have personal and language study and then more class for 3 more hours. Then we eat dinner, go to language study, have companion study, daily planning, and then go to bed.. And the cycle continues! Its super fun though! The days fly by because there is literally not a moment where we are just sitting around! 

Mom and Dad, there are some websites I would like to share with you.. one is missionarypackage.mx.com and the other is www.mtcmexicocarepackage.com. The whole dearelder thing doesnt really work here! But these two will! You can send letters and packages! What ever you want! Everyone keeps getting letters and treats from their family so feel free to send me something!! PLEASE. Hermana Jorgensen just got a box of krsipy cremes! I have no idea how her mother pulled that off but we are feasting tonight!! Haha! 

Well, take care my darlings! I love missionary work and I love this gospel! Do good things and say your prayers! I love you all!! 

Hermana Christensen