Monday, September 30, 2013

September Memories ... and Amazing Scenery!

September 30, 2013

Hola Familia & Amigos!

It’s been another awesome month to be a missionary in the great TMM (Texas McAllen Mission)!! It’s been raining cats and dogs just about every day so I’m pretty much always wet – either rained on while we ride our bikes, splashed riding through puddles, or drenched in sweat because it’s still hot! After 17 days, it finally stopped raining and I’m excited about that. And really excited for General Conference next week – it’s like Super Bowl Sunday for missionaries!

We were able to baptize a wonderful lady named Kassy and it was amazing to see the strong spiritual confirmation she had about the Gospel. She has had so many trials but has continued to persevere. The Spirit was so strong at her baptism and I was so happy for her! (And I didn’t fall in the font and we only had to do the baptism once, so it was really awesome!)

I had my first spill on my bike – during a bad thunderstorm, my foot slipped on the pedals, I tried to brake and flipped up and over the handlebars with my bike landing in the puddle next to me (good thing I was already soaking wet). I was so blessed and thankful because there weren’t any cars nearby, and I only ended up with a small cut on my hand and it’s almost healed.

I’m loving my mission it is so amazing – teaching people, finding people, and just working hard and trying our best. It feels like I just got here and I can’t believe I’ve been in Donna, TX for two months! I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I promise y’all that this is the Lord’s work and we are truly led by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father loves us more than we can even comprehend. And He has told us that if we love Him in return, we will keep His commandments. That is how we show our Heavenly Father that we love Him. We are truly led by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of Him we have all that we have, and the best part is that we can grow and change and repent to become more and more like Him. How cool is that?!?!

Remember to pray, especially if you’re having a hard time. He is waiting to help us, we just need to ask. I love you all.

Con Amor,
Elder Christiansen

 I love what Elder Christiansen wrote about this picture:
"This is the view from our apartment at 6:45-ish in the morning.
There is nothing prettier than a big ol' Texas sky!"

Scenery in Donna, TX

Elder Christiansen, blue tie and big smile, with fellow
missionaries at a training meeting, above and below.

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Baptisim ... Fourth Time's a Charm

Elder Christiansen was able to baptize someone into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What an awesome experience!

September 2, 2013

Hola Familia & Amigos,

It’s been another awesome month to be a missionary in South Texas! It is starting to cool off – it got down to a chilly 88 the other day. The hottest it’s been so far is 110! It’s good though because people give us water everywhere we go, which gives us a chance to talk to them about the Gospel.

I was able to baptize someone last week and it was AWESOME!!!! It was my first baptism and I’ll never forget it! Her name is Paris and she’s 8 years old – her aunt and grandma are members of the Church so that’s how we started teaching her. It was such a great feeling to see her following Jesus Christ, and so humbling to be part of her baptism.

I’ll also never forget it because it was soooo funny! Here’s why: I was at the top of the font ready to go in, took one step, slipped and fell down four stairs into the water, grabbing onto the railing for dear life. The noise and echo were so loud, water splashed all over the walls of the font, I was soaking wet, and my foot was killing me. Thankfully, the doors to the font were closed, so Paris was the only one who saw this, but I turned to her and she looked so scared her face was almost white. She gently walked into the font, the doors opened, and we were ready. I baptized her with her full name, or so I thought. Her grandma then called from the audience that, no, that’s not her full name, so we did the baptism for the 2nd time, with her real full name, and her toe came out of the water. So, we did the baptism the 3rd time, and I didn’t dunk her all the way (that was my bad), and then on the 4th time, I got it right. And y’all – the feeling I got after I baptized her for the final time was unbelievable! The Spirit was so strong it was amazing!! So yeah, basically, the first time I ever baptized anyone, I slipped and fell into the font and had to do it 4 times, but it was totally worth it!!

We are planning the Perez family’s baptism for early this month and I’m excited. They are a super cool famila – the dad has been in and out of jail and was in the drug cartels and gangs for a long time, but quit a few years ago because he realized it was destroying his life. It’s been amazing to see them change – they are awesome!

We see miracles every day and there’s no better feeling than having the Spirit in our lives! As we are obedient to the commandments that the Lord has given us, He blesses us in ways that we can't even imagine. There is no other alternative to finding that kind of happiness and joy. My mission is great, I can't imagine doing anything else! I love you all.

Con amor,
Elder Christiansen