Thursday, 26 May 2016

May 24, 2016-Dodged the Transfer

My apologies for not telling anyone that this last week was transfer week.  I never remember ahead of time. I possibly never will but on the up hand it was a great week ! Because I am training and training is 2 transfer long I get to stay again !!! Thank goodness. I have really come to dislike being transferred. Being transferred is one of the hardest parts of my mission. Elder Y and I still working in tala ofa and natomas 3rd. I love both of these areas especially now that we are finally getting a handle on everything. Plus I love my companion. He has picked up missionary work like its second nature. Makes training him not to difficult. Honestly he is training me . 
                I can't believe i only have 6 months left. That's lots of time, but time seems to be passing by as if it doesn't exist. The days feel like an hour , weeks feel like a day, and the months feel like a week. I almost hope that the rest of life does not go like this. I feel I have so much more to accomplish in my mission.
        something that I really have been trying to learn and apply is the power of prayer. Prayer can be one of the most effective things in receiving blessings in this life. Prayer  is one on one communication between us aNd a loving Heavenly Father. In our prayers we are able to give thanks and ask for blessing that he is already willing to give us but is dependent on us asking for them. I am realizing the strength and power of children's hymns lately. One of the hymns says:
Heavenly Father , are you really there ? 
And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away 
But I feel it close around me as I pray
Pray he is there
Speak he is listening
You are his child
His love now surrounds you 

I have a testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. The answers to my prayers have not come immediately. Or all at once. Some answers I'm still waiting on. But the lord will always provide us with answers. And he will always provide us with comfort as we ask for it. And if you have never tried it, give it a go. Test it out. Then as alma says : And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst. shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you. Alma 32:42-43.
Other than that, my week has been good ! Gave a talk in church! I actually love giving talks now. It's awesome.
I love you family and friends. I look forward to hearing from all of you soon ! 
Elder kristensen
A tribute to my comp who ate a Thai chili pepper at a Lao members house. I did this almost a year ago. I know the pain. 
Also a tribute to one of my best friends in the mission. This is elder T . He is an amazing elder and is one of the sweetest guys. Elder T , you're a pro. 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

May 16, 2016-Find, Teach, and the Lord will Lead you to Baptize

Hello family and friends . I must be quick again because I have to go freshen up at a barber shop. But I do want to tell you about my love of the gospel and of our lord Jesus Christ who leads us everyday. I know that he lives and most importantly I know he has saved all of us from pain and suffering and I know that with his stripes we are healed from every pain . All he asks is that we keep his commandments . And that we love him. And that we repent of our mistakes, he will forgive us EVERY time as we strive to keep his commandments. I know he loves us. He can make more out of our lives than we could ever muster up on our own. He will enrich and uplift your life. All you have to do is try. I know sometimes that it seems as though we will always fall short. Because we do. We will never make up for our imperfections because we can't. But that is why the savior is there. When feelings of deep discouragement come or when questions about your progression arise, take the advise alma the younger gave to his sons to " remember, remember" the success and the growth you have made. Look at how far you have come. Remembering our growth through the saviors atonement and grace is an eternal principle in finding satisfaction and joy in our lives. 
The work is going great ! We had a family (3 daughters and a mom ) attend church this week and we also had interviews with president. It was a great week actually with lots of miracles. And a specialized training from president about teaching people and not lessons. As we live principles requirements are met. I love my mission. It has become the most precious experience of my life.
Staying frosty in California 
Elder kristensen
We had an Hmong egg roll /uno/ music party with my district today :) 
I was going through a bunch of my unread emails from like 2014. So basically a long time ago Keaton said that once he got home someone could smack him with a milk jug. May I get a video of someone helping keep his word ? 

May 9, 2016-Happy Mother's Day

Sorry for a quick one had an exciting day ! 
I'm just going to send some pictures this week. But I will bear my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his restored church. Lately I feel as though people around this part of town gets so caught in the small things or things of little importance or relevancy . The essence of the gospel is love , ( according to president monson - which is according to the lord ) . Don't forget the biggest part the gospel is love of the savior and a Heavenly Father who knows us so deeply he can silence all our fears. I have a testimony of that because I have a lot of fears. The words of a hymn comes to mind :
" fear not I am with thee 
Oh be not dismayed 
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. 
I'll strengthen thee
Help thee 
And cause thee to stand. 
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand " 

I love Heavenly Father.mi love the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And I know it's available to those who wish to know him and his love. All we have to do is have a desire to believe and perform an experiment upon his words. 
I love you all ,
Elder kristensen 
Sister Lillie and I with our Canadian pride in a very American world. 
This is from our Coloma trip today . This is the gang I'll be going home with. I love them all. 

May 2, 2016- I'm Becoming a Tongan

So it has been quite the week ! I will share a couple of cool experiences ! 
On Tuesday we had a super busy morning. We had a new missionary meeting in the afternoon and had a bunch of appointments in the morning so we did splits with the zoneleaders. We were called in the morning by one of our less actives who needed a blessing bad. The night before she watched a lady get hit by a car and being a trained nurse she tried to save this ladies life but was unsuccessful. So she was in pretty big shock. So we went over and when we walked in there was already someone there in a white shirt and tie. So we thought someone from the church already beat us there. Then we saw a big camera. And then the guys jacket that said "FOX 40 news." Yup walked in on that. So we asked them to put their camera away as we taught her out of the Book of Mormon with the news people there. She then asked for a blessing. Didn't know what do so we did it anyway. But first we turned to the camera guys and taught them the restoration so they understood what was about to happen. He started taking notes so we figured we needed to be pretty careful what we were to say. That was a ton of fun. Crazy experience. 
We have had a full week of service and working a lot with the Tongan ward. What a blessing that has been . We have set a goal with a less active family to be sealed as a family for eternity in a temple of God this summer. Super excited to see that happen ! Plus the excitement in the ward is just growing !!! 
But because of that focus we haven't had much of a chance to find. So numbers wise it didn't look too good ( not that numbers mean anything ), but then Saturday night, in 30 mins, we received 5 referrals to contact . Heavenly Father does love us ! So awesome. 
Elder Y and I cooked dinner together and star gazed when it got dark. It was such a great week in the work ! I know Heavenly Father loves each of us. I know the sacrament is the door way to using the atonement in our lives. It is there to allow us to be changed, and to be better and to provide us with hope . Sunday night we received a text from the elder quorum president in tala'ofa ward. He thanked us and said to "never get weary." I love that quote. Through the enabling power of the atonement we will never get weary. I know that to be true. 
Love you all! Elder kristensen 
And also a tribute to the most incredible housing coordinator ever. Elder M- you will be missed :) 

April 25, 2016-Consider the Lilies of Life!

It was another good week in the best mission for me ! Seriously . I have had a good week reflecting on how amazing my mission has been this far. It has been incredible. No amount of money or praise or school or job or whatever could allow me the things that I have experienced. Sacramento California has become sacred ground for me. The people that have made this experience what it's been thus far mean eternity to me because the bounds you make in the work of the savior are eternal. The support and prayers and love I receive from home are so greatly appreciated and will be needed as elder young yen and I strive to bring about the work of salvation for the Polynesian people and those living in the natomas 3rd ward boundary ! 
This week we chose to have what we called "consider the lilies" moments. Life truly is a miracle. Our Heavenly Father is a God of miracles and miracles have not ceased. Moroni in the Book of Mormon puts that pretty clear. I love our Heavenly Father. I don't know everything about him , nor do I totally understand him. But the blessing I have received are proof enough to me of his unconditional love. Plus the blessings he has given to those I have seen in my mission stand as a testimony to me of his love for ALL his children. Gratitude is in my heart for this glorious gospel .
This week went very well with lots of opportunity to teach and to find. We found a lot of new investigators and spending time trying to find that soul that Heavenly Father has prepared for us. We have spent a lot more time in the Tongan ward as we feel we have not spent as much time in it as we should have. And the lord has given us some pretty specific revelation as to what to do. And I have learned the importance of temple recommend holding members in the church . It is crucial not only to your own spiritual growth but more importantly to those whom you serve in various callings of the church. Do all you can to receive that recommend. The blessings of the temple are just to important to miss ! 
By the way of any ward choir can sing like the Tongans can that'd be amazing. We went to a fireside with an old general authority from Tonga. It was incredible. Most of it was in Tongan but that's okay the gift of tongues is awesome. Sometimes that gift comes in the form of a translator though. I love you all ! 
Elder kristensen
We found a sushi place..... Broke our bank but worth every penny . 

April 18, 2016-I'm Almost an Islander

Hello family ,
What a wonderful week it has been ! All that I have to say is that saying good bye to elder T was not the easiest thing that I had to do. So Tuesday we had preparation day . Elder K and I were on a temporary companionship exchange while we waited for our trainees to come in on Wednesday morning. We went and taught an investigator C and her husband Jeff. Last time we were there C said that she never had felt the spirit before .... We didnt believe it but kept teaching. Then the next time we were there as we were teaching the plan of salvation she stopped the entire lesson and to her and everyone else's amazement she said she felt it. She felt the spirit. For the first time. She said she had never felt it before and she felt just so happy ! She said it had to be the spirit ! 
That was incredible to witness someone experience the spirit for the first time. What an incredible experience . What was the difference between that lesson and every other one we had with them? I strongly believe it to be because we used way more scripture this time.  the word of God is stronger than my own. I have to make the scriptures the first witness and then me the second witness. 
Then Wednesday we picked up the companion ! My new trainee ! Who by the way is not much of a trainee at all! He is definitely pre-trained, his name is elder Y. He is a little Asian boy...

Just kidding he is a massive Samoan from New Zealand. And he is amazing, such a strong elder. Ready to do the work. A lot of late nights talking . This week we hit the grind hard !!! And for my brother in law he is specifically from Mangere New Zealand. So if you ever served there that would be legit.  
The rest of this week was just busy with teaching and finding. On Saturday night we butchered some pigs with the Tongan ward for a huge feast that was happening for a mission farewell. That was fun. Anyways I love you all! 
The gospel is true. The scriptures are true. I love the word of God and the spirit it brings into my life. The guidance and the blessing of having them are incomparable. The sacrifice to bring forth the word was way to big to not take advantage of it. 
Have a great week ! 
Elder kristensen 
Comp lavalava