Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 16, 2012

I want to preface this letter by saying this has probably been the best week since I have been here.  It was definitely amazing.  Thank you to Jessica S, Taylor L, my roommates, Tara F, Karly S, and Emmy for your letters.  I don't know if I'll have as much time today to write letters, but I'll get responses as soon as I can.  And sorry if you wrote me and I didn't remember you in this post.  I don't have my list of people I need to write this week in front of me.  And always, thank you to Sister Jakins for the "treat" this week.  Carrots were a nice change-up.

Alright, so now the exciting things of the week.  First, I have been made a Zone Leader.  Many of the responsibilities are the same as when I was a District Leader, but there are also a few more.  Also, I switched companions.  To be 100% honest, my previous companion and I didn't have many problems between us, but we both had very different styles of teaching and I think our lessons may have suffered a little from that.  So now, my new companion:  he is the other Zone leader, his name is Elder Brueggeman, like my old companion he is also a convert of a little over a year, he is 22 years old, he knows why he's here, he's always focused, he's a super hard worker and we've had a great week.  This change came on Friday night, so we've been companions for a week now.  During that time, I have had my favorite TRC experiences, my favorite investigator experiences, I've been progressing in Spanish a lot faster, and we have had absolutely 0 problems with each other.  He speaks almost as much Spanish as I do, so we try to speak in Spanish together ALL the time.

For the TRC this week, we talked to a brother about the Restoration.  This week was the first opportunity we have had to teach a 40 min lesson.  Our goal going into the lesson was to help him feel excited to share the Gospel and the message of the Restoration.  After talking to him and hearing his testimony, I feel like I may have been more excited to share the message of the Restoration than anybody else.  The Restoration is the only thing that is 100% unique to our church, which means it's also the most important to share.  Now, I'm really excited to get to work.

For investigators this week, Elder Brueggeman and I were in different places with their progress, so we ended up going off of the progress of Elder Brueggeman.  Up to that point, he had not been able to get a baptismal commitment from either of the investigators.  We taught them both this week, and on the first visits that we had with each of them, we got commitments.  The Spirit was stronger than ever in those lessons. 

After I wrote my letter last week, I realized that I didn't talk at all about what I've been studying.  I have still been focusing on studying the Atonement when I don't have to plan for an investigator.  Thank you for everybody that shared their insights with me.  I'd like to share what I learned this week about the Atonement.  As I was reading in 2 Ne 9, I got the prompting to read the story of Christ walking on water with Peter (I think it's in Matt 14).  If you have a chance, read that story again thinking about the Atonement the whole time you read it.  Here is what I got from it:  living a perfect, sinless life is kind of like walking on water.  Think of the water as sin, and walking on water symbolizing overcoming sin.  You can do it for a little while as long as you have perfect faith and are focused on Christ.  However, the second your faith wavers and your sight goes off Christ, you will begin to sink.  But then you will read in the scriptures, Peter cried out for help and Jesus immediately stretched forth His hand to help Peter.  I know that Christ is there to help us and all we need to do is ask.

This week I'll be studying about faith and hope.  PLEASE send me some of your thoughts because you all are much smarter than me!  As always, if you hear about any mission calls that are coming in.  I love you all and thank you for your prayers.  I really need them.  God be with you till we meet again.

Elder T. Christensen

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