Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 70--The Work IS Hastening!

First off, I realized this week how little time I have left and it freaked me out a little.  Then, thinking over the past 6 months helped me realize that I still have a lot to do in the next 6 months.

Wasn't conference fantastic?  I loved Elder Bednar's talk.  I have a talk by him from a few years ago where he shares much of the same principles.  For some reason, it hit even harder this time.  I am so grateful that we live in a time where the talks are ALREADY online to listen to again.  I love it. (After listening to Elder Bednar's talk, I have made the following change to my write-up on Grace that I sent last week...."Simply enough, when you trust in the strength of man, you carry the load alone.  When you trust in the strength of the Lord, the strength of the Lord carries you.")

So for all those who haven't heard, my mission president has been called as an Area Seventy.  I don't have many more details than that, but I would like to say that, like President Eyring was talking about, President Becerra has become one of my spiritual heroes.  He has helped me develop a hunger for the word of God that I hope never dies out.  I can't remember if I mentioned this, but that grace write-up I did last week was a result of an invitation he gave me.  He'll do a fantastic job.

On Tuesday, we had the chance to go as a Mission Leadership Council to the temple.  It was SO cool. We went through a session and then had about 30 minutes to talk with the temple president.  And of course, when you get a chance to ask questions, all the questions you have either leave your mind or don't have revealed answers.  It was such a special experience.

Afterwards, we talked a lot about planning.  I have decided that 1) I'm awful at planning, and 2) I never want to stop planning my days. We talked a lot about having a vision for what we want to accomplish, like asking ourselves, "why am I working towards this?"  "why do I want this baptism?" "why am I going to school and studying this major?" This helped us (or me at least) get a higher vision of what we are doing out here. It was one of those lessons that I know I have been taught before, but it really sunk in this week.

The Lopez's are still doing so well.  They came to conference this week.  On Saturday night, we went to their house and two of their cousins were visiting (one from Mexico).  We had Hugo (11) help us teach by showing pictures and talk about what's going on.  As we started talking, she said, "ya, I want to be baptized. I want to get closer to God."  Hugo (11) and Fatima (14) both prayed that God would help their "aunt" get baptized.  They came to conference the next day and said that President Monson was by far their favorite. Omar (dad) said, "that man has power!"  It was so cool.

In our zone, the attitude has totally changed.  We had a meeting with our zone where we taught everyone about having that higher vision. The spirit there was so much stronger than it was last month.  In our area in particular, the number of lessons has almost doubled since the beginning of March.  I think having everyone see the Lopez baptism got them stoked.  To explain the situation a bit more, 2 of the 3 wards in our zone are historically difficult and the ward that is historically good (where I'm serving) has been having a really rough time.  One of those 2 historically difficult wards has baptized just as many this year as they did all of last year and they have another one set up for next week.  The other ward had a baptism last week and will have another this upcoming week.  Our ward had the Lopez's last week and another baptism yesterday.  The work IS hastening.

Thank you for all your love, prayers, and emails.  Transfers are coming up this week....

Elder Christensen
NOTE from Sheila... My brother-in-law (Peter Evans) met President Becerra at the training meetings for the Seventies last week. He sent us this picture Saturday after President Becerra had been sustained.

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