柯 长老 (aka Elder Christensen)

柯 长老 (aka Elder Christensen)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Goals and progression

Hello all,

I am having a time here at the MTC. I have learned a lot in the past 3 weeks and am loving the opportunity to learn and speak mandarin so often. I have gotten up to about 50 - 60 percent of my speaking in Mandarin :) I love the language. I have also learned a great lesson about the importance of goals. There is a quote from one of the general authorities that says something along the lines of, "when growth is measured improvement accelerates, when growth is measured and recorded the rate of improvement accelerates." I have learned how true this is. I used to think that I had the idea of goal setting down quite well but I am having a humbling experience. I am finding that I was good at setting goals when someone else set the standard. Now I have to set my own end goal, or standard, and I am not doing well on that point. I have been learning a lot as I have worked and struggled to find out what goals to set. I am still working :) As I have not had goals I have not seen my progression and others have. I have found that goals are very personal and the only reason our rate of acceleration increases is because of the increased checkpoints of finding joy in our success. As we fulfill our goals we find joy but when our goals are not there and we are looking too generally at the picture we see ony a small part of the beautiful details. I know that this gospel is true and I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and through Joseph Smith the Gospel of Jesus Christ was Restored. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I am so glad that he was willing to die for me and suffer for my sins.

Jeffrey and Rebecca I love you both so much. I hope that what I had to say to you in the last letter was helpful and helped you to see how important it is to have Family unity. There is so much we can do if we just join our faith together and listen to the prayers being said.

Sarah I love you too. I miss being able to talk with you and help in any way I can. I know that the Lord is going to put you in an area that will bring you the most joy and happiness in your life. I know that you are loved by your Heavenly Father. I put your name on the temple roll today. You can know that you have my prayers and the prayers of many others behind you hoping you have joy and showing our love for you.

Audrey I love you too and want to say that I know that Heavenly Father has great things in store for you as well.

Mom and Dad. I love you both so much and I know that only because of you I am here able to bring others unto Christ and attain the greatest joy and happiness I ever could. I know this gospel is true.

I will pray for Uncle Bob.

PS Mom can you put my address on my facebook account please to make sure everyone knows where to send me a letter if they want. Thanks love you.


Joey Christensen

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Power Prayer Can Have

Hello my Great Family,

This week has been wonderful. I was able to go to the temple twice since I last wrote and loved both experiences. I have learned a lot about the language and am striving to use it as much as I can. I love this gospel as well.
There have been a large amount of talks recently about always striving to teach for the investigator and not looking at how well we, the missionaries, taught. When we teach the lives of the investigator should be pulled into the teachings and see how the gospel applies to each area of their lives. I have learned a lot. The first time my companion and I ever taught together we were afraid that we would not be able to teach with unity. Just before the lesson the teacher gave us a small piece of advice that worked wonderfully in the lesson. During that lesson we were able to help pull the "investigator" into the teachings of the gospel and really help him see how the gospel applied to his life. It was a great experience and we have had a few humbling experiences as well with our teaching.
What I really want to do is give a little advice to Jeffrey and Rebecca and I hope that mom and dad can officiate over how this is taught. I was reading a talk from President Henry B. Eyring in the October 2008 General Conference and thought of both Jeffrey and Rebecca as I read about the experiences with prayer.
Mom and Dad I thought that you could read over this talk and try to help them understand the power that prayer can have. Also, for the rest of the family that you can do as the family in the talk whose little boy is praying. Bind your faith together in family prayer and be unified in purpose. As we do this I know that the power of our prayers can multiply in strength. Jeffrey and Rebecca I know that as you pray to your Heavenly Father, He really does listen and answer your prayers. God is real. He has a body of flesh and bone and He looks like us. Your Heavenly Father loves you so much and hopes that you will stay awake during scripture study and family prayer. Work to listen to what is being said in the prayer and understand it. Then believe and have faith that what is prayed for will happen. I hope that you can all unite together as a family.
When the church unites together to serve others we see on the news how much more is accomplished. They are united in purpose. I bear you my testimony that prayers are heard by our Heavenly Father. Joseph Smith received an answer to his prayer, he really did. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he has payed the price for our sins. I love this gospel and hope that you can gain a testimony of this gospel even as I have. I know that God will help you if you ask. I love you all you are a wonderful family.

P.S. Mom could you send your emails on DearElder.com because I don't have a lot of time left if I read the letter you send and then try to type one. I love you :)


Joey Christensen

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All but one of us has Mandarin experience

Hello my dear family,

I received the dear elder letter you sent me :) I will try to just answer your questions in the time I have. The flight went okay. It wasn't very comfortable on the cathay pacific flight but the delta airline flight was where I was able to get some sleep.

I had a great time at Uncle Neil's house and being able to talk to them for a little bit was great. I also had a wonderful time with the Morey's and Anne, Amie, and David were all able to come up. (Mom I did get a few pictures of David but I don't think it was as many as you wanted... sorry.) Also, it wasn't too hard to say goodbye because of my experiences and I know I will see them all again.

I met my MTC teachers on Wednesday and they are awesome. Their names are Qian lao shi and Bao lao shi. Brother Money (Qian) is very excited all the time and can't sit still very easily ;). Brother Barton (Bao, first tone) is less active but still just as excited. They are great teachers. I love my district and was actually called as District Leader for the first half or so of the MTC experience. Pray for me ;) I love my companion, Elder Burton. He and I are both not too active but are getting along very well with each other. We are both left handed :D and have already found a few times that we both think very much alike. The other companionship of Elders and the Sisters are great too :) All but one of us have had some sort of Mandarin experience and so we are all on different levels but all striving to grow together in our understanding. I have seen a few people I know here, mostly from Men's chorus and BYU Idaho. I also saw Elder Rawle (actually Brother Rawle now) and that was really exciting. The chinese missionary was not on the airplane that I know of. Matt and I took about an hour to find each other at the airport but it all worked out well. The weather is just amazing. Not as cold as I thought it would be and much clearer than I imagined :D I love it here at the MTC.

On Tuesday we had Elder Richard Hinckley come and speak and he gave a great talk about groundhog's day and trying not to make our experience here at the MTC like groundhog's day. Since then I have listened to a few more talks from the mission presidency and a couple of others. They were all well written and presented and I learned quite a bit.

I am starting to pray in mandarin as often as possible and have been learning more about bearing my testimony. Actually, just before I was called as District Leader I was having a harder time and wondered what was happening and the day before I thought "I am going to be District Leader" and then thought "No, I can't be District Leader." Well, apparently I was right ;) I am excited and nervous since I still am not sure how to do a lot of things but I am putting all of my faith into my areas of weakness and I know the Lord can and will bless me to do the right things. I love this gospel. I know that it is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he was called of God to bring for the Book of Mormon to bless out lives. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that God loves us all and will give us what we need to complete His calling. I love you all!! Oh, I was also able to go to the temple today and had a wonderful time. My District is already growing very close and we are all working together very well. I love you all!!


Elder Ke

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Arrival at the MTC!!!

Hello Loving Family,

I am here in the MTC. It is cold here ;) I had a wonderful first day. I arrived a day before all of the other missionaries because I am considered an international missionary. I have a dot that means they need to see how good my english is :). Well, like I said I had a wonderful day and since I came in on a tuesday I was able to go to my first devotional yesterday. Elder Richard G. Hinckley came and talked to us along with his wife Sister Hinckley. We sang a few songs and I recognized the conductor for the music. He was in Hong Kong a little while back and I forgot his name but I think it was something like Brother Benchley. It was exciting to see him though I didn't get to talk with him yet. Elder and Sister Hinckley gave wonderful talks and made a few points that I know are important for missionary work. Sister Hinckley told us to work on writing in our journal every day for at least 5 min because writing in a journal can help us see the Lord's hand working in our lives. I have come to find this out for myself earlier and I know that it is an important task and the reason we have the scriptures today is because the prophets took the time to write in their journal. Elder Hinckley gave us counsel to personalize our message and really bring out why the gospel is important to us and how we came to know the things we know. Also, he told us to love the people. After devotional we shared what we learned from the meeting. I know that it is so important to love the people that we teach. I thought about why we learn the language of the people we are teaching and why I was learning Mandarin when most of the people in San Jose probably speak both Mandarin and English quite well. Then the thought entered my mind that the reason we learn their language is to show our love for the people. When we learn their language we take the time to really know how to explain the simple truths of the gospel to the investigators in a way that they understand.

I have my Box number for you to send me packages when you want :)

The box number is: 243
so if you look in the packet that I left at home you can find the rest of my addresses. I love you all and know that this gospel is true :)


Elder Christensen

P.S. I was also able to meet the mandarin missionaries and take a class with the missionaries who have been here for about 6 weeks and found that my mandarin isn't terrible but can still use a lot of work ;)