as i looked out from the podium two days ago, my full heart throbbed and my wet eyes moistened my face; the day has come.
for years i have written down scriptures allllllll over the front sides, back sides and anywhere in between of books, receipts, papers, journals--anything--of plaque scriptures for a hopeful mission theme.
for years i dreamt about getting a call and shouting the gospel from the rooftops all day night and day.
for years i imagined that black name tag and yucko shoes, and what it would be like to wake up every morning and to have one purpose.
for years i hoped and prayed to go on a mission. that day has come!
my bags are mostly packed, my friends squeezed and tearfully waved off, my to do's are depleting, and the hour of my mtc express curbside no-stopping-necessary drop off is ever approaching. mere hours ago i was set apart as a missionary of the lord. i feel upheld and still and peaceful and calm. i don't feel ready, no, not by any means--i wish there was more time!--but here it is. at long last. i'm really doing this. i'm really going. i'm really gone, actually.
so i wanted to write one final post. this is it. not really final final--by any means--but just... you know. final. i wanted to say, first and foremost...quick story: i once had a dear friend engaged. i was, to be honest, deeply hurt by her lack of care as she forgot to call me back or forgot to meet up with me or forgot about this or that. i wanted to neeeever make anyone else feel that way. but guess what? now i know. i see what it's like to have. no. time. i see what its like to forget your BRAIN and to dash about like crazy--hurting people all along the way because you're so frazzled. for this--and for my hypocrisy--i am truly sorry to those i hurt as i was hurt. please understand it wasn't intentional. i love you. i care for you. i fail at texting, calling, emailing, faxing, morse code-ing or pigeon-ing back. i fail! please accept my sincere apology and know that, despite my seeming absence, flagrant disregard and lack of care--i care. i care deeply. i feel richly, profoundly and beautifully blessed. it's indescribable. i feel sooo supported. i read your texts, i hear your voicemails, and i see your emails. and i am profoundly grateful for your selflessness in giving to someone who does not then give in return; i sense your love, and i am so grateful for it! you are my godsend! your support means the world!
ah, with that said, i take my leave from the blogging world, from the texting world, from the calling world, from the non-amish clothing world,... from the world. i will be here though. i will be there, i mean, but i will be here in spirit. i will be anxious and grateful and prayerful for you, my sweet, fellow blogger, reader, and friend. i will be excited for the new and exciting developments in your life. i know you are prone to greatness! and i will allllllways love to hear from you. :)
Until August 2010:
Hermana Tawny Christensen MTC Mailbox # 161 CA-SD 0803 2005 N 900 E Provo, UT 84604-1793
Until November 2011:
Hermana Tawny Christensen California San Diego Mission 7404 Armstrong Pl San Diego, CA 92111-4912
and so now, finally--at long last!--i make my way into my own dreams. here i go--me, with all my uncertainties, my worries, my doubts, my imperfections, my dreams, my hopes, my aspirations, my goals, my friends, my family, my testimony, my faith, my hope and my love, to where i have been called. i know that our redeemer lives, and loves us! there is a plan for each of us; God knows us, loves us, and guides us individually!
"oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me! oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"
we are so blessed with this knowledge. the church is true. and now, my friends and loved ones, i bid you all farewell. my bretheren, adieu.
I just wanted to share a funny little blurb from bro's latest bestest letter:
"Let's start with this. The days go by like weeks and the weeks go by like days. be prepared to enter the time warp that is the MTC. You'll be sitting in class like, 'Wow, today is forever long,' then by the time you can spell Obama it will be P-day. I am almost two months through and I feel like we were just barely eating Bailey's at the kitchen counter. Remember that time flies!"
And indeed it does--as amply demonstrated.
This is a time of many changes. He's rollin out to Chile on Tuesday! ...right around the time I'm getting set apart. Here we go!
“If we tell that story right, in a human way with a human touch, I think it will make all the difference. It’s not just the interesting and fascinating and really marvelous technology; that helps us to tell the story. But the story is what we need to tell--with feeling.”
(Dedication of the Mormon Battalion Historic Site, 26 March 2010)
a lengthy explanation is unnecessary. this will suffice:
i've been a little busy.
here's what i've got.
"move" was a beautiful time! i love dancing.
i also love the people i dance, learn, and grow with, as well as the fun times we have after the shows.
i am blessed to have such incredible friends and family to come support me. are you serious? they are the best. it means the world. really.
jesse's dad treated my fam to an overnight stay in park city. we hit the slopes and loved it!
jesse had his legitimate homecoming. he did a great job!
i got to spend a week with these clowns while their parents (and mine) traipsed around the caribbean.
we had a way better time than they did.
the fam went to dizzyland for bro's last shebang. it. was. AWESOME.
the sibs totally soaked. it's a love/hate relash we have with splash mountain.
TOWER OF TERROR!
our best thing.
we look freakin sick in our wicked awesome ponchos
dumbo was seriously my favorite ride.
"call me ansel adams."
(refer to above comment)
standing on the brink of eternity--
march 4, my endowment day.
oh, blessed day. gratitude knows no bounds.
Called to Serve!
SanD, Brazil, Chile, Chile, Honduras.
here we are at the Manti temple.
may 22, 2009. mal and i were in hawaii. she turned 20 years old. she's one in a million and it seemed only appropriate to get some brian tickets IMMEDIATELY. so i did. that was over a year ago...
march 11, 2010. here we are celebrating.
it was the best.
thanks for being born mally, surrrrrre love ya.
LONG LIVE BRIAN!
he's my hero.
congrats to sister saliby! the baltic mission? you will ROCK IT! love you, jess!
so many congrats to my sassar! sister stratton! staisha croatia! you are UNREAL. i love you!
jess, steve and nate played their gorgeous song for chase in guitars unplugged. they're so great.
(will and kristen even braved the zoobs to come)
we scored some g con tickets... best time!
i fell more and more in love with my roommates
and my bro left on his mish.
we are so dang proud of him. he is such a stellar example to us all.
his wit, sense of humor, enthusiasm, and goodness are missed, but we get to live this experience with him. i'm so grateful for prayer, our knowledge of forever families, and that i have a wonderful brother who is willing to leave the comforts of his home and life for two years to give to the Lord and to some rad Chileans. i love the kid so much.
I wanted to share one of my highlights from 2009, my thanksgiving trip to israel.
there really are no words, my friends. it was suuuuch a blessed opportunity that I will never ever ever in a million thousand years forget. i saw and felt things that were and are fundamental for my testimony and existence.
we woke up to this.
the sea of galilee.
this pic was for my eltern: it says somethin "tonkiona."
St Peter's fish...whole. pri-tty tasty!
fished straight out of the galilee.
This was my absolute favorite part of the en.ti.re. week.
We sat on the hill, being refreshed by the warm wind, the vast armageddon valley vista, and the tingling spirit. Although some argue between Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon, a modern prophet of God--Spencer W Kimball--testified that Mount Tabor was the Mount of Transfiguration after he had a sacred, personal experience there. Despite all geographical evidence persuading otherwise, the powerful spirit sealed President Kimball's testimony in my heart in a beautiful moment that made me so incredibly grateful for personal revelation, the spirit, and Jesus Christ.
solid marble older than history itself.
a med vista.
i didn't even realize the mediterranean was so close. honestly. GORGEOUS.
(and i loooooooooooooooooooooved the wind factor always!)
masada. ancient palaces and fortifications on a 1300 foot rock plateau overlooking the dead sea.
the lowest place on earth... everything floats here!
the dead sea.
i was stoooked for a good long swim... but soon found that the buoyancy factor and acidity would not allow such hobbies.
there is such a vast history here--incredible!
the only exact place we are 100% sure He walked.
Thanks Colb, for remembering that tidbit from your nt class--how neat!
(so different that our perception, no?)
2,000 year old olive trees.
ah! visits with dear Israelites!
the moon from their front door.
our wise guide, Daniel Rona.
the spirit was absolutely incredible.
we had time to sit and ponder in this sacred place--an unparalleled experience.
I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, for the life He lived and for the perfect example He is for us. I saw where He was born. I walked where He walked, talked, healed, preached, and taught. I went to Gethsemane and Golgotha, the places where He suffered inexplicable pains for us. I saw the tomb--it was empty. He suffered, died, and was resurrected so we can return to Him and God the Father. This is the testimony I leave--that He lives!
I recognize how blessed blessed blessed I am to know what I know. I am constantly buoyed by the eternal and complete gospel of Jesus Christ, saving grace and His all-encompassing atonement. The church is true, and I am so unbelievably grateful for it.