A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.

From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.

In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.

Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.

Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.

We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.

As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Finding Fulfillment for Our Mission Call

One of the specifics of our mission call specified is that we are to work with Korean people, of which there are numerous immigrants in Vancouver, BC. Yet, even before we arrived here, our mission president felt inspired to request our involvement in the mission office, wherein he was in dire need of senior couple help. He said he had prayed us here.  As we have gotten into those assignments, we have recognized his inspiration, and therein, we are feeling fulfillment as we are able to contribute to the workings of the mission at the base level.  However, Richmond, location of the mission office and our residence, is fairly distant from Burnaby, location of the Korean Branch and center of the Korean populace, and given that our long hours at the office limit opportunity for involvement in conventional missionary work, we were not sure how the Korean aspect of our call could work out. We were feeling considering attending the Korean Branch on Sundays, but the language barrier and the 40 minute driving distance were dampening that interest.  Then one day, this man,
Cho Hung Wan rode his bicycle into the mission office to inquire about scheduling times of the Richmond ward, which meets in the same building as the mission office.  In broken English and heavy accent, he explained that following their conversion to the gospel less than a year ago, he, his wife Mi Sun (Sunny), and their son Yu Bin had immigrated to BC from Pusan Korea, she having come on a work visa to an awaiting job, but that he was not yet employed.  They had found an apartment they could barely afford in West Richmond (rents here are very high), but they did not have a car.  They had been attending the Burnaby Korean Branch, because he wanted to assure that his wife and son, who did not speak much English could have optimum opportunity to learn the gospel via the Korean language spoken there.  The problem was that bus transportation to Burnaby required 4 separate stops/exchanges, and took over 2 hours, one way.  So, he was contemplating switching their attendance to the Richmond English speaking ward.  Debby had been at the mission office front desk when he came in, but I was not present at the time.  When she told me about this later, it did not take us long to recognize that we were being given a reason and a nudge to attend the Korean Branch.  By providing needed transportation to church, Brother Cho and his family would become our impetus, and help initiate at least that aspect of our mission's purpose.  Where it goes from here is yet to be seen, but we are confident the Lord has a plan.

The  language continues to be a challenge for both of us.  Brother Cho has helped, as we have English and Korean vocabulary lessons during the long rides to and from church each week.  It's a win-win for all of us.  Once at church, we don't understand much, although many of the members speak some English and help translate for us.  They have been very kind and receptive.  They are very fine people, and so smart.  The last few weeks we have used PA listening devices in Sacrament meetings, and Elder Kim, one of the native Korean missionaries (born in Korea but immigrated to Nampa, Idaho at age 15) has translated for us.  I have started to sense the vocabulary coming back, sometimes having entire phrases pop into my head.  Yet, true communication is a way off.  Thank goodness for the Spirit.

Because of work commitments, Brother Cho's wife has not been able to attend church recently.  She is a beautician in downtown Richmond.  Debby, being the good missionary she is, took a risk and
made a hair appointment with her.  It paid off as she was very happy with the results.  And, she was able to have somewhat of a bonding experience at the same time, despite the language barrier.

There is currently only one companionship of Korean speaking missionaries.  They cover a very large proselyting area over much of the lower mainland.  We are on continuous call to go out with them at night when they have teaching appointments in our vicinity.  We've been scheduled for such a few times, but they've had last minute cancellations so far.  It will happen.  In the mean time, they have given us a list of part-member families who we are going to visit.  Hope they speak some English.

The language issue is one of the most challenging aspects of our mission yet.  We really want to get there, but we are confident that there is purpose in our being here, and miracles will take place either way.  We are willing to work to see the Lord's plan proceed, and we know that He will assure that happens regardless of our limitations.  Of course, we will much appreciate all of your prayers for the quickening of our minds and strengthening of our wills.


Jason and Dana said...

Well start having the kids pray for you to have help (re)learning the language.

RebeccaV said...

I'm sure the language will come!