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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Donna's Note

This was on the red (not Toyota) I mentioned in the previous post. So glad we could help. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Miracles still happen today.

May 18, 2015

A couple of events in the last two weeks.

A mental health worker called our office one day last week.  She proceeded to tell me the story of a woman she works with who went to get her license renewed, failed the test, and was not able to drive her car home.  First of all, I have no idea how she got our number.  As she was telling me the details I asked, “Are you a member of our church?”  No.  “Is this woman a member of our church?”  No.  Oh.  Anyway, her car was in a mall parking lot, not too far from us, and could we please help her.  I thought for a second or two, tried to get a few more details, then told her we could pick it up and drive it to our church parking lot, and someone going in that direction could drive it home.  She told me she would bring the car keys to me.  She gave me the woman’s  her address and telephone number (it was incorrect).  She said it was a red Toyota, older model, parked in a handicap spot at the Landsdowne Mall.  It got later and later in the day, so I looked up this address, and decided David and I could go pick it up, and just drive it to her home.  We drove to the mall, and quickly discovered that there didn’t seem to be any red Toyotas in the lot, and certainly not in any handicap parking spaces.  So, we started stopping by red cars and David got out to see if the key worked.  I tried to park to kind of cover him up, in case the owner might walk up and have Elder Croshaw arrested for attempted breaking and entering, or some other serious lawlessness.  We only tried this on two or three cars, though.

After the first car, he told me that it was NOT a Toyota.  The keys were to a GM car.  So we altered our search.  Instead of going back, we continued around the mall, and eventually saw a red car (Chevy), older model in a handicapped parking space.  There was a note on the windshield, asking whoever read it to please not ticket or tow the car because she was trying really hard to find someone to pick up the car and she was on low income.  The key worked, and away we went.  I was trying to remember exactly how to get there, and once we were in Ladner (or maybe it was Delta, not sure), I put the address in my GPS.  Didn’t work.  So on we drove, and eventually found the apartment building.

An older lady (later she told me she was 94—a very spry 94!) was taking out her garbage and when asked, told me there was a Donna in the apartment, but she didn’t know her last name.  I found the name on the list of residents outside, and this nice lady let me in.  I went up to Donna Penner’s room and knocked.  I had to knock several times, but eventually she came to the door.  Once she understood when I was telling her, she started looking for her keys.  Her thinking was a little fuzzy, and her legs were swollen because she had walked to the store.  She told me about her legs, not her fuzziness.  Donna has long blonde hair with very dark black roots—indeterminate age.  After five minutes or so, she found her keys, and slipped on some pink flip flops.  We went outside and she showed Elder Croshaw where to park her car.  I offered her an lds.org card, and asked her if she believed in Jesus Christ.  She said yes, she used to go to church all the time.  Elder Croshaw, the good missionary he is, asked her if we could send missionaries.  She said yes.  She thanked us several times, and soon she was safely back inside the building and we were on our way home. 

The sisters had an appointment with her, but she wasn't there.  They will keep trying.  As I said, she was a little fuzzy, I think from medication—not a judgment, just an observation.  Hopefully the missionaries will be able to meet up with her some time.  She was quite nice.  As they told us, I think in the MTC, we cannot tell by outward appearance who will accept the Gospel and who will not.  We hope Donna will be receptive, but it was a fun adventure for, anyway.

Also last week, I sat in on the missionary lesson of a lifetime--the miracle part.  I don’t expect to have an experience like this again on my mission.  I had gone to another lesson with Sharom (or Shaun his Canadian name) and at the first lesson everything the missionaries told him he would say, I believe that.  This was unusual, because he is Muslim, from Iran.  His parents, however, raised him with very Christian values, and taught him about the Savior.  Anyway, at lesson #2 for me, we sat down and I think Elder Briscoe asked him a question, and he was off and running.  He told us he had read the Book of Mormon in two days.  He would have finished it in one day, but his head hurt so much at 1:30 a.m. that he had to stop reading.  He said as he read it he felt like he was there with the people in the Book of Mormon.  He believed everything he read.  He knew it was true.  He is ready to be a Christian and follow Jesus Christ for the rest of his life.  He told us the only time in his life he remembers crying was when he parents died, but as he was reading the Book of Mormon he had tears flowing out of his eyes.  I really did think of Parley P. Pratt as he was telling this to us.

He also told us that he has visited many churches, but when he entered this building, it felt different.  He knew this was where he wanted to be.  All his life he has tried to do things that he knows Jesus would want him to do.  He feels that God has been watching out for him.  He talked for about 10 minutes, so I am leaving a lot out, but Sharom has a baptismal date for June 7.  We went to a baptism last night, and Sharom was there.  If you had seen him, you would not have thought he was an investigator.  In fact, he kind of looks like an Elder’s Quorum President.  Anyway, it was an amazing experience, and I feel so blessed to have been there.  I believe there will be another lesson tomorrow afternoon.  I’m looking forward to it.

Adding something I just remembered.  When I was in my first lesson with Sharom, Elder Briscoe was talking about the Book or Mormon, holding it up and describing it to Sharom.  Sharom leans forward and says, can I have that book.  Dream question.  Uh, yes, you can.  I also got her a Farsi translation of the Book of Mormon, as well.  That is the one he read in two days.  On with the story.

Just to give a little idea of his humble, teachable nature, he had previously told us that he had a serious back injury.  The week of this lesson, he had an appointment with a Dr. for his back.  He had tried several medications, but did not like the way they made him feel.  Then, at this lesson, Elder Hohneke taught him about the word of wisdom, and Sharom asked if he could take liquid marijuana for his back.  He told us that his Dr. had recommended it and he was going in the next day.  He said, ( I am paraphrasing)  if you guys tell me that I shouldn't take this, that is against the word of wisdom, I won’t get it.  The Elders told him that it is against the word of wisdom, so that is all it took.  He has a very good spirit, and is willing to do whatever he needs to to join the church. 

Sharom is a miracle.  Investigators like this just don't show up every day.  There really are people out there who are prepared and looking for the truth.  These good missionaries here, and all over the world, in fact,  keep looking for them every day.  

More later.  Becky, Ray and family are coming this week.  Can’t wait to see them.  The Canada Vancouver Mission is a great place to be.  We are happy, and it is still beautiful inside and out.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

From Lori--BCMormons.com--the beginnings of the Vancouver Temple

In the fall of 2005, I was serving as the Abbotsford Stake President. I received a call from a gentleman in Salt Lake City who wanted to come visit with me. He did not disclose the matter he wanted to discuss. We met in Langley and he informed me that he was here to investigate the possibility of building a temple in Vancouver. Together we viewed three possible locations in the area. Three weeks later the same man returned to meet with all three of the local stake presidents. As a group we reviewed and discussed all the possible locations and were informed that President Gordon B. Hinckley, would visit the area to make the final determination.
To prepare the sites for President Hinckley’s visit, I meticulously cleaned the preferred site, levelled the ground and spreading two large trucks of bark chips so the Prophet could walk around safely. To get the best view of the property I brought a man-lift to the site so the prophet could better see the land contours. At 40 feet in the air, I thought he would have a great vantage point. Next, I rented a large van to accommodate everyone traveling with the prophet. I made sure the van was impeccably clean, which led to some curiosity about who was going to be in the van. All I could do was smile as the visit was to be strictly confidential.
I tried to anticipate every need, including umbrellas just in case of rain. I got a backup vehicle so that nothing could disrupt the tour . December 28th, the date of the prophet’s visit, would be my real Christmas. To maintain security and privacy the prophet and company would fly into the smaller Abbotsford airport in a private jet, furnished by a Church member.
When the day finally came, of course it rained, but that didn’t dampen my excitement. The jet pulled up, lowered the stairs and I ran out with umbrellas and escorted the Brethren to the van. President Hinckley sat in the front with me. President Monson sat in the second row seats, accompanied by several other brethren including the Church architect,” . Once seated, President Hinckley gave the word, ‘Let’s go,’ and we were off. I soon realized that I was about to have a 51⁄2 hour interview with the Lord’s prophet. “President Christensen, why do we need a temple in Vancouver?” President Hinckley asked. I responded that I felt the spiritual light of a temple would greatly help in spreading the gospel in the area,” . I also detailed the problems members faced trying to cross the border to attend temples in the States. President Hinckley intently listened.
The search committee had considered 200th Street and the Freeway in Langley the prime site ,and we drove there first. The rain made the road a quagmire. Taking extra precaution, we transferred to a 4×4 van to ensure we could get through the rain-soaked terrain. I had erected a canopy so that our visitors wouldn’t have to stand in the rain. President Hinckley and President Monson examined the property, but instructed the Church architect and one other brother to ascend in the man-lift to take in the birds eye view.
Once back on the road, President Hinckley asked to be taken to a local chapel. I noticed cars in the parking lot as we drove up and advised President Hinckley that if we entered the building there would be no stopping the spread of the news that the Prophet was in Vancouver. President Hinckley said that would be fine and instructed that we proceed. When he and President Monson walked into the gym, the surprised people decorating for a wedding reception, dropped everything and came running to meet the Prophet. After warm greetings, President Hinckley inspected the chapel and then we returned to the van in order to continue our site visits. As we drove up the street to go around the block, President Hinckley looked to his right and declared, ‘That would be a good site for a temple,’’. A very tall hedge of trees on our right side obstructed the view of the property he was referring to so none of the rest of us saw anything. It took me several hundred yards before I realized what had just happened and I brought the van to a stop. I asked President Hinckley if he would like me to back up so we could see the spot he was referring to. “No, just carry on,” the Prophet said.mormon02
“As we drove around the city to view the other sites, I had a chance to talk to President Hinckley,” . I told him about the city and the church in the area. To save time we ate lunch while we drove. President Hinckley opened his box lunch and saw an enormous sandwich. “What am I supposed to do with this?” he exclaimed. “Does anyone have a knife?” No one answered. “I leaned over and advised President Hinckley that he would have to ‘break bread’,” . After a while I became aware of the fact that no one else was joining in our conversation. The others were reverently respecting the prophet’s need to ponder and maintain his focus. Although I had much I wished to discuss, I realized that I should keep quiet as well. During the 5 1⁄2 hour trip the Prophet stayed sharp and perfectly alert. “President Hinckley was truly magnified and given strength to fulfill this most important assignment.
The next day the temple department in Salt Lake City called. “Please get all the information you can get on that property the Prophet identified as a ‘good site’ for a temple,” they said. The property wasn’t one of those being considered nor was it for sale. I went directly to the site. As I walked past the hedge we had driven by, I saw what the Prophet had perceived. I then realized that I had witnessed the Prophet of God exercise his priesthood as a Seer. Nestled in a lovely setting with trees all around, stood a beautiful spot at the peak of the largest hill in the area. It felt like the right place. I took pictures of the area, got information on the property from city hall and sent it to Church headquarters. The next day I received yet another call. “That’s it, find out who owns it and let’s get to work.”
After finalizing the negotiations for the purchase of the several lots that comprised the property, I addressed many of the obstacles to developing that site including the lack of a adequate sewer line, no storm drainage line,a requirement for parkland, necessary school facilities,inadequate roads and a non-conforming zoning. As I struggled to overcome these problems the temple department instructed me to just keep working at it and keep them posted as to my progress. I met many times with the appropriate city officials discussing and reviewing each of the obstacles. Eventually all the problems were resolved and we received “green light” from the city. I have never before seen so many concessions granted on one application.Truly, hearts had been softened by the Spirit. The perfect spot for the Vancouver British Columbia Temple stands witness to a Prophet’s vision and the fulfillment of the Lord’s will.
– Paul Christensen

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Beautiful BC

You know how those license plates say Beautiful British Columbia?  It's true. Last Saturday we went to Abbotsford (east) for a Family  History thing. I think it was Roots Day or Root Tech day or something like that all over. Anyway, I just wanted to post a couple  of photos. The second is the Abbotsford Stake Center. It is in a beautiful area. Then, directly across the street is this religious building, which is actually the first photo. You can guess the first photo is not an LDS Stake Center. It is a Sikh Temple. In June in downtown Surrey, they had a Sikh parade--the biggest parade outside of India. I plan to go next year. 

We were out walking the other day and want to show you what old cars in the backyard look like in our area. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Morning at.the Office

                       Monday Morning         May 4, 2015  (Happy Birthday Dana)

The President sends newsletters on Mondays and there was a great response from a sister who is going home next week.  It brightened my day, so I am sending you her last entry.

Saturday, Sister Evans and I took our car in for an oil change so we went out to street contact while it was being done. There were not many people out, but we stopped to talk to a young man about 19-20 years old. He had spoken with missionaries before and decided to tell us all about why he believes Christianity to be false.. we sat patiently listening.. knowing full well that he was not interested and that there was little that we could say to change his mind, if he ever let us get a word in - but we stood patiently listening, occasionally responding.. about 10 minutes later, we excused ourselves to continue our journey...   Nothing out of the ordinary...

Sunday, a 12 year old girl from our ward ran up to me and patiently waited to talk with me.. When I turned to her she said, "I saw you!! I saw you!!! You were teaching a boy outside of the Fire Station.  We were driving by and I got to see you teaching somebody about Jesus!!! It was so cool!!! I am so happy I got to see you teach!!!"

My lesson:  Sometimes I do the things I do, not because of the things that I get to see and know.. but because of what others see and that is really important! :) 

I know the church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. We have a Prophet on the Earth today! The gospel is so good! I am so grateful for the last 18 months and how they have shaped me.I look forward to opening the next chapter of my life.. Thank you for sharing this chapter with me.

Love you to Kolob and Back!

I guess we should all try to do what we do because others are watching, and we do represent the Savior wherever we are.

Love you all to Kolob and Back