History of Hazel Johnson Christensen

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Church 

We went to the church on Ninth and Clark at first.  It was the only one here then.  I was in the Relief Society presidency in the First Ward.  Later I was on the Sunday School stake board.  I also taught Sunday School in the Ninth Ward.

It was Moapa Stake at first and then Las Vegas Stake.  Not long after we came here Joy was put in the bishopric.  Then he was in and out of the high council half a dozen times.  Then the stake went clear to Pioche and Kingman and to Indian Springs.  They left our stake the Las Vegas Stake because Reed Whipple had been president so long.  There was one ward when we moved here and for a long time they added a new ward every year.  Now it’s faster than that.  I believe that First Ward chapel has the best acoustics of any in town.

The Second Ward was the first ward to be cut off from the First Ward.  They built the chapel on Eighth and Linden.  Then the Charleston Ward, later changed to the Fifth and Sixth, was built on Eighth and Franklin.

 

Mission to Tennessee

In 1962 we went to Tennessee for one year on a mission.  I enjoyed our mission, but I got homesick for my kids and my home while we were there.  When we went we stayed two solid weeks in Salt Lake.  Nearly all the apostles came over and talked to us and gave the fellows instructions on how to wash their clothes and take care of themselves.  Don and Carl both spent a week there too before they went on their missions.  Don was the first one I’d heard of to go to Salt Lake first.

Brothers & Sisters,

If you were 9 & 10 year olds I wouldn’t be so frightened.

This mission call leaves me with mixed emotions, like the man who watched his mother-in-law go over the cliff in his new Cadillac. I want to go on the mission but I hate to leave my home & family.

I feel honored that our bishop & Pres. Whipple felt I was worthy of this call.

I was born and raised in the church and have had a testimony that it is true as long as I can remember. But I am sure that going out in the mission field will strengthen my testimony.

I have a lot to learn to teach the gospel to investigators & I hope I will be able to accomplish what I will have to do to do it.

I will try & represent the ward & church as it should be. Pray the Lord
will bless us while we are away.

I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Found on a card in Hazel Christensen’s papers)

While we were gone on our mission, Don, Vern and Paul built the store on Sahara Avenue.  It is a beautiful store.  Carl became an attorney and a district judge.  Paul is a city commissioner.

Public Service

Joy became interested in politics when we lived in the house on Seventh Street.  He served in the State Legislature for twelve years.  The first year we went to Carson City, Adele stayed over with Don.  She would walk home from school and practice the piano, then Don would come and pick her up.  The next year she and Loris Haywood stayed in our house.

A bunch of businessmen, Marion Earl and some others, asked him to run for the Assembly.  He was up there four terms in the Assembly, then he quit for a while and then ran for county commissioner and lost.  I thought he was through with politicking. Then they got him to run for state senator and he went one term (four years) as senator.  The boys and the guys at the store helped him campaign.  I didn’t do much.  We had signs on the car and Paul’s truck.  We really didn’t spend too much money.

Joy belonged to the Kiwanis Club and was president of the Chamber of Commerce and started the Better Business Bureau.  While he was president of the Chamber of Commerce, the president of Turkey came, and we had a big banquet for them at one of the hotels.  When we got out there they told Joy he would have to be the master of ceremonies, because in Turkey that was the way it would be.  They had Pat McCarran or one of the senators to do it, but they said that wouldn’t be right.  He had to take charge.  He sat up at the head table with the president of Turkey, and I sat next to his wife down in front.  She didn’t speak English, but her husband spoke perfect English.

Then he belonged to the Toastmasters Club.  That’s to learn public speaking.  I never got involved that much.  I’m not a politician.  I did always go to the banquet on the Kiwanis Ladies Night.

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