Monday, October 26, 2015

I'm at the Top of the World!!!

So Luke made it to his first area. Hopefully, he'll adjust to the people, the cold and the altitude! We heard from another missionary who served in Carhuamayo that it is a very difficult area and the people are very hardened. Keep him in your prayers. 

Hey Mama and everyone else! whats up! 

This has been the hardest week of my life. I am in Cerro de Pasco, Peru for my first transfer and I hated it so bad at first. Well, actually I am in this little town just outside of Cerro called Carhumayo. It seems like everyone here is a jerk! They think that they know what a revelation is and isn't, it makes me so mad because they just think that they know more than we do and they won't listen.  It is a pretty cool little town, every road is dirt, and it is like 40 degrees in the day and at night it gets down to like 20 degrees or less, at least it feels like it haha. But, don't worry about me, it is getting better every day. I have prayed a lot lately!  And the Spanish is coming along quite well. 

Sometimes it is so hard not to think about everyone at home, but I know I have to tough it up. You know what they say, the harder your area is, the hotter your wife is going to be, and so that has kept me going lately!! 

The trip up to Huancayo was awesome. We sat on a double decker bus and me and Elder Ramirez chilled and watched all the scenery, it was pretty dope.  Everyone from my group went to Huanuco which is one of the best places to go to, and then there is me, the only kid that is getting trained in Cerro, haha! It kinda sucks, but I did get an investegator for the zone leaders by speaking freaking Spanish haha! It was so great!! Apparently no one that has ever been to Cerro has gotten an investigator in their first week. God has to be real if that happened!! 

And the dogs here are freaking crazy haha! I have already been chased by a dog and he was freaking phsyco! I thought I was going to die! I don't have any friends here other than the ZL's and my comp. My comp is a cool dude. He's from Pleasant Grove and his name is Elder Bullock. His Spanish is ok definitely better than mine!! but I guess Heavenly Father will help us out. And, you should see my bathroom. It is apparently the best in the zone, and it really is! The zone leader's bathroom is like 4 feet by 3 feet, and the shower is right over their toilet, haha! And we have hot water so that is a plus, and a lot of room in there! It is pretty nice! 

Well, it will be an interesting 22 and a half months. Missing you all and I cant wait to see you all again. hasta luego! 

Love, Elder Christensen

Elder Christensen, Elder Ramirez, Elder Crisp and Elder Matthews

On the way to Huancayo, Peru

Luke with his new companion Elder Bullock

Huancayo, Peru

Carhuamayo, Peru
The little village Luke will be serving in! 
Cerro de Pasco sits at 15,000 ft. and is not far from Carhuamayo. 
They are both gold mining towns. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Elder Christensen with President & Sister Henderson

This just arrived!!! He looks so good! We've heard AMAZING things about President and Sister Henderson!
 Can't wait for him to serve with these amazing people!
He is serving in Carhuamayo which is high in the Andes (13,600 ft). It looks beautiful there!

Dear Christensen Family

     We want to let you know that Elder Christensen  arrived safe and sound here in the PerĂº Huancayo Mission.  We are grateful to have him here!   He and the other 22 new missionaries arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and we oriented them that evening and for much of the day on Wednesday with their new companions.  Elder Christensen and his training companion then headed to their proselyting area in Carhuamayo.

     Thanks for letting Elder Christensen come to our Mission.  We look forward to two good years together with your good son.

President David Y. Henderson
Peru Huancayo Mission

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I Made it to Huancayo!

Huancayo, Peru is a beautiful little city that sits in the Andes Mountains at about 11,000 feet above sea level. Luke's mission consists of some jungle area (8 hours north of Huancayo and 8 hours east of Huancayo) that is at about 2,200 feet above sea level to the barren gold mining city of Cerro de Pasco, which has an elevation of almost 15,000 feet. It's one of the highest inhabited cities in the world. Elder Christensen will be having quite the adventure as he serves. We are so excited for him and can't wait to watch him grow as he serves our Heavenly Father in a beautiful and humble part of the vineyard.

Elder Christensen arrived in Huancayo tonight after a 6 hour bus ride from Lima. We heard that it was a crazy switch back road that peaks at 16,000 feet and then drops down into Huancayo at 11,000 feet. Quite the elevation difference from Lima which is at sea level. We received this short email from him. We'll look forward to next week to see who his companion is and which area he will be serving in. Keep him in your prayers as he begins this new chapter of his journey! Thank you for all of your love and support!

Hey mama!!! 

How are you doing? I just made it to Huancayo. We made it safely, but it was a crazy ride! and wow I do feel it, the altitude is so high up! I don't have a lot of time to write only a few seconds, I just wanted to let you know I'm here safe. But I have been working on my Spanish Book of Mormon study. I've also found some really good stuff in the D&C and Pearl of Great Price! It's pretty sweet. I love it!

This week has been an amazing week! I am about to find out who my new comp is. And, now I am going to be speaking a language that I hardly know! Say a prayer for me!

Well, signing off! Love you and be safe. Love you, love you and tell Nick I made it and Cory and Kass and Kolt.

Love you, Elder C.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I'm Leaving the CCM!!!!!

hola amigos! ¿como estan? haha the Spanish is coming along pretty good. I now can sort of understand more people than usual. and I have been speaking so much Spanish so far that I forget some Ingles words and don´t really know how to spell, just like how Nick was, but I do still know English. 

Well, this past week has really been amazing! I have been through the temple here three times in only Spanish and I can sort of understand it, but they still have not taught us how to put a sentence together in Spanish. So, I can understand what people are saying but I miss a lot of words and I can't really respond to them. In fact, I cant really even respond in Spanish at all! haha it's so freaking hard! well yeah, other than that, I really like this place. I'm going to miss being with all of these guys in here that I am with 24/7. They are all way cool and super funny. I have done some pretty funny things this week. All of the people that are in my district and the other district that came here with at the same time are all funny and super crazy, but every single Elder that is a principio or intermedio (newbies), well, they are a bunch of turds. They are tattle tales and anything that they can get you in trouble with they try to do it. So, me and Elder Ramirez and Elder Barrett ate this kid, Elder Walker's Pringles and put
something super funny in the can, but very harmless, and when Elder Walker opened it he about stuck his hand in the can and we about died laughing. He was super mad at us hahahahhahahahaha! We also did the same to the new principios and put it up in their roof, because it is like a school style roof, you just move the panels! it that was super funny! 

So, basically the food here is just strait garbage and I am really hating it all except the chicken saltado and the jello and the toast and the yogurt. So there are some things that aren't too bad I guess, but I swear this place is more and more like a prison. The Presidente, well, I don't even think that he has smiled once, other than when I about beat him in ping pong. The guy is really good!

I have learned so much about the gospel since I've been here. I mostly have been studying Mormon, 1st Nephi 8, which talks about the tree of life, and D&C 121 which is my very favorite chapter, other than the Joseph Smith History. I don't know what it is but Joseph Smith is like my favorite person ever in the world!  and I do know why I like him so much. I have gained such strong testimony about him and his work. I thank all of you for your support and for everything. Be safe and I love you all. Next time I'll be writing from somewhere in the Huancayo mission! I wont write next week because I will just be getting into the field and so i wont be able to write for like 2 weeks. hasta luego!! I love you all!

Elder Christensen

Luke at the Lima Peru Temple with his companion

At the Lima Peru Temple with his District

A random street in Lima 

Elder Christensen at the CCM overlooking his beloved soccer field

Elder Christensen at the CCM (probably after playing some soccer)!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 3 From the CCM in Lima

Hi Everyone,

Well this week was flipping crazy. Not too much different than any other week but it sure has been a way better one. We got to watch the Elder Scott funeral and his son spoke and he did really good it was cool to learn about his life more. It was so wierd because the CCM teachers didnt tell us that he had passed away, and so we just had to figure it out from some of the kids that are in here. This place is super fun and I am getting super good at gospel Spanish. That pretty much means I can talk about anything in the lessons that we teach and talk about Jesus and Joseph Smith, but I literally can not understand anything else. 

Last week i was helping an old grandpa on the temple grounds walk up these stairs and I did not understand one thing that he said other than ´´usted no intende´´. haha which means ´´you dont understand me´ basically he walked about negative 5 miles an hour. so it took like 10 minutes to walk up 20 stairs. Super sad but I guess he is going to the temple so he can be clean before he goes to spirit paradise.
There is a kid in here and his name is Elder Herde, the kid literally cant tie his own shoe. Like seriously he has been here for 3 and a half weeks and doesnt know how to read in Spanish or even say how are you. It'svsad but he is like in love with this hermana and her name is hermana Droke. she is super nice, and she wants me, but like I'm on a mission so that can't happen!! But this kid named Elder Rice cut a little piece of her hair off and gave it to elder Herde and he loves that little clump of hair. Right once he got it he sniffed it and sniffed it. hahaha So we ripped some of Herde´s hair out and he walked over and gave it to her and then ran back. It literally was one of the funniest things that I have ever seen. 

I have made some pretty good friends here. W have made up like 10 different games since we got here. Everyone in the class gives their testimonies about how the gift of tounges has helped their testimony grow. I believe in the gift of tongues too, because I can speak pretty well now. I'm not as good as everyone because I cant seem to figure out how I need to put a sentence together because for some reason some sentences are backwards and some are normal like in english. I hate how it is like that. I'll figure it out!  

We play so much soccer here in the CCM like we play for an hour no matter what everyday. And anytime a latino comes we all just try and stop because for some reason latinos think that it is like against the law to pass the ball to a white person and it makes everyone so mad. I'll be wide open every time and I could have a good chance to score. but they just try to get past a group of 5 people. 

Well, are you all ready for General Confrence so that we can watch some of the best people in the world. this is the first time that I have ever been excited to watch a saturday session of conference and I literally am counting down the hours! Maybe it's  because I hate hating class all day everyday but Wednesday and Sunday. 

Oh I forgot to say earlier that we had to teach some investigators.  They were my teacher's friends but one person was actually an investigator, and there was a kid that was about to go on a mission and he was telling me and my comp how to teach the lesson and I wanted to throw a chair at him, because he didnt know what he was talking about!! 

Well time has come to an end and there is nothing more to write about. Love you  all! goodbye. oh and my comp is the wierdest kid in the world. but he is super funny! See ya next week!

Elder Christensen

Elder Ramirez and Christensen (Skyline & Alta Baseball!!)

Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru Temple

Lima, Peru Temple

A grocery store in Lima. Luke was a little freaked out that they don't keep their eggs in the refrigerator, they are just kept on a shelf!


Luke has become a soccer lover and has gone on a jersey shopping spree!

Week 2 From the CCM in Lima

Hello everybody!
I have had another wonderful week in the CCM! and I now am considered an intermediate in the CCM. haha I suck so bad at Spanish! I literally can only understand what the gringo missionaries say or my teachers when they speak really slow. I really do wish that I would have tried to learn spanish before I had come out on my mission because I would already be in the field. 
This week was the week that I finally figured out just how bad the food is here. I haven't finished a meal in like a week because I always loose my appetite from this crappy meat that they think they can give us. I literally have only finished my breakfast because i have like three peices of toast and that is basically the only thing that is good here in the CCM. I had that purple potato juice and wow. haha I cant even explain the flavor, it is so weird! But I do really like it here. I have so much fun with all the other missionaries and my comp. My comp literally, I hated him last week and now he is one of my favorites, because he makes me laugh so much. His name is Elder Mathews he is from Brigham City. He lives right across from the temple in a super old house from the 1800s haha but he literally has become the funniest person in the past week. I am pretty sure that I have a six pack from laughing so hard. 
This week we had to start teaching lessons in Spanish without our notes so it is the hardest thing ever. But I don't do too bad. I can get my point across when I am speaking. I think really the only hard thing to deal with is me trying to remember all of the phrases that I have to know and I am trying to learn like 50 plus words a day and that is making it have like the three stooges effect, where you try to jam so many things into your brain at a time and they can't all fit. 
I am loving soccer even more and more every day. I have a personalized jersey coming in next week from the missionary black market and I got a home game Messi jersey, and an Italy Balotteli jersey. It is pretty dope. That soccer ball that Cory got me right before I left was the greatest thing in the world, I freaking love playing with it. Me and my companions play a game where we have a person on one side of our room and one on the other and there is a laundry bag but it is one that stands up so its like 3 feet tall and a little hole like a foot wide, and first person to make it in they stay playing and its like a tournament sort of thing. It is so fun! 
I have written in my journal everyday so far, except the last two because I don´t feel like I need to because I have not done anything different in the last few days. The only thing litteraly that is different is the food and if we are teaching lessons that day. When your district is teaching lessons that is the best, because you get to hang with everyone that is not teaching and actually get to read the scriptures. I really have only gotten through like 15 chapters here because this place is like prison but it is a prison that you have to get around using Spanish haha its weird. The president is super good at ping pong like I said last week, and I played him twice and he beat me twice 9 to 11. It made me so mad. 
Today is my p day and we went to the temple again. It is just so great how I learn so much every time I go through. Then we went to this place and we had to walk there and it was like 15 minutes and everyone in the city is a bunch of jerks. If I wasnt a missionary I would say something else but I have calmed myself while I have been here. 
Well those are the only things that have happened this week. I was just informed that Elder Scott just died? The CCM isnt telling us anything! Maybe it is because the president hates the gringos haha! He will never even say excuse me when he wants to get past you, he just thinks that you will move for him. But, to get back on track with the Elder Scott subject. THE WORLD IS ENDING.  Everyone needs to repent!! I really hope that is not going to happen. 
The Elder, Daniel Larson, that was in the Nauvoo pageant last summer is in my room. We are pretty good friends. but he is kind of a wiener because he just sings the whole time that he is awake. He was the district leader and it is true, that if you give a man an ounce of power he will use it against you!! 
But I really do love you all. I will see you all in person in a little less than two years because I have been out for like two weeks haha! and I only have like 3 1/2 weeks left in here! That really is the greatest thing ever that I get out of here and get to serve finally. I love you and and I am sad that Mimi and Papa couldn't come home just a week earlier. That made me super sad when you told me I missed them by 5 days. But now I'm ok, because if you all are happy I am happy. Ill write next week. Kiss Kiss.

Elder Christensen

Week 1 from the CCM in Lima

Hola everybody. This is Elder Christensen writing this from the ccm in Peru. haha This has been the wierdest week of my life. I really haven't even slept since I've been here. The food isn't that good, but the rice isn't bad.  We arrived at the ccm at like 4 in the morning on wednesday and I only slept for like 2 hours. That day was the longest day of my life. It was fun but it literally felt like it was a week long day! haha I know that this sounds a little nutz but I actually like it here. I dont think that I could deal with being here for longer than six weeks, and it has only been a week and a day since I left home. It is true that the days are long and the weeks are short.

The kids here are like some of the funniest and greatest people ever. I havent stopped laughing. It is way hard to stay awake in class, but I still have a great time here. I am awful at spanish but I am starting to get better at ccm Spanish  that spanish is the spanish that a 3 year old latino can speak haha, but it is coming along, I can understand quite alot of it but I have no clue how to put a sentence together so I sound like a goon when I speak. 

We went to the immigration center like last friday or something and these Peruanos are the craziest drivers. I for some reason got to sit in the passanger seat in the bus on the way there, and it didnt have a front window and I was right above the bumper like an old volkswagon bus. We litteraly got inches away maybe even a half an inch somtimes. I could reach out in front of me and touch the car that was directly in front cause there was not a windshield. There arent any traffic laws so it is flipping nuts in the streets, but somehow there are never accidents that happen, and its very weird. 

I play soccer every time that I have the chance to play and I have more goals than anyone that has been in the ccm longer than me. No one knows how to play but its super fun. We got to watch the Joseph Smith story like the hour long one we watched in Nauvoo, and the biggest answer came to me. I dont have time to tell you now but I know this church is true. I mean how can it not be. We also watched 17 Miracles and that is one of the best movies ever. I love it even more and more everytime that I watch it. I went to the temple this morning and it was nothing like when I went in Nauvoo.  Maybe it was because I had to do it with a headset. It was a super fun time and then we went and got some Inca Kola. and wow it is so much better in this little ol place. 

My companion is from Brigham City and hes a cool dude. Me and the other elders just kinda mess around alot but we also learn more than the others in class. Im about to play the ccm President in ping pong and see if i can beat him because apparenty he never has lost here then I'm gonna go play some soccer. Oh and we went to interpol which was just some way sketchy place that they do like fingerprints and thats how we get our visas. While we were there were like 15 cats and all of them looked like Dovey (kaitlins and corys cat) they were very creepy but some were super cute. I talked to some guy that makes some indian drug that is supposed to be like a cleanser and makes you happy. He was such a wierd guy and he lives by Cuzco. He was very rude but then he got over it and was nice after that. 

Well so long. I do miss all you but I really havent even thought about home. Nick that ring that you gave me is like the main thing that keeps me going, also all the letters. Thank you Nick and kass and kolt those letters were very helpful and helped me out a lot. And hey Cory thanks for the money and the stuff everyone wrote in that book.

Elder Christensen

PS ....  
I will put some pics on. I love you so much ma. I hope you can miss me back! Be safe and tell dad I love him also and have a good week. The pics are me and Elder Ramirez, the kid from Skyline, he's freaking dope and he's my best bud!

Elder Ramirez and Elder Christensen in Lima Peru

Elder Christensen and Elder Ramirez at the Lima Peru Temple

 Lima Peru CCM (or MTC in English)

Elder Christensen outside the CCM in Lima Peru