Monday, December 28, 2015

It was a Great Christmas!! Happy New Year!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! It was so much fun for us to spend some time with Luke through Skype! Technology is so amazing and what a blessing to be able to SEE and TALK to him!! It's really probably somewhat of a miracle ... Skyping from the top of the Andes Mountains, with a clear picture and perfect sound has to be a miracle! Thanks for the love and support each of you give to Luke. He really wanted everyone to know how much he has appreciated getting emails, and cards and letters through the mail. Mail is a lifeline to a missionary! Thank you so much! We wish you all a wonderful new year!

Hey Everyone!! 

So this week was the worst, but also the best week of my mission so far. It was bad because we only had 5 lessons and 10 contacts!!  But, we were only in Carhuamayo for like 2 full days so that might explain most of it. Everything else was super awesome!! 

Tuesday night we had some super amazing good milkshakes in Huanuco!! And, I had about a gallon of them! They were mint chocolate chip and we put Oreos in them. Oh man that was super amazing, I haven't had anything like that for so long! We went to Cerro de Pasco on Thursday, Christmas Eve, and then my comp went to Tarma on Christmas Day to baptize some dude. So I was just hanging out with Elder Baca, my zone leader, and we had a super cool time. I really like him, we get along so good! We made hamburgers as a zone! They were so good! Hamburgers!!!  Then after that we went and Skyped our families. It was awesome because we wore those funny witch hats when our families answered the Skype. After we both talked to our family went and ate some pretty good Chinese food. Then we went back to the room after picking up some packages. When we got back to the room we didn't have any power, so no lights, so we just hung out.  Elder Baca opened his Christmas packages because he hadn't done that yet. I opened mine the day before on Christmas Eve before I left Carhuamayo.  Because we didn't have any light or anything we just used flashlights all night long. We ate some good American candy and talked about funny and crazy things. 

As you know, there is a mail strike here in Peru, so mail is just coming in really slow. It was slow before, but now it's just a few things coming in here and there. I was told I had some mail at the terminal so I picked it up and that night I also read some letters that is got. I should have more letters, but I did get a few. Mom, I got your letter that you sent me back in November. It was a way good letter!! I wish I would have had it when you sent it and meant for it to get to me! It helped me so much, you said some things that I really needed to hear. I really wish I'd had it sooner, it could of helped me sooner! thanks mama!!!! 

Saturday I got super trunky because I was just thinking about my family after talking to everyone on Friday! It was the best! Sunday it all changed! I haven't thought about my family at all, because I don't like you guys anymore!! haha!! I'm just kidding. I love you all a ton!! But, that was my week! I don't have many things to talk about since we talked just a few days ago. My Spanish is coming along better. I really can't wait until I am fluent, but I know I need to be patient with myself. And, also I might have said this on Friday, but my cool investigators that we've worked so hard with. They don't want to get baptized till like March!!! What the heck!!! Well, that's all!! Until next week!

love you all,
Elder Christensen

Elder Baca and Elder Christensen
Cerro de Pasco, Peru
Christmas 2015

Elder Baca and Elder Christensen in Cerro de Pasco, Peru
Christmas 2015 

Family Picture!! Skype call on Christmas Day 2015

The many faces of Elder Christensen on the Skype Call
Christmas Day 2015
Cerro de Pasco, Peru

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Feliz Navidad!!

Hey Everyone and Feliz Navidad!

Sorry I was tardy on my email. We are in Huanuco again for a multi zone Christmas thing. I want to come here to Huanuco to serve so bad! I love it here! 

This week has been really hard. I've had such a tough time with my comp. He whines about EVERYTHING, he's super cocky and selfish. But this week, we helped each other, both in different ways. I have helped him to become more humble and he has been better at working on the other things too. Carhuamayo is such a hard place to be. I really am so ready to get out of Carhuamayo, but I'll be here until the Lord needs me somewhere else. I just have to keep telling myself I can do it here, it's hard but it will make me into the missionary I need to be. My comp actually helped me this week too. He did more for me this week than anyone, other than Nick, Kass, Kolt and Cory and their examples that they have shared with me from their missions they served. I know they've been in similar situations while on their missions, they understand, and I trust their advice. Again, I broke this week, I swear I've been super emotional since I've been here, maybe it's the spirit working on me and breaking me down! But, we were in a lesson and the guy we were teaching could have been the first baptism here in Carhuamayo in a year! I was so excited, but he felt like he could not accept the baptismal date that we gave him. I felt like this just ripped me apart, we had worked so hard with him, and I was so excited for him to become a member of this church and this gospel. Later that night I started thinking, then I felt like maybe I didn't have a testimony, I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, why was I feeling so down about this.  My comp sat me down and asked what was wrong. He then said some things to me that will change me forever, he told me that only the strongest are sent here to Carhuamayo. He said, "this place is a place for growing and establishing your own strong testimony." He then said, "I have never met anyone that didn't have a testimony that would cry for some other person's salvation!" I then realized that through the whole conversation I understood every single word that he said so clear, just as if he had said it in English! It was like I had to hear his words and Heavenly Father gave me the Gift of Tongues for that moment so that I would know why I am here. The Holy Ghost, for that brief moment, helped me with what I needed. I know this gospel was put here on this earth for us, to help us to be happy. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true! We are so blessed to be members of His church, and to have true happiness in our lives! He lives and he loves us!! I have been loving life now and I am more confident in all I do. I now realized that I love the Lord so much, my testimony will forever be growing, and I too am trying to have a better attitude about the mission and Carhuamayo. 

This week we went to Cerro de Pasco everday. I am in Huanuco chilling with Elder Leonard. He's a cool funny, tall, skinny guy. Also, this week the zone leaders came to Carhuamayo and we had a good time with them, they are such great guys and great Elders. We chilled, ate some good chocolate cake and drank mate'. We talked about all the crazy things that have to do with the tribes of Israel. We talked about things back home, video games and funny movies. Well that was my week and No I will not have any pictures because this computer's USB port doesn't work! Sorry!!

Merry Christmas to everyone! and family I can't wait to see you all on Skype on Friday!!!

Elder Christensen

Monday, December 14, 2015

I'm the Boogeyman!! or a Pishtaco!!

Well this has been a crazy week!! I keep thinking that I don't really like Carhuamayo, but then I realize all the blessings that I'm seeing. Every week I feel like I learn more and more. I feel like I learn more in a week here than I have my whole life! It's pretty crazy here in Carhuamayo!  Sometimes it is hard not to get cocky about my Spanish haha! I get thinking I'm so good at it, and then I realize that I don't really know it that great. But, I do have to speak it all day and when I don't know a word I have to try and work my way around what I'm trying to say. It is hard!! 

I do think that I have finally gotten to the President of the branch here in Carhuamayo. He has seriously changed for the better in a short time. He shows up to church 20 minutes early, and helps prepare everything! We actually are starting church on time now! and yesterday we had ward council!!! The third time in a year! and he stayed with us all day and went with us to teach lessons! He really is turning into a good guy! 

I will Skype on Christmas day from Cerro. I think they will have good internet there, better than in Carhuamayo. But, I will buy some calling cards just in case the internet is too slow, or it just doesn't work from this primitive place! Cerro does have better internet and actually has web cams. My pensionista has a computer with a camera, but they don't have internet. I will give her your email and she can email you, and then Nick can translate the message. Also, I was reading through my letters, looking for advice during this past week. I was reading Kolt's letter to me, and he told me to read D&C 4 again. And so I did, and I love verse 2! It made me want to go out and work hard. So you know what I did?  I went out and we found a new investigator and the kid wants to be baptised now! His name is Brad. He is a cool kid, the only problem is that it is hard to find him because in Peru they have school everyday, but Summer break for school is coming soon!

I do know that this is the hardest, but best time of my life. And I am really liking it! It is hard to deal with my comp, but I am learning patience and I'm getting good at it with him, yes, I know it's something I've needed to work on, I'm having my chance now! He isn't obedient and he has a toooooonnnn of pride! He's also a little selfish, but I'm learning so much every day that I'm with him. And, it's ok, because I only have 4 more weeks in Carhuamayo and then I'm going to the Jungle, and I'm going to get warm again. Yeah, I know, I'm dreaming and wishing, but hey, maybe!!! Yeah, I really do want to go to the Jungle. Every Elder usually gets to go to the Jungle after being in Carhuamayo, or a good, WARM, area in Huanuco! Huanuco is way cool! But the Jungle sounds better, and warmer!
It finally stopped raining in the Region of Cerro de Pasco. It literally rained for 2 weeks straight. It was so depressing, but yesterday all day it was warm and I was in a short sleeve shirt all day!! It was the best! It is summer here!???

Ok, now on to the funny parts of the week. So we have this less active member that is progressing. So, we go and teach him like everyday or every other day, and seriously, he thinks that I am a Pishtaco! (go and look this up they are some crazy people)  But, in the middle of the lessons he looks to my comp and says, "what does the pishtaco have to say about this?" It is pretty funny, and it really kills the spirit, and then he just dies laughing when he says it! He thinks he is so funny!! Actually, it is so funny! He had an accident a few years ago, and now his mind is like scrambled eggs. That is how the President of the branch explained it. He really is classic! I'll send a pic of him. Well, I am the only missionary I feel like that has their package for Christmas. I'm feeling pretty lucky! It's all because of the mail strike in Peru right now, bad timing!  Well, and that was my week love you all and bye!!!!!!

Elder Christensen

I looked up "pishtaco"!! It's pretty funny!!!

A pishtaco is a mythological boogeyman figure in the Andes region of South American, particularly in Peru and Bolivia. According to folklore, a pishtaco is an evil monster-like man, often a stranger and often a white man, who seeks out unsuspecting Indians to kill them and abuse them. The legend dates back to the Spanish conquest of South America. Primarily, this has been stealing their body fat for various cannibalistic purposes, or cutting them up and selling their flesh as fried chicharrones. Pishtaco derives from the local Quechua language word "pishtay" which means to behead, cut throat, or cut into slices.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Humility, Patience, Obedience and Hard Work!!


So this has been a good week, but kind of a depressing week too. I have found so many scriptures this week that have given me comfort!  I love them!!  Next week I will send a picture of all of them, because I think everyone deserves them! So, Elder Bullock is out of here, and he is now a Zone Leader in Huancayo. I really do miss him. He really was super cool and he helped me out a lot. Now I have a disobedient Elder with me, his name is Elder Alfonso. He tries to count some contacts as lessons and I keep telling him that they don't count!! So during informs I just don't tell the District Leader those numbers. haha!!! 

I am having a good time. I have been looking up a ton of scriptures, like I said, in my Pocket Reference Book for Missionaries. I looooooove that little book!!! I found a great scripture on the way here to Cerro de Pasco. It is D & C 136:31, "My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom." So now I guess I pretty much have to finish my mission!! So I'll see you all in 21 months because tomorrow is my 3rd month in Peru! Wow, how fast time flies, and it should only go faster the more time I have!

Yesterday we had 7 people in Sacrament Meeting! AND .... the Branch President was on time!!! and set up the Sacrament!!! On Saturday I showed him D&C 107:99, "Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence." and 100% he was scared and started working!!! We actually had a branch council and it went really good. In the next two months we could have 4 baptisms!! They will be the first baptisms in Carhuamayo in a whole  year!! That really makes me a lot happier to think about that!! 

Last Monday on p-day we went to Huayllay! It's such a great place. It's rock climbing heaven! We had hail and lightening super hard while we were there, and I really thought that I was going to die, but it was one of the coolest things that I have seen in along time! I really loved it. While we were there Elder Bullock got the call that he was leaving Carhuamayo to be a Zone Leader. I'll send pictures of this place, cause it was so cool!

So, like I said at the beginning, this week has been hard and depressing. Hard because my comp knows about 1/2% of English and I am forced to speak a language I'm not comfortable with at all! But, I know it will be good and really I do like it, I guess mostly because I have learned more about Spanish this week than another week so far. One of the little depressing things is that it goes from short sleeve weather in the day, to about negative 50 degrees because of the rain and wind chill! Which happen here at 15,000 ft every day! It gets so cold! The other day I forgot my gloves in the room so my hands were frozen, and I really thought about just cutting them off. haha!!  Just kidding! but it has been so dang cold every night this week! 

Elder Alfonso is my new comp and he is from Paraguay. I don't know the name of the city because it is a really weird name. He's really cool. I'm trying to help him be obedient to all of the rules, all of the time! I have realized out here that there are a few things that you need to have, humility, patience, obedience and to work hard all the time. Well, that was basically my week. I am working hard and trying as hard as I can so we will all receive blessings. I love you all. 

 ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡buenos suerte!!!!!!!!!

Elder Christensen

Visiting Huayllay National Sanctuary. 
A park in Peru noted for the large scenic rock formations of theRock Forest, near Carhuamayo, Peru

At Huayllay 
Elder Christensen, Elder Baca and Elder Grandstaff 

Such a beautiful place! Luke said, "it's a rock climber's heaven"!
And if you know Luke! You know he's in heaven standing up on this big rock!