ON FRIDAY, APRIL 15th IT IS LUKE'S 19th BIRTHDAY!!! I would love to flood his email next Monday, April 11th with birthday wishes! Please send him just a short "Happy Birthday" email before next Monday to lucas.christensen@myldsmail.
net! Thanks for helping him have a great birthday!!! And thanks for your continued support as he serves in Peru! Love you all!
Then we got back to Tingo and I still didn't have a companion, because remember, Arpires went home the Friday before. So I was just a lone wolf this week, until my new comp arrived on Thursday. I'm basically training him because he knows fewer things than a new missionary directly out of the MTC. He is what we call a mini missionary. He is a member waiting for his mission call, he is from Huancayo, and he will just stay one transfer while he waits for his call to come. We don't have enough missionaries in the Huancayo mission and so he was asked to help us out. He has sent his papers in and everything, but doesn't have his mission call yet. This will be a great experience for him before he actually goes out to serve! He is a super cool dude, we will do good together and I'll teach him all I can in this one transfer.
I really have started to take initiative and started to challenge a ton of people to baptism. It is super funny to see the reactions sometimes. We have been talking to this family of 8 kids. These kids are crazy, every single one of them are crazy! Whenever I see them they just start yelling from across the road or across the church ... GRINGO! GRINGO! haha they are super funny. The mom's name is Veronica. She has had a hard life and has made it even harder by having 8 kids to take care of, but she is a wonderful lady. She had a dream that was super crazy. I'll tell you the shortened and revised version of her dream so that everyone can understand it, because it has so much meaning. Her dream starts off and she walked into a church with a cross on top of it (a Catholic church), and she asked someone which way was the correct way to be able to return to God and live forever. The guy said there is no way, so she left the church and as she was leaving she asked two white men with white shirts and ties and looked very clean and nice (missionaries), these two men were holding a book made of gold (the golden plates). She asked them which way to go, and they said go this way, and never stray from the path. She down this path they told her to follow, and this path was to a mountain. While on the path, a snake bit her (Satan) and she was trying to rip the snake off her, the farther the two men in white got and closer she got to them, the snake would get bigger, and bite harder. She came to this rope bridge that was over a huge crevasse and she couldn't see the bottom, she crossed the bridge fine, and came to a door. She opened it and came to another, and another, and that happened 7 times. After she got through all the doors, she found a white man (Jesus) and this man said to get to God you have to finish hiking up the mountain (endure to the end), and at the top of the mountain God will be waiting for you in his house. She got to the top and saw the house, and the house had 6 tall points or spires, and was a white and grey color (the temple). Then she woke up. The last part where she told about the building, she described the Salt Lake Temple perfectly. She said this building is in some Rocky Mountains. And that is where the headquarters of this church is located, around that temple. As she was telling us this dream, I couldn't believe it! It was just crazy! I have been slowly helping her to understand her dream by explaining the doctrine that goes right along with it. She is progressing well. She doesn't have money to take every child to church every week but she really loves it, and I know she will be taken care of. I hope that soon she and her children will be able to get baptized. It is hard to teach her because her kids are always going crazy during the lessons, but we are making progress.
Then on Saturday and on Sunday.... wow! I have never been so tired in my life! not physically tired, but spiritually tired. I LOVED Conference! Me and Elder Bartchi got to watch it in English. We watched it in the ward clerk's office. That is the only place in Tingo that has air conditioning, so even better!!! So me and Elder Bartchi just chilled and ate snacks and drank soda and learned from the most spiritual men on the earth. The spirit was so strong, and I cannot wait until next conference. There were so many things that stuck out to me, but the thing that has not left my mind was the testimony of Elder Holland. I have never heard an Apostle be so straight forward. Usually the Apostles or Prophet or the Seventy just say, " I bare testimony that Christ lives." But Elder Holland said something different. It was quiet in the room, all I could hear was the Conference. The spirit was so strong in the room and then he said " I bare my witness to you all, in fact I AM A WITNESS OF CHRIST and I KNOW that he lives!" There has never been anything in my life that has hit me so hard and so deep. I know that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, and the Savior of this world. I KNOW that He lives. I can say that, even though I have never seen him, I know. I want you all to go to your Book of Mormon and read Alma 32:21, then search for Christ and He will make himself known unto you by the Holy Ghost. It was such a great week and especially weekend! Keep those messages with you always! I'll talk to all of you next week.
Hasta luego amigos,
La Lagoona de Los Milagros (the Lake of Miracles)
A prehistoric Bird
This looks like Masterchef (from Halo) in his helmet
A statue of a bird in the rock
Looks like some things never change ....
He's still a monkey swinging from vines through the jungle!
Luke, Elder Bartchi, Elder Bartchi's companion and ???
Luke and Elder Bartchi watching General Conference,
and sustaining the Prophet, Apostles and other church leaders