Monday, June 27, 2016

The Mission is all About Change

Hey there my beloved people... 

To start off, I want to say that this will be a short letter, but a good letter! 

So first, for p-day this week we went to Cueva de las Lechuzas. It was the coolest cave outside Tingo Maria. It was so neat!! Elder Bartschi almost fell into the river and I almost laughed my head off!! He was hanging from a tree for his life, and I was sitting there on the side of the river thinking that it was a joke. But turns out that he really was almost to fall in, and he started screaming his head off for help!! jajajaja It was the funniest thing in the world and I couldn't even help him because I was laughing so hard! We got him before he fell in though! 

Cueva de las Lechuzas
Near Tingo Maria, Peru

River Huallaga
One of the largest rivers in Peru

After that we went to a look out above Tingo and I took my last glimpses of the beautiful city of Tingo Maria, most beautiful city I've ever seen! I will miss it. We then went down and looked at some super cool paintings. I bought one that I really loved. When I get my new camera I will send a pic of it. 

My beautiful and beloved Tingo Maria from the lookout

Then that night I got notice that I was leaving Tingo, just as I suspected. I literally almost cried. But it made it better that I got to pull one last prank on Elder Bartschi. We filled up 3 buckets of water and soaked Bartschi from head to toe. 

I left Tingo on Wednesday and went off to Huànuco. Huanuco is about 2 hours south of Tingo Maria on a super sketchy road. The elevation is about 6300 feet and the climate is amazing. The days are in the high 70's and the nights in the mid 50's year round. So I froze to death in Carhuamayo, couldn't quit sweating in Tingo Maria and now I'm in the middle of both in Huanuco. I am in the Pedro Puelles Ward. It is an area almost as hard as Carhuamayo. This area hasn't had a baptism in about 8 months. I just keep getting these hard areas. I guess the Lord really wants me to work! So I got here and we literally have had about 90 contacts since I got here. We just contacted all day, everyday. 

The City of Huanuco, Peru
Population 173,000

It really was a super long week and a super sad week, and I am still a little depressed that I had to leave Tingo. But, I know that the Lord has called me here to Huanuco for a reason. We found like 3 people that were actually really cool. They all seemed like they actually wanted to learn and hear what we had to say. They were answering all the questions perfectly and they actually asked if we would go back to their house. I was so happy! It seemed like the Lord was just leading us right to their houses. We contacted some random guy on the street during the week, and he gave us his address, but then that address didn't actually exist. So we just started contacting and we found him and his wife. Their names are Cesar and Margarita. That happened yesterday (Sunday) right before we were about to go home for the night. It was so cool and such a tender mercy to be able to find him again. Once again, I know that the Lord led us to him and helped us to be able to find them. 

During this past week I just keep thinking what an awful week it was, but now that I think back on it, it was actually an amazing week. Every time we have to rely on the Lord we are strengthened. I also found ways that will help me study better, and I'm pretty excited about that. 

That was my week. I know that this is a short letter, hopefully next week I'll have more, but I just want to finish by saying that I know that God answers prayers, that he guides us and he directs us if he ask for his help, and I know that He lives. Over the past few weeks I have been working on being fully converted myself. I want to always know, without a doubt, that this Church is true, and that Jesus is our brother and He is there for us and loves us. I know it to be true and I have a testimony of it. I challenge all of you to try and do this, it's amazing. I feel so much better with myself and I know that I am happier with my life because of it. I love you all and I'll write next week!!!! 

Elder Christensen

From left to right
Elder Rodrigues, Leisdy, Elder Crosland (Luke's comp in Tingo Maria)
Isaac, Luke, Alexandra and Elder Bartschi
Leisdy and her family lived across the street from the 4 Elders in Tingo Maria

Luke really loved this family and 
these other 3 Elders that he served with in Tingo Maria
It was hard to say goodbye to them and to Tingo Maria.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I'm Learning Patience!

Hey there people of the United States of America, and some from other places in the world!

Sorry this will be a really short letter this week. I feel like I really didn't do much this week. But, this was a fast week and a week of patience. Well, I guess really I need to learn patience! I wanted to rip everyone's heads off a few times! Not the other missionaries, but some of the people here. Seems like this week we have just had so many people talking smack on us gringos and saying how the gringos aren't good at anything! What are they thinking? Another thing that drives me crazy is a thing that the people here call the Hora Peruana. So, the Hora Perúana is showing up 1 to 2 hours late to everything, yes, everything and it drives me crazy! The even show up to church way late! I'm learning patience every day here! 

So let's start off with the last Monday (p-day), we went fishing. That is all of last Monday! haha I caught 3 fish!! that is all we did! It was fun though!

So, onto the next day which was Tuesday. We worked super hard all day and we only were able to have like 3 lessons. It was a slow day, I really don't like days like this, but we have them every now and then. We had the interview for Veronica's daughter Arely, and she passed! The zone leaders said that she was over prepared.  It's a good thing that she had me to teach her. jaja ..... I'm just kidding, I'm not the reason she was so prepared, the Spirit is the reason and the one that talks and teaches. And she was so ready and so prepared for this in her life. 

Wednesday and Thursday we had a Multizone Conference. We had to say goodbye to President and Hermana Henderson. They will be leaving in about a week. They will really be missed. So glad I got to serve under them and learn from them. Then another great part of my week was that we were able to have pizza. In the mission you really come to appreciate the little things, like pizza and good food! I really enjoyed it and had like 4 pieces, and I was fealing like I was in heaven. It was so dang good! 

Friday we just worked all day and Saturday was THE day. Saturday was the day that Arely was to be baptized. She asked me to baptize her and I was so excited! This was a super special baptism. Not only because there were 2 baptisms and I got to baptize someone with my buddy Elder Bartschi, but, it is the last baptismal ordinance that I will be able to do while I am here in the Huancayo mission. It is now a rule that the missionaries don't baptize the people. The Church wants the members to do it and be more involved. It also creates a bond between the member and the one being baptized. So we had the baptism for Arely and for Dana. During this baptism the spirit was super strong and powerful. It was a true testimony building experience to be a part of someone taking steps to return to Christ. It was so special and so spiritual. But.... this is where the patience comes in, we planned for the baptism to be at 5 o'clock. but the people don't start showing up until 6 o'clock. So, we just continue to get ready for the baptism and then Veronica (the mother) shows up another half an hour late. I was so frustrated! They have no sense of time, but I swallowed my pride and didn't let my frustrations show, and we had the pictures taken and went in for the baptism, and it was a beautiful baptism. I still can feel the spirit from that night. This is the greatest part of the work, to see someone so sweet take on the covenant of baptism. I know it will bring them happiness.

So that is my week. All of you tune in next week, haha (silly phrases) but yes, this church is true and brings so much happiness! Have a great week! Love you all and be safe.😘

Elder Christensen

Pictures from last week are now posted on last week's blog post.

Luke would love to hear from everyone. You can email him at

An early morning hike to the cross above Huanuco.
And the beautiful city of Huanuco from up on the hill.

Last Zone Conference with President and Hermana Henderson.
They will be greatly missed by these Elders and Hermanas.

Elder Schriener (Zone Leader) and Elder Christensen

Elder Bartschi and Elder Christensen with Dana and Arely before their baptism.

Elder Crosland, Arely and Elder Christensen before Arely's baptism

Making hamburgers at the Bishop's house after church on Sunday (Father's Day)!

Luke in the streets of Tingo Maria with two cute little girls.
Not sure where his glasses came from?? haha

Veronica and her family, Elder Christensen, Elder Crosland and
Erikson Rodriguez
Veronica will be baptized in about a month

Veronica's little girls handcuffing Elder Christensen
outside Veronica's house.
Little kids always love Luke!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Fast and Wonderful Week!

Hey everyone! Well, or just mom if you are the only one that actually reads my letters....

This week was great, it passed by so fast that I didn't even realize that it was Monday today. So, I want to start out with Monday, not only because it is a crazy day that I have every week, but because we went to this super cool waterfall. This waterfall is called the Catarata Otorongo. A Cataract Otorongo is some sort of big mountain cat, like a leopard. On our way there, we went past Aucayacu and bought some super cool mini machetes that are like 12 inches long (you know how I love knives!). And then we went to the waterfall. When we got there we opened up some coconuts and drank the coconut milk and then ate the meat inside of them. It was super good. It made me feel like I was just right back at home, except at home I don't have coconuts and we also don't have big waterfalls haha!! So basically I guess I really felt like I was in Tingo María, Peru, my new home. After we got home we went to Veronica's house and talked to her and her daughter, and we got the greatest news ever....they both accepted the invitation to get baptized this Saturday. It has been so cool to see the progress that she and her family have made. I am super glad that I will be able to see them get baptized the last Saturday before I leave Tingo. We found Veronica about 3 months ago and maybe you'll remember, but she is the lady with the 8 kids. She is also the lady that had the super cool dream that I talked about a few months back in an email. 

Also, this week we have been challenging people to baptism like no other. We have not had one day in the past month that we haven't challenged someone to baptism. That has actually been one of my goals to do though. We have had some super cool lessons this week that have changed my life, and my thoughts about the future. They truly were some testimony building moments. 

On Wednesday we came out of this cool lesson with a very old investigator. And they told us that they wanted to get baptized so they will get baptised in the neer future. As we were leaving it started to rain. We got to the pension's house at like 8:05 p.m. and ate and then it just started to pour rain. It poured so hard that I was walking in puddles just to get home. We were getting drenched and so we finally got home and the street in front of our house started to fill up, and it filled up to be like 2 feet deep, and in some spots like 3 feet deep. So we went outside while it was pouring rain and did some service. We started to push motos (small taxis) that were stuck and we helped people keep their houses from flooding. We helped a guy that changed my life forever, more about him in a minute....

So the next day the flood had gone down and there was just garbage everywhere, like literally, everywhere! So we fixed this ladies garage door and that night I see that dude that we helped. The guy was pushing his same cart as the night before and he wore the same clothes and same everything. I was watching him out of the window. He walked by and he stopped and started looking through the garbage to see what he could find to use that would help him in some way in his life. He looked, and looked, and looked, yet found nothing. He scratched his neck and started walking again. He stopped again and picked up a destroyed bottle, then scratches his neck and starts on his way again. I watched him in shock for the whole time, and in that little moment I started to tear up and think of how blessed I truly am. I have taken everything that I've ever had in my whole life for granted. I have so much! And today I am so grateful for everything that I have, my family, this opportunity to serve and the gospel in my life. 

That is my week. I so grateful to be here, and I'm grateful that we have a ton of people that are progressing towards baptism. It's so great to see it all in action. We are now working with Ceasar, Veronica, Arely, Daisy, Milena, Elias, and so many more, keep them in your prayers. This Saturday Veronica and Arely will be baptized. Greatest day ever! I love you all and I want everyone to know, that I KNOW, with all of my heart, that God is our Father, Jesus is our brother, and Joseph Smith restored the gospel back to the Earth, these things along with many others, I know are true.

Elder Christensen

Luke at the Cataract Otorongo Waterfall
Tingo Maria, Peru

Using a Banana Leaf as an umbrella during the downpour!

Going out to do service during the rainstorm and flood in Tingo Maria, Peru

Monday, June 6, 2016

Swinging Through the Jungle Like a Monkey

Well... family and friends,
Well this week passed by so fast I don't even know what to say! So, I will only tell three stories. So, I'll start off with last P-DAY!  We went to Lagoona de los Milagros to fish. But, we didn't do much fishing at all. We decided that we wanted to go and find this other lake that was near the lagoon. So, in our attempt to find this lake we decided to take a trek across this field of like little thorn bushes. Then we arrived at a little trail that led us to a bunch of plants that were like little razors growing from them. We eventually arrived at a swamp. We walked through the swamp, with the fear of an Anaconda or a Crocodile snatching our legs, and the plants with the razors growing from them were the big worry too!! We got through the swamp and looked at our bodies and our arms and they were so cut up and itchy that we basically just wanted to jump in the water and go swimming. But it's not advised to swim as a missionary, so we had three wierd dudes throw water on us with buckets. We kept going in hopes of making it to the lake and we can't even fish haha!!!! But we did find some vines and we went swinging across the lagoon like monkeys! I got bit by a few red ants, but everyone else got eaten alive. I'm sure there are no mosquitos carring Zika virus in the jungle... right?

On Wednesday we went to Aucayacu, a little town about an hour out side of Tingo. When we got there and we ate, and then went to teach some people. Then we decided to go visit this old black blind man, there's not a lot of old, black, blind men in Peru. We get to his house and he is just so happy! He is just super pumped to see us! We started with a prayer and he started telling us about how he was in a motorcycle accident about 6 years ago, and he went into a coma for a few months, When he woke up he couldn't see. So for 6 years he hasn't been able to see at all. But he is the happiest guy ever! Then he said, "well, in 24 days I AM GETTING MY VISION BACK", and he started bawling. I have never seen a man cry so hard. But I felt the spirit as we sat with him and listened to him. I wanted to cry with him. It really was the best part of my week!!
On Wednesday night we also basically saved this kid from ruining his life. His grandpa was kicking him out of the house and he was going to go live in Lima. So, we went to the house and talked to his grandma. We were prayerful and talked to her with the spirit, and she decided to let him stay in the house. The spirit is a powerful thing and something that we should all pray to have in our lives daily. It can help us, and guide and direct us through good times and hard times. Well, that is all! I'm headed to a sick waterfall today... pictures next week!! 

love ya and chau,
Elder Christensen

The jungle, with the plants that grown razors. 
Pretty sure there were Anacondas and Crocodiles in here too!


Swinging like a monkey over the lagoon in the jungle!

Luke's Pensionista and her cute little niece.