Monday, July 25, 2016

Happy Peruvian Independence Day!!

Hey there people of America!!

HOW WAS THE 24TH OF JULY!!! So here it is not a holiday! So we didn't do anything! haha!! On Thursday, July 28th it will be Peruvian Independence Day and they will celebrate all weekend long with fireworks and everyone will drink and get drunk! I will just play with my Trompo! I am getting pretty good at it. Elder Campbell and I have Trompo wars, and play super fun games. If you don't know what a Trumpo is go look it up on the internet..... Trompo or Whipping Top is a top which is spun by winding a length of string around the body, and launching it so that it lands spinning on its point. If the string is attached to a stick the rotation can be maintained by whipping the side of the body. The string may also be wound around the point while the trompo is spinning in order to control its position or even lift the spinning top to another surface. These toys are popular in Latin America where the name trompo emerged, but there are many different local names. .... I watched some videos on YouTube, and it looks really hard, but very cool!

But this week was super fast .... yet super slow (can that be possible)? So this week we played soccer at the church with all the missionaries in Huanuco. We were playing great and I was learning to do some new moves!! 

Last Tuesday we had a super great lesson with Gelhin. We were getting her ready for her baptism that was scheduled for Saturday, July 23rd. She told us that she had a dream that she was dressed in white, and then she saw two Gringos. (Yeah, that would be me and Campbell) haha!! Why can't I have any dope dreams like these Peruvians!! We have been finding some other great people to teach too, and we have been working super hard this week. We also have some more people that have accepted a baptismal date!! It's so great! But then we literally just contacted the rest of the day on Tuesday. 

Wednesday we did the same exact thing as every other day.  We were walking along and this dude just gave me a brand new Trompo. It's so cool, and we have been getting super good at it in our free time. I now have like 4 different Trompos. But that is only because a Trompo costs like 1 Sole, maybe 2 Soles maximum. Also, on Wednesday Elder Bartschi came and stayed with us because he and my comp, Eder Campbell, were going to Huancayo for some reason. So we went and got Fetucchini Alfredo. And then we bought a Paneton ....  Paneton is a type of sweet bread originally from Milan, but is now popular in Latin America. It is usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year. This is Wendi talking now, Paneton is really not that good! But I'm glad he likes it! ... and some Root Beer Floats. jajajajajaj! They were sooooo goooooood! So, because Bartschi and Campbell went to Huancayo I had to stay with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Carrasco and he is super funny and a little crazy. So we just talked all night about crazy things we did before the mission. He is about to finish his mission next transfer so he is a little trunky. haha 

Then on Friday morning we got a call from the Assistants and they gave us some of the worst news!!! So, from now on we can't have p-days basically... really, we just can't leave our areas unless we receive 'permission from the Zone Leaders'. So from now on we will not be able to play soccer and do a lot of other cool things basically!! So unless it's a Zone activity we're in our area alone on p-days! But I will be obedient and follow the rules. Later Friday afternoon we did some baptismal interviews. 

Saturday we had a BAPTISM, but something crazy happened! It always seems to go that way here! We had an interview and we planned for everything and it was all ready to go. We were going to have 4 baptisms here! So awesome! Gelhin got there on time and the other 3 didn't show up until like 5:30. We planned the baptism to be at 4:00. Also, the other wards were having a baptism at 3:00 but they didn't start until 4:00 haha. What am I talking about! That's just any typical Peruvian activity, to say you will start at 4:00 and then really start at 5:30!) But we did have the baptism of Gelhin and it was awesome! She was so excited and so happy! It was great to have a new member in the Puerto Puelles ward after almost a year!

The baptism of Gelhin. The Hermana's, Elder Campbell and Elder Christensen
Gelhin in the middle.

Also, I have seen so many dang animals die in the past few weeks! It's crazy!! I made a chicken jump off a cliff on accident haha!! And I'm pretty sure it died. It wasn't moving.... sorry chicken. Well, that's my week! And I'm out of time. This work is the greatest ever! Have a great week!

Elder Christensen

Elder Campbell and Elder Christensen

Elder Christensen balancing a cookie on his head!
Looks like he's a silly as ever!

Monday, July 18, 2016

We're Working Hard and It Feels So Good!!

Hey there you GRINGOS!!!
So that Gringo thing was kinda like a joke that everyone here knows!! haha  I was just walking down the street and a guy saw us and yelled GRINGO!!! with all of his might. haha. Then he ran 2 blocks to come and give me a hand shake!!! It was the best!! THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY, but I really do love them. Recently I have just been loving everyone. 

So this week was a great week full of working hard and having a little fun too. We also talked to President (we are super big homies now) and, No I was not sucking up to him (well not that much anyway! jaja) But to start off this week, we were playing soccer with all of the zones in Huanuco and it was super fun. I realized that Tingo killed me. I was getting better at soccer and I was really pretty dece but now... no! I Suck. I don't even know how to play, haha! But we had a great time still. We played for about 3 hours then played a little of Extreme Signs. Yeah, I am sorry the p-days here in Huanuco just aren`t as cool as they were in Tingo. And, also this week I think I'm finally over Tingo! It was super hard to leave there, but I'm ok now, I don't really miss it that much anymore. I do think about the people there a lot! 

Tuesday we had a really great lesson with Hermana Gelhin (Helen) she is getting very excited for her baptism. She is reading everyday and praying and everything. It's so great! She has a baby that is the cutest baby. He loves me and Elder Campbell. Gelhin is going to be the first baptism in the ward here since last August. I am so very glad that I got to be a part of her conversion and help her out. She is so great!
I feel like Elder Campbell and I are basically opening up this area. When we came here there was no one to teach! Other than Gelhin we didn't have anyone! We did have a few less actives. So E. Campbell and I have been working hard. This week we set the record of my mission!!!! with 106 contacts, and these contacts are like great contacts, I'm excited about a lot of them! We also have 9 new investigators and have had some super cool lessons!  We taught 26 lessons last week!! It is actually really fun to have a comp that likes to work. The last comp I had that actually wanted to work was Elder Bullock (my trainer). This week was really just super great!!! 

On Wednesday Elder Crosland and Elder Compton came to Huanuco and we had a party then on Friday we had interviews. I got there and President walks up to Elder Campbell, Crosland, Bautista, Daza, and me, and asked us if we wanted to try TOCUSH jaja I tried tocush!!! I am only the second person in the mission to try it! It smells SO BAD, I wanted to cry. But you know my competitive spirit came out, and I do love a good challenge! The taste wasn't too bad, it was mixed with apple, I'm sure that helped!
Then I recieved my package, and THANKS MOMMY for the package I finally have a camera now and I am pumped about it. I got some great videos. and pics.... but I forgot my converter to download them today. Sorry! 

This week we have just been working super hard! We have this family that we found, and they were ready to be taught! Their name is the Moris Family. They are way cool. We taught them like 2 lessons and we asked the whole familly to get baptised. The dad and daughter accepted, but then we asked the mom and she said, "Can I get baptised a second time?" I said, "OF COURSE" (thinking that she was saying that she had been baptised in like the Catholic church or something. But then the spirit told me to ask if she was talking about our church! And she said that she was baptised into the LDS church when she was 8 and went inactive immediately. Then after some more talking we figured out that they aren't married. They said that they didn't feel like they knew each other good enough. But I then asked her, "How do you not know each other enough? You have a 13 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER; A 7 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, AND A 7 MONTH OLD SON?" I would hope that you know each other!! I chuckled then I asked when we could get them married. They accepted, and said they would get married, but in a few months. So we'll just keep teaching them, and they will get baptized after they get married!
So that was my crazy week! This church is true and this is the greatest work ever! 

Love you all,
Elder Christensen

Zone Conference in Huanuco 
Elder Campbell and Elder Christensen both far right

Tocosh (also known as Togosh) is a traditional Quechua food prepared from fermented potato pulp (corn is less common). It is often prepared for celebration events and has a strong odor and flavor. Tocosh can be used as a natural antibiotic because penicillin is produced during the fermentation process. Medicinally it is used for the common cold, gastric ulcers, pneumonia, and altitude sickness among others. The Incas believed it was a gift from Inti for preservation of the body.

Elder Christensen tried Tocosh for the first time.
It does not look good!

Monday, July 11, 2016

We're Gonna Change Pedro Puelles!

Hey there people!! 

I am so sorry I don't have much time to write today. I have a little less time for internet this week, but I will try and make this a great letter. 

This week was a week full of contacting. We only had 18 lessons, but like over 100 contacts!! Now I just want to go and sleep all day long. So the thing about being here in Pedro Puelles is that we don't receive any references. As much as we ask people and ward members they won't give us any leads or help us out. I feel like they do not like the missionary work here. Well, actually, the members here do not like the missionaries at all. Mostly because some dumb missionaries ruined it for the rest of us! So, we have to do all of the work. I don't want anyone to think that I'm whining in my letter, I am just saying that this is a hard area, and I will show them that we can change this area!!
I have heard some great quotes this week, and some great sayings. I really like something that Elder Crosland told me and my comp when he came to Huanuco and stayed with us. He said, "God sends missionaries to areas that the people are progressing so that they can help the area, and He sends missionaries to hard areas so that they, themselves, can also progress." So that is what I am going to do here. I am going to make them both happen.
So how is everyone? I am doing great. I am always tired. But Campbell and I work hard and we are teaching with the spirit. We are doing great at finding the people that are ready to be taught. We have found a few cool people that could progress and that we think could be getting baptised in the next few weeks to months. We are teaching a lady named Gelhin (I talked about her last week). And we also have a family that we found that are like golden investigators! They are so cool. We still haven`t returned to the house that we were kicked out of, haha. 

Elder Campbell and I are doing so great together and we are having a super good time. About 2 to 3 times a week we are able to have Pizza Hut! haha It is so awesome and just makes the day so much better. Yeah, in America, not that great... but in Peru, it's a treat!!!
P-day last Monday was not really anything that cool. All we did was tried to play Capture the Flag, but it just turned into a giant soccer game. jaja! So basically we will just be playing a ton of soccer here in pretty sure. And that's ok! Also, we were going to a lesson last week and I saw a kitten get thrown out of a window and land on the ground, and flip down some stairs. I'm pretty sure it broke it's back, I couldn't pick it up, but I sat next to it until it died while I was petting it. It really made me super sad.
On Friday the Elders from Tingo came to Huanuco and stayed with us. Elder Crosland (my old comp) and Elder Compton stayed in our room and we had a great talk until like 3:00 in the morning. Then we woke up and talked to President. We had a super cool multi-zone meeting. We were all super scared to talk to him because of what we'd heard, but it turns out he is super cool and is just a kid like we all are. He really is pretty young to be a mission president! haha Then on Sunday we had church and President was in our Sacrament Meeting. It was great to have him there. Well, that was my week. I promise to write more next week, but I have to go. Love you all, and be safe.

Elder Christensen

His camera was stolen and so he didn't send any pictures this week. A new camera is waiting for him at the mission office. I hope they get it to him soon!

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Tough Week!

Hey this isn't going to be a super long letter. I literally have nothing to say jajajajajajajaja. This was one of the hardest weeks of my mission. We have been kicked out of houses and we have been asked so many times why we are even here! I had so many moments where i just wanted to sit down and start crying, but then I just say a prayer and God is there and comforts us, then we get back to work. We have been contacting and trying to find people a ton all week. We have had about 30 contacts everyday. I know that God has been guiding me and my words, and also my comp and his words. Oh and, my mom informed me that I didn't even tell who my comp is last week, nor tell where he's from. I guess I didn't tell anyone who he is. His name is ELDER CAMPBELL. He is super cool. He is from Richland Washington (the state) and he has 17 months in the mission. He is a super cool guy and we have been working really hard together in this really hard area. Our area is pure hills haha well, at least everyone we teach lives in the hills. 

Elder Christensen and Elder Campbell wearing their "Anti-Snake Glasses"
A Snake is a girl!

So last Monday we went and played volleyball with another zone. It was super fun and really so cool. Then after we played some soccer for like an hour. We went on a hike to the top of the mountain and had a family home evening. I got home and we played chess. Yes!! I finally learned how to play chess. It was super cool and fun to learn. Then Tuesday we had a super sweet lesson with this investigator of like 4 years. I had a though in my mind that we needed to show her the talk from the prophet called "Choices" in the last General Conference. She then asked when she could get baptized!!! So we will be having a baptism on the 23rd of July!!! I'm so stoked! It's the first in a long time! And she's been investigating a long time! It was the greatest moment. And she wants her baby to be blessed! Super cool and such a great thing. I really could feel the spirit in that lesson. Her name is Gelhin (Helen). 

Then the rest of the week we were just getting doors slammed in our face and told that we shouldn't be here, and that no one wants us. Crazy Peruvians. I really have felt like I have been following the spirit so much lately and I have had so many times when He has comforted me. 

On Friday we had a super rough day.  I'll tell you the less dramatic story. We only had one lesson, so we started off the day great. We have a blessing and all then we all do weekly planning. Then we had a lesson at 1:00 and we had the spirit with us so strong! It was so great. We go to this guy's house that we contacted on Thursday. This guy was 15 and he had a sister that didn't come out but she was in the house in her room. We start teaching this guy and his dad walks in the house and asks who we are. He goes off and starts working. Then we started talking to his son again and the dad comes in and starts raging. He said that we were like peasants and we needed to shush. This mad us super sad cause his son wanted to learn! He kept saying things that he shouldn't have ever said to another human being. But he said them then he invited us to leave. I felt great that I didn't try and fight back, or call him bad names. I was just completely calm, but it really made me so sad. I just didn't think that someone could be so bad mannered. 

I want you all to know that Jesus Christ lives and that he is our brother, and he is always here fighting with us to do right! The spirit is real, the Holy Ghost is real. I can feel it in so many ways in my life. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, this church is true, and the Book is blue, and it is true! I love you all. 

Elder Christensen

The dusty, hard area in Huanuco

Huanuco, Peru