Monday, October 31, 2016

A Change of Plans ...

Hey there peeps!

Well, I was thinking very hard this week, and it came to my mind that I surely do hope that my mom edits these emails, or at least does a spell check!!

So, this week was a drastic change. To start off, I did absolutely nothing this last Monday for P-day. I was sitting with E Viñola at my pench's all day long. (E´Viñola is in a place called Pampas) He's not my comp, but we were together until Wednesday because we both went to go and pick up our new missionaries. Tuesday was super sweet, we worked super hard, and had a wonderful day, and when the day was over we bought a pizza and a 3 Liter Inka Kola. So, Wednesday we went to the mission office to pic up our "kids", but when we showed up at the office, President pulled me aside, he said, "E´Christensen we have a problem, and I just want you to know that by doing this means that I have complete confidence in you. Well, an Elder went home, one of the new ones, and I was wondering if you would be willing to sit this one out.?" So, I said "of course President, remember I will go and I will do the things the Lord commands." But of course, I said it in Spanish jaja! So yeah, the moral of the story is, that my comp went home and now I'm alone again! Well, actually these days I am hanging out with the President's Assistants. We are having a great time and we are working super hard. I have been able to sit it on the meetings that President has with the Assistants and visit other areas. I think it's going to be an awesome transfer after all!
This week I have felt a deep love from some one. It's not someone from this planet. I have felt the pure love of Christ and God toward me. It's really hard to not have an actual comp. This is my 3rd transfer that I don't have a companion. But I feel like the Lord is truly blessing me so much. There was not one second this week that I didn't feel like the spirit was guiding my words and/or actions. In fact, we have found so many people that are less active and also so many super, super, super cool investigators. There were also moments when we would first meet someone and contact them, they would ask us to visit them and some really asked if they could come to church, and get baptized. In my mission I really have noticed the power of this gospel and the power that God gives to us as men of God. (Women, don't be sad that you don't have the Priesthood. Remember that you as women have more power than us, and a higher calling in this life.)
I also recently heard a story of a young man that passed away.  When I heard the story on how he passed away I was just so sad. But then as I think about it, he is with his other loved ones, he is not dead forever, he will live again because of our Savior. I want you to all think of what the Prophet Thomas S. Monson spoke about in the last general conference. "The Plan of Salvation" Adam and Eve ate the fruit to complete a higher law. This higher law allowed them to have children, multiply and replenish the earth. This higher law also allows us, if we live according to the gospel, to return to live with God again. But the important thing is that we can live forever side by side with our families! We all just need to put our confidence in God. Use the Atonement to strive toward perfection, and learn more about the everlasting life that has been given to us.
I have to go, but today I just really wanted to bare my testimony of the things that I know are true and are important to me. Maybe some of you need to dust off your testimony. Has it been hidden for a while? I love you all!

Elder Christensen

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Best Week of My Mission So Far!!!

How is everyone? To all of you out there...
Welp, let's start off, and can I say this week was one of the greatest weeks in my whole mission!!!

I've waited my entire mission to try Cuy... well, it finally happened! Cuy is Guinea Pig and it is a delicacy in most parts of Peru. Here in Huancayo it's quite expensive, but my pension knew I really wanted to try it! She is a great cook! They skin the Guinea Pig, put lots of salt and garlic on it, and then deep fry it whole. They don't remove any of the parts. It's served with the head, teeth, legs and feet, etc. Tastes kinda like chicken????


Let's start off with Monday. Monday was basically boring as heck. I just sat there and meditated while my comp looked at all of my pics. I also drank like 3 liters of Inka Kola, haha it was actually a really fun time, I guess! haha 

On Tuesday we took a 45 minute ride in a car going 90 miles an hour to a little town that is called Chakapampa. We had an investigator out there named Jose Luis. He lives on the edge of our area, and he attends every single Sunday. He is a super sweet dude. So we went out there to get permision from his mom to be able to have him get baptized. This little town is so small, there are only like 5 families there. But we got there and had a lesson with him, chased some cows and goats and sheep down, and just had and amazing time with him. Oh! and Jose did get permission to get baptized!! 

Then the rest of the week we were told by Deybin that he had a dream that was so real. His dream was basically the answer to all of his prayers. He dreamed that his family was all in a church and he was pulling people into the church. There was a lot more to his dream, but because it is kind of personal to him I won't share those things. In this dream he saw someone very special, and that person told him that he needs to follow him. That wasn't the answer to just his prayer it was also the answer to my prayers.
I don't have much time left, I really have to go, but I want to tell a little story about what happened on SaturdaySaturday started and it was just one of those days that you feel is going to be amazing. We go out first thing and proselyte and then at 3:00 I went to the church to teach José about how the baptism would proceed because his baptism wa planned for 4:00. We start off and Jose gets ready. We sing, we pray, and give the talks that are apart of the program. Jose walks back to get into the font, and within 2 seconds it went from super bright and sunny, to pooooouuuuuuring rain! A new convert of about 6 weeks, Jon Carlos, baptized him, and the second that Jose leaves the water there was a huge lightning bolt that struck! So, everyone was a little freaked out by that!! He gets out of the font and goes to change along with the young man Jon Carlos that baptized him, they enter into the bathroom and, boom! The light goes out. It then started to rain more that I have ever seen!! I walked outside and asked the question... "Satan why are you acting like this?" And, Boom lightning!! Then I walked into the room where everyone was, and we all listened to the testimony of Jose. Oh wow! how great was it! He started crying, he was so happy and so full of the spirit. He is so happy to have the Book of Mormon and gospel as a part of his life. He is planning to go on a mission. I'm so excited for him! He's a great young man and will be a great member.

It truly was a testimony builder of how Satan speaks and does all he can to try to stop one of God's children from entering into the waters of baptism. I know this gospel is true, and I know that God loves us, he loves us more then we can really imagine. He is there for us, he wants only happiness for us. We must follow him to have that! I am so happy, and so blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of God's army. I love what I'm doing!

I miss you all and I'll see you all very soon! Have a great week!

Elder Christensen

PS It's transfers this week. I'm going to be training a new missionary. Not sure if I'll be staying in Chilca or moving to a new area. I'll let you know next week!

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Field is White and Ready to Harvest ...

Hey there family and friends!! 

Well this might be a short letter because the keyboard I am using is really awful. So if you don´t understand something that I write, just know I did my best. jajaja 
Well t'was a great week!!! A very great week indeed!! First of all, it started off awful. Actually it wasn't that great until Saturday. That is if we were counting the amount of lessons we taught, but the lessons we had were super great. We had like 9 lessons during the week because for some reason everyone was hating on us. I had fun with my comp during those days, Elder Cabrera is great, and we continued to work hard. And then came Saturday and Sunday and we had 11 lessons in those two day!!! Yes!

To start off, we played some sweet games of soccer with the ward on Monday. I felt like Messi, but I sure didn't look like him, I just looked like Luke! haha And then, like I said, we didn't really have anything going for us until Saturday. We don't ever stop working it is just super slow sometimes. We did do a bunch of mini services. We had to hurry and cut grass with a sycle for some lady, because some dude was going to destroy all of her grass to feed the Guinea Pigs!! haha You know Guinea Pigs are a delicacy here in Peru, they are called Cuy! I have some pics I'll send of me cutting with the sycle, and I thought a lawn mower was hard to use! Everyone was calling me a pishtaco. (not fish tacos, I would like one of those though) but a pishtaco! I've talked about this before, but a pishtaco is a "gringo" that harvests living people's organs in Perú. Everyone says that they exist, but they don't really. Just an old Peruvian legend of the mountain people! But, everyone in like the whole town thought I was one of them, so I had to skeedaddle. 

The Sycle used to cut the grass

Friday we talked to a young man, David, about going on a mission. His whole family is trying to convince him not to go!! I felt a strong impression to show him Alma 26:19-22. He started to cry and he told us about everything that is happening and how he feels like he needs to go, but Satan, and his family, are working way too hard on him. He said that he is going to quit his job so that he can be with the missionaries full time until he leaves to go on his mission. He has basically grown up alone his whole life. His dad lives about 8 hours away from him, his mom died when he was three, and his sister lives in Lima. So he is with his aunt and uncle and cousins right now. He knows his mom would really want him to go and serve the Lord. I sure hope that he gets out on a mission so that he can make his mom proud. I never struggled with that decision, and I didn't have opposition, but I can imagine how hard it would be. My mission is the best thing I've ever done, and I know that David would feel the same. I know that there is life after this life, and that we can live with our family again. I'm grateful for the temple and for the sealing powers that bless us with that. No one will ever change my mind. I love you all, and miss you all. 😘

Elder Christensen

Elder Christensen (back left) and his District
He is the District Leader

Elder Christensen with his new Peruvian sweater
drinking something warm and eating Panetone.
It's almost Summer in Peru, but in Huancayo at 11,000 ft
it will be cool, or cold, all Summer long!
It's a very rainy season in the mountains.

Stopping to take a break

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Miracle!


Well hello everyone! I hope that it was a super great week on your half of the world! So this week wasn't as entertaining as last week, actually I don't really have anything to say, other than this week was a pretty tough one. 

So on Monday we got to leave our zone! My comp and I went and bought sweaters, and some ties. And I didn't really take many pictures this week either. 

So these sweet sweaters that I bought are so comfortable! I should have taken a picture of me in the sweater. We also went to this place called La Fabrica (the factory) I bought 3 ties for 22.50 Soles, that is like 6.00 dollars. So now I basically feel like I just robbed them.  

The rest of the week we basically did divisions with members the whole week. The member I was with and I worked super hard and we were finding investigators and less actives. But then my comp and the member he was with just walked around for like 6 hours everyday. haha!! His week was super slow, while my week was so fast, that's what working hard does for you! That is, until Friday, on Friday literally not one person wanted to talk to us. First, no one wanted to help us out. No members would help us, and no one wanted to talk to us. We only had like 3 lessons in 2 days and about 25 contacts, and like 5 people banned us from ever talking to them again! haha So we were feeling a little down and needing some help. Then came Sunday...
Sunday, yesterday, was so much better. Actually it was a great Sunday! And after the hard work of the week, we saw the miracle! We had church attendance increase by 40 people. There were so many people in Sacrament meeting that the chapel was overflowing! We had 25 less active members attend! Seriously, literally my comp and I were about in tears. It was a super amazing day. It strengthened my testimony of fasting and prayer. I really do know that fasting and prayer helps to humble us so that we can listen to the Holy Ghost and find answers, and receive help. I know that if we fast correctly, and pray to our Father we will always be answered. But, remember, we may be answered in ways that we aren't expecting. Sometimes we receive answers that aren't what we want, but they are the will of the Lord. The way the Lord answered our fasting and prayer was truly a miracle. To have so many people be in attendance on Sunday shows that there is so much work to do, and we need to get to it! 

That was basically my week. It was pretty boring, other than Sunday. I didn't even get to talk to one drunk person. haha!! I like talking to them just because they say the mose outragous things. haha!! Just like last week. 

Well I miss you all and I love you all. Have a great week, and GO TO CHURCH! REALLY, THERE ARE A LOT OF BLESSINGS WAITING!

Elder Christensen

Bistek a lo pobre
Chicken, Fried Bananas, French Fries and Rice
Luke's Favorite Dish

A Rainbow around the Sun

The Room Elder Cabrera and Luke live in

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Makes Us Glow

Well hello everyone! 

It twas a crazy, yet an amazing week. So this week the crazy Elders from Pampas (little town an hour outside of Huancayo) stayed with us from Sunday until Tuesday.
It was so fun! We just played card games and lots of other great games! Then we played volleyball the next day because we had a Zone P-day. The Elders from Huancavelica came also, and Elder Walker from my group that I went into the mission with was there. It was so funI
But let's get to the important stuff. So to start off, on Tuesday we went to Cullhuas, and had a super cool lesson with Jose Luis. He told us how he knows that the church is true, and he loved everything about it. His teacher was acompanying us to the appointment. We sat in a little pavilion to teach him. His teacher said that when she walked into class on Monday that Jose was there with all of the other kids his age (he is 17 years old) and she was looking at Jose and the other students. She said, "but, Jose was different from the others that day, Jose was glowing, and the others weren't". She said that she was "starstruck" because he looked so different. She didn't know why because he was wearing the same clothes and he hadn't cut his hair, really nothing was different except that he seemed to glow. She also said that Jose wouldn't say the Lord's Prayer in school that day. (Matthew 6:7,8,9,10,11) I do believe. Jose then told us that he had received an answer from God. That he had been reading the Book of Mormon on Sunday night, and that he felt so happy while he was reading it, that he just couldn't stop reading. He finally put the book down to do his homework, and he was still just so happy. He said that happiness hadn't left him since that day. His teacher noticed the difference in his countenance after he received his answer, and she wanted to know why he looked so different!

On Wednesday we had a sweet lesson with Chris and Gerald( they are both women) and Jon Carlos (a recent convert) was with us. We taught them the lesson and we all felt the spirit so strong that they both started crying. It was an amazing lesson, one I will always remember because of the strength of the spirit that was there. I hope they continue to progress.

Then came Thursday. A crazy day! At 11:00 a.m. we left our room to go proselyte. Within the first 2 minutes a drunk man started talking to us. He wanted us to talk to his friends so he took us to them. They were all in shock that I was white, with blonde hair and blue eyes!!! They don't see many fair Americans I guess! So, they invite us in to drink some Inca Cola, and while I'm drinking my drink one of the drunks says to me, "hey, look at this chick"! I start laughing while his mouth opens, and then the one guy says, "are you gay Elder?" I then explained to them that I'm not gay!!! haha Then they all say that they have a friend who is, and that he is a 60 year old gay virgin. Then they laugh at him, and then the friend that they were making fun of looked at me and said, "oh your eyes are so beautiful!" haha!!!!! We left then!!! Then 20 minutes later as we're walking another drunk talked to us (yes, there are a lot of drunk people on the streets of Huancayo) and he looked like a zombie! Well, the first thing he said to me was "Oh, you are a beautiful gringo"!!! hahaha! I just ran away!! Such a weird experience!

Later that day we went to Cullhuas and had a lesson with some people there. Then on the way to the top we were threatened by some old lady that said, "if you aren't out of the town by 5:00 we will kill you, pishtaco". Remember last time I got called a "pishtaco"!! (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 in many ways. The legend dates back to the Spanish Conquest in Peru. Pishtaco derives from the local Peruvian Quechuan language word "pishtay" which mean to "behead, cut the throat, or cut into slices"). Yes! I was kind of scared because in these little towns here they're literally killing unknown people in their towns after 5:00!

Conference was amazing!!! I loved Robert D. Hales' talk when he said that someday, he will go to live with God and with his wife in the eternal life. He's an amazing man and will no doubt be a God. I also loved Henry B. Eyring's talk about the Priesthood and how anyone who holds the Melchizedek Preisthood has the same exact Priesthood power as the apostles and the Prophet. The only thing different is the title.  Also, It was so powerful when Elder Rasband said, NEVER FORGET, QUESTION, OR IGNORE A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. These men are men of God, called to preach his word here on the earth! Their words are true! I really loved General Conference and can't wait until April to hear their words again! 

I love you all and I hope you understand my writing. I don't speak the greatest English anymore. (It's true.... I had to translate and fix a few things!)
Love you all,
Elder Christensen