So this week has been a decent one! It went by so fast! I didn't get to my new area of Carhuamayo, until like Wednesday night, because I was in Huancayo. I went to Huancayo for some leader meetings, and it was pretty great! I got to make some great new friends, and I got to see some of my good old buds, like Elder Orton and Elder Mathews, I haven't seen them forever!
I have a goal while I'm here in Carhuamayo to keep my spirits up and be positive always, and so far my goal is working out. My comp, Elder Vilcherez is from Piura, Peru. He has been in the mission for about a year, and he's been in Carhuamayo for 3 transfers. Yeah, he's not too happy about that... he's ready to leave, and I get that. I just wish he could see it the way I see it. He might wish later on in his mission that he could come back!! I am having a great time here, it really is so good to be back, but there is no one to teach and.... it is SOOOOOOOOO COLD all of the time!!! I forgot how cold it is here. Last time I was here it was Summer, but now it's Winter and so it's so much colder I think! Also, I'm so out of breath and tired all of the time. I've got to get used to this altitude all over again! (Luke has just come from Huanuco where the altitude is 6,200 ft and warm most of the time. He is now at 14,000 feet altitude and it's always cold). We are living in the same room that I lived in the last time I was here, but I have a new pensionista. The other pension moved to Lima. She is here though and I'm going to go visit her tonight!
Elder Christensen and Elder Vilcherez
The branch here is growing. When I was here before we would have about 8 people at church on Sundays. Yesterday there were 17 people there. The Branch President is the same guy. Remember we used to have to go get him for church or else he wouldn't show up. He actually showed up yesterday, and even started on time. Church meetings only lasted and hour and a half though so we'll be working on that! We were sitting in Sacrament Meeting and the Branch President announced the program and he said my name as one of the speakers! I had no idea that I was speaking and I had about 3 minutes to pull my thoughts together and prepare! Seriously! I'm sure it won't be the last time that happens here, I'll just be better prepared next time. I spoke for about 10 minutes, and it was all fine... I guess.
Remember Kevin, he was someone who Elder Bullock and I rescued. He is such a great guy and he's leaving on a mission in 3 weeks! He made us Pachamanca this week and it was so good. (Pachamanca is a Peruvian food.... usually lamb, chicken or guinea pig, marinated in Peruvian herbs and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and put in a hole in the ground with hot stones to cook for several hours).
Kevin making Pachamanca
I think that the craziest thing that happened this week was on Thursday when we were on our way back to Carhuamayo and I felt this urge to stand up and preach to the whole bus!! My comp was in a deep sleep and I wasn't sure what he'd think of it, so I had to speak by myself! So I stood up and I just started preaching about the restoration!! Everything went very well. It's great to have a captive audience! I felt like I was a Prophet or missionary from the old days. While I was preaching my comp woke up and just started laughing at me, he was super embarrassed, but that's ok! It was great and people were listening! We gave out copies of the Book of Mormon and also contact cards. It was a sweet day, I felt great about it, and we worked super hard for the rest of the week because of it! We literally taught like 5 lessons here this week, which is so good since we only had a couple of days, so I really hope that this week we can have another great week here in the greatest place ever!
This gospel is true, I know it! The spirit confirms it over and over again to me. I love you all, and I'll be seeing you all very soon!