I know that not one person in the world is going to believe this, but, I recieved the special calling to be able to go to the hardest area in the mission to finish. It is also the same place that I started my mission.... CARHUAMAYO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Near Cerro de Pasco!! I know that seems super weird that I would want to go back to the place that I hated when I was there at the beginning of my mission, but I am so excited to be going back to Carhuamayo to finish my mission. I'll be ending where I started! I could not be happier! It will be a great 12 weeks of learning and working as hard as I can to bring people in this tiny town to Christ. My new companion is Elder Vilcherez from Piura, Peru!
This past week was a pretty hectic one. So we had to break up the work and see what kind of things we could pull on Elders Moss and Johnson. We dropped ginormous waterballons on Elder Moss and Elder Johnson and we soaked Elder Moss pretty good. The score is 3-0 us, now!
I have decided that one way to find investigators is to get them to trust me and gain their confidence in me. So I've been practicing new ways of trying to gain the confidence of those we've been teaching this week. It has worked very well. I think God is trying to help me in His work, because I have found new ways and things to say that make people trust me very quickly and want to hear more. One experience we had this week happened while we were out contacting. We found a lady named Martha. She was so great, and she literally told us the whole story of her life. We had one of the greatest lessons I've ever had with her. I felt the spirit while we were teaching her so strong that I expressed to her how I felt. The moment we were about to leave, Martha asked us how she and her son could be baptized. She asked us to come back and visit her on Sunday. I am sad to leave Tarapaca because I know that she is going to embrace the gospel and be a great member.
The next great experience I had this week was on Sunday. I don't know why, but I was just feeling really sad and pretty depressed. As my mission comes to an end I have thought back over some of the experiences that I have had, and I know that the Lord knows exactly what I need, and I'm not doubting that, but, throughout my whole mission I have had so many things happen to me that NEVER EVER happen to other missionaries. I was just feeling bummed and decently sad about some of these trials I have experienced. At church Sunday morning the ward mission leader took us aside and talked to us. He started off by saying, "Why are you crying on the inside Elder Christensen?" I said, "I just don't really know what to do. I am really decently sad. I really just want to be happy", (I really have had the greatest of great and the hardest of hard things happen.) He started to recite to me 1 Nefi 1:1. We all take that scripture for granted, and we've all read it a thousand times. "...having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God...." As he was reciting this to me he said, "You may have had way too many afflictions while you've served your mission, and it may affect you and you may be very sad, but like this scripture says, "you are highly favored in the eyes of the Lord", but that also means that you need to keep working even harder, and do all that you can so that you can bring more lives to Christ, the Lord expects much from you." The spirit and his words hit me so hard. I felt the spirit stronger at that moment than I think I ever have in my life. I knew at that moment what was expected of me. I am here to work. I will work harder than ever for the next 12 weeks! What a blessing this mission has been.
The City Huanuco in the background
Luke has spent a good portion of his mission in Huanuco
It was a very great week. I am sorry I didn't write until Tuesday. I am in Huancayo now for a Leader's Meeting. So starting tomorrow I have exactly 12 weeks to work as hard as I can and do everything I possibly can to help others love this gospel. I love you all and I'll see you all very, very, very soon.
Luke's mission scripture has been so appropriate for his mission. It is ....
D&C 121:7-8, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."
Zone Conference in Huanuco
Elder Christensen and Elder Daza
Elder Woltjen and Elder Villalobos
A Family in Huanuco
Luke's Stripling Warrior Ring that his brother Nick gave him the day he left
his plaque, and Huanuco City in the background
Elder Jordan, Elder Walker, Elder Christensen