Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Branch President for a Day

Hey everyone!

It was a very great week, basically all of it was service and service, and guess what?  More service!! I don't think I have peeled as many potatoes in my whole mission as I have this week, and I've peeled a lot of potatoes! That's all we eat! We even peeled Tocosh (Tocosh is fermented potato pulp that reeks way, way, way so awful!! They use it during celebrations, and they also use it for medicinal purposes) And yes, they eat it here!
Last Friday we put up a stand in the middle of the Feria (like a swap meet) and started to preach. We gave out hundreds of contact cards, pamphlets, and copies of the Book of Mormon. We had a BUNCH of people that wanted the free pictures of Jesus Christ. It was actually really quite funny to see how many people run and trample others just to get a picture of Jesus. These people literally are hysterical for a little 3"x 2" picture of Christ. It was truly fun, and a little funny too. Oh how I love Carhuamayo and the people here!!

On Sunday the Branch President did not show up to church. He did not tell anyone he wasn't going to be there and he didn't give the keys to anyone else to open up the building where we meet. So we found a key, and we had to hurry to get everything set up and ready for Sacrament Meeting. We didn't know if anyone was supposed to speak, or what the program was, so we knew we were winging it! The best and the funniest part is that I had to conduct and be the Branch President. I had no clue what to do. I was doing some quick thinking to pull things together. My comp gave like a ten minute talk and I also gave a talk and conducted. Everything went fine, but wow! I'm learning how to pull things off right on the spot!  We haven't heard from the Branch President since, so maybe I'll have to do it again next Sunday!

Monday, at like 7:00 in the morning we jumped on a bus and went to Huancayo so that I could have a meeting with President Silva. It was kind of out of nowhere, he just called me on Saturday morning and asked me to come and be there Monday. I wondered why he wanted me, so my companion and I took the long bus ride to Huancayo. And it was so worth it! I had the most spiritual experience of my life as I sat with President. I feel so blessed. I have seen so many miracles during my mission, but I have never felt the same feeling, they were all so great and the spirit was there, but it was different every time. When I finished the meeting with President he pulled me aside and we talked privately for like 45 min to 1 hour more about life and everything else. He taught me so much, we laughed, we cried, and he told me some of the coolest stories that I have ever heard in my life. We finished with him giving me a blessing, and in the blessing he said some things that were very personal that I am not going share in this email, maybe after my mission. He gave me a great big bear hug and cried. I did the same and as I was leaving I felt the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ like I have never felt Him before. This time it wasn't the Holy Ghost I was feeling, I know the Savior Himself was right there with me. I know he lives and I know he loves us, he wants us to know that.

Well, that was my week, and it was a good one. Thanks for everything, for the prayers, for the love and the support that I feel constantly with me. I love you all!

Elder Christensen

 A view from Luke's room while drinking a little Coca Cola
 Jersin, the nephew of Luke's pensionista
The pension's daughter on her birthday.
It's winter in Carhuamayo now, it's about 35-40 degrees during the day.
They have no heat in their homes, so she's celebrating her birthday with her big coat and hat!

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