Monday, June 12, 2017

The Greatest Experience of My Mission ... I Still Can't Believe It's Real!

Hello everyone!!

This week the craziest thing happened in the history of my mission, but I will get to that story at the end...

We went to Cerro de Pasco this past week, and our way back I told my comp that he should contact the whole bus. I told him how to do it, and explained how to say everything so that we didn't contend with other churches. I also wanted him to talk about the restoration. He hasn't been in the mission very long and he was really nervous, but he said everything sooooooo perfect. You really could feel the spirit while he was talking, But, after he finished, everyone started to get so mad, and they started to ask about baptism and the Book of Mormon, and other things. They were trying to challenge everything he said, but it was so great to see this kid who just recently finished his training, have enough guts to do what I knew would get our word out. It really was so awesome! People will know who we are, and that's what we want!

 Elder Burt and Elder Christensen

 Elder Cartagena from Antofagasta, Chile
Contacting on the Bus

So we have been working with a family, their name is the family Hidalgo. They are trying to make the decision if they should get married or not, so they can be baptized. They went on vacation this week, but tomorrow we will know the answer if they want to get married then baptized. They are an awesome family and it would be so great to see them take the steps they need to become members of this church!

 The Beautiful city of Carhuamayo
So I have saved the best for last.... This may be the greatest experience of my mission. I have felt so lifted by it, it really is so great that God allows us to do the things that we feel like we need to do and helps us through it. Carhuamayo is a very hard area, and we are trying to think of ways to get the gospel to these people, but most don't have an interest in listening to us, until they hear us, and then some seem interested in what we are teaching.  So this past week was the anniversary of Carhuamayo. So basically from Wednesday through Sunday it was just one big festival and party. But, at about 5 o´clock on Friday we had absolutely nothing to do because everyone was at the festival. So we walked around for a while and when we got to the Plaza there was a huge dance party. (nothing like the United States dance parties.) They were dancing, old, traditional, ancient dances, and they were really cool. My comp looked at me and said, "that would be super crazy if we contacted this party right here", but we knew it wouldn't work, it was too crazy and noisy! But I said, "Great idea let's think of how we can pull this off."  He said "haha that was a joke, but yeah that's fine", I don't think he wanted to public contact again! I said, "follow me", and we snuck through this dance party and got into the Carhuamayo City Office Buildings. We found a guy, and I asked him if I could talk sometime during the celebration. He told me I'd have to talk to the Mayor. He said yeah that man right there dancing is the Mayor, He looked at us and when he finished dancing said, "hey, Gringo, what can I help you with?" I said to him, "I am a representative of Jesus Christ and the United States of America, and I just want to congratulate Carhuamayo on it's anniversary. Would you give me time to talk during this celebration and say some words?"  He said, "no, not right now, but on Saturday morning come back and meet me in this same spot and you can talk at the actual Anniversary Parade and Ceremony."  I said, "Perfect!!" Then I started to think about it, and I realized that like 5000 people could be there in that moment that I would be talking, and I got a little nervous! Carhuamayo has about 8,000 people so it's not huge but it's decently sized! I prepared and we returned on Saturday morning at like 10:00 a.m. We were invited to sit up on the stage on the front row, like 2 seats away from the Mayor. At that moment I honestly could not believe this was happening! The Mayor gave me time at the end of the ceremony to talk in front of the whole town of Carhuamayo. I really have no clue how many people were there, but there were a lot! I'm sure there were more than 3000 people in the Plaza at the time that I talked in front of them all. My comp and I were treated like dignitaries, and like royalty. This was truly one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. I was given the opportunity to spread the word of the gospel to 3000 people in 3 minutes. I feel like God's hand was definitely in this, he is helping us every step of the way. We were presented with a sweet pin to have and remember the anniversary by. You can probably see it in the pics. God is with us always, he hears our prayers, and he is there to help us if we will allow Him to! I know he lives! We will build the Kingdom in Carhuamayo!

That's was the end to one of the best weeks in my mission... now on to this week! I hope your week is great too! Love you all!

Elder Christensen

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