Hello again from Perù! Okay lets get right to business here. You have SO many questions, no? Okay I'll try to answer some of these. Here are the names of the family we live with: Oscar, Judith, Josue (jo-sway, 11yrs today!), Joseph 9, and Dasha 3! They are such an awesome family! Judith cooks for us, yes every meal! Except lunch on P-day, we eat out :) Judith says that I have a very good appetite, unlike any other Norteamericano she has seen so far! That's because I eat everything they put in front of me. You would be proud mom. Tomatoes and all! One or two Hermano(s) do all of the laundry for the missionaries, is my understanding. So yeah, we have it pretty good, not gonna lie. And boy, am I grateful. The ward is great! We have so many wonderful, dedicated members that offer their help to us everyday! I love my ward. Last Lunes I directed my first noche de hogar, or family home evening with Judith and her family and it went really well. We watched the new Joseph Smith movie, and played games afterwards with everyone. Dad, Oscar is a taxi driver. I don't know if he does anything else, but yeah! I will send more pictures next week of the house, and of their family. I forgot to this week! Sorry! So about the package, I ended up sending it on the 16th, because for some reason the post office said they needed a copy of my passport.... Ridiculous, I know. But oh well. The total ended up being $158.90 soles. So, it better get there. I have faith! Do you? I have been thinking about the Christmas package... I have thought of a few more things. Ready? Okay here goes: Micro cassettes, protein or trail mix type bars, tide to go, just MORE pictures in general, and mom, your famous hot cocoa mix to share with our family! And like I said, peanut butter. I really miss peanut butter for some reason! Oh, I forgot to mention to you mom! They have a drink here called Ecco, by Nestle. It is amazing! Research it, and see if you can find it in the states. It tastes like our favorite ice cream, remember? :) So our typical day is as follows: Wake up at 6:30. Workout for 30 mins, shower and eat at 7:30. Personal study at 8, comp study at 9, and language study at 10. We leave to appt's or wherever we need to go at 11, and come back for lunch at 12 or 12:30. After lunch, we leave around 1 or 1:30 to our appt's or visiting members, or contacting until 8 at night when we have dinner. We plan for the next day after dinner, and I write in my journal, and read el Libro de Mormon. That's a typical day! Along with meeting borrachos, (translate that word, jaja), a lot of "Lo siento, pero soy Catolico", defending ourselves from wild dogs with rocks or whatever else we can find, and occasionally we get to teach a lesson to a new investigator!! We taught Hermana Flor who is literally a saint. She is amazing! She is catholic but she says that she never denies hearing the word of the Lord. So we were able to teach her and her son, Luis Angel. He's only like 9 years old. The teaching went really well, and she bore her testimony about how she knows that God answers prayers if we have faith, and she is determined to find out if our message is true or not. Its only a matter of time for her to know for a surety! We also found a new investigator just last night! We taught the restoration to him, Hermano Dilman. He is a policeman, and has many questions for us. We had to tell him that we would answer his questions with other lessons, and our next appt with him is on Wednesday! Hermano Vitaliano wasn't baptized this Saturday unfortunately, he was nowhere to be found! He works a lot in the campo, which is a farm and a lot of the time he is just gone. So we will change his date to either this Saturday or the next. Hopefully, we will have some success here! Also, Hermana Magda is a new investigator, and she really has accepted what we have taught so far. That being answers to some of her questions. We tried to go back and teach her, we did have an appt, but she was very busy and so we had to reschedule for this week. Wish us luck with all our investigators! We need the extra faith and prayers of those who are reading this email! I know that as they continue to investigate that the Holy Ghost with manifest the truth unto them, but it is up to us to teach them the truth. Pray for us!!! So, I forgot to mention that while I was in the CCM we kind of had an epidemic. Someone was diagnosed with TB. So all of us missionaries had to have TB tests 3 weeks after leaving the CCM. So, we had to travel 45 mins away to Juliaca to get this test done. The same one that I had to get done for my papers, remember? So today at 4 we have to go all the way back to Juliaca on our precious P-Day to see if we are positive or negative. I can already tell that I am negative, and am safe! Phew! So no worries mom! I'm healthy except for a constant runny nose, and cough. Jaja. But after we got back at around 9, I had the worst headache I've probably ever had. I was on the verge of throwing up, and everything. So I had to end up staying the night at Elder Rogers (yes, I know. "Elder Rogers!" -The Best Two Years. He gets so much crap from it. But we love him, jaja) apartment because I literally couldn't move. So we ended up eating crackers with some ham for dinner. This last week we have had some really good food here. MANGO. I love mangoes. They are probably my favorite fruit. They are so sweet here! Also we stopped and bough some scones on the side of the road for 1 sol! 5 delicious scones for only 1 sol. Also, because I love mangoes so much, I had Judith buy me some when she went to the market to get groceries. 6 mangoes for 3 soles. That's a little bit over 1 dollar! How awesome is that? The food is pretty bland here. Arroz EVERY meal. Even breakfast! Jaja, but yeah its all good! I'm not getting sick of it just yet! We taught an awesome recently converted family, well, read and explained the BOM to them more, and after for dinner we had some banana cake! In other words.... Banana bread! Yes! Oh how I've missed your homemade breads mom... :( But yeah! We had that, regular bread, and some manzanilla (hot apple drink). That's a typical dinner for their family.. They don't have a lot of money, but they will sacrifice for us. It really almost made me cry to eat it! But how cool for this family to give what little they have to feed us! We didn't even ask, they just told us that they were going to feed us! Their names are Julio, Anna (his wife), Guadalupe, and Christian. Christian isn't a member, but hopefully soon that will change! They even invited us over for Christmas already. They save up for Christmas dinner, and it should be very special. Okay, one more thing. I had the idea this week to do a Scripture of the Week for every week following this one until I'm home! Sound like a good idea? Yeah, I thought so too! So, being the first one, I figured why not pick a scripture that talks about the scriptures? This weeks scripture is found in 2 Nephi 32:3&9. FEAST upon the words of Christ! I love it! It fits perfect because I have learned here on my mission to literally feast upon the words of Christ. The scriptures truly will tell us all that we should do, through the power of the Holy Ghost. I love this idea, and can't wait to share all of them with you all! I have a prettttty slick study journal. I love it. I have tabs for all different things. Meeting notes, personal study, Spanish words and phrases, favorite scriptures, etc. Well, I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Like I said, I forgot about it! But I for sure remembered Bridger's birthday, so happy birthday stud!! I love you so much! And likewise to all of you my dear family. I love all of you more than you know. I always keep you in my prayers, and as much as I miss every one of you, I know that me being here has blessed and will continue to bless each and every one of you. Keep the faith, keep reading the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY, and say family prayers everyday. Remember all of our blessing that we have, and remember that Christ said its better for one to give, rather than to receive. I forgot the reference, but look for it k!? Con MUCHO AMOR, Your son, brother, and friend- Elder Jordan Van Christensen
Our church, and part of the area!
The first sunset we have really had since I've been here!
A street we walk everyday.
The BIGGEST pig I have EVER seen.
A better angle for you to see this chancho!!