This Is Peru!

This Is Peru!

May 4, 2011

Great, great letter!!‏

¡¡Holaaa mi bella familia!!....¡y los demás!

So many good things happened this week, I don't know where to start!

So. First off, we were able to baptize Marjhorie!! (I know, it’s a
little strange way of spelling her name) But it ended up happening on
Wednesday. Which, is fine! She finally is baptized, and is a real
convert. So great! Such a good day.

The next thing that happened is something…. I don’t know how to
express my excitement!!! Ok, so here’s what happened. The other day,
Saturday, we were walking by the Plaza de Armas when all of a sudden,
someone at my side started talking to be in English!!! The
conversation went something like this:

He said, “Are you from here?” Suuuper startled to hear English, I
turned to my right to see a white guy!!I told him,
“No, no I’m not from here. I’m from the states!”
“I am too! I’m from Texas.”
“Right on! I’m from Utah.”
“Oh! You’re Mormon right?”
“Ha, I sure am! I’m here serving my mission!”
“Yeah, I kinda figured. I have family from Utah, they’re members as
well. I’m not though. I’m Christian.”
“Oh no way? So, what brings you here to Juliaca?”
“I’m living here with my wife, she’s from here. We actually met up in
Chicago. We went back here to Perù, and then I took her back up to the
states to get married. We were living there for a while, and now we're
living here! We’ve actually been here for 11 months. I think I know
where you guys live actually..
(he then explained how he is the owner of some properties here in
Juliaca, one of which is right on our same street. A big lot where
people guard their trailers, and big diesels.)
“Yup! That’s where we live! Oh, hey, what was your name?”
“Yessir. My name is Johnny Moser. (Pronounced: mozsher) What was yours?
“I’m Elder Christensen. Elder means missionary, haha. Its not my real name.”
“Ohh, I was gonna say! But hey, I gotta run, but come by the house
sometime and we’ll talk! Sound good? I live.. blah blah blah”
“For sure! Hey, It was way good to talk to you! I’ll see you around Johnny!”
“Yeah, take it easy!”

(All of that conversation was with his Texan accent, haha)

You probably don’t have any idea how intensely excited I am to teach
this guy! To know that he lives here, in our ward, and that he knows
about the church and missionary work??! I couldn’t believe it for a
little bit actually. I was SO stunned and it felt great to be talking
in English! Can you believe it? I don’t know, maybe for you guys
reading this, not so much. But for me, its no coincidence. Just before
this, we were wondering and debating on where we should go. My comp
suggested that we go and visit such and such, but I hesitated for some
reason. I told him that I felt like we should go visit such and such
because we were closer to them…. And on the way we found him! Just
another testimony that the Spirit is truly guiding us, and it feels so

The next thing that happened, just happened on Sunday. So, we have
been visiting Pablo Obregon for ever since I have been here.
Missionaries have been teaching him and visiting him for over a year,
with no success. His wife and kids are members, and not him….Until
Sunday!!! I have been praying so hard to know what I need to say to
get this guy to open up and feel the desire to be baptized. Let me
give you some background on this guy. He is a former mayor. He studied
Theology. He was a member of the Catholic Church studying to become a
Priest, until he decided that that church is filled with “greed and
hypocrites”. And now, he is an orthodontist working and living here in
Perù. He loves to talk politics, and topics that actually have worth.
He tells you how it is, and isn’t afraid to do so! He is the SMARTEST
man I have met on my mission thus far. So. Now that you know a little
bit about Pablo, I had been praying and praying every night to know
what I could do for this guy. I came to the conclusion that him, being
the kind of guy that tells you straight how it is, I felt that I also
had to do the same. So, after praying for courage to be able to do it,
we went and visited him. We were with him and his wife, and we started
to talk. We finally got to the topic of baptism, and I put my hand on
his shoulder and asked him, “What is it your missing Pablo?” He just
kinda looked away, folded his arms, and shrugged, raising his
eyebrows. I then started to, well, tell him how it is. I told him
straight up that we’re not just talking about whatever church, but
that this church is the church of Christ. I told him that baptism
wasn’t just a suggestion, but a commandment. Also that because of him,
his family cannot progress in this gospel. I told him many other
things, including my testimony, and he did not say a word. He was shut
up pretty good. Afterwards, sensing that I was pretty harsh on the
guy, I told him that I didn’t want any of this to offend him, but just
that I really know that this decision will not only bless his life
immensely, but his family as well. This man knows that this church is
true. I could feel it. He knows that Joseph Smith was called of God to
restore the church, and that we had the authority to perform the
ordinances of salvation. He said that not to worry, but he really just
sat there. Thinking. Finally he told me, “Okay. I will talk with my
kids and I will let you know when.” FINALLY. Something!! We continued
to talk with him, and he made the decision to do it Sunday morning.
His family were all there, and you should have heard his wife, Amparo,
her testimony that day. That day was fast and testimony meeting, and
she shared with us her supreme gratitude for being persistent, and to
not have left him because he was “hard.” So many people when they
heard that Pablo Obregon was to be baptized, all were soo surprised!
Including a few that said, “It’s a miracle!” How cool? It was so great
to see the whole ward welcome him, and Marjhorie, with open arms. They
were both confirmed members today, and received the Holy Ghost.

So, last night we found out the changes. And..... I'm staying here! I
never thought I would be so happy to stay in Juliaca! But we have
really been starting to have some success, and it feels so good. Last
night in fact, we visited with Leonel, (he wasnt baptized saturday)
and found out he had gotten drunk, so we talked about the Atonement,
and shared my personal testimony. He then told us that he really wants
to keep visiting with us, and that within the next 2 or 3 weeks, he
will be baptized. My comp and I really feel like he has a testimony,
and that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true. He reads it, and
prays. He actually said, "Im praying in the mornings as well, is that
ok?" I laughed a bit, and said, the more that he prays, the better! He
is awesome, and I cant wait to see him in white.

This week has been one of the best in my mission. We are finally
starting to have some real success! I love this work more that I can
express in words. I love my mission, and there is no way that I would
exchange this experience for anything else. I have never found SO much
joy in my life bringing my brothers and sisters here in Perù to the
knowledge of our Savior, and of his restored church. It’s something
one has to experience to be able to understand. Mom and dad, I’m sure
you both know the feeling. All of you who are RM’s know what I’m
talking about as well. Being a missionary, my whole outlook on life
has changed. It’s amazing, really. I’m so much more aware of the
absolute need that the world has for this gospel. I’m determined to
continue to be obedient, and to continue in diligence, bringing more
people to the knowledge of the truth. Missions are the coolest!!! : )

Take care everyone, I pray for your well being constantly. Oh, tell
Jen and Byron congrats for me!! Hug that big guy for me mom. :) Thats
so great, I loved the pics. My foot dad, is still the same. :/ Kinda
bummed, I think I will have to travel back to Cusco, and get it
checked out more. My comp and I are getting along, and he is a good
son. He is obedient, but sometimes I gotta burn him. Now, about the
package... If you can, send some caligraphy pens. My buddy Elder
Whitton was telling me about them, and it would be cool! Also, send
more chapstick!!! The nivia. Starburst, skittles, and the Pilot G-2
pen. Like 5. And about the boot, I think that yes, I would be allowed,
but I don't know if I would trust the mail. Just send some money, and
I'll go buy some. Also, a leatherman! I have one somewhere in my room,
look for it! Also, a little bit of the pancake instant mix. I cant
think of anything else, but use your imagination! :)

Until next week,
Elder Jordan Van Christensen

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