Hello my dear family, friends, and others...
Well, this week has been pretty average, with not a whole lot to
report. We have been contacting more, and have found some prospective
investigators, as well as some prospective baptisms. We continue to
work with Leonel, Johnny, Janet, and quite a few others that are
working on their way to baptism. So, I am glad to hear that you haven't
sent the package yet. Go ahead and include 2 or even 3 Book of Mormons
in English. I was able to go on splits with Elder Whitton and teach
Johnny the first lesson. He is a Born Again Christian, and had some
very good questions, of which, we were able to answer with ease in
ENGLISH! :) He is 43 years old, his wife is Katia, and he has a son of
2 years, Jacob. They are raising him speaking Spanish and English.
Cool huh? I might do something like that with my kids. But when we
were over at his house visiting him, he pulled out his electric
guitar, WITH amp, and we started playing guitar! Turns out he has
played for churches when he was young, and has continued to play until
today! This guy can PLAY. I took a turn and played a little bit, then
Elder Whitton, but when Johnny started to play Stairway to Heaven,
goodness, I was impressed! He knows it perfectly, and it was so great
to hear that song!!! But anyway, as we continued to talk, he said
jokingly, "Gosh, I don't think we'll ever get to talk about business
will we?" So with that, I sat up, and said, "Alright Johnny, lets talk
about business." We started to ask him questions to figure out where
he is on his "Spiritual Journey", as we were taught from the beginning
in the MTC. He was very open, and we were able to teach him
comfortably. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to teach the first
lesson for the first time in English. It was so great. He is very
smart, was able to follow where we were going, and had some doubts
about the Great Apostasy. We cleared those up, and it felt so good to
be able to bear my testimony to him in English. I invited him to
church, but unfortunately they had to travel to Arequipa to get some
shots for their son there. Apparently the hospital there is the best
and closest. So, he told us to come by when he gets home on Tuesday.
Sweet! He is so open to talking about the gospel, and told us that we
are always welcome in his home. We challenged him to pray to know if
what we were teaching him is true or not, and that by his faith and
desire, he will receive an answer. Things continue to go with him!
Unfortunately, we weren't able to teach his wife, (who also speaks
Spanish) but we hope to be able to teach her as well the next time.
She asked, very uncomfortably, about polygamy and the church, and all
we could do was laugh about that. She is great, so is he, its only
time that's missing before they find the way.
So, this last week is called the Holy Week, or in Spanish, "La Semana
Santa". But, sadly, its not all that holy. People DRINK until they
can't anymore. I don't know if you saw in the last email the photo of
the drunk passed out, but really, that's how it is here. Even the
members call Juliaca the modern day, Sodom and Gomorrah. (sp?) But I
can testify that it really feels like we are living there, and its
quite evident. Drugs, alcohol, robbings, murders, and in fact, not too
far from where I am, a man was burned alive. He was a rapist, and
sometimes the people take the law into their own hands. The police
here are all crooked, you can pay them off for whatever they find you
with. And aside from all of this, it is the dirtiest city I've ever
seen! You should see this "river" that passes through. It is
absolutely filled with trash. Horrible. But, that doesn't hold us back.
We move forward. We still have success according to our obedience,
diligence, and our love for the work. I am so grateful for the
opportunity that we have to be here serving. I have learned more from
being in this city than I ever thought I would. Although it's starting
to get rrrreally cold, I still do like it here. I wouldn't mind going
to the jungle though! :)
Okay, so dad. I will be taking out about 30 or 40 dollars today from
the account. I had to buy a coat. It was 70 soles, or 25 dollars. We
also as a zone made soccer jerseys because we were the zone of
excellence, and that was 25 soles. So, I gotta pay elder Whitton back
for the coat and the jersey. If you could update me to how much is in
my account, I would appreciate that. And, just so you guys know, Dear
Elder still gets to missionaries here. You can use that if you would
like to as well, and its free. So tell the fam if they would like to,
they can write me through there!
Thank you for all of your love and support, I love to read all of your
letters. Okay mom! Mothers day. We will be calling you. We ALWAYS will
be calling home. You never will call us here. It's a lot cheaper, and
yeah! I don't know yet what time we will be calling, sorry! Just be
home all day, k? Be ready to hear some real Spanish! :) I love this
language, and I learn more about it every day. Okay mom, as well, talk
to Sheri Whitton, my Zone Leaders mom about coming down to pick me up.
Her number is, 9517042868. They live in Cali, but will be moving up to
Utah. I hope you haven't forgotten about that, but please seriously
think about it. I have converts and members that would love to meet
you guys! On another note, I hope you are still updating my blog! Keep
the faith, stay strong, and I hope that this letter finds you all
happy and in good health! Give my love to Grandma, I'm so glad she is
feeling better. Keep Johnny and my investigators in your prayers.
Until next week!
Elder Jordan Van Christensen