This Is Peru!

This Is Peru!

March 20, 2012

Defender of Truth‏

Buenos dias!

How is everyone doing today? Hopefully just as good as I am! I hate not having enough time to write what I would like to write, so I'll try to mash these keys fast enough to get done before the 30 minute mark. Ok... go!

So, some of the coolest things that have happened this week was finding 11 new investigators that we are hoping will progress in the gospel, learn to keep commitments, the commandments, and most of all know just how important baptism is. Its like lemonade! What do you need to make lemonade? Water, sugar, and of course, lemons. If we don't have sugar, then its not lemonade. If we don't have lemons, its not either. Its that way with a baptism like Christs. (1.) Someone that has a desire to be baptized at an age where they can understand the importance of it. (2.) By someone that possesses the priesthood, or authority of God. (3.) In water sufficiently deep for immersion. If we are lacking any of those three, then it is not a "complete" baptism in the eyes of God. We are working with Pilar and preparing her for this Saturday, her baptism! Pray for her please that she will have the courage and faith to take this step in her life.

I continue to enjoy being a DL and teaching on Wednesdays. I find that as I teach, that I end up learning more.. a LOT more! I love it. I am anxious for General Conference coming up the end of this month. I love hearing from the General Authorities. Their messages are so inspired, and it truly is just what God wants for us to hear.

The elders in our apartment are great! We all get along really well. In fact, both of the Latinos (my comp, and Elder Soderquists comp) are from Managua, Nicaragua. So Connor, if you read this, you might know their families! One is Morales, and the other is Chavez. Haha, nah, thats a long shot, but they are cool. They just talk kinda funny, and don’t pronounce their “s” when they talk, haha.

I love, absolutely love, being a missionary! I am really grateful for the time I have to dedicate myself 100% to the Lord and just focus on His will and to really do my best to grow from all of the experiences, good or bad, that I am having here. The mission is a chance of a lifetime. I am so grateful that I had the faith and courage sufficient to put this tag on. I represent Jesus Christ, and love Him with all my heart. I defend our faith day by day, and I find joy beyond description being here in Peru!


Elder Christensen

Oh, and about the camera, I will see what to do about it this week, don't buy one there yet. Its too big of a risk to send them. But yes I do need the shirts and g's. Thanks for everything! And I haven't gotten the package yet. Its still sitting in the offices in Cusco! So yes its here, but not in Quillabamba yet. They will send it today though I think. My birthday was good! Mama Roxana bought me a cake! She also bought some really good chicken and we ate that. We had pancakes for breakfast! She is really the best pensionista I've had. Shes like a mom!

TwentyOne! (From Jordan)‏

Hello everyone!! 

Wow, did I have a surprise when I signed on to my email. That's definitely the most emails I have ever received probably ever! Thank you each and every one of you that took the time to wish me a happy birthday today. Yes, today I am 21. I am legal! Jaja, pretty cool. It doesn't feel like it here in the mission. Its kinda just like any other day. But I am stoked that it's on a pday! So, this week passed by really quickly. Just to touch a few points that were cool this week because I hardly have time to write after trying to read what some people have said! But we had 6 people in the chapel yesterday, and we are way stoked to be teaching them the gospel. We have a goal to put a fecha bautismal on 3 of them. They are the ones who are progressing the most. We are so grateful for that blessing.
I love the mission! A year and a half gone. Weird to think about! Things here are going great, except the fact that I lent my camera to Jose Luis for a work project he had, and he was robbed by a drunk in the street one day, and he took the camera along with his wallet and cell phone. I am pretty bummed, as I sure you are, mom and dad. I learned the hard way about lending things like that out to people. It wont ever happen again. He says that he will pay me back for the camera, but to be honest, I don't know how he will. They are such a poor family, and he works, but he needs the money for medications and stuff. So I don't know how we will be able to work that out. I will keep you informed.
Well, I don't have anymore time. I love each and every one of you! Thank you for always being there for me. I pray for each of you daily, and I hope that this email finds all of you in good health. Thanks boys for writing me! Bridger, that Google translator is crap! I can translate better. I had a hard time trying to understand the grammar. But trust me, Spanish is normal now. Like English! Jaja. I love you boys so much! Can't wait till I am back either. Were gonna have a blast! Take care everyone!
Elder Christensen
Ps mom, I need new shirts for sure. I only have 6 now. The others have been ruined, jaja. One of these days you will have to see my shoes. Both filled with holes. Its a little silly, but I知 wearing them til the fall off my feet. :)

Ten Percent of My Life‏

Hola Familia!

Well, the weeks are just flying by it seems like. I feel like I wrote just yesterday! But its a good thing.. I guess haha. So, this week was great! We were able to see the baptism of another one of our investigators, Rina, this last Saturday. She received the Holy Ghost the next day, Sunday, and was confirmed member of the Church. She is great! Its always a blessing to see our investigators progress towards baptism.

This week we have been putting a greater effort in "rescuing" inactive members. By doing so we have been able to find more people to teach and that have their hearts ready and willing to accept the gospel. We actually found a couple families that we are now teaching, and we hope that they will be able to progress. My comp and I are going to do everything we can so that they may attend church, get married, and be baptized. They already have felt the power and Spirit of our message and they are willing to change their lives in order to live righteously and according to the will of the Lord. Its awesome!!

I got the envelope that Michelle's family sent! Haha, tell them thanks so much for that! And always to Jacquie, thanks as well! I got her letter. She always writes on that fun paper, that honestly I don't know how she still has, from her mission in Korea!

This week I complete a year and a half in the mission. SO weird to think about. But I am continuing to work hard and to be obedient in order to see the blessings that the Lord has prepared for me. I have seen them time and time again in my mission and I am so thankful to be serving here at this time in my life. I don't think I can put into words the feelings that I have towards my mission. All I can say is that this is a time to work, work, and work. Its something so special to be able to dedicate 100% of my time to the Lord and His work.

Tell the boys to write me, I really miss them. I had a dream last night about us all together again, and how happy we were. Haha, just a thought. But don't force them. I don't want them to feel pressured. Next week I hope to hear from mom! I'm so sorry mom that you got sick! Don't worry about not being able to write.

Next week I'll be 21... Also another weird feeling! Oh well, asi es la vida. We pass through life meeting a lot of people, but we hold on to those who mean the most to us.

This week I was reflecting on the fact how interesting it is that these two years add up to ten percent of my life. Interesting, huh? Well, I hope all of you are safe and sound, and I love you all! Keep in touch!

Élder Christensen

Fruits of the Labor‏

Hello everyone!
Another week gone here in La Cuidad del Verano Eterno. My comp and I
are enjoying the heat, rain, and all of our investigators that are
progressing! We are really seeing the fruits of our labors at church.
Yesterday 6 of our investigators made it to Sacrament meeting. Another
man also came for his third time, that lives in a city called Maranura
a few miles up the Vilcanota River from Quillabamba. We are planning a
visit there with our branch president, and we are excited to teach him
and invite him to follow our Savior by being baptized! We have 2
baptisms coming up on Saturday, so wish us luck! Jose Luis, and
Grimaldo. Grimaldo is about your age, dad, and was a reference of a
less active member that we activated after 15 years of being inactive.
He loves the church, and has a real desire to progress in the church.
We have been very blessed to have been teaching him, and Cecilia (the
“newly” active member). We continue to teach Rina, and she has been
passing through some problems, but we are helping her through them.
She introduced us to her sister, who seems really interested in our
message and we have a lesson with her on Saturday.
So, on Wednesday the whole zone will be traveling to Cusco for a
conference with Elder Waddell, the area authority of the South America
Northwest area. We are excited to hear from him and to learn more of
what he has prepared for us.
Our districts have changed up a bit, and now the elders from Echarate
(a sector about an hour down river from Quillabamba) are now in my
district. This week, maybe next, I am planning a work visit to help
them out there. It should be interesting to get to know Echarate, I
hear its a pretty cool place.
So you sent the package? Sweet! Anything last minute... um, anything
you think! I appreciate anything. I will let you know when it gets
here! Thank you so much! Oh, and mom, you need to buy "The Work" cd.
You will love all the songs on it. Really. Such a good album.
So, something else cool that happened in church yesterday. Basically
to make a very long story short, my comp and I were walking in the
street one day, and I felt the need to talk to a person that was
walking in the street. He happened to be an inactive member. We talked
a lot, and we finally extended him the invitation to come back to the
church, and promised him many blessings. Well, yesterday he came! In
elders quorum, he related the story about a man in his boat that
started sinking. Well, this man started to pray to God, asking him to
save him. Well, all of a sudden, a boat showed up and tried to save
him. But the man said, “No, God will save me.” So, the boat left. Then
another boat showed up, and another, when finally the boat sinks and
the man dies. When he got the chance to talk to God he asked, “Why
didn’t you save me? Did I not pray for your help?” Then, responding
God, said, “Son, I sent 3 boats to save you, and you still were too
stubborn to accept them. ” Anyway, so he related this story to us as
missionaries. He said that two or three times before we talked to him,
he said that he had seen us pass by in different parts of the city
until one day, we finally talked to him. I thought that was pretty
cool. After the class he said, “Thank you, I have felt a hole in my
life, and now I feel complete.”
Something special for me that I love about my mission, is to just lose
myself in the lessons we have. To just focus on the investigators,
their needs, and their questions, and be able to answer them in detail
so that they can understand every principle we teach. I can truly say
that I feel I am losing myself in this work, and I am so happy. More
than I have ever been! True happiness. To live the Gospel of Jesus
Christ is such a blessing. For everyone who gives it a try. I am
having experiences that will bless me for the rest of my life here in
Quillabamba. I am loving every minute. I love all of you and hope you
have a great week! You are all in my prayers.
Elder Christensen
pictures... one panoramic of the view outside our apartment window,
and another of a giant tree here in Quillabamba!