This Is Peru!

This Is Peru!

June 12, 2012

It's His Time, His Work

Hey family and friends!
Well this week went by quickly. (Go figure..)
I got the package! Thanks so much! I shared much all of it with other missionaries, and the family that we live with.
Lets see, well, we didnt have the two baptisms that we had planned. Fran and Miriam feel like they need more time, and will now be baptized with their sister, Lucero. They all now have a baptismal date for the 23rd of June. We continue to work with Roberto and Francisca with their marriage. Roberto still has to figure his ID out, hopefully that will be resolved here soon, then they will be married and most likely baptized the same day (in july most likely). Hopefully all goes well! Keep them in your prayers!
So, do you remember about the lady (Ayde.. pronounced "I~day") i wrote about that was in the bad accident a few weeks ago? And how her mother was in a coma? Well this last week we were with the same member that introduced us to her, but this time looking for another one of her friends. While we were walking, i got the impression to visit Ayde. At first i just kinda pushed the thought aside, I mean after all, we were looking for someone else. But when we found out that the other person wasnt home, the thought came back into my mind, but this time my heart was pounding. I suggested we visit Ayde, and they agreed. So, sure enough, we get to her house and her boyfriend lets us right in. We soon found out that her mother had passed away last week. She told us that now her eyes have been opened to reality. She also just barely had surgery on her nose, because it was broken. Poor thing, she is in so much pain from that and her hurt leg. She then explained to us that she went to the Jehova Witness church only because her mom went, and some of her friends. She said that she feels a lot of their teachings are incorrect, and that its not the true church. She now doesnt attend there. She also said to us with tears in her eyes, "Last night i prayed for guidance and direction to help me choose the true church. As a family, we need it now more than ever. Will you two help us with this?" Wow! I was stunned. We then testified and promised to her that we as representatives of Jesus Christ will help her and her family to find the truth, and that they will find it in The Church of Jesus Christ. We visited them two days afterward, taught lesson 1, and challenged them to be baptized. (They arent married yet, so were waiting to see about the date) But they accepted baptism so we know that they truly are interested!! Truly, without doubt, the Lord leads us to those who are prepared. I mean, for us to show up at her house more than 3 weeks after that inicial visit, unplanned, to find that they had prayed the night before asking God to guide them to the truth... Theres no coincidence in that. God's hand is in this work!!!
Well, this change is over! So crazy to think about.. This transfer really flew by. I have learned SO much. From my companion (for good or for worse), my zone (the missionaries), and the scriptures. My companion had a change, and I am staying! I am so pumped to work my hardest this last change here in Sicuani. We'll be doing a lot of one thing here: work.
"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy." -Alma 29:9
How true that scripture is. It speaks for itself. I've never been happier in my life than I am as a missionary. I know that I have been called of God, as was Alma, to preach the good news of the Gospel.
know that this is truth eternal: that God lives, that His Son came in the meridian of time and suffered for each and every one of us that we may be able to live with  Him, and our Father once again. How I pray that we never forget these things. What immense joy i have found, and continue to find here in the service of God! I cant wait to see all my buddies again, it'll be just like the sons of Mosiah. I hope everyone has a great week! I LOVE YOU ALL!
Sincerely, your Peruvian son, grandson, brother, cousin, nephew,  friend, and missionary...
Elder Christensen

June 4, 2012


Dearest family and friends,

So this week has gone by pretty quick as well. It seems like time just
goes faster and faster! Anyway, so this week we as zone leaders had a
"council" in Cusco. Its fancy talk for a conference. It went pretty
well and we were able to learn a lot i feel like. We reviewed a
training given by Spencer W. Kimball entitled: "Jesus: El Lider
Perfecto" translated, "Jesus: The Lerfect Leader". It was literally
full of such great imformation, and i felt like i was able to recieve
personal revelation. I learned more of Christs earthly leadership and
just how perfectly he did EVERYTHING. I learned how i could be a
better leader. I was so impressed by the fact that He knew his
purpose, He knew the great responsibility placed upon His shoulders
had eternal signifigance, and He was able to calculate the long term
effect and impact His words would have on humanity. He walked
selflessly among his fellow man, putting their needs above His own. He
served with love. <3 We should always remember His example. I know
that i will. Oh, and we ate tacos in Cusco at "El Cuate", which means
"friend" in mexican/guatemalan slang.. It was decent!

Our zone is getting better. My companion and i are getting along
better i feel like, which is a relief. He'll probably have a change to
finish somewhere else, then i will meet my LAST companion. Now that
feels weird to say. I cant believe that i am almost to my last
transfer! The last six weeks are rapidly approaching. It actually
doesnt feel different much, except the fact that missionaries look at
me and are like, "woah man, youre dying.." Haha thats mission slang
for saying youre going home, basically. Prettty crazy. Im not getting
trunky though, im focused on what matters most right now: the mission!

So, we killed a lamb the other day and had it for lunch.  Yes, we
killed and gutted it and everything right here at the house. Dont
worry i totally have it on video, ill show you when im home. We
actually had it yesterday as well.. Its a lot of meat! The video
really is disgusting.

So, we have been working a lot with the Chelquetuma family. We are
seeing some difficulties with the son, but are helping him along the
way. Lucero and her mom traveled to Juliaca yesterday, and got home
last night but missed church. Lucero's baltism will probably be the
16th now, because she missed sacrament meeging. I am giving my blue
suit to Fran (the son) on his baptism day. He really is a good kid,
just has some not so great influences as friends. He may end up
serving a mission, too! He really likes the church and has already
made some good friends (returned missionaries). Today in priesthood
meeting we all had little papers that we were to write goals on, short
term and long term. The teacher showed me Roberto's goals
afterwards... His goals are as follows: "1. Be baptized in Jesus'
church. 2. Be married to my wife. 3. Attend church. 4. Pray to God
every day. 5. Talk to others about the bible. 6. Be faithful to God.
7. Help my children. 8. Walk with Jusus always." Yeah, so that gives
you an idea of how great this man is. Wonderful. Please keep them in
your prayers. He has a problem with his ID that is holding him back
from being married, so we need prayers!!

Well, i havent gotten the package yet, ill let you know when i do!
Hopefully this week. I should be sending off Tan mans letter here this
week, so be on the look out here in a couple weeks. Oh and whats the
deal on the house? Are we gonna be moving or...? Let me know what the
details are. And dont forget to get me into that painting class at
weber!! Try to make all my classes in the morning if you can.. So i
can work in the afternoon.

Know that i love you all! SO MUCH!! Till next week,

Elder Jordan Van Christensen

Oh, and today we went to Machupitumarca, which are a bunch of ruins in
a pueblo called Pitumarca. See the pics! And the two alpaca ties that
I had the member make for me!

More pics

My shoes! Hahaha

Some trees

The cathedral in a pueblo called Pitumarca.

"God answers prayers."‏

Hey family!
So this week has really passed by quickly for me, probably for a number of reasons. Some good, some not so good, haha. Ill go ahead and touch on the good!
So do you remember when i sent an email right after moms day saying that i was hoping to find a family that week? And how i asked for extra prayers and such? Well, the Lord came through! We found that family! Yup! An entire family completely prepared to hear the gospel. We were introduced to them by a member, and they are all so willing to change their lives, and let Christ in. Their names are: Roberto - dad - 51, Francisca - mom - 50 ish, Fran - son - 23, Luz - daughter - 20 (who we don't know yet, should be getting home today), and Miriam - daughter - 17. The only downside is that the mom and dad aren't married... But they have plans to get that taken care of soon. They all are willing to be baptized, and the kids will be baptized first on the 9th of June! They ALL came to church today, and loved it. I feel so blessed to be teaching them. Roberto offered the closing prayer in their home and started to cry as he pleaded for his families happiness. "Heavenly Father truly answers prayers", i told my comp as we left their home. I have been praying ever since i have been in Sicuani to find a family that is prepared to hear our message. The Lord held through on His part, now we have to do ours and teach them this true, restored gospel. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!! We continue to work with our other investigators that are progressing, but seem to always have problems that keep them from baptism.
Today in our Zone Meeting, I talked about our potential as sons and daughters of God, as well as our potential as missionaries. We as missionaries have a huge potential! Having been called by a living prophet of God, having been set apart and given the authority to preach His gospel, we labor gladly bringing souls unto Christ. However, if we aren’t obedient, if we don’t truly study the gospel, if we don’t work diligently, and if we don’t have faith in God that He will support us every step of the way, we cannot reach that potential. It went well, and we encouraged the zone to work even harder to reach the goals that we have set for next month, June.
So… this week you’ll never guess what we had for lunch! Haha…. Ahh… Ready? Sheep head soup. Floating in the soup was pieces of brain, along with skin. She didn’t give us any of the eyeballs, the tongue, etc, thank goodness. She did it mostly as a joke on us. A really, really disgusting joke. But for them, it’s a delicacy. Really! They enjoy eating the eyeballs, the tongue, brains, etc. Hahaha I love her! Her name is Mery, and her husband is “Pepe”. His real name is Juan, but everyone calls him Pepe. They are so great. Were all a big family in their house!
Oh, hey i want you to register me in a painting class at Weber please! Yes, painting. I almost forgot to remind you about that. Jose from Quillabamba has inspired me. I cant wait to show you the painting he painted for me! How goes everything with registering me for classes?
Anyways! I LOVE YOU ALL! Thanks for all the emails :) Till next week!
Elder Jordan Van Christensen
Sheep head. Its whats for lunch!

Sheep tongue

A baptism of a little girl named Milagros. We are helping their family to get activated! Yeah!

My comp and I on our hike like 3 weeks ago!


Hello everyone!
Well, this week has been alright. Were pretty worried about the zone, for reasons that aren't important to include in the email. Haha, but yeah! I have been trying my best to be a good example with my companion. But we are trying to help the zone get pumped to work! For me personally, its never been so hard to get people to come to church, to get people to hear us, etc. Its a challenge that I feel like I need, and I am learning.
So something cool that happened yesterday was a member in our ward took us to her friends house to give her a blessing. Her friend was in a very recent car accident, well, bus accident where 6 people died, her mother was put into a coma, and she had her leg broken, her nose, and messed her back up pretty bad. Her daughter of 3 years old miraculously only got away with a concussion, and her boyfriend wasn't in the car, but was working. So anyway, she is still very fragile, and she just barely got home from the hospital. We were able to bless her, and her daughter, and we have a return appointment with them this week. They are all JW's, but are very open to hearing us.
Our teacher in Sunday School is awesome. He teaches half in Spanish, and half in Quechua. Quechua is quite a dominating language here. Maybe not as much in Sicuani itself, but in the pueblos outside of the city its what they speak.
Thanks dad for sending the instructions on how to play hand and foot! I am anxious to get the talks you printed out. Thanks for doing that! Let me know when you send it.
I sent Ethans letter just a week ago, so I hope you get it soon! Hey bridge, thanks for the quick email man!! I cant wait to see you guys either! So soon!
Anyway, I love you all so much! I have been really studying the scriptures, and I hope that you are all reading daily! Keep doing the basics. Keep me in your prayers! There are only like 10 Mondays left for you to write me! I LOVE YOU GUYS!
Elder Christensen