July 24, 2012
Well team, this is almost it! My second to last email in the mission. I'm running on about 10 hours of sleep for the past 3 days..... here goes...
So, last week was an interesting week. Lets see if I can explain why. So, Roberto and Francisca aren't married yet. Its a long story, but to make it really short, we just need to have a meeting at the RENIEC (the department in charge of issuing ID's) to find out something that will let us know if they can get married right away, or later. So, his problem is basically solved, but all they need to do is have that meeting and according to what they tell him, he can either get married on THIS Saturday (28th), or might have to wait longer. There is a small possibility that they can be baptized on Saturday, so we'll see... But Its just a matter of time before they are baptized. I feel content because I have done all that I possibly could do to help them get to where they are today. If they aren't baptized right away, so be it. They are already converted to the gospel, its just (unfortunately) a small inconvenience that they are facing that is keeping them from already being baptized. I am so happy I was able to have met them here on the mission and to have taught them the true Evangelio de Jesucristo.
My last Sunday in Sicuani was pretty rushed. I got a call on Saturday night from the office saying that I had to be in Cusco on Sunday at 5pm for my last interview with President. Crap, I thought to myself, I had already made plans to leave Sunday night... but oh well. I finished packing my bags that night to be ready to leave at 1. So, at the end of church the second counselor of our ward (Alberto) stood up and publically thanked me for all I have done for the ward and said some other things that almost brought tears to my eyes. He then "se abusó de su confianza" and asked Elder Ryan and I right then and there to sing something to finish the meeting. Well, what could we do? We thankfully had a song memorized from the Musical Recital that we were able to sing, and it came out great! Alberto also speaks fluent Quechua, so I took a video of him talking in Quechua so you guys can hear what it sounds like. He is a really great guy. So, I rushed to get my bags packed on Saturday night and was at the bus terminal at 1 o'clock ready to travel with Elder Jensen (also finishing the mission). We got on the bus, the whole zone (almost) came to say "bye", and we were off. Elder Jensen and I talked for a while, just about how crazy and surreal this all feels, and shared a few of our mission stories with each other. He is such a great missionary, I'll be seeing him back at home seeing that he is from Sugarhouse, SLC. We got to the mission offices, and waited for President to get there to do our interviews. We waited about 2 hours, but it was really an awesome interview. I wont go over what he said on the email though. But just so you know, I really enjoyed it and I love President Calderón. Such an amazing man.
So after the interviews, we got back to the office house and ended up "sleeping" at 12am, and woke up at 1am to go to Machu Picchu! Yeah, one hour of sleep. We got up and started the trip. I'll have to tell you all about it next week!! But this time was AWESOME. I can't believe the difference from going while being sick, to not being sick and being able to notice and appreciate things I wasn't able to back in December. I'm SO glad I was able to go again. I feel so blessed to be able to visit a Wonder of the World in my own mission. Were the only missionaries in the world who have that priviledge. Machu Picchu is incredible in so many ways. I took some legit pictures to show you all. I hope that one day you all will be able to see it. I cant get over how cool it is.
We got back from Machu Picchu at 6:30pm, had a quick shower, and were on our way up to the mission home for the "last supper" where they prepared beef stroganoff, baked marinated chicken, rice, potatoe salad and Inka Kola to top it off. It was DELICIOUS. Seriously, so good. After dinner, we had a testimony meeting, and after that we watched a slideshow of pictures of all the missionaries who are finishing. It was pretty cool and they gave us a copy. We went to bed at around 1am last night, and woke up at 7 ish... So I'm dead right now. Literally I'm nodding a bit. But wow, its just so weird that all of this is happening! I still dont feel like I'm coming home in just about a week... But I have one last week here in Cusco where I will be until I leave. I'm stoked to visit a bunch of converts before I leave and to see a few more things that I haven't seen yet in Cusco. But I plan to work and enjoy it every minute till I'm getting on that plane. I have been feeling so strange these last few days... I came up with a close comparison to how I feel: Like I'm about to go under a surgery. A big one. Thats the closest I can come to it. Hahaha.
Next week I'll write my last email as a missionary. Thats weird to think about. Till then, "pajkarincama!"
Elder Jordan Van Christensen
PS, when do I speak in sacrament? Do I have a topic, or could I pick my own?
PSS, the machu picchu picture is just to warm you up for the pictures you'll see next week!
The other is of Elder Jensen and I right before getting on our bus to Cusco.
And President and I last night at the last supper.