Wow. July 9, 2012
This week was REALLY good. To be honest, lots of miracles happened this week, and I'm so grateful. I dont even know where to start!!! Goodness.
Happy 4th of July! Wow, I truly am SO PROUD to be an American. Me and Elder Jensen celebrated with pizza (the only somewhat american food here), a paper mache american flag, sang the national anthem, pledged alliegance, and very festive ties. See photo 4098. It was a really good day, and I'm stoked to be back on US soil soon!
So, on Monday (last week), my comp and I traveled to Cusco for my LAST Zone Leader Council. Pretty weird... But it was really good and I always learn something different, or good ideas come to me about how i can help my zone. After the meeting, my companion stayed in Cusco with Elder Bennington (ZL in the Cusco Zone), and his companion, Elder Galvez, came with me to Sicuani because he is one of the pianists that play in the Musical Recital. So, this week our time was saturated running around doing things to get ready for this event! He had to practice every day with the stake choir, and I also sang, so I had to be there to practice as well. Yeah, I sang! Hahaha, I sang a trio with Elder Ryan and Hermana Martinez (I was her DL in Quillabamba!) the song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" in spanish! Which translated is, "Fuente de mis Bendiciones". Hermana Martinez will be going to all the zones in the mission (almost) to direct the music in the recital(s) that will be happening throughout the mission! I also sang a small solo during the song "His Hands", and a duo as well with Elder Ryan for a song called "Te Hallare Mi Amigo". Now, to just give you an idea of the magnitude of this event, 600-700 people came and FILLED the chapel to the rafters. Yeah, I was nervous. President seemed to be impressed with how I sang, because after the recital he came up to me and said, "Elder Christensen, how is it that you have to leave now? We would have made you famous sending you with Hna. Martinez throughout the mission to sing! Too bad you're finishing." And whats better, you guys will be able to hear it when I'm home! They recorded the whole thing. Audio seperately, professionally, and then filmed it in HD. SO, it was a big deal. President came, along with his wife, President Rojas came as well with his family (counselor to Presidente Calderon). A sister that is from Highland, UT came to sing all the way from Puerto Maldonado! Yeah, Pres flew her to Cusco and sent her here to sing. She has a beautiful voice. After the recital, all of us missionaries got references from the people who visited. Its hard to explain what it is we did, but it resulted in about 90 references for all of the zone!!! Obviously these people are the people who are really interested! We met an entire family that wants us to teach them! They all came and loved the recital. So this should really explode the work here in Sicuani. Were, well, they're hoping to see a lot of success here in the next month or so... seeing that I'm not gonna be here! But after everything, President took the whole zone to eat. It was an AWESOME day.
Next, I took the initiative to talk to the Mayor of Sicuani last week. I went to him with the objective to get cheaper marriages here for the people WE as missionaries bring to get married. I started off explaining to him who we were (even though he pretty much already knew), and what we teach as missionaries. I taught him about the family, and how important it is for the church and the society. I told him that in order for these people we teach who are not married, to live justly or uprightly before God, the society, and to progress in their lives, that they must be married. However, most of the couples we teach do not have the funds to spend on a marriage, and its for that very reason that at times they aren't married in the first place. So, I proposed that we (as missionaries do in other zones) offer community service every other week for and hour and a half to two hours in exchange for cheaper marriages. He was impressed with the idea and he said, "Of course! There is not a problem with that. One moment.." He then called his secretary to call the boss of the department in charge of civil marriages to his office. She walked in within a few minutes and told her whats going down and the deal we are making. He also told her, "Make it as easy as possible for these missionaries to help the people that they have to get married. We will give them a 50% discount on every marriage they bring in." YES! Mission accomplished? Almost.... Elder Jensen and I are going back to meet with him, but this time, to teach/take out an appointment to have a FHE in his home. I felt a little like Aaron from the Book of Mormon that day, but we are stoked to teach the mayor before we leave Sicuani. Even if its just to give him a Book of Mormon, I can say that we tried.
Now, for another miracle! Are you ready for this? Robertos problem with his DNI........... has disappeared. We talked with him on Sunday (his family came to the recital) and this week we are going to help him get all the papers for his marriage ready!! Seriously, I almost cried when he told me that its resolved, and he can move forward to his marriage! Miracles really do happen when you fast. How amazing is that? They will be getting baptized before I leave here. My prayers are being answered left and right, and I am so grateful that these things are happening here before I finish my mission. SO grateful.
I still cant believe that im in my last weeks. How has time gone by so quickly? To be honest, mom, I feel different than I thought I would feel. I still am focused, truly, and I dont think it has fully registered in my mind that in just three weeks I'll be landing in SLC.... Everyone always kids with me like, man, you're probably SO trunky right now.... When in reality, I'm not. I'm just stoked to "die" working hard. I am really happy with whats been happening here these last few weeks. Life is good! I hope you are all doing wel, and have bought tickets to the new Batman movie for the day after I get home... Saturday the 4th! Hahaha I saw a preview and I'm dying to see it. Anyway, I love you all so much! Thanks for all of the support!
Till next week!