If my math is right (no promises), I now only have 100 weeks left in my mission. Surprisingly, that does not sound like very much time at all. There is so much to do just here in the MTC, I can't even figure out how to do it all yet.
I apologize to everyone who was expecting a letter from me last week. I lost all of my stamps and had to buy new ones. I have 7 letters sitting in my bag ready to be mailed, and will probably write a few more during laundry today. So hang in there. Although, with the dearth of letters I have received lately, I'm not sure if you all deserve it. Shame on you.
French is going exceedingly well now. I think I simultaneously had things click together, and lowered my expectations to a more realistic level. I'm still not speaking as much as I know I could during lessons, but I can speak reasonably well. All of my prayers are in French at this point essentially, but it's hard to do first thing when you wake up in the morning.
Story time: Last week I wanted to tell you that we got to watch a video of Elder Bednar at the MTC on Christmas day, and he did an impersonation of the Cookie Monster! It was so funny to see him go "Give me cookie now! Give me baptism now! Give me investigator now!" It really got his point across, but he would never be able to do it during General Conference.
Story 2: Sometime in April AlJazeera (English, presumably) will be airing a documentary which will include an interview with 4 missionaries at the MTC. I am not one of those missionaries. President Brown brought them up during the Fireside on Sunday and asked them questions about it. So keep an eye out for that, and try and keep a link or copy of it so I can watch it when I get back, I'm really interested to see what it says. I'm not sure if the documentary is about the Church as a whole or general religious proselytizing or what. Morgan will probably know about it when it comes out.
Story 3: I got a haircut! Just barely in fact. It was weird to be having it professionally done, even if I didn't have to pay for it. [by the way mom, they used the combs and slid the trimmer down it to get the transition on the sides. It seemed to make it faster] We'll see if it's any good, I have to get another one in my last week before I leave.
Teaching has gotten better as a whole. On top of my improving French, it is just becoming easier to teach. I still struggle a little bit to come up with questions on the spot, but I'm starting to understand the concept of caring for the investigator and developing the lessons to their needs. We had a lesson last week that was really my break through lesson. When we walked in we more or less scrapped the plan we had and just walked through Alma 36 with our investigator. It was an extremely spiritual experience, multiple people cried. Since that lesson, things have just been easier. I'm not sure that I could have had that happen if I had only been in here for the three weeks as an English speaking missionary. The Lord has everything planned out, we just have to trust in him.
I see Jacob Francis every day now. His district eats lunch a little bit before mine, but we sit in the same general area so I run into him often at meal times. Isn't Derek Moose coming in tomorrow? We want to do a picture with him when he does come it. Also, I met Shawn Turley here, he used to be in the ward like 6-7 years ago. He's going to Mexico, it was really cool to see that he has staid in the faith.
Oh yeah, I'm senior companion now. Not that that means a whole lot in the MTC, I mostly just assign prayers for companionship inventory and stuff. I probably would have more responsibilities, but the District Leader (also an Elder Christensen) is in our tri-panionship. Although we think that they will call someone else to be district leader on Sunday, so we'll see what happens.
As far as health and food and stuff goes, all seems to be pretty well. I was almost able to run two miles without stopping yesterday, so my endurance is increasing. The food is starting to get a little bit old, especially breakfasts and Sundays. But that will just mean I eat less, and lose the little extra weight I picked up, so I'm not worried. I checked the pants I'll actually be wearing in Africa, and I still fit into them, so we're good there. I'm sleeping through the night, but for some reason I'm waking up at about 5:30 or earlier and not going back to sleep. It's probably just the Melatonin wearing off, but I'm not positive. It hasn't been a big problem, it's just curious.
Je sais que le Livre de Mormon est vrai. I'm out of time.
The Church is true, love you all!
Elder Ethan Christensen