Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 28, 2012

Hi Everyone,
I'm not even very sure how long I've been here anymore, it's all just kind of meshing together. It doesn't help that my attention span is effectively 6 hours. If it didn't happen in the last hour, or won't happen in the next 5, I don't really think about it too much. That's probably the wrong way to live in the moment, but it's been getting me through the days. Although I do know that I leave 4 weeks from today!
Alright, I took some notes this morning on what I wanted to say. Ready? Get ready for a whirlwind.
So, the first news is that I am now district leader. It was super funny when they announced it in Sacrament meeting because they had to use our first names to distinguish us (my companion, Elder Justin Christensen, was District Leader before I was). It's not terribly exciting, but I feel super responsible for stuff now. So now I'm trying to obey every rule I possibly can, because I really need the blessings. I'm glad I wasn't made District Leader at the beginning, I don't think I was ready for it back then. I think with the Lord's help I can do it now though, I've grown a lot in the last few weeks. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in my last email that I got to bless the sacrament in French, that was an interesting experience. I must have done a good job, because they didn't make me do it again.
During Priesthood Meeting on Sunday a fire alarm went off, it was funny because we didn't even figure out what the noise was for about 3 minutes. We think there was a grease fire in the kitchen or something, because we didn't even make it outside before the alarm turned off.
We got to watch the new Joseph Smith movie on Sunday, which was really cool. They've changed it around quite a bit, it's now told from the perspective of Lucy Mack Smith. It was really cool, the church is soooooo good at making movies!
Also, when the Fiji elders leave in a week I'll be the only Elder in the zone who can play the piano, so I'll get to use those talents sooner than I thought!
We realized this last week that we are teaching more lessons than every other district in our zone. Most people here are teaching maybe a lesson a day. Because we only have 2 companionships in our district, though, we're teaching at least 2. We will have taught 12 lessons by the end of this week. Good practice for the mission field, but also very stressful. It's hard to prepare for each lesson with so little time. For example, on Thursday night we teach one investigator at the end of the day, and then we teach her again first thing after breakfast. So that's challenging, but it really makes you rely on the Spirit.
I have new favorite people as of yesterday. Alexis Cooper and David Sorensen sent me cupcakes last night. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to eat them yet, but I will be doing that as soon as I am done with this email. I have found that the Melatonin pills I've been taking to help me sleep don't work if my blood-sugar is high. Or even moderately high. Basically, I can't eat anything at all after dinner, and I can't really have any dinner desserts. So that has been a huge test of my self-control. For those of you who want to be my favorite, take notes. I welcome such attempts. As always, feel free to write. I think I may have scared some people from writing me, because I haven't received any Dear Elder letters in I think 2 weeks now. I have nothing against Dear Elder letters, I'd much rather get them than nothing at all. So please, write!
Tomorrow me, Elder Montross and Elder Shearer have a meeting at the health clinic for our malaria pills and such. Our Portuguese-speaking roommates went through that a few weeks ago, so we already have the gist of what will be said, but it will still be interesting. Basically, all of the medication possibilities for us have some interesting side effects. Deoxycyclyn (or something like that, I'm not really sure how to spell it) is apparently the most common medication for missionaries. You know how commercials for medication have that fast voice that lists off the side effects? Yeah, it's a pretty big list. I'll keep you more updated on that, but it sounds like hallucinatory dreams is possible. Also, you have to remain standing for an hour.
So in one of our lessons on Tithing this week, I used an object lesson! One that I learned from a Home Teaching lesson! The Church is true! I gave our investigator 10 "Francs" and asked for one back. Then I talked about how God gave us everything and how Tithing is really an example of our faith. It seemed to work, although I almost didn't get my money back, haha.
I got a pass-down gift the other day from an Elder leaving for Tahiti. It's a bottle of J-Dawgs sauce. It's even better because they took it out of the original bottle and put it in a bottle shaped like a lion. The only problem is I don't know how far the sauce has been passed down, so I don't really know how old it is. You don't have to refrigerate the sauce though, so I'm going to try it the next time there is hot-dogs for dinner.
Our teachers organized for us to do some full day companionship exchanges on Saturday. We lost Elder Bangerter and gained Elder Shearer. That was an interesting experience. We learned a lot about planning and relying on the Spirit from that one.
Something else we've learned is that sometimes just saying the English word with a French accent is not the best idea. Sometimes it is the right word, and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it is a word in French, but it's actually something totally different. You may find out after the lesson that when you were trying to talk about why we don't drink wine now, you used a word related more to the law of chastity. oops. For the record, that wasn't me that did that, it was just in our lesson. It was pretty hilarious after the fact.
I did make an inspired mistake in our last lesson. We don't really have many French supplies (we still don't have French bibles, for example), so sometimes we just pretend that something is what we need. We had a Liahona about temples, and I decided to give it to our investigator as a General Conference edition of the Ensign. He didn't' get what I was trying to do though, so he read it as the temple edition. It turned out to be really good though, he was fascinated. We'd been struggling to get him motivated, so I think we have our method now. Score 1 for the Spirit.
I've been trying to memorize Moroni 10:3-5 in French. It's not working very well, because every time I start, I try to say it like Moroni from the Hill Cumorah Pageant, and I can't do that voice in French.
I'm out of time, and I didn't say everything! I'll write a letter during laundry.
Love you all,
Elder Ethan Christensen

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