I took notes again on what I wanted to write, so it's going to be a doozy!
So I've gotten some questions from friends about whether or not I've started teaching/how much I teach. I don't have time to explain the whole process, but let's just say I teach a lot. So much that when I only taught one lesson yesterday, it really weird-ed me out. Tomorrow I'm teaching three lessons for a grand total of almost an hour and a half. It's really good preparation. I would guess that I've taught somewhere in the range of 55-60 lessons since I've been here. In fact, one of our "investigators" got "baptized" on Saturday! And our other one is getting "baptized" this Saturday! I'm not really sure who we'll be teaching now. Should be interesting. Another cool thing is that I've been able to use both my priesthood lineage and genealogy chart in lessons. I don't know if that will happen in the field or not (I seem to recall that Wes never really used his) but it was cool to use. Teaching has also changed recently because of a change in my companionship. I think I mentioned something about this last time, but the Elder Christensen, that isn't me, is now only sometimes in my companionship. The rest of the time he is with Elder Maryott, who was supposed to leave with the last group of Tahiti-bound Elders but couldn't due to physical therapy. So Elder Bangerter and I have had to go this last week teaching as just the two of us. I can honestly say that that has been one of the best things for my teaching skills. There is something about teaching in a pair that just isn't there when there are three people. When your companion stops talking, you know that it has to be you who starts, because there isn't anyone else who will do it.
Also, I can't find the "m" key on the keyboard anymore. When you type using a french keyboard, it gets moved to the ";" key for some weird reason. My English typing has suffered as a result.
On Sunday we got to watch the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie in French. It was really nice, because now I've gotten to see both the new and old version (by the way, did you know that the new version can be streamed off of lds.org?). It showed me how much I still need to go in French. I understood the parts that talked about the gospel, but a lot of the rest of the movie was.... well, less understandable. French overall is going really well though, I do understand a lot and I am increasing my speaking speed. The only bad news is that I seem to have misplaced my French scriptures somewhere. Which is weird, because I only take them out of the classroom during a teaching appointment. I'm sure they'll turn up though.
I got to see Sis. Anderson on Sunday, just the night before she left for Norway. We got a picture on her camera, so ask her parents about that in the next few weeks.
Well, you officially know that you've been at the MTC for a long time when you realize that you've already heard the fireside speaker before. I'm really glad I didn't decide to tune it out though, because it was a really good talk. It was all about how the key indicators we report are "perhaps goals." He talked about how in the allegory of the vineyard (Jacob 5) everything was done that "perhaps the trees might bring forth good fruit." I thought that was really good to keep in mind, because I've always been a little bothered about setting goals that rely on the agency of our investigators, it seemed weird.
We have new French missionaries! There are about 5 going to Benin, and another 5 going to Congo. Then 1 Montreal, and a bunch of France. I was talking with one of the new France-bound sisters, and she told me my French was better than hers, and she did 2 years in high school and 2 more in college. She did say that she didn't try very hard in class, but I'm totally pinning it on the gift of tongues. Also, there's a new Elder Christensen, which means out of a zone of ~60 people, 3 are named Elder Christensen.
We get our travel plans on Thursday, that's so weird to me. Also, we're hosting incoming missionaries on Wednesday. That will be interesting. I don't even remember too much about those first few moments, it was all kind of a whirlwind.
One morning this last week we were locked out of our bedroom during showers. That was awkward. We had to wait 20 minutes while another companionship went and got my key, which thankfully was in our classroom. Somehow we still managed to get to breakfast before other people in our zone.
We had a fire alarm go off again, this time in our classroom building. Elders Montross and Shearer were teaching a lesson, talk about a rude interruption!
I only have two weeks left! If you want me to write you back before I leave for Africa, better write now!
Elder Ethan Christensen