Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 6, 2012

Wow, it's hard to believe that three weeks from now I'll be on a plane leaving the country!

Well, as usual, a lot happens in just a week around here, so here we go!

On Wednesday I got my Doxycyclyne Hyclate pills. Basically, if I take them and I'm careful, I won't get malaria. I don't know why they gave them to us so early, we don't have to start taking them until the 25th. A plus side is that apparently the medicine is actually an anti-biotic, which means that it helps with acne too. I asked one of our teachers about it and he said that with all the sweating you do, you need it. Oh boy. Should be interesting!

On Sunday evening we had a fireside like usual. This week was a little different experience though. The "speaker" was Alex Boyè! For those who don't know who that is, he's one of the only black men in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and he has a solo career as well. He's also a part of the "I'm a Mormon" campaign. It was a really cool experience. He shared his conversion story with us and sang some songs. He's a really funny guy. Afterwards we did that 'whole MTC choir' thing where we all sing Called to Serve, Wes probably knows what I'm talking about. So now I can say that I've sung with Alex Boyè and Donny Osmond. Sort of.

Honestly, all of Sunday was amazing. I decided I was going to fast for a better understanding/testimony of the Atonement. During Mission Conference, President Brown (President of the MTC) got up and his whole talk was about the Atonement! The rest of the speakers were really good too, I learned a lot. Way more than I did during the first Mission Conference.

Guess what! We get new Frenchies tomorrow! There's a batch of 34 coming, going pretty much everywhere. France,Tahiti, Benin, Montreal, Congo. There's 5-6 Benin missionaries coming in, that's going to be way exciting.

In other news, my companionship might be changing again. One of the Elders from the last group going to Tahiti had to go home for a week or two for a shoulder surgery, and wasn't able to leave with all the others. He's been with the Fiji/New Caledonia Elders this last week, but they left today. So what our Branch President wants to happen is have the other Elder Christensen in my tripanionship become his companion, which would leave me with Elder Bangerter. Scheduling, however, has apparently been planning on just sticking him with the new Tahiti Elders coming in (by the way, all Elders going to Tahiti have to learn both Tahitian and French. 12 weeks. Glad it's not me). So we aren't really sure what is going to happen right now. It should be resolved in the next day or so though. If it does happen, I'm not too worried, my French skills have come a long way. I found out yesterday that we have covered more French grammer in my district than in some other districts, so that's cool I guess. On the other hand, they may have a better grasp on what they do know. I do know that we have been teaching way more than any other district. We had 12 scheduled lessons last week (us Benin Elders missed one because of our malaria meeting), and some of the other districts are teaching maybe 3-4 lessons a week. We just have more time because there have only been 2 companionships instead of 4-5. It's good practice, but it makes it really hard to prepare. Which is bad because I have found that I have to be prepared. On Thursday I had a bad day and just couldn't find anything to say during our lessons. I've recovered pretty well from that, but it's something I really don't want to experienct in the field.
Thank you so much for the package! I honestly had no idea it was coming, it was a very welcome surprise. Hummus can always make my day better. I'm actually wearing one of the ties right now.

In other news, I've officially started to lose weight. I'm still up from when I entered the MTC, but it's a welcome change. I clocked myself at a 7:20 mile yesterday, so apparently I misjudged how long it took after my first week. Also, when I went to the temple today I used size 30 waist pants and they fit! comfortably! For those who arent' aware, the pants at the temple are notorious for being smaller-waisted than advertised. I'm not sure if I just got a normal sized set of pants or what, I'm going to reference against my pants I'll be wearing in Africa.

Hmmm, what else.....
Non-family favorite people this week are Katie Kearl and Alexis Cooper, who thus far were the only ones to send letters. If you did send a letter and it just hasn't gotten to me yet, consider yourself on the list too. Seriously people, I only have 2-3 weeks left to actually respond to your letters, after that it's Africa! So feel free to write!

I don't really feel like I've written as much this week, but I'm out of time!

Elder Ethan Christensen (or as I've been abbrieviated here, E.E. Christe)

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