Monday, May 7, 2012

May 6, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Things are going really well here, never fret. I'm surviving, and quite possibly thriving. Judgement is out on that one still I think. They're taking a short recess.

I haven't gotten the package yet, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't come. The Assistants are so busy that they only get to the post office ever other week or so (they go back and forth to Togo at least twice a week, for reference). So we'll see. It's still well within the expected wait time frame though. Still hoping for some mail though.

I did get a haircut, never fear. It was a little shorter than I anticipated, so the side part has sadly departed (lol). You'll see it on Sunday though.

Do I have any interesting stories? Do I ever! It's impossible to be a missionary and not have crazy stories. First off, I saw the Jehovah's Witness building in my area. I wanted to take a picture, but way too many people already mix us up, we probably shouldn't have even walked past it.

We were waiting once this week for a lesson, when all of a sudden I realized we were in a bar. Oops. And we had already taught a lesson there. So I've spent about an hour in a bar. No big.

I got to teach a lesson to a Nigerian convert this week. That was interesting. I'd never actually taught the first lesson in English before. Also, it's a little bit different teaching a recent convert than an investigator.

I want to tell you guys a little bit about an investigator we have named Paul. Paul is a self referral because one of his coworkers showed him a brochure of ours. He asks questions and takes notes during our lessons. Our lessons with him have been incredible for me. I've participated on a level I've never had in the field. It's during those lessons that I really feel useful as a missionary. My companion sometimes has some trouble understanding what the question is, but I've been able to cut to the heart of the problem and we continue on our way. Last night we gave him a Book of Mormon, and his promise to read and study was really sincere. The prayer he offered at the end of the lesson was more honest and open than any other prayer I've heard an investigator give. I walked out of that lesson a happy missionary. Of course, now it's up to him to actually do it. But that's his personal agency, we've done our part so far.

The Spiritual growth a missionary can see is incredible. I spent a lot of time this week studying faith. The scriptures are sooooo full of faith, it's incredible. I had an amazing experience reading Alma 32, and I've probably read that chapter at least 15 time before. Another scripture that has really hit me hard this week is Mosiah 2:24, which promises IMMEDIATE blessings when we obey the commandments. I cannot tell you how true that has been for me since I've been a missionary. I've also just had the Spirit showing me things right, left and behind me, more than I ever could have hoped. Now to use them all in lessons.

Okay, the rest of this email is late. The power went out at the Cyber twice, now we are at the couple`s house. And I can't figure out how to use an English keyboard anymore. Thank heavens I hadn't loaded in HTML mode like I usually do, otherwise my draft would have been lost. I don't have much more time though.

Dad, in response to your question, I'm in Gbedjromede. There are some accents on the "e"s, but we usually drop them when we write it, so I don't know exactly which accents. You pronounce it, bed-row-med-day. The G at the beginning is kind of silent. you can drop it all the way out, but technically its there, just without a vowel in the middle.

As far as the gift of tongues goes, since I got used to the accents here I haven't openly noticed the gift of tongues that much. I can tell you that I understand way more than I have any right to, and when I am really trying during a lesson I don't feel like I really have any problems speaking. For the most part though, I think that it is just that I learn fast here, more than some miraculous instant fluency.

Less fun story, I cut myself a little shaving a few days ago. Which was fine until I was here, and one of the African elders though the scab was some food and ripped it off. It didn't really hurt, but its impolite to bleed at a party.

Request for when you do pageant, can you find Alvin's tomb? It's marked on the map in the back of the scriptures, but I realized I've never seen it.

By the way, I wasn't looking for hypnotism in the manual last week, it was just something I saw while flipping pages. Just to be clear.

Got to go, we get to watch priesthood session!!!!

Love you lots
Elder Ethan Christensen

P.S. Is it weird that the primary message I got out of conference was be a good dad/husband? That's pretty much the only message I got.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like he is doing great!! Haha, "its impolite to bleed at a party."