I'm doing great here, never fret. It hasn't been too rainy here this last week, but it's been nice and windy. You have no idea how amazing a steady breeze can be. Benin always looks pretty brown. That's just the color of the dirt. You probably haven't thought about it, but grass is actually a weed. Only rich people can afford to keep it well kept. Most people just don't bother with it. Also, the rain floods it all out a lot. So yeah, there is a lot of dirt here. Also, the Harmattan blows a lot of sand out of the Sahara on us.
Sorry that you guys are feeling sick out there. I'm glad that I never really got sick out here. I've been a little bit sneezy lately, but it's not bad. Glad to hear that Pageant is going well though. I was really worried that I was going to be distracted by it, but it actually hasn't been too bad. I'm at the point where things are starting to speed up, can you believe that next week will be my six-month mark? The next year is just going to fly. Oh yeah, you should read to the guys in your cast team Elder Bednar's October 2005 Priesthood session talk "Becoming a Missionary." It's pretty much everything I would have written to them. Make sure to say hi to Tanner and Rosie and everyone else I know out there (I'm not actually sure who all is there, but I wish them luck!)
I played Swedish Twister my first night at BYU, it was pretty fun. No idea about 3d twister though. I'll have to bring home some games for you all to play. Marbles, bocce balls, and...... Mancala! Yep, apparently that originated here. Or at least I see lots of old guys playing it. That said, there's a scrabble club in my area, so I can't be too sure.
Speaking of my area, there's some news there. When they pulled the zone leaders out of our apartment, they added a new companionship to the branch, so there are now 8 of us in Gbedjromede. Because of that, they've reorganized the boundaries a little bit. For us, that means that they chopped out all of the area near the apartment. Which happened to include a fair number of our investigators and our recent convert. So we're having to find some more people. And do more walking. That's okay, I've been gaining weight anyways. Brice is still in our area, thankfully. He is just so incredible. He has been more prepared than I could have ever guessed. I'm so excited for his baptism this Saturday, I'm going to triple check that my camera has a full charge! and yes, I've been taking more photos. Never fret. Fun question, is it breaking the sabbath if you help someone to prepare food that they are going to sell tomorrow? We showed up for a lesson and they were in the process of shoving....a patte/foufou into little bags. They let us help for about 20 minutes, then we shared a little lesson and left. It was fun, something different, and it was nice to do a little bit of service.
We got back some investigators this week. The last time we'd called, an angry woman had answered and told us that we were false. We assumed they were no longer interested. But while walking past their house they saw us and explained that the phone company had sold the same phone number out to another person, and that someone else had answered the phone instead. The family actually is pretty receptive to the message, and it was the first time in a few weeks that we've been able to talk to a husband and wife at the same time. I'm excited to see how much they will be willing to progress.
My flipflops broke this week. But good news is, that's a common problem here. The American solution is to go buy new shoes. The African solution is to have people who walk around all day who will fix your shoes for about 20 cents with some strong thread. So my shoes are fixed!
While I was moving my stuff over into the zone leaders bedroom, I found some tshirts that I'd forgotten I'd brought with me. They still smell like Provo :-) Also, I was sleeping on two mattresses all week. That was really soft and nice. Unfortunately, they came this morning and took one of them away, I guess there was a need somewhere else. I found the African knockoff of oreos this week. They're called Noreos. Made by the Haansbro company. I laughed really hard about that one, and they actually were pretty good.
We've been teaching this 15 year old girl named Franciska. Or Jolie, depending on who is talking to her (lots of people here will go by 2 different names). I've actually run into a few 15 year old girls lately, it's been weird. It makes me think about Robin. Here's a good question to pose to the family; what would it take personally for you to be converted to the gospel if the missionaries knocked on your door? What can you do to imitate that? I know for me, it would have to be some exceptional missionaries. One of the things I've learned this week is that while you can be converted to the Church, you have to become converted to the Gospel. That's what will keep you active through the trials.
Today has been interesting. We went over to Akpakpa to see some recent converts that Elder Kabongo taught while he was over there. We had a lunch mangez-vous, 3 bottles of bissap each, and we have a dinner mangez-vous scheduled in a little bit. Not to mention the fact that we had a large American style breakfast this morning. Pancake, egg, sausages, bread (biscuits weren't possible) and gravy. It was reallllly good. So today is a big eating day, to say the least. Also, when you eat spaghetti for months, macaroni will taste realllly good. Also, I'm on the path to conquering my dislike of beans. So mexican food will be open to me when I get back. I conquered tomatoes a looooong time ago.
I've been doing a lot of study about obedience and blessings lately. I'll give you a little scripture chain I'm working on. 1 Nephi 17:3 Through obedience we receive strength Mosiah 2:21-24, 41 we are already in debt, we obey, the lord blesses us again. How then can we boast? If we obey and stay, we will have eternal joy. 2 Nephi 2:25 - men are that they might have joy. Just some thoughts, it means a lot to me.
Love to you all, have a great rest of pageant. Elder Christensen
Tell Jacob that he needs to do sunrise Yoga again. Also, if possible, you should go find Alvin's tomb. I've never seen it, but the maps in the appendix have it marked.