Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 2, 2012

Hi Everyone,
Boy oh boy has the rainy season come in this last week. On Thursday it
started raining about 3 in the Morning and didn't stop until almost
noon. We had to take off our shoes twice to wade through about 3-4
inches of standing water to reach our rendez-vous. Don't worry, they
let us borrow flip flops. It's actually been reallllllly cool here.
This morning when I woke up, I felt my toes. They were a little bit
cold. I'm pretty sure I could sleep without my fan, but I keep it
going for the mosquitoes. So I'm probably way cooler than you are
right now.
By the way, important request. The first man we baptized when I got
here recently asked for the photo from his baptism. When you have
access to it, could you attach it in an email? We can get it printed
here without too much of a hassle. He's actually been called as Young
Mens President in the Branch now, he's going strong. Not that I
contributed to that all that much, I could barely speak French back
I realized recently that I've seen some huge French jumps in the last
two weeks or so. I'm thinking that it's mostly because I'm just
speaking more. It's hard not to progress in something when you do it a
Ready for the story that made my week? His name is Brice. We gave him
a restoration brochure about three weeks ago. Since then, we weren't
able to actually have a lesson with him until Friday. I was just about
to call it lost and move on, but we gave it one more chance. When we
got there, he had a story for us. Sometime in his youth, he was given
a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was so long ago, he doesn't even
remember where or when or who. We know it was at least 15 years ago,
though, because it's not the newest version (the old version didn't
have the Guide to the Scriptures, and it just had an asterisk for
every time it said "and it came to pass that"). Two days before we met
him, he found that Book of Mormon again and leafed through it a bit,
but didn't think much of it. He was reading the brochure we gave him
when he found the name Mormon. He double checked and yep, same person.
He got a lot more interested and ended up studying the brochure,
filling out the questionnaire at the back perfectly and underlining
stuff and everything. When we asked him if he would act on what he'd
learn, he said "without hesitation, yes." He was excited to come to
church yesterday so he could see how the church he'll be joining
actually works. Those are his words, not mine. This man is the most
perfectly prepared investigator ever. The next day we went back and he
had already read all the intro stuff in the Book of Mormon and was to
1 Nephi 6. I don't even know how far he is now.
Fun things I've seen in Africa this week:
TOMS again
Disco strobing headlights
two feet of standing water in the streets
A Revenon (okay, thats not this week, that's old. It's a voodoo thing.
People dress up in garish costumes, pretend like they're evil spirits.
Then other people hit other people with sticks. I don't really
understand how that all works at all, but apparently someone gets
money from it.)
The A-team movie in French (a tiny part, it was on at a members house
when we showed up)
the Simpsons (same story)
Me with shorter hair (I got another haircut finally, turns out the
barber below the apartment actually knows how to cut hair for a part.
And he only charges missionaries about half price for it too. It was
weird paying for a haircut, that's the first time ever.)
This week we should be having one or two baptisms. I say that because
we don't really understand what to do with one of them. He's a young
man who was baptized once, but never actually confirmed. So we're
waiting to hear whether we have to teach him the lessons again or not.
We'll see. But overall, I'm hoping for three legitimate baptisms this
month. And at this point, we don't really have any investigators that
I haven't been there since stage one. That's one of the nice things
about staying in an area for 3-4 transfers.
We also have an investigator that I can only describe as me if I were
receiving the missionary lessons. Also, a woman. It's a really bizarre
experience. I've thought a lot about what it would take to get me to
accept the gospel if I wasn't in it. I'm still not even all that sure.
It pushes me a lot, and I have to become a much better teacher.
Food is doing pretty good here. Most of the Elders in the apartment
are better cooks than I am. Or at least they use more spices than I
do. Because of our lack of an oven, a lot of what we make is either
rice or spaghetti with meat and a sauce. I don't think I ever made a
sauce before my mission, so I've been a little behind with that. But I
realized this last week that I conceivable can make Pilaf, so I'm
going to try and make that in the week or two. I think I've pretty
much stopped losing weight. Why, do you ask? Because of bread. I
bought almost two dollars worth of bread last week. Which doesn't
sound like much, but you don't know how much bread that really is.
Okay, I'm out of time, at least I wrote more than last week.
Love and Bissap,
Elder Christensen

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