"Flat Elder" at the Hill Cumorah Pageant
It's so weird to me to not be in pageant this year. That's been such a huge part of my life, to not do it is just strange. Luckily, the Lord is helping me get through it. The last week has been incredibly fast. I can hardly believe it. And there isn't any sign that it's slowing down. Wow.
I had the chance to be the baptizer again this Saturday. Not just for our candidate, but for two young children as well. That was a really cool experience, the Spirit was very strong. I don't understand why some missionaries don't like to do the baptism. I have to make a confession though, my camera battery died 10 minutes before the service started. My companion got some pictures though, so I'll snag them from him.
The bugs here have been getting a little bit more feisty. There's some sort of little tiny thing that I honestly think is just dirt that will make me itch for a day or two. I've even gotten a bite on the palm of my hand. That's been interesting. I have no idea how it happened. The bugs aren't too annoying, though, you get used to it after a while. As long as I'm taking the medicine, itching should be the only symptom.
I don't have anything from Brother Ludlow about Third Nephi. I took the first half of Book of Mormon from him. I'd also totally forgotten that the Ormes are in pageant too. Every day the world shrinks a little bit.
Of course Al-Jazeera would come the year I'm away. Haha. That'll give me something to watch when I get back. Did you guys ever find the little bit they did on the MTC? It should have aired back in April I think.
The mission has been going really well. In fact, it's gone so well that we've run out of some of our brochures to hand out. It's a little weird to not have them, but we make do. We should be getting some new ones real soon. We've found a couple of new investigators, but by far my favorite investigator is still Brice. This man is so golden. He quit smoking 4 days after our first lesson because he felt that it was the right thing to do. We hadn't even planned to cover the word of wisdom until the end of this next week. 15 years of addiction, conquered.
French has come a long way. Ironically, as French comes, I think about how much I really understand English. I think I don't really speak English all that well. I'm not really sure what the rules are for adverb placement in English, and that's translated over a little bit into French. Mostly what is blocking me at this point with French is vocabulary. Also, different ways of saying things. A basic example is that in French, you have hunger, not be hungry. Some things like that. Those just come by plugging away day after day though. And generally, people understand what I say. And if they don't, my companion does. His gift of tongues is incredible, If I had that kind of a gift everyone would understand me. Usually when I think in French, I'm writing it out in my head. But honestly, I do that in English sometimes. That's just me.
There's no sign of the package yet, but I did get two handwritten letters! The interesting thing is that they were mailed more than 2 weeks apart. The mail here is funny like that. It really made my day. If anyone who reads this blog ever gets bored and has a little pocket change, feel free to shoot me a letter. I'll record your answering machine in French when I get back if you really want.
One of the big changes for the week just happened this morning. They've opened up a new apartment and they moved the zone leaders out of our apartment. So me and my companion moved into their old room. It will be weird to only have four of us in the apartment, but on the other hand, I'm now sleeping on two mattresses. That's going to be pretty comfortable for the next few weeks. Or months, depending on how long I'm here. No idea.
I had a really interesting experience this week. I got to try and do some math tutoring for one of the members. It was algebraic geometry stuff. I put the emphasis on try, because I couldn't really do anything. It's been a long time since I studied that, and the notations in French are all different. The funny part is, I can specifically remember saying in the MTC "I don't need math skills, I'm a missionary."
This week was the fourth of July! That was only kind of weird. That's already been a toned down holiday in past years thanks to pageant. This year was just the littlest bit more. We had some cookies and soda for dessert. Woohoo!
I think I've started gaining weight again. Want to know why? Bread. It's so good, and so cheap. You can get a loaf pretty much the size of your fore-arm and fist for about 40 cents. I can down one of those in under 10 minutes. So I need to cut back a little bit. I'll start losing weight again when I go to Togo I think.
Add Tobey Macguire to the list of people I resemble, Spiderman was on at a member's house when we showed up.
I've been doing some thinking about repentance lately. The guide to the scriptures talks about how true repentance comes from loving God and desiring to obey his commandments. I've learned a lot about how God is my Heavenly Father on a conceptual level, but I can still do so much to actually feel it. That's when obedience moves from being a responsibility to being a desire. So many things to improve on. If I ever am prideful after my mission, slap me. I'll deserve it. And it will teach me patience.
I think that that is a decent email, got to go Lots of African Love Elder Christensen PS, Homemade shawarma is really good. Double so when a Malagash makes it.