Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 9, 2012

"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
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,
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.

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