Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

Well, no big news as far as transfers go. Elder Kabongo and I are both
staying. Elder Burkhart will be leaving for Lomé, and he'll be
replaced by Elder Gunderson, who came the same flight as me. So
that'll be a little interesting. I feel pretty good about staying in
Gbedjromede for longer. We're looking at seeing a lot of work happen
in the next few weeks. I don't think I could stay another transfer
after that though, 6 months is already a long time to stay in one
I still haven't gotten the package yet, but we're only at about 5
weeks I think. And it could very well show up during the transferring
process. As far as letters go, I recently got the July Ward
Newsletter. Never did get the June newsletter though. That's life for
We actually do very little tracting right now. We have enough people
to talk to that we can fill most of our time without going door to
door. We've been getting pretty good at snagging the friends and
family members of members or investigators. That's pretty nice,
because it gives a support net built in already.
Some converts do have a little bit of trouble, it just depends. We've
already lost one woman I baptized, she moved out of Cotonou for work.
Oh well, the missionaries will find her again when Callavy opens. On
the other hand, other recent converts are super strong. Like Brice.
That man is incredible. He's like a walking talking "I'm a Mormon" ad.
And yes, the last 2 weeks the branch has been packed. To the point
that the missionaries have to stand in the back during sacrament
meeting. Our problem is we're the only branch in the country with a
baptismal fount, we can't just up and change buildings. I'm confident
that President is working on a solution though.
Yikes, the dreaded braces. Good luck Cameron! He's getting them a lot
younger than I did. That's good, he'll be done with them earlier too.
Not doing anything is very much a coping mechanism. Trust me, I know.
Wes does too I think. Jacob will do fine. He just needs to keep a
level head and he'll be alright.
Eating is fine, I eat more than anyone else in the apartment. I might
be losing weight still, I don't really know. I don't feel like I am.
I'm not doing so great about getting fruit other than the mini bananas
they have here. They're so cute. The problem is just finding the
change, like always. Health wise I'm doing good, not a single sign of
Malaria. Acne has been acting up though.
I accidentally left my agenda at the apartment, so we'll see if I
remember everything I wanted to tell you about.
So the big news is that we had another baptism this weekend. It was
Franciska, the 15-16 year old girl I've mentioned once or twice.
Little sister to Maurine. It was really cool to see her start
interacting with the young women in the branch, she's being integrated
really well. She was even able to sing most of the hymns at the
baptism service because she's been going to the choir rehearsals.
Another name I've mentioned once or twice is Christoff. He's a 70 year
old Catholic man we've been teaching off and on since May (he travels
a lot, which has made it hard). We got him to come to the baptismal
service on the 28th, and it left a big impression on him. On Thursday
he called us and said he'd be coming to the chapel that evening. While
he's really spry for a 70 year old, we said we'd meet at his house. In
those intervening 5-6 days, he'd read about 150 pages in the Book of
Mormon. That was really cool. He still needs to come a long way before
he is ready to be baptized, but he's accepted that it will eventually
happen. I really am hoping that we'll be able to prepare him before I
leave Gbedjromede. But with the way things work, it'll be one or two
weeks afterwards.
This week I've been rereading the talks from the last general
conference, because for us it's about the midway point. They are
really good, I can not emphasize that enough. I'm getting whole themes
from them that I missed the last time. One thing that it has helped me
with is to realize where I actually am. I've been getting a little
down on myself lately for not being a perfect missionary, not
perfectly obeying the rules, so on and so forth. But at the end of the
day, I'm a worthy temple recommend holder, trying to do his best. That
means I'm doing alright. Wow, it's really cool to get a spiritual
confirmation as you type. I've decided to start carrying my temple
recommend around with me, I've just been leaving it back at the
apartment until now.
Hhhmmmm, what else. I've found a critical area I need to improve on.
We did the Christlike Attributes activity in Preach My Gospel for
District meeting, and my overall worst attribute was telling people
that I loved them/cared about them. That's only kind of important. So
that's a goal. Purpose of the Activity, accomplished!
This week there's going to be a group wedding for the branch, three
couples that the zone leaders have been working with. I've met all of
them over the course of doing exchanges, I'm excited that I get to be
there. One of the men has been coming to church faithfully for the
last 3 months at least.
 Okay, let's see, what else.... there's a Pan-African activity coming
up next Saturday. If I understand right, all the members in the city
are going to gather and sweep the streets. Yes, that is something that
has to be done here, there's just way too much sand. Should be fun, I
really like sweeping.
What day does Jacob go down to BYU for realizes? Are you going to stop
at In-n-out again? That'd be a funny tradition to continue. It seems
so long ago that I moved down to BYU. Mostly because it was.
I really can't remember everything I was going to write about. Oh
well, I think I did write a lot. I'm still writing in my journal
everyday. Well, almost everyday, sometimes I have to play catchup.
Thankfully, I have my daily agenda to help remind me.
Love to everyone,
Elder Christensen

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