Monday, August 6, 2012

July 30, 2012

Hi, Everyone, 
The weeks are just zipping by now. 
I'm pretty sure that most mail isn't getting opened, nothing I've
received has appeared to be. That being said, if there was obviously a
card of some sort in there, they could think to open it. I don't know,
I'll leave it up to you. I can tell you that I'm not in any big pinch
for money, they give us plenty. I haven't received the package or the
letter yet, but I think I should in the next week or two. I realized
this week that I never received the Ward Newsletter for June, not sure
I'm glad you all had fun at pageant. So the question is, will you
apply again? Did they announce a new presidency? I pretty much
convinced Elder Burkhart that he wants to do it after his mission. 
The Lord has been merciful on me and given us some of the most beautiful
weather lately. It's absolutely balmy right now. It's pretty much
stopped raining, but its really windy in the mornings.
The picture I want is the one of me next to my companion and another
man who is dressed in white. We're standing in front of a sign with
the name of the church, I think I was wearing my red tie. He's my
first baptism. He's actually been doing really well, he's really
excited to be in the church and serve. Plus, he's a computer guy, so
I'll be able to keep in touch with him after my mission.
Wow, I can remember the day I got spacers for my braces, I walked to
the Orthodontist after watching Over the Hedge at the Kaysville
Theater. I have no idea why that little detail has stayed in my head
all these years. Good luck Cameron!
Is Jacob practicing the piano like he said he would? On Saturday I
played the piano for the baptismal service. Which for some reason
started  about 40 minutes late, so I was playing prelude music for
almost an hour. And then the opening hymn was Ver Sion, cité promise
(I can't remember the name in English), which I've never played
before. That was interesting. I'm going to play for sacrament this
week, so I'll have to do a little practicing.
We managed to get some of our investigators to the baptismal service,
which was really powerful. Of course, there were about 10 who said
they would come but didn't. That's life for you. It helps that 16
people were baptized in Benin this last week. Benin alone has baptized
more in the last month than the combined tally for June. So I'm
excited to see what the overall number is.
This week we had a couple of interesting problems in the apartment.
The first was when the front door handle fell off. That was
disconcerting. Kind of hard to close the door when leaving. Got it
fixed pretty fast though. We also ran out of gas for cooking. That was
a little bit more problematic, as there's a little bit of a gas
shortage right now. It took a member about a full day to find a place
we could fill up,
Oops, not done yet.
And I don't even know how far away she went to go find it. Apparently
the port is just completely dead right now, everything is going to
Lomé.   I don't really know why, that uses a lot of vocabulary I don't
know yet. The good news is, it gives Brice a lot of time to read the
scriptures and the gospel principles book. He isn't even worried. His
whole life has been turned around by the gospel, it's incredible. And
everyone sees the difference. Lots of people asked him what's
different. I get the feeling that lots of people are going to receive
the gospel through him. I almost just want to hand him a stack of
brochures with our phone number and let him get to work.
There's a guy blasting the JayZ Forever Young song on his phone here in
the cyber. Never thought I'd hear that song in Africa. Then again, I
heard I'm a Barbie Girl twice this past week.
I ate two unusual things this last week. I went out and bought myself
a real loaf of bread, and sliced it. Then I put my peanut butter on it
and had a legitimate peanut butter sandwich. The other thing I ate?
........ Chicken Nuggets. Elder Burkhart splurged a little at the
supermarché and shared. Won't be having those again anytime soon
though, because he's going to Togo next week. He wormed that little
bit of information out of the office Elders. I still have no idea if
I'll be transferred or not. I've been here for three mutations, so it's
possible. We'll see.
Did you know that there are two kinds of Muslims in the world? There
are the more stereotypical Muslims that are actually the kind that you
know about.... And there are also Christian Muslims. Yeah, I'm still
not really sure how that works. They accept the Bible and if you ask
them, they'll tell you that they are baptized (which may or may not
have involved water). It's really bizarre, it messes with my head. I
almost want to start correcting them and say "no, you don't actually
believe in that as a Muslim, you believe . . ." except I'm here to
preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Repentance  instead.
I actually have had a pretty powerful confirmation of the power of the
Atonement over the last few weeks. That single event was so powerful,
that our hearts can be changed if we are willing. That mighty change
of heart that the scriptures talk about isn't just a figure of speech.
I've had times where I had to say "I have no desire to do this, but I
know I need to. Help me to want to do it." It doesn't come overnight,
but it comes. (I should point out that no, that wasn't about serving a
mission in general. I'm very happy to be here and am totally committed
to serving for the rest of my mission. Sometimes problems come up that
you just have to deal with, is all).
Lots of Love,
Elder Christensen 

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