Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 17, 2012

Things are going really well here, never fret. I'm learning and
growing as always. It's been really remarkable to see all of the
changes going on. A part of me wishes I had been transferred before
now, but I bet that it has more to do with how long I've been out than
where I'm serving.
I haven't done the blood test yet. I'm not sure when they'll make us
do that, I don't hear as much news as I used too. The Leavitts were at
church with us on Sunday though, and they didn't say anything about
it. So presumably not this week.
By the way, Elder Kiputa was super excited about the fact that you
wrote back to him. He just turned to look at me with the biggest grin
on his face. I'm guessing his last companion's parents never wrote
back. I bet Brother Evans or Brother Holbrook would be happy to help
translate if you don't trust google translate.
We've got two companionships in our apartment, that's how it is for
all of Benin. French really isn't much of a problem at this point. I'm
always learning vocabulary, but the local accent and the Congolais
accent isn't a problem any more. Sometimes a Cote D'ivoire accent can
trip me up though if I'm not careful. All of my scripture study has
been in French for about 3 months now, that's made a huge difference I
think. The stuff you sent for fon has been a little helpful, I haven't
really had enough time to use it a lot, but I've picked up a little
bit more and I understand the why of some of the things people say
Up until the last few days, I hadn't really listened to the cds I came
with. Almost solely the Echoes of the Sabbath CD. Everyone else just
has their own music, it's never felt like a good idea to pull mine out
and play "my music". But the Ivoirian being trained in our apartment
asked to copy some of my motab music, and so we've been listening to
that lately. I figured it was better to start him off with motab than
to have him start copying the music I know some of the other
missionaries have. I think that I'll probably start listening to them
more now that I'm here, I've definitely missed hearing good old Motab.
I've taken a lot of pictures, but not too many since I've come to
Fidjrosse. I'm hoping to get some pictures from the top of the
apartment building soon though. It's a really interesting view.
I'll either send the pictures home with Elder Terranova or Elder Bush.
Bush comes home right before Thanksgiving, from what I understand.
We'll see. Maybe Frère Van Duyse (no I have no idea how to actually
pronounce his name. If I've ever heard him say it, it was with a
Québécoise accent. That's a really interesting accent, let me tell
you. Most people just call him Frère Gregory.) would let me use his
computer to send photos, but I'm guessing not since that's technically
against the rules.
In response to Dad's question, the French keyboard is different. most
of the letters with accents are primary position for the numbers, you
have to alt to use the numbers. And the right alt is actually distinct
from left alt. Funny huh? If I'm actually typing in French I'm still a
little slow, but I've mastered the basic tasks for English writing.
I haven't heard anything about what has been happening in the Middle
East. All I really knew is that someone is still shooting in Syria,
but I wasn't even sure who or at whom. Interesting stuff, but I can't
let myself think about it too much right now. That google search bar
is waaaaay too tempting.
Want to hear something cool? Apparently I'm unique for an American
missionary. My companion says I'm the only one he's ever met that eats
sardines without complaint. So that'll make Jacob happy. Seriously
though, I eat everything. It's really weird. I have no idea what I'll
be like when I get back.
I made me some hot cocoa yesterday morning, it was really good :-)
Okay, missionary story time!
So this last week we baptised Valdes. He's been coming to church for
forever, hadn't received all the lessons because he's been so busy.
But this week we took a hit and left a little bit earlier than normal
every morning to get out and see him. It was really cool because he
really was totally ready. And his mom and several cousins are already
members, so he's in a good place. He was super excited about the
baptism. Going back to Gbedjromede for the baptism was a little
surreal, I saw all of these people that I know but that aren't in my
branch anymore. I got chided a little bit because I hadn't really
broadcast the news that I was going to be transferred. Oops, learned
my lesson. Found out that there will be two baptisms in my old area
this saturday. So I'm going to do my best to be there, I taught both
of them.
This last week we went in to teach these two neighbors names Raoul and
Serge. They had already received the first lesson really well, so we
went in planning to talk abou the plan of salvation. Before we start,
Raoul asks when he can be baptised! Turns out in the week since he was
given the Book of Mormon, he'd read up to Alma 5. Unfortunately, he
hasn't come to church the last two weeks, even though he came for a
few weeks before that. But I'm positive he'll finish the Book of
Mormon by the end of the month, so he should do well.
We've been teaching two sisters named Elodiane and Dorice. They've
been progressing well, although Dorice happened to hide until Sunday
that she'll soon be moving out of country for two years. Anyways, they
had a friend over during the last lesson who was very interested. But
somehow we got out without snagging his phone number. So this morning
we called Elodiane to ask for the number and fix a rendez-vous with
her. Turns out over the weekend, the friend joined a different church.
Generally speaking, missionary work is going really well. I'm really
starting to get into the "groove" of doing missionary work. The spirit
has definitely been in our lessons lately.
As far as "christmas presents" go, I'm not in desperate need of
anything for the moment. Socks is probably a good idea though, I'm
starting to see thin spots in a couple of pairs, and long dress socks
are a little harder to find here.
Okay, time to go. Love to all,
Elder Christensen

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