Friday, October 5, 2012

October 1, 2012

Hi Family and Friends,

Sometimes there is a huge gap of information here. Especially with
regards to what happens in Togo. I had heard absolutely nothing
about Elder Harding’s health until I read your email. I have absolutely
no idea what you are talking about.  The only thing any of us have
talked about this last week has been Elder Kola’s plan to buy and butcher
a cow (which he did this morning, apparently).

I don't think anyone had told me that Annie was pregnant again. That's
the story I'm going with anyway, tell her congratulations for me.
I haven't gotten any mail this last week. Elder Caycho told me that
there's something for me at the post office, but apparently customs is
doing something weird for the moment with all of the mission mail. Or
something. I'm hoping to get whatever it is this week, we'll be going
in to do the blood test stuff for the residency cards (on Friday I

Do you know how disappointing it is that I won't be seeing conference
this weekend? We won't see it for at least a month. We have to wait
for the DVDs, and then those have to come to Africa. The good news is
that I might be able to watch them in English. We now have about 6
Ghanains in the branch thanks to the University Frere Bother Van Duyse
started. We'll see. If not, my French is doing well. I'm still left
lacking for words from time to time, but I'm finding that my grammar
is starting to be better than even some of the Africans, Occasionally.
I get the Liahona in English every month, so I'll be able to go back
and read anything I miss. I'm still kind of bummed about missing out
though. That'll be really weird though, that's like the final mark of
spending more than six months in the field. I'll only have two more
left after that.

I'm going to challenge you all to find a question you want an answer
for. Pray about it, and look for the answer in conference. You'll find
it. My regret is that I took conference a little passively in the
past. I didn't use it to its full potential. Also, I read President
Ucthdorf's "Forget-me-not" talk about 6 weeks ago. That was just as
good as everyone ever said.

We had an interesting lesson this last week. We got a contact from the
other companionship, they told us this guy had walked in on one of
their lessons and asked a lot of questions about the book of
Revelations. So we went in and he asked about the sealed book and the
seals and the spirit of Elijah and all kinds of stuff. It was stuff
that we have answers to, but a lot of it can only be talked about once
you have the gospel background, and he didn't want that. So we did a
decent job with that I think. We went a little bit over, were just
wrapping up when his friend walks in. His friend looks at the
Restoration brochure and says 'yeah I talked to you guys once, but I
found some flaws in your doctrines. You know if you read Hebrews
carefully, it says that there is no such thing as the priesthood after
Jesus?" That took forever to sort out. The ways that people can read
the bible are more myriad than the grains of sand on the beach. We've
had to say a number of times "look, we're sorry, but we aren't here
for you to teach us. We've been called by a prophet of God to teach a
message". I've found that bearing testimony in these situations is
really helpful.

We've seen a man's heart softened just the littlest bit this week.
There's a family here who is more faithful in their church attendance
than half the members. They haven't missed in six months. But the
father has been holding back, both himself and from the children being
baptized. But this week he picked up the phone when we called! That
was a first. When we told his wife, she was shocked. It'll come, and
that will be a joyous day.

This week we had to go to immigration. Turns out my companion's visa
expired about two weeks ago. So I've been living with an illegal.

This week it rained a lot. Like a lot. We got turned back from a
couple of lessons because we weren't able get through all the standing
water. Clear-ish standing water is one thing, but that water was as
unclear as you can get. "Are you sure this water is sanitary? It looks
questionable to me" My companion absolutely refused to go through,
apparently he's gotten some nasty rashes by walking through water like

This week we had a lot of mangez-vous. It was all really good tasting.
This morning I saw my trainer when we went to the grand market. He
said, “hey how’s it going? You've gotten fatter.” (note: That's not an
offensive statement in African society. It's just a truthism.) So
apparently I'm looking a little bigger. People here notice weight
changes a lot sooner than I do, both on me and on other people.

Okay got to go, love to you all
Elder Christensen


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