Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 15, 2012

Hello Everyone, 
So I really don't have any idea when the rainy season is here. I had
been told that September was the rainy season and that in October it
would start getting hot, but September was dry and October has been
wet. So yeah. At some point it will get hot, I'm sure.

The work goes here, but this week it was a little slow. We thought we
had a great idea when we arrainged for a lot of our lessons to be at
the branch building. But then several dropped... And it was impossible
to leave, find another lesson, and come back in time for the next
lesson. So we learned a lesson with that. I think had that happened at
the beginning of my mission, I would have freaked out. But I'm
starting to understand now how much the mission is as much about
learning as it is about teaching.

Overall, the branch of Fidjrosse is doing well. So well in fact, that
if I stay here for a while there is a decent chance I will see the
formation of the Aibatin group. That would be very interesting.
Starting a group is a lot of work I hear. I believe that all that is
lacking for us though is maybe another 3-4 priesthood holders and a
building. Not that I'm being kept in the loop though. I know that
having a church building closer to the apartment would make it easier
for investigators to come to church, although it would probably become
more difficult to describe the location, the Fidjrosse building is
conveniently located to describe.

The work progresses here, yesterday we saw the formation of the first
district in Benin. Essentially, that is a stake with just branches
(not wards) and it reports to the misison office still. But it's still
a huge step. I'm thinking they could announce a stake center by the
end of the year. It has definitely been announced that the number of
members in this country has double since the mission president arrived
July last year.

I actually really loved the District meeting because I got to see all
of the people from Gbedjromede again. I got to say hi to a lot of
people. It was really cool to see recent converts and old

No, I still don't have the debit card. I don't think that the office
Elders are going to the post office until they get everything sorted
out with customs. What actually happens is that things show up in the
post office, and then packages have to go to customs (which is right
next door). At least, that's how it worked for Elder Perkins. I assume
that that's because we're private, company stuff would probably just
go straight to customs. Or something. I don't know, I never studied
international mail systems. I could ask the Elders to go and just pay
the customs, the problem is that we have no idea what customs will be.
It could be zero or it could be a lot. I'm not even sure what is
waiting for me in the post, if it's a box or flat rate envelope or
what. I know that if it takes more than a few weeks, I'm just going to
ask them to pay it.

I should hear conference for the first time in early November. That
would match up for last time we did conference at least. That'll be in
French, the translation shouldn't be difficult, I'll just have to pay
attention. For the Ensign/Liahona, I'm thinking end of
November-beginning of december.

Haha, I honestly don't have all that huge of a desire to serve in
Togo, I just want to see it. I love serving in Benin. The people here
are great, and I know where to find just about everything I could
want. I know I'll go to Togo one day, but that will be at least six
weeks. Transfer calls came in last night, and I'm staying here with
Elder Kiputa until at least December. I actually feel like I dodged a
bullet with that one. We had interviews with President Weed this last
week, and he told me something along the lines of "you know how to do
everything now, I could stick you with a new American and you could
show him how to do everything." There is no way I would actually train
an American, but I was giving myself equal odds to actually start
training. But that will wait until at least December. Besides, from
everything I hear, asking President for a transfer is just about the
exact wrong thing to do. I'd probably stay here for another 6 months.

That is really sad about Sis. Wahlstrom. Life is short like that.
Also, I'm already terrified of Motorcycles, that just confirms it. I'm
getting me a nice big safe car when I get back. Although I do
understand why pedestrians are so crazy in Provo. They are all
returned missionaries use to crazy drivers and being protected by the

Don't worry, if I do ever send an SD card home by bubble package, I'll
make sure to copy all of the photos over to the USB drive first. I
wouldn't just mail out 600 photos like that. I do know that regular
letters come through, I think I'll be doing that soon.

Yes, I do have bread and fruits and veggies and stuff like that. I
honestly knew where it all was in Gbedjromede, the problem was that I
didn't really know how to break big bills. I've gotten way better at
that though, so I'm able to buy little stuff a lot more.

This week I realized a little bit just how long I've been gone from
home. I don't honestly know what has changed in most peoples lives. I
know that at least two of my friends have gotten married, but that
number could be as many as 10 for all I know. And I have no idea how
many just decided to serve missions. I guess that's being cut off from
life outside the mission though.

Is the change in ward boundaries going smoothly? I could see there
being problems in a ward that has stayed the same for so long.

I've really started to see some of the changes in myself from being on
the mission. The thing about Christlike vertues is that the day to day
change is almost imperceptible. But after more than 8 months, it adds
up a tiny bit. I've gained a tiny bit of patience and charity since
that first day in the MTC. I've still got so long to go though.

Lots of love,
Elder Christensen

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