Wow, Halloween already. That's one of the signs I've been here for a long
Missionary work is going well. We had a number of set backs this last week, but at the same time, a lot of really promising people are coming out of the woodwork. I'm excited to see if any of them will actually progress in the next few weeks. In particular, we've found a family that seemed pretty interested, and who are already getting all the stuff together to get legally married. I'm really hopeful for them, I would love to be able to baptize a whole family. There aren't enough in the church here, mostly thanks to all of the problems with marriages.
Those pictures of people crammed in buses from National Geographic have already been here kind of. People take big 12 seat vans and cram 20 people in. I've taken those a few times. It's always an interesting experience. The new bus system is actually not crammed at all. It's still too new for the most part, people aren't used to taking it. It's also a little expensive, when a moto can get you sometimes twice as far for the same price. I'd say that for the most part, I don't usually feel very third world. But this week, the water has kept cutting out, which has been rather obnoxious. Also, we had one occasion where we were walking down a new path and got lost jumping on tires to stay out of the water. That was rather interesting. Unfortunately, it is a little far from where we usually work and there isn't really a good reason for us to go back there anytime soon so I can take pictures.
I still haven't received the packages, although I heard that that was being resolved and the mission office would finally be getting them this week. We'll see. If not, well I guess I'll just have to wait. It's not like I have much of a choice. I did get the ward news letter for October, so there is a little bit of movement of mail. On the other hand, we never got the Liahona in English for October. If its not one thing, it's another. This mission teaches patience like none other.
I'm a little bit better at cooking, but not too much. The problem is that we always eat the same things because they are cheap and easy. On the other hand, I can eat pretty much anything now. I haven't had to eat anything too weird in a while, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I've even gotten better at eating the really spicy foods than some of the African elders. It turns out that really spicy food is more of a West Africa thing, the Congolais missionaries aren't really a big fan of it.
There are 4 missionaries in the apartment. It's now to that point in all of Benin, but Togo still has some 6 person apartments I think. My apartment is 1 congolais, 1 ivoirien, and 2 Americans. Every apartment has a fridge (but ours is small) a camping stove, and a rice cooker. I hear that one of the apartments in Togo paid to have a member make them a grill, but that's definitely not standard.
This week we saw a huge reorganization of the Branch. The Young Women, Relief Society, and Elders Quorum presidencies all were changed. And the Young Men were changed about a month ago. I'm not entirely sure why, but it's nice to see some of the newer members get the chance to have some leadership callings. Although to be honest, all of the members here are new members.
Saturday night we were coming back to the apartment when we ran into a man who thought we were missionaries for the Jehovah's Witnesses. That's pretty common actually, but this guy actually was a Jehovah's witness. He had a whole bunch of their little magazines, and he insisted that we take them when he found out we weren't. I figured it was better that we take them than someone else, so I've had the chance to finally find out a little bit about their beliefs over the last 2 days or so. In some ways, they are so close to the truth. In others..... I don't even know how they come up with all of those ideas. That was what sealed the code word of the week. Apostasy. We were teaching a lesson on Wednesday when this guy walked up and started listening in. We invited him to sit down and join. That's not always a good idea. This guy didn't understand at all what our message was, and got rather angry at us for not giving the usual message that other missionaries talk about. I've honestly never figured out what that message is supposed to be. I've generally found that people joining in on the lesson partway through is kind of iffy. They walk in without the spirit and have no background for what we are talking about.
This last week I did a video journal. I thought it went pretty well, it definitely takes less time. Can't do it for too long though because of memory space. So we'll see.
This weekend was a big Islamic holiday. Tabaski. The celebration of Abraham not killing his son. Most people took the whole weekend to celebrate it. Thankfully it didn't mess up our proselyting too much, but even a lot of the Christians were using it as an excuse to throw a party. It's even a day off from school here. That doesn't happen in America.
Okay, I need to go now, love to you all Elder Christensen