Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10, 2012

Hey....... How's it going?
So, Togo is pretty cool. I think for the moment I'm still liking Benin
better, but that's probably just because I haven't had enough time to
build up awesome memories in Togo. That being said, this week was a
good start.
This week we found a white woman while doing door to door. Okay, we
actually knew that she lived there already, but we wanted to see what
would happen. Very interesting experience, she basically just shared
spiritual experiences she's had over the years. It was a really
interesting experience, I could tell that she had a very deep faith.
This Friday we moved apartments. Before we were living on the second
floor of the branch building, but they found us a new apartment so
they could use the old one for church. Turns out my cleaning run last
Monday was not useless but actually a little inspired, we ended up
holding Sunday school on the second floor yesterday, and all those
cobwebs would have definitely detracted from the spirit. The move over
to the new apartment was pretty fun. When we got to the new
apartment, we were super excited to see actual air conditioners in the
bedrooms.... until the Leavitts told us that they had all been "fixed"
so we couldn't use them. They have a point about how it's not fair to
have one apartment have AC, but getting our hopes up like that was
just a little bit cruel. As it is, one of the fans broke in transit
and somehow I'm the one who ended up short. So I've been hot the last
few nights, luckily the window does give a bit of a breeze. After we
finished getting everything inside and the beds set up they took us
out to eat at a pretty decent restaurant. While we were there, we saw
an interesting site. A black woman (normal here) an Asian woman (less
normal, but not unheard of) and a ginger (a first since I've been
here) all walked into the restaurant together. All speaking American
English. I felt like I was in some sort of really corny joke.
Saturday.... Was one of those days you just have to live as a
missionary. With all of the moving and everything, I accidentally got
dehydrated. My bad. I felt pretty sick Saturday morning, to the point
where I threw up. First time on the mission. I had been warned, I just
didn't get enough water in. I pretty much just laid on the floor all
morning. Eventually I did start feeling better though. That's the nice
thing about dehydration, the symptoms don't last too long. Then came
the afternoon. We had a baptism planned, a young man named Romaric who
was all taught and ready to go before I came here. We were supposed to
pick him up at 2 PM to be ready for the baptism at 3 PM at Souza
Netime. At 1:45 we get a call that the fount at Souza is broken and
the baptism has been moved to 2 PM at Tokoin. We ended up getting a
super beat up taxi. When we picked up Romaric, the taxi driver backed
into a pole. Then we needed a push start to get the engine running.
Then we got lost because there are apparently too many Catholic
churches in the Tokoin area, so we ended up on the wrong end of town.
Then the radiator for our taxi broke down and we fled the smoke. We
walked for about 5-10 minutes looking for a new taxi. Found it, and
got to the branch about 2:50. The only reason why we weren't too late
is that the pump was super slow for the fount, they were still waiting
for it to fill when we got there. They ended up baptizing in water
that only reached maybe mid thigh, if that. Water was also not nearly
as clean as it is for baptisms in Benin, now I understand why
missionaries coming out of Togo don't like to actually be the
baptizers. Over all, Saturday was proof that missionary work is the
Lord's work, because way too many things went wrong. There's no good
reason that baptism should have been possible.
So now my story about Ghana. My area goes right up to the border with
Ghana. Romaric literally lives on the last street before the border.
That being said, the border is just a hill and maybe a fence on the
other side. I could get over super easy if I wasn't afraid of African
diseases. Also, I have no good reason to do that.
I had heard a rumor that they are going to split Togo into a new
mission next year. While we were moving the apartment I asked Soeur
Leavitt how accurate the rumor was. She told me that they're looking
for a mission home. So looks like there's a pretty good chance that I
will be finishing in a different mission than the one I started in.
Interesting times. Most of the older Americans are over in Benin now,
so I get the feeling that when they go home all the Americans that
have been here for forever will go over there and I'll be left here
mostly alone. That'll be interesting. Of course, President Weed never
does things the way I think they are going to go. We'll know in 6-7
months I guess.
While we were moving everything out of the apartment, we found a book
about how everything about Christianity comes from Africa. It's not a
very professional book, let me tell you. Very biased.
The last few weeks I've started writing President in French. It was a
little slow and laborious at first, but it's going pretty well now.
I'm finally starting to master all of the accent keys on the French
This last week we got a new American missionary. Elder Woodland from
Idaho. It's been really interesting to see that look of "woah, I'm in
Africa." It's weird being one of the old guys now. I remember how
weird and out of the ordinary everything seemed at first. I hope we
aren't overloading him with information, I'm not sure how much he's
actually picking up yet. He's a good sport about it, he'll be alright.
Found out today that the church just broke 3000 stakes, #3000 being in
Sierra Leone. So close. Elder Holland even came. Well, I guess being
#3002 will be cool too. I believe that the only thing we are waiting
for at this point is the stake center to be finished.
When we moved into the new apartment I set the tree back up and this
time I took out the stockings. Elder Gnahore was quite content with
the fact that he had a stocking too, apparently he's never received
Christmas presents before. He's sending you a thank-you letter.
You sent me the November Ensign right? If so congratulations, because
I don't think I'll ever get it from the mission. The December Liahonas
have already come in for the branch, but we still haven't received
since October in English.
 I got all the sheet music you sent me mom, thank you. It made me happy.
Hoping everything is well back home, I'd love to hear from you all,
Elder Christensen

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