Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 14, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,
Wow, this last week just absolutely flew by. I hope all of my weeks
can be like these first two weeks of the year, I can't believe we're
already halfway through January. Of course, everyone around here is
still giving happy new years wishes. I think I might have just seen a
monkey hanging out of a car window driving by. Not entirely sure
though. If so, that's my first monkey I've seen in Africa.
The thought of Jacob entering the MTC was running through the back of
my mind all of Wednesday. I'm glad he was able to get off to a good
start, I look forward to hearing how he's doing.
Oh yeah, there's some biggish news for our mission. We'll be getting
sister missionaries soon! At least one is coming in next month, but I
don't know if she has a companion yet. They will obviously be in
Benin. Also, not American. We're looking at Congolaises and
Ivoiriennes for the most part apparently. Still, that was a surprising
little twist.
That's kind of scary winter weather. I do not want to have to deal
with that when I get back. December/January are some of the cooler
months here, but it isn't that cold. Good thing I have so many jackets
back home.
Interesting news from Togo for the week. The Grand Marché here burned
down. Three story building full of little shops. Apparently the fire
was so bad that the firefighters in Ghana popped over the border to
help out. There you go. We were thinking about going and looking at it
this morning, but my companion hasn't been feeling so great lately so
we didn't go.
In other news, I used one of those little Tide things you sent me to
wash my sheets this morning. I'm super excited to go to bed tonight,
they felt a lot softer.
This week we held church in the afternoon. That was weird for several
experiences. First of all, we were able to go out and teach in the
morning, which is very unusual. Very few missionaries have that chance
around here. Made it work, now we have a better idea of what's going
on. I also got to play the piano again for sacrament meeting. Always
an interesting experience that. I wish that I had time/the opportunity
to practice the piano throughout the week. Oh well. I didn't have any
problems with having church in the afternoon because I've had all that
practice at home, but here it's the first time for a lot of members.
Doesn't help that lunch takes longer to prepare here, so it's kind of
a conflict for some people's schedules.
I'm finally getting a feel for the whole "loving the people" thing.
I've never hated them, don't get me wrong, but it has only been over
the last few weeks that I've started feeling like I really love the
people. I've still got a long ways to go though.
These last few months I've been working on an idea that finally
oralized itself last night. It's the Gospel that is true, not the
church. I realize that that could sound a little heretic coming from a
missionary, but I don't think it is. It is the gospel that will save
us, change us. The church is nothing but a tool to that end. I think I
used to confuse the two a lot before, make them into the same thing.
Yes, I did finally get the Ensign you sent me, and yes, the cards were
inside, you can activate them now. I actually got a bit of mail, Most
of the mail sent in December just got through to me. As always, I love
mail, and I look forward to getting more. Or less, as more people go
on missions.
As far as stuff from home, I don't really need much. I'm a really low
maintenance guy. I didn't even use about 30% of my soutien (the
monthly money, I forget the word in English) in December. Peanut
butter is about the only thing I can think of. But if I think of
anything this week, I'll write it down and tell you next week.
Love you all so much,
Elder Christensen 

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