Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 11th, 2013

Wow, it's been an interesting week here. Not that that is different from any other week. The time is really flying by. I think that that's because I haven't taken down that paper Christmas tree yet, so it still feels like the beginning of January.

Missionary work is still hard. Worth it, but hard. Right now we're looking at expanding our efforts a little bit farther out. I think we've worked the close area a little dry, we've had so many fallen appointments this last week. Time to start walking out. Or paying taxis. Agbalepedogan, here we come!

We've been teaching a woman named LĂ©onie, I think I've mentioned her before. She had a baptismal date for this Saturday, but she hasn't been to church the last two weeks and we still enough material to teach her that I think we're going to push it back another week or two. She's already been to church a few times and is integrating well with the members, but she's hiding the fact that she's meeting us and coming to church from her parents, her father is extremely Catholic. She's technically well above the legal age to need his permission, but culturally he can still command in this kinds of things until she's into her 50s or older.

The other real success of these last two weeks has been the Anti family. I've been so happy to have actively worked with this family. The other converts I've have not really been thanks to me, I either came in late or couldn't really talk. But I honestly think this might have been one of the families I was sent here to find. The only thing that is really keeping this family from being ready is that they haven't actually told the husband (who lives/works in Holland) that they meet with us. Since we need his permission for the wife and younger son, this is kind of a problem. We're probably going to organize a fast with them in the next few weeks. I'm not sure if I'll still be around when they do get baptized, but I know it will happen one day.

Yeah if you want me to have clothing made, I'm going to need measurements. "my basic shape, but shorter" isn't really a very accurate measurement in the metric system. Even though they still sell fabric in yards. I'm still trying to figure that one out. I'm pretty sure I took some decent pictures of some traditional style clothing, if not you can talk to Brother Hanna (it's interesting that he's no longer an Elder, I remember he still had 10 months left when I first arrived here).

No I've never heard of Marshal McDonald. I'm hoping to keep playing the piano when I get back, so if you want to buy some sheet music I'm down with that. Music will always be a part of my life, thankfully. My new companion likes to listen to Enya right before bed, I'm going to be sad when he goes. No, I'm not entirely sure where he picked up Enya. I'm not sure why, but I'm really craving some good piano/instrumental music lately.

Yeah the Harmattan was a very interesting thing. Lots of dust. It never gave me any breathing problems, but lots of locals got coughs. I would wake up feeling really dry though. It's pretty much gone now. It had a sudden return last Saturday, but now we are back to just being kind of dirty again. Then it will start raining again in a few months.

Leadership here is a very interesting process. As far as district leader goes, it's just the oldest missionary in the apartment, unless that missionary has serious problems. For zone leaders and assistants, I'm not really sure what is going on for the moment. Before it was always one American, one African, but I think President Weed is starting to move away from that model. So I don't know if I'll ever do any serious leadership or not. I probably will be a translator for the Leavitts once the next group goes home. Assuming I don't get transferred somewhere. We don't really know what's going on as far as transfers go, I believe there are 3 more coming before the end of March due to missionaries coming in and leaving.

Mom, how is it that you hear mission news before I do? If the new sisters are really moving in across from the Eastmonds, that means that they are moving into the first apartment I served it. For the moment there is only one actual sister, her companion is a member I know who has been called for a "mini-mission" of a transfer until the new sisters arrive. Sisters generally do pretty well. They are able to reach a lot of people that we the Elders just can't get through too. They aren't perfect though, sometimes they can be even worse than the Elders with certain things. It'll be very interesting to see what happens. As far as splitting the mission goes, I haven't really heard anything more. Still just rumors. Tomorrow we'll have a zone conference, I'll ask the assistants what's up.

I had an interesting experience this last week. It turns out that there's only one water bill for our building, even though it's two apartments. So we got to discuss things with the brother of the other tenant (who isn't in country at the moment). So in French I discussed a Togo water bill with an Italian. My life is full of really lame standup comedy setups.

Okay, time to go, love you all,

Elder Christensen

PS It turns out I can read Malagash pretty well. I haven no idea what I'm saying, but Elder Boto says that I'm pronouncing it right. Mysterious talent that I wouldn't have found without being on a mission.

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