Monday, March 18, 2013

March 15, 2013

Hi Everyone,
Things are going a lot better this week. I figured out that some of my
unhappiness problems was actually coming from some rather poor dietary
choices I was making. Fixed those, doing a bit better now.
In continued health news, I DID take my first immodium pill this last
week (anti-diarrhea medicine). Only 489 pills left before I run out.
It actually worked pretty well, go figure. Luckily I never have
diarrhea anyways.
The mission office got a bit better. I am expanding my vocabulary a
little bit. I've had to learn a bit of bank vocabulary this last week.
We've had a couple of problems with the bank lately, they have some
organizational problems. We have to translate everything for the
office couple, they don't speak any French. There's an interesting
line between an exact translation and a useful translation. I usually
just cut to the chase and tell Elder Semken what he needs to know.
I didn't go to the zoo on monday. I was going to, but right after I
emailed you I realized that Elder Tshizanga was completely out of the
loop about it, we hadn't even asked him if he would like to go. I've
already done some cool stuff in Benin, so he went instead. I've heard
it isn't a terribly exciting zoo anyways, so I can wait. I did get to
go on another kind of field trip this morning though. There is an
Elder from France that finished his mission about a year ago (I never
knew him infield), who came back and this morning he married one of
the local members. So we got to attend that, he was Elder Tshizanga's
trainer. Very interesting experience. Just a civil marriage, the
governments here don't recognize religious marriages so you have to
have a civil ceremony before going to the temple. The best part though
is that the Southams are back! They are the couple that lived across
the street when I was in Gbedjromede. The girl that got married had
been their translator while they were here, so they flew out to see
the wedding. It was super cool to see them again, they were even all
dressed up in the traditional clothes they bought last time. BTW, tell
Tyler Calder that I got his letter, even though I'm not entirely sure
how he got it to the Southams in the first place.

Driving is going better, I've gotten a lot better handle on it. Now I
just have to get used to things like getting passed on the right hand
side by motos and driving all crazy and stuff. I might need to learn
how to parallel park too. I failed that part of my drivers test, and I
never tried again after that. I have not yet received the
international drivers licence though, I assume it would come this
week. It just has to come before the first of April.
Way to go Cameron! Oboe is a challenging instrument, but it is fun.
Nice build up into the saxophone too if he wants to do marching band.
I've never been to a lacrosse game, I'll have to make sure to go to
one next year, assuming Robin is still on the team.
Transfers are coming this next week. I'm not going anywhere. Although
I will no longer be "district leader". I'm not sure if we are just
taking turns or if I failed a test or what. At any rate, 14 months in
and I'm junior comp again. No problem, I don't think I'm anywhere
close to being a good leader anyways. No longer my fault when things
go wrong.
We have been having serious problems with power outages lately. Ever
since I came back to Benin, almost every night the power will go out.
It always comes back on right about the time we are going to sleep,
but it makes daily planning hard and we can't use the rice cooker.
Thank heavens we finally went out and bought more spaghetti.
Funny story from church last sunday. The ward music conductor woman
does not know the difference between dotted eighth notes and dotted
quarter notes. So the hymn Abide With Me, 'Tis Eventide, became one of
the slowest hymns I have ever sung or played. On the other hand, the
branch already knows I saw a mighty Angel flying (or something like
that, I'm not sure exactly what it is in English, we sing it so
Super cool that all those people have mission calls, the only bummer
is that I won't have anyone to hang out with when I get back.
Occupational hazard I guess. My brain can't really figure out how much
time I have left. Sometimes it feels like forever, but the weeks just
seem to be zipping by and I can't really grasp how the mission could
take that much longer. I guess I come home when I come home. Unless
there's weather delays, that wouldn't be very fun.

Alright, love you all a lot (especially you mom),
Elder Christensen

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