Elder Gray and Elder Christensen
Woooaah it has been a week, let me tell you. Every little thing that can happen, did. I'm going to have to type as fast as I can. To give you a taste, here's everything I did today (keep in mind that today is my preparation day). Cleaned for an hour first thing in the morning. Fixed my broken tie Elder Semken came and picked us up at 7:40 Went with Elder Semken to a clinic to deliver some blood test results and make an appointment at a medical scanning center. Came back to mission office, picked up the Elder, brought him to the center. Brought Elder back to office because we hadn't been warned that the scan was to be done on an empty stomach. Went to baptism service (yes, our candidate Rosemonde did get baptized, which was super cool. Elder Gray baptized 8 people today. That's what happens when you teach families). Came back to office. Delivered English Brochures to Gbegamey apartment. Delivered.... Something to Jericho apartment (I honestly don't even know what was in the bag). Ate lunch at Jericho. Stopped back by the clinic we went to this morning to pick up the blood analysis (I dropped it getting into the car.... my bad) and to get a prescription to know what scan we will actually be doing on Monday. Came back to Office Started reading emails.
That is everything up to now, and we still have lessons to do this evening. I'll try and make a list of more or less everything that has happened this week.
Sunday - District conference, which was a lot of fun because I've now served in three branches in the city, so I knew like half of the people there. Most of them didn't know I had come back from Togo, so that was super fun to surprise them like that. We also had to come into the office early that morning to print off the handout for the music.
Monday - most the missionaries got together and we threw a surprise birthday party for President Weed, which was a lot of fun.
Tuesday - picked up some shirts I had "dry cleaned" (but were really just washed in a washing machine. Oh well, still pretty clean though). Inserted baptism information for the week. Went grocery shopping with Elder Semken. This guy named Matt stopped by, apparently he's funding a research project to see if there is any oil in Benin, which he will get 50% rights to. Seems pretty cool, he has a vague connection to President Weed. Also, he brought us a giant tub of Red Vines (yum!).
Wednesday - a full day of lessons. We taught Sis. Deborah about the first part of the plan of salvation. I say the first part because we showed in the scriptures where it says that Jesus created the Earth and she responded "wow. So when is my baptism?" Not the reaction we were all expecting but hey, it works. Her lessons have always been interesting, because it seems that she gets really spiritually exhausted about every second or third lesson, and then the next lesson she's even more exuberant. At any rate, teaching her is a lot of fun.
Thursday - I went with Elder and Sister Semken to go teach a lesson to the Nigerian couple that the sister missionaries had found. Which makes me one of the only Elders to teach a lesson with sisters. It was really interesting to go back and teach in my old area, haha. After that, they had us go visit a recent convert and we got to give him a priesthood blessing. That makes maybe 5 times that I've been able to give priesthood blessings on my mission (Elder Semken anointed, we figured it would be alright if that happened in English). I think the Spirit is starting to be a lot more present when I give blessings, I'm definitely getting more confident about it.
Friday - Everything went crazy. We got a call that an Elder was super sick, suspected appendicitis. We got him to a clinic, they ran blood tests, had him go to the medical imaging center. The center confirmed that it wasn't appendicitis, but couldn't pin it exactly down. Went back to the first clinic, they told us that it was a kidney stone and "some other sort of blockage," then sent us to another clinic to do another blood test (it was too late at this point to do it at the first clinic). So we had to go find this second clinic (which was only successful because they happened to mention that it was near a shawarma restaurant that I have noticed several times on that street but never entered. Without that, we would have been totally lost). Got that blood test done, and brought the Elder and his companion back to the mission home to stay the night (did I mention that President and Sister Weed were in Togo until late last night, missed almost all of that? I had to keep fielding calls from them.) This whole process took about 8 hours.
So anyways, that was a bit about my week. It's actually been a lot of fun, and I've had some spiritual experiences along the way. I'm just into speed typing mode for the moment and can't think of them.
I will ask and see if I can postpone the phone call for a week. I'm sure that it won't be a problem, they will probably actually prefer that so that it is a little bit less of a load on mother's day. I will keep you posted on that.
This next week will probably also be a busy week. I'll obviously tell you all what does happen, but for the moment what I have scheduled is to go sign a lease up in Calavi for a new apartment (no I'm not actually signing, just translating), finish all the scanning and potential operations for the sick Elder, teaching appointments, meeting with the District presidency to go over the proposed boundary changes/creation of branches. We'll probably also try to move water storage tanks around (some apartments have too many, some have none at all. Luckily, I don't think we will need to buy any new ones). Did I mention that President will be in Ghana all next week? Most important thing of the entire week. I finally learned how to make the "@" symbol on the French Keyboard. It only took me more than a year. Turns out Right-Alt actually is different than Left-Alt. Okay, now to talk about things back home. That's super cool that you have been called to be the campground directors. I honestly did not see that one coming. President Schwendiman probably thinks that Dad has absorbed some of Brother Done's trailer-backing skills. It'll be a big responsibility, but I'm sure that you will be great at it. You've already mastered the art of the munch and mingle. And I'm not complaining about having an instant in card for the next 5 years. I love that this is a family tradition.
Good luck to Robin on her Driving test. If she really has been working to get her 40 hours, she will probably do better than I did. I think I only had MAYBE 10 hours when I took the test. I barely passed as I recall. Of course, now that I've been driving in Africa, my understanding of driving laws is probably even worse. My alertness level is through the roof though. Good luck to everyone else with everything else, If I know one thing, its that life doesn't stand still there while I'm out here. Alright, I love you all very much and I'll be super excited to see you all again (but for the moment I'm just exhausted). Elder Christensen PS, according to the scale in the doctors office, I'm down an extra pound or two, I'm apparently about 140 right now. Assuming that scale was accurate, which I wouldn't give 100% odds. At any rate, I think what we are looking at is more of a muscle deterioration than a fat loss. All I know for sure is that I haven't been this light since that time I had Bronchitis.
PPS, I'm staying in the mission office until at least June, I haven't been moved out in this transfer coming up. I think I'm in danger of rapidly becoming too valuable to the Semkens to be allowed to leave, that's what happened to Elder Kittaka. Also, we'll be staying as a threesome in the office until July. As it is, a decent portion of teaching this week was just as 2 missionaries because one of us (often me) was being used by the Semkens. Monday will be pretty similar as well.
PPPS we found a restaurant called 'Sizzlers' yesterday. No, it is not a franchise, just someone that stole the name. I think we'll go out to eat there for Sister Semken's birthday.