Hi Family and Friends,
Wow has it been one of those weeks that I could never totally explain in a single email. Generally, it has been a better week, lots of exciting stuff has been going on.
So this week has been a week of comings and goings. We've had a lot of new missionaries come in, and right now there are 7 missionaries sitting in the mission office having their departing interviews with president. Both of those have been interesting. Let me sum up in a few key points: I've lost about 18 pounds since leaving the MTC (assuming a two pound proselyting attire, I'm at 143 pounds, and this morning I realized I could drop an inch off of my pants waist).
I met the incoming Americans, they all seem to be doing really well. 6 weeks appears to be a decent amount of time in the MTC. One of them had all of his ties stolen the night before he left the MTC. I'm not sure if stolen is right, my guess is someone thought he had already left and had left them behind.
I met sister missionaries for the first time. They were short. Apparently we have been paying a lot more for our visas than other charitable/religious organisations do. This is being rectified.
It is impossible to look up the status of a flight from an African airline company. You can call the agency, but they will tell you that the plane is en route, and then the destination airport will tell you that the airplane has already landed and taken back off. And at the end of it all, you have no idea where your two sisters and elder are. They are safe and sound now, we are glad to say.
Not Sister Weed's MeatloafSometimes you can get the leftovers from the incoming dinner the new missionaries get. Sister Weed makes pretty good good sweet and sour meatloaf. This morning I went to another wedding. Again a fun experience. This one took a lot longer though. The mayor found it necessary to read all 59 points enunciated in the marriage process or something. I stopped paying attention. All I know is that one of the kids is a really good Michael Jackson imitator. Yes I took a lot of photos. Yes I am sending my memory card home with Elder Cline.
Missionary work is picking a bit back up too. We have a couple of investigators that look like they could progress. One investigator that is definitely progressing. I wouldn't be surprised if she has read half of the book of Mormon by tomorrow. Okay, that actually would be a little surprising, but I could imagine that happening.
I think I've more or less got the hang of driving in Africa now. Definitely haven't mastered it, but I can get by.
According to one investigator that meets with other missionaries, I have a super small mouth. There you go. Elder Burkhart confirmed that even for white people, my mouth is apparently a little small. I never knew. The way I was told this story was super funny though.
We all bought ties off the street a few nights ago. Super cheap. My companions actually got really good deals for their ties. I however finally looked at my tie in a well light area and found out that I pretty much got what I paid for. Oh well, it was only a dollar.
This week I had some really good personal study time. I had a really cool day where I really didn't do any other study than read chapters in the book of Mormon that prophecy of Christ, and then that evening we had a lesson with a young Muslim man where I got to use verses from pretty much every chapter I had read that morning.
I thought a bit this week about motivation for service. What it really seems to come down to is love for the other person. That is the reason that will continually motivate service especially service to the point where it really becomes a sacrifice. I know that I have improved my capacity to love since I came on my mission, but I've been looking into what I can do to increase that still. Ironically, it has made me come back to one of my top missionary scriptures. Alma 38:12. Also Mosiah 4:11-12 have been insightful. I'm still working my head around this. Christlike attributes rarely seem to be acquirable if the main goal of an exercise is to gain them. They usually seem to be really nice side effects of living life. So I guess that means that I need to "live life" more often. That's going to take a long time.
I finally figured out that the stretchy exercise band they give you in the MTC actually can be pretty handy for exercising. Go figure. Alright, I love you all,Elder Christensen