Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 4, 2013

Hi, Everyone,

Okay, hope everything is still going well back there.
Glad to hear that Dad's surgery went well. I wasn't aware he was going to do it so soon, I had the impression it would be maybe in June. In any case, glad to hear he's alright and loving life. Things have finally quieted down around here as far as medical things are concerned. It seems like something serious crops up about every 4 months. So everything should be quiet again on that front for some time. I'm in pretty good health myself too, so that's nice.

I actually jumped the gun on saying that we would be going down to two in the office. There were some other things going on that I wasn't aware of. Plus, President Weed has an amazing ability to never once do what I think he will do. That's how I know he receives inspirations, because I'm always going off the wisdom of men. So we are still three in the office for the next 5-6 weeks minimum, and I don't really know what happens after that. 

Yes I did finally get the driver licence! It's nice to no longer have to worry about that. Now we just have to worry about things like not running red lights and having all of our paper work in order (did we get pulled over today? Yes. Was I driving? No. Did we end up doing a 'righteous exchange [as Elder Bednar puts it]? Maybe. All I know is that it was hot and obnoxious. Also, we were going to take the Finagnon zone to Ouidah on Monday, but can't because the van has to have some inspections done. 

Do I really need Jdawgs sauce? Well I still have a lot left. But that's because I'm always saving things 'for a special occasion.' So I'm not really sure. If you want to send a few more spices (like Mediterranean herb, garlic and herb, stuff like that), that would be nice. Those really help. The other thing that I would maybe like is a small alarm clock. I came out with one, but it broke. Maybe I'll go see if they sell one in the hypermarch√© before you send that. 

I had a thought about Pageant. I'd love to see a Benin or a Togo flag flying in the bowl. Just saying. 
Yes I will be fine to do my call a week later, I just cleared that with President. 
I think that Jacob is doing just fine, I wouldn't worry about him, except that he might get fat. 
We got to greet the new missionaries this week, that was fun again. We now have a sister missionary who is younger than I am. I never imagined that I would be able to say that. The two Elders seem to be doing pretty good as well. 

So for some reason, I never get the chance to write these emails all at once any more. I just spent about an hour working with the District Presidency to figure out boundary changes for the branches. It probably would have taken only 45 minutes, but for some reason we can't get Google Earth to work on any of the computers here right now. Super awkward when you lean in to start.... and then nothing happens. Thankfully, the Spirit told me that we could still use Google Maps, so we were able to talk about everything even though I couldn't actively draw it. Big growth is going on, let me tell you. It's an exciting time to be a missionary here. I like being able to see the big picture, that has been a lot of fun.

So here's an interesting little factoid for you. There are some churches here where it is against church rules for a man to marry a woman who is older than him. Even by one day. Apparently the fact that Adam was created before Eve can be taken a lot more seriously than I take it. 

This week I really enjoyed taking a little bit of time to read some of the middle chapters in Alma. I haven't really taken time to read more than random verses in that section really since the start of my mission. Of course, I would find a lot of new applications. In reading Chapter 24, it talks about how the Anti-Nephi-Lehis buried their weapons. For some reason, I started thinking about how in Psalms (Topical Guide for the win), it talks about how the tongue can be a weapon (in James 3 it's a fire). I thought about how we need to bury our attacking words as well as our hand weapons. I also loved how they acted while they were strong in their desire to keep themselves from sinning when their desire would be weak. I've been calling this the "act from a position of strength" principle, but I know there's a catchier phrase that general authorities use. We usually think of it as the "don't go into nightclubs so I wont be tempted to drink" principle. I find this example in the scriptures to be very moving. It goes beyond "don't enter the nightclub" to almost be "give my keys to a friend so that when I want to go to the nightclub I won't able to." I also found it very interesting how they covenanted not only to not kill, but also to not be indolent, that they would be hard workers. I still haven't figured out the meaning of all of that.

My shower moment for the week was thinking about how everything we do in life is really to learn how to be responsible. I've found it interesting for months now that our immortality and eternal life is 'work' for our Heavenly Father. Every covenant we make, from baptism, priesthood, endowment, marriage, are all designed to make us be more responsible for our own actions, and especially to make us understand our responsibility unto others. I've found this to be somewhat profound, I'm hoping it helps me step up a bit. 

It's a little weird to me that I'm at that point where all of my high school or college friends are home or will be home in the next three weeks, and I still have 9 months or so. It's not getting me homesick or anything, it's just a little odd to know that they are going back. The way time is flying though, I won't be too far behind them. 

Did I ever mention that they are going to start teaching French in the Ghana MTC? I think we only have one more wave coming in from Provo. Plus those Ghana MTC Elders no longer need Suit Coats. Weird...

Okay, I think I wrote a decent letter today. I'm not sure what the flow is like though. Sometimes not having friends write is nice because I get to write it all down into just one letter. On the other hand, that means that friends are not writing much.

I love you Mom (because I won't actually get to say it on Mother's Day),
Elder Christensen  

ne,

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