Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 15, 2013

Hello from Africa,
Well, it has been one of those crazy weeks. Nothing ever quite works out the way it was expected.... The nice part though is that time travels crazy fast because of that. I had no idea that I have been back in Benin for almost 4 months. Next thing I know it will be September!

Our little activity on Monday with all of the missionaries was fun, it was nice to have some time to chill down, relax, and talk for a few hours. Although it was really weird seeing President Weed in jeans!
This week was simultaneously a week where we didn't really get to teach very much, but at the same time there was some great work made. The baptism went off pretty well this morning, although the fount wasn't filled up all the way. In an ironic twist, I was prompted to not baptize our candidate. For some reason it didn't feel right. The moment I saw the water-level, I understood why. I've never been the best at the actual act of baptizing. The Elder who did do the baptism, however, is an expert. Had it been me, I would probably still be standing there trying to get someone all the way under! That wouldn't really be a spiritual experience if it took 17 tries. Plus, I would get really tired.
Are you ready for some good news Mom? I stopped losing weight. Elder Semken brought down the scales this morning, and I seem to have flatlined at 140-141 lbs. Although that may just be because of everything I ate this week. I'll know for sure next month when the next set of Elders goes home.
Yes we are down to two in our companionship now. Just me and Elder Tshizanga. We are even the only two in our apartment. It isn't bad, but it is really kind of weird. The one thing that is definitely nice is that with two full bathrooms, there is never any competition there. We will probably be back up to three in July, so we will see what that will bring us. Regarding transfers and new missionaries, that all went okay. We got everyone where they needed to be (although Elder Lynch is still missing his luggage [or packages, as they apparently say in Scotland]). We ended up hosting the two Ghana MTC Elders their first night in our apartment. I'm still not entirely sure if we ever explained to them that we are the office Elders and not the assistants. I guess they will learn soon enough.
The yellow car was a taxi full of oranges. All of our oranges are really just green or yellow. Half of the time they honestly should just be called 'citrus'.  I've been wanting to take a picture of a car like that for a very long time. I have another picture somewhere of the same thing with pineapples. 
I got to play on a real piano this week! We got to eat breakfast with some of the new missionaries in the Mission home. So I got to play Sister Weed's Piano. It was really weird playing again with a sustaining pedal. Also, I ate some cereal that was literally cold. I always just thought that was just an expression.
Did I mention that those missionaries landed at about 11 PM Tuesday night? So guess who had official permission to be up and driving around the city after curfew? This Elder and his companion! We almost stopped for an ice cream cone, just to say I had eaten an ice cream cone in africa at midnight (take that, Never Have I Ever!), but I didn't have any money on me. Maybe next time.
Fun cooking experience this week. I made Couscous! Except, I'm not very good at it. The instructions on the box aren't too clear. Especially since the instructions in English are different from the ones in French. So I'm not sure which ones to follow. 
Monster storm blew through this morning for an hour or so. Totally flooded some main roads, I felt like Moses while I was driving. I hope I didn't splash anyone though.
I think I have semi-officially become the Mission clerk. It's a heady responsibility (mostly self-abrogated though). I've had to run a crash course in Church administration and the MLS program (I'm still not sure what MLS means though). I'm just glad that Monday things will calm down and we can get back to a pretty normal schedule. Maybe we'll have enough time to actually do some of our normal responsibilities like going to the post office (yeah, there's a lot of missionaries that aren't happy with me because we haven't been all week). 
No I didn't get any pictures from Jacob. I haven't really gotten any pictures from anyone lately. So in the meantime, I will assume that you all grew beards and are keeping it a secret until I get back. 
I got another souvenir this week. Elder Owusu gave me a Ghana tie. It looks like a really tacky carpet. It is also an absolute pain to tie, but it looks pretty cool. I think I'll save that for after the mission. 
I wonder if I would be better at playing the organ now that I drive stick-shift? That thought just came to me. I know that I have gotten a lot better at the "flow" of my playing since there isn't a sustaining pedal most of the time. I'm doing better at sight-reading too (our music directer here at Gbegamey isn't afraid of picking hymns that the other members don't know well).
I hope that you are able to get everything together in time for pageant. I'm sure it will all work out though. Will you let Robin drive the motorhome? That would be a fun experience for her.
 I haven't gotten the packages yet, but for all I know they are at the post office right now. I'll tell you next week!
Alright, well I'll let you stop reading and get on with your busy day.
Love you Mom!
Elder Christensen

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