Sunday, August 11, 2013

June 22, 2013

I am well,
African life is crazy, like always.
The office is pretty good, we're having fun.
Yes, I had another crazy week. There isn't any other kind.
I got the Ensign you sent! Thank you! I love getting that. After the October conference I started putting Conference talks in my scriptures as cross references. It's been an interesting addition to my studies. It definitely helps me keep me fresh with the conference talks. We still haven't received the Liahona as a mission yet, although Area offices promises we will be getting them soon. I also got the ward newsletter, which was cool. Don't forget to send in my and Jacob's bits before you head out to pageant!

This week was finally one of those weeks were I got to see some little miracles. Some of them were mission related, and some of them office. For the mission, we had a mother and daughter show up to church randomly last week, and they absolutely loved it. We hadn't even been able to teach them in 2 weeks due to them having moving troubles, but they just decided to come. It helped them out so much, they really felt the Spirit and softened their hearts. The daughter hadn't really taken any of this seriously before, but when we went to see them on Wednesday, she brought by herself that she wants to be baptized!

Another little miracle was getting the June Liahonas. They are really good! I love being able to read that. 
On the mission office side, we had some important little miracles. Like me going back over flight plans that we had already confirmed 3 times... And finding that the travel coordinator had randomly changed one Elder's final destination. He would have been 400 km from home, going through some of the dangerous parts of Nigeria. We also were able to get 2 branches officially approved from Salt Lake this week, which normally would have taken 2 months. That was a miracle that we really needed, now we can get to work on getting them buildings. Elder Semken was so pleased with that, he took us out to dinner. I can now say that I've eaten Italian food in Africa. The menu was absolutely useless though, I could translate for the most part but I still had no idea what I was ordering, I blame lack of eating Italian food before the mission.

Teaching is still going pretty good. We are seeing some people really progress. Others have had painful setbacks. Our Nigerian investigator that came to church for two months straight has now dropped off the face of the earth. We can't find him, he doesn't answer the phone, and he stopped coming to church. 

We had another baptism today. This time I got to baptize! The first time I've actually been in the fount since August I think. Romario was super ready. The Spirit was super strong. I think it about knocked the socks off of him, he got his witness is all I can really say. It was good because his mother was able to come and watch, and she's hasn't been open to us in the past. I'm hoping he can talk her into coming to see his confirmation too. That young man is going on a mission some day. And I am going to be so proud.  
My personal study this week has been super cool. I have a testimony that if you take notes, you get more inspiration. I made a real push this week to write a lot more notes, and boy did it come through! I had everything from Priesthood to obedience. I've started a little side project where I'm charting all of the uses of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon and looking to see why it was quoted. I'm finding that that helps me a lot to understand those chapters. I also had a really interesting thought about living up to expectations. I've noticed that people usually live up to the expectations that others have for them. Or, to be more specific, they expectations they think others have for them. I've noticed that in myself over my mission, and looking back, I've seen that effect on lots of other missionaries. This got me thinking about our Heavenly Father's expectations for us, and how he communicates them to us. I think I understand a bit better now a lot of the things that get said in General Conference. It also explains to me why pessimism doesn't work as a church policy. It is also one of the reasons why being an example is so powerful of a motivator. I'm still not done pondering over all of this, it's going to take a long time. 

I think that that will be a good theme for the cast team. Make sure that you have something about the great I AM, even Jesus Christ. I think it would be appropriate. Are you leaving for pageant this week? I remember last year you surprised me. Will you still be going to Nauvoo and Kirtland? 

Love you all, have fun!
Elder Christensen

PS, I found out why my photos are all so low resolution. I've been turning my flash off since I got here. I hate flash. But I turned it back on over the last two weeks, and I'm noticing a difference.
PSS a couple of people that I knew back in Fidjrosse swear that I've gotten taller since then. I don't think it's true, but like 20 people have told me this week that I'm looking super "choco" these days (technically is short for chocolate, but really is like spiffy).  Who knows.

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