Monday, September 9, 2013

August 31, 2013

Hi Everyone,
No, I don't really grasp the fact that it's fall time again. It's still pretty hot out here.
The mission is going well. This last week has been a bit crazy. I think I've written that most of the weeks I've been here in the office. 
First of all, I have a new companion. Elder Razanamparany. He's my first companion from Madagascar. He goes home in 6 weeks. So I'm once again a "junior companion" of sorts. Elder Mary is still hanging in there too, we're back to three in the office. I'm going to spend probably a quarter of my mission in a tripanionship. Every mission is unique for every missionary. 
Kevin should still be getting baptized in two weeks. I see no problems towards that. He honestly could get baptized next week. I don't think I've ever had an investigator show up to church so many times before his baptism. We have another investigator named Brice who is progressing really well too. He's really an example of the gospel changing lives, every time we talk about a commandment, he jumps in and does his best. He really is trying so hard. He has some long term issues he is in the process of resolving, but I'm hoping he'll be ready to be baptized before I leave the office. We actually gave him a comfort and counsel blessing a few days ago to help him with some of his difficulties. That was an interesting experience, I'd never given that kind of a blessing before. I think I did alright, I felt the Spirit so I think it'll all work out. 
I haven't gotten the package yet. I'm not worried about it. All my mail comes sooner or later (and the laters aren't very late at that). 
As far as housing at BYU, I have a couple of friends that I'd thought about rooming with after the mission. The problem is that I haven't had any communication with any of them since I started my mission. The other problem is of course that I still don't know exactly when I'm coming home. I guess that is a good reason to press President for an answer. It would be funny if I ended up in the same apartment Jacob was in his semester at BYU.
You know what's super awesome? Romario, the last person I baptized, is going to the temple on Monday. They've organized a trip for the youth, they're going to spend a week doing baptisms for the dead. He's my first convert to go to the temple. We're going to call that one a win. 
Driving lessons in Africa are scary. One, the cars the driving schools use are just terrible. Two, the very first time they put Elder Mary behind the wheel, they had him start driving on the streets. Three, sand traps. Those weren't there when I learned how to drive. Elder Mary is getting better though.
About my personal money. I tried to pull money out this morning and it told me I didn't have enough. When you unfroze my account, did you put money back in? The weird thing is that it said that for the Visa card too, which I thought was preloaded. Maybe it just had problems connecting? Look into it. I did go to the artisan center this morning to look around and get a better idea for prices. I'm still terrible at haggling though. I'll go back in probably 2 weeks to actually pick some stuff up.
We went out to look at a few buildings this week to see if we could turn them into branch buildings. I am going to be so picky when I buy my own house. Or maybe I'll just say "eh, at least it isn't made out of concrete".
Well, this letter took a long time to write. Halfway through, we went and made cookies in the Semkens' oven. They were really good, once we figured out how the oven worked.
Am I getting tired of the office? Probably a little bit. I've had some incredible opportunit├ęs while I've been here, but I have been doing it for a while. Part of the problem has definitely been the lack of exchanges with other missionaries. I'm still happy to serve though. I don't want to leave the office just yet, I'm working on a big project that needs to get finished first (It's not that I have to be the one that does it, but someone else picking up where I am isn't going to know what to do). When I do finally leave the office, I don't think it will be that hard. I think the biggest difference will be the fact that I will be training. How do I know this? Numbers. We have 19 Elders coming in October. I won't be a zone leader, so I give extremely good odds that President will have me finish my mission by training someone. That'll be a little weird. 

Love you all,
Elder Christensen 

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