Monday, September 9, 2013

September 7, 2013

I'm doing well here. Africa is still crazy as always. It is starting to get a little bit warmer again, but not too bad. I still don't really need to turn my fan on at night. I did one night but it got way too cold so I had to turn it off. Things should get warmer in a month or so is my guess.

Okay, I'll find a camera here. Shouldn't be too difficult. If that money is still in my account, that should be more than enough to buy a camera. Unless you want me to buy a really nice one that I'll keep using when I go home. I'm thinking something on the medium-low scale myself.

I should know within 2 weeks when I will come home. Interviews with President Weed got bumped up a little, I'm going to use that if it doesn't come up sooner. At that point, we'll know what to do about housing. Also, I've forgotten some of the names of people back home, so I'd have to work on that. 

Sounds like everyone is holding up alright there.
This week was a crazy week. First of all we had new missionaries come in. That's always an interesting experience. I've now welcomed a good 35-ish missionaries here. Which is good, because next month we'll be welcoming 21 all at the same time!

Having a missionary companion who is about to go home is pretty interesting. He's pretty excited. Not as excited as other missionaries I've known, but it's noticable. The weird thing is that he will go home about the same time that I should get my flight plans. That might throw me for a loop. 

On Thursday I had the most interesting dinner appointment of my mission. Why? Because it was with an American. I think I've mentioned that there is an American member who works at the embassy here. Well, he invited us over for dinner. It was delicious, and the conversations were very interesting. It definitely keeps working with the foreign service on my list of potential careers. The best part was the dessert. Legitimate brownies! Fun fact, the Malagasy word for brownies is Mofo Kadradraka, which when literally translated means "full of cockroaches." Luckily, Elder Razanamparany shared that after we had eaten. The whole experience was very interesting. Of course, any time 2 Americans, a malagash, a frenchman, a ghanaian, and an ivoirien all sit down at a table, it's going to be interesting.

This week I had a mission first. In a really good way. I had my first convert who went to the temple. He should be getting back right about now, I'm super excited to ask him about it tomorrow. Temple attendance, especially here where the temple is 2 countries away, is something that really helps anchor a member in place. Of course, the downside is that the member who we work with a lot to do lessons also went to the temple, which made it hard for us to do member-present lessons.

We are still working to get Elder Mary his driving license. He is getting better at driving, but I still hate driving school here. It has kind of messed with our teaching schedule a bit, but we are working with it. The irony is that I probably won't be able to appreciate it very much at the end. I'll probably be transferred out of the office two weeks after he gets his license. Oh well. I guess I get the experience without the stress. 

This week we got a rare treat. No, not the brownies. We got to hear something that so few missionaries get to hear here. Someone told us, "I've read about 20 chapters in the Book of Mormon, I have questions to ask you." Even if the questions are a bit incredulous, at least you read the book! Especially since we hadn't left a specific reading assignment. That person is actually progressing pretty well, she accepted a baptism date for the beginning of October. Now we just have to figure out how to see her often enough to teach her everything. Things are actually looking pretty good in our area right now. If everything works out, I could see four or even five baptisms before I leave the office. Now faith just has to mix with free agency of others. That has always been one of the hardest parts of missionary work. I always have a tendency to think that if the person chooses not to do it, that it is my fault. It's not a good thought process, but it still happens sometimes. On the other hand, being a pessimist about it doesn't get you anywhere. At the end of the day though, I should have a baptism next week. That's always a happy thought. Especially for someone like Kevin. He's really doing well. 

Mom, you got to go see James Taylor? Lucky. That would have been a cool concert to see. And maybe the most sober venue James Taylor has ever performed in.

Well, I think that's about it for this week. Love to all,
Elder Christensen

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