(French for: "This is Africa") A common term used by the missionaries when they want to express "thats just the way it is because "THIS IS AFRICA"! ie..."the power went out..AGAIN... C'est Afrique...or sometimes denoted as TIA...This Is Africa!!)) Elder Halvorsen has been serving a full time mission since January of 2009 in the Ivory Coast, Abidjan West Africa Mission. This mission encompasses the countries of Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast. He loves it there and is enjoying his experiences serving the Lord and the people of West Africa!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mom's favorite letter so far!!

About shipping. I thought that austin wanted some stuff. And I could get some Boubou's and an african dress for you and you guys could wear them to church. They're SO COOL! How did Elder Dunn send pictures home? Did you see I've lost a ton of weight? Man I looked at pictures of me in the MTC and pictures of me now... Ai ai ai. I don't know an Elder Olsen... That's so great for RJ! Tell him congrats! I have no idea if they have hometeaching here... Ya about the $50. That was for my birthday. I spent 20 bucks at this mall I didn't know existed. We have to take a cab and there's guards everywhere... But I got Jelly, soy sauce, some bread, nutella, and a chocolate lindt bar with caramel. I most definitely had a PBJ. The Africans thought it was weird... Lol!

Ya I'm going to dump all my clothes at the end. I'm about to dump my suit. Found mold all over it. I'm gonna have a suit custom made for me probably. They're SWEET! Ya I heard about the other missionaries. How did Elder Dunn send pictures? The thing I bought wasn't the right thing for my camera card. The rainy season is here. I took a video. It's flippin crazy. Thunder EACH time. It's cool. Power always goes out too. Lol. We found a ton of people. We should have 10 baptisms this month. possibly 5 to 10 more. Well that's all the questions I think.

Here's some stuff that's been going on. Everything has been good for the last couple of nights.

Mom's gonna like this.[Yes...yes she does. It's so refreshing when they finally "get it"] Boys. HELP MOM WITH DISHES AND CLEANING AND WORKING!!!!! I can't tell you how frustrated I've been with that. I wash the dishes BY HAND each morning and night and then each Monday we scrub the floors with water and this rag. It stinks and I get so flustered with everyone cause if I don't clean, it becomes absolutely disgusting. And what makes me mad is I didn't help as much as I should of and we had a MACHINE that washed the dishes for us. SO HELP HER! Or come to Africa for a week and I'll show you how it's done.

Thank you so much for Jesus the Christ. I started reading it last night and EACH line is blowing me away. I stongly reccomend everyone in the family and everyone preparing for a mission to read that book. It's just mindboggling.

My french is coming along fantastically. I can understand almost everything people say. I've been learning about 50 new words every three to four days. I'm actually beginning to have a larger vocabulary then the people here... I say words in French and they have no idea what I said. Like the verb to squint and to snoop for example. Lol. I should be fluent in about 2 months. I'll be very good in 1 month.

Here's an important principle for the boys. If you don't work in unison, you don't work. Not because you don't want to. It's because you can't. After I solved my problems with my companion, we teach, work, and do everything in harmony and singing and with the spirit. I wish I would've been more patient with you all and shared more of how I felt. I just see what life could've been like before this and it took to show me that in a country 7500miles away from home. I really do love you all so very much and I know that if i continue to persevere, I will always have the spirit of the Lord with me to help teach, learn and speak the things that I have been called to do.

I love you all very much,

Elder Halvorsen

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mission Conference Toit Rouge May 26th, 2009

This picture was taken at a their zone conference. I don't know the names of all the elders, but I do know that Cameron is on the far right, leaning in. Elder Dunn is the one standing behind him, with Elder Cloward in front of him with his arm around Elder Foreman, I believe. Elder Turner is third from the left, Elder Legere and I can't remember the elders names to the left or Elder Legere.
Here they are at the same zone conference celebrating May and June birthdays. The sister in the gold dress is Sis. Ayekoue (pronounced "eye-you-kway"), wife of Pres. Ayekoue, the mission president.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Learning to cook and gaining a new resolve!

I really don't have any time to write this letter because there's a billion people in here right now, I'm sweating to death and the server's so clogged and there's people breathing down my neck. It's driving me insane. Well Sorry mom. I can't really respond to all your questions. Haven't seen Elder Dunn, yet. Don't use my poncho. Haven't gotten your package. French is coming along good. Yes the "newness" has worn off. It's just normal. Most days are really good. I read the whole email and there's just too much to respond too. You know me well enough to know my thoughts. There's some important things I would like to share and I have ten minutes.

First a couple of stories:

I can successfully cook 6 dishes now. I enjoy them a lot. All three of my belts have melted to my shirts... Elder N'Dri tried my mouthwash and started running around and spit it out and said "cut off my toungue!!! Cut it off!!!" Lol. I learned to get Mango's out of trees. Use rocks. Lol. Can you ask the other Cote D'Ivoire Elders Mom's if they can understand the people in France perfectly? I'm worried about that... Have you figured out the price of shipping to here?

I've now named the Shower room "Satan's Sauna" cause when you're finished you start sweating like crazy because of the water steaming off your body and the humidty in the room. 6 minutes... Also, I found another huge spider in my room and freaked out... Probably still in there... Also they said that big one isn't the dangerous one and there's one that's about... 4 to 5 times bigger.... Fun times but, TIA. I'm glad I got sole points for that...

So I have this insane story about me... And I don't have the time to write it all. But I think my comp is going to give me a little time... Well I told you the story of my "physical breaking point" with Elder Bga and I had my spiritual breaking point, but not because of my companion. I was just so depressed because of a wide variety of things. I seriously was done. For 30 minutes I just sat and thought to myself, I want to go home. This is ridiculous and I don't feel this is as effective as I should be. I didn't even feel like a missionary. It was bad... But I talked to my companion a little and it was weird. I bore my testimony to myself and just broke down and was filled with this new resolve to be a servant of the Lord and forget about the living conditions. Forget about the heat. Forget about everything that is difficult here and get working. I want to be able to look back and tell my kids, "my mission was difficult and i stayed. You can do it too."

I love you all so very much. Thank you for all the support

Love Elder Halvorsen

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More heat, new investigators, and cleaning..

Yes I really enjoyed being able to talk to you guys for so long. My health is great. No I haven't doused any of my clothes in permethrin. We just use it on our sheets and around the apartment and on our nets. Which I have begun to use. : P Lol! There's not a ton of bugs that crawl on us so there really isn't a need to spray our clothes. If there is an area with a high concentration of bugs and mosquitos, I most definitely will do that.

Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun over there. Ya I for sure have seen more sun here then i have ever seen in Washington. I actually miss the gray days.Yesterday was incredibly hot. I walked outside after church and it felt like my skin was just melting off... It was terrible... I had to put my hands behind my back cause the sun actually was so hot it felt like they were over a stove...

Elder N'Dri has helped me out a lot, but I think he's getting irritated with all the questions i ask. I can imagine it would be hard to talk, try and teach with, and help someone understand things all the time. We doubled our area book in two weeks. I think I already told you about that. We are going to be teaching 3 or 4 new investigators this upcoming week. I am pretty excited for that.

That's pretty cool about RJ. I told him it was so difficult to finish all those papers by his birthday... LOL! That's pretty sweet about Tyler and Jeff. And I don't really have any ides for projects... If I do think of any I'll let you know. You could spend a couple of years cleaning up the Lagoon outside of Abidjan... lol! That would probably take a lifetime actually...

Sounds like Chan has got to get rid of that racket... I couldn't believe he glued that like that. Just tell him he can use mine and he can buy me a new one when I get back. That bike trip sounds fun... I really want a Bandit 1200 and ride with you guys... I really wish I had a dirt bike here. The roads alone are like trails... Lol. And almost all the roads off of the main ones are dirt with huge whoops.

Cleaning the church sounds better then cleaning our nasty apartment... I would OFFER to clean the Church building. That's cake compared to some of the crud we've cleaned and done here...

BLAKE CLEARED WHAT [in high jump]???? That's flippin high.. That's almost me... He could probably hurdle over almost every African here... I don't know the price of Air conditioners. We just have fans... When we get transfered around Abidjan, yes it is by taxi. If I go to Yamusukro i think it's a bus... And if it's Togo or Benin it's by plane.

Thank everyone that are praying for me. Man Austin is really getting into computers now. I dont even know what a jumper or diskdrive are... And the Corvette sounds like it's close!!! That's pretty awesome. I'm pretty jealous... I've gotta get. Nothing crazy exciting this week. Just the intense heat and probably a couple things I forgot that I wrote in my journal.

I love you all!!!
Au revoir et l'amour

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, May 11, 2009

New comp...Elder N'Dri, Mother's Day call

Sounds like a lot of interesting stuff going on!!! Ya i heard about the swine flu thing a lot actually. Mexico basically quarantined right??? I don't have a lot of time to write this time and i think i answered most of your qiestions over the phone.

yes we have a fridge. We cook with a propane stove... Nothing fancy. TIA. hahaha. THe bishop is a great guy. I don't know about the other stuff on that line with the primary presidency and stuff... I never tracted ONCE with my other companion. But this is going to be a completely different experience with Elder N'Dri. I'm VERY excited. I know we'll have a TON of baptisms together. SO EXCITED!!! My blisters are gone. I treat them very well so no worries. I have band aids and antibiotic stuff... NEOSPORIN! Thqt's the name. I spent a minute trying to remember that stupid name...

Thanks for the birthday song!!! I loved that! I wish the boys would've talked to me a little more. Austin wins the prize cause he talked to me the most. Blake epic fails. I could barely hear him when he talked. [Mothers Day weekend and we were able to talk with Elder Halvorsen for a couple of hours on the phone...he was getting over malaria, so it was especially good to hear his voice]

I thought you had more questions... Still got ten more minutes on the compy. So how is that flu thing? I heard their working on a cure but they haven't made one yet... It's all Mexico, France, Spain, Hong Kong and America so far is what I've heard. Thats just crazy...

Well I LOVE my new companion. My French is going to SHOOT through the roof this transfer. SO excited. One or two months and i guarantee I will be able to understand almost EVERYTHING the people here say and be able to say anything without even thinking about it. SO EXCITED!!! Testimony meetings are just like over there... Just in French. I think there is a conference coming up.

I don't know how many inactives... Elder Cloward and Elder Bassa moved out this morning. I'm not looking too forward to that cause i wont be able to speak english ever, but i'm fine with that too. I'll just learn even faster.

Well my time is up. I love you all and miss ya! Only three phone calls left and after the last one just 40 days till i come home. That's so weird to think about.

I love this mission!!!

Love you all!!!
Elder Halvorsen