(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, June 28, 2009

On the ground in Benin

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLAKE!!!! Wish I could send you guys some schouette [I'm guessing that means "stuff"...google translate didn't even know what it meant!!] stuff for your birthdays. Maybe I can. Yako.

I flew to Bénin. Didn't buy a pair of shoes. No big. Everything is cheaper here than in Coté D'Ivoire. I take the Garlic pills and Vitamin B1. Yes I can listen to Ratatouille on my mission : P. Yes I got their addresses and sent emails. Merci Beaucoup. I don't need the license right away... But I'll need it within the next 5 months I think. SO there's time.

Dad's going to walk fifty miles? Thats bites. I know. I cover about 70 miles every week. Ya I've lost thirty pounds since last i checked. My hair this short sucked at first but after my head tanned, it's not as bad. I went to Bénin with just Elder Ghisquiere. (French) Two nouveau Américaines went to Togo. The guys were so shocked. It was funny. Made me feel old.

Ya I found a computer. Just a couple things I forgot last week. Kirtley, FRENCH IS SO MUCH EASIER THEN PHILLIPINOISHTHING! [Kirtley is Cameron's cousin who left for her mission to the Philippines the same time as Cameron]

Alright. Bénin. ROCKS!!! It's like ten times poorer then Coté D'Ivoire. Oh. Naked people and breast feeding in public is normal Mom...Lol! But it's seriously so sweet. There's one road that's paved and the rest are dirt... It's quieter here then in Abidjan. BUt EVERYONE drives motorcycles. There are literally 30 to 50 motorcycles to every car. Makes crossing the street a little more difficult... Since it's poor here, We have a SUPRE nice house. It's great. My bed is actually comfortable. And I alwalys have a working shower. I bought Lakai's in Abidjan. I guess they don't exist here. I'm going to order some Lakai bangies from a friend in Abidjan. The people here are a little hard to talk to. We're trying to teach this lady that doesn't speak french. She speaks Fong gbé. I might have to start learning that in a month or two, but in Togo I HAVE to learn Mina. So I might be coming home with a couple of other languages. At least two. French and Mina. Hopefully Fong gbé.

I'm in our apartment with Elder Lah, My AMAZING companion, and Elder Teti and Elder Ghisquiere. Lah and Teti are Ivorian and Ghisquiere is French. I talk French all day with them about everything and I try to think in French too. I love this language. Being fluent enough to talk and understand everything is nice too.

So I am ADDICTED to liver and Gizzards. I'm going to be trying Escargo soon too. Gizzards was my first meal here. Our branch is tiny. We have about 25 people I think. I still love it. Also, I met Elders Adams, Jerman, and Skousan. It really confused me cause each one said that I spoke French better then them and they love my accent. I don't think my French is any better... I've only been here for 2 months and a couples weeks... Everyone thinks I'm Quebecqua because of my accent that I aquired somewhere... I have no idea where... I love my accent though.

I bought six ties today. ten bucks and they're all super nice. I got a Boss tie and a TM Lewis and tfour jatalas. That Black tie in that photo you got , I got that from a trade with an African for my ninja tie. Bénin is great though. I'm really excited for the Accumé here. I miss Atieké and Degé. But they have Bisap here so all is good. I need to find rognon. I'm obviously hungry right now...

Well all is well in Bénin. When I get a little more established with the people here I'll let you know how the work is.

Tout le monde, je vous aime beaucoup et vous me manquez comme d'habitude! J'espère tout va bien avec les gens dans la paroisse et tous mes amis!!! odwabo. (that's not french...)

[Google Translation: Everyone, I love you very much and I miss you as usual! I hope all goes well with the people in the parish and all my friends! odwabo. (that's not French ...)]

Elder Halvorsen

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