(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, November 15, 2009

A little chastisement goes a long way, translating, and receiving the Primary childrens Book of Mormon

No transfers. It looks like I will spend my First African Christmas in Benin and head for Togo in January. Just a prediction. I translated for FIVE HOURS for Elder Dickson the last Wednesday. 4 hours for the zone conference and then another hour for a fire side. Work is going good. Maybe one baptism this week and at least two the week after. : )

No packages, but one which I will talk about later. Eating TOO much actually. I'm getting fat again... It's killing me to not have a gym... I would like money so I could buy stuff... That's killing me too. How did Dad not have the itch to buy souvenirs? THAT WORD IS FRENCH! Lol! Barbash is a word in Chti, a French variation in the north of France. Ghisquiere uses that so it's caught on...

A FREE WII DIDN'T ENTICE THE BOYS ENOUGH!?!?! Wow. Boys. If you are lazy with the simple things in life, for example the Eagle Scout award which is really CAKE, then it will difficult to serve your missions well. It is time RIGHT NOW to kick your butts into gear and GET IT DONE! Even if it doesn't have a bribe attached to it, you need to get it done. Not everyone has a father to help them do things in life. It makes me sad to tell you this but the Father of my companion Elder Adams, passed away. You don't know how hard it was for him. He's a year and a couple months into his mission now and now he doesn't have a great motivator always there to help push him to success. Listen to Dad and get your work done. You're lucky to have someone there to help you through these things. And it's not hard! Just spend a little time and finish up so you can move on to other projects: Stay active and get it DONE! But really. Love you all and I hope the Missionary chastisment wasn't too much. : )

Well I'm glad all is well. Got a lot going on as usual. Austin got a job huh? That's pretty cool! So here's the things that happened in my week.

First is to the Primary: [The primary children in our ward sent Elder Halvorsen 2 Books of Mormon to give to people in W. Africa. They earned the Books of Mormon for being reverent] Thank you so very much the package that you sent me! I was so excited to get my first package here in Benin! I will look very hard for a couple wonderful Nigerians to whom I can give the books! Since I'm in a French speaking country, I have to look for Ghanians or a Nigerian Family. [because the books were in English, not French] I'm sure they will be very happy to get such a beautiful copy with a picture of all of you! I hope you all are doing well and I would like to say hi to my old class also, David, Natalie, and Demmick! I would like to share my testimony also in French with you!

Je sais que Jésus-Christ vit. Je sais qu'il nous aime et il a donné sa vie pour nous, ses frères et ses soeurs. Je suis réconnaissant pour les exemplaires du livre de Mormon vous m'avez envoyé! Ils sont précieux à moi et les gens dont je serts. Merci beaucoup et à bientôt mes amis! ~Elder Halvorsen

[Google translation: I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know he loves us and he gave his life for us, his brothers and sisters. I am grateful for copies of the book of Mormon you sent me! They are precious to me and the people I serve. Thank you very much and see you soon my friends]

Alrighty. Here's some fun things we've been doing. Ghisquiere and I have clicked real well the last couple months. we've thrown sandals at each other, used whipping sponges, end wrestling. It's been fun. I added another scar to my lips. Tried eating a noodle that was over 500 degrees hot and found out it was filled with water... Wasn't too pleasant... I think it's fading.

The translation went really well. My voice was really tired after, but it healed over the night, so it wasn't bad. It was really fun to get to know Elder Dickson better also. I was happy I had the chance to serve another Washingtonian, and it was crazy that he just happened to be a relative to the Dickson's back home!

So here's a funny story. We were walking past a primary school and they had JUST let the kids out. We were just waiting for trouble... And it came... We had at least 30 children walking behind us for over 10 minutes singing as loud as they could, "Yovo Yovo Bonsoir! Comment ça va? Merci!" [Whitie Whitie Hi! How are you? Thank you!"] It was really interesting... Everyone was laughing their heads off.

We had some funny little things like this kid that was standing on the side of the road. Normally the kids just walk to the curb and pee. So the kid had only underwear on and he was about to pull his pants off and start peeing and he looked over and he saw... The Yovos. Us. Lol! He completely forgot to pull his pants down and it looked like a WATERFALL coming from his pants.... It was SO funny.

I also was wondering, Mom; if you are sending another international license in the next package, or if you sent it in the first one? I wasn't sure.

Well family, Life is going good here on my end. Thank you for the all the support you give me! Blake, keep workin hard and DUNK all the time, cause I tell EVERYONE you can dunk. Austin, that's so cool you got a job! Next the license and you will be able to have a little more freedom. Budget your money well! And Chandler, I can't believe you're already 14... You're growing up fast. You robably don't even talk the same... It's too weird to think about...

And.. HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, MOM! Even though I'll write you next Monday too... I love you!

Dad, Thanks for all the stuff you're maintaining for me... I know it's a pain... Thanks for the example you've given me too. I don't think I would be the missionary I am without the example of constant diligence that you've given me! I love you!

I love you all so much! Thank you!

Elder Halvorsen

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