(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!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


The cat was really good actually. I'll spare you the details, but I have photos and a video, so you'll know after the mission. : ) I know the package wasn't supposed to be anything crazy mom. : ) I was happy to get a package and have something for Christmas. : ) Yeah Baxter is right. Almost every house in Prairie ridge is better then some people's best here. Imagine dirt floors with nothing but coconut palm leaves as walls and a mat for a bed. Most cook on coals only too. Even some of the well off people. Yeah the boys will regret not going on trips. Right now I just have this longing to go hiking and rock climbing and dirt biking and snow mobiling and the GYM Man I miss the gym... Yeah I can't believe that the year is just right there.. and they say it gets faster.... I like that idea cause sweating every moment of the day sucks, but I really like it here. I'd love to work in an embassy for the US. I think they get paid pretty well too with all the government benefits.

No water or electricty for two days? Cake. Lol! I've done that for a week in a half. : ) Thanks for the money transfer. That was actually pretty easy so I think that'll be the new way to do it...

SO There are a lot of things I forgot to tell you guys about what's been going on. So at our apartment, there is this car garage with parts everywhere, junker cars and garbage. They LOVE to put it on our doorstep. SO I deliver a nice little present every night in a little plastic bag.. [not sure what to make of this...] Then one day one of them peed on our door mat. So we tossed that too.

I had my first very awkward encounter. There is this pretty cute girl. We visit her sister to teach her. One day the cute girl met us in the road. She smiled and walked toward me and at the last second tries to throw her arms around me. She doesn't know the rules, so it wasn't intentional, but automatically without even thinking I like ninja chopped her arms with both of mine and said NON! That's against the rules! Lol! NEVER in my life have I rejected a hug just automatically like that; especially from a cute girl. It was really weird, but cool at the same time. lol! It was difficult to explain the rules to her after that...

So my French got a good exercise again. I translated last Tuesday for our Leadership meeting, then again the next day for the Zone Conference, and AGAIN Thursday for a DISTRICT LEADER TRAINING. That was weird... I'm this 20 year old basically telling 30 to 60 year olds how to do their job and the 20 year old is the one that has to translate cause they don't have a clue what Elder Leavitt was saying... It was an interesting feeling. Even President tried correcting me cause he thought I misunderstood the question and I was like no. I said it exactly as he did.

So kids light firecrackers here all the time. They'll throw those little ones at us and explode them in the street all the time. So Christmas night, we got up on the roof and chucked some at them. It was really funny. You'd throw one and they'd shoot off in all directions and start cracking up.. Then they started retaliating. It was a fun Christmas.

We had two good baptisms the 26. They're both strong. We have another three already ready to go the 9th of JAnuary with a family hopefully too.

Something funny they do here. If you talk about Thomas S. Monson, you read Thomas S Monson right? Here they say Thomas S Point Monson. The point after the S.. they actually say S point Monson. It is THE funniest thing of all time! Lol!

On the home from the baptism, we decided to go eat at a restaurant so we all pile in this tiny taxi, six elders, and I thought that Elder Dea had already closed his door so I wrapped my fingers around the post. Slam. Fingers got slammed in the door. At first I was just confused at this sudden pain. Then I started shouting in French, OPEN THE DOOR OPEN THE DOOR! It was really funny. Fingers are fine. Not even a bruise. I was blessed. : )

Our piano guy at church. He does these freestlye hymns... It's really funny. At the beginning or end he'll just kinda bust out on his own little rythm that works with the hymn. He's actually really good.

The road I live on is the Houphouet Boigny Boulevard. You find the road Tabinde, then go on that road till you cross the road Noépé, and our house is right after that road in front of a little car dump. Our house is white.. And the pronunciation of Houphouet Boigny is "Whep poo eh Boing ee." Lol.

Well that's it for this week. I loved talking to you guys! I wish Austin would've talked better. That made me a little sad he wasn't even able to talk clearly to me. We'll he gets another chance in just six months. I love you all very much! Happy new year!

Elder Halvorsen

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