(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, December 13, 2009

New area - TOGO!!

Well Yes I'm in Togo. I'm with another american, Elder Geisler. He's a cool guy and he looks like Pierce and sounds like Elder Legere. I'm in the Lomé sector. The President called me to be a senior, a trainer, and a District Leader all at the same time, while getting to know a new sector. So I'll be training a LOT. I'm happy though. Our apartment is literally a house, but it is so beat...

I'm just happy I have a toilet. That always reminds me of when Elder Legere came to Koumassi and said, "YOU HAVE A TOILET?!" So I'll always be grateful for what I do have.

Health is great. I got our Christmas package. I honestly think all my packages are in Abidjan. Please don't send anymore over there. They will get lost or stolen or sit. Thank you for the tree and food! I took a little video. The lights are like strobe lights. It's really funny.

The work here won't be too easy but better then in Bénin. It kinda makes me sad cause I had 11 baptisms lined up and was shooting for 15 but oh well. I'm [hoping] to do the same thing here.

The Branch has about 135 members [and want to] get that to around 175 to 200 before I leave so they can seperate for another Branch. Eating good but the water here SUCKS! Crystal light packets are a life saver. The pancakes was a big hit too but it only makes four pancakes... oh well.

I don't know my new number... I know it's ##### but I don't know the code for calling.... Meh. I would SO wear a reflective tie! Bright neon orange or lime green! LOL! CHOUETTE!

Sounds like Jordan had a good mission and is moving on. Mince. That's still a good ways away but at the same time, I've changed three countries in the last year and am fluent in French, so it's been flyin.

Kinda glad I was tranferred also. The leaders of the Ménontin branch were [kind of negative]. They told us we didn't work hard enough and that we need to do better, even though there were 35 people at church and when I left there were 70. I worked hard over there. That was probably the worst part of my mission.

I've had it rough in my mission, not gonna lie... Leavitts said a two year mission in Africa is five years anywhere else and man is that true. : )

Here's a fun little story, my Togo welcoming. SO I opened my bag and pulled my scriptures out to teach someone. After we finished, zipped it up, and went off to the next. Opened my bag, pulled out my scriptures [again] and taught. When I was putting my sciptures back in I noticed something that most definitely did not belong in my scripture bag. A GIGANTIC spider. Yep. Don't know how it got in there or when, but it was there. I freaked out and was franctically telling this African boy that was there to kill it. He didn't, it just ran out, but man, that was flippin scary...

There's one good experience I had in Bénin before I left. Elder Kablan and I knocked on this door and found a great contact. We went in and taught. Then she said my son is sick, and we said we could give him a blessing. Her eyes lit up and she said great! She took us inside and called her son out... He looked terrible. He was drenched in sweat, sunken eyes, looked like he had a heavy fever. So we said hi. He grunted. We asked him to sit down in the chair, and we asked his mother directly, Do you have the faith that we can do this? She said yes, I do. So we blessed him. He stood up and smiled and then moved to another chair. His mom asked him how he was feeling in Fong bé and he looked up and said, fine... She liked flipped out! She turned to us and said Thank you thank you!!! The boy stopped sweating and he starts talking like a rocket. He gave us his schedule number, we got another appointment there, they asked were the church was. Wow. It was amazing. I love those moments. : )

Well that it's for this week gang. This internet is slow so I don't get to write my friends which stinks, but no big. I'll look for another cyber.

I love you all very much and miss ya!

Elder Halvorsen

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