(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!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The internet in the whole country was out yesterday and that's why I'm writing today. That's one thing that I've never liked about Bénin...

I love the picture of Ruby! She does look a little more gray but not by much suprisingly. I'm doing well. We've got a couple good investigators for this week. We've also got a couple eating
appointments for new years. I think this week will go by really fast like this week, but we'll get a lot of work done. I heard about Gbagbo kicking the UN out. I think they actually found a loophole in their contract and extended it to stay in the country for another 6 months and they sent more troops in but maybe that was a rumor... Didn't hear about the nationwide strike though...

I need garments when I get home. I think there are enough clothes laying around the house I can have right? Unless Austin took all the nice ones and left me crap...

So Christmas was really fun. We woke up and played hearts till the couple was ready for us to go over. Then we had a little stocking for every missionary with a tie, cookies, a bouncy ball, a water gun and some pens. We didn't understand the water guns until Sis. Herr jumped out with her GIGANTIC one and starting blasting us in her house... Lol! So that turned in to a huge water fight. After the water fight we ate a great American dinner, with ham and pineapple, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, corn, jell-o.

We did a gift exchange "white elephant" and I got what I bought. Lol! Then we watched "The Princess and the Frog" which was a GREAT movie! I understood the small french they used in the film too! It was weird. And we were all just SHOCKED that they eat sauce Gumbo in America! We thought that only existed here in Africa. It was funny when they said it. EVERYONE just said "WHAT!?!?!" Lol! It was hilarious.

Then we ate fudge, brownies, ice cream, no-bakes, and then we watched "The Princess Bride" and then I talked with mom and dad. The 24th we dressed up as you see in the pictures and danced. It was SO funny! They were laughing so hard! we also sang (in our missionary clothes with matching ties and hats) Silent night and rocking around the christmas tree. We did a dance to that one.

That's about it for this week. Today is my click mark. I now have less than one month left. See ya soon! Happy new year!

Lots of Love,

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, December 20, 2010


Yep it doesn't feel like Christmas at all but that's not really a big
deal. I'm not mad about the package. I figured it wouldn't be a good
idea to send a package this time around. Everything got stolen out of
the package of Elder Cannon... They left the stuff they didn't want
like the socks and the rubiks cubes. Lol

Ayekoue might be coming in a couple of weeks. We'll see how the
situation goes. I'm sure I'll see him AT LEAST one more time before
the end. Health is fine. I got a sore throat but that's it. I'm up to
date on most everything from the Côte D'ivoire Weather is SUPER HOT!
It's trying to kill me right before the end. I don't know how many
members.... Active, maybe 300... not too many... We had a little
activity. The primary did a little christmas thing. We have an
activity the 24th at the branch. Elder Carver and I planned something
pretty funny. I'll send you pictures.

Well this week not too much happened. The Gubler's just flew in to
Benin. We might have the Sultan's here soon too. We've found a couple
good investigators. We're going to see how they start to progress.
We've been doing a lot of door to door cause we just kinda got dropped
into the sector because of the situation... Not bad but it's just for
a little time. REally I think my letters are going to just stay short
for now. We're just having a good time together with four americans,
and doing the work. So I think I'll just wait till I'm home... Here's
a pic! I love you guys! I'll see ya soon!

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in Benin...again!! :)

Yep. I'm in Benin again. Lol! And it's the best ever! I don't know why
>> I always wanted to leave Benin... the work is hard but the life is
>> just good. I love it here. I love just my whole mission... It's gonna
>> be really hard for me to leave... Can I just stay here? Lol! Not as a
>> missionary though... I need a break soon... : ) So I'm in an apartment
>> with Elder Carver, My comp, Elder Cannon and ELDER FORMAN! It's been
>> just amazing. I love it SO much. It's seriously the best thing that
>> could ever happen to me right at the end of my mission. Lol! I hope
>> that the pictures get through also. I sent one picture of two crêches
>> that I got for mom. I hope you like them. And a CHRISTMAS picture! I
>> really hope it downloads.
>> Well anyways we got shipped out of the Côte D'Ivoire I think Friday...
>> That was fun to take a plane with Cannon, Cloward, Carver and
>> Fisiihoi. Fisiihoi loves Benin! It's the first time Cannon and
>> Fisiihoi have been out of Côte D'Ivoire and Fisiihoi finishes with me!
>> Lol! Sucks. I really am glad I took advantage of the experiences that
>> have really changed my life in these countries and that I was able to
>> give something in return.
>> Well it's weird to say that I have a brother on a mission now too...
>> it's just so shocking and weird to say... But I love that Blake is out
>> there.
>> I can't believe that christmas is in a few weeks either... And if I
>> take out another hundred bucks, it's for getting myself a christmas
>> present and a couple more souvenirs for people back home. I think
>> there is only two people left on my list of stuff to get...
>> Know that I'm doing great and everything is fine just like I said
>> things would be. I'm loving my mission like I have since the
>> beginning, I'm staying strong and I'm proud of my little bro. : ) Hope
>> the pictures got through and there weren't any problems! If not I'll
>> send them again. I love you all! See ya soon! AAAAHHHHHHH!!! Lol!
>> Elder Halvorsen

All Western Missionaries Evacuated from Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast has been a hotbed of tensions after their presidential run-off elections there. The boys were in "regroupment" or sequestered for 2 weeks for the 2nd elections held Nov. 28th, 2010. The first elections on Oct. 31 resulted in no clear winner gaining over 50% of the votes, hence the run-off elections with the top two vote-getters. Things have been tense there as the Electoral Commission has declared a clear winner in the new candidate, but the incumbent refuses to concede. Both had seperate swearing in ceremonies which only added to the tension. So far, things have remained relatively peaceful, with some riots and protests throughout the country, but the elders have been put in apartments located in sectors of Abidjan which are considered more safe.

The typical regroupment has anywhere from 12 to 15 boys in each apartment. It's been tough on them as they are not able to work and visit with the members, but they are making the most of the situation. They wile away the time playing UNO, reading their scriptures, writing their testimonies down, catching up on sleep, and just talking. It's been good for them, but hard all at the same time.

As of this last week, all of the western missionaries (or ex-patriots, as they call them) have been flown to nearby Benin and Togo (which is still part of the mission). They will stay there indefinitely, or until they have further word that things are truly stable in the Ivory Coast. It has been a difficult and sad thing for them, as the people of Cote d'Ivoire have been wonderful to the boys and the mission president is Ivorian and don't know when or if they'll be able to see him again. For Cameron, he comes home in 6 weeks, so perhaps not. I don't know how often President Ayekoue will be able to fly over to meet with the elders seeing as they had already closed the borders and all traffic in and out of the country via land, air and sea. They opened the corridors briefly to allow all westerners access out of the country.

We are waiting to hear from Cameron today to see where he ended up. He is still scheduled to arrive home January 29th, 2011, and we are all excited to see him and hear of his experiences there!! The exciting part of all of this is that the church is creating a new Togo/Benin mission in July and the boys will be very instrumental in helping get things set up for that! The work goes forward and we learn once again that the adversary cannot thwart the mission of the Gospel!!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Everything is going well for us. We're all going a little crazy, being crammed in an apartment with 15 other Elders for a week and almost a half now, but everything is fine. We haven't seen anything crazy We listen to the radio and we're always on top of what happens. The couple watches out for us all the time and everything is going fine. We've planned really well for our apartment and I don't think anything bad will happen.
That's cool you got to do all that stuff in Utah with the old missionnaries. I can't believe everyone in the ward is taking off in different directions. I know it's kinda difficult for me to say this since I don't have children, but really try not to worry too much about Blake. Where he is giong, he will be protected not only 24/7 by the church, but also by the Lord. I've never once in my mission felt unsafe. I feel that I have really gained confidence in myself on my mission but more importantly I've gained an unbreakable bond of confidence in my Savior and my God. Really there is nothing to fear and all is made clear to those that might find themselves in dangerous situations.

I'm doing fine and we've just been eating, playing games, sleeping, and talking. It's fine really. I can't keep doing this for the rest of my life but I know that this will pass. President always has a plan for us and watches over us very closely. I wouldn't go to the trouble of writing Salt Lake. I have faith in President Ayekoue and I know that it's him that receives the revelation needed in this mission. There's really nothing to worry about.
So just really quickly, I'm so happy that Blake is taking off soon. It's an experience unlike any other. Congratulations and make it the best you can. I wrote you a bit already so I won't say any more. We've been eating a lot of rice with tomato sauce. And playing games. And talking and sleeping. We're all really close now.

Here's a [couple of] pictures. One with the 15 and one with Elder Cannon and I. You can use the one with the 15 for the Christmas card. Because of the situation, we couldn't really do anything about a Christmas theme... Sorry...

Love you all and I'm doing well! Thank you for your prayers and all the support you give me.

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shampooing again, bats and regroupment

I loved the scam email! lol! Sounds like something I heard here before> LoL! The pre-régroupement is going very well. we were allowed to write really quick. I'm actually writing this at the mission office cause it's close to my apartment and we had to come by to take care of some things anyways. it all worked out! we have to go back and rest in the apartment in a couple of minutes anyways so Elder fisiihoi and I are getting ready to take off. I'm with Elder Fisiihoi now. He's from New Zealand! He says it's not that cool there Dad. Lol! But if you wanna go anyways he'll show you everything you want to.
So just a couple of little things then I gotta go.
IN Cocody (where I am) there are MILLIONS of bats that fly at night from five to nine! It's really cool lookin', I tried to take a video but we'll see if it turns out on the camera.
And this is SO COOL! I bought and used shampoo for the first time in FOUR MONTHS! My hair is soft again! I seriously thought it was because of the sun, not the shampoo... Good times in Africa.
I've decided what I want to do for work also! Let's just say there's a lot to talk about when I get home! I had my click mark yesterday! Exactly two months! I saw I got my ticket changed for the 28th too! Cloward is ticked cause he's the only one going home the 4th of February. LOL!
Well Cloward is telling me to get off his computer so I'm gonnq tqke off. I love you all and I'll wish good luck to Blake next week. Can't believe it's that close!
Elder Halvorsen

Friday, November 26, 2010

Letter from Gublers

(Below is a letter written from Elder and Sister Gubler, a couple serving in the Ivory Coast. The final elections are taking place in the Ivory Coast and the Mission is taking the necessary precautions to keep our boys safe.)

Bonjour! This is just a quick update regarding the elections coming up this
Sunday, again. Precautions are in the works with the regroupment plan being
implemented Saturday through Wednesday. The President is monitoring the
situation, and will adapt that either longer or go to a different plan. He
has asked all the missionaries to be prepared w/a 72 hour bag ready to go,
and that each regroupment apartment have adequate supplies for a longer
duration if necessary.

Keep the people of Cote D'Ivoire in your prayers: that they will be willing
to remember their past and not repeat it, that they will be willing to
accept disappointment graciously (because obviously close to half will be
disappointed), and that the right person will be elected to lead these
people in peaceful ways.

We are looking forward to the Southams coming to the mission soon. Truly
they are needed. What a blessing it is to have someone WANT to return to
serve. We hope we get to meet them, but don't know how all that works yet.

It was fun for us to have 'thanksgiving dinner' with a few of the elders
today. Elders Halvorsen, Cruz, Fisiihoi, and Lamboni took us to a little
restaurant for hamburgers, chawarma, or pizza. The best part of the meal
was just being with them. I am curious to hear from the others what, if
anything, they were able to do. They are all wonderful, wonderful young
men. We feel so blessed to be here with them. We hope your Thanksgiving
was terrific as well.

Tons of love,
Elder & Soeur Gubler

Monday, November 22, 2010

Back in Abidjan

Well.. .First off I'm no longer at Yamoussoukro... I was transferred last night at 10, I woke up this morning, got on the bus at 9:30, got off at 3... And now I'm writing you guys from my new sector in Abidjan, Cocody at 5... Lol! It's been a really long day... So there is a lot of stuff in your guy's letter. Cassava just looks like bread crumbs... MAybe it's not the same cassava... Sounds like an interesting place. Never had anything like Hallo-hao*llo? Sounds good though. Ya Cloward is AP. Write to sister Gubler. Apparently Cloward has typhoid and will be going to the hospital. Jessica just got back from Italy and now she's going back there. Lol! That's really cool though! Health is great. I'm already in Abidjan and in the safest sector and here to stay. I haven't really studied the temple too much on my mission, but i really miss it... Haven't been for almost two years... There's a lot of things I need to learn. Sorry I don't really have much time tonight. So I gotta write really quick. Ya they did the manual training thing too. They've already done a training, but they'll do it again I'm sure.

So just a couple of quick things. Blake. At the MTC Laminate the front and back covers of your preach my gospel in your mission language! DO IT! Or you'll lose them. I used tape to keep mine on.

We got a SURPRISE zone conference last week. That KILLED us. The assistants called, Hey! Conference tomorrow! Lol! Nothing was ready. We struggled to throw things together at the last minute and it all worked out. President Ayekoue is up to date on the idea of me coming home early. You could write him directly too. That'dprobably be easier actually.

That was the week and............................ HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! You thought I forgot! : ) You know what's sad... I don't know how old you and Dad are... SO I jsut tell people, oh. 40-50? Somewhere in there. Lol!

Sorry about the shortness!

Love you all and I hope Blake's ready for NEXT WEEK! Dang that's insane..

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, November 15, 2010


That's really funny... You guys actually just gave me my flight plans. I didn't even know I had them. I almost screamed and hit the ceiling that made me so happy! I called all the Elder's over, Dago, Yapo and Muteba to look. DANG! I can't believe it's really that close... It's just too crazy to think about...

Ya I can take a picture like that for you for Christmas. We'll think of something fun or funny to do here at Yakro. Health is fine. I think our water might be infected... We're going to run a test cause the moment I got back, I had those weird bites again... I eat plenty, companion is great. I love how much I have learned about companions on my mission. It's just a lot easier to get along with anyone now! I'm really excited for Blake! We're looking for investigators right now. I don't think we'll baptize this month... We're trying really hard to find a good family... We might have one baptism. Wow my flight plans just blew my mind... That's so crazy. When I get home, I want a BIG jacket and I want to sleep. I'll give the boys a couple gifts before I sleep. I got something AWESOME for Mom and Dad too. Lol! I'm crazy trunky right now... Ok... I loved Austin's fender bender. And with the bikes... If you guys don't use them anymore, I could take one off your hands... Can't believe Kameron is finally out there too. Sucks I wont see him forever...

Okay so for this week, we moved Elder Yapo and Elder Muteba completely into their new apartment. I'm SO happy to have Yapo cause he was a Ward missionary when I was in Koumassi and it's SO good to see him again! He got gigantic... It's really weird... We had a lot of meetings to do to help the District progress so we didn't really have time for ourselves... We found a new family that might be pretty good. We've been doing a lot of door to door lately... It's getting a little harder since we have elections, noel, new years, and all that stuff. So actually if Shane Norris wants a Boubou, he's gotta do it now cause it's gonna get expensive the closer we get to these holidays... Depends on him, but it's 20 to 40 bucks. I don't know what color he wants, or if he wants a cool design. Quality is up in the 40 buck range like my green one. A simple one is 20. Or he can get a pagne one that is like the multi color ones... His choice. Let me know.

I don't know if I told you guys about these stories, but here we go. First there is a WHITE family in the Ward at Riviera. Apparantly he was a missionary 15 years ago in Côte D'Ivoire and he's working for the embassy right now. He was in Belgium. He had the same ward building as me in Koumassi and lived in the same apartment. Lol! That was weird to talk about... They invited us over and we ate at their AWESOME AIR CONDITIONED house and not gonna lie... I watched some of "A Bug's Life..." And they had CARPET! Elder Cruz, Bertoch and I dove on to it and made carpet angels, (When they weren't in the room of course) and we told Elder Lamboni (a togolese missionary) to do it too cause it's amazing. HE DID IT! It was amazing. Carpet... Hmmmm.

Also I learned something about the peppers here! They're habeneros! Isn't that awesome? We use like 5 to 7 in a sauce. So When I was cooking for 14 at Riviera one day, I thought I could fry the peppers then put them in. THe moment I started cookng them, they realesed a SERIOUSLY strong odor that made eyes burn, people cough, and leave the apartment. It was HORRIBLE! Then the new missionnary that was there walks in, "Is that... PEPPER?" and starts coughing immediately. Then everyone came in, "Are you trying to kill us Halvorsen?" ALL the Africans and Americans. So I say, "you guys are weak. *cough* that's nothing. *cough cough cough* Right after I say "that's nothing, the fire alarm goes off. FIRE FIRE FIRE! and there wasn't even smoke. Just the odor of Pepper... So I finished the sauce. Everyone was scared but it wasn't even that hot. Then the Africans asked, why was it so strong though. Wait... Did you FRY the pepper? Ya... Why? WE DON'T FRY PEPPER ELDER HALVORSEN! And everyone started laughing... So don't fry peppers in oil okay? The greatest was the fire alarm. Lol!

That's about it for this week. Nothing too crazy but still loving it here and working hard, even if the sun is getting.. .hotter... Didn't think that was possible... And I have FLIGHT PLANS! BOOYA! Love you all and I miss you guys so much!

Elder Halvorsen

Back in Yakro

Together for the elections

Elders Halvorsen and Legere - they were companions in the MTC

Bus ride back to Yamoussoukra

The Yakro Zone

I really don't think that Forman is going home early Mom... I'm pretty sure it's just Legere. Unless Forman didn't tell me the whole truth.. Maybe he is I have no idea... That'll be cool to see pics of Jerman's mission! I miss the kid a ton... I hope he's gotten home well and already up to speed... (Even if I know he's not... Lol) And Adam's has been home for TWO WHOLE MONTHS now! That's just insane to think about.

The Elections were INCREDIBLY calm. The army put their power in the most dangerous places and there weren't any breakouts! It was great. We stayed in the apartment for four days I think... THat really wasn't that fun and it was super boring, but we threw Cruz's football aroud on the roof, (Blake knows I suck at football and I most definitely threw it off our four story building...) We played a game like Sorry and we had UNO. We did two hour group study sessions every night and had tomato sauce with rice.... EVERY MEAL! It was bombin. lol! We all got along very well and we're all better friends because of it. I got to know Elder Cunnigham and I love that kid to death now. Lol!

Yes I'm in Yamoussoukro again. I MISSED IT SO BAD! When President told me I was going to go back up I literally screamed and jumped for joy. Guess I forgot the horrible bus ride... Lol! That wasn't fun. The "Second tunr" will be the 21st. I think I head back down there to do that... Fun times... I'm all over the place. I don't know if the guy was baptised or not. I tried getting a hold of Cruz but he didn't answer. I'm gonna call again to find out tonight.

Sounds like the Hawks are doing horrible this year... Lol! Guess we'll lose our football team soon too like we did the Sonics... Lol!

That'd be awesome if Blake was in the same class that Kirtley teaches! That sounds super exciting for Blake! Also JESSICA IS GONNA SERVE A MISSION?!?!? Where did that come from? That's really random but at the same time that's really cool that she wants to get out there. I encourage her and wish her the best of luck!

Well this week really wasn't too excting. We found our the elections were posted for the 28th and now they're for the 21st... That kind of ruins our plans of sending me back up here cause I think I'll be sent right back down to Abidjan soon... I'm not too sure how that is gonna work out.

So the "Gathering of Strangers" was fun, when we all went to that apartment. We killed thousands of cockroaches, ate the same thing morning till night, (until our gas ran out of course. and go figure, it was the day we weren't allowed to go out of the apartment... Lol!) We really did have a good time together and all went smoothly. Then President called and said we could go back to Yamoussoukro. That made me REALLY happy. So we took the bus, (five hours again) and got there in the night. Everyone was so happy to see me again and I them! I watched the conference finally and I really enjoyed that. I always like when it comes out in English in the Liahona because in the Translations so much is lost, especially the jokes... There were a ton of good talks that I really appreciated. Many good ones that helped the branch like the Free Agency and the Holy Ghost that was mentioned in many talks.

Then today we've been running around trying to get the Kokrenou missionnaries into their new apartment and sending off a misisonnary to Abidjan and receiving two new ones... It's just been hectic since we got back. But we're starting up the teaching again and getting back into the swing of things. Well I'm sending some pictures again. Three at Abidjan, in front of the church, last pic with Jerman, (take that pic off his camera too cause mine is blurry) and also with Elder Legere. then two on the bus heading up north and then the zone of Yakro after the Conference.

I love you all so very much. I thank you all for all that you do for me! I can't wait to get to talk to you guys REALLY soon!

Elder Halvorsen

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lock down and Typhoid recovery

I'm feeling much better. I took the medicine and I've been getting a lot of sleep. I took antibiotics and got these shots in my legs that took care of the disease. That was the treatment I received with the IV. Not much has gone on in the last week. Just did door to door, I slept a lot and I've been drinking a lot of filtered water. I'm not too excited for the once-over thing... But I'll be able to handle it. I didn't break into cold sweats and go into fainting fits when they gave me the shots and the IV. So that's a little improvement.

The apartment is interesting. We have these debates every night that aren't exciting... I try to catch a little "healing sleep" during this time. I'm loving Bertoch and the other American's. It's been forever since I've spoken so much English. Lol! Didn't speak it at all at Yakro... The people in my apartment are The Elder's Bertoch, Cruz, Cunningham, Carver, Leach, Mbunga, Ntumba, Muteba, Koussemou, Rambolosen, and Lamboni. We're all foreigners to the Côte D'Ivoire. It's interesting... six americans, Three congolais, one beninois, one togolese, and one Malagesh. It's a good apartment. We play a lot of Uno and a game that's like sorry. And we talk a lot...

But really that's all that's been going on in the week. I'm going to go back with President to the hospital to get another blood test just to see if my system is clean of the Fever. Know that president is taking really good care of me so you don't have to worry about my health. President is doing his best. He's definitely improved from when I first came into the mission. He's almost done with his mission actually. He'll finish in June. The new president will be announced in February.

That's about it for this week. It rained a lot, I slept a lot, I talked a lot with the Americans and played a lot of UNO and that's about it. The pre-régroupement isn't that exciting... I'm actually counting the days till I can go back to Yakro and do normal missionary work again...

ACTUALLY this is really cool. Bertoch and I started doing Door to door when we first came into the sector and our first door we knocked on was GOLDEN! We've taught him two times, he's accepted the BOM and he's come to church AND getting baptised this saturday if there aren't any problems with the elections! That's a great experience Bertoch and I will have shared together during this gathering thing. And Sunday was weird cause we had like Thirty six missionaries at church... I got to talk a lot to Guillory. He's going home this Thursday and So is Jerman. Then Elder Legere is going home the 17th of December... Then it's us. I haven't got my flight plans yet but i'll let you guys know when I do.

I love you all and miss you a lot!

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, October 25, 2010

Don't like these kinds of letters!!

  • I'm in Abidjan. The Assistants came and picked me up... For a special reason which I will tell you about later. My luggage is American Tourist and it's lasted really well actually. All three of them. They are good bags. There's a couple little things that broke. but nothing big. They work just fine. The black bear sounds cool. Sounds like he's been there a ton of times... And with the hotel President and the Lycee Scientifque. We were between the two.
So this last week wasn't at all great... I got......................... TYPHOID FEVER!!!! How cool is that? [His father and I don't think it's very cool!] I've had Malaria AND Typhoid! I spent a good three days in the hospital with a temperature of 40 degrees celsius. My body was sore all over and I started throwing up wednesday night. It was just wonderful. The whole zone came to visit me. I'm feeling fine of course now. I'm taking it a little slow so don't worry about my health.
Since I spent most of the week in my bed, I don't really have any experiences... Other then now I'm in the sector called Riviera. It's a very safe location in Abidjan. I'm in the apartment with Elder Cruz and Elder Lamboni. We will have 12 missionnaries total in the apartment tonight. I'm the Zone leader for the apartment with Elder Bertoch. The two congolese Elder's that were in my zone at Yakro will be coming so that's good.
And we wonder why he's not sick more often!!??!!??

That's about it. I have one question. Do you guys know Alpha Blondy? Apparently his house is just next to our apartment.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yakro smells like Missouri??

I don't know why it sent three times... I sent it ONCE with TEN pictures. I never sent it again... That's really strange... But whatever.

I'm really not thin. I suck it in so I'm starting to do some exercises now. That picture is the top part of the dome only. Not the whole thing. I took a picture on bottom too but didn't send it. Last computer was terrible. There is only EVER one white missionnary in Yakro and only as zone leader. So it's really a great privilège to be here and experience life here.

For Dad, There is a Hotel that they call the Hotel Député that is behind our house. There is a place called Cent logements that is right next to us. They look like organised apartments. Then there's a big saucer thing. We're between that and the cent logements. We're on the Carrefour AdÏ. I don't know if that'll show up...

The Ivoiriens LOVE americans. Their style, music, and many other things come from there. I'm not even kidding, Michael Jackson is more famous here than in America. And Celine Dione. (I know she's canadian but still.)

The elections are just elections. We've seen some of the candidates pass in cars but nothing too crazy. The work is going good. Looks like we have three baptisms this week.

The [mission] couple NEVER come up here and I'll tell you why AFTER the mission. : ) I see The Président just like in Togo and Benin maybe every six weeks. Health is fine. I eat too much. We shop at the Grand Marché near a place called Habitat that is just in front of the Présidence. Compy is great. Getting along.

The idea of flying down works. I LOVE flying. To fly from Benin to CI was too short... Lol! I don't know why I like it so much... I've gotta give Blake some stuff so that works out for me. Also I like the idea of going down there and giving out some resumés. That really seems like a good advantage for me.

Alright for this week I brought my plannner! So here goes.

This is a random thing. It smells like Missouri here. But... It's WAY hotter. Lol! And speaking of heat. There was this one day... DANG! I was sitting in front of the fan... I went and took a shower then went outside... IN THE SHADE I WAS BURNING/ It was like I was in the sun but I was still in the shade... It was ridiculous... WHAT? the keyboard just changed to qwerty and I m really lost... alright, so real quick now. there are a lot of fireflies here! they^re really pretty, they light up everything at night.

A quick thing for Blake. Don^t send him with the skinny dress socks. they^re worthless on a walking mission. I burned holes in the pairs you sent me in two weeks, Gold toes are going strong.

well that is about it for this week. sorry wasn^t much. Love you all BEAUCOUP!

Elder Halvorsen

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Touring Yamoussoukro


I already bought new sheets so the bed bugs shouldn't be a problem anymore. Sounds like the trip was a success. I can't believe that Grandpa is really 90 years old. There isn't a missionary couple here at Yamoussoukro. There's just Elder Dago and Elder Halvorsen. We take care of everything here at Yakro...

Well this screen just popped up with a virus warning of a ton of viruses so I don't think I'll be able to load anymore pictures until the end of my mission... I don't know if it's my card or the computer. It loaded one and then it was finished. They don't take care of their computers so there are tons of viruses on them. Ya it's not even loading anymore. Hey! It's loading! Ok. So again I forgot my planner at the apartment so I'm just going to try to list stuff off the top of my head.

So we went to the Foundation, and the Cathedral like I said Monday night. I'm sending you guys some pictures. We had our mission conference last week with president. It was good and interesting. We also had two missionnary fire sides and they were successful and the leaders here of the District of Yakro got lectured hardcore by president... Lol! It was very needed.

I hate when I forget my planner... It's my guide for monday... Well the computer loads and then stops, then loads and then stops so I don't know what's up.

well since I forgot my planner I don't really have much to say... So I'll just try to send all my photos and then I'll write what happened this week next week...

There's no birthday's that I missed are there? Lol!

Love you and miss you!

Elder Halvorsen

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bed bugs and touring the city

Well I don't have much time so I'm just going to say a couple of things. Atiéké is the cassava stuff. Had it again today. Lol! I think I've missed one day since I've been here. Getting plenty to eat. Ne t'inquiète pas. [do not worry] I took [Elder] Bowman's place. We have two baptismal dates fixed with a possible 6 total.

Health is fine except for the stupid bed bugs. I bought two sheets cause I left mine in Togo cause I knew I left the second NEW pair in Abidjan but they gave those to another person. So I bought USED sheets (behold the problem.) and now I have bug bites all over. I wash the sheets once a week. THe bites are starting to go down. Mosquitos aren't bad. There are no crocodiles in the streets. Lol! In fact we were just there thirty minutes ago to go see the crocs, but the President of Côte D'Ivoire JUST drove up with a convoy of military so they chased us off. I took some far off pics but they're not great.
Ya the roads are gigantic and the most of them are paved. There are not a TON of bicycles. It's just some people and old muslims that have them. Lol. The two former missionaries that I met are not in my branch, but they're in the same building and live next door, so I see them once or twice a week. Elder N'Dri gave us a ton of food to eat! Love Mangez-vous. (Eating appointment) : )
Members work with us sometimes but not often starting this week because of school... Everyone gets super occupied by that life. So our numbers of lessons with members will drop. They took a hit last week.
So Just so you guys know, the elections for Côte D'Ivoire are coming up the 31 october and they happen at Yamoussoukro. Just for safety precautions I'm going to Abidjan the 25 october until the 8th november or longer if there is a problem at Yakro. But really there is nothing to worry about. It's just for the non-ivorians. I'm going down with the two congo elder's that are here, Mbunga and Muteba as well. I'll see Guillory and Legere! I'm excited for that.
So today was the best P-Day ever. We went to the foundation and the Catholic cathedral. THE THING IS FREAKING HUGE! I don't have time to send you guys a picture but I will send one next week. It was really amazing to get to see all of that. We went as a zone and took a ton of pictures. I'm actually really exhausted cause we walked a lot everywhere... So I'll sleep well tonight, even with bed bugs.
Also wanted to wish HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Chandler! (That feels weird writing that once a week for three weeks now.) I hope all of your guy's birthdays have been great!
Well sorry if I didn't answer all of your questions. I don't have enough time left. Next week I'll have time to send some pics of today's activities.
I love you all and miss you a ton!
Elder Halvorsen

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back in Cote d'Ivoire and 4 months left!

That's a lot of questions...[[ enquiring mothers want to know!] Well I LOVE being in Côte D'Ivoire again! I hear French everywhere, I've eaten Atiéké [according to a google search, it a dish made from the cassava root] each day since I've been here, and the environment is just how I like it. Yakoussoukro is interesting. They have GIGANTIC roads, but very few cars... Three lanes going both ways and you see maybe 10 cars and a couple of motorcylces pass every five ten minutes. I would LOVE to drive here. Huge roads and NO cops. Lol!

Doing missionnary work is weird here though. The houses aren't close together. They're also Gigantic and on gigantic weird roads. I'll take pictures. I'll try to send some today. My Comp is Elder Dago. He's interesting. He's from Yopougan I think... Abidjan. We have Elder's Mbunga (From republic of Congo) andElder OulaÏ from Abidjan in our apartment. The weather is hot here. it's WAY up north in comparison to Lome, Cotonou and Abidjan. It's a little hotter than Lomé which was the hottest of the three that I listed. The branches are really weak here... The work isn't easy. There's a flipping HUGE catholic cathedral here. We're going to go visit it today and the "Crocodile Lake."

Ya Elder Jerman met me in the airport. He's the assistant. Unfortunately I didn't spend more than four hours in Abidjan. I got right on a big bus that was uncomfortable for 5 hours after that. Health is fine. I left a lot of things I didn't need at the mission office. I'll pick it up when I come home.

I said happy birthday to Dad and now HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUSTIN! That's weird that their birthday's are all so close... I thought that they were farther away from each other...

okay. So It was an interesting trip overall. I left Togo last Friday and I spent a bit of time in Benin. I stayed in Elder cloward's apartment so I got to talk to him a lot. elder Ba Bi who was at yakro before who is not Elder bo Bi talked to me a bit about how it is here and he was right. It's very interesting. The pictures aren't downloading... oh well. This cyber is fast but it's not downloading the pics... Wierd. So I took the plane from benin to Côte D'Ivoire. The flight was really short. It was great to be in a plane again. I kinda missed that. OH! So just before I got into the waiting room for the plane in Benin, I had to go through the Passport check. So apparently they said my Visa wasn't good, so I was like great. They said you have to pay 10,000 francs. So I said ok. I showed him the entry visa they gave me at the border and he said that's not good enough. So I honestly got a little ticked off and I said I have to call someone. Can I borrow you're phone? And he just sat there. I said you gonna answer me or not? and he just sat there. So I asked the guy next to him. Same thing. So I went around the airport asking people and everyone was like oh sorry. I don't have credit. EVERY FLIPPING PERSON until I had to CATCH someone that just finished making a call so I knew that he couldn't lie. He said sure you can call. I called the couple real quick and they said the Office would reimburse me so I gave the guy 1000 francs and he was super happy. Lol! So I paid the Jerk cop and he was happy. So THEN I took the plane. I got to Abidjan and saw Elder Jerman who picked me up. I got to talk to him for a bit. We got to the Office and Elder Bowman had just arrived also. so I was taking pictures with him and he realized that he had left his camera on the bus... We went quick to try and find it, but someone had already taken it. It was super hard for him.

So I got on the bus, I'm sending a little pic, and spent 2 hours in traffic in Yopougan. That was wonderfully hot in the bus... then we got on our way. The road was decent and pretty for the most part. Then it was around 19:30 and we stopped in a town called Toumodi. A lady stood up and said "that lady that just got off stole 7000 francs of mine!" A whooping 15 bucks and she got off and they started throwing punches and slapping each other around the bus. That was cool AND delayed us. Then we found out that the lady that said the other was the thief, was the thief... It was just wacky.

So I got to Yakro super tired and got to the apartment. I used the ironning board cloth as a bed sheet cause I thought I had left my second pair of bed sheets at the office (they weren't there). I already bought a pair here, don't worry. Then the following morning, I plugged in the iron to iron my clothes and the power cut out. I learned that in order to iron, you have to unplug the fridge. Lol! And then two days later, our power cut off. Just our house. We checked everything. Slept without a fan for a night or two. Then the electrician came and said the wires were fried and said that it'd be a hundred bucks. We said no thanks. So the owner of the house called her electrician. He fixed the problem for 7 bucks. Lol!

We're going to go to the Catholic Cathedral today. And the crocodile lake. It should be interesting. I wanted to get some pictures of that and send you guys them. It's seriously GIGANTIC! I can't explain how big this thing is. It's like a star wars building... I've been eating a lot of Atiéké too. Every day I eat it. Loll!

Well I gotta go. I hope the pictures load fast. OH! I met my old ex-missionnary comp N'Dri here! He lives here! Same with Kouassi! It was so good to see them again! I couldn't believe it!
He never got his hymn book... someone must've stolen the package...

Well I love you and miss you very much! click day on Austin's B-Day!

Elder Halvorsen

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back in Benin, then back to Ivory Coast!! Advice for Blake

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I wish I was there or that it was easier to send stuff off to you guys... Lol! I haven't made the list yet for Blake I think I'll keep this letter short and just add that at the end. I just want to get off some quick things that have happened that I forgot last week and some this week.
We were taking a taxi with this old man driver and he was SHOOTING down the road at night... All of a sudden the guy turns around with his old man gruffy voice, "I gotta make a stop." We were like okay... So he pulls off the road (still on the road of course) and he hops out of the car. We think that he's going to buy gas. He just stood next to the front left tire of his car and... Peed. Yep. Right in the middle of the road... It was ridiculous... Even Elder Bo Bi said, Do these people even use their brains? Lol!
I don't know if I told you guys this story or not, but it's really REALLY hilarious, so I'll tell it again if I haven't yet...
So. We were at this person's house, (now a recent convert) and her mom was there too. Her mom is really old and is handicapped. Her left leg was amputated. So she asked us, in her language, and voici her question. "IS it bad to pray to Mary?" We told her yes it is bad and we explained why. She gave her response to what we said, and her kids started laughing like crazy. We said "Tell us Tell us!" Voici encore her response. "Oh. I know it's bad to pray to Mary. I already told her that I couldn't pray to her anymore."
I've loved being back in Benin and seeing all the people that I baptized and my friends! I stopped by the market to pick up a few things and I'm heading for Côte D'ivoire tomorrow at 11.20 I'm actually going to go visit another family tonight real quick and pass by my old apartment. I stayed at Gbédjromèdé for the friday till tomorrow. It's been good to chat with Elder Cloward again. Just like in Koumassi. It feels like I was never even in Togo... It's the weirdest feeling of all time. That's why I'm telling Blake right now to NEVER hate a sector, cause no matter how bad you think it sucks, you'll miss it like crazy, you'll miss the people and you'll be thankful to God EVERY DAY for all that you learned. Don't EVER forget that or you'll regret it.
The list.
Mesh garments only. (I've given away my other types to the branch)
LIGHTEST pants you can find. Three pairs only.
Don't bring a pillow. It wastes space in your bags. They have pillows for you and they're cheap if there isn't one.
Just bring one pair sheets. Two if you really want to, but it's not necessary. One pair of shoes. Check that one with Bro. Hardy, but here, shoes are cheap and everywhere. Two pairs of shirts, one pair of pants, two t shirts, (maybe three) and a LIGHT sweatshirt. I think they call that a windbreaker. 2 belts that DON'T MELT in extreme heat. Don't over do the mosquito spray. I gave a lot of that away and missoinnaries leave some in the apartments. You don't need a butt load of medicine. IN fact I only take doxy. ok. 1pair of drylux for when you get cold. Soap, toothbrush, shampoo, toothpaste, all that is easy to find. Bring this towel from Missionary mall. It's super light and really good. Cloward still has his. I hate my heavy towel. Don't buy baptismal clothes. Not necessary. They have them there. I'll think of other stuff later.
I love you all and miss you!
Elder Halvorsen

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Transfer - back to Ivory Coast

I just got transfered. They called me yesterday and I leave tomorrow at 8am. I'll be going to Benin with the Couple Herr to get the necessary papers I need to go To Côte D'Ivoire. I'll be spending thursday to monday or tuesday in Benin. I'll visit some of my recent converts and buy some sweet ties for the boys. Then I'll fly out to Abidjan monday or tuesday. then I'll be LEAVING Abidjan by a bus I believe to go to Yamassoukro. I'm the new Zone Leader for the zone of Yamassoukro. I just wanted to let you know all that before I took off. The bus is completely safe. I'll be taking Elder Bowman's place. Elder Adams and Elder Bowman have finished their missions. I'll try and send pictures next week. My stupid card got a virus on it so I'm going to have to copy all the photos on to a blank card and then erase everything on the new card and clean it up. I love you very much! Hope you get this soon!

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, September 13, 2010

Advice to his brother and the work is good!

Lol! I loved the Craigslist ads. Lol! That was amazing. So with the package first, really just don't send me one. You can just get me some little things for when I get home, new garments... Uh... that's all I really need... Or an Iphone... I really want an Iphone... Lol! But really I don't think it's a good idea to send another package to Africa, especially when it takes two months to get here and I don't know where I'll be and president doesn't really deliver packages if you send them to him. He doesn't have enough room in his luggage to carry all the missionaries boxes. Lol! So just don't send it and save you money. That would be best.

That sucks with the Dedge's. It must be a catholic tradition. They do it even more here. "Oh sorry, we're catholic." Give them this scripture, 1 john 4:6. It's a great scripture I love using on people that say that. Lol! I think that Blake will see a lot of success over there too. I really understood why God sent me to this mission. I think if I got rejected anymore than we are at times, I'd go crazy. Lol! I don't know how Dad survived for a year and six months. I really want to watch the US open... Africans don't give a hoot about tennis so I can't really keep up with what's going on...
So I forgot my planner at home and I don't really have any stories or anything for you guys... But I made this gigantic list of things that Blake doesn't need and the things he could use less of. Really it ticks me off a little that I brought so much stuff that I just gave away or never used. Especially the fact that I paid 150 dollars to get my third suitcase to Côte D'Ivoire and ended up giving everything in the suitcase to people. Really he needs to pack light. I'll keep making the list over the next week.
We had one baptism yesterday. We have four this saturday and another four next saturday with another possible two that could fall into the date for the 25th. We worked SO flipping hard last month. like I said all we did was work for the month of August cause I was left with NO investigators. We've already got another possible five for October planned. Really what's great is that I've already reached my goal for myself so I don't even care about numbers. Really what is amazing is that I'm seeing the lives of my brothers and sisters changing. Every time we have a baptism I'm just so full of happiness and joy for the person. It's just an amazing feeling. I can't really expalin it..
Sorry for no pictures this week. These computers have viruses on them and I don't want to get my card infected and erase my photos. I'll send the pictures to you guys next week. I love you all and miss you so very much!
elder Halvorsen

Oh, so you DON'T eat the shell!

Dad's got a sweet beard. Lol! I can't believe Blake is going to the Philippines! I'm still the only french speaker in the ward... I really think I want to get married with someone that has french as their mother language... Just a random thought...

I don't really have much time today so I'm going to try to bust this letter out.

I can't believe that RJ'sbeen out for a year... That's just weird... Dad has still got his job too! But in your letters I don't know if you want to lose it or not... Lol! It's kinda hard to read intentions in letters... Blake did email me, but Mom and Dad... You gotta talk him into giving me his Ipod... If I don't have music when I get home, I'll go insane... I need to get this traditional pounding music I hear on the roads all the time out of my head... You can tell Chandler that it's not bad to play on JV. He's just gotta beat really well all the other players and prove he rocks. then he'll be bumped up. He can do challenges against other people on the Varsity team and take their spot.

Health is great. Yes they put icing on cakes but she ripped us off good. We'll just baptise her so she can be forgiven of her sin. Lol! Just kidding.

We use most of the building. It's for two branches. the Herr's actually served in Kenya so they think Togo is cake. But now that they have to cover Benin too, that might tire them. They don't have an immediate replacement for the LEavitt"s... They're looking... We have 9 baptisms on schedule. 8 for this month. One for next month. We'll have more soon too. Supplies will last till the end of my mission. (If I calculated well) which I hope I did... I need new garments when I get home... Mine are getting thrashed... Actually I gave my dry lux all to the branch for the poor members that can't afford them. I just have the mesh I've had since the beginning and the three newer pairs I bought throught the couple Herr. It's been raining a lot lately but yes. It's still hot. Lol! Thank you Mom. Lol! That would be really nice to see Blake before he takes off too. I gotta give him the Bou bou I made for him. (I hope it's not too small..)

Jsut a few stories and then I gotta go..

So this was random. We were walking along the lagoon just... Well... Walking. and out of the blue this guy screams at us "BONJOUR!" So we turn around. he was wearing jeans and a wife beater. A little bit of an older man. The second I laid eyes on him, he raises his fist and screams, "I DON'T LIKE THE MORMONS!" And then he just kept walking. That's our greeting that we give to the others now when we get home. It reminded me of the Baptists at our BBQ. "WATER DRINKERS!"

So a gross eating experience. It's with crabs. If the crab is small enough, you go ahead and eat the whole thing. Yes. The whole thing. I'll show you when I get home. But they gave us a little bit bigger of a crab this time. So I tried biting it. Dang it was tough, but I did it. I even finished it and ate it's brains which left a SUPER bad aftertaste that almost made me throw up all over the sauce.... They all start laughing. "'That's for the small crabs!" My comp sticks his finger in the crab's butt and FLIP! The shell comes off. "now eat this part. that's the meat." Thanks Elder... You couldn't of told me that when I took the first bite... Lol!

Random. We walked into this house to do OVB. (Open your mouth I.E. Door to door.) and this lady was mixing what I thought was the stuff for la Pâte but she used beans. So I said I love that stuff! She said i'll give you some. I accepted. SHE MADE PANCAKES! LEGIT PANCAKES! I was just so shocked! It was super cool! Until she mixed oil and pepper powder toghether and put it on the pancake... That was weird... I wanted syrup. But now I can make pancakes in AFRICA! Woot woot!

This sunday was great. It was the first time that a recent convert blessed the sacrament. he starts off. It's perfect, then the loudspeaker... Goes OFF! It's like he was screaming in our ears and it started vibrating that shook you super bad... So instead of listening to the words of the prayer (yes, he continued until he was done, and made several mistakes) everyone had their ears plugged. So After that excrutiating ear drum pain, the president says, "Do it again, but turn the microphone off" Lol!

Also this is great. I'm famous in the Taxi world of Lome for getting the lowest price possible. We stopped a taxi when I was with Elder N'Dri and we told the guy the spot. He said 1000. I said Holy cow! Are you saying that because I'm white and you think I have a lot of money? And he starts going off, I'm not a racist! Blah blah blah. And then I said so it's 600 right? And he says get in.Lol! so On the OTHER side of Lome a couple weeks later, Elder Call stops a taxi. Tells the guy the spot and he says a high price. Elder Call says no no. That's way too high. And the guy says "wait. You're not that white guy from Be right? He said the EXACT same thing and he was wearing exactly the same thing! Africans pay better than you white people." Lol!

We had a great spiritual experience this last week too. We were talking to a lady that has had a lot of problems in her life. We were going through the Plan of Salvation with her. She was listening to every word. Just at the end, we asked again. Do you have any questions? "Ya In fact I do. Why don't other churches teach this stuff?" We just said... Uh... Cause they're false. "Oh okay... When can I be baptized?" Lol! She really is great. She poses great questions and she just sees the truth in all that we see. I LOVE investigators like that! She'll be baptized with her two kind of children in a couple weeks. She saved the life of two little girls and has taken care of them for years. One is twenty actually, but she looks like she's 14... She's just great! And we'll be baptizing a great little family that I love too!

Well We gotta go. We're going to go see the Herr's. They just got back from a voyage to Benin. I love you all very much and miss you tons!

Elder Halvorsen

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lumpy cake and routines

The Fab Foursome

The church building in Togo - Be Kpota Branch.

Elder Halvorsen devouring a Freedom Fries :) Burger.


Out to lunch

Africans do do scouting and the Duty to God. Health is fine. I'm wearing a little sunscreen. If I put too much on it burns me. A guy gave me a little baseball hat. I wear that if it's REALLY hot= strong rayness... I don't understand proper english anymore. Some stories, but like always, they come after this portion!
That's cool that you guys went on a river trip! Yakima is the mexican town right? That reminds me that I want to learn spanish now. How's Dad's rosetta spanish coming along?

4 MONTHS AND 29 DAYS! It's actually a funny missionary tradition. The day AFTER your month mark, you say you have one less. For example, the 28th I was saying I have 5 months left. Now I'm saying I have 4 left. Lol! We all do it... It's shocking when you say it... Especially when I know I'm getting my flight plans in two months... Crazy... It's like it's not real.

Concerning school, there are two things. Elder Forman told me that if you went to a community college before, you don't have to take the ACT. Can look up to see if you can give just all my credentials for the registration to BYU without my ACT score? Seeing how it wasn't the greatest at 26... But If I don't get into BYU, I think I wanna go to UVU. I just really want to go to Utah. Cousins, the city, the church, good climate, lots of dirt biking to do and... It'll be easy to find a wife. I put that last, but honestly that's number one on this list.

The lead with Adam sounds interesting. I've seriously been thinking a lot about a job as an ambassador. I'm pretty sure that I want to do something internationally. I really want to keep my french. There's a member here that was talking to me about being an expert on Africa and how there's a lot of good jobs in that. I've also been really interested in doing over-sea affairs in France, or African countries like Côte D'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Liberia. I think that that would pay pretty well also. So sure! I'd love information on that! Thank you! The other option I've really been looking into is a major in Business leadership. That interests me too. So in other words, no. I haven't decided... Lol!

Give my congratulations to Olivia! I can't believe she has 8 years... That's just bizarre... That's funny that Chandler hits with one hand like I did. It took FOREVER to get the stupid two hand back hand down. And to get power on it was still always hard. I probably forgot how to play tennis... I miss tennis a lot...Okay. So for our investigators. A month of no baptisms in August... That's my second month of my mission I didn't baptize... But we worked really hard and we're seeing the results. We have 8 possibly 10 baptismal dates fixed already for september. That's really got me pumped for this month!
We had an interesting (well I did) this sunday. We were walking along the lagoon and I saw in front of us these men using a machete? to cut up what I thought was a fried goat on the side of the road... Not something that's strange in Togo. It's very normal in fact. When we were just next to it I saw... A dog's head NEXT to what I thought was a goat's body... So I looked forward naturally and then realized what I had seen. My head snapped back and I said "Is that really a dog?" Then all the guys looked at me with big smiles on their faces. I just kept walking... C'est l'Afrique.

So you'll get pictures of Elder Call and his cake that we bought him for his birthday on sunday. That's a fun story. So Last tuesday we were walking down the train tracks (Elder Bo Bi and I) and I saw a sign that said "Order your cakes custom made here!" and I thought well that's way better to get it here than to go down town to get a cake! So we go by the house, and start talking about a cake. We show her the size we want and all that. If you go down town, a cake the same size we showed her is covered in frosting, two layers, and pretty pretty and it's 5000 cfa. (10-11 dollars) So she says well that'll be... 15000 cfa. Both our faces drop. QUOI? Non. That's too expensive. We want something of 5000. She says no problem. So We come back saturday night. she brings out the cake. She unwraps it. It was just like a big cake lump with "Happy Birthday Elder Call" and on top of that it was badly written... So we couldn't say no since we were needing a cake... We paid for it and took it home. I had a thing of chocolate spread and ate the cake with that so it wasn't too bad. I'm just glad he enjoyed it. The first thing he said that morning was "I forgot even that it was my birthday!" Lol! so it was a fun morning. Especially when a preacher guy and his two back up clapping girls started preaching DIRECTLY in front of our door with a loudspeaker. Lol! It was interesting.
I've just finished the book or Romans this week. I had read Acts the week or two before so I'm going to take a break from the Bible and Finish Helaman now. I read a ton of interesting insights on life and the gospel through Paul in romans. He's got so many powerful verses that just blow you away. I've been able to use a lot of his words in my teachings too. I just wish I had more time to study... Our schedule is rough. We gotta wake up, (the hardest part) do a morning prayer, share the ironing board, take cold showers, prepare our food, do a personal study, do a team study, and then out the door. Lol! My personal study is usually 15-30 minutes long and I try to catch it in the afternoon.

Well I think that's about it for the week. I also sent a picture of the branch and a truck accident that was kind of cool.