(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, May 30, 2010

Cam's 7'3" Baptizee

Got my package! SOCKS! YES! And deoderant! So thankful for everything that's there. That shirt is so white... I put it next to my shirts now and you think they're ten years old at least.... Lol! One baptism. Explain that later. Feelings later. New comp is good. He's calm. A big change from Kakou. I've noticed a big change in my enegy level now, cause I literally had to work my butt off to make our relationship work and now it's not as hard. Kinda happy. : ) They don't really do enrichment night... I don't think... I don't really know... Blake told me about the job! Sounds cool! Gettin' money. Lol!

Well I'll talk a little about this week.I loved the package! I saw the photos of the bros and DANG they're in shape! I'm getting fat again so these pictures give me a little umph to change that. Lol! The Tracy girls got super cute! Sucks for the boys! Haha! Especially Katie and Emily. Wow... I didn't even recognize them. I remember them as super tiny... Lol! That's crazy.

So Dad's face thing was more serious than I thought... It was kinda creepy to see the picture you took with Aunt Virginia...feel really bad about that... I hope it's gotten a lot better. Love the Iron man foot thingies! Haven't yet put them in. Will soon. And the SOCKS! YES!

Well real quick, we got stuck in a huge rainstorm that came in about... 5 seconds. That was fun. We found a little store with a overhang thing. We ran to that and the mama that sells there was definitely old and.... Topless.... We just ignored here and looked at the rain... Lol! It's always awkard to see that. We pass a mama each days that says hi to us...

We get ding dong ditched every day by these kids that live next to us... Can't say much more than that... Lol! When it starts to rain like that (see story before the last) all the kids strip naked and run out in the streets to shower... All of a sudden there are tons of little naked black bodies...

We went to the port today to see it's. It's a ton of mud and cars and random things they sell. Cars are SO CHEAP here. Think of a 2005 Dodge at 15000 at home. You'll pay 5000 here. Wow... Also went to the big market to see how it is and to get some ties and stuff.

Well the baptism. We baptised one person. He is 7 foot 3. He's HUGE! I baptized him on his knees actually... Lol! And I STILL bumped his head againt the back of the font...

With the feelings, I don't really have time, but I was reading in Alma, I believe 30 about Coriantum or Corihor that asks Alma for a sign to prove there is a God. He's stricken dumb and then the priest writes in the dirt, "You asked for a sign and Alma gave one. Now do you believe there's a God?" Alma is just so cool. Lol!

Love you and miss you!

Elder Halvorsen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Zion Resident and an Italian in Togo

Didn't get the package. Health is fine. Couple comes the 24th (If I'm not mistaken) and we had two AMAZING BAPTISMS! Insights on scriptures. Explain later. Things are great with Kakou!

Wow. Mission calls coming in all directions, School almost done. Selling Cars! Sounds like a good week!

Well this week went by fast. Cloward, AÏsseba, and Fontaine all took off to Benin, Fontaine to Côte D'Ivoire. Kablan is now with N'Dri. Dea went to Hedranowoe. Kablan was my companion for ten days in Benin. Lol. It's good to see him. He's so weird. LOL! The life with Kakou really is good. We laugh, play and teach. There really isn't problems. I think with him I learned a lot about a long lasting relation.

I baptised AN ITALIAN! Okay... Half Italian, half togolese. We baptised her mom, a Togolese, and her daughter. We'll baptise her son this saturday. We just got a Baptismal font at our branch! And we used it on the Year anniversary of the Branch AND we let the President do the baptisms. It was great! And the lady we baptised, Mama Amega, is seriously so amazing. She calls me her son and she always gives us stuff... Lol! I seriously love her. I LOVE relations like those on the mission.

Two funny stories. First off, we contacted this new guy. We went into his house and his mom was in the middle of sewing. (A TON of people sew here. It's a livelihood.) So We just finished singing "Hark all ye nations" (I think it's that... It's Peuple du Monde in French...) So We just got done singing that and she starts singing it in Evé. That's when her son said "That's the Evé version." I said "I didn't know there was an Evé version..." Okay. I promise it's funnier in person...

Then We met a guy also. I asked him where he was from cause he spoke in English. He said He comes from Zion... I laughed and said No for reals. Where are you from? He said again Zion. So I asked him where he was born. He said Zion. The angels carried him down from heaven and placed him on the Earth. We didn't go back to his house...

With the scriptures, The president wants us all the read the BOM in six weeks. I've left my personal in depth studies for now, but I did like the first chaptier of Jacob. It helps us understand the reason and objective to preach the Gospel and to help our brothers. Read through that when you have the time. Good Chaptier!

Well I gotta go! I love you all very much! Even Blake and his fluffy email.

Also we played a soccer match in a thunderstorm today! that was a ton of fun! LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, May 3, 2010

Red Week: Tomato plants and a bloody toe

Wow. Life hasn't slowed down at all for you guys. That talk sounds like it was really good. I'm glad that you had a chance to feel closer to me even if it's some thousand miles that seperate us. Anything that helps you makes me happy. :)

And Dad, I'm so very thankful for the parts of your mission that you shared with me. I haven't gotten the package. I've not been feeling too great but I know why. There's always a lot new investigators. Baptisms, no. The baptism is for the 15th. We might have six. Four are sure.

They're building a baptismal font at our branch, too! Cool! I think that President Blaze picks up the mail here in Togo. He's the Branch President of Hedranewoe. We actually just got a ton of rain yesterday. I got to see the first session of Conference too. That was really enjoyable. I didn't get to see all of it... I'll wait for the Liahona. I think it will be better if you call Saturday at roughly the same time. We might be having interviews with the president or surprise inspections at our apartments the Sunday night. Saturday at 8:00p.m. I hope that that works. That makes me really trunky that Jon is home... Oh man... I know that it wont be much longer though before I'm in the same train.

I forgot to tell you, I've been growing a tomato plant with our laundry machine. It's outside and the excess water just spits out the back. I had it growing really well for a while but I think I have Dad's curse. It's dying. Lol! For some reason I remember perfectly that in Edgewood, Dad coud NEVER get tomato plants to grow. : )

Like I said, I'm really thankful for the mission story you shared. There are such radical differences between our missions. I have to FORCE people to NOT feed me! I swear I eat every hour. Lol! And normally with a first contact, we talk a little bit at least and get their contact and info with a next appointment. The goals for our Standard of Excellence is to have 4 baptisms a month, 1 date of baptism fixed DAILY, 36 lessons in a week, and 36 new investigators a week. Elder Kakou and I were on top for January, February, and March. We only had one baptism in April, but we'll be there again in May. : ) One has to work really hard to keep those. It makes you really tired too! Lol!

Well my health hasn't been too spectacular. That doesn't mean that it's bad. I'm glad I have a District that loves me and Elder Cruz and Elder Cloward gave me a really good talking to. And then with the story of the Sierra Leonian and the history of Dad's mission really gave me another boost of strength. Thank you so much for being great parents and helping me all the time. I hope the other boys see that as well.

A little on the lighter side. We were cleaning the branch at Hedranewoe to get ready for the conference this last saturday. We started setting up the chairs and sweeping and cleaning. I was going to go in the bathroom to grab an African broom (a broom made only of wood, even the sweepy thing on bottom) and I didn't see the little edge of tile that was on the entrance to the bathroom. I was wearing just the cheap rubber sandals that you can buy here off the womens' head. So I was walking kind of fast and didn't see the edge. BAMM! My big toe on my left foot caught the edge of the tile on the bottom of my toe and scraped off the skin about the size of a quarter. (If I remember correctly the size of a quarter...)

So being weaked stomached as I am, I quickly layed down on a bench and asked for water as my toe is bleeding on the floor. So I started getting dizzy and all that good stuff that happens EVERY time I get a good size cut. They had alcohol only and they put that on. That burned, but they wanted to take the skin off and clean it better.

There was a member that has a little medical room a little ways away and it was too far to walk, especially with me on the point of fainting, and no one here has a car. So I got on the back of a little 135 Motorcycle and he brought me to the spot. I entered and this lady directed to me a little back room with a high table. I layed down and just thought wow. I'm in Africa. I wish I would've taken a picture but I wasn't really thinking camera at the time. So she cut of the skin and grabbed this yellow bottle. I asked "What's that?" She said Bertinda or something weird like that. I asked "Does it burn?" Oh no. Not at all. That's when I felt like someone had stuck a knife in my toe. Yep. I started groaning and pounding the table. Everyone thought it was the funniest thing of all time. Lol! It was interesting. I'm walking fine already so it's no big deal. It's healing well too.

Well that's the news! I'm really excited for your call! I can't believe there's only one more left after that! and one more conference! It goes by so fast! I love you all! Tell the boys to think of GOOD questions and to talk clearly into the phone also. Love you!

Elder Halvorsen