(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, June 29, 2010

Soccor week in Togo...ugghh

DANG! I forgot to tell Blake happy birthday in my letter to him! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO!

Ya. I flippin heard America lost against Ghana. It has been heck for me the last week. I'll fill you in on that. That was a house that he lives in [referring to a picture that he sent with a family sitting in front of a crude shack]. There are a lot of things like that. I actually love his property. It's really calm and on the beach. They were dirt bike riding behind his house, (white people here for some world tour thing) and I really wanted to go watch... they were riding behind a dune... I couldn't see.

I left my suit in Abidjan and I don't know if it's molded or eaten or whatever... It's Africa. I have an extra now just in case. It was 50 bucks.

Companion is great. Health is great. Had a baptism on sunday. He's nigerian. First baptism I've done in English. Weather is a little rainy and warm. Yes. My testimony has grown. Lol! A mission definitely helps kick that into gear.

Sorry to hear about Elder Dunn... I heard about his grandma but not his mom... That's gotta be really hard... At least he got to see both of them... That's rough...

It sounds like you guys have had an interesting week. It's sounds like you had a lot of fun. Makes me really miss home. If Shane really wants a Bou bou, I can get one made for him. It's only 20 bucks for all that. It's not at all expensive. I could get one made even cheaper really. It's just little things that make it a little more expensive.

Well I was hoping that you would've sent the transfer today cause I knew I wouldn't leave, but it's this week that I don't know if I leave so leave it off. I'll let you know next monday.

Ya I've only got seven months left! That's just crazy. Guillory is down to four... Nuts.

You did not tell me you got a fish tank. That's been years. I remember in the old Edgewood house I'd scoop the fish out of the tank and take baths with them. It always baffled me that they died in my bath water but not in the tank water...

Okay so a little about the week. I was SUPER depressed that Ghana beat the USA. I've become a devoted soccer fan... Ya... I love playing too. Wish I would've kept going when I was young and went pro... Oh well. BUT the reason it sucks that Ghana won is EVERYONE in Togo supports Ghana, so My country, my team, and I were insulted for one week and was even worse after we lost. soo what the togolese like to say is "we beat you, we beat you!" So I ask "who beat us?" and they say Ghana. Oh okay. then I ask "and where's Togo's team?" LOL! Togo didn't even qualify for the World cup. Makes it easier to bear the constant insults anyways. Lol!

So I didn't know this but Elder N'Dri doesn't like when Elder Kablan screams either, so what did he do? Elder N'Dri made a beating stick so every time he screams, he beats him with the stick. It's really REALLY amusing.

Have I told you that people just pee in the middle of the road, even the women? They'll squat down and just do their thing right there. It's just lovely.

This is a funny story. We were at a member's house and there was this little kid that kept wanting to hit me, so I took the arm of a kid (maybe twelve years old) and I pretended to eat his arm. After I did that I looked up and I pointed at the little kid, and he turns around and takes off at full speed and starts screaming and crying. He roudns the corner and I hear his mom ask him what's wrong. Then EVERYONE starts busting laughing. She then brought her kid around the corner and kept saying "White men eat little naughty black kids." That child may be scarred for the rest of his life... Lol!

Well I believe that's it for the week. Just hanging in there for a transfer. It's been 6 in a half months in the same place... We'll see how things go. Love you all!

Elder Halvorsen

Monday, June 21, 2010


YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE ME! PICTURES! I bought a little SD card reader thing for 16 bucks. (Cheapest best one I could find. I don't want something that'll break after 2 tries...)

OMG! Those were THE FUNNIEST stories I have ever heard in my life! Blake and the car. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL! My companion is seriously telling me to stop laughing cause he's a little embarrassed. Lol! Man. That was funny. Happy Father's day! Not gonna lie, I forgot AND I didn't know what day it was... They don't have that in Africa. Only for the Mom's.

President just wants the Ivoiriens to have a chance to do more things. Work is hard to get here. I don't have Herr'sx email. Gari is a type of manyok and manyok is cassava. It's manyok in French i think...

The Garden of Eden is something really interesting actually. It's very hard to make people understand that Adam and Eve didn't SIN, they transgressed a law. BUT to learn between good and evil, they had to receive the consequences for doing against God's commandments. When we take 2 Nephi 2; 22-23 We read that all things would have stayed EXACTLY the same if they didn't eat of the fruit, that they couldn't have children, and life would never of started. But we have the reassurance in 24 and 25 that God knows all and we're happy because of what Adam and Eve did. IN FACT God himself declared that Man had become like God in Genesis 3 (22 I think) and said to block the way to the Tree of Life so that Adam and Eve wouldn't live forever in the transgression that had come to pass. There's a lot of interesting things that we can learn from Adam and Eve. We learn that marriage is something that is very important. Man is for the Woman and Woman for the Man. We learn that even though we transgress the laws of God, he will forgive us. We learn God is a God of righteous but also forgiving for the wrongs that we do. We read in the Pearl of Great Price (forgot the book and chapter.. Should start bringing my scriptures to the cyber...) but Adam was really afraid God hadn't forgiven him. The Lord saw that immediately EVEN when he asked another question, a little like how he did with Nicodemus. Well I think that's good... We'll talk when I get home. Lol!

Well i forgot my planner at home and I know that I had some funny stories, but I'll just explain a couple photos instead. I took a picture of the water rat that we bought.
You'll love that.
A picture of a Bou bou with hat.

I put up the recent baptisms.
Missed one that we did yesterday...

IT POURED YESTERDAY! We wore rubber flip flops ALL DAY! We walked in water all day and got drenched by rain... Baptised in the rain. That was cool.

The attendance at church is normally 140-150 but it was.... 22 yesterday. At the beginning I was worried that it would be just the missionaries and the bishopric and the 2 people we baptised. (one on satruday, one on sunday.) It was a really fun day though.

I got a little beat up at football today. A kid rammed his knee right below mine. It's nice and swollen but all is well. I hate forgetting my planner... I wrote other things too.

OH! Okay. So the Herr's gave us all fire alarms. Guess what? African's have never seen a fire alarm. I put in the batteries. First mistake. I pressed the test button. Second and worse mistake. I have been woken up by a fire alarm placed next to my bed, I have received several migrains thanks to the fire alarm going off while I'm eating, and other random "testings" that happen throughout the day thanks to giddy happiness that is found in the push of a button. It's fun in a circle thing! Lol!

Well the pictures are still downloading so now I'm just killing time... I think that next time I wont send 21. Just 1 to 5 of randomness. I got dad a present too! Still workin on mom's... Maybe I'll get that in the next transfer. And yes boys. I have stuff for you too. Stuff for the whole family actually. Just little cool things and stuff. Well, I hope you guys think they're cool.

Well this letter is gigantic... I think I'll just let the thing download the pictures now... I gotta pay more time though... Ca va aller [gonna go].

Well I love you guys and miss you a lot!

Elder Halvorsen

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ready for a change!!

I loved the story about the car. Lol! It made me think about what I heard here in Togo. Togo is probobaly the CHEAPEST place on Earth you can buy a car. A 2005 Jaguar, perfect shape, 7500 bucks. Ridiculous. I asked why. He said that there are the Lebanese that do drug deals and cause it's so much money they can't get back on the plane to get home, so they buy a car and sell it in Togo to get the money from the drug deal back. Lol!

Well I'm just gonna send this email for this week. The lady here is crazy at this internet café. I said I wanted thirty minutes. then I asked N'Dri if he was gonna write and he said no. So I said okay. Give me an hour. And she said well that won't be the hour price of 250. I'm going to charge you two thirty mintues so that'll be 300. I said you just can't add thirty mintutes? I haven't even started. And she said that's impossible.

We had a lot of rain this week. All of Togo almost disappeared. We have zig zag on roads. Imagine a straight road that would take maybe 5 mintues to walk down. That becomes an Olympic jumping, balancing, and running event of thirty five minutes. There was one day that rained super hard and our normal road got blocked with water and we were so drenched we just said heck with it and ran through this huge lake of a puddle.

We killed a lot of the mice that have been bugging us. We found their home and killed five of them. Funny thing is, there's more.

I saved a bird's life! A little bird fell from this tree and we couldn't see it's nest. It was just a little baby. So after the lesson I said, I think I see his nest. So I climbed up in the tree and found a nest that was really beat. Then I turned around and saw another nest with a fat baby in it. So I put the bird there. Saving souls. A missionary's job. Lol!

President said that I've been in the sector too long and when he gets back to Côte D'Ivoire he'll get me transferred. I've been in the same area now for 25 weeks. 6 months. I'll be happy for a change.

We had our zone conference this last week. It was good. I love the Herr's. They're so Mormony perfect. I don't know really how to explain that... They're just amazing. I miss the Leavitt's a lot too... Such is the misson. At the conference too president said that all the Ivoiriens now have to learn english and in the next six weeks when the president will be here they have to pass an interview of five minutes in english with him. LOL!!!! That made me SO happy for many reasons. Lol!!!

Well I think that's it to report for me. I've been eating a lot of gari lately. It's this weird thing I think they make from Manyok and it absorbs water like crazy. I mix it with soy sauce and mustard. I'll have to take a picture and see if we can find it over there. Well I gotta go!

I love you all very much! I miss you guys! I can't believe I'll be passing up Dad's misison soon! [Mike went on a mission during the short period of time that they were only 18 months] And Kirtley is getting home soon... Jealous and not jealous at the sale time... LOVE YOU ALL! Oh. And maybe five baptisms this week. We'll see how things go.

Love you!
Elder Halvorsen

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Mission Couple -- The Herrs

I loved the last commentaire on Dad's face. Lol! That was priceless. The Herr's are WONDERFUL! They fed us today and we just had a great time at their house. Also we played soccer again. I still suck but it's a "getting better" sucking. Didn't have to pay for the package. They [the Herrs] served a mission in Russia and Kenya so I think they're used to Togo. Lol! I don't know when I'll be transferred next but I hope it's soon... I've been in the same place for 6 months... I need a change or I'll go crazy... I'm starting to feel like a robot... They don't speak French, the Herrs.

Go Kameron! Going out to Brazil! At least he'll be like me and not speaking spanish. Lol! That's great about Austin! Flippin smart kid. And Chan with the Tennis! I miss tennis...

Well my week wasn't that exciting... It rained a lot and we played soccer today. We have a couple great investigators that will be baptized soon and the Zone conference this Friday. It's thursday that I'll know if I'm transferred or not. That's really about it... Nothing too crazy...

The president told us to read the Book of Mormon in six weeks and I'm nearing the end this week. I've learned a lot of new things. I've been doing a lot of studies with the Bible and the BOM concerning Wisdom. It's a trait that I really want to have in all aspects of my life and as it says in Proverbs, Wisdom starts by following and fearing God. So I've been doing studies on this subject for a couple weeks now.

I love you all and hope that you all are doing well! For my health, I've just had a lot of Diaherra this week... Hasn't been pleasant... But it's kinda normal sadly... I swear I have that like once or twice a month...

I can't believe it's been that long either!

Love you!Elder Halvorsen