Monday, March 18, 2013

Fro, fro, fro, It's Monday once Mo....! March 18, 2013

Whazzzzup Errrrrybody!?

Nothing much going on down here in the good ol' 00-228 (that's Togo's calling code, just FYI... nobody calls it that but I've decided at this very moment that I will be starting a trend!) This week went by crazy quick! Wasn't it just yesterday I wrote one of these crazy letters? 

So this week, I went on my first ever official split with Elder Imoukuede... at first I was pretty scared... I mean neither of us speak French fluently to say the least. It started off by visiting one of our ami's named Antoinette... we've been teaching her for a few weeks but she hasn't been progressing much. But, she was on our way home (we visited Kodjo first and that rendez-vous went so-so... nothing much happened). That lesson was absolutely awful. It was so noisy and she couldn't understand either of us. Honestly, when we went back home for lunch, I was pretty down after that lesson... Elder Imoukuede was really down too actually... he said he never wanted to go on splits again until he could actually speak French! I figured that we were just going to fail all our other lessons. So, yeah... needless to say, when we went out again for the afternoon I was bummed...

BUT! I prayed and prayed and prayed my heart out during Lunch that our next rendez-vous would go better. Our first rendez-vous of the afternoon was with an inactive member who I was meeting for the first time. She's been a member since 2002 or something like that... so a long time, but she's had some rough personal stuff recently with her health and her kids. I was really happy to meet her and we hope we can help her start coming back to church every week... so we had a good lesson with her, but the best part about it? Her name is Mama Adele! How cool is that!! I got pretty excited and told her that my sister was named Adele and she thought that was pretty cool. So, Mama Adele is really nice and I'll keep you updated on how she's doing.

So, yeah, that lesson went well, but then we had a lesson with David, who is Kodjo's brother (our recent convert). He always asks tons of questions (and they're usually pretty bizzare and random) so I was worried about the lesson to say the least, especially since we were introducing the Book of Mormon to him. So, we get the lesson started and honestly, the lesson could not have gone more perfectly. We read the introduction of the BOM with him and talked about that. Honestly, it was like I was speaking fluent French with him... I answered all his questions (and he was asking tons), we had good conversations with him (meaning that he was really understanding what we were talking about). Both me and Elder Imoukuede testified at the end too. The gift of tongues is real, my friends! Honestly, during that lesson I did not feel like some weird American trying to speak French, but I felt like a real, native speaker just talking like a normal person. 

I just found out that our Cyber is closing 15 minutes early today, so I guess this week is going to be a bit short, but I just want to testify that the Lord really does answer prayers. I could not even tell you how down I was before lunch and how inadequate (fro, Spelling help!) I felt. But after that lesson with David, our spirits really were lifted up and I was motivated like none other.

So, I hope that makes up for the short letter this week... I think that might have been one of the coolest spiritual experiences thus far on my mission. Hoping I can keep it up! 

Just to let everyone know, I'm doing fine and sweaty, as always! I just keep holding on to the Fro's favorite scripture in Proverbs... 

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding"

Love you guys tons... thanks for all the letters, encouragement, and support. It really does make all the difference.

With love,

Elder Hawkins

P.S. This week, I'm calling out P-Dawg V!!!! Where art thou!?!

Note from the Fro: First of all, AWESOME language experience.  I'm SO glad he was blessed with that. Also, I think it's really funny when he asks me for spelling help for words he spells correctly.  Haha!  Second, it's SO cool that he not only knows a Mama Yvonne, but now a Mama Adele.  Two names which belong to his Grandma Yvonne Adele Hawkins and whom his sister was named after!  What are the chances?? And lastly, if you HAVEN'T written to our Elder yet, you might want to before he calls you out in his weekly emails!  Pete, I'm guessing that one was for you??

Here's a little more info I gleaned from him while he was at the cyber. He was in really good spirits despite the fact that Elder G is being transferred. :( A couple of other explanations ....our family "theme song" is the one he quotes below, "how do you like that" food photos is referring to a certain sweet sister of mine who likes to post pictures of her food on fb! :) And I always end my letters "Love you, to infinity and beyond", which explains his version.  LOL. Funny kid!

Fro: How's your Monday going?

Elder H: It went pretty good! We played basketball again so I got to see Elder Kunz! I actually saw him for the first time a few days before and we were so happy to finally see each other! We really wanna make sure that we get together more often... because now with Elder Gunderson being transfered BACK to Souza with Kunz, it will be easier to keep in touch with him.

Fro: Oh darn....Elder G is being transferred again??? Maybe Elder Kunz needs him more. What about you, are you staying then?  And do you know who's taking Elder G's place?

Elder H: Sooooo... yeah... Elder Imoukuede and Elder G both got transfered. As well as Elder Ranto, who is the zone leader and was Elder Hanna's comp. He's going to be replaced by Elder Shear (I believe that's his name). I hear he's easy to get along with so we'll see how that goes. As for the replacements for Elder G and Imoukuede? NONE! They're downsizing our apartment to 4 and Elder Owusu and I will be absorbing their sector into our sector. So, instead of the branch having two sets of elders, it's just down to us now... so needless to say we are going to be very busy!

Fro: Wow! That'll be a good challenge!  Did you have another good week? Sounds like it was busy.  And according to Sis Leavitt...SOOO hot!

Elder H: Yup, yup hot hot hot... I think it's the hottest time of the year right now and it just kills you! But honestly, this week went by SUPER quick.

Today me and Elder G had some awesome CALZONES! They were HUGE but they were packed with cheese and meat. The best part of the day was that when we were waiting for our food, we saw some white people coming in and then we saw a guy in the navy and two others in the army (they were wearing camo) and we got SO EXCITED to see AMERICAN soldiers... like REAL people!!!! We said howdy to them and what not and it was so cool. They were like super heros to us... words cannot describe how nice it felt to see soldiers from America.

Fro: Oh my gosh, that's so cool!  That made me get a little teary-eyed with American pride.  You know how Fro-y I get about America.  You had huge calzones and didn't take "how do you like that" pics??? Yeah, you gotta get on board with the pic taking.  Haha.  I'm sure the families of those soldiers would love to know that they were like seeing the Avenger's in person to some American missionaries in West Africa!  I love it. Any new ami's this week?

Elder H: Yeah... I guess I'll start taking pictures of the good food I eat. I do have some pictures of some of the meals I've made that are completely American but i don't think they're worth sending! I did just back up all my pictures today so now I feel safe using my camera more often.

And we got a couple of nouveau amis this week... not many but we did meet with that contact from the Pharmacy that lives in my sector. She speaks a bit of English and her husband actually teaches English at a school over here so we'll have to talk to him sooner or later. I'm not sure if she will progress well because she can only meet with us on Saturday nights, but she seemed really interested! So I hope things start going well with her. (This was a woman Sis Leavitt met at the Pharmacy during Elder Hawkins' visit to the eye doctor last week.  She was very interested in talking to the missionaries and just HAPPENED to live in Elder Hawkins' sector! So they exchanged information and followed up with her this week.)

Fro: That's great that you were able to contact her though! I just read Elder Layton's blog for the week in which he ended "thankful for the gospel and this Fanta Orange I am drinking right now".  It's all about the little things, isn't it??? 

Elder H: Haha yes!!!! I haven't tried Fanta Orange yet just because I figured it would be like the one back in France, but I am very thankful for the gospel and Fanta Pomme, that's for sure! 

Fro: And American military in west Africa! You guys crack me up. I love how you always find SOMETHING positive about the situation. It's all about the way you look at things!

Elder H: "Always look on the bright side of life!"

And the cyber just said their closing early to do some training of some sort so they're kicking us out at the top of the hour! 

Love you! Thanks for all the letters and the fro-talk!!!

Talk to you next week!!!! 

To infinity and be-fro

Elder Hawkins

(I didn't steal your thing! I trev-ized it!)


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