Monday, July 1, 2013

Greetings from the Worst Cyber in Lome

The whole zone... we're a pretty cool bunch, huh?

First, I just want to say my apologies to those who haven't been responded to yet! I'm trying my best to get emails out to people but the Cyber that I'm at has an extremely slow connection. I'm thinking about getting AOL Dial-Up now because the connection here is so bad...To make matters worse, some guy decided to be the unofficial Cyber DJ

and has started blasting awful rap music from his phone. Can't really say I'm having the time of my life at this moment.

Rap music aside, things out here in the crazy wild, wild west of Africa are going pretty good. Our sector is just really, really bad still and we taught barely anyone this week due to a lack of investigators, but it's all good. Nothing that a little prayer and fasting can't do to fix that all up!

Oh, forgot to congratulate Sienna on getting called to Brazil! Didn't see that one coming that's for sure! I was pretty nervous and excited the whole week about where she was going to go... I was thinking either Temple Square (well... most Sister missionaries get called there), Canada (since nobody in our family has yet to serve a French speaking mission in Canada!), or Tokyo, Japan (because it would be absolutely hilarious imagining Sienna learning Japanese... "like ombgeebers... are those sounds even supposed to make words?! ohhhh nooooo."). So needless to say... Brazil is a huge disappointment for me after imagining all my Sienna-serving-in-Japan scenarios. I really feel like the First Presidency missed out on a huge opportunity there. ;)

No, but seriously... Brazil is awesome! Bummer that we'll be missing each other by a good six months, but it's all good! We could be serving back to back missions, right? Brazil will be sweet! The Olympics? And the World Cup? Better learn the language of soccer! I think we need to start praying now that she will get her visa work all done before she hits the MTC!

Elder Hawkins, Elder Owusu, Elder Seidl

So the week was pretty boring, but the highlight of my week was that I got to do splits with the Zone Leaders this past Thursday! So, I went back to my birthplace of Tokoin and hung out with all the elders there for a day. Goodness, do I miss it over there! Not their new apartment however... it's even smaller and hotter than I imagined it would be
when I first saw it over a month ago before I got transferred . I didn't get to work in my old sector, but I did see a lot of members from my old branch at the end of the day when we went to the church to do our Coordination meeting. They were all complaining to me about abandoning them!! I was like... whhhattt???! I served there for over 5 months! I think that's plenty of time over there! I am proud of myself though because I was able to fix a mangez-vous with my old second counselor this Wednesday! Since this is Elder Owusu's last week, he and Elder Seidl will be there too (I did tell you that they're comps
now, right? Yeah, crazy that two of my former comps are now comps together!). I'm pretty excited because Soeur Asima makes pretty dang good pat, so it will be a treat! Even more so because I haven't had a mangez-vous in this new sector since I got here three weeks ago...ughh... Nykonakpoe...

One interesting thing that happened last Thursday was that all the BAC-1 exams got released. For those who don't know, the BAC is a huge test that all high school seniors here take to finish up high school. They must have it in order to graduate. It's an extremely hard test...and the worst part about it is that if you fail (which most people do
the first time), you not only have to retake the test, but you have to repeat the whole YEAR of school you just did. In Tokoin, there's a recent convert who I knew pretty well while I was back at Wuiti. She happened to fail the BAC and told me that of the 26 people in her class, only 4 passed not even including the first in the class. There were even a few people in my branch out here that failed the BAC (one for the second time). Apparently, there's a lot of payoffs that happen to teachers so any students with rich parents are able to pay their way out of retaking the BAC.

So that was rather eye-opening for me, in terms of understanding the Togo education system. Glad to see they picked up the same ancient system that France still uses! The way I've been cheering up a lot of people is by telling them hey, when you pass it next year, I'll still be here to congratulate you and party the pass! It's funny because
most people still pity how much time I have left on the mission... :(

Cool hipsta pic of an old McDs toy

Let's see... nothing else really to talk about this week! I'm sending a picture of Elder Owusu, Elder Seidl, and I at a recent zone meeting. Also sending a picture of the whole zone... we're a pretty cool bunch, huh? Also sending a pretty cool hipsta pic of an old McDs toy a member had at her house. And, sending a picture of the lizards one finds out
here in Lome all the time. I always see them on the wall outside our house and I finally got a picture of a good one for you all. As you can tell, they're pretty sweet looking but rather scary when you hear them crawling on top of your investigator's roof that sounds like it's going to break through the rough and land on your head. Do you see those NASTY claws?! They would destroy me!

Guess I should probably get going right about now, I wasted an hour just trying to get online at this fun cyber! Thanks for all the emails, love and support. I'll hopefully find a better cyber and be able to write more to you guys next week!

Much love,

Elder Hawkins

Note from the Fro: Was it just me, or did you notice that he was excited about a  mangez-vous where he'll be fed pat?  Haha!  Thought he'd never be excited about that certain West African dish!  Please join us this week in praying that our Elder will find people to teach in his new sector so he can feel a part of helping that area grow!

Had to add a tidbit from the letter he wrote his dad (because if the sector is as bad as Ross Gload, it can't get much worse!!!):

Mission has been going well. The sector is still about fun as watching
Ross Gload come up and bat... so you know, pretty awful. Speaking of
the Phils, jealous you guys got to go up and see them in LA! Too bad
they lost and blew it but honestly the bullpen woes don't really
surprise me... it's never been solid/consistent since 2008 (though it
was pretty good in 2011 or last year if I remember correctly). Also,
can't believe Keegan got to see Randy Johnson! What a lucky son of a
gun. I'm going to email Elder Poll (he's the AP of the mission and the
one who emailed you a few weeks ago) because he's a huge D-Backs fan!

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