Monday, August 26, 2013

Proper (American) English and Herbology

What is up, people of Amrica!?!

This week has been a good week... I can't believe another week has flown by, just like that! Pretty crazy I got to say, but there's still many, many more weeks left to do while I'm out here so I'm not getting too crazy just yet! 

Not too much happened this week but we did finally start up our brand new English class this week! It's about time, huh? We started it on Wednesday, and in order to get people to come on time we are starting at EXACTLY 6:30 PM and ending EXACTLY at 7:30 PM... no exceptions! 

I'm not sure if I have complained... errr explained... about Africa time yet... or lack thereof. People here are usually AWFUL about coming to things on time. To make matters worse, you know Mormon Standard Time? Yup, still applies out here and is a double whammy! Our sacrament meeting is usually pretty full by the end of the meeting but at the start (meaning at 9:00 AM) we have almost nobody there! I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Fr. Alex, our old Group leader, would always start Church about 10-15 minutes late anyway but as of late we have been starting on time and ending on time too, whether or not anybody is actually there! 

But yeah, yesterday would be a good example of people not coming to Church on time, even our new group leader. My comp and I decided to go to Church early (well, he did and I had to follow along). Good thing we did go early! Nobody was there and the doors were closed (it was about 8:20). So, we had to set up all the chairs, the sacrament, pass out the hymnals, open the doors/windows, etc... it's not a whole lot of work but starting sacrament meeting drenched in sweat because it's so humid is not exactly my favorite way to start out my Sundays.

Back to the English class though... aside from us also trying to teach timeliness, we do actually teach English! Of course to make things better, I bought cookies to give out as prizes too! I made sure not to tell anybody about that though so that those who did actually come would be rewarded for coming! 

We had a pretty good turnout... about 10 people I think which isn't half bad. We had about 10 people on Friday too which isn't too much to complain about. We have even been getting some people who aren't members of the Church to come, which is good because apparently people think that if they come to our class we're going to force them to be converted and baptized into the Church... we keep trying to explain that it's just a form of community service that we the missionaries are doing in order to help out, but we'll see if more people actually start coming. 

We had loads of fun teaching! It's kinda tough though because these people act like kids when they have a lot of fun like we were having... I've been digging back into my Middle School/High School French class games in order to get people to participate and interact. So far, we've done board races and counting games and people have really liked them. 

The one problem I have been finding is how to be able to teach everyone, because everyone has a different level of previous English knowledge... also, some of it is Nigerian English sooo... not that I'm saying Nigerian English is bad per se (coughit'sawfulcough) but I'm just trying to teach them... proper English! Yeah, that's it... "proper" American English... you know, the good kind! The understandable kind! 

Also, I wanted to share some interesting stuff I learned this past week from one of our member's Mama Happy. She's divorced so we try and visit her every so often to see how she's doing since all her kids are moved out and she's just kinda there selling stuff out of the shack in front of her house. As we were visiting, we noticed that she was taking care of the plants in her... "yard". We started to ask about them and it turns out that every single plant she has had some sort of meaning to it/special purpose. I made sure to write them down and share my newfound traditional African knowledge! 

So, in the picture I sent, we will start from left to right. The first plant, right next to the bowls with the big leaves, is a plant that, if you put one of its leaves in your mouth, will protect you if you need to do something scary. That's to say, maybe you need to go into a sketchy part of town or you need to do something that you're scared to do, it will give you the strength to return home safely. 

Close up of the purple good luck plant 

Next to that plant is a little purple plant that I'm sure you cannot really see. It has these really cool purple leaves that are supposed to give you good luck on a trip or journey. Put it in your pocket or anywhere on your person, and you're in good shape. Mama Happy was nice enough to give us each one and I have mine resting in my scriptures, nice and safe! I'm thinking that if I ever need extra luck I'll put that and my cursed Voodoo necklace that I got a few months ago... hmmm... maybe I should wear those while I'm walking around my sector! 

The next plant, the one that's rather tall with red/purple bean looking flowers on it, is well... supposed to help you when you lack blood. So, it's good for tuberculosis I guess? She wasn't really specific on its purpose but my comp seemed to know what she talked about when she mentioned it, so it must cure something that I don't know about.

The next plant is on the very right in the big white pot. Its purpose is to help you get something you want... for example let's say that somebody owes you something or you lent them something and they won't give it back to you. Stick one of the leaves in your mouth (I guess you tuck it in under your lip so it doesn't get in the way? Not sure how this Africa stuff works) and go up to the person that owes you... and... BAM they will give it back to you! It's magic, I tell you!

The next plant is the plant in the bottom left corner of the picture, with little beans. That is a plant that, if you boil it into a tea, will help cure malaria! I'll be sure to stop by Mama Happy's when I get malaria! 

The last plant in that image is the tall tree looking one. That plants purpose? To cure diabetes! Who would have thought that Africans even knew what diabetes was. Small world, huh? lol

Okay, now the very last plant I will talk about is the one with Fr. Peniel standing in front of it (the biggish tree)... btw... Peniel is awesome, but that's besides the point. This tree is a pretty special tree. Apparently, if you take the leaves and wash with them, it will bring you good luck and peace in your day. But, let's say you're going to court and you have to tell the truth... if you take 3 branches of this tree that has EXACTLY 7 leaves on it (no more, no less or else it won't work) and then wash/bathe/drink it, it will force you to tell the truth in court, even if someone tries to bribe you to say otherwise. 

Another one of its uses is at funerals. People will take the leaves and put it in a bowl at the exit of a funeral. You're supposed to wash your hands in it so that way no ghosts follow you out of the graveyard and haunt you. Thought that might be a pretty handy one! 

Wow... that took forever! I hope you all are up to date on your African herbology knowledge! I thought it was pretty cool to learn about and it made me realize that every plant that is in somebody's parcel actually has a very specific use! It's never just for looks/shade... whether it produces fruit to sell or brings good luck to the house, it has a purpose! I know a lot of people have plants that they make sauces out of (they're pretty gross) but I never knew there could be so many things you could do with them! Ahhh... the mysteries of Africa are forever unfolding before my eyes! 

To wind things down, things have been going alright. We had three people come to Church yesterday, and it was the second time for all of them so I would consider that my little miracle for the week! Hopefully we'll see more progress in this week to come. I'm sure we will though! 

Thanks to everyone for the prayers and the support. Thanks for reading my ramblings every week (to the few who still do!) Take care and have a great rest of summer! 

Much Love,

Elder Hawkins

More pics: 

Sweet classic french car that I found! 

My tortilla mess. Props to the mexicans who make them every day. I am convinced that the only way to make a perfect tortilla is through dark magic and wizardry. 

Note from the Fro: Love the tortilla making!  And the water bottle rolling pin.  Yep, that's my kid!  I asked what he filled them with and he said "Ayemolo of course!" Which is apparently African rice and beans with pima sauce.  He says it's delish.  But unfortunately avocados are no longer in season, so he's a little bummed about that.  Also, the French car cracks me up!  It's a Citroen 2CV or rather Deux Chevaux (2 horse power).  They are pretty fun looking cars, I can see why it made his day!  I think it's fun he's learning about some of the plants and their properties there. Reminds me of my time way back when working with the World Wide Fund for Nature.  Ah, those were the days!  I told him to respect the plants, they really are medicinal.  Not sure about the good luck, truth telling and gets rid of ghosts aspects, but they DO heal!  Oh Africa. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mormon Helping Hands, AFRICA STYLE!

Another week down, and a lot more to go! 

This one was a bit better though! First of all, we did the very first service project I've ever done since I've been out here... aka Mormon Helping Hands, AFRICA STYLE.

Our service project this week was to go out and clean the TVT... Television Togolaise... meaning, one of the biggest and most well known TV stations in Togo! Sweet, huh?!? It actually turned out to be in Kodjoviakope so we just walked to it with all the members from our group (well a bunch of them anyway). It did happen to be at 6 in the freaking morning unfortunately... so we had to wake up kind of early for that, plus we were walking over so it would take a bit longer.

 Missionaries Unite!

30 Rock....or, not?

I wasn't sure what to expect when I got there, but, well... let me just say that TVT is a tad bit different from 30 Rock. Well, actually... it's completely different because one is a really cool skyscraper and the other looks like an abandoned military facility from the 1960s during the Vietnam War (tanks included). I will let you guess which one is which. 

Every public TV station should have a tank. Or two.

I was surprised they even still broadcasted from that place! It was completely covered in weeds and trash (most of which we ended up burning in classic Togolais fashion). However, there were tons of people who all brought their own brooms, machetes, and other cleaning supplies. I'm a little ashamed to say that I really didn't do much to help out! We got there late and everyone was already working away... I didn't even get a cool Helping Hands jacket because they forgot to give them to our group... which is typical as we are the forgotten group of the Lome District! 

Random pics from the service project, members burning trash.

However, despite that, everyone had a really great time! I was able to talk with a bunch of missionaries and got to catch up with some members from the Wuiti branch, which is actually doing really well and finally moved into their new building! However, I can't lie... one of my favorite moments of the day was when Mama Dobe (remember the lantern story?) came up and said hi to me! I was so excited to see her and happy that she even came! 

Later on Saturday, I got a second chance for service as I helped clean up the branch. Just wanted to show how well I swept up the "lawn". African's really like making sure their dirt/sand is all nice and swept up so I felt pretty satisfied in embracing my inner-African.

We ended up staying until about 11:30 or so in the morning and the members got a lot done. I will say that there were a few members who I think didn't really know what a service project was... as in they were wearing church clothes... I think they learned their lesson. 

The "football" activity today at the beach... including the sign for the beach. 

Not much else happened this week. Today, we had a fun P-day in that the missionaries and a bunch of the members from the group went to the beach to go play soccer. Playing soccer in the sand is pretty tiring I got to say. Happy to report that there was not any human stool on the field we played on! However, I did see a lot of people producing said stool on other parts of the beach. Ohhhhhhhh... Togo. 

The terrain we played on...devoid of human waste. I hope.

We also played a bunch of other fun little games like Tug of War without a rope, one ball dodgeball, and arm wrestling. I'm not sure how to really describe those first two games we played, but when I get home, I can show people how to play them! After all was said and done though, we had a great time and I think it was good for the group to just go out and have some fun together. We all had a pretty fun time. 

I just hope I didn't catch any diseases playing barefoot in that sand. Guess that's why I had to get 8 or so shots before I got here, right? 

Picture of all of us who were there. And yes, I did wear my Eagles shirt again out of spite because everyone knows that football does not mean soccer. 
As for the missionary work, things are still going pretty tough. We did get a brand new ami to come to Church yesterday which made me happy, but I still don't try to get too excited until they come for the second time. However, I do feel as though the Lord has come in and comforted me this week. I feel like I am growing to learn how to deal with crappy situations that are dealt me and learning to get through them. Also, learning how to appreciate the good in the bad! Always look for the good, in any situation, even if it seems there isn't any.  You'll find it!

I feel like that has been an overarching theme in my mission. This mission has dealt me a fair share of crappy situations and learning how to get through them has been the most challenging part so far. It has taught me that sometimes we might not get the results we were looking for but, no matter what happens, results do come. For example, I'm not getting the results I would like to have had here in terms of bringing people into the fold, but I am learning a lot of stuff about how to teach better and am improving my Gospel knowledge every day. That's something I can at least be grateful for. Also, I feel like I am getting to know great people in this group... even though we might not be the strongest or the most perfect group ever, there is love between the members which is something I definitely felt in our little activity today. 

Best be signing off now as I got a bunch of pictures to send home this week! Hope you all are having a wonderful summer and are continuing on being great. Remember, the Lord loves you, knows you, and watches over you... he's always there... you just gotta look for him! 

Love, your corny but sincere missionary in Togo, 

Elder Hawkins

So, a recent convert of Elder Haggard's gave us some coconuts from his coconut tree. Problem? HOW THE HECK DO YOU OPEN COCONUTS?!?! There's no easy "Crack Here" symbol or a tab to peel. We asked Elder Digbe to help and he just smacked it as hard as he could on the counter until it cracked open into little pieces. After that, I decided to bring out the cutting board because I was afraid of breaking the counter.

Yeah, turns out that wasn't such a great idea. After that though... a sudden Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi-like voice popped into my head... except it was Dad's voice and it said, "Be smarter than the object". So, as inspired as I was, I decided to go out on our patio and smack it on the cement. Ended up working like a charm... and also, Coconut is pretty satisfying when you eat it out of its shell! So thanks Sur for helping me out with that one! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Will Go, I Will Do

My goodness gracious... I got to tell you all first off that I am already super tired from responding to the like 20 emails I got this week... I wish I could just combine everything I said in the emails I sent out to people because I think that would be the perfect weekly email! How awesome to get that many emails though, thank you!!!

This week was tough like last week, not going to lie. Tombez-vous left and right. No amis came to Church yesterday. Early returns to the apartment again this week. 

Yup, it's the life alright. 

I'm trying my best to keep my chin held high and my head up, but there are a lot of reasons to keep looking down at the ground, like I said before. It has been almost two months in this sector and I feel like nothing has really changed in terms of the problems we are having. It's also been FREEZING this past week, even more so than usual. My temp gauge in my room went to the lowest I have ever seen it at: 76.5 degrees. Burrrrrrrrr... really the problem is when there's wind. When it's not windy, the weather feels great and somewhat enjoyable... but it has been super windy this week so that hasn't really been the case. 

Anyway, let's get away from the more depressing parts of the week... this week we did have our Zone Conference... which means CHARWAMAS AND HAMBURGERS! WIN! That made me happy this week, for sure... oh and we did learn a lot of cool and valuable things too of course, but I'll get to that later. 

Before the conference, Sister Weed asked us all to wear red ties because she wanted us all matching for our zone pictures that we would be taking. Now, Elder Haggard and I were pretty bummed because we wanted to wear and show off our cool pine ties that Soeur Sonia made for us. BUT! No need to fear... she went out teaching with us on Tuesday and I just casually mentioned our little predicament to her. She told me she was totally up for it! So, just like that and in two days, we were able to wip up 4 pine ties for the whole district of Kodjoviakope! We spent a few hours at her house trying to make them (she doesn't have many lights for the courtyard in her parcel so we were all using the flashlights on our cell phones!). 

Tried to get some good pictures of the sewing machine Soeur Sonia uses to sew with... it's a classic
non-electric step pedal sewing machine thingy. 
Thought Fro might like that... also... she can get that thing going pretty fast when she gets in the rhythm!

Elder Digbe and Soeur Sonia... Digbe is holding up the cell phone with the flashlight so she can see!

Me ironing some pine ties using a classic non-electric actually-made-out-of-iron iron! And I only thought Fro used those for decoration! 

Needless to say, the next day we were all looking pretty sharp in our pine ties. I think everyone was a little bit jealous, but mostly because we were all pretty cool since we were matching! After the conference Sister Weed and President Weed noticed that we were all matching and they had to get a cool picture of all of us together! 

The final product! Looking sharp in front of the new sign they finally put up at the new church building in Kegue.

So yeah, I would have to say that was the highlight of my week this week... charwamas and pine ties. 

One of the things I remember most about what President talked about was his analogy of the mission. In the mission, it's a huge joke because it seems like every conference he compares the mission to something. My first conference, we were all in a boat. My second conference, we were all in a bottle. So, somebody asked at the end of this past conference what we were in this time... thankfully, President had a good sense of humor and he told us that we are now on one of those boats in a bottle! Everyone got a good kick out of that! 

Also, some big news happened this week in Kodjoviakope. For the first time in the history of our little group (it's been around 2 years) we have finally gotten a new Group Leader! Fr. Alex is no longer our group leader and many, many members are so happy and relieved. I think Fr. Alex is relieved too because I found out he had moved out to somewhere that was 30 minutes away 6 months ago! It definitely explains why he was always late to everything. However, I really hope the group can progress now that we have a new group leader. His name is Fr. Marcelyn and he is really cool! He and his wife were converted last year and they have a really cute daughter at the age of like 3-4. Great choice and I hope the group can start progressing. The key is that now that Fr Alex, the scapegoat for all our problems before, is gone, we have to actually step up and work on turning this group into a branch. It will be tough but I have confidence in the group. 

I'm not really sure what else to say right now... just keep praying for me because this sector is hard and has been a real trial for me. Pray that the right people will be put in my path. Pray that people will have an accepting heart. Pray that people will just respect the rendez-vous! 

One thing I realized about being a missionary is this: being a missionary sucks when you're not doing missionary work. Because if you're not doing the work you were called to do, it just doesn't feel right. Sure missionary work is hard, but so is every other kind of work out there. We all get a little tired. We all get a little discouraged. That's life... stuff like that is supposed to happen! 

I think the key this week will be Proverbs 3:5-7, or as I call it, the Fro scripture (since it's her favorite scripture):
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.

Be not wise in thine own eyes:
fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
This week I've been letting myself get down on the failures I've been having in this sector... My fear is that I will have done nothing to make this sector better than it was when I first found it. 

But, like the scripture says, I can't lean unto my own understanding. I need to trust in the Lord with all my heart because he can work miracles in our lives. The only thing that depends on is our faith in Him and His ways. Really it's the only thing I got at this point, because everything I see in my own eyes is pretty bleak and not too promising... but at the end of the day, He knows more than I do and if there's anybody who can make miracles happen, it's Him.  

I know the Lord has got plans for me out here in Nyekonakpoe... and I think Nephi sums up my feelings pretty well as to what I have to do now: 

"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

Thanks again for all the prayers, emails and the support everybody. Talk to you again next week! 


Elder Hawkins

Note from the Fro: First of all...he's freezing at 76.5 degrees.  I find that hilarious!  How is he going to ever survive winter when he gets home?  Second....LOVE the sewing machine. With a "treadle" (er, step thingy!). It's a Janome!  How cool is that?  And the fabric!  I think he needs to start buying me this pine fabric.  Maybe I should send Soeur Sonia some of MY fabric in exchange?  I think it was also tough for him knowing that we were at the beach without him (it's not easy for Fro either!) but thought it was cool that we were connected by the same ocean. He also said they're trying to think of activities to get their members and investigators involved in.  He's really excited that this week they get to do a service project for Mormon Helping Hands.  Hopefully he'll give us more details on that next week!  Thank you all for supporting our Elder, I know he can feel your prayers. :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

By Small and Simple Things

What's up!?
Another week down and, well, what seems like millions more weeks to go. Ca va aller, though, right?
First thing, the big news around the neighborhood was Adebayor's brother dying. Now, if you're like any red-blooded American, you should have no idea who Adebayor is... and that's a good thing. If you do know who he is... SHAME ON YOU. STOP WATCHING SOCCER. That's right, he's the world's most famous Togolais, because he plays soccer in the premier league. Everyone here seems to love him, or so I thought, but now I have come to understand more of who Togo's most famous person is.
Now, I heard about Adebayor's brother dying earlier in the week from a member. They were saying that it might be a bit dangerous to go out because there would be a lot of memorials going on in honor of his brother. At first, I thought that was really lame because I thought the only reason people were mourning over his brother's death was because he was the brother of Adebayor.
But, I actually came to find out that Adebayor grew up in Kodjoviakope! Pretty cool huh? World's most famous Togolais turns out to have grown up in my 'hood! Apparently, Adebayor's brother, (named Peter) was pretty loved and liked in the neighborhood. He had been sick for a while and died about a week or two ago... so I guess there were actually people who did miss this guy and weren't mourning just because he was Adebayor's brother.
Anyway, I didn't think much of the funeral, but on Saturday, that ALL changed. We were sitting in the apartment when all of a sudden we just hear these motos coming up and down our street making tons of noise; revving their engines, honking their horns, etc. I didn't think much of it at first because we just came out of the elections and that happened all the time when people were campaigning. But, they were staying around so we went out to watch them anyway. Then, we see this HUGE group of people start coming into our street! And I mean just TONS of people start crowding the street like I have never seen before. 

So, we went up on the roof to watch what was going on. It was absolutely mad chaos. Tons of people dressed in red shirts... even saw a moto accident because they were being stupid trying to avoid people. Then people started swarming the cemetery that's across the street from us... people are like hoping walls, jumping over tombs... who would have ever known that a cemetery could be so noisy and chaotic. 

Of course, then we see the casket be carried through the crowd. That I expected to see. 

What I didn't expect to see were like 5 random people walking on 10 ft. stilts through the crowd! 

I also didn't expect to see crazy random Voodoo priests and revenons! I'm not sure I'm doing this massive spectacle much justice, but trust me, it was a funeral march for the ages. 

(Cousin It from the Addams Family!?)

Now, remember this random Adebayor character I was telling you about? Got to see him too! I was surprised that I recognized him, but I knew it was him by his hair, gold chains, gold watch, and... well... just all the bling he had. I think it's pretty cool that I can officially say that I have seen the most famous Togolais with my own two eyes in his flesh and bones! Pretty sure not every American can add that to his resume, if you know what I'm sayin'. 

That was the exciting event of the week. Now, I tell all my investigators and recent converts about how I saw Adebayor with my own two eye balls! I think they're pretty impressed about it. I never actually thought I would get to see him during my time here in Togo, but well, you know what nobody says, anything can happen in Togo!
Other than that grand event, life has been pretty boring in Togo. The work is still as hard as ever, don't get me wrong, but I seem to make do. It's been tough trying to find people to teach for the second time. We seem to have no problem finding new people to teach as of right now, but it just seems like nobody is ever home for their second appointment or they seem to flee every time we go over! It is really frustrating and rather discouraging. 
It's also been hard to get the few amis we do have to actually come to church. It's really frustrating because right now, they don't really have any excuses. Back in Wuiti, people always said it was too far because it wasn't in the neighborhood, but here, it's not even that hard to get to! People promise us up the wazoo that they will come to church, but what happens? NOBODY shows up! This past Sunday was almost like that... we got the meeting started and about 15 minutes before sacrament meeting ended, we got a phone call from an ami we didn't get to see all week because she was traveling in Benin. But she calls us and tells us she's near the church but needs help finding exactly where it is! It made us both super, super happy! 

Her name is Pelagie and we found her doing door-to-door knocking. She has got some problems we have to help her work through, but she is really accepting and really likes talking with us. And, to tell you the truth, I have never had any of my amis who I found via door-to-door come to church before so this is a first and that gives me a lot of hope! I have a lot of faith in her, but we've still got a long way to go.

Unfortuantely, I've got to get going now. Thanks for reading through my random thoughts for the week. I'm sure Fro will fill you in on some other problems I have been having in the sector, but that's going to be it for me. Thanks for the support, prayers, and love everybody. Enjoy your summer and have a great week!
With Love,

Elder Hawkins

Note from the Fro: This week we'll be praying for progressing investigators and also that Elder Hawkins will have the patience he needs to do the work he was sent there to do. He is feeling a bit more discouraged in the sector he's in.  Still people are canceling their appointments, or just not showing up. He said: "I realized this week that it has been almost 3 months since my last baptism and I feel like it could be another 3 months before my next one. Talk about discouraging. I still have faith but it is really, really being tested. When I first got here, I got to thinking like okay... I can change this place and I can do some good work out here. But so far, it's all been for naught. It's been almost two months in this sector and nothing seems to be happening."

When this happens, and they have no more appointments for the day, his comp just wants to go back to the apartment, which is tough on Elder H as he feels it's a waste of the "Lord's time".  He's going to try to challenge his comp this week to make door-to-door contacts instead, even though by making the suggestion, he knows he will be the one that will have to do most of the talking. Which is one of his struggles!

Elder H: That's another thing I'm trying to get over.. stop caring what strangers think about me. Whenever I go into a parcel, I just feel like a clown walking in with my missionary attire and my white skin... like everyone just stops what they're doing and looks at me. It's so awkward and they aren't always the nicest people (some don't even respond when I say hello). The one thing I've learned on my mission is how much it sucks to be a super-minority .. you see a lot of ugly things because of it and it's hard for me to feel comfortable when EVERYBODY is judging me because of my missionary attire and white skin.

Fro: Hmmm, interesting lesson, being on the flip side, huh? I know it's a tough lesson to learn, but one you'll draw on your entire life in the way that you view yourself and treat others. You know if you were here, Dad would be pulling out the Starlight Express! Onnnnnly YOUUUUUU have the power, within you!!! ;)  Hahaha!!

Elder H: FAAAARRRROOOOOOOO... do not need starlight express pump up music.
It's just tough. A lot of times I just don't feel like there's much I can talk to these people about. I feel like I'm at a loss of words for some reason. It makes things kinda awkward to be honest. But, I always remember that there is no such thing as awkward in French because the word doesn't exist!

Still, it's pretty hard to get out of my comfort zone. But, I think for this week I'm going to start to try and start small. Maybe try to do ONE thing that isn't in my comfort zone and then feel good about doing it. Once I get good at that, I can actually start raising the bar bit by bit.

Fro: That's the spirit! And just remember.... "But behold, I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;" (Alma 37:6)