Monday, September 23, 2013

Whistle While You Work?

Our bean lady used these Walmart bags for our beans today! Never thought I would be seeing that out here in Togo... they were brand new too! Weird! Can't really bring them back to our nearest Walmart for recycling though...

Not sure if I complained about it yet, but I always dislike starting off these emails... everything I write feels so cliche! Even complaining about it feels cliche! Ah! What is one to do? 

This week was another week on the mission, just like any other. We did have an unexpected interview from President Weed though! Usually they tell us when he's going to do our interviews but none of us knew until the day before. However, it was a good interview and it was nice to see President as always. We talked about some good things but not much because it was him doing most of the talking. He mostly tried to comfort me in saying that our trials make us stronger, etc... it was good! Although, he basically confirmed to Elder Haggard, Elder Digbe, and I that Elder Digbe would be transferred out of Kodjo when my Comp leaves... meaning that, because there's about a week gap between the people leaving and the new arrivals, Elder Haggard and I will be companions for about a week in our two sectors! My first American comp since the MTC! Nothing is confirmed or anything, so don't take my word for it, but we'll just have to wait and see. 

So, yesterday, for some odd reason, I was thinking about something that was very near and dear to the heart's of many Americans. What is that? Why it's informercials, of course! I guess it's only right that I talk about informercials as Jared finishes up his mission this week... us two watched way too many informercials over our Thanksgiving holidays together... but anyway, I was thinking... ummm... what in the world would people do for infomercials here? So, I got a bit creative and made some scripts to my would be informercials here in Africa! 

First up, our gas flame burner... aka, our only kitchen appliance on the mission. 

Do YOU find yourself disappointed in your kitchen appliances? Looking for something to SPICE up those same 7 meals you make every week? Looking to add a little CHARACTER to your kitchen? Then why not buy the one and only 100% STAINLESS-STEEL DUAL GAS BURNER, better known as the StainSteeDuGaBURN5000. The StainSteeDuGaBURN5000 is a one-of-a-kind revolutionary product imported from the finest factories of China straight to your kitchen. Lightweight and convenient  it can provide and suffice for all of your cooking needs. Forget the oven, the toaster, the microwave... even the Easy Bake oven! The 
StainSteeDuGaBURN5000 will cover all of your cooking needs. Need to heat up some spaghetti? Throw it up in a pot and WOW... in TEN measly minutes, it's done! Is it magic? NO! This is just science folks... you see, with the gas burners masterfully and strategically placed by our engineers, they have streamlined your cooking process. Cook anything like sauces, spaghetti, mac and cheese, patte, even your favorite desserts like Betty Crocker easy mix cakes in just a matter of minutes. Because it's made out of stainless steel, it will be easy to clean all that grease that spills while you're frying your fish too... or any other meat for that matter! Buy today because this offer will go fast! Gas not included.

You see? Like it says, who really needs an oven or a microwave when your two gas burners can take care of all your heating needs! 

This is my favorite African meal... it's called Atcheke and it's much like couscous. It's really good and actually ivoriane. 

Ok, next up, well, my companion...

With all the rift and raft in the world of music, it can be hard to find quality, good music that will bring comfort and peace to the soul. That is why, today, we are offering a collection of CDs that can change your life. Introducing, "Congo's Greatest Hits" as sung by Elder Kapuku. Featuring such gospel classics like "Dieu, Soit Loue, Soit Loue" and "Dieu Est Bon". However, don't forget those classic Congolais hits like "jkladbav bjkadsfjlkfl asdfj" and "iqwhfjk vjxc cxvoiu." Though you might not be able to understand all the words, these will without doubt bring comfort to a troubled soul. With all five of Elder Kapuku's wonderful songs, you should not hesitate to buy this once in a lifetime CD (also available on cassette tapes). If you hurry and take advantage of this offer, we will even throw in a free CD featuring the Top 30 LDS Hymns whistled by Elder Kapuku and Elder Digbe, also known as the Whistling Bandits! Hurry now because these compact discs are flying off shelves as we speak. Call now! 

So yeah, might have to explain that one a bit... that was kind of me venting about my comp and Elder Haggard's comp. All they do is whistle hymns... AT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY. And they are the same ones over and over and over and over and over again. Like Ye Elders of Israel every Sunday times a billion. IT DRIVES ME NUTS. I thought you were supposed to fall in love with the hymns on your mission, not learn to despise and detest them because they are over whistled!!!!!! I know my family knows that constant singing already annoys the living daylights out of me, now imagine my comp singing the same 5 songs all the time... these weird Congolais songs even get stuck in MY HEAD. The real problem with his singing style is that he loves to sing super high... remember my sienna singing voice? Yeah, it's pretty much that. Not even joking. 

Next up, we'll have a little Togolais fun...

Tired of "Sweet Cinnamon Apple", "Sweet Pear", "Lavender Flower Fields", and "French Vanilla Bourbon"? Looking for something new, exciting and different? Then, look no further! New, from Glade plugins, TogoScents! Bring the exotic smells of West Africa right into the comforts of your own living room or bathroom. Featuring exciting scents like "L'Essence de Camion", "Fresh Morning Fire Fumes", "Side Street Sewage Sweets", and "L'odeur du corps", there is no way that your friends and family will be wondering why they have never visited West Africa before! Tested and approved by the Brain Center of Nigeria, these scents will be sure to soothe the body to its very core. Ranging from plug-able air scents to car air fresheners, they are sure to fit in every aspect of your life! Buy today and we'll throw in our brand new scent "Burning Cemetery Brush". Call now! 

Well, I feel like that last little bit just goes to show that you can honestly put anything in French and it sounds amazing and want-able. I hope you caught that L'odeur du corps means Body Odor and L'essence de Camion means truck gas (meaning the diesel fumes that you smell as they idle). I'm sure you are all just dying to get your hands on some of those wonderful smells! 

Alright, well, unfortunately this trying to be funny and failing thing seems to take a really long time and I seem to be out of time. I hope everyone has a great week and hope that everyone knows that despite my comps singing, the whistling, and the wonderful smells of Africa, I am still loving the mission as always! Just gotta have a little fun with the things you don't like, of course, and find ways to laugh!

Take care,

Elder Hawkins

For the past few weeks, the marche that sets up every wednesday across from our house has just been PACKED with tomatoes. You just see a huge sea of tomatoes and it makes you even wonder if there are really that many tomatoes in West Africa! What happens is that they all come from Ghana and then all these trucks pack them in and take them to Benin... so Togo is just a little in between point.

Note from the FroShout out to Elder Hawkins' cousin JARED who finishes his two years TOMORROW!  So excited to hear from him next Sunday.  I'm sure he'll be excited to learn that he was the inspiration for the above infomercials. Elder Hawkins also received a few packages, which always make him happy!  He said:  I did get your package this week! Thanks for the Fred's Shirt! I'm not really sure what pictures I can take that would represent Togo well, but I'll try to be creative. Also, thanks for the journal with the cool quotes! Love those! And perfect timing since I am running out of room in my journal now anyway! Also, thanks for the drawings too... at first I didn't understand why Amber drew a killer rabbit but then I was like OH! right... I ate a rabbit lol. THe other ones were cool too and Adele's made me laugh haha. 

And I got Grandpa's package! So all is well on that front and I've been wearing the cool zipper ties... finally received Steve and Tami's postcard from topsail too! Steve made this funny comment about how there were two dolphins and how they were really me and jared in dolphin form lol.

Thanks everyone for taking care of our missionary!  Remember, his Birthday is two weeks away!  I'm sure he'd love to hear from you all.  

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