Monday, August 25, 2014

Lose Yourself in the Work


Still alive and still in Africa! 

That's just about as exciting as the week has gotten for me. When I was in the office, I felt like there was something new happening just about every week... but when you're a missionary out in the field... well, you just do the same things over and over again! 

Last week I mentioned that my companion and I have been working hard at trying to visit all of our amis and being diligent in seeing the contacts people have been giving us. Well, it has been working because this week we pushed ourselves a little harder and we were able to really get things going in this sector. We were able to squeeze out a few more lessons this week and I think we have really been pushing ourselves to see people. 

On Tuesday, we had a Zone Meeting which, in my opinion, are not really the most exciting parts of missionary work. A lot of times I feel like we just talk about stuff we already know. I was complaining about it a bit to Elder Mejean (a Zone Leader) and he said that I should at least try to get something out of it... I'm not really sure if I got anything out of the meeting but I did enjoy being there and I tried not to mope around and complain, I'll call that progress! 

Afterwards, we had a zone activity at a member's house in Aibatan... where we ate some Fufu... aka enyam pilee. We ate it with some really good chicken and some beesap (the juice that people make out of hibiscus leaves). We had to pay for it but because the zone pitched in, we ended up getting a good amount of food for the amount we paid... so I was happy!

AFRIKA... enyam pilee style... pictured is Soeur Florence, Soeur Assouman, and Elder Jenkins

Elder Silvas and I enjoying some enyam pilee with peanut sauce and chicken.

Elder Silvas just couldn't handle keeping a huge chunk of pima for more than a minute. Poor kid.

 Blue tongue and teeth from the beesap!
Kinda weird and I never noticed that beesap did that to your teeth and tongue.

What I was not happy about was as we were on our way to the member's house to eat, Elder Jenkins decided to stop and buy yogurt on the side of the road. Of course I had to buy some because I was missing my yogurt lady that I had back at the office! And that's when I learned that not all yogurts are created equal. It was awful yogurt. Tasted like wheat. How you get yogurt to taste like wheat is beyond me, but this lady somehow found a way to do that. Goodness, it was not very good. And she put sweetened condensed milk into it... like seriously, if you need to put sweetened condensed milk to sweeten your roadside yogurt, than you have got a problem.

Needless to say, I will not be buying yogurt from that lady anytime soon. However, I'm still on the hunt for good roadside yogurt in my sector... so far I have seen no fruits from my labors. 

Yesterday, we had a nice time not having water! Before I got to the area, this apartment was famous for it's water outages and once I got here and saw how bad they were, I told myself nope I'm not gonna deal with this! So I got a water tank installed with a water pump and as long as we have power, we have really good water pressure! 

But then, yesterday, we noticed that we didn't have any water and that we had no water in the water tank... what the heck?! For there to be no water in the tank, that's gotta mean that the water has been cut for awhile! We called the office and asked them if they had paid our bills and they said yes... so we were pretty confused as to why they cut the water at our apartment.

After getting home from all our appointments, there were so many dishes that had piled up, and still no water. I couldn't take it anymore. So, we took a couple of buckets and drew water up from the well! Elder Mejean and I were doing an alright job drawing up water, but my comp came in and, him being Togolais and all, was a freaking champion and a water-pumping machine. So we took all the water from the well and poured it into the water tank so that the pump could pump water through the pipes. We got quite a bit of water and we decided to stop once the water turned brown... we felt like that was a pretty good indicator. We felt kinda bad when the neighbors got a little mad that we used up all the good water as they depend on the well to bathe, do laundry, etc. Still, it was the best temporary solution we could think of as nothing could be solved on a Sunday.

Now, here's the dumbest thing about this story...we found out this morning that the neighbors' kids had SHUT OFF OUR WATER! OH THE LITTLE RASCALS. They are so annoying to begin with because they like to come into our apartment and be stupid and then make tons of noise while we're trying to sleep but gaaaahhhhh I wanted to go MAPOLO all over them!!!!!!!!!! But I controlled myself and have not gone mapolo on them. (in case you all have forgotten, mapolo means I'm going to hit you in Ewe). And we have water now so we're all happy.

In other news, I have again learned to walk a lot... it's funny because I didn't realize how much muscle I lost in my legs when I started driving everywhere while I was in the bureau. Now my lower legs hurt all the time because of all the walking we do. It's weird because I don't remember feeling these kinds of pains at the beginning of my mission. 

Now, of course, in walking so much I have a lot of time to think... maybe even too much time. Being so close to the end, I do tend to think a lot about home because now I actually can... at the beginning of my mission, I would avoid thinking about home at all costs because I knew that it would be a very, very, very long time before I would see any of that stuff again! Because of that, I pretty much just made it a habit not to think about home...

...But now... things are a bit different. It's like I can taste home because it's so close! Plus, with three other Elders in the apartment going home within the next two months, that's pretty much all we do is talk about going home (not when my companion is around of course!). 

Now, trying to fight off those thoughts has been tough! But I've been trying to keep myself busy, because working is the best way to lose yourself in missionary work! I feel like I have been trying to do that my whole mission... I think it's only now that I realize that I have been "lost" in missionary work for a while because time has flown by so fast. With the family being in Topsail, NC this week, I swear that it wasn't too long ago that they were telling me the same thing... over a year ago! 

I'm having a great time though. We have people to teach, people who love the Gospel, and people who keep us busy during the day. Thankfully, my comp has been a huge help too because he is a really great missionary already! Still rough around the edges (as expected) but he has really surpassed my expectations and knows a lot about missionary work already. Gotta love them Togolais! 

Keep praying that I will have people to teach and that the people I do teach will start to progress and develop faith in the Gospel! 

Hope you all have a great week! And a quick shout out to the Fro, Happy Froday! I'll be there for the next one! 


Elder Hawkins

Found this on my comps side of the desk... Semehawkins! Gotta nice ring to it, huh? A for creativity!


  1. Oh, Elder Hawkins! Him and his wheat-tasting yogurt, no-water-in-the-house tales! I'm glad he's seeing the humor and making the most of his time left there. What an amazing adventure he has had. We'll keep praying for him and the people in his sector.

  2. Trevor, you always have such interesting things to post. I hope that you will write a book when you return home. Your wonderful parents came to my 80th (can you believe it) birthday celebration that my brother gave me on August 16th. There were about 100 people there from all parts of the country. It was an awesome much love. As I said at the party, "the only truly lasting things in life are family and friends. The rest is transitory. Love is eternal. I can hardly wait until you return home and come to visit me. Love you! Uncle Jack