Lima, Peru Temple

Lima, Peru Temple

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25, 2014 - Christmas Day Skype call

We got to Skype with Chase today for about an hour and even were able to get Aaron and Kelly in on the call for a while.  He's doing well and working hard!  It was great to hear his voice and see his face.  Here are a couple of pictures from our call today as well as a partial video of him bearing his testimony in Spanish (link to YouTube).  I missed the first half of his testimony because I hit the wrong button on the camera.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

Hello family!

Well sadly I can’t say much happened this week. For basically most of this week my companion has been sick so we have just been chillin’ in our house. When he wasn’t sick we have been busy going to all the wards in Cusco helping out their primary choirs prepare for a primary Christmas program we had on Saturday. I guess my companion is the only person in Cusco who can play piano or something.

I do have a pretty funny story, though, of something that happened this week. So a few weeks ago I contacted a guy and then Tuesday we were finally able to talk to him. He also basically told us his whole life story and that he has epilepsy and that he has been feeling really bad because of all the hate in the world and that he has been praying to God asking him when the world was going to end. Anyway so we shared our message and everything and made another appointment for Friday. So on Friday when we were leaving our pension’s house, we ran in to him and he was wearing Sunday clothes and he asked us if we were going to church right now. He accidentally got our appointment mixed up with when we have our church meetings. Anyway so we explained to him that we just had an appointment. He then told us that we couldn’t go to his house anymore because he said if his mom sees us there again that she would throw water on us. I guess she thinks that we are the witch from Wizard of Oz and that we'll melt or something. Anyway we told him we would pass by just to pick him up for church but later he told us that he wouldn’t be able to make it this week.

As for anything else that happened this week we just went to the primary Christmas program on Saturday which was good but it was basically just singing. It was funny though because basically our entire zone went to watch it.

As for when I’m going to call right now I’m thinking I’ll probably be on around 1:00 to 3:00 or sometime around there. I’m glad Ill be able to talk to everyone though. For a while I was thinking it might just be you and Kendall or something. But yea the connection will be better, I’ll be calling at a member’s house. Also I’ll be using Skype again. But yea as for Christmas music, I can’t say I’m a fan of the Latino Christmas music. It does not feel like Christmas music at all. But yea I’ll see you guys in a few days when we talk. But until then have a good week and I love you all.

Elder Halverson.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Hello everyone!

Well, first off this week was a lot better also because I was feeling a lot better. Apparently it wasn’t just me that was feeling bad. There was like something going around with all the missionaries. It could be that we are going through a change of seasons right now or something. I’m not really sure but I don’t think it was the food. Anyway point being, everything is better now.

This past week a bunch of people have invited us to go eat with them or something for Christmas but I’m not sure if we are going to do all that, especially because I am also calling home that day. I think I probably also will be able to talk with dad on Christmas. Also, even though this is a few days late, Happy Birthday Dad! 

Anyway, not too much is going on, everyone is just preparing for Christmas right now and every lesson we have taught this last week has been 'He is the Gift'. Also I got the package that you and grandma sent me and this last week. I have just been stuffing my face with the food. Also I need to know what you guys want for Christmas or if you don’t know just tell me because next week I’m going to buy Christmas presents. Also I found out today that I’m going to Macchu Picchu on January 5th. 

Um well I’m not sure what else to talk about so sorry if this feels kinda short. But I love you all and officially today I can say I will be home next year so that’s pretty crazy! Well I hope you all have a good week and until next week!

Elder Halverson

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Hello  everyone!

Well for Christmas decorations I just bought a small Christmas tree with some lights as well as a banner that just says feliz navidad. It just gives a little more of a Christmas feel in our house. However, I did forget to get a picture of it... Anyway as for this week we just had to house some elders for a few days for the changes and then on Thursday we had a Christmas dinner with the mission president. However, it was only for three zones and I’m not sure if they are going to the other zones also to do it with the rest of the mission. Anyway it was pretty fun. We started out with dinner which we had some fruit salad, a weird potato casserole, some chicken, and finally chocolate cake.  We also had a ton of soda there. Anyway, it was kinda funny because when we were there I also saw everyone from my group that came with me except 2 sisters. So here is also a cool story. So there was a sister from my group that had to go home in the 4th week of the CCM because she had a ton of stress fractures on her legs. Well, almost a year later she has come back to the mission and now is in my same zone. Anyway, so back to what happened at the Christmas party, so after dinner we had a white elephant game thing were all the elders had the assignment to buy a 8-12 sol present. The game was where we all sat in a circle and the president read a Christmas story, but whenever he read certain words we either had to pass our gift to the left or right. In the end, I came out with a pretty cool bag. We finished off the day by singing some Christmas hymns and hearing a devotional from the zone leaders of the 3 zones.

Other than that, not too much happened this week because Friday me and my comp were sick. :P  Also I got a wicked cough so it was hard to work. Plus we had more elections this week so on Sunday we weren’t able to do much. However, we were able to see the first presidency devotional this week. We also did not have a baptism this week. On Saturday we talked to the family and the mom and kids are ready but the dad wants to know a little more before he gets baptized so they are thinking of doing it in January.

Well for this p-day we just went to some more ruins that are about an hour away from Cusco. I’m not entirely sure what the ruins were but it’s like a giant bowl in the ground. We weren’t supposed to go in the middle but me and another elder ran into the middle of one. (We are such rebels!) XD Anyway that’s basically all for this week. By the way, if you guys had any requests for Christmas presents, now would be a good time to let me know. If not, I’ll just get something random for everyone. Well, I love you all and glad to hear you’re all doing well.

Elder Halverson

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

Hello everyone.

This week was a little strange. So it was the last week in the change but it was hard to do anything because basically everyday someone in our sector was sick. Regardless, we were still able to work by doing quite a bit of work visits. XD But a new Elder, who is in our sector, is in the hospital right now because he has a stomach infection. Also, that means I won’t be able to show you the pictures of Thanksgiving we had until next week. :/  Anyway, Thanksgiving was pretty good here. Our pensionista made us some chicken roll things because they don’t really sell turkey this time of year. Also, we had mashed potatoes as well as some really good baked potatoes. Then there was rice, rolls, and an apple salad thing. All in all, for a Peruvian Thanksgiving, it was pretty good. Every time we celebrate a holiday here, my companion wants to continue celebrating it when he gets home. He and one other Latino played in our turkey bowl last week. However, the other Latino is like half American and knows perfect English so he doesn’t really count. But my comp loved playing. Also, for the Macchu Picchu trip, I think I’m going this change. 

Anyway other than that everything is basically the same for me this change. Still in Cusco with the same companion. However, something funny is that Elder Nicholls is now my new Zone leader as well as in my district so that will be pretty funny whenever we do work visits. I plan on getting some Christmas decorations today for my house. Even though it doesn’t really feel like Christmas here with it being warm and rainy and green. Anyway, I can’t believe that Christmas is only in a few weeks. It’s also weird to think I’ll be home next Christmas. I’m only a month away from having a year here.

Anyway for this week, we are just preparing a family we are teaching for baptism so that will be cool. Also we are focusing on contacting with the contact card that has a picture of baby Jesus that says "He is the gift" (I don’t know if you have seen it before) for Christmas. But other than that, I’ll talk to you guys in 24 days :)  

Well, I love you all and like always, I’m glad to hear that you’re doing well.

Elder Halverson

Peruvian turkey bowl team

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone!

This week was a little weird. On Tuesday we had a Seventy come down (Elder Evans) and talk with all the missionaries from my mission (except the missionaries in Puno because he  also went down there). Anyway, that lasted all day and he focused on teaching us about getting new investigators. It was really good but I was just super tired by the end of it. Also in my room we had elders from Puerto stay there which was funny because for them Cusco was freezing but it’s normally hot for me.

Anyway, other than that on Saturday night the young single adults had an activity for our stake where each ward did a traditional dance which was pretty cool to see. But you’re right, people here don’t even know what Thanksgiving even is. However, we explained it to my pension and she is going to make us a Thanksgiving meal. Also today for our p-day all the American elders are going to have a turkey bowl football game.

But yea this past week we didn’t have a baptism. We will have one this Saturday though. Oh so I want to tell you about this crazy investigator we had to drop. So there is a little drugstore by us where we buy all our toiletries and one day we contacted the lady that works there. She told us that would be fine because she likes to learn new things. Anyway so in our second lesson we invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it so she can know it’s true. She then told us that she already knows it’s true. That was a little weird so we asked her if she was willing to change the things in her life to follow the true gospel of Christ (baptism). She then told us that she couldn’t change the things she was born with (because she is Catholic). So we told her that she didn’t really know it’s true because if she did she would want to change her life. She then told us again that she knew what we were saying is true but she couldn’t change her "roots" as she called it. So we thought maybe when we teach lesson 2 she will understand it better. So we came back a week later and taught her the plan of salvation and at the end we asked her what kingdom she would want to go to and she told us the Terrestrial because getting to the highest was too hard. Anyway, needless to say, we talked for about an hour trying to explain everything to her but she still didn’t get it. So we told her if she wasn’t willing to try it out, there was no point in teaching her. But yea it was just weird. I didn’t think I would find people who believed the message but then not want to change their lives.

Well other than that we just went to some Inca ruins this morning (finally) called Saqsaywoman (sounds a lot like sexy woman), but it was pretty sweet there. We took some pictures with llamas.

But yea that’s about it for this week; we are about to head out to eat some McDonalds and then play some football. Well, I love you all very much and I hope you all continue to do well back home!

Elder Halverson

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Hello everyone!

This week was really good for us. Me and my comp had a goal to have the most lessons out of our district this week and we ended up having 23 lessons, which I think is the most I’ve had in my mission for a week. Also it was super cool because both me and my comp got sick this week so if it wasn’t for that we could have had even more.

But yea on Saturday we had another baptism (a 21 year old girl named Neri). Neri is the sister of a girl who was baptized the 2nd week I got to Cusco who is a convert of my comp. It was funny though because when my comp was teaching Neri's sister (Vicky), Neri didn’t want anything to do with the missionaries or with our church. But little by little she started taking lessons from the missionaries (especially after her sisters baptism). But now we have 2 more baptisms planned. One is for the last Saturday in November for a kid who has been assisting the church for a long time after being invited by one of his friends. And the other for the first Saturday of December for an entire family. However, with all our baptisms we are running out of investigators fast and so we need to find some more.

Other than that, weather here is still the same. Sunny and hot or rainy and cold. Other than that, just working hard and all. Well glad to hear your all doing well and I love you all very much!

Elder Halverson  

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 - First baptism and apartment flood

Well this Saturday we had our baptism. The lady has two kids but one isn’t old enough to be baptized, so I baptized the mom and my comp baptized the son. It was a really cool experience doing my first baptism, also in Spanish. So about that, the whole day I was practicing the baptismal phrase and I had it down perfect. However, when we were in the water and I went to say it, I couldn’t remember the phrase because I was so nervous so my comp had to whisper the beginning to me from the side. XD Anyway, it was pretty cool. Other than that, the weather here has been normal Cusco weather, which means it’s always off and on rain. And we have just been preparing our other investigators for baptism.

Also on Saturday, I accidentally flooded our house. So what happened is our house isn’t very big and we have 3 rooms -- a kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom. The bedroom is super small and there isn’t enough space for our beds so we sleep in the kitchen. Anyway, so there is a sink in there that we just never use. So on Saturday morning we didn’t have water but the sink was dripping a bit and it was bothering me because it was like 4 in the morning and it woke me up. Anyway, I was trying to turn it off but accidentally turned it on not knowing because there wasn’t much water coming out. Anyway, being tired and frustrated, I just slapped tape on it to stop the dripping. Well, half way through the day the water turned back on while we were proselyting and the sink was on full blast and the tape acted like a finger on a hose and was spraying water everywhere so when we got back to the house there was like an inch of water on the floor, my clothes were soaked, my shoes were soaked, and my bed was soaked because I sleep next to the sink. Anyway, so for the past few days I’ve just had everything hanging up to dry, luckily it didn’t get our desks so all my books are fine. However, I had a very uncomfortable sleep Saturday night because only a sliver of my bed was dry so I had to sleep very skinnily.

Another story I got from this week is the power company was protesting and so they turned all the power off in Cusco for about 30 minutes so it was an interesting site seeing Cusco pitch black.

Anyway, that’s all I got for this week. Hope you are all doing well. And I love you all!

Elder Halverson

(I love that Chase wore his suspenders to perform the baptism!  That's so Chase!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014 - Happy Halloween

Hello Everyone!

This week was pretty cool. Sadly for Halloween we can’t really do anything but I didn’t want to just pass it by so the night before Halloween me and my comp carved pumpkins. It was funny because it was the first time he had ever carved pumpkins in his life so I had to teach him how to do it. He loved doing it. I have some pretty funny videos of us carving the pumpkins but I don’t know how I can show you guys that. Anyway he now says that he is going to carve pumpkins every year now. Halloween is weird here. People don’t really do much for the holiday. There are a few places where people trick or treat but nobody even carves pumpkins.  More than anything, they celebrate the day of the dead which is the 2 of November (yesterday). Basically everyone goes to the graveyard to give offerings to their dead ancestors or relatives. Then they all party and get drunk. So yesterday we didn’t really have any luck in visiting people. 

Other than that, though, this week has been good. We are just visiting all the people who have dates right now making sure they are all ready for their baptisms. Also, the baptisms we have are going to start this Saturday with a single mother and her son. And then every Saturday after that in November and the first Saturday in December we have other baptisms. Oh, and my comp’s name is Elder Muñoz and he is from Ecuador. He’s really fun and we get along really well. He also is obsessed with music and knows all the hymns by memory on the piano. He also plays the saxophone, guitar, clarinet, and flute. He knows a little of English right now but we are working hard with him to learn as much as he can in this change because we have 3 Americans in our sector and he is the only Latino. Also, yes I can now remember the names of almost all of the people we teach. I can also speak Spanish fluently now and mainly mess up if i try talking too fast. More than anything, I’m just learning new words. But I still have 14 months to improve on what I lack in Spanish.

Other than that everything is going good here. Anyway, glad to hear from you and that all’s well. 


Elder Halverson
Chase and Elder Muñoz with their Halloween pumpkins and Halloween ties!

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

Hello everyone!

So this was a pretty good week this last week. Everything in my sector is exactly the same except for my house and my comp. I’m now also visiting different people. Also my old comp went to the other zone in Cusco so I don’t see him anymore. Basically what happened is he was whining a lot to the pensionista and he owed her a lot of money. I should be getting the money he owes me this week.

So this week was pretty good. More than anything I’m just getting to know the new investigators I have now. However, with my comp we have baptismal dates for basically every Saturday in November so that will be pretty cool. Also, the rain has been coming on a lot this week. We have been getting really patchy rain storms almost every day in the week. But everything here is going good. Also something that happened that is funny in the changes is my MTC comp is now companions with Elder Nicholls. So now they can both talk about [me].  

But other than that, all is normal in my sector. We now have 3 gringos here in my sector and 1 Latino so we are really working hard with him to learn English. Also all my comps want to go to America so they can get to know Tara. (It’s really only just Tara because she is the only one who is close to their age.) But they basically think all the girls in our family are attractive. But today for p-day we went to Chilies for lunch and then we are going to play some volleyball later.

As for Halloween, I’m still not sure how it’s going to be but me and my comp bought some pumpkins to carve for Halloween so that will be pretty fun.

Well that’s basically everything for this week. Glad to hear that you are all doing well and can’t wait to hear from you all next week. I love you all.

Elder Halverson

 This is how it looks when I shine my shoes
 Me and my old comp. (Elder Bazan)
 This is how my desk looks now.
These are the elders of my sector. The Latino in the black shirt is my comp.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

I’m feeling a lot better now thankfully. The funny thing is that we had a zone meeting that Monday and so I felt bad about missing it until I heard that it went 5 and a half hours when they are only supposed to be 2 hours. So it would have been pretty miserable to be there that long while I was sick.
This week was pretty good. However, the zone leaders had to talk to me and my comp because my comp and my pensionista have been having some problems. However changes are today and they are pretty crazy. So my comp saw his changes first today and told me he has a new comp but is in the same sector. I still hadn’t seen the changes and so I was feeling pretty bad because I thought that I was going to be leaving Cusco. However, when I looked at my change I’m actually just changing to go to the other companionship in my sector because my sector is shared by 2 companionships. Then his comp (Elder Jensen who is from Spanish Fork) is actually changing to where I am right now to train a gringo. Then my current comp was mistaken and is getting a change to the other zone in Cusco to be in a trio. So that probably sounds confusing but I’m just changing spots with an elder in my sector. However, it means I have to change houses which I don’t want to do because just last change I had to move everything here. Plus Elder Jensen doesn’t want to move to my current house so we are both trying to convince Elder Muñoz to move into my house. But that’s the big news here. 
A normal day’s lunch for us is rice with some form of meat that is covered in a really good sauce and then bananas or potatoes or something like that. We also eat soup with lunch. Breakfast is hot chocolate or Ecco (which tastes like coffee but isn’t) with scrambled eggs and oatmeal. We also have bread with jam. Dinner varies, for example last night we ate rice with milk, and masa mora which is a thick hot liquid made from purple corn but actually tastes really good. Another night we ate a hot dog on a stick with a potato on the end and we just dipped it in either Ají which is a hot sauce, ketchup, or mayonnaise. After that we had banana pancakes with condensed milk. And that’s just some of the stuff we eat. Also we eat a lot of fried banana which is actually better than it sounds. Also we don’t live with the pension; we have to walk there but it’s closer than before in Choquehuanca. 
Right now we are kinda lacking in investigators but this Saturday we are doing invasions here so hopefully we can find some new people. Most of our work has been with less actives and trying to complete families. And yes the Peruvians celebrate Halloween and I’m not sure exactly how it is but I heard there is a really cool parade/party thing in the main plaza so we may go watch a bit of it with members that day. Plus I’m not sure for how long we will be able to work on Halloween.
I also learned that Octoberfest is all about beer when I was in my German class in high school. Our teacher basically told us all about it. They also have Octoberfest here and especially this week I saw a ton of people in parties drinking.
Anyway that’s about it for the news this week. I’m glad to hear that you are all doing well and keeping busy. I’m trying to do the same here. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you next week.
Elder Halverson

p.s. everyone who sees pictures of our family (mainly other elders) all think that the girls are very attractive XD

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

Hello everyone!

Sorry I’m writing a little late, I woke up a little sick today so I slept in a bit and I’m just now getting a chance to write. Thankfully it wasn’t like when I was in my last sector and it’s just a little cold.

Anyway so things are back to normal now though. And yea conference was awesome. There were about 14 of us Americans watching it in English. Also, I do have favorites but they are all written in my notebook which I forgot to bring with me so right now I can’t remember who the talks were by. I’m looking forward to the Liahona to come out so I can closer study the talks. This week, like I said, was pretty normal with the conference being our highlight this week. My companion was also a little sad because they dubbed over the Chinese speaker. He was looking forward to hearing him.

Just something that I felt like doing is that I just want to thank you and dad for everything. For everything you taught me and for everything you have done to help me in my life. I just want to let you guys know how much I appreciate you and how much I love you guys. 

Anyway, sorry I don’t really have much to write this week but it was good to hear from you and that everyone is doing good. We are also in the last week of this change so next week I’ll have info on the changes. Anyway I love you all and until next week!

Elder Halverson

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Hello everybody.

Well yesterday was super weird. Basically the elections for the entire country everywhere for every office all happen in one day. Pretty crazy. Anyway we basically had nothing to do because everyone was busy. All of our appointments got canceled. Also it can be a little dangerous during the elections so our mission president told us that we had to go out in street clothes and without our plaques. It felt super weird.

Anyway we went to the bishop’s house first and my comp cooked ceviche, which is basically raw fish salad that´s drenched in a ton of lime juice to kill the bacteria on the fish. Can’t say I’m the biggest fan of it but it’s one of Peru´s most famous dishes. Anyway, after that we basically just went to visit members. Other than that, though, nothing really happened this week. It was really slow with everyone preparing for the elections.

I’ve seen people who clap instead of knock but it’s mostly elders who are from other Latino countries. Here they will knock with a pen or coin or something. However, we don’t really knock doors. Our mission president is really trying to encourage member references which I think is what they are doing in the whole world.

We still have no idea what to do for p-day because I have no money because my comp had to borrow 55 soles from me and his credit card for the mission doesn’t work so we have to wait for our district leader to go to the office to get his money for him. But I think he´s going to do that today so hopefully we will have money to do something today. What we would like to do is go to Cristo Blanco first and then go to some ruins nearby called saxywamong or something like that. I swear every time someone says the name it sounds like they are saying sexy woman. But yea, they are ruins with those giant boulder that are so tight together that you can’t even fit a knife between them. More than anything, there are a ton of ruins nearby to visit. There is also a mall.

I’m actually not exactly sure what all there is here because I still don’t know Cusco too well. Also, I am close enough to Machu Picchu to go there but I want to go in November, December, or January because that’s during the rainy season so it will be a lot greener. Basically there are 3 zones that get to go to Machu Picchu and if you are never in one of those zones then you have to wait till the end of your mission to go. The good thing is that they are good about making sure everyone has a chance to go at sometime. But yea, the 3 zones are the 2 zones here in Cusco and Valle Sagrado, which is a little north of here and Machu Picchu is literally in their zone. However, they only get to go once because you have to take a train to get there and it takes a lot of planning to send the missionaries there.

I hope next week we will have a little more success now that the elections are over. But other than that, not much more has been happening here. But I can’t wait to see conference this next week. I think all the missionaries order pizza or something to watch it because all us gringos get our own room in English. Also here we have a thing called “double dragon”. Basically this is when you are sick and you have diarrhea while you are throwing up. It’s very unpleasant and I’ve had it 4 times all while I was in Choquehuanca. So hopefully Tara never has to deal with that. XD

Anyway, that’s all for me this week. I’m glad to hear everyone is doing well and I love you all. Until next week!

Elder Halverson  

 We have to go up stairs like this probably 5-10 times a day.
 My district eating lunch at a member's house.
Just some cool clouds coming over the mountain one day.

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

Hello everyone!

My week has been pretty good. Not too much has been happening. However, I did wake up one morning to see a giant spider right above my head. Needless to say, I almost wet myself. Also this week we had an earthquake. It wasn't that strong, though. It was funny because we were in the house of a member family and the mom was freaking out.

Anyway, the work is still going good. So far nothing special to report. We've just been working with a few less active families and investigator families. There are 2 investigator families we have been working with that only lack a lesson or 2 and then a date so we are getting pretty close. However, I still can’t remember their names :P

As for the weather, it’s been pretty nice. We haven’t been getting too much rain but I think about at the end of October is when all the rain comes.

As for references this week we only received 1 but we are keeping ourselves busy with the people we already have so that’s not a big deal. Oh, and for housing, the houses here are definitely a lot better. People here actually have couches. XD No, but mostly the houses are concrete/brick houses that are pretty tall. We still have adobe mud houses here, especially the higher up you get because people are poorer higher up. But even still, all the houses are a lot nicer furnished. Also, I noticed that practically everyone here has a giant plasma screen TV with a crazy sound system. Even if they live in a mud house. Also, something that I like a lot more here is that all the roofing is clay tiles and not completely tin roofing. So needless to say, it is a lot more beautiful here.

Oh here is something funny about Peru, the elections here are the same days as conference. Also, there is a law that says if you don’t vote, you get taxed and you also can’t hold meetings during the elections, including religious meetings. So we have to postpone conference until the next week. But we go to the stake center here and watch it with the whole zone. Also, they set up a TV in a separate room so the Americans can watch it in English. It was also like that the last time I saw it. And I could watch it in Spanish if I wanted to, it’s just that you don’t get to hear the emotion in their voices plus I still understand more in English. But yea, so next week during the elections we can either hang out with members or something because there is no church and it can get a little dangerous during the elections.

Anyway that’s about all that’s going on here. I don’t have my camera with me this week so I’m gonna have to send photos next week. Anyway I love you all and I’m glad to hear you are all doing good.

Until next week,

Elder Halverson

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hello everyone,

It’s been pretty nice here in Cusco this week. I’m still trying to memorize everyone’s names and where they live but that shouldn’t take too much longer.

Anyway to first answer your questions, in my house we basically have power for light and charging things and water. Like I said before, most people here in Peru don’t have heating or air conditioning in their houses. And I think it’s like that for basically all of Peru. Even our mission President had to get heat installed in his house. However, we do have an electric heater that we can plug in if it ever gets too cold. Also, our shower broke Tuesday and so we've had to take cold showers this whole week. We didn’t  have any zone fund to fix it but tomorrow we will receive some money for that.

Also, I’m not sure the names of the dishes we eat here. Basically, the main difference is that here they actually are not limited by ingredients. Something I noticed, though, with people in little towns is not only is it a hard lifestyle but it also makes the people hard. I’ve definitely noticed that people here in Cusco are a lot more open and personable. That may also be because they are more educated as well. So needless to say, the members here are a lot more active in the church with their callings as well as helping us out. And I do think people here are probably more receptive but that still has yet to be seen because I still don’t know Cusco all that great.

And no, I have not gotten lost yet. This is mainly because my companion knows Cusco pretty well so I don’t need to worry all that much. Well, as for Chinese, I only know a few words. It’s pretty hard to learn, especially because the guy teaching it to me is teaching it to me in my second language that still isn’t that great right now. But my comp is a really cool guy. He grew up in China and didn’t move here until he was 15 so his first language is Chinese. And to find out about my old investigators, I can just call my old comp.

I still don’t know much about Cusco because I’m isolated to my sector except for p-days. Also my sector is in a little valley looking out on Cusco. So I still have a lot to get to know here. Last week though we did go to an Incan museum and that was really cool to look at some old artifacts as well as read some history about the Incan race.

Right now, the person we have progressing the most is a mom of 4 kids, I think. All her kids are members except for one who is preparing for baptism. She would like to get baptized with her son, the only problem is that she is not married to her husband. However, they do not live together because he works in Madre de Dios and only can visit a few days every few months. So I think we can baptize her. Also last night we were talking to her husband too and he sounds pretty interested.

Anyway, that’s about all I can think of for this week. I love you all and until next week.

Elder Halverson

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014 - First week in Cusco!

Hello everyone!

Ok so Cusco is awesome! I love it here. My new comp is from Lima but is half Chinese so he also knows how to talk Mandarin. (He also said he would teach me some.) Also his name is Elder Bazan. He is about 26 and he ends in 2 changes so I will probably end his mission. We get along really well and he is a really funny guy. Also my new room has 3 rooms in it plus our bathroom. It’s pretty big. I forgot to take pictures of it so you’ll have to see it next week. :P Also my new pensionista works as a chef so her food is delicious; I can’t get enough of it! However my stomach is adjusting from crappy food to good food.

Also I love our ward here. We are a smaller ward but even still our attendance is above a hundred. The people here are really nice. I don’t really know them too well yet but I got them all to laugh yesterday when I was introducing myself. Also in my zone we are 6 -- 2 sisters (both Latinas) and then another companionship of elders (one is a gringo) but they are all really cool.

Also I talked to the people in the office about my package and they are trying to figure it out. But for this p-day I think we are going to just explore central Cusco (the old historical part of Cusco) to get to know it better. I’m probably gonna buy some sweet suivenirs too. (I can’t spell in English anymore. XD) 

There are now 2 companionships in Choquehuanca because we got a ton of new elders and yea the president is trying to strengthen the branch there. Basically he is trying to do that everywhere in the Department of Puno. Anyway that is about it for me. I can’t think of what else to say. I’m still trying to take in all of Cusco because it was such a big change. This week was a little crazy because of the changes and yesterday was the first night that someone else wasn't sleeping in our room. Anyway, I’ll send a few photos of Cusco.

I love you all and until next week.

Elder Halverson

 Me with my mission "dad" and "grandpa".

 Me in my sector with Cusco in the background.
My sector is right on a valley side so we get to climb these all day. I'm gonna have some wicked thighs...

Monday, September 8, 2014


Hello everyone!

Okay first off is some sweet news. We had our changes today and I have a change to Cusco, Villa Union! I leave tomorrow morning for Cusco. I don’t remember my new comp’s names but he's a Latino who only has about 2 changes left, I think. Also, he is the same age as Aaron! So all the missionaries call him uncle so and so. Oh my gosh, I almost feel like this is a dream. I had a dream last night that this was going to be my sector for my whole mission. I am going to miss the people here in Choquehuanca but I am grateful for a change, especially to Cusco.
But I have a funny story about the changes this morning. So first off, I was super anxious to see the changes but when we went to use the internet at 10:00 this morning, they said that the internet was down in all of Choquehuanca (which is why I’m writing so late). Anyway, I couldn’t wait to get internet to see the changes so we went back to our house and called our zone leaders so they could tell us. They told us that they hadn’t received all the changes yet and only knew about their own changes. So he said he would call Elder Nicholls in the office to find out. After waiting about 15 minutes for my zone leader to call me back, I got impatient and called him myself. His comp answered the phone and when I told him I needed to talk to Elder Nicholls he just told me I could talk to him when I got to Cusco. I asked what he meant by that and told him that it was urgent, so he just passed me to Nicholls. Anyway, when I asked Nicholls about the changes he said he got done talking to my zone leaders about it about 5 minutes ago and that I should call them. When I called them they said the name of my comp and that I have a change to Cusco and then hung up but that they would call back. We waited for a bit but they never called back so I tried calling them about 5 times but they never answered. After about 30 or 45 minutes or something, they finally called back to tell us the details. But yea it was a little crazy to find out about the changes for us here. But as far as the changes go in my zone, the American zone leader here is going up to be an assistant to the President and one of the elders in Ayaviri has a change to open Choquehuanca 2 and train. But 4 new people are coming to our sector. Anyway, that’s the big news.

This week was a little slow for us because we had to find a room for the new elders that are coming to Choquehuanca and get it ready which took up quite a lot of time, so we didn’t really have much this week. However, we did go to a town called Azangaro on Thursday with my pension's family. I rode on a motorcycle with my pensionista and her husband and my comp rode with my pensionsista's nephew. It’s about an hour from Choquehuanca on motorcycle but it was really fun, just really cold. I’m not sure why there aren’t any missionaries there because it’s bigger than Ayaviri. There are also a lot of less actives there. We talked with the sister of our pensionista and she says she wants to baptize her daughter but there is no one there to do it. So hopefully here soon they will open up a sector there. Also they took us to this salt lake where they make salt. All around the lake there were mountains of salt. I have some photos of it so I’ll see if I have time to send them but if not, next week I will be able to.
Anyway that’s about everything that’s happening here. Next week you will hear about Cusco.
I love you all.

Elder Halverson
"Cow". The son of the lady pictured below. (His pensionista's nephew.) (Chase is wearing Peruvian gloves he bought in Pucara.)
The salt lake where local salt is made.

The older sister of his pensionista.
  In a compo "kitchen"
 This is what the average house looks like in the compo

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

Hello Everyone,

Last week was super fun. We went to a pueblo called Lampa that’s about an hour and a half from here and also is smaller than Choquehuanca. It’s super cool, though. I’ll send you a few pictures of what we did. It’s also the sector where my comp was born.
Also, yes, living out here in a little town is like living in the past. There is no air conditioning or heating. They cook with what are basically camping stoves or a clay oven and use cow chips as fuel. So basically at night I sleep with 4 heavy blankets. Also, the houses that are farther away from town are even more in the past. They are basically a mud house with a thatch roof and a dirt floor. They don’t really use much wood here because there are no forests close by and it’s a little expensive for them. But basically everyone has house power here; however, it goes out a few times a month.
Ok anyway, about our new investigators, their names are Mary and Jessica. They are both progressing really well. Jessica came to church this week but Mary was out of town. Also, they call each other sister but they are only related by marriage; however, it’s nice because we can teach them together. Other than them, we had a few other lessons, but nothing special. We are also teaching a less active named Marisol. Her whole family are members and they used to be active, but after some time they stopped coming to church. Her older sister lives in Cusco and is a returned missionary who is really strong in the church. We want to go visit her parents as well but they live way out in the compo, about 1 hour and a half on bikes. However, she is coming to church with us and she is taking the lessons well.
This last week was my pension dad’s birthday and I got the pleasure of smashing his face in the cake. I didn't have my camera, though, so I don’t have the pictures of it but my comp does so I need to get them from him. Also, yes, we interact with the members, it’s just I don’t really know what to write about them :P
But this week the only FHE we had was when I was doing a work visit in Ayaviri so I’m not sure how it went. But today I now have 8 months, 7 of which are here in Choquehuanca. Pretty crazy, I still feel super new and I surprise myself when I talk Spanish. XD It’s just felt super fast. I can definitely say that my testimony of this church has grown a lot. I now know (most) of the Book of Mormon like the back of my hand. But every time I study a subject I learn something new, even though I've read it a few times. I feel kinda stupid when I miss a concept that seems so obvious when I read it again. But that’s how it’s supposed to be. I don’t think we could handle it if we understood everything the first time. It’s funny, though, I do have more desire to try and help people and it’s frustrating when they don’t understand it. I just feel like these things make perfect sense and to me they just feel so obvious now. But I've learned to be patient with their understanding. But yea I really do love this gospel and there is not a doubt in my mind that this is true.
Well that’s about it for me, I’m just going to send my pictures now. But this is the last week of the change and my whole zone thinks I’m going to train a newby in the jungle (which I hope not, the jungle is too hot and humid for me. Plus I feel like a have a lot more to learn before I train.)
Anyway I love you all!
Elder Halverson

P-day in Lampa

 The car ride sitting next to one of his zone leaders.
 The town of Lampa where they spent P-day.
 The zone outside of the church they toured. 
 Inside the church.
 Heading down into the catacombs.

 Chase and one of his zone leaders inside the catacombs.
"This room was a little creepy..."

 Chase outside the church.
 The Plaza in Lampa.

 Chase and his companion at Cristo Blanco.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

Hello everyone! 

This week was good. Though we didn’t have much time, we were still able to work. We did some service for an older couple out in their field. We basically just mixed together different types of dried grass. What they are going to do is replace their roof because some of the houses here (especially the houses outside of town) have grass roofs. Anyway it was a cool experience except for the wife doesn’t really know Spanish and was talking Quechua to us the entire time. (I finally learned how to spell Kechua correctly.) XD  

Anyway other than that, we got a new investigator who is progressing really well. And wouldn’t you know that she is a reference from a member. Really goes to show how important references are. Also we made contact with Delia again and it sounds like she still wants to be baptized. It’s just hard for her to come to church because she has to work a lot for her 2 daughters. Also we are going to start having family nights twice a week with the members, starting with the leaders.

For P-day today we are going to a small town called Lampa that has an old Catholic church with catacombs. So that will be cool, and I’m pretty sure we are allowed to take pictures as well so next week my letter about that should be pretty interesting. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Ayaviri but for whatever reason driving here feels really fast.

Also we are doing divisions with the zone leaders so I will once again be in Ayaviri for a few days. XD Well there are 2 more weeks till the changes and we'll see if I get a change. However, this change has felt like it’s flown by. Also next week I will officially be 1/3 done with my mission. My how time flies.

Anyway glad to hear you are all well and I love you all. Until next week.

Elder Halverson