It's a blast when you work hard. We worked super hard this week. Probably the hardest week I've worked in the mission. We had a day where we found 7 new investigators and had 6 lessons. That was unreal for Choquehuanca. I LOVE IT. But that is like nothing compared to the progress we`ve been having with the branch president. When I got transferred to Choquehuanca, President Harbertson told me that the 4 Elders that got sent there all had specific reasons for being there. I'm starting to see that reason for me. It was CRAZY. We made an appointment to meet with the branch president and... he came! Then we talked about the ward and he was telling US what he and us need to do. Then he actually did ALL of it. Prayers and fasts get answered. The crazy thing is that when he finally did his job, everybody else started to do theirs. I feel like by the end of my time here we will actually have a functioning branch. That really is like my dream. hahaElder Halverson is going to be a great missionary, I know it. He basically knows everything he needs to do. It's just tough with the language and it is hard for me to always speak Spanish to him when he doesn't understand, so I end up speaking in English and it doesn't help. We are going to fix that this week though. 100% Spanish total siempre.
Monday, February 24, 2014
I forgot to take some pictures of Choquehuanca for you guys but basically it’s a small town in the middle of a field surrounded by green hills and mountains. All the buildings are either adobe or concrete and brick. We live with a family whose house is right across the street from the church, which is nice. However, our house is separate from theirs and we only have one room with our beds, a dresser, and our desks. The bathroom is nice and we have indoor plumbing with a shower with warm water. Also it’s bigger than most showers here. The only downside is that it’s connected to their house so if I ever have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night it sucks because it’s cold and sometimes raining. The family aren’t members except for their son and he is like 15 years old.
Our pensionista (the people who feed them every day) lives like a mile away from our house but they are building a new bigger house that we are helping them build and when we finish we are going to move in with them, which will be really nice because we won’t have to walk a mile to eat and their whole family are members. With our clothes, we just give them to a member every week who has a washer (because most members wash their clothes by hand). There are no mosquitoes here because it’s too cold and high. However, there are like mini tarantulas here and you know how much I hate spiders. I found 3 this week, thankfully I only find them on the road and not in our house. The food is the same every day, we eat rice, potatoes, chicken, sometimes alpaca, sheep, or cow, bread, and eggs. Thankfully our pensionista is a good cook but it’s still kinda bland.
We are still working a lot with reactivating members here but we still have some investigators. It’s hard to proselyte, though, because the town is so small so we have already talked to a lot of people. I’m still trying to learn people’s names but there are a few people who we are getting really close with to reactivating. It takes a while to teach people here though because a lot of them are really uneducated because they are farmers. Also a lot of old people here only speak kechawa so I don’t know what they are saying and I only know a few kechawa phrases. we had a really good day because we taught 7 lessons which is a lot for a day here. Normally we only teach 2 or 3 because the people aren’t there at the time we set up with them.
I really love the storms we get here like almost every day. There are huge thunderstorms that pass right over us. A normal day you will be looking one direction and it’s blue skies and then you look in the opposite direction and there are dark grey thunder heads coming right at us. An average we get around 50 members to show up but the last 2 weeks we have gotten 2 different investigators to come to church. One of the investigators we are working with didn’t understand much of the first lesson but the next time we talked to him he said it was like we planted a seed in his mind and he is starting to understand more. Me and my companion have really been trying to be as obedient as we can and have really seen the blessings coming from that.
Ok something weird I ate yesterday was lamb blood and intestine soup which strangely enough reminded me of a mcchicken.
Choquehaunca is in the Puno region but is still a few hours from Lake Titicaca so I haven’t seen it yet plus it’s also out of my zone. Anyway I love you guys and I’m having a great time here!
Love Elder Halverson
Chase and Elder Nicholls
(I'm adding a blurb from a letter that Elder Nicholls sent to his family regarding their mission. I am told that all his past companions have not worked very hard and their area has not been very productive [ie. church starts late, branch president doesn't show up to meetings, etc.]. I'm happy to report that Chase is working really hard and there is finally success in the area!)
Monday, February 17, 2014
I gotta write fast because there is a lot to tell you guys. Anyway first off, my knee is healed now so it’s not a big deal. We had a one hour flight to Cusco from Lima and it was so beautiful, I didn't bring my camera this week so I’ll have to send you the pics next week. Anyway, Cusco is so cool but I was only there for a day before I got shipped to a really high up town called Choquehuanca. The town is tiny and there are more sheep than people here. The bus ride was six hours long but it was cool to get to see all the country side.
Get this though, my trainer is Elder Nicholls! I can’t believe the irony in it. Our mission president was talking to all the new missionaries when we were in Cusco and said that he received revelation for all the companionships, and then he came over to me and Elder Nicholls and said especially these two because they were from the same town. Elder Nicholls said that he knew my sister and everyone laughed and our president just smiled and said he didn't know that. Anyway the people in my town are hard to teach because they aren't too accepting of the gospel and they are super flaky in our appointments and the commitments we give them.
Me and Elder Nicholls are trying to talk in only Spanish whenever we are outside of the house and it’s really helped a lot. We also get thundershowers every night and it’s awesome. Anyway that’s all I have time for right now and I love you all.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Letter from Chase's new mission president in Cusco.
As you can see in the attached photo, your son has arrived safely to the Peru Cusco Mission! We are thrilled to have him here! He looks great, a bit tired from the travel, but ready to go! Thank you for allowing us to watch over him for the next two years. He has promised that he will be a missionary we can trust, and we have now given him that trust. As well, you can trust that we will do everything that we can to care for him and to help him to become a successful missionary.
Con Gran Amor,
Presidente y Hermana Harbertson
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
So with this new transfer something really unexpected and funny happened. One of the new elders is also named Elder Halverson. I wanted to see if we were related but he didn't bring his family history stuff so we don’t know. We had fun though on our P-day and the day after where we got the MTC all to ourselves because of the transfer. This week has felt really weird though because my group is the oldest but i feel like I got here only like last week. Time really does fly when you do the Lord's work. I almost feel like that after my time at the MTC is over I should be going home because it almost feels like when I worked at the scout camp. But it’s more like my mission is just starting and the MTC is the warm-up. Me and my companion have been doing good as the new zone leaders. All we basically do is assign people to do stuff for Sundays or devotionals and if anyone has problems that can’t be solved in their district they then come to us and we have to try and solve it and if we can’t then we have to go to the MTC president.
Ok so on Wednesday we had a combined physical activity with the other English district and we played kickball and it was super fun but I did something stupid and slid to a base and scraped up my knee. It wasn’t anything big but it got infected so we went to the doctor to get it cleaned up and he said that it wasn’t really infected but in order to clean it out we had to scrub it really well with a gauze pad and anti-bacteria stuff. Well me and my companion went up to our bathroom to do it and it hurt really bad because we basically had to scrub off the scab and all the gunk around the edge. It basically felt like someone was rubbing sandpaper on an open wound. The funny part though that our dorms are in the same building as our classrooms so our bathroom is right above the girls’ bathroom on the first floor with all the classrooms. So in the middle of me yelling in pain we hear 2 sisters yell up if we were ok. I felt so bad because I’m pretty sure I scared them for life. Anyway as far as my knee is concerned, it’s better now and after we cleaned it I just used some anti-bacteria\pain cream and it stopped hurting within a few minutes. I’m really sad though because the p-day we had last week was the last time I am going to be able to go to the Lima temple because it’s closed this week for maintenance.
The rest of this week has been really good though. I’m having a good last few weeks. I leave for Cusco on Tuesday morning so I probably won’t get to write you for another 2 weeks. I’m gonna miss Lima and the experiences I’ve had while at the MTC but I’m really glad to finally get into my mission and start working. I have one more time to go proselyting on Friday so I’ll write you how that goes. Every time I tell people where I’m going though they always tell me how beautiful Cusco is so I’m really excited to go there.
The language is going good but I need to do better at arranging my sentences because I want to translate what I want to say directly into Spanish but that doesn't make sense in the Spanish grammar so my companion has been helping me out with that. I know that most of the learning will come for the first few months while I’m in the actual field though. I’m a little nervous going out with as little of the language I know right now but I know I’ll be taken care of. I’m gonna miss all the friends I made here though (luckily me and my companion are going to the same mission so I may see him again in a zone conference which would be really cool.) but I’m definitely gonna keep in touch with all of them. That’s also super cool that the Seahawks won the super bowl. There are 2 other people from Washington here so we had our own little celebration.
Anyway I love you all and I miss you but I’m thankful for the work i can be doing here. Until next I write, goodbye