Lima, Peru Temple

Lima, Peru Temple

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.