Lima, Peru Temple

Lima, Peru Temple

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Hello family!

Well yep, everything you said is basically true (Espinar is at almost 13,000 feet, has an average temperature of 44-47 degrees (brrr), has a smaller population than the Tri-Cities, and has a lot of Quechua speaking people). At night here it gets below freezing and it’s super cold. Luckily we have a nice warm house. But yea this past week has been crazy because on Tuesday I left for Cusco with like half of my zone who also had changes. Also something super ironic happened while I was in Cusco. The night I got there we went to go eat at a restaurant but when we left we ran into some members from the states. He started asking us where we are from and I told him I’m from the Tri-Cities. He then looked at my name and asked who my parents are. I told him your names and he said that he was in our ward as a counselor a while back. He even remembers from when I drowned but his name is Michael Degn so I don’t know if you remember him but it was just pretty funny. Anyway, I had to stay in Cusco for a few days for my training but something cool that happened is that all district leaders now have a cell phone. Everyone was super excited for that because before it was only the zone leaders who had cell phones. But it really makes life so much more simple.

Anyway, Thursday in the afternoon I finally got to Espinar. It’s still in Cusco but looks a lot like Puno. Also there are mountains here with snow on them! That’s the first time I’ve seen snow in a while; however, we weren’t able to go to them because they are too far away. But my new sector is pretty cool; my pensionista has 2 German shepherds who are now my best friends. Also, we have a family here that is all getting baptized in different weeks of this month. However, I still don’t really know much about them. But being a district leader is pretty chill; I just collect our numbers each week and lead our district meetings. But it’s nothing special, I’m basically just a normal missionary but I have to make sure the elders of my district are doing everything. I was actually a little concerned before I got here because one of the assistants told me that the previous elders here were having a bit too much fun and not working much. He also said that the mission president had no doubt in his mind that I was supposed to be the new district leader here. But the missionaries here are pretty cool and the ones that were mainly causing the problems got changed out. We are only 4 elders here in my district and 3 of us are Americans and the other is from Lima but we all live together so that’s pretty nice. Also my comp is from Idaho and we talk a lot about skiing and snowboarding. But I’m already starting to get things back in shape with these guys and according to the zone leaders this past week was a lot better than the previous few weeks, even though we could only work for about half the week.

It was pretty funny, though, because we had actually forgotten that it was the 4th of July but that day some members invited us out to their field to make some baked potatoes but you cook them in dirt. It’s a process called Guatia but it’s actually pretty good. You also eat it with cheese and a special kinda dirt paste called Chalko. So I literally ate dirt... But yea that’s about all that’s been happening here this week but the internet here is the slowest in the whole mission because we are so high up and far away from everything else so I will try to send some pictures but no promises.

But my best spiritual experience this week was also the best moment I had with my comp. It was a lesson we had with a recent convert who had just had a huge fight with her mom and basically ended with her mom telling her that she was basically a failed abortion. She then got super depressed and wrote a letter to her friend saying basically that she is going to commit suicide. Her friend found us and then we found the girl really fast and talked to her about the love and atonement of Christ. I felt the spirit so strongly that I cried for the 4th time in my mission in a lesson. Anyway, safe to say that we did the job and she is now back to being cheerful again and was at church yesterday. Also, I did learn some new Quechua but I forgot it so I will try to write down the phrases I learn. I think my testimony has really grown with the new calling I have because I was meditating on why God called me to be district leader here. I came to the conclusion that he called me not only to be a help and example to the missionaries here but to also make some personal goals to better myself.

But that’s about all I’ve got for this week but I’m glad to hear that all is good and hot back home. Also I feel like when I get back I’m going to feel like Rip Van Winkle with everything changing. But I love you all and will talk to you next week!

Elder Halverson

P.S. My new house doesn’t have a toilet seat...

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