Lima, Peru Temple

Lima, Peru Temple

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Hello family!

Okay, well I’m going to try and keep this email a little shorter because I’ve been using a lot of time getting a few things figured out for college.

Anyway, as for this week, everything has been going pretty good. However, we are finally starting to get rain so it’s been mostly cloudy this week. Because our water heater is a solar heater, our showers have been a little colder than normal. As for your initial questions, my companion is from Trujillo in Peru, he doesn’t even have a year yet but we work really well together. He’s a good teacher and we joke around a lot. He is the oldest in his family and so he’s the first of his siblings to go on a mission. It’s funny though because he’s usually pretty cold here because his home is pretty hot. But also because all the other elders here are Latinos, I’m really teaching all of them English but they are learning really fast. But yea I think I am improving a lot with my Spanish seeing as how I only speak English when I’m teaching them or we are with the rest of the zone and I get to talk to the other Americans there. But speaking of English classes, I also started to teach English classes at the chapel for everyone. This last week there were just a bunch of girls that went which was a little awkward but hopefully we can grow the assistance a little more as we continue to do it and also have some guys come. XD

As for the other activities of the ward, they are not exactly the same because of the size of the ward and the working circumstances of the leaders and schooling circumstances for the youth, but they still hold activities. It’s not the same kind of activities that we have like weekly mutual but at least we are doing them. I’ve been in a lot of other places where rarely the ward holds activities. Also as for our lessons in Quechua, we don’t really talk in Quechua very much. We don’t really have too many opportunities to use it and so the missionaries here don’t focus very much in learning it. We mainly just learn phrases. Normally, if we need to teach someone in Quechua, we just take someone along who can translate for us.

As for everyone we are teaching right now, it’s all going great. We had some good lessons with Luz Marina and her husband Walter and we plan to put a date with them for their marriage. We are also progressing with her mom who came with her this week to church as well as her little sister. As far as the Yuca family, the dad comes home this week and we plan to have his baptismal interview for his baptism next month. We are also teaching a lot of youth who really want to get baptized but because of their parents work, it makes it a little more difficult. But all’s good and tranquil over here. I am a little concerned though. This next week we have changes and I have a feeling that the president is going to put me somewhere else to finish my mission which I have seen him do with a lot of other missionaries their last change. I would really prefer to have my last change here in Espinar though because I really like this sector. 

Hey but I’m glad to hear that everything is going well back home and that you’re having fun with your new hobby, and the cat. Who by the way I’m super excited to get to know. But perhaps dad understands a little better now why I love art so much. I just love being able to make things with my own hands.

But yea as for your questions something new I learned about myself this week is my determination. Right now in the end part of my mission I’m starting to feel a little tired and worn down yet even though I feel like that we are still working really hard here and that’s how I hope I will be able to finish off. My testimony has been strengthened this week a lot in family history. Yesterday we had a multi stake conference/broadcast for Peru and Bolivia and they talked a lot about temples and families and stuff. But it made me think of my patriarchal blessing that says in a part the work for the dead is just as important as the work for the living and that it will be included in my callings. It just makes me grateful that in our family we know of our heritage and we have done a lot of work for our ancestors. In contrast I see and teach a lot of people here who many times don’t even know their own grandparents. But the funniest thing that has happened this week wasn’t really anything in particular but we have just been joking around like crazy in our district. There is an elder here from Lima and he is really short and so we always make fun of him for that. (I got to do it while I can because when I get home I won’t be able to do that to anyone). But one time we were talking about Ratatui (the Disney movie with the cooking mouse. I don’t know how to spell it) while he was helping cook and we were referring to how they cook but he thought we were comparing him to the mouse and his size. Plus he was standing on a stool as he cooked so that made it all the funnier. 

But yea that’s all I got for this week, I love you all very much and I look forward to seeing you here pretty soon.

Elder Halverson

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

Well I guess I’ll just tell you a little of how my week went. Well, first off, last Monday was our zone P-day and we went to some ruins above a little town that are called Machu Pitumarca. They were really cool; we just had to climb up a mountain to get there. They basically look a lot like a bunch of other ruins I’ve already seen but it was kinda cool because they had 2 peeks of ruins. Also everything is still yellow. We also found some kinda kiln or something that looks like a face with its mouth open. I’ll send you a photo of that.

On Tuesday, we just had a conference with the president of the mission which was really good. He talked a lot about cleaning out our cups interiorly to be able to be better teachers in the work. At the end he showed us a few power points of his mission and of his life after the mission. It was a little trunky. Especially because he was showing some pictures of missionaries who have ended and what they are doing right now. I saw a few photos of some of my old companions and other missionaries that I knew. Then we had to travel back to Sicuani that night to be able to be in our sector as soon as possible. 

On Friday, we saw a rally race pass through Espinar because Espinar is one of the checkpoints in which they had to stop. We started by watching the winners get into the plaza in Espinar. We then walked way out of the city where they were taking the times of the cars as they were arriving into the city so they were going their fastest at this point. That’s the most people from Espinar that I’ve seen in one place since I’ve been here. We didn’t have any appointments that day and needless to say that basically no one was in their house so we used the opportunity to also contact a bit. However, I forgot to put on sunscreen that day and we were in the sun for quite a long time and I got burned on my face and arms pretty bad. They are now peeling terribly.

However, on Saturday, we had our baptisms! Woot! For me and my comp we just baptized the mom and daughter of the Yuca family and the other elders here had a baptism as well of a girl who is about 14 years old but has been going to seminary for quite a while. It was a pretty dang sweet day. Also that night the Young Single Adults had a movie night and asked us to help out in contacting news who were there. However, it was a disaster because the sound system they brought didn’t hook up to the projector and so they only had very quiet sound coming from the projector. 

But that’s about all that happened this week. Oh yea, also we started teaching the parents of one of our investigators. However, the mom doesn’t really understand very well when we teach in Spanish so we had some members with us in a lesson we taught to be able to translate what we were teaching to Quechua to help the mom understand better. As far as the daughter of them who we are teaching, she is progressing really well but she needs to get married. We were able to talk to her boyfriend? (I can’t think of how to call the partner of someone who’s not married in English). Anyway, he seems to be understanding really well what we are teaching and we think that we will be able to have them get married here in a few months. 

Elder Halverson

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Hello Family!

Well first off my official last day working is December 13th. Then Monday is our interview and we travel the next few days and I should be home sometime on Wednesday, probably. I still haven’t gotten any information on my flights yet. And I hope the only person who is using my room is Oakley. I’m okay with that. I want him to be accustomed to my bed so he will sleep with me XD.

Anyway, this week has been pretty good; however, I still haven’t been able to see the conference yet because I need to convert the videos so they work on our dvd player. But I’m going to do that this week. As for mainly women listening to our message, that’s true. Mainly the men are either working or are just too stubborn to listen to us, or they just like drinking... With a lot of people I’ve taught, we usually don’t start out teaching the family but after a time they start to listen to us. That’s something we have seen with the Yuca family, who by the way now have a baptismal date for next Saturday (well, the mom and the daughter). The dad has a date for the 21 of November just because of his work. Also the other elders had a baptism this Saturday which was pretty dang awesome. Also, they have another one planned for this next Saturday with our baptisms. I gotta say that in Espinar we have work and success, a good pensionista who cooks good, and a good ward so I’m pretty content. Oh yea and for the strike, it’s been lifted because they were able to come to an impasse (I think that’s what it’s called). Only for a few days we just had to walk around with our ID always with us and be back in the house a little earlier.

Something I have learned about myself is my patience. There have been a lot of times, especially recently, where I just feel exhausted and stressed and I just want it to end but I just pass through it and later I feel fine. Now at the end of my mission I think I have become a lot more patient. Something funny that happened this week was we had to chase a dog out of the sacrament meeting and an old lady just wacked it super hard with her bag and the dog was a little smaller so I was afraid she might have killed it. Something I learned this week was you should never tell jokes in Spanish because they don’t come out right. My testimony has grown this week with the leaders of the church. I was doing some studying on President Monson as well as leaders from the Book of Mormon and I have been able to feel more grateful for leaders that God gives us and the council that we can receive through their teaching. Also it’s very important that we can have a strong testimony for the leaders to know that they are here to help us and that we can hear the words that Christ himself would say if he were here on the earth.

Well that about it for me this week but I love you guys and I’m getting excited to see you all. (Mainly because my zone leader goes home in 3 weeks) But until next week!

Elder Halverson

"It's wabbit season!" 

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Hello everyone.

Well there isn’t really much to talk about for this week because Wednesday morning I had to travel to Cusco to basically sign a paper saying that I am definitely leaving the country here shortly (weird thought). But then I only had about a half a day back in my sector we had to travel again but this time only to Sicuani for conference.

Something that sucks right now for Espinar is that we are in an emergency state because there is a riot going on with the miners in Abancay and so because Espinar is also full of miners we are also affected. Basically an emergency state just means that the government makes it so this area can hold meetings to prevent them from getting fired up and rising up to help the riot in Abancay. Right now there are also increased police in the area to help. But because of this, we currently can’t have any meetings (including conference) so we all had to come here. However, as for how our work goes, it doesn’t really affect us too much, we just have a few new rules to protect us such as be home by 8:00 pm, always have identification, and don’t travel at night. But nothing too bad. It would only be bad if Espinar had a riot. But also it’s only a 2 hour bus ride to Sicuani and then 2 hours more to Cusco.

But to be honest, I haven’t seen all of conference yet. Normally we have a separate room for English because we receive both broadcasts. However, this time, the guy didn’t come to make it where we could watch it in English apart so we had to watch it online in the secretary’s room. However, the internet was so slow that we didn’t have time to see all of the sessions and talks because it was buffering. So we decided to just download the sessions to watch them later so I’ll be doing that here this week. However, from what I did get to see, I really liked the talk from Richard J. Maynes and the story of the ceramic teacher. Also, it was cool to see the new apostles. But from what I was able to see, it was good.

The ponderize thing is kinda something as missionaries we already do in a way. But it would be pretty cool to start doing, and for me it will be in Spanish. However, I have been doing that once a change with my favorite scriptures or scriptures that have a message that apply to me. I then have it written on my agenda so I can see it every day. 

I can’t believe after so many years about saying how much you hate cats you got one. And with animals in general. However, I am happy. I need a nice clean animal to go home and love and sleep with. XD But you have given me quite a few surprises since I’ve been out here but this is definitely up on the list. 

But that’s about it for this week. Next week we have to travel again to Cusco as a zone for a multi-conference with a 70 and the mission president. So I’ll be sure to tell you how that goes in 2 weeks (because its next Tuesday) But I love you all and I’m glad to hear that everyone’s doing well!

Elder Halverson 

English room for general conference