Lima, Peru Temple

Lima, Peru Temple

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

Hello Family!

Well this week was pretty fun. First off on Tuesday and Wednesday, we had Family History lessons in the chapel the whole day. It was kinda funny, though, because a senior couple came to teach it but they can’t talk Spanish so I had to be there with them all day for both days to translate for them but they were some pretty fun classes and we were able to do a lot of work with the members and send a lot of names to the temple. The couple who were working with us were the Johnsons (no relation to your family) but they know a lot of information about Jacob Vernon Hamblin that I never knew and so whenever we weren’t helping or teaching someone I was just asking about him. But as far as the weather, we had a few days of just burning sun and then the clouds came back but ironically, like Washington, we had some really bad winds on Saturday. But yes, Espinar is really actually a lot higher up than Cusco. Here in the mountains it’s like the higher up you are the more barren it is and the lower in altitude you are the more tropical and jungly it gets. That’s why Macchu Pichu is partly like a jungle because it’s actually at a lower altitude than Cusco. Also in our mission we have several zones that are jungle like Quillabamba and Puerto Maldonado. However, I’ve never been to those zones. My mission has been more focused in the high altitude plains. But to be honest, I much rather prefer a winter with freezing weather back home than the half freezing dry weather that I’ve seen in the majority of my mission. Plus at least back home we get snow. I miss snow. And our Christmas is cooler. 

Speaking of Oakley, Whitney messaged me this last week saying that she hopes that I don’t hop on the cat train like everyone else has done but I still am excited to see Oakley even though I’m still a dog dude. I still have not received my travel plans so I’m thinking today I’ll email the office to ask them about that. Normally I thought that you receive an email right about when you start your last transfer but I don’t have anything.

You know, it’s actually ironic that you talked about not judging anyone last week and this week. Last Monday was the Espinar anniversary with the parade where a bunch of people were dancing and it was really cool. However, later in the night I had to take one of the elders to the hospital for a test he had to take and when we got there we saw our young men’s president smoking and drinking. We walked right past him because he was in the entrance but we didn’t say anything to him. I can imagine he probably felt pretty weird, though, seeing us. A few days later we informed the bishop but he told us that he had already gone to him to confess. So it all worked out in the end. But like you said, more than anything I just felt sad for him but knew that he has his weaknesses like we all do.

I was asked a while back how we can answer someone who tells us that they know that their church is true because they have received an answer from God. But I was thinking about it a lot and this is my answer. The Book of Mormon is either true or it isn’t. And the only way we can find out is if we follow the invitation that it has to read, ponder, and pray, with real intent, a sincere heart, and faith. I have come to know and feel that when we have a testimony of this book, we can never leave the church because we know it’s true. Regardless of our trials and tribulations, it is our anchor in the storm. But to just end this part, I just want to leave my own personal testimony of the truthfulness of this book and I’m sad that I didn’t focus on reading and studying it more before I came out because I have found many scriptures that have helped me with problems and doubts that have come my way and I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to read and study this Book to try the challenge to verify if it’s true.

But before I forget, as far as the baptism went, it was good. Saturday morning was when we had planned his baptism and I swear every time we have a baptism, the power always goes out. So he had to be baptized in cold water but he was ok with that. It was also funny because he asked our zone leader who interviewed him to baptize him. So Friday the zone leaders came down to do divisions with us during the day and then Saturday morning after the baptism they left. But everything worked out fine. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that was my last baptism in my mission but at least I can go out good. 

As for my toilet seat, we just use our broken one still. Something new I saw this week was the parade last Monday because it focused on traditional dances of Peru. I have a few videos of it but they aren’t that good but perhaps it’s on YouTube. You might be able to find it by searching Corso de Espinar 2015 or aniversario de espinar 2015. But it was pretty dang cool. The yummiest thing I ate this week is a pastry that they eat like crazy during this season called "paneton"; it’s also known as "passover bread (pan de pascua)" But it’s a fluffy sweet bread with soft fruit candy and raisins. They also make a chocolate chip version that’s really good. However, as far as a Christmas pastry is concerned, I still prefer your cranberry cake.

But that’s about it for me this week but I love you all and I hope you have a good week tambiĆ©n nos vemos en algunas semanas!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Halverson

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