Week 8 – Doñihue, Chile

¡Hola Amigos!

This past week was pretty awesome!  I love Doñihue!  It’s so beautiful.  Every night when we’re riding around, you can see the sunsets and it’s just amazing.  Also, I can’t get enough of these mountains.  They’re just so cool.

We also went to the Nike outlet the other day in the city.  It was sweet!  I got these shoes and shirt for only like 45 lucas, which is like $50 in US.  Everything was so cheap there.

We also went to this place here in Doñihue called, “La Picá del Walo.”  That is where we got these massive completos.  They were so big, but it was delicious!!!  It’s funny – before, I hated mayo and guac and everything, but I don’t really mind it now!  I had a massive stomach ache afterward, but it was so worth it, ha ha.

Spanish is also continuing to improve.  I’m starting to speak more in our lessons.  I was a little nervous at first, but it’s getting easier to talk.  The hardest part though is understanding what the people are saying.  But that’s improving, as well.  I understand more than last week, but really hardly any.

Our lessons are improving a lot, as well.  The people we teach are great, too.  One of the families we are teaching have some horses.  So before we taught them, we helped them breed the horses!!!  It was interesting, lol.  I didn’t really do much, I kinda just held one of the ropes to one of the horses.  It was crazy.  But later when we taught the lesson, we were teaching about the Book of Mormon and the spirit was so strong.  I shared what it was about and my testimony of it.  It was insane.  I didn’t feel like I was sharing, but the spirit was teaching them this principle.  It was a great experience.

Overall, it’s awesome here and I love it.  Thanks for your emails and prayers.  I love you guys so much.  Thank you for your support!

¡Hasta Semana!

Elder Halverson

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Week 7 – Doñihue, Chile

Well, I’m finally here in Chile and I love it!!  I can’t even believe it’s already been a week.  It’s so great here.  I am living in Doñihue right now.  It is pretty okay.  There’s like a million stray dogs here.  Every time we go by one, it barks, then like ten more start.  It’s so annoying, lol!

Also, I can barely understand anyone!  I can kind of understand the younger people, but most of the older people don’t have a lot of their teeth, so I have no clue what they are saying.  It’s also weird because they don’t pronounce their “s” in words, and they add “-po” at the end of a lot of words!  It’s way different than CCM Spanish, that’s for sure.

The houses, though, are tiny!  Most of them don’t really have floors, and the doors are pretty junky as well.  It’s built together so poorly, but the people hardly even care.  They are very polite and humble.  The food is also pretty good, as well.  I had my first completo this week, and it was amazing.  It’s pretty much a hot dog with tomatoes, guacamole, mayo, and ketchup, but it is so delicious.  We get fed lunch by members.  Usually, meals are some sort of chicken but they also have “ensalada” with it, which is just chopped up tomatoes and onions.  Sometimes there is a soup or potatoes, but it’s usually a feast, depending on the member.  The other two meals are always oatmeal, lol.  That’s kind of all we eat in our casa, ha ha.

It’s beautiful here!  Our house is in the town, but for part of our sector we go into the countryside, and it is stunning!  There are a lot of farms and also mountains.  It’s so pretty.  It’s also cool that we have bikes in our sector.  It makes getting around a lot easier, but it is so hot, lol!  I am definitely not looking forward to summertime.

They also have this drink here called “mate.”  I tried it at our casa, and it was disgusting.  I can’t even describe the flavor, but it is nasty.

My companion is great, too.  His name is Elder Llavilla.  He’s from Peru.  He is a great teacher and companion, but he literally only speaks Español!  He doesn’t know any English.  It’s good though because I am learning a lot from him.  Teaching wise, it is very hard.  There are a lot of members here, but a ton of them are inactive.  Most of our day is spent trying to contact them.  In other words, riding around all day on our bikes, knocking on doors.  We talk to a lot of people, but we don’t teach a ton of lessons.  Yesterday, though, was my first real lesson and it was great.  It was with this guy named Frederica and it was awesome.  He had talked with missionaries before, so he knows about the church, but we asked him to get baptized and he said yes.  I don’t think I have felt the spirit as strong as that in my whole life.

Well, thank you everyone for your support and prayers.  I love you all so much!

Hasta semana,

Elder Halverson

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Week 6 – Mexico City CCM

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[Mom note:  I did not receive a letter this week, as he flies out tonight from Mexico City to Chile.  He was able to send me a few pics, however.  His new p-day in Chile will be on Monday, I believe, so it may be at least a week before we hear more from him in writing.  Thrilled to see his cute face.  Missing him something fierce.]

 

Week 5 – Mexico City CCM

¡Hola Everybody!

This is my last week here and I am so excited to leave.  I got my flight info.  I will be leaving the CCM on Monday at around 3 p.m.  It’s an eight hour flight, but luckily it’s overnight, so I’ll be asleep the whole time, ha ha.

Overall, this last week has been pretty great.  We’re focusing a lot more on the specific grammar and different sentence structures.  Right now, it’s mostly about fine-tuning our Spanish and teaching.  It’s pretty helpful, but it is so repetitive, lol.  It feels like I’m not even on my mission, but that I’m in school learning Spanish, ha ha.  I can’t wait to get into the field and actually apply it all.

I’m definitely going to miss my district though.  We’ve all become such great friends.  Luckily, most of them will be coming to Rancagua with me, but I’m going to miss everyone else.  We have all these inside jokes with each other – it’s great.

We had a pretty good devotional this week.  It was one of the Area Seventy, and he focused a lot on why we’re out here.  It was a great reminder that this isn’t my time and that I need to focus on helping others.  It’s difficult to apply that in the CCM sometimes, but I know that it will be very important in Chile.  It was also good because he spoke a lot of simple Spanish, so I was able to understand most of it before the translator said stuff.

It’s also a great day today because it is one the guys in my zone’s birthday, so we’re going to all buy him little presents from the tienda (store) and his parents even sent him a cake!  So we’ll be enjoying that tonight.

Thank you everyone for your support.  I love you all.  See you all in Chile!

Elder Halverson

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(No photos this week – his brand new camera died!  Hoping and praying he buys a new one at the airport or as soon as he can in Chile.  Miss seeing my boy’s face!)

Week 4 – Mexico City CCM

¡Hola Amigos!

Another fantastic week in the books, and it has been my favorite so far!  Less than two weeks until I’m in the field, and I CANNOT WAIT!  I am so ready to go.  My district and I all joke around that we’ve been here for years, but it really does feel like it.

Spanish is continuing to get easier.  This week, I’ve been working specifically on conjugating verbs for different tenses.  It’s annoying because there’s several different versions for past tense and then different conjugations for each verb ending, so it kinda sucks, ha ha.  But I’m getting better at it, the more I study.

Our lessons are getting better, as well.  The teachers are making it harder on us by being difficult investigators, but it is good because this is how it will be in the field.  On Saturday, we also did this activity called TRC, which is when they bring real people (volunteer members, usually) and they play themselves, and we have to teach them.  I was really nervous since they’re not MTC workers or anything.

However, it was awesome.  My companion and I were sitting in the room waiting for the people, when all of a sudden, three little primary kids walked in!  They were who we taught!  It was so cool, but it threw us off.  The oldest one was maybe 11 or 12.  It was cool because it forced us to make the lesson more simple and easy for kids to understand.  Our lesson was about Jesus, and His influence on us.  It was so funny – we asked one of the kids who Jesus is, and then she said, “¡Mi Salvador!” and then she dabbed!!!  It was hilarious.  My comp and I both died.  But overall, it was such a cool experience.  We’ll do it one more time before we leave, and I cannot wait.

Also, another funny story.  There’s this guy in my apartment named Elder Shumway.  He’s from my stake at home.  Anyway, he was showering and his shampoo was resting on the shelf by this little opaque window.  Whenever you hit the window slightly, the shampoo would fall down.  We kept doing that to him and then he got mad and told us to stop.  He smacked the window super hard and it shattered!!  It was insane!  He needed five stitches. He didn’t even notice until we told him.  He’s fine though.  Luckily, they replaced it that day, and we didn’t have to do anything.  From what it sounds like, that happens all the time.

Well, thank you so much for your prayers and emails!  I am so grateful for all of you and I really appreciate all of you!  Have a great week!

¡Hasta Semana!

Elder Halverson

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