Week 34 – Teno, Chile

Hey guys!

This week has been pretty awesome.  Crazy, but awesome.

First of all, our water got cut last Thursday!  As a missionary, you get receipts and bills on the gate, then what you have to do is take them to the zone leaders, and they will take them to the mission office to be paid.  The problem with this is that we have forgotten to do it, ha ha, so we didn’t have water.  It was pretty lame!  We weren’t able to shower, do dishes, clean, etc.  We went to the church a few times to do sink showers and wash our hair!  And then we also had some 2 or 3 liter bottles that we filled up at the church to do dishes, clean, etc.  We finally got water last Monday.  It was pretty disgusting.

But then the next day, Tuesday, our electricity was cut!  So, sure, we could shower and do dishes, but at night we couldn’t see, ha ha.  The bigger problem is that here in Chile, house insulation doesn’t exist.  And it’s getting pretty cold down here.  The only thing that saves us is this little electric heater, but we didn’t have any electricity.  So for the whole week, we could see our breath in the house!  We kept calling the electric company, but they said there wasn’t anything they could do.  Then Saturday, they sent someone over, but all they could fix were the lights.  Last night, our branch president came and fixed it!  So now we are good, ha ha.  We have electricity AND water!

Also, this week, we had zone conference.  It was way good!  Pretty much what we did for that is we went to Curico, to the stake center.  Then all the missionaries from the two Curico zones came and we had presentations from our mission president, his wife, assistants, etc.  They are usually about how we can increase our teaching ability or improve as missionaries.  President Harris talked about personal study.  It was way good.  He related it to us in our teaching and stuff.  He also gave us a bunch of ideas on how we can focus our personal study.  It was great.  Then the assistants and the zone leaders did their stuff on the focus of the mission, which is working with members.  Then we also did little practices with our districts about it.  It was a really awesome zone meeting.  I learned a lot.

We also had interchanges this week, too.  I went to Rancagua with Elder Aguillar.  It was incredible!  We were contacting in this really nice area, and things were going pretty slow.  No one really wanted to hear from us, it was late, and we were tired.  So we stopped, said a prayer for guidance, and then continued.  Literally, the next house we went to a person came outside!!  Then we told him we were missionaries, and he let us in directly after that.  We sat down and talked with him.  HIs name was Juan.  He was super nice!  Then we gave him the lesson.  I basically just taught him about the restoration, and the Book of Mormon.  At the end, he just looked at us and said, “Wow, that makes sense!  I am going to read this book and ask if it’s true!”  It was absolutely amazing!!  He was the most really prepared and receptive investigator I have ever seen!  Now I know for sure that God does prepare people to receive his gospel.  We don’t know when, how, why, etc., but Christ is in all places, and at all times.  Miracles are real.  God really does answer our prayers.

I love you all!  Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Halverson

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Week 33 – Teno, Chile

Hey guys!

This week has seriously been awesome.  First of all, we had a priesthood activity on Wednesday.  What we did is meet at the church and think about the families that are in need.  We then divided up and went to visit each of the families.  It was great.  I went with the branch president to visit a couple members.  It was really special.  I got to know him a lot better and definitely now know that he is a beast.  It is so awesome to be working with him.

We also had interchanges, too.  I went with Elder Gutierrez in his sector.  He is a great guy.  We had some lessons together, and even though we aren’t comps or we don’t know each other too well, we clicked!  It definitely showed me even more the power of the Holy Ghost in missions.  We really aren’t the ones teaching.  We are just instruments in God’s hands.  Overall, it was a good day with him.  I learned some good things from him.

Also, we have new investigators!!  Remember that drunk guy we met last week?  We had a lesson with him and his family!  It was so awesome!!  We basically just had a basic lesson about the love of God for us and the husband actually is inactive, but he remembered a lot of stuff.  He introduced his wife and his daughter to the Book of Mormon and we talked about baptism.  The spirit there was so strong, and the mom expressed a desire for her daughter to be baptized!  It was great.  We’re pumped to see them progress.

Have a great week!

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Week 32 – Teno, Chile

Hey Guys!

This week has been so awesome.  Things here in Teno are seriously amazing.  This past week, we had an interview with our mission president.  It was so sweet.  President Harris is such a good guy.  We mostly talked about our work here in Teno and he gave us some pretty good ideas to help us.  Overall, it was great.

Also this week, the missionary work has been fantastic!  We met some really good future investigators!  Last night, we were walking back to the house and there were two drunk guys calling us to come over.  Not going to lie, I was pretty scared.  They both had hands in their pockets, and I was really nervous, but we went with it.  It’s not unusual to have drunk guys talk to us, but usually we just pass by them.  This time, we went and talked to them.  I started talking to one of them, and Elder Smith talked to the other.  At first, I was a little apprehensive, but this guy started opening up.  He told me that he was the biggest drug dealer in Teno!  He talked about his life, too, and even though he was drunk, I felt impressed to keep talking with him.

We’ve talked to drunk people before, but this guy seemed different.  So we kept talking, and he said, “I want to change my life for Christ.  I’m ready to change.”  Then we handed him a Book of Mormon, and our number, and he almost cried!  Then the guy Smith was talking to turned out to be a less active who wants to come back to church, go to the temple, etc.  And even though they were totally drunk and a little freaky, we both really felt good about it (Smith and I).  It made us think about the story of our branch president here in Teno.  Like ten years ago, he was the same.  Just a bum in the street, with an alcohol addiction.  He talked to the missionaries and turned his life around.  Now he is one of the most faithful members and our branch president!

It just really helped me understand everyone’s potential.  Every single person, no matter who they are, can completely change their life through Christ.  Also, the Lord really protects his children and puts people who want to change where they need to be.  I don’t know where these guys will go, if they really are ready to change their lives, but as missionaries, it’s our job to look at people not as they are, but who they can become.  There is a Mormon Message from Dieter F. Uchtdorf about this topic.  I would love if you would look it up and watch it.  It’s a great video.

Also, it was Mother’s Day this weekend.  It was a lot of fun talking with the fam over Skype!  My mom, of course, was crying the whole time ;-), but overall it was great to see their faces and stuff.

Yesterday, we went to a family’s house for lunch and it was delicious.  We had some really good lunch.  They fed us lasagna and soup.  Then the dad pulled out this giant cake that he had made!  It was so delicious.  It was manjar, which is like this caramel thing, and then piña (pineapple).  We loved it!

Have a great week!  Love you!

Elder Halverson

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Week 31 – Teno, Chile

Hey Guys!

So this week has literally been fantastic!  I am here in Teno now!  It is so awesome.  Teno is pretty sweet.  It is kind of like my last sector, Doñihue, but not quite as country.  It’s more suburbs.  I love it!  I also got my new comp, Elder Smith.  He is an absolute stud.  He is a really hard worker.  He’s so dope.  He’s from Utah, and his actual name is Joseph Smith, ha ha.

Teno is a lot of fun though.  It’s a smaller branch out here, so it’s a lot of working with members.  It’s so cool though.  I’ve only been here a week, and it’s amazing to see the blessings of the gospel.  There are some great families here with some fantastic faith, and it’s awesome.  At the same time, there are a lot of inactive families, as well, so we are working with them, and it is cool to help them try to come back.

We also had stake conference on Saturday and Sunday.  It was awesome.  They had a ton of great speakers.  In fact, there wasn’t one part of it was was boring, ha ha!  It was definitely the best stake conference I have ever been to.  The spirit was there during every speaker.

After that, we went over to a member’s house and made sopapillas.  It was so great!  They are named Familia Jare.  It was so fun.  The mom, Alejandra, was baptized four years ago, and the missionaries who did that came to visit from the US!

It was pretty fun.  It was cool to talk to him and his wife.  Also, they talked about their conversion a little bit and it was great to hear about how Alejandra got converted and everything.

Overall, it was just a great first week here in Teno.  I am pumped to be here with Elder Smith, and to keep working with the people here.

Love you guys!  Have a great week!

Elder Halverson

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Week 30 – Doñihue, Chile

Hellloooo!

Well, this week is transfers.  I am leaving!!  I will be going to Teno tomorrow in Curico.  My new companion is going to be Elder Smith, a white guy!  I am so pumped!  I have been in Doñihue for about six months now, and I am excited for a change.  Pretty much what will happen tomorrow, Tuesday, is all the missionaries in Rancagua will meet in the big bus station.  Then the zone leaders will work out who is coming or going, and they’ll just tell us which tickets to buy and what bus to board.  Curico is pretty south in the mission, so it’ll be pretty cold.  Definitely not looking forward to that, ha ha!

We had our last lunch yesterday with Hermano Willie.  It was a ton of fun just to talk and laugh with him and his family.  They are so great.  I am going to miss them a ton.  They are always so kind and nice to the missionaries.  Overall, Doñihue was a great experience.  It was a pleasure to work there.  It definitely was a hard sector, but I learned a ton there and made a ton of memories and friends.  Everything really does happen for a reason.  Whether it was good or bad, I am grateful for all the experiences in Doñihue.  I am excited to apply it to the rest of my mission and life.

Love you guys!

Elder Halverson

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