Week 36 – Teno, Chile


Well, great news this week!  It turns out that Smith and I are both going to be staying together for another change.  This whole week, we have been contemplating whether or not he would be leaving or staying, or me leaving, etc.  It was a pretty stressful week for Smith, but we’re both just glad we are here together in Teno for another change!

In the missionary work, things are going fantastic.  This past week, we used the mission area book to find some old investigators.  We visited a few of them, but we found someone who wants to continue receiving the missionaries!  Also, Smith had an awesome idea.  At the beginning of every month, our phone gets more minutes added on.  On the last day of May, the idea was that we would call every old investigator contact that we had in the phone.  That way, we don’t just waste minutes.  It worked!  We were able to set up some appointments with some old investigators.

Also, the district class we had was super fun!  First in the morning, before it started, Elder Gutierrez, our district leader, came in and made us arepas.  He’s from Columbia, and it’s a Columbian breakfast with thick corn tortillas with sautéed tomatoes, onions, peppers, and fresh cheese stuffed inside.  They were so good.  Then the class was hilarious.  We have a hermana that is going home tomorrow, so last Tuesday was her last district class.  What happens in the mission is that if someone is going home, you say that she is dying; it’s pretty funny, but it’s also a little weird.  And when someone goes home, a lot of people roast them that like they’ll be married in two months, going on lots of dates, etc.  And then that hermana, Hermana Steenblik, pretty much had that happen to her.  There is a part in the district class where we write all our investigators on the board and talk about their challenges, our goals for them, etc.  So Smith and I wrote her, Hermana Steenblik, on the board, ha ha, and that her goal was to get married, go to the temple, give out her phone number, stuff like that.  It was pretty funny.

Also, the craziest thing happened yesterday.  We were just hanging out before church started, kind of like normal, then these three Haitian people just walked in out of nowhere!  We talked with them after sacrament meeting and they were really nice.  The problem is they hardly speak any Spanish; they speak French.  But the good news is that Smith used to speak French more or less, so right now he is trying to relearn it, and then we can talk to them.  So that will be cool!

It has been such a pleasure to be here in Teno with Elder Smith.  I know I say this all the time, but I seriously am learning so much.  One I know is that I definitely was a total noob before the mish.  And I know that I still am, but I am so grateful to be here.  Smith and I were talking about it last night – he hits his year mark this change.  And then I’ll hit mine IN TWO CHANGES!!!  That is seriously insane!  I seriously still feel like I just got here to Chile.  But we were talking about all the things that have passed, the many times we felt the stupidest, when we didn’t know what we were doing.

And these times both pumped us up.  Everything in the past has happened for a reason, but we shouldn’t focus on the past.  We just have to learn from these experiences and become better, then focus everything onto the future.  I promised myself that I need to just focus this next year-and-something-months on being the best version of myself that I can be.

Overall, it’s just awesome.  I think I’ll end with my testimony in Spanish.

Se con todo mi corazon, que Dios es real, que el nos ama.  Yo se que Jesucristo vino al mundo, para sacrificarsa por cada persona.  Él nos conoce, sabe cada dolor, cada pena que heros sentido.  Estoy agradecido por la opportunidad ser misionero.  Les quiero y les amo.  Que tengan una buena semana.

Con Amor,

Elder Halverson


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