Week 47 – Teno, Chile

These past two weeks have been super awesome!

To start off with, I had my first baptism last Saturday!  It was Paz, the daughter of Marcelino!!  It was so cool!!  She was so excited!  It was really amazing.  Elder Buxton and I were waiting outside so we could take pictures, and she walked out in her white dress, and I kind of lost it.  I remember thinking, “Wow!  This is a future beehive, laurel, missionary, wife, mother, etc., who has completely changed the future of her life by following Christ!”

After the ordinance, Marcelino and I were talking about all that had led up to this point.  The lessons, the visits, the church assistance, etc.  But then we brought up the first night, the night we met Marcelino.  He was just a drunk guy in the street.  The man couldn’t even walk upright and with alcohol strong on his breath, he told us that he was Mormon and that he wanted us to go visit and teach his family.  I will forever give thanks to God for that night, for that experience.  I know for a fact that Marcelino and his family were prepared for us to teach them because Heavenly Father knew they were ready.  He knew it was their time.  It’s not the missionaries or the lessons who prepare the people to follow Christ or join this church, but it’s the spirit.  It’s God Himself.

Since that night, this family has completely changed their lives.  Marcelino has given up drinking.  They all go to church together every week, they read scriptures and pray together every day.  Marcelino and his wife, Ava Marie, are planning their wedding now, so then Ava Marie can be baptized, too!  It’s been a complete change of who they were before.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to just be a part of this.

I know the church is true.  I have been blessed to see that the gospel of Jesus Christ can really make a difference in people’s lives.  God loves us and knows us.  He knows when we are ready.  He prepares us, through our hope and faith.  I love sharing this message with others.  I’ve learned a lot from this experience, but the one that sticks out the most right now is give everyone a chance.  Whether that’s missionary work, school, home — you have to give humanity a chance.  Give our brothers and sisters chances.  We can’t tell if the Lord has worked through someone unless we look at them with the potential that God sees in each one of us.  We’re all progressing.  We’ve all got the potential because we’re all children of our Heavenly Father.  I love missionary work!  I love everything about being here right now.  I hope ya’ll have a great week.

Love,

Elder Halverson

(P.S. Click over to the blog http://www.elderhalverson.com to see a couple videos at the end of this post.)

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Week 45 – Teno, Chile

So this week was pretty solid.

On Tuesday, we had interchanges again.  This time, I stayed in Teno with Elder Hulse.  He’s new in the mission, he only has three weeks, but he’s an absolute stud!  We made a goal that we were going to talk to as many people as possible, and he was just on fire!  We literally talked with everyone we saw on the street.  And even though he was new and doesn’t speak Spanish that well, he just went all out.  We managed to get a couple of phone numbers and addresses, so we’ll see how they turn out.  It was really interesting.

In my interview last week with President Harris, he talked about how this is a work of faith and not just grinding and working hard.  Last change, we lost 27 missionaries because they finished their missions, and we received 22 newbies.  My old comp, Bernal, was part of that group.  They were great missionaries.  But week one of the new change, we almost doubled our new investigator average of the mission!  Then Pres. Harris explained this faith really was more power than skill or talent.  Because these new missionaries might not speak or understand Spanish, or know Chile, or anything, but they just have desires to go out and work super hard with the faith that they’re going to find new people and baptize, etc.  And we see the fruits, too!  More people to teach.

I really love that concept.  It’s something that I’m trying to apply.  That we don’t need to be the best in everything or have all the experience or whatever it is.  All you really need to do is put your trust in God!  Because He is the one who puts the success in our path.  It’s not us.  So when we exercise our faith in Him, He will bless us.  I love mission work!!  I love Chile!!!  I love the Gospel so much!  If you happen to be in a sad mood or feel disappointed in something, go talk to a missionary and ask him/her about their mission.  You’ll be cheered right up!

Have a great week!

Elder Halverson

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Week 44 – Teno, Chile

Hola!  Cómo estás!!

This week has been a good week.  On Tuesday, we went on interchanges with the zone leaders.  I went with Elder Johnson to his sector in Bombero Garrido.  It was honestly super fun.  We basically just did contacting the entire day, but I loved it.  We don’t really have too much time in Teno to go and contact, so it was a blast.  Something that we focused on that day was just having some fun while doing it because it can be boring.  We gave out some church movies and pictures and pamphlets that we usually don’t have too many chances to hand out.  But we figured that we have all our materials for a reason.

We also tried to be more bold, so I invited someone to be baptized in the street and Elder Johnson recited the First Vision in a contact!  We didn’t really teach any lessons or anything, but we set a goal that we would talk with everyone and it was great to complete it.  Just a great interchange!

On Saturday, there was a baptism being held in Curico, so we decided to take Maralino and his family all there because his daughter, Paz, is going to be baptized on the 19th of August!!!  It was a great experience.  Ava Maria, Paz’s mom, was pretty much crying the entire time.  The spirit was there so strong!  Paz is super excited and super ready.  It was neat that they were able to see how the ordinance of baptism will be carried out.

Also, I don’t know if I had mentioned it before, but we do the weekly mutual for the youth, and this last mutual, we cleaned the church building.  It was so dope.  The church isn’t cleaned on a regular basis, and it was a while since it had been cleaned.  It was really gross and stuff, but with the help of the youth and their friends, it went by pretty fast.  And then we made completos afterwards.  It was sick!

And then the cleaning paid off, too.  At church yesterday, we had 56 people in total!!  It was great.  There was a baby blessing and a new deacon who received the priesthood.  And it was a great fast and testimony meeting!  It was just a really powerful Sabbath day!  Everyone loved the meetings and the classes.  People came up and said how clean the church looked!  I just started a trend!

God really cares for all his children and really strengthens our testimonies, but only after the trial of our faith.  I hope that you all have a great week.

Love,

Elder Halverson

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Week 43 – Teno, Chile

Hey Everyone,

This week has been pretty awesome.  We had changes, and I am still in Teno, but now I am with Elder Buxton.  He’s pretty cool.  He’s from California and he’s got about a year and 2 months in the mission.  I think it’s going to be a pretty good change together.

We’ve been pretty busy.  Right now, we are working with a family who is super good!  It’s actually Marceliano, the guy we contacted in the street, who was drunk, a little while ago.  They are progressing really well.  We actually just got a baptism date with his daughter!!!  It’s so amazing to see the gospel changing their lives.  When we first met and visited them, their house was just a little bit messy, and it wasn’t a good environment.  But now it is really clean, and all three of the family look so good.  Plus, they are reading scriptures, and having family prayer, and coming to church!  They have changed so much and I am so grateful that we have had the opportunity to teach them.  I know for sure that the Lord prepares the people he wants us to teach.  But we will find them on HIS time, not on our time.  So it’s important that we have the hope necessary to be able to always be looking for people and always be praying to know who is ready.

It’s super crazy – I’ve been in the mission for almost a year now, and I am still only in my second sector.  A lot of my friends from my group, the people who came to Chile with me, are going on their third or fourth sector.  But one thing is for sure, everyone is called to a sector for a reason.  Sometimes, I kind of wish that I could go to different sectors to get to know Chile more, or know more missionaries.  But then I am looking back right now, and I feel so grateful for every experience that I have had, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without each sector, companion, etc.

My old comp, Elder Bernal, actually just went home.  He just finished his mission!  That is honestly insane for me.  But it’s like this one hymn, “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, I’ll say what you want me to say…I’ll be what you want me to be.”  As missionaries, we are only called to do the will of our Father, of God.  So whatever situation comes our way, whatever trial, test — we trust in God that He has a plan.  I love being a missionary so much.  Hope you have a great week.

Love,

Elder Halverson

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