I am currently serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Johannesburg, South Africa Mission! I plan to serve for two years before returning home to finish my education.

I am serving a mission because I know that God is our loving Father in Heaven. I have a testimony that he knows each of us personally and wants us to succeed. The gospel Jesus Christ leads to lasting happiness. The fullness of his Gospel exists on the Earth today and I want to help spread the joyous news!

If you are reading this and don't know for yourself I plead with you to learn more. You can gain a personal witness that the Gospel has been restored! Visiting http://mormon.org is a great way to start!

I miss you all and would love to hear from you! See you in two years!

January 4, 2010

Thank you so much for all the emails!

It's really good to hear that things are going so well. It was inspiring to hear about all the ways that you have found to serve, and all the prayers that are said in my behalf. It's given me an increased determination to live worthily. I can really feel the outpouring of those blessings, thank you!

It's great to hear that everyone is staying so missionary-oriented. Whenever I participate in church service I hope and pray that I can live up to standard our family has set. I'm striving to learn to teach in a way that will not only pull in hearts of those listening, but invite the spirit and inspire them to press forward. It's such a blessing that our family has been able to serve so much in the ward.

Elder Sicotte is my new companion. He's much shorter than Elder Robinson, he has brown eyes and dark hair. He's from Boston and also misses the pizza on the East Coast. He went to BYU for a year before his mission and has been out for 14 months. He has a dedication to the work and is very willing to follow the rules. I'm really excited. The work in our area is exploding. If we do our very best, I know that we will see a lot of success!

If there was ever such thing as weekly mission theme, I'd say that this week's was prayer and fasting. I have learned a lot about prayer and fasting.

I was reading about prayer in the Bible dictionary and it told how prayer was often accompanied with sacrifice. While living the law of Moses, the children of Israel would burn their sacrifices. Christ later fulfilled this law, but in fasting we still sacrifice. Instead of burning an offering, we give it to bless the poor. The Lord tells us that "inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren you have done it unto me". When we fast we are sacrificing to God and blessing others in doing it. It really feels like a fruit of the higher law.

Another cool thing is in the Old Testament. Fasting was said to go along with mourning and sorrow, people would wear sackcloth and disfigure their faces to show they were fasting. However, when Christ came he taught that we should fast in humility without drawing attention to ourselves. In D&C we learn that fasting is a form of rejoicing. We have a chance to sacrifice for the love of others. I've really felt the blessings of fasting, I know that by fasting we are brought much closer to God. I've seen the inspiration and added portion of the spirit that we receive when we fast, It's made such a difference in the work!

Once again, I wish I had time to write more, there is so much to share.

Thanks for everything!

I love you all,

Elder Halterman

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