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!

A Storm of Blessings

Hey Everyone!

I know that I'm not going to be able to write all I want to, I'll try to get as much down as I can.

Last Monday I thought I had the topic for this email down, I was going to title it "Please... No more Fanta Grape". I had a few run ins with too much Cool drink, we are fed way too much of it! Last week I was on an exchange with one of the zone leaders and he pushed our Branch missionary into downing the last of the Fanta Grape. Afterwards our Branch missionary felt really sick. For the next half hour he was throwing up, it took us a long time to get to our next appointment. Anyway, that's the abridged version. Each day another experience tops the last and the plan for my email changes.

This week has been fantastic! Elder Sicotte and I have been more blessed than ever. Just in these last two weeks we taught 32 new investigators! Almost all of them just fell into our laps. Many of these new people we have begun teaching have recognized the witness of the spirit within the first vist. At least six of these people told us of the wonderful feelings they felt when they prayed to know if what we shared was true. I reported during Branch Preisthood meeting that blessings are being poured upon our branch, that we have a great responsibility. My biggest concern is that we won't be able to live up to this responsibility. I know the Lord will provide. I think we'll be going on a lot of splits in the near future. The work in Mamelodi is exploding!

On Saturday we had the chance to do Baptisms for the Dead with the Branch at the Johannesburg Temple. It was a wonderful experience. Almost all of the members had brought the names of their ancestors to have the work done. I will always remember how Brother Hlongwane, our Elders Quorum president broke down in tears when he Baptized one of the youth for his deceased sister.

After the Temple trip it felt like everything was going wrong. Elder Sicotte's bike had a low tire, when we tried to pump it up it exploded. We made it to one end of the Area only to find out that the family wasn't in town. We were at the very edge of our area, and the rest of our apointments were quite a ways away. They looked to be really promising too. We hadn't eaten so we ordered Spachlo then tired to fix the tire. We soon found that we would need to replace the back wheel. As we ate we joked about how things were going so poorly and that next we would be struck by lightning, a few minuites later we saw a bolt in the distance. Fortunatley it didn't rain very hard. After the Spachlo we both needed the bathroom. I had heard rummors that they make you pay to use them at the Mauhbe Mall (the very spread out, outdoor mall we were at). We went to them and found them locked with a steel gate in front of them. We asked around to find the key, but no one seemed to know. By now Elder Sicotte really needed to go. One person directed us to the Security tower. We went over there, and found it packed with people, we squeezed through to the bathroom only to find there was no toliet paper. Elder Sicotte ran back out and asked the crowd where he could get some. The security guard responed "you need to use your own" she was completely serious. He threw up his arms and said "But, I don't carry paper!" That's South Africa for you. Anyway, we journeyed on and finally found a bathroom at the Petrol Station.

We had to cancel our appointments since they were too far to reach. It sounded like most of the people weren't home anyway. We decided to check on a DVD referal in the Area that we'd been given the other day. It was probably one of the most powerful experiences I've had on my mission yet. The whole family had been fasting to bring themselves closer to Christ. I was stunned by their faith, they had such a strong trust in the Lord. We taught about the restoration and felt the Spirit poured upon us. Everyone felt the spirit, for a time the mother could hardly look at us since tears were streaming down her face. I am so excited to go back and teach the family.

I had a several other great experiences, but I'm about out of time. We gave a blessing to Sister Moghaswa, one of our investigators with a devout testimony. She hadn't been able to make it to church because of so severe pains in her leg - she walks to church each week. I really felt the spirit during the blessing, and afterward felt promted to bear my testimony. This Sunday she was 20min early, she was beaming. She couldn't wait to tell us that her leg was completely better.

I know that we've been extremely blessed. There's so much more I wish I could share. Each night I feel like such an ungrateful servant because I can hardly record everything in my journal. It's a struggle to plan for everyone each night.

Well I need to go, I love you all,
Sala Pila (Stay well!)
Elder Halterman

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