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!

The Fantastic Adventures of Fantastic Mr. H. with Liver and Litchi Nuts

Hey everyone! I've had yet another awesome week. We had two Baptisms this Sunday; Sister Moghaswa and her daughter Renileway were baptized! Yet again the water was ice cold (we're still waiting to get a new water geyser), but the Holy Ghost was there so strongly!

For me the most moving part of the Baptism was when Sister Moghaswa bore her testimony. She said that she had been taught by the missionaries a long while back but wasn't ready. Later on she went thought many trials, including the death of her husband. Then two months back Sister Modisha (Her Friend and member of our branch) confronted her and asked why she always seemed so sad. Sister Modisha then invited her to church, telling of how much it has helped in her own life. Sister Moghaswa said that she didn’t know why she decided to come, but was so glad that she did. At church she felt like all her pains were lifted. For once she felt peace. After that everything began to fall into place.

It was really funny when she mentioned the missionaries - “I’m so grateful that Elder...” she paused, “in my home we call him Elder H. since we can't pronounce his name (Most people refer to me Elder H), and Elder Robinson came and taught me about God’s plan of happiness for us.”

It’s amazing how much a simple invitation to come to church can do for someone. For Sister Moghaswa, it changed her life. It made me realize that we should never be afraid to invite others to hear our message – you may get turned down a few dozen times, but if you never open your mouth you’ll miss pearls like Sister Moghaswa and her family. There are people out there who are ready, who desperately need the gospel, they are just waiting for an invitation.

This week I tried two new foods: Liver and litchi nuts. I thought liver was alright at first, when the member found out it was my first time eating liver her only comment was “please don’t puke”. I’m glad that she didn’t ask me how it tasted after I was several bites in since it had quickly become old – I’m going to have to get used to that one. On the other hand litchi nuts she fed us were pretty good, that is if you peel them first. In naivety I took a bite while the skin was still on, it didn’t taste too great. Life became much better when I realized that you peel them first. It’s a shame we don’t have litchi nuts in the US.

In other news, the first presidency is re-aligning the boundaries to our mission. Our mission is one of the largest in the world, we constantly receive more and more missionaries (Currently we have 225 missionaries). The Durban mission is taking over Lesotho and Bloemfontein and the missionaries in those areas are being reassigned to the Durban Mission. It doesn’t affect me very, but it means that I probably won’t serve in Lesotho.

Things are looking brighter for the Shiba family – They are the family who became confused about Mormon and Mammon. We have since taught Boysen, Grace’s fiancĂ©. He also really felt the spirit during our lesson and even came to Church. The rest of the family is still stone cold, they won’t let us through the door, but I have hopes that through Boysen we can resolve the family’s concerns.

Thank you for all of your prayers! I can see that we are really being blessed! The other day an investigator asked about our lives as missionaries. After hearing that we serve for two years she asked “But don’t you want to reach your dreams?” Elder Sicotte and I looked at each other and in agreement said that this is our dream. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. In just three months I’ve seen more lives change than I could have seen in a lifetime. I would never forfeit the chance to meet and grow in the gospel alongside the wonderful people we are teaching. I am so grateful that I have this chance to serve a mission!

I love you all,

Elder Halterman

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