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!

Letter March 8, 2010


I feel like I've run out of adjectives to describe how well the week went.

We've had so many people to teach that Elder Sicotte and I had to go on splits with the ward missionaries almost every other day. On the "other" days we had a temple trip and two exchanges! The exchanges were to interview Karabo Tshabalala, the one who teaches me new things each time we teach him, and an investigator in Mamelodi West for baptism! They're both more than ready and will be baptized next week. On one of the Exchanges I went with Elder Niest, one of the Pretoria Zone Leaders. It was fantastic! He's from Austrialia, he took off two years from the military to serve a mission. He's truly an amazing missionary. A month or two back I wrote about an exchange with him where I felt completely blown away by his teaching - as if I was re-learning the gospel. He's still that fantastic, only this time I felt so much more prepared to learn. I was more sure of myself and knew what to look for in teaching. I really learned a lot. I feel like it was much clearer to see how I can improve myself as a missionary.

Fast Sunday was definitely another hi-light of the week!

Sacrament meeting was fantastic! It was well attended by the people we've been teaching. During the Testimony meeting Sherifah, one of our recent converts, bore her testimony. A combination of several things, including the freezing baptismal font, caused her to fall very ill. She had been in the hospital last week. She's almost completely recovered. Her testimony was so heartfelt and so strong - she has the testimony stronger than many of those who have been members all their lives. It was really moving.

During the second hour Lebo Msiza, our branch Mission leader, taught a fantastic lesson on missionary work. He does a great job making everyone feel welcome and in turning the class into a discussion. It really impressed upon the investigators and recent converts the urgency of sharing the message of the restoration. It really hit me when he asked how many of the class had shared a testimony this week. Only a handful had. I wondered to myself if I wasn't a missionary would I have been able raise my hand. I think we often forget how important it is to share our testimonies with others - even if they are members.

Priesthood meeting was even better. President Hlongwane, the Elders quorum president, taught a combined class about home teaching. He had everyone sit in their companionships. He then called up a few and asked them questions about each other. It was surprising how little each companion knew about the other. He then called Elder Sicotte and me up. Thankfully Sister Jensen had just done this excersise with us a week back, we were able to answer the questions really well. He then asked us to share what unity in a companionship can do. He asked everyone to share something new their companion. He then talked about the importance of working in unity to help the families you visit. We need to understand their interests, hopes, desires and ambitions. He said that at the beginning of the year he and his companion sat down with each family they taught and went over the goals each member of the family had for the year. By doing so they learned a great deal about each family. They now not only knew how how to help them, but what to pray for and what to focus on each time they teach. He counseled everyone that their prayers should be specific for needs and that each lesson should be tailored to the family. Our branch has been blessed with some great leaders, they do a great job bringing the Branch together. I have a feeling that home teaching is going to skyrocket in the near future.

Yikes, I'm about out of time! I want to mention that we have just started teaching an awesome new family! Lukas and Anna Mafako, they have two son. Thato who's 14 and Gift who's 6. We taught them the message of the restoration and they all felt the spirit! They have been so well prepared to hear the gospel! When we first arrived we were a little disappointed to see that only the father and son were around (it's pretty normal to only have part of the family). Right after the opening prayer the mother walked in. She was shocked to see us (it wasn't supposed to work out that day) one of the father's friends had tired to cancel our visit, fortunately we had forgotten the phone at the flat. Anyway, we soon found out that Lukas had recently deiced that he wanted to be the best possible father to his family (in a township that's very rare, most families are a single mother with several children). Needless to say we taught with a strong emphasis on the temple. They were all so excited! I can't wait to see them again!

We'll I'm out of time again. Missionary work just keeps getting better! I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing so well.

All the best,

Thato (Love in Zulu),

Elder Keith Halterman

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