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!

Members Are Key (4/12/10)

Hello again! Thanks for you letters and emails! I love reading them. I'll answer a few questions first:

Who is the senior companion?

I think President Poulsen has done away with Senior and Junior companion designations. I think it's because President Poulsen wants every missionary to step up and be a leader.

Are there any leaders that have been hard to follow?

Not yet, I've been amazed by the quality of our mission leadership. When I left Pretoria I doubted we could have a Zone leader that could compare with Elder Neist. As I came to Klerksdorp I was surprised to find that Elder Bohannon and Elder Smith are at the same level. They gave us some fantastic training at Zone conference

The week has been great! It's still slower than Mamelodi, but the work is picking up. It's not too difficult to find people who will let us in, I've been amazed by the number of families we are able to teach, we have found it difficult to return and teach them a second time. Somehow our appointments keep getting postponed to dates that we never seem to reach. The people are ready for the Gospel, we just need a to find a way to share it with them. This week it was clear more than ever that members are that key.

Brother Jackson, the Second counseler in the Branch, invited us to teach his nephew's family. It was one of the best lessons we'd ever taught! David and Ulanda had been having some problems and were thinking of separating. We met with Brother Jackson before hand to plan out what we would teach. After a little discussion he said that he felt that we should go ahead with the message of the restoration. As we taught the lesson the spirit testified so strongly. Brother Jackson often got carried away, after each question or principle he would summarize and add to what was said, but his love for them shined through so brightly. Ulanda and David both felt and, as we taught, they recognized the presence of the spirit. We were so grateful to be able to teach such a wonderful family. This was the first real referral from the branch that we'd had, we had been praying so fervently that the spirit would be there.

The husband had to work on Sunday, but the wife came with Brother Jackson's family to church. Brother Jackson was so excited to have his niece at church, he made sure that two sisters from the relif society joined our gospel principals class. David and Ulanda have a six month old daughter. Brother Jackson didn't want Ulanda to be distracted so he arranged for a sister of the Relief Society to take care of the baby. Lesson went really well. At one point a Relief Society sister brought back the baby as it had begun to cry. Ulanda soon realized it had a dirty diaper. As she stood up to go change it brother Jackson told her to stay and asked one of the other sisters to do it for her. Elder Pidun and I tried not to laugh. I'm convinced that Brother Jackson won't let anything get in the way of his family joining the church. It's amazing what difference it makes when a member invites a friend or family member to hear the gospel. They instantly have someone who will do everything possible to help them feel the spirit. I have little difficulty seeing why 80% of those who were invited by members to hear the gospel join the church. Whereas less than 5% make it when missionaries do the finding themselves.

Once again I'm out of time, I know that the work is true and I look forward to sharing more success stories next week.

I love you all,

Elder Halterman

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