Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 27, 2017: 仙台にいる

Hello everyone!  Coming at you live from the chapel in Kamisugi!  So we have zone conference tomorrow and the senior couple in Iwaki just happened to be going up to Sendai today so we took another road trip to Sendai!  It beats the 3 1/2hr bus ride for sure!


I only worked in いわき with Elder Price for one whole day this week.  We had splits with both Aizu elders which took us from our area to theirs.  The bus ride is 3 hrs one way.  But besides the travel, it was a good couple of splits.  I worked with Elder Shumway from Enterprise Utah!  Go figure!  Well anyway we got skunked the entire day.  Nobody would listen to us as we fought the occasional blizzard which is apparently all too common in Aizu!  Because of the split, I learned better the meaning of love.  What I mean is people are just people, they have a face, name, hobbies, story, etc etc.  As missionaries when you get to know the people, really treat them as people, not a number the true success really comes.  You know when you have it cause it is that sense of accomplishment that you can't deny when you get in the futon at night and the day is over.


Since I'm in Kamisugi I left my journal in Iwaki and I am just racing through my memory to remember some cool/important things that we did.  We found a new investigator last Sunday and we made an appointment for the next day. And it's a miracle because he came! We had a great lesson then the next day.  We then set another date with an investigator who was told by her dad when she was young that there is a life after this one and hope in this life!  Pretty sweet right?!

The people in Iwaki and way prepared.  Obviously there are people who aren't yet but it's really fun as of late to find all this people and teach them as well!


-Went to the aquarium last week for district pday.

-nailed my talk yesterday in sacrament meeting.

-the comp is great, getting along great.

-I'm happy


Love you all.  Have tons of stories and no time.   love you all and have a good day and week!!  じゃあね


Elder Halverson



March 20, 2017: Bits from a few days


We had an awesome district conference in Koriyama today.  We went to the conference with the Murals.  It was a fun ride up there, Murata Shimai is really spunky and just told jokes with us all the way to koriyama.   We got to the the conference and 105 people gather (which is an incredible turn out). The membership is really strong in the district there and there just needs to be a little more priesthood holders active and holding callings.  But that is our purpose to get them all there.  Great meeting and great day.  Dendo was kinda slow today.  However we did find some success giving a Book of Mormon to a woman, and a few lessons.  



Sister Kujiraoka took the whole district and some members out to kappa sushi all you can eat sushi place.  Elder Price and I were going to Sendai later that night so we planned to eat a big lunch.  Well I ate about 25 plates of sushi!  Well worth it.  We went to a thrift shop right after that to buy ties and we are going to wear them on Wednesday.  It was probably the best 2nd hand shop I've ever been to, had really soft comfortable couches.  Almost feel asleep!  Well after a 3 hour bus ride to Sendai we were streeting around the eki.  City people are a little bit meaner, everyone was giving up hard kekkos and the cold shoulder.  Except for the last person, ichihara san, we stopped him on the bridge and talked for a long time.  He is a young worker living in sendai.  When the conversation turned to everlasting happiness, he said that he was interested and asked if he could come to church.  Of course we said yes but since we were coming from Iwaki, we gave him the contact info of the Kamisugi elders and he called them right then and there!  Left a message on their phone!  I was way surprised when that happened.  He was way aggressive and happy to meet the other elders.  We then parted ways and we headed to the honbu.  Called the Kamisugi elders that night and found out they were playing phone tag with him all night... what can you do?  

Life is good.



Well today, I had my first AP split.  It was with the legendary Elder Okamoto.  I learned a lot from him by what type of person he is.  Very humble and easy going he really made me feel comfortable around him.  He was very talkative and friendly, great leader.  It was raining hard today, plus we didn't have the van so we were bus missionaries.  Spent a lot of money on bus fare and tickets.  We headed to the church and we had a little meet and discussion with a member in nagamachi.  They have a program there that the members will sign up for a time where they can work or meet with the missionaries.  This was one of those times.  We talked about how we can all be better missionaries and members!  Even though we weren't teaching an investigator, I believe it was a good time spent for the member there!  He has lots of dendo fire and I'd image that most members in nagamachi have that fire as well.  Great discussion on service and then we went to the mall for lunch.  An hour of our time was taken away by a matter that the aps are dealing with!  Apparently they have an RC living in the Tokyo temple annex with no money, apartment, job, or anything.  All he does is do baptisms for the dead.  We had to get him money to get back to Sendai.  It took about an 1 1/2 hours to handle it.  It was not too much fun.  Lot of sitting around waiting for people.  Well the rest of the split was awesome.  I learned quit a lot about planning from elder okamoto.  Always have something to do every hour.  He also asked what my goals are and the only thing I could say was 2 baptisms before I go home.  I couldn't say anything else, well couldn't think of anything else.  I probably need to make more goals and work for them.  On top of that we talked about how to accomplish it and we both agreed that working with the members was the best way, just going nuts with the members was the best thing.  Also this stuff only comes in the timing of God, so for the time being, what you can and keep working as hard as you can!  That is what I plan to do.  Life is good 😊 till tomorrow.

Elder Halverson 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 13, 2017: I was born in a hospital!

Hello everyone this week was by far the busiest week of my mission!!

But to explain the title, please think with me and remember how people don't have interest, but they don't want to be mean to you and say no and then they make up some ridiculous excuse.  Well this happened last night.  We were housing and we meet another Buddhist guy and his excuse was that he was born at a jinja and therefore he is Buddhist (pretty strange excuse right), then from behind me Elder Price says "I was born in a hospital".  I bust up laughing on this guys door step and this guy start to laugh at me and all we were able to do was give him a flyer.

You may find this funny but it was kinda you had to be there type of thing...  still way funny!

Well this week we went to the neighboring city, Koriyama 3 times on consecutive days and on Wednesday we went to Sendai for MLC.  So needless to say we were in our own area for about 1 1/2 days this week.

Saturday and Sunday we had district conference where a total of 105 people from 3 branches were there!  Now that is a big turn out!  I was really excited/surprised to see that many people in a place that is at least 1 hour away from the rest of the branches.  Also the less active mom and dad came to the meetings which makes it 2 weeks in a row that they have come!!  The Ono family are making great strides to come back!

Well I forgot my journal but we have had a bunch of small miracles!

On Wednesday we had MLC from 8-1 then bus from 2:30-6 and eikaiwa at 7.  Once we got off the bus we headed to the apartment to drop of our stuff.  While we were walking nobody was out or would listen but with eikaiwa to start in 19 minutes we passed by a 20 year old kid and we talked with him for a little and exchanged phone numbers and he became a pi that texted us later that night!! That happened again another day just before we traveled to Koriyama for the meetings!  We had plenty of what Elder Price and I call "no time miracles".

On a short note, we gave a blessing to a member going under cancer treatment and she was actually feeling good and came to sushi with us today so that was cool!!  Well love you all and thank you for everything!  Have a good week!!  The book is blue, the church is true and God lives!  Have a good week !


Elder Halverson



Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017: THE DOG POUND!👌🏿🐶🐶

Ok so I've finally made it to Iwaki! (福島県いわき市). Its really nice down here with lots of sun and cool temperatures.  It's like Southern California in March and early April.  Iwaki is the lowest part of the mission and the Fukushima prefecture.  Only two hours away from Tokyo!  We are actually closer to Tokyo than the mission headquarters in Sendai.  So that's pretty cool!  Iwaki is awesome the members are great and already feel like family.  We are already seeing miracles here!

On Sunday we visited a less active with the Pounds and it turns out that she is going this week to Aizu for cancer treatment.  She is way happy for us to be there even though we came really suddenly, she asked us to come back on Tuesday for lunch and to give a blessing of healing before she goes over for the treatment!  It was way cool for her but also the the senior couple that just came here to Iwaki! 

This week we had a mom and a dad return to church after 10 plus years of inactivity.  The daughter and son of the family come to church every week.  Well the son is at BYU-Hawaii and the daughter is a usual.  We had the set appointment and when we found out that smith Kaicho wanted to work with us for a day, it was perfect cause the times worked out that way.  We had a little visit with them where we talked about God and how he just wants us to go to church to be with family and feel the spirit.  It was really simple and that's what did it.  Both the mom and father came to church the next day! And they said they wanted to come to district conference the next week also!  Pretty great first week!!

BTW we found a Japanese Tom Sellick! He looks like dad with the Sellick mustache but Japanese!!  lol 😂

This week has been quick and I am really tired!! All my time is cut in half it feels like!  Iwaki is a great place with tons of really nice people!  I know the church is true.  The Book of Mormon is true and God lives.  We can talk to him directly though prayer!  Its awesome down here.

Love you all have a good week!

Elder Halverson


February 27, 2017: Packing up and moving on!✌🏻️😥

Well it's the end of a wonderful week and it was capped off by President Smith telling me that I've been transferred down to Iwaki which is the lowest part of the mission.  Iwaki  is called the Hawaii of Tohoku so it must be great there.   I've been called as a zone leader and will become companions with Elder Price from Gilbert Arizona. 

Elder Davies and I had the most successful Sunday of our missions.  First of all our miracle referral, Sister Inumaki, got baptized and she will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost next week.  She is awesome, a really pure person, it is unfortunate that I only meet and taught her for a week, but it's all about her getting the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She had some trouble at work and she burned her hand and face so when she got in the water it was a bit painful.  But when she went down and was baptized and come up out the water she said that all the pain had gone away and was feeling fresh and brand new!  She is already starting to see the blessings of following Christ.   After hearing that I wanted to get baptized again!  Haha. I am excited for her, she is a new member that is just blossoming.

Just before that, we had a lesson with President smith as the joint.  We taught the Lee family!  Brother Lee has been a investigator for a couple of weeks and come to church and everything.  This week finally his wife came to Japan and he brought her to church.  So she has a christian background (even though being from China) and has read Bible and everything!  It was like we were looking a big plate of tonkatsu we were licking our lips at the thought of teaching, but so was President Smith.  We start the lesson and Pres Smith starts talking about how he feels as if he has meet the Lees before this life.  That is exactly what Brother Lee was saying when he talked about goen (a Chinese Japanese phrase about meeting someone in the previous life and receiving luck from them and then eventually meeting them on the earth). We draw up the plan of salvation on the board and that is when President takes over!  Within the hour he teaches with power and uninterrupted knowledge the plan of salvation, the restoration, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All of it all of it.  I was more than happy to take a back seat to this awesome lesson!  Elder Davies and I were the junior companions to President Smith the whole lesson 😂.  But again, we were blessed to have the Lee family on the edge of their seats listening to all of that, feeling the spirit and accepting a date for baptism on the 6th of April.  It's a family!  Haha My last Sunday here we finally get a family!  I firmly believe they will get baptized down the road!  Ugh going to miss them!

Lastly through all the activity of baptism prep, Elder Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles came to the mission and had a missionwide conference.  Its was again an 一期一会once in a life time experience.

This man is intellectual, experienced and an incredibly special man.  I knew that before but it never set in until he spoke with his classical power and passion that can only be really felt in person.  He held a question and answer for the majority of the tour but at the end he talked about salvation.  Salvation is not easy, if it were easy the mission of church would have been a lot easier.  The road to salvation goes through the Garden of Gethsemane .  Christ opened the gate for us to gain salvation by suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and giving up the atoning sacrifice.  Salvation is knowing God and Christ.  The only way we can know him is by walking in his shoes, feeling what he felt, and knowing just a fraction of the pain that he felt.  It goes though the Garden and he showed us the way.  Now let's do our best and when we trip, stand back up and try again!!

I am sad to leave Furukawa but I am not craving sad hah because I know I accomplished the will of God in this area!  I love this place and want to come back sometime after the mission!  Love you all and have a good day!

Yes, I know I have forgotten a bunch of English.


Elder Halverson