Buckley friends headed for mission work

Kameron Custer and Blake Halvorsen have been called to serve missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Custer graduated from White River High School in 2008 and Halvorsen is a 2010 graduate.

Custer has been called to labor in the Campinas, Brazil, mission. He reported to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, Oct. 20 and is now in the Sao Paulo, Brazil, MTC where he will complete his training in learning the Portuguese language. His older brother served in Chile and an older sister served in the Ogden, Utah, mission.

Halvorsen has been called to serve in the Baguio, Philippines, mission. He reported earlier this month to the Provo MTC, where he will be learning the language of Tagalog. Both men will spend eight weeks learning the language and protocol of the country they will be serving. Halverson’s older brother will be returning from the Ivory Coast, West African mission in February.

Missions are opportunities for young men and women to dedicate two years to serving others and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. For many, this means delaying work and/or college to be able to serve. They join a missionary force of more than 55,000 strong, serving in one of more than 350 missions worldwide.

While in their respective missions, they will learn to cook, eat and fluently speak as the natives of that country do. They immerse themselves in the culture and learn to love the people they serve as they seek out those who are willing to listen to the message they have to share. It’s an opportunity for growth as these youth strive to develop traits and attributes that will enhance their lives upon returning home after their two-year stint in the mission field.

Custer and Halvorsen worked at Fred Meyer stores in Bonney Lake and Sumner to earn money for their missions. Except for their transportation to and from their field of labor, missionaries are not paid for their services.

Missionaries can be single men between the ages of 19 and 25, single women 21 or older or retired couples. Missionaries work with a companion of the same gender during their mission, with the exception of couples, who work with their spouse. Single men serve missions for two years and single women serve missions for 18 months.

Missionaries receive their assignment from church headquarters and are sent only to countries where governments allow the church to operate. Missionaries do not request their area of assignment and do not know beforehand whether they will be required to learn a language.

In some parts of the world, missionaries are sent only to serve humanitarian or other specialized missions. Those missionaries do not proselytize.

Contacts with family and friends during this time of service are limited to letters and occasional phone calls at special times. Missionaries avoid entertainment, parties or other activities so they can focus entirely on the work of serving and of teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Upon returning from their missions, both young men are planning on attending one of the Brigham Young universities.

Custer is the son of Kory and Jennifer Custer and Halvorsen is the son of Mike and Kalleen Halvorsen. Both families reside in Buckley.

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