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Mission work agrees with Plateau graduates
By Amy Molen
For The Courier-Herald
Cameron Halvorsen has returned from Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoir, Abidjan), West Africa, where he spent two years serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His brother Blake Halvorsen left for two years in December on his mission to Baguio, Philippines. The brothers missed each other by just one month and will not see each other for four years. But they believe the sacrifice was worth it. They feel that serving as a missionary has made them appreciate home and family, a love of serving their fellow man and the opportunity to fluently learn another language (French and Taglong) and loved being immersed in a whole different culture. Being able to deliver the message of Jesus Christ has been a monumental and pivotal point in each of their lives. It has improved their lives in more ways than they could have ever imagined.
Three WRHS graduates are living in Brazil to serve missions and learn Portuguese.
Kameron Custer left in October 2010 and will return in 2012 then wants to study to be a physical therapist or a firefighter.
“Serving a mission is the greatest thing I have done in my life,” he said. “The experiences that I have had are ones that will last for all of my life. The feelings I get from helping people change their lives and do all they can to serve God are indescribable.”
Brodi Bateman graduated from WRHS and Pierce College with an associate’s degree in 2010. He attended a semester at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, then returned home to work and prepare for his mission. He was recently the lead in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” play with Stage Door Productions. He left for Brazil April 26 and will be serving the people in Florianopolis, Brazil, until his return home in April 2013.
Adam M. McBarron graduated from White River High School in 2009. He then attended Brigham Young University in Hawaii for a year. He will attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Training Center for the next two months. Then he will move to the Vitoria Brazil Mission which is located just north of Rio de Janerio. He will spend the next 22 months teaching and serving the people of Brazil in the city of Vitoria and surrounding areas. He is due to return home in April of 2013.
Jessica Turley, a 2008 WRHS graduate, attended Pierce College before transferring to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she majored in history and Italian. In the spring of 2010 she studied abroad a semester in Sienna, Italy, where she developed a great love for the people, culture and language. On March 16, she was assigned to serve in the Rome mission, where she’ll reside until August 2012. As a disciple of Christ and someone who loves the scriptures, Jessica is prepared and excited to share the gospel.
Ruben Judd (RJ) Hardy has been living in the Dominican Republic for more than a year already and will be home September. He loves the Dominican Republic because of the beauty of this country. And the people are very loving and humble. He has learned their language and adapted to the cultural differences, climate and the food. He had developed a deeper understanding and respect to the people he serves. It makes him feel good when he sees the changes in people’s lives as they accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It gives him a sense of fulfillment, in spite of the many challenges he encounters.
More than 52,483 missionaries are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at any one time. Most are young people under the age of 25, serving in nearly 340 missions throughout the world.
Missionary work is voluntary. Missionaries fund their own missions, except for their transportation to and from their field of labor, and are not paid for their services. Contacts with family and friends during this time of service are limited to letters and occasional phone calls to family at special times. Missionaries avoid entertainment, parties, or other activities common to this age-group as long as they are on their missions so they can focus entirely on the work of serving and of teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ.