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Mission will take Halvorsen to Africa

Cameron Halvorsen, 19, of Buckley, is about to embark on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will be serving the people of Ivory Coast, Africa.

Halvorsen, a 2007 White River High School and Pierce College graduate, is excited for this experience and knows it will bring about many opportunities to bring the message of Jesus Christ and to serve the people of this West African country.

Halvorsen will be joining a full-time missionary force of more than 55,000 in more than 120 countries. The church’s missionary program is one of its most recognized characteristics. Mormon missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world as well as in thousands of smaller communities. Plateau residents have probably seen them in the Buckley and Enumclaw areas with their indicative white shirts, ties and name tags.

Halvorsen will enter one of 17 Missionary Training Centers (MTC) throughout the world where he will learn the native language of Cote d’Ivoire (or Ivory Coast) of French and will receive religious instruction and teaching skills. He’ll also develop a respect and cultural understanding for the areas and countries where he will be serving. Training at the MTC lasts from three weeks to three months, depending on language needs. Halvorsen will be attending the MTC in Provo, Utah.

The unique aspect of serving a mission for the LDS church is the missionaries, or their families, foot the bill for the entire two-year experience. Missions are not paid for by the church. Because this is a voluntary effort, it holds more meaning for the missionary if he works towards earning money to pay for his mission. Halvorsen has been working at Home Depot in Bonney Lake to accomplish this.

The missionary effort is based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching the gospel and baptizing believers in the name of Jesus Christ. The work of Peter and John from the book of Acts is a good example of this.

A typical missionary day begins by 6:30 a.m. for personal study. The day is spent proselytizing by following up on appointments, visiting homes or meeting people in the street or other public places. Missionaires end their day by 10:30 p.m.

Halvorsen is prepared and willing to devote two years of his life in helping others. 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.

He plans on attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, when he completes his mission.

Halvorsen is the oldest of four sons of Mike and Kalleen Halvorsen of Buckley and grandson to Gail and the late Alta Halvorsen, of Utah, and Clinton and the late Norma Tracy of Missouri.

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