Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter #24

Dear Mum and Family,

From all of the emails that you guys sent it sounds like you have all had a great Christmas holiday and that you are going to have a fun New Years.  I too had a pretty great Christmas thousands of miles away.  As a missionary it didn't really feel like Christmas.  I have decided it is because of a few things.  I think the number one reason is because I am not home doing all of the things that we would be doing as a family. The second reason would be because there is no snow here.  It did snow on Saturday a little but it is so wet that nothing stuck.  It was still a great Christmas and I really enjoyed going over to the members house and also skyping you guys.  It was a lot of fun talking with you and hear all of you great voices.  It was also pretty funny to see Lyndsey in a sling.  Hahaha

You asked what church we went to on Christmas.  Well when we were tracting this last week we knocked on this guy’s door and invited him to look at the He is the Gift video.  He then invited us to come to his Christmas service at his church house.  So we went to a Pentecostal church.  It was kind of cool seeing what other people do at their churches and at the same time it was also kind of different.  They did a lot of singing and praying during it.  When they sing they use a lot of instruments like the guitars, piano, drums and a few other things which was really interesting. 
 It was a good experience because it really strengthened my testimony about our church being the only true church on the earth today.  I don't think that the guy was interested at all, but we are going to stop by some other time and see if we could start teaching him.

On a great note we had an awesome miracle yesterday.  After church we went to a member’s house and had a great meal.  You all know how much I like food so you all know how much I enjoyed that meal.  Anyways after the meal as we were walking to the car we received a text from one of our investigators named S****.  We haven't taught her since I have been here because she has been really busy with the holiday season.  We have been inviting here to church and she has come the past two weeks.  The text that she sent said that she felt really peaceful at church the past two Sundays and her faith in Christ has really been strengthened.  She then said that she really wants to get baptized.  That just made me and my companion super excited. I wish you guys could have seen the excitement that we had when we read her text.  It was such a miracle and we have really been blessed to find her and to be able to teach her.  She has only been taught the restoration so we still have quite a lot to teach.  We will probably be seeing her tomorrow which I am super excited for.  We have received such a great blessing.

Last Friday was pretty fun. We played soccer for a little while in the rain which made it more fun.  It was super wet and muddy so we definitely did not come home nice and clean.  It was still pretty fun though.  Like I told Dad and Caden I will not be coming home liking soccer any more than when I left so tell Lyndsey not to get her hopes up.

You asked about the 101 ways to help missionaries and where I found it.  Well I was looking at the pictures on drop box and there is was.  I thought that you put it on, but apparently you didn't so you will have to look at it.  It was a long list of ways to help missionaries and to do missionary work as members. You will have to look at it because it was really cool. 

Caden I hope that you are really enjoying working and making some money for me because you owe me when I get back because I am the oldest and you are supposed to pay the oldest siblings in the family. hahaha

Chelsey to answer the last question that you asked about what is the latest I have stayed up. We have to go to bed at 10:30 so that is the latest I have stayed up.  We are usually really tired at the end of our day so we usually go to be between 9:30 and 10:00 sometimes.  It is a really good time to go to bed so that we can get  a lot of sleep so that we can work hard the next day.

Lindsee the coolest thing about my area is that it is mostly country.  It makes it feel a lot more like home because of all of the open area and also because of all of the hills.  There are hills everywhere and when you drive past them and look there are always lots of sheep which also makes it feel more like home. 
I really don't know what the coolest thing about my new companion is.  We just get along really well and we have a lot of fun times together.  It was like we were best friends before we ever became companions.  He is really cool and a great missionary.

Thank you all for all of your great quotes and letters.  I really enjoyed reading them all.  I really don't have much to say because I emailed you on Friday and we haven't done a whole lot since. I just want to end by sharing a thought with you guys. It is kind of long but I hope that you enjoy it. It comes from Neal A. Maxwell.  He says: 
"It is extremely important for you to believe in yourselves not only for what you are now, but for what you have the power to become.  Trust in the Lord as He leads you along.  He has things for you to do that you won't know about now, but will be revealed later.  If you stay close to Him, you will have some great adventures. You will live in a time when instead of just talking about prophesies that will sometime be fulfilled, many of  them will actually be fulfilled. The Lord will unfold your future bit by bit. All the easy things that the church has had to do have been done, so you're going to live in a time of high adventure.  You were brought to earth because you can handle that time of adventure. And you will do well."
Even though this was given some time ago I think that it is still true today.  We all will have some great adventures while we are here on this earth today.  There are many things that are going to happen in this church because the second coming of the Savior is close and there are many things that need to be done before he comes.  I hope that we can stay close to the Lord and trust him so that we can help him in bringing those to the gospel that need to learn and by doing things that he wants us to do. 
I hope that you all have a great week and that you enjoy your New Year celebration. Make sure you all eat a lot of food for me because you know how much I love food. 
Elder Peterson

Friday, December 26, 2014

Letter # 23

Dear Mum and family,

Well since I talked with you guys not too long ago I really don't have much to say so I guess I will just answer your questions and let you guys have a great break.  
My retainers are doing really well.  They are not broken and I have been wearing them every night so you don't need to worry.  When I get home I will still have nice straight posh teeth.  
I am not quite sure exactly what I want to put for my goals this next year.  I will think about it and I will let you know on Monday when I email you then.
It was a lot of fun talking with you guys yesterday and I hope that you enjoyed your Christmas in Newton.  I really enjoyed it here even though there is no snow.  It was weird not having snow for Christmas, but at the same time it is a great experience. I don't have my camera with me because we just got done playing football with some investigators.  It was pouring while we were playing so I left it at the flat so it wouldn't get wet.  I guess you will have to wait until Monday to see all of the photos I have taken.
I went and bought some football cleats today and they are actually pretty nice.  They were 90% off which was a great deal.  I only spent 5 pounds on them which is about $10.  I think they are normally about $80 so I got a great deal. I also bought me a really nice rugby ball that was only 10 pounds and it was normally 50 pounds so I got two really great deals.

I hope that you have a great week and that you enjoy the rest of you break from school and work.  
Elder Peterson

Just so you know I read the 101 ways to help missionaries and they are all true.  I hope that you guys are finding ways to help missionaries because it really helps when the members are involved.

Elder Peterson Christmas Day
Called home 12/25/2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Letter #22

Dear Mum and Family,

Thank you all for all of the wonderful letters that you sent.  I really enjoyed reading them all. Unfortunately I don't have enough time to reply to them all because I don't have much time here at the library.  But that is okay because I will be skyping on Christmas so make sure you remember all of the questions that you asked so that I can answer them for you all on Christmas.  I am way excited and I can't wait to talk with you guys.

Well just so you guys know I got transferred this last week and you will not believe where I have moved to.  So you know that joke that I played on you guys well that is actually where I got moved to.  I am now in Llanelli Wales right on the coast.  I know you won't believe me, but I am not lying this time. (2 Nephi 9:34)  The ward is really amazing here.  I don't know them all personally yet, but then again I have only been here for a couple of days.  My companion is Elder Shaw from South Africa.  He has been out for about 9 months now and he is really cool.  We get along quite well and we have lots of fun doing missionary work together. 

Well we have set up the time when we will be able to Skype on Christmas with a member. I am way excited to talk with you guys.  
Have a great week and I can't wait to talk to you soon.
Elder Peterson
Elder Peterson's 2nd area
Llanelli Wales
December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Letter # 21

Dear Mum and Family,

It has been another great week and you can definitely feel the Christmas season in the air.  It is definitely really cold but unfortunately we haven't gotten any snow.  There is lots of talking going on about the winter this year being like the winter last year which was really cold and no snow at all.  I think it would be really cool to see what it is like to have no snow for Christmas, but at the same time I think it would be really weird.  Who knows maybe we will just get snow for Christmas day and then it will all go away.  That would be kind of nice.

I think that the service project that you all had this last week was amazing.  It sounds like you all had a great time serving others and that you had a great time talking with everyone.  I wish that I was able to be there and enjoy it with you all but it sounds like it has turned into something that is going to be done every year.  So I guess I have a new tradition to look forward to when I get home.  I hope that you all remember the feeling that you had while you did that great service and that you always look for opportunities to serve. 

It sounds like it was pretty fun dipping chocolates with the missionaries. You said that you saw something different from the Elders.  I think that you just saw that the Elders are just so much better because that is definitely the truth.  It’s okay you don't have to admit it though.
This last week for us has been a lot of tracting and talking to people on the streets.  I think one of the tender mercies that we had this week was a couple of days ago when we were tracting.  For the first hour or so we were having no success at all.  We had talked to a lot of people and they were not interested at all.  Most of them just ignored us and they didn't want anything to do with us.  It was kind of annoying but at the same time I kind of liked it because it was hard.  I have come to really enjoy the hard times that I have had on the mission because they really help me grow and learn. Well to continue on with my tender mercy.  We went down to almost the end of the street and something really cool happened.  The next four doors that we knocked on were some really nice people.  They were kind of busy at the moment but they invited us back next week to talk with them some more.  We were both really excited and so grateful for that great tender mercy that we had. I learned from that experience and how enduring to the end is really important.  If we would have just quit and done something else we wouldn't have found those people who are prepared by God.

Caden…..I have not seen the movie ‘When the game stands tall’.  I am sure it is a really great movie because it is a football movie and those are definitely the best movies ever.  I will have to put that on a paper to remember it so when I get home we can watch it.  

Chelsey….It sounds like you are reading a really cool book right now.  I really like how it talks about a boy going on a mission and also a little bit about sports.  Maybe when I get home you will have to remind me about that book so that I can read it because it sounds really good. Thanks for sharing it with me and I hope that you really enjoy it.

Lyndsey…..When it rains here it is sometimes cold.  Right now because it is winter time it does get really cold when it rains, but during the summer it was actually pretty warm.  The sun does look the same here.  The only difference is it doesn't stay out very long.  It's pretty much totally dark at about 4 in the afternoon which is really weird.  I have started to get used to it though. I can't believe that you actually believed me when I said that the washing machine in the kitchen was a dish washer.  Everyone here has there washing machine in the kitchen usually so it is quite normal and it is for clothes not dishes.  You are such a blonde.

Dad…..I also can't believe how fast this month has flown by.  I remember like it was yesterday it was the first of December.  In fact I remember when I hopped on the plane and was heading to the MTC.  Man it has really flown by super-fast.  
I can't believe all of the wonderful weather that you guys are having there. It has been pretty cold here which I think is horrible because if it is going to be cold there at least needs to be some snow on the ground.  The warmest it gets here during the day is about 8 degrees Celsius.  And if there is a wind, which there normally is, it gets super cold.  It hasn't really rained a whole lot lately but the cold weather is definitely making up for all of it.  Lots of people are hoping that it doesn't snow because apparently the whole place just shuts down when it snows.  I think it is kind of funny because when it does snow they really don't get very much. Maybe we can swap weather with each other. I am sure mom would love that.

Well transfers are here! There is some much excitement that goes around during this time of the mission.  Some missionaries are going home which brings excitement, some missionaries are coming in, and some missionaries are moving to new areas or getting new companions.  I know that I am really excited to find out tonight what happens to me and my companion.  I have a feeling that this will be the last time I will be emailing you guys from the Sheldon ward, but I guess you will find out next week.  I know that whatever happens I will be at a place that God wants me to be.  I know that he knows me and knows what I need to learn at this time or who I need to help. So wherever he sends me I am excited to learn and help others who he wants me to help.

Well I am excited for this Christmas coming up.  I know that I will really enjoy being in England this Christmas.  I know that this is where I am supposed to be at this time and that there is no other place I would rather be.  I have grown a lot and learned a lot on my mission and it has only been 4 months.  I am really enjoying it.  I hope that this Christmas is as special for you guys as it is going to be for me.  

During this Christmas season and also for the time I have been out here serving I have learned a lot more on gratitude.  I have seen all of the great blessing that I have received and for all of the many things you guys are blessed with while I have been serving.  I am so thankful for all of the great thinks that the Lord blesses me with.  I know that you all know about the ten lepers and how they were healed, but only one of them was grateful and he thanked the Christ.  Well I found a poem and I would like to share it with you all.


In a certain village, on a certain day,
ten lepers stood far off
and lifted up their voices unto Christ:
" Have mercy on us, Master, please, 
take our infirmities away." 

And it was done, according to the grace
of the Savior, Father's son.
They showed themselves unto the priest
and were cleansed.

And one of them, on finding he was whole,
paused moments on a grassy knoll,
turned his back
upon the path he would trod,
and fell upon his face in praise of God.

But of the other nine, no word of thanks
escaped their tongues,
no hymns of praise were sung.
Too busy in their haste
to get on with their lives-
to publish joyous tidings
to their children and their wives-
perhaps without intending to be rude,
they overlooked the sacrament of thanks
and lost the sacred blessings bought
by showing gratitude.

Oh, that I might
from this parable be taught
and practice well the part
of the living with and ever- grateful hear.
- Sharon Nauta Steele

I hope that this Christmas season we can show our gratitude towards God and toward Christ for all that we have been blessed with. I hope you all have a great week and who knows maybe I will be emailing from different computer next week.

Elder Peterson

PS  You don't have to send me any chocolate I think I can go without.  I have received all of my packages and letters that you all sent and I can't wait to open them all.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter # 20

Dear Mum and Family,

I really enjoyed all of your great letters that you have sent this last week.  This last week has also gone really fast for me and I can't believe that this transfer is almost over.  Next Monday I will be finding out if I stay here in Sheldon or if I will be moving. There is a really high chance that I could be moving because President doesn't like to keep newer missionaries in an area for more than three transfers, but with Christmas coming up I could also be staying.  Either way I am really excited for the results and I can't believe how fast it has all gone.

It sounds like you guys had a really great time feeding the Sister missionaries. 
The Christmas initiative has been a lot of fun.  We haven't really had much success from it yet, but we are getting word out and hopefully people are watching the video.  I am sure that it is really helping a lot of people this Christmas season though. 

We haven't taught I***  this last week because he got his wisdom teeth out so he probably wasn't doing so well.  Hopefully we will be able to talk with him this next week because we are almost done teaching him and he is such a great guy.

It sounds like you all have a great service opportunity this next week and I am really excited for all of you to have that great opportunity to serve.  It sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun and that you are going to be really busy today making a lot of cinnamon rolls.  I hope that you enjoy it and all I can say is if I was there I think I would have chosen going to school rather than making all those cinnamon rolls.  It sounds like fun though and I hope you all enjoy serving others.

Asking if I need an IPad to share the video is actually a pretty touchy subject in this mission.  We keep getting told that they will be here really soon and when I was first out on the mission I was told that they should be here this month.  They are not here though and we are now being told that they will be here at the beginning of the year.  I don't know if I believe that one though either so I am not worrying about it too much right now.  I will let you know when we are able to get them though.

I do not have an accent yet and I don't think that I will have one when I come home either.  A lot of missionaries that have been out for almost two years don't even have an accent so I don't think I will be coming home with one so don't plan on it.
The clouds over here are sometimes fluffy, but most of the time when there are clouds they are pretty grey because it usually rains.  But when the sky is blue, like today, they are usually white and fluffy. 
I haven't taken any pictures of the hills or cars, but if I remember I will send them next week. 
I think that my favorite thing about my companion is he likes to have a lot of fun while we are doing missionary work.  For example while we are walking down the streets doing tracking if a song pops up in his head we will  both start singing it out loud.  And the best part is the people we pass usually have weird looks on their face which is pretty funny.

Thanks for all of your great letters that you have all sent and also for all of the wonderful thoughts and scriptures.  I don't know if I quite like Caden’s thought though because I think it had to do with marriage and you all know how touchy that subject is for me.  I can't have the best man cave if I am married!

The thought that I would like to share with you all this week is actually a poem that I found out of the ensign. It goes with the "He is the Gift" video because it talks about how the world doesn't focus on the true meaning of Christmas any more.

It's called "Celebrating Christmas"

Schools celebrate Christmas, 
But not like they use to
And not as much as they used to.
It's all about Holiday, time off,
Games and fun and things.
I wonder what happened to the King of Kings!

Shops celebrate Christmas
Special offers and discounts
 funny hats and costumes
glitter and streamers
And the profit it brings.
I wonder what happened to the King of Kings!

Our town celebrates Christmas
A big tree in the square
with lots of fancy lights 
sparkling and dancing in the wind
as they stretch between the buildings
I wonder what happened to the King of Kings!

The world celebrates Christmas
with worldly pleasures and parties
fancy focks and new clothes
presents, cards, music, and other things 
I wonder what happened to the King of Kings!

As we celebrate Christmas
Perhaps we can think of the birth
of the Messiah who came to save
and the hope he brings to our lives
as we live the divine teachings
of the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings!

I hope that whoever reads this wonderful poem realizes the great meaning of the Christmas season and that we can all remember the greatest gift that was ever given to us.  The Savior of the world.  What a special time of year to remember His great birth and for all the many blessings that we received because He was born.  One of those great blessings is the wonderful Atonement.  How blessed we are to be able to be clean from all of our sins because of the great price that He paid for us. May we all remember Him thank Him for all that we have.
I hope that you all have a great week and thanks again for all that you guys do.
Elder Peterson

Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter # 19

Dear Mum and Family,

It sounds like you have all had a great thanksgiving and that you had plenty of food.  I too had a good amount of food.  I did think that thanksgiving was probably one of the best that I have had in a long time and now that I have read your letter I think I know why it was so great.  Maybe because the 49ers lost. haha  
A member took us to an all you can eat Chinese restaurant called Ming Moon.  It is really expensive to buy a turkey over here so we didn't have a turkey which was a little weird, but it was a good experience to celebrate thanksgiving in England.  I do not really miss all of the fuss about black Friday though.  Apparently they are trying to start doing it here in England, but it isn't as big here yet.  It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun though.

Warwick castle last Monday was a lot of fun.  It only took us about 30 minutes to get there and one of the best things was there was hardly anyone there because mostly everyone was at school. I will have to admit it is kind of nice not having to go to school and watching everyone else have to go. I am really glad that you all enjoyed the pictures that I sent home.

I am glad that you liked the new Christmas video that the church has put out.  We have been using the cards in our missionary work, but we haven't had much success so far.  It is a little early though into the Christmas Initiative so hopefully we will start to see a little more success.  I am really excited for this Christmas season.  In fact as I am writing this letter right now there is a little party going on in another room of the library and there is a lady singing a lot of Christmas songs right now.  So I have been getting into the Christmas spirit most of my morning.

This last week we actually taught a lesson to a potential who is now an investigator. Her name is D**** and she talked to other missionaries when she was out shopping.  Because she lives in our area the other missionaries referred her to us and we finally were able to teach here.  We taught her briefly about the Restoration and we gave her a Book of Mormon.  She believes in God and she is going through a hard time right now.  Her father has cancer and he is going in for treatment apparently sometime soon.  She doesn't know if he will make it much longer so when we told her about the Plan of Salvation she was really happy.  We asked her if she comes to find out that these things are true if she will be baptized and without hesitation she said "Yes I would love to!"  That was really exciting to hear.  We will be meeting with her tomorrow so I am excited for that.  

Caden that's too bad that they Colts are not doing so well.  But I do have to say that they are still better than the Steelers even though they are not winning as many games.  So I think that I will stay a colts fan and not a Steelers fan.  Hopefully they can start winning games soon so they can be the next Super Bowl Champions.
I am glad that you really like the picture of the castle.  It was a lot of fun and I knew that you would have loved to been there.  I thought that it would remind you of Lord of the Rings.  Maybe when you get your mission call you will serve in England and then you can go to all of the castles here.
It sounds like there is a lot of excitement going on about the new hobbit movie coming out.  I am sure it will be a great movie and I can't wait until I get home and we can stay up all night and watch all of the movies. 
That would be really cool if I am home in time to watch Star Wars when it comes out. There have been quite a few missionaries and some members who are pretty excited for it to come out so hopefully it is a great movie.

Chelsey I did eat a lot of food on Thanksgiving but I bet you ate more than me because you eat a ton of food.  Just kidding I know you don't eat that much because you are a lot like mom.
It sounds like you have had a pretty lazy week this last week. Did you and mom watch a lot of you weird girl movies?  It definitely wouldn't surprise me if you did.  I hope you had a great time being lazy though.
It is good to hear that you are really enjoying school and that you are especially enjoying seminary.  I hope you are learning lots in seminary about the D&C because it is a great book.  You will have to tell me who Lyndsey’s boyfriend is when you find out since she is in you class.

Lindsee it doesn't surprise me that you went to black Friday and that you just had a blast spending all of your money.  That's pretty cool that you bought a Nike sweatshirt, but you could have at least spent that $7 dollars on something else other than a lame Lakers shirt.  I thought you were raised better than that.  It doesn't surprise me that you also liked spending your money on a fish.  I don't know what is so cool about getting a fish, but at least you can now say you have a true friend now because you didn't have any before.
That's really crazy that Sky View and Mountain Crest is changing to a 5A school this next year.  I wonder how all of the sports will be once they are competing against the bigger schools.  I think it will be an interesting year for sports when that happens.
I think that the second question that you asked is definitely a no brainer. You definitely haven't become any smarter than when I left.  Of course they don't have sprinkler pipe over here because it rains a lot so they don't need it.
I have been to one funeral and that was on the second day that I was in the mission.  We didn't go to the grave site, but we did go to the service that was at the church and it seemed like it was the same as back home.
No we don't wash dishes like you do. You know that washing machine that you see in the kitchen from the picture that I sent home.  We just throw all of our dishes in there and that is how we wash them.  It even dries them for us so that is a plus.
The families are really not that big over here.  They usually have about four children or less, but every once in a while you see a pretty big family.  I haven't seen any places where people can go camping, but remember I am in a city part of Birmingham so I don't see much country things.  Maybe if I go to an area where it is more country I will see them. 

The thought that I would like to share with you guys this week is about faith.  On Sunday nights we have to be in at 7 because Elder Farley is a District Leader so he has to do a thing called call ins.  So while he was doing that I was reading a few things about faith and I would like to share it with you.
I would like to start off by sharing a quote from Joseph Fielding Smith.  He says:
"Faith is the moving cause of all action. Faith, therefore, is stronger that belief."
Faith is a very important part of this gospel.  Like it is said in the scriptures only a little particle of faith can move mountains.  I don't know about you, but to me that is really cool and it definitely shows the power of faith.  We as members of this great church need to have faith in Jesus Christ.  We need to know that he is in control of everything and that he knows what's best for us even when we are going through a tough time.

There are many people in the scripture that show great faith, but one of my favorites is Nephi.  In 1 Nephi 17:50 Nephi shows his great faith towards his murmuring brothers. He says:  “If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them.  If He should command me that I should say unto this water, be earth, it should be earth, and if I should say it, it would be done."
What great faith that is! I hope that as I study faith more and I exercise it more in my life that I can someday have as great faith as Nephi has.  
I hope that this thought help someone this next week.  I hope that you all have a great week and thanks for all of your letters.  And especially thanks for all of your prayers.  I know that they are being answered.  

Elder Peterson

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Letter #18

Dear Mum and Family,

It's good to hear that you have all had a great week this last week and it was great to hear all of the experience that you had.  Thanks for all of the letters and for the great quotes and thoughts that you sent.  I really enjoyed all of them.

I have had a great Thanksgiving so far.  The Stilgers invited us over on Sunday for a Thanksgiving meal and it was really nice.  They are such a great family and they definitely take care of us really well.  Then on Thursday P**** S**** is taking us out to eat which is really exciting.  I hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving even though I know it won't be as fun without me.  I don't even think Kenny Furgeson can make up for me not being there.

You asked about P**** and what she is like. Well she is a really cool member who is really involved with missionary work and really loves the missionaries.  She has said that she has tons of binders just full of missionaries from about the 70's which is really cool.  She is always looking for opportunities to share the gospel with others and she is just a great lady.  

It sounds like you had a great time talking with Sister Stilger on skype.  When we went over to their house on Sunday their daughter was telling me all about it.  She said that she really enjoyed talking with you also.  I am glad that you enjoyed the pictures of us at the restaurant.  You were wondering about the picture that was of us with napkins on our face well those were not actually napkins.  They were wash clothes that were really hot and wet and they felt super nice on your face. They give those to you after eating at that specific restaurant it was really fun.

I am really excited for this Christmas and for the new thing that the church is going to be doing.  I don't know if you heard, but the church is going to be doing a YouTube take over along with the new video.  They are going to be the only advertiser on the YouTube home page which is really cool.  I am also excited for the new video and this might seem weird, but also for the new Christmas pass along cards.  We are going to be downloading the video so that we can share it with those that we visit since we don't have an iPad.  I can't wait for this Christmas and for the new exciting things that the church is going to be doing.

It sounds like you guys are also really excited for Christmas seeing that the lights are now up.  It is kind of weird though that it's not even Thanksgiving though and they are up.  I guess things just don't get done right when I am not there to do it.  I bet you are all especially excited for all the snow that you will probably be getting soon.  I bet mom is so excited that she is having a hard time sleeping at night.  I can't wait to see the pictures of all the deep snow that you will have by Christmas.

Like Sister Stilger said we went to Warwick Castle yesterday so that is why I didn't have time to email you guys.  Mom just so you know you don't need to worry.  If something goes wrong I am sure you will hear from President Rasmussen.  You are such a worry wart sometimes.  It's not like I am 6,000 miles away or anything. 

Yesterday was a really fun day and I have a lot of pictures that I will be sending you.  It was weird to think that the castle was built in 914 and that it is still standing strong.  It was a great day and I hope that you have a great time looking at the pictures that I will be sending to you.

It has also started getting cold here in England so I will also send a picture of what we woke up to this morning (frost).   It is not snow so sorry mom I hope you are not too jealous.  It has started to get cold here. I have brought out the big coat.  I still have not got the thermals out so it isn't that cold yet.

Caden it sounds like you have enjoyed some fun times working in the rain and getting really wet. I know exactly how you feel because I get pretty wet over here in England when it rains.

Chelsey that is really cool that you are in the same class as your weird sister.  Maybe you can find out who her boyfriend is for me. 

Lindsee that's good to hear that you are enjoying school and that something is really stressing you out since I am not home to do it for you.  It sounds like you are going to have a great tri especially since you are in my most favorite sisters seminary class.  I told her that she has to tell me if you have a boyfriend in that class so I would watch out for her.
Lindsee I think that the first question that you asked is kind of stupid because of course I shower every day.  The showers are a little smaller over here and I look like elf when he showers in the morning.  Just kidding they aren't that much smaller. Over here the bathrooms are the same as back home.  They do call them bathrooms or the loo. They do not call them restrooms at all which is different.  When you say that you have to go to the bathroom you say I have to use the toilet not the bathroom though.  That was kind of weird to get use to at first, but I am use to it now.
The water really isn't better than back home.  They put fluoride in there water over here so it does taste kind of weird.  It was definitely gross at first, but I have gotten used to it now so it's not too bad.

Dad you spoke a little too soon about saying that the winters are not too bad here.  We woke up this morning and there was a heavy frost outside and it is actually really cold.  They really don't get much snow over here though and when it does snow it usually rains sometime after so the snow turns to slush and goes away.  That is what I have heard at least from ward members and from other missionaries that have been out here for a winter.  I think that now it is going to be cold until spring time so I am getting prepared for that. I have talked to other missionaries about it getting dark so soon also and they said that it is really crazy.  It will be a cool experience and I can't wait to see how it goes. It sounds like the weather is pretty crazy back home and I am sure that mom is really enjoying the cold.  I bet she wishes there was a ton of snow right now. 

Well the thought that I want to share with you guys this week is from Henry B. Eyring about the scriptures.
“Since our needs change over a lifetime, God has different things to tell us at different times....  The Lord seemed to anticipate all of our problems and all of our needs, and He put help in the scriptures for us- if only we seek it."

I have read the Book of Mormon through a couple of times and I have been reading the Bible a lot.  It is really cool to see that every time that I read it there is something new each time and that I learn something different every time I read it.  I know that it is because of what Henry B. Erying has said that God knows what we need to hear at certain times and he makes those certain things stick out to us so that we can get that help that we need.  All we need to do is to read and look for that help.  I know that the scriptures can really help us and that they are really important to read.  I hope that you all find the same joy in reading them as I do.
Thanks again for all the great letters and I hope that you have a great week.

Elder Peterson

I hope you all enjoy the pictures I have sent you.  I am sure Caden will really like the castle.

Mom the only thing I don't like about the pictures you sent is the picture of my deer.  I can't believe you would do something like that.  You know that I couldn't stand the Christmas hat on it last year.  I will think of something to get you back.

Elder Peterson's Christmas Deer
'Elder Deer'
Waking up to a winter frost from Elder Peterson's Flat
November 25, 2014
Ahhh! Warm wash clothes after dinner
"You should try it"
November 17, 2014

Proof of what these Elder's have really been up to
Warwick Castle November 24, 2014
Ephesians 6:11
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able
to stand against the wiles of the devil.
'Helmet of Salvation'
Elder Peterson and Elder Burke
Warwick Castle
November 24, 2014
"If I could only take this home and use it for the next deer hunt."
Warwick Castle November 24, 2014
Warwick Castle
built in 914 A.D.
November 24, 2014
Warwick Castle
built in 914 A.D.
November 24, 2014
Warwick Castle
built in 914 A.D.
November 24, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letter #17

Dear Mum and Family,

It sounds like it has been a really great week for you all.  My week has started off really great because first of all I really got mum fired up over last week’s email.  I was hoping that I would get her.  It’s good to know that I can give her a hard time over emails. I’m also glad that Real Salt Lake lost which is always great.  I would also like to tell you mum that spouse points are not a mission rule because it is not in the white handbook so I can change it to man cave points.  And I have so many points that just taking away ten points doesn't even put a dent in my points. Just having my shoes full of water is about 75 points and I have had that twice so far.  That doesn't count all the other points I have gotten for being soaked all the way through all my clothes.

Elder Farley is a really cool missionary.  He trained one of the missionaries from my group last transfer and he is really chill.  We have lot of fun together while we are doing missionary work.  He was serving in Wales before he came to Sheldon and he has been out for 18 months so he has been to a lot of other places.  I know he ran cross country in high school and that he really loves watching movies and spending lots of time with his family.  I am having a lot of fun being his companion and we are really doing some great work in Sheldon.

We have been doing a lot of tracking this last week and we really have had no luck at all which is pretty normal.  We did teach I*** this last week and we are trying to set up appointments so that we can meet with the other families and teach them also, but they are really busy and it is hard to get a hold of them.  We did get a referral though from another set of missionaries yesterday and apparently she is really interested. We have not met her yet, but we are going to try and see her tomorrow.  I think that was a tender mercy this last week because we have had no success and it has been kind of frustrating.

I**** is doing really well and I have really enjoyed teaching him.  I have no idea when he is going to be able to go to the temple, but he has been meeting with the Bishop and he is really excited to go so I am sure it will be soon.  He has really progressed and it is really cool to see his progression in the gospel.  

Lyndsey you’re asked if the cars here are like the ones in America….The cars are definitely not like the ones back home.  Because the roads are smaller here they drive smaller cars.  I do miss seeing the nice trucks back home that is for sure.  They do have lots of really nice cars though.  They have BMW's, Jaguars, Audi's, Mercedes Benz and some more nice ones that I can't quite think of right now.  They are definitely really cool cars.
You also asked what their gas stations are like and is gas cheaper….. The gas stations look like the ones back home and gas is really expensive compared to back home.  They buy gas by the liter over here instead of gallons, but it converts to a little more than $8 a gallon for back home.  It is really crazy how expensive it is over here.

I will have to take a picture of the church house and send it to you guys.  It is also really hard to take pictures of the hills over here because you really can't see them. It looks really flat when you look out our balcony, but I will send some pictures so you can see how flat it looks.

I am glad to hear that you studied the Atonement and that you learned a lot of great things about it.  That is definitely one of my favorite topics to study especially from Jesus the Christ because it goes pretty deep and I love learning about deep doctrine like most missionaries do.

Something that I want to share with you this week is about Joseph Smith.  I read this passage from Gordon B. Hinckley this morning and I thought I should share it with you guys. 
" Could Joseph Smith, I ask you, the young man reared in rural New York largely without schooling, have dictated in so short a time a volume so complex in its nature and yet so harmonious in its whole, with so large a cast of characters and so extensive in its scope? Could he of his own abilities have created the language, the thought, the moving inspiration that has caused millions over the earth to read and say, it is true?"
- President Gordon B. Hinckley

When I read this it really made me think of Joseph Smith and how uneducated he was yet he translated such a complex language.  I know that because he was so uneducated he couldn't have translated the Book of Mormon without the help of the Lord.  And that the Lord chose him for a reason to translate it.  I also like the part at the end when it says that so many people have read it and have prayed about it and have come to know that it is true.  It is really cool to see the change in people when they really just take that simple act and just read and pray about it and they come to know that it is true.  By just doing that they come to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he did see our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that everything about this church is true.  That is one of my favorite things to see in someone.  

I hope that you guys enjoy the wonderful thought from Gordon B. Hinckley and that you do see the great blessing of The Book of Mormon and how blessed we are to live in this time where we have The Book of Mormon.  
Thanks again for all of you letters and I hope that you have a great week.

Elder Peterson 

P.S. Mum I will make sure that I open my Christmas Packages as soon as I get them.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Letter #16

Dear Mum and Family,

It sounds like it has been another enjoyable week back in the great Valley of Cache. It's great to hear from everyone and to hear how much fun that you guys have every week.
To start off I would like to tell you all that I have been transferred to a new area.  It is called llenelley Wales. My new companion is Elder Farley from Tooele Utah.  He has been out a little over 18 months so he is at the later part of his mission.  He is a great companion and is a lot of fun to be with.  
Mum you said that you looked to see if they have Thanksgiving in England and that is definitely true what you looked up.  They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but Christmas is really big.  The Brits definitely love Christmas time.  They haven't really started decorating much, but there are a lot of Christmas things that you can buy at stores.  And I thought that they started it too early back home…..It's going to be a little different because they really don't get any snow, but at the same time I am really excited for it. 

Everything is going well with I***.  We are almost done teaching him all the lessons in Preach My Gospel.  His testimony has really grown and I have really enjoyed teaching him.  Hopefully we can stay in touch now that I have moved areas. It was definitely a lot of fun getting to know him though.

You also asked what temple is closer to Birmingham….The Preston temple is closer than the London temple so they go to the Preston one.  Usually once a month they rent a bus and they get a ride to the temple which is really cool.  A lot of members go to the temple when they have those temple trips which are really cool.

The last week we have been doing a lot of tracking, but haven't been really successful.  It has been quite rainy the last couple of days while we have been out and we have definitely been getting quite wet. I don't think I have told you, but in this mission when you tract out in the rain they have a thing called spouse points that you get.  So the more spouse points the better looking your spouse will be.  But of course you guys know me and my opinion about girls and how they are a waste of time.  And that my time is very precious. So my spouse points get converted to MAN CAVE point.  One spouse point is equal to Three MAN CAVE points. And just so you know I am going to have an amazing MAN CAVE when I get home because I have a ton of points and I am only into my mission three months.

It has been raining quite a bit the last couple of days, which it does in Wales, but it is pretty nice today.  They do not have any mountains that I have seen.  If you ask someone from Wales they call some hills mountains, but they are definitely not mountains they are hills.

Caden I bet you are really excited now for winter to come so that you can start playing some hockey. I am really going to miss playing, but that's okay because when I get back I will be able to go again.  I hope that you have a lot of fun when the ice rink gets done and make sure that you play a lot for me. I bet you will be there almost every day and that you will be a lot better by the time that I get back.

Chelsey that is really exciting that you are going to be getting some of your braces off the next time you go.  I can just see how excited you will be when that happens.  That is so cool.  Too bad I got mine off before you though and it is really nice. 

Lindsee I have heard about the Ebola virus, but I haven't heard a lot about it.  You should give me an update because it sounds pretty interesting.
I don't have fish and chips too often.  Maybe every fortnight or so.  ( fortnight is equal to 2 weeks).  It is really good though and it's probably one of my favorite foods other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  But then again all food is really good. But still nothing beats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have at least one for every meal that I eat everyday along with something else.  They are truly amazing.
Every week is actually pretty different even though we do a lot of the same things each week.  They are pretty different though.
There really are not any weird bugs or spiders here or animals really.  We do see rabbits every once in a while when we walk through the park, but that is really all.  The most common animals here are dogs because almost every one owns at least one if not two.  And they are always taking them out on walks.  They definitely love their dogs in England.
and Lindsee  I definitely don't miss you as much as Mt. Everest.  That is way too much!

Dad that is too bad that SV wasn't able to get the W this last week I was really hoping that they would take it to timpview.   SV did have a great season though this last year and I wish I was able to be there to watch some of them because they sounded great. It is really good to hear that USU is doing really good though even though they are really struggling with the injuries. I hope they can keep it up and continue to have a great season.  

Also that's really cool to have a new stake Presidency.  I am sure the last stake presidency is relieved now, but I bet it will be a little weird for them because they won't have as many meeting and they will have more time on their hands.  It sounds like the new presidency is really great though even though I only know Keith.  It will be weird to come home to a new one that is for sure.

One quote that I want to share with you is a great quote and I really like it. 
“Perhaps when we face our Maker, we will not be asked, how many positions did you hold? But rather, how many people did you help?"
I really like this quote because no matter what calling you have in the church it really doesn't matter to the Lord because we can help lots of people with whatever calling that we have.  I know that it is really important that we help others.  We read in the scriptures lots of examples of Christ helping others and if we are like him and just help others we will be blessed for that.

The other thought that I have for you guys this week is kind of long, but I really like it.
 ”The wounds in the Lord's hands, feet, and side are signs that in mortality painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect. Signs that that tribulation is not evidence that God does not love us. It is a significant and hopeful fact that it is the wounded Christ who comes to our rescue.  He who bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love, the emblems of humility, and forgiveness is the captain of our soul. That evidence of pain in mortality is undoubtedly intended to give courage to others who are also hurt and wounded by life, perhaps even in the house of their friends."
- Jefferey R. Holland

I really enjoy studying what the Savior has done for us. I refer to the book Jesus the Christ a lot when I study.   I have learned a lot more about what he went through. So when I found this from Jefferey R. Holland I really loved it. I hope that it helps strengthens your testimonies of the Atonement like it has mine.  I hope that you guys can find time to maybe read a little more about the Atonement when you are going through a rough day or maybe just whenever.  I know that it will really help you because it has definitely helped me.  
It sounds like you have all had a great week and I hope that this week is even better.  Keep up the good work and thanks again for all of you letters. 

Elder Peterson.

P.S.  I didn't get transferred I am still in Sheldon, but Elder Farley is really my companion. 

You also asked if they have daylight saving in England. 
Yes they do change the times in England so we are still 7 hours different.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Letter # 15

Dear Mum and Family,

I can't believe I have already been out for three months.  Before I left everyone said that the first six months would be slow, but that is definitely not the case for me.  If it is going this fast now I wonder how fast it is going to go when I have been out six months.  It is really crazy to think how time has flown so fast.

Thank you for all the letters that you guys have sent.  Like every missionary out here I look forward to Mondays so that I can read all the wonderful letters from you guys.  They definitely make the week go by a lot better. 

It sounds like it was a really great Halloween for you all back home.  Just so you know Halloween isn't really big at all over here. To give you a little taste of how big it is they were actually selling more Christmas stuff at the beginning of October than Halloween stuff.  I don't know about you but first of all that's a little early to be selling Christmas stuff and second of all that does show how big Halloween is in England.  Don't get me wrong they do celebrate Halloween over here it's just not big.  There were a few little kids that go out trick or treating, but not very many.  It sounds like you guys had a great Halloween though and I am glad to hear that you guys had some chili and I am sure it tasted great.

We were able to teach I***** this last week which went really great.  I have definitely seen the change in him and seen the great improvement that he has made in his life.  We taught him about the temples and family history work and I can tell that he really wants to go back to the temple.  He went when he was in young men’s, but that was about 8 years ago.  He said that he really loves the temple and his goal is to make it there really soon because he loves it.  I can tell you that as a missionary that really makes your day to hear that from someone you are teaching.
Other than that we have really done nothing because my companion has been sick. Apparently there is a virus that is going around in the mission and he got it.  Sister Rasmussen said he just needed rest so we have been in the flat for the past few days.  We were able to go out and do some service for a member on one of the days which was nice to get out a bit. We were able to go to church yesterday which was also great because it was a great testimony meeting.  The ward is so strong here and I love the spirit that they have.  Sheldon is great!
Speaking of my companion tonight we find out who is leaving and just so you know it is very  likely that I will be getting a new companion this next week.  We find out tonight at about 10 so that should be really interesting. 

You asked me to compare Sheldon to Utah….Well I think that  Sheldon to Utah would probably be a really big Logan.  There are some really big buildings here and there are lots of big stores, but there are also lots of parks and places like that.  It is definitely bigger than Logan, but it's not as crowded as Salt Lake. I really do like it here though. I will admit I do miss the mountains though.

I received the letter from Alex and it was really good to hear from him.  He is such a great friend and I am really excited that he got his mission call.  I was actually thinking of him the other day and was wondering if he had received it and it definitely made my day to hear from him.  I hope that we can stay in touch because I enjoy talking with him.

Cade it sounds like you are enjoying riding around while Chelsey is driving. I bet it is still scarier to be in the car when Lyndsey is driving though because she is a really scary driver.  I bet Chelsey is doing a lot better than Lyndsey is. 

Chelsey it sounds like you had an amazing week this last week because you got your driving permit.  I have been told that you are really enjoying driving around and that you are always laughing when you drive.  That doesn't surprise me because you are always laughing all the time.  I haven't seen you drive, but I bet you are a better driver than Lyndsey.  

Lyndsey I don't know if we will be able to see Meet the Mormons or not.  It takes a while for the movies to come in theaters over here so right now no one over here has even seen it yet.  I haven't even seen any advertisement of it coming yet.  I have heard it is good though and that would be cool if we get to see it.  I guess we will have to see.
I would have to say one of my favorite daily routines would probably be studying for two hours in the morning, eating, and doing lots of push-ups. I am sure those are both really surprising to you. You asked if we interact with the youth in the ward….We actually do interact with the youth in the ward quite a bit.  There really aren't a lot of youth in the ward. There are about 4 young men and about 3-4 young women. We will be going to mutual this Tuesday so that should be fun.  I really like the youth in the ward they are really strong in the gospel. Lyndsey I would have to say that I miss you about the size of an almond now.

Dad thanks for the great letter I really enjoyed hearing what's going on sports wise and what's going on in the ward.  It sounds like the sports are going really well for all the teams.  It's good to hear that SV made it past the first round of playoffs and I hope that they can keep it up.  That's too bad that Max is out he is such a great player and I am sure that's going to weaken the D-line a bit.  Hopefully they can keep working hard and beat Timpview this week. They really deserve that win.
It sounds like USU is still doing really good even though they are on their last string quarterback.  Hopefully they can keep the season going strong and continue to get some great wins.  I will definitely be giving Lyndsey a bad time about her cougars.
That's too bad to hear that the pheasant hunt isn't going too well this year. Hopefully it will be up and going by the time that I get back because I really miss going out with you and Caden.  You guys did have a successful deer hunt though so that was good.
It's good to hear that Chelsey is having a great time with her driving permit.  It doesn't surprise me that she is laughing while she is driving. That is definitely Chelsey. I am sure she is doing a great job and I bet she is really enjoying being able to drive.  I bet it scares mom though because that just means she is getting older.

Mum thanks for the great song that you sent me I really like it.  We can listen to music as long as it is church music and that sounds like it is really good.  You don't have to send it, but that would be cool to listen to.

The thought that I want to share with you all this week is actually about a butterfly. 
 “The struggle to break out of a cocoon develops the butterfly so it can fly. Without that adversity, the butterfly would never have the strength to achieve its destiny. It would never develop the strength to become something extraordinary."
Just like the butterfly we to go through adversity and just like the butterfly we too become extraordinary and more strong as we go through those trials.  We become stronger as members of this wonderful church.  I don't know about you, but that makes me more thankful for the hard times that I go through.  It also makes it worth going through adversity knowing that I will gain not only strength in the church, but also some great learning experiences.
I hope that you guys have a great week this week and thanks again for the wonderful letters that you sent. I enjoyed them all.

Elder Peterson

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter #14

Dear Mum and Family,                           October 27, 2014

First of all thank you guys for all the great letters that you have sent.  I really enjoyed reading them all and hearing about the great last week that you guys had.
I just thought I would let you know that I am really enjoying it out here in England and I will not be coming home until my two years are up.  I was always taught in football to not regret anything and to never quit. I know that if I was to come home early then I would really regret that and I don't want to quit anything that I have started.

Mom I was definitely surprised too when I arrived in the ward and saw how small it was.  It is definitely a ward which was just split before I got here so it was a little bigger at the time.  There are a lot of less active members in the ward though.  I was talking to Sister S***** son S***** yesterday at church.  He just returned from his mission not too long ago which I am sure you know about.  He said that there will be some areas on your mission where the main focus won't be finding investigators and teaching new people. He said that this ward is definitely one of those places.  He said he doesn't expect us to get any baptisms in the area and he said that he mostly expects us to bring back less actives. Of course we have been looking for more new people, but we have been working with a lot of less actives trying to bring them back.

That is not the I*** that we are teaching that you guys met.  He was in the Bishopric until he got released just yesterday.  He is such a great guy and I really enjoy talking with him and his great wife.  He actually asked me and my companion and the two other Elders to speak on Sunday.  He asked us on Friday to speak and he said that we could choose whatever topic we wanted to. I used the same topic that I did at my farewell I just changed it up a lot.  I really enjoyed giving the talk and the funny thing was I wasn't even nervous.  I gave a 10 minute talk and I had to cut it a little short.  I probably could have gone another 10 minutes easily.  I think that it was a great talk mostly because I could definitely feel the spirit working through me to help me say the things that I needed to.

I had a great birthday in England. We went to a zone meeting that day which we spent most of our day at.  It was at the Stake Center which takes about two hours to get to by bus.  How lucky are you guys to have the Stake Center so close to you.  They sang happy birthday to me there.  Of course we learned a lot of great things and it was great time. We went to a Chippie and had some fish and chips which were great.   We went to one of our investigators house after and they made a great meal and a great cake for me.  I will send you some pictures of it. It was a lot of fun and that was pretty much my day.  I really enjoyed the letters that you guys sent and I haven't bought anything yet, but I will let you know when I do.
Everything has been going pretty good with my Companion and I.  We are getting along which is good. I really enjoyed the letter that I got from Jim. It was good to hear from them. 

 Chelsey I don't know if we are going to do anything fun on Halloween or not because not a lot of people celebrate it in England.  Maybe we will go to a Halloween party at the church house, but I don't know.

Caden It sounds like you have had a really crazy week at work this last week.  I bet it was fun getting that cow out of the pit.  I remember those times and how fun they were.  I bet you are really working a lot more now that football is over.  I am glad you are making a lot of money for me for when I get home.  You definitely need to pay me back for using my bed while I am gone.  I expect that money when I get back in two years. 

Lindsee, it sounds like you had a great time at Grandma Crossley’s  house this last week while the rest of the family was in St. George.  I don't believe you though when you told me that Austrial burnt the cookies because that sounds exactly what you and Mackayla would have done.  So I am pretty sure you just lied to me.  Maybe you should read 2 Nephi 9:34 and change the word "he" to she.

Dad I do talk with Elder Andrus at zone meetings.  We just had one last week and it was really good to talk with him and a few other missionaries that I know from the MTC.  We learn a lot of great things at zone meeting too which is always really great.  There are some really great missionaries in my zone and I enjoy talking with them all.

We stopped by the two people that we talked to last week, but they were not home so hopefully we can get a hold of them this next week and hopefully teach them.
We are going to the S***** house again today to play some more games.  They invited us over for dinner yesterday and it was a great meal. Sister S**** even asked us to wash some of the dishes for her.  Since I did a lot of that back home I did really well.  Bishop really likes food so we definitely had a lot of food and it was great.  I am sure that they will have food when we go over today. It should be a lot of fun.

Thank you for the thought that you sent I really enjoyed it.  The thought that I have for you guys this week is on charity and how much Christ loves us. It's from John 15: 13-14
13. Greater love hath no man than this that a man layeth down his life for his friends.
14. Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.
I really love that scripture because it just shows how much Christ really loves us.  He says that we are his friends and his has laid down his life so that we as his friends can return back to him some day.  All we need to do is keep the commandments that he has given us. Even though that sounds easy sometimes it really isn't.  We just need to try our hardest every day and do the best we can. I know that if we do then we will be able to live with our great Savior again someday.

Thank you for the great letters and I hope that you guys all have a great week. 
Elder Peterson

Elder Peterson's Birthday Fish and Chips from Dennis Barker

Rainbow in Sheldon England

Elder Peterson's Birthday Cake 

Elder Peterson Birthday with Other Elder's in his area

Elder Peterson trying to blow out his 19 candle's 

Elder Peterson Birthday with other Elder's in his Area

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter #13

Dear Mum and Family,                         October 20, 2014

It sounds like you have all had a great week this last week and I was really glad to read all of your letters.  I want to start off by letting Grandma Crossley know that I am really glad that she has cancelled the Halloween party this year so that I don't have to go without it.  I just want her to know that everyone might be mad at her because she cancelled it, but I totally agree with her decision.  I think that it is a great choice.
We have been having some nice weather again.  We had a total of 10 days straight of just rain and the past couple of days have actually been quite nice.  There have been some blue skies with very little clouds.  It's still a little cool because it is fall over here, but at least it's not raining.  The weird think though is over here all of the leaves don't fall off the trees until about January or February.  Some of the leaves have fallen, but most of the trees are still pretty full with leaves.  When you look outside it doesn't feel like fall, but the cool air definitely makes it feel like it.  The coat that I have is actually really warm even though it seems light. There is a fleece lining in the inside and I have actually taken that out for now because I have been too warm.  So the coat that I am wearing might not look too warm, but it is definitely warm.

I have really enjoyed the packages of Twinkies that you have sent me and the great reeses candy bars.  When I picked those packages up I also received the two letters that you guys have sent.  I have not opened them up yet though because they say I have to wait until my birthday so they have been sitting on my desk just waiting to be opened. Thank you guys for the great American cake and the letters even though I haven't opened them yet.  I hope that you guys enjoy the cake that Grandma Crossley said she was going to make for my birthday.
Please tell Dennis thank you so much for all that he is doing.   Tell him thanks for the birthday money that he had you put in my account.  I will make sure that I go and get fish and chips with the money that he gave me for my birthday.

Lyndsey I figured you didn't know about chair football because I know you don't know a lot about soccer.  Pretty much we go to the gym in the church house and we have a soccer ball.  We each have a corner in the gym and we each have a chair that we have to protect.  The same rules in soccer apply so you can't use your hand and you have to kick the ball and try to hit other people chairs.  Once your chair gets hit 3 times then you are out and you have to sit on your chair.  The last person up wins.  It is actually quite fun and it is really competitive.  Especially when we play with the other Elders.

Mom you asked if we have seen any miracles this last week and we definitely have.  First of all we met up with I*** and he told us that he has officially given up smoking.  He has been trying for quite some time and he has finally given it up.  He has been working really hard and he has been doing really well with reading his scriptures and praying.  I have really seen a difference in his life and I definitely know that the Lord has been helping him.

Another miracle that we had this last week was really cool.  I haven't really told you much about our tracking experiences, but in England it is really hard to find people that want to learn.  We always get doors slammed in our faces and we are always being rejected. I can't think of a single time that we have found anyone since I have been out other than this last week.  We went tracking on a road that we both felt we should do.  We followed the spirit and we didn't start off too hot.  We had quite a few doors slammed and lots of people rejected us.  But with the things that I have learned in sports is you just need to keep going no matter how hard it is.  We eventually knocked on a door of an older lady whose husband just passed away about a week ago.  It was very sad because when she told us she just started to cry. She invited us back and we will be meeting with her on my birthday and of course I felt prompted that we need to share the Plan of Salvation with her so we will definitely be doing that.  We knocked on a few more doors after her and we kept getting rejected, but I didn't care at that point because 100 slammed doors are definitely worth one potential investigator.

 We then went to another house that we both felt really good about knocking on.  A younger mom had answered the door and she said right off the bat that she was going to go pick up her kids in 2 minutes and that we need to say whatever we wanted to say fast.  We just took our time though and said the thinks that we felt we should say.  Apparently the lady was converted to the Catholic church not too long ago, but she was actually interested in what we had to say.  She listened to everything that we had to say and it was really funny because we ended up talking to her for almost 10 minutes.  I definitely felt the spirit work through that experience and I know that both of those ladies that we met were definitely prepared for this time and this time only.  Had we not gone tracking down that street at that time they probably wouldn't have heard the Gospel and I am really grateful that we decided to tract that street.  Those experiences definitely strengthened my testimony of how the Lord is preparing people for us to teach at this time.  It is definitely worth all of the rejections.

The bishop's wife came up to me in church yesterday and said that she has talked with you on Facebook a little.  I am glad that you got to meet her on Facebook because they are an amazing family.  They are very spiritual and they are just all around great people.  She said that she was interested in Family History work and that she was going to talk with you about it.  She asked if I could show her the pedigree chart that I have, but I didn't have it at the time so I will have to wait until I see her next time.  They are such a great family and I am glad that you were able to meet them.

You asked about how big the ward is over here and I am sure you will be surprised like I was when I got over here. I was thinking it was going to be a really big ward, but I was shocked when I showed up on my first Sunday to see a really small ward.  There are about 40 members that are at church every week and sometime there are a few more than that.  It was definitely a shock going from a huge ward to such a small ward.  They are a really good ward though and they are definitely really strong in the gospel.  Most of the members are converts and it is kind of rare to find members who have been a member for all their lives.  They are all really great people though and I enjoy talking with them every week at church and sometime during the week.
The thought that I want to share with you guys is probably one of my favorite quotes that I have found out here on the mission.  It is from President Uchtdorfs talk about having no regrets.  
He says: "Life is not a race, it is journey.  Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey."  I have really thought about this scripture a lot lately.  I have heard a lot of missionaries out here that are just counting down the days until they go home.  Some missionaries are always going so fast to get to some place.  Ever since I read this quote I have slowed down what I have been doing and have started to enjoy the fact that I am in England serving the Lord for two years.  I am blessed to have an opportunity to be in a different country, live the gospel for 24 hours a day 7 days a week and for 730 days.  Really all I have to do is wake up do studies and then go out and teach the wonderful Gospel that I have grown up learning my whole life.  Yes it is hard, but why would it be easy.  We definitely learn more when we go through hard times and I have learned to face the fact that we are going to go through hard times and the best way to go through those hard times is with a smile on your face.  I know that you guys are going through trials of your own back home because we all have them.  That is just the way life is.  But I know that if you go through those trials with a smile on your face and if you learn to find joy in the journey then life will be so much easier and you will enjoy life so much more.

I hope that you guys have a great week this next week and I hope you have fun in St. George for those of you that are there.  Have fun enjoying the nice weather mom, but don't get too use to it because I want to be coming home in 2 years to Newton not St. George. 
I am really going to enjoy my birthday in England because this will only happen twice in my whole life.  Thanks for all your letters that you have sent me even though I haven't opened them yet. I know that I will really enjoy them anyways.
Have a great week and I love you all.
Elder Peterson