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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter # 12

Dear Mum and family,                               October 13, 2014

This last week was a pretty good week for us over here in England.  Like I said last week that I was getting a coat and I am really glad that I did. For the past 7 days it has been raining over here.  That is not counting today which surprisingly it is also raining.
I really enjoyed reading all of your emails that you have sent me and by the looks of the picture it looks like mom really enjoyed my letter that I sent in the mail.  I have received the packages and the letters that you guys have sent me.  I opened up the package and I was really surprised to see the boxes of Twinkies thanks a lot they are great.  I also received a box of Reeses and I was wondering if that was also from you guys because it didn't have a name on it.  I have not opened the letters though because they say that I have to wait until my birthday so they are sitting on my desk right now.  
We were not able to teach I**** this last week because he is really busy with work, but we will be teaching him tomorrow.  It should be another great lesson and I am really excited for it.  We have also been staying in contact with L*****, but we have found out that she might be moving out of our area sometime soon.  We aren't quite sure when, but we are trying to find a good day to meet with her and maybe teach her some more.

We had a really good experience this last week and it really taught me a lot about this gospel.  We met a guy named A**** who has met missionaries before and at the end he didn't want to learn.  It was a good experience though because we talked with him on his porch for about 30 minutes. The part that I really liked is he just kept on asking us all sorts of different questions and we had an answer for every single question that he asked.  We didn't even hesitate between each question and we answered right away.  I know that the Holy Ghost was there with us to answer his question and it was cool to be able to answer all of them.  It was just too bad that he didn't want to know more.
It sounds like you guys are going to be having a great time in St. George and it sounds like you guys are all excited to go.  I do think that mom is the most excited to go though.  I can definitely tell from this far away.

I am really excited for this next week and I am definitely really excited for today.  After we are done emailing we are going to do our shopping for the week.  Then I am going to go and get some fish and chips for lunch and I will make sure that I take a picture of it for you. We are then going to go to the Bishops house at 3 and we are going to play some board games with his two sons.  One of them just returned from his mission in Germany about 4 weeks ago and the other one is about 17 years old.  We are planning on playing risk so I am really excited for that.  They are then taking us out to eat at some restaurant. I am sure that it will be a really good restaurant because our Bishop loves food.  It might be hard to believe but he loves it more than I do. So it should be a really fun Pday today I can't wait.

Chelsey It sounds like ‘Meet the Mormons’ was a really good movie and that you guys really enjoyed watching it.  I was told that mom and dad started crying at the end.  That doesn't really surprise me too much. I haven't really tried anything too new.  Yesterday we did have some lamb meat with some potatoes that a member gave us and that was really good. Other than that I haven't had anything new. 

Caden Dad told me all about the great deer hunt that you had this last week.  It looks like a great deer that you shot and it's really cool that you shot it at such a far range. It sounds like a really good deer hunt and good job taking a long shot. Just make sure you don't shoot anything bigger than what I have shot until I get home to see it.  It's okay if you just shoot the does until I get home. 

Lyndsey I am glad that you like how I am always talking about food. I think it is because I really do enjoy food like I do back home.  The good thing is I haven't gained much weight yet which is a good sign so that I can keep eating the great food.  We really don't do anything with our Mission President other than meet with him.  He is always busy with a lot of different things. He lives about an hour away from us by train which is actually really close compared to other areas.  If I go to Wales I would have to travel by train for about 4 hours to get to the mission home so we have it quite nice.
There are two missionaries that are in the same area as us right now.  It is Elder K***** and Elder D****.  Elder K***** is from Canada and he has been out for 8 months and Elder D**** is from Seattle Washington and he is going home in about 3 weeks.  They are both really cool and we have a lot of fun together. A couple of times we have played chair football with them and we did play monopoly with them on one pday.  It was a lot of fun.
My favorite thing that happened this last week was probably meeting with the Mission President on Friday.  It was a lot of fun talking to him and his wife and also all the other missionaries in our District. 
I hope that you have another good week this week and make sure that your letter next week doesn't mention anything about Real unless you want to tell me that they lost.  That would definitely be okay. And Lyndsey I do miss you maybe just a little bit.... About the size of a mustard seed.

The thought that I want to share with you guys I have been thinking about a lot this last week.  It goes with why we have hard times in life and it has made me understand why we have hard times on the mission.  Some of us ask ourselves why we have trials. We have people ask us all the time why God would let people have trials if he loves us so much? Sometimes missionaries ask themselves why do we as the Lords servants go through hard times and why do we get rejected by so many people? The answer to all the questions and many more questions like these is because Salvation doesn't come cheap.  That has really made me think a lot about different trials that I have had through my life and I hope that it makes sense to all of you guys and that it help you guys understand like it helped me.  Because I have found that it makes me enjoy my trials even more knowing that I am working my way toward salvation and to be able to live with God again someday.
I hope that you guys have another great week this next week.  Keep working hard and thank you for all of your emails they are really fun to read.

Elder Peterson

 P.S. I will be sending you some pictures of a lot of different things.  One is of my new coat that I bought.  I also took a picture of a picture that is sitting on my desk that I hope that you enjoy. On Tuesday we went and had some fun with the young men for mutual.  We had some fights with cardboard as our sword and our armor.  It was pretty fun.  I also took some pictures of the money because Chelsey wanted them.  One is of the notes or the bills like they call them in the U.S. and the other are all of the coins.  As you will see they are really colorful and it's weird because they are also different sizes.  
A pound is like a dollar back home and a pence is like a cent back home. As you will see there are a lot of different coins.  From left to right it is a £2, £1, then it goes 50 pence, 20 pence, 10 pence, 5 pence 2 pence and 1 pence.  £ is equal to $ back home.  As you can see there are not any one dollar bills they are carried around in coins.  It is actually kind of a pain sometimes because I carry around a lot of coins.  Things over here are definitely more expensive than back home.
I hope that you all enjoy the pictures that I have sent home.

Elder Peterson & Elder Leal
Elder Peterson with his new coat
"What a Stud"
Picture of Elder Peterson's Family

  From left to right it is a £2, £1, then it goes 50 pence, 20 pence, 10 pence, 5 pence 2 pence and 1 pence.  £ is equal to $ back home.  As you can see there are not any one dollar bills they are carried around in coins.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Letter #11

Dear Mum and Family,

It sounds like it has been another great week in the great Cache Valley.  I really enjoy the emails that I get from you guys every week.  I always look forward to Mondays so that I can see how things are going back home.  I am glad to hear that everything is going well.

This last week we taught I**** about tithing and fasting. The lesson went really well and because he is a less active member he pretty much knew all about those subjects. There were a few things that he didn't know though so it was good to teach him some new things.  He lives with his parents at the moment and he works at a glasses store.   We don't know when we will be able to teach him this week, but I’m sure we will find out soon.  

We have been keeping in contact with L***** we just haven't had the opportunity to teach her yet.  She has been really busy with work lately, but we are going to try and set up an appointment this next week with her.  She actually texted us while we were watching conference and said that she had looked it up on the internet and she actually watched a session.  That was probably the best thing that I heard from her and that just shows how much she is interested in the gospel.  She said she really enjoyed the talks which was also really good to hear. Hopefully we can talk with her this next week. 

Things are going really well out here on the mission.  I really enjoyed listening to conference this last weekend.  We went to the stake center on Saturday and we watched the Saturday morning session live at 5 pm over here.  We then went back to our flat and came back on Sunday and watched the priesthood session at 10 am and then the Saturday afternoon session at 1pm.  We then watched the Sunday morning session live at 5 pm. We will be getting the Ensign when it comes out so I can read the last session and the talks from it when we get it.  We had a break between each session and because it was Sunday we didn't go out to buy anything.  I brought some bread and made some peanut butter and jelly of course for lunch and I bought a small pizza on Saturday and cooked that for dinner on Sunday.  It was mostly missionaries there, but there were some members also.  Most of the members look it up on the internet and watch it so there wasn't too many.   It was a really great conference and I learned a lot of great things. I'm glad that you guys enjoyed it too.

Thank you for the package that you sent. I have not yet received it, but I should be going to the mission home either this week or the week to come.  I have really enjoyed the letters that I have been getting from you in the mail.  I have sent a letter to you and it should get there in about a week.  You don't need to worry about putting money in my account to send letters though.  It might be hard to believe, but I have actually been doing really well with managing my money that I get every month.  I have always had extra money at the end of each month which is pretty nice because I don't have to worry about not having any for food.
I am glad that you enjoyed the picture of me holding a football. I didn't buy that football it was actually in our flat so we just pumped it up and went and passed it around for a little bit.  It was actually quite fun. You asked if I have to duck when I walk through the door frames….Well I don't have to duck when I walk under the door frames, but it is actually quite close.  The doors are a little smaller here so I don't have much room between the top of my head and the door.

You can let Grandma Crossley know that it's okay that she didn't teach me a whole lot about sewing.  I probably wouldn't have paid much attention because sewing is definitely not my thing and I don't think it ever will be. 

Chelsey that is really scary that you are going to be getting your driving permit.  I am kind of glad that I am in England right now because then I don't have to worry too much.  I am sure that you will be a better driver than Lyndsey is though.

It has really made my day to hear that all the sports in Utah went great.  It sounds like Caden is continuing to do a great job this year and that his team is having a great season.  I was really glad to hear that SV won Logan.  They really deserve that win and it sounds like it was a really great game.  I talked to Elder Andrus on Saturday and I found out early that USU beat BYU.  We had a great time talking about it and we were both super happy that they won.  It is also really good to hear that U of U is actually doing well against some really tough teams.  It sounds like the games were all fun to watch this week and that everything went great for the State of Utah.

In the ward we haven't really attended any meetings.  Because we have such a small ward here we haven't had a ward mission leader until just last week.  We will be having a meeting with him eventually, but for right now because he is new and he has been a convert for about 7 year we are teaching him what he is supposed to do as a ward mission leader. Once he starts getting used to it I am sure that we will be having more meeting which will really help the work. 

My favorite thing that happened this week is it finally rained so I really enjoyed going outside and walking in the rain and getting really wet.  It doesn't sound like much fun, but I actually really enjoyed it. 

 Thank you for the quote that you gave me I really enjoy it.  I have been doing lots of great studying on the Prophet Lorenzo Snow and I have learned a lot from his life and his teachings.  I have found a lot of great quotes from him and I am excited to share some of those with you guys.  I will share a couple with you this week.

The first one is probably one of my favorites. "As man now is; God once was: As God now is, man may be."
I really like this one because it shows that God has gone through the same things that we have and if we follow his commandments that he has given us on this earth we too can become like him.  That's such a great blessing that we have and also we have a great blessing of being able to live with our loved ones for eternity.  All we need to do is follow the commandments.

The second one I want to share is about becoming perfect. “Do not expect to become perfect at once.  If you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today."

That quote is totally true that we can't expect to be perfect right now.  Being perfect like Christ is a really hard thing.  But we can be better each day and if we do this we can become more and more like our Heavenly Father.  We need to know that it is not going to be easy, but we can do our best each and every day to be just a little better than we were the day before. 

I hope that you guys have a really good week this next week. I am really thankful for the great email that you have sent me. I really enjoyed them all. Have a good week and I love you all.

Elder Peterson