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