Monday, March 30, 2015

Letter #37

Hello Mum and Family,

It sounds like you are all excited to be going to St. George today.  From the letters that I read from ya all it sounds like some are a little more excited than others.  I am sure that you are all excited to go, but you all wish that I could be there to make it a real party in St. George. I hope that you all have a lot of fun down south and that you enjoy all of the nice weather.  I was just wondering if dad has been able to get a new truck to pull the trailer?  If not then I think you should cancel the trip until he gets one.

This last week has been a pretty crazy week with the Easter Initiative starting.  They do celebrate Easter here but it isn't as big as Christmas which is probably pretty obvious.  It makes it a lot harder for us because not a whole lot of people are receptive to talking to us about the initiative.  I have talked to a few people about it but it is a pretty big challenge to bring it up and to make it interesting so that people want to stop and listen to us when we stop them.  Hopefully we can see more success this next week with talking to people about it.  

We had the opportunity to teach R***** again this last week and it went really well.  The only part that didn't go so well was biking to her house.  It took us 45 minutes to bike to her house because it is uphill the whole way and we were dyeing by the time that we got there. It was probably the hardest bike ride I have every gone on in my life.  Getting the biking merit badge was nothing compared to this bike ride.  At least we made it though and the lesson went really well. We committed her to baptism on May 16 which was really exciting.  We put it off for a while because she is going to talk to her boyfriend in the states and see if he wants to baptize her or not.  If not then we will move it closer into April. So the lesson went really well and she is progressing quite well also.  She even came to church and she really enjoyed it.   Just so you know we made it back to the flat in just 15 minutes.  We were flying down that hill.  It was so much fun.

Another thing that happened that was really cool this last week was S**** was able to get a calling in the church.  She got some calling in the Relief Society and she was so excited about it. Right when she came out of the Bishops office she came to me and told me all about it and how excited she was about getting a calling.  I wish you could see how excited she was and how much she has progressed in the church.  She is amazing.

Well I am really excited for General Conference this next weekend.  We are going to be at the church house watching it and I am pretty sure that we will be watching the Sunday morning session live so I will be watching it the same time as you guys are.  I am really excited to see what the leaders of the church have to say to us that we can apply to our lives and become better from it.  I have been reading a lot of conference talks lately and I have really enjoyed rereading them and learning more from them.  It has also got me really excited for conference coming up.

Well before I go I would like to share a spiritual thought for all of you guys.  I am sure that I have shared this one with you before, but I think it is appropriate to share it again with you because it has to do with the Atonement and with Easter coming up I think it goes a long quite well.

“Throughout the joyous days of your life, when your cup of gladness runs over, remember His cup of bitterness which made it possible.  And when sore trials come upon you, remember Gethsemane."  Elder Russell M. Neilson

So as you guys are enjoying your fun vacation ( or Holiday as they call it here) in St. George remember the Atonement and how with it we are able to experience good times in our lives and we are able to enjoy life because 1) our Heavenly Father loves us enough to let His only Begotten Son go through what he did for us and 2) because Christ loves us enough to finish His Fathers will  and to go through all of the pain and sorrow so that we could not only experience joy, but also be forgiven of our short comings.
Jesus Christ did suffer on the cross for each and every one of us and not only did He die, but he also rose on the third day and broke the chains of death so that we too can be resurrected.  I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us as individuals and that He would do anything to help us return to live with Him and to live with our families again.  That is our goal in life and because of Jesus Christ that is a goal that we can all meet if we keep the commandments that we have been given and if we use the Atonement in our lives.  

I hope that you all have a great Easter and that you try to remember Jesus Christ as often as you can because that is what Easter is all about.  I hope ya all enjoy St. George and I hope you packed enough sunscreen for ya all.  (my southern accent because you are going south)

Elder Peterson

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Elder Peterson  "Selfie" for Mum
March 2, 2015

Wal-Mart in Wales
February 24, 2015

Kidwelly Castle
March 2, 2015

Elder Peterson with Elder Shaw and other
Elder at Kidwelly Castle
March 2, 2015

Kidwelly Castle
March 2, 2015

Letter # 36

Dear Mum and Family,

I am really glad that you all enjoyed all of the photos that I sent home this last week.  I hope you all enjoyed the first half of them because I have a lot more to send home.  It just takes too long to download them all so I only sent about half home.  I hope that you enjoy them all and that you notice that I am still as big and strong as I was when I left.  So Caden better watch out because he was calling me a little boy in his email.

The lesson with R******* went really well this last week.  She wasn't able to come to church because there has been a flu going around and she got it and she was kind of disappointed that she wasn't able to come.  She has been reading from the Book of Mormon and has been learning a lot from it.  It is really cool that we were able get a referral from her and help her out.  We are hopefully going to be able to see her next week if she is feeling better and I am excited to see her and to teach her more.

I am really enjoying the Llanelli ward and area.  The ward is really cool just like the ward in Sheldon, but I have to say that I like the area in Llanelli a little more than in Sheldon.  We had to do a lot more knocking doors in Sheldon and I personally would rather talk to people on the street then knock doors.  But you have to do what you have to do I guess.  I am really enjoying working with the ward in Llanelli and they are really helping us do some great missionary work.  Lot of members are trying to find people for us to teach which is really cool and helpful at the same time.  

You asked about the Easter initiative and if there is going to be one like the Christmas one.  Well yes there is going to be one and I am really excited for it. I think it is titled Because He lives.  It is going to be a lot like the Christmas one where we have a lot of cards to hand to people and the church it going to take over YouTube for a day.  I am really excited to see what happens during this time of year.  I know it is going to bring a lot of great success in missionary work.  

I am sure that you are all enjoying the nice weather that you are having. Well just so you know we have been having some nice weather also.  I have been wearing a nice short sleeve shirt the past couple of days and it has been really nice.  We have been having some nice blue skies and warm days lately and I am sure it is the same thing that you guys are getting back home.  

Well it was good to hear from you all and I hope that you all have a great week.  Before I go I would like to end with a spiritual thought just like usual.  If you are getting tired of them oh well because I am not going to stop sending them. 

This week I would like to share a quote from H. Burke Peterson he says “Impossible Mountains are climbed by those who have self confidence that comes from truly being loved."  I hope that all of you know that there are a lot of impossible mountains that you can climb because you are truly loved.  I hope that you all know that you are loved greatly by you Heavenly Father.  It is hard for us as human beings to comprehend all of the love that He actually has for each one of us as His children.  He does love you and He does want to help you through anything thing that might be impossible to you.  With God all things are possible.  So if you are having a hard time turn to the Lord and He will help you no matter what it is because He loves you tremendously.
Again I hope you have a great week and remember not to have too much fun because we all know the real party is where Elder Peterson is.
Elder Peterson

Monday, March 16, 2015

Letter # 35

Hello Mum and Family,
I would like to say Happy Mother’s day to all of the mums especially Mother Peterson.  It was mother’s day yesterday here in the UK which was a little weird  because I am use to not having it until May time, but it was cool at the same time.  The talks in church were really cool and I really enjoyed the messages that were shared.  It made me think of how grateful I am to have such a great Mum who lives in Newton (not St. George)

It was transfers this last week and just as I said last week I am staying here in Llanelli, but I did get a new companion.  Elder Shaw has moved areas and has become a Zone Leader and Elder Mortensen is my new companion.  He is from Florida and he has been out for about a year now.  I am excited to still be here in Wales and to be specifically in Llanelli to continue to work and to see more miracles this transfer in this area.

We had a pretty good miracle this last week actually that I am really excited about.  We got this media referral and it is this one lady named R***** who is really cool and wants to learn more.  Apparently she has a boyfriend who lives in California who is a member of the church and she decided to learn more about our church so we stopped by and she said she doesn't want the lessons yet and she just wants to come to church.  She came yesterday and said that she really enjoyed it and told us that she is ready to hear the lessons and that she wants to learn more about the church.  She seems pretty solid and she even brought a friend to church who could also be interested in learning more.  We will be seeing her this Thursday which I am really excited about.  Other than that I have been helping Elder Mortensen get use to the area and the people here in Wales.  He has served his whole mission so far in England so he is really enjoying being here in Wales and seeing the difference between them both which is kind of weird. 

 I did like the pictures that you did send last week and the ones that you sent this week.  I didn't know that Lyndsey was cheating by using my past homework to do her own homework.  It was good to see that Caden was actually doing work.  I didn't know that he was capable of doing that.  And it didn't surprise me that Chelsey was making dinner and doing work because that is what she is always doing. It looks like the young women had a great time this week though and they had a lot of fun winning the championship game.  Too bad the boys couldn't do the same thing.  I guess the girls just got an easier team to play this year.

The members are really feeding me nothing that I haven't ever had before it is all just great food. For example we went to a members house yesterday and we had barbecued chicken, baked potatoes, peas and rolls which is pretty much like we have back home.  It is the same thing I just really love it.  I did get a recipe from a member though of some really good homemade Popsicle that he made up himself.  He always makes them for us and they are amazing. Other than that I don't have any other recipes. 

I haven't been mentioning any names in my letters because there really aren't many names that I have to mention.  The Bishop and his family are really cool and they even have a really cool name.  Their last name is Wigglesworth which I think is super cool.  There is a guy named Allen Phillips, but we call him Captain because he is also really cool and he will do anything to help the missionaries out.  So there are a lot of cool members I just haven't mentioned them because I didn't think you really cared about them that much.

Just so you know I can read cursive so you don't have to worry about writing letters or typing them.  I did graduate High School not too long ago and I can remember to read.  So I have been able to read the letters that you have sent and thank you for them I really enjoy getting letters every once in a while.

Well it is that time again time for the weekly spiritual thought from Elder Peterson.  The one I would like to share with you today is a pretty short quote, but it has really made me think of the importance of being happy.  "An hour of anger robs us of 60 minutes of happiness."  ~when I first read that quote I never really thought of it that way and it makes me want to be happy all the time.  Here in Llanelli there are a lot of unhappy people all the time and it is mostly because it is almost always cloudy and the sun doesn't shine too often.  But they don't know that life isn't always going to be what we want it to be and that we have to make the most of what we got.  I would like to challenge you all to be as happy as you can be all the time even when you are having a hard time because sometimes just being happy helps us to get through hard times a lot easier.  It is always good to be happy because life is great and there are always things to be happy for if you don't think so then do as the hymn "count your many blessings" says and count all of the blessing that God has given you and you will see that there are a lot of things to be happy for. 
Well thank you all for all of the great letters that you have sent.  I hope that you have a great week and remember to keep on smiling!
Elder Peterson 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Letter # 34

Dear Mum and Family,

It was good to hear from you all and to hear that you are all doing really well.   It sounds like you have had an amazing week and that you are all enjoying the nice weather. The weather has also been really nice for us this past week.  We have had a lot of sunshine and warm days.  It has rained a little bit like it is today, but it has been clearing up by the end of the day usually which makes it kind of nice. 

Well you were right about it being transfer week this week.  Tonight we will be getting a phone call from the zone leaders and they will be telling us where we are going and who our new companions will be.  We then meet at the mission home on Wednesday in Birmingham if we are moving.  We get our new companions there and we move to our new area.  It all happens pretty fast and pretty smoothly which is really nice.

Kidwelly castle was actually really cool.  It wasn't as nice as Warwick castle because they don't take care of it like they do at Warwick. I did take a lot of great photos and yes I am in most of them.  I am sure you will like them, but I have to say that I am going to teach you patience because I won't be able to send them to you because the library doesn't let me. Just remember patience is a virtue and virtue is a gift.

Mum in the letter that you send I would really like a picture of the family that I can carry around with me everywhere that I go.  We have been asked to have one with us so we can show it to others when we teach the plan of salvation for example and any other times that we need to use it.  If you could do that that would be great.  Other than that I don't need anything else.
I haven't used the cook book yet because we have actually been getting fed a lot by the members here in Llanelli.  We get fed a lot here so most of the time I don't eat a whole lot at the flat.  Today we are going to a member’s house for lunch and then another member’s house for dinner so that just shows how much we actually are fed.  It is really nice because they make a lot of great food and I haven't had anything that I don't like. 

This week has been another week of just talking and finding people that need the gospel at this time.  We have seen a few miracles happen this week and we have found some people who I think are pretty solid. That shows that your prayers are being answered and we are finding people who are ready at this time to hear the gospel.  We haven't been able to teach them yet, but we have plans to see them this next week.  It is going to be a crazy week because I am sure that some things are going to change here in Llanelli during transfers.  It will be weird not teaching the people that we have found this week with Elder Shaw if he leaves.   I think that I will be staying and I think that Elder Shaw will be leaving.  I guess we will find out tonight.

So you asked about splits and why we do them.  Well Elder Shaw is the district leader and the district leader is supposed to go on splits with each missionary in the district at least once to see how they are doing and to help them with anything they need help with.  So me being his companion we go on exchange at least once a week and it is a lot of fun.  I have become really good friends with a lot of missionaries that are in our district and we have had a lot of fun together.  So really the only reason is to help each other out so we can be better missionaries. 
 It sounds like the church ball games are going great this year.  I can't believe that I am missing such a great season this year of church ball.  I am sure that Caden is really enjoying it and that he is getting really good at it.  Chelsey has told me how much she is enjoying playing and Lyndsey has told me how much she is frustrated that she isn't able to play because of her elbow.  She is probably just looking for attention. haha

I haven't had any colds since I have been out here. I have stayed pretty healthy which has been really nice.  I have seen some missionaries that have been pretty sick, but I have been lucky to not get sick.  I have been working hard to eat really healthy and I have been exercising regularly which I think is helping me stay healthy.  

Well I want to share a thought with you that really touched me.  I have been thinking about it a lot this past week and it just brings so much comfort to my life and it has helped me on my mission.  It is from hymn 134 “I believe In Christ."  The last line says “I believe in Christ; So come what may."  I have thought a lot about that and it has really helped me.  If we believe in Christ and if we believe in His gospel which is on this earth today then everything bad that happens in our life doesn't matter.  As long as we follow his teaching and do what he tells us to do then everything that happens in our life will work out for the good.  I hope that that part of the hymn touches you as much as it touched me.
Thanks for all of you great letters that you sent this week.  I hope that you all have a great week.

Elder Peterson

Monday, March 2, 2015

Letter # 33

Elder Peterson on his way to Kidwelly Castle
March 2, 2015

Dear Mum and Family,

I just have to say that time is flying super-fast.  I can't believe that it has already been 7 months since I have left home.  I have had a hard time thinking about how fast it is really going and I am sure that it is the same for all of you.  It sounds like everyone is doing really well and you are all working hard in school and you are excited for it to be over.  It is crazy how the weather is right now back home and I am sure that you are all enjoying being outside and being in the nice weather.

I am really excited for today because after we are done emailing we are catching a bus with the other Elders here in Llanelli and we are going to the Kidwelly castle. It is going to be a lot of fun and I am really excited because it is a really nice day today.  Don't worry I will make sure that I take a lot of photos for you mum because I know how much you like photos especially when I am not in them. haha

I will have to admit that it has been a really hard week this week for us. It has been really tiring and pretty frustrating and stressful at the same time.  We have been doing a ton of finding and talking to everyone that we see on the streets.  It has been hard because no one is listening to us and when they do listen to us they don't want to learn anymore.  It is frustrating because people are confused and they don't know that what we are talking about can really help them in their life and it can truly bring eternal happiness and peace in their lives.  We really haven't been doing any teaching because we don't have any solid investigators that want to listen at this time.  I don't know why it is so hard to find people that are prepared to hear the Gospel at this time, but we are still going to work hard.  We are trying our best to find the right people and to say the right things to them so that they will be interested.  It is all about listening to the spirit and following what it tells us to do.

Mum it is pretty interesting that you have asked about family history.  I didn't know that you were into that kind of stuff.  haha It’s funny that you ask because I have an assignment for you.  There is an Elder that I went on exchange with this last week and we talked a little bit about family history.  He was looking at his chart the other day and he noticed a name that really stuck out to him.  The name is Leona Maude Peterson.  He asked if we are related to that person in anyway and I look at the chart that I have and I couldn't find that name.  So if you want to, which I am sure that you would love to, you can see if we are related to her.  If we are then we could be related to Elder Houghton who is the missionary that I went on exchange with.  I just thought that was funny that you asked about family history and I actually had a moment this week where I did have a family history moment.  Usually people don't really talk to us about family history. I know that the ward does it quite a lot, but it is usually the older people on the street that we talk to who aren't members that do family history.  I haven't talked to too many people that do it, but there are some people that do.

I don't know who I am going to give that tie tack to yet.  I don't know of really anyone who likes playing golf, but I am sure that there will be someone that I run into that would like it.  You will have to tell Chelsey thanks for the great snowflakes that she sent me.  I really enjoy them because we have no snow.  I hope that she made some for you guys though because you don't have any snow either.
I have had three zone conferences since I have been out on my mission.  They are great and I always learn a lot of great things from them.  I don't know quite how often they are because I know one of them was for Christmas, but I know they aren't too often.

 Caden: I hope that you are getting a lot of merit badges done at the POW WOW even though you think that it is really boring.  I remember going to the POW WOW and I thought the same way you are that it is actually pretty boring.  It is a good way to get some merit badges done fast.  Even though you don't like it too much keep going strong and working hard.

Chelsey:  You asked what we do on Pdays….On Pdays after emailing we usually go shopping for our food that we need for the next week and then we just do whatever we want.  Most of the time we just relax in the flat or just walk around the shopping center.

Lyndsey: I don't know why you ask all of these weird questions because they are kind of pointless.  Just so you know the UK is a first world country so it is really not that different than America.  I have no idea what way the toilet flushes. I haven't had a bloody nose my whole mission. Yes they have electricity and no I don't have to shower with a bucket.  They do have working showers with drains and the water is warm. They do have stop light and the red is on top.  Also just so you know I did know that the keep calm stuff did start here.  I do see it quite often.

Dad: I started to laugh when you said the Kenny got called to the Sunday School Presidency.  Haha I have to admit that I wouldn't have even guessed that he would get that calling.  I am sure that he will do a great job though I just hope things get done. Haha
You know how it says that in some scriptures you can change the names to yours to better apply them to yourself.  Well I have done that with
 2 Samuel 12:7
“And Mike said to Jordan, Thou art the Man.”  haha

Well I don't really have much more to say so I guess I will share my thought for this week.  I want to share it on change and repentance.  Dallin H. Oaks says: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to change.  Repent is its most frequent message and repenting means giving up all of our practice- personal, family, ethnic, and national- that are contrary to the commandments of God. The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change."  I think that sometimes we all forget that we are all human that we all make mistakes.  Sometimes we see some people and say "they don't make any mistakes they are perfect."  If we were to actually live in their life we would see that everyone makes mistakes. We need to remember that the Atonement is there for the mistakes that we make.  With the Atonement we can be forgiven of our transgressions.  Boyd K. Packer said: “Just as chalk can be removed from a chalkboard, with sincere repentance the effects of our transgressions can be erased through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  That promise applies in every case."  There is nothing that we cannot be forgiven of no matter how bad it is.  Christ knows exactly how we feel and knows exactly how to help us.  I hope that you can all use the Atonement and that you can always ask God for forgiveness.  I know that you will all be forgiven as you do your best to repent and to work hard to not do it again.

Thank you all for all the wonderful letters that you sent.  I hope that you all have a great week.  I love you all!
Elder Peterson