Monday, June 29, 2015

Letter # 50

Hey Mum and Family,

I would like to say that Mum is officially 50 years old now and she isn't getting any younger. I hope that no one falls into the lie that she keeps saying.  Usually when people hit 50 they like to think that they are only 42 when they really aren't.  You can let mum think it but deep down we all know that she isn't.  The cake doesn't lie.  Sorry I had to say that last part because it is true.  In fact none of us are getting younger but I just had to say that to mum because it was her birthday yesterday.  From the sounds of it you were really taken care of on your birthday.  I can't believe you got a Steve Young jersey.  I was just thinking that when I get home it will be the perfect time of the year.  Winter will soon be coming after I get home and I will be able to do what one of your brother did mum and put that jersey on a snow man and run it over.  I think that is the best idea I have ever had in a long time. haha

It sounds like it was a lot of fun going to the airport and seeing Austin come home from his mission.  I wish I was able to be there for his homecoming talk because I am sure that it was amazing.  I would like to hear from him if he does want to email me.  I can't believe that he is home already.  I am sure that he has some great stories and I can't wait to hear from him soon.  What a treat it will be.

I am glad that you were able to go and have some nice fish and chips for your birthday.  I forgot to tell you that after District meeting every week we go to a chippie and get fish and chips for lunch so I am now back into eating some nice food.  I will have to see how well the restaurant is back home compared to England.  I hope that it doesn't disappoint me because I love fish and chips.

This past week for me has been pretty great.  I really did enjoy this weekend especially.   On Saturday we had a great service project with some members that are really cool.  They had us go there at 10 and they fed us breakfast and then we chopped up all of the trees that they had in their yard.  They had cut them down a couple of days earlier and they had us help them chop them up in small chunks so that they could get rid of some of it.  It was a lot of work but it was way fun helping them.  They are such a great family.  I think they are one of my most favorite families here in Tamworth.  

This weekend was also great because we had Stake Conference on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  It was an amazing conference.  Elder Charles of the Seventy was here and he gave an amazing talk and so did his wife.  All the talks were great but I did really like the one given by Elder Charles.  He talked about the Sabbath and how we need to prepare for the Sabbath before Sunday both spiritually and physically.  In a way he was kind of rebuking the members which I thought was quite enjoyable to listen to.  I will have to share a little bit with you next email during my spiritual thought because it was great.

The photo of me is just a sign off a road that I found.  I don't think it means anything but if you want it to mean something go for it.

We didn't have the best lesson with M**** this past week because he said that he does like the Book of Mormon but he still wants to attend his Jehovah Witnesses church.  He said the only reason that he wants to attend it is because he has a lot of friends there so we will try to get him to read and pray and hopefully he will want to learn more about the Book of Mormon.

Well I would like to share a spiritual thought with you all this week which is actually an experience that I had not too long ago that I would like to share with you because I forgot that I didn't.  Before I moved here to Tamworth I decided to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it again to gain an answer again that it was true.  It is always good to get the reaffirming answers so that is what I did.  I had started reading the Book of Mormon really deeply each day and I had kept on praying and asking for an answer.  For a couple of weeks I was getting nothing and it was actually kind of frustrating.  But the thought of patience kept coming to my mind as I would think about it.  Well time went on and I moved to Tamworth with still no answer.  Then Elder Holland came to the special stake conference that was held not too long ago.  This is not the one that was with the missionaries it was before that.  Well during his talk that day it was focused on the Book of Mormon and why it has to be true. I had felt the Spirit so strongly as he was speaking and after that meeting and listening to him I know that I had received a answer that the Book of Mormon is true.  There is no doubt in my mind that I got my reaffirming answer that day that it is true.  I learned a couple of new things from that.  One that God always does answer our prays and two sometimes we need to be patient because God knows when we will receive an answer we just have to trust in Him.

So from that I would like you guys to maybe try the same thing if you would like.  Read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  It is always cool to see that no matter how many times you read and pray about it God will always answer you.

Well I hope that you all have a great 4th of July Holiday and a great week.
Elder Peterson

Monday, June 22, 2015

Elder Peterson showing his muscles to scare his little brother
June 2015

A sign with Elder Peterson's name on it
Tamworth England June 2015

Elder Peterson's Missionary Badge in the sand
Llanelli Wales May 2015

Letter #49

Hello Mum and Family,

Well it was good to hear from you all and to hear about the great time that you all had as you went to the temple this past week.  I really hope that you had a great time while you were able to feel the great peace that was there.  Thanks for taking the challenge that I gave you all to try and make it.  I know that you will be blessed for taking time out of your day to attend the temple.

From the sound of it there is a lot going on this next week back home.  I can't believe that Austin is coming home this week.  It is crazy how fast the time has flown.  You will have to give him two hugs when you see him.  One from you and one from me.  I am sure that he will have some great stories and great experiences to share.  Also that is really cool that Andrea and Payden are receiving their endowments. You will have to tell them congratulations for me.  That is really cool thanks for letting me know all of these great things that are happening.

This past week I had a lot of fun.  We haven't been able to play any sports here because we just don't have anyone to play with us.  It is kind of a bummer because I do really miss playing sports.  Something that was cool this past week though is the service that we were able to do for some members.  They had some really big bushes on the side of their house that they wanted us to cut down and pull the roots out.  It was so much fun because I really missing doing physical labor like that. There were two good parts about doing the service.  It was raining outside which made it even more fun to do the service and after we were done working we had a nice barbecue with their family. They are such a great family and it was a lot of fun.  This week they want us to come over and help them cut down 12 big trees that are in their back yard.  They were going to have it done but once they found out how much it was they decided that they could get it done for free if they just asked the missionaries.  So on Saturday, the day before Mums birthday, (You thought I forgot) they are going to feed us breakfast at 10:00 in the morning and we are going to cut down some trees so its going to be fun.

So I have a couple of really cool things to tell you this week.  First of all do you remember the investigator in Llanelli named M*** that I was teaching before I left.  Well he is getting baptized this coming up Sunday.  Yeah on Mums birthday!  (You thought that I forgot huh)  One of the Elders that is serving there told me today in an email and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I am so excited for him.

The other thing that I wanted to tell you about is that we have had a couple of miracles this past week.  We talked with a guy yesterday named M****.  He has been taught by missionaries before quite a while ago but for some reason he stopped listening to them.  We stopped by his house a couple of days ago and we set up an appointment to see him yesterday.  We had a great lesson with him.  He was so excited to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it.  The spirit was definitely strong while we were teaching him and I know that he had to of felt it.  He said that he is really interested in the Book of Mormon and that he is going to read it as much as he can this next week before we see him again on Sunday. Yeah Mums birthday!  (you thought I forgot huh)

Another really cool miracle is yesterday while we were walking around (Elder Jarvis's bike broke so we walked. Funny thing was his bikes name was old Faithful.  Not very faithful huh) visiting people we got a text message from an investigator that hasn't been seen by missionaries for a while.  Apparently he and his wife want to meet up with us this next Saturday.  The day before Mums birthday.  (you thought I forgot huh)

Apparently they have gone through a hard time in life because his father passed away just recently and they have been trying a lot of different churches and none of them seem to work for them.  I am sure that we will be able to help them out though. So that is the miracles that we have had in Tamworth this past week.

So here is my spiritual thought for you all.

So I have been reading a little bit about faith.  I really like how we can read that faith is believing in something that we can't really see.  It is funny in the world how so many people think that seeing is believing. “The natural man discovers the world through the five senses, demanding signs of proof."  We can actually find in the Book of Mormon a couple of examples of people whose five senses were actually used and they still didn't believe in Christ.

Laman and Lemuel are a great example.  They saw an angel, they heard the Lord's voice when they were chastened, they felt God's power when Nephi stretched forth his hand and shook them with the power of God, and they tasted and smelled the food that was sweet and didn't have to be cooked when the Lord blessed them with it. Even though all of their five senses were used they still rebelled against God.

So really we don't need all of these big signs to know that God is really there and to have faith in him.  I would like to share a quote that shows that we have all of these little signs every single day that are actually revelation and promptings and we might not even know it.

"Those hoping for just one spectacular experience to help define their testimony don't realize that the greater testimony and witness of the Spirit comes to us daily, in many small ways, such as the last time you underlined your scriptures. Think about it.  The reason you underlined your scriptures is because you received an impression, an insight, an "Aha!" An impression is revelation."

I really love what Elder Lynn G. Robbins was saying there because it makes total sense.  He also talks about how when we have a prompting or a feeling to help someone or when we feel that we need to be kind to someone that is also from the spirit.  So I guess as you go throughout this week try to recognize the Spirit in your life because there are so many times when we do we just don't know it.
I hope that you all have a great week and thanks for all of the great letters.

Elder Peterson

PS I have sent two letters home.  One for Dad for Father’s day and One for Mum for her birthday.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Letter # 48

Hello Mum and Family,

Well it is good to hear that you all had a great week this past week.  From the sound of it you guys are having some really nice weather now and I think that a couple of you guys were sending hints that you would like me to send some of this rain over to you guys.  I am not sure if that is really what you want but I guess I will do it so I hope that you all prepare for some horrible weather soon. haha

Well I am sure that you can all guess what my highlight of this past week has been.  Yep being able to see and meet Elder Holland. I think that the best part was right before the meeting started he said that he wanted to shake each of our hands.  He had us tell him our names and where we were from.  When I got up there I could just feel the power of the Spirit as I shook his hand and as I looked into his eyes.  It was the most amazing feeling that I have ever felt and I am really blessed to be able to have that opportunity.  When he began his talk he said that he really didn't care much about our name and where we came from.    During that time that he shook our hands he said he was having a personal interview with each and every one of us. So I can say that I have had a personal interview with Elder Holland.  

When he spoke to us he gave an amazing talk.  He started out by saying that he feels that we are an obedient mission and that he doesn't have to rebuke us for being disobedient.  He said that he thought that he was supposed to talk about the Atonement with us which is really what he focused on.  It was kind of like the talk that he gave in conference this past April.  He talked about the fall and why we needed to have the Atonement or else we wouldn't be able to return to our Heavenly Father.  It was a little bit deeper than the Conference talk and it was a little more personal so that made it even better. He also talked a lot about his mission and how it has blessed his life so greatly.  He got pretty bold, which I quite liked.  When he was saying that none of us can go home and go less active when we get home.  That is how he said it in a roundabout way.  It was definitely more detailed than that.  It was an amazing experience which I hope is what you get from this email.  It is definitely the best experience that I have had on my mission and it definitely strengthened my testimony of this church and how we do have living Apostles and Prophets that are called by God.

Well to be honest I can't really remember what has all gone on this past week because I have been too focused on what Elder Holland has said and what a great experience that I had at that time.  I do remember that we taught some really good lessons this past week that I really enjoyed teaching.  We have some investigators that we pretty much know that they know the church is true we just can't get them to be baptized.  This past week when we taught two of our investigators we really focused on the Book of Mormon and bearing our testimony with them.  It wasn't quite like that but at the same time that is kind of what it was like.  I don't know if it helped them or not to be honest, but feeling the spirit as we were testifying of the Book of Mormon has really strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  

The past couple of months I have been reading deeply into the Book of Mormon every single day and I have been thoroughly studying it deeply and from what I have read and from the Spirit that I have felt and from the revelation that I have received from reading it I know without a doubt of my mind that no 14 year old boy from New York who is unlearned could have wrote such a book without the power of God.  With as many people that have read the book and as many people that it has touched and changed their lives I know that it was written by Prophets that were guided by God when they wrote in it and that Joseph Smith was guided when he translated it.  That is why the lessons that I have been able to teach this past week have been so amazing because it strengthened my testimony even if it didn't strengthen the investigators.

Well I can tell that I have already taken up a lot of your time but I want to share a spiritual thought before I go. On Sunday we had a great lesson on Prophets in Priesthood and I want to share a little bit with you today about prophets.

President Ezra Taft Benson said "The most important prophet, so far as we are concerned, is the one who is living in our day and age."  As I was thinking about this I thought about what the prophet said this past conference and how important his message is.  I hope that you all know what he talked about because it is really important.  This past conference he talked about the Blessing of the Temple. The words that he spoke are so important and we need to all attend the temple at every opportunity that we can.

 Neil L Anderson said “The location of a temple is not a convenient geographical decision. It comes by revelation from the Lord to His prophet, signifying a great work to be done and acknowledging the righteous saints who will treasure and care for His house through generations." 

After reading this quote it made me think of how blessed we are to have a temple close to our home. The reason that it is there is because the Prophet received revelation that there is a lot of work that can be done in that area and the Lord knows that there are righteous saints there that will treasure it and take care of it. With me being on a mission I am not able to attend the temple and I really do miss the temple.  
I want to make a challenge to you all this next week.  I challenge you all to make it to the temple this week whether it is by yourself or as a family, whether you go in to the temple and do baptisms or a session or if you go and sit outside of the temple and read your scriptures for some time and just ponder and think.  The temple is a powerful place and I know that as you set that time aside this week to visit the temple no matter how hard it may be I know that you will be blessed and that you will enjoy the experience if you go with the right attitude. I want to leave you with this powerful quote.   I can't remember who said it.
 "As we enter the doors of the temple, we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world." 
I hope that you all have an enjoyable week and thank you for the great effort that you will put in to trying to attend the temple this next week.
Elder Peterson

Monday, June 8, 2015

Letter #47

Hello Mum and Family,

It sounds like you have all had a great week camping last week.  I am sure that you all enjoyed being together and not having to worry so much about home and the technology since you can't get service up there. That is way cool that you were all able to go up and relax for some time.

I am glad that you were able to see all of the great photos of me.  They are great of course because I was in them.  I have to admit that my favorite one to send to you was the one of the spider.  I thought that you would all like to see a nice big spider.  It wasn't that big just about the size of a dinner plate. haha just kidding it was a lot smaller than that.  It was just pretty big compared to most spiders so I thought that I would take a photo of it because I knew you would all enjoy it.

That is really cool Mum  that you were able to finish the Ensign from last month.  I too have actually been reading it every night before bed and I really enjoy all of the articles in it.  I really liked all of them but I think that my favorite one was the article about Joseph Smith.  I think it was title the Path to Palmyra.  I am really excited for next month’s issue because the story will continue.  I hope that you enjoyed the magazine as much as I did because it was quite good.

Well this past week has actually been really great.  I think the thing that made it the best was listening to Elder Holland.  He was in Scotland on Sunday and they broadcast him to us here in Tamworth and he gave an amazing and powerful talk about the Book of Mormon.  I think that we should be able to get the talk from somewhere and I really hope that I can get it because it was great.  I think that I am more excited to see him this Thursday though.  On Thursday he is coming to speak to us as missionaries here in England and I am so excited for it.  I am sure that it is going to be so amazing.  Someone that I was talking to in my last area said that when a General Authority came to his mission it was the best experience that he had his whole mission.  That made me a lot more excited for this week and I am glad that it is here.

Well I won't keep you guys any longer so I guess I will leave you with a spiritual thought.
“The path of Holiness is the path of happiness."
I truly believe that this is true because when we are keeping the commandments and when we are doing everything we can to do the right thing then we will be happier.  Lots of people think that by doing some bad things it brings them happiness and it might bring it to them for a short time but it isn't true happiness.  So as we do focus on trying to be the best that we can then we really will feel happy.  

Well I hope that you all have a great week.  I hope that you all enjoy the summer vacation from school.  I am sure that mum really will enjoy it.  Not because everyone is home but because it is nicer weather. I am sure that she is already annoyed by you.
Elder Peterson

Monday, June 1, 2015

Letter #46

Hello Mum and Family,

It sounds like you have all been really busy this past week and that you are all ready for some fun adventures this week.  It sounds like it is going to be a great summer vacation for the whole family.
Well as you all know I am now in Tamworth and I am really enjoying it so far.  This area has a lot of work ahead of it and I am really excited to work hard and to see the area change throughout the time that I am serving here.  We really don't have any investigators at the moment that are progressing towards baptism really soon so that is going to be the main focus I think.  It is a pretty small ward and it is a great ward.   The member’s feed us so much food and really take care of us. Every single week we have a dinner appointment every day so we will not go starving.  I can't wait for this transfer and all of the great food.  I don't think I will want to leave this area when it is time.

Well I don't have too much time so I guess I will answer your questions and then let you go.  Sorry it is a short letter but we are really busy getting stuff done today.

1.  Last week you mentioned that you r last area was the 2nd farthest area form the mission home.  What is the first?  Milford Haven is the farthest from the mission home.
2) Are you going to be in Elder Shaw’s Zong? Nope I wish though because that would be awesome.

Well thank you all for your wonderful letters even though mine isn't long at all.  Before I go I would love to share a quote with you.

"No matter how hopeless times may be, if you search for it, there will always be a light in the distance."

This is a pretty simple quote and I totally believe that it is true.  We go through hard times quite often, but they always end and that is what we need to keep in mind when we are struggling.
Well I hope that you all have a great week and enjoy your camping.
Elder Peterson.

PS I like the name of your bike mum.  You’re not supposed to name it after your own name though. haha jk

PS….it's your lucky day I put some photos in
I believe that I have sent you all the photos that I have now.  I am sure that you will be happy.