Monday, July 27, 2015

Letter #54

Hello Mum and Family,

It sounds like it was a pretty crazy week with the town celebration going on.  I am sure that you all enjoyed all of the activities and that you had a lot of fun celebrating Chelsey's birthday seeing how that was definitely the main focus this past week.  You better have taken care of my favorite sister during her  Birthday because she really deserves it.  Just so you know Chelsey is the lucky one because I will only miss one of her birthdays while the rest of you I will miss two.  When missionaries go home they leave a couple of weeks before they came out so there is a big chance that I will be home in time for her 17th birthday.  Isn't she so special! That's why she is my favorite. haha

This past week has been really good.  I am not going to have the longest letter today because we are going to Lichfield and visiting the huge cathedral there.  You should look it up on Google earth because it is huge.  So I will tell you how this week has gone and answer your questions and then leave a thought.
So we had another great lesson with J****** this last week.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he really enjoyed it.  He is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy and he said he has prayed and received multiple answers that it is true.  He has really changed since the first time we met him.  He decided to quit smoking once he left the first visit with us so he hasn't smoked in 2 weeks now which is amazing.  We didn't even say anything about smoking he just quit on his own.  He has talked to his boss and he will be coming to church this next Sunday and he is so excited to come.  He is such a great guy and I am glad that we are able to help him and teach him.

We were not able to teach D**** or D***** this past week.  We will be seeing D***** today though at 7:30 and we are most likely going to be seeing D***** and his wife sometime this week seeing how he has work off.  I think it will be towards the end of the week though, but I am way excited for that.  There are a lot of brilliant things happening here in Tamworth and I am really enjoying serving here.

For my thought this week I wanted to share another thing that I learned in Church today if that is okay with you guys.  I guess you don't really have a say since you are all being lazy and are still sleeping. 
It was focused on a talk titled "Is it still wonderful to you" which I think is from this last conference.  I know it was recently.

There is so much that sometimes we take for granted in the Gospel.  Sometimes we have these amazing spiritual experiences that happen and we remember them for some time and then we slowly forget about them or we sometimes just have them in the back of our minds.  Sometimes these miracles happen and over time they don't seem as marvelous anymore.  
We need to remember the experiences that we do have and we need to continue to remember them so that they are still wonderful and marvelous to us.  This is a wonderful time to be living in.  Think about it no other dispensation has had so many missionaries called and so many areas opened to missionary work, there has never been as many temples on the earth that there are now,  there are so many members.  This is the last dispensation of the Church Christ established while He was on the earth and brought back through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  We are in the last days and the Savior is coming soon.  We need to make sure that the Gospel is still wonderful to us so when we meet Him we can be more excited to see him and more comfortable in His presence. 
Thanks for the letter and sorry that mine is a little short this week.  I hope that you all have a great week.
Elder Peterson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Letter # 53

Hello Mum and Family,

It sounds like you all have had a great and exciting week except for boring old Lyndsey. I think that she totally missed out on a lot of fun and from the sounds of it it's going to be a family tradition so I am excited to go.  Don't worry we will definitely get Lyndsey to go too.  I am glad that you had a lot of fun at Lava Hot Springs and I am excited to look at the photos in drop box. 

Well this past week has been a lot of fun and full of miracles. About a week ago we found this guy named J*****  and we have just been trying to set a time when we could meet with him.  Well last Tuesday we were able to meet with him and the lesson was amazing.  We taught the Restoration lesson and as we were explain about the Book of Mormon he got way excited and said that he would really like a copy.  Of course we had one with us and we were planning on giving it to him anyway but just seeing the excitement that he had was really cool.  At the end of the lesson we told him that we like setting goals to work towards and we asked him if we could challenge him to work towards getting baptized on the 22 of August and he thought that was a great idea.  He has been reading this past week and praying and apparently he has a few questions for us that we will be answering tomorrow when we see him.  I am really excited to see how he is doing and to continue teaching him.  

The second miracle that happened this week is when we were walking back to the flat one night.  Our phone started ringing and I answered it and it was a guy named D*****.  Apparently he had talked with missionaries before in the past but he never really learned about our church.  He said that he is really struggling with his family members at the moment and he really wants to learn about what we believe because he knows that it is focused on family and that the wards are pretty much like a big family.  We weren't able to meet with him this past week because he kept on having things come up but we will try to see him this week.

The third miracle this week was also really cool.  You can never have too many miracles in a week. We met with a guy named D**** and we have been trying to meet with him for quite some time he just has a crazy work schedule. We didn't have much time to meet with him because it was during his work break so we just got to know him a little better and we shared Book of Mormon with him.  He was also really excited to receive a copy and he said that he is going to be reading it during every free time that he has during work and at home.  It is really hard to explain how much he and J***** really were to receive the Book of Mormon over email but it was a really cool experience.  We don't know when we will be meeting with him yet but the cool thing is his wife also wants to learn with him so they are trying to make it so that they have the same days off so we can meet with them both. 

So that was all the miracles that we had this week and it was really cool.  I would have to say that I learned a lot about humility this past week as I recognized that the only reason that we had those miracles happen was because the Lord blessed us with them.  I know that this is definitely the Lord's work and that he is directing it because that would have never happened if it was just us working.

Since I have already taken up a lot of time I will end with my spiritual thought.  Yesterday in church we read from President Ezra Taft Benson's book and one of the things that he said was in his family they didn't want any "empty seats" in the eternities.  As I was thinking about that I was trying to think of how there can be no empty seats in the eternities and the thought of Lehi's dream of the tree of life came to my mind.  In the dream the tree represents Christ and the fruit represents the atonement and the tree in his dream was the central focus.  As I was thinking about that it made me think that if we just make Christ the central part of our lives both as individuals and as a family then we will be able to have all seats full in the eternities.  Sometimes it is kind of hard to make Christ the center point but I know that as we work hard to do it then we will be happier and more united as a family.

I thank you all for all of the great letters and I hope that you have a great week.
Elder Peterson
PS  I liked how mum finally admitted that she was getting old.  I didn't even have to say anything.  haha

PPS Make sure you all take your vitamins.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Letter # 52

Hello Mum and family,

It sounds like it has been a really busy week and from the sounds of it I think summer break is going on at the moment.  I hope that you all feel lucky because the British kids don't get out of school until next week and they don't have as long of a break as you guys do.  You are so blessed to live in the land of the free.  It was good to hear from all of you and to hear that everyone is having a great time and is getting their Vitamin C and D as they are spending time in the sun.  I wouldn't want you all to get sick because there is no sun out.  You know how worried I get about you guys and your health.  If there is anything I can do for you to keep you healthy and not depressed from the lack of sunshine just let me know.  Maybe I can send you some vitamins or something.

Well as you all know I am training a new missionary and it is a lot of fun.  My companion is Elder Fullmer and he is from Boise Idaho.  He is a great guy and we are having a lot of fun together.  I am really trying to work him hard and we are having a lot of great experiences together.  We are working really hard to get a baptism this next transfer.  We don't know who it is going to be but I believe that if we work hard and are obedient then we will be able to make it. 
We actually had a great experience this last week.  The best part about being a trainer and a senior companion is you get to be in charge in a way.  So we did a lot of finding this past week.  We have been trying to talk to a ton of people and I have been helping Elder Fullmer get used to it and become a great finder because he has a lot ahead of him the rest of his mission.  So we were finding in the castle park area and we weren't having too much success.  We had talked to some cool people but they weren't interested in the message that we was sharing.  Well there was this one guy that we stopped and it turns out that he is from Romania.  Just so you know there are a lot of Romanians and Polish people in England.  Not that that really matters.  Anyway we had nice chat with him and we tried getting some contact information but he has a Romanian phone number which obviously doesn't work over here and he wasn't too keen on giving us his address like most people are.  So he said that we could just meet him in the park if we ever see him.  Well as you probably know that's one of the worst things to hear as a missionary because that means that you might not see them.  That was on Thursday. On Friday we were walking from a member’s home and I just thought maybe we should do a little bit of finding.  Because "It's fun to find all the time" so we went to the park to find.  As we were walking along the path I noticed someone sitting on a bench that kind of looked familiar and as we got closer we noticed it was A****, the Romanian.  So we stopped to chat with him.  He invited us to sit next to him and we just got to know him a little better.  Then it got to a point where it was silent for just a couple of seconds and he said " you can ask me anything you want"  And just like that we started asking him about what his views were on different parts of the gospel.  Then right then and there we taught him the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to pray and read it.  It was a great experience and we are hoping to see him again this next week to hopefully teach him more.  He has a crazy work schedule so we don't know when but hopefully it's soon.

It sounds like you had a great time going to Shelly Idaho and listening to Elder Leal.  I am glad that you were able to go support him.  I am sure that he gave a great talk and that his family is great.  There were a lot of great missionaries that went home in the same group as Elder Leal and I am going to miss a lot of them.  It was such a great group of missionaries.  

Well my experience  was a great experience but that took up a lot of time so I don't want to take up any more of your precious time where you could be outside getting your vitamins so you are not depressed.  Everything is going great for me over here in sunny old England so don't worry about me at all.
Before I go I would like to share a quote with you all.  The talks were amazing on Sunday (probably because I was one of the speakers haha) but one of the ladies that spoke said a quote that I really liked.  I can't remember who it was from but here it is.
“When we hold on to bad feelings about someone it's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

I thought that was an interesting quote.  Her topic was on forgiving and why it is so important to forgive others. When we fail to forgive someone and we have bad feelings about someone really the only person we are hurting is ourselves.  We need to recognize that we are all human and we all make mistakes.  We are here to learn and to grow.  It would be easy for us to all get along with perfect people, but we are placed on this earth to get along with imperfect people and that's what it's all about.  We need to help each other to make it to live with our Heavenly Father again.  I will just leave you with a few points that can help you become more forgiving.
1. Pray to be humble
2. Express Gratitude
3. Be patient
4. Cast your burdens on the Lord
Well I hope that you all have a great week this week and remember to take you vitamins.
Elder Peterson
(Best looking missionary in the field) 

By the way Malteaser aren't the best I don't think.
Another candy bar you could try is called a "Double Decker" Mum might not like it because it's kind of hard and chewy but I am sure someone there will like it.  I also like the Galaxy chocolate bars a lot.
I thought I picked a great spiritual thought because mum is going to need to forgive me.  My camera is broken so I can't take photos of my beautiful face. I dropped it but there is nothing wrong that you can see so it has to be something in the inside of the camera.  It just won't turn on or do anything.  I am sure you want photos but I don't know what you want me to do.  You will have to let me know sometime.  You can take your time though because it's probably not that important.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Letter #51

Hello Mum and Family

It sounds like you had an enjoyable 4th of July celebration.  I am sure that you enjoyed it even more this year than last year because you didn't have to put up with me and take care of me.  So I hope you enjoy all of the Holidays from now until next year because you won't be able to get rid of me when I get home. haha

Well I have got some very exciting news for you all this week.  Last night at about 8:30 we were outside just doing some finding like we usually do as missionaries and our phone started to ring.  So Elder Jarvis answered it and then gave it to me saying that it was the AP's.  It was Elder Swinemar and he said that President feels that I should train a new missionary this transfer.  I am so excited for the wonderful opportunity to train.  It is pretty cool because out of all of the Leadership positions President always says that training is the most important.  At the same time though it is probably the hardest I think because you determine the rest of the missionary’s mission and how well they start out. I am really excited though and it's going to be a lot of fun.  I have already started to think of some ways that I can pull a couple of pranks on him.  I am pretty positive that I will be staying here in Tamworth because I have only been here for one transfer.  It's going to be a great transfer.

So I had a pretty stressful adventure this past week that I thought I would share with you. We went and met the new Mission President on Wednesday and he is way cool.  He is definitely different than the Rasmussen's but he is going to be a great President.  I know that God has called him for a reason and I am excited to do the Lord's work under such a great guy.  So after the meeting we were going on exchange which is when we switch companions for a day just to learn and work with someone else.  I was going to Lichfield with Elder Joblot who is from France.  He is a way cool guy and has been out for about 6 weeks now.  So we were walking to the train station to catch a train to Lichfield and when we got there they had told us that all of the trains for the rest of the day were cancelled because something was wrong with the wires. The only problem with that was we had to go to Lichfield by bus and no missionary knew how to do that because they usually take the train.  So I am with a companion that can't speak very good English let alone understand it either. I am travelling to an area that I have only been to once oh yeah and it's the hottest day of the year.  It was about 90 degrees with who knows how much humidity in the air.  I honestly am sweating so much that I am literally drenched from all the walking in the heat.  So I start making some phone calls trying to find where we need to go and it got to the point where I had to ask the AP's.  They looked up a map on the internet and were guiding me on where I need to go and what buses I need to take.  Keep in mind we have no map so that didn't make it any easier.  Well we got on the first bus and went for about 20 minutes to another town and we got off there so we could catch another bus to Lichfield.  Well apparently all the buses to Lichfield were out of service for the day so we had to call the AP's again and get more directions.  They led us to another bus stop which took us back to Tamworth and then we caught another one there to Lichfield.  All of this took place from 4 o'clock when the meeting was over and we caught the bus to Lichfield at about 8:30 and got to Lichfield at about 9:30.  It was a crazy experience and I hope that I don't have to do something like that again.  It was probably one of the most stressful things I have had to do on the mission so far.  We made it safely though and you don't need to worry mum because I was in the sun for quite some time. I think I would have rather it rained.

So this past week was pretty eventful.  We did quite a lot of finding and not so much teaching this last week.  We couldn't seem to get any appointments set up with our investigators so we didn't do as much teaching as we would have liked to. We have actually found some really cool people that seem pretty interested and we just need to get a hold of them today and tomorrow to hopefully set up some time to meet with them again.  We did actually get a Less Active member to church this last week.  He had called us up on Thursday and neither of us had met him before so we didn't know who he was.  He is having some problems with his back so he wanted us to give him a blessing which we did and that was great experience.  We had a great talk with him about church and he said that he did want to come back he just couldn't seem to get himself to do it.  We told him that we would love to help him get there which we did.  He came and loved it so we will be seeing him again next week.  He is a great guy and apparently he was a really solid member before he went Less Active so it was cool to see him come back.

Well I don't want to keep you too much longer so I will share a spiritual thought with you. I told you last week that I would share something with you from Stake Conference that I really enjoyed.  They focused a lot on the Sabbath and preparing for Sunday throughout the week.  In Isaiah (I can't remember the chapter) it talks about the Sabbath being a delight.  Is it a delight to you? Do you enjoy going to church on Sunday and learning and feeling the Spirit?  Those are a couple of questions you can think about.  We really need to prepare throughout the week so that it can be a delight for us. The sacrament is the most sacred ordinance outside of the Temple.  So that just says how important it really should be to us.  So during the week we need to prepare spiritually and physically.  We need to read the scriptures throughout the week, we need to obey the commandment and try to be as worth as we can.  Yeah we will make mistakes throughout the week, but it is all about improvement.  Try to be better today than you were yesterday and be better tomorrow than you were today.  Something that they mentioned that I thought was interesting was how many people are on electronic devices or even doing things that aren't helping them focus on the meaning of the sacrament or even feeling the Spirit during that time.  Remember it is the most sacred ordinance outside of the temple. We really need to show respect and really try to feel the Spirit.  I know that as I have done things to improve my experience at church especially during the Sacrament I have really found the Sabbath to be a delight for me. So this week really ask yourself if it is a delight to you and if it isn't so much then prepare during the week so that when Sunday rolls around it is a great experience for you.  
I hope that you all have a great week and thanks for all of your great letters that you sent.
Elder Peterson