Monday, August 31, 2015

Letter # 59

Hello Mum and Fam,  
I just have to start out by saying that another month is down and I have less than a year now. Tear tear...  It's going way too fast!!

Well it was good to hear from you all.  It sounds like you are all staring to get back into the school spirit and that you are all enjoying it haha. Except for Lyndsey of course who thinks she can be lazy and sleep in all day long because she doesn't have to go to school. Soon enough it will come back and get you when you have to get up really early in the mornings. Haha I am glad that everyone else is being productive though.

Well I know that you don't really believe me when I said that we are biking that many miles in a day. The area that I am in is actually a really big area and should have two sets of missionaries in it. It did at one point but they took one out not too long ago.  So we have to take care of a pretty big area on our own which means we have to do a lot of biking. We has to ride to the church today because it is a bank holiday and the library is closed and it's a 2 mile bike ride to the church and it's all up hill haha. Luckily we will have a nice bike ride back haha.  So right now I am at the church and for the first time since I have had an iPad I am emailing you from it. I feel like a pretty technological missionary right now as I am not on a computer emailing you haha.  It's quite nice to be honest. If it wasn't such a long bike ride to the church I think we would do this every week. 

You don't have to worry mum there are no sisters in this district so no they don't have to call me haha. I can tell that you were really worried that I was changing my mind about moving out of the house and not making a man cave in the basement but don't worry that won't be happening haha.

 I am really enjoying my new calling as a district leader even though it's kind of tough sometimes and really busy. I have learned a lot of great things though over the past couple of weeks and it's really pushed me to become a better missionary and to focus more on others and their areas rather than just the area that I am in. It is a pretty small district so it's not too hard and we are pretty close so it's a lot of fun. 

This past week has been pretty great. We have had some nice weather all week long and it is starting to cool off a little now. You can tell that we are starting to get closer to winter now. Soon enough it will be Christmas time and I will be experiencing lots and lots of cold rain while you are all experiencing lots and lots of snow haha. I am pretty excited for Christmas just because I can't wait to see what the church is going to be coming out with that we as missionaries get to have fun sharing with others.  But we still have some time before that comes so I guess I will have to wait patiently. 

J***** was able to come to church this past week because he got work off which was a great miracle. He said that he really enjoyed it and we are still helping him get ready for baptism. He hasn't been feeling good for the past couple of days so we haven't been able to see him much but he is doing really well and is still enjoying reading and learning great things.  I have really enjoyed getting to know him and teaching him for the past couple of months. 
Everything is going well with my companion and I. We are working pretty hard and he is learning a lot of great things. I am sure that I haven't taught him anything and that he has taught me more since we have been companions. He is getting the missionary life down and I think that he is really enjoying it. I am having a lot of fun doing work here in Tamworth with him and seeing great things happen. I believe this will be my last transfer here in Tamworth so I am going to make the most of it and leave this area better than I found it. 

Well I don't want to take up the anymore of your time so I will end my letter this week with a spiritual thought like always. This past week I finished reading through the Book of Mormon again on my mission so I thought I would focus the thought in the Book of Mormon this week.  I am pretty sure that I shared this quote with you before but it's a great quote and I would like to share it again. 

" 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 

Over the past couple of months I have been reading the Book of Mormon more deeply then I have ever done before in my life.  During that time I have found so many different things that I have never found before in my reading.  I have found things that I didn't know were  in the Book of Mormon and I have found things that have helped me to become a better person and to improve in the missionary work that I am doing and I have found things that have helped me to understand the plan that God has for me.  When I found this quote from President Hinckley I loved it and I know that what he is saying is so true. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith could not have written the Book of Mormon alone with just the knowledge that he had as a young farm boy in New York. I know that God was helping him to translate this ancient record so that we today could read it and ponder the message it contains and then to ask God if it's true.  By doing this we come to know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. Once we receive this answer we come to know that Christ did live and that he is the son of God and the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith really was and is a Prophet of God and that there are prophets and Apostles on the earth today, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's church once again on the earth today. (Intro to Book of Mormon)

       I know that from my studying of the Book of Mormon I have come to know these things and the way that God works with me and what God expects from me as His child. We are all here for a purpose and that purpose is to learn, be tested, and to become more like God.  We can do this as we come to know more about God and His son, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, even Jesus Christ.  We come to know them better by reading and praying about His words.
       I challenge you if you have not read the Book of Mormon to read it and to pray about it, if you have done that I challenge you to continue to read and ponder the things it contains and to ask God through prayer to reaffirm your answer that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that as you do this the Lord will answer your prayers and that your testimony on the Book of Mormon will be strengthened. 
Thanks again for all the great letters that you sent to me this week. I hope that you all have a great week and I can't wait to hear from you next week.  
Elder Peterson

President Leppard sent this to the missionaries this week.  Even though it is focused on a mum of a missionary I thank you all for the great support and the hard work that you are all doing so that I can be out here serving the Lord. I know that you will be blessed greatly for your sacrifice and for your love. 
"Ever shall I remember the hand of one mother—the mother of a missionary. Some years ago at a worldwide seminar for mission presidents, the parents of missionaries were invited to meet and visit briefly with each mission president. 
Forgotten are the names of each who extended a greeting and exchanged a friendly handshake. 
Remembered are the feelings which welled up within me as I took in my hand the calloused hand of one mother from Star Valley, Wyoming. 'Please excuse the roughness of my hand,' she apologized. 
'Since my husband has been ill, the work of the farm has been mine to do, that our boy may, as a missionary, serve the Lord.'
"Tears could not be restrained, nor should they have been. Such tears produce a certain cleansing of the soul. A mother’s labor sanctified a son’s service. Loved are the hands of a mother. (Hands, General Conference Oct. 1972)

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