Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Letter # 63

What's up Mum and Fam,

It sounds like another great week has come and gone for you guys back home.  We also have had a fantastic week.  As you know we had the baptism of J***** this past week and it was an amazing experience for us all.  It has been a little over a year since this ward has had a baptism so it really got them more excited for missionary work.  He was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday.  The Spirit was so strong at both of them and it was such a great experience.  It brought back memories from my baptism when I was younger and I enjoyed the feelings of peace and joy that came.  I had to do the baptism twice though because his knee came up out of the water.  J******** is kind of tall and they didn't fill the font up as much as I was hoping so it was kind of hard to get him under.  I kind of had to force him under.  The water was also a little cooler too but at least it wasn't freezing haha.  I kept telling him that if it's cold we both have to suffer through it and that gave him more comfort. haha  Over all it was a great experience.  I wish that I was able to do more exercising though because I am eating a lot of food and when I put my white trousers on for the baptism they were a little on the tighter side. haha They weren't super bad but I can tell that I have gained a bit.  Everyone that I talk to that has served a mission say not to worry about not eating a lot and gaining wait because the girls will like you either way when I get home. haha So I have taken their advice.

I am glad that you had an enjoyable time in St. George this past week.  You haven't told me if it rained though.  I was really looking forward to the part where you tell me that it rained a lot one of the days and it ruined your vacation.  I think it should have rained on the day that you looked at houses because then that would be a sign that you are making a bad decision.  I think you are a little confused about you 49er shirt though.  I don't think it is a good looking shirt just so you know.  You should get one that's blue and has a horse shoe on it.  Caden was telling me today how the game went between the 49ers and the Steelers and it was great to hear.  They lost because you were wearing that ugly shirt. haha Hopefully that will teach you haha.

I am really excited for Braden.  When I got that email I was really happy to read it.  I know he is going to be a great missionary and I am excited to hear how it goes when he leaves.  I am sure the Anderson family is having some great times preparing him to leave.  I remember those days and I can't believe how fast it has gone.  

I can't believe that Conference is this weekend already.  It seems like the last conference was not too long ago at all.  I too am excited to see who gets called as Apostles.  It definitely is going to be a historical conference this weekend and I am especially excited for the talks that will be given.  I have really grown to love learning about the gospel and General Conference is a great time to learn more.  I am super excited for it.
Well like you have figured out it is transfer week this week.  I have a feeling that I am going to be leaving this week since I am done training Elder Fullmer and I have been here for 4 1/2 months already.  I can't believe that I have been here for that long already.  It has been a great experience serving here and meeting so many wonderful people.  I have learned a lot from my service here and I am excited to see what the Lord has planned for me to do now.  Who knows maybe I will stay another one.  I will find out tonight and you will have to suffer until you next Monday. haha

Well I don't have much more time but like usual I would like to share a spiritual though with you guys.  I am sure that mum is going to enjoy this one. haha

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? ( 1 Cor. 15:29)
We were blessed to have a baptism of one of our investigators this past week which was an amazing experience.  After the baptism I was thinking of the day when I was baptized.  I don't remember too much of that day but I do remember the wonderful feelings that I had.  Those wonderful feelings of peace and joy came over me on Saturday during the baptism and it was amazing to feel them.
Now to get to the scripture in Corinthians.  There are many souls in the Spirit World who have not felt that same peace and joy that many of us have when we were baptized.  They just didn't have the opportunity while they were on the earth.  It is our responsibility while on the earth to help them with that ordinance.  Many of those people are our own ancestors. They are waiting for us to do our part as members of the church.  Think back to your own baptism and try to remember the feelings you felt.  Don't you think they want to feel them too?  Think about the covenants you have made with God and because you have made those covenants  you are able to live with God and with your families again for eternity.  Do you think that is something that they may want too?  "Those in the Spirit World have a right to expect someone will do their work." 

Before we came to this world we knew what challenges we would face while on the earth. Our ancestors knew that they would be crossing seas, others knew they would be crossing the plains to Utah.  I truly believe that the investigators that I have taught I knew before this earth life and I promised them I would find them.  It could be the same way with our ancestors.  Maybe they knew that they wouldn't receive the gospel on the earth and you and I promised them that we could do their work for them so that they could live with God and their families again.  They had a different part in their lives that they were supposed to do to help us.  Now we are to do our part so that we can help them.  Many are just waiting patiently for us to do it.  Some are prepared to accept it right now and we just need to put forth the effort to find them.

Through my experiences I have come to love and understand D&C 18 15-16 a lot more.  
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

I believe that when we do the temple work for our ancestors we can feel the same joy that is talked about in this scripture.  We are bringing souls unto Christ and that definitely brings great joy in this life and it will be even greater in the kingdom of God.  
Doing family history and finding those who have not been baptized can be hard at times.  To be honest I have a hard time doing it, you could ask mum she will tell you, but I know that as we do our best the Lord will help us.  And when we pass on to the next life, whenever that day comes, our ancestors will be waiting with arms opened just waiting to embrace us and thank us for the work that we did for them.  How great that day will be if we have done all we can for them. 
Well thank you all for you great letters and I hope that you have a great week and go Colts. haha
Elder Peterson 

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