Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Letter #69

Dear Mum and Family,

Because you are wondering about J**** I guess that means I have to tell you more of what went on this past week. He is a solid investigator and it's amazing because it is so hard to find the type of people like him that are so prepared to hear the gospel message that they do everything that they need to and they gain that testimony of the gospel so fast.  There are people out there that are prepared and it's just a matter of following the promptings of the spirit and we are led to them. I have no doubt that without the Spirit guiding us as missionaries we would not be able to do this work. It is just not possible. 

The lessons with J***** are going great. We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ this last week and before we started I asked him how his reading of the Book of Mormon and his praying is going. He said that he is doing really well with them both. I then asked him what feelings he had felt when he was reading and praying and when he answered it I felt the spirit so strongly testify to me that what he was saying was true. When I asked him he sat there for a minute thinking of how he was going to say it. He started by saying that it is really hard to explain, but he feels a very powerful warm feeling that touches his heart every time he reads. When he prays he feels very happy and relaxed and he feels like he is really talking to someone.  Of course we pointed out that he was feeling the power of the Holy Ghost testifying to him that what he was reading was true. He had the biggest smile on his face when we said that. He knows it's true. It's amazing to see how these things he said came from someone who before we started teaching knew little about Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Now he is starting to gain a testimony and form a relationship with our Heavenly Father. 
We had set his date for baptism on this Friday. Because of the lessons we still have to teach it is going to be pushing it to make that day. He is expecting to be baptized this Friday, in fact when he came to FHE with the YSA this past week and introduced himself to them he said "My name is Jeremy and I am not a member but I will be baptized on the 13 of November." It was amazing to hear that from him. When we talked to him today after church we explained what we still have to do in order for him to be baptized and when we mentioned that we might have to delay his baptism if we weren't able to make it he was pretty devastated. Of course we comforted him by saying that we are still going to shoot and work for Friday which made him happy.  So as you can tell he is doing really well and is moving along quite well. Teaching him has strengthened my testimony so much and I am so grateful for it. I know if the Lord wants a baptism this weekend then He will help us make it. 

Something that we are kind of struggling with in this area at the moment is our teaching pool is really low. The investigators that the other Elders were teaching before they left are not so ready for the gospel I guess. There are a couple that we have seen and visited with but they don't seem to keep their commitments and they don't want to learn. So we are still doing a lot of finding and trying to build the pool of people that we have to teach. While talking to the Zone Leaders this yesterday they gave us a challenge which they are also going to be doing. This week they want us to pass out 20 copies of the Book of Mormon. That is going to be a challenge that will push us a bit, but we will accomplish that goal. Something I have learned about myself on the mission is the love I have for a challenge. I am just so pumped for this week to work so hard to accomplish that goal and to be accountable for the efforts that I put in. It's going to be a great week already. 

We played some soccer again this week.  I have never been so wet playing soccer than I was today. We got pretty wet just on the bike ride to the field let alone getting wet from all the rain during the game. It was raining off and on but when it would rain it was pouring down sheets of rain. Luckily it was a pretty warm rain so it wasn't that cold while playing. The thing I like about this ward and playing soccer is they play all year round no matter the weather. I think it's great because usually the wards stop playing about now because they are afraid of getting a little wet.  I never understood the people who live in England and are afraid to get wet because it is always raining here.  We have a lot of fun playing together in the rain or shine. 

The weather here has not been too bad. It is starting to feel like autumn now with the leaves pretty much all off the trees and it's starting to feel like autumn. I have heard that this area might see some snow this winter but as of now we are just getting a lot of rain and wind. It is definitely starting to feel a lot more like the end of the year. 

I had an interview with President this past week which went pretty well. I was talking with Sister Leppard while my companion was getting interviewed and I was talking to her about the Christmas initiative. We will be getting the training on it really soon and we will be talking to people about it by the end of this month. I am really excited for this Christmas because it is my last Christmas here and I love being s missionary during Christmas. 

Well I don't have much more that I have to share. I guess i will just end by sharing a spiritual thought which I hope you all enjoy.

I wanted to share with you something that has stuck out to me this past week and has been on my mind throughout the week. As I have been pondering about a scripture in 1 Nephi I have really come to understand more of the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us and especially about the judgement.

The scripture is in 1 Nephi 15:33. I want to focus on just part of this scripture.  
" .....and if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God...."
You might ask what is in this part of the scripture that I could possibly be thinking about all week. If I was to narrow it down to one word it would be the word that I underlined and bolded and that is the word "be".
In this chapter Nephi is explaining to his brothers, Laman and Lemuel, about the vision of the tree of life. His brothers ask him what the meaning of the river is and he explains that it is a representation of a gulf that separates the wicked from the tree of life. So in other words it is separating those who do wicked things and those who do righteously and gain eternal life. Laman and Lemuel then ask him if it's a representation of temporal things or spiritual things and he goes on to explain the judgement and how we will be judged. 

This is where verse 33 comes in. In verse 33 it explains how the wicked will not be able to live in the kingdom of God because they would have become filthy because they have done filthy things. 
This is what I was thinking a lot about this past week. When we meet our maker we will not be judged on the things that we did we will be judged on what we have become and that is because the things we do shape us into the person we become. In verse 33 it tells us that when our works are filthy then we become filthy. You could change it and say when our works are righteous then we become righteous.

Yes our actions do matter because those actions are shaping us into something, but it is what we are becoming that God is judging us on not what we did.  When God sees us he is looking at what we have become or what we could become. It is our choice whether we want to make the right choices to become that person that God wants us to be.

You might ask what does he expect us to become. Well the answer is in the scriptures which we can find in Mathew 5:48 which reads:
" Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Did you notice what the very first word is?  Our Heavenly Father wants us to be like him. How do we become like him? Well 1 Nephi 15:33 show that our actions shape us into what we need to become so in order to become perfect we need to do the things that a perfect person would do. Well I hope I don't surprise you when I say that we do not live in a perfect world and we are imperfect people. So how do we become perfect?  It is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can become perfect. While on earth we need to do our best to follow Gods commandments and because we have a loving Heavenly Father we can become perfect through His son who is our Savior. 
I know that Jesus Christ did die for each and every one of us and that because of him we can become perfect like our Heavenly Father.  In fact it is because of Him and only because of him that we will ever have that chance of being perfect. I am so grateful for my Savior who loves me enough to go through what he went through. 
I hope that the thoughts that I share with you don't bore you because they are a little long because I love preparing and sharing them.  It strengthens my testimony of the gospel when I share them.  If the thought I share touches just one person then I consider it a success because that is all I am trying to do.
Have a great week. I am excited to see what things I learn this week that I can share with you next week. 
Love you all and Go Colts!! 
Elder Peterson

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