Monday, December 28, 2015

Letter #76

Dear Mum and Family,

I really enjoyed this past Christmas and the time I had to talk to you all. It sounds and looks like you are all doing great it was great to see. It was especially good to see that you are all so excited for me to still have 7 months left. I know you wish I at least had a year still, but there is nothing I can do to stop the time from moving along. I guess you will have to deal with it. Haha

Well nothing new really went on since I last spoke to you on Christmas. We played football on Saturday for a couple of hours with some cool ward members and their friends, which was pretty fun. We are planning on playing with them again on New Year's Day, which Elder Vaitoa and I are looking forward to. We have a great time playing against each other and giving each other a hard time. 

We are planning on having a fantastic week this next week. We don't have anything special for New Years, which is alright. I am sure you all have some wonderful plans for the New Year. Just make sure you don't party too long. I don't want you getting too competitive during your card games either. Haha yeah right. 

Well like I said I don't really have anything to share. I will leave you with a spiritual thought though before I go. 
Weekly Thought
As I have been thinking of what to share with you now that Christmas is over I think that it would be appropriate if I shared some thoughts that has to do with New Years and making New Years resolutions.  

We are now going into the year 2016 which is really crazy to think about, at least it is for me. This is the time of the year when we look back at the many things that we have accomplished.  It's the time we have to look at what we have improved on and what we can improve on.  A time where we think of what we want to accomplish in our lives. It's the time where we ponder the things we want to do to achieve great things. 

The definition of resolution is:
A firm decision to do or not do to something. 
As we set those resolutions for our next year I hope that we can remember that definition. I hope that we can set goals that we truly want to accomplish in our lives to make us better.  We all know that there are goals that are set at the beginning of the year that we stop doing in the first couples of months. I have been thinking of a few things that I can do to set better goals that we will not only bring me closer, but also help me become more like God. I have had many different things pop into my head as I have been thinking of this New Year and I want to share some of those thoughts with you today. 
Joseph Smith said:
"The nearer a man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views and the greater his enjoyments." 
As we get closer to becoming perfect, just like our Heavenly Father has asked us to work towards in Mathew 5:48 & 3 Nephi 12:48, we gain two things.
The first is our views become clearer. I believe this has to do with many things. As we become more perfect we come to understand more of our Heavenly Father and the plan that he has for us all. We come to understand more about Jesus Christ and the Atonement and as we understand the Atonement clearer then we understand that because of it God's plan is made possible. Our views on this life are clearer and we know what we need to do to become more like God and Jesus Christ. There is so much that we can see more clearly if we just work towards being perfect. 
The next thing that we gain as we come closer to perfection is enjoyment. God wants us to feel joy in this life. For it says in 2 Nephi 2:25: 
" are, that they might have joy."  
If we are striving to be perfect then we are following the commandments and when we follow Gods commandments then we are blessed with great things which brings us joy.  When we are trying to live a perfect life then we are finding greater happiness because we are drawing closer to God. There are lots of ways that we gain joy in this life by simply doing our best to approach perfection. 

So you might be asking what do these things have to do with making New Years resolutions. Well as I have been thinking about them these last couple of days I have been thinking of the importance of making goals that will help me to become more like my Heavenly Father. After all, when we meet him, it is what we have become that we are judged on, not by the choices we make. For we are the sum total of every choice that we make. If we do righteous things then we are a righteous person, and if we do filthy things then we are a filthy person. (1 Nephi 15:33). So at this time of the year as we set those goals I hope that we can all remember that we are trying to become like our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ.  I hope that we can all set at least one goal that will help us to improve spiritually and will help us to approach perfection. 

Let's do all we can to follow the perfect example of our Savior who marked the way before us. I know that as we do that we will experience great joy because we will accomplish great things. 
Again it was great speaking to you all this last week. I hope, you have a wonderful New Years!! Don't party too hard. Haha yeah right.
Elder Peterson

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Letter #75

Dear Mum and Family,

Merry Christmas to you all. I know that it is not Christmas quite yet, but this will be my last letter that I write before Christmas. I hope that you are all prepared for the wonderful Christmas Day and I hope that you were all good so that you don't get a lump of coal from Santa. I am sure that you were all good this year. I am a little nervous about mum though. I think that she is on Santa's naughty list, but I guess we will see. If she is on the naughty list then she will not be able to Skype me on Christmas so she better be a good little girl for the next couple of days. Haha

Well you all already know that I have been transferred back to Wales because mum had to do some stocking. That is why she is on the naughty list.  I guess it is no surprise to you all that I am now in Swansea, which is only 20 minutes away from Llanelli. That is where I served last Christmas if you don't remember. I know that you sometimes forget these things because you are all getting a little on the old side. It is kind of weird being in Swansea because I have been here before a couple of times on exchanges with other missionaries. I have always wanted to serve here and now look my wish has come true. I am so excited to be here and I can't wait to see what great things are going to happen this transfer. I have a great companion named Elder Vaitoa. He is from Samoa. We get along really well and we have some fun together. He has been out for about 8 months now so he knows what he is doing. 

We had a really great zone conference this past week. The Merthyr, Cardiff, and Cheltenham zones all met together at the Cheltenham chapel where we had a great time together. We had some time in the chapel where we had some spiritual thoughts about Christmas which was amazing. It was focused on the nativity and learned some great things from those who spoke. It was mainly President and Sister Leppard, but it was amazing. We then had some fun in the cultural hall where my zone acted out the nativity, and the other zones did some other Christmas things. We had a great lunch and spent some time together for a few hours. It was a great day.  

 I have not received the package with your letters and candy in it. I have received e package that says there is 2 shirts and a rubiks cube though. Haha. For Christmas we are going to be hopefully going to the beach in the morning with a few other missionaries and playing some soccer on the beach for a couple hours and then we are going to go visit a few members that have invites us over. I will be Skyping about the same time I did last year. So I hope you are all ready to see my beautiful face. I know you are all excited. 

Well I don't want to keep you too long because I will be talking to you in a few days. I guess I will share my last thought before Christmas. 
Weekly Thought

I think that it is pretty obvious that I am going to share a thought this week that relates to this special time of the year. As I have been thinking a lot about the Savior’s birth I am always drawn towards the Atonement. That is the most important thing that has happened on the earth and everyone is affected by it. As I have been thinking about His life starting at His birth and going through His whole life to His crucifixion there is something that always sticks out to me about the Savior. I can define what sticks out to me using one word and that is Love. 
Before this world the Savior agreed to come to this earth to pay for all of our sins.  He was willing to pay a debt He didn't owe because He loves us and He knew we couldn't pay that debt. He was born a humble birth. The Son of God was born and laid in a manger for there was no room for Him in the inn. At age 12 He was teaching at the temple. I believe He had great love for those He was teaching. I believe that He understood, at the age of 12, the Plan that God has for us and he wanted others to know and understand it too. We don't know about His life in the teenage years, but we do know about His life a few years before He was crucified. He loved so many people and He truly showed them that he loved them by His actions. He healed the sick, He raised the dead, He blessed the little children, He forgave those who did wrong, He taught people the gospel, He served in many other ways and He did it because He loves everyone.  The greatest act of love as we know was the Savior suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane for each of us and then being crucified on the cross. One of my favorite scriptures reads: 
" But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."  
(Isaiah 53: 5)
He went through all of this because He loved us.  We need to become like the Savior and show love towards others.  Showing love to others is something that we need to do every single day of our lives, not just during the Christmas Season. I don't like to think that there is a special time each year to love people the most. I believe we need to be like the Savior and love everyone no matter what time of the year it is. Christmas will come and go really fast. Christmas is 1 day out of the 365 days in a year. Instead of showing great love towards our neighbors just on this day we need to strive to show that love every single day to the best of our ability. The savior said that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. We don't obey this commandment just around the Christmas season. We obey it every single day of our lives. 
I really love how the "Spirit of Christmas" is really the "Spirit of Christ" when we drop the last syllable. In this quote give by David O McKay I changed the spirit of Christmas to the Spirit of Christ. He said: 

" True happiness comes only by making others happy. .... The Spirit of Christ makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service. It is the Spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
There is no better time than now for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ. It is the time to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart - and our neighbors as ourselves. It is well to remember that he who gives money gives much; he who gives time gives more; but he who gives of himself gives all."

Yes the Christmas is a great time of the year to show love to those who are less fortunate than us. It is a great time of the year to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I just think that if we were to love everyone the same no matter what time of the year was then we would feel greater joy in our lives and we will become closer to our Heavenly Father and we will become more like Him.
Again I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. I can't believe that the time is almost here when I get to see you all. Have a good one and don't get too excited about Skyping me that you lose sleep. That was more to Mum than anyone else. Haha
Elder Peterson 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Letter #74

Dear Mum and Family,

I hope you will forgive me because this is not going to be a very long letter. We are spending time as a District today because as you know transfers are this week and we want to have some fun see how we don't know what is going to be happening.  I also didn't reply to anyone else's emails. I did read them though and I really enjoyed reading them all. It sounds like you are all enjoying yourselves and that you are having a great time getting in the Christmas Spirit.  It has been a lot of fun serving with the missionaries in this District the past few transfers. I have definitely made some great friends since I have been serving around these great missionaries. They are a great example to, me and I have learned so much from them. 

This past week has been another focus on finding really. To be honest I have seen the Lords hand this week as we spent time doing different activities that helped us to find some people. As you know we don't have many investigators. Well on Friday I spent some time in the morning looking through Preach My Gospel and pondering how I can do different finding activities to better help us find the right people. I made some notes and I was pretty excited to start applying them to this area. After spending a bit of time doing that I had the impression that we needed to go out to city centre and do some finding. It was not what we had planned, but I thought we just needed to do it. So I got ready and then I got my companion to get ready and we went out. It was a pretty cold day to be honest and by the time we were done I was pretty cold. But I personally witnessed a miracle that day. 

When we go out we usually split up and stop separate people, but we stay close enough that we can see each other. The past couple weeks we had really struggled to find four people between the two of us which is our goal. When we went out that day I thought to myself that we will not go on to do something else until I find four people myself. It was a goal that I thought I could achieve and to be honest I was a little nervous about it because like I said we had struggled to find two people. So I thought we were going to be out there for quite some time. But I was determined to accomplish that goal so I worked hard towards it. Within an hour I had the blessing of finding three really cool people who want to learn. By that time I was pretty excited to be out finding because finding three people in an hour isn't that easy.  I thought well that's good enough and It was pretty cold and was about to go get my companion, when I thought of the goal I had set. So I turned around and the first person I stopped was a really cool guy who wants to meet again and learn more. 

I don't know what is going to end up happening with the people we found that day. I don't know if they will get baptized or not. I don't know if we will end up teaching them soon or not. But I do know that I was blessed because I had listened to the promptings of the spirit and I acted on it. I know without a doubt that the Lord is directing this work and I know that I wouldn't be able to do it without his help. 

It is definitely starting to feel a lot more like winter now over here. The temperature has dropped a bit and there has been a lot more rain this past week. I think we got wet pretty much every single day last week. I guess that is part of being a missionary in England that we can't really avoid. I wouldn’t  trade it for anything though. Getting soaked by rain these past months hasn't killed me yet so I am not too scared to be honest. I am pretty sure I will survive another winter here. Haha The Christmas tree that we have in the flat was there already so we didn't have to buy one which is a plus. It makes the flat look a lot better. 

Brother W***** is a member from the Tamworth ward. He is a really great guy who emails so many missionaries each week. He is such a great guy. He and his wife have been a member for just over a year now. They went through the temple when I was there and it was such a great experience for them.  They are a great couple. 

Well I do have a confession to make about the whole accent thing.  I did stop two people in the street the other day and they both said that I had a little accent, but it wasn't anything big. So maybe you won't be so disappointed when you talk to me on Christmas. I guess we will just have to wait to find out. 

K**** and her Husband J*** are doing really well. We met with them both this past week and we taught them the Plan of Salvation. The lesson went really well and they had a lot of questions that got answered. J*** is really excited to start his family history and we will be taking a member over soon to help him with that. We might not be able to teach them this week because they are going to Manchester for Christmas. They are planning on coming to church this week, which is pretty exciting. They are really the only investigators that we have at the moment so we are trying our hardest to help them. It is a lot of fun teaching them. 
Well I don't really have much more to say so I will get on to the spiritual thought for the week.

Weekly Thought 
As I have been thinking of what I want to share with you guys this week I thought it would be appropriate to focus it around the Christmas Holiday seeing how it is almost Christmas. I have really been pondering this past week about the Savior. Even though we focus on His birth at this time of the year I have actually been focused on His whole life. There are many things that he has done for each of us that I am so grateful for. The Atonement is obviously the centre and the most important thing he did for us while on the earth. It is something that He did for us because He loves us. 
As I have been thinking about this I thought about the wise men. They had seen a star in the east and they wanted to see the Messiah. As we read in Matt chapter 2 the Wise Men said:
"Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. …"
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."
"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."
We understand from this scripture that Jesus was now a "young child", not a baby, and that he was in a "house", not a manger.  The Wise Men brought gifts to Him for they knew he was the Messiah. They knew He was here to redeem all mankind from the fall so that we could return to our loving Heavenly Father. 
Obviously Christ has paid that price already. He has showed His great love for us all. I know that He really does love and care for us. I know that it was His plan to come to the earth and to suffer all the pain and anguish that He did so we could be forgiven of our sins and so that we could live again win our Father in Heaven. 
We really can't fully pay Him back for what He has done. There is nothing we could possibly do to make it up, but we can do something. This Christmas season lets ask ourselves this one simple question: 
What will you GIVE for Christ?
Thomas S. Monson said:
"Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the “spirit of Christmas,” we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the “Spirit of Christ.”
You might think what we can give Him and the simple answer comes from Mosiah 2:17. 
"... when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."
The way we give to the Savior is by giving to others. President Monson said: 
"In this marvelous dispensation of the fullness of times, our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved."

I hope we can all think of what we can give Christ and that we can act on what thoughts the Spirit puts into our minds. By doing so I know that we can have one of the best Christmas Holidays and we will feel so much closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
I hope you all have a great week as you prepare for Christmas. May we all remember the true meaning of this time of the year. 
Elder Peterson

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Letter #73

Dear Mum and Family,

I just want to start off by saying that I really hope you are not expecting me to have an accent when I speak to you because I can promise you that I don't. You are going to be disappointed if you really want me to have one. I am sorry I just thought I better be honest so you don't get too disappointed. 

To answer your question about Elder Loertscher and Elder Huff I know them both. I served around Elder Loertscher when I was in Llanelli and we had a lot of fun together. He is a great guy. I have spoke to Elder Huff a few times now and he is also a really great guy. He says that you and his mum talk sometimes. You are a very interesting little old lady aren't you. Haha. 

When we dressed up it was for a Stake activity. They had a few games in the gym and some food. They also acted out the Scrooge, which was pretty great. They had us dress up like cops and give candy to the little kids. That was really all we did so it wasn't too hard. It was a pretty cool stake activity though and everyone seemed to enjoy it. 

I am doing well. I am still staying fit with all the biking that we do. We biked quite a bit this past week. It was so hard to bike on Saturday though. Apparently there was a hurricane near the states and all the high winds made its way over here and we had some crazy winds. It was knocking quite a few branches off the trees and making everything go everywhere. Biking against it was a pain, but with the wind at our backs it was way nice. There was a few times I thought I was literally going to get blown off my bike it was that bad. We made it alive though.  That is the second time I have felt the aftermath of a hurricane and to be honest I thought it was a cool experience. 

We also played football that morning and the wind made it so much harder. Having to run against the wind made everyone so much more tired and when we would kick the ball the wind would take it in every direction. Like I said before they don’t stop playing football over here for nothing. Even if the wind is blowing the goals over Haha. I definitely got the exercise that I needed that day. I slept really good that night also because I was so exhausted from the biking and playing football in that crazy wind. 

This last week we actually had a really great experience. As you know we are kind of struggling with finding people who want to listen to our message. Well we went to our investigator's house to teach her this past week. Her name is K*** and she is the one that I have told you about that we did family history with her and she had such an amazing experience with it. Well when we go and teach her she has a husband and he usually sits in the other room because he is not religious at all. Missionaries in the past have invited him to listen, but he just doesn't like religion at all. We knew this and we respected it so we really never asked him the few times we visited. So this past Tuesday we were teaching her and her husband came in the room to get something and we just asked him how he was doing and just started a little conversation with him. He is a really nice guy and we had a nice little chat. He then went back into the other room. We asked K*** if he would be interested in coming in and talking with us and she said he wouldn't, but she asked anyways.  When she asked him he said sure I will come in. You should have seen the look on K**** face. Her mouth literally dropped open and her eyes were wide as can be. She had no idea that would happen because he doesn't do anything with religion. He came in and we taught them both and we set up a return appointment for this next Thursday to teach them both. To make it even better they both committed to come to church soon, they just aren't sure when because of the Christmas time and the plans that they have. It was such a great experience and I am so grateful that the Spirit touched her husband so that he could come and listen to the wonderful message that we share. 

I thought you would like to know that I got the Christmas package that you sent and first thing I did is I opened it. Haha just kidding I have not opened it yet. I think it is funny that on the package it says what is in the package that makes the surprise a little less surprising. I think just because I know what is in it I should just be able to open it right now. You know what maybe I will do that right before I go to bed tonight. I don't think there is anything wrong with that do you?  I can tell you don't care so I will go for it. Thanks for the package it was really great to get something. I can't wait for Christmas so that I can see what exactly is inside.

Speaking of Christmas everything is going well with the Christmas initiative. I am really enjoying talking to people about Christmas and especially about the true meaning of Christmas. One of my favorite things to ask people when I stop them is what their favorite thing about Christmas is. It is interesting to hear what people have to say to that question. There have been times when I think that the true meaning of Christmas is lost, but I have talked to people and the things that they love about Christmas are great things. Quite a few people say that they love spending time with their family during Christmas. And one person who said that they love how people seem to be more happy during Christmas and that is what they love. Those things are not bad things at all.  It's just interesting how many people I stop and they don't mention the Savior at all and most of them have a Christian background. It is kind of sad how that is, but I am glad that I can talk to them about the Savior and hopefully help them see the importance of Him during this time of the year. 

It sounds like you have some great plans for this Christmas season.  I am so proud of you for doing such a great service for someone. I know that you will all be blessed for doing it and yet you will always remember the experience and the feelings that you feel during it.  I have no idea if we will be able to watch the Christmas message from the first Presidency. If I remember right I don't think we saw it last year so I don't know if we will see it this year. I guess we will find out sooner or later.  Either way I am sure you will all enjoy it. 

I had a great experience during my studies this past week that I thought I could share and maybe you could try it out. Since I have been on my mission I have grown to really love hymns. They bring so much more meaning to me when we sing them in church because I have learned to really think of the words that I am saying. This past week I sat down and I played loads of different hymns that are sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Before they would sing I would read the scriptures that went with each hymn. I noticed that it helped me understand the hymn and what it was taking about. I would then listen to the hymn and while it played I would follow along in my hymn book and the words had so much more meaning. It is amazing the power that a hymn has. I learned so much and I definitely felt the Spirit during the little time that I did that activity. I think you should try it if you ever get the chance because I know you will have the same great experience. If you don't already I would like you to try and pay attention to the words of the hymns that are sung in church, especially the sacrament hymn. It has really helped me to have a greater experience during those special meetings. 

Weekly Thought 
This month for us missionaries we are focusing a lot on faith. In our meetings we are to speak about faith and we are to apply the things we learn and to gain greater faith so that we can do better as missionaries. Last weeks thought was on faith and I thought this weeks thought could be on faith too because I have taken a lot of time to study it out and I would like to share a few thought with you from what I have learned. 
My favorite quote on faith is: 
"Faith is the moving cause of all action."
If we were all to look back in our lives and ask ourselves which principle gave us energy do to everything in our lives it would be faith. When we have faith we do things because we believe they will happen even though we can't see it. 
Here are a few examples of things we might do that require some faith.  Let's say you decide to plant a vegetable garden. You have no idea that the vegetables that you plant will even start to grow, but you have faith that it will, so you do it. You need a job so you can make money. Before you apply you have no idea if you are going to get the job or not, but you exercise your faith and you apply.  You kneel down next to your bed one night to pray to your Heavenly Father. You have a big question on your mind that you need an answer to. Before you knelt down you didn't know what the answer would be let alone if you would be answered, but your faith is what gave you the energy to kneel down. All of these examples and many more that I could give show us that we truly do things because of faith. Faith truly is the moving cause of all action. 

I would like to share a few scriptural examples of people who exercised faith and because of it great things happened. One is the Brother of Jared. He was commanded to build some barges so that he and his family could travel across the waters to the promise land. He builds them and then he has three questions for the Lord. In Ether 2:19 it says: 
"And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish."
The Brother of Jared showed faith when he asked God these three questions that he wasn't sure about. 1. There is no light, how will we see? 2. How are we supposed to steer?  3. How are we supposed to breathe?  We know that the Lord answered all the questions because of the Brother of Jared's faith. 

The first question was answered by the Lord telling the Brother of Jared to come up with his own idea on what would be the best way to have light. As we know the Brother of Jared made some clear stones which he then took up in a mountain and he prayed and asked the Lord to touch them with his finger so they would shine. The Lord did and the Brother of Jared saw the finger of the Lord. We know that he saw the finger of the Lord because of his faith which it talks about in verse 9 of Ether Ch. 3.
"...never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger..."
The second question was answered by the Lord saying that he will control the winds and the waves so that the barges will be guided to the Promise land. That would take great faith to be in a barge for 344 days and to know that you are being guided the right way. 
The third was answered by the Lord telling him to put a hole in the top and the bottom and to cover them. When they needed air they were to uncover them and they would be able to breathe. 
It took the Brother of Jared faith to first pray and asks God these questions along with faith that he would receive and answer to them which he did. Because of his faith hi and his family were able to make it to the promise land and also the Brother of Jared was able to see the Lord.  Those we some great things that came from faith. 

A more modern example of showing faith was the Prophet Joseph Smith. At 14 years of age he had a question of which church to join. He had listened to many preachers who would say things that would make Joseph think they were the right church and then the preacher would say something that made Joseph think they were the wrong church. This happened with many different preachers from many different churches.  As we know he was reading in James 1:5 when he got the answer of what he needed to do. 

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Joseph Smith knew, after reading this scripture, that he needed to ask God which church to join. So in his own words he said:
"In accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally."
As he said in that verse it was the very first time in his life that he had made that attempt. He had never before prayed vocally in his life and at that point he was exercising great faith that God would answer his prayer which we know he did. Joseph described what happened next. He said: 
" I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me....  When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other--This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
Because Joseph Smith had faith that God would answer his prayer we now have the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. Because a 14 year old boy had enough faith to pray vocally for the first time in his life we too can find out what church is the true church that Christ established while he was on the earth.

With faith we truly can do and witness great things just like the Brother of Jared and Joseph Smith. We might not have the same experience of seeing Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father like they did, but with our faith we can witness and do great things that will help us to become closer to our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. 
During this Christmas season I invite you to exercise your faith as you try to discover or strengthen your testimony on the true meaning of Christmas. This is a special time of the year where we can learn of our Savior Jesus Christ and be grateful for his birth. For without His birth He would have not been able to perform the atonement and because of the Atonement we can all live again. 

Wow that was a long letter. I didn’t realize how long it was until I finished. I hope you don't get bored reading it. Have a great week and I will speak to you soon. 
Elder Peterson