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

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