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

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