Monday, January 4, 2016

Letter # 77

Dear Mum and Family,

Well I thought you would like to know that there has not been a single day since I have been in Swansea that it has not rained. It rains all the time and when it rains it really rains so I don't know what it's like to feel dry. Haha I am loving it here even if it rains all the time.  On the bright side I know for a fact that I am experiencing warmer weather than you are. Haha I am sure that mum wanted to hear that. I hope it made your day better to know that I am not as cold as you are right now. Haha

The past week was a pretty good week other than the fact that I was sick all week and I think I am just starting to get to the end of it. The worst part is over which makes me happy. For about 3 days I had lost my voice and if you didn't know it's kind of hard to reach people about the gospel when you can't talk. Luckily I have made it through and I am still alive.   

This past Wednesday was a great day. There was a leadership meeting for all missionaries who are in leadership. So that would be A.P's, Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders and District Leaders. We travelled to the mission home where the meeting was held and it was a great meeting. The first part was pretty much accounting for the areas we are working in and then setting some goals for this next year that we as a mission want to accomplish. We then heard some messages from the Mission Presidency who gave some amazing talks on the Spirit. The Spirit was definitely present in that meeting and I learned so much from those who gave talks. It made me super excited for this next year and to focus and work hard. I am so excited for the things that we are going to be doing in our area. Great things are going to happen. 

For New Years we didn't do anything too special. We played football with a good amount of ward members, which was pretty fun. We didn't stay up late or anything like that. We were too tired and I had a cold so sleep really helped me. We then went on exchange with the Zone Leaders, which was fun. I went with Elder Davis and we had some good fun. He is the one in the picture with me at the beach. We didn't do a whole lot other than finding and stopping by to visit some people. Things should start picking up this week now that all the holidays are over. 

The ward is great. There are lots of great members here and a good amount of them I knew from when I served in Llanelli. We don't really get many dinners in this ward, but that's okay because there are 3 teams of missionaries in this one ward so it's kind of hard to feed us all every day. We do get fed though and when we don't have dinners we make some great food so we definitely eat well. 

You did get the flat right. I was hoping that it would take you longer than that to get it. I guess I did give you a lot of hints, which made it easier for you. If I didn't tally out anything it would have taken you the rest of this transfer I am sure. 

Well I will share with you my weekly thought. It has to do with the New Year again so I hope you aren't tired of hearing about the New Year. I promise next week won't be on the New Year. 

Weekly Thought

The New Year has come and we are now in the year 2016. There is much that lays ahead in our lives. We will have joys and we will face challenges. We will have experiences that will teach us and experiences that we might struggle with. We have the opportunity to change and become better, someone that is hopefully more like our savior Jesus Christ. 

Last week I shared a thought on changing and setting appropriate goals that will help us to become someone that our Father in Heaven wants us to become. I am sure you have all set some great goals that will challenge you and help you to become someone great. This week I want to share some thoughts that still relate to the New Year. I would like to focus it on a scripture from the Old Testament. 

"look not behind thee" (Genesis 19:17 )

I am sure you all know the story of Lot and his family, especially the part about his wife. Lot and his family were commanded to leave Sodom and Gomorrah because it was really wicked. So they left and they were told not to look back. As we know Lot's wife looked back and she was turned to a pillar of salt. I don't believe that looking back was not the sin. I believe she turned to salt because she longed to go back. She had liked her old life and she didn't want to leave it.   

We can apply this simply to this New Year. We have had great experiences that have brought us great joy in the past. I am sure you can all remember those experiences in pretty good detail. Thinking about them might bring back those good feelings that you had at that time. The fact is we will never experience those things ever again and I am sure we all realize this or I least hope we realize this. 

We need to take the experiences that we had in the past and learn from them rather than wish we could live them again. Really all we can do is live today to the best of our ability and enjoy every moment whether it's good or bad. I love the quote from Harold B. Lee that says:

" There is only one day that you and I have to live for, and that's today. There is nothing we can do about yesterday except repent, and there may be no tomorrow. The thing for us to do when we arise from our beds each day is take whatever comes to our hands, and do it to the best of our ability."

I hope that we can all remember this next year to enjoy life as it comes. Not longing for the past and not wishing for the future. It won't be easy at times, but we were not promised easy paths. We just need to remember that if God brought you to it, you'll have to trust that He will bring you through it. 

I know that there will be great things that lay ahead too. May we look for the great that lies ahead and enjoy the times while they last. Let's live in the now learning from the past and not longing for it to be back. Let's be grateful for each day that God has given us to live and do all we can to take full advantage of everything that he places in our lives. I am grateful for this New Year to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life and to change into the person that God wants me to be. 

Have a great week and I will talk to you next week. 

Elder Peterson

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