Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Letter #79

Dear Mum and Family,

This past week has been a pretty crazy week for many different reasons. We have had our ups and downs this week, but we are still keeping our heads up and doing what we hope is best for this area. Something crazy that has happened is we were able to experience a full day of sunshine this past week. It was super cold and you couldn't wear enough clothes to keep yourself warm, but we saw the sun, which is a miracle especially in Swansea. Haha to be honest it makes me really happy to see and hear that you got some snow his past week and a good amount too. I hope you get enough snow to stay all the way through the summer so I can see it when I make it back in July. Haha. 

We had a dinner with the Stake President this past week and he was telling us about one area in northern Wales I believe that has had rain for the past 92 days.  Luckily we have only had about 29 days of straight rain and according to the Stake President this is one of the wettest winters they have had in a while in Swansea. It is amazing how much rain I have seen here in Swansea since I have been here. 

On the missionary side of things we are starting to get in contact with most of our investigators and we are able to meet them. There have been a lot of exams and big essays due this week so the Uni students have been pretty busy. They should all be done with that this week so things should start to slow down a bit for them and we will be able to see them again this coming week a lot easier. 

There is one investigator that we saw this week and we had a great lesson with him. He has been meeting with the missionaries for about one transfer now and he has had all the lessons. The only thing that is keeping him from being baptized is a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He comes to church activities and he is trying to come to church he has just been so busy with school lately. He is an awesome guy. We met with him this last week and we focused on the restoration and specifically the Book of Mormon. We talked about receiving answers to prays and how the Holy Ghost helps us to receive those answers. I definitely felt the Spirit guiding us in the lesson. I know that the things we said were things he needed to hear and I really hope that he does pray and read. We left a chapter for him to read that I think will really help him so we will see how it goes when we meet with him this next week. 

Other than that the investigators that we have are not really progressing that much. I have been thinking a lot of how we can help this area and I think the best thing we can do is focus on those we know will progress and then just do lots of finding to build our teaching pool a little better. The Swansea area has a lot of potential when it comes to finding people that are interested so I think we will find some really cool people this week. I hope to be able to send you an email next week with miracles of the people we found this next week. 

I don't really have much more to report on other than we are half way through this transfer already which is super crazy and it is back to raining again today. And I can't believe that it is almost February now. Oh yeah another exciting thing that's going to happen this week is there is a worldwide broadcast for all missionaries on Thursday. It is coming from church headquarters and we get to listen to it live. We have no idea what we are going to be hearing but I am excited to learn on what I can do to be a better missionary. Other than that it should be a typical week of missionary work here in the UK.

Before I go I will share another spiritual thought like usual. It is kind of a long one but I hope that you enjoy. 
Weekly Thought

I want to share with you a story that I have read from an ensign in the past that has stayed with me and has really stuck out to me for many reasons. It has taught me a lot about the simple things in life and especially in the gospel and how important they are. 
In 1485 there was a King on the English throne named Richard III.  While he was King he had to defend his throne more then once. King Richard III was very experienced in the military and he had an army between 8,000 and 10,000 men who were great warriors. In the year of 1485 there was a man by the name of Henry Tudor who wanted the English throne so he challenged King Richard III for the throne. 
Unlike King Richard III, Henry didn't have much experience in battle and he only had 5,000 men. Henry did have very good advisors though and many of them had actually battled before against King Richard III along with many other battles that were similar to this one. So the day of the battle came and many thought that King Richard III would win because of the experience he had and because of the size of his army compared to Henry's army. 
So on 22 August 1485 King Richard III prepared to battle against Henry and his warriors. The winner of this battle would be the ruler of England. On the morning of this day, King Richard III asked one of his servants to go make sure that his favorite horse was prepared for battle. The servant found that the horse was not ready because the blacksmith had been working on all the other horses the past couple days getting them ready for battle. The servant rushed the blacksmith saying the horse needs to be ready now because Henry's army is advancing and the King needs to be out there to meet them with his army. Well the blacksmith did the best he could to hurry and shoe the Kings horse and by the time he got to the last hoof he noticed that he was short a nail.  He told the servant that he had to hurry and make some more nails, but the servant said there is not enough time for the army was here to fight. He told the blacksmith just to put it on despite the fact that the blacksmith said it is not going to hold. He did it anyways and the horse was given to King Richard III for battle. 
The battle had soon started and King Richard III was riding up and down the line fighting and urging his men to keep fighting strong. King Richard III looked back across the field and noticed that some of his men were falling back.  Fearing that they would start retreating he turned his horse around and started galloping towards the men to encourage them to keep fighting. Before he got to them his horse stumbled and fell which threw King Richard III off his horse. Just as the blacksmith had feared, one of the horse's shoes had come off during the gallop. 
King Richard III jumped up from the ground, just as his horse got up and ran off.  He started waving his sword in the air yelling I need a horse, but it was too late. By that time the King's men had run in fear of Henry's advancing army and King Richard III had lost the battle. 
From this event there is a proverb that says:
For want of a nail, a shoe was lost, 
For want of a shoe, a horse was lost,
For want of a horse, a battle was lost,
For want of a battle, a kingdoms was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. 
After reading this event and the proverb there is a scripture that comes to my mind that I am sure comes to yours. It's Alma 37:6
" small and simple things are great things brought to pass..."
This story explains something so small and simple and because it was only thought of as a small and simple thing the servant in the story didn't think it mattered that much. How many of us think the same way about things in our lives?  Maybe we think that missing one day of scripture reading isn't really going to hurt us. Or maybe we think that by not paying a full tithe this month isn't going to hurt us. Maybe showing and act of love by serving our neighbor is something we don't really want to do today because we are "too busy" and we don't think it will affect us. I know there are many more simple things that we just put aside and we don't do them because they are just small and simple. We don't understand sometimes how powerful those things really are in our lives. 
The very first meeting that we as missionaries had with President and Sister Leppard when they arrived as the new Mission President and wife will be one that I will never forget for many different reasons. One of those reasons is because of something so simple that President Leppard said that really hit me. He said:
"Do the simple things well."
Those 5 words are so true and they bring so much power. Whether we are a missionary or not, by doing the simple things in life we are able to experience great things. No thing is too simple that we shouldn't do it. In fact the gospel is so simple in itself. We make things too complicated some times by thinking that we have to worry more about doing the hard things. We sometimes think that we need to do hard things in order to get closer to our Heavenly Father and to become more like Him and His Son Jesus Christ. The truth is that when we do simple things well that is when we truly become closer to Him. When we go to church each week to partake of the sacrament and think of the savior during that time we are getting closer to Him. When we set aside just 15 minutes to study the scriptures we are getting closer to our Heavenly Father. When we make sure to hold a Family Home Evening weekly, even if it's just a simple Family Home Evening.  By doing these small and simple things we can be blessed in so many ways. 
Elder Richard G Scott said:
" Remember: little things lead to big things.  Seemingly insignificant indiscretions or neglect can lead to big problems. More importantly, simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings."
May we remember this and may we all do our best to do the simple things well. I know that great things in life lay ahead as we do these things, for I have seen it in my life. Great things truly come from doing the small and simple things. 

Have a great week!!
Elder Peterson

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