Monday, January 25, 2016

Letter #80

Dear Mum and Family,

We have had a pretty great week this past  week. The weather was pretty nice for a couple of days which is really really nice for missionary work. We took advantage of the nice warm days and we spent a lot of time in the city centre trying to talk to people. We actually have found some really cool people that are interested to learn more. We will be trying to get in contact with them tomorrow to see when we can see them. 

I actually had a pretty cool experience this past week when it came to finding. One morning I had a really great study on the Plan of Salvation in Preach My Gospel. After our studies we had planned to go out and do some finding in city centre. I felt that I should focus on the Plan of Salvation when I spoke to people so that's what I did. As I was walking down one of the streets in city centre I saw a guy that I kindly wanted to stop, but I wasn't sure if I should stop him or another person that I saw. I felt like I kind of got pushed towards the first guy I had seen. So I went and stopped him and after talking to him for a bit I felt like I needed to ask him about what the purpose of life is. It was the perfect question for him because it is something that he has been thinking about lately. It made him really think and as I was talking to him a little more about the Plan of Salvation. He was so interested in learning more so we set up a time to see him Sunday which was yesterday. We had a wonderful lesson with him yesterday and we were able to answer a lot of his questions. He still has a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation, but he has invited us back over this next Saturday so we can continue to help him. He is a way cool guy from Ghana and he is studying here in Swansea for 3 years. I am pretty excited to see him again this next week. I know he will get baptized at some point. 

Well today we went to the Gower as a District so that's why I am so late with the emailing this week. I have a lot of pictures that I hope you guys like. The pictures will hopefully explain what the Gower is. If you have any questions you can ask me next week. We also visited a castle in Swansea which was pretty cool. There wasn't much left of the castle but it was still nice to see and get some pictures of it. We had a lot of fun and we were so lucky that it didn't rain on us. It was a really windy day and there were a lot of clouds but I will take that any day. 

Well transfers are coming up again here soon. I can't believe that this is the last week of January. All of the Sister missionaries that came out the same time that I did are going home in 9 days. How crazy is that?!  I can't believe how fast the time is going. I thought it would slow down a bit now that we are in the beginning of a new year but I was wrong.  I am really loving it here in Swansea. Yeah we get a lot of rain but I love the area and to be honest the more I think about it the more I think that there will probably be one day where I will look back and miss the rain. So right now I am just enjoying the experience while it lasts even if I am soaking wet all day long. Haha. The Welsh people are great and to be honest I hope I can finish my mission in Wales. I don't want Swansea to be my last Area I just think it would be nice to be in Wales.  

Well I am going to let you all go. I hope that you enjoy the spiritual thought that I have prepared for this week. To be honest I think it is not the best because I had a hard time putting the words and thoughts that were in my mind into the email. I hope you understand it and I hope it will help someone out there. 

Weekly letter

Lately I have been reading in Mosiah. I have learned so much from it all, but the part I have loved reading most this time around is when Abinadi, the Prophet, speaks toe King Noah and his priest. I have also had another focus this past week, which has been the Atonement. It was a perfect focus because it goes along really well with Abinadi and his teachings. 
Throughout my life I have always loved reading Isaiah chapter 53 when I have wanted to read about the Atonement. It holds a special place in my heart. As I am sure you all know Abinadi quotes Isaiah 53 when speaking to King Noah. Jeffery R. Holland said something that I love about this. He said:
"Surely the most sublime, the lengthiest, and most lyrical declaration of the life, death, and atoning sacrifice of Christ is that found in Isaiah 53, quoted in its entirety in the Book of Mormon by Abinadi as he stood in chains before King Noah.  

This quote has made me want to study these amazing verses of scriptures. By doing so this past week I have found the beauty of these verses and the amazing truths that lies inside.  I have grown a greater love for my Savior by studying and pondering about these verses. I hope that the thoughts I share with you today will help you to gain more of that love for the Savior as well. I know in the past I have shared thoughts before on the Atonement, but I don't think that I can speak enough about the Atonement. For it is because of our Savior that so much is possible.
" ...he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities" (Mosiah 14:5)

This verse sticks out to me the most when I read this chapter. The Savior went through so much for us, not only on the cross, which he was nailed to. Those nails would cause so much suffering as they were driven into the hands and feet as they penetrated and crushed sensitive nerves and quivering tendons, yet inflicted no mortal wound" as James E. Talmage puts it. 
He also suffered tremendous pain while in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In the Garden he took upon him all the sins of the world, or as Isaiah says " he has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows."  No mortal man could have done this. " It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing." We have a hard time understanding how much pain the Savior went through let alone go through it ourselves.
The Savior loves us tremendously. He truly did pay a debt he didn't owe because we owed a debt we couldn't pay. It is only through the Savior Jesus Christ that we can be healed from our mistakes. Christ was pure and clean yet he paid the price for all of our sins, yours and mine, so that we could one day return to live with our Heavenly Father again.  We just need to apply the Atonement in our lives. We need to ask, "What lack I Yet?" Because the Savior knows. When we come to find out what we lack we can change and become better because the Savior has made it possible. 
I am so grateful for mine and your Savior, Jesus Christ, who has done so much for us all. I too am grateful for our Heavenly Father who loves us so much that he was willing to send his only begotten Son to take upon him the sins of the world. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that as we do our best to follow the path that he walked then we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again one day. He loves us and he wants each of us to return to him, but we still have to do our part while on the earth. 
He loves us and he wants the best for us. Let's show our love to Him by following his commandments the best we can, whatever it may be. 
Have a wonderful week!!
Elder Peterson

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