Monday, April 4, 2016

Letter #90

Dear Mum and Family,

I don't know about you but conference this past week was definitely the highlight of the week. We went to the chapel on Saturday evening to watch the Saturday morning session and then we stayed at the chapel all day Sunday to watch the rest, except for Sunday afternoon. We took our own food and just chilled with the members with the hour break between each session. It was a great time. There were some amazing talks and it was amazing to feel the power of the spirit as I listened to those who spoke. I hoped you all enjoyed it as much as I did. 

A great tender mercy that I was able to receive was yesterday after watching one of the sessions of conference. As we were going to make some lunch I noticed someone sitting on the back row of the chapel that I recognized. It was a lady who lives in the Sheldon ward which was my first area if you don't remember. I talked with her for a bit and she gave me the update of the ward and it is doing really well. 

One person I specifically wanted to know about was I****. He was Less Active that came up to my companion and I as we were walking to the library one day and said he wanted to come back to church and he wanted us to teach him. I don't know if you remember that or not. Well I found out that he has now gone through the temple and is married and super active in the church. I am so grateful that I was able to hear that. It brought so much happiness to me. 

Apparently the area is doing a lot better and has had quite a few baptism lately. One of the missionaries there at the moment is Elder Jarvis which is the Elder I served with when I first went to Tamworth. He is a great missionary and I am sure that he is going to do some amazing things in that area. The Stilger family is doing great too which was also good to hear. 

So my week has been pretty good as you can probably tell by now. Because S**** was baptized we don't really have many more people to work with at the moment. This week we are going to be focusing a lot on member missionary work and getting the members more involved in helping their friends to learn about the gospel. I am pretty excited to see what success that will bring to us this next week. 

We have been experiencing some nice weather. Compared to the weather you are having we have some amazing weather. Haha sorry to make you jealous mum.  It's a bit cloudy today but everyone is wearing light jackets and every once in a while the sun pokes out from the clouds. The grass is green and beautiful to look at. I don't see any white stuff outside so everything is very colorful. 

I can't believe that you asked if I was eating well. What kind of question is that? Of course I am eating well. You know how much I love my food. The main reason I miss your cooking is because you are the one that makes it and all I have to do is eat it. I don't like taking the time to make the food I just want to eat it. That's another big reason I am excited to make a nice man cave in the basement of your house. There will always be food for me. 

Well I hope that I answered all your questions. If not I guess I will hear about it next week. Haha. Here is your weekly thought you have been waiting all week for. Beware its not that good.

Weekly thought
Well I don't want to get on mums bad side so I guess I will have to share something’s about the scripture that was ponderized this past week. As you know the scripture was 4 Nephi 1:11 which talks about marriage. Don't worry mum my views haven't changed. Even with what was said in conference. 

 ( I love causing you stress)  The scripture says. 
"And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them."
When I started to think about this scripture I started to compare the whole 4th Book of Nephi to today's world and the differences between the people at that time and the world now and also some similarities.  I want to list off a few of those differences. 
* All the people in the land were "converted unto the Lord". (4 Nephi 1:2)

* "They had all things common among them".  (4 Nephi 1:3) and along with that there were no -ites.  They were all one and equal to each other.  (4 Nephi 1:17)
* They witnessed many miracles by the disciples which would be because of their obedience to God. (4 Nephi 1:5)
* "There was no contention in the land because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people." (4 Nephi 1:15)

That is just a few things I picked out that is hard to find in the world today outside of the church. As I imagined what the people were like in the beginning of the book, I could see that they were the type of people who truly wanted to be like Christ and they wanted to follow His commandments. In verse 7 it says that "the Lord did prosper them exceedingly in the land." This shows that they did follow the commandments and they were blessed for their obedience to God.

This takes me to 4 Nephi 1:11.  I think a reason this verse was written was to show the importance of marriage and families and that the Lord blesses families. Not only are we commanded to have families, but we are commanded to raise our families in righteousness.  "God has established families to bring happiness to His children, allow them to learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and prepare them for eternal life." (PMG 32)

The Lord shows the importance of families when he visits the people in the Book of Mormon. He takes the little children and blesses them. Showing the importance of little children and how they need to be guided in the right ways. Children are best guided through life when they have parents that are married and follow the commandments of God. I believe the people of Nephi understood that "heaven is a continuation of the ideal home". (PMG 85)  And that we need to establish our families in the right way, which is marriage in the temple of the Lord which we know and need to follow today. 

Later in 4 Nephi the people start to fall away from Christ's church and what happened to the families? They did teach their children not to believe in Christ and the gospel that He taught. ( 4 Nephi 1: 38-39). Obviously tis hurts the family and it destroys the foundation that is builder on Christ, which is a sure foundation. The foundation is now built on sand and is now starting to crumble. As you see in the remaining part of the chapter the people start to harden their hearts and become prideful. There is hate and contention in the land which causes lots of problems among the people. 

We need to start now to prepare to be married in the temple to make this promises with God and to raise families in righteousness. If we are already married we need to continue to raise our families as we are taught by the Prophets and Apostles. There was great counsel given in this last conference in how to raise families in righteousness. We need to follow their counsel. We need to establish our homes and families on the foundation of Christ. I know that as we do so we will be blessed and protected just as it says in Helamen 5:12:

"when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men (and families) build they cannot fall."

Thanks for all you guys do and for your love and support. Keep being amazing!! Love you all!!
Elder Peterson

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