Monday, April 11, 2016

Letter #91

Dear Mum and Family,

I think it is funny that you said you didn't have much to I say.  I think you are getting a little sick mum. Do you need me to help you and tell you how to feel better!  Just take your vitamins. Haha

We have had a really good week I would say. As I said last Monday we were going to be focused a lot on members and it was fun getting to know them a bit more and helping them to get more involved with missionary work. 
We also made some cookies for some of the members.  There were a few birthdays this past week of a few members so we decided to make them a few cookies. They said they really enjoyed them, but it's not surprising seeing how they are the best cookies ever. And I made them out of love because I had to use my own strength since we have nothing to mix it for us. Good thing I am strong.  

 I will attach some pictures of the cookies we made. They look good and they taste amazing.  I guess you will have to take my word for it since you can't taste them. Haha

We did have a pretty cool miracle this past week though. We also stopped by many homes of  investigators in areas that we haven't done too much work in and we found a guy who is pretty interested. He stopped meeting with missionaries because he was just so busy and couldn't find time to meet. 
When we stopped by he invited us back over the next day. We had a great lesson with him on the Restoration and he remembers quite a bit from the discussions with the past missionaries. He said that he doesn't agree with some things they do in the church he goes to now and has been interested in our church. He even said that the Book of Mormon he was given is right next to his bed, which made me so happy to hear. I am excited to see him this next week, hopefully. He is getting ready to go on holiday to America soon so we will see if he has time this week. 

The weather has been nice so we have taken advantage by walking around and visiting lots of people we haven't visited before. There are a few people who we will stop by again this week because they seem pretty promising. A few less actives that we can hopefully help rekindle their faith. So we have a few things that are looking good this next week. 
In the district we are planning on having two baptisms this week. One from the sisters and one from the other Elders. It is getting the ward very excited for missionary work.  It is great to see them more involved and willing to help us with those we are teaching. I think we as missionaries have got really good relationships with the members here in this ward too.  

Well thanks for the thought you gave on ponderizing. Maybe one day some others will participate and we can get more responses. As for now though I will share mine for this week. 

Weekly Thought
As I have been ponderizing these past few weeks the scriptures you have given me I have noticed that I focus in the scripture that you give me, but I also ponder about the whole chapter too. By doing that I have learned a lot more about the scripture that you give me to ponderize.  I loved the scripture that you gave this past week because it has a lot we can learn from it. 
The Savior feeds the five thousand in this chapter and after He feeds them He tells His disciples to get in a boat and to cross the sea to the other side to the land Gennesart.  So the disciple are in a boat crossing the sea and Jesus goes up to a mountain to pray alone. The disciples are now sailed out into the sea and there is storm which is tossing the ship about with its mighty winds and waves.
Then Jesus comes unto them walking on water " in the fourth watch" as it says. His disciples see Him and at first they don't think it is him, but then they recognize Him and Peter wants to walk out to Him on the water. We know he does and before he gets to the savior He looks away and starts to sink and then the savior saves him and they both go back to the boat. 
Now I want to apply this to us and I want to know focus a bit more on Mathew 14:31 which is the scripture that was ponderized this past week. 

We all have our own personal storms that are going on around us. Those storms may be temptations, they may be fears we have, it may be things in the world that cause us stress, it may be things we are struggling with physically or spiritually, or many other things. We all have "storms" going on around us just like the disciples were experiencing. 

When it says that the savior came into them in the fourth watch it means that it was between the times 3:00 and 6:00 a.m.  That's pretty early in the morning. So the disciples had been tossed by this storm all night and into the morning. I am sure they were exhausted. We may have things that we are struggling with and we have been fighting against them for quite some time just like the disciples. We need to be patient like the disciples and have trust that we will receive His help. The Lord went straight to the disciples. He knew where they were and what was happening to them. It is the same with us. He knows where we are and what we are going through and he does come unto us. 
When Christ comes and Peter walks out to Him Peter forgets about the storm because He is focused on Christ. The storm didn't stop straight away, but Peter had a different focus and that was the Savior, not the storm. Then Peter started to focus on the storm and not the Savior and that is when he started to sink. When we focus on our struggles or challenges then we start to sink in many different ways. But what does Peter do.  He focuses back on the Savior and says, "Lord, save me". And immediately Christ stretched forth His hand and caught him. We too can and will be saved and helped, but we have turn our focus to the Lord just as Peter did.  He is there and He will immediately help us as we turn to Him. 

At the end of verse 31 the savior says, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Obviously the opposite of Faith is doubt.  When we focus on the Savior and we have faith in him then there is no reason to doubt. 
It took faith for Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water. Our faith is strengthened by exercising our faith. (Alma 32: 41)  As we face different "storms" in life and we show faith to focus on and walk towards Christ then our faith is strengthened. As our faith is strengthened, then during those moments we won't take our focus off the Savior. 

I love the teachings of King Benjamin. I especially love when he talks about the atonement of the Savior. Part of a verse I want to share comes from Mosiah 3: 7 which says:
"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death..."
The Savior knows how we all feel and because He knows those things He truly can help us when we are "sinking". Let us turn to and focus on the Savior at all times.  I know that as we do so there will be no storm that we cannot handle. 

Hope it wasn't too long for you. I feel like I rambled on quite a bit. Hope you all have a great week!!
Elder Peterson
April 2016 Elder Peterson's cookies he made

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