Monday, June 20, 2016

Letter # 101

Dear Mum and Family,

I just want to say Happy Father's Day to my most favorite dad. Haha. I hope that you were treated like a king on your special day. If it was up to me I think this whole week should be Father's Week and you should be treated like a king all week. I don't know how well that will go down, but it's worth a shot. Haha

It sounds like you are all enjoying the summer break. I think you are not having enough fun though. Maybe you should spend a bit more of your free time doing fun things. Haha. I am messing with you. It sounds like you are having a blast with all the different activities that you are all up to. I hope that it doesn't get old too fast. I wouldn't want you to want to be back in school. Haha yeah right!!  I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Well it has been a pretty good week for us here in Stourbridge. It has been a challenge in a few ways, but we have pushed through it and have made it to another Pday. It is always nice to have a Pday to take a bit of a break. 
One of my favorite experiences this past week was when I went to Woodsetton on exchange with another missionary. His name is Elder Nicotra and he is from Italy. He is a great guy and I enjoyed the day I was able to spend with him and to learn from him. 
While on exchange we went to an investigators house to teach them. It is a part member family that has been taught for a good amount of time by the missionaries. The father is a member and the mom is not. The kids are too young to be baptized just yet. 

As we were walking to their house we didn't know what to really teach them because like I said they have been taught for a while and have been taught all the lessons. So we started to think about what they might need. Elder Nicotra told me a bit about them, but I have never met them before so I didn't know what to really talk about. We came to the conclusion that we should talk about the spirit and receiving and answer to our prayers. That is something that she was kind of struggling with at the moment. 

We got there and had a great time getting to know them. They are such a nice couple and it was fun speaking with them. We then got to the follow up questions like, how is your Book of Mormon reading?  How is your praying?  This type of questions. We kept talking about that for some time and then I had the prompting to ask about baptism. 
I asked if she has spoke about baptism with the missionaries. She said she had and there was nothing she had against being baptized. Her husband wanted her to be baptized obviously because he is a member. I felt the spirit come into the room as we talked a bit about it. I then felt like we needed to discuss a date for her baptism that she could work towards. We talked about it and we decided to let her and her husband talk about it after we left. They said they would text us with a date after they discussed it together. 

Well they have set a date for August 6th. I felt so much joy as I heard that was the date they had decided to work towards. It was s great experience for me and I know that she is going to make that date. She knows and understands all of the gospel. There are a few habits that she needs to quit and that date will give her plenty of time to work at those. I am so exited for the Elders in Woodsetton for that exciting time. 
One thing I am so grateful for is the experiences that I have had with the spirit while on my mission. If there is one thing I have learned is how the spirit works with me personally in so many ways. It is definitely something that will be a benefit to me for the rest of my life. That has definitely been a great blessing to me for the rest of my life. Yeah I had spiritual experience before my mission. I wouldn't have had these same experiences if I didn't come on my mission and they have taught me so much. 
I am in so much debt to my Heavenly Father. He blesses me so much and there is no way I will ever be able to repay Him. I am also so grateful for the testimony that I have about my Heavenly Father and how much He loves me personally and for the love He has for everyone. I am positive we don't recognize all He does for us. There is just so much that happens that goes unnoticed sometimes. 

I have just finished reading section 110 this morning. I hope that you are able to be keeping up because it is going fast and the sections have been pretty long recently. It is crazy how much you can learn for them though. There is just too much to take in all at once. It is good though and I am enjoying it. 
Well I think my letter is getting too long. I haven't even shared my thought for you all this week. I better get to that before I bore you all. I will try to keep it short for you this week. I know you struggle to stay awake sometimes through my thoughts. Good thing you have all week to read them. Haha

Weekly Thought 
This week’s scripture has taught me so much.  I am thankful for the thoughts you gave on this scripture. They have also taught me many things. I have really grown to love ponderizing as we have learned and shared together things we have learned.  
The scripture this week was pretty short, but there is so much to learn from it. 
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."
It is interesting that Luke is the only Gospel writer to have written about Christ calling seventy to assist in the work they the twelve does. To preach and prepare the way for the savior to come again. 
The savior called apostles and seventy then and he does the same now, for " he is the same yesterday, today, and forever."  (1 Nephi 10:18). We are so blessed to have them on the earth to proclaim the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and to help strengthen us all. 
As I have been reading about the seventy and the roles they play in preparing others for the second coming, I couldn't help think of something more important than that of a Seventy. "The family is the fundamental unit in the church, and home is the most important place for gospel learning. No other organization can take the place of the family." (True to the faith p.34)
While there are lots of callings to help strengthen each other in our wards, we have an important role as part of a family to help those in our families. The gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings us together. As it says in the Family Proclamation to the World:  
"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."
These things are what brings a family together and helps them to all obtain the celestial kingdom one day and to live together forever. In many of our homes there is the saying "our family can be together forever".  Whether that happens or not depends on the choices that each individual family member makes. 
We are blessed to have a living Prophet and Apostles, a long with seventy, who are called to prepare the world for the second coming of the Savior. As we listen to their words and apply them in our lives as individuals, and as a family, we will be able to live together forever after this life.  What a great blessing that is. We know and are so blessed to have a knowledge of our loving Heavenly Fathers plan for us and our families. I hope we can all look at ourselves individually and ask "What am I doing to bless my family?"  
I know with all my heart that the Savior lives and because of Him we will continue to live.  As it says in the Book of Mormon :
 "...there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."  (Mosiah 16:8)
I know that to be true. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us. He wants us to be with our families forever. He wants us to return to Him and feel of that wonderful joy and peace. The Savior has made it possible for that all to happen. 
Heavenly Father does love us tremendously and I know that through many blessings that he has given to me. How blessed I am for the gospel in my life and the peace it brings to my heart amongst all the confusion and chaos in the world today. 
I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for taking the time to write an email this week to your favorite brother and son. I hope you are blessed for taking that time.  It is a blessing to me to know that I have an amazing family that loves me and I hope that you all feel my love for you. 
Have a great week. Try to stay out of trouble. Haha
Elder Peterson

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