Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Letter #2

Hello all!
I will start off by telling you some things I should have last week but didn't have the time. Elder Jordan Britton was in my zone for a few days. He was supposed to leave before I got here but he and his companion were having visa troubles and were delayed for about a week so I got to see quite a bit of him. It was great! My companion's name is Elder Lawless (ironic, no?). He's from Washington, and he's a pretty cool guy. There are actually a lot of things about him that remind me of Jake Robinson. It's not really good or bad, it just is haha. We get along pretty well but run into some challenges. All I'm really gonna say is it's been a real learning experience with personal relationships. My district is awesome! Our roommates are Elders Walker and Flinders. All four of us are going to Tampa. Elders Larson, McKee, and Brown are going to Charlotte NC, and Elders Ah Sue and Kisner are going to Brisbane, Australia. Elder Ah Sue was a professional trumpet player before he got here and played on Glee season 2. He also has a YouTube channel, just search Greg Ah Sue. He's ridiculously hilarious and keeps our spirits up when things get rough.
This last week has been a real roller coaster. We saw two of our district members go home, which shocked us all. It was super hard on us, and it took us a couple days to recover. But the Lord has definitely blessed us with countless amazing experiences to lift us up and pull us closer together. Tender mercies is the best way any of us could describe this week. And that's to say nothing of my own personal frustrations as I adjust to missionary life and the schedule.
Our investigators are progressing really well for the most part! We have one that is really difficult and we can't figure out how to help him and what he needs. He gives short, ambiguous answers (karma? :P) and it's really frustrating. But our other investigators are moving right along. We won't have enough time in our stay here at the MTC to finish up teaching them, but these role plays have really helped us understand how to teach by the Spirit. Most of the time, when we're feeling a prompting from the Spirit, we won't even know that's what it is. But we have to do it anyway, if it's good.
We got our travel plans on Friday! We leave Provo for Tampa on Monday, so this is my last P-day here in the MTC. Next email will be from Tampa. I am SO ready to be out in the field already and be teaching real investigators! I'm so excited! I just know that the Lord has prepared people down there for me to teach, and I am realizing the blessing of serving English-speaking in the States. Having to learn a language on top of everything I'm learning right now, plus having to stay here any longer that 3 weeks would have been really tough for me.
Keep the letters coming! I have to say, even on days when I have an amazing lesson with an investigator, it's always a downer when I don't get mail, but it just makes my day a million times better when I do get something. So thanks for everyone who's written so far! It's been really good to hear about every one and what's going on at home.
Well, we're off to the temple now. But before I leave, I just want everyone who reads this to do a few things for me. First, watch the Mormon Messages called Patterns of Light, it's a 3 part series on YouTube. And then get on and watch Elder Jeffery R Holland's CES Devotional from this month. If the quote "You NEVER check your religion at the door!" doesn't entice you to watch it, I'm not sure what will. Lastly, I want all of you to read the Book of Mormon, and I mean really read it. Pray about it and ask God if it isn't His word, and I promise you He will give you an answer. I love that book, and I want everyone I know to read it and love it too.
I love you all so much! I pray every day for your success and safety. Thank you for your love and support.
Elder Petersen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Letter home #1

Hello family and friends!

Well, today is my first preparation day, and I'm doing laundry right now. This place is crazy. So many people trying to get everything done before our time is up.

My first week in the Missionary Training Center has been amazing! On the first day we did some group teaching to investigators. The first couple were really hard because we had a hard time understanding their needs and understanding, as well as what they wanted out of life. But the third and last person we taught as a big group (like 40 new missionaries) was a man from Italy, whose wife had died several years ago, and they had a son who died at 2 days. It was an incredible experience to share with him my own personal testimony of eternal families and the plan of salvation.

Every minute of every day is planned out for us, and we're always doing something. Besides P-day and Sunday, we're in class for 6 hours, and tons of study time. We've spent a lot of time in class talking about our purpose of missionaries, which is to "invite others to Christ by inviting them to receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." It was pointed out to us that this is exactly in line with God's purpose (Moses 1:39), and that by fulfilling our purpose we help God fulfill His.

We have 3 investigators already, all role plays obviously, but they are all doing well. Our first is Semo. He's a huge Samoan guy who lives with his less active girlfriend. That's how we found him actually. He has a strong belief in God and Christ already, so we're working on showing him how the Book of Mormon and the gospel will bless him and bring him closer to God than he already is. Akiyo is a 17-year-old kid from Japan who, previous to meeting us, had no belief or understanding of God. So, for our first visit we taught him about the nature of God and then taught him how to pray. Hearing a child of God, who had no previous understanding, earnestly seek out his Father in Heaven in prayer is a touching thing, and it brought me to tears. Even though it was just my teacher acting as an investigator, the Spirit was so strong, and I understand now more fully the love that God has for all of His children, and his desire for all of them to return to Him.

Life here in the MTC is crazy. The first week is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. They give you so much information and revelation from the Spirit is almost nonstop. It's hard to remember everything that happened at the end of the day. Days pass like weeks, and weeks pass like days. Last night was the first time I got a decent night's sleep. I've just been exhausted all day every day, and the stress is ridiculous. But I also love it! :D

For those who are interested, I've seen Elders Day, Rasmussen, Lewis, Hawkes, and Collins so far. I also have seen my cousin Elder Jones a couple of times. It's so great to see friends who love this work and are devoted to it just as much as I am! Oh, and for those of you who are reading from the 111, someone find Chief and tell him that what he said to me about why I'll be a great missionary was absolutely right!

I need to get on with p-day stuff, but you all are more than welcome to write me a letter! While I'm here at the MTC you can use for free and they will deliver same day. I can only write letters on P-day though, so apologies if it takes me a while to respond.

I love you all so much and am grateful for your support in me serving a full-time mission. I know that this gospel is true, that Heavenly Father loves all His children and wants us to return to Him, and that if we study and pray about the Book of Mormon, we can come to love and understand Christ and all he did for us.

Elder Jarom Petersen

Elder Jarom Petersen, Elder Dallen Powers and Elder Chase Lewis
P-Day with guys from 2200 Merrill Hall, BYU

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Letter from the Editor

Hello Family and Friends of Jarom~

Jar has asked that I keep this blog and his Facebook account updated for him while he is away. I will post his weekly letters/emails home as well as any pictures we receive. Any questions please feel free to email me. In the mean time, Jarom would LOVE to hear from any and all of you. He has not written us a letter yet (since he just went in yesterday), so we don't know if he has an email address. For now, you can write him a letter and mail it to the address listed below, or you can go here and type him a letter for free, which they print out and send to him the next day. Links to send care packages are on the side bar as well. Just remember: he leaves on September 24th so anything that arrives at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) after then will not make it to him. Thanks for all your love and support, we sure are proud of him!


Elder Jarom Petersen
MTC Mailbox #143
FL-TAM 0924
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Also, here are a couple pictures of his arrival in Utah and drop-off at the MTC.

Coming off the terminal in SLC airport

Last picture together for 2 years! Mari, Jar and Lissa

BIIIIG squeeze from Mar at the MTC drop-off

Entering the MTC. See ya in 2 Jarom! Be good to him Tampa