Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Letter #4

Hello family and friends!

Sorry I wasn't able to email on Monday. The library was closed because of Columbus day and we weren't able to get to it yesterday. So happy to hear about Alissa and Bryce's new baby Florence Jane! Yay I'm an uncle again haha! :D And Bryce, I was cracking up while I was reading your email about it.

General Conference was amazing! I especially loved President Monson's announcement that young men can now go on missions when they're 18 and young women when they're 19. It's so crazy to think that it happened, but I really think it's for the better. This will help so many young men from going off the deep end between high school and going on a mission, and will also provide more opportunity for more young women to serve. I was thinking about it, and I think that this will dramatically increase the number for full-time missionaries serving, and we're definitely going to need them. The gospel is spreading far
and wide, and more and more people are opening their hearts to the truth. One of my favorite talks was Elder M. Russell Ballard's. He talked about how beehives function, and even though each bee gives what would seem an insignificant amount of honey to the hive on its own, when you put all that effort together, the amount of honey produced is astounding! And then he related it to what would happen in this world if we all put just a little more effort into being more Christ-like in our own lives, loving and serving our neighbors more. Imagine what profound change the world would experience if that were
the case!

We had three investigators come with us to General Conference with us. They absolutely LOVED it! All of them came away from it knowing without a doubt that this is the Lord's church and asking what more they need to do to get ready for baptism.

Working with my companions is getting easier, although still quite a challenge. It makes me think of a talk in General Conference about how faith doesn't come without trials, and trials of faith bring about even greater faith. So I keep working hard and doing what I know I need to be doing and I'm confident that my faith and ability to teach the gospel will both greatly increase. It makes me very excited and anxious (in a good way) for all the things the Lord has in store for me while I serve here in Florida.

I've been studying in the Book of Mormon about Christ's visit to the Nephites. He really is our greatest example, both in how we should live our lives and how, when we are called, to teach the gospel in the most effective way. Teach simply and plainly with perfect love and charity for those you teach and the Spirit will always be there to testify of the truth of what you are teaching. I also love how after He teaches them and is about to leave, Christ turns around and looks at the people and can see how sad they are that He is leaving them. The scriptures say that His bowels were filled with compassion for them, and He decided to stay longer with them. He heals the sick and afflicted and blesses all the children. What another great example to us, and also something President Summerhays shared with me. Don't worry about if the Spirit directs you to do something or not. We can and should do as much good according to our own free will as is possible. As long as we are going about doing good as the Savior would, we don't have to worry about if we're following the Spirit or not because we're doing what we would have been told to do anyway. As long as we're on the right path, we have no need to fear.

Well, it's time to get back to work. I'm so glad I'm our here serving a mission and doing God's work. I know this is His work, and that the Book of Mormon is true. I love it so much and I strive every day to live according to what I learn from it. Every single one of you should start or continue to read the Book of Mormon and do it as often as you can. I promise it will bless your life if you live what it teaches. Thank you all for your love and support. It makes doing this so much easier. Love you all so much!

Elder Petersen

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