Monday, February 11, 2013

Letter #20

Hey ya'll!
(Yeah, I've been in the South too long...)

What a great week it's been! We've done a lot of work with the less-active members in the ward here, mostly just tracking down people and seeing if they still live there and if they're interested in having home teachers and in us visiting them every once in a while.

We had a really good lesson with the Clays on Monday night. We watched the Restoration DVD with them and talked a little bit about it with them. Brother Clay seemed to find it very interesting, which is good! I'm excited to go back tonight and see them again. Although seeing them tonight was NOT our plan A. We have a family in our ward who has been talking with us about their neighbor across the street that they want to share the gospel with since I got here 3 months ago. Well, I got sick of just hearing about these neighbors and wanted to meet them. So we went over on Friday to meet them and set up an appointment to go over tonight to teach them. I have been so excited for it all weekend! Well, we just got cancelled on right before I started writing this letter. Bummer! But we will still be keeping contact with them and hope to be able to meet with them soon.

Krystle is doing very well! Progress with her is still slow, but it's starting to pick up a little. She's reading the Book of Mormon more now and is really trying to learn.

For the first time in a while we were able to see Ron and Darcy this week! As usual, it was a wonderful visit! They go back to Michigan next month for the summer, so we don't have a lot of time left with them. I don't think they will get baptized before they leave, but we've always had a good relationship with them and we've planted the seed. We're hoping to get them in contact with the missionaries up there when they go back.

It's weird, and kind of scary, how fast the time flies. I still feel like a brand new missionary, but the end of this transfer will be almost my 6 month mark. There is SO much work to be done in gathering the Lord's people, and it feels like I'm never going to get everything done that I need to. BUT! With the help of the Spirit, I can be led to those who are prepared to hear our message, and also to help the members bring this gospel to their friends and loved ones.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Elder Petersen

Monday, February 4, 2013

Letter #19

Dear family and friends,

It's been another great week in the Highlands area. Well, it was at least better than last week. Still no new investigators, but a few good potentials. We almost lost Colleen this week. We dropped in on her Tuesday night, since it had been a couple weeks since we'd seen her, and she hadn't been in to church since Christmas. When we showed up, she was talking like she had decided that it wasn't for her anymore. She feels overwhelmed with all the lifestyle changes she would have to make to join the Church, and doesn't feel like she can do it. But after talking with her for a while, we helped her see that a lot of the changes she's worried about don't have to happen over night. That's the miracle of the Atonement. So she's willing to keep meeting with us and not give up on being baptized yet. But she still wasn't at church yesterday :P

Laurie and her kids probably won't be a family that we will be able to see much of anymore, if at all. The dad doesn't think that the kids need religion, since it didn't do any good for him in his life, and Laurie isn't going  to go against what he says, which is fine. The last thing we want to do is split up a family over it all.

We didn't get to see the Clays last week, but we will see them tonight and share the Joseph Smith story with them. I'm really excited to keep meeting with them and help the family come closer together!

We're going to spend a lot of time working with less-active members in the coming few weeks to help the ward out. There are almost 300 families in the ward, but only just over 100 are active. So we've got our work cut out for us. The ward is stepping up their efforts as well with home teaching, which always helps!

I've been spending more of my study time in Preach My Gospel. What a wonderful resource, for missionaries AND members! Most of the manual is geared towards missionaries and their purpose and learning to teach, but every member should at least study the doctrines of the lessons, as well as the chapter on effective personal study, if not the whole thing. I've been learning a lot about my purpose and how to recognize and work with the Spirit. The past couple of weeks have been full of, what one Sister missionary out her termed, "one-on-one time with Heavenly Father."

I love this work, I love this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father, and I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. This truly is God's work, and I am humbled on a regular basis by the opportunity and privilege I have to be a part of it! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Petersen

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