Monday, March 4, 2013

Letter #21

Dear family and friends,

Sorry it has been so long since I've written. It's been really rough the past few weeks and haven't really been in the mood to write letters. But yes, I'm still alive and breathing, so no need to worry :P

Transfer calls came this past Saturday morning. And I'll be staying another 6 weeks in Highlands. I'm kind of excited, kind of not. I've gotten to really know the area and come to love the people and will be sad when I need to go. But sometimes I feel like I need a fresh start in a new area to give me a boost. I have a feeling I'll be here for a while longer though. We'll see. If it's where the Lord has called me, I really shouldn't have any complaints and learn to do what I need to do where I'm at.

Like I said, the past few weeks have been hard. The work is moving forward, just at a painfully slow, almost imperceptible, speed. Colleen has almost entirely dropped us. She works at the courthouse, and a member works right next door so he occasionally will go in and check to see how she's doing. He told us yesterday that Colleen said she's been trying to avoid us lately.

We haven't seen the Clay family in a few weeks because they are so involved in hockey so Monday night is the only good time to see them during the week, but the past few Mondays have been busy with other stuff for them. Should be able to see them tonight, though.

Krystle is still being hard-headed. She says that she feels like she's done everything she can but still isn't getting an answer. Two Sundays ago was ward conference here in the Highlands ward. The stake president talked about what the scriptures mean by asking with real intent. Having real intent means that we will act based upon the answer we receive from God. It made me think of Krystle. She's not ready to give some stuff up yet, if ever, so she's not going to receive an answer until she's ready to change. Of course, it has also occurred to Elder Ellis and I that she's looking for a big miraculous answer, similar to the First Vision, and so God refuses to answer something that she already knows is true. Last Monday she called us in the morning, asking for a priesthood blessing. She didn't ask for us to say a prayer for her, she asked for a blessing of comfort to help her feel better. She understands the difference, and to some extent believes in the difference, which means she believes in the Restoration of the Priesthood. She may just not know it yet. We are seeing them tomorrow night and hope to have a good discussion with her about it.

Ernie is doing good. We've been reading the account of the war in Alma with him. He really enjoyed it, being ex-military, so he liked the battle tactics employed by the Nephites to regain their lost territory. He also really liked the story of the 2000 stripling warriors. He has such a strong desire to do what's right and be baptized, but he's still waiting on legal things to clear up, which won't be until the summer and the soonest, if not another year.

We got a phone call from a less active member of the ward last week. She has a 10-year-old son who said he wanted to get baptized. We were so stinking excited to meet them and start teaching them! Then the next day she called us back saying that he wasn't so sure about it, but that she'd try to keep talking to him. We're hoping to hear from her again this week and start meeting with them.

Several months back, the missionaries here were tracked down by a lady named Paula. She had moved here from Las Vegas and owns a home in Utah. Some very close friends of hers in Utah are members of the Church, and she loves the Mormon people. So she found the Elders here and started meeting with them. Then she went on an extended vacation and got back last month. She called us up and invited us over for dinner. Wow, she can cook really good! And it's all super healthy too. She has a hard time believing in a god, but believes that we all need to do good things. We've gone over there twice so far for dinner and have had very good lessons with her about who God is, that He's our Father, and how much He really does love each of us. She's Korean and doesn't know much of anything about Christianity, but enjoys learning. Her hold up is that she's worried that she can't learn it all before the end of her life, and she's almost 60. But she does pray and asks for understanding from God.

We got a hold of Laurie and her kids the other day, the ones who dropped us because the dad didn't want them to get baptized. They want to keep meeting with us and learning about the Church. So stoked! Even though it won't be any time soon, we can help them learn so that when they are old enough to make the decision on their own they will know what it is that they want to do.

Lately I've just been trying to look for the little miracles every day. We really haven't had a good solid investigator since Colleen was supposed to get baptized back in December. But I'm excited I get at least one more transfer here in Highlands. It seems like I've been trying to just survive the past couple of months. Last night, Elder Bednar spoke at the CES Fireside. He said that not shrinking is better than surviving. In other words, doing it in the Lord's way and in the Lord's time is better than just barreling through.

Thank you all for your letters, love, and encouragement. I know that this work is the work of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I love it so much. It truly teaches and testifies of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. I am so grateful for His Atonement and the opportunity given to each of us every day to repent and strengthen our relationship with Christ and with our Father.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Petersen

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