Monday, March 11, 2013

Letter #22

AHello everyone!

Real quick funny story. I got my first flat bike tire this week. And we were not at or near our apartment when it happened. And it was a hot sunny day.

This week has been much much better than the last few! It was the start of a new transfer, which gave Elder Ellis and I a chance to look over and tweak some things. We've decided to spend much more time working with and strengthening the members of the ward. Now the trick is actually getting into the homes of the members. They are more than happy to feed us, but sometimes don't realize that the purpose of feeding us dinner isn't to get us fed, but to get the missionaries working with the members and helping them share the gospel with their friends and loved ones. We've also decided that we're going to treat door-knocking as if it's not an option. We want to exhaust all other resources for finding and teaching before we go door-to-door. Yes, it keeps us busy. Yes, it's extremely ineffective. And we have a few members of the ward who have people that they think about sharing the gospel with, so we need to be there to help them do it. And the easiest way to do it is to make the Church and the gospel so much a part of our lives that there's no way that it won't be brought up in conversation. So we're really excited about the upcoming week.

We were able to meet with the Clays last week, and it was a really good lesson! We read Moroni 10 with them and they got a lot out of it. We asked Sister Clay, who is a member, what role the Book of Mormon has played in her life. Her response was that she's been inactive for so long that it really hasn't been a part of her life. Brother Clay, who is NOT a member immediately spoke up and said, "I disagree." And then went on to explain that even though she doesn't go to church or read the Book of Mormon, she still believes it's all true and it forms the foundation of her belief system. He is so awesome! He makes comments like that all the time, and the thought that goes through my mind every time he does is, "How are you not baptized yet?!" The family is doing really well, but hockey keeps them from coming to church and participating in activities. But the season should be winding down soon, which should help with that. They're getting baptized next month. But they don't know that yet :P They will tonight though.

Ernie is doing well. We're still reading the Book of Mormon with him, and he loves it! We're also re-teaching the lessons just as a refresher, since he's getting baptized in May! Here's to praying that I'm still here for that! We asked him when he gained a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I liked his response. He said that he knew that the Church was true before he even heard the name Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. He randomly showed up at sacrament meeting one week and just knew that this was THE church, and then he tracked down the missionaries to find out more. So we talked about how we know true prophets by their fruit, and usually we know the tree before we taste the fruit. But in Ernie's case, he had tasted of the fruit, knew it was good, and then went to go find the tree that it came from.

Krystle and Edgard are doing good, as far as the gospel goes. They're having some real problems with their living situation and neighbors, and might move again. But we're praying they don't have to. Krystle still asks good questions, but doesn't really like the answers she gets sometimes. Still very resistant to change. She has been through so many missionaries, and almost every English missionary in the FTM at least knows her name and story, that it will be a party in the mission on the day that she gets baptized.

We've been working with the Pearson family a lot the past few weeks. They are less-active and in their 50's, no kids at home. He's a convert and she was raised in the Church. He smokes but at least comes to church 2 or 3 weeks out of the month. In the 4 months I've been here I've never seen her at church. They are a conundrum. They make me think of Elder Bednar's talk in the last General Conference, about testimony and conversion, and how he relates the parable of the 10 virgins: the lamp of testimony, the oil of conversion. It's not good enough just to know it's true. We have to be constantly living it and making it a part of our lives if we're going to be prepared to be received at the wedding feast. And we can't share our supply of conversion with anyone else. I would suggest that everyone read that talk when you have time this week.

Thanks to everyone for the emails, letters, packages, prayers, love, and support! Missionary work and being away from home for 2 years is not an easy thing. And it's not meant to be easy. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father and to my Savior for allowing me this great opportunity to be apart of Their work, and for the experiences I'm having and the lessons I'm learning. You can do things your way if you want, but if you do it in the Lord's way it's so much easier and a lot fewer obstacles.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Petersen

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