Monday, June 10, 2013

Letter #33

Dear family and friends,
What a crazy and awesome week it's been! Thursday we had a tropical storm come through that created some tornadoes. So we weren't allowed to leave our apartment all day. Nap time! And it was nice to get some extra studying in. I also found a thousand piece puzzle in the apartment, so I started to put it together. 3 1/2 hours later and all I had was the border. So I decided to be done.
Anyways, Camille has decided to put everything on hold. She feels like she's moving too fast and doesn't want to give up some of her life style (very similar to some of the stuff that I used to hear from Krystle, so not new, but still no fun to hear). It's always hard when you see people you love make decisions that aren't good for them. And it's even harder when you know that they know it's not a good decision but they do it anyway. But Camille still wants to see us a lot and keep us a part of her life. So we haven't lost her yet. And that I am grateful for.
We saw Lance and Robin this week as well. He comes for sacrament meeting but won't stay for the rest of church. We found out from Robin that no one has ever been direct with him and asked him to be baptized. And he's Italian so he needs the direct questions. She suggested that we find a time when we can meet with just him, because she admits that she dominates the conversation too much. He's difficult to match schedules with, though.
Pauline is doing really good. She's the lady with a son on a mission in Chile. We taught her the first lesson, and she had a lot of questions. And they were a lot of questions that would be natural to have, especially with a Lutheran background. Most of them had to do with the sacrament and the Book of Mormon. We tried to answer her questions as best we could, but also did our best to help her understand that she will come to understand the answers we gave as she reads the Book of Mormon and gained a testimony of it and of the prophet Joseph Smith. We gave her some homework to watch a couple general conference talks, and the next day she called us asking for more homework. And her son will get home before Elder Barry and I are done serving together so I will definitely be able to see her get baptized!
Our ward mission leader is so amazing! I've never seen ANYONE take a calling in the ward so seriously, and he's constantly in contact with us and the ward leadership to find us productive stuff to do. We're learning about the dynamics of the ward and how to work with the members individually and collectively, and we're going to be working with them in ways that I don't think missionaries ever have before. It's exciting to be part of helping a ward and stake of Zion grow and flourish like it never has before.
So, all in all, things continue to move upward and onward here in Venice. It's been a great couple of weeks with Elder Barry, and I'm so glad that I have the priviledge of training him. He's taught me a lot and I've learned a lot as I do my best to help him become the best missionary he can be, which in turn helps me become a better missionary.
Have a wonderful, blessed week!
Elder Petersen

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