Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Letter #35

Dear family and friends,

Not too eventful of a week, but still a really good one. On Wednesday, we had a specialized training with President and Sister Summerhays, the last opportunity to meet with them as a zone before they go home next week. It was an awesome meeting, and the love of God for each of us was definitely manifest through them to us missionaries. They gave a really great training on not being too critical of ourselves, which I have a great tendency to do. It was exactly what I needed, to realize that the Lord is patient and forgiving and encouraging. And those feelings of doubt and criticism do not come from Him. 

Friday night we were able to meet with Lance and Robin. We talked with them a lot about covenants, particularly baptism. And when Elder Barry invited Lance to be baptized, his response was "Probably." So Lance, what might be some of your concerns or hold-ups? "Oh, I don't really have any concerns. I know most of it is true. And I know Robin wants me to get baptized so we can go to the temple." So, expect to hear about a baptism in the next couple of weeks :D Really, the only thing with him is that he doesn't read the Book of Mormon, and so helping him gain that testimony is going to be our focus.

Pauline is doing great! We go over for a lesson and she ends up teaching us, haha! She's another one that we will focus on with the Book of Mormon. She knows it's true, but it will be good for us to read it with her so that she realizes just how many of her questions it answers.

Camille has pretty much dropped us. She feeds us dinner every week, and she'll talk to us about how her life is going. But she won't allow us to really talk about anything to do with church. She made a TON of changes in her life when she came to Florida, but she is very resistant to changes that will actually benefit her. And this is one of the reasons that I needed the training on being self-critical, because I feel like I'm not doing enough to help her. But it helped me realize that I had done everything I could do, and it was now completely up to her to make the decision. We have taught her correct principles, and now we must let her govern herself. She's felt the Spirit, she knows it's true, and one of these days she will make the turn-around.

What a wonderful fireside yesterday! And I was very pleased to see a good turn-out from the ward here in Venice. They definitely have caught the wave, and are starting to understand their role in the missionary work. It's great to have the same goals as the ward leadership. It's miraculous when we all understand our individual roles in the work and learn to work together in harmony to accomplish those goals. The next couple of months are going to be so exciting! The announcement about technology and missionary work was really exciting! We've actually known for quite a while that we here in the Florida Tampa Mission would be getting iPads sometime this year, but we didn't realize that it would be world-wide for missionaries. And we're still not sure how soon it will be, but we are thinking it will happen before the summer is through. SO exciting! There's just so many changes being made in how we do missionary work, and it's so amazing to be a part of it all. This is the work of salvation; it is the Lord's work; He is in charge. I love you all.
Elder Petersen

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