Monday, September 16, 2013

Letter #47

Dear family and friends,
Well, transfer calls came Saturday morning. After 5 months, I will be leaving Venice. It's bitter-sweet for sure. Getting transferred is always hard, especially when you love the people so much. I have learned so much in this area about Christ-like charity and love, how we can love people unconditionally, but still be upset and disappointed when they make wrong choices. The disappointment comes because the wrong choice hurts that person, and since we love them so much, it hurts us to see them hurt. But the other side of the coin is how much we rejoice with that person when they make the right choices and are happy. Venice and the people here will always have a place in my heart.
I don't know where I'm being transferred, so I don't have an address for ya'll yet. I will find out tomorrow when we go to Tampa for the transfer meeting. There I will receive my new assignment and find out who my new companion is. I'll let you know next week when I email again. As much as I love Venice, I'm excited to transfer, especially with all the new changes happening in the mission with where we're putting our focus on. I need a new group of members and less-actives to work with haha. I'm really looking forward to all the wonderful people I will meet and all the experiences the Lord has prepared for me in my new area with a new companion. As President Summerhays would say, "It's a beautiful thing."
I could not have asked for a better last week in Venice! It was a week of true miracles and tender mercies. Our teaching pool increased exponentially in the last week and a half. And most of the new people we're teaching are solid new investigators. The most rewarding thing on this earth is to teach someone the gospel and then watch in awe as the Spirit speaks to them and the light comes on in their eyes. The events of this week have caused me to deeply reflect on the hand of the Lord in my life. There is no doubt in my mind or my heart that my Heavenly Father loves me. And while blessings are dependent on our obedience, they first and forever come to us simply because He loves us. And because He loves us, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. The Savior's Atonement is real. It cleanses us from sin. It heals the wounded soul and binds the broken heart. And one day, we will all rise from the grave with perfect, immortal bodies. "O how great the plan of our God!"
I love you all. Have a wonderful week!
Elder Petersen
P.S. As promised, I've attached some pictures from Pauline's baptism. Finally! :)

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