Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Letter #56

Dear family and friends,

It's been such a good week! Richard is getting baptized on Saturday. He met with missionaries a lot many years ago and has finally decided that it is time for him. He's a funny old guy, and he wants the Lord in his life and in his heart.

Mario, Felicity's husband, has decided that he wants to be baptized with his wife! SO awesome! Felicity could just do it now, but she wants to wait for Mario. He's going to take a little bit more work to help him understand, but I have faith in the converting power of the Spirit. We had a great lesson with them this week and we re-taught the Restoration after showing them the baptismal font. The Spirit was so strong and Mario said he was ready. This week was our ward Primary program, which was so good, and they loved it too. They participate in all the classes and volunteer to help with activities. They're just so awesome. December will be a good month for them :)

This area is growing so well. It's exciting to see the members catch the spirit of Hastening the Work. It's true, the Lord is hastening His work, and He blesses those who anxiously engage themselves in it. He is preparing people every day to hear the message of His restored gospel. The whole FTM is experiencing the miracles. I'm so grateful that I'm able to serve the Lord and labor in this spot of ground in the vineyard. The things I learn, the miracles I witness every day. God lives, He loves each and every one of us, He has a plan for our happiness, and that plan is following Christ and being instruments in doing His work. "For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me." I've been re-reading and studying General Conference, and I would hope you would all do the same. It is the words of living prophets and apostles, and they teach us the way.

I love you all so much; have a great week!
Elder Petersen

Monday, November 18, 2013

Letter #55

Dear family and friends,

Well, the Acostas are getting baptized! At least the mom, Felicity, is. Mario, the dad, told us last night that he will be at church next week and he will have made his decision by then. It was so awesome last night to have that discussion with them. Felicity has been coming to church for a while now and has made several friends. She hasn't had very many positive experiences lately with her other church. We taught them about baptism and those covenants and the gift of the Holy Ghost last night. And after a long talk about the Book of Mormon and how she likes church and Elder Putnam and I sharing experiences about how the church and the priesthood has blessed our lives and how it will bless their family (I shared a story about how I wasn't sure if I was ready to leave home and go to college when I did), she finally said, "Well, I'm ready to go to college." And we just sat there for a couple minutes in silence, Elder Putnam and I wondering if we really heard what we thought we did. And so I asked her what she meant. And she went on about how she's ready to make this church her home and she knows it's the place that God wants her. And then she accepted the invitation to be baptized on Dec 14th! Such a good end to the week!

I think that's pretty much all I have to say. We've been working with them for so long. It was a great lesson to me in patience and relying on the Lord's time.

Actually, I just remembered one other thing. We started teaching Kathy this week. Her niece used to be a member of this ward and referred us to her. Kathy is later in her years and has been to a lot of churches. But she's never found the one where she could find her niche and call home. After meeting with her earlier this week, we set up a time to come back and invited her to church. She accepted. Well, she called the day of our appointment and said she was sick. Past experience has taught me that we just lost her. Well, not so much. She called us Sunday morning about 45 min before church started and asked if it was too late for her to come. She has poor vision and can't drive, but a couple of phone calls and we had a ride for her. We talked with her after church and she was beaming from ear to ear! She was so excited that she made it and is eager to have us over this week to teach her more.

We also started teaching Richard this week. He's met with missionaries before and been going to church a lot for many years. He came up to us last week and told us he's ready to get baptized. We are seeing him again tomorrow.

So, this week has been wonderful. Definitely feel overwhelmed at times with my many responsibilities as a missionary. But I find great strength as I study the words found in the scriptures and the words of our living prophets. I love my Savior; this truly is His work.

Love you all so much
Elder Petersen

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Letter #54

Hey everyone!

Well, it's been a great week! We have a lot of really great stuff going on, a lot of new people we are teaching. One lady that we are teaching, Noemi, has agreed to be baptized at the end of this month! We're so excited for her. She was being taught in Tampa and then just moved here. She's been taught everything, and so we are helping her to keep all her commitments and come to church so she can be prepared. We've seen a lot of miracles as we work hard. We have so much work to do and there is no time to sit around and do nothing. We're so busy with teaching investigators and less-actives. This is going to be a great week!

Elder Petersen

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letter #53

Dear family and friends,

To start off, my new companion is Elder Putnam. He's from Bountiful, UT. He's great and super hard working. We've gotten so much stuff done and have the rest of this transfer pretty much all mapped out as to what we're going to do. There's a lot of work to be done here in Lake Hamilton. It's no small task. But we are hastening the work of salvation. I was reading the allegory of the olive tree this morning in my studies. Possibly my favorite chapter right now in the Book of Mormon. Something that really stuck out to me as I read was how the Lord of the vineyard emphasized over and over again that his servants who worked diligently would share in the reward of the fruit that would be gathered. The other big thing I noticed was that the Lord of the vineyard did a lot of things that didn't always make perfect sense to the servant, but he reminded his servant that he did it "for mine own purpose." It really got me thinking about everything that the Lord does, and has done, since the very beginning that most of the time we don't understand. But when the end comes, we will understand the purposes and the wisdom of the Lord.

This week has been really good. The Acostas are doing really well. We had an awesome lesson with them last night. We read 2 Ne 32 with them, and the mom was asking some awesome questions about baptism and the sacrament. This is possibly the best lesson we've ever had with them. It's so clear that she wants so bad for it to be true. She loves the idea of eternal families, and talks about it every time we go over. Last night she had a huge smile on her face as she was talking about the whole family being dressed in white and being "tied together forever." Really, her only struggle is getting used to our church services. Because she picks up stuff so fast and she's learned so much, and when she has questions she so readily accepts our answers. The Spirit was so strong in our lesson last night with them. The dad might take a little longer to come around, but he loves the Book of Mormon and how easy it is to understand in comparison to the Bible. So things are going super good with them.

Well, I'm way excited for this coming week. We're going to get so much stuff done, this area isn't even going to know what hit it! Love you guys, hope you have a great week.
Elder Petersen