Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Letter #74

Hey everyone!

What a great week it has been! It was Elder Vanderpool's last week and
we made sure he went out with a bang. Caitlin got baptized on
Saturday! And then I was able to confirm her on Sunday. It was so
awesome to see the love and support from the ward. She's just
finishing high school and her parents aren't super supportive. But she
has a lot from the ward; they really love her! She is going to youth
conference and maybe girls camp this summer.

We've also been working with Bobby and Chezz. Turns out that Chezz's
mom is a member in Tallahassee and he was blessed as a baby. But he
didn't know this until this weekend. And Bobby's ex stepdad is a
member. Which he just found out when his mom brought him to the
baptism on Saturday. Both of those things got them really excited!
They will be getting baptized in August when Chezz gets home from his
summer vacation and right before I leave the mission. They're awesome
guys! Our lessons are always really good and so fun at the same time.

So in the course of 5 months, this ward will have 4 teenagers
baptized. And all 4 come from broken families. And they all were drawn
to the Church because they spent time in members' homes, felt
something different about their families and said, I don't know what
that is, but I want it.

And here is the news of all news. Elder Petersen will be training a
new missionary for the last 12 weeks of his mission! I have mixed
feelings. Really excited. Super anxious. I haven't slept anywhere near
solid the past two nights since we got the call. I pick him up in
Tampa tomorrow and then back to the grind here in Bradenton. It will
be good though. Even as anxious as I am, I still get a big smile on my
face when I think about training a new missionary. It's really a
special assignment to receive, and with all that I have learned, I'm
excited to teach him. And I'm excited what he has to teach me.  There
is never a day to not learn as a missionary.

Love you all! Have a great week
Elder Petersen

Monday, May 19, 2014

Letter #73

Hey everyone!

It's been a great week! We've taught more this week than we ever have! It's been awesome. Miracles are happening all over the place!

So, coming up this weekend, Caitlin will be baptized! She has been wanting this for a long time and is looking forward to Youth Conference and Girls' Camp this summer.

Mike and Nami decided to wait a couple of more weeks to get baptized, but they are doing awesome. We are actually really proud of them for making this decision because they decided that they needed more time to get in the routine of coming to church every week before getting baptized. Even though it would mean that Elder Vanderpool won't be there for it, which they will be sad about. Elder Vanderpool goes home next week.

All I know is that things are amazing! I've been having such a great time, learning so much, and doing it all while bringing people into the gospel. Which is the best thing ever! I'm not sure if I'm aware of anything more satisfying than being in the service of the Lord and bringing souls to Him. And as I meet all these wonderful people and get to know and love them, I come to understand what President Uchtdorf meant when he said that there are no true endings in the gospel, only everlasting beginnings.

Love you all, have a great week!
Elder Petersen

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Letter #72

Hey everyone!

Pretty good week. Stressful at times. Especially when you break a
spoke on your bike! But it's all good :) It's also starting to get
really hot and humid. I'm starting to get myself ready for the drier
air haha.

So way cool! We started teaching a new guy named Bobby. His school
mate and good friend, Octavius, just got baptized. Bobby was at the
baptism and wanted to learn more. He is taking it pretty seriously and
is pretty spiritual. Very aware of the Spirit in his life. He really
likes what we have taught him so far and is liking the Book of Mormon.
We will try to get him to church this coming week.

We also started teaching a man named Drew. He was online one day and
found the Church. He said that was he studied about it made sense to
him and was in line with everything else he already believed. He just
showed up to church last Sunday. Unfortunately it was the Temple
Dedication so we couldn't let him in, but we set up a time to see him
again and give him a tour of the building. We have taught him twice
already. He is also enjoying the Book of Mormon along with everything
we have talked about so far.

Overall, everything is going really well! The Lord is definitely
blessing us and the people here. We are seeing hearts and homes open
that no one ever would have thought. It is a wonderful thing to be a
part of the Lord's work!
Elder Petersen

Monday, May 5, 2014

Letter #71

Hey everyone!

What a great week! Still teaching all of the time, and everyone is doing really well. No one new that we started teaching this week, but this coming week has some exciting prospects.

We've been working a lot with a young man named Josh. He's really a cool kid. His grandma is a member in our ward, but neither of his parents really like the Church much. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was in middle school and high school. He always asks such awesome questions and really wants his life to start making sense. He soaks up everything we teach.

We're also still working with Mike and Nami, two kids who's mom, Hepi, is a member. They're doing really awesome. They will be getting baptized next week. They are the most spiritual kids ever! The insights they have in our lessons and the experiences they have had that have brought them to this. Just wow.

We also have Bruce who is getting baptized next week. He comes from a rough background, but snatched up the Gospel the first time he heard it. He has really helped me learn just how much spiritual knowledge is different from intellectual knowledge. He is a very simple man with a very strong and abiding faith in Christ and in the restored gospel. He knows who he worships.

Yesterday we were able to participate in the Fort Lauderdale Temple dedication. It was an incredible and spiritual experience. The power of godliness was truly manifest that day with a great outpouring of the Spirit. This is a wonderful blessing for the saints in south Florida. A House of the Lord is a wonderful blessing to anyone who lives near by or is able to visit. It was awesome to see so many participate who hadn't had the opportunity to participate in a dedication since the Orlando Temple was built 20 years ago. With all that was said in general conference about the importance of the Temple, and then the dedication, it has really been impressed upon me the importance of attending and worshiping in the temple on a frequent and regular basis. We are all familiar with the blessings we extend to our ancestors through temples. But in the dedication, Elder Christofferson reminded us of the blessings we receive through the ordinances of the temple, especially the strength to stand against the storms of the world.

Love you all, have a great week!
Elder Petersen