Monday, December 12, 2011

Wow, We can't believe the time has finally come for Elder Petersen to return HOME!!!!
This is his very last email written as a missionary in the Raleigh North Carolina Mission, so many wonderful emails written each week. Thank You for sharing them with us!!!! His Homecoming will be on Dec. 18th at 11:00 am Hope to see you all there.
Enjoy his last email!!! (gotta love the poem)

I am dreaming tonight of a place I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it's a long road back
I promise you,

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find you
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

If only in my dreams!!

I have some great stories to tell you when I get home, from this past week! It has been amazing filled with ups and downs and miracles and everything far and in between! MAN this is crazy!!! I am excited, but I love this place so much! I love NC with all my heart!! I love the people and the church out here, it is so great! But I am excited for the next phase and realize that happiness is a choice! Whatever happens I am going to be happy! I know this is the Lords work and that he lives and he guides! I am grateful that I have been able to stand as his Rep in this area and bless the lives of His children! I feel like I know both paths of life pretty clearly, and I know which one is worth it and it is sad it took me two years to figure it out, but I am excited to head down that path!! Which I know will be tough but it will all be swallowed up in the JOY of Christ! Till we meet!

Elder Petersen

Monday, December 5, 2011

Family, I don't even know what to say. I just feel it is important to use those two words that President Monson said were the two most important words in the English language, Thank You. Thanks for all the letters, for the prayers, and the Support. Thanks for going to the Temple every week just so I couldn't go to FIJI! Thanks for honoring the priesthood and your Covenants. Thanks for bringing the Spirit of Christ into our home. Thanks for doing weird things that turn into our own family traditions. Thanks for allowing me to dedicate these two years of my life, which I will always and forever hold as sacred. THANK YOU!

I am so grateful for these two years. As I ponder on them I really have learned the true meaning of life. I know my Ridiculous Birthday/Christmas list, maybe didn't seem like it but I am so grateful Like Birthdays on the Mission are so great. There isn't a big party or celebration, no fancy new device or presents. Just Happy Birthday wishes from those who love you most. As I heard the Christmas devotional and was pondering what Sis Cotterell said. She said she was getting upset with President because he was playing Christmas music and it just stressed her out and reminded her of all she needed to be doing. But then brought her back to really what matters. I have thought about Thanksgiving, Birthday, and Christmas, the true meaning really comes out on the mission and I pray I will always remember that my entire life. I don't feel like I missed out because I didn't get the Pie Factory at Grandmas for T-day or that it isn't fair that I don’t get a big party for my birthday. Or the last two Christmas' were spent away and one of them I didn't get to call home. It is crazy that all that seems unfair can be swallowed up in the Joy of Christ as it was for Alma and his Sons.

We were on splits last night and Elder McRae text the Brother I was with and told him it was my B-day so he got me a half eaten pie it was so awesome. Then we got home and Elder McRae and Bro Larson made me a raw smoothie put a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday it was so awesome.

Sis Marlene, is this wonderful Sister. She is a Buddhist and thinks that she is going to be the first Buddhist/Mormon. She is so sweet and so sensitive to the spirit. We are planning to tell her this week that she can't do that. We understand that she thinks that after she is baptized she will enter into what Buddhist call a nirvana. It is like a state similar to the spirit world. Where we just don't have cares, pain, or sorrow, and we don't mess up. She thinks after she is baptized that she can't mess up. So, as we have been studying in her behalf I have realized how important trials are. Elder Bednar said we will all have our own Abraihamic test. I thought that it was more just to prove ourselves, but I have learned that it is more for us to grow, like sincerely grow. Are our burdens made light, probably not. Does Christ strengthen us; probably not, he can't give us what we don't have. But as he becomes our focus as we are meek and strive to act as he would we have 100% trust and take what comes and we do so with patience and with Joy. These aren't things given, they are just choices. We can either choose to or choose not to. Just as the Apostles in the storm were freaking out and Christ rebuked them, like that's what we shouldn't do. We should just go through the storm with absolute faith in the Savior and trust Him, let our burdens be swallowed up in his Joy. IT is possible, just really hard.

I went on an exchange with our District leader Elder Rider. He is from ST. George and owns two businesses it is pretty crazy. He is a great leader and I was glad I was able to go on an exchange with him.

We had an awesome training meeting! Elder Miller is such a good Elder. He must have had a stud of a trainer.(Taylor trained him haha) We talked about the Role of the Holy Ghost in conversion and the importance of Sacrament meeting attendance. We talked about this quote from Elder Nielson, it doesn't matter whose lips are moving as long as the Holy Ghost is talking. President Cotterell came up and shook my hand and said how are you Grey Beard!! HAHA

The Hazel dines are doing great we are excited for Bro Hazeldines baptism this Saturday and then the baptism of his daughter the next week. The spirit is so strong with their family. Joe will be a great leader in the church.

So, there is this family the Yourich's. They have three kids She is a member he isn't and they have some family in our ward but are from Colorado. She contacted us our first Sunday here and last night was the first night we were able to meet with them it has been a process. We already had an appointment when they could meet so we went on splits. I went to the Schegelberger's with the Yourich's to watch the Christmas DEVO the spirit was so strong, I love to hear from the Lords anointed! But the Schegelbergers home is just everything I hoped the spirit in my home will feel like! They seriously have things going on. Like you can't be a non-member and spend an hour in their home and not want what they have. By that I don't mean materialistic things, I mean the spirit that is there. I hope that is what my home will be someday. We are going back to have a lesson and dinner this Wednesday. The Yourich's are a sweet family! They have horses and are good ole country folk!!!! So sweet!

Saturday we went with Marlene and Bro Tribulla to the Christmas Community Celebration in Raleigh. There was so many nativity scenes and music and a Jesus Christ room that took you through His life. While we were there we met, and our investigator met, a member of the 70, Elder Brent or Bret Nielson of the 70, it was so cool!

I know that this is the Lords Church! Like his Church with Ward boundaries and employment specialist and all the other odd callings we have, is what the Lords church is today! IT is the LORDS CHURCH with ward boundaries and everything. It is so beautiful! I love it and also know that the same blessings that the saints of old received are again available to those who will seek them through membership in His church.

I love you guys so much. Until we meet!!

Love, Elder Petersen

Hello Familia,

You guys never write me emails and tell what is going on at home. Besides the computer crashing I am hoping things are going well. We have a really neat experience with the Holy Spirit I can't wait to share. I love the feeling of the Holy Ghost. Actually the feeling kind of scares me I need to work on trusting it but I love the confirmation that follows and you just know you were being lead by help from heaven. Thanksgiving was fantastic; there is so much to be thankful for. I am so excited for the Christmas Devo this week. I love to hear the prophets voice every time it brings tears to my eyes as one of the Brethren begin to speak because I know of what I have been testifying of and there calling is true. I can't wait.

We had some great lessons with Joe and Laura this week. They are a wonderful family and I will forever be grateful for the spirit I have felt every time I enter their home. Their home had truly become a sacred edifice. He is just super solid and is ready for baptism. The man is ready to lead in the church. He is so good in Elders Quorum and Gospel Principles if the lesson strays he helps the teacher and brings it back. He makes awesome comments and he is just my hero. I am not sure how else to explain except he just gets what it means to be a Christian.

We were with Joe and Laura Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.... Joe picked us up Thursday morning and we went to the Turkey Bowl. President said that we could go visit the Turkey Bowl but we couldn't play.....we caved to the peer pressure and ran a few routes Elder McRae is such an athlete. Two Elders running post routes to the end zone for 6!!! Then they picked us up about an hour later and we went to Sis Stires, she has from what I understand been through the refiners fire and it is so great to see her rely on the Savior and His Atonement. The spirit was so strong in her home and it was a great dinner! I missed the Pie Party at grandma’s house!! Sis Stires made the best crazy I have ever had in my whole entire life. It was like blended veggies and then I don't know but it was so good. Joe’s wife Laura also is a great cook and feeds us like we just got out of a concentration camp! I love the Hospitality in the South!

So there is this great Sister named Marlene. She is so kind to us, kind of like our mom she brings us snacks to church. We had a lesson with her on Tuesday. She is really involved with the Buddhist way of life. I am not really sure if that is a philosophy or a religion. She is just a sweet and tender Sister and she has such a beautiful spirit about her. We invited her to be baptized on January the 8th which once it came out of our mouth was really odd because that is a Sunday and we usually invite people on Saturday but then it was confirmed to me by what she said. She was just like how did you know that was my day. Like she had pondered about it and that was the day she had already made out in her mind to be baptized. The spirit is so awesome it knows all.

I am serving in such an incredible ward. We have such a great Bishop and the ward council is incredible. I love the work I love my calling and am grateful for the privilege to represent the Master Jesus Christ in this time and season in my life!

I love you guys and I hope you have a great week and are excited for Christmas! I hope I don't get cold feet in SLC AIRPORT and accidently miss my flight home to IF REG because I am so nervous! I could pull a Dolly on everyone! HAHA JK I love you guys have a great week

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey Family,How is your week going? I hope you guys are happy and having fun. I hope you have a splendid Thanksgiving down on West Mountain! Grandma has just written me the sweetest letters lately I am so grateful for them. Mom sends me her letter that is so trunky! Kels is a spiritual powerhouse! I am just grateful for all the support that y'all have been giving me. As we approach this Thanksgiving week I have been reminded how important Gratitude is. I remember President Monson's council to strive to be more grateful a few conferences ago. I was just pondering about families, I am so grateful for that social unit, the family, who the Author is God the Father. But not just for the Family, but for my Family. I love Dad so much, He is my best friend. He is such a great Priesthood Leader in our home and he is always making sure our family has spiritual experiences. Mom is so tender; she is so sensitive to the Holy Spirit. She just brings the Spirit of Christ into our home. She is so Christ like and provides opportunity for us to become more Christ-Like. I've always been jealous, but I am grateful for Kenz's example that she always read the scriptures. I didn't realize how important it is until now but she got it! Drake is such a peace maker, and that example I am grateful for. Sophie is just Sophie I am not sure what it is, but I am grateful for her. She just makes my life. I am so grateful for my family I love you all so much.
So, our Ward Mission Leader eats raw, our investigator Marlene eats Raw. It is a sign, I'm just not sure a sign for what, either I should eat Raw or Kels is the one.
Marlene is a single lady in her 40 or 50. She is Buddhist, she is very spiritual, but she comes to church and she is keeping all her commitments; we are just trying to help her realize how important this is. She is a great lady she just already has her ideas so we are trying with the spirit to help her conform her ideas to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Hazeldines are an awesome Family. Bro Hazeldines is from NJ and is just super real. The man just tells it how it is. But he is a huge teddy bear. He is sensitive to the spirit and it is neat to see it work in their lives. This week we met with them on Monday and we were able to invite Bro Hazeldine and their daughter Rylee to be baptized and they accepted and are preparing for baptism on the 10th of December. I am so grateful for the Spirit of the Lord. I love you all so much and hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Love your missionary,
Elder Taylor Petersen

Monday, November 14, 2011

That is crazy to think that Dolly is home. We were in the MTC together for three weeks! We rocked those on the B-Ball court with his comp and my comp. And he has served and is done! Holy Cow. Tell him I got his Letter and I am so happy for him to be home and make it home safe and sound. I love him so much he is such a good friend and I can't wait to see him and go to school with him.
It has been a great week in the mission field. We had five investigators at sacrament meeting. But even better than that, is we had a total of 10 non-members, less-actives and Investigators! The first ward is great. This ward could split next week, it is such a strong ward! They have so many people coming back and we are just building the Kingdom. We go to the High school every morning and play a little two hand touch! It is a blast.
We had a miracle, so there is a family the Hazel Dines they are great. Her husband and one of her daughters are not members and they want to join the church. We are meeting with them tonight for dinner and a lesson and we hope they both will accept the invitation to be baptized.
We have this other brother Steve we are working with, He is friends with a bunch of members and is such a good guy and helps out and has done alot for the church but just doesn't believe in God. We were able to finally get his daughter Alyssa in on it and we had a great discussion with her and invited her to receive the missionary lessons and she was way excited. They were supposed to come to church but they didn't make it.
We can't find a good map of our area because our area covers like 3 counties so other day we were biking and we biked forever and then the other Elders came and rescued us. When we got to our final destination and looked at the GPS how to get home and it was like 20 miles we couldn't handle it! The other Elders had our back thank goodness.
I have gotten sick from Elder McRae. It is no fun but I am starting to get over it. A lot of prayers and medicine. I actually refused the meds for awhile, I was trying to heal on my own and then one night I just couldn't handle it and I took every medication in sight and now I feel a whole lot better.
There is this Sister named Sis De Fabrizio, she is a really sensitive person. She looked up the church and came and really enjoyed it then we scheduled an appointment for yesterday. We had a real good quick lesson with her before church. The spirit was really strong and we explained to her what she could expect from us and what we expect from her and we just kind of declared our purpose to her. Then we were wrapping up the lesson to head to Sacrament meeting, which was the primary program which is just a bunch of awesome simple truths. She told us what she expected from us and it rocked my world forever! She said thaatt wh she expects from us is to hear the words of Christ from the scriptures namely the Book of Mormon! It just rocked my world like we talked about a lot of awesome spiritual things but we missed the mark, who is Jesus Christ! It was an experience I will forever be grateful for. I love the work, I love the spirit of the work, and I love who I represent! Tell Dolls hello and thanks for the letter! I love you all so much have a great week and keep it real!

Elder Petersen

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wow Family! Y'all are all wrong; I am not in Chapel Hill I am in Wake Forest. I am finally in the Raleigh Zone. There were two Elders in the Wake Forest 1st and Wake Forest 2nd ward. Elder Furhiman and Elder Wilding were there and Elder Furihman was Elder Clingers companion in the MTC.
Oh Jessica got baptized this Saturday and Confirmed on Sunday. I heard it was beautiful. I wish I could have been there. Back to Wake Forest, So President opened up Wake Forest 1st to full-time Elders. It has been a struggling area. Member trust has been up and down and it got so bad that they had to bring......yes they had to bring SISTERS in! Elder Chambers transferred in to be Elder Furihman companion. He is a stud; he has been out four and half months. He served in Jacksonville and is from Denver Colorado. He went to BYU-I before his mission. Elder Furihman is his companion and like I said came out with Elder Clinger so he has been out 3 months. He is from Chandler Arizona and is a great new missionary! Elder McRae is from Kaysville and is my companion! I love this guy so much! He took Davis High to the Ship his senior year and then went and played soccer in Iowa before his mission. We live in our own apartment but we live in the same complex. He seriously has the potential to be one of my favorite companions.
I interviewed with President this week, he said something that rocked my world. He just looked at me and said Elder Taylor Blaine Petersen, you aren't the same Elder Taylor Blaine Petersen I met in the mission home almost two years ago. I am proud of whom you have become and there is no doubt in my mind that you will continue to live a righteous life after your mission and then to one day soon get married in the temple. You will be successful at whatever career you choose." It was really awesome and real comforting! I had a lot of anxiety about coming home but now it is all gone! I am excited to be who I have become! We have an amazing Ward! It is huge and it sounds like they have gone through the refiner’s fire with trials and tribulations. With unemployment and with lifes challenges! They have done what the Lord wants them to do, Believe and Follow and Rely on him! The faith of the ward here is so incredible! Testimony meeting is awesome. Our Bishop, Bishop McEwen is a stud. Bro Larson is a stud and is our Ward Mission Leader! He is young and on fire. Our first day here we were biking to the Chamber of Commerce, then we were doing service for Bro Jackson and he had an angry rooster that needed to be killed so I chased it down and I wacked it with a broom stick. I didn't kill it but it ran into the woods to hide, it was funny. When we got here our first night the Elders had an appointment set up with us for a guy named Steve Fritz. Steve is a great guy and has such a strong desire to do well, but he has no belief in God. We are trying and we as missionaries and a member fasted in behalf that he will connect, that his desire to do well is because of the great feeling God showers upon those who are willing to serve His Children. We are moving into our new apartment and we didn't have a shower curtain or some other odd things it was funny trying to survive without it all! I just love the mission it is so great! There is another woman who we are teaching, her name is Susan and she had two kids Eli and Sidrah. She is divorced. She reminds me a lot of Julie Murphy. I want to help her out so much and I hope she is willing to act on the spirit, she feels and loves the Gospel message. Her Children know a lot of ward members.
I love you guys so much and I am so grateful for your prayers letters and support! I love you all so much.

Love, Elder Taylor Petersen

Monday, October 31, 2011

What is going on? Billy Joel thanks so much for the Letter! How is life going for you all!
Jessica Ream is getting baptised this Saturday! She took out her earrings and has
exercised such incredible Faith! She comes from a broken home! But it is so neat
that with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and know matter what background we come
from, We can become what ever is expedient in the Savior. She is a great girl.
That is her and her boyfriend that dressed up as the joker for Halloween Trunk
or Treat.
Casey Jones had been the Librarian in the Goldsboro 2nd ward for 37 years. he passed away this week.
He was the nicest but funniest prankster I have ever met. Bro Corrbett, (I have a
picture with him and his wife in there home) was his home teacher and the
closest thing to family that he had. He ate dinner pleaded with us to do what we
should do in the church so that we would have the privilege to dress someone in
there temple clothes, it was so neat. I really admire this man and look
up to him a lot. We gave each other a big hug after church on Sunday. He also gave a great talk
on the order of things in the church. He was telling us about how great the
gospel is. There was a daughter of a lady who had a heart attack was just loosing it and
asked them why they weren't crying over Bro Jones. She said he isn't afraid to
die, actually this guy has been waiting to die. He knows right where he is going
and can't wait to reunite with his wife who passed away 15 years ago. I love that
about the Gospel, it is so true we don't have to worry about anything. We just
have faith and trust in God. He will take care of the rest.

The other family in the Picture is the Varneys. Bro Varney has been
exercising incredible faith. His wife works every other Sunday and he has two of
the funniest boys, and he brings them to church and is a great man. I love
that family and I am excited to hear what happens with them.

We had a combined meeting this Sunday and they made the comment, I was going home! Everyone was telling me that the rule is you have to go home, go to school, graduate, get married, and come back!

The Jacksons' have been great, I love them so much!! I will miss them dearly.
We got to go to a tea party with them and had some good Barbecue! Dad would love
the BBQ here, BBQ is pulled pork with a Vinegar based sauce. I am going to send
you the recipe for the worlds best BBQ sauce.

I really don't know what to write, my clothes are falling apart, my bike is
hanging together with duck tape. I just need it all to hold out 6 more weeks! I
am going to go buy a small suit case to carry on.

I really am going to miss Elder Clinger I love him so much.

We did service this week and we didn't get to read the scriptures that day
and I was just falling apart. It is so important to just get in the book of
Mormon everyday. I read a chapter that night before I went to bed. Just peace
and solace and all the answers to questions are in the scriptures.

I can't wait to see where I go! I am excited to see what happens in this next 6 weeks! Going to exercise to great faith and make some Miracles happen. Elder Miller is the new assistant. That is
pretty awesome he is such a great leader and I am glad he made the choice to
come on a mission and that I was able to serve as his companion.

Well, have a great week. I am going to my Elephant Grave Yard!

Love, Elder Petersen