Billy, Hollister, MJ. D-Rock, Sophia Maria, and to whom it may concern!
Sorry i didn't mean to send that the first time, you know it is weird here on my mission in hog country, Smithfield; I miss you all, I really do, I don't have much time to think about you all, but usually at night I think about what a neat family I have, and I miss you. But, at the same time I feel comfort from you all, from your testimonies and from your spirit of the FULLNESS of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I really feel your prayers, just like wrapped arms around me. I love you all, but to get started about my week, first off I am nervous as POO. Elder Croft is leaving, I am scared. He is the man! The best Elder ever without a doubt in my mind!
Last p-day we went disc golfing with the ZL's in Goldsboro. It was super fun, but I suck. We had a lesson that night with a part member, but divorcing family, the Williams. He isn't a member or his three kids but he helps out with scouts in another ward, so TONS of potential there, it is just whether or not we are going to capitalize off of it! We had dinner at the Hamilton's, he was the old Stake Pres. and a convert he loves to go metal finding with a metal detector. He has A NEPHITE COIN the only one in existence and the spirit testified to him that it was. This man is a spiritual giant, if he says it, I believe it, it has the tree of life on it, it is so cool. We had a lesson with Sharlene our baptismal candidate. Her power was shut off so we met at the church, we went over what she had read, she is so neat and has such an amazing spirit about her, she loves the ward so much! And they love her.
We had an apartmentship inventory, Elder Bradshaw wasn't liking English that much, but we chatted, tied some loose ends, and everyone loves each other again, there are so many leadership opportunities on my mission! I got a sweet letter from KJ with gum and smashed (but still good) cookies! I also got a letter from Grandma DJ, she writes me consistently! We had a coordination meeting. Bishop said his goal is 18 baptisms that is obtainable, but only if they keep 2 sets of elders in the area!
I fasted on Wednesday, because on Sunday I didn't really feel like I had a full fast, because a member took us to lunch right after church. It was neat I fasted for 4 things: 1) to better recognize the spirit, 2) for a miracle, 3) for my scripture case to come, and 4) for dad in his presentation, 1 was fulfilled! We were weekly planning and I just didn't want to be there, I couldn't focus, I felt like we needed to go to Decon Jone's (a car lot) and pick up these car mats Elder and Sister Lewis had called and asked us to pick up for the assistants car, I ignored it and the prompting came again, so I asked Elder Croft if we could go on walk, and we did. We walked outside and one of our neighbors we had talked to stopped us and said "I was baptist, I know it's false, I am a Roman Catholic and I struggle with it, I know I blew you all off, but could you come over and share with me more about your church." We told him no! Just kidding we said heck Yes and boom # 2 fulfilled. #3 When we came back from the car lot, there was my scripture case sitting there! And #4I am confident the Lord guided and directed Dad, in the way that was best for his company, for the company he presented to, and for his job, and the family! I got a neat letter from Tarha and Noel, with a cool Tee inside of it and a 7 day trial at Golds Gym, but there is no Golds Gyms here! But thanks so much!
We woke up at five-thirty and had Zone Conference in Kinston. Elder Croft got us a ride with zone leaders, he is so frugal, like dad, it is so funny, like he saves all our miles, then the last 2 days of the month we have like 500 miles and we go tour our HUGE area and stop by and see people out in the sticks! Our zone conference was on the Book of Mormon, it was so neat! I am telling all these Elders to take Kelsi on a date, Elder Croft already planned a date with Kels, and the assistant Elder Hervey, he is from Oceanside where Kami lives, he is the man and him and Elder Croft were talking and he asked if he could take Kels on a date, or if i would get mad, they are such cool GUYS! Total goofs but spiritual giants! I got a letter from mom that evening, and mom, you referenced me to a scripture D+C______ it was blank, there was no section or verse.
I got a nice letter from Heather Park or Martin, (I think that is her last name!) I love getting mail! So, I had an intense study, reviewing my notes from ZC and as soon as we got there, President had us pray and repent and how much joy we would feel from that; and the spirit was that much more clear, like when ever we are struggling, repent and the joys of the atonement feels our hearts! BTW i walked into zone conference and Sister Lewis and Sister Cotterell were like, "how are you doing Elder Country Man," I'll have to ask Kelsi about that one! The book of Mormon has the most powerful doctrinal explanation then any other book. Sis Cotterell had a quote i like, "What Aire thou art, act well thy part. "Whether we are President, or the garbage man do our best to MAGNIFY our callings as Representatives of Jesus Christ! President Cotterell told a story of sending and elder home, and how they were in an interview, President took his planner as evidence to send him home, he said he was so fired up and ready to ship him home and then the spirit testified to him that the Savior had already forgiven him and if he had, then President Cotterell couldn't be upset. He started crying handed back his planner said the Savior loves his missionaries and is quick to forget, and that he loves him and trusted him! So neat, I think He also made a really bold promise that "If you read the book of Mormon everyday with your children 5 mins to an hour, whatever you can do to make that attempt, not one of your children will be lost!" Like he went on to say that his family was lazy in the summer and didn't read as much and stuff but not one of his are lost, I think of Jaylene she has eight kids and she read the scriptures at 1 in the morning with Kels and Evan she just made sure it happened and all her kids are married in the temple or worthy to be!! Like it is so cool, I think of my loving MOTHER, (Hollister) all my life you made the attempt, I really need to repent for all those mornings you woke me up and I just slept through scripture study, and you had it in the hall with Drake,Sophie and Kenz and so far not one of yours are lost, but with Sophie I'd be worried so keep it UP, just kidding! Think of all the books on the earth millions of volumes. The introduction says that it is the most true book on this earth and man would draw nearer to God if we abide by its precepts. President also said alot of elders will study the bible and that's fine, but never study at the expense of the Book of Mormon! Elder Croft told me a sweet quote " If you aren't being rebuked by the spirit, you aren't being guided by it" Like I am reading my scriptures but am I reading words or am I reading with real intent or to gain spiritual knowledge, or just reading to say I did it. We are not perfect and we can always improve. We had dinner with the Allen's some good southern food they are so nice they surprised Elder Croft, I was in on it too, we had to RM'S that served here, former Elder Jensen and Elder McCardie, they were so cool one was an assistant and was born in Smithfield. They had there families with them. it sure was neat.
I am running out of time.Iit was great, we met with this army man, like the most spiritual giant. He is Top Secret Special Forces from Fayetteville, he talked about joining the army and how it has blessed his life.
Church was great, we had dinner at the Gandolph's and went out with him, he is the man, we talked about life and how when people get married ,do they ask, will this person help me grow spiritually! THE GOSPEL IS THE ONLY WAY. We were able to teach Dee and his girlfriend Elizabeth, who hates us and sat in with us. IT was so neat!
Well family I love you and am thankful for your prayers and support. Mom, I love you so much and man everyday I get the rude awakening of how much you did for us as kids. I am not sure if I will be able to write you a letter this week but I will next week. i promise! I love you so much!
With love and respect,
Elder Taylor Blaine Petersen