Monday, December 12, 2011
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!
Monday, December 5, 2011
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
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
Monday, November 14, 2011
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!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
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!
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
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
bestfriend! HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA VIRGINA!!!!! This week has been such a great
week. I don't have much to say because I emailed you last Wednesday. This Saturday we had an awesome bike ride out to Grantham. It is 18 miles from our apartment and the church was really big out there. We talked to 10 part-member families and we ended up finding one that wasn't on the records. That was a great day. The people are so much friendlier out there and everyone
waves to us! Life is good! I love you all so much, we are having a baptism on Saturday possibly! I'll see you in
6 weeks bye!
I LOVE YOU!!!!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
How Blessed we are to hear the Prophets voice!!!!!!!!
Wow time is flying fast. I am so excited to think that I will be sitting with Dad and Drake at priesthood session next time. Wow, was Elder Hollands talk powerful. I am still recovering emotionally from what he said. I love Elder Callisters talk on the Book of Mormon. I am trying to arrange for a Loud Speaker to get attatched to our car so we can go around playing that talk and handing out copies of the Book of Mormon. I also loved Elder Christofferson's talk on repentance, I love how the 70's give talks and it is like, wow that is great I need to apply that asap. The apostles take such a simple and broad topic as repentance and speak so deeply about it and just make you really ponder about the topic and just like ponder about it so much that it keeps you up at night! I love General Conference and I am so excited to apply what I learned and can't wait for next session! Lexi looked beautiful in her pictures! I am so happy for her and Seth. I hope for the best for them. I've come to learn on my mission from this great member Bro. Smith that marriage truly is happiness. That if you aren't happy in your marriage, you won't be happy in life. And you can't reach the fullness of happiness with out marriage, so I am so happy for Lexi and Seth and wish that they will always be happy. I got your letters Mom and your packages! Thank you so much for the Candy Gram it was desperately needed. Elder Clinger and I have cleaned out our apartment of all food that wouldn't fall into the catorgory of raw. We had recently received a juicer and we were eating healthy but we were going crazy and Elder Clinger was mad that I talked him into it! But your candy gram saved him from killing me!
We are scheduled to have a baptism this Saturday. I do not think it is going to happen. About two weeks ago we met with the family and made a plan for Parker to be baptized on the 8th and his Father to perform the baptism. The family struggles to live the word of wisdom, the mother and the father both with Coffee and the Father with Alcohol as well. We invited them to meet with the Bishop and clear things up. We gave the Varneys the number to the Executive Secretary and we followed up and he said it was taken care of. We came over to plan the baptism program and the father said, "Elders I won't be able to perform the baptism." We later found out that he never called the Executive Secretary, therefore he never met with the Bishop. We are pretty confident the mother and father didn't keep the commitment invitation to live the Word of Wisdom. We don't want to set this family up for in-activity or to just fall back into the same slump they have been in the past 8 years. We fasted and feel that we should postpone the baptism.
I went on an exchange with Elder Johnson. He is so happy which I believe led to his seeing a lot of miracles that day as we were out searching out the honest in heart. We met this Lady named Joy from Peurto Rico. Her cousin is on a mission in Maryland and said, Joy, you just need to hear the message, she said she would but didn't think there was anyone that could teach it to her and low and behold we knocked on her door! Elder Johnson is going to make me an awesome satchel out of pants to carry copies of the Book of Mormon in!
We helped the Jacksons alot this weekend! This republican running for Govenor came over to their house and it was catered and they had valet parking and we helped clean up their yard all week for it! They raised $10,000 for the guy! I love the Jacksons they are such kind people and try so hard to share the gospel.
We had dinner last night with a family. He invited his friend from work to dinner! It was awesome he was from Oaklahoma, we asked him if he was a Cowboy or Sooners fan he said he was the only U of O fan in his family and then we turned the rest of the discussion into the gospel! The family we had dinner with are coming back to activity, it is so awesome. We are excited to teach him again in their home! There is so much power from teaching in members home, I love it!
Since I have been here we have been inviting members to invite a non-member friend into there home to hear the missionary lessons. I have been really frustrated because I haven't seen any success come from this invitation. These last 5 days we have had three lessons in members homes with people they invited and are having another tomorrow night. It has been an incredible experience.
Know that I am always keeping you in my prayers! I love you guys so much and you bring so much happiness into my life! I love family and I am grateful for God our father who created this divine and Holy social unit! I love you guys have a great week!
Love, Elder Taylor Petersen
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Elder Clinger and I had a falling out this week. We settled our argument with a scripture, we read in Mosiah 3:18 that the natural man just wants us to fight and not agree with each other. It was a real neat experience. We set a goal as a companionship this transfer to kill the natural man! Actually to SLAY it. We don't want to torture it just put it out. We don't want him to win. The more he wins in the little things the easier it will be when a big thing comes up.
There is this older woman Ms. Jane. She lives near the Jacksons, she is a single retired school teacher whose daughter has cancer. She had this old shed in the back of her yard that is all beat up. We offered one Sunday on our way home to clean it up, and she with great thanks accepted our invitation. We cleaned it all up and hauled it to the street and Bro. Jackson said he would have it all hauled off. After serving her we talked to her about the church. She talked about how at ECU the head of the athletic department was a member and how great his kids were. We talked about the Savior about how she has drawn strength from him at this time of trial with her daughter. Then we talked about the Book of Mormon how she could learn more about the Savior from it and she kind of shut her listening off (spiritually at least) We asked her if she knew what the book was and she had no clue. We offered her a copy and are going to invite her to let us share with her in the Jacksons home the significance that book can be to her in her life. Keep Jane in your prayers.
We taught the Varney family this week. We couldn’t find an exchange so we had to ride our bikes out there. We had a great lesson. Parker has read so much in the Book of Mormon and is such a great kid we just have to get that family to church. Sister Varney works every other weekend in Kinston. She is the life of that family. I guess last week they were all ready to go ,then Parker got sick. We taught Parker the commandments. Sis Varney is so funny she was like "dang you boys are hitting the hard ones tonight." On our way back we saw a high school football game going. We stopped by and watched for 10 minutes. So I didn't feel guilty we contacted a few people and put probably 100 pass along cards on parked cars. Eastern Wayne was getting blown out 48 to 0 at half to North Johnston. But please keep the Varneys in your prayers. The Ward needs them back and they need the ward back!
Elder Hintze is leaving, I miss him already. He has blessed so many peoples lives and I think the Goldsboro 1st ward is sad about the loss of him. We have some Spanish missionaries coming in this transfer. I am not sure if it will be a companionship of Spanish Elders or if President will do a Zebra companionship with Elder Davies. I have a hunch that Elder Dealba is coming back to the Goldsboro Zone.. I hope and PRAY!!!
I have a few questions, one I haven't gotten a letter from you guys in ages.(I, his Mom, mail him a letter every week, I am not sure why he doesn't get them) The Jacksons got there letter and Sis J is such a sweet woman. You guys need to either write me a letter each week or a good email each week to let me know what is going on over there!!! Also I was wondering if I could buy some shoes. My shoes I bought at the beginning of my mission I have only wore them to run in and they are about worn out. I have put a lot of miles on those shoes. Is Kelsi still around? I haven't heard from her in awhile like 3 weeks. I am sure she has been busy with School and the wedding and California. But still just wondering how she is doing? Also I was wondering if you could send me some stamps! Bro Jackson is obsessed with the stamps with pictures on them and he is getting a bunch of them! Sister Rouse came up to me at church and was like Elder your mom emailed me and told me to tell you Hello! She is such an incredible Sister! Just a soft sweet spirit!
Bro Breen Smith is probably the richest man in Goldsboro and also probably the most Christ-like. His son goes to BYU-I and is here for the summer with his wife. He picked us up and we went and did service for his neighbor MR. Gordon who just had a stroke. He doesn't talk much and is kind of a hermit. We cleaned up a lot of fallen trees for this man and went to the door to introduce ourselves he just smiled and said thanks. Bro Smith was so happy we did it, he said all I want is for that man to feel the love of God and he did. We went to this place called the Tasty Shoppe afterwards. Bro. Smith has an open tab, we ate our hearts out! He said that we are more then welcome to stay in his home if me and my family ever come back to visit. He is leaving to go on a deer hunt in Malad I believe!
This week in companionship study the focus was on recognizing the spirit and also the role of prayer. We taught this Bro. and he has been just a miracle. We role played that day inviting him to offer the kneeling prayer. We taught the doctrine behind the principle and Elder Clinger invited him. He prayed to know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. As he stood up after the prayer and said he has never felt that before but he knows that it is true. It was the spirit of the Lord that touched this mans heart!
Bro Dubois is a hard man to catch. He is a car salesman at Frema Motors here in Goldsboro. He works about 69 hours a week and doesn't get home till 9 or 10 most nights. We called, asked if he could meet with us and he said he wanted to take us to lunch. We went to Andy's this Saturday had lunch and a miracle happened this girl who is in a part-member family that worked at Andy's was like Elders, we were talking about you guys the other day and our family was saying how we are ready for you all to come over. So we received all her info and then the conversation was lead to us talking about how the Lord knows where we are going and has miracles prepared for us. We went to his home afterwards. He said before we talk or you guys ask questions. He said Elders I am closer then I have ever been. I have been praying to the Lord asking for him to help me understand my two hang ups. Now I am just praying for peace and the Lord slowly but surely is giving it to me. He said I went to my mothers home the other day I told her that there is this Elder with his eyes on me, and I let her know that I am going to get baptized a member of the church. She was happy for him!! We invited him to be baptized and he would'nt set a specific date. We asked questions, like what we thought he needed to do to get 100% of the way there. He said that he was doing it and that he won't set a date because he fears failure but he will let us know soon when he was ready. I am just not sure what to do. I love this Brother so much and I just don't know what to do. Keep Bro Dubois in your prayers.
I went on an exchange with Elder Miller this last week. I love him so much. He has such a natural talent of just making you want to be the best You! Some leaders have talents to help you be the best they think you should be. But Elder Miller has a talent of finding your talent and lifting and inspiring you to be your very best at it. They have a lot of great things going on in there area. I am grateful for a great leader.
In my personal study I have been trying once again to answer the question of how can we create an environment where a person can notice there is a hole in there heart and the gospel can fill it or that they are on a journey and the gospel is what they are looking for. I really like what Elder Holland says that if we listen with Love it will be given to us be the spirit and by our friends. I think that is so true, about the friends...meaning those we are teaching if they recognize us as servants of the Lord and feel of our spirit. They will say something in which will highlight a gospel truth in which we can testify and offer more. I love the spirit in this work it truly makes all the difference as I strive to be worthy exactly obedient and try my best.
I love you guys so much. Please pray for me, to finish strong, with a strong desire to always have the spirit with me. I only have two more transfers it is crazy! I love you guys so much. I hope you all have a great week and always strive to feel the spirit of the Lord!
Elder Taylor Petersen
Friday, September 16, 2011
We had a great week this week. We had a lot of miracles and Elder Clinger and I are working great together! I am so thankful that we are basically guaranteed to be together for another transfer! We have some great things going on here in Goldsboro, we are seeing miracles often and the attitude of missionary work has changed here in this ward and I love nothing more then to see the attitudes and behaviors of an entire ward change as we teach true doctrine and strive to make the ecclesiastical and the missionary church come together as ONE church and we are doing it one day at a time!!!
We are having concerns not getting the help from ward council to help a family come back to activity and to help there son be able to return to the waters of baptism! His name is Parker, he is 12 years old. Last week he was on page 186 in the Book of Mormon, now he is on page 343, and I believe it is all on his own efforts. Elder Clinger asked the Young Man how he feels as he reads the Book of Mormon he said, "I feel the peace, I feel when my little brother is sleeping!" He had us all laughing but he recognized the peace that came from the Book of Mormon. He is a great young man and we are trying really hard to help this family come back to church. We are represented at Ward Council by our ward mission leader, he is a great guy, and try’s his best but I believe he could use some further training. We have helped him make a habit of, like will you do this and when could I follow up. He just hates to ask people to do anything so we spend a lot of time finding our own exchanges.
We taught this Brother named Alex, we had a great series of inspired questions which brought out his true concern and then we were able to role play his concern of talking to his parents about joining the church.
Bro Dubois is doing great, Sis Dubois' daughter is living with a man named Steve who we are teaching. He came to church this Sunday. They are getting married in January because that is when he will have been separated from his wife for a year. Odd law in North Carolina. We are teaching the Law of Chastity tomorrow as we invite him to be baptized. I am nervous but trust the Lord will guide us. But the funny thing is Bro Dubois, who isn't a member but comes every week, we asked if we could meet with him this week and he set up a service project with us, him, and Steve so we could fellowship Steve more.
Saturday a Sister called us and said that her husband is interested in the Church. We set up an appointment for Sunday, we went and had one of the most spiritual lessons! This Brother is prepared. We introduced the Book of Mormon, I asked a question I had never asked before the Brother then expressed he is feeling chills as he reads from the Book of Mormon, we help him identify that as the spirit and Elder Clinger immediately invited him to be baptized and we set a date for Oct 22nd! It is kind of a rough month for baptisms in the Goldsboro Zone with General Conference and Stake Conference in the same month!! Good thing it is a five-week month!!
Just great things going on here in this area. I Love it here! We have an appointment with Bishop Rouse and are inviting his Family to do missionary work and hopefully taking it to the whole Ward we are so excited!!!!!
This morning we got up pretty early we went with the other Elders and fished on the Nuese, Elder Clinger as soon as he casted his pole in he caught this huge carp and then I casted in and wasn't catching anything. I was fishing with chicken, then I caught these two pretty big fish! We kept the big ones and are going to have a fish fry!!! HOT DOG!!! It was so much fun, I seriously love North Carolina, I honestly don't think I want to come back! Like, I love Goldsboro! Like, when I think of North Carloina I think of this place!!! The Jacksons' got your letter! Sweet Nita Jackson is gone for three weeks in the Pentagon! We are just her pool boys!! We taught this guy and this powerful statement came out of me I have never even said before and it has been on my mind! I might have read it some where I have been trying to find it but I can't find it so far. "We don't want to just share the gosepl so you simply understand, we want to share simply so you can't misunderstand!!!" IT really has made me think how important this is! I love this work! I love my calling!!
I haven't gotten a letter from my Family or Kelsi in like two weeks! I am not sure what is happening but I hope all is well! I love you guys so much! I appreciate your prayers! Have a great week, that is exciting to hear about Kenz and Jason.
Love your son and Missionary Elder Taylor Blaine Petersen!!
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We had a crazy week..... so my dream came true....I finally got in on a black congregation!!! We went there and taught them, they invited me to come up, I got cold feet and just got way nervous but I bore my testimony! Then my Brother, Bro Melvin got up and was like there has been truth taught here tonight but there is more Truth and my Brother Elder Petersen is called of God to deliver that truth and if you would allow him to come back the message he shares can and will change your life!! He had the spirit so strong, I love Brother Melvin he is one of the only active African American members and weighs probably 500lbs of pure love!!! So we went back with him this Friday and the pastor lied we shared with him the message of the restoration he loved and then I invited him to be baptised and he just flipped!! So that went south but it was real great.
Susan was confirmed a member of the church this week! She got up there and bore her testimony and rocked it, it was so powerful and the other Elders had a baptism of a guy named Jimmy, who I interviewed his wife and him for Baptism but i interviewed his wife about a year ago in Chapel Hill. Small crazy world! Sacrament meeting was nuts, they were just shouting out how much they love the missionaries! We have changed the culture of this ward but we have a long way to go!!!
We taught this great family Steve and Vivian they aren't married yet, Vivian is a member S isn't and can rip it on the Guitar! I felt so much love for Steve, as I taught him, I am really hoping we can help them make the changes in there life to live more in harmony with God and His teaching.
We keep teaching Parker but we just can't get the ward to help us get him to church! He has in three weeks read by himself 186 pages in the Book of Mormon! Isn't that awesome! He is such a great kid and I have such a big heart for him!
We are having a lot of success we are teaching two sisters, Lisa and Felicia great things should happen with them. Well this lady is breathing down my throat to get out of the library so I gotta go!
I love you and tell Jas and Kenz congrats and give them both a fat hug! Gotta go! Love YOU!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I am currently beat dead! I have been working, throwing trees all morning! Little Miss Irene has messed up our area! They evacuated all the missionaries on the costal end of it but of the missionaries that were left I think we got the worst of it! Elder Hintze and Elder Davies and Elder Clinger and Myself we rode it out.
This week was kind of a slow week with teaching. We really haven't taught a whole lot. We had some appointments fall through and a lot of exchanges cancel. The Goldsboro 1st Elders have a baptism this Saturday and he is a great guy. The funny thing is, I interviewed his wife in Chapel Hill when I was a DL there and then she moved here, married this guy and I interviewed him! They said there sights are set to the TEMPLE! That is so exciting.
The power went out, but the family we live with are filthy rich and have a huge like catapillar generator that runs off Natural Gas, it is crazy! There was this one sister who we put shingles on for and yes we put them on so the nails weren't showing but she hadn't had power in 36 hours! So many down trees that ripped down power poles. We were on flash flood warnings it was crazy. We were on lock down and told not to leave our apartment it was so crazy.
Me and Elder Clinger had a neat experience teaching this Brother and it lead to him having a baptismal date. Elder Clinger asked some amazing inspired questions!
Things are going good. Tell Drake and Sophie happy birthday. Time is flying by I can't believe it! I love you guys so much! Thanks for all you do,and for your love and support and friendship. I just hope y'all are being blessed for all you do! Have a great week!
Elder Taylor Petersen
Monday, August 15, 2011
I honestly wish I could trade places with Elder Clinger (he is a brand new missionary that Taylor is training) and start off where he is starting. This new training model is incredible. The Lords hand is definitely in this great work. We have companion study for two hours a day. They gave all the trainers and new missionaries new TV’s and we watch preach my Gospel DVDs! We are the first group of trainers and new missionaries applying this new tool in the world! It is incredible I wish I would have had it when I came out. Missionaries are invited to invite someone to be baptized in their first week. It makes study such a spiritual experience and after it you just want to go out and accomplish some crazy miracles. Elder Herschel West Clinger is from Genola, Utah he has 9 other siblings and he is number 6! He has five older Sisters and one on a mission in Florida (Spanish speaking). He grew up on a Dairy farm, his mom ran for the Mayor of Genola. They sold their cows though. Elder Clinger loves motorcycles and he worked for a cabinet shop. He has a great love for the Savior and has invited 3 people to be baptized just in his first 4 days, I have truly been blessed.
Elder Clinger is progressing well he has invited a few people to be baptized and it has been such a great experience for the both of us. He is a very hard worker and just has such a strong love for these people. He truly has reminded me that it was love that drove the Savior to suffer as He did and not just the fact that he needed to get everyone home. Simply that He loved us.
We had many miracles this week. We taught a family that has relocated from China; they have been here for 7 months. They speak little English. They had this translator program on their computer and we were able to help them build a faith in God and understand the need for His son Jesus Christ and then Elder Clinger taught them how to pray and we had three closing prayers; Elder Clinger offered one and then the Bro and his wife did. They called us at 8:50 and said they wouldn't be able to make it to church (they both worked from 2pm till 4am) but they had prayed everyday night and morning by themselves and together! We also have a few other baptismal dates we are working with. Alex is a 22,a Hispanic kid. His Girlfriend is a member of the church she looks like Kelly Kapowski from saved by the bell. She is pretty cute! We invited him to be baptized Elder Clingers first night here and it was a sweet and tender experience. We also are teaching another 12 year old boy named Parker he looks a lot like Drake. His mom and Dad, recent coverts, Parker had ADHD really bad and his parents don't want to bring him to church because they feel like they can't control him. He is really smart and is starting middle school and really wants to be baptized. We have a baptism this Saturday of a nice young man named Holden. President interviewed him on Sunday and it was a great experience.
President and Sister Cotterell came and spoke in our sacrament meeting on Sunday, they both bear such powerful testimonies and Sister Cotterell brings such a sweet spirit. They talked alot about the rescue. We went out with one the members of the Bishopric and he said how grateful he was for the mission presidents talk because he said, before I was just waiting for them to dissolve the ward into the 1st ward and Mount Olive. But president threw it down with Authority and pumped the brothers UP!!!
I am so pumped this week to try and convert some African-American Christian congregations! It is our only way to baptize thousands, Elder Clinger is so pumped about it!
My district got a lot smaller only us and Goldsboro 1st. Smithfield got English Elders again so they turned them and Clayton into their own district. I am kind of thankful. There is an Elder in my district who I really want to help out he looks up to me and to his companion alot he hasn't seen eye to eye with a lot of his companions and he isn't the strongest but I just have such a love for him and want to help him out in anyway I can and with just one companionship I really can focus a lot of time and energy on him and it has been great this first week!
Well I love y'all so much! The Lord is in this work and I am so grateful for it! Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven!
Monday, August 1, 2011
Today for morning exercise Elder Yankton and I got the Toyota Corolla, put it on netural and pushed it up and down the street we live on, boy was it a work out. But it was good for me and Elder Yankton. We worked out to the MOTAB version of, God of our Fathers, while pushing it! Really gets you pumped! Elder Yankton is so funny, he isn't a huge fan of me while we are doing our morning workout, I probably wouldn't like me either, I act like Richard Simmons trying to get him pumped. But everyday after we are done and walk inside he says in his very soft monotone voice, "Thank you Elder Pete." Haha, he is so funny and such a good guy. Thank you so much for sending him a letter Mom. President Cotterell gave him permission to make little journal entrees each day that he can send to his Mom on Monday. So we are going to exercise our faith and bring to pass some MIRACLES so his mom can feel of the spirit of the MISSION!!!!
I hope Kels is okay. That is sad that girl took away the chance to break the WORLD RECORD!!!! She had a concussion? WOW!!! That is crazy. Tell her I love her so much, that I will be like Adam Sandler in 50 first dates and make a movie for her so she can remember who I am if she has forgotten me. True love is worth it.
It has been a tough week; we just haven't found anyone who wants to hear our message. We tracted into this older lady she just stared at us then shut the door. We have had six baptisms this year in the area and all six have been from members. I bet that is where probably the next six will come from. This Less-Active sister we have been teaching and invited back to church gave a talk this Sunday that was awesome and she received a calling, it was a miracle. We were hoping to find success with a couple of 16 year olds that have friends in the ward but they are too afraid to ask their parents and we can't teach them if their parents don’t know.
I went on an exchange this week to Smithfield with Elder Walker; he is from Moses Lake Washington and is a great Elder. He takes acutine. We were joking while on our exchange about how goofy our district is. He takes acutane which could cause suicide thoughts, and his companion takes bipolar medicine, and my comp has ashbergers, and another Elder in our district has water in his brain, and talks like Sid the sloth! We have a unique district. Elder Walker is a Spanish missionary and really wants to do Spanish work but they have only been doing English, while on an exchange we went to some old Spanish hot spots I knew about when I served there, I was able to spit my spangles and we found some and set like 4 return appointments. MIRACLES
I realized in my studies how vital it is to understand the doctrine. President Packer talks about how true doctrine understood changes attitudes and behaviors better then the study of behavior. I have kind of got in this rut the past month of just not really having a desire to change or improve or even become better. I studied the doctrine of obedience. I understand that I am not Jesus Christ and that I will make mistakes but I can strive to be exactly obedient. When we are striving to become better the spirit will often prompt us and let us know what we need to do to change or improve. If we find satisfactory in where we are at we will just become what the World or others around us makes of us. I want to be the best I can be. It is so much easier to help others experience conversion when you are experiencing it yourself. I have learned in my mission that when I am striving to be exactly obedient I have to have faith to pull down miracles and blessings from Heaven. I know that I haven't given up my will for his but have aligned mine with his and in that, I find true enduring happiness. I am glad that I have felt the promptings and knudges of the Holy Spirit in my life that prompt me to make the changes I need to, make to draw closer to them.
I love you guys I hope you have a great week and I hope you are keeping me in your prayers and I keep you in mine! Tell Kels I hope she gets feeling better and I am sorry that the girl that hit her was not a Good Samaritan and didn't stop to help her. If she really forgot who I am show her some pictures and tell her of all the cool stuff we did! She is a pearl to valuable!!!! I can't lose her to a concussion! HAHAHA Have a great week!
Elder Hintze Loves you too!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Petersen
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
It hasn't been the easiest week but it has been a blessing and a privilege to be here in Goldsboro 2nd ward and serve in behalf of the Savior. I feel like I have grown this week and have become a better person and closer to my Savior. I am grateful for that and strive to continue to improve and become "even as He is".
Bro. Jorge and Sis Heidi are the Hispanic couple we are working with. We have found a sister in the Goldsboro 1st ward who served and was blessed to learn Spanish and has been helping us aid in the progression of Bro Jorge and Sis Heidi. There has been some concerns come up, they have a baptism scheduled for the 9Th of July and Bro Jorge is really excited for that and Sis Heidi is as well, but has some concerns and we have been trying with the Sis from the 1st ward to communicate with her and that has helped, but still it just seems as though something is missing with us not being able to speak Spanish.
This week I had the privilege to go on an exchange with a great Elder, Elder Forsey. We accomplished much good and saw miracles in the short period of time we spent together. We had a great companionship study, we talked about charity and how central it is to this work and how we could be so much better if we would just be charitable in all aspects of the work. That is probably why Sister Missionaries are so good at this work. He shared with me a scripture in 1 Peter I believe chapter 1. There is a pattern there of how we can obtain this gift. Reverence and Patience and Temperance and all those things help you to prepare for the greatest gifts of them all Charity. I shared with him how correcting missionaries is a form of charity. To aid each other in keeping one another in the right way. While on exchange I shared with him my concern with Bro Jorge and Heidi and that I wasn't sure what to do. I had been pleading with the Lord when he text us one night and said "how is it going with Bro Jorge and Sis Heidi? I told him and he said you know they are Hispanic missionaries and we have a Hispanic group, and we can teach them in Spanish. It just instantly felt right I talked about it with my companion and Sis Heidi is a Social Worker over 75 families in Wayne County all of which are Hispanic and all of which have at least five kids. I thought of the referrals the Sister could give the missionaries I thought of her enjoying Sacrament meeting because she could understand. It just felt right as I continued to pray about it. I asked Elder Barbano and Elder Forsey why they hadn't talked to us about this earlier. They said because they hadn't had a great missionary teach them about correcting missionaries as a form of Charity. Last night we passed off Bro and Sis Jorge and Heidi to the Mount Olive Elders where they will be attending from now on and be baptized on the 9th of July as we pray all goes as planned. It was really hard to pass off someone that you have invested so much time and energy into. We trust that it was what the Lord would have us do and many others will be blessed by our act of Charity.
So now we do not have a baptism planned for the month of July. It has been a tougher week with Elder Yankton. Not that we haven't gotten along. He just doesn't have much confidence and is very hard on himself. He gets frustrated and discouraged very easily. People make fun of him a lot and put him down like members and non-members. Like, a man we contacted was very rude and kept calling him big boy and fat boy and to ride off on his bike and it was just frustrating for me, I want to do something but I don't know what. I have really invested this week a lot of time and energy to trying to make sure he is happy and confident in himself and his calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. I feel like it has helped, he has slowly become a more powerful teacher and is more involved in planning. I struggle though on the same note because I get so caught up in trying to make him happy I forget to apply the things that we are learning and apply throughout the mission. Like inviting all to be baptized. I am working hard on being moderate and focusing on what is most important at that moment and most importantly relying on the Holy Spirit.
It has been hard to get exchanges in this ward. I know that it doesn't look like it with 9 member present lessons but 5 out of those 9 were with members from the 1st ward and the other 4 were from our ward with a couple people we snatched up real quick from the church while we were there. It seems like the brothers who are willing to go can't afford it and those who can don't have the time. We have been working through our ward mission leader and he said this Sunday that as of July he is going to be making assignments for exchanges. Hopefully that will help. It has been tough we have had to change our plans to schedule like an hour long bike ride to certain areas because we cannot get an exchange. We are excited to see what July brings and our Ward Mission Leader has seemed to find new excitement in his calling and we are grateful for that.
I am grateful for all you do and for this opportunity to serve the Lord. It is the least I can do after all he has done for me. Serve with all my Heart, Mind, Might, and Strength.
I love you all and hope you have a great week! Love your BOY Elder PETER!
Love, Elder Petersen
Monday, June 20, 2011
We have alot of great things going for us it is just trying to prioritize and go do that which is most important. We have a few families that we are working with and there are a few 9 year olds that haven't been baptized. But our ward mission leader this week in coordination meeting said he was sorry, and that he keeps getting compliments on what amazing missionaries we have in the ward, and he committed to us that we will have an exchange every night for the month of July. We are slowly earning the trust of the Bishop, he asked us to visit a part-member family and we were able to teach and set a return appointment with them this week. There are a lot of Part-member families in this ward. Just as President Catlett said that it is the honey hole.
Bro. Jorge and Sis Heidi are doing well, Heidi came late into the teaching process and asked if we would schedule the baptism for July 9th instead of the 25th of June, we asked inspired questions and both felt her concern was sincere that she wanted to be prepared. She is excited and they are progressing well, in a lesson she picked up the Book of Mormon and said "this book makes me feel so free". The members are doing such a great job in friendshipping them.
There is this member, Bro. Matthew he is a large African American man probably weighs about 400lbs. He is a spiritual powerhouse. He is a convert and a Mason and when we go out teaching with him, my companion and I and him are just a powerhouse team.
While cleaning a sisters house we found a snake, we caught it and then took it home to take pictures then to quickly let it go because we are not allowed to have pets, but we left it in the car and it died and 18 little baby snakes were inside of it. It was so gross!
Sis Heidi is from Peru and they have these super cool man purses there, and Sis Heidi said she will get me one! It was tough having to move their date back but her concern was sincere. She is such an amazing person. Her husband is trying really hard as well too. Since Bro Jorge has problems with his memory we gave him a study journal and Sis Heidi had him write 100 times I will not drink coffee I will not drink tea. We are teaching them tonight with a Sis that can speak to her in Spanish.
I heard that in Fort Bragg, the Gootee family all got baptized and that he was able to baptize his children. He just gave up smoking on the spot! I have been praying that his wife’s heart will be softened so she too may enjoy the fruits that come from this the restored Gospel. The Fort Bragg ward was nuts, like I have never been around a better group of Saints! Bishop Burbank defines what it means to be a priesthood leader.
I am grateful for this past Sunday to reflect on Fathers. I am grateful for my Dad and all that he has taught me. Particularly as he invited us (my Sunday school class) to focus on the Atonement and to try to apply it and learn about it. I am grateful for the opportunity he gave me to give my family blessings before I left for my mission. He is my Hero and I love him. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father for his unconditional love. For the willingness to give of his Son. I am grateful for the Wonderful family he has blessed me to be in, and all the many blessings that have flowed from them. I am grateful for the doctrine of repentance that he through his Son has made it possible as we make the big changes in our lives to turn towards God as well as the incremental changes as we strive to become even as He is. I love the gospel and my Family and hope you all have a great week!
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!
Elder Taylor Petersen
Monday, June 13, 2011
In my studies this week I have learned, like it is one thing to believe in something, and what it could be to have a testimony of it. But it is another to live consistently of what we know! I want to help those I teach know that clearly! To live what we know, I am also trying to apply it in my life.
I am getting brown my friends, working on that tan! Are you all going to Lake Powell this year? How is Sadie and Murphy? Billy, it is Fathers Day, are you pumped? Happy Fathers Day!!!! I hope you have a great Fathers Day and that you all have a happy great week!
Elder Taylor Petersen
Monday, June 6, 2011
We had a great week with Sacrament attendance. We probably can credit that to the Lord, but also to our inspired Zone Leaders, giving us the counsel to spend 5 minutes a night on that Sacrament Attendance planning guideline.
We had a miracle happen with Bro Jorge and Sis Heidi. Bro Jorge is the Brother that we have been teaching for sometime but his brain is shrinking everyday and he doesn't retain a whole lot. We have been praying and fasting for a way in which we can help him retain, in which we can help him take the necessary steps of faith and repentance, which will lead this great Brother to the sacred waters of baptism. Sis Heidi his wife,she is just a pure and beautiful spirit. She is from Peru. Her Aunt and (God Mother) converted and is a member of our faith. She lived near the temple in Lima, Peru. As we have shared the Fullness of the Gospel with Sis Heidi, the spirit of the Lord has been stronger than usual. There is a language barrier, but yet she feels of its truth and accepted the invitation to be baptized. We taught them last week and there whole family gathered around the table; it was incredible, the spirit of the Lord was following through me and my companion, there 16 year old daughter said this is awesome and she hasn't really felt what she was feeling before. We invited her to be baptized and she declined, she said she doesn't commit. But her mother at church praised us and said that she had never seen her daughter like that before and to keep working with her. It was so great on a Saturday night we had a 16 year old and her parents gathered around the table as we testified of the Father and the Son visiting that boy, Joseph. In Gospel Principles the lesson was on faith. Elder Yankton was the teacher and he did a great job, Sis Heidi asked if she could share something. She talked about her husbands condition how she is the provider, working long hours, but how much she loves her husband Bro Jorge. Then he testified, "I know the Lord can heal, I know Jesus can heal me and I will not give up." It was so strong, the investigators in the class were so involved saying prayers, sharing insight of the truths they already treasured, and then as we testified of the restored truth to add upon what they hold so dear and close to them with the Book of Mormon it was such a powerful hour!
Bro Alex and Sis Mellissa brought themselves and their two kids to church. Such a neat experience for them as they heard Bro Jorges testimony of faith. Sis Mellissa she is on board. She wants this so bad. Her husband wants proof like he wants evidence, but not spiritual proof. We had a lesson there this week and she left us alone with Bro Alex. I wish she would understand that her testimony could help him feel of the spirit!
We have been inviting now I think 9 families to invite a non-member friend in their home to hear the missionary lessons. We invited our ward mission leader when we had dinner over there. He has never committed. He was telling us that there is no one he could invite and was really stressed out about it. Bro Joshua started a new job. Turns out one of his co-workers is an old roommate who he feels will accept the gospel message? He is going to invite him this week.
I think I may have been in a quiet discontent and frustration with myself and my work. Sometimes I never feel satisfied, or that I need to do more! I have a battle in my head sometimes, I feel like I have not fully given myself up to the Lord and I haven't given up my will for his, I may have just bitten the bullet. I studied on Charity, in 1 Cor. 13 it talks about how we can speak with men and angels, but without charity it means nothing. We could give up our time, means, and money, but without Charity it profited us nothing. That is such a key element when we are in the work of bringing souls unto Christ. As I have applied that this week I have felt the Lord pleased with my efforts. I have felt a greater love in the way others may see me as I introduce myself as the Lords Servant. I have been blessed with a wonderful Mother who is filled with Charity and it is about time I start applying all the great lessons she has taught me and I know by doing so I will bless the lives of many in a spirit of love, Christ-Like love.
I love you all so very much and I hope you have a wonderful week and that the Lord may continue to bless you in all aspects of your life, temporarily as well as spiritually. I know that through all hardships and trials that the Savior is right there to bear our burdens and to lighten our load. To embrace us with his loving arms. I love Him.
Elder Taylor Petersen
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
We were able to set a date this week with Seth Long, a 9 year old whose mother has been active for awhile and holds a calling in the ward. He is ready to go and we will be holding the service on June 11th.
Bro George was and intelligent officer in the United States Army. Because of his military career he jumped out of many air planes and the equipment they used isn't as good as what they have now. Due to that he has a memory issue. He has water in his brain and can't remember a whole lot of things. We have tried with him to have a study journal but our main focus and prayers were toward having his family come along and join as well. Sis Heidi his wife was in California watching her son graduate from college. She came home this past Sunday and we had an appointment scheduled for Wednesday. We were biking before we went there and we had some less active and part-members to visit and promised the Lord if he would bring the Elect outside we would contact them along the way. We met many people and set many return appointments and invited them to be baptized when they came to know of its truth. As we approached our first part-member, Elder Yankton pulled out his planner because he has the ward roster in it and it wasn't there he forgot it. We had no ones address. We said a prayer asking for a miracle! Elder Yankton was inspired and said lets go see Bro George so we did and his wife was there Sis Heidi, we talked to her, George was sleeping. Heidi is from Peru and all of her family is LDS, her cousin just got back from his mission and some of her family moved to Utah. We invited her to meet with us and to be baptized as she knows these things to be true, she accepted. She talked about how it has been so hard for her, she is the provider of the home because of George's condition and needs spiritual strength, and support, and is looking for people to lift and inspire her. It was so sweet to hear from this woman's mouth with her Spanish accent with tears in her eyes tell us that we were an answer to her prayers. We invited her to church and she said she wouldn't miss it for anything. It was a miracle and we feel like it was an answer to our prayers, to really help George progress.
We have met with 6 families in the ward so far and invited them to invite a non-member in their home to hear the missionary lessons. We have an appointment with a family this Friday!!!! We have a list of 37 families that we plan to extend this same invitation to. The neat thing is that when the other families don't get someone to except, they still want to help, so we do all hands on deck with one family that has accepted and we have everyone doing missionary work it is awesome!
Mom and Dad, I love you so much, I appreciate all you have done for me. I appreciate all you said and did and taught even though I might not have listened or agreed. I agree now. I love you and please pray for me! Especially in this heat that I don't die! I am so sun burnt, I love this gospel and so do the people we contact! The Gospel is true...the Savior is the ultimate physician, if we put our trust in him he will heal us!
Elder Taylor Petersen
Monday, May 23, 2011
We have seen many miracles in the few days I have been here and we know the Lord has many more in store and we continue to be diligent and to follow the spirit! We have had a great week being out among the people, extending invitation and seeking the honest in heart and sincere seekers of truth.
We had a confirmation this Sunday of Sister Clara; she is 96 years old and has such a sweet spirit about her. We were able to teach her this week, she lives in a nursing home, and asking her what she felt like the companionship of the Holy Ghost could help her with, and she made the comment to, comfort her when she is lonely. Just a wonderful lady. The Lord calls his labors at different times and whether they we are 8 or 96 his blessings are the same! Bro. Jorge is from Panama, he has been taught by the missionaries since March. He has a hard time remembering things. He said it is because he jumped out of so many planes and landed on his head and has water in his brain. He is just such a sweet and sincere man. He has never been invited to be baptized and we had two lessons with him this week. They were really great, we taught in a way that involved him and we asked inspired questions; he retained a lot of it. He came to church with us this Sunday and after Gospel Principles he turned to me and said I don't feel like when I was baptized as an infant in the Catholic Church that it was right and I want to be a part of this. I told Jorge in the most respectful way possible it wasn't right. You can be baptized the way God sees fit and by his authority and through that you can be a part of this. Then felt prompted to extend the baptismal invitation and did and he accepted for June 11 and said he wants us to pray and help him to do all he can to help his wife and daughter be ready to be baptized on that day too. His wife gets back from California this Saturday and we are teaching his daughter on Tuesday. Last night our appointment fell through, the High Priest Group leader who was our exchange asked if we would go home teaching with him, we had some really good back up plans made but we are trying really hard to earn the trust of the ward and took advantage of this moment of being out with a member of the ward council. We went to his families and this one family we visited, the Sister is active and the brother isn't. We invited the brother to church and he committed to us then we asked them if they would invite a non member friend to hear the lessons in their home. The brother quickly said no. We sat in silence and the Bro we were on exchange with wrapped it up. While walking out, the Sister ran up and said Elder I was hoping you would ask me for a referral I didn't want to give it to you but I know I needed to it is my daughter in-law. But I never knew I could invite her to receive the lessons; will you pray for me and her this week and I will invite her and my son over and we can have a lesson here! It was incredible; she wanted to do missionary work. That reconfirms to me what Preach my Gospel, and Elder Scott said members will do missionary work they just don't know how. So myself and Elder Yankton have a quest to meet with as many ward members and let them know how! We had the same experience with another sister who we had dinner with; who is going to invite another part member family for dessert, who she works with the Sister who is the non-member to hear the lessons in her home, she said we are definitely invited for the lesson but if we are lucky dessert too! She is so excited to invite her and then to help prepare her friend Hannah where she feels comfortable to extend that same invitation! My companion is Elder Dakotah Neal Yankton from Reno, Nevada. He is a convert to the church and has a great testimony of the Restored Gospel and an even greater Love for the Lord. He is a large man, he can scare away big dogs and nobody will ever mess with us. He shared with me about himself and has a rough back ground with adoption and family issues but they have only made him stronger he has endured some things that I know I could not endure. We live with the Jacksons they have a Mansion and a mother in-law suite on the side of it. It has a huge pool and Sis Jackson brings over food all the time. They are such nice people. I love the Lord and I am Grateful for his Atonement and pray that the knowledge I have, and the blessings I have received from it that I may use and share those things to bless others as I have been blessed! I love you guys and hope you are having a great week!
Elder Taylor Petersen
Monday, May 16, 2011
When I was 10 or 12 my Father and Mother had invited a non-member friend, my football coach Willy Jaramillo to take the missionary lessons in our home. Willy had two little boys and was married to a wonderful woman. Willy, since he was 20 would sign up to be a coach of the 3rd grade Ute Football league and would take the time to coach them all the way until they got to high school then he would start back over at 3rd grade. He was such a good man. I remember while these lessons were being taught the missionaries would invite me to bare testimony or to teach about the prophet Noah or other things pertaining to the lesson. When the missionaries, one in particular invited Willy to be baptized, Willy felt the spirit so strong, and you could tell. After the lesson Willy went to my Mom and said Holly did you see that? My mom asked what and he was scared to say it, but I remember he said to my Mom did you see the Elder had such a bright light behind him when he invited me to be baptized. At that moment at 10 or 12 years old I wanted to go on a mission. I have prayed that I to might have that same spiritual experience where as I bore testimony or extended an invitation that there would be such an undeniable power like a light around me when I do that. I never have had that experience. Last night we were teaching a woman named Sis. Thomas, and I felt prompted while we were teaching to testify of the Love her Father in Heaven has for her, and I did. I really felt moved upon by the Holy Ghost and said things that I have never really said before. I told her that Our Father loves her and we know she loves him and as Representives of his Son Jesus Christ, we know that nothing would please her Father in Heaven more than following the example of His son Jesus Christ by being baptized by the proper authority ........ After that she accepted the invitation, she then said to Myself, Elder Smart, Kris, and Moses that there is such a bright, strong, and radiant light behind all of you right now. It was such an amazing experience. I don't know why I had this experience, but I am so grateful. I love the Lord and will do whatever it takes to please him and make things right and will always serve him with a sincere heart.
I love you guys and hope you have a great week. Happy B-day BILLY!
LOVE AND RESPECT,
Elder Taylor Petersen
It was such a great week this week. We had the baptism of a great Sister, Poliana Keime. Sister Keime is a pretty lady. But it has been so neat to see how the Gospel has changed her. Without us saying anything she took out the piercings in her ear and her nose and she wears really modest clothing. It has been so neat to see what the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do for people. True Doctrine understood truly does change attitudes and behaviors. Sis Keime's husband leaves for school for 45 days today and a lot of the Sisters have invited her over for dinner this week. She loves Relief Society so much and is so excited to help and be a part of it. The Gootee Family is doing great, Bro. Gootees sons Erin and Lucas and his daughter Margaret are so excited for baptism. Sis. Gootee runs and hides when we get there. But I was able to talk to her last time and ask why she doesn't like to sit in. So then she sat in and participated in the lesson. She had a seizure Sunday while the rest of the family was at church and hit her head really hard, an ambulance had to come and pick her up and the Gootee family had to leave sacrament. A lot of ward members went and checked up on their kids and Sis Gootee, just the beginning of her heart being softened and her accepting the Restored truths we share. We talk to everyone the Lord puts in our path off post. We were able to talk to our neighbor who the 3rd Elders taught. It is hard on post because we are not supposed to and we just really try to feel out the spirit, like if we feel strongly prompted we will do it. We always invite members to do missionary work. I love Fort Bragg because missionary work is done how the Lord intended it to be done. The members are the lifeblood of our work. We are doing really well and tracking our goals closely, May will be a great month. We are really trying to teach Doctrine so the Elders will believe that if they find 10 new investigators in May they will baptize in June. But the Lord has blessed us with many great miracles and referrals. It was a joy to talk to my family yesterday. It is just crazy to think back a couple years ago or even 17 months and to ponder who I was and see who I have become. I am so proud of who I am becoming. I love that!!! I know I became who I am by the choices that I made. I love my Savior and know that He lives.