Tuesday, April 26, 2011

what is going on, the Lord loves his missionaries. We were honestly blessed and spared, we have been able to help alot of people this week. They have been really grateful as we run in with our Mormon helping hands! This Tornado has been really sad especially to all the people around us, but it was incredible to see how this is really bringing people closer together and helping them serve there brothers and sisters! Then they are truly serving God. But is has been a great week, sorry I am getting weak at writing letters, like I don't know, I get to talk to you in a week, I'll be home before you know it, we can just catch up in December, but yeah I will try.

I am not sure if I told you all, but this Saturday we are getting to go see Elder Richard G Scott of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.
I was pondering last night, how crazy it is that I have the privilege to sit before another apostle and here him speak. I never thought I would have the opportunity to sit and listen to one, but now two. I was pondering why? Like why the North Carolina Raleigh Mission? Like from what I have heard from President Cotterells invitations the culture of the mission has changed, I felt last night it was because of our collective obedience to the commandments and the missionary standards is why we are so lucky. This week has been really good we have done alot of service and we're still able to get some missionary work done. We were able to go on an exchange with Elder Merrill, it was great he just asked alot of question that made us think more. He asked if he was to ask a companionship in our Zone what the plan is to baptize once a month would they know. It made us think and we have some doctrinal based plans to continue to apply what we are already doing and fix some areas where we are weak. We had the Baptism of Amanda Addie, it was a great spiritual experience. Her husband Bro. Addie was able to baptise his wife and his daughter. It was hectic for a second, the Bishop had called us that morning telling us we had to move the baptism because they had accidentally double booked and there was a dance going on that evening so the whites we planned on using were already used from a prior baptism and it was kinda stressful but then when Bro Addie was able to raise his arm to the square, the spirit chased out everything negative and the spirit of the Lord was present. The Bishop made that comment too, it was neat how powerful the priesthood is.

For our zone we really badly once again wanted to achieve the goal of 160 member present lessons. We were so close but still needed a few more and it was Sunday. We had only had 4 member presents that week and knew that the Lord saw fit for us to achieve the Standard of Excellence, even with all the chaos of the tornado. So we went to a referral and nothing, we said a prayer asking the Lord for a miracle and that we could find someone who would really need our message. We went to a part-member family we thought we could teach and nothing. While heading to try something else, I thought I saw a Less-Active family outside someones house, so I rolled down the window and yelled Bro Leach! He turned and it was him, I turned to Elder Smart and said there is our lesson, we jumped out of the car while it was moving and we ran to go see the Leach's they were at there friends Jen and Josh, they were having an Easter dinner and invited us in. The conversation around the table naturally went to the Gospel and we were able to teach a powerful spirit lead lesson, tears were shed and the spirit of the Lord was felt, she had recently lost her father and brother and needs the gospel more then ever, we are meeting with Jen and Josh this week again and were able to pass our goal of 160 and get 161 for the month of April! Incredible, it is like Elder Child's said, Miracles are planned and plans are inspired, do we have the faith to allow those planned miracles to happen? I love the work of the Lord, I love the feelings of the Holy Spirit and knowing and being confident that I am living in a way that I can and will be guided by it!

My companionship with Elder Smart has improved, it is hard like he talked about how he had troubles getting along with his father and he just doesn't like to be told what to do, or what he is doing is wrong or could be done better, he just kind of lives to his own set of rules but slowly but surely he is making some changes.

I love being on a mission, with all my heart. I Love the trials it brings and opportunity's to increase my faith, I love, like I said before nothing more then being lead by the Holy Ghost, I love that feeling it is incredible. I love when you know you are speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost because I know that I am not smart enough to say those things on my own.

We received this Media Referral, the Barrios family, and it is incredible they need this so much and we are trying so hard to present the Gospel in such a way that they see the need for it. We went back and taught our second lesson and Sister Barrios was like yeah, I want to be baptised so we just need to tell her how and why she would want to get there.

Pollyanna Keime is doing incredible and is in check to be baptised on the 7th of May, she is such a nice lady. She made us Easter egg baskets and fed us this incredible dinner. We were on an exchange with Elder Merrill while teaching her and asked her if she noticed the change that she had seen in herself and it was so neat to see her testify of the truths of the gospel and how they are helping her and those around her.

I Love this Gospel!! Know my family, that I love you and pray for you and want you all to just know that I am happy and love my mission. I appreciate all the help love and support!

Love and Respect,

Elder Taylor Petersen

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taylors Apartment after the Tornado

Tornadoes in Fayetteville

So crazy the last few days! I have never seen anything like this before and it wasn't even that bad compared to Japan or Haiti or Chile.

So, at Zone Conference, President asked us how we liked our new apartment. He said that the lady who worked at the Front desk wanted to give us a crappy one, but he saw on the white board that a few more were open, and asked her about them and she was kind of in a corner and so she showed them to him and they were alot nicer so we got the nicer one and he told us to go check out apartment 11 and 12 those were the ones she wanted to give us.

So this week has been a tough week we were supposed to have a baptism, that fell through, but it is rescheduled for this coming Saturday. Appointments all week long kept canceling. I am having a hard time seeing eye to eye with my companion and feel he is super lazy and is just wanting to sleep until the day he goes home. It has been a tough week. We went and contacted a referral named Alex, we set a return appointment with him and then asked him for a referral and he gave us his neighbor, who we taught right on the spot and had an incredible lesson, and we felt she was so prepared and then she called us the next day and was like, I was able to talk to my parents about it and I will never become a Mormon.

A couple of part-member families we were banking on moved. We had this great big dinner planned with members and investigators and they canceled. It was just tough.

So, Saturday we were on post riding our bikes and the pollen is really bad here and it is super windy and just crazy weather, but of course as missionaries we know nothing, (as far as listening to news) so we are just chugging along. We go to visit a part-member family and this crazy woman who keeps telling us to come over when her husband is deployed, is like Elders, I have been thinking about you and there is a tornado warning and it is really bad, like what are you going to do. We were like yeah right, southerners freak out at the slightest sound of bad weather, there will be no tornado. We went in and taught a part member and they were like yeah there has been so many killed already, and it is moving its way here. Then they kind of kicked us out of there house and we left, by this time it was really windy so we pedaled our hearts out to the mini mall, where we met Moses and Johnny, two guys from the singles branch.

We got in their car and went to a couple of places, and we couldn't get around, we went to our apartment and it was fine, but we live right by the Riley Farmers Market and there was flowers and fruit everywhere. So, we were at our apartment, and then we left and all the power was out, all these streets were shut down it was just chaos! So we went back onto post because we had some appointments, it took us forever because all the streets were closed, so only one gate was open. We got onto post, all of our appointments were canceled. We visited some others and a member feeds us and then we get ready to head home. (While we were at our apartment a lady ran up and said, we have to leave, there are 2 more tornado's coming right for us again.) We were getting ready to head home and all these gates were locked and they weren't letting people off post. The power is out everywhere, it is just really bad. A member from the 3rd ward calls and says, Elders I was just at your apartment and he inspected it for housing and was like your roof is gone, you need to stay on post it is crazy off post you can't get to your home because of a gas leak and you have no roof, there are 100 people at the church right now that we are giving aid to and alot of the 3rd wards members homes are gone. So we were just like, crap! All our stuff is gone, our journals is what we were most worried about, Bro Burbank called us and was like, Hey Elders, come stay with me. So we called President and it is now like 11 o'clock pm, President is out of town at a mission presidents seminar in Atlanta and it is just nuts, he says we can stay but with a member that has no children, well there are none in the Fort Bragg ward. So he talks to Bro Burbank and we stayed there, they had no power. It was neat there home was truly a place of refuge from the things of the world. Then we woke up and went and checked out our apartment and we could only get in on foot and it was fine, literally everything around it is fine the brother who inspected our apartment, inspected 11 and 12 and didn't know we were in the back, but everything around us, a complete circle is damaged badly but we are fine. I don't have much to say just that the Lord loves his Elders and that it was funny, because Elder Smart and I were talking about how it would be cool if a natural disaster happened and all we could do was do service for awhile. I love you guys, have a great week. WE get to go to the temple on Wednesday, I was supposed to email you then but, President asked us to email you all today so you would know we are okay!

Love ya,

Elder Taylor Blaine Petersen
North Carolina Raleigh Mission
6508 Falls of Neuse, Ste 100
Raleigh, NC 27615-6845

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hey Fam-
How are things going in the great State of Idaho. I really don't know how I will handle it when I get back there being around all those MORMONS. There is alot of them down there. But they are great people so we will see. That is cool Tommy was able to get an extension. I will come home January 25 2012, I was able to get an extension as well. Just kidding, I think I should fly home on Dec 14th, but seriously who is counting! The mission is so cool! This week has been an eventful one to say the least. We had 5 great Elders transfered into our zone, 3 of whom I know and love so dearly. Elder Dealba is in Rockingham with Elder Thatcher, I am so grateful that he came into the Zone. When he got here he called and left a voicemail and said Pete I'm home!!! I love him and am so grateful for all he has done as my friend in the field. Elder Worthen who was my companion in Durham 3rd YSA is in Pittsboro with the most pure missionary Elder Durran, a convert of 3 years from Mexico. They are in a Zebra companionship and are serving in Pittsboro. I am grateful for Elder Worthen to be here again. I might not have been the nicest Elder to him while in Chapel Hill (I was super stressed) but I am grateful for the opportunity to repent and seek his forgiveness and friendship. Elder Dodge is a young missionary from Oregon his cousin (a sister missionary) is here in this mission as well. I had a real neat spiritual experience with him in a role play at Zone Conference,I am excited to work with him. He is serving in Cameron with Elder Freeman. Elder Naylor who was Elder Dealbas companion in Smithfield is our new district leader serving in Sanford with Elder Lake, he just transfered in from Raleigh where he was a Zone Leader. He has some great ideas and is super motivated. Elder Larsen is from California and he transfered into Pinehurst with Elder Loveridge. Elder Christiansen was transferred to somewhere in the Apex Zone with Elder Oslund, a great missionary who is a convert and who played baseball for BYU. That is the latest news in our Zone.

For our own work, as of last night we received an update, that maybe all the prayers everyone has been offering for the Smith's have been working. While Elder Smart was at dinner, and Mose, Johnny, and I, were preaching the Gospel and teaching. Sis Westwood told him that Sis. Smith called her one night and said have some really bad Kidney stones could you come and get me and take me to the Hospital while Rick stays with the kids, So, Sis Westwood took her, and while she was on some hardcore drugs got some answers from her. HAHA JK!!! But really she told her some stuff and we were able to piece it all together. Some Woman named Heather Underwood, who I pray for! She is very intimidating I guess, and Sis Smith hit her kid in her car awhile back and she used the whole, because of Jesus I can forgive you and I want to tell you to stay away from those Mormons, it was nuts.... like crazy stuff. But we are planning to go confront them this week because I guess she told Sis Westwood that all those people who attacked her for meeting with us were not her true friends and that the Latter-Day Saints are her true friends! We will see I will keep you posted.

We had a meeting with the Stake this week, and were able to meet with President Hatch of the mission presidency as well as President Coltier of the Stake Presidency and Bro. Berg on the Stake High Council over Missionary work. We have had great success, we killed it this past month in finding new investigators as well as Member Present lessons. We just need to get people to the font. I have heard many say the key to getting investigators to the font is through members of the church. They were all great brethren. I just wish we could meet more often with the Stake President or communicate better with him so we can build that relationship up.

We were able to teach the Addies a few times this week. I love that family so much, her and her daughter Bailey, are scheduled to be baptised this Saturday. Things are going really well there. Bro. Addie is like my hero, he is just such a happy guy. He loves life so much and wants to do the right thing.

Vandersanden- Bro Vandersanden joined the church when he was a youth, he said hot girls and b-ball brought him in. His Wife Emily is a great woman we taught her once when they had us over for dinner. We had another lesson this week. Myself and Elder Smart accidentally(so we thought) scheduled two exchanges. But the Lord knew and needed both of these women here. We had 2 very strong Fort Bragg sisters there to bear testimony it was the greatest lesson of my life. It wasn't a lesson it was more like a conversation. The spirit was so strong and we invited her to be baptised and she accepted. We went back later this week and she said she doesn't want to get baptised until she has her baby because she wants him to make the decision for himself. So we have to teach some doctrine tonight to clear that up. They are doing great, they have a really cute little girl named Audrey Lynn.

I was able to go on an exchange this week with Elder Thatcher. He is a stud, like an animal. We has some real spiritual experiences while we were together. I want to serve in a branch so bad like you have no idea. I love the atmosphere branch members bring to the church. ELder Thatcher taught me so much. He has been through some crazy things and has really felt the atonement in his life and I think that is his main motive to talk to everyone and to work way hard. I am so glad Elder Dealba is with him. He will learn so much.

I was able to take the ACT, it was alright. I feel I did okay, IDK if it was good enough to get into BYU-I but you should apply for LDSBC just in case. Let me know as soon as you get the results. It was really odd being alone for that long, I started to panic for a second but I just used some breathing technique to calm down.

The work is going good here, I love you all and appreciate all your prayers. I Love Fast and Testimony meeting!

Love and Repect,

Elder Taylor Petersen

Monday, April 4, 2011


Taylor in the back at one of his District's meeting ~ Hey Family, Another week come has and gone in the mission. It is crazy how fast time is moving. I love it though, I love just being on the fly and just running everywhere and just super busy and stopping and pausing and realize all the tender mercies that the Lord has blessed you with along the way. We had a great week this last week and were able to find 4 new investigators. Alot of great part-member families that I am excited to tell you all about!!!! I am not getting transfered. I probably only have this last transfer in Fort Bragg/Morgantown YSA. I truly have come to love this place. I love the people, I love their testimony and desire to do the work of the Lord and share the Glad tidings with there friends!! But now to talk about some of the families we are working with! Ashley Greybeal is a convert, her and her mother joined the Church when she was 8. They are from Washington. Sis. Burbank the 1st counselors wife gave us this referrel to go see them and see if we could teach them. She also offered up her home if they accepted. We went by last week and we talked to Bro Greybeal who isn't a member of the church. He also is from Oregon, they are from Oregon not Washington sorry. We talked to him he was home from work for some lunch and seem to be a very great guy. We asked if we could talk to Sis. Greybeal and she was busy and asked us to come back. Well, when we came back he was gone. We were kinda bum hurt, so we talked to Sis Greybeal, she said she didn't feel her husband would be very interested but that we could maybe try in a few weeks because they were busy. (I've come to learn that when people typically say they are to busy really means they are not interested, it only took me a year to figure that out) But our visit seemed to help Sis Greybeal, she came to church that following Sunday and we contacted her and we had dinner with the Burbanks and they invited them over for dinner and we invited them to hear a missioanry lesson. She said she would be there but didn't know about her husband. We prayed all day that he would show up and he did. We told him our purpose and talked about the role of the Book of Mormon in conversion. He seemed sceptical but said he would look into it and pray. He is a very analitical and literal person. We went for our return appointment and he had some questions, we seemed to answer them and he was super excited to dive in. Unfortunely, after all his questions he asked and we answered we had to go, so we set a return appointment for 11 an hour before conference and asked if we could watch conference with them. We had another member couple come with us, we had a great lesson with him and he is going out to the field this week and is suppose to come back with an answer whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. He loved conference and all the talks and the focus on family really hit home due to their beautiful new baby daughter named Melody. Amanda Addie is married to a member, they have an awesome family. She is from Arkansas and has accepted baptism. Her and her daughter Bailey are going to get baptised together on the 16th of April. We have had some great lessons at their home they have over come some word of wisdom issues. Just a great family, they are changing there duty station to Alaska. Bro Addie is a fire fighter he is practically my hero, I want to be a fire fighter one day! Polly Kieme is married to a member she is from Brazil, she is a way nice lady who is scared but wants to be baptised, she has a date for April 23rd so we will see how that goes. I am running out of time on my email but Emily Vandersandin, we met and taught her for the first time and have a wonderful lesson planned with her tonight in a members home and hopefully helping her to be baptized. I had a super spiritual experience last night, I will have to tell you in the letter I gotta go, but I love you all. Bye!!!!! LOVE AND RESPECT, ELDER TAYLOR PETERSEN