Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Things are going great here in the Goldsboro 2nd ward. I really enjoy my companionship with Elder Yankton. I learn so much from him. He doesn't say a whole lot, but just observing him. He possesses many of the Saviors attributes.

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

I am grateful for my assignment to labor in the Goldsboro 2nd ward.
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

I don't have much time to email you guys. Sorry. But I have one experience I would like to share with you guys. I will give you a better email next week sorry. But I love you guys! I am getting transferred and I need your prayers. I love my Savior!

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!


Elder Taylor Petersen
(This email was written May 9th)

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.


Elder Petersen

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things have been going great in Fort Bragg and Morganton YSA, we have
had a lot of time to work closely with our Bishop and Branch President
in both units. Bro. Burbank, is now Bishop Burbank. We are so excited,
we called him to tell him we love him and sustain him and want to help
him in any way possible. He told us that he felt as he was extended
this calling he had a sense of urgency from the spirit for Missionary Work in
the Fort Bragg Ward. We have a baptism with a great Sister; Poliana, she is from Brazil and her husband is a member and a returned
missionary. She is really nervous but is so pure in heart and will
make a wonderful member of the church.

Elder Smarts' companionship and myself has improved incredibly. We
really have come together and compliment each others strengths and we
feel we are doing great things in the Fayetteville West Zone. We know our
zones weaknesses and we have a plan of action to fix them. We work
really closely with our District Leaders and we are blessed with 3 of
the Best.

I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Naylor this past Tuesday,
we came to Fort Bragg. He is great missionary, he does all that he can
to make sure he is lead by the spirit in all things. I also went on an
exchange with Elder Dealba on Thursday in Rockingham. We had a great
time and were able to set a baptismal date and invite 5 others to be
baptized. He has changed and grown alot since I was with him in
Smithfield. He is very bold, but with so much love it doesn't feel
bold. He invites members to aid in the work in such a powerful way as
well; the members love him and Elder Thatcher and know they are both
great missionaries.

I had a wonderful experience with Elder Richard G. Scott; we had
extended the invitation to our zone to invite everyone they come in
contact with to be baptized. We are grateful for the caution we
received from Elder Scott to not be Mechanical and that the spirit has
to be right to do so. We haven't abandoned the thought of inviting all
we come in contact with to be baptized; we are still full steam ahead
with it. We just felt that our Zone will have to be a little more
obedient to have the spirit with them to build our faith collectively
to act on the promptings we receive and to always be seeking to ask
inspired questions so that the a non-members may feel of the spirit of
the Lord as they ponder the question.

The work is Great!! Mom and Dad I love it and are seeing great fruits of
our labors, We know and have confidence that if we continue to do what
we are doing, have the courage to change for the better, and always
seek to follow the spirit and act on its promptings, that the
Fayetteville West Zone will have 15 baptisms in May.

I felt like I gained a new sense of understanding for the meaning of
concentrate. With Elder Scott’s comment when asked the question "What
motivates you to be 100% all the time?" He said, "My mistakes, because
of the heartache I feel for letting down Father and the Savior. I
want to show them how grateful I am for the testimony I have." I hate
to admit it but I had that same fear I guess, with My Bishop and Stake
President and Mom and Dad and my Girlfriend and President Cotterell
and my companion and previous companions I just didn't want to let
anyone down. These last few days I have felt a greater commitment within
myself to concentrate my efforts, I felt so much more peaceful and
calm and pure when things don't turn out as I planned and I have
gained great trust in Father and the Savior. I love this work and
enjoy it whole-heartedly. I am doing all I can to not let my Father and
the Savior down.

I love you guys so much, especially you Mom, on this mothers day. I am
so grateful for the Women in my life, Grandma Pete and Grandma Ginny
and Great Grandma Zelda, my aunts, Kelsi and Jaylene, McKenzie and
Sophie but especially you Mom. As we were with Elder Richard G. Scott
he talked so much about marriage and as a returned missionary it
should be our top priority and nothing should happen until we are
sealed in the Temple, because we won't be as successful as we could be
if we had a companion to support us in what we hope to achieve. I am
grateful for that example I had, of that, my whole life as you Mom
helped Dad become the stud he is, or probably didn't just help but
could be credited and the reason why he is what he is. The Bishop in
Fort Bragg, when released, bore his testimony and talked about his wife
and said she had done more for his salvation, save it be Jesus Christ
and Joseph Smith. I love you Mom, seriously you got me here! I have
felt myself grow because of where I have been the past year and half
of my life! I love you Mom!!! Happy Mothers day!

Love and Respect,

Elder Taylor Petersen