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

It has been a great week in the Goldsboro 2nd ward. Elder Yankton and I were priviledged with the opportunity to give talks in sacrament meeting. It was a great opportunity for us to bear our testimonies of the Savior and to earn their trust as we show our love and willingness to follow Him.
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!


Elder Taylor Petersen

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baptism in Goldsboro

Things in the Goldsboro 2nd Ward are going really great. I feel like we have changed the attitudes and behaviors for missionary work. I love when I come into an area and missionary work is not the hot topic and really isn't talked about much. Then to pump the members up about this privilege to share the Gospel and to see the change as people bear testimony in Sacrament Meeting, members offering prayers in Church meeting, praying that they may be lead to the elect and that they may be able to invite them and the Elders to come into their home, and to church, and to enjoy the spirit which dwells there. We have invited many families to invite non-member friends into their home to here the missionary lessons. We are fine tuning the follow-up and really making that a focus of our studies. We know this is a bold invitation to make, and we want the members to know that this isn't us making a plea because our teaching pool is low. It is us testifying of the blessings of the restored Gospel, not to go warn your friends they are damned if they don't meet with us, But that the happiness that Father intended for the mortal earth life is available and contained in this the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is us inviting the members to commit to something and when they do it they will be blessed, simply it is and opportunity for them to receive a blessing from heaven while they strive to bless the lives of our Brother and Sisters. As we have made that clear we have noticed a difference and it has been great. Bro. Jorge and Heidi are doing great, they are progressing towards baptism. Jorge wrote down the Word of Wisdom and put it in his wallet because he "never wants to forget". The Baptism of Seth this week, was great. Elder Yankton was so excited to baptize and confirm him. We had a great turn out and the spirit of the Lord was there. We found another 9 year old boy last Sunday named Holden, that hasn't been baptized and his family is active and his mother has a calling, his father is not a member. We talked to his mother about meeting with him she told us that he wants to be like his Dad and wait but she told us we could ask him. We asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said, "yeah, I don't want to wait till I am 30!" It was great and his mom was excited. I really want to find families, we are working really hard and contacting everyone to find a FAMILY! We set 7 return appointments yesterday! We have two families both with two kids in our lineup this week!

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