Monday, December 12, 2011

Wow, We can't believe the time has finally come for Elder Petersen to return HOME!!!!
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!

Elder Petersen

Monday, December 5, 2011

Family, I don't even know what to say. I just feel it is important to use those two words that President Monson said were the two most important words in the English language, Thank You. Thanks for all the letters, for the prayers, and the Support. Thanks for going to the Temple every week just so I couldn't go to FIJI! Thanks for honoring the priesthood and your Covenants. Thanks for bringing the Spirit of Christ into our home. Thanks for doing weird things that turn into our own family traditions. Thanks for allowing me to dedicate these two years of my life, which I will always and forever hold as sacred. THANK YOU!

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

Hello Familia,

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