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