February 27, 2013
(From his audio voice recordings)
Hello Family. It's Elder Peterson. How are you? That's a rhetorical question, because you are not going to be able to answer me unless it's through a letter or email. Elder Gremillion let me borrow his voice recorder again, which I am very thankful for. Nichole (an investigator) decided not to be baptized this Sunday, which is good. She still has a lot of questions, but is still committed. We keep meeting with her and answer a lot of questions for her. We plan on setting up another baptismal date. Then there is Andre, we took him to the visitor center, and he came to church. He has some learning disabilities, so I am not sure if he completely understands everything we teach him.
The weather is really nice, so I am sitting outside. We had a really long day, and I just ate some twisty macaroni and cheese. Every third week of the month, they have this fireside for all the recent converts called "Why I Believe" and they invite these recent converts to share their testimony. It is really awesome. It is at the visitors' center (which is about 10 times bigger than the Mesa visitors' center).
I am in a bike area, and I am losing weight. Last week, I popped my tire, and we had to have the zone leaders come pick us up. For our Family Home Evening Activity (held on Tuesday nights) we watched the John Tanner Story. It really hit me like it never had before.The traffic is crazy here...people are insane here. I was riding into the intersection, and a driver turning right actually honked at me. P-days are crazy, as you remember Dad. Always too much to do. So sorry that I didn't send pictures or letters. I was busy trying to get my bike fixed.
I had another interview with President Matsumori, which was awesome. And when I came out of the stake center, my bike had another flat tire. Actually the tube had 2 holes in it, so thankfully Elder and Sister Porter were able to go and get me a new tube, and I am really grateful for them. Now it works great! I love my bike, it's my baby!!We met with Benita Jackson again (if you remember she is the recent convert that is a recovering drug addict.) We always enjoy visiting with her. I also met Colleen (our only white investigator). She has a baptismal date for March 16th. Hopefully she will stick to it. She was actually taking notes while we were teaching her a discussion on the plan of salvation! On Wednesday nights, we have a scripture discussion group that we invite our investigators to.
On Sunday, Bro. Armstrong (or JS) came to pick us up for church because our church building (which is 4 miles uphill and not in our area). Which is AWESOME, because it is not fun riding uphill for 4 miles. When he came to pick us up, he had a bunch of Girl Scout Cookies that he bought. I grabbed a box of Tagalongs (the peanut butter ones) which made me really happy! And I ate them all! We studied Elder Uchtdorf's talk about losing ourselves in the work, and being happy and enjoying life. Our roomies had 2 baptisms that we attended, a couple from Africa. They do the convert baptisms immediately after church here, and then they do the confirmations to following Sunday. Our church ends at 1:00, and the baptisms are at 1:15.We met this guy named Ginelle just out walking out on the street and he seemed interested, so hopefully we will meet with him on Sunday if he is home. Monday we had our district meeting (instead of Tuesday) in the old chapel that used to be used before the new chapel we attend. My district is really awesome. 2 of the elders, one from Ukraine and the other from Hong Kong are really cool.
We met with Nichole again, and she is finally understanding about why she needs to read the Book of Mormon each day. Monday night we met with a man named Brother Clark, who was a bishop at one time, had a sad divorce, left the church, and lost his testimony. We are trying to help him because his 3 children are completely off the deep end, and it's really sad. Thanks for raising us right, Mom and Dad, and for keeping your covenants, I am really thankful for you and our awesome family.Tuesday, we started to go find people. We met this girl named Stephanie and I was able to share with her my 1 minute brief introduction of the plan of salvation. I had just written it down during an exercise in my studies that morning from Preach My Gospel. When we "GQ" people, we usually talk about prophets, but I had felt prompted to share with her what I had just written down about the plan of salvation. Stephanie was really interested because she had just lost her dad. When I had mentioned about "where we are going" she perked up, and wants to learn more. I'm glad I had followed the prompting, because it was really sweet. I will call her to make an appointment. We also met with Bro. Norman, who lost his testimony, and he has some concerns (which are just rubbish). Hopefully we can answer them.
We were in charge of the FHE group activity for Tuesday. Colleen didn't come, which made me disappointed and sad. We played the game where you put "What if" statements on strips of paper and put them in one bowl, and then you put "Then" statements in another bowl, and then you pick one from each bowl and read them together. It is pretty funny. One of the less actives in our ward, Fred and his wife Joyce, came to the activity, and he said he had a really great time. We then watched the 20 minute restoration video. He really enjoyed the video. He said he wants to keep coming to the FHE activities and we told him to come to church and he said he would be there.My companion Elder Gremillion is a really good companion. On P-day, we went down to "The Mall" which is the capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and all the other monuments. The area is so cool. We took the metro because we knew coming back would be all uphill. Then we went to the store. I bought a bunch of food which I am really excited to eat! This guy in the checkout asked me to pay for him, and I felt really bad for him, so I said yes, but then after I did, I was told not to do that again, by my companion. I only spent like $3 for his fruit, but apparently we aren't supposed to, (a mission rule, that I didn't know) because we don't want the church to get the reputation of always handing out money to everyone who asks. I won't do THAT again, even though it was hard not to. Now that I know I am actually not supposed to, I won't.
Everything is going great. I am learning a lot. I feel like I am becoming more "manly" in a spiritual sense and a physical sense. Like I am maturing a lot, but I guess I will find that out when I get home...Happy early birthday, Leah. Seth and Caleb, hang in there. Rebekah, please don't kill anybody on the road. Mom and Dad, stay yourselves. I miss you all and love you. Oh, I just remembered Hannah left for the MTC today. I bet you are all crying and stuff.
I love you all very much. Elder Peterson is "In and Out ...word."