Monday, October 28, 2013

10/28/13 Hermana Peterson - The Hamsters are Coming!

Every time I walk outside or open a window, I am overwhelmed by the smell of hamsters. It´s disgusting. I said it out loud the other day and my companion just laughed at me and said you´re right! I don´t know what it is, but it´s not the most pleasant smell. I´m not sure if it beats the normal smell of fish, but I miss the smells of Arizona! Chlorine, rain, citrus, etc. I wish EVERYDAY, that there was a way I could capture smell. I´ve got sight, sound, and taste down, but you will never fully understand the smells! Chuta.

Well, this week was a good one! Hermana Meyer and I worked SO hard, that we came home every night and had a hard time planning. We planned, and dropped dead in bed. But, this is how it should be. I remember when I was waiting for my call and one Sunday I was filling out tithing by the bishops office and Brother Jacobson started talking to me and said, you´ll get to the point where you are so tired everyday not only because you are working hard physically but also because the Spirit is working so hard through you. I didn´t really understand what he was saying, but it´s definitely a feeling I know VERY WELL now! We started this week off with tons of goals to work hard and improve and in most of our areas, we did work so hard! We walked tons, but we´re making tons of progress here! Even though I know I am so weak and that I have tons to improve on, it´s a good feeling to finish a week and feel that the Lord is pleased with what you did.

Speaking of working hard, the sun here is incredibly more hot that in Arizona. The other day it
was MAYBE 70 degrees and I got SO burnt. Luckily, I have aloe vera which was such a help. Mom, I promise I will buy sunscreen today. I am now sporting the infamous "dad collar." I know you all know what I´m talking about. I am SO dark on my face and neck and forearms and calves, but my core is as white as the computer screen. What a blessing it is that I will be coming back at the END of summer :)

Monday night, we went over to Danay and Marcelo´s to have our first "after baptism" lesson, and the first thing that Marcelo (dad) said was "Que es el proximo paso que necesitamos tomar para ser sellado en el templo." (What is the next step that we need to take to be sealed in the temple?) AH! I´m so so happy! Danay was a little sad when I told her that I wouldn´t be here to attend, but I told her I would figure something out. I´ll either get a job with the airlines when I get back or I´ll find someone with a spare buddy pass. I want to be there more than anything!! 

Juan is still pushing strong! He says some things that completely catch us off guard, that make us know it´s his time! He came up to us in a panic at church yesterday and said "is it true there is a cambio next week?" We told him yes, but we´re not sure what´s going to happen, and he said "NO you two are a duo, you need to both sing at my baptism like you did at the other!" For his sake, I hope we both stay!

Juan and Joselin are hanging in there. We had a lesson with them last night where the Spirit was very strong. We talked about equality in marriage (which is something they are really struggling with), and I am very grateful for the testimonies that I was able to bear because I had examples in my life OF equal marriages. Mom and Dad, thank you for being one. I remember when I was little getting so frustrated when I would ask mom something and she would say no and then I´d run and ask dad and he would say "what did mom say," and vice versa. SO frustrating, but I´m so grateful for that now. I remember getting frustrated when you told me you would never side against mom, even if she was wrong, but I´m so grateful for that now. Thank you for being faithful to one another, for being one, and for raising us the way you did/are. You are two incredible examples to me. I will definitely model my marriage after yours, or at least try to. You two aren´t perfect, but you have relied on the Lord through these 23 years, and that has made all of the imperfections less imperfect. Thank you. I KNOW we can find equality in our relationships, when there is communication and also when we base them on the teachings that are the most important, including scripture study, prayers, and family night. Thank you.
I am SO proud of Seth, and for the choices that he made, even when he got made fun of. It makes my heart hurt that he had to go through that, but Jesus Christ went through the same things. He stood up for the things He knew to be right, even when he knew what the results would be. Seth, NEVER BE AFRAID TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. And that isn´t just for Seth. That´s for ALL of us. Hard times are coming, we heard it in Conference. BUT, we need to decide NOW, who´s on the Lord´s side, who.

We decorated out house yesterday and hard core cleaned it this morning. You´d better believe we´re rocking the Christmas spirit here in Independencia. Less than 60 days! :)
I love you all and thanks for your prayers and support. Keep up the hard work there, and happy Halloween! I want pictures this next week, and also a package of candy :)

Hermana Peterson
My companion, always brushing her teeth like a pro!

At a conference for the sisters in my area

Hermana Mena and I (she goes home in 4 weeks)

Mary Carmen, Roberto, and my companion - they fixed us real Mexican enchiladas

Guess what else we ate??!!

10/28/13 Elder Peterson - Well Hello Everyone!

Well, hello everyone this is Elder Peterson wanting to report on yet another great week in Bowie Maryland! Alright where to start...this week has been pretty crazy. So, first off, just to let you know Jen and Randy are doing amazing! This past Friday we had an appointment with them and they fed us dinner. It was really awesome. We had Korean food. I can't remember what it was called, but Elder Leavitt, if you are reading this I have had your food! It was pretty good. We also had a great lesson with them, we taught them the restoration and we were also able to start teaching their son Anderson! He is super cool and we are hoping to set a baptism date this week! We will see what happens. Also, Cindy, we haven't been able to get in contact with her for the past two weeks. We don't know what is going on but hopefully things change soon! But other than that everything is doing great.
We had a wonderful time yesterday at church. The spirit was super strong and it was the Primary program yesterday. Something that I didn't realize is that our ward has over 70 primary aged kids. CRAZY right? They couldn't fit everyone up there so a few of the kids sat on the first couple rows of the side pews. But the kids were super cute and were making me laugh hysterically. Anyways it was a great Sunday.

We had it lined up for 5 of our investigators and 2 less active members to come to church and none of them came. But, it's all good! They will all come next week for sure.

Today's P-day was pretty good. We went down to Northeast D.C. and took a few pictures and had a great time with a couple other elders in the mission, Elder Tavana and Elder Bates. E. Tavana came out with me he is the big Samoan one. He is the coolest kat ever. I am going to send a few pictures today. They are a hoot.

Well, we are super excited for this next week. We have some great appointments lined up and it is Halloween! It is going to be awesome.

Well, that's about it for this week. Love you all and I hope that your weeks go great. Talk to you soon!

Elder Peterson
Hanging out at the wall of grafitti

Elder Tavana, Elder Porter, Elder Galuvao, Elder Bates, and me

Monday, October 21, 2013

10/21/13 Elder Peterson - Monday P-day now!!

Well, how is it going everyone? Things are going pretty good out here in Maryland. It feels like a blur since I have last written...oh yeah it is Monday. It has only been 4 days! Sorry I really don't have much to write about. I am sorry!

So, I am in a trio now and with that comes a few quirks in the system. 3 beds, 3 desks, 3 people trying to get ready in the can get pretty hectic but it is all good! We are having a pretty great time.

A couple of miracles for the past few days. So on Friday this past week we were able to stop by and visit one of our potential investigators Jen. She is from the Philippines and she is super cool! She is married to Randy who is one of our investigators now but he wasn't there when we stopped by. We were able to answer a few of her questions and pick her up as a new investigator! She is really prepared to accept the gospel in her life. So is her husband. We are really excited to finally be able to teach some people who are prepared! It truly was a miracle.
Also, last night we went to the "Why I Believe" fireside and it was really great. The guest speaker was Bryan Kehl who plays for the Redskins. He really has a strong testimony of the Gospel and it was really cool to be able to hear from him. Also, a recent convert in our ward Bro. Gentry was able to speak at the fireside to and he did a great job! And there was a lot of ward support too at the fireside which was really great to see too. We were supposed to meet Sis.Zasadil and her boys but it didn't work out. It would've been so great for them! But the Lord works in mysterious ways. Hopefully they will be able to come to the next Why I Believe fireside.

Yesterday was a really great day. Church was so great and I have a wonderful testimony of attending church. There is a wonderful spirit that comes from the chapel that can't be described. I LOVE CHURCH!!! Everyone needs to go to church.
Well, that's about it for the past few days. Nothing too exciting...yet. My next letter is going to be great don't worry. It was just a weird transition phase from Wednesday P-days to Monday P-days.
I love you all! And I miss you all so much! Keep on keepin' on and happy early Halloween.
Elder Peterson

10/21/13 Hermana Peterson - Baptism of Danay y Marcelo Jr.

So this last week, we had a good week! We had some beautiful days, and some days with pouring rain! I had the chance to finally use my rain skirt, and guess what. I WAS SO DRY! Thanks again Lisa and Sarah for thinking of that and sending it! It´s perfect. My companion just kept laughing at me, but I know she was jealous, because I was dry!
My great new rain skirt!

Wednesday, Marcelo and Danay had their interviews and they passed! We finally got everything set for their baptism, and on Saturday they were baptized! She cried for a lot of the service, and afterwards, she hugged Hermana Meyer and I and said, "Thank you for opening my eyes." They are SO happy, and it makes me so happy. :) Marcelo has already said that he knows he needs to serve a mission in the future! Marcelo the dad, is completely active now, and we´re working with him to get them all ready to head to the temple! I have seen through them how the Gospel changes lives and truly makes people happy. I love being out here and being a missionary. On Sunday, she got called on in Relief Society to give the closing prayer and she started crying during her prayer and said, "Father, please don´t ever take this happiness away that I have now." It got us all. She TRULY was prepared to receive the Gospel, and I feel so honored to have been one of the instruments in all of this. The baptismal service was amazing and I´m still so so happy for them! We bought them triples today and are taking them over tonight and they are going to be so surprised!! Woo :) I love this family so much! The Gospel blesses lives!
Marcelo Jr., Marcelo Sr. and Danay

With their extended families

Mom, you might want to sit down before this next part. I cut my hair this week. I bought hair scissors, and took off a good 2 inches. Hermana Meyer kept saying, "Oh, Hermana I´m so nervous for you!" I know what I can do to improve for the next time, but for now, it will have to do.
Happy birthday this next week to Landon, Felicity, and my sweet Grandma Zimmerman. I hope your days are amazing, and I hope that your families spoil you! I love you 3!!! 

On Saturday, there was a big service project at the future temple grounds for the youth, clearing away a bunch of underbrush. We as missionaries of two different stakes got asked to sing at the service project! Afterwards we helped a little bit with all of the service, but not much because we needed to head back! It was a super neat experience though, and I am so so excited for the people here to get a temple! There are so many good members here, and seriously, I can´t wait until the temple is built!  

We didn´t have much luck finding new investigators this week, but we do have an investigator that has a fecha for the 9th of November!! His name is Juan, and he is the dad of a member in our ward who has shared with the missionaries many times, but knows that now is his time. He attended the baptism on Saturday and told everyone that he was next on the 9th of November! We over heard him and were like what?! So we´re super happy about that, and this week we are going to crank out our work and find many new investigators that are ready! 
I love you all so much and thank you for your support and prayers! :)

Hermana Peterson

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10/16/13 Elder Peterson - Well, another great week in MD

Hello everyone, this is Elder Peterson. This week has been pretty good. Things are going great up in here.
So, we have been having a lot of success with working with the members in the ward. This past week we went out with one of the members in our ward Bro. Jones and we were able to check on a few of his neighbors and invite them to work with us. We stopped by and set up an appointment with his neighbor and since she is in the Sisters area we sent her to them. Also, we talked with another one of his neighbors and she works at a Senior Citizens place and she wants us to come by and help out at the center when we have the chance. What an awesome time! It is going to be great to be able to help out.

We have been doing a lot of service this past week. We got a call from one of the members of the ward and his friend Jerry, who happened to be a former investigator wanted us to help him out in his yard. Of course we were obliged to help and so this past Friday and Saturday we went over to his house and helped him plant some grass and rake leaves etc.. It was a great time and it was even better because it was raining the whole time! We needed to get it done and we got it done rain or shine:) It was really fun though Jerry is a really nice guy.

Also, we were able to help out at a food kitchen at a local church on Saturday morning and it was a blast. We were able to prepare breakfast and serve the less fortunate in the community. It truly was a blessing. A few of the members of the ward came to help us out and it was a great time.
Photo: Elder Galuvao and I preparing some breakfast for a food drive at a local church. It was a great time! Always a blessing to help the less fortunate.
Alright, now for a great miracle this week. So yesterday we were able to meet with Sis. Zasadil. She really opened up to us and told us her concerns about why she hasn't been going to church. We were able to bear our testimonies to her and she said that she would be at church on Sunday! and she said she might possibly bring the boys to the Why I Believe fireside on Sunday. IT IS SO AWESOME!! Can't wait to see the Gospel really work in her life.

Alright this week was transfers and Elder Galuvao and I are staying put! But we got a third companion. His name is Elder Porter and he is from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He is super cool. He also is a big time rapper. No joke. He and I are going to have some jam sessions and stuff. Of course they are going to be church related and stuff..
Well, that's it for this week. Really excited for the next transfer. We are going to tear it up!!

Well, I love you all and hope that you have a great week.
Elder Peterson

Monday, October 14, 2013

10/14/13 Hermana Peterson - It´s sweatin´ weather now.

This is what the Concepción temple will look like when it´s complete!

It´s 67 outside and I´m DYING. Obviously, this is why normal people don´t have a year of winter hahaha I´m trying to just think of how hot it gets in Arizona, and that helps a little, but I think I´m going to have to move in with Mitch and Lisa by the time I get home :)
So this week was a good one. Because of conflicts with work, we didn´t have a baptism this last weekend, BUT this next weekend it´s going to happen!! Last night, we had a lesson with them, and she said, "Queríamos encontrar una iglesia para dar gracias a Dios por todo lo que tenemos, pero hemos recebido MÁS para dar gracias! El cambio que hemos tenido no es algo muy grande, pero sí es algo muy grande en el mísmo tiempo. Yo no puedo explicarlo. Hemos recebido cosas que no sabíamos que estabamos faltando." I think that makes sense, if not, sorry. Sometimes, Spanish gets the best of me. But basically she said, that they wanted to find a church so that they could give thanks to God for all that they have, and they´ve only received more to be grateful for in return. We haven´t seen huge changes in our lives, but at the same time, we have. It´s super hard to describe. We have found things that we didn´t know were missing." In that moment, I had confirmed to me more and more that the things I am out here teaching ARE the truths. I KNOW that the Gospel is true and that it is ONLY through the Gospel that we can find lasting happiness. We´re still struggling to find more investigators, but I know that as we are diligent in all things, we will find those who are prepared to hear the Gospel.

This last week, was probably the longest week of my mission. I was sick ALL week, but not bad enough to stay in. I´m pretty sure I had a sinus infection, but life is good now.
Yesterday I had to give a talk in church, about how the ward could help us more as missionaries. It was super hard to not feel preachy, but I feel like I did the best that I could. I love my ward, and will be super sad when I have to leave! Mom, don´t worry. I´m being more than taken care of here. Yesterday we got a new ward mission leader, and it will be interesting to see how the transition works out, but I´m super excited! I loved our old ward mission leader, but am excited to get different ideas from a new mission leader!
So every morning, Hermana Meyer and I stretch and have a goal by the end of our missions to be able to do the splits hahaha last week I was at 14 inches between the floor and I, and when I measured this past week it was 11.7. Slow and steady wins the race, but it´s so painful and really funny actually. Life is good :) Also, this last week, someone dumped a fake Christmas tree by a huge dumpster, and you better believe my companion looked for the top so we could have a Christmas tree. It was a much needed gut laugh and I still laugh now thinking about it. But now we have a Christmas tree! Our goal this week is to have it decorated and set up and we´re going to start a chain, because guess what. CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
HOW WAS THE TREK? The trek was one of the highlights of my high school years, and I hope it was just as amazing as for Bek and Leah as it was for me! I hope it was so so good and that you take the things you learned, and really let them change your lives. Be dedicated hard workers, not couch potatoes. It will do you well in the future :)
Happy birthday this week to Madelynn and Evelynne! I hope your days are full of toys and cake and non-stop fun!! I love you two! 

What is everyone going to be for Halloween. I´ll give you five bucks if you can guess what we´re going to be. MUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
This week I kind of did a little bit of soul searching with different things from Conference, and just things I´ve been thinking about. I have learned SO much from the mission. I have been studying a lot of different things, and trying to figure out what the Lord has instore for me. I love this time that I have, to just kind of figure myself out and the things I really want in my life. I´m grateful to be here experiencing something that will bless me for the rest of the eternities. If anyone of you is thinking about serving a mission, or haven´t thought about it. I would encourage you to do so. This experience by far, has been the most trying experience of my life, but I´ve always believed that the good things in life are worth the fight. I wouldn´t trade my mission for all of the riches in the world. I love you all and keep living and sharing the Gospel. It´s worth the fight :)

I love you!
Hermana Peterson

p.s. sorry this letter is all over the place.... I´ll send pictures next week!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10/9/13 Elder Peterson - Social Media to share the Gospel!!

Well, who is a changed person from conference huh!? I know that I am. Conference was so amazing I hope that everyone had the chance to watch it. I think that my favorite talk was Pres. Uchtdorf's Sunday Morning Session. I really learned a lot from it.

Well, this past week has really been amazing! And I get to tell you all about it.

So, we are finally picking up on our new investigators! These past couple days we have really been blessed with people who are ready to accept the gospel in their lives. So, first miracle. We have a potential investigator named Jen and we went by this past Sunday to see if she was there but she wasn't. Her husband was though and he invited us in! His name is Randy and he is super cool. We were able to teach him a little bit and he wants to learn more! He has a lot of questions and we are going by this Saturday to see him again. Hopefully Jen is there as well.
Next miracle. So, we have been trying to get a hold of a referral we got for a lady named Cindy who lives pretty close to us. We stopped by Monday morning and she was there and we talked with her for a little bit. She had a ton of questions for us too! She basically asked us for a Book of Mormon and we were able to teach her about our church and how it functions. She really is interested in learning more. She is SUPER cool! and we are so excited to be able to bring the gospel into her life.
This past week has just been amazing! Conference, cool people, great dinners from the members :) the Lord is truly blessing our work out here in D.C.!
Oh and also, missionaries in our mission are now allowed to be on Facebook. People look me up! If anyone has any questions about my church please feel free to ask me! You can find me on Facebook at Elder Jacob Peterson. I am really excited to be able to use Social Media to share the truthfulness of the Gospel with the world!
Well, I am off now. Things are going great out here and I love being a missionary! I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church here on the earth and I know that true happiness comes from turning our lives over to Christ. I love him and I love this gospel.

Thanks for all of the prayers in my behalf. Keep sharing the Gospel and keep living life the best you can.

Elder Peterson

Elder Galuvao and I at the temple this morning

Fall in DC

Mr. Turtle

Monday, October 7, 2013

10/7/13 Hermana Peterson - It all begins with a tender mercy.

These are photos and a video of their trip to the zoo from last week. So basically the only thing separating them from the animals is a chain link fence!!

They are like little dear rabbits. I have no clue what they are!

Basically warning us of the dangerous tiger and not to stick anything in gate...
This tiger almost killed me. I have a video, and I´m not lying.

Glad it made you laugh, because I´m still having nightmares. My camera was literally touching the fence. I was SO close to that tiger! It was SO scary, and I didn´t think it would do that. It was SO tame up until then!

Just my luck I would be sick on a p-day. I´m urpy with a sore throat, fever, and the chills, but nevertheless, it´s p-day! So this morning, I was literally out of money (we had plans to pull out money for October today, but needed to take the bus). I had to pull out some change from the little bit I have set aside to bring home. In my mind as we were walking, I thought "why didn´t I have enough faith to think about praying for a miracle. Well, maybe I could find money on the ground or maybe the bus driver won´t make us pay." But, it´s not that big of a deal because I could always replenish my coin collection. So we flag down a bus, and it was a brother from my old ward and he let us ride for free. It may not seem like something huge for you, but it was something really big for me. I know that even if we don´t take the time to kneel and ask, we have a Heavenly Father who is ALWAYS aware of our thoughts, and the desires of our hearts. I know this to be true. 10 minutes later, a Michael Bublé song came on the radio. I believe in tender mercies.

So, happy birthday to Jeremiah, Lyneah, Cali, and Katie Budd this last week! Sorry I slacked and forgot to mention anything, but now I am and I hope they were good days! Also, happy birthday to Forrest (TODAY), and Preston and baby Payton later on this week. I hope birthdays are still being good in the USA.

So this last week was a good one. Slow, but good. We, however are losing a huge chunk of our focus because this weekend Danay AND Marcelo are getting baptized! We have their baptism this Saturday at 7:00pm. I have been totally humbled by their experiences and their desires and am so excited for them to take this step. Please especially keep them in your prayers this week, that they can stay strong and that all will be well! We´ve got great plans this next week (as always), but conference was a huge help to pin point our weaknesses. I hope that all of you are taking the challenge of Elder Ballard seriously, to individually find ONE person by Christmas and invite them to hear the lessons. I KNOW that this was a challenge from our Heavenly Father, and you will be blessed when you do it.

I went in to Conference with many questions. I had many that were answered so clear I couldn´t deny them, and others that were more like "it´s in your hands" answers. I think my favorite talk by far was Elder David M. McConkie, about how to be a better teacher. What a POWERFUL talk that I will study for the rest of my life. It all begins with our own personal knowledge and our own personal study. We need to do our best to prepare, but then have the faith to follow the Spirit! What powerful words! I also loved President Monson´s talk and Robert D. Hales´ talk was super powerful. HARD TIMES ARE COMING, BUT THOSE WHO PREPARE WILL NOT HAVE TO FEAR. This begins with the little things (personal and family scripture study and prayer, family home evening, and following the words of the prophets). THANK YOU mom and dad for the examples that you have always been of this. I love you so much, and I know that these things are still going on, even though I´m far away. I am on a spiritual high and so grateful for the opportunity we have to have Conference every 6 months. My only wish is that we could have it every weekend. I´m saddened that many people don´t watch Saturday sessions, but thank you for instilling in me the joy and love for Conference. I was probably so annoying to my companion this last week with my excitement for Conference.

I LOVE You all and make it a good week!
Hermana Peterson
Our family has the tradition of having French Toast sticks on Sunday morning of General Conference weekend. These photos are of Hermana Peterson eating her version of Chilean French Toast sticks! This is what she said:

We have a little weeney stove that we figured out works! We borrowed a pan from Hermana Margarita and they were delicious. I was so excited this whole weekend. Sometimes, I really like my excited about life personality :)

Seriously?? 5 photos? She WAS excited!!
These are statues, and only because people in Chile like naked people statues.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

10/2/13 Elder Peterson - Pday will be changing!!

Well, hello, it is Elder Peterson reporting on another week in Maryland. The weather is starting to cool down!! It is really great. I am really starting to be thankful for the Arizona weather though. I miss the dry heat!
Well, this past week was pretty good. We did a lot of service again! But it was well worth it. I am really starting to get to know the ward really well. They are super awesome.
A lot of miracles have happened this past week. So we have been working with the members of the ward a lot and have been inviting them to invite people to watch general conference. People are! We can't wait to see the results of the invitations. It is going to be really great. One miracle that we have seen this past week is we are starting to find people to teach! Hooray! All of the missionaries in our mission have received the "unendowed" list for our wards and we are supposed to get all the information we can of the people on the lists and keep it for a resource. It is really starting to pay off! Last night we went by a member of the ward we didn't know and turns out she is really active in the ward and her husband is not a member. They are super awesome! The husband's name is Roger and he actually has been coming to church with her for a while. He is really great. They are super involved with the church the both of them. We are hoping to start teaching them soon!
Another miracle we have seen is we have been working with the less actives more and more and they are starting to warm up into coming to church. I will let you know when they do come to church! I am just loving my area!
This past Friday we had our interviews with Pres. Cooke. It was great. He told us of a few changes that are going to be happening in the mission. First one, our P-day is going to be moved to Monday this next transfer. So expect an email on Monday from now on! I am kind of excited for that change. Also, another change is that we are going to be able to go to the Temple as often as we want! When miles permit and time permits. Pres. Cooke wants us to be able to feel the Spirit of the temple as often as we can. I love it so much! I love the temple!
Well, I have really felt all of your prayers in my behalf. I really appreciate everything that you all are doing for me while I am gone for this short while. I have really learned a lot and my testimony is as strong as ever. I know that this is Christ's Church here on the earth and I know that we have a living prophet today and we all have the opportunity to listen to him this weekend. Everyone watch! Conference is going to be great!

Well, that's all folks. I love you all!

Elder Peterson
The potato farm early in the morning

I touched a llama!

Pumbaa was at the farm!