Tuesday, December 23, 2014

12/22/14 Elder Peterson - A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

Well, Merry Christmas everyone! Only 3 more days....I can hardly contain myself!

There is not much to report on this week. Last week Elder Richmond and
I both got sick and so it was really hard to do any missionary work.
We are both still recovering a little bit, but we are doing our best!
We have a couple appointments this week that we are excited for and so
we hope that they go well.

Christmas Day is going to be a blast! We get to go up to the Visitors
Center as an entire mission and watch a cartoon film. That is going to
be great! We are going to have a lot of fun on Christmas Day. We also
are going to have a fun time in Christmas Eve. Our district is having
a little get together in the morning. It is sort of a devotional
thing. Then we got invited to go to a couple of Christmas Eve parties.
It will be fun. We have so many wonderful members in our Ward. Bro.
Christensen is having us over on Christmas Eve for dinner and he is
also going to be helping with the mission lunch on Christmas. He and
his wife are wonderful people. The other couple that is going to be
helping with the lunch on Christmas are the Pratts. They are amazing
people as well.

Isn't this time of the year just amazing? We get to reflect on our
lives and how many blessings we have in our lives. I am so blessed to
have the knowledge of my Savior Jesus Christ. He came into this world
so that we can live again someday. I am also so grateful for my
family! They are the best. I am also grateful to be here serving a
mission. There are so many miracles I have been able to witness. There
are too many to count! It is amazing. I love that word...amazing. It
is a perfect word to describe the feelings of Christmas. I hope
everyone feels amazing this Christmas!

That's it from me this week! Merry Christmas!

Love,
Elder Peterson

Monday, December 15, 2014

12/15/14 Elder Peterson - The List Goes On and On...

Elder Lim and Me - Merry Christmas!!

Elder Guerrero, he was never my roommate, but he is just awesome!

Elder Stubbs, another roommate

Awesome Ward Mission Leader
We had a lot of good times!

A little bit of home here...

Well, life is just crazy isn't it? I am glad to hear that Seth had a
great birthday. It is crazy to look at the pictures of him and see how
much he has really grown up. That is the same with all of the
siblings. I am also glad to see that he chose strawberry shortcake as
his dessert. Good choice that is. That is my favorite dessert of all
time. Banana cream pie is a close second if not it is a tie.

Well, this past week has blown my mind...I AM BACK IN DC 3RD!!!!!!!! I
can't believe it!!! This was the first area that I served in. It is so
awesome! I get to see a lot of the people that I was able to teach and
end my mission with a bang! It is a bike area and I am glad that my
bike is holding up. I have realized that it is an amazing way to
get around. It really is. I am going to try and do that when I get
home, ride a bike around more.

My companion is Elder Richmond. He is pretty young in his mission and
so it is fun to work with him and get to know him. He is a cool guy.
He is from Wyoming! We have already had some crazy experiences so far
in the past few days.

So, we have been able to talk a lot of people out on the street. It
has been a while since I have done this in an area. In DC we get to
see a lot of people out and about, but anywhere else in the mission
there aren't as many people to talk to walking around. I have had to
pick up some of the skills I had formerly. We are having a good time
though.

Last night we didn't have any appointments and so we went out to talk
with people and I talked to this one lady who was really nice! Her
name is Star which explains why she was so nice. She was interested in
meeting with us because she has always wanted to know what Mormons
believe. We are gonna meet with her sometime this week hopefully.
Elder Richmond also talked to this really nice lady while I was
talking to Star. He is excited for us to meet with her because he told
me she was really interested too.

This is the area that Bro. Armstrong is in! I get to see him all the
time now. And a lot of people that I have grown to love so much!
Ceasar, Joelyn, Nichole...the list goes on and on. It is good to be
back!

Well, I am getting stoked for Christmas! Only 10 more days...can ya'll
believe it? It is almost the end of 2014. Wow...

Well, that's about it from me for this week. I hope everyone has a great week!

Love,
Elder Peterson

Monday, December 8, 2014

12/8/14 Elder Peterson - He is the Gift!!

Wow I can't believe how awesome this past week was! I never thought
that my mission could get any better! Here's how the week went down.

So, we had the opportunity to go to a couple of district meetings. It
was such a wonderful time! I was truly amazed at the maturity of some
of the young missionaries in our mission. One of the Elders that was
at one of the district meetings gave a workshop on the baptismal
covenant. I was very surprised/happy about how the workshop went. He
is such a powerful missionary. Also, that same day I was able to have
some one on one time with one of my former companions Elder Redmond.
He is doing great! He is such an amazing guy. I was grateful for the
time we had to talk and catch up a bit.

Also, this past week I got to go on exchanges with a couple of Elders.
Their names are Elder Van Wagoner and Elder Gipson. My exchange with
Elder Van Wagoner was on Tuesday and we had a great day. One of the
things that I love so much about going one exchanges is that everything
always goes well. All of the plans usually hold, you get to talk to
some cool people, and you just get to see tons of miracles. On my
exchange with Elder Gipson, we had a really spiritual experience. We
went to visit a less active member in the Capitol Ward (which is a
ward that I used to serve in). I had met this lady a couple of times
before this particular appointment. When we went over there, we
planned to talk to her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and talk to
her about going to the temple. We were able to find out before the
appointment that she hadn't been able to go to the temple yet. We went
over there and the lesson went almost as perfect as our plans. I was
shocked. This is something that rarely happens on the mission field.
Plans are always changing. The spirit was so strong in that house it
was almost unreal. We were able to talk with her about the blessings
of the temple and she was able to recognize them. She expressed that
she is wanting to get to that point, but it will take some time. I am
so excited for her.

Elder Lim and I have been having the opportunity to talk to a lot of
people about "He is the Gift." We are on board! It is such a cool
opportunity for us to be able to share the message of Christ with
people during this wonderful season.

Well, I am sorry that this is a little short. I want to end by letting
everyone know that I found out that I will be transferring to another
area for the last little bit of my mission. I am pretty sad to be
leaving this area. I have loved it so much! The people here in this
ward are amazing and I have learned how to appreciate the simple
things in life while I have been down here. One of those being good
people. There are a lot of good people here in White Plains 2nd ward.
I am going to miss it!

I love you all! 
Merry Christmas!
Elder Peterson 

Monday, December 1, 2014

12/1/14 Elder Peterson - Tamar Got Baptized!!

Happy Monday everyone! I can't believe that it's already December! Only 24 more days until Christmas, and I am getting super excited.

This past week was really awesome. And I want to tell you all about it. To start off, I received a call from Elder Wilcox. Elder Wilcox was my former companion in the DC 2nd Ward. He informed me that one of my former investigators Tamar S. was getting baptized on Sunday. He mentioned that it wasn't completely set and that he was going to call and let me know in a couple days. I was pretty excited. Then, on Friday, I did receive a call from him letting me know that Tamar was going to be baptized. He told me that Tamar was wanting ME to baptize him. We didn't know what to say, it actually took me by surprise. I accepted, and on Sunday Elder Lim and I were able to go up into DC and attend his baptism. It was such an amazing event. Elder Wilcox and I were working with Tamar for a few months. He has made so much progress in his life, it is a miracle! It was pretty funny to watch Tamar during the start of the baptismal program. It looked like he was in a spiritual coma or something. When we were asking questions it took them a couple minutes to realize that we are talking to him. It's kind of hard to describe over email, but it was really hilarious.
I got to baptize Tamar...truly amazing!

 
One of the miracles during the baptism that was really amazing was the fact that he was actually able to physically be baptized. He only has one leg, and it was really hard for him to get into the baptismal font. But, we are able to manage. It truly was time for him to make this covenant with our Heavenly Father. It was also really cool to be able to see some of the ward members that I haven't seen in a few weeks. Things seem to be going really well up in my last area.

Also, this past week was Thanksgiving! And boy was it so much fun. Thanksgiving morning, Elder Lim and I were able to go and play football. It was really fun. One of our investigators Nkosi was able to come with us. He is really good at football. I was amazed at how laid-back the turkey bowl game went. Everyone had a good time, and my team won. That's what made it extra fun. Life is always good when you win..:)

After football Elder Lim and I were able to go over to the Verkerke's home for some turkey.
We got over there a little bit early to help them out with preparing the food. When things got settled down we are able to play a couple rounds of Uno. The food really was delicious. We enjoyed going over there a lot. The Verkerkes are an amazing family.
Thanksgiving with the Verkerkes


Lastly, for preparation day, I was able to go to the Arlington Cemetery. This is an event that happens to the missionaries who are ending their missions soon. I guess I am one of them. The Arlington cemetery is now one of my favorite places to visit. It is outside of our mission, but it was still awesome. We were able to watch the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and that was a neat experience. Life is just so great!

Elder Lim and Me at Arlington
I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve a mission. I am learning so much! I am so thankful for the Gospel. It is such a gift in my life. I am thankful for the Savior! This is a wonderful time of the year. It is a time where we can think about the birth of Jesus Christ. He really is the true meaning of Christmas! I invite everyone who is reading this to check out christmas.mormon.org. It really is a cool place with some great resources to help us to remember the true meaning of Christmas!
 
I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Peterson

Friday, November 28, 2014

11-24-14 Elder Peterson - Almost Thanksgiving

Well, hello everyone! Life is good. Real good. It is almost Thanksgiving and I am getting really hungry. And I am excited to play some football too!
 
Well, this past week was pretty great. We were able to teach a lot of people and we were able to have some great experiences. One of the cool things that happened this past week was as a mission we were able to go to the White House and get a tour of it. It was pretty cool. Now I can say that I have been in the White House...I think that was the greatest thing that I got out of it. Hey at least I got something out of it though! 
Find your favorite missionary!!
Do you know those weeks that are so busy you just can't remember anything? Yeah that was this last week. I am really drawing a blank on what to write about....ok I just remembered something.
So this past Thursday we were able to go to the Anacostia District Meeting. It was a very spiritual experience. So for those of you who don't know what a District Meeting is, it is a training meeting for a District, which usuallly consists of about 3-5 companionships of missionaries. These meeting usaully have about 2 trainings that last about 10-15 minutes. Then the missionaries usually do some "roleplays" where they will take on the role of an investigator and practice teaching. I hope that all made sense but these meeting are a weekly thing and last about 2 hours. They are really awesome. So this particular meeting was really good because the trainings that were given were really inspiring. One of them was given by one of my former companions Elder Redmond! He is super awesome. He talked about the Laws and Ordinances of the Gospel and how we can teach them more effectively. The other training was on the topic of prayer and it was also very good. Overall I was just grateful for the spirit that was present at the meeting.

Well, I am really looking forward to this week. We are going to be able to go the Temple as a mission on Wednesday and I am in need of a great visit there! Then it is Thanksgiving. It has been deemed by President Cooke as a non proselyting day and so we will be spending most of our time at member's homes and making sure that they don't have any leftover food. :) I don't think I am going to survive Thanksgiving. I am going to go into a food coma and never awake from it. 
 
That's about it for this week though! I hope that everyone enjoys Thanksgiving and I hope that everyone reflects on all of the blessings that we have! See ya!
 
Love,
Elder Peterson

Cheesy Me!!
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

11/17/14 Elder Peterson - I'm Grateful to Be a Missionary

Wow, this week went by so fast! But guess what? We got 20 lessons for the first time!!! It was awesome. We finally did it! We topped it off by going to the Why I Believe fireside last night. It was a really cool experience. Dennis Pitta from the Baltimore Ravens spoke with his wife. They both did a wonderful job. It was amazing to hear both of their testimonies of the Gospel. They have very strong testimonies which was cool to realize. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be in the NFL and have to deal with all of the temptations that come from the atmosphere. I really look up to him for the Spirit he carries with him.

So, we had some amazing miracles and some amazing experiences this past week. Elder Kacher from the Seventy came to our mission for a Conference. He is an amazing man. He taught us so much. Something that he really touched on in his time here was the importance of having faith in the work. When we have faith we can do ANYTHING. That is what he wanted us to realize. When we have faith that we will be able to teach 20 lessons we will do it. When we have faith that we will find people to teach we will find them. When we have faith that we will be obedient we will be obedient. It is that simple, and Elder Lim and I have faith. We are moving mountains over here everyone.

It really was a cool experience to talk with Elder and Sister Kacher and hear their powerful testimonies of the Gospel and of missionary work. They really helped me to get a spiritual boost that will last for a long time. Elder Lim and I have set some goals to help us become better focused and better motivated to do the work. I am really excited for this week. 

Only 10 more days until Thanksgiving. Oh yeah baby! I am excited to stuff my face. I can already taste the Turkey and Mash Potaters. Oh sorry my southern drawl kicked in there a bit. Did I mention that I am in Southern Maryland?

Well, some of the miracles from this past week. Do you remember Bobby Joe and Gabby that I was telling you about from the Singles ward? Turns out that they accepted baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am super excited!!!!!!!!!! I almost cried when I found that out. Like seriously. I don't know if anyone can picture me crying but it is true. I almost did. It was so awesome! They are some of the coolest people in the world. They are planning on getting baptized on January 11th.

This past week Elder Lim and I were able to go and teach Richard and Sherry W. The missionaries have been meeting with them down here for a few months. Richard has been in a rehabilitation center for about 3 months recovering from foot surgery and we have been meeting with them there since that time. Turns out that he got out of the center this past Saturday! He was excited to get home.  We are meeting with them tomorrow night.

So, one of the last things that I wanted to share was about the workout we did this morning. We ran a mile, did 100 pull-ups, 300 air squats, 200 push ups, and ran another mile. Guess who did it? This guy. I almost died. I didn't think that I could do it but I actually did. It was pretty awesome. My push ups were pretty lousy, but that's okay. 

Well, I am grateful to be a missionary. There are things that I have learned out here that I wouldn't have ever learned in my life unless I came out here. That is the power of the Gospel. 

I love you all! 
Elder Peterson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11/11/14 Night of Music and Inspiration Videos


Elder Peterson was able to sing at Night of Music and Inspiration on Sunday, November 9 at the Washington DC Visitors' Center. Here are some links to "see and hear" him. Isn't technology great??!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gROTIqxAF_o "Nearer My God to Thee" sung by a group of 9 missionaries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FdJnewOOeQ "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" sung by Elder Peterson

11/10/14 Elder Peterson - Life is a Balancing Act...right?


Well, winter is almost upon me over here in Maryland. It is starting to get really cold. We were driving to our Zone Training Meeting on Friday morning and the windows had frosted over. So, I used the wiper fluid to try to clear it off. It worked like I expected...but then it froze over again. Yeah, it is a little cold out here. For all those I am writing who have lived in cold conditions and have experienced this before...I am a newbie okay? I thought it was kind of cool actually.

So, life has been pretty good this past week. Elder Lim and I were super busy with some planning for meetings and stuff. When we get busy like this it is very difficult to find time to work in our proselyting area. It can be frustrating at times but we are getting use to it.
Life is a balancing act right? I think if there is one thing that I have learned from being a missionary it is how to balance our time. Trust me, I am no professional at it, but I have gotten a lot better at it. You would be so proud Mom! :)

So a couple of miracles from this past week. We were able to go on exchanges this past week with a couple of Elders. Elder Gold came to White Plains 2 with me. We had a great time together. He has been out on his mission for just a little bit less then me. We had a great talk in the morning after I had a very powerful study in the Book of Mormon. We talked about how we are both feeling at times the feelings of "trunkiness." I have found that these feelings come quite naturally as a missionary is coming to the end of their mission. I know that I feel it at times. I have noticed that is isn't a feeling that stays with you if you don't let it. We talked about how we both need to work on suppressing these feeling when they come. They can really damage work ethic. It really was a neat experience being able to talk to him about it. I am grateful for the times on my mission so far that I have been able to have really awesome personal studies. Those studies tend to lead into really awesome companionship studies as well. 
 
Also that day we had a really awesome lesson with our investigator Richard W. His wife wasn't there at the time and so we just taught him. We had some cool members come with us too, which is always a great help. We were able to teach him all about prophets and how important they are. We invited him to pray about President Monson and he did! He said that he feels really good about it. It is exciting! He is making progress!

On Friday we had our Zone Training Meeting. It really was an inspired meeting. One of my former companions Elder Wendt, gave a really awesome training on how to find people to teach. It was really cool. He made a comparison of Hide and Seek and Finding people to teach. Can you all think of the comparison? I'll let you use your imaginations....

Well, anyways. this week is going to be so awesome! Elder Kacher of the Seventy is coming out to visit us. I cut my hair today just so I could look extra good for when he comes. It is going to be a spiritual and an amazing experience.

Well, I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Peterson

Saturday, November 8, 2014

11/3/14 Elder Peterson - Happy November!!

Elder Lim, my new companion
Happy November everyone! I really can't believe that it is already November! I am now going to be able to enjoy the fall and winter down in the beauty of Southern Maryland. I have made my way back down to the south. I am serving in the White Plains 2nd Ward with my new companion Elder Lim. He is from Renton, Washington and he is a really hard working missionary. He is a really cool guy as well, one of the things he did before his mission was gymnastics. He is my first companion who is under 5'4" so that is pretty sweet. He was going to go to college as a gymnast but he came out on his mission instead. I think that he is a great example of doing what is right no matter what! He is a great friend already. 
 
So the White Plains 2nd ward is pretty legit. The people are really nice. It is so small though! Probably the smallest ward I have been in my whole mission. They are so welcoming and friendly that is what makes it a great place. The Bishop's name is Bishop Cottle and he is an institute teacher which is pretty awesome. I met him up in DC before I came down here. He works at the Barlow Center which is up in DC. I went there a lot while I was in the singles ward because it is where the BYU interns are housed. One of the interns was Logan Groscost and he worked with Hannah and Rebekah. He is cool. I miss the ward a lot, but I am really excited to be in this ward. We are working with a few people that seem promising. I have forgotten how friendly people really are. Being up in DC can be a struggle sometimes because people can be a little crazy and rude, but I got used to it quick. People down here are a lot more friendly. 
With Logan Groscost

So, I have a quick question for my family. Has there ever been an Elder that has served in the ward named a Elder Erikson? Or Erickson? He is from Maryland and used to be in one of the wards I have served in. If not it's all good I just thought I would ask.

For Halloween we had to return to our apartments at 5 o'clock and stay in for the night. I spent my Halloween planning and eating candy. Yay!! It was so fun. Actually I have a story about Halloween. So we had a meeting with President Cooke up in the mission home on Friday morning and we have to travel about 2 hours to get there. The meeting got out around 2 o'clock and as we were going home, President Cooke decided to have an emergency drill while we were traveling  home. We were about 45 minutes away from our ward building which is the place that we have to go to during an emergency drill. The funny thing was that we were about 2 minutes away from the Stake Center when we found out about the drill. It was great. President Cooke has had a huge emphasis on emergency preparedness the past few months because of the crazy stuff that had been going on in the world. It is a great principle to know much about so if there ever was an actual emergency we can be prepared. 

Thanks for the pics from Halloween family! Looks like you had fun. Hope you didn't eat too much candy. I heard that Seth had 20 pounds of it....that's a lot. Don't get fat Seth! 

So this morning we got up at 4:30 because we have one of our investigators Nkosi come and work out with us at the gym. He is such a cool guy. Elder Lim told me about the story of how they met Nkosi and his family. It is pretty neat. 4:30 came very early this morning. And this was the first time that I have been to the gym in 4 months. Yeah I was struggling. It was a pretty nice gym too. I am excited to be able to energize myself in the morning from getting a good work out. After we got done we went home and got ready to go up to the Visitor's center because I had to practice for the Night of Music and Inspiration. I am singing on Sunday Mom! It is coming around too. It will be good. It was a fun ride up there. It takes about an hour and a half to get up there. That is the life of a DC North missionary. And I love it so much!!

This morning I also read the conference talk "Joseph Smith" by Neil L. Anderson from this past conference. It is so wonderful to know that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. He was and is a prophet! And I am grateful for the sacrifice he went through in order to allow God's kingdom to be on earth again. 

Well, I hope that everyone has a wonderful week! Talk to you later.
 
Love,
Elder Peterson

Monday, October 27, 2014

10/27/14 Elder Peterson - What a Great Week!!

Hello again everyone!

This past week was really good. We had a fun time working hard and having fun.

So this past Wednesday we had the chance of going and visiting Bobby Joe and Gabby and we had a couple of concerns about what we were teaching them. The lesson was pretty intense but overall it went well. They are so awesome! I am so happy that we were able to meet them a few weeks ago and have them as such awesome friends now. We were able to play basketball on Saturday with members of the ward and Bobby Joe came. We had fun and I am slower than I used to be...I am getting fat. Oh well, it happens as a missionary.

So how is everyone doing? What's new? Any fun plans for Halloween?

Rebekah looked so beautiful for Homecoming! I hope you had a good time Bekah!

So for a cool miracle this week. Bobby Joe and Gabby were planning on coming to church on Sunday but then they had something come up that made it so they couldn't come, but then all of a sudden Bobby Joe just popped in randomly and I was like, "what?" It was pretty sweet. He enjoyed it a lot. He only came for the first two hours but the spirit was so strong during the time he was there. The lesson in Gospel Principles was awesome. The teacher did a very good job with the lesson. It is so amazing what we can learn at church. That is one of the coolest things about going to church is that we learn every single time!

I found out yesterday that I am going to be transferring...on
Wednesday. I am pretty sad to go because I have grown to love this
area a lot. The ward is awesome, and all of the people that I have
been able to work with have been so awesome as well! I am really going to miss being here, and I am going to miss Elder Wilcox as my
companion. I have been with him for 2 transfers now and he has helped me out a lot. He is such an awesome missionary! But, I know that the Lord needs me wherever I go. I am sure of it.

Well, I love you all! I hope that you have a great Halloween!

- Elder Peterson 

The following photos are saying good bye to some of the ward members and investigators he has been serving with .



Monday, October 20, 2014

10/20/14 Elder Peterson - True Happiness is found in the Restored Gospel!!

Good afternoon! This is Elder Peterson wanting to tell everyone about how this past week has gone. It was amazing! I really want to go into detail about one miracle that we had yesterday.

Bobby Joe and Gabby came to church. It was so amazing! It started out kind of rough and here's why. We have been meeting with them for a few weeks now and we have mentioned to them a couple of times where the church building is at but we never sent them the address. One of the cool things about serving in DC is that a lot of places you need to go are pretty accessible by the metro rail or by bus so it is pretty easy to get people to places. When we talked to Bobby Joe and Gabby a couple days before church we didn't really double check to see if they knew where it was at and so they went to a different building...it was hilarious and yet it was super dumb. We felt SO bad! But they were really cool with it. They got to be at church for the last few minutes of Sacrament meeting and then for the rest of church. They really enjoyed it and they have a lot of questions. And the ward did a great job at making them feel welcome. I am so excited for them. It was so cool to have them there! They are amazing people and I can't wait for the day when they recognize the truthfulness of the restored gospel.

Bobby Joe and Gabby

Tamar

Ward Mission Leader


Another cool thing this past week was that I was able to go on an
exchange into a couple bike areas of DC! I haven't been on a bike in a
while and I am grateful that I didn't die during the exchanges. I had
a lot of fun and I was able to talk to a lot of people. One of the
bike areas I went into was a Spanish one and it was a ton of fun! I
got to practice my Espanol even though it is muy feo. Esta bien.

This morning we had our zone activity and it was so much fun! We went as an entire Zone to do sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial and then we had breakfast and had a scavenger hunt/amazing race. Our team should've won but they had me on the team so that's why we lost. The way that it was set up was we had pictures of places on the mall and we had to go to that place and then we had certain tasks to do. Examples are taking a picture with everyone's feet off the ground,
dancing and videoing it, asking a random person to take a photo of
you. It was a good time.

It is so much fun to have fun as a missionary. It is also fun to share
the Gospel. I am grateful for the opportunity to share the Gospel with
the people of DC and Maryland. I have come to realize over the past
few months that true happiness can only be found in the Gospel and in God's plan for us. I know that this is true. My testimony grows
stronger as I allow it to and as I put my faith and trust in Heavenly
Father and His plan for me. This is true for everyone who is seeking
for guidance in their life. All we have to do is look to God and His
Son and they will bring peace to our hearts, and enlighten our minds
with light and truth.

Well, I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Peterson 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10/13/14 Elder Peterson - This. Past. Week. Was. Awesome.

Alright, I don't know where to start. This. Past. Week. Was. Awesome.

Do you want to know why? Because it was full of miracles baby! That's why!

Ok, so I want to share a couple of them. First off, Bobby Joe and Gabby are awesome! We had such a good lesson with them this past week. I love going over there to visit with them and to share with them more of the Gospel. They are very honest with us about their feelings and opinions. It is so great!

The next thing that I want to talk about is an experience I had last week while I was on exchange with one of the missionaries named Elder Andrade. We went to go and check on Tamar because unfortunately he has not been getting back with us and didn't come to conference like he said that he would. When we went he was outside the nursing home about to go to the store to buy some cigarettes. We were able to stop him just I the knick of time! We got to talk to him and he said that he is still having a really hard time giving up the smoking habit. He wants to take things a little bit slower because of it. I think it is a great decision. Also that same day we were able to meet with one of our other investigators L'Darius and he is doing great! He just recently applied for a new job at work to allow him to have Sundays off and he got it! He will be able to come to church this Sunday! I am so stoked. We are having so much success in our area!

The singles ward is starting to grow on me. It is kinda weird but kinda not at the same time. I am starting to like being able to interact with people my age. It is fun and it has become easy to relate to people more. I guess I am just in the right situation now.

This morning we got to go down to the National Mall and prepare for a Zone Activity we will be having next week. I will have to give you more details when it happens, but I am going to provide some pictures this week! I know, right? It is unheard of!

Well, I love the Gospel. The more that I read the Book of Mormon, the more that I pray, and the more that I testify, I can feel of the power of God. Do I have a perfect knowledge? No I don't. Is my testimony growing? Yes!

I love you all! From the mouth of Elder Wilcox, my companion.

"Party hard, be safe, and obey all of the rules."
Elder Peterson 





 



Monday, October 13, 2014

10-6-14 Elder Peterson - General Conference!

Keeping up with the speed of the work can be pretty crazy sometimes. Not only crazy, but very challenging. I have seen myself stretch and stretch until my limits are reached. And then my limits are improved. Then I can attain much more then I thought I ever could. That is the power of self discipline.

Something that I learned from conference this past week is that I have to push myself even harder. I have to define my limits, because with God, nothing is impossible. I have to recognize the power of the
Atonement that strengthens me when I am weak, motivates me when I am exhausted and brings me peace when I am stressed. Ultimately, it is the Atonement that helps me to become a better me.

I really enjoyed the words of Richard G. Scott in the Sunday Afternoon
Session. He simply laid out 4 tools that we have to help us overcome
the power of the adversary. I have seen how these tools have worked
at my character. Thank you Mom and Dad for being such great examples. I really appreciate your love and for your desire to raise me in a home where Family Home Evening, Family Prayer, and Family Scripture Study are a priority.

If you haven't been able to watch General Conference yet, watch it!!
It is an amazing opportunity to recognize the hand of God in our
lives. He truly leads us through inspired leaders in these latter
days!

I love the Gospel. Sometimes it is challenging, just like it is
supposed to be, but living it is worth it. Always.

So it is amazing how fast time flies. It is already October! Halloween
is coming up pretty quick. Then Thanksgiving and Christmas!! I am so
excited! I love the holidays. It is a great time to reflect on the
most important things in life. Faith, Family, and Friends.

Alright, there really isn't much else to report on. I am just grateful
for the opportunity that I have to be serving a full time mission for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It will forever be a
milestone in my life. 

Well, I love you all! Have a wonderful week! 
Elder Peterson 

Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29/14 Elder Peterson - A Week Full of Miracles!

Well, this past week was full of miracles! Lots of them! To start off, Elder Wilcox and I were able to go and visit BJ and G on Wednesday. It was such a great lesson! For those of you who don't know who they are, we knocked on their door a couple of weeks ago and they invited us in. And now we are teaching them! And we were able to bring a member of our ard with us and guess what his name is? It is Sean Peterson. He spells it wrong but that's okay. He is still a cool guy.
 
Also, we met with T a couple of times, but he wasn't able to come to church. Please keep him in your prayers! He needs to keep coming to church or else he can't get baptized! He is doing great though.
 
A couple of other cool miracles. So Elder Wilcox and I were walking down the road on Friday and we started talking to this girl named Lauren. She had some questions about the church and so we asked her if she has time to sit down and we could answer her questions for her. She said yes! So we went to a nearby bench thingy and started talking to her. We were able to teach her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and she agreed to meet with us again on Wednesday. We are pretty stoked! It was definitely a cool miracle!

Also, this weekend our ward went on a retreat to Pennsylvania. We almost got permission to go with them but President said no. Just kidding, we didn't even ask him because we knew that he would say no anyway. It would've been fun though. Since the ward was on the retreat, they had sacrament meeting at the retreat and so we went to the ward that meets at a different time in our same building. T was supposed to come on the metro to church. We left a little bit before the end of sacrament, because he hadn't shown up yet, to see if he was coming. On our way we talked to a guy that was going to work at a nearby grocery store and he had a few minutes to come to church with us for a little bit! It was neat. He lives a ways away so we passed off his information to a couple of other missionaries.
 
Alright, two more miracles. So while we were at church, one of the members of the ward we were attending came to us and said that there was a guy out in the foyer who had a Book of Mormon in his hand and was wanting to learn more. We were like, "WHHHHAAATTT??" That doesn't happen often, now does it? We were able to talk with him and teach him the first lesson and invite him to conference, and set up to go and visit him on Thursday. Yeah it was cool. The last miracle was that the sister missionaries that are in our ward told us about one of their former investigators named L who they got in contact with and was interested in meeting again. They thought it would be better for us to meet with him and so we met with him last night. He is a great guy. We taught him the restoration and asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said yes! So he is going to be baptized on November 9th. So exciting!

Well, that's about it from me! I am stoked for General Conference! And I hope that you all enjoy it too!
 
Love,
Elder Peterson

Monday, September 22, 2014

9/22/14 Elder Peterson - Alright, so I want to start this email off with a bang.

Bang!
 
So this past week was so awesome! I want to share with you a cool miracle that happened. Elder Wilcox and I talked to a girl named Courtney on the streets of DC and she was super cool. We set up an appointment with her this past Tuesday and we brought our assistant Ward Mission Leader J.H.  with us. We showed up to her place and she wasn't home. We were pretty sad that she did that to us. 

So we decided to take J.H. around and talk to people for a little bit. We were having fun with it and we talked to some very nice people. When it got down to the end of the night we decided to knock on a door. When we went up to the door and knocked, a man opened the door and we started talking to him about families and stuff and it was pretty awesome. We asked him if he had a few minutes that we could come in and talk to him about families and he said, "yeah totally come on in." It was so cool! We were able to go and and talk to him and his girlfriend for a few minutes. And they want us to come back! It was so amazing. It was one of the best miracles that I have had in a while. It truly was! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father put us in the right place at the right time in order for us to speak to them and introduce the Gospel into their lives. We are going to visit them on Wednesday this week. 

This past week was transfers and it was a crazy time! Elder Wilcox and I spent the whole day Wednesday transporting Elders and luggage and then in the evening moving into our new apartment. And then Thursday we spent the whole day moving things as well and putting our apartment together. It was such a fun time! Our apartment is nice and clean and it looks nice! We are the only two in the apartment and it is Elder Wilcox's first time being with only his companion. I found it just recently that in most missions, missionaries don't usually have roommates. I feel bad for all of them cause having roommates is pretty sweet. 
 
Last night we had the Why I Believe fireside at the Visitors Center. We were able to have Tamar come and he enjoyed it a lot. We also were able to have a few members of the Ward attend too, and they really enjoyed it as well. One of the reasons why I love these firesides so much is because it is an opportunity to see other members from the other wards that you have served in. I saw a lot of people last night and it was great to talk with them for a few minutes. 

Being a missionary is just so awesome! So many memories and so many amazing experiences I wouldn't trade it for anything! Especially because I have been able to see so many people change and see the growth that the mission is bringing about in myself. And I still have so much time to work hard and change the world. 

Well, I love you all so much. Have a great week!
Elder Peterson

Monday, September 15, 2014

9/15/14 Elder Peterson - I love Missionary life!

Hello my friends, this is Elder Peterson just wanting to write you all this week about how great it is to be a missionary. It's so great. I love it! So this past week was another crazy one. Elder Wilcox and I were running all over the place. We had a crazy Zone Conference on 9/11 that went really well. It was pretty long though. But, we were glad to have everyone safe and sound at the Stake Center just in case things got crazy. We were able to reflect on 9/11 and how much of an impact it had in all of our lives. Even those missionaries who are from foreign countries remember the day that it happened and what it did for them in their lives. I was quite amazed. I really don't remember that day too well to be honest but I remember how I felt. It was a cool experience to reflect on it.

So, transfers are on Wednesday and I found out that Elder Wilcox and I are staying together! It will be fun. We also found out that we are moving to a new apartment...I am kinda bummed. We aren't going to have roommates anymore. Elder Manning, Elder Ortega, and Elder Swensen have been a lot of fun the past 6 weeks. I am going to miss them!

So we were able to take Tamar to the Visitors Center on Saturday. He really had a great time there. We watched a short video about a missionary and his experience to help Tamar understand the importance of missionary work. It was the perfect video for him too! We also watched the "God's Plan" video which is played at most Visitors Centers I believe. It goes through the life of a family in 10 minutes to portray the importance of families. Tamar really liked it. Overall it was a positive experience for him. We were able to reset his baptismal date October 5th so please pray that it will happen this time! He came to church and is really making progress, we just need continued prayers for him.
 
Well, this morning we had the opportunity to take some photos of the sunrise down at the National Mall. Right now I am writing this email at the Korean War Memorial. It is really peaceful here. It was a neat experience to be able to really think about what this country truly means to me and how beautiful the National Mall is. How truly grateful I am to be serving here. It is such an amazing experience. The Spirit is evident in my life and in the life of so many people over here.

I love you all. Have a wonderful week!
Elder Peterson

My view where I am writing from...The Korean Memorial

Sunrise! Capitol Building in background
My companion Elder Wilcox and Me
 Me, Elder Ortega, Elder Wilcox, Elder Manning, and Elder Swensen
 
The Gang in front of the Lincoln Memorial


Monday, September 8, 2014

9/8/14 - Elder Peterson - You got more rain than me!

Wow, another week has gone by, and another week to look forward too! Here is what happened this past week.
 
So, we had our last visit with Gabby. I don't think that I have mentioned her very much, but she is really sweet. She has been investigating the church for a while now and she is really awesome.

She has had a hard time with figuring out if this truly is the path that she needs to take. We have been trying our very best to help her with her concern, but ultimately it is up to her to decide for herself if this is what she wants to do. We know that it is going to bless her life! The reason why this was our last meeting with her is because she moved to New Jersey to be with her family before she goes to BYU Idaho in January...yeah that's what I said...she is going to BYU Idaho...and she is not a member...but I will be really good for her. We took a picture with her and I am going to include it this week.
 
We also were able to visit with Tamar a couple of times. He is doing pretty good, but he didn't come to church this week because he was sick! We are gonna have to push his baptism back a couple of weeks.

Elder Wilcox and I agree that he is still not ready but he is doing so well! He just needs a little bit more time to prepare so his baptism will truly be an amazing experience for him.

I read a scripture this morning that I really want to share. It is Jacob 6:11 "O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life."

This scripture is so awesome! It lays out the purpose of life, and the way that we return to God. Jacob is such a good book, and he has a cool name...just sayin'.
 
Another thing that happened this past week was that I was able to go on a couple of exchanges. One was with Elder Stanley and he is from Peoria, AZ. He is really cool and we has such a good time together. While we were on exchanges we had a giant storm hit hard and it looked like the clouds we starting to create the early stages of the tornado. To tell you the truth I was a little scared, but everything turned out alright. The area he is serving in is called Potomac which is basically the city with the richest people in the whole U.S. The houses were ginormous! And surprisingly everyone was pretty nice. I also got to go on exchanges with Elder Loveless. He goes home this transfer which is next week. He gave me some really good advice and I really appreciate the great example that he sets.

Mission life is just so crazy! We have so much going on this week. Interviews with President, District meetings to attend, and on 9/11 President is having the whole DC zone come to the Visitors Center for emergency reasons only. There are a few scares in the world right now and President doesn't want to take any chances. We are going to have some activities and lunch and different trainings. Elder Wilcox and I are gonna give one of the trainings and we are pretty stoked for it.
 
Congrats my family for playing hard in all of your sporting events! And I think that you got more rain than I did this past week!

Well, that's about it for the week. I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!
Elder Peterson

Our Zone Activity
Oh and for zone activity we played kickball and we had a slip and slide from 3rd to home. It was a lot of fun! Our team almost won everything but we lost the championship by 1 point. Bummer....

Elder Wilcox and one of our investigators Gabby

Party in the Car!

My new bank!

Monday, September 1, 2014

9-1-14 Elder Peterson - Overjoyed for Hannah!

Wow, I am so happy and overjoyed that Hannah made it home! It was really touching to see the pictures that were taken at the terminal.  It also looks like the past few days have been a lot of fun.


 
The only one missing is Elder Peterson!!



This week has been really crazy. We have had some really crazy experiences but I don't have a lot of time to write today, so I am going to do the best that I can.
 
To start off, Elder Wilcox and I had a 3rd companion for 3 days this past week. His name is Elder Moreno and he is from Sandy Utah. The reason why he was with us was because he had to come here to DC to get his visa for Kazakhstan. I know I am not spelling it right but auto correct doesn't know how to either...
 
It was a pretty neat experience having him with us. He taught me a lot. He has been serving in Russia for the past two months and he is truly a humble guy. I did not realize how amazing it is to live in the US until I talked with him about Russia. The life of a missionary in Russia is way different than here. He was a nice guy and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to get to know him for a couple of days.
 
Another crazy thing that happened was a that we were able to take Tamar to the visitors center (VC) on Friday. It was his first time getting a tour of the VC and he enjoyed it a lot. He was falling asleep a little bit throughout it but it was okay. He got what he was supposed to get out of it. The Visitor Center is such an amazing tool we have to share the Gospel. The spirit there is so strong and everyone who goes to it is touched and can feel of that strong spirit.
 
Well, I have to wrap things up. We had our Zone Activity today and so it took a lot of the time we had today. But I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Peterson

Thursday, August 28, 2014

8/27/14 Hermana Peterson - She's HOME!!

Waiting Anxiously!
 
 

Who's that lady in the hat??
 

Hermana Peterson!!

Tears flow freely
 

Sibling love...Caleb wanting some hugs!

Daddy's turn

Mom's turn

Sisters together again!

Caleb's turn!

We love our Hannah!

Glad to have her home, will feel complete when Elder Peterson gets home in January!!