Monday, December 27, 2010

Great Christmas!!!!

This Christmas was a great one. It was so much better being able to see each of you. I felt like I was there and I didn't need anything else but to see you all on Christmas, I was glad for the chance to do that. I don't remember the things we talked about but I remember just smiling the whole time and after as well.

Sorry by the way if the connection was terrible or that I couldn't hear half the time, I could tell it was kind of irritating not being able to be I really wish that I could of had some privacy as well, I just didn't feel like I could say all the things I wanted to, but it was worth it.

I'm not nearly as nervous to talk to people as I was when I got here, I didn't feel nervous talking to you guys at all but it was just hard when everybody was watching. My Spanish is fine I just wanted to speak and say what I wanted to say without everybody listening. I will have to send my testimony recorded to you all.

But I really enjoyed talking with everybody and seeing that everyone is doing great. I'm not going to lie I got a little emotional. When Dad left and said he is glad I'm a missionary I got a little choked up too. But other than that I felt great. It really stunk not being able to see or talk to Chanelle, I wanted to know how her Christmas was in the mission and all. But at least I heard her say she loves me so it's all good.

The house also has changed a lot, it looks way good! I was really glad I could see everything on the laptop, I actually felt like I was their!

I'm so glad you guys had a great Christmas and you loved talking to all of us. It really made my Christmas being able to talk to my family. I love you all and I'm trying out here to give the lord my all and put all my trust in his hands without fear.

I love being a missionary!
Have a great new year!
I love you all !!!
- Your Elder Pedersen

Here are some pictures....

P.S. I was totally shocked that Nancy is getting baptized!
That is such a miracle; I bet Scott is super happy about that.
I'm way happy for them!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!!! Talk to you in Five days...

Hey family!

Sorry it took me so long to write back today, I really had tons to do.

Mom, to answer your question about the whole Skype thing, I actually found out during the day that we are allowed to Skype, lol but I'm not sure if I want to do that. I might cry or something lol. I don't know, I will have to think about it. But about the phone call. I think I will be calling around 2 or 3 because I have lunch with a family and so after we will have to book it to the pension to be able to call on time. So I will try to call at 10 your time. And yes I will be using the calling card. And I can only talk for 30 to 40 min. hour max. yeah it kinda stinks but have your questions ready and what not. I'm way excited!!!

I'm glad everybody is doing really well; Kenny seems to be doing really awesome! And same with all the other boys. Tell Kellin I said happy birthday!!! And that I love that stud! I actually have a package that I sent home today, it won't get their before Christmas but it has a birthday present for Kellin, and some other stuff for the family, it's a little taste of Chile lol.

This Christmas is going to be weird but exciting and memorable one. It's totally weird being out here without the family, traditions, food, movies, but I'm loving the work and trying to make this Christmas a special one. So my companion and I during Christmas week are going from house to house, members and singing songs and giving them home made treats from the United States and sharing a Christmas thought about Christmas and the significance of the birth of our Savior and the three wise men, So I hope it all turns out great.

This week I have really been thinking about the birth of Jesus and taking a look at the importance of why I am here. People tell us all the time how hard it must be away from family during this time. And it's true it is a little hard but we tell them that's why our message is so important. I always think of the quote that day told me that a mission president said, we are here on missions away from our families so other families can be together forever, and it's true. I love my family so much and I'm glad that I have day after day to share this wonderful message with people. That there is a way that families can be together forever and that is through our savior Jesus Christ. It makes me so happy to know that through the priceless gift of the savior, we can all be together forever. There is no greater gift from our Heavenly Father to mankind, And some people go throughout their whole lives without knowing that they can receive all these blessings from our Heavenly Father through the atonement of his son Jesus Christ.

Now I know since being out here that one of the greatest gifts I could give to my Savior is to share this knowledge that I have and the goodness of God with all those who will receive me.

I love you all and I want you all to know that I know this gospel is true with all my heart. There is not and never will be a doubt in my heart about the truth of this gospel. I know that because our Savior broke the bands of death and was resurrected the 3rd day, we can all live and be together forever. I know and I testify that the holy seplicure is still empty. Just like his disciples saw on that day. Sometimes I ask myself why I was born into the world, into the gospel of Jesus Christ, with loving parents. All I can do now is give all I have to my father in heaven who blesses me each and every day of my life.

I hope you all have a great Christmas week as we ponder and celebrate the gift that was given so long ago and keeps on giving.

Merry Christmas! Keep Chanelle and I in your thoughts as you walk down the stairs that Christmas morning.


Your Elder Pedersen

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's A Wonderful Life!!

I'm really glad everybody is doing great! The boy's new room looks so different, it looks really good. And yes I received the package! I was way excited, I wasn't sure whether to open it up or not, so I opened it but not the actual packages. Its way awesome though, I thought it was very cleaver with the scriptures and everything. Yeah sorry if I'm writing a little late today, it's because we went to a huge feria and went to some sites. And I got permission because it is out of the mission. I'm sending you pictures. It was way cool.

Well this week we had the mission activity and it was really fun. We drove clear up in the mountains and played tons of games and also soccer, which I was definitely not great at, but we played that for a while since everybody here loves soccer. After that we got dressed at the church and ate a huge lunch, then took a mission picture. Then we heard from the president speak about the life of Jesus Christ as he related it to the mission. Man it was powerful! I can see him being the next Jeffery R. Holland, I felt the spirit throughout the entire thing. He also told us something I didn't realize before, that we are the only mission in the world that is small enough to meet all together. He said he received special permission to be all together. Then afterwards it was so awesome, We ate popcorn and watched "It's a Wonderful Life." When I saw that we were watching that, I freaked out, I felt like I was home because we always watch it every year. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard while watching that movie before as I did with the mission. It made me kinda miss home, but it was okay I totally loved it. It was actually funny because after the movie all the missionary's eyes were killing them because we have not sat and watched a movie and just stared at a screen for such a long time. And it didn't help that we had all been out in the sun all day, we were all fried. It was a really good day though.

This week has been a hard one though; we are not finding a lot of people to teach, and all day walking around in the blazing hot sun totally takes the energy right out of you. It is really hard sometimes. I am trying to give it all I have though. One of the worst things that I hate is wasting time; I feel like if I'm sitting down for 45 min. and not doing something or if we can't find anybody to teach through the whole day like what happened this week, I feel like such a slacker and I'm wasting the Lord's time. I absolutely hate it. And it's so hard sometimes, but I have set goals and am going to carry them out. I want to always be able to find someone a day and to teach and testify as many times as I can each day, because when I testify and teach I feel the spirit and feeling the spirit is what keeps me going, so I'm trying to give it all I got, because this time is going by fast. I already hit my 6 months in the mission in two weeks. It's crazy how much I'm learning though, I'm really finding that there is such deeper meaning to the scriptures than I have ever thought before. D&C has so much doctrine I'm finding beneath every section. Also I'm learning things from every missionary, like when I went on divisions with my district leader and in the morning we started a conversation and we couldn't stop talking about deep doctrine all morning long. I love talking about the gospel; it's one of my favorite things.

I hope everybody continues to do great. I love you all. By the way dad that picture of the food, not the cinnamon rolls but the other photo that I sent; It's funny that you said it made you hungry because that's one of the worst things I have had so far in Its like soggy bread, so if you're wondering what is the worst thing I have eaten; that would be it. lol

Oh and yeah I might just call between one and two. I'm really excited to talk to you all, I can't wait. The only thing I'm debating is what to call on because I have heard it's better to call at a member's house because on a cell phone it gets kind of staticy. Will the phone card work on a house phone too? Also I'm not as spoiled as Chanelle and get to talk for 3 hours with you all. lol I only get an hour to an hour and a half. It really stinks, so have questions prepared. I actually have a lot I want to talk about but I will probably forget. But just get questions ready.

Well I love you all and tell the Coffman's that I got their letters from like 2 months ago, but tell them thank you for me for being so consistent and writing me even though I haven't written them yet.

I pray for every one of you each day, stay safe, work hard and choose the right!

Con Amor,
Your Elder Pedersen

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Beginning to look a lot like Summer!!!

Alright this week was a really fantastic week. But to start thank you for the letters, Dad your letter was awesome! That's totally how I feel sometimes, we all have our own garden and we take care of it the best we can each day, and its difficult sometimes to help it grow, but as we do it, it grows into something beautiful. And like you said some people don't want a garden, they don't want to take the time. I'm really glad that everyone is doing really good, I couldn't believe that Kenny cut his hair. Wow!

Seems like everyone is doing great. I'm really excited to call the family on Christmas day! Except that I really don't know when to call and I only have like an hour is what I heard which is crazy cause I didn't know it was only going to be that long because Chanelle definitely talked longer than that. So I guess we will just have to see.

I'm totally losing track of time, not ever realizing what day is what, and the days fly by. It's insane! Before I know it, it will be Christmas. It's been a lot of fun to open the packages, I love them all. It's just a little piece of home in the pension. I'm going to miss home this Christmas but it's okay because I have a sister who is going to go through the same thing. And also the people here love the missionaries and there is a big family that is in our ward and we might go over there for Christmas and they do everything how we do it in the United States. So I'm excited, they are an awesome family, super loud which I love because it reminds me of our family. But yes we are having a big mission activity this Thursday and I'm not sure what we are doing but I heard it's going to be good. I will have to let you know how it goes. I'm way excited though.

Alright so this week was good because all this week we were preparing for two baptisms and so Sunday was awesome. I confirmed Fernanda who was baptized last week and I baptized Fernando. It was definitely a spiritual experience for me. I was really nervous so I definitely had a prayer in my heart the whole time. It went good though. The baptism was kinda funny because I had to baptize him 3 times! lol the first time I got everything right but he didn't go all the way under and the 2nd time I didn't say it right, but it was all good, but what was really cool was that when we were changing I asked him how he felt and he said that this was the feeling that he has been looking for for a long time and now he has it. This guy lives with his parents, is kinda shy, his parents told us he has never done wrong. And it was so awesome because all his life he has been doing everything right but has never tasted or felt the goodness of the gospel. It was a really cool experience.

Also what I forgot to tell you was that before elder Johnston left, he and I and another member from the ward sang I know my Redeemer lives in sacrament meeting, it went really well, people said that they really felt the spirit, and they loved it. It was fun too because it was a different version.

I'm really loving it here, I will try and take tons of pictures this week of the Christmas activity also. It's seriously so hot here, I'm not used to it at all. I'm always sweating, So it's a good thing you sent me those t-shirts. I'm definitely using them. Also those family home evenings are great too. We used one this week and it went really well. They loved it. Well I love you all and tell the Coffman's I love them too and tell them sorry for not being able to write them. I never have time.

Keep working hard and I love you all!
The church is True!
Con Amor,
Your Elder Pedersen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weird Thanksgiving away from home!!

This week was definitely a weird one, not only because it was my first Thanksgiving away from home but because I was in charge of the sector. It was a pretty hard week because I was still trying to figure out how everything works and what not. SO the first couple of days I was so dead tired. We walked everywhere trying to get into a house and looking for less actives. Its a lot different not being with my trainer, I'm not going to lie but I was scared at first because I always felt like if I didn't understand someone elder Johnston would be there, Or if it was an awkward situation, I could lean on my trainer for help, but now that I'm with elder Fiscuss I'm realizing that I can do more than I thought I could and I know more Spanish than I thought I did. I really put all my trust in the lord, every bit of it and I found out I was just fine and now I know that this change was truly inspired from God. I'm growing a lot and doing more things than I thought I could. Its actually kind of exciting because I was kinda waiting for a new adventure and to go through something that would make me grow. Now I'm really understanding how hard missionary work is, I knew before but it's harder now since the first few days my new companion didn't know anything about the sector so it all fell on me. But now everything is great, I love my companion. He told me that he was glad he had me for a companion because for the past 3 changes he has been with companions that were not very motivated, and so he kinda got into the rhythm of not doing much, he said he is glad to have a motivated companion. SO I'm just trying to keep it up. He is a really good companion and he helps a lot as well.

This week we also had 2 baptisms that elder Johnston and I had been teaching before, it's been a cool experience teaching them and watching them step into the waters of baptism. I took a pic. and I will try and send it. Elder Fiscuss and I made cinnamon rolls turned out really good there are some people here who have never tried them before. lol I'm actually cooking a lot more since my new comp. loves to cook. So overall the baptism was really great and next week we have two more! So we are trying to get them ready for that. It's just hard with one of them because he is rarely home for us to teach.

Yeah, also this week was thanksgiving and I didn't even realize it until that day, when I found out it made me think of all the good food back at home and meeting with the cousins at the church. But we really didn't do anything. We just ate some chips and talked, it was weird being hungry on a Thanksgiving night. I couldn't help but to think of all the potatoes and turkey. But yeah overall it was really weird, but the next day we actually went to a members house and ate turkey and potatoes because they knew we celebrate thanksgiving so it made up for the day before. It was really nice, but still it wasn't as good as thanksgiving at home. That's really weird that no one was home for thanksgiving though. The members here are really awesome, they absolutely love the missionaries. They always invite us over for food and love talking with the missionaries. One hermana was telling me that whenever one of her missionaries leaves they take a piece of her heart. And she has so many kids, this family is so awesome. She told me that we always need to tell our moms everything that happens with us. She was telling me and elder Johnston this because she has two of her children out on missions and she was going through a hard time that day and she started to cry when she was telling us. So I was thinking about that, and I hope I tell you enough in my letters to the point where you know that I'm doing good and that I'm safe. So mom I hope you're doing great with two missionaries out, I know you're super strong, but if I don't tell you guys enough let me know lol.

Oh also I got the package! I was way excited, but I was confused when to open everything. So I only opened the yellow one. Thank you so much for the package.

It was actually pretty funny because I could tell that dad wrote the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints because he put "la iglesia de jesucristo de los cristo de los ultimos dias" so in English he said the Church of Jesus Christ of Christ of latter day saints lol. Come on dad I thought you knew that, haha. But yeah I got the package and I guess I'm going to start to open it on the 1st. And also thank you mom for the family home evening ideas. it's going to help a lot.

I'm glad that also the funeral went well, I would of loved to be their but would of been really hard as well. That's awesome that Steven is leaving Wednesday, he's going to be awesome! Thank you for all the pictures as well dad, send me as many as you can. I have figured out that I get less homesick when I have pictures, because I know I will get a bit homesick when Christmas rolls around.

But I love you all, I hope all the kids are doing great. Thank you to all those who wrote me as well. I also got letters from the Bybee's! So I'm going to try to write them back. I love you all!!

President always says this "AL PROXIMO NIVEL" it means to the next level.
So let's go to the next level. Work hard

Love your,
Elder Pedersen

Monday, November 22, 2010

Great Success!!

Wow, I cannot believe what you wrote me. When I received the e-mail, I could not believe what had happened. I was speechless and just stared at the screen. I could not imagine going through what the Whitney's are going through at this moment. I really love that family, they have such strong testimonies in the gospel, I cannot believe something would happen like that to a family that is so amazing but I know that we live in an imperfect world. I just feel like bawling thinking about what they are going through but Like Chanelle said it would be hard to go through something like that without the gospel to lean on, we are so blessed to have this gospel in our lives that give us such great hope for life after this, when something like that happens it really makes you think of life in a greater perspective, And it gives such comfort to ones soul that there is something better after this life and God has a plan for his children and there is an opportunity to live with our families forever. My love goes to that family as well. They will definitely be in my prayers.

        This week by the way was changes and my companion left (elder Johnston) it really stunk but I was ready for a new adventure and to grow more. I have learned so much from him, he is awesome. It was sad to see him go but I will see him again since he lives in Florida. Well you guessed it, I'm in charge of the sector (chayavientos) one of the best wards in the missions. I was really nervous when I was told about the changes; Elder Johnston got called to be zone leader which I figured. Everybody in my zone is gone except me and 3 others, the two other newbie's left and I stayed. But my new companion is Elder Fiscuss,
he was in my same zone. He is a good guy, let's just say I will be pushing myself a lot this change, because his last few companions were lazy.
  This week we had conference with President Laycock for 3 days in a row, it was really good, I learned a lot. The president is so good at speaking; he and his wife have so much love for the missionaries here like we are their children.
   This week has been good though, we are seeing miracles happen all around us in this sector, next week we have 2 baptisms and the week after 2 more. Elder Johnston and I were trying to be bold and bring the spirit and get straight to the point. So we did and we set a couple of baptism dates.
  That is crazy that Steven Card is leaving in a bit, that's good that his dad was there, I pray that his moms heart will be softened. I got a letter from him, Coffman's and grandma Henrion! Tell them I said thank you for the letters and I'm trying to write those that have written me back.
   I love the quote you gave me Mom, it was so perfect. Sometimes I don't understand why people don't accept this great message and why they think all paths lead to eternal life and why people mock us for teaching the truth. But they are mistaken; this is the only path to eternal life. I love this gospel and teaching it. My testimony increases every time I testify of it.
Work hard & choose the right.
Elder Pedersen

P.s. what's going on with Devin and Skyler?
Tell them to write me!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lovin' Chile!!

Thank you for all the letters, I was so glad to hear that you all had fun up in Idaho. I could tell it was a great trip because Mom wrote about it twice. I'm glad it was good; I'm surprised it wasn't cold. Yeah I don't have to wear a jacket here either... It's so hot! And it's only going to get hotter. Also I haven't received any letters from Elicia or Breanne. I was kind of disappointed to know that they have been writing me but I haven't got the letters from them. Did they E-mail or actually write a letter? Because I didn't get anything.

I'm glad you guys liked the pictures, I will try to send some more. And no I haven't had time to really cook much. We have BBQs all the time though and they are really good because the meat is really fresh. You guys would love some of the food they cook here, their bread especially. I have really gotten used to all the food here now; it's all good until you find a piece of hair or something in it lol. I have gotten that a lot actually.

It's so weird though to know that I have been here for 2 1/2 months. Sometimes it feels like it and other times not so much. That's pretty awesome that Kenny is getting straight A's and that he passed his license test. Now he can actually drive around legally. I hope the rest of the kids are doing great and they are working hard. It's weird to think that Thanksgiving is coming up and I won't be home for it. But it's okay, I love the mission and Shanna and Chanelle will know how I feel not being home.

Well this week was a good week, it was a hard week because a lot of our investigators dropped us but I could feel the hand of the Lord behind me the whole way and helping me. I know when I put all of my trust in the hands of the lord and do all I can, he will be their every step of the way and I will be able to accomplish anything. I really am gaining a testimony of prayer, the Lord helps me so much with the language every day I am out here, and I'm trying my best with a prayer always in my heart. I am actually starting to understand the people surprisingly and talk back. I think about it sometimes and look back at when I first got here and there is no way I could have learned anything here and know what I know now if it weren't for my Heavenly Father helping me. He is there and always will be through the power of prayer.

Also this week is changes. This change has gone by so fast and I know elder Johnston is leaving because he has been here way too long, so I will most likely stay here and be in charge of this sector. It kind of scares me to be in charge of a sector because everything depends on me and this ward I'm in is one of the biggest wards and they all look to the missionaries for everything, but I can do it.

Also, the couple that I was talking about; Jasmine and Pablo, we have eaten once with them and decided to go over their this week to teach the plan of salvation to them, and so we did and after asked them if they would come to church and they said they couldn't go because of work. And they kept asking questions like "If we were to join your church could we still go to the Catholic church", they just don't understand the importance of this gospel even though we have taught them so many times and thought they understood. So that night we dropped them, it really stunk because we want this so bad for these people and they just won't keep their commitments. So we have basically filtered out all of our investigators that weren't progressing. But we went to a less actives house this week that we haven't seen for a while and we visited them and gave them blessings because they weren't doing good, and during the blessing the spirit of the Lord was there and they could really feel the love our Heavenly Father has for them. I know they could feel it too because I did. So we invited them to church and they accepted after first finding them in my first two weeks here. This family is not a family that has a lot of friends, But they came to church and totally loved it, the members here really fellowshipped them and made them feel like they have always been going to church. and in priesthood meeting he and his son were in the class and the teacher asked anyone if they have had any experience with baptism and he bore his testimony and talked about how baptism has changed he and his wife's lives and will soon change the life of his son because his son is not baptized yet and he started crying saying how he and his wife have been inactive for 12 years and I really felt the love Heavenly Father has for this family. Now they really have the true happiness in their lives because of the gospel. It was a really good experience. The more I get to know the people in this sector; my love grows for each one of them.

Well I got to go, thank you for the letters everyone and all your love and support.
For all those who wrote and hopefully I receive I am trying to write back.
I hope you guys have another great week. I will let you know how changes go this next week. I love you all.

Work hard, be your best.

Love Elder Pedersen

P.S. if you were wondering about the kites, they fly kites
a lot here and sometimes the string has glass in it and they have competitions.
It reminds me of the kite runner.
Also the picture I sent on the bike was my companion and I trying to be dumb and dumber. lol 

Monday, November 8, 2010

2 Months in Chile!!

Alright, so I'm sending pictures but I figured out that I could only send like 8 each time! Totally lame, so each week I guess I will have to send you pictures. But anyways thank you mom for sending all the pictures of Halloween; it seems like everyone had a good time.
I can't believe you all went up and surprised Shanna and Adam! That's awesome. Give my brudah Adam and Shanna a huge hug for me. What did you guys do the entire weekend?

    Aright so this week was a difficult week because it was pretty dang hot, but then all of the sudden yesterday it got freezing cold. It rained for the first time super hard since I have been here, it was crazy and we had to run around to investigators houses and also go knocking doors with the whole zone. I was soaking wet because I had to jump across basically rivers in the streets because the draining system is so bad here. So it was pretty cold.
     I can't believe dad is already putting up Christmas lights, I feel like it was just a couple of months ago when I was putting them up and having our last Christmas as an entire family for 2 years. That's crazy!
    But anyways this week we really planned well for all of our investigators lessons and what we would teach them. So on Saturday it was packed with lessons, we went out to our first investigators home (the house with the boy and girl about 17 years old) the 17 year old guy really loves English so we helped him out a bit and his sister went to church. So we kept making appointments after appointments. Saturday we went over there and they said that we couldn't come in because their mom and dad didn't want us to. So we said are you interested because we could teach you somewhere else. They said yeah they want to listen to us. So they went in and their mom came out and said they aren't interested in our message, but we told her that they told us they were, so she made her children come out and tell us they weren't interested, and the 17 year old kid said that he only said he would go to church because he wanted to learn English from us. So I was pretty mad that we had been wasting time with them. Well I guess we planted the seed because we taught them once.
  We went by a 7th day Adventist, and he was more interested in teaching us then we teaching him. He was bashing us the whole time and we really couldn't leave because we were in his house. He couldn't get over the fact that in the introduction of the B of M it quotes Joseph smith saying that the book of Mormon is the most correct book on the face of the earth.
So we asked him if he has ever read it and he hasn't, so we told him he can't bash it if he has never read it and then he went off on some other stuff.
  We also went by Jasmine and Pablo's  and taught them the plan of salvation, then after we asked them to go to church and they said maybe and that they aren't church people and she also said that she had to work. So they aren't keeping their commitments, so we might have to drop them because they aren't progressing. It's frustrating because they love us coming over and she says she feels the spirit and we know she does but just refuses to act on it.
   Also this week we found out that a recent convert that elder Johnston baptized before I got here got a girl pregnant, so he really needs help and we are trying to visit him as much as possible and take him to lessons with us that also happens a lot here btw. So he said he was going to go to church but didn't go.
     So overall our investigators aren't doing much. There are so many people out there that need this wonderful message in their lives and our searching for it. And sometimes it feels like we are wasting time on people who don't want to do anything even though they feel the spirit.
 But it's like you said Dad in your dear elder. I'm trying to find that grandpa Henrions that convert and change their lives and with them hundreds of lives become converted from just that one convert. I want to find that person, it's hard sometimes, but I know it can be done with the guidance and the help of the spirit. This gospel is so amazing, I'm realizing how true and important this gospel is to me. And I want people to have this in their lives. The happiness, hope and prepared blessings that God has in store for them. This gospel is so true and I know this because every time I testify the spirit tells me what I am saying is true.
  Also this week we are having are changes a week early, so the week after next there will be changes and I know elder Johnston is leaving, its happening because we have 24 new missionaries coming in! It's a huge group.
  Hope you all have a safe drive back home. I love you all.
I'm going to try and download the pictures. Work hard! Choose the right!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Exhausted and loving it!

Hi my family, oh and dad I always say thank you for your letters. And I really am thankful for all the great advice and doctrine that you give me in your letters. And last week I printed your letter off and read it, but I didn't see Mom's letter in there, so I hurried and sent Mom an E-mail. I just needed both of my parents to write me. Just one wasn't good enough; I always need both of my parents. But don't worry I will make it up by sending pictures. This week I totally forgot to bring the cord with me to use the internet so I couldn't up load them on the computer. I'm sorry!!! I want to send pictures. But also I still have a lot more things I need to take pictures of. 
Gosh I have not written any hand letters being here in Chile. I'm so busy every p-day. I'm lucky to get any rest. But next week we are planning on dedicating all p-day to catching up on letters and what not. But anyways I'm glad Halloween went good. Halloween yesterday was just the same as it is in the  states.

Alright this week was a bit difficult. We had tons of people to teach and we tried to get them to church but only one came. It's so annoying some times. Because we do all we can and they don't go. But this week we had some ups and downs, first we went by the kids house that we found and when we went over there we found out that he has like 2 girlfriends, so he said to come by later. So later that night we came back and we thought it would be good because it was a chance to teach them with his mom. So we went over and we sang a song and the entire time they just kept laughing and the girls just kept flirting with me we really tried to bring the Spirit but they were not open at all. His girlfriend kept flirting with me and scooting closer and closer until I was off the couch. That's when I was just fed up with it, there was no Spirit there. I just wanted to leave. So I was in such a bad mood the rest of the night, because the kid had such hope and when we would go over there he was totally interested and would listen to everything we had to say, but then he had to get some girlfriends. It destroyed everything, and it's all because of the adversary.
Some good things have happened this week that were way awesome. We went to a mission conference and the Mission President and his wife spoke and also Elder Corbridge who is of the quorum of the 70. It was so amazing we were there for 5 hours. You might see pic. on the website but the president and everyone spoke in Spanish. President Laycock was so powerful when he spoke, you can really see the love he has for every elder in the mission. Then Elder Corbridge talked for a while and it was hard to understand him when he was speaking Spanish. But it was really good. He talked about including the atonement in every part of the lesson and he said the only true way to have the Lord as your companion is to give up those things of the world, give up and tell the Lord I won't fight you anymore. He said a lot of other great stuff as well.
Then the next day we went to the temple which was awesome because we get to go every 6 weeks and I love it; such a blessing. We saw there President Mckonkie who spoke in conference and he shook all of our hands. He spoke to the adults here but he had to have a translator with him because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Then later in the week we had a returned missionary who has two nieces who wanted to be baptized, so we taught them 3 times this week. It's funny too because one of the girls totally thinks that she has to know everything to be baptized. She has been going to church with her aunt so she knows a lot, but we had to explain to her that she doesn't have to know everything. She had tons of questions. She kind of reminded me of myself. I always have questions as you all know. So after teaching them about almost everything we asked them to be baptized and they accepted! So that was totally awesome. I'm really noticing that you truly have to keep in contact with your investigators daily or else the adversary works on them. That is what we are seeing with some of our investigators.
  This week has been hard for me with the language though. I'm realizing how much I want to teach them and really be able to express myself and I want to get to know people. I feel like I am worrying about the language too much. So I'm really taking it slow and I'm realizing that when I stress about the language and try to cram Spanish in my head I don't memorize as much as if I were to just take it slow. So I'm trying not to stress myself out.
I know a lot of Spanish, but these people talk sooo  Can you send me a package with Chilean modismos and games or teaching tools that would be good for family home evenings or something,  also more pictures of the family.
Well I love you all and Dad you are definitely included in that as well. I brag about my parents all the time. I love you mom and dad.
I truly feel your prayers and support for me in every part of this work. Thank you for everything. And Kenny, Kellin, and Daniel listen and be respectful to Mom and Dad always.
Have a great week
con amor,
Elder pedersen

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finding the lost...

     Alright well I'm glad I got your letter Mom, I knew you wouldn't forget about writing me. We weren't able to e-mail until so late because we were having a big BBQ with our zone that my companion and I planned. Also what I forgot to tell you last week mom is that I got your letter finally. Thank you for sharing it with me, I loved reading it. That was so awesome that you found Chanelle's book of Mormon. just like Chanelle said it is really nerve racking to share sometimes because you feel like it could ruin the friendship, and I know before my mission it was hard to do that but the mission really gets rid of that fear. But I know that if God told you and inspired you through the Holy Ghost, it won't ruin any friendship, God always provides a way. I'm really glad the family had a great week with the Halloween party and all. It totally made me think of last year when I dressed up like a But yeah I will have to look at the pictures. I love getting pictures by the way of the family. Thank you Dad for sending those pictures to me, and don't worry about me, I know I'm not forgotten, I know I am loved. I feel it even though I don't get a lot of letters.

It's so weird to think Chanelle is at her half way mark! Everyone here says that the mission goes by so fast; I want to take advantage of every single moment to learn and grow. I still have so much to learn and I want to be the missionary and the disciple of his Son that he wants me to be, I want to give my all to my Heavenly Father, I want my edges to be smoothed. Even though I cannot speak the language and say all I want to say in the way I would like and get to know the people like I want to get to know them. I know if I give my all to the Lord, he will make up the difference. I have really noticed that when I bear testimony or teach. I don't need to use big words or give them a in depth lesson for the spirit to be there, and I'm just now noticing that. I get frustrated sometimes when I can't really express myself like I want to, but I know with the Lords help I will get to that point. I just need to be patient and give my Heavenly Father all I have.

Alright well this week was a really good week, Elder Johnston and I have been truly trying to keep the spirit with us where ever we go so when we teach a lesson or just talk to someone on the street they will notice something different about us. And also I have been looking for the Lord's hand through every day, because we all know that his help is their but sometimes we just don't look. And with striving to keep the spirit with us, I have noticed that when we look we truly find so much. This week we have been blessed with finding a lot of people to teach and they all love us, we got some investigators to church and some niños to activities and they love it because the church members really fellowship them. But yeah are teaching pool is getting pretty full, so it's totally awesome, now we have to get them to progress. It get's kind of irritating sometimes because we are teaching a family and the mom is cool but she doesn't believe we have a prophet or apostles, no matter what we say, and her son that came to play soccer for mutual didn't want to go to church or read, so we watched a Mormon message on the infinite power of hope and after we saw it they were like ¨wow¨. So we asked if they would go to church but they said no and the son was scared to stand up against his mom. But her daughter had her friend over and at the end of the lesson we asked if she would go to church and she said yes. It was a good thing her friend was their or else she wouldn't have agreed to come to church. So they came on Sunday and they really liked it. But the irritating part is when we teach people like that they feel the spirit and we know they do, but they deny it. Same with Jasmine, we went to teach her and she said when she was sick this past week, she would think of our visits and think of the peace she felt when we were over. We taught her and know she feels the spirit but doesn't act on it. She didn't go to church with her husband, But I think this week she will go. She is really awesome but she doesn't realize that the lord is answering her. She feels that since she hasn't received an answer that she should not be going to church yet. So we had a lesson on the Holy Ghost. what we did yesterday is go over there to see why she didn't go to church, we sat down with her and sang a song and said a prayer and we got up to leave she and her mom looked at us like they were going to cry because we were not going to teach them, and so we tried to get her to understand that we are not the church, she has to go to feel that peace. So I thought that was really good. We made a goal this week to go into the house and teach and when the spirit testifies then we just leave. We notice that when we mingle, then the spirit starts to slowly leaves and it's been good doing that.

This week we have had just a bunch of people come up to us and bash the church and us. One guy came up to us and said in English ¨go home, why are you here? ¨ My companion said he has never gotten so many people come up to him in his whole mission as much as there has been in this change with me. It's crazy. That's why it's so important to have your testimony in beaded deep within you.

But other than that this week has been really good, along with being exhausted everyday. Tell the Coffman's for sending me letters, and also tell them that yes, the minors are out of the mine. I didn't think you guys knew about that. But yeah they are out. Way cool.

Also what's weird is that people keep telling me that it's getting cold there and snowing in the mountains. Well here it's not like that at all; it is starting to get really hot. I thought today was really hot but apparently this is nothing. I'm not looking forward to Christmas and Thanksgiving in 120 degree weather. It's going to be so different when that happens. Mom and Dad keep sending me pictures and also if you send packages can you put some short sleeve shirts in there because I only have two.

Well tell everyone, all the boys and McKenna that I love them. Give McKenna a big kiss from me to her. Well I also love getting news about the family, so keep me updated on everything.

Well I have to get to work. Love you all and have a great Halloween. I will send you pictures, I have to take some more and I will probably just send it through the e-mail next week because if I send it in a letter it will take about 1 month or more.

I love you all, stand strong and be your best!!
With love more than you know,

Elder Pedersen

Monday, October 18, 2010

First Change!!

And I'm staying!!

We were so happy to get the call that we were staying, I didn't want to leave at all and neither did Elder Johnston. we were freaking out all night wondering whether we would leave this ward or not so we were passing by people's houses that we wanted to say good bye to just in case. So we visited Giovanni and told him how much we loved him and how much of an example he was to us, and whatever happened to us we wanted to tell him thank you for everything, he is such a solid investigator, he is totally amazing and will definitely not fall, when we teach the lessons we always teach with his girlfriends family who are members, so he is always being fellowshipped and as we were telling him that we really appreciated him and bearing our testimonies he started to cry. He is so awesome! Man I love that guy. I will have to send pics.

Well I'm glad to hear everybody is doing good. I pray for the family every night. Tell people to write me, I feel like people have forgotten me. I wish I could write the family and some friends but I seriously have no time, every p-day is so stressful. It is supposed to be relaxing but I have to run around places doing stuff that I cant do during the rest of the week, and I never have time to write people. So tell people I said sorry for not writing, also tell Devin and Skyler to write me, and if they want they can e-mail me too.

This week was a week of miracles. Elder Johnston and I started a fast for our investigators because a lot of people are having concerns or not really understanding the importance of this message and the adversary is really working on them, especially Jasmine and Pablo who I was telling you about. We went over there the other day and her Mom and aunt was there with her. So we started just talking with them and I tried to speak with what I knew how to say, and we talked about some of the problems she had with the book of Mormon and her mom and sister was asking us questions, so we started talking and pretty soon we were really getting into a great discussion, and the spirit was really strong. At the end when we were bearing our testimonies all of them had tears in their eyes, and her mom said ¨Wow I have a different feeling, it's really peaceful", and then she started crying, we told her that it was not us but the spirit. Then at the end we sang a song to all of them ¨I know my Savior Lives" and after we finished, Jasmine was bawling. The spirit was really testifying to them. We invited her to come to church but she said that she felt like she had not got that strong conviction yet, so we explained that it's not going to come immediately. The lord tests the faith of all his children. Her Mom then said we could come back because we are angels. Which was awesome, they are totally amazing. I hope they continue to be awesome, sometimes it just stinks though because I want to say so much but I can't say everything I want to say or express myself the way I want to. I guess it will just take practice and I have to speak even though I may mess up and I know the Lord will help me. After that we visited another family that wasn't really progressing, so I wanted to figure out a way to really get that fire going, So we planned what we would do and we decided to watch a Mormon message on hope which elder Johnston hasn't ever done before with people. We did it and the mom was crying after and the little son said the prayer, which we were surprised because it's hard teaching when all their kids are restless, but we got them excited to go to church, so they said they would go next week because this week they were going out of town.

Also that same week we found another kid that was in the streets one day and we passed by him and his friends were drunk and they were yelling at us in English like every kid does so me and elder Johnston were sick of kids doing that. So we went up to them and started speaking in English asking them questions, and they got all nervous and didn't know what to say, but there was one kid whop wasn't drunk and hated his friends drinking. so we kept passing by this kid on the street so we asked if we could teach him and he said yes and we taught him, and he already read the pamphlet we gave him and prayed, he is really awesome. We are excited to see what will happen.

I'm so glad that I am staying here, there are so many awesome people here, this next exchange is going to be awesome, we really want to step it up with teaching and being obedient so we can have the spirit with us. We have seen what can happen when we have the spirit with us. I'm so excited for this next change. I can't wait to see what will happen with these people. We know God has put them in our path for a reason, now we have to try to bring them back to the fold.

This gospel is so amazing, I don't know how many times I have said it but I learn so much each week, I'm trying each week to be the disciple of Jesus Christ my heavenly father wants me to be. Thank you for your letters. I also loved that quote you sent mom. Keep letting me know how the family is doing each week, I love hearing about each one of them. Tell Daniel I said good luck at the Craterian, and tell the rest of the family I love and miss them all.

I will try to send pictures either through e-mail or send the card home. Oh also if you could, send some candy from home to me and some jerky. So many people love it here and they don't have any of it. (Reese's, 3 musketeers) stuff like that. I would love that. If you can that would be awesome!

Love you all, can't wait to hear from you again, hope I answered all your questions.
Well I got to go,

Elder Pedersen

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Great Week!! October 11, 2010

This week was a good week. I had my first baptism! It was a guy named Giovanni, he is such a stud! He is about 16 and he is the boyfriend of a member, so we would always go there and teach him, our last lesson was about the 10 commandments and the laws and ordinances of the gospel, at the end the whole family was sitting at the table and elder Johnston and I were both bearing our testimonies and then he just started bawling, he really felt the spirit strong and he received his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel; so he is totally solid. Later his mom was invited over for a family home evening at the members home and so we taught the atonement and a really simple lesson but powerful and then after watched the end of the testaments and it was awesome. She was asking a lot of questions. Sunday she came for Giovanni's baptism and she was bawling as he was baptized, she was flipping through the pages of the new temple Liahona, looking at the pictures and then she started to cry even more, so she walked out after it was over and cried in the hall. She is totally going to get baptized. lol. But something funny happened this week when I was asking Giovanni the baptismal questions to make sure he was ready, I started reading the questions, and without knowing it I asked him if he had ever had an abortion, he looked and me really confused and then my companion explained what I said and then we all laughed, and then while I was bearing my testimony to him I was saying how excited I was for him and I ended up saying I am very animal for him, lol and I didn't even notice what I had said until later. I wondered why he was looking at me weird. But it's all good, he understood.

Another thing that he said that was really cool was that the only way he could have felt the spirit as strong as he did was because of us. He said it had to have been us two because he has talked to other missionaries but he said that it was different with us. So I thought that was really cool, he is awesome.

We also tracted into a family after praying to know where to track, and we found this lady and her son and we ended up singing a song at the door, her 6 year old son totally loves us, so we came back and her sister who had just came back from school was there and she listened to our message and we brought a member too which was good. We taught about baptism and it totally made sense to them, everything we were saying. They have never talked to missionaries before so it was good, and my companion asked if they wanted to be baptized like Jesus Christ and be cleansed from all their sins and they said yes! So we hope everything goes well.

On the other side of things, those two people that I was telling you about that had us over once, were super excited about what we were teaching them and we gave them a chapter to read. My companion and another elder went over their when I was on divisions and she said she read the chapter 3 times! And she had a doubt, and it was that the chapter seemed too strong. Because it says in there that all those that don't believe the words are going to be thrust down to hell. It's so irritating because they are obviously looking for the truth but the adversary puts thoughts and doubts in their minds, so it's so frustrating. We told them that God only established one way. We have tried to set up appointments but they try to avoid us now. So pray for them. Their names are Pablo and Jasmine.

We also took a couple that was baptized about two months ago on a temple tour and they are totally ready to go in and be sealed together. The husband is so amazing, he knows so much already. They watched and loved conference; they also have 3 other kids which one of them is already baptized. I could totally see this guy being a bishop or stake president. Whenever he bears testimony I totally feel the spirit. He is the guy I told you about that knows English. He speaks to me The wife was crying too when we were on the temple tour; we walked into the front part the temple and she started to cry. They are an awesome family.

Dad thanks for the pics. the garden is huge! I was laughing so hard when I saw the picture of McKenna and Daniel lol. I love them just keep sending more, they don't make me homesick. To answer some of the questions, my living conditions are actually pretty good. We have one of the nice apartments apparently. I'm not going to lie when I first got to the pension I thought it was so disgusting, but I guess there are some that are way worse. I will have to show you pictures. And no we don't clap our hands, we yell ¨halo¨ and then we hit our ring on the outside of the metal fence, that's what we do when tracting. I have actually only literally knocked on a door once. I'm still getting used to going tracting, that's one thing that I'm really trying to work on, and get better at. Everyone in the mission walks btw.

Well I got to go. I'm really loving the mission and gaining a greater love and knowledge for this gospel every day.

Next week is changes so I'm kinda scared to find out whether I will leave or go; we are both hoping we stay together. I don't want to leave. it's totally true what you said Mom how I have been put here for a reason, The lord truly knew what I needed the most and who I would learn the most from. I have truly learned so much being here in this area and with this companion. So I will let you all know next week.

Well I love you all, thank you for all your letters and I'm glad to hear the family is good, I pray for you all every day. I love each and every one of you,

Keep working hard. I will try to send pictures. I might send hard photo copies, cause I don't want to lose the memory card; or would it be better to just download the pictures onto my letter?

Con Amor,
Your Elder Pedersen

Monday, October 4, 2010

Awesome Conference!!

Wow this weekend was so amazing! Conference was so awesome! I got something out of every talk. I don't think I have ever gotten so much out of conference which is bad; I wish I would have listened to them more intently before. But really the talks were so amazing and I think it's because of the mission. It's so awesome to listen to general conference on the mission! there would be certain talks that stuck out to me and other things that I have already heard before but being on a mission makes me think about it differently. Just like you Mom it made me sad to think it was over, I learned so much of what I want and need to improve on in my life and on my mission. President Uchtdorf's talks were both outstanding! I also loved Henry b. Eyring as well as Neil A. Anderson and many more. Priesthood session was so good. I got so much out of that session. The sprit was definitely the teacher. What I also loved was that every speaker always testified of the true and living prophet Thomas s. Monson, they always showed their support for the prophet and that they know he is called of God. The spirit testified that Thomas s. Monson is a true prophet called by God. I absolutely loved it all. The missionaries had their own room that we could watch the sessions in our native language so that was really good, it also started at 12 over here.

This week we focused on getting people to conference and invited a lot of people but in the end only 1 of our investigators came to watch, and so I was kinda disappointed because I don't think they truly understand the importance and great opportunity it is so hear from a prophet of God; he truly talks with God and then in turn comes and talks to us, so it was kinda disappointing to see only one of our investigators there.

Gosh there were so many things in conference that I learned and I just hope we can all take what we learned and put it to use and remember them. I hope I can do the same, I want to work harder, have gratitude, get rid of all the pride and get lost in helping others, I want to study, pray, and ponder so I can always have the spirit with me, I want to not be so hard on myself if I mess up, and so many other things that stuck out to me.

On the other side of things I am doing great, my ear is starting to catch and get used to the fast talking Spanish but I still have to work super hard at it and always be on my knees every night praying for help for the Lord with this language.

I'm glad the family thought about me and Chanelle. I totally thought about the family back at home and about crêpes lol. I miss those.

I also thought about my loving parents at home during conference. I truly have such wonderful parents and I'm so blessed to have parents that love and care for each one of their children. There are some missionaries out here that don't have parents that are members of the church. I'm so blessed with such amazing parents. I loved the talk that elder Holland and the one from the quorum of the seventies gave; it totally made me think about my parents. Just like elder Holland said about his parents, you both truly give up whatever you have for us kids. It's either time away from something else to spend with us kids or that time sacrificed to spend just one on one time with us. I'm also so blessed to have parents that were always in every part of life and actually cared about the things that were going on in my life. and also I was so blessed to have a mom and dad that would set rules for us because you love us and I hope the rest of the kids back at home understand that there are rules given because you love us and don't want us to go astray and off the straight and narrow path. Rules create happiness in the end. Just like the member from the quorum of the seventy said that parents set rules for the benefit of their children, even though we may not see it at the time. I was also so blessed to have a Mom that couldn't sleep at night until I was home even though sometimes I didn't like I see so many of the reasons for these now and I hope that the kids understand that. Kenny, Kellin, Daniel this is all for our benefit. Everything mom and dad do is because they love us.

I love you mom and dad so much, more than I can say. Listening to conference and those couple talks really made me think about that. Thank you for all you do for us kids.

To answer some of your questions, no mom I didn't receive any letters yet. It takes so long for things to get here. It just depends on how much money you spend. The more you spend the faster the letter gets here. And yes I still love my companion. Exchanges happen in about two weeks so I'm kind of worried where I will go but I know where ever I go it was inspired.

also no I'm not getting super skinny we work out every morning because we have to so I sill work out every day and they feed us a lot for lunch, if anything it might just go to my gut, but I'm trying to prevent that from happening. Did you guys get my pictures from the mtc? I might just send you the memory chip I don't know yet. I'm scared it will get stolen in the mail. Well I got to go. Until next week, tell the rest of the fam. to write and tell Skyler to write too. I haven't received any handwritten letters since I have been here besides the first ones from you and Dad in the package.

I love you all, keep the faith, I hope everything is going great with the rest of the family,(Kenny, Kellin, Daniel, McKenna)

Con Amor,

Elder Pedersen

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Talked in church and felt my first tremor!

Hi my family!

I'm so excited to be getting the letter from you all. I loved them; it was good since it was the first letter from the family in the entire time I have been here in Chile. I was really glad to hear from Chanelle. Wow I thought I had it pretty bad not having a dryer but she doesn't have a washer or a dryer. It's all good though we both know now how the pioneers felt with walking everywhere and not having washers or dryers. It's awesome though we are both learning and growing from our experiences.

This week was a pretty good week! First off I had my first little tremor this week it was kind of cool cause we don't have that kind of stuff in Medford. I was sitting there and the bottles and glasses started to shake a bit. I just can't imagine something like that and ten times bigger. but anyway I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting yesterday and it actually turned out pretty good, I first wrote it in English and then translated it to Spanish but after the talk everybody came up to me and told me how good it was both Elder Johnson and I, They said that they could understand every word which i was totally glad and I don't know how because I thought I messed up on some words but it was really good with the help of the spirit, and I also tried not say umm so many times lol. It went well, I was happy about that.

My ward is so fantastic I was talking about them for the first 5 min. I talked about being scared when I first got here and how I felt being so far from my family but because of this loving ward it has been so awesome! My companion told me that I really got spoiled having this ward for my first ward. We don't even have a bishop because he got called to be the stake president. We got to eat at his house he is totally awesome, he said he loves us both. He is hilarious.

I'm doing great though, I'm tired all the time from walking but its all good I used my companion's souls that were in his shoes lol

What was really cool that I didn't tell you about is that the first week I was here we stopped by a ladies house when we were tracting and at first she didn't seem that interested but then we started talking about the restoration and she seemed pretty interested but said she worked all the time. so we gave her a pamphlet and then for some reason we felt we should go back so we went back over at night when we knew she would not be at work and her husband was there and they have a little son, they ended up letting us in and we really got to know them and she fed us, we also asked if she read the pamphlet we gave here and they actually both read it together, they were going through a hard time because there little new born is really sick and so we started to teach them and after the lesson we gave them a book of Mormon and invited them to come to church, the spirit was totally their, the husbands friend is a bishop so he knows a bit about the church. At the end of the lesson the wife prayed and it was totally amazing, they totally loved us, they said we could come back whenever we wanted to and after the lesson we were freaking out cause they are so amazing, we were so happy to find someone that truly is looking. So on Saturday we went over there to see if they would go to church and they said they would and that she had been reading the Book of Mormon and she really liked it, so me and Elder Johnson were so excited. They are a really awesome family. I'm excited to continue teaching this family. They are truly looking for the gospel in their lives.

We have people to teach but some of them just don't keep their commitments, they love having us come over and they know the church is true but some of them don't want to do anything about it, so we are trying to get that fire going in those that want to be baptized and with others that we are teaching who are already baptized we are helping to endure to the end, because you would not believe how many inactive people there are in this ward, so needless to say we are working on that.

We had a funny experience while going to check on a referral this last week, we went to his house to see him but he was not home so on the way back we saw a family sitting on the front of their porch and so we said hi and kept walking, but we thought this family was really nice so we went back and my companion told this family why we were there. There was this guy reading the bible to this little girl and we found out he wasn't part of the family, so we started talking about the church and then he goes off telling us about his church. We at first thought that he was a pastor or an evangelical, he said that there were missionaries that had taught him before but he found out that what they had said wasn't true. We started talking about Joseph Smith and the priesthood when he said that there was no way the priesthood was on the earth and that God is the only one that has the priesthood. He was just saying how Joseph smith did not see God and Jesus because the only person that can be in two places at once is Satan.

We did not bash at all we just bore our testimony and he was saying a bunch of other false doctrine as well, so we were about done with this guy, but he wasn't done with us, he told my companion that he could sense that he felt nervous and could tell we were wrong because he was not looking at us through his eyes but the eyes God gave him and we will see who is right when we are in front of God. So we were like what the heck, so he reaches through the fence and touches my companion and says that he blessed him with his salvation and so I about crack up laughing and then he goes to reach for me and I step back and say wo wo wo! lol and because I didn't want to make this guy mad I just let him do his thing and we left, and what was worse is that his name is Jesus lol and so that was kinda a crazy experience, but apparently I'm blessed lol.

We had an argument with another guy about tithing who said we are being brain washed and that someone is gaining something from us being on missions, and then my companion said, "yeah the people that receive our message." It was not good, we ended up just leaving because his heart was so closed, no one could convince these people otherwise. I wish I could go on but I don't have a lot of time.

Anyway, I cannot wait until conference this next week. I don't think that I have ever been so excited for conference I can't wait to hear from the prophet and the 12. Being out here I have truly gained a greater appreciation for my Savior and the atonement. Like you said Mom, I don't know how it works but it does, I have felt the amazing power of the atonement in my life and have seen people change so much through it. There is a family that just got baptized before I got there and they are so awesome. We had noche de hogar at their house and it was really fun. I will have to send the video of one of the games we played, but yeah their 14 year old daughter is pregnant and the dad and mom smoked and the dad was on the verge of being an alcoholic when they got baptized and the gospel and the power of the atonement has changed their lives!

It is just hard sometimes because I am getting to know people, but not as good as I wish, I can testify and teach but I have what they call a doctrinal vocabulary, plus a little more. I'm definitely learning a lot being here. The people are saying that I am improving a lot and my companion thinks so as well; so that was a confidence booster. I'm trying to throw myself out there, there is a lot that I do that in the beginning was uncomfortable but now it's no big deal, but I'm not going to lie there is still some more things I have to get comfortable with.

I am truly learning without that without the lord I can do nothing at all, I am truly nothing, that's why I need him every moment and to be worthy of the sprit. This gospel is so true! I absolutely love this gospel! It truly gives people happiness, peace and hope in their lives, and so many more blessings await them. It's just trying to get people to understand that is the hard part, we just have to pour our whole hearts out to these people and knock their socks off Like Elder Holland said!! I have learned from my companion that I don't see a lot when I go with other missionaries, first you really got to gain a person's trust and then be totally blunt with them, and share with them that we are here for 2 years and the message we carry is truly the most important message they will EVER hear. This gospel can change their lives. That's why it's so important not to lose focus on the reason we are missionaries here and totally have that desire to share the great message we have and do it with power!

I truly love this gospel. It's so important to keep our eyes on the Savior and our Heavenly Father and we will never be lead off the path of righteousness. It's so important!!

I love each and every one of you! I talk about my family all the time and it makes me so happy to think that I can be with my family forever, and its because of the self less and loving act of the savior. I come closer to my Savior every day.

Well I'm running out of time, thank you so much for the letters, it made my day. Give hugs to all the boys and tell them all that I love them and give a kiss from me to McKenna, and tell hunter to stop chewing up

Keep being amazing my family! Keep your eyes on the Savior.

Con Amor,

Your Elder Pedersen
P.S. thank you so much for your prayers and your love.