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.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chile's Bicentenial!!

Okay so today I had to write the family because Monday will be a holiday so I won’t be able to write everyone. So we had permission to write today. Well its 9 here and the reason we are writing so late is because we got back from the 200 year anniversary of Chile! So today the ward celebrated it and it was a lot of fun, we played games and all kinds of stuff. It’s definitely different from our ward party’s lol. And then on Monday is the biggest day of the year so it will be really hectic so I not even sure if we will be teaching a lot of people on that day because everyone is going to party all day.

Everything is going good here in Chile I am so dead tired every night but even though I'm super tired I’m trying to push myself and sometimes when I’m not having a good day I just try and remember the reason I am here and who I am serving and when I think like that it helps me to keep pushing myself. I am coming to love this gospel and my savior more and more each day. I am starting to really love the people here even though I can’t fully understand them as well as I would like, they are so nice and accepting. It’s so funny because some of the families in the ward totally remind me of people back home especially people from the ward. It’s funny and I just realized today of who my companion totally reminds me of. He is Tim in a lot of ways, like how he acts and almost everything else, so its way cool. He is a way awesome guy. The ward here is so awesome and friendly. They love the missionaries; Enough to assign us talks my second week here and give lessons all the time. But they feed us every day and they are totally awesome so it’s all good. I just wish I could speak the language so I could get to know them more. I’m beginning to get to know certain people if they talk slow but other than that most of the time I don’t know what they are saying so i have to ask my companion. This week though we are teaching a family and they are pretty interested so right now I can only teach a bit of each principle which totally stinks because I can’t express myself and that’s that hard part to get around. when I say something totally wrong or when they start to talk back to me, my confidence is crushed and that is one thing I am trying to work just letting things role off my back and not make a big deal about it. If I mess up it fine, I would rather mess up now with the language than a year from now. but when I’m teaching I just want to be able to really teach them and express myself but i know the language will come if I have faith and confidence in myself and if I try my hardest the lord will help me with the rest.

So with that lesson I was able to write my testimony in the Book of Mormon and then give it to them, so that was cool. But anyways I love Chile, everyone is really friendly here but I still am trying to get used to being here it is really different. I will have to take pictures and send them to you guys. There are also some things here that remind me of the states. A lot of people here listen to Hanna Montana, Justin Beiber, and The Jonas Brothers even though they have no idea what is being said in the song. Everyone here always wants to know how the states are and a lot of people also try and learn words in English, and it’s kind of annoying cause they just try and speak to me in English. lol. And also when we walk past gangsters they are always yelling at us saying ¨What’s up man¨ or ¨Greenie¨ which means white rich boy. And I don’t understand because you wouldn’t believe it but their people that are as white as me here that were born in Chile. Some people are white as us and others are darker so that was kinda weird at first. but yeah random words like that are said a lot so its kinda funny but annoying at the same time lol. they learn it all from movies and songs they don’t understand.

I have never been out of my comfort zone more than I am here and now. So I’m trying to take Chanelle’s advice and try to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because there is a lot that I have to do here that I have to just do. And normally it’s not something I would do, so yeah I’m trying to get comfortable with that. I really wish that I could have received a letter from you guys. Let me know how everything is going back in Medford and I also wish I could have gotten a letter so then I could answer the questions that you have for me. Also for your information my p-day is on Monday and I only get letters on Tuesdays which totally stinks but it’s the only day mail comes in from the states. Also dads thank you for the letter that you typed up from elder Bednar’s talk. I bet that talk was totally awesome. I printed the rest off so then i could read it. i loved the first half of it. Totally awesome! Thank you, Dad. Let’s see I went to the temple which was totally awesome. Different but I loved it. Well I love every one of you guys

Love you Mom, Dad, Shanna, Chanelle, Kenny, Kellin, Daniel, and little McKenna (I want pictures from McKenna and actual pictures from everything that’s been going on during summer time)

Give my love to everyone grandma and grandpa Pedersen and Henrion.
I hope everyone is doing awesome, choose the right. Be your best miss and love you,

Con Amor
Your Elder Pedersen

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm definitely not in Medford anymore!!!

Alright family, I know you're going to want to know everything that has happened in the past week so I'm going to tell you the best I can and not forget or leave anything out. First, thank you Mom and Dad for the greenie package. I loved it, and thank you for the letters also.

But, wow this place is so different from the United States! in some small ways it is the same; its weird. When I first got off the plane I could not believe that I was actually here, and there was no humidity at all but just kind of cold. There were about 12 of us going to Chile Santiago East. So we arrived and when we stepped out of the airport, there was about 6 missionaries including the APs that were there and they all ran up to us and gave us a big hug (everyone does that here by the way) and then we saw president Laycock and Sister Laycock from far away and started walking toward us and he gave us all a huge hug and his wife shook our hands. He told us that this will be a day we will always remember and to think as we drive through the city that this we be the place that we will be serving for the next twenty two months. So we got into the cars and started to drive and I was really excited at this point but also really scared about who my companion would be, we were driving in the middle of Santiago east where there where big buildings and it was a lot different than I thought it would be, when we got to the church which is right next to the temple and then they took pictures. then he talked to us for a while and it was totally awesome. he also told our group that we will be serving with him till the end which i didn't know and that Santiago Chile east was the smallest mission is the world but has millions of people. but really president and sister Laycock are the most loving people, they are so awesome and really funny. then we went into the room and said that we would meet our trainers and he said that these elders were the best, and he couldn't think of better people to be training us, so we walked in and they all stood up and president Laycock said that every night he and sister Laycock would kneel down to pray who each of us should be with.

He then started to pair us up and he called me and my companion's name we each stood up and gave each other a big hug, then we were off to our sector. I just continued asking my trainer elder Johnston so many questions, there was so much I wanted to know; by the way he is way awesome, super hard working and he totally has patience with me according to the language, he also has been out a year and this is his first time training. He is way awesome and builds me up and we both try to have fun so it's all good but it kind of stinks cause he got pneumonia last week so we didn't have many people to teach but we are building it right now. Anyways so we walked to my sector with him which is called punt alto (I'm not sure if that is how you spell it) all on the way there I looked like I was made of money compared to everyone else. lol. I had both of my luggages and everybody was looking at me weird. Now I am getting used to it, so we had to get on the metro and we went in an elevator when these two ladies told me to come on; I thought they wanted me and my companion but nope only me and so they told my companion that only I could go on there but elder Johnston said that he has to be with me always and so that was kinda weird. I don't know what they were trying to do, and it kinda freaked me but after we got on the metro it took us 45min. to where our pensions were and we got their and the place was totally gross and apparently it was one of the best pensions out of all the ones that the missionaries stay in; it was really small too.

There was just so much happing that was just being thrown out at me and also that day I had major jet lag and super tired but I tried to push through it, I then got groceries and then went tracting which totally scared me. When we go tracting we have to stand outside and yell ¨Hola¨ so it was different and I found out the reason they do that is because everybody has a gate about 7 feet in front of their house and every fence including ours around our house are jagged and spiky so no one can get over it. so we went tracting and it went alright, I'm trying not to just sit back and let my companion do all the talking so I tried to talk but I could only say a couple words and I could not understand what they were saying at all. They talk so flipping fast and so it's going to take some time to understand them. We then visited some people and I told them that I have only been here for a day and they couldn't believe it. so they tried asking me a question and I just stood there with a retarded look on my face and had to ask my companion what they said, so it was kinda embarrassing but it's all good, so yeah I'm definitely getting used to nodding my head and saying ¨Si¨ lol.

Over the last couple days though I'm really starting to love these people it just irritates me sometimes cause I want to so badly get to know them faster. I still get to know them but only barely because of the language barrier, I am really learning a lot about the language and the people here have a lot of their own words for things that exist nowhere else.

I'm just going to mention some things that you all might want to know:

They have dryers here which stink so we hang our clothes outside, everybody has a dog and there are dogs everywhere all over the streets, food is a huge thing here and lunch is huge like elder Moony said (who I met by the way) and every time I get into someone's home they always give us juice or soda, nobody drinks water here. the biggest drink here is big 2.5 liter bottle of coca cola or doctor pepper, and I don't like either of those lol and one day they gave me so much juice I felt like throwing up and you have to drink it or else they will get offended. Another thing that is weird is that everybody comes up to us and tries to speak English to us, everybody wants to know English. they all listen mostly to English music. The food is good here also. oh and this week is their big Celebration, like the fourth of July that Shanna was talking about, so it will be fun, oh and also I have to give a talk this Sunday! They told me and my companion and I just got here, so I'm kind of nervous. My zone is also way cool, all of them are awesome, and we all give each other a hug every time we see each other so yeah I'm turning into a hugging kinda guy. When people give hugs here it's a handshake, a hug, and another handshake. Its weird but cool. My ward is awesome as well as my area. My comps last companion baptized 7 people and I'm scared I can't fill his shoes because I don't know the language, but I'm going to definitely try.

I still cannot believe that I'm out here. I'm still trying to get used to everything here. I want to tell you more but I have got to go. I hope i answered most of your questions, and I hope everyone is doing great back at home and Mom where is your e-mail for today? Oh well it's all good. I wish I could of talked about the people that I taught so I will have to just tell you next week. Dad thank you for writing Elder Bednar's talk I'm going to print it off and read it. By the way I can receive dear elders here. Give my love to all the cousins and the coffman's and everyone. I love you all.

Keep the faith, choose the right!

Con Amor,
Your Elder Pedersen

Friday, September 10, 2010

President Laycock......

Dear Brother and Sister Pedersen,

We are happy to report the safe arrival of your son to the Chile Santiago East Mission. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to work closely with him in this part of the Lord's vineyard. We are excited to share this great mission experience with you and your missionary and are confident that blessings await your entire family as a result of your consecration of time talents and resources to make this mission service possible. Please know of our sincere concern for the welfare and eternal progress for Elder Pedersen. We pledge our untiring efforts to make this experience both meaningful and successful for your missionary.

With love,
President and Sister Laycock

Attached is a letter from your missionary and a photo with us of when he arrived. Enjoy browsing our mission website by clicking on the following link:

I'M HERE! ....I LOVE CHILE!!!! September 10, 2010

Dear Mom & Dad,

Well I made it!! I'm here! This place is so amazing, I already love it, and the mission president and his wife are the most loving people. They are really amazing!

I'm only hours away from going to preach the gospel to my Chilean brothers and sisters and I'm scared out of my mind and also very excited!!

I have met my new companion and he is a good guy, I know the President was inspired to know who I should be with.

I hope you guys are all doing amazing back home and working hard. I love you all and I truly have the best family! Thank you, Mom and Dad for teaching me the gospel from very early on until this time. I have such amazing parents, everything good in my life has been because of my parents and my Heavenly Father. I have seen the love you both have for the Savior all through my growing up years. Here on my mission I have come to love my Savior and Heavenly Father even more than I did.

I love you guys!!
Elder Pedersen