Thursday, September 30, 2010
Talked in church and felt my first tremor!
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 before.lol 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 stuff.lol
Keep being amazing my family! Keep your eyes on the Savior.
Your Elder Pedersen
P.S. thank you so much for your prayers and your love.