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