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