Monday, January 31, 2011

With love from Chile...

Love One Another

As missionaries approached the chapel for our January "revelatory experience," (change meeting) they all passed by this man sitting just outside of the gates of the church grounds. One companionship of missionaries stopped to share with him a small lesson and a church pamphlet. Most walked right by him without speaking to him.

During our "revelatory experience" this man entered the chapel. President Laycock invited him to come in and sit with us. Imagine the surprise of our missionaries when he quietly removed his blanket and wig, came to the microphone, and bore his testimony!

President and Sister Laycock and the Assistants had previously arranged for him to dress as "one of the least of these" and visit our meeting so that we could remind one another of the importance of loving and serving all of God's children without unfairly judging them.

We discussed the need for us as representatives of Christ to be His arms and to reach out to all of those in need of His restored gospel. It was a powerful lesson about love and charity, and we all committed to be better representatives of our Savior as we search for people to love and serve.

Wow I had no idea that you all went to Arizona! That is so weird because like you said I feel like I was just there with you both! Holy cow this time is flying by fast! That is so awesome that Nancy and Emma were baptized. It totally made my day and also thank you dad for all the pictures that you sent. McKenna and Emma looked so cute together. I couldn't stop smiling lol. I bet the whole baptism was way awesome and spiritual, I wish I could have been there to see our family and one of God's children make that covenant with him and come to his fold and take part of all the blessing's that God has in store for them. What an awesome experience that must have been for all of you and for dad to be able to confirm her as well.

Also tell Kenny that I said happy birthday! And I'm glad that he loved Arizona as much as I did. Tell that stud that I love him and to keep working hard in everything. I feel bad for not writing Kenny or the rest of the family and some others. But I'm always so busy doing stuff on P-days and I really never have time for anything. My companion always wants to play soccer. But I hope one day I will have a whole day to just write letters. Also, I don't have changes for another 2 weeks. Just a side note.

This week we have actually been doing really good and we committed someone to a baptism date on he accepted, but it's really hard to get him to progress because he lives with his girlfriend and loves to party and what not. But this week we also committed this other lady and she really wants to get baptized but she has to ask her husband. So we are praying that she will go through with it because her little kids would then be baptized also. This week has been great even though we are not finding tons of people. I have really felt the joy, happiness and satisfaction that come with preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

I was really jealous to hear that now two apostles have come to teach and speak in Chanelle's mission. We don't get apostles or anyone down here. Only president Costa comes down here but I wasn't even here at the time. I think they are worried about the whole earthquake thing. That's why we think they haven't come in a while.

I loved the quote that Chanelle gave about what can I do to offend Satan today? I always wonder if I'm doing enough to bring glory to my Heavenly Father. And I always pray for the courage to follow the spirit and stop people in the street and talk to them. I don't always feel like I'm not doing enough to frustrate the work of Satan.

Also I'm glad that you received the package that I sent to you all. And I'm glad you liked it. Did the jacket end up fitting Kellin or Kenny? And did you love the alfajores? They are way good huh?

Well I love you all. I'm glad you all had a great time in Arizona.

Until next week
Con Amor

-Elder Pedersen

Monday, January 24, 2011

Working hard...and loving it!

Thank you for all your prayers and thank you Mom and Dad for all you letters that I receive. Just like Chanelle says, I can always feel your prayers as I am involved in this work.

I cannot believe mom that you were able to move your arm after that. I thought it would have been worse for sure. What a miracle! I always pray for the entire family, their isn't a night that I miss praying for you all. I love you all so much and that has only increased being on my mission.

I feel horrible for not writing people back, I totally know I need to do that. I have no idea how Chanelle has the time to be able to write everyone back. It really is hard to find time but maybe I don't write everyone back because I feel like I need to actually sit down and write a long letter to people. But I guess it doesn't have to be that way. Hey by the way did you get my package? I know it wasn't the best package in the world lol, but I hope you got it, also did the Coffman's get my letter?

Mom the lesson that you gave on Sunday totally reminded me of the talk by Holland. I'm not sure if you have listened to it but it's called the inconvenient Messiah. He gave it to all the BYU students when he was president. I heard it when I was on my mission and it talks about that exact same thing and is totally amazing. There are tons of other talks you can get from But anyway, just a side note. It sounded like your lesson went really good.

Yeah I gave my talk yesterday. It was on service and I spoke for 15 min. And surprisingly I wasn't really nervous. And I didn't say um. Lol.

I related my talk to how we should serve the members in the ward and I quoted the talk by Dallen H Oaks about how we need to change are attitudes about going to church cause some people say that the church isn't fulfilling their needs. But instead our experience in the church can be a whole lot better when we reach out to those that don't have friends and serve. It was good; I just hope people could understand me with my still gringo accent. as opposed to talking with your mouth more open and really pronuciating every word. Our ward mission leader spoke after us so the people could totally tell the difference between good talk and Chilean talk.

This week we have been teaching a lot of less actives and recent converts that are finding it hard to go to church. And we have been teaching them to "cast therefore away thy fear", like Paul says in the scriptures. And how like you said Dad Satan tries to put lies into our heads and deceive us. It's all over through the B of M and Bible. So we have been really helping them all in that area and trying to be bold with them as well.

This week we went to visit with a family who I totally love. The one that my trainer and his old companion baptized and we knew that he was going through some hard times in the family. And so we went over and he straight out told us he needs help and that he is starting to drink again and he can't help it. He was totally crying because he feel like he should go to a doctor to get help but he knows we can help him because the missionaries have helped him before. So every day during the week at 4pm we have been calling him because that is his hardest time of the day and we gave him a blessing and I told him that what really helps me is fasting and that truly fasting can give us power from the adversary, and can take that desire away that he has to drink. I really felt bad for him because he really wants to be the best for his family.

Also today we went (seriously) everywhere in Santiago I felt. We went to San Cristobel where it has the huge statue of the virgin Mary that everybody around the word comes and sees not only because of sacred meaning for them, but the view is amazing. We saw a couple that we just realized from being called on a mission. And they told us that brother Corbridge was their too, even though we didn't see him. But still cool to know he was there. There were a lot of different people that came to see it from all around the world. So it was pretty weird to hear others speak in English around me. And the view seriously was the best view in all of Santiago because it's the highest place. Then we went to Santa Lucia for a bit to eat at ruby Tuesdays which totally made my day as well as all the other missionaries that were with us. I felt like I was in the U.S. I loved it. Then I heard some Michael buble which totally made me trunky listening to. Lol It was a crazy day. We traveled tons!

Well I want you to know I love you all and I love this work.
I'm thankful for this wonderful opportunity to be here serving the people in Chile.

Thank you mom and dad for you uplifting letters that just make me even more want to get out their and spread

This message of hope that we carry each day as members of the true church of Christ.
Work hard and always do what's right.
Con Amor,

Elder Pedersen

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sick with the Flu....

First of all thank you Mom and Dad for all your inspiring and energizing letters. I look forward every Monday to reading everyone's letters.

This week was a little different because I was sick with flu, cold and the chills for 3 days and I still don't feel that great, it just stunk because we weren't able to do much this past week. I was so excited to get out of the house and start working; I couldn't stand being in the house. It's weird because as a missionary it's hard just to sit around and not do much. And it also didn't help going to go get my carnet on Friday because I had to go and wait in lines forever with some other missionaries. And I had to sit in lines and the place where we were at didn't have a bathroom to blow my nose and the nearest bathroom was 3 blocks always and to use it I had to pay 200 pesos. So I was miserable the whole day and the next day we had to stay in the pension because I was feeling even worse. And so because of that I feel super behind in the sector. So this week we are going to work a lot.

But the day that we did have a chance to work, we taught a lot of lessons and found some people and also taught some less-active lessons.

But like you said Dad, I can't waste anytime because this is most likely my last month in this sector so I want to work my hardest this month. I have a feeling I will get a Latino for my next companion, well at least I want one because I want to get better at my Spanish even though I have learned tons and I know how to carry myself with the language, I know it would help a lot.

I'm glad you all had fun watching family home videos, I miss that day where we could just come home after church and relax and watch home videos. I could totally see Dad laughing his head off as you all watched them. I was laughing when you told me about how you were like the dad off of the movie the Christmas vacation. He always reminds me of him for some reason.

Thank you also for the story you sent to me. It was a way cool story; I might use some of it in my talk that I have to give next week that I'm not really looking forward to. But it's about service and I, my comp., and our new ward mission leader all have to speak for 15 min...I'm kind of scared but not nearly as much as I was when I had to give one in my first change.

Well sorry this one is a bit short. And also have you all gotten the package that I sent you?

And yes Mom I was in the Olympics. They took a lot of pictures of us; I guess they only choose a couple to go on the website. But I am in the picture with the tunnels. I'm the one crawling through the tunnel and almost at the end.

Also tell those that are waiting for a letter that I'm working on it. lol especially the Coffmans since they write me so consistently.

Well I absolutely love you all and I love hearing that everyone is happy and doing great.

Choose the right always

Con Amor,
Elder Pedersen

Monday, January 10, 2011

You reap what you Sow...

It's hot and only getting hotter! But I am loving it here. We had changes today and we got the call and I found out that I'm staying in the same ward again. I wasn't disappointed but I wanted to leave to get to know other wards and experience different areas but I'm content with what the Lord has given me and I'm staying with the same companion and same area for a reason. I'm excited also because I know I'm really going to change these next week's with the goals that I want to accomplish, and through my obedience and diligence and with the right desires for everything, the Lord will keep putting people in our path and I will really be the servant and representative that the Lord wants me to be and we will continue to see miracles like we have been seeing. I have really changed a lot from the time that I was with my trainer and now after being with my new companion Elder Fiscuss, and in a good way too. Before with the couple two changes I kinda went with the flow with missionary work and I guess you could say I didn't fully understand it either but now I really have learned to think and meditate on why I am really here and what I am doing. I have had a lot of time to think about it and have had some spiritual experiences. When I was first put with my new companion I was honestly scared but I figured out I could walk on my own and I learned to put full trust in the hands of the Lord and what could come out of that. But pushing my companion hard and not giving up even when it was difficult helped us both grow together.

During this week we had lunch with a hermano and his family, he had served a mission and told us how important the mission was to him and he said that the mantle that we have and that he had as a missionary is truly powerful and we have a one on one connection with the Lord because we are representatives of him and he said he has never felt that same mantle in any other calling. I really felt the sprit as he was talking and saying this to us. I don't want to waste a second of my mission! I can't afford to, this is only a short time to be on a mission. It will fly bye. There is so much I want to become and to learn and I know I can do it if I give all I have to God through my obedience. One thing that our President said to us this morning that hit me was you reap what you sow. if I want more knowledge than I have got to study, if I want success and to feel the spirit than I have got to be obedient. It's as simple as that and in return the Lord blesses us. That is exactly how it is with everything in life. I know I am a representative of my savior Jesus Christ and I know why I'm here. I am literally set apart on a higher plane from the world.

Thank you for all the letters and the pictures, it seems like it was a great turn out for Ethans farewell. I'm excited for him and i know he will definitely grow. I hope everything is going good? I pray for you all every night. I truly love each one of you.

Thank you Dad for the letters, I was bawling when I read the letter. This is truly the chosen generation and I know we are coming to the time when the Savior will come. I see it every day here in Chile in how much Satan works on the sons and daughters of God. It's sad to see it because Gods side has already won and the irony of all of it is that people are still trying to figure out what side they are on. This week it was really sad because 2 missionaries who were totally awesome, and one of them was my first zone leader messed up by doing some stupid things with girls. I couldn't believe it because I looked up to one of these missionaries a lot. It just shows how much Satan works on the children of God.

Stay strong, all of you. This gospel is true!
You reap what you sow.

I love you all,
Elder pedersen

P.S. You can tell BreAnne that I got her and Devin's letter.
And mom I didn't get Chanelle's letter for some reason.Chow!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Yeah, yesterday around 5 there was another earthquake in Concepcion! It was crazy hearing about it because apparently all the geologists were saying there was not going to be another one for a while. I think there will be an earthquake here sometime soon. All the missionaries have been talking about it. I think the mission president knows something that we don't because he has been visiting all the pensions with his wife and the assistants which he never does ever. The only time he has done that was before the last earthquake and he is still begging missionaries to get their emergency backpacks ready. And Mom you remember the letter you read about sister Laycock's dream she had about the last earthquake? Well president received revelation at that time also, and it was that something was going to happen to humble the people in Santiago. Well the people are not humble at all from the last one. Everybody thinks that the first one was just a warning for us. Crazy, huh? It's all good though, don't freak out. lol

Well this New Year we didn't do anything, we actually had to be in the pension at 8 because of all the parties and bad stuff in the streets that were going on that night, as well as all the traditions that people do here as well, there is a bunch of weird traditions that the Chileans do here. Such as wearing yellow underwear for good luck, walking around with a suitcase which gives luck to the families that hopefully will get to travel this next year, throwing rice around everywhere, and of course drinking like crazy and then sleeping the entire next day. haha. There are a lot more strange traditions.

So basically it was hard this week to find people to teach because they were mostly all with family partying or on family vacations and some of our investigators say to come back in February. It stinks because one of our investigators was totally interested but we think he was influenced by his wife not to listen to us because they are all catholic. Our other investigator was super interested in family history and she came to the church to do some and we taught her the first lesson with her husband and she was interested but her husband wasn't. So we passed by and she didn't seem that interested anymore. It was kind of frustrating. So we have been visiting and teaching members and building relationships with them. I guess we just need to keep finding more people to teach every day.

This week I have really been thinking about how I can be better because this week just wasn't that great, we haven't had a lot of success or people to teach. Just like Chanelle says, I feel weak sometimes and I feel like there is so much I want to accomplish being here on my mission. I always have had the question in the back of my head if I'm doing enough every day. But I have noticed that all I have to do is put all my trust in God and the rest always falls into place. I have had that happen so many times being here that I get worried about something and then when I put my trust into the hands of the lord and having a prayer in my heart, everything always seems to work out in the end. I don't know why I seem to forget that sometimes. I need not worry, all God asked of me is to give him my all and in place he will pour out blessings and we will be surprised by the change that will come over us. I always try and remember what Elder Bednar said, "Just be a good little boy or girl and the lord will take care of the rest." I know God can make our weak things become strong when we turn our lives to the lord

I love this gospel and I'm glad to see the good changes that have come over the family since I have been gone. I love you all and I'm glad everybody had fun for the New Years.

To a fresh new start!
Con Amor,
Elder Pedersen

P.S. what is Skylers E-mail or address