Monday, June 27, 2011

District Leader and now Training Too....

Alright so this week has been crazy and this next week will be even better. Well to start off we had changes and we got the call last night to find out that I was leaving the sector which really bummed me out. I really can say though that I have learned what the Lord wanted me to learn and its crazy to me but when I started my change with Elder Mortensen in Apoquindo I really didn't like it and thought I was being punished but as I look back just from last change not only did I figure out that God truly chastises those he loves and that God knows us better than we know ourselves but I learned to love my companion even though I never thought it would be that way and I ended the change wanting to stay with him. It's crazy to think about that now, but I really have learned so much.

Anyway, to continue it was really sad to leave and you know the investigator that wanted to stop smoking, yeah well we had a awesome lesson about fasting with a strong member family who smoked since they were 12 and Belen felt the spirit and felt the desire to change, so this last week she decided she wanted to fast with us as well so we did it and afterwards she had no desire to smoke again, I was so happy and it strengthened my testimony of the power of prayer and fasting, it was a total miracle. She is doing amazing and is going to get baptized here soon, but when she found out I was leaving she called at night almost crying. She told me that we had truly helped her change and want to become better, she said she had tried everything to stop smoking and to have a desire to be better but there was nothing until we came along. I love seeing those changes in people's lives from the gospel; It's such a miracle, nothing can change lives as does the gospel, It just stunk because we never got a chance to take a picture.

So I got to changes early in the morning because they wanted certain people to be their early and so I got there to find out that I'm training!! Woohoo president talked to us about a new training program that the apostles are doing and its going to be awesome, I was in shock. That means my dad will be a grandpa before he goes; he was so excited for me. I really want to be my best and I'm sure I will learn so much from my son! Lol. So tomorrow morning I go and pick him up with the other 19 trainers. I'm stoked! Also that means that I will be getting white washed into a sector because the last two elders their went home and so I'm kind of scared cause its a huge sector, way bigger than my last one. So I'm really to introduce him to Chile. Oh and I'm also still district leader, yeah can you say a lot of responsibility! But the lord thinks I can do it and I learned last change that God always knows best, He knows what will make me grow the most.

It's so crazy to think like Dad when he said how fast time is just flying by. It's so crazy to think a year ago I was at the coast just me and dad. Missionaries say that the first year goes by the slowest but for me it went by super fast so I can't imagine what the second year will be like. Hitting my year mark soon makes me look back at all I have done and have become but I know there is so much more for me out there to learn.

By the way I will try to send a CD but just to let you know I really don't take as many pictures as I should so I will try to become better at it this change.

Well I got to go but I love each of you and I love hearing
Of all the changes that are going on back at home.

Be obedient in everything!
Con Amor 

-Elder Pedersen

Monday, June 20, 2011

Miracles in the service of the Lord...

Happy father's day!! I couldn't help but think of my Dad all yesterday and think of all things that I have learned throughout my life because of the great example of my dad. I'm so lucky and blessed to have a dad who is strong in the faith and shows the spiritual giant he is by how he acts day by day. I love you so much dad and even though I didn't get to talk to you on Father's day I'm glad I get to at least tell you how much I love you.

You all cannot by the way keep talking about Chanelle coming home because I just get super trunky. Lol
I'm actually surprised that you all have kept it in till now. Mom hasn't said anything. I seriously cannot believe that she is already coming home. I don't want her to, it's so weird and I wish I totally could see her walk down out of the airport to see how much she has changed. I want so many pictures and maybe if possible a video along with it. It would be the best.

Well I cannot believe that Seth came back already, seems like the lord has done a lot with him, did he say a lot of words in Spanish on accident? Man all this talk about homecomings and marriages kind of makes me trunky and scared. Which by the way I cannot believe that Danielle Schumway is getting married to someone that much older than her it's insane, I can't help but think that when she was in kindergarten he was on a mission. But I guess age doesn't matter like you said.

I'm glad that you were all able to get all these things done that you needed to get done; it's amazing to see the miracles happen when you're in the service of the lord. God will always help us accomplish the tasks when it is for the benefit of his children.

Well just so you know yes its freezing here and only getting colder, it makes me grateful for the warm clothes that we bought before my mission so I didn't have to buy anything here. It rained so much the other day and is supposed to rain a bunch during this week.

Investigator wise we are doing well, and we are trying to work hard to find new at the same time teaching others. Belen is doing awesome and we had so many good lessons with her that was amazing. She is really trying to stop smoking and she went to church and already has a bunch of friends. It just stinks though because her mom thinks that we are there just to teach and help her daughter. We are progressing a lot with her and she went from never wanting to pray to praying in front of her parents for the first time and her parents started to cry because they couldn't believe it. We as well had a great lesson about fasting which could help her a lot and so she called us yesterday and told me that she is going to fast and so I told her how to do it and we talked about it for a while so I'm super excited to see what the results are and we are praying really hard for her. Also last Monday she gave us her weed plant that she was growing, so we took it with us and threw it away. The only thing that I'm scared of is that she has friends who influence her and so we are just praying that she realizes that they are not good for her. She is really progressing and doing awesome. It's amazing how the gospel is such a great motivator. She has tried everything to be better but nothing has worked for her like the gospel. So it's going really great.

This week we also had Elder Zeballos from the first quorum of the seventy come and president spoke and his wife which was so amazing and then he spoke. I wish I could say all the things he said but it was one of the best capacitaions that I have been to. He is truly an amazing man with a strong firm testimony of the gospel. He caught our attention every minute that he spoke, I loved every single second. We learned about love, diligence, humility and so much more and he had something amazing to say about each one of them. I took so many notes and I wish I could say more but I don't have time. I left wanting to be better and do better.

Sorry this is a short letter but I want you to know I loves you all and I'm sorry for not sending pictures, I will do better at it but I have come to the conclusion that sister missionaries are better at that stuff. Lol Have a great week and I love you Dad. I will try and give you that gift.

- Elder Pedersen

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Peace of the gospel...

I’m glad everybody is doing great. I totally was thinking about Skyler on Wednesday, wow I can’t believe that we are serving together right now at this moment. I can’t believe that he is district leader too. He will find that it’s a whole different thing in the field, I can’t wait for him.

This week for me has been a great one. First of all I hit my 11 months in the field; it was way weird to think about. We also had capacitations this week with the president and it went really well, he had planned to talk about the Book of Mormon but instead we talked about other stuff so sister Laycock had us write in our journal on what we learned because she knew the capacition came from God. And so I learned a lot about how to keep the right attitude and how to stay happy in those hard moments.

Also this week scheduled a baptismal date with two girls, one who is 15 and one who is 8. It’s hard to teach the 8 year old sometimes because I swear she has ADD so we try and teach her little at a time and I try and be more entertaining when I teach. So she is excited but she still needs to learn tons. Also the 15 year old girl and her mom were found when we did a family home evening with their neighbors and they invited us over. The lessons that we have with them have been awesome and they truly want to change their lives around. One time we went over to teach them with a joven from the ward who is her friend and we taught about many things and tried to answer her questions. The spirit was their so strong and at one point in the lesson the 15 year old girl ran out crying because she told us that she felt that God had left her totally alone in her life but then we asked her if she thought she might have left Him? Her mom also said to her that maybe she was supposed to learn from what she went through and then said she I can’t do this and ran to her room crying. We kind of felt bad but we knew it was because the truth can sometimes be hard to hear. But it was all good because at the end she came out and didn’t want us to leave. As we were teaching we knew that they had felt the spirit and the mom said so too and as we were teaching and testifying, I looked over and the joven we brought with us was crying. He said later that he never felt the sprit that strong before. It was an awesome lesson. I truly felt guided in every part of the lesson.

She and her mom are really in a dark hole in their lives. They both love when we come over and the girl wants us to come over every day. The girl has been smoking and drinking since she was 12 with her friends that we also met. She also told us later that the reason that she was crying the other day was because she was raped when she was younger and she also likes girls a bit but also guys she said. And she doesn’t go to school because of some problems, and so yeah you can say she has a lot of problems.

But we went over on Saturday and taught her again and invited her to the church and we had a great lesson about baptism and she said after that she wanted to be baptized. She said she wants to change her life completely and so she talked to her mom and she went to church yesterday but she said that we have to have patience with her because it will be hard for her to quit a lot of things. We also tried to invite her mom as well but she says it is impossible to quit smoking but we testified that it is possible and that it’s just how Jesus says in the scriptures to us; Come unto me so I can heal you. I told her that Jesus can truly heal her and anything is possible with the help of the Lord, we just have to do our part and go to Him.

I’m really excited!! Elder Mortensen and I have seen so many blessings and miracles in this change. It’s been great and we have many investigators who are on their way to be baptized.

Yesterday we were in the mountains to get an investigator and we set an appointment with him and for some reason we both got the urge to go as far as we could up into our sector because it goes way up into the mountains. So we finally got to the top and the sight was amazing especially because it was at night and we just sat there thinking and talking and it was so peaceful. It was like a breath of fresh air. So many thoughts popped into my head. Just seeing all the people in Santiago, you just start thinking a lot. I wish I would have had my camera but it was so cool. It was so crazy to think how we are in charge of getting the gospel to all of these people and I thought of how amazing it is that God knows and loves all of his children. It just seemed unreal to me but I knew it was true. What a peace that is! Also looking down it was crazy to think how people are so busy in their lives that many don’t even take time to look up to God, and I just thought how I never want to be caught up in the things of the world and be distracted because it’s so easy to do so in a world like this. I don’t want to ever become unfocused in my life as a missionary or as a child of God. The blessings are too great to do so.

We then said a personal prayer and then one as a companionship to ask the lord how we can live up to our potential and thanked Him for the things we learned. I’m learning a lot being here in Chile, in this sector and with my companion. God has a reason for everything and I hope I’m learning what the lord wants me to learn being here.

We too on Sunday learned about being doers in elders quorum, we truly all love being in our comfort zones and we can and should pray to Heavenly Father to know the things we need to do to get out of our comfort zone. We all have a circle and we have to get out of it to be able to grow. I liked what you said Mom about how many of the things the Lord asks us to do is out of that comfort zone. But truly when we act we receive the blessings, because every blessing that we receive is through obedience. We give our will to our Father just as the Savior did.

I loved reading Dads letter about Elder Cook. It was funny because when dad asked a question to him, he didn’t get the answer he wanted or not much of one. I didn’t expect him to be a quieter guy. I truly look up to those men and can’t believe all that they do. Their meetings in the temple must be amazing. Reading the stories of the earlier apostles and the power they had to do the things they did, it’s amazing to think that you all got to hear a special witness of Jesus Christ one with the same authority as early apostles.

That’s awesome that Kenny’s talk went well, he is a stud and is doing awesome. That would have been cool to hear him give it.

Well sorry I’m getting this letter to you all so late but we went rock climbing with 4 other elders and we got back a little late. It was way fun but I found that I turned into a little wimp but don’t worry not too little of a wimp. lol I got to work out more so I don’t come home super small.

I love you all and keep up the great work!!
Live up to your potential.

Elder Pedersen

Monday, June 6, 2011

Joy in this Journey...

Wow I opened my inbox to see a bunch of letters with so much information. I felt like I was truly filled in with all the news that happened this last week. First of all I can't believe that Elder cook came!! I'm so jealous and even more jealous that he sat right next to Dad during lunch. I've always wanted to sit down with an apostle and just talk with him. Lol I hope to be informed on the things he said.

I also can't believe that Skyler is so close to leaving! I cannot believe that it's coming so soon, and I'm glad that he was able to basically be healed from the priesthood blessing. That's amazing!

So you didn't tell me either, the kids get out soon from school right? What are the trips that you are It's crazy to think that 11 months and two days I was in summer weather and now its freezing cold and pouring down rain. Well today isn't so bad with the weather but yesterday we were pretty wet.

I'm surprised that dad was able to arrive late to a race and pass everybody up and also put out a good time. Well I guess I wasn't really surprised I knew my dad could do it even with his knees.

Well this week there is not much to tell but it was kind of a weird and difficult one because the first couple days of the week I got sick, I think because of the changes in the weather, but I'm good now and I still tried to work. Right now we are trying to work really hard with a bunch of people toward baptism even though it's been a bit hard because the church is a bit far away and its cold outside which is usually their excuse. Their is one lady that we are teaching that it's hard to get her to progress because she can't read because of her eyes and can't get them fixed because she is poor and she can't go to the church on Sundays because she takes care of her dad who is disabled and always needs someone to watch him or else she would go to the church and get baptized. So we bought her CDs of the book of Mormon to listen to and give her that excitement to get to church.

I have been learning a lot with my companion and with being district leader and in preparing the lessons for the classes each week. I have learned that the attitude makes all the difference in the success of a missionary. I have been preparing the class on successful missionaries, and turning to the scriptures I have learned a bunch. If we truly go to the scriptures with a question or with a subject already in mind you truly learn a lot more. I went to the scriptures and thought about those missionaries who had such great success and to find out why. Even though Ammon and the sons of Mosiah were about to preach to people who delighted in bloodshed and were a ferocious people there was many souls brought to the knowledge of the gospel. And I wondered if we as missionaries can be like those great examples in the book of Mormon. The sons of Mosiah and also Alma and Amulek truly went to preach the gospel with faith trusting that the lord would provide a way. We can truly be like those examples because if we truly do everything with an eye single to the glory of our God, we can be true disciples and become worthy instruments in the hands of God.

After the disciples in the New Testament saw the resurrected Christ and after Jesus taught them they didn't just go on normally with their occupations or continue going through the motions of life but rather they went out and taught and bore the testimony that they had of the Savior in temples and in the synagogues and to everyone. And that is what we as disciples and members should do with the testimony that we have. God will never hold back the growth of anybody's testimony who shares it. God didn't give us a testimony to hide it and bury it, but to share it to bless the lives of many others. That's how we become TRUE disciples of our Savior.

I love this gospel and I know it's true as well as the Book of Mormon; hopefully we can always go forth to do the work of the Lord with a perfect trust in Him with an eye single to the glory of God. I truly have come to love the chapters in Alma. The ones of Alma and Amulek and the chapters after the conversion of king Lamoni.

I love you all tons and even though I'm so far away I feel so close,
Thank you McKenna for the drawings! Seems McKenna is getting her teeth back. Lol

I will try and buy something to where I can send pictures since I lost my last one.

Work hard and become the person you want to be each day!
Con mucho Amor,

Elder Pedersen