Monday, November 28, 2011

A Grateful Heart...

Querida familial,

I'm glad that you talked about gratitude because this week I have to try and look for the bright side of things and I hope you're in that mood too because as of Monday when I was on internet I plugged my card in to send you more pictures but what happened is there was a virus in the computer and it got on my card that goes in my camera and erased many pictures and videos, about 300 and something and so I was freaking out and after looking for a while for a place to fix this problem to see if somebody could get my pictures back because when that happens the virus only hides the pictures but doesn't erase them, we found a guy who is an engineer in computers and he knew his stuff, but after about an hour he told me that he couldn't get my pictures back because the virus was so bad and had already damaged the pictures. And so I was so frustrated and the funny thing is that the spirit told me several times before to make a back up but I never had the chance to do it but it was a lesson learned.

This has happened to so many missionaries except that some of them had their camera stolen too. I'm glad this happened now than at the end of my mission because now I'm going to take more pictures and always make a back up of everything. Yeah lame huh and yeah me too for not making a back up. I'm pretty irritated because I had many videos but yeah don't kill me.

I was wondering if I could send the card to you guys and try and get some videos and pictures back. But it's your call if you think it's worth it or do you think that I should just format everything? Think about it.

Well on to something happier lol. This week was a good week because the two girls that we are teaching want to get baptized and so we are super happy about that. It's all working out because their grandparents are members and help a lot. Members really are the key.

The big family that I have told you about didn't come to church again because they have meetings as fireman this month and so I was kind of sad cause that means the I won't be here if they get baptized if I get changed out because we have changes in two weeks and they won't be able to go to church until January, but we went over for lunch yesterday after they invited us over and we had a lot of fun. I'm going to call that my Thanksgiving dinner because I actually forgot that it was Thanksgiving this past week because we didn't do anything and they obviously don't celebrate it here or in Mexico so we did nothing. But anyways the family really loves me and they know we have changes in two weeks so they said that they don't want to meet other Elders cause they are already used to me, but I know that they will be o.k. cause I want to commit them to baptism before I leave so they keep listening to the elders and preparing themselves. But I really love that family they are so awesome and I want this gospel in their life so bad because I know it will do miracles for them.

Yesterday we had a sector slam in my first sector which is when all the elders go and help knock doors to find people for that sector. And since I'm in the same stake and have been for a year in total I went there to knock doors and I had an impression to go to the house of one of my converts that I baptized in that ward.  I went their kind of nervous because he doesn't go to church much, but when I showed up there, we were both super happy to see each other and it was so good to see how he was and so I taught him and it was a great lesson and the spirit was there and it was felt that I loved him and the Lord as well and wanted him to go back to church and he listened to everything I said and told me he was going to go to church and told me he was super happy I passed by. He just needed a little nudge or push back to church and who better to do it then the one who baptized him! I was so happy to have received revelation to go and give him that push.

I really love this ward and this sector. I'm not going to lie but when I first got here I just couldn't wait to leave because I had heard so many bad things about this ward but I love it and we are doing a great work here and seeing miracles. Which speaking of miracles the one about Mary Bennion was incredible; I was in shock when I read it. But yeah I love it and the people seem to love me here too, lol. I wonder what will happen this next change.

Also I got the package you sent me. Thank you so much for being on top of getting me my card and everything and the shirt was hilarious! I love it. Only if it was in Spanish so I could wear it around. Lol I'll let you know when I get the next one.

I have learned so much these past changes more than I ever thought I would. I am really coming to love these people and the people that come from other countries, I'm learning a lot, the mission is going by fast and I may not remember all that I did on the mission but I will cherish the things I have learned forever. I know and testify that God knows us and gives us the challenges that we need to progress. We are here to progress, that was the reason we chose to come here, now we need to give God our will because that's the only thing he doesn't have from us. I'm learning to be a true disciple of Christ and stand by him even when it is hard.

I can't believe all that is going on at home I'm so happy that Shanna is doing good with the baby, it's also crazy to think that Kenny has a license let alone Kellin driving, so crazy!

Well I love you all and I love hearing the blessings that are being poured out over you all while I am here serving the Lord, I can see it and feel it. Thank you for your prayers and your thoughts.

Con amor infinito,
Elder Pedersen

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Well I was kind of disappointed for not having received a letter from mom today. Something must have happened and not sent. (He ended up receiving my letter!! Phew)

Well on to a new subject, I cannot believe Kenny's voice!! Good job Kenny. I would never think that he would do something like that in front of people, at least before my mission, because he is obviously changed. I didn't even recognize his voice when I heard it. That song by the way is awesome and made me want to cry hearing it, especially because Kenny was singing it. Man I miss my brothers! Did someone assign him to sing it? How did Stake conference go?

Well this week has been a great one for me. I and my companion are doing really great and we had a baptism yesterday and it was way awesome. We have been waiting for that day forever and it finally came. We made programs that on the back members could write their testimonies and give it to him to remember them. He was super nervous and I got the change to baptize him so I was super grateful for that opportunity. There were a couple things that didn't go exactly right like when the little kids were running around blowing whistles and throwing grass into the baptismal font lol but other than that it was great and he felt the cleansing of his sins.

We also gave talks yesterday and I talked about the power of the Book of Mormon and my companion talked about finding joy in making others happy through the gospel and after we put books of Mormons and folletos outside the sacrament room we were happy to see that they were all gone and people were actually asking us for more but we didn't have any more and so we were super happy cause people felt the spirit and wanted to be part of the work. People came up to us and gave us compliments. It's going good in the ward and we are getting to know the ward more and more each day. Truly you can make a difference in someone's life from the love that is shown to them.

I'm learning a lot from Elder Lugo and we are having fun in the work trying to be obedient because we have realized that the little things count and make all the difference. The small and simple things bring about the great things. Never be a slacker and do a half a job because laziness is the biggest tool that Satan uses, he tries to convince people to do it the easy way.
Also earlier this week we had a lesson with a guy and we were feeling that even though we taught him everything, we felt like he wasn't progressing. We wanted to ask him to be baptized, so we were going to ask him and if he said no we would stop passing by for a while. It's hard because we love him and want him to have this joy in his life. Well, we passed by and his 15 year old son was with him and we taught them and the spirit was there and we instead of directing the lesson only to the dad we did more so to the son because we found out he is looking for the true church as well as the dad is a little shy.

I then felt impressed to ask them to come to the church to do a tour and the same day we did the tour there was a ward activity and the ward members got to know the family and they felt really comfortable. We were so happy for them and felt the joy from helping bring one soul to God. It was strange, but we didn't even feel impressed to asked him to be baptized and we were happy about that cause it showed that God had other things planned for him to prepare him to accept the gospel.

We have many other people we are teaching as well. I'm not sure if you remember but we are teaching a family that the dad doesn't or didn't like gringos and his wife died not too long ago. But anyways I have seriously come to love the family and we have been praying for all of our investigators so much especially this family because I know that his wife wants him and his family to accept this gospel because she was a member. So we passed by yesterday with the hermana that gave us the reference and we watched the Joseph Smith movie and they felt the spirit really strong and the hermana gave testimony as well as my companion and I. She started to cry and at the end the dad and the wife of his son were crying too. I know they felt the spirit. That night we also gave their daughter a blessing cause she was really sick throwing up and after we did she fell right asleep, so they were able to see the power of the priesthood. I really love the family and hope they get baptized while I'm in this sector because they have come so far. They say that I'm spoiled in their family. It's funny because I have to try hard to get in that house and to convince them to listen to me, because I am a gringo.

Well I love you all and I hope to get the letter from mom next week or something because dad cut his short so mom could talk about everything.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Con amor,
Elder Pedersen

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

I miss times and days like those where we just have our day with either mom or dad. I'm thankful for parents who take the time throughout their busy life to spend time and play games and do things with us and to dedicate certain days to each child. My parents are awesome! Just a side

I got the video of dad in the mountains but for some reason I couldn't hear anything. But the pictures are beautiful.

I loved the lesson about cleaning the inner vessel. I love teaching with visual things like that. I have made some stuff like that to teach better but especially now I like having lessons like that because right now we are teaching little kids around the age of 9 to 13 and sometimes its hard cause they get distracted very easily and sometimes it's hard cause we usually are teaching adults and so when we teach kids I sometimes forget to simplify everything so they understand and so I think it's good that you teach with objects.

Well this week was a little different. We passed by a kid whose parents wanted us to come by and get his kid to believe in God and so we passed by and passed by and we tried teaching the dad the gospel as well but he only believes in God not organized religion and so we are trying to get him to understand that there is more than just believing in God. But we focused more on the kid and we talked about all the reasons why God exists ( by the way he is 15) and after we told him that he doesn't need to believe us but ask his Heavenly Father if he really is there and so he accepted and he did it. So the next time we passed by he said he did it and received an answer and that he felt a peace and so we were super excited and so we started teaching him about the restored church and he accepted everything. So then we pass by a week later and his dad was there and we started teaching him, but his dad said that we basically did are job and so we should feel satisfied with that. So I kind of got frustrated cause we started having an influence on his son and so I got kind of angry even though I shouldn't have and told them that faith without works is dead and so it doesn't matter if you believe in God until you do something with it. But overall it was frustrating and I hope that they will let us come back into their house because it's just sad to see people that believe that they will get into the kingdom of heaven by saying they believe in God. But it seems hard at times for people to believe that they have to live the gospel and do the things Christ has taught us to do so they can be together with their families forever and receive not only a fullness of joy in the next life but in this life a well.

We are also teaching two granddaughters of a member and so we are way excited to see them progress and help them increase their faith in Jesus Christ and take all the steps to return to God and it's been an awesome experience to hear testimony's of the members. Having members in a lesson is the key because it gives the member a chance to bear their testimony and to have it grow, plus the investigator can hear another persons testimony of things rather than from two youngens in dress cloths and a plaque.

I just hope we don't loose any of our investigators cause we have come so far with them and I really have come to love them. Huh (Maybe I need to tell them that so they know) but really that's one of the hardest parts about missionary work, is to leave someone behind because they can't believe.

So anyway, thank you for your prayers and I love you all to pieces and pray for you every day. I can't believe that Kenny is already taking senior pictures; I was shocked to hear that! Man time fly's by, so take hold of it and make the best out of it while you got the chance.

Les Amo y espero que todo les vaya bien esta semana!
Elder Pedersen

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Querida Familia!!

Querida Familia,

This week seemed like a great week for you all. I can't believe that the holidays are already coming so fast it's crazy! This week was a little crazy and awesome for me and the mission because on Saturday we got to see an apostle!! We all knew that someone would come because the north mission was there and president was supper excited. So well you probably all guessed it but elder cook came! I knew he would be the one to come because dads said that when he went to stake conference he was going to come here in November and so when he first walked in he wanted to shake all our hands and so I got to shake his hand but it was supper fast because there was so many people. I wanted to talk to him about when he went to Medford but I obviously couldn't. So he spoke to us but it seemed really short the whole thing and he had a translator so I was glad I got to understand him in English because in Spanish it was just different.

He talked to us about thrusting in our sickle and establishing the church here in Chile through the Lords help instead of only baptizing we need to reactivate people through going over things that important because the first vision and the plan of salvation are the two things that people generally remember but they need to remember for example the apostasy and need to know the Joseph Smith was called as prophet to restore the new and last dispensation and he talked about how bishops and even apostles don't know why they are called to the position that they are but they adapt and move on and change and get outside the box and think about the people they serve. He said that sometimes as apostles they don't feel adequate enough to be an apostle. He said every Thursday Elder Packer tells the brethren that he still doesn't know why he's here and so they say if he doesn't then how are we to know. Lol

He then answered questions and I liked when he said that we will never be the missionaries that we want to be, we will never be a perfect missionaries but we will become great missionaries if we live by what is set before us (rules). He also said that once we understand that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ not only gets us salvation but also gets rids us of all the (un) fairness in the world and come to know Him, then we can and will be able to testify of Jesus Christ just as any other person in the church. He then left us a blessing that future generations will be blessed and will remember our service that we gave here in Chile and that we will be blessed and he said some other stuff as well but it was really great. Like Dad said he is not as outgoing as some of the other apostles and he may only be a man but I felt he really is a special witness of Jesus Christ and a chosen servant of the Lord.

So also I got the package from the family! I'm not sure if everything was in their when I got it but I received the foot soles, some candy and picture book with a card. It looked like it was opened when I got it so I hope everything was in their but thank you for the pictures. They are awesome and everybody looks so great and holy cow Kellin and McKenna look so big! Gosh that's crazy no wonder Kellin has been getting the Gosh everything seems so different back at home. But thank you for the pictures, they are way awesome oh and the foot soles. They are way awesome!

Me and my companion are doing really great and are finding so many people and the members are giving us references and me and my companion are growing together. And we are continuing teaching a family and its going really good, I was scared that they wouldn't accept without the Chilean but they said they are ready to go to the church and so we were really excited but they forgot but they are going to go next week. I really see the desire in the family to know these things especially the Dad because his wife died 2 years ago and so I think he wants these things to be true and so we pray that we can help these investigators that God has given us to baptize and come to Christ.

So pray for our investigators.

Les amo y siempre están en mis oraciones
 Elder Pedersen