Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!!! From Chile.

Hey family! After talking to you all I wondered why the Lord has blessed me so much to be born into a family so amazing!

After talking to you my companion said that he felt like he just watched a movie from the states. He thought we were the coolest family he has ever seen and he said it inspired him even though he had no idea what we were saying to have his future family the same way. The family looks so good and seeing you all and talking to you all gave me that burst to be better, to make the family proud. After all I carry the family name with me every day for two years wherever I go.

I felt retarded not being able to speak that great in English, but I hope you loved it all as much as I did. I was just so glad to see everybody looking so good. That was the best present, to see that everybody was doing great!

I have set the goal to write every night and to notice the miracles of the Lord in my life and especially here on the mission because I feel sometimes that we as human beings forget to notice God’s hand. It’s not only thanking God in prayer but writing them down to remember them all and never forget them.
So yesterday after talking to the families we had two important lessons with two families and one of them we had invited them to read the book of Mormon and pray. So we passed by and the dad told us that the Mormon thing and the religion wasn’t for him, but us being confident that the Sprit would help us, we just sat back and listened to him (and praying silently in our hearts for help). We went through the lesson and they had many doubts about temples and why they couldn’t enter in to watch their cousin be married and also why did this religion have to come from the states because its seems like the U.S. tries to convince the world and spread their religion everywhere. We listened and we talked about the Book of Mormon and the importance of it. We bore testimony and told him all the reasons why there needs to be one true church out of them all. We knew he felt the Spirit after we told him some more because he said ¨Well said¨. He ended up convinced that he wasn’t praying or reading very much. So we invited him to do so and he accepted. We also showed him the love we have for him and his family. So we invited him to read a part and decide whether its of God or the devil. Once he realized to was from God we invited him to pray to know if it’s true and then pray together as a family and meditate.
I knew we would have lost them if we didn’t enter with the Spirit and leave them with it. We left with thankful hearts for God allowing us to carry and give us his Spirit in that time of need. We were supper happy cause we really love the family and do want to lose them at all. But there are so many churches, ideas, and false prophets here. We testified the things we shared to be true. These trials make it hard on our investigators and so we are always praying for them and helping them understand that they have to keep reading and praying or satan will use the one doubt that might come to destroy their testimony.

Sorry for now sending pictures but i didn’t want to plug in my card here cause this internet is not great and so I don’t want any pictures erased so I’m going to wait to copy them onto a dvd before I send them to be sure.

Alright so you will have to write me double time or at least send me pictures of what the family got for Christmas for not writing me this week (even though we just talked…. Lol)

Love you all and the pictures will be on the way!

Con Amor,

Elder Pedersen

Monday, December 19, 2011

In Chile and doesn't feel like Christmas.

Thank you for the inspiring letters. That’s way cool to hear that Jordan was called to be assistant to the president, Man I miss all those kids in the ward now serving missions. I knew that Jordan would have a position like that, he's a leader.

This week was a great week for us and we were able to see the blessing from the Lord pouring out upon us. This week I have learned a lot. We revived some of our investigators that were almost dying and we taught great lessons to our investigators giving them promises. The spirit was very potent this week and we felt its power in our teaching. We are so close with coming to baptism with our investigators but right now we are just being patient waiting for the answer to come. I love being a missionary and don’t want this time to end even though I feel like its coming quick.

So yeah about the call, I’m not sure what house I will be in for Christmas cause we have received many invitations from people which is good but hard at the same time to figure out our final decision. The 24th is when everybody has their big celebration here but I will call you all at 6 on the 25. I got all the information and so I’m set to call! I’m way excited and can’t wait to talk to you all, I hope it turns out fine and we can hear and see each other but if there are any problems my number is XXXXXXXX. Alright List!

It seriously does not feel like Christmas at all, we have been in so many houses that just don’t decorate anything, we went to lunch yesterday and the hermana didn’t even have a Christmas tree out, it was kind of sad but it made me glad to be raised in a home where my parents are fanatics about Christmas and live in the spirit of Christmas, I love it all!

On Saturday we went to a recent converts house and their house was all decorated and their tree was decorated almost the exact way that Mom does it and she put on Christmas music in the background and I just couldn’t help but get Trunkey lol. I just started staring at the lights on the tree and started thinking about Christmas back at home for the first time this month, I was kind of irritated cause I thought I would be able to go through the entire month without getting Trunkey. But I guess it’s a good thing to get like that sometimes so I remember what season I’m in.

Well sorry for the short letter but you will get a lot more in 6 days when we talk!
 Come with questions. Love you all and wish you a merry Christmas!

-Elder Pedersen
P.S. I loved the stocking you made
Its way awesome. Makes me want to keep it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 days until Christmas and to talk to you!!!

Hello family!

I'm so excited to be able to talk to you all this Christmas, I have no idea where I'm going to do it all, in what house, but I hope I can do it on a good computer and that everything goes great and that it better than the last Christmas.

And don't worry about the whole picture thing my past companions have some videos and I will have to try and get them from them but yeah I was kind of devastated and thought to myself that my parents are going to kill me for not making a copy but it's weird cause I'm remembering to take more pictures, so I'm taking more pictures to make up for the lost ones.

But I will make another copy of the pictures that I have.

Well I was super happy to hear about Shanna and how well she is doing with her baby and that's it's a girl. I can't wait to be an uncle!

This week was a little different because we actually had our mission activity for Christmas. It was pretty fun; we did a relay race with the whole mission then after went to the church and changed clothes and listened to the president. I'm so glad that I get to pass my entire mission with the same president I love them both and they are so amazing. He spoke to us about many things, He is such an inspired man and I have learned so much from him. They gave the whole mission a pillow case cause in their family they have a lot of traditions and they absolutely love Christmas just like you Mom and dad and one of their traditions is that every year they make pillow cases for their kids at the beginning of the month representing them having dreams of Jesus throughout the month and so they gave us that as well as a journal and a book that he and sister Laycock wrote about Christmas. So it was way cool.

It so weird to be in the heat for Christmas it's like a new world down here but I have to remember that I'm basically at the bottom of the world. But at the same time having it is hot makes not as homesick because it doesn't feel a bit like Christmas.

Oh also yesterday we have changes and I stayed, I was actually happy to because I know me and Elder Lugo could accomplish a lot here and I wanted to do a lot more. It's weird because I will end up spending both of my Christmases here in the stake of Puente alto. I can't believe it, I have been in my first ward for 5 changes and now here for 5 changes but I'm enjoying and taking advantage of being here for this long instead of my first ward. I loved my first ward but I feel like I didn't take advantage of the time but I don't want to make that same choice. I want to work super hard and look back without regrets.

By the way I got the package but was tempted to open the packages but I didn't. But I don't know if you wanted me just to open them right now or if you're sending another package but for right now I won't open it but I'm loving the stories that you gave me, they are all way awesome and I enjoy reading them.

I cannot believe that Kenny will be sending his papers in no time! And that Kellin is 16! It seriously can't be but I'm way excited for Kenny and I can't wait till he gets to that point to getting ready to leave because I will have tons to fill him in on and hints because I know I didn't understand anything about a mission really before I left.

Well I'm not sure if I will be able to answer all the questions that you have for me because there are many, but I hope I can answer them the best that I can. Each one will get a brief response since I don't have much time, sorry.

Well I think what keeps kids making right decisions even when not taught right is that we all have the light of Christ and no matter how they are taught they will feel what they are doing is wrong. Me and my comp. we're talking about this cause the little girl that got baptized has a family who wasn't taught well and now the rest just continue in that path But I think that people always will know good from bad for the light of Christ but I also believe that people can become used to committing such sins over and over again that that light of Christ over time starts to dwindle.

- I wonder sometimes what it was that kept me on the straight and narrow path But I realized that I obtained a testimony of these things early on, maybe I didn't realize it at that time that I even had a strong testimony until I saw people around me falling and at that same time I was able to stand my ground. It's like what it says in the scriptures in Lehi's dream, the barro de hierro will be the thing that will keep us on our feet when the winds blow, and the barro de hierro is the word of God and we find the word of God from the scriptures and prophets, we can't afford to let go even for a moment we all need the word of God. We are lost without it. Look up 1 Nephi 15:24. Gain a testimony and if you already have one keep strengthening it because it's so easy to forget the spirit that was once felt.

- I always knew that I would serve a mission and always felt that it was my duty to God and of course I didn't understand everything or even how the restoration of the gospel came about in detail but I knew the gospel was true and couldn't deny it. It's like what elder Andersen said in one of his talks, you don't know everything but you know enough, not knowing enough should never be an obstacle. To answer the question about the atonement, I knew about the power of repentance and felt its power in my life before and in the mission but I didn't understand it fully. I didn't understand that if God is so willing to forgive and forget our sins who is it of us to go back beat ourselves up about it if it's already forgotten by God. The power of the atonement of Christ is real and I don't know how it's done but it was done. I could go into detail but really I have seen the power of the sacrifice of Christ in our lives and it truly changes lives, I have seen it take place in the hearts of people and seen it strengthen people as well as me.

Well I got to go now and I hope I could answer to your needs, But remind me of the ones next week so I can answer them if you want.

Well I love you all and I know the gospel is something real and that there is an eternal plan for us that makes it possible for us to live with God again and with each other.

Disfruten esta mez de navidad y buscen el salvador a la vez!!

Love you,
Elder Pedersen

P.S. I need your address for Skype that you're going to use and also if you can make up one for me. I will need it next week no matter what. Can't wait to talk to and see you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Holidays

So yeah you kind of accomplished making me trunky but not homesick lol. I just love Christmas and all of that, it's so impossible to think that I will be their next Christmas but for now I will be focused and like you said I would not trade this time for the world. I'm learning so many things. more than I ever thought and even though Satan tries telling me that I'm not learning anything and I'm wasting my time and that my work here is useless, I try to take Chanelle's advice and look for all the gifts and knowledge that I do have instead of looking at the things that I don't. It helps and motivates me to destroy those thoughts of inadequacy.

Well it's crazy to see all you guys bundled up in your coats and jackets for the winter. It's like I tell the people here my family is in the states in coats for the snow while we are here dying from heat, lol. It really is super hot here. I was talking to an elder from El Salvador and he said that its super humid and hot their, but here it's even hotter. It's all good cause it will be my last Christmas in the heat serving the people I love so I have to love it while it lasts.  I hope to go to Salt Lake City when I go home; I want the coldest Christmas ever. Lol. It's kind of funny cause people are setting up all decorations for Christmas but it's just weird when it is so hot here. My comp. and I are still trying to get used to it all but the people here find it so normal because that is all they know.

Well this week was a different one but we had a baptism and it was hard to get there with a girl of the age of 9. We had to work hard with her cause it was super hard for her to pay attention. I learned a lot from teaching her especially patience. I knew that she wasn't going to understand everything so we had to try and explain everything super basic and that helped us focus on the main points. I usually don't like baptizing kids at that age because usually if the mom or dad don't go to church they don't go either so I was kind of nervous  cause most all of her family aren't members and her mom is a recent convert. But the little girl got baptized without being obligated so that was awesome cause it shows desire. so we hope that she stays in the church and applies the things we taught her in her life so she can leave the drugs, sex, alcohol and all of that behind and be better than her family.

So anyway we had the baptism on Saturday cause the mom was going to invite all her family that was catholic and so we got super stressed out cause nobody from the ward was going to be able to go and we couldn't receive the key to the church and so we had no idea what we were going to do and our ward mission leader wanted us to cancel everything the day before but we knew we couldn't do it so long story short we got the keys and got everything ready and right before the baptism starts the counselor called us and said he wasn't going to make it and so we were running around trying to look for priesthood to come but right before the visitors started getting antsy he came and the girl came with her mom and she wasn't very excited for her baptism because the rest of her family couldn't come but I tried to make her happy and excite her but as you can see in the picture she wasn't happy at first but then I got to baptize her and she put a smile on her face when she came up out of the water. It was stressful and even though we didn't have much support from the ward we did it and the spirit was felt.

So we have changes this next week and I'm kind of scared what will happen, I'm pretty sure that I'm going but I don't know cause I was in my first ward for 5 changes and I have 4 in this one. I want to stay to see my investigators be baptized cause they weren't ready this last change.

Its so weird to think that I have 7 months left in the mission, I don't feel that i will ever be ready to leave here. I feel like I still have so much to do and learn. I feel like my time is going by so fast and I don't like it. If i were Chanelle I would be going home next month! That would be way too soon. I know before I know it I will be going home and so I'm trying to take advantage of every moment that I have left, and grow and become the missionary that God wants me to be.

Pues les amo a todos y que tengan una buena semana. CuĂ­dense.
Gracias por sus oraciones y apoyo. Que disfruten la navidad y pensar
En el sacrificio de nuestro salvador. Hagan lo just!

Elder Pedersen
P.S. What did you guys think about my lost pictures?