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.

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