Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Pictures

This last week was super hard. Everything was against us, it seemed. We got changes though today and things are good. I got transferred to Atawalpa. That's in Quito still and I have a new companion. He's my first companion from the United States. I spent the day unpacking. Then we just hung out in the terminal for a while talking to other missionaries because everyone has changes. I have had 4 baptisms. Some of the people I've found and taught later got baptized. Hopefully this new sector will be good. They dont have many people here, but we will see what happens. The weather is good, it rains a lot.  ummm..... there is almost nothing to report. I have no idea what to write this week. Here's some pictures.








Monday, November 10, 2014

Homeless and hungry

Mom,
This week was good. We found two new families and two other investigators. This week is the last week before changes. I like something my mission President told me, "If you pray for patience, you will be given opportunities to develop patience; God gives us what we need not what we want." I wish I would of thought about that before I prayed for patience. No, just kidding.

This week I've started studying Jesus the Christ at night. I'm in chapter 5. It's a great book! In the New Testament, I'm in Luke right now. It's been pretty hot this week. It started to rain again today. Nothing terribly intersting to report, I'm afraid. We knock doors here and contact in the street when we see families. Today we cleaned the house super good then went to the mall to eat lunch. I bought a mat to do exercises on and we ate at some taco burrito place, which was okay. I'll send a picture. I didn't eat the fries because two little girls probably around 6 and 3 years old came by begging for food. I'm not even sure if they had parents, but they looked homeless and hungry and I couldn't say no, so I gave them my fries. Always be grateful for what you have is the lesson I learned. We were invited to a birthday of a members little boy. They had cupcakes and some really good food which they gave us. I will send a picture... ummm. That's about it. For exercises, I am doing 100 pushups every night and we run in the mornings and do situps. Cheer loud at the wrestling matches for me. Let me now how everything goes, and for Austins rugby games too.
Love you all. The gospel is true. Jesus is the Christ. Seek for knowledge and study the scriptures and make good memories, those are the only things youll carry with you into the next life. Have a great week!
Elder Peterson

Local fruit called granadia

Mountains outside his apartment

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Mom,

I know you want a long letter, but I have no idea what to write this week. It was a normal week. We had a family come to church yesterday with a baptismal date for the 15th of November. We found some new people this week as well, which was good. My Spanish is pretty dang good. I usually can't hold a super great conversation in English and writing seems to be much easier. I've learned a lot this week. I've thought a lot about love. 1 John 4 is a great chapter. I wish I knew how to love God better. There a song that says "Learn to love Thee" or something like that. Perfect love gets rid of fear. He loved us so much that he gave his life for everyone. Even those who hated Him, who will never accept him. We can't even turn the other cheek half the time. God is merciful though, He gave us everything we need to become like him. Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world. There's a Mormon message called " Wise Men Still Seek Him". It's super good.  You should watch it. Why don't the people hear our message and just feel that its not just a message, it life eternal? 
This sector is okay. There are parts that are pretty poor. We get wet a lot. It pours every day here. It's just me and my companion in this sector. This ward is actually really rough. Hardly any support from the members, or the bishopric, the church in this country is a lot different than our country, I imagine it's like that around the world. There isn't support here like the states. If someone is sick or pregnant they are on their own. In the states they don't have to cook a meal. But whatever, we just do the best we can.
 
Love,
 
Elder Peterson 

Baptisms and Volcanos







Press Forward

Mom,

Well, this week was one of the harder weeks I've had in the mission. And to make it worse, dad and my brothers are doing my favorite thing in the world, hunting! Anyway, I press forward.
We had 7 people this week with baptismal dates and only 1 made it to church. They all had legit problems, so it was hard because there was nothing we could do. But I am looking forward to the coming week and finding new people. There are people here prepared and I will find them.
 
The mission is full of good and difficult times, but without the difficult times we don't get better and we cant develop Christlike attributes. I'm sure the Lord put me here for a reason. We are going to have a good change here, I can feel it. The other day my companion and I were able to set good goals. 100% obedience, consecrated missionaries is all the goals put together. It was good. Our sector is pretty dang big. It starts at the bottom of the mountain and goes all the way up.

Anyway, this week should be better. I hope your week is good. You will have to send me some deer jerky it sounds like. Make sure dad sends me pictures. Love and miss you. You are always in my prayers!

Elder Peterson

change


Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 21

My week was good. It is raining a lot here. We worked on finding new people this week and we had 4 new people at church on Sunday. I'm tired. What else... I've been studying a lot and am super excited for general conference. This is my advice, during the week write down all the questions you have pray about them and then listen fervently to the talks. I've never been so excited for a general conference before, but we get to listen to living prophets of God! This week I've studied a lot about the difference between the natural man and our divine potential. How do we overcome the natural man and reach our divine potential. I believe part of the answer is found in Matt 16:25. Those who lose their life for the sake of the Lord, will find it. It has a lot to do with the will of God. I read something that said there are two types of obedience. Obedience because we know we should obey, so we obey but we withhold our heart. We submit to the will of God but on the inside we want to do what we want to do. The other type of obedience is when we submit to the Lord. When we obey and do what he wants because that is also what we want. Jesus set the example first. He came to do the will of the Father, "I do nothing of myself but because the father sent me." In 1 John 2:15-17 we are taught to love God and do his will, he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. In Romans 12:2 we are taught to be transformed by the will of God. When we submit to his will we give ourselves over to him, he will make the most of us. There is something I was reading that said the only thing that God doesn't have is our heart and our will. He cannot make the most of us if he doesn't have us. Later it says God will make a masterpiece of you, you will make a smudge. You will make an ordinary man. He will make a God. We often give our time and our strength to him (obedience 1): we go to church, we do our home teaching, we do family home evening, but we withhold our heart and our will. The commandment is Love your God with all your HEART might MIND and strength. So how do we give him our heart and will? It starts in our mind and then our heart follows. In the end it is the easiest way, the smartest way. 1 Cor. 2:9 look it up.

Anyway, that is a little bit of what I studied this week. My thoughts are mixed in there with other things I read. Hope everybody has a good week. Love and miss you all.

Elder Peterson

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 20

My week was good. This week and the week before we had baptisms which was awesome! I will send pictures from this week. This week was the baptism of M.., she is great and will be a great member of the church. It was difficult for her because her parents don't approve, they are of a different religion. But she is determined to follow this path no matter the difficulties. 

This week we worked a lot with less active families and recent converts. I feel it is my last couple of weeks in this sector. Tomorrow I complete 5 months in the mission I think. Pretty cool, time goes by so fast. Yesterday I ate soup with pigs feet in it. That was pretty interesting. I've also eaten chicken feet and pig skin. Those are some of the things most different. What else, my companion is a cool guy. We get along good, we joke with each other a lot. I finished the Book of Mormon again the other day. I started when I was in the MTC I think. I've started the new testament now. Yesterday, I taught the principles of the gospel class and the Priesthood class. Fun stuff. My Spanish is pretty good. I learn new stuff everyday. 

I liked a few scriptures that I read the other day. Moroni 9:6, 25-26

We all have a duty to perform and we must work diligently while in our mortal bodies, that we may conquer the enemy, that we may perfect ourselves through Christ so that we may rest one day in the kingdom of our father. The hope of eternal life and the sacrifice of Christ should always rest upon our minds, so that we may achieve the goal, so that we can always remember why we are here. That's my spiritual thought for the week. The church is true, I like something Elder Oaks said, that the gospel doesn't teach us to be someone, it teaches us to become someone. My prayer is that we may all continue converting ourselves, and reach our full potential as children of a divine being, that loves and knows each of us. I love this gospel, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and part of this wonderful work. 

Love and miss you, have a great week. 

Elder Peterson

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kaden vs Wild Dogs

Mom,
This week has been A GREAT week. I don't know what to tell you about other than the things I've learned. Oh first, I almost got killed by a dog. I had to jump about a 10ft drop running full speed to escape. It was a little scary. 2 dogs by the way. Other than that nothing terribly exciting.

We had 7 people who should have been in church and it crushed me when 3 didnt make it. Ive learned a lot about the atonement. How Christ feels when we don't make the right choices or when we put things of the world before him. The revelation I recieved is that the way I felt when those people didn't come to church is the way Christ feels when I don't get up at 6:30. I've been studying a lot about conversion and consecration. There's a great talk on how to become a consecrated missionary. It all boils down to submitting to Gods will, 100% obedience, talking to everyone, putting other passions to the side and focusing only the work. I like the scripture in ....

Mark 8:34-36  
 34 ¶And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?


That is the invitation of the Savior, take up your cross and follow him. Theres a scripture also that says, many are called but few are chosen. You could also say many are invited but few accept. Like the boy who said I have kept all the commandments since my youth what do I lack. The Lord responded sell everything you have give to the poor that thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come follow me. But the boy was dissapointed and didn't accept the invitation because he had great possesions. It all comes down to conversion and consecration. When we are converted we take up our cross and follow Christ, we are ready to be rejected, rebuked, persecuted and spit upon, for his sake. Where are we in our own personal conversion should always be a question on our mind, because like Christ said what good be it if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul. We don't remember who we were before this life but we know we chose to follow Christ we chose to take up the cross. We forget there's a lot more than this life, a bigger picture, and how great and glorious the place that awaits those who took up the cross we do not know, but I hope we all end up there some day.
As far as everything here, it is all good. I'm happy, more than I've ever been, the mission is the best. Never do we get another chance like this one at least not for a long time. Little by little I am changing as I help others to change to accept the call of our Lord. I'm sad when our investigators don't reach their potential, and I'm happy when they do. We are working with a lot of people right now. I've seen the Spirit work in some of them and bless their lives. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a servant of the Lord.


Love you mom, have a great week!
Elder Peterson

Crowded spaces

Family,

This week was good. The baptism we had fell through because his parents didn't give permission for him to get baptized and he's only 16 years old. But it was a good week still. We worked hard and have new investigators now. Hopefully this with be a succesful change, we have good goals. We have been working with a lot of different people. We had 4 new people at church on sunday which was good. Hopefully we will improve this week as well. 

We`ve had 4 people in our apartment which kind of stinks but we deal with it. A new missionary too, he doesnt speak Spanish very good, but he will learn. When we are together I am the translator. What else...my new companion is good. We have worked well together and get a long well. His testimony is strong though. He is a convert. A year before his mision he was baptized. 

Everything else is good, weve have a good week and this week will also be good. The scripture I have really like this week is Helaman 3:27-30. God is merciful to those who have faith, who diligently seek the kingdom of heaven. And the words of Christ, the scriptures, will lead us down the path which leads us to eternal life. And will land us on the right side of God never to leave again. I we follow this path with diligence and faith in Christ and lay hold to his words we inherit the kingdom of heaven. 

Love you guys so much have a great week!

Elder Peterson

Changes


Thank you mom for all your thoughts. They helped more than you know. We are not perfect but God does work line upon line and slowing our thoughts actions and desires begin to change. I know am I where I should be, where he wants me to be and I know he is preparing me for something. I am working on being obedient, on working every day as hard as I can so that I feel the Lord can accept my offering. I am working on perfecting my many weaknesses.



This last week was one of the better one's we've had. Saturday we have a baptism. I have high hopes for this next change. I hope to do a lot of good. My new companion is good. There will be 4 people living in our house now, which will be different. I feel I am going to change a lot personally this change. We will see. I ran out of time to write so its going to be short this week. I've been reading a lot about the stripling warriors. They trusted in God 100% and were obedient in all things. We all should do the same. The church is true. The Book of Mormon brings us closer to God than any other book-Joseph Smith. I love this gospel!



Love you and have a great week!

Elder Peterson

Tragedy Strikes

This week was very difficult. As you know, the last few weeks have been difficult for us. Wednesday my companion got really sick, with what they think I had a couple weeks ago. So we weren’t able to work terribly great that day, but the next day we were able to get out and work. Thursday morning during our personal study time we got a call from President. He wanted to meet with both of us in the offices that morning. We were really nervous we had done something wrong, because its really unusual for President to meet with missionaries during the week unless its an emergency of some sort. So we took the half hour bus ride to the offices. When we got there my companion went to the bathroom and President pulled me into the office. He told me he wanted to prepare me and that he´d gotten a call that morning that Elder F's father had passed away in the night. Then he told Elder F. It was really hard for him, as I'm sure you can imagine. Later, as they were trying to call his family, I sat in the offices with EF, he asked me why, and said his father wasn’t a member (which I'm sure hurt worse) but that he was a good person. Later he told me he didn’t want to talk to his mom because he didn’t want to hear her cry. Eventually he was able to talk to his family but it was a very rough experience. He had the option to go home for a couple months but he chose to stay. President Christensen and I gave him a blessing, which was very powerful. We ended up resting a bit that day, but the next we got out and worked. I know he is still very hurt inside but he is strong and I greatly admire his faith.

This experience put a lot of things into perspective for me. I have tried my best this last week to love and support my companion the best I can, I have learned a lot. I have told him a lot of things to hopefully comfort him and as I've told him these things the spirit has strengthened my own testimony. God is aware of all of us here on the earth. And we are all wanderers in a strange land, very far from home. But his mercies are all over the earth (alma 26:36,37). He loves and knows each and every one of us. And he does nothing that isn’t for the benefit of the world which he loves (scripture I don’t remember). We don’t know when we´ll leave this earth but God has a plan for all of us. Unfortunately, we cannot always see the reasons for why things happen, but there is comfort in the knowledge that Father is in charge, that as we are righteous and keep His commandments, He will guide our paths. In all things HE is trying to teach us something. We come face to face with many problems and afflictions in this life but there is One who has already experienced all these things for us, so that he may know how to succor his people (Alma 7:12). His love is always there for us, and we will never be left comfortless if we but call upon Him.
 
We´ve thought a lot about the plan of salvation this week. We are only here for a short period of time yet sometimes we lose sight of what's really important, we lose sight of the goal. We have been blessed to know of the great plan of our Father, and in this we can find comfort. We have been blessed to know of the gospel of Christ, and through its principles we can find joy and happiness in this life and receive the necessary ordinances to live together as families forever in the eternities to come. I'm so very grateful for all the blessings and privileges I've been given in this life. I hope we can always stay focused on the goal and remember we each have a purpose here and Father is always in charge and as we learn to accept His will in all things, he will make us the people he wants us to become.


I love you all so much. Have a great week. I challenge you all to ponder on the plan of salvation and strive to learn more of Christ. The church is true, Christ lives, as we strive to serve Him with all our heart, might, mind and strength we will begin to see the blessings fall from heaven. As we have been so blessed to know of this great plan of happiness we should look for opportunities every day to share it with other. The love of our Father in Heaven is obvious in our lives if we but take the time to recognize the blessing and tender mercies he offers us every day we will begin to feel of this love more strongly in our lives. The scriptures are true, all of it is true, and in these things I find joy, and  will give thanks every day to our Father on high! Have a great week!
 
Love Elder Peterson

Week 6 - A gift from the Lord



Thank you so much for your letter and spiritual thought. It is 100% true. Without even knowing it we can slip into Satan's grasp. If we let ourselves get close enough to the shore it like tempting him to try and get us. Sometimes we do this without realizing it so we must always have our foundation built upon Christ, because only he can help us, so that when the storms of the adversary come we will be able to endure (Helaman 5:12). Every day we can reinforce our foundation, make it stronger, check for any weak spots, by reading our scriptures and saying our prayers. We all have weaknesses but if we humble ourselves God will makes our weak things become strong, through faith in Christ (Ether 12:27). 



My week was good, for the most part. We struggled to teach lessons, our appointments fell through a lot. We also had trouble finding new investigators. But we worked hard anyways and I've seen that God rewards those who prove they are willing to work. At the end of the week we had a man come up to us and ask to be visited. A gift from God we called it. We´ve tried to visit him since but we´ve had troubles coordinating and the other day he actually called us. Somebody that actually has a desire! Yes!! Other than that our week was about the same as usual. Lot of walking, lots of hills. I've lost quite a bit of weight, my pants are officially to big. I'm afraid it will be really easy to gain it back though.



My spiritual thought for the week is of Mosiah 24. I like the story in this chapter, there is a lot we can learn from it. We have a lot of problems and trials in this life but if we are faithful and patient and pray always, our burdens will be eased. God is always there for us in our times of need if we but call on Him. There's a talk that was given by Elder Bednar in the last general conference about burdens. The title says something about that. Read it! It's really good. Hope everyone has a good week. I love and miss you all!!



Elder Peterson

 

Week 4 - Changes

It's beautiful here. It's surrounded by mountains. Yesterday, we could see the peak of a snow topped volcano. I would of taken a picture but I don't usually carry my camera. The weather has been good. The rainy season ended before I came here. I don't think there are any poisonous animals. There's a lot of dogs, wild dogs mostly. There was a dead dog in a trash can once. There is definitely crime I haven't seen a ton. There's trash everywhere, no one cares here. People just throw garbage wherever.




This week was a really good week. Had a lot of really good experiences. First, all is well, health is good and spirit strong! I think it was Friday we had a really cool expirience. All our lessons fell through and we had no one to teach. we said a prayer in the street that we could find a family to teach, that needed the gospel and was prepared to hear our message. We ended the prayer and about 12 seconds later we found a family to teach. It was a really good expirience. God anwers prayers, most of the time not immediately, but sometimes we get an answer just like that! The other experience I had was during a lesson with a member. He was struggling with some things and to be honest I couldnt quite understand exactly what he was going through. It was like he was talking in a different language or something. Anyway, a scipture and a quote came to my mind. I shared it with him. He said I couldnt speak the language very well but that was exactly what he needed to hear. I've learned its important to follow the promptings of the spirit, especially when your still learning how to speak the language because without the spirit you can't teach!


Last night we had changes! We have changes every six weeks. Elder M. left and I stayed here in Santa Ana. My new companion is Elder F, he's from Honduras. He doesn't speak English either, but he's a good guy. He doesn't know the investigators or the area though so I'm kind of in charge of planning and everything. At the same time, he is finishing my training and is the district leader. We didn't end up having a baptism this week. Our investigator left for the coast until the end of August so that was really disappointing. We have a baptism for this week though, hopefully. I might be doing the baptism and confirmation now that Elder M is gone so we´ll see.  That was my week. I hope you guys have a great week and good vacation. Love and miss you all!


Elder Peterson

Week 3

Mom,
This week was a really good week. We had a really hard time teaching for some reason. No one answered us. Also we've had a really hard time getting a member to come with us to appointments. We teach a lot of single moms and we can't enter their house unless we have someone with us over 18. So we've had a hard time with that. 4th of July was this week. I celebrated with a bag of chips and a gatorade and dad gave me a brillant idea of how to celebrate...I lit a match, whoooo! haha. We were supposed to have a baptism this week but there was some kind of emergency and our investigator left town without telling us. So that was a real bummer for us to find out after we had prepared everything. And there was nothing wrong she is ready and wants to be baptised so I'm not sure what happened. But we still have a lot of good investigators and her baptism is moved to this Saturday now.

We had a great experience last night. We didn't have anything planned with investigators so we decided to go visit a member who had been struggling with some things. We had talked to him the day before and he was doing much better. On our way over there we had a feeling and decided to stop at a different members house who are semi recent converts. There son is someone who comes with us often to appointments and he is preparing to serve a mission. His family opened up to us and told them that he is really discouraged because he's been trying to send in his papers but the bishop says he has to get vaccines and stuff first. Which, according to all his paperwork he's fine. He was really discouraged and was ready to give up and just not go on a mission. Apparently this has happened where some bishops down here just dont know how it works with missionaries. My companion knew somewhat about this and we were able to help them and left some things for them to share with him to motivate him. So it was a cool expirience. Also, Sunday we taught the gospel principles class which was really cool. My spanish is doing really well.
My scripture for the week is D&C 122:4-8. I love these verses, they were able to help our investigators a lot which some of the things they are struggling with.
I love being a missionary sharing the gospel. We get rejected a lot and we are bothered often by drunks. People just pass out in the street here alot. Trash is everywhere. It's a different world here, but it's growing on me. Love you all. Have a great week.
Love Elder Peterson

Week 2 - lots of baptisms


 

First week in Ecuador

Mom,


Miss you guys! Ecuador is pretty cool. It's just amazing that I'm in a different country preaching the gospel.  It's pretty here but it's also a different world. People here are in really humble situations. I've been in peoples houses and I've had bedrooms bigger. Also there's a family of 5 who all sleep in the same bed. People here for the most part are friendly though. There are wild dogs everywhere. We have been teaching quite a few people. My area right now is Santa-Ana. I'm in a trio right now with two elders. EL is from Florida so he speaks English but EM doesn't speak a lick. He is from Salvador.

Today is Pday. We played some soccer and I am dang tired now. Everyone in my zone is pretty cool. Like I said we've been teaching some people. Two had baptismal dates for the 28th but one didn't show up to church yesterday so she wont be able to be baptized. We need to start finding more people to teach. I've done a few. I pretty much explain we are missionaries and we talk about Christ and help people and then my Spanish falters. I really wish I could speak better. I want to be able to participate more in the discussions and  lessons we have with people. It will come. I just need to have patience. It will come. I just need to work at it. Patience is something I need to work on that's for sure. I understand almost everything but I don't know how to say stuff the right way. Spanish is weird. Our mission president leaves the 27 or 28 and the new one comes in. President Christensen is the new president. What else...the world cup is pretty big here. Ecuador is still playing. Dallin H. Oaks came out and said no watching that at all for missionaries. It is always on in stores and peoples houses so it is difficult. For food here all we eat is rice with meat and we always have soup first. Yesterday we had soup with a whole fish head in it. It looked like a pike but I'm pretty sure it was something else. Buses here are crazy. Just imagine being stuffed into a small closet with 12 people and you've got a  bus in Ecuador. We travel by bus if we have to go far otherwise we walk. The sector I'm in right now is very steep. It's like hiking a mountain everyday. I am healthy so that is good. 

But I'm grateful to be out here doing the work of the Lord. It is amazing. I feel the spirit so strongly when we are teaching. I want to be able to help everyone. There's a quote on the wall of our zone leaders house that says, "the faith of this month will bring the miracle of next month." I like that a lot. We need to have faith and patience. Things don't always happen immediately. I love and miss you all!

Elder Peterson


Really deep Thinking

I thought I'd share some of my thoughts this week with you. Sometimes I get impressions and I start writing. I wrote this in the last week. 

Try, Do, Succeed

I was inspired by something my teacher said today. He said, "trying is not enough." I was reminded of something my mother used to say. When myself or one of my brothers would say "try", she would say, "Trying is a noisy way of doing nothing". The actual meaning of this never hit me until recently. I feel now, however, that I am beginning to understand. I would like to combine the two statements and add a twist and say, Trying is failing. And I believe this. If we are simply trying, then we are not succeeding.

What does it mean to try? I believe the definition of try is to attempt something not believing you will succeed or not wanting to succeed. Simply trying is a lack of faith. For example saying, "I will try to repent" is showing a lack of faith in the saving power of Christ and His atonement or showing a lack of faith in the power of God to help us and strengthen us. Most often however when we find ourselves saying "I will try" we are demonstrating a lack of faith or confidence in ourselves. Sometimes we may say this casually, but how often do we think it? We may not even say or think the words, but, the definition is: to attempt, not believing we can succeed. How often do we go to attempt something not believing we will succeed.  That we will come up short of our expectations. I think we often do this. Probably every day for some. How we overcome this, I believe, is through faith. Some might say you cant just have faith that things will work out and its going to happen. If this is so then they are forgetting what faith is. We are taught that faith without works is dead. And this is true. Faith is more than just believing, it is doing. And doing is the opposite of trying. 

I saw a sign in Spanish that read, "fe en acción" which translates to "faith in action". The sign was trying to demonstrate someone exercising faith. But the way I read it was "faith is in action" or "action in faith". Faith is action or faith is doing. If doing is the opposite of trying then the definition would read; acting in confidence believing you will succeed. When we have faith we act on things that will help us achieve the end goal. We have faith in the end goal. We act to achieve success. 

So why is faith important? If we do not have faith in ourselves, if we are trying and not doing, we will fail. We will not achieve our goals. Faith is necessary in all aspects of life. As a missionary, in school, in work, and in every day trials. Just as important as faith in ourselves and even more so maybe is faith in God, faith in Christ. They are here to help us in all aspects of life. They have given us purpose in life. Our purpose revolves around them. We cannot succeed without faith in Christ. It is the first principle of the gospel. Without Him we cannot receive eternal life, we cannot live as eternal families. Through faith in Him we can overcome any obstacle that stands in our way of achieving those things. He understands what we´ve been through, what we are going through, and what we will go through. Through faith in Him we CAN do all things--1 Nephi 7:12. This faith leads to action. Spencer W. Kimball said "Your faith will perform miracles, especially when you get your hands and feet involved." Through faith acted upon we can work miracles. We can accomplish anything with the help of God. It is all through faith. Faith is the foundation of everything we do in the church. All of us need faith.

I have had many questions on my mind lately. One of which is: Where does my motivation lie? Another is: What do I want to accomplish? I have gone about wasting time and talent for the better part of my life. Even in times where I do work hard towards a goal, so much time is wasted. So much more could be done, could be accomplished. Gordon B. Hinckley said in regards to our Heavenly Father, "He never intended that you should be less than the crowning glory of His creations." We have so much potential we don´t recognize. I don´t think any of us can realize our full potential here on earth. In another quote Goethe said, "Every man has within himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who proves the Columbus of his soul." We can accomplish so much more than we think we can. What potential lies within each of us? What un-found strength is waiting to be discovered?

I believe the key to life is to act. To do. There is a quote I heard once that goes, "There are two kinds of people in this life, those who act, and those who do not." As I said, acting is a result of faith. First we must believe in ourselves. Then we must decide what kind of person we want to be: The one who acts or the one who does not. Paul Kane said, "You can live the impossible dream, or you can live an excuse. It´s all up to you." 

In no way, however, does having faith and acting upon that faith make things easy. If it were easy we would not grow. We must have the faith, however, to be able to push through the trials and difficulties. Edmund Burke said, "It is only through resistance that we gain strength." So when we are met with resistance, we can go forward with faith and become stronger, or we can doubt our ability, our faith, and we will falter-fall short- and receive no strength. As we face trials we will all struggle at times. And sometimes we must try and try until our attempts help us see our potential and our trying turns into doing. With this being said, it is necessary to point out that just as there is a difference between doing and trying, there is a difference between trying and failing. As Gordon B. Hinckley said, "You have not failed until you quit trying." If at times we must try to keep from quitting then try and try again until we gain the confidence, the faith, to DO. To quote the movie Robin Hood, "Rise and rise again until lambs become lions." So, at times we must try, but until we do, we cannot become lions.

Never give up and never let your faith in yourself falter. Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great and good things. Believe that no mountain is so high that you cannot climb it. Believe that no storm is so great you cannot weather it. You are not destined to be a scrub. You are a child of God, of infinite capacity." To add to that Elder Bruce D. Porter said, "Don´t let your faith dim in the storm of life." Do not falter, and if you do, pick yourself up. Choose to act. Remember the great people of old. It was Nephi who said, "I will go and DO". Live every day so that when you are lying on your death bed, you have no regrets. And always remember that you are not alone. Christ is ready to carry you through the darkness. Have faith in Him. Have faith in yourself. And remember you have potential, waiting to be discovered.

Week 6 - Not much going on...

Mom,

I love you so much and am so very grateful for everything you've done for me. You guys are always in my prayers. The lake sounds like it was a lot of fun. Everyone sounds like they had a blast. I miss you guys. Anyways the last week has been kind of boring. In classes  I'm just bored because I've already learned everything we are doing. I have a lot of personal study time which is really nice. I wrote a couple poems. I think they were inspired by my life up to this point, but reading the poems Uncle Cody wrote made me want to write a poem. I'll send them both in a different letter. I'm sorry I don't have a terrible many things to say. I've been pondering a lot of things lately and just praying a lot. My new district is really good though. I'm pretty good friends with all of them. My companion is a genius with Spanish. My Spanish is also doing really well. My ankle is still swollen slightly but it is getting better I think. I hope work goes well for you this next week. And that everyone's travels will go smoothly. Thanks for sending my patriarchal blessing, I love reading it. I will send those poems. Please tell me if they are horrible.

Love always,
Elder Peterson 

Light in the Darkness - Poem by Kaden

Light in the Darkness 

A world of darkness confused and astray,
Many people wander not knowing the way,
Some people search, they look and they try,
Others don´t care, they live and they die,
Yet others have seen of the light,
And go forth doing what is right,
Many stand tall, shining so bright,
Others sit in darkness, not a candle in sight.

This gift we've been given, we´ve seen the light,
So we take up our call, we go forth with our might,
Working and fighting in pain and in strife,
Walking and crawling in this battlefield of life,
In the largest battle we will ever know,
We fight so that one day we may go home.

This call we´ve been given, if at all cost,
We help others, the ones who are lost,
That one day, maybe they´ll see,
That light that flows through you and me,
We knew before birth this thing we must do,
We accepted willingly, both me and you.

It humbles me greatly and makes me sad,
To see all those who don't know what we have,
Why, oh why, choose they not to go unto thee,
Someone, they need, that can give them the key,
Perhaps you or me, can help them to see,
The path that will lead them to thee,
The light in the darkness, our Lord and King,
Jesus Christ, the one, to Him we must bring,
All those who don't know, who hope and do try,
The ones who sit, in the dark, and cry.

One day, I hope, they might all see the light,
Maybe, just maybe, if we work with all our might,
Our joy will be filled, though surrounded by pain,
Because we know we fulfilled the call for which we came,
And then as we depart this battlefield of life,
We will forget, the pain, and the strife,
And once more we all will fall and will cry,
Together with those that we helped survive,
Yes, together we will cry and sing,
"Savior, our Lord, our God, and King!"

Until then we all must fight,
To bring others into the light,
So when it comes time for that glorious day, 
All of us, every one, can stand and say,
"We gave all our soul and strength to thee,
We helped all we could, that they might see."

By Kaden Peterson

Luke 1:74-79
"That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 
In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
(These scriptures are talking about John the baptist. I feel they they apply to us in this day and time as well however.)

John 14:6
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

D&C 4:2
"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."

Look To Him - Poem Week 6

Look To Him             -- (2 Nephi 2:27,28)

A young man walked down a lonely road,
Thinking and pondering the things he´d been told,
As he walked down the road he saw many things,
Some good, some bad, and some in between,
Some things shiny and some things bright,
Other things more special were hidden from sight,
As he walked down the road he made many friends,
All of which stood, at yet another bend,
He followed some, and forgot others, and as he went, some followed him,
He wondered, oh how different it could have been, if he hadn´t become lost on the road he´d entered in,

But the road led ever onward, never ceasing, never stopping,
Pressing forward he went, sometimes tripping, sometimes dropping,
All the while others beckoned, "come follow me",
So he did or he didn't, but never did he flee,
Time went by and the road went on, and the young man remembered the things he´d been told,
He remembered the teachings, the lessons, the thoughts, and finally decided to be bold,
He took a small book and walked down a road,
And as he read, a burning in his heart replaced the cold,
He knew at once that what he held-
-was more precious, more special, than any could tell.

Rapidly, suddenly, the road began to curve,
So quickly, and fast, it was more like a swerve,
As he continued on he knew the path was good, 
So he pressed onward and onward liking where he stood,

As time went on the man began to change,
But the road became harder and brought more pain,
Familiar faces and things came back once again,
He pressed onward, forward, until once more he did give,
Oh why, he wondered, to this place he was sent,
And he wondered at length if he wanted to live,
Laying in the dust much less than a man,
His heart was broken, ready to give in,
But never willing to quit he stood once more, saying I can do it, I can, I´ll try once more.

He looked once more down the road, searching, wanting, to know where to go,
Not knowing what to do, he cried in one desperate plea, 
"Help me, please help me, my Father, my King",
He begged and he plead for something so small, 
And then as he cried, he looked, and at last he saw,
A man, stood, with His arms stretched wide,
Saying, "come follow me", he begged and he cried,
The young man now with hope in his eye,
Stood and asked, "why, oh why do you cry?"

The man responded:
I cry because it took you so long,
For I´ve been waiting here all along,
At last you did see and did try,
And let me, walk by your side,
And finally, you fell and you cried,
Someone oh someone, please help me survive,
At last you did look and did see,
I was here waiting for you to come unto me,
Now give me your pack that weighs you down,
Stand tall, walk on, please don't frown,

Follow this path, for it is good, I am with you,
Although one more thing, i must ask you to do,
My brother, my friend, for this thing i plead,
As you go, please, bring others unto me,
So this man once a boy said, "I will do this for thee."

Pressing onward once again he walked a new road,
Determined, convinced, to do what he´d been told,
He didnt falter, or stumble, and walked without fear,
Because he knew, without a doubt, his friend was near,
Waiting and watching, always ready to hear.
Now this young man looks forward to the day,
Where once more he will fall to his knees and say,
"My friend, my Lord, my King,
I made it to thee, and look, at all i did bring",
In that day he will bathe the Master´s feet with tears,
Overwhelmed with joy, lacking doubts or fears,
Work he will until that glorious day,
Continue on the path, never falter or stray,
He will never forget, the one and only way.

To this way, others he will bring,
To his brother, his friend, his Savior and King!

By: Kaden Peterson


2 Nephi 28:32
"...nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts."

Matthew 11:28-30
 "28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and i will give you rest.
  29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
  30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

D&C 6:33-36
"33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
 34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let the earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
 35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
 36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

John 16:33
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

More bad news...Week 5

Mom,


Good News and bad news. First my ankle is doing a lot better and second, the doctor here talked to a specialist in Salt Lake and the MTC president here and my mission president decided to have me stay here for two extra weeks. Yea! So, that will be fun, not really though. I really wanted to get to Ecuador. I will end up getting a new companion for the next few weeks and a new district. I will probably have to move houses and stuff as well. So I will email you still while I'm here. It's actually a good thing I am here for a little longer. I don't want to end up hurting myself worse. It will also give me more time to work on my Spanish as well, which will be nice. This last week has been good. Nothing different really. I ditched the crutches for the past two days so now I just limp around. Classes are the same, food is the same. I gave the lesson in Priesthood last Sunday. All in Spanish and that was cool. My Spanish is definitely coming along pretty well, plus I will get another two weeks. I think  it was this week that one of the Hermanas in our district busted her knee and had to go home. She broke it in three places. That was really sad for her. Scripture study is always good. I've found a lot more time to study lately. I read through the true to the faith book which is actually a really good book and a good guide to study the scriptures with. Other than that there is not much else to report. I love you mom, tell everyone I love them, and I will let you guys know what my situation is as I find out.


Matthew 11:28-30- As always I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is always there to help me and take my burdens from me. Come unto Him! I love Him so much and I love you guys all so much. 

Love,
Elder Peterson

My ankle is doing better - MTC week 4


My ankle is doing a lot better, I think. I can see part of the actual bone which is good. And I can limp around on it a little bit. I'm just on crutches now so that is good. I don't have a ton of time to write letters so I am going to have to keep it short. We were able to go to the temple and visitors center this past week which was really cool. We couldn't go into the temple because it's closed for the next couple months but the visitors center was really cool. What else...classes and everything are still good. Our teachers are pretty cool, they are from here in Mexico. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned that. There's not very many people that work here that are American. The doctor is one. Anyway, we also met the MTc president this week. They had been in Salt Lake because Sister Pratt had to get surgery. We had a devotional on Tuesday and it was live here in Mexico. Usually it is broadcasted from the Provo MTC. The area president of the 70 spoke and it was all in Spanish. I understood most all of it which is good. We also sang in the choir. Yep, me, I sang in a choir! Turns out I have the voice of an angel haha. I'm not even sure how we got volunteered to do that but whatever. The devotional itself was actually really good. What else, gym time stinks because I don't get to do anything but thats okay. Our schedule hasn't really changed much so I'm really looking forward to getting out in the field! Hopefully my ankle will be better, but I'm pretty confident it will be.
I miss you guys. I wish you could all be here. The spirit is so strong. I feel it in everything I do. Especially when I read the scriptures or talk about my Savior. I love D&C 19:18,19. I know I will never be able to fully comprehend what he went through. I also really like the scripture Psalms 18:2. I know the church is true and that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I'm so grateful for my family and for all the good friends I have. I love you all.

Oh and I heard something in a devotional that I really liked, "the blessing of bringing others unto Christ far outweighs any sacrifice of things you leave behind." I'm so grateful to be here serving the Lord!

Love
Elder Peterson

Bad news! - Week 3 at the MTC

Mom,

Glad to hear everything is going well. I guess I'm going to have to start this letter off with bad news. Tuesday morning playing volleyball I jumped up and landed on someone elses foot. I heard a giant crack as I rolled my ankle coming down. It hurt really bad. Anyway, someone went and got me a wheelchair and took me to the doctor. My ankle was the size of a baseball on one side and it hurt really bad on the other. The doctor looked at my foot and decided I better get an xray. So we came back at 2:30 and left for Mexico city to get an xray. It was about an hour drive. We got back with xrays and the doctor here thought I fractured it, but he got a second opinion and decided that it was probably not a fracture and if it was then it was minor. But I sprained it severly and the crack I heard was probably from a tendon slipping over a bone or something. Anyway, I'll send some pictures of my foot. It's still pretty swollen and black and blue. I have to stay in this wheel chair for the next couple days at least and then hopefully I will be able to use crutches. They just wrapped my ankle and I ice it every night. I had to use my debit card here to get some ib profen and stuff so sorry about that. I'm getting way more attention in this wheelchair than I like. I also haven't minded having a companion until now. I'm pretty independent and it's been a little adjustment but now its really hard on me. I have to depend on him for everything now which is difficult for me because I want to be able to do it myself, but I can't in this dang wheelchair. I am keeping a positive attitude though! I trust myself in the Lords hands and I have a feeling I will heal fast with his help and by his will. I'm sure I'm supposed to learn somethuing from this trial and I plan to do that. 

As far as everything else goes, I'm doing fine. I'm still learning so much here. I've never found that there was so much to learn from every little part of the scriptures since I got here. I think part of it is because I'm not just studying for myself but every person I may ever have the opportunity to teach in the next two years. Through the spirit there is so much to learn, its amazing! My Spanish is still improving but it is coming a little slower than it did at first. The food here is pretty much the same as always haha. I haven't gotten any mail yet here so I'm not sure what you should do about my patriarticle blessing. To answer your question I should have the same companion for my time here which is nice because we get along really good. I haven't learned much else about Ecuador but have met a couple people from there.

I am going to wrap up this weeks letter by saying I know the church is true! That is why I'm here. I'm so grateful for my Savior and I'm so grateful for what he has done for me. The Book of Mormon is true. I know that with all my heart. Joseph Smith was a prophet and through him God restored the gospel in these latter days. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and that through faith in him we can accomplish anything! Something I've really liked is that at the end of these two years I'm not done. He asks us to serve him for our whole lives and that is what I want to do!  I really like the scripture Mosiah 2:24.

Yo se que la iglesia es verdadero! Es la razon estoy aqui. Estoy muy agredecido por mi Salvador y por que lo que él teniá hacer para mi. El libro de mormon es verdadero, you se que con todo mi corazon. José Smith fue un profeta y mediante su, Dios restoró el evangelio en estos ultimos dias.  yo se que Padre Celestial contesta nuestras oraciones y mediante fe en él podemos hacer todos cosas. 

I love and miss you all,
Elder Peterson

Week 2 at the MTC

Dear Family,


So glad to hear from you! First off before I forget we are skyping from 4-430 on Sunday. You will have to calculate the time change because I'm not sure what time it will be there. Anyway, things are great here. I'm pretty sure we have bed bugs and the mosquitos are really bad. I'm taking the florify but I'm also getting a cough which stinks.

Lets see, where to start...we have been learning a lot. The days are really long. We have so much stuff packed into one day, it's crazy. Myself and all the other Elders and Hermanas in my district get a long really well, which is good. The four of us Elders who are going to Quito are pretty close. I am learning so much here! The language is coming along really good, faster than I thought possible, but that is definately more God than me. I've learned so much from the scriptures in these past 2 weeks than ever before. I realize that I dont think I've ever really, really studied them before like I have here. I always get some impression like study this in paticular and I write them all down but I never have time to do it all. You think you would have tons of time to study the scriptures, but maybe in total, it amounts to an hour or two a day. Which probably sounds like a lot but right here and right now it doesnt feel like a lot. I am just amazed still at all I am learning and how much the spirit has taught me. I've seen so many blessings from living the missionary life. The spirit is so strong. I feel it always. I also have so much love for my Savior. It grows every day, every time I get to teach a lesson about what he has done for each of us, hopefully you wont get sick of me saying this. Invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo. Invite other to come unto Christ, that is the first line of our missionary purpose and that is what I want to do. I want everyone to feel of his love, to know what he has done for them. I'm so excited to get out into the field! I shared this quote with Dad  and I really like it because I've often told myself that if it came down to it I would be more than willing to die for this church and for my Savior. But the quote is, ´´The question is not whether we are willing to die for Christ, but whether we are willing to live for Him.´´ I really like that a lot. Dying for something you believe in wouldn't be that hard but living every day for your whole life in his service might be more of a challenge. And that is what he asks us to do, and that is what I want to do. There was a devotional we had and they talked about how we are all in debt to the Lord, which we are and that when we come home from our mission it's not just like were good, and don't owe anything else, but the fact of the matter is we will be even more in debt for all the blessings we will have recieved. 

As far as everything else is going, the food is pretty much the same always. It's not great but it's not bad. We dont ever leave the MTC except we might get to go to the visitors center near the temple here in Mexico City, but that will probably be it. The temple itself is closed and will be for a while it sounds like. As far as the investigators we have taught, the one we taught for the first week is actually our teacher now haha. We teach our teachers now everyday as if they were an actual investigator. Once a week we teach an actual volunteer who is an investigator or inactive member or something. We did it this week and I got really nervous for some reason. At the begining of the lesson I didn't know what to say. As soon as I started talking about doctrine and about Christ though, the spirit was there and all nervousness went away. That was comforting. Our days here are pretty much on the same schedule for the most part so that is good, I guess. 

Love you so much mom! I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday!

Love,
Elder Peterson