Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 25 letter

Well, another week has come and gone. Tomorrow I have to go to Quito to renew my visa. It's an hour bus ride there and back. We´ll probably leave tomorrow, Tuesday in the afternoon and we´ll get back Wednesday night. It's a lot of traveling. I might see some of the people I was in the MTC with though which should be fun. When I started my mission the missionaries who had a lot of time would talk about how they were tired of rice every day and I thought I would never get tired of it because I liked it but sometimes it does get boring. 

This week we had a conference in Puyo with President Christensen. It was great. I ripped a hole in my suit pants though about a foot long. It was funny, but you couldn't see it as long as I had my jacket on. We had quite a few new people in church this week, which was good. Hopefully they will progress. There are three more weeks left in this change. Today we played soccer until we couldn't stand up anymore. It is good to clear our heads every once in a while. 

I love you so much. Remember in two weeks it is fast Sunday. Read your scriptures and say your prayers as a family. I am studying a lot about Lehi's dream this week (the tree of life) and gave a talk on it this past Sunday. Something my mission president said is that once we have fallen off the straight and narrow path and let go of the iron rod, and fall in the abyss it is much easier to walk over to the great and spacious building, than crawl our way out and back to the straight and narrow path. The key is to never let go of the rod. Not even for a second. When we give an inch, we often tend to give 2 inches, then 3 inches and so on. The church is true. The Book of Mormon and the words of the prophets are the iron hold. It is easy to keep our eye on the iron rod, but it is different and we are more secure when we hold on to it. We must not just listen to the prophets, but do what they say. Love you. Have a great week.

Elder Peterson

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letter from May 18, 2015

We are preparing people still for baptism. Hopefully this change will make a difference. I would like to challenge you to invite others to gospel activities. I highly doubt you will offended anyone. Something I heard once is that "we are so worried sometimes about offending people (when it comes to sharing the gospel) that in the process we never save them." Those are words I will never forget.
That's what I'm trying to do. Even if don't see many fruits here in Tena in regards to baptisms, I believe my testimony is much stronger. 
This week we ate cow stomach and today we played basketball and soccer as a zone. The senior missionary couple is here now. They should help the branch out a lot. I'm not the counselor anymore, but it was an interesting responsibility. Well, love you. Hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Peterson

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 4 pictures only

letter from April 27

This week nothing terribly exciting happened. We have changes next week. I will most likely stay here which is what I want. There is a lot of work to do still. I am excited to continue. This week one of the part member families we have been working with came to church. The dad has really decided to change. He wants an eternal family. The spirit has worked in him and he is being converted. If I do get changed I know he will get baptized and sealed in the temple, which makes me happy. We've had a few other good lessons as well. The branch here will grow. This week during the branch counsel they decided that the work will go forward here in Tena. We've been working hard for a long time without much success, but things are going to pick up. This week we had seven less actives in church as well. As missionaries, we want the branch to grow and flourish, but baptizing anybody we can get into the water hasn't worked here in the past. We have been fighting so that not just the missionaries, but members have the desire to help the branch grow. And for getting good missionaries that will convert people to the Lord and not to the name tag. 
One important lesson that I have been learning here in Tena is that the Lord is much more interested in the Soul being saved than the instrument he uses to save it. Maybe we wont see a ton of fruits here in Tena but the Lord called us here when it was time to dig and nurture around the tree, and when it's time for the harvest he will call other servants to labor in the vineyard. What's interesting about missionary work is that it's not important when you labor in the vineyard, it's how you labor. I think something like that was said in the last conference. Something I read in, Jesus the Christ says. "Let the seed be sown, even though the sower be straightway called to other fields or other duties; in the gladsome harvest he shall find his recompense." I feel I've been called away to other duties a lot of times and that I didn't get to see the fruits and that because I wasn't there in the baptism or to watch a family get reactivated like I didn't also have joy in the fruits. But now I realize it doesn't matter. That whether we see the fruits of our labors or not we can be happy knowing that we did our part when the Lord asked it of us. The truth is they were never our fruits anyways, they are the Lords. 

The church is true. I'm not sure how many times I will say those four words in this life, but I know I will never stop saying them. The Lord is a great Shepherd, and he loves His sheep. "Therefore, dearly beloved bretheren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed." D&C 123:17.

Love and miss you all. Have a great week!

Elder Peterson

April 20 - Just Pictures this week.

April 13

We had a good week this week. We had to go to Puyo twice for a mini conference and for interviews with the President so we did a lot of traveling. We had a lot of people come to church though which was nice. They are thinking about putting a senior couple here in Tena which would be great. They would be able to help the branch out a lot. Other than that there is not much to report.

letter from April 6

I don't have a lot of time to write this week. Conference was great! I loved a great many of the talks that were given. They talked a lot about the family. I loved Henry B Eyrings talk in priesthood session. We were able to watch it all in English. One thing that really hit me is a statement I heard, I'm not sure if it was a question but the way I heard it was: Is the flesh an instrument or master of my spirit? Isn't that powerful! One of our greatest challenges I believe in the mortal life is to overcome the flesh, only by obtaining a body could we be perfected and exalted. It is the body/flesh that will either exalt us or drag us down to hell. We must overcome the natural man and become as God. The most important part of conference was afterwards when we set goals and now begin to apply the things we learned.

This week we have continued working with less actives and a few investigators that we have. But general conference was the highlight. My companion is great! We are getting along good. Hope all is well at home! Love and miss you all. 

I know that the church is true, and that we are guided by prophets and apostles. We are so blessed to be here during the restoration of the gospel! Families can be together forever! Love you all!

Elder Peterson

Letter from March 23

Well, hope you guys are having fun in Vegas! Everything is good here. This past week was interesting. We all knew that there would be some changes here in Tena. Of the six missionaries that were here, two finished their misison and two we sent to other sectors. Elder Neagle and I remained here in Tena, Our companions will be getting here a little later. My new companion is American, woo woo. I have only had one before. I like having latino comapnions but sometimes it's nice to be able to talk to someone about things we both are familiar with. I think he's got 6 months in the mission. It should be fun, and Elder Neagles companion is from Peru. So, there wont be any more missionaries here, only four now. That should be an interesting change. The truth is that six was a lot of missionaries. There is not enough members for six missionaries. Tena is small. I am very excited for this change. We have a few people who can get baptized. And we have been able to reactivate a few people.  

This week I was reading in, The Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Smith. It's a good book. Something I have noticed lately and that I have read often, in a lot of different places is that if in this life we cannot live a celestial law, in the next life we won't be able to support a celestial glory. A very intersting piece of scripture. I was also studying in, Jesus the Christ this week. It was talking about the parable of the seed growing secretly. I believe it is found in Mark 4:26-29. The interpretation given and as I understood it, is that a planted seed will grow or not depending on its own potential. The farmer doesn't know how. He can weed the garden and protect the plant, but in the end it depends on the plant whether it grows or not. And that growth comes little by little first the blade, then the ear, then the fruits. The farmers job is to protect the plant and when the plant brings forth fruits, if it brings forth fruits, it is to be harvested, but not beforehand. It does no good to harvest fruit if there is no fruit to harvest. I found many relations between this parable and missionary work. Our job as missionaries is to invite, and teach. Spiritual growth depends mostly on the individuals and their own desires. When they finally bring forth fruits meet for repentance and have the desire to take upon themselves the name of Christ, we may baptize them, but not beforehand. President Hinckley talked a lot about that in a talk called "Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep". 

Recently, we haven't seen a lot of results of the work we did at the hospital or with the busses. We got up this week again in the buses. It's kind of exciting to do that. We just stand at the front of the bus and talk to everyone. In other parts of the mission they just joke about doing that, but here we do it. The purpose really is that the people here in Tena know the church and the missionaries. 


Elder Peterson

Letter from March 16

This was a good week. This Sunday we will have changes. I'm not sure if I will be in Tena the next time I write but I am almost sure that I will have a new companion. Tena has been a great sector though! This week we finished painting most of the hospital with the gringos. We have to go back still and finish a bit. We also went around to a lot of the families in the branch who are struggling and brought them food and clothes from donations that all the doctors and members made that came from the states. It meant a lot to those families. It was a really great day! And it finally gave us something to do other than contact, so it helped us to. Saturday we did a service project for a family who lives out in the jungle. Basically we took down half of their house and rebuilt it. I don't have pictures. We saw tons of bugs though. There were tons of tarantulas. Most of them were small but there was one that was bigger than my hand!! Then, Saturday night we, printed out 1000 little cards and spent three hours contacting all of Tena and passing out the cards! It was pretty cool. Tena is small so the goal was to make it so all of Tena gets to know the church. We preached in the buses in the stores and all over the streets. IT was a cool idea.

Sunday we had six investigators in church which was cool and nine less actives. We had a good attendance this week overall. Two elders in our district finish their missions this week. Pretty exciting for them. Time seems to fly by fast, Two years is nothing. Pretty soon, it will be me. Our time to serve the Lord full time is not a lot. But it prepares us for a lifetime dedicated to his service. 

Read the story of the stripling warriors Alma 53 through 57

Mothers taught them! 

no sign of the package still. But everything is good. Love you, have a great week!

Elder Peterson