Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
-Isaiah 12 2-3

Sunday, August 21, 2011


August 17, 2011
Of course it's legitimate!
Hey there!

My e-mail is a bit later than usual because I helped host new missionaries in this week, one of which was a Russian speaking one! (though he's going to Romania, not Russia). Then I hosted a new sister going to Canada Spanish speaking and a new elder going to Independance Missouri! Good times!

My host sticker kept on falling off though, but that makes a bit of sense. I picked up the host sticker from the ground a couple of weeks ago and saved it for today so that I could host the new Russian Elder's coming in! Since it's P-day, I feel not guilt in having done so! Though I did get some funny looks when I explained to people why my host sticker kept on falling off.

This week has been pretty good! 3 weeks and 5 days to go! Crazy stuff right there. Everyday I go between the thoughts of "Oh yeah, I'm ready for Russia. Bring it on!" and "Oh gosh, I'm not going to be able to do or say anything in Russia that will make!" But overall I'm still a lot more excited then nervous or scared about going to Russia. Still hoping and praying that my visa will go through fine. I won't know for another couple of weeks, but here's to hoping!

I just want to say real quick that telling time in Russian makes no sense at all. To say 11:20 the liteal translation is "20 minutes of the 12th (hour is implied)" That's ok, I guess. It's all hunky dorey that the Russians are all about looking ahead and everything, and 3:30 is just "half of the 4th" so, hey! I can accept that. But after the halfway, it's just kinda odd. 5:40 is "without 20 minutes 6th". Ack! Why not just say five fourty! The cases also do fun things with the numbers, which are still a bit hard to grasp. The hardest numbers are oddly enough 1 and 2 (and their varients). Oh well, I shall persist!

I'm getting a bit stronger here at the MTC, physically at least. The food made me gain a bit of weight here, which was a bit discouraging. Even jsut last week in going to the temple I felt like my suit was just a smidge tight, which ticked me off a bit. But today, in wearing the same suit going to the temple it was loose again. Halleluia! I've been spending gym time and what little extra time I have working out and doing such shenanigans, which has served me well (especially today in lugging around giant suitcases! Good times).

I've started to succumb and make myself do notecards. I'm doing great in the language, especially grammar wise, but I don't have too many extra nouns and verbs under my belt that what's necessary. I learn best by listening and applying the words and verbs and whatnot, and because I've paid attention closely it's helped me tons in grammar. Oh well. Any suggesting from ya'll about the best way to handle notecards (if there really is a "good" way) then I'd be much appreciative!

Couple of requests real quick. Actually, just one I guess, now that I think about it. The velcro on one of my dance flip flops is pretty pathetic, and I think they sell velcro strips (or something of the like). If I could have a few of those strips (or whatever a good equivilant is), that'd be great!

Thanks for the Russian Children's songbook by the way! The spelling on the package made me giggle quite a bit (Bryant Pterson) , but they got the right address, so alls well. And thanks Jennie for the tweezers! They're quite excellent!

A couple of weeks ago I made it a goal to start reading through all the scriptures (before that my study was most just the Book of Mormon with a touch of the Old Testament in there). It's hard, but I've elarned so much from drawing from all of the sources of scripture. I especially like the Old Testament. At times it's super hard to read, but it has so many awesome nuggets throughout it all. I especially love being able to see the progression of Moses as a prophet as you see how much he learns and what he becomes starting from the Burning bush to where I am now (atop Mount Sinai). My New Testament reading has been excellent too, I studied that this mornign and I'm through to Matthew 14 right now. I wish I understood all the parables, and it's always super nice when the apostles ask for an explanation. Got through section 5 in Doctrine and Covenants, and that's some excellent stuff right there. Looking forward to more!

Ah, one more request. Mom, in my room on my shelf by my bed I should have my JST translation of the New Testament which has a ton of my notes from my New Testament class inside along with other goodies. If you could send that my way, I'd be super happy about that!

That's all I've got for now methinks. I love you all so much and you're always in my heart and in my prayers. I know that my Heavenly Father has been blessing my family and friends so much just as He has watched me so closely and lovingly. God be with you, as I know He already is.

Much love, as always
Elder Peterson

Thursday, August 11, 2011


August 10, 2011
Of talents

Hello family!

It's been a good week, as usual. Though I kinda realized that there isn't too much variety here at the MTC. I've been slacking a bit in macking that sheet of Russian stuff that Dad requested in part because I don't learn the Russian words generall by writing them down/by using flashcards. I listen and I pick them up that way, so it's been a bit hard to make that sheet, sorry! But I'll do my best to compile something and ship it out to ya. Thanks for the verb book by the way! I got it today and it's been fun to look through.

Just as a super quick request. Mom, if you could maybe remind friends to send out pictures, that'd be nice. I've got 33 days left, and so I'm a little anxious to get 'em (I haven't gotten any yet, but I'm still hopeful!). Thank ya kindly :)

Russian's coming well! As well as could be expected for 6 weeks anyways. We'll be starting complex sentences today, which is pretty spiffy, but also pretty tough. In Russian you have to train your mind to be able to instantly recognize what case something is going to be in and what conjugation it will be (and whether or not the noun or possibly so other obsure noun in the sentence is Masculine, Feminine or Neuter) and all that jazz. But it's starting to connect, and connect very nicely too, so that's a comfort.

Food's the regular shenanigans. Companion and roommates are still great. I'm sleeping just fine and everything, so on the whole not too much to report!

Much love, as always
Elder Peterson

I really am super happy and stoked to be here and learn Russian. I've just got a few things on my mind, and you know me well enough to know that I get very serious/sober about those things that I think deeply and a lot about. So, just once again, no worries. All's good :)


August 3, 2011
I can see clearly now, the rain has come! (it's raining! woo!)

Gosh, in looking over last week's e-mail I just wanted to start out by saying sorry if I was all over the place and not terribly coherent! I was sick last week (still am a bit now, not realy as bad though) and my head was just a bit out there! And thanks for the jelly beans! They're very delicious!

Dad sent me a dearelder the other day about sending ya'll a list of words, phrases and other shenanigans we do in Russia throughout the day. I'll be doing my best to compile that weekly or so and sending it out, starting today! Prepare to be bedazzeled by what words such as "to giggle" and "church service" will be! Stay tuned!

I got made district leader this week, which has been very interesting so far. Our district is kinda odd because one of our elder's (Elder Isabell) left a couple of weeks ago because he had a slipped disc and needed back surgery (or sugeries) to fix it, so he went home. And now, just yesterday, another one of us left (Elder Roberts) because he needs surgery on his knee for a torn ACL and another such ligament that has a fancy name. Our merry compamny of 12 is now 10, so in some ways it's easier, but in a lot of ways it's been sad. Thank goodness I've got my jelly beans to keep me going! :)

Dad was wondering if we play games here at the MTC to help us remember Russian. Most unfortunately, we do not. Most of the time we learn lessons for a big 'ol blue book that sets up words and grammar structures that compose of about 36 lessons or so, with a lesson being covered every other day or so (depending on the week). Recently we went over the use of past and future perfective verbs, which was alright. I am one fo the best in grammar in our class, but to tell you the truth, the concepts of perfectives and imperfectives (especially how the Russians use it) boggles my mind quite a bit, not to mention keeping in mind the various different ways to conjugagte past, present a future (depending on the case, whether or not it's reflexive or if it's jsut an odd verb) and then you have to conjugate the nouns! All in 6 happy cases and a bajillion grammar rules. But as stressful as that sounds, it's actually not too bad. It's easy to tell that we're all struggling with the language, but it's never been a bad struggle, just a hard one. Heavenly Father has helped each of us immensely in our studies, and He's never stopped yet, not even for perceftive Russian verbs! However, any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated!

I actually ahve enough time today to talk a bit about Sunday's here at the MTC! Sunday's are essentially jsut filled with meetings (Priesthood, Sacrament, and the Fireside) and the rest of it is essentialy jsut personal study. The food situation is the saddest on those days. Breakfast is always cereal, and just cereal, and the lines are insane! Thank goodness the prize is always a bowl or two of blueberry muffin tops! Lunch and Dinner and actual meals, but the lines are just as crazy. Ah well, life's still good! Choir is my favorite part of the Sundays and we meet together around 4:45 or so and learn a new song to sing for the following Tuesday's devotional. I've been going the past couple of weeks and it's been a blast! Both times I've sung during devo I've been told that I got a closeup, so props to me I guess!

I know this e-mail ghoes out to my buddies too, so I just wanted to give a little thing here. To everyone who has sent me mail: thank you so much! It's always a huge day lifter to open the mailbox for any missionary and see a letter (or letters!). The amount of support and love which I've gotten from all of you is astounding, and I'm incredibly apprecaitive for it! On the same token, the incredible amount ofsupport has made it hard for me to reach all of you back in mail. My apologies go out especially to the Packs, who have now written me multiple times but have not got a response yet. I know it's hard, but my time to write is super limited. I will reach all of you as quickly as I can, but I just want to let you know just how greatful and happy I am that you have sent me mail. If you're not too discouraged, please, keep sending me mail! I love to hear about how all of you are doing and I will do everything I can to respond. My friends, if you could please send me pictures of you, I still want them very much. It'll be much easier to send them to me now then it will be in just a few short weeks when I go to Russia. Thank you so much once again for your love and support :)

Mom, I've been reading up on the Old Testament lately, and it's been great! For the first time in my life I made it all the way through Genesis and I'm plowing my way through Exodus now. Everytime when I read and talk to other missionaries abotu what I've read I remember the things that you told me about when studying for your insititute class, and it's helped me bunches! Thank you so much for telling me about what you were studying and what you learned, it's helped me and will continue to help me bunches while I study and prepare for Russia!

Crazy to think that, after tomorrow, I will be on the downhill side of my time here at the MTC. 5 and a half weeks tomorrow until I leave for Russia, and 5 and a half weeks tomnorrow is the amount of time I've been in here. I'm incredibly excited and super nervous to go to Russia. Everyday I still hope and pray that my visa will get through, my main worry still being that I'm from Los Alamos. Regardless, I think things will work out alright. No telling for another few weeks though!

Looks like that wraps it up for now! Thank you so much everyone for you hope and prayers! :)

Elder Peterson