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

Monday, December 19, 2011


December 19, 2011
Oh gosh, I need chocolate!
Hey there Family and Friends!

Ooof. Not going to lie, it's been one of the most stressful, if not the most stressful week of my life! It's been a crazy past few days and it'll continue on for at least another few days before everything settles down.

I'm not sure how much I really want to talk about it, at least not right now. So I'm gonna focus on the good stuff!

The ward here in Dachney is amazing, and I had my first experience in doing translating this past Sunday. The senior couple in Saratov, the Williams, decided to come to our branch! I translated for them for Sacrament meeting and for Priesthood and I realized just how cool (but kinda hard!) it is to translate at such a fast pace and with preciseness. Generally when I'm speaking Russian my brain just thinks in Russian and when I speak English I think in English, so it took my brain just a little bit to learn how to listen and understand in Russian and then speak in English what I understood. Woo! It was a fun experience, and I'm glad to have had my first real experience doing it.

We've only had a chance to meet with a couple of members, but the meeting have gone very well. One night me and Elder Rounds were out with the branch list and decided to visit a certain apartment. We thought (statistically) that it would be a less active family we'd be visiting, but as it turned out we found one of the most willing members in the branch! He's a happy Ukrainian by the name of [...] and he was baptized 4 years ago. He gave us advice of who to visit and what to do to help the branch while we're here in Dachney. Even better, he offered his help for any lesson we had! Yay!

Argh, I gotta get this out a little bit I think. This week has been really frustrating. Our apartment looks nice, but it doesn't have a thing! Not even a frying pan (well, there's a frying pan but it's completely caked in heaven only knows what). Our land lady is an old grandma who is impossible to understand is who was complaining about us bringing our own sheets to the apartment. Her husband doesn't know anything about the apartment or anything in it but apparently is in charge of keeping care of our apartment. We found out this morning that our washing machine doesn't work, which the husband of the land lady openly proclaimed he doesn't know how to work. The toilet is pretty flakey and weird smells seem to appear in rooms sporatically. We came into the area without any missionary materials, so we've scraped together a few things to get us going until the office sends us all of the things we need. The apartment is just missing all of the basic things and the only way to get it, it seems, is to get it ourselves and that costs a lot of money and the permission for it will take a while to get through and whatnot.

Sorry, I hope that didn't sound like whining, it's just been a bit rough these past few days. We both know as much Russian as each other and So pushing through all of these apartment things and whatnot has required a vocabulary and skill that combined we've just barely been able to scrape. I haven't even described all of the things we've been doing, and I don't want to either, but...just argh!

There have been a couple of sweet moments among all of this though. When the moment of stress just become too much or when nothing seems to be going write I have found peace in prayer. These first few days have shown me just how weak I am and just how much I need help and guidance from Heavenly Father. While the prelude music was playing at Church I was praying and worrying about how to figure out all these things when I just felt a strong feeling of peace and love in the branch. I looked around and felt the love that the branch had for each other and for the desire they had to learn and to feel the Spirit. I felt peace and comfort that things will be ok.

I wish I could have that feeling all the time. There's so much to do and prepare for in such a short amount of times and so often I've felt so helpless to accomplish any of the simple things that need to be done. I know it will happen and be done, because it needs to be and I'll push through it just fine, it's just a bit hard I guess. Sorry! I really didn't mean for this to be a depressing e-mail or anything. This week has offered me tender mercies among the hard times, and It'll be ok.

Time's up to write. Gonna read the e-mails I got from ya'll and go back to work! Thank you so much for everything! :)

Much love
Elder Peterson

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