January 23, 2012
"Elder Peterson...You're whitewashing again!" "Heh, good joke!...you're not joking are you" "Nope!"
Hey there family and friends!
Transfers have come, and I am being transfered. Not much of one though, just from Dachney North to Dachney South (about a 15 minute tram ride, not bad at all). Same branch, smaller area, some good prospects for baptism. Looking good! Elder Rounds will be staying in the North with his new companion and I will be with Elder Riko, who is in the same cycle as me, so that's pretty cool. We've been told that the apartment has an infestation of fruit flies, so it's been interesting getting suggestions from the office of how to irradicate them. More news on that next week!
[...] has been making some very good progress lately, and we got an interesting phone call one night. She wanted to thank us for the lesson we had given her on the Plan of Salvation and how much she had been liking her reading of The Book of Mormon. She then said "You know, my son has green eyes. But you 2 guys...you have light in your eyes!" That was pretty sweet! Still working on her smoking problem and getting her to Church, so Elder Rounds will take the hand off on her and help her out.
I recently finished another read through of The Book of Mormon, and it's been so dang cool to read it while being on my mission. This past time I read it through without marking any verses and just plain tried to read it as an investigator would read it, and it opened up my mind a lot as to how I could use what I was reading to help our investigators and less actives. Pretty much everytime we share a lesson or spiritual thought I'm able to use exactly what I read that day and express my thoughts in Russian, which is pretty dang cool in my opinion! This upcoming time in reading The Book of Mormon I'll be using a whole new blank paperback one and marking up verses that correspond to the missionary lessons along with adding some commentary. It'll be good :)
Not a whole lot to say this week, so after I write my letter to President I'll try to see if I can load up some pictures onto this computer. Best of luck!
Well, that didn't work. We'll try that out another day. Ah well! Time for some thoughts!
I had an interesting experience I wanted to share from last night, We had to take a taxi to get transfers stuff worked out and so it was me, Elder Rounds and Elder Long (he's a couple of cycles older than us) in the taxi. There was an odd song about a basketball that was playing on the radio and I was trying to focus on translating to song and figuring out the point of it all. There wasn't much of a point, and there were lots of words I didn't know, but I've been making it a habit these past couple of weeks to translate into English what I hear in Russian to improve my translating skills. When I turned around and started paying attention to the conversation between the taxi driver and Elder Long however, I found that they had gotten into a good, deep Gospel discussion. I was abashed and a bit ashamed for having spent so much time trying to translate a stupid song to improve my Russian while this other Elder was being such a great example and preaching. We prayed for the taxi driver and his family (his wife is pretty sick) and went on with the rest of the night,
Elder Long said something interesting. He said that he always tries to keep the perfect missionary in the back of his head and say "What would Elder Wood (a fantastic Elder who just went home" do?" and then try his best to do that. Elder Long also mentioned how fast his time was going on his mission and how he didn't want to be one of those Elders who didn't become all they could on their missions. It got me thinking a bit.
Before my mission I really only had about 3 main desires in my life. I wanted fuzzy dice in my car, I wanted to serve a mission and first, and foremost, I wanted to have a family. I've got a beautiful promise in my patriarchal blessing about my family, and it's always been most important to me and the most amazing thing I could ever think of being is in being a Dad. I knew that I would need to serve a mission before having a family, but I never really thought about what things I would gain or do on my mission to prepare me for the rest of my life.
How exactly have you all (my family) changed from being on your missions? Is it visible in the moment? Is it visible at all that I've changed (for the better, hopefully!). What goals did you have in life and for your mission before and on your mission? What kind of things should I focus on to learn to love my mission more and become the missionary and person that I need to be?
Interesting stuff to think about. Anyways, that'll probably wrap up this little e-mail for the week. Thank you all for your prayers and great love. It's kept me warm in the -23 Celsius weather here in the Motherland! Rumor has it that the next 2-3 weeks will be the coldest of the winter, so we'll see how that goes down. I'll bundle up! Ya'll be good now and eat your veggies :)
With much love, as always