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, March 19, 2012


March 19, 2012

Drawing on a bus!

Hey there ya'll!

So, before I forget, I got your package mom and dad and I'm way excited to make some tasty mexican food! Also, it's so dang awesome to hear that Ed is going to BYU-I. He's gonna love it, methinks.

We had a Zone Conference here this past week, which is always one of my favorite couple of days. We get to sit down and filled up with all sorts of good training, advice and Subway sandwiches. One of my most favorite things I learned were explained in 2 parables that I wanted to share.

The Parable of the Rock

There was a man living in his home next to a very large, heavy rock. One night, God came to the man and said He had a work for him. God explained to the man that He wanted him to push the rock next to his home every day with all his might. The man agreed to do so, knowing that God had personally asked him to do so.

Starting that next morning, and for many days following, the man went to the rock and pushed with all his might. Yet, no matter how much he push, worked and struggled, the rock never moved at all. Many days after starting, the man wondered to himself why he was asked to push the rock. It hadn't moved, and showed no signs of ever moving, despite his efforts. Immediately after he had this thought, Satan came to him. "You're right!" he said, "It is perfectly useless for you to push this rock. It will never move. Why do you struggle so hard everyday? Aren't you tired? Look, why don't you rest. Don't push so hard, take a day off, or, better yet, quit!" The man was troubled greatly, and decided to make it a matter of prayer for that night.

As he had determined, that night the man got down on his knees and began to pray to Heavenly Father, pleading with Him to know why the rock had not yet moved. As he pled, God once again came to the man and comforted him.

"My dear son," He said, "I never asked you to move the rock. I only asked you to push the rock with all your might. And look at you now. Your arms have become refined and toned, your legs have become firm and stead fast as they have braced themselves against the rock and your strength is now far beyond that which you had when I first came to you. Now, my son, I shall move the rock for you."

The Parable of the Cliff

There was a man living in his home to to a very vast and steep cliff, leading down to a dark, foreboding sea. The man, one evening, was looking out at the sunset when the Lord appeared at the edge of the cliff.

"Come to the edge!", He called, beckoning to the man.

"No, I cannot!," the man called back, "I will fall!"

The Lord once again beckoned to the man, saying "Be not afraid. Come to the edge!"

The man was scared, yet knowing that it was his Lord that called, came to the edge where He stood. The sunset was so beautiful, and the waves of the sea both calmed and alarmed the man as he stood upon the edge. Then, the Lord pushed the man off the edge.

And the man flew.


I hope you like those parables, and they sure meant a lot to me when I heard them at Zone Conference. Even better, I had a fun experience because of them! During Zone Conference I had a feeling that we needed to share these parables with some members in the branch. We had a meeting with them that evening, and the traffic is always obnoxious from the center of the city going to Zavodskoi, so there was lots of time to spend waiting. I was sitting down next to a guy on the bus thinking about how to explain the parables in Russian when I realized I didn't know all the words, specifically, the word for "edge". I didn't have my mini dictionary on me, and so I decided to draw a little cliff in my planner and have an arrow pointing to the edge. I asked the guy next to me (whose name is Ivan) if he knew the word for that thing the arrow was pointing to, and he gave it to me. I decided to practice the stories on him, and it went well! After a bit of time getting to know each other, he got off the bus, but a girl in the row in front of me turned around and said "wow, you've got good Russian! How did you know how to tell those stories?" By the end of the bus ride I'd made a few new friends and got pretty good at telling the parables to the members! Good times were had by all :)

I was also reminded lately about my purpose as a missionary. I remember talking to Mom before my mission when she told me "now, don't worry about getting lots of baptisms. That's not what success is on a mission" and I remember telling her "of course it's not! I just want to help people!" It's been cool, especially lately, to see how my Russian language skills are allowing me to let more and more of my personality show, which allows more of a chance for people to open their hearts and see more than just a snazzy looking American in a new coat and a nametag, but an actual guy who just wants to make friends with some Russians and give them a chance to feel what I feel in respects to the Gospel. It's cool! :)

Well, I've got no more time it looks like. Mom, thanks for all that you do and I hope you get to feeling better soon! Did Elder Williams get that E-mail? I sure hope that little system works :)

Well, ya'll have a good week now! Thank you again, and I love you so much :)

With love!


Elder Peterson

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