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, November 19, 2012


November 19, 2012 "Computer no work! Only one!" Elder Treter - "Nah, I got this" Hey there everyone! It snowed this week! Three days in a row too! Though it's not nearly as epic as it really sounds. There's still snow on the ground and whatnot, but it's not a whole lot, so now [no] worries. It's jsut enough though that there's ice on the sidewalks and roads, which brought back a ton of fun memories of slipping and sliding around in the winter time down the streets of Saratov. It's a little difficult to descibe the feelings I had doing that again, since that means the second winter of my mission has started. Woah snap! That's pretty crazy! The locals have informed me that winters here should be about what they were like in Saratov, though -40 does happen here perhaps a bit more frequently than there. But that won't be for another month or two I think (most likely Febuary, that's when it was coldest last winter), so we'll see what Orenburg has in store this year! Mom asked a bit about my companion, so I can expound a bit more about him. He's from Greendale Wisconsin and is the youngest of 3. He actually home taught Sean's mission president, which is cool. His dad is a lawyer and his mom is a professional viola player and as for Elder Treter, he doesn't know exactly what he wants to become yet but he thinks becoming some variety of physicist would be good, and he most certainly has the brains for it. He knows the scriptures way well and we have fun talking about random stuff from the old testament especailly. I have a feeling that I may gain some weight this cycle since we discovered that making fried chicken and potatoes, although a bit of an expensive dish, is very much so possible and tasty here in Russia. Fun times! Last Thanksgiving we were able to come up from Zavodskoy to the Williams apartment and have a tasty feast! This year we found out that we'll be having a combined district meeting/thanksgiving dinner fun times at the senior couple here in Orenburg! They'll be supplying the main dishes whilst we'll be providing any kind of small dish. They have never had mexican food, so I'm thinking of sacrificing my last package of taco seasoning for the festivities! Methinks it'll be a good Thanksgiving :) President Sartori has been hinting that we're all going to be staying in the areas we're in for a long time, which would be cool since I love it up here in Orenburg! We've especially lately been doing a lot of less active work with the senior couple, which is yielding some great results. I think I mentioned it earlier, but before they came 3 months ago there was all of about 11 people coming to church each Sunday, and then after they came and began their work we've gotten to an average of about 40 coming each Sunday, which is a huge miracle. It's been cool to see how the Lord's been working with each one of the memebers, both active and less active, to help them become strong and have their own spiritual experiences. A pretty humbling experience happened this past week with this one family this past week. The whole family is supported by their mother, who works as a night janitor and the local school. When she applied for the job they said that they could pay her only by having her apply for a certain bank card and then having the money placed directly onto the account. That's all good, but the problem is that it takes 2-3 months for them to create and give her (the mom) the card. It's already been two months now and she hasn't received the card, and this past week her family was in serious financial debt. The only thing she had to feed her family one night was Russian pancakes called bline with no kind of add on or anything (essentially, just flower and water). Well, the senior couple found out about the situation and them, along with the branch president, were able to work everything out and get her some money and food. The mom never doubted that the Lord would provide for her and her family, and the whole little village where she's in is astounded as to how she seems to make it month by month with so little money and means. We had a little meeting with them and she bore testimony of the Lord's love and care for her and her little family. One of my favorite verses from the scriptures is when Christ talks about the lilies of the field, and the birds of the sky, and how God provides for them, though for only a little while do they live. Something I'm still learning is really realizing just how much Heavenly Father loves us, more than those lilies that He created and provides for. Well, times up now, gotta go. Eric mentioned today (which makes Mom, Dad, Sean and Eric now!) that someday I need to explain what all my subject lines means. Almost all of them are just taken from funny experiences I've had during the past week, most of which I remember. If you get the time, could you make a list of my subject lines that I can print out? I can keep a record of what each of them is from and the experiece tied to it (may be a good way for me to write more in my journal too. I've been terrible about keeping a good journal on my mission). I can see that potentially taking a lot more time than it's worth though, and I think honestly I remember most if not all of them and we can have some laughs over them when I come back. Anyways, time really is up now and I'm gonna log off. Thanks a bunch for everything! Have a great week now and Happy Thanksgiving! With love -- Elder Peterson

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