Sunday, December 20, 2015
Hello Everyone! Well this week has flown by and we continue to get closer and closer to Christmas day. It is still really hard for me to believe that it is the Christmas season. Juchitan is having more parties than ever in the streets. Actually it has lead to our hardest days yet so far in the mission. On Friday and Saturday it was a huge celebration for the Catholic Church. In each street there was a big tent set up with food and drinks and everything for the people. At 11 Friday night there was a massive parade in front of our house with fireworks and singing and everything, it was a struggle because I would rather sleep than have a parade. Saturday we woke up having had very little sleep, my companion got sick and could hardly talk. Saturday we had 10 people planned to talk to as well as 10 others that we could visit if the others couldnt talk. All but 3 were there to talk to us. So we were left to knocking on doors for the rest of the day. We knocked on doors for 2 whole streets and nobody was there in their houses because they were all out partying. We returned home humbled by the experience but it was awesome to see the faith of my companion Sunday as we got to watch the dedication of the Tijuana Temple. We heard President Uchtdorf speak as well as Elder Oaks, and it was a really spiritual experience. After that the Lord blessed us through our afflictions, as we went out with humility and all of our confidence in him. We found 3 people that we hadnt been able to talk to previously because they were always gone. We talked to them and had some of the most spiritual lessons yet. The first lesson we had we taught with a lady named Diane. In this lesson she had a huge desire to learn and find for herself. We talked with her and I felt prompted to tell her "Diane, I know that if you continue with this same desire you will have an answer that all of this is true in 1 month, I know it and I know you will find it for yourself" She accepted baptism and everything! The second was with another lady named Teresa. By the end of this lesson she was in tears saying that she had never felt anything like this before with any religion. She too accepted baptizm. It goes to show that the Lord will always bless you more abundantly through your afflicitions if you can confront them with faith in him rather than faith in the things of the world. I know that this is possible because Christ conquered all for us, he never took the easy way out, he conquered it all with faith in his father, our perfect example. I hope that in this season you all can remember every aspect of the life of Jesus Christ, without him we are nothing. Everyone have an amazing holiday season!
Monday, December 7, 2015
Hello Everyone! Well the holidays are here and I didnt even realize it. Actually this week has been kind of rough weather wise. After I thought that you could never find a place windier than Wyoming, well I am here to tell you that I have found that place. It is so windy here that my companion lost one of his shirts this morning to the wind, we dont know where it went. I often feel like I am back on trek trecking through the dirt roads with dust blowing in my eyes, but hey it is awesome here. Last night we had the opportunity to watch the Christmas devotional in the stake center. It was such a spirtitual moment to hear the Tabernacle Choir sing Silent Night for their final song. We were asked to sing along with the choir for the final verse and I was surprised to find that the words were still in English on the screen. There are only two American Elders in our Stake here and the members tried to sing at first but they stopped somewhere in the middle. We had investegators sitting next to us and they had all stopped to listen to us. It was one of the most spritual moments of the mission. I absolutely love this time of year. We have been making a huge effort to spread the message of Christ right now in the work. What we have been doing is asking everyone to ponder Why they personally, need a Savior. We can answer with answers found in the scriptures, but the love of Christ is personal for each of us. And for us this Christmas season our goal is to help each person we come in contact with to find that personal love of Jesus Christ for each one of them. In doing this we have had many spiritual experiences with many people. We had a ward activity this past Friday night. We decided to show the new videos of the Church to start this question going in the lives of our ward. The Ward Mission leader asked me to be in charge of the devotional this week, and it was a huge testimony to me in front of our ward that this message needs to be spread because the Spirit put words into my mouth to share with each person that was there that night. We had less active members that hadnt been to church in a year, we had investegators that we had struggled for months to help them participate in Church activities. The Lord blessed me to share what needed to be said about Jesus Christ as our Savior, for each one of us personally. Saturday and Sunday we had Stake conference here. Our mission president was here for the Saturday night adult session. He came to help the members understand their role in missionary work which was a huge blessing for us. But while I was sitting comfortably in my seat enjoying the talks of the Temple President who was also there, and Sister Madsen, I noticed that President Madsen was smiling to himself up on the stand. His first words in his talk were, "Elder Peterson, can you please come up here on the stand with me and help me to explain what the daily teaching goals of missionaries are and what you are trying to work for" I had to explain to the whole stake all of these things for about 5 to 7 minutes and it was pretty scary. We have had some miracles as well this week. Floricelli that had lost interest in learning made a reappearance yesterday in church. Somehow the Young Womens president found her and invited her to a mutual activity. Floricelli loved it and wants to continue learning now. With the help of the Young Womens president. Also Davids dad, who we just baptized, came to church as well for the first time yesterday. With the opposition that we had with him at first you can know that the spirit is working through David to help his Dad. It is truly a time of miracles, all because of our Savior Jesus Christ. Please take time to find who he is to you personally this Christmas season. Sincerely Elder Peterson
Hello Everyone!! Well this week came and went and it was tiring! More so than I have had thus far in the mission. Elder Martinez came into the mission on Tuesday and we immediatly went to work with him. It was weird because he is trying to get used to the mission language of things. We would be contacting a house and they would say something and we would try to reply to it. Afterwards he would ask me "What did that person say?" and I would say "I dont know your the one who speaks Spanish here" haha he is awesome though. It is a huge blessing to have him because he was prepared well before his mission. He came into the field ready to teach and we have taught with power this week. It was definately the most succesful week of the mission thus far. We began the week with trying to find the people that we had given up on a while ago. We found many of them that didnt have the desires to come to church before. We taught them the importance of the Sabbath Day with the lesson that is found in Matthew 26:40. How Jesus Christ in the middle of the performance of the Atonement had to return back to his disciples 3 times and ask if they could simply give him 1 hour. This is the connection to the Sabbath Day. Christ asks us to give him 1 hour each week to stay by him and watch with him through the Sacrament. This lesson proved powerful. We had 6 of these people come to church this past week that we had been teaching for 3 months, and it was all their first time as well. Elder Lee returned to the ward with his parents and so I was translating for his Dad a little and he was translating everything for his mom. It was fun to see him one last time and he finally spoke English with me!! Many people have been asking how was Thanksgiving in Mexico. Sadly enough here the only things that they celebrate are their weddings and birthdays each week. Its not unusual to find big tents in the middle of the streets with boxes of beer stacked 6 high and 6 across. So to be honest, we didnt really celebrate Thanksgiving. It was actually our hardest day that many people didnt accept us. We returned to the apartment and ate some cake that night and went to bed a little early. Yesterday was awesome with celebrations though because Elder Lees parents brought down various Christmas decorations from my family and so we got to "decorate" the apartment today. Elder Martinez thought it was pretty cool the way that Americans celebrate Christmas. It was also weird to walk into the store today from 70 degrees and hear Christmas music. It really doesnt feel like the holiday season without snow. I didnt realize how much I would miss the snow and even the cold (what?!?) but nonetheless Juchitan Oaxaca is beautiful in its own special way for the holiday season. I hope that as this season starts that as everyone feels of the happiness of the season, remember that it is through Christ that this season of happiness and love is only because of him and his love for us. Remember always the happiness in this time and try to connect it with him. Everyone have a safe holiday season. Elder Peterson Thanksgiving dinner -- a cake. Eating a tlayuda They decorated for Christmas with Christmas decorations we sent!