Saturday, February 27, 2016

I Think I am in California - February 22, 2016

Hello Everyone! Well I know that some of you didn't get any emails from me last week and I am so sorry for that. Apparently the system was down on Monday and so I promise I wasn't trying to ignore any of you. Anyways so if you didn't hear, I am now in Hualtuco and it is a huge tourist town, wayyyyy different from Juchitan. There are a ton of tourists from Canada and it has been really weird to talk to people about the gospel in Spanish and English for the first time in my mission. Anyways here everything is green and gorgeous.We have a member friend named Fredy that works in one of the 5 star resorts here as a photographer. When I got here he took us out to dinner and showed us the best restauants. We have gone to dinner with him 3 times this week at different restaurants. He is a returned missionary that always helps us to feel happy. This week the best food was Argentine food, a platter of argentine meats that I will attach. The streets are all lined with palm trees and green lawns, there are 2 or 3 Five star resorts here and I cant believe that after Juchitan that this can be in the same state in Mexico. But the people here are amazing just like they were in Juchitan. It was a hard adjustment to leave all of my best friends behind and at times I was homesick for Juchitan. But Elder Valadez is awesome, it feels like I am in my second training with him. He only has 6 weeks left of his mission but he is teaching me so much in how I can become a better missionary. This week we were able to find a ton of new investegators through contacting a lot of houses above the city. The thing that is hard here is that there are a ton of hills that we have to climb and oftentimes they are steep rugged dirt trails. But we have a lot of investegators that we are teaching right now trying to get them ready for baptism. We met a girl named Mirium this last week that we were able to teach. She has had a lot of things happen in her life and her mom has a really short temper all the time. When we talked to her this last week her mom had kicked her out of the house because she was late for buying some things for dinner. She had to go find a friend to live with for the weekend until she could go back and she had hit the end of her rope. We were able to talk to her about why there are trials in this life and how we can always turn to God when we need him, that we will always no matter what happens have a perfect Father in Heaven. Sometimes there are people that have parents die, or others that have no love from their parents, we have met them all and it is so amazing to be able to testify that we always have a perfect father in Heaven. It makes walking through the 95 degree weather all the better to be able to testify always of our perfect family that each one of us has, with a perfect brother Jesus Christ. There isn't too much to write about this week but I look forward to hearing from you all next week and being able to share more with all of you! Thank you all for the letters and support!
This is the famous Freddy with me and my Companion
Another picture of Me and Elder Valadez

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Adios Juchitan Hola Hualtuco - February 15, 2016

Hello Everyone! Well the transfers came this week and I know some of you might want to know what happened and where I am so I will get to that later. But first I need to tell you all about the awesome last week that we had in Barrio Tecnologico. Anyways this last week was awesome. We had the opportunity to baptize 3 people in the past week and more importantly help this family out. This past December on the 23rd we had a family in our ward that had listened to the missionaries before. Some of them were members and one of them went on a mission. The missionary had to come home for medical reasons for a time and on this date the Dad got in a motorcycle accident and died. It was devestating for this family and they were completely torn apart. 3 weeks later this missionary, Heriberto starting bringing all of his siblings to church that wanted to. And that is when we found Eunice and Evelyn. Eunice had listened to the missionaries before but had never understood the importance of baptism. We stopped by their house that night and talked to her and she accepted baptism because of the promises of joy and happiness that come along with it. There was also her niece there that was listening that her mom Iris had been a less active for a long time. We talked to them and Iris began to come to church again for Evelyn to be baptized. We were able to teach about the plan of salvation to the whole family and eventually they all started coming to church. The mom isnt a member but I hope that someday she can be. Anyways we were able to baptize Eunice and Evelyn this past week along with a teenager Moises, who we found in the street with a group of friends about 4 months ago. We began to teach him and he began to have a testimony of it all when all of a sudden he moved out of our area. 3 weeks ago is when he moved back into the area and we stopped by his house. He told us that in the span of those months he went through many hard trials in his life, and he remembered the teachings that we taught at first in how Heavenly Father is always listening. He began to pray on his own and he felt the blessings of doing so. When he moved back in to the ward he was asking when he could be baptized so that he could recieve the priesthood and prepare to serve his mission. His parents arent giving him any support for the mission but he told them that he is going anyways no matter what they say. It was so awesome to see 3 people converted, truly converted, unto the Lord this week in Eunice Evelyn and Moises. It was hard to have to say goodbye to all the members in Juchitan and thats what we did all day Sunday. Then Sunday night came and I was waiting up until 10:30 that night. Finally at 10:30 the call came for our transfers. The district leader told me that I was going to Hualtuco and I was so excited. It is the most touristy area in the mission that is famous for its beaches and green palm trees. I was excited because he told me that my companion was going to be Elder Valadez that I had heard a ton about him. Then he gave me my piece of humble pie, and told me that I was going to be zone leader here with him. At first I thought he was joking and I told him to stop joking, and he told me that he was serious and that I was going to be on a bus at 8am the next day for Hualtuco. I cannot begin to explain how humbled I am to do this and hope that I can do a good job in this. I am grateful for this experience to help me with my faith in the Lord because it is what I will need for this. Thank you all for everything that you do and I hope that you all had a great Valentines day! Elder Peterson

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Missionary Program - Juchitan January 22-23, 2016

The missionaries in Juchitan presented the program "El Cristo Es"in the two stakes in Juchitan.These photos are of the preparations, practices and presentation of the program on both nights.

Miracles - February 8, 2016

Hello Everyone! Just like the title says, the only word that can describe this week is miracle. We were able to have 2 baptisms on Saturday of Diego and Luis Ruiz. Most of you probably dont remember but the first week that I got here in the field we found Luis, he had tried to be baptized 3 times before with 3 different sets of Elders. He has a literal phobia of water and it has made it almost impossible for him to be baptized. About a month ago we told him that he could do it and if he did all that he could he would be baptized in a month on the 6 of Februrary. He started doing everything, reading, praying, seminary etc. He passed the interview easily and was super excited up until that day. Anyways we got to the baptism that day with Diego, who was super excited to be baptized and finally be part of his group of friends who are all LDS. We were waiting and waiting and waiting and Luis wasnt there. We were calling his Mom and his sister and everyone and no one was answering. Finally half an hour later he showed up with his mom in tears. He got changed and was still crying but he asked for a priesthood blessing from us. We entered a room and gave him a blessing. In the blessing I dont remember anything that I said, only that it was said that he would be baptized that night. We went on with the service and Diego was baptized. Luis and I left to practice right before we were to enter the water. He told me that he wasnt going to go in unless I literally tackled him and to please do what I could to help him to accomplish this. We got to the door of the font and he literally froze up, he couldnt even put a foot in the water. All of his friends came and after half an hour he finally got in the water. He walked straight to the corner and wouldnt come out for another 15 minutes. Finally we got enough space that I could say the prayer, and me and him both entered the water. When we came out the witness said that literally 5 hairs of his head didnt go in. Luis would not enter the water and I had honestly never felt worse in my life. I left to go change and one of the young men caught me and told me that Luis was back in the water ready to try a different way. We went back and he was back in but he wouldnt let anyone touch him. We were in there with my companion and another guy in the ward completely submerged in the freezing water for 2 hours and Luis literally couldnt do it. He told us that he would try later and that now wasnt the time. After 3 hours of trying with him, sitting in the water, we left the church. It was one of the saddest experiences of my life. The next day we went to church and everything and Diego was confirmed. But Luis didnt come to church. I had to make a call to President Madsen the mission president asking about some things for the upcoming week. I felt prompted in this call to as him about the situation with Luis and what we could do. I explained what had happened the previous night and he told me. "This kid has a stronger desire to do what is asked of him and is doing all that he can, he did all that he can and that is what God asks of us and 5 hairs of his head shouldnt impede him with the blessings that he can recieve for what he put forth." He told us that with this effort of the first baptism that we did that it was valid and that Luis was really baptized only because of the condition that he has. It was a miracle and we rushed to tell the bishop and Luis. It was as if a burden was lifted off the whole family and i have never seen any of them so happy before. It was one of the greatest experiences of my mission by far. I dont know what more can be said about this week, this experience seemed to make me forget about everything else that happened. We were super excited for Diego to be baptized. Anyways this is the last week that I will be in Barrio Tecnologico and I am feeling a little bit sad. It has become a home to me and I think it is going to feel like I am leaving on another mission when I leave here but I am looking forward to being able to find more people to help and serve in other parts of Oaxaca. Thank you all for the love and support that is being felt here through the prayers and letters. I hope you all have a great Valentines Day this week!
The baptisms of Luis and Diego

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's February! February 1, 2016

Hello Everyone! Well this week was a great week once again and I dont think that you can really have bad weeks in the mission as long as you are always serving the Lord. Honestly there will be the problems and difficulties but there is always the next day to find the miracles and thats one thing that I love about the mission. Anyways so this week we started out normal in all of our planning and trying to figure out how to finish out these last two weeks of the change strong. It honestly feels like the last week of the term in what we are doing. We were able to start our lessons with Evelyn, Eunice, and Moises, 3 people that were the miracles of the work. Eunice and Evelyn are part of a family that we reactivated. On Christmas Eve their Dad got in a motorcycle accident and died. The Family was devestated by it and we have just barely had the chance to begin to teach them but with plans to baptize them in 2 weeks. Moises is the teenager that moved back into the ward. He was selling pie and tamales this week to pay to go to the temple, in which he couldnt go inside. While everyone was there doing the work he sat outside and read the Book of Mormon. We are so excited to continue to help him. This week we also got to have the opportunity to have a Multi Zone conference. Elder CastaƱeda of the 70 came to our area to speak to us and it was awesome. He told us how we can recognize the spirit more and helped us practice recognizing the spirit, something that I had never really seen before for a practice but it helped us so much in how we can bring the spirit into our lessons. Afterwards we had the opportunity to talk to him a little bit and he told my companion that he was going to have 10 converts in 7 months. It has inspired Elder Martinez to work harder in all of this. Sunday we had another miracle day in which we were able to have 10 investegators in church. The ward was so excited to have such a big youth group participating and we have had all of the young men asking if they can start preparing for missions by visiting with us. It has been an awesome week in which I will be very sad to leave the area but something that I will never forget because I found a greater part of my testimony here through everyone that I have come in contact with. Thank you all for your love and support and I hope that you can all survive the snow up there! Elder Peterson
My new companion Diego who is going to get baptized this Saturday!
A walnut pie. I was telling a family about how I love Pecan Pie but I said the wrong name for pecan and they figured it was walnut so they made a walnut pie for me. It was still really good!