Sunday, July 31, 2016

Where I Need to Be - July 25, 2016

Buenas Tardes Hermanos, Okay so this week was one where we continued to see the small miracles in everything that we did. Ill get right to the point to let you all know what happened. Anyways so at the start of the week we were talking to a Recent Convert named Juana. She told us that she had met a young mother recently that had been through a lot of emotional problems and that she wanted to talk to us. We were super excited for Juana to take us there to talk to her the next day. So the next day we stop by Juanas house and we pick her up and start walking. It ended up being a 45 minute walk to get there (about 3 miles). Anyways when we got there we found this reference named Adriana. We started talking to her and she told us that she had talked to about every religion that you could imagine and that she didnt want to join any of them because everyone is a hypocrite. Anyways we talked to her and we were able to share a scripture with her in Moroni 8 that talks about how we are all spiritually sick and we need the power of Christ through his only true church. She started grilling us on super hard questions and I know we were guided by the spirit in all of our answers. In the end she ended up sharing an experience that she had recieved and she asked us to interrpret the experience. She said that she had asked each religion what it meant and that they couldnt answer. When she told us I looked to my companion expecting him to answer and he looked back at me and was like "youve got this" I paused there for like 30 seconds and that was when the spirit took over my words and thoughts and I answered in a way that I knew wasnt of my own capacity. I saw the look on her face change and we finished with a prayer and left. 2 days later we came back and we sat down and we asked if she had questions. She said "what did you eat for breakfast?" I told her a bowl of Fruit Loops and she got mad and said that we needed to eat a proper breakfast and so she fed us! We taught her afterwards and she completed all of her commitments and afterwards told us that it was all clear and true to her! We witnessed a mighty change of heart with her which was a huge miracle for us to witness firsthand. This experience has been a driving force for us reminding us that there are others who need this change within themselves. And it can only come through the spirit of the Lord. We worked to prepare by our studies and the spirit reminded us of what we needed to say that had already been confirmed and spoken by the prophets of Old and by Christ himself. It has been a week where I have felt the spirit take over my life and all that I do and I have felt a change of heart as well within myself, one where I can feel the joy of the gospel. This morning we had the opportunity to experience Oaxaca in an awesome way by going to the Guelegetza! It is a cultural celebration where they have each region of Oaxaca come and they do their regional dance and presentation. Each region has their own dresses and costumes and there is a big stadium that we went to. We had to wake up at 4 this morning to be able to get seats but it was fun to see the amazing culture that I get to be a part of and that I get to serve. Here are the pictures of what it was like and you can see some of the Oaxacan culture!! Anyways I am so blessed to be here to be able to experience this mighty change of heart for myself. It is such a joy and happiness to be able to do so. Thanks for all of the support, Elder Peterson
The Guelagueztza is a huge cultural celebration that takes place each year in Oaxaca the last two weeks of July. Since the dance festival is held on Mondays (P-Day), those working in Oaxaca are allowed to attend the morning performance.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Blessing of Being a Representative of Christ - July 18, 2016

Buenas Tardes todos! Well this week was our opportunity to find the humble joy of this work here in Nochixtlan. After the miracle week that we had last week we had a lesson of how we need to continue to depend in our father in Heaven. I learned a valuable lesson this week, and that is that it is so important that we can focus on the people recieving their blessings of this gospel before we can recieve ours through missionary work. We had been so focused on trying to recieve our blessing of doing the work that we forgot that it is our purpose to be the blessings to the people and that includes in everything that we do and say. It is the way that the savior worked, not once does it say in the bible that Christ was praying for his blessings, he was praying for others and their blessings. And I am grateful for the struggles that we could have this week so that I could learn this valuable lesson of how to be a true representative of Jesus Christ. As you have probably seen, this week was a hard week for us. But it was always filled with blessings in the smallest parts. One of the greatest blessings this week was to be in church and have an investegator walk in named Eloy. He is 94 years old and lives 30 minutes away from the church. We hadnt seen him for a long time and this was the first time in weeks. He walks on 2 canes and it was amazing to see the desire that he had to learn in church. It was a small miracle that we were able to see this week. Other things that happened this week was that we were able to go to Huajuapan for divisions. While we were there we had a great experience to help a child out that was feeling sick. The grandma came out and it was obvious that she was blind. She asked if we could give a blessing to her grandchild and we did. It humbled me and reminded me of how Christ ministered to the blind and the sick and how I am a true representative of him. During this time we had a lot of time to travel and just ponder about all the blessings that we receive. As we were traveling this morning the words of a hymn came to my mind. " Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard? 'Tis not so; all is right. Why should we think to earn a great reward If we now shun the fight? Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake; And soon we'll have this tale to tell-- All is well! All is well!" This is my lesson that I have learned this week and I am so grateful for the joy it brings to me to learn and grow in this gospel. I love this work and couldn't be happier here. Thank you for all of your prayers and support Elder Peterson
Hermana Adalina
Elder Smith and I
My lunch

Friday, July 15, 2016

Nochixtlan District Conference - July 10, 2016

Because there is still a blockade on the freeway at Nochixtlán, we had to take a dirt-road detour to get into the city.

True Happiness - July 11, 2016

Hey Everyone This week I experienced true happiness from this great gospel that we have on the earth this week. It came because I was able to find so many people to share it with that needed this gospel. These past few weeks have been hard to find investegators to teach. I got here with very few people listening to the lessons. It was hard to fill our schedule and so we had to go to work this week hard just knocking on a lot of doors. And even though it was a hard first half, the second half was nothing but miracles. The first experience that we had came when we were contacting the only hill in Nochixtlan. We knocked on a ton of houses and no one accepted us. A lot of them hid and we could see them ignoring us, others straight up told us to get out. Anyways we got a bit discouraged and we decided to head down the other side of the hill without finishing the street. When we were walking past the last house a teenage boy walked out, I had never felt the spirit more strongly to tell me to talk to him so I stopped and we talked for a bit. It turns out that him and his family of 8 had all been listening to the missionaries about a year ago, but those missionaries got changed and lost contact with this family. We stopped by and got to talk to all 8 of them!! It was the greatest to talk to a complete family about the gospel and see the joy that they could have from listening to it. I am attaching a picture of some of the kids with their animals :) The other experience is one that we had with another family in the same situation with the missionaries. Talked and lost contanct...anyways we were contacting and we asked a boy if he knew anyone we could talk to and he told us this family. We found the family and set an appointment with the teenage son because no one else wanted to listen to us. When we went back 2 days later the son wasnt home, so we left and came back 45 minutes later...and still not we left and went back a third time and we found his parents again. They accepted us and we talked to them and afterwards the Dad said, I didnt want to accept you but I needed God and you brought me to him. I want my whole family to hear this message. So we have an appointment with them this week and we are so excited. This week has been all miracles for an area that needed it and I am so grateful for this chance to be here!! I love the work and I love this happiness in it.
The family
Elder Smith my comp and Elder Shoemaker
Took a hike this morning

Multizone 4th of July Activity - areas of Poppies, Atoyac and Nochixtlán

I Am Home - July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July Everyone!! I hope that everyone had a great week and that you all have fun plans for today. We are getting ready to go to our BBQ with President Madsen as well as play a little bit of Football in honor of America and so I am super excited!! But this week was an awesome in the new area. Just like my title says, I feel like I am home now. I got to my new area and started seeing all that was there and found out that it is the agricultural part of Oaxaca. They farm a ton of Wheat and Corn, and also my favorite animal sheep. When I saw them I was ready to go heard them too but then I remembered that when I tried it the sheep always went running in a different direction so I decided that it was better that I left it to the sheep hearder. Anyways we have been able to meet a ton of people that are really prepared for us to teach. To come to a new area it was like everything started out new and I felt new. We went through this week and we focused on inviting people to be baptized throughout the week more than I have ever done it before. We tried to ask in each lesson and there were a lot of times where we were turned back and rejected. This last Friday we were able to have our Leadership Council with President Madsen. He told us that we needed to always be repenting and to teach with everything we have the principle of repentance. It is amazing the results that we were able to see. It reminded me a ton of the story of Alma in Alma 36, where he was completely against the church and everything that he had ever learned. It was to a point where he was fighting directly against his dad until he could experience the principle of repentance. When he repented he realized that others needed this too because there was not a greater light that could be found than was in repentance. We applied it and are seeing this light come into our work through teaching and applying to ourselves. This week I was also able to meet an amazing lady named Adalina. She is 65 years old and had her legs amputated 3 years ago. She is a firm member of the church and as we visited with her this week she told us of all of her friends that she wanted to share this light with. We asked for their address to go visit them and she said, No you dont need that because I am going to go with you!! It took more time to lift her in and out of the taxis and have to wheel her around but there was a greater spirit in everything we did because of her efforts. On Saturday she made us lunch and we ate with her. We had to help her make the food but she has taught me so much in how we always need to serve the Lord no matter what we go through, and that he is always there for us and we can recieve so much more for doing more. It has been the great blessing of my mission to be able to see this and I am so grateful for the opportuity to meet her. I hope that you all have a great 4th today and have a great week!! Elder Peterson

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Made it to Nochixtlan - June 28, 2016

Hello Everyone! I am sorry that I wasnt able to write yesterday, it was a crazy day of traveling. I left at 9am and got to Oaxaca at 4, but afterwards I had to go 2 more hours to get to Nochixtlan, but when we got here there was a road block and we had to walk 2 miles to get home. It was an adventure but we made it here safe and sound. I am here now with Elder Smith from Virginia, it is so fun to have an American companion again and he is super awesome! Nochixtlan is a little town north of Oaxaca, and is a branch of about 60 members. I havent seen anything of the area yet so I cant tell you a lot more about what it is like here, all that I can say is that I am super excited for this change and for the opportunity that I have to be able to serve here. It was hard to leave Huatulco and have to say goodbye to the members that we got to know there. It was awesome to be able to visit with Omars Family, we visited with his mom and his brother and they said that when I come back to visit someday that they will be members of the church too because of the way that Omar has changed and the way that he acts now. They said that it is the way that they wanted to be too and that even though it would take time that one day they wanted to be that way. It was humbling to see just the small influnce that I could have on a few lives there, but each life that I could help and get to know was a greater blessing for me than I could ever be for them. This is why I am so excited to be able to serve here because I will be able to get to know more people and serve them in that way too. I am doing great here, I am safe and protected and it has been a great faith builder to see the protection and blessings of the Lord in all things here, even though there are a few problems with protests right now, the Lord is helping and continues to help us in all things. Thank you for your prayers and support. I look forward to next week being able to share what happens here in Nochixtlan! (No-chi-ks-land) Elder Peterson