Sunday, February 12, 2017

Travels with President and Sister Madsen - January 9, 2017

Well this week was a really fun week that we got to be out and travel with President and Sister Madsen all over the mission to do training meetings with them and finish off with the music program in the coast. It was such a great experience to be with President and to be able to get to know him and Sister Madsen better. Everytime we are with them my love and respect for them grows, they are such amazing people that are willing to make huge sacrifices to make sure that we are loved and supported. On Monday we started out by driving down to Salina Cruz to get ready for the new missionary training in the Itsmo. It is about a 5 hour drive down with all curves and luckily none of us got car sick this time. Anyways we got down there and stayed the night with the zone leaders in Salina Cruz and on Tuesday morning we got up and went to the training meeting. We keep trying to emphasize the importance of the legacy that the trainers and the missionaries will leave behind on the missionaries, members, and investigators here in Oaxaca. The theme has seemed to be the promise that Elder Miron from the 70 has promised us that "Our legacy will stretch across generations and one day we will look back and be able to see the influence that one simple baptism has had on the outcome of thousands of people" And it is so true. At the end of the week when we were in Huatulco we were able to go to church there. Since the time that I was there the Branch has doubled in size, with nearly 130 people there every week. What was even more amazing to me was to see the influence that the investigators that we found while I was there almost a year ago are starting to have. One investigator that we found in my last week there was recently baptized. She stood up yesterday in church to give her testimony and she said "I am so thankful for Elder Peterson and Elder Mora who made the effort to find me, and to Elder Allman and Elder SaldaƱa who never gave up" It was such a sweet experience to see her bear her testimony and her desire to share that with her family now. That experience really made me realize that my influence on the people wont only be just through baptisms, but simply the effort that I give will be an effort that can change a community. And it can be the same with everyone, the effort that we give in the gospel and to follow the commandments will be enough to change a world that needs changing. Our effort will be a legacy for generations to come. After this meeting we were able to go eat with an awesome member in Salina Cruz. He went on his mission to Monterrey and wanted to show us the best food in Salina Cruz, so he took us down to a little grass hut down on the beach to have us try a lot of different sea food. They brought out a dip at first with a bunch of chips. Mario (The Member) asked us what we thought it was and we didnt know. He told us it was a crocodile dip!! It was so good too. After that they brought out another big plate with more chips and a dip, this time he asked us what we thought it was and we still didnt know. He told us that this was a Tiger Shark dip, and that one was really good too. Then they brought us out a plate for each of us, and on those plates were whole lobsters that had just been caught, filled with a cheese and chipotle dip and those lobsters were better than the ones that I had had before. Then we didnt think we could eat anymore and we saw them bringing out this huge tray, and on it they had a huge fish that is a Northern Red Snapper. It was a sweet fish and I loved it too. It was quite the exotic food run on the beach, I am attaching pictures of each plate so that you can all see better what they are. On Wednesday we were able to do the Mission Leadership Council meeting. Once again like we did in the city here we shared the same insights with the Zone Leaders down there. That we as leaders here in the mission have the huge responsiblity to teach and invite the missionaries that are in our zones and districts. That we need to find out what their struggles are and teach them in the gospel, and invite them to make changes in their lives. The Zone Leaders in the itsmo are awesome. They are having so much success and they are so humble and ready to learn to be able to do anything that is asked of them. We had a powerful meeting and the work continues to spread forth across that part of Oaxaca. On Thursday morning, we took a bus to Huatulco to start practicing for the program there. We were there for about 4 hours practicing for all of the songs that we were going to do with about half of the zone. Sister Madsen had me playing a few songs including "Oh Holy Night" on the piano to accompany the choir and soloists. But for Oh Holy Night the notes were too high for the Elder so Sister Madsen asked me to transpose the song. I was up late that night transposing on an electric keyboard. On Friday we got to go out and teach some lessons with the Zone Leaders. When we tried to stop by Omar and Andres house (My converts there) they werent home. But a guy in his late 20s was there and told us to come in. He said that he was Andres son and that he had questions for "us mormons" This was a guy that had a beard, tatoos, and a backward baseball cap on that talked pretty rough. But as we started talking to him he told us that he lived in Oaxaca in San Martin. I couldnt believe it!!! It was our area that my companion and I are assigned to!! We started teaching him and he said that he was a Christan that had been going to church for a long time and had been baptized there, and that he was trying to become a preacher. He asked us what we believed in and we talked about that through Christ, we need to follow his example, and repent and be baptized. We read a scripture with him that is Acts 2:38 which says 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We asked him if before his baptism he had repented of his sins to be baptized, and he didnt answer us. He responded "I have never seen this scripture before but it is clearly written in the Bible, I feel as if I need to be baptized again but that I also need to repent of all my sins before" He told us that he needed to keep hearing the discussions. He gave us his number and his address and we are going to go find him this week to keep teaching him. It was a huge blessing to see that the Lord put him in our path to be able to teach him. He was only there in Huatulco that weekend and it was the only we were going to find someone that was so prepared. I know that if we prepare the Lord will always put the path before us so that we can follow his commandments and recieve his eternal blessings. On Saturday we had the program, and going back to Oh Holy Night we were practicing and practicing. I felt like a voice coach trying to get this song down. Eventually Sister Madsen said "Alright Elder Peterson you are going to sing this with Elder Fierros and Elder Matheson will play" For any of you that know me it scares me so bad to sing in front of people if I am not singing with at least 20 other people. But I told her I would do it. So we had 2 times to practice and then we had to perform it. But in the end it turned out really good, there were so many people that came up to us and told us how good it was!! I just think it is a miracle that my voice didnt crack in it but it was so fun to sing that and it was so powerful as well. The program turned out awesome, and I am so excited to participate in the city this next week. We are hoping that this week we can work like normal in our area once again, we know that we have been obedient and that the Lord has prepared people for us while we have been gone. He loves us and is always blessing us, and I am so grateful for him.
Beach Baptism in Huatulco that we went to for the Zone Leaders, my best friend out there Eliut was with us.
Ice Cream with the Huatulco Elders and President and Sister Madsen
The Beach Restaurant in Salina Cruz
The Crocodile Dip
The Tiger Shark dip
My Chipotle Lobster
The Red Snapper fish
The Beach hut where we ate

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