July 15, 2013


My heart is very full as I write this last e-mail. So many thoughts have just been going through my mind this last week. I feel like this time that i have now to e-mail is the only time I have had to relax for the last 2 weeks. The temple trip was just heavenly. It felt so good to be back in the temple. It was neat because it was President and Sister Jensens first time doing an endowment session in that temple. I hope to be able to return to that temple with my family again some day. I've been doing my best to work hard up until the very end. We set 3 baptismal dates in the last 4 days and they have all come to church already as well so they are solid. We had a church open house friday night. A member brought his hot dog cart and gave out free hot dogs and we had different booths set up throughout the church with all of the different auxiliaries. That is how we found Sherrie and picked her up as a new investigator. She pulled in because it looked like some place she could get a drink because she was thirsty. Now she came to church yesterday and we taught her today and she has a baptismal date for August 31. We are teaching her again tomorrow. She was after living waters. Sunday was good. My talk and musical number went well. Yes i played the piano for it. The stake president surprised us by coming to our ward that day and presiding. That is too bad that President McGinn will be out of town. I'm sure we'll hook up later and reminisce. I really don't know what to say so I threw together a chain of scriptures. Here ya go.

I love you so much! See you soon.

Love, Elder Peterson

I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.1
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out2; Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob3, unto the bounds of the everlasting hills4. Let [my] days be few; and let another take [my] office5 and it was said unto [me], that [I] should rest yet for a little season6.

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter7 and journey from the land of [Des Moines] before I, the Lord, send again the snows upon the earth.8
Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?9 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.10
Then shalt thou... meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other.11 Our God, our Father's God;... thou hast led us here in safety where the mountain bulwark stands.12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.13

Seek ye diligently and teach one another words or wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.14 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.15

If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report of praiseworthy, we seek after these things.16 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.17 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.18

[And] Jesus... saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed.19

Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full20 and on the morrow come I into the world.21

1. 3 John 1:13-14
2. Matt. 12:44
3. Isaiah 2:3
4. Gen 49:26
5. Psalms 109:8
6. Revelation 6:11
7. Matt 24:20
8. D&C 117:1
9. Isaiah 60:8
10. Isaiah 5:26
11. Moses 7:63
12. Hymns 35
13. Matt 5:12
14. D&C 88:118
15. Proverbs 23:12
16. AoF 13
17. Prov 18:22
18. Prov 12:4
19. Mark 5:19-20
20. 2 John 1:12
21. 3 Nephi 1:13

July 8, 2013

Greeting from Iowa!

This has been a good week for us. Our fourth was swell. We went over to a barbeque with a couple three families from the ward. Then we were able to see the firework show from our apartment bedroom window so that was nice. Originally Fort Dodge wasn't going to have fireworks, but then a wealthy business owner stepped in and payed for it all i guess so we had a pretty good show on Wednesday night. Nothing compared to the Stadium of Fire firework show though i'm sure. This next week is going to fly by super fast! Tonight we are leaving for Des Moines and then tomorrow it's off to Nauvoo for my departing temple trip with President Jensen and then we are coming back Wednesday morning. Then we have back to back exchanges and district meeting and then it's the weekend again already! We met President and Sister Jensen this last Tuesday. We had a great zone conference. They are wonderful people. They were welcomed into the mission by two elders in a really bad car accident. One of them had to be life flighted to Des Moines hospital. We all fasted for him yesterday and he is on the mend. His family is with him and we just heard that he has been taken out of intensive care and is in his own room now which is awesome! His companion is fine, just a little bruised up and sore. Right away we are able to see the compasion of the Jensens and open our hearts to them. He had each of us bear our testimonies so that he could get to know us at zone conference. Then all of us going home missionaries bore our testimonies again. Then I bore my testimony yesterday thinking that would be my last time in the ward, but bishop called me to speak next week and i also got roped into playing a musical number so i'm not quite done yet in that regard. i guess it will just be practice for my homecoming talk.

Things with Dianna are going good. We did more service for her moving furniture around. We also brought Brother Bair with us and taught her a lesson all about the priesthood. She just needs to keep her commitments and then we will be good :) We are having an open house at the church on Fridayand hopefully she comes to that. We are hoping to have a really good turn out and pick up some new investigators from the event. Plus we are doing a barbeque so if that doesn't attract people, i don't know what will. Tabby is still doing well, but going slow. She kind of blew up on her mom when the bishop's wife and daughter were there to teach Anne one of the new member lessons.

I'm sorry to hear about all of the storms out there. It has just been sunny and hot here for the last week. I guess that's what i've been asking for though. I do like it better than raining all of the time though. We met a fellow by the name of Andy at the hospital yesterday. He had a baptismal date once upon a time and really loves the church, but his wife won't let him go. He also has an 8 year old son who wants to come to church as well. It is super frustrating when you find those people who really do want to come to church and get baptized, but then they don't. It would be really rough though to have to struggle through that. How greatful I am to have a family who is strong in the church! I am greatful that we all support each other. I know that families are eternal.

Love, Elder Peterson

July 1, 2013

Dear Family,

This has been a super good stellar week. Time is definitely flying by on the wings of lightning right now. I can't believe it is July already... just like everybody seems to be telling me at the moment. That is super sweet that you got to go to St George this week. It sounds like it is hotter in Utah than it is here in Iowa, even with the heat index here. It's suprisingly been not too bad here with the heat yet. After all of the rain we got I was expecting really bad humidity. Elder Blackburn still thought it was super humid so maybe i've just grown accustomed to it by now or something.

We had really good lessons with our investigators this week, but sadly none came to church yesterday :(. We had a church tour with Dianna. I always love doing church tours because it is just a really neat way to teach the restoration. I know that she felt the spirit. Dianna also gave us a couple of beds to give to Deanna, another one of our investigators. We dropped those off to her and taught her the plan of salvation. I don't know why she didn't come to church. Our next challenge with her is to help her stop smoking. We are having Anne, our recent convert, fellowship her since she had to recently quit smoking herself. And we had a great lesson with Anne's daughter Tabby. We had a lesson in the Bairs home and it was super sweet! We talked about faith and read from Alma 32. We had Tabby help herself realize that she is not sufficiently nourishing her faith tree. I thought for sure that would bring her to church, but we are going to have to be more patient with her. It's hard to be patient with people progressing when you know you are going to be gone soon though!

That's neat that you are going to the stadium of fire this year. Fort Dodge isn't doing any fireworks this year, not enough money to do them. We are going to a members house to have a barbeque with them on the fourth and am looking forward to that. Elder Blackburn and I are doing well and getting along. We went over to the Bairs and played some Settlers of Catan again this morning. I think that might be becoming a regular thing each week for us now. We just have to make sure to still be on our best behavior because we are playing with the Relief Society President and family haha. Building trust with her is of the upmost importance. She actually has given us a couple of people to go see this week so now we can report to her next week if we play. I haven't met President Jensen yet, but we have a zone conference tomorrow in Ames where we will go to meet him. I'm wondering if/what might be different in this zone conference compared to others. We have a new senior couple in our district who i met this week. They are from near Las Vegas and are really sweet. The Hayworths.

Any update on housing yet? I got your package last week. Thanks for all of the goodies! Snacks are actually very much appreciated! One of the members in our ward had his appendix burst on him this week. We paid him a visit in the hospital after church and he was doing just fine. We also heard that a companionship here in the IDMM was in a bad car accident late Friday night and one of them had to be life flighted to Des Moines. I don't have any updates on that story yet but hopefully by tomorrow we will hear some good news. Needless to say my list of people to pray for has gotten REALLY long and keeps getting longer over the years. I've really come to appreciate the power of prayer and how it really is just talking with a loving Heavenly Father.

I love all of you! Love,

Elder Peterson

June 24, 2012

Hello Family!

I was able to watch the worldwide training broadcast at our church and it was excellent! That is exciting to hear from Whitney that she (you if you are reading this) will be a pilot mission for all of the technology stuff. I loved all of the videos and success stories that they shared. Unfortunately not a lot of our ward was able to watch it live. We had a member family who had a giant tree fall into their driveway so after our ward potluck that we had after church the vast majority of people went to their house with chainsaws and went to work doing service. When we visit our ward members now we are going to make sure that they watch it and maybe even watch some of it with them.

That is too bad to hear that Steven is having health problems. Is it his back again? And since when is Madeline Ashcraft engaged? She will always just seem like a 14 year old to me. Our goodbye zone conference went well. President and Sister Jergensen stood up and did kind of a question and answer type ordeal giving us advice for life and how to raise our families and such. It was really good, and quite humorous at parts which made the whole saying "goodbye" thing easier for all of us. It was still sad to see them go. We also learned that the Peoria zone of our mission will officially become part of the Illinois Chicago West Mission effective July 1st. Nauvoo will still be in our mission though so we still have a temple!

It's still rainy here. Today it has been raining torrentially with loud loud thunder. The power was out for a while and is still out in some areas. That is not why we are late e-mailing though. We were playing Settlers of Catan with some members this morning for our P-Day and then had lunch and then came to the library. We picked up a new investigator this week named Dianna. We have been helping her move into her new house and we were able to teach her the plan of salvation while doing so. She just came here from California and we look forward to working with her. Deanna came to church on Sunday(not to be confused with Dianna. They are 2 different investigators.) It was good to see her again because we have been having trouble contacting her. But we got an appointment set up and we are all ready to set a baptismal date with her and her son.

I love you all!

Love, Elder Peterson

June 17, 2013

Dear Family,

We have not had any tornado damage here in Fort Dodge. We have been on tornado watch a couple of times, but it has never really been all that bad. The real problem is the flooding that we have had from all of the rain. A lot of the corn fields are flooded and even more have not yet even been planted yet because the ground is too muddy for the tractors to go on and such, so as soon as it dries up there is going to be a mad dash to get all of the crops planted and replanted for what was lost in the floods. We have had some damge in our district boundaries from tornadoes, but that is like over an hour away from where we live.

Camping sounds like a good time! We heard some great news from the girls camp here! One of our beehives took a friend to girls camp and by the end of the camp she was asking how she could join the church because she loved it so much. Her mom works here at the library and we are already friends with her so it is going to be fun to have this member family work with this other family. Now we just need to get the mom on board... hopefully more updates on that story later.

We had a good fathers day here. And happy fathers day to all you fathers out there! Anne gave a talk in church on the Book of Mormon and did a great job, especially since she was baptized only 2 short months ago. Unfortunately Tabby didn't come to church to hear her talk. We might be going bowling with there family and the Bair family and then having an FHE lesson afterwards with them today. The primary baked cookies for all of the dads in our ward and then presented them to them during the final hour, and we got all of the leftovers :) I wore my orange tie that always reminds me of you dad to church on sunday. I guess i'll just have to show you the tie when i get home. I'm also glad that you got my letter.

That's too bad to hear that Zach chose an expensive place... oh well. Is it too late to maybe try and room with Steven then? If it is, just choose a place mom now and then i'll adjust if I don't like it for that second semester. I don't register for classes until Wednesday of this week and i already got permission from President and am good to go for that morning. President Jensen comes in just 2 weeks! And we heard that the group that Dex McKell is coming in has 30+ missionaries coming to the mission that transfer. My departing temple trip is going to be on July 9th. It's going to be an all day thing for me since we are about a 5 hour drive away from Nauvoo here. We have a zone conference this Tuesday as a final goodbye to President Jergensen and then we have another zone conference the week afterward for President Jensens first. Lots of traveling these last few weeks, and then you throw district meetings in there too and we are happily busy all of the time!

One of my favorite scriptures that I have been thinking about lately is in Mosiah 5:13. The verses leading up to it are great too, but 13 says For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? I have truly come to know the master as I have served. I have come to know Jesus Christ as my friend. Another favorite verse of mine is Doctrine and Covenants 93:45 Verily, I say unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., or in other words, I will call you friends, for you are my friends, and ye shall have an inheritance with me— 46 I called you servants for the world’s sake, and ye are their servants for my sake— (just substitute your own name and you're good). I am forever thankful for the friendship that i have gained with my savior and with my Heavenly Father. I know that this church is true. Until next time,

Love Always,

Elder Peterson

June 10, 2013

Dear Family,

It still doesn't quite feel like summer here in Fort Dodge. It's still been in the 60's mostly with it getting up into the low 70's and rainy. It actually feels great to be walking around in. I am ready for some sunshine though. This has been a good week. Our stake did mini missions so we had a priest from the Newton branch with us for Friday, Saturday, Sunday. It was a good experience for him and for us. My new companion is Elder Blackburn. He is from Layton, UT. He went to culinary arts school for cooking so maybe he will chef something up for me sometime. Also Elder Brown arrived in the mission from Chico. And an elder Parry from Tremonton is here i don't know if Casey might know him.

At church we had an investigator family show up with a less active man who we are actively trying to reactivate. Deanna is the moms name and they have 3 kids. One of the kids, Jesus, is 8 years old so he is eligible for baptism. It would be sweet to be able to say we baptized Jesus in Iowa. We taught them after church and the mom really wants to get baptized. The dad is happily catholic so we will just let him come in his own time. They live in Webster City which is about 45 minutes away so we are really going to have to 1. budget miles and 2. get help from the members for rides and such. The sisters in our ward are in a tripanionship so we have one more missionary in the ward as well. We had a great turn out this last week at church which was great!

We are still having trouble teaching our other investigators. We are able to talk to them on the phone quite often so we are still in contact (with the exception of Breon) but sitting down and actually teaching seems to be a problem for the last 2 weeks. We had our get to know you district meeting on Saturday. Most of the district is new plus we had our mini missionaries there so it was fun! At lunch afterwards we went to an authentic mexican restaurant again since we were in Hampton and i got a cabeza taco and a tripa taco. Now when people ask me what is something weird that i ate on my mission, i can have a good answer. Cabeza is cow head. I learned how they cooked it after i ate the taco. They take the entire head, like fur and everything, and boil it for 10 hours and then pick it up by the horns and shake the skull until all the meat and brains fall off. That one wasn't my favorite. The tripa was good... it is the inner lining pretty much of the utter of the cow.

Girls camp is this week for our ward and scout camp is the following week. then things slow down for the rest of the summer, but hopefully not for us! I attached a file of Elder Blackburn and I in front of the mystery machine that we found. I love all of you and have a great week!

Love, Elder Peterson

June 3, 2013

Dear Family,

Hello family! I do love testimony meetings! They are great and our ward has had great testimony meetings these last 2 months. That is exciting to hear about all of the missionary work that has been going on in the ward. Both the convert baptisms and all of the missionaries who are serving. Does Dex really go into the MTC before testimony meeting next month? 2 suits will be fine while on the mission. I've been pretty lucky and have had both of my suit coats hold up pretty good. Most missionaries tend to buy at least one other suit at a Goodwill type place (like a DI). I bought a black suit coat for a couple of bucks to have three suits total. Also it's not uncommon for suits to be left in apartments so he might get lucky and find one that fits him for free :)

This has been a pretty slow week for us. We have still been able to do good though. We got our calls for transfers this week and it turns out that Elder Horkley is being transferred so I will have a new companion for my last transfer. We are headed down to Iowa City on Thursday to pick him up and bring him back. This will be President Jergensens last transfer meeting so i'm kind of glad that I get the opportunity to go. It seems like i've been going to a lot of transfer meetings lately, and i know for sure i'll be going to the next one too haha. We had a new member come into the ward last week. He will be staying as long as his job interview goes well today. We actually had dinner with him over at a members house. He is a return missionary and pretty young (still in his young 20's). He will be a great addition to the ward. Most of the ward members are just plain spread out. There is a pretty good community of them here in Fort Dodge, and that is where the church building is. They really do live in a lot of outlying towns and such though. It is beautiful here in Fort Dodge and it is also small. With all of the trees my allergies have been picking up a little lately, but i've been taking my allergy pills and that is helping.

There is a pretty good chance we will be getting some "mini missionaries" on friday this week. They would be priests doing a stake activity where they spend 2 1/2 days with the full time missionaries. If they do come it will be fun for my new companion who won't know the area but going out on splits with this priest. It will just take some solid planning. That will be a problem for our whole zone seeing as how every single companionship in my district is changing. It will be a fun 'get to know you' district meeting on Saturday though with all of the priests and laurels being there too. I wish we would have had more chances like this in Orem. I remember doing the mission week little thing in mutual and being assigned to our respective missions and going over to members houses to eat authentic food from that area, but it's nothing like the mini missions they do out here. It is so cool and so good for the priests who are preparing to serve missions!

I pray for you all every day. I've been studying about some super heroes lately in my studies! People that define the qualities that we want to obtain ourselves. The super heroes i'm referring to are of course not wearing tights, but are in fact the strippling warriors. Their willingness to obey every command with exactness, unity, virtue, and exceeding faith are all examples to me. Not to mention that they did not doubt because their mothers taught them ;) As a mission we are all under President Jergensen as our Helaman and are being as unified as possible. With exact obedience, miracles are performed and great things are wrought in the land. We are all also unified under God as His children watching out for each other and helping lift hands that hang helplessly down. I'm thankful that our family is unified! I love you all so much. I treasure the fact that I can say that in this family, we serve missions!

Love, Elder Peterson