Monday, August 24, 2015

Defending The Faith 08/24/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

This week has been pretty busy for us here in Belleville, there has been lots to do and a lot of people to talk with. The Shiloh Elders have had the car this week so we have been riding the buses and walking. Luckily the temperatures are starting to come down a little, and the humidity as well. I can't believe that Fall is already around the corner! 

We took the metro into St Louis on Monday and payed a visit to the zoo! It was really nice weather and the animals were really lively again. School has started for most people so the best part is that there was hardly anybody there! 

So with Mi Mi, Shakira, and Jemaine we were going to push their baptismal dates back to October, but we were informed my sister Wilson that they might not be staying with her much longer, so we are sticking with our original date of August 29th. This upcoming Saturday. We have had to have a lesson with them every morning! We have taught them a lot of stuff! We find it easier for them to learn with their learning disabilities if we are sitting with them just one on one. So that is what we have been doing. Jermaine hasn't been in town this week so we are going to go ahead and have Mi Mi and Shakira baptized this week them have Jermaine baptized in a few weeks.

Thursday we had dinner with Crissy and the Byington family. Crissy is the lady that we helped move who had the poisonous spider problem.. We helped her make dinner and I baked two apple pies. We had a great time talking and laughing and building relationships! Afterwards we shared a message about the Book of Mormon, and everybody participated. It was great! we are going to be having dinner again next week before Elder Reynolds goes home. 

Saturday was a weird day, we we walking to a potential after our lesson with the kids at the Wilson home. We stopped and talked to this man at this one house. We started talking to him and quickly found out that he was a preacher. Very quickly our conversation turned into a very defensive debate on religion.. We debated back and forth on different topics in the bible, how we are saved, the book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, prophets, it was just ridiculous! But it made me really frustrated!! So I just kept coming back at him with things and questions, and he did the same! An Hour and a half later I looked at my watch and we had to leave. But now I see how real bashing is unproductive, because he just went away thinking he is more right, and I went away thinking we are more right.. But I kind of had fun! It was an interesting experience, I still think I am right too.. haha! 

Then a little while later we were walking down main street and this guy was getting into his car, he saw us and said "hey! you guys, come learn about Christianity!" So me still being frustrated and a little riled up from the preacher guy, stopped. started walking over to him and said
"ok man. Lets talk!" So he starts asking us questions and we start answering them and baring testimony. Then he starts telling us that we are a cult and we don't believe in Jesus, which made me mad.. So I said, "Yes we do believe in Jesus" Then the conversation continued "NO you don't!" "Yes! we do.." "NO! You Don't!" finally I said "Listen to me! Don't you tell me what I believe!" We told him what we believed about Christ. He finally stopped, and just got in his car and left.. 

I just think it is stupid that people think they know us and know what we believe when they really don't know jack squat, and as I have gone through my mission I have learned to be more bold with people and tell them what I believe. Then when they say something that isn't true I am no longer afraid to call them out on it and try and set it straight. "The difference between boldness and over-barrence is love." We should try to love everybody, and also proclaim boldly what we believe. 

That is all for this week I suppose! I hope that everbody has a great week! Oh by the way we finally have a new ward mission leader. His name is brother Gross and it is his first time being called to this position! But we are excited! Here is a quote for the week from Ezra Taft Benson

"The way to feel better about your own situation is to improve someone else's circumstances."

With Love,
Elder Chase Peterson

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More Photos

Here are the photos that Elder Peterson sent us this week! Enjoy!

Fountain of Mascoutah



Elder Peterson and His Area

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tracting Works - 08/17/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings from the land of Lincoln! It is another sizzling warm summer day here in Belleville. It is also P-Day, and as President Morgan says "Even I know P-Days are sacred." So we are planning on taking a trip into St Louis by metro train to the zoo. Even though I got to go there last transfer, I am looking forward to going again! Like I've said before, I just love getting out and spending some time in the city. 

This week we were able to see a lot of success in the work we are doing. We dropped several of our investigators who were not making much progress and keep dropping appointments on us. That is what frustrates me the most, when we make appointments and have to drive or bus a long ways away then they flake out. But that is missionary work sometimes.

We had the Car this week so we were able to get a lot done, we got to see a lot of people we haven't been able to see in a while. On Thursday we got to go out to Mascoutah, cook lunch at the senior Center then do some proselyting. We even had an appointment with a less active member 15 minutes east of Mascoutah in the town of New Memphis. 

So my whole mission I have knocked on a lot of doors, I've talked with mean people, nice people, weird people, I've talked with many people who have invited us back and have showed some kind of interest. But I honestly have not seen very many investigators come from tracting... But that has changed this week! We picked up 3 new solid investigators this week, all people we have tracted into at some point over the past few months. In fact over half our teaching pool right now are people we've met knocking on their doors. 

Dan our new investigator is a good guy, he is covered in tattoos and has a big family that he cares about more than anything. He kind of feels like God has kind of put him on the back burner and that he really doesn't care that much about him. But Elder Griffin and I were able to teach him about the restoration and the book of Mormon and really testify to him that God does love him and wants him to be happy. 

Dario, our new investigator has several young kids, we found out that his wife used to be a member of the church, but we taught him about The book of Mormon and a little about Joseph Smith, he was really open and even his kids listened in. His wife was nice and they are all excited to have us come back on Wednesday. Hopefully we have teach their family. 

Tomia, our 3rd new investigator this week is an older lady who is very strong with God and the Bible. She is reading the book of Mormon and starting down the path to find out for herself if the church is true. She is willing and wanting to learn more, which is cool. 

After we had our lesson Tuesday night with Tomia we were walking back to our apartment, we had just turned the corner from her house and there were some guys out in their front yard talking and drinking.. We were walking by and of course one of them yells, "Hey! Come here for a sec!" then thinking back to my experiences out in Charleston with people drinking and wanting us to come talk with them. All I could think was, "Oh No.." But we went over and talked with them and by the end of our conversation we had answered a ton of questions about missionaries and the church. They really respected us and admired what we were doing, which was cool. They invited us to stop by anytime to hang out and talk! haha! Then as we were leaving one of the guys said "Hey, You guys be safe alright? ... Love you guys!" 

Well That is about it for this week.. We are going to have dinner with Crissy this week (the lady we helped move with the spider infestation). We are going to go over to her house early to help her cook dinner and I have to bake two of my Apple Pie's for everyone. We are looking forward to that, and we hear that she has been asking more questions about the church. 

Have a great week everyone! I love you all.. Remember that the church is true! Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer, the bread of life and the prince of peace. The very light and life of the world! He loves us and has our back. He knows how we feel all the time! 

Till next time. Peace

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, August 10, 2015

Arachnophobia - 08/10/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

So Things have been going pretty well for us here in the Belleville area, it has been an exciting week and there is a lot to talk about so I'll just get started..

Monday for P-Day we went to the Belleville Fire Station and got a tour from one of the ward members Brother Penet, who is an Assistant Fire Chief there. We got to see all the trucks and gear, we got to explore the station and see what it's like to be a fire fighter. Out in the bay next to all the trucks was a big twisted metal beam sitting on a trailor. We asked brother Penet what it was and he told us "That is a full I beam from the World trade Center". It was pretty incredible to see! I will be sending the pictures too so everyone can see..

Wednesday we went on exchanges! It was Elder Griffin's first one ever, and since he is new we decided that it would be better for him to go up to O'Fallon with Elder Clifford since he doesn't know how to run the area yet. I got to stay down in Belleville with Elder Villalobos... We had a good day of working and trying to see people. Then We went with the East St Louis Elders to Steak n Shake.. Then we went to Bible Study at the East St Louis branch.. I figured that Villalobos would really enjoy that since he served in East St Louis about a year ago.. It was almost like watching a puppy explore a new environment! he was just so happy to be there with old members he knew and to be back in East St Louis... Which I really don't know why anybody would be happy to be there, since it really isn't that happy of a place! But anyways.. It was a good exchange!

Thursday we had a Zone meeting with all the missionaries in the O'Fallon stake! It was a great meeting and I got to see some mission friends I haven't seen in a while. We had great trainings from the STL's and Zone Leaders about trust and faith. They talked about how well we are doing as a mission and that when President Morgan gets statistics ever week from Salt Lake, our mission is leading most of the surrounding missions. so that was cool! Afterwards we went out to lunch, and a few of us decided to go to a good Chinese Buffet in Belleville. But once we got there, the entire zone of missionaries ended up going there as well! None of us knew how everyone decided to go there, but there were a lot of missionaries in that little buffet.. I got pretty crazy too! haha! We ran them out of ice cream and orange chicken, it was fun though! haha!

Friday we helped a lady and her two kids move on short notice. Her name is Crissy, her husband is Air Force and he is on a deployment in South Korea right now. So they just got to Scott Air Force base and are living off base in Shiloh. But they recently had a infestation of Brown Recluse Spiders! So after trying to take care of the problem they decided to move! So Brother Byington, East St Louis Elders and Us pretty much took on the challenge of helping her move! We moved a lot on Friday night, and told her we would be willing to help again in the morning.

So Saturday we get up and we were planning on being done with moving by 2pm, but we didn't come back to our house until 9:30pm.. It was hot and humid and we got everything moved, including couches, beds, chairs, washer, dryer, large gun safe, dressers, exercise equipment, you name it.. We also had to clean and check for poisonous spiders the entire time! Crissy definitely appreciated our help and we got to know her really well. She was even asking questions about the church and being a missionary. Saturday was probably the biggest highlight of my week! It just felt different and special, like something great was going to come from us lending out help to her and her family.

Sunday night the Byington's had us over for dinner on base! they also invited Crissy and she was so happy to see us. We got to share the message of the restoration and the spirit was really strong. We also got stuck on base because of severe storm and tornado warnings.. But it all worked out! We don't know what more is going to come of Crissy and her family. But the good thing is that she is having us over for dinner next week along with the East St Louis Elders. 

So I will end with one more funny story, We were walked down the road last week, it was a little past 9pm and we were almost to our house. A drunk lady on her porch called us over and asked for a "brochure". haha! We gave her a Book Of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet, tried leaving, but before we could leave she got up and gave us a big hug! haha! and said "anybody who works for Jesus deserves a big hug!" 

Have a great week everybody! I love you all!

"We can't predict all the struggles and storms in life but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond the shadow of any doubt that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come."-L. Tom Perry

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, August 3, 2015

First Born In The Wilderness - 08/03/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

Well it is now the start of a brand new transfer here in the Missouri St Louis Mission. This past transfer as a mission we had the highest baptizing transfer so far this year,  a total of 54 new members baptized and confirmed. Pretty amazing! 

I believe that we will have a baptism in Belleville within these next 6 weeks! There is a lot of work to do here and there is just so much potential. We are going to work as hard as we can this transfer to bring one of our brethren closer to Christ through baptism. We know that there is someone out there who is prepared to make that change in their life! 

Wednesday morning I had to drive into St Louis with Elder Langston from Shiloh for transfer meeting. I had to be there by 9:30am for a New Trainer Meeting. We had a total of 26 new missionaries come into the field Tuesday. So I was 1 of 26 new trainers called. In our meeting President Morgan talked mostly about how a trainer will be the most important companion a new missionary will ever have their entire mission.. That really hit me. 

But at Transfer meeting all of the new missionaries stood up and told everybody who they were, and where they are from, then announced one by one where they were going to be serving and who their trainers are! It was excited, and I was nervously waiting to see who my greenie would be!

My new companion, his name is Elder Griffin.. He is from Vancouver Washington! (Not canada). He is 18 years old and is just 5 days into the mission field now! He is a great kid, and I have loved being able to serve with him so far. I am grateful and humbled that I get to be his trainer and that he is my son, my Firstborn in the Wilderness! 

Not much has happened this week, mostly just been helping my greenuie settle in and adjust to being a missionary. We Have been out working hard though and have met many people who seem interested in hearing our message. We have tracted a lot, had a few lessons, passed some stuff out and talked to a few crazy people. It has been great fun! 

There is a member in our ward who was an Air Force Fire Fighter, now he is a fire fighter for a local station here in Belleville. Today for P-day we are going to go and tour the Station and see everything there, then we are going to take Elder Griffin to see the East River front! 

Well I hope everyone has a great week! I will write again next week with all the new and exciting things that are going to happen this week. I will end with this quote... 

"I testufy to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, out knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith." - Thomas S. Monson

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's a Boy! - 07/27/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear family and Friends,

Well another week has passed, along with another transfer. Elder Julian and Elder Dorland left for the mission home this morning at 7:30am and will both be home safe with their families by this evening. It has been a little weird "killing off" a companion, it was fun.. But let's just say that he was ready to go home... We'll leave it at that.

So Monday for P-day we went into the city and saw "Paint Louis" which is basically a giant retaining wall along the Mississippi river that extends for several miles where people have done graffiti and art work all along the whole thing. It was really cool, but nothing too spectacular. after that we had a dinner appointment on base. while we were there we walked out and saw some of the aircraft they have on display, so that was cool.

Wednesday morning as I was getting out of the shower and Elder Julian knocked on the door and said "petey... I need you to come here" "well.... I am kind of busy at the moment." " I just need you to come here" So i finish getting changed and step out of the bathroom, and he asked if I could give him a blessing.. He was complaining of some pretty bad pain in his right side. But the pain continued to get worse, to the point that he was almost in Tears.. I think we both knew that something wasn't right So i told him, "get in the car, we are going to the hospital right now." So we get him there and they immediately take him in and give him an IV, some heavy pain killers, and they start testing. They thought he might have a kidney stone and would have to keep him a few days. But after getting a CT scan it showed that he had colonitis. he had gotten some bad bacteria which caused an infection in his colon. So there's that... 

anyways, the Doctor put him on 2 different anti-biotic meds, a pro Biotic, and 24-36 hours of bed rest. All he could eat for the next week was rice, yogurt, and just bland things, but home boy didn't do so well following doctors instructions, which in turn lead to several "accidents"... but anyways..

So Saturday night we got transfer calls, we got some pretty crazy stuff happening this transfer. Turns out I will be leaving the waterloo District.. I will be staying in Belleville and switching to the O'Fallon district. Also my new companion will be coming in Fresh off the airplane Tuesday morning, because I am now being made a trainer! That is right.. IN MISSION TERMS I am Pregnant.. going to be a father, and will now have a son on the mission. 

I am pretty excited to train, but also kind of nervous.. I feel good about my ability to train, but since we are moving districts we are now going to be in a car share with the Shiloh elders so i will be learning the Bus system by myself with a new greenie, something I most certainly have never done before... But i am looking forward to having my first born in the wilderness! haha!
Looking forward to spending another 3 months here in Beleville.. 

Well that is pretty much all I have to report for this week, wish me luck that everything goes well. I'm sure I will have plenty to report for next week and starting the new transfer! I love and miss you all, take care and God Bless us everyone! 

Peace on the streets,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Busy Week - 07/20/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear People I care about,

It has been quite a busy week here for us in Belleville. Elder Julian and I have just been all over the place, and I feel like all I have done this week is drive a car! 

To start out the week on Monday, we went to St Louis to Visit the Gateway Arch and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It was an absolutely beautiful day, which made it so much better! Between us and the East St Louis Elders I am the only person who had been there before, even though the other 3 Elders are getting ready to go home! But it was a great P-Day indeed!

Tuesday we had District meeting down in waterloo, we had some great trainings and a generally good meeting. We have such a great district, it is hard to believe that the transfer is almost over. This Saturday we are going to be getting transfer calls to see what is happening to everyone. We also went to the East River Front that evening with the East St Louis Elders.. It was so beautiful and so much fun. Just wait till you see the pictures! ;)

Wednesday was probably the most tiring day and the most time I've spent driving while I have been out here. Elder Julian had a doctors appointment on St. Charles Missouri which is Northwest of St Louis.. We drive North to visit and drive around a little in Glen Carbon, then went down to Granite City and I got to stop by and see my old investigator Lupie! She was so excited, as soon as she saw me she burst into tears. that visit was such a blessing for both of us.. After that we got on the freeway and drive into St Louis then north across the Missouri River and into St Charles. It was a pretty good drive. The whole trip took us most of the day! After the drive back we got caught in Rush hour traffic coming back through St Louis... Which is not good. We were stuck forever trying to get back across the river! But we got back to pick up the East St Louis Elders and drive North to O'Fallon for Julian, and Dorland's end of the mission Exit interviews... We were pretty late, but I don't think President Morgan minded that much. After that we had to drive by the Air Force base to pick up dinner from a member, take it back to eat at our apartment, then we had to drive East all the way back to their apartment in West Belleville. I was so tired of driving that day... and tired of listening to the same Mormon Tab Choir CD 100 times!

Thursday Elder Julian and Elder Dorland went to the Temple in St Louis, So Elder Reynolds and I spent the day together. Since they took the car, Reynolds and I just walked and took the bus! But that was alright since I didn't really want to drive after the day we had Wednesday. All we had time to do was contact a few referrals and try and see a few people, then we had a good dinner with the Tilton family who live on the Air Force base. 

Friday we had exchanges, I went down to Waterloo with Elder Fa'anunu and we just had a great time! We worked our butts off, and got some good work done! We just had a great time working with each other and tracting in the 113 degree humid muggy weather. The next morning we got up at 6am to play tennis and run, then he gave me a Haircut. Afterwards we met up with Elder Julian and Suchomel to exchange back in Millstadt. 

All the craziness of this week sure made it go by fast! This week will be Elder Julian's last week in the Mission field, since next Monday he will be flying home to Spokane Washington. We are going to have fun and work hard this week. I will do my best stop him from being to trunky. I will Go ahead and end this letter till next week, get ready for some epic and awesome pictures!

Elder Chase Peterson