Monday, December 29, 2014

Transfer Changes - 12/29/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I hope that Santa brought everyone something nice. I don't have much time to write today. I am in Belleville Illinois, I am writing down here today because we had an early transfer... Elder Abad got Transferred to Lindell Missouri which is in St. Louis! He will be working in the mission office this transfer. So This morning We had to drive across the River to the Mission home to drop him off.

I am staying in Glen Carbon, I will be getting Elder Bell. I have no Idea who he is or where he is serving right now, but I know he has been out a little over a year. I will find out more when I get him on Wednesday. But For the next two days I will be working with the Zone Leaders in Fairview Height in a Tri-panionship.

Sorry for the short letter, but things are pretty chaotic right now, so I will be sure to write a good letter next week talking about everything that is going! 

Thank You for all the support and Love, I am doing well and will write again next week!

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Twas The P-Day Before Christmas - 12/22/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,
This week has been such a great week! It went by really fast, but we were working hard and having a lot of fun! We are getting all ready for Christmas this week and it should be a lot of fun. I am anticipating spending my first Christmas on my Mission here in St Louis, but will talk about that a little more later.
On Monday we didn't do much for P-Day but we had dinner with The Wood's, they are such an awesome couple. They are both like 70 years old, and have the same first names! Sister Dawn Wood, and Brother Don Wood.. Haha! Brother wood actually just got baptized in June after having major lung surgery. After they fed us dinner they drove us down to Belleville to see "Our Lady of The Snow" Church Christmas lights, it was pretty incredible. It reminded me a lot of Temple Square during Christmas, just more churchy Displays, and a petting zoo..
I got to feed Miniature Cattle, and pet goats, a camel, and a couple of Llama's! Haha! We are going back on Christmas Eve and might take the opportunity to ride a camel.
Wednesday us and a large group of members drove to the far reaches of our area to a small town called Alhambra were we went and saw one of the Sister's Recent converts turned less active. We sung Christmas Carols to him till he answered the door, eventually he let us all in. I think it really touched him and showed him that he is loved and cared for in our ward. It was definitely a very touching experience for me as well. 

This week we went on back to back exchanges with the Zone Leaders and East St Louis Elders. Thursday I went and worked with Elder Kettle in Fairview Heights. For a good part of the day we were a Tri-panionship with Elder Villalobos, while his companion Elder Johnson was in St. Louis on temple trip. After we got rid of Villalobos, Kettle and I took the Metro train down to a small town called Swansea. We walked all over this town contacting people.
Friday we had District Meeting then we exchanged again, and I worked with Elder Johnson in Glen Carbon. By The time we got back from East St Louis from our meeting we only got to proselyte for a few hours in Troy. But we visited a few less actives and tracted for a while, which was a party! haha! We never stopped laughing, we had a great time. When We got back to our apartment in Glen Carbon we baked an apple pie from scratch! That's right, from scratch... The Things you learn on your mission! Haha! We may or may not have stayed up later than we probably should have but we had such a great time talking, telling stories, and we seriously never stopped laughing. :) We both needed that exchange.. Especially Johnson, he is worn out with East St Louis and worn out with Elder Villalobos because he is crazy..
Sunday us and the Sister missionaries did a musical performance in Sacrament meeting. We sung "Oh Holy Night" and guess what..? I played it on the guitar while we sung. It was the first time I've ever done anything like that, but it was fun! We all sung and played it well, and everyone enjoyed it for sure. 

Well I hope everyone has a great Christmas this week, remember He Is The Gift! Watch the video and share it.. That is the number one thing for us to do this week. We will be spending Christmas Eve with the Clements in Granite, then Christmas will be spent with the McKay Family in Granite, after that we will take a trip all the way up to Highland to spend time with the Davis family. I am looking forward to skyping home and getting to talk with my family! This is also the last week of Transfers, and likely my last week with my trainer Elder Abad... Saturday we will find out our fate! Most likely I will be staying to run the area with somebody new... Elder Kettle told me that I need a companion who is not as experienced, someone who has been out the same time as me. So we will see what Happens. But I will be spending New Years Eve with someone new.
Till next week, Merry Christmas Y'all!!
Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Looking For Blessings NOT In Disguise - 12/15/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week has passed by and it has gone by pretty fast. I will be done training in two weeks and I will be left to run the area with a new companion. Hopefully I have learned what I need to learn... I hope everyone is getting excited for Christmas! It hasn't really felt like christmas this week, a few days this week the temperatures were up in the 50's. But It is raining today, and we might have snow here later this week.

So we didn't have exchanges this week, and I didn't go to East St Louis. Well I did go to East St Louis, but not to proselyte or do missionary work! There was a bigger issue at hand... This last Monday we played Basketball with the Belleville, Miscoutah, and East Saint Elders. After that we went and got dinner with East St Louis and ate it back at their apartment. Elder Johnson had some marks on his arm that looked an awful lot like the Bed Bug bites I got a when we were dealing with that fiasco! Long story short we spent the rest of the evening tearing apart their beds, and we can confirm now that East St Louis has BedBugs! Yikes!! They had a fun week dealing with that, we spent time helping them too. We even almost drove down there Thursday at 9:00pm, but I felt prompted that we shouldn't. Like I said East St Louis is one of the most dangerous places on the mission, so drinving there at night wouldn't have been a good idea! anyways, they are supposedly clean and Bed Bug free now... We will be having exchanges this week, but I will be working the Glen Carbon area with Elder Johnson while Elder Abad works in East Saint with Villalobos.

Thursday we worked in Granite all day and tried contacting less actives to share the "He is the Gift" initiative with. didn't have much luck. Later in the evening we drove up to Troy with a Recent convert, James Cathy. He took us to see this street where these houses go all out in decorating for Christmas! Complete with Christmas light displays to all kinds of Christmas songs and Frozen! It was very impressive! We had a great time. We did take lots of pictures, but I will have to send most of those next week! 

We had to drop two people out of our teaching pool this week, and have been trying to work with Stephen and Tanya for baptism on December 28. They came to the Ward Christmas party and Tanya even brought her 10 year old son, and her Mom and Sister, which was great! We are meeting again with them on Tuesday to teach them the next lesson. 

The Glen Carbon ward Christmas Party went great! It was so much fun, we had a lot of great food, and entertainment from the members of the ward! There was even a guest appearance from Santa Clause, who I didn't realize was Mormon! haha! 

We have been trying so hard this week but have come up short in a lot of areas, but a lot of times hard situations can be blessings in disguise. Sometimes we have to go through things we don't really understand. Yet somehow when we look back it can sometimes make sense and we can see the good that has come from it.. I have been thinking a lot about that this week, the refiners fire is real! But I kept thinking "Man, it sure would be nice to get some blessings that aren't in disguise!". 
Haha! I think we all think that sometimes... but the blessings are there too because Christ will never leave any of us abandoned.

This week we have received a lot of blessings from our work, we got several gift baskets of food from people who are making zero percent progress... It stopped and helped me think, "For these people to go out of their way to think of us and give us food and presents.. maybe we are affecting them more than we think.. Maybe with each visit, each smile, and each step we take in trying to teach, invite, and get to know them, we are making some kind of progress deep down." 

Later I came across a scripture that basically said, "No effort is wasted in missionary work". So that is my invitation to you all this week, go out and be a missionary for someone! Go make somebody happy by sharing some aspect of the gospel that makes us so happy. There are a lot of people in need this Christmas, and sometimes the best gift we can give is our time! I promise that if you act on this invitation that you will see blessings from it, even blessings that are not in disguise.

God Bless, and until I report again next week.. Peace on the streets,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Very Country Christmas - 12/08/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

The weeks are starting to fly by for me out here, I am almost done being a greenie so that is pretty cool I guess! We have tried working our hardest this week as we approach Christmas. People are getting busier and busier, which can make the work for us a little slower. Elder Abad and I are getting pretty excited for Christmas! We have been listening to Christmas music non-stop! We have like 10 CD's of Christmas songs sung by Country artists that we play in the car. Then for some reason we have been driving a lot...  We have been driving over 50 miles a day all week. So I learned to love driving more, and love Christmas country music. Good stuff... 

The one thing that has made our work successful this week is sharing the "He Is The Gift" Christmas video that The Church has put out! It is so powerful each time we show it to somebody. If you haven't seen it yet You NEED to watch it and share it!
The O' Fallon Zone has passed out the most He is The Gift cards than any of the other zones in the mission! We shared 557 cards this week. Our goal is to hand out 1,190 by next week. 

This week we had exchanges with the East St Louis Elders. Since I am going to be taking over the Glen Carbon area next transfer I had the opportunity to run the area with Elder Villalobos while Elder Abad worked with Elder Johnson down in East St Louis. It went well and I feel like I will be ready to run the area in a few weeks, but I am a little nervous. We have exchanges with East again next week, but I think I am going to be going down to work in East St Louis this time so maybe I should be more nervous for that right now! Haha! Just kidding.. I like the Ghetto. kind of...

So We picked up 2 new solid investigators last week named Stephen and Tanya, they are a couple in their late thirty's and they are living in a motel in Granite City. They have a lot of temporal needs and have gone to the church for a lot of help. We met with them to see if they really were interested in learning more about the church and they were. When we went back again a few nights ago I was astonished to see that one week Stephen had read over half the Book of Mormon, all of the pamphlets and reading material we gave him. It is a night and day difference from before. They came to church twice already. This last Sunday I sat with Stephen and Tanya in Sacrament meeting and Stephen was so anxious to get up and bear his testimony! But asked If I would go up with him, which was a great opportunity! Stephen expressed how grateful he was for the love and care the church has shown him, and how genuine everyone has been. He spoke for like 5 minutes and was so sincere! He loves everything we teach him and he wants to keep coming to church and for us to meet with them twice a week! They Both want to be baptized, we have a date set for December 28th!! It is pretty amazing to see that true doctrine understood changes lives, and behaviors so quickly... 

Stephen might be getting kidney surgery this week and he wants us to go and see him, but we are going to have to get permission from our Zone Leaders because the hospital is in St Louis Missouri. Not far from us, but still out of our area!

So our Ward Mission Leader and his family moved to California this week and we got a new leader. Brother Pruett. He is so awesome! The Sisters and us have been meeting with him several times this week. Thursday we even had dinner with him and his wife at their home in Highland. Ya Thursday was weird, we drove from Glen Carbon to Granite, then back over to Troy, then up to Highland and then back to Glen Carbon. I drove a lot that day, and through the thickest fog I have ever seen!

I think that is all for this week... I Chase, having been exceedingly favored of the Lord do make an end of my writings in these days. But Verily I say unto all that the time doth speedily cometh that I shall again make an account of my deelings with inhabitants of St Louis and the coming forth of the gospel in this land. And this record shall be of exceedingly fine workmanship. May the Lord God Bless you in these days. Even so, Amen.

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, December 1, 2014

He Is The Gift - 12/01/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Hello Friends and Family,

November went by so fast, I couldn't believe it was December 1st until I walked outside this morning, There was no snow but everything was covered in a thick layer of ice! It's probably the humidity because I have never seen anything like it in Utah! 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that you enjoyed eating more food than you thought you probably should have! Haha! Thanksgiving for me was nice, we had the day off so we hung around and visited some members that we could. We had Thanksgiving Dinner at The Dial's, a nice family in our ward. They fed us really well with all your classic thanksgiving dishes. Afterwards Elder Abad and I shared a wonderful Thanksgiving message and we did it with a song and guitar! The song was also sung in mostly Tagalog! 

Wednesday the Office Elders in St. Louis came and dropped off brand new Mattresses, Box Springs, and Bed Frames for us! They are so comfortable and we sleep great every night!! We dumped our old mattresses due to some recent battles with Bed Bugs... But the exterminators sprayed our apartment again, and with the new mattresses we have not had any new encounters with Bed Bugs! But the new struggle is waking up in the morning! Haha!

On Friday, we had a great opportunity to be apart of a big Christmas Parade in Belleville! So big that most of the missionaries in the O'Fallen Zone were able to be in it! The church had a float that depicted the nativity scene, we as missionaries got to walk alongside the float and give out Pass along cards. It was definitely the highlight of the week. 

Everyone in our District is working hard to reach our goals for this transfer! As I predicted last week the Sisters are pulling in most of the numbers! Followed by us, then the Zone Leaders in Fairview Heights, and East St Louis in last. But we had a District Fast on Sunday and we've been praying hard and because of that the work has really started to pick up! We picked up 4 new investigators in the past 3 days! 

Ferguson has been the talk of the town all week... A lot of missionaries have been moved out of the St Louis area for right now! But Things are still peaceful over here on the other side of the river! I don't think we are going to see any rioting. 

So I hope many of you know that the Church came out with a new Video on Friday called "He Is The Gift". The church has put mega dollars into this new initiative. It is going to be in visitor Centers, Time Square in New York City, and on December 7th The Church is going to be the main advertiser on Youtube home page! If you haven't watched this video yet, you need to check it out! We have been given the task of spreading the "He is the Gift" to everyone we meet and to share it in each lesson with Active members, Less Active, and Non-members, and it is working really well so far.

The video can be seen on 

I think that is is for this week everybody! I hope you all have a good week, stay safe and be warm! Love one another as Jesus Loves you! Try to show kindness in all that you do... be gentle and loving, in deed and in thought. For these are the things Jesus taught. ;)

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving - 11/24/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear concerning loved ones,

It was been a nice week over here in the heart land of America! Things are also turning to ice... it's pretty darn cold! But luckily The spirit keeps me warm, Hot Chocolate too... that is definitely a necessity out here. Despite the cold, many people in St Louis are getting pretty heated up over the Michael Brown case! We are still on Riot alert this week, and have been warned many times to stay away from any protests or large gatherings of people. If it is ever brought up in conversation we should avoid talking about it with people. But all will be well on this side of the river I don't think there will be anything to worry about. I know they might be taking some missionaries out of St Louis though and bringing them over here for some time.

There were two missionaries in a serous car accident this week, Elder Sudsbury and Elder Omana. We don't know a ton of what happened. But it was all over the news and their car looked destroyed.. They didn't have any broken bones, but were in critical condition until they both came out of ICU a few days ago. Elder Omana had to have emergency surgery but it went well and both should be resting in the hospital for a few more days. I came out to the field with Elder Sudsbury, and Elder Abad is good friends with Elder Omana so we are planning to write them soon. 

So something funny this week is that I have started to get in touch with my Philippino roots by learn some Tagalog from Elder Abad! mostly just some words, phrases and songs. Maybe by the time I come home I will know how to say something! We wants to cook us some Philippine food this week, so that might happen!  

We set a goal as District this week to have 7 baptisms this transfer as well as 105 member present lessons and 56 new investigators. Pretty high goals, but The sister missionaries do great work and as usual will likely pull in most of the numbers. For Glen Carbon, Elder Abad and I are hoping to contribute 2 of those baptisms, 18 member presents, and 20 new investigators. As a district we are fasting every Sunday till the end of the transfer. We are already starting to see the blessings, and the work is starting to pick up. The whole Missouri St Louis Mission as a whole is making a last push for the end of the year to reach our goal of 521 baptisms in 2014.

Thanksgiving is this week and today being my 2 month mark on the mission I have realized how much growth I have done in such a short amount of time. I have realized I am very Thankful for a lot of things, I am very grateful for my family and the gospel in our lives. I am grateful for the many great friends I have, and for the opportunity I have to serve a mission. I have gained a much stronger testimony of the gospel and a stronger witness of our savior and just how much he loves us. I have gained a much stronger testimony and understanding of the Book of Mormon and just how important it truly is and how much we all need it. Simply put... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the truth! many Christian churches believe in Christ, and love Christ, and do much good in the world, but we are the ONLY church who is truly led by Christ himself who lives. 

May everybody have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving, I love you all and will be thinking and praying for you always. May this week bring much joy and happiness, realizing just how much God has blessed each of us and the ones we love.

Peace on the streets,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mid-West Winter - 11/17/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dearest Family and Friends,

Well... The Mississippi River is pretty cool. Haha We spent most of our P-Day Monday at Old Chain Of Rocks bridge on the Mississippi River, and we got to hang out and walk on the beach. The water was cold but don't worry, I didn't go swimming! Haha! From the beach we had a great view of Missouri on the other side of the river, and the sunset was beautiful. We also took a little "hike" through the woods there, it is such a cool place. We are going back today then going up to spend our P-Day in Alton. I will be sending pictures of that later.

It has been pretty cold here this week, today it is 19 degrees and we have a fresh blanket of snow. It is definitely a different kind of cold out here as opposed to Utah cold! But it really hasn't been too bad. The temperatures should stay pretty low this week, as long as the wind doesn't pick up we'll be in good shape!

We dropped a few more people out of our teaching pool this week, and are really trying to focus on getting a baptismal date set for Eric. We haven't been able to meet with him all week. Our Eternigator Lupie has been sick this week with an ear infection, and we've only been able to meet twice. She wants to get baptized really bad but we are trying to help her get through a lot of issues right now with her health. Our other Investigator Barry doesn't really want to make any commitments, he is kind of in Jacuzzi mode right now. We have taught a lot of less active families this week and that has been great! We are working with a family to try and come to church again. 

Elder Abad and I do service at The Glen Ed Food Pantry in Edwardsville every Tuesday morning, but we spent most of the day there on Saturday for "Scouting for Food". The local scout troops and community members brought in over 62,000 Pounds of food to the Pantry! It was amazing to see the community at work... We carried a lot of boxes, and we will have a lot of sorting to do this coming Tuesday! 

I have officially made it through my first Transfer in the Mission Field! So I guess that is pretty exciting. It went by pretty fast, and I've learned so much! We got transfer calls Saturday night and I am being Transferred to Springfield where I will be a new trainer!! Haha Crazy, right?! Elder Abad is going to be the new District Leader here in Glen Carbon Area.. I have really enjoyed my time in Glen Carbon Illinois, and will continue to enjoy it because I am also not actually getting transferred, and I will be continuing my training here from Elder Abad In Glen Carbon... He really is the new District Leader though! Haha!

Veterans Day was fun here! I've had a lot of fun conversations talking to a lot of veterans in the area. There are a lot of them here! Scott Air Force base is really close to us, so there are a lot of Air Force veterans here. I know the Shilo Area which is just sound of East St Louis, their ward consists of mostly Active Duty Airmen, and is always changing. 

Friday Glen Carbon was put on a Boil Order, I guess there was some kind of break in the water lines and possible water contamination. For 24 hours we had to boil all of our water, apparently that happens from time to time, but everything is good now! 

Because of the Michael Brown shooting case coming to a close all of the Missionaries in the St Louis area have been put on Riot alert this week! They have warned us to stay away from any rioting we see going on, I am technically in the St Louis area even though I am in Illinois. We won't see any rioting over here though.. It's a quiet and safe area where nobody really cares. So nobody worry, I am safe over here! Before Elder Abad came to Glen Carbon, he was actually serving in Ferguson then got Emergency Transferred over here! 

I think that is it for this week! Prayers and letters are always accepted, I will write about all of the adventures and missionary work we do this coming week and report again next Monday! I love you all! 


Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, November 10, 2014

East Saint - 11/10/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Hello family Friends,

Illinois is starting to get nice and cold this week.. That has been a good experience I guess. The work is going well here, we had another week of zero's in our reports. But we found two new investigators that are super solid. We also got to teach a large amount of Less Active's in the ward. All of our investigators have fallen through on appointments all week, and we only have one progressing right now.

Tuesday we went on splits with some ward members. Elder Abad worked Glen Carbon and Troy with James Rawson, who is 17 years old and they got to teach some good lessons. I worked up in Highland which is about 30 minutes East of Troy. I was with Brother Boekout and his daughter who is getting ready to go on a mission. Not many people answered their doors, even when we saw them through the windows... weird. But we also had a lesson with a Less Active man named William, he is 80 years old and says that church is too far away and is boring to him now. But he still has a strong testimony and wants to talk to Bishop Rawson about doing his Tithing settlement. It was a very successful split day.

Friday we went on exchanges with the East St Louis Elders, and I did in fact have the great opportunity to spend 24 hours in East Saint. I was with Elder Jacobson who is our District Leader, he goes home to Seattle in 3 months. It was great being able to spend some time in a different area and I learned a lot from Jacobson.

East St Louis is interesting... It was hard being there though. There are a lot of  people there who like to yell a lot! Haha! Not necessarily at us, but just yell at each other. I was surprised to see most of the homes there are boarded up, and not in good living condition. Jacobson told me that sometimes you'll see a home, then the next day it will be boarded up due to whatever the people were involved with, weather it's gangs or drugs. The whole day we were pretty much the only white people on the bus, and the best dressed too... We met a few really nice people who we picked up as investigators, then we went back to the apartment because we have to be back by night fall in East St Louis. All in all I had a good first experience in the Ghetto except for these two people who picked a fight with each other in the back of the bus on our way home. Nobody threw any punches, but things got pretty heated! Haha! The whole situation honestly made me laugh, it was just so stupid. The whole day made me Grateful for a million different things, but I am grateful for the area I serve in on the Mission and the success we have. There is talk about closing the East St Louis area... the work is just not progressing and it's just a plain hard area, but there is still hope.

I think that is pretty much it for the week! We are going to be working hard this up and coming week, we have some good plans set to start finding and teaching more especially now that it is the end of the transfer. Thank you everybody, for all your love and support. I will be excited to report on all of the adventures and stories from the week on next Monday. Until then....

Peace on the streets,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, November 3, 2014

Frozen Bed Bugs - 11/03/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope everyone had a nice week, and a safe Halloween. Halloween for Elder Abad and I was spent in Granite City with a member Family, the McKay's. They are awesome! We all spent the night outside watching trick or treaters, and handing out candy. The only down side was that it was only about 35 degrees... So it was pretty cold, and that same night it dropped down to 29 degrees, and of course our heater doesn't work! Grateful for my two winters at the Car wash where I learned to endure freezing temperatures.

Our numbers for the week and the temperatures were similar this week... low! We have still been trying to find investigators, it's just been hard. We did have a couple less active families let us in for a message, and that was good. We met with Terry again, our investigator with the haunted house. He is such a cool guy, and is very prepared to hear the gospel. He even committed to coming to church this week, but ended up not being able to make it because he was out of town. 

One aspect of the mission that I've discovered is how different people can be, and how you experience such a different range of emotions in just one day. We went from having a great lesson with Terry where the spirit was so strong. To afterwards going to a lesson with an older man named Carl, who is an former member that pretty much hates life. Carl see's no hope in the world, humanity, or life. His entire existence to him is meaningless... As we sit and teach him it's a struggle and a battle. He smokes his cigarettes and drinks his coffee and just doesn't want to change a thing. So I always feel a little worn down after meeting with him, but I know it'll all be okay. Heavenly Father always brings good out of something that in the moment seems to be a great loss... just be faithful and the good will come!

Our teaching pool was again much like the week, Cold! We thinned out our teaching pool down to 4 people at the beginning of the week, by dropping some people.. and some people dropping us as well. But by the end of the week we have three potential baptismal goal dates, and 3 new investigators!

We went on exchanges this week, the original plan was for me to go to East St. Louis, but instead I stayed in Glen Carbon and had the opportunity to run the area for the 24 hours. It was a great experience, especially when our GPS magically stopped working for the one day.  We will be going on exchanges again this week and I will be heading to East St Louis, so that will be an experience to test the waters and see what it's like to serve in the real Ghetto. I know that Missionaries who serve in East Saint are the only missionaries in the Mission who have to be inside their apartment before the sun goes down. Haha! I am actually kind of excited to go and experience a different area.

I can't remember if I talked about Stacy or last week or not, But she has two little kids and her and her husband were baptized about a month ago, and last week her and her husband had this huge melt down, and basically their marriage is done, because he has been an abusive husband to Stacy and her kids. So we had to move her around a few times this week, but she has a friend who lives an hour away in Greenville that is moving in with her and her name is Lilly, and the Sister missionaries are actually teaching her right now. We spent the day on Saturday moving Lilly from Greenville down to Troy, It was hard work but will be good for everyone.

Well I hope everyone has a good week this week, don't let the bed bugs bite! We pray every night that the bed bugs stay away from us, we had the treatment done last week, but we have a feeling the battle might not be over quite yet... I love my area, it is very blessed.. except for the bed bugs, heater, and actually our washing machine now. But all will be well this week! I know it! 

Before I end I would like to extend a challenge to everyone... We have had a lot of success this week in sharing "Mormon Messages". It is a very effective tool for learning and teaching, they always bring the spirit and bring comfort and joy into the day. So my Challenge is for everyone to get online at least once this week and watch a Mormon Message!

I love you all so much, and am so grateful for your love and support while I am out here learning, growing, and serving. Until I report again next week... 

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, October 27, 2014

Angels And Demons - 10/27/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Family and Friends, 

A lot has happened this past week, and there are a lot of stories I wish I could share. This week went by super fast and it feels a long ways away from last Monday. The week started out with my Birthday on the 20th, which was a very good day! The Elders in our District took a trip into St. Louis to visit the Gateway Arch. I couldn't believe how big it really is up close, It stands about 630 feet in the air above St Louis, and its pretty much the tallest thing around so you can see it from a long ways away. The View at the top is pretty amazing too, Looking out over the Illinois side and the Missouri side it's just vast flatness as far as you can see. After the Arch and the Expansion Museum we rode the Metro Train farther into the City, to The Loop. We had the best Dinner at Fitz's, it is such a cool place. Best Root-beer I have tasted.

The work this week was very slow, we saw some growth and miracles happen, but as far as investigators and finding, pretty much zero's for the week, luckily it's not about numbers. In fact we actually dropped two of our investigators because of different reasons. 

The Glen Carbon ward had their annual "Trunk or Treat" on Saturday. It was pretty great, a lot of great food and people. There were even a good amount of non-members come and be apart of it.

Friday was my One Month Anniversary of being on a Mission! Haha It was one of those days were nothing goes according to plan but everything works out in the end. We had several appointments fall through and then nobody answered their doors. We had one lesson scheduled with our Recent Convert Family, Stacy and Mitch at 7:00pm. We got word from Stacy a few hours before hand that we wouldn't be having a lesson tonight, instead we could come over and help her move out. She had spent the whole day moving all of her things to a storage unit. Stacy then proceeded to tell us that Mitch had been abusing her and their kids, so she was leaving. With a member of the Bishopric we were able to get all of her things moved out, we will continue to help her and her family in any way we can.

So in the spirit of Halloween I would like to share a story that happened on Friday afternoon while we were trying to find a less active family address. We were on the outskirts of Collinsville and Troy, driving down a long dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Down this road was 7 homes with very large pieces of property, really not much going on. After searching for a long time for the address we pulled into a driveway that we thought might be it. The Home was decently sized and in good condition, next to it there was a small run down barn and behind it a large field with many tree's. There was "beware of Dog" sign's posted in several spots and there was something strange about the house. We almost decided to leave, but instead came to the conclusion to knock on the door and ask about the address we were looking for. When we did so, a large man answered the door, he was covered in tattoos, he almost turned us away after telling us that it wasn't the right address, but instead we struck up a conversation about him, his home, pretty much everything else we could talk about. He told us that he was trying to sell his house for years, and that he built it in 2000 for his family. He said it's just him and his dog living there now and that the home had been a blessing and curse for him. I wondered why, he told us that there was a demon living in the far corner of the basement, with a black cloak and red eyes. He said it was haunted and that all growing up his daughters saw ghosts and were haunted by these demons. He said the whole area was that way, that Indian tribes would do sacrifices in the old days around that area. The seven homes on the road were known as the "Seven Gates of Hell." Elder Abad said that we as missionaries Bless houses... So this man, Terry, Said he would be all for it. The home had a weird energy to it, but we blessed his home, and afterwards gave him a blessing and Terry said he felt much better and Lighter. We gave him a picture of Jesus and a Book of Mormon and said he needed us to come that day, and that it was no accident that we showed up. Terry told us that he had been praying that very morning for somebody to come help him. We stood outside and talked to him for another hour, he is Super great guy and we will be keeping in touch with him this week. 

Happy Halloween everyone, Hope you all enjoy your week. We will be working hard this week to find people and meet some Less Active's in our area. I challenge everyone to read Alma 26 this week, because its awesome.

Till next week, Love and Peace

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bed Bugs And Birthdays - 10/20/15 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Family and Friends,

I am enjoying my time here in Illinois, Corn Fields are great! Haha. But we have worked hard this week, and haven't had much to show for it actually. A lot of our appointments fell through and our baptism we had set for Sunday with Eric got cancelled literally a few hours before the service. Poor kid, he's only 9 years old and wants to be baptized really bad, but several people in his family are trying to make it so he doesn't. It was disappointing, and we had everything ready to go, so when it cancelled we spent the whole morning calling everybody and telling them it wasn't going to happen. But on the bright side all the ward members gave us the cookies, brownies and other junk they were going to bring to the baptismal service. But with Eric we are going to shoot for a date in a few weeks, and just hope everything works out. 

So I have neglected to share this, but since I arrived in the Glen Carbon, our apartment has had a slight Bed Bug problem. It is unpleasant! Haha. Most nights we sleep in fear hoping that we don't get eaten! But I haven't been bitten yet, nor seen very many. Elder Abad on the other hand has been bitten a lot for the past few weeks. But the mission is paying for an exterminator to come out tomorrow and take care of the bugs. Elder Abad and I have to pretty much take a full day out of working so we can clean, move furniture, and we have to wash and dry EVERYTHING with soap and heat! Then immediately we have to put everything into sealed plastic bags, it's really a lot of work, but hopefully by tomorrow everything will be taken care of. 

Saturday was Elder Abad's Birthday, he just turned 21. We were mostly out working all day, but later that evening he wanted to go to "Steak and Shake" to celebrate! We had dinner there and the waitress was really nice and gave us our shakes for free! 

Sunday was my first day in The Glen Carbon IL Ward! Last Sunday we had Stake Conference in O'fallen, where we also got a new Stake President who is a really young guy actually. Anyways, I met a lot of great people in the ward, not sure I remember all of their names, but I will with time I guess. Afterwards we got fed a birthday dinner by a part member family, The Rose's. Sister Rose is an active member, but her husband Larry left the church a long time ago. But they both have a passion for taking care of the missionaries and especially feeding us! We had a huge dinner complete with chocolate cake and Ice Cream. 

Today is my birthday! It also just so happens to be P-Day, so we are going to go into St. Louis and see the Gateway Arch and hang out at the Delmar Loop and just hang out in the city all day. I am way excited to go, St Louis is a great place. I will be sure to report on that adventure next week and send pictures. But Thank you everybody for your support and love! Feel free to write me a letter or send me an Email, getting letters in the mail always make the day good, even if its a bad day! :)

Until next week, Love and Peace. 

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Glen Carbon - 10/13/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear concerning loved ones,

I have arrived safely to the mission field and I am enjoying my time here. I Flew in Tuesday afternoon and we landed at 1:00pm in St Louis. You could feel the humidity right out of the terminal, but it wasn't too bad at all. We met our mission president, President Morgan and Sister Morgan. They are great! We then were taken to the Mission Office and met some people there. Afterwards we drove to the St Louis Missouri Temple to take pictures and talk. By this point it was about 4:00pm when we went back to the mission Home which was only about 5 minutes away. We ate dinner and had a testimony meeting. The Morgans have a beautiful home and it was a comfortable place to spend the night.

Wednesday morning we had zone Conference where we met our trainers, and found out where we'd be serving. My Companion's name is Elder Abad, he is from the Philippines. He has been serving his mission for a little over a year now. He is a great trainer and I am learning a lot from him, his English is pretty good, so that is a blessing! haha. 

We are serving in the Glen Carbon Area of Illinois which is about an hour and a half drive from St Louis just across The Mississippi River. It is a very nice area and is full of a lot of great people. We go to a lot of surrounding areas during the week, like Maryville, Granite, Collinsville, and Troy. The weather has been very rainy the past few days, and there have even been some tornado warnings around the mission, but not close to our area. I am very surprised at the amount of tree's and vegetation here, its very beautiful. Here in Glen carbon there are a lot of Corn Fields and no mountains, so thats different... but I like it! 

We are blessed to be in an area with a car! We drive a newer model Toyota Carola which is cool. Oh and Because Elder Abad is from the Philippines we never got a drivers License nor has he ever really driven a car, so I'm a lucky Greenie because I get the car keys! We drive a lot, and I am not allowed to let my trainer drive! 

I have been meeting a lot of people and members here, so it's taken me a while to get names and places down, but I'm learning. Our area is pretty nice and not too Ghetto, except for the city of Granite or when we have to drive through East St Louis. Let's just say that when I am driving through East St Louis I lock the doors and never bring the car to a complete stop! Haha! 

Our P-day was moved to Tuesday for this week, because Monday we had a special Mission Conference where we had every missionary in the entire Missouri St Louis Mission gathered together! It was amazing and is the first and probably the only time we would get to experience that. I think there were about 240 missionaries there too, so we pretty well filled the entire chapel. But we had some great talks and discussions. We heard from President Morgan and Sister Morgan, and we heard from Elder Sitati from the Quorum of the Seventy. The Conference went from 10:00am till 2:00pm, then at that 2:00pm President Morgan got up and started talking about the new movie "Meet The Mormons" and how it's been very popular in theaters the past few days. Anyways, he said he'd gotten a copy and that we'd be watching it! So that's what we did and it was incredible and I think it was just what everyone needed at the time. 

This coming Saturday October 18th is Elder Abad's Birthday! and Monday October 20th is my Birthday! So for next Monday's P-Day we will be going into St Louis to visit the Gateway Arch and see some cool areas, as a nice birthday present. Today we are going to see The Cahokia Mounds which are Indian ruins and grave sites. We also have a meeting tonight with Eric who is 9 years old and has a baptismal date for this coming Sunday. 

We will continue to teach a lot this week and find new investigators. We are also focusing a lot of efforts on Reactivation and retention of members. I am trying to learn as much as I can and to get Adjusted to Missionary life. It is definitely not easy, it's hard because you are taken away from People you know and Love, the places yo love and feel comfortable in, and you don't have the things I love to do anymore. But instead are dropped in a place with unfamiliar people, places, and you have to do things you're not used to doing. But I am determined to stay diligent and focused on what I am doing because I know its right and I know the messages that we share can bless and change people's life's for the better.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers this week, you all will be in mine. Please feel free to write me a letter and even hand written letters would be amazing since I can only email once a week! Anything to help break up the week and to boost my spirits!

I will write back next week with more adventures and stories! But until next week

Monday, October 6, 2014

Meet Me In St. Louis - 10/06/14 (MTC)

Family and friends,

My Time in the MTC has come to an end.. Tuesday morning we will depart from the Provo MTC at 4:35 am from there two districts of 16 missionaries including me will fly out of Salt Lake City at 9:30 am and touch down in St. Louis Missouri at 1:30pm, or 12:30 Mountain Daylight Time for all you Utahns! Not exactly sure what will happen from there, but I look forward to the new adventure! 

I feel ready to leave the MTC, I have enjoyed my time here, the teachers are amazing, the friendships I have made will last a lifetime, the spirit you feel is incredible, and the food has been. . .  good, i guess. But I have come to learn a lot in such a short amount of time and I feel confident in my ability to teach and testify, I found out to stop worrying about what I know or don't know, because in the end its the Holy Ghost that testifies truth and does the converting. 

Friday night I had a very special opportunity that I would like to share. . . In my district we have four Elders and Four Sisters, we have all grown very close to each other and have spent everyday together since we arrived. But Friday night after our classroom lesson and teaching investigators, Sister Dahlberg who is one of our Sisters in our district, you could tell was having a rough day and she came back to the classroom in tears. We all sat studying and planning lessons, she then asked if she could have a blessing, and asked If I would be willing to give her the blessing. I told her that I would be honored to have that opportunity. So she took her spot on a chair in the middle of our small classroom and the three other Elders and I circled around her, and I began the Blessing of Comfort. After a few minutes everything just seemed bright and peaceful and I felt as if I wasn't even speaking. But afterwards we gave each other a good handshake and the other sisters decided they wanted blessings of comfort too.. 

We spent all day Saturday and Sunday watching conference as a MTC body, I think it was about 2,000 missionaries stuffed into the gymnasium stands, and the chairs there suck! So it was uncomfortable, but we enjoyed the talks given by the General Authorities and Officers of The Church. That Night we had a Devotional given by Via Sikahema who was a BYU football player, and a NFL player for Green Bay and Philadelphia. We is an incredible man and is very successful. He told a lot of stories and talked a lot of about how we effect the lives of others. I know That my mission is going to be the foundation for the rest of my life, and the beginning of a life full of service and dedication.

I know that there are people that the Lord is preparing and will prepare for me to invite unto Christ and help them improve their life. As long as I am obedient I will be in the right place at the right time, and I will be somebody's missionary. I have learned to trust in the spirit and to ask inspired questions, because in the end we all have to learn for ourselves the gospel principals So my purpose as a missionary is to help others figure out the principals for themselves and to increase their own relationship with God and Jesus Christ. I know that once I lose myself in the work of the Lord, only then will I find myself... but only when I'm not looking! 

I miss you all so much and pray everyday for you, Since I've gotten here, I've noticed my prayers starting to turn more outward to others. I think a lot about when I will be home back in the comfort of my family and loved ones, but for my my comfort shall rest with the Lord my savior. So watch out Missouri because truth and light cometh! 

Until we meet again, Love and peace..

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, September 29, 2014

Reception Week - 09/29/14 (MTC)

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm not sure where to start, but this week has been full of a wide range of emotions. I have been a missionary for close to a week now, but I have learned so much! I have learned a lot about being a missionary, about teaching, studying, and even about myself. I have been able to feel the spirit so strong during my time here, and we feel so close to the savior. The first day or two was a little rough, but I love my district and my companion. We have grown very close as friends the past five days. We have two sets of sister missionaries in our district and they are incredible, they bring such a special testimony and perspective on the gospel. 

Most of the day consists of classes and study time, which have been so full of information, its like trying to drink out of a fire hose! So by the time 8:00pm comes around and we are in class most things go over my head I feel like. We pray almost constantly, which actually feels great! 

My companion's name is Elder Virgin who is from Syracuse Utah, he is a little reserved but most of the time is willing to talk and be engaged. oh and he loves Scream-o deathy music! haha. But he is a great guy. The other Elders in our district are Elder Shaw from Oregon, Elder King from Taylorsville. The Sisters in our district are Sister Dahlberg from Ogden, Sister Piechrey from New Hampshire, Sister Ferniss from Blackfoot Idaho, and Sister Shontell from Arizona. I will try and include pictures in this letter as well so you can see!

Anyways, everything is good and I am in good spirits, I feel very loved and accepted by everyone here, and everyone at home... except I could use a few more written letters, those sure would be good for a nice pick me up during the week when I can't check email. 

I have learned this week that it doesn't matter what you do or don't know about the gospel, just rely on the spirit because its the spirit that is going to convert people. People often never remember your words, but only how you make them feel when you are around them. This week we will continue to teach "investigators" and learn how to be missionaries. A lot to do today, so until next week...

Much love and Peace,

Elder Chase Peterson