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