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