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