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

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