Monday, January 26, 2015

Shoulder To The Wheel - 01/26/14 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

Time really is starting to fly by out here on the mission. We are already starting the second to last week of the transfer. So by the end of next week I will receive news regarding if I will be staying another transfer in Glen Carbon, or if I will be transferred to a new area.

Things have been good out here in St. Louis, The winter has been very mild, which I am grateful for. It has been weird walking around in a short sleeve shirt in the middle of January! But this morning we went to Edwardsville to a catholic funeral for the husband of one of the members of our ward. It was a very nice service, but by the time we came out it was snowing.

We had some great lessons with our investigators this week, we got to visit Lupie this week and she is doing much better now. Her health is improving and she is starting to show more of a desire and motivation to start coming to church. We were able to give her a blessing, and bless her home. Then a miracle happened, she came to church on Sunday! First time in months since she has been there! She recognizes the difference in her life when she goes to church and when she doesn't, and she sincerely wants to be there. We plan to set a baptismal date with her this week. 

Stephen and Tanya did not make it to church on sunday, but they are doing much better health wise. They want us to come over this week to read with them in the Book of Mormon, we are very excited for that. We plan to set a baptismal date with both of them this week. 

This week are plan on focusing a lot of our efforts on finding new investigators and to get our investigators to progress. Hopefully we will talk again with our investigator from Highland who did the work for the Kansas City Temple! We also have a lot of less active names to go and visit. There are several less active families that I really want to start working with, I decided that one of my top goals on my mission is to reactivate a family! So we are going to hit the pavement hard this week and work as hard as we can and really make these last two weeks count since I don't know if I'll be here next transfer.

Thank You to all of my family and loved ones who continue to support me while I am out here serving a mission. This week I hit my 4 month mark! Haha! 20 more months to serve. I realized that I have learned so much, its hard to even put it into words. I have been able to experience a lot and meet a lot of great people who have made an impact on my life. I can definitely feel myself changing out here, but it is a good change! A change that come through our loving heavenly Father, true conversion. 

Sorry I don't have any crazy stories from this week, although I am not sure I could have a story that quite tops our apartment fire, or getting our car stuck on ice and mud! I bet I will have a good story to tell next week for y'all. However I did find out that the Subway Restaurant in East St. Louis has like an inch of bullet proof glass from ceiling to floor between the workers and customers. Man, I love East St Louis...... and subway.

Till next week, Peace on The Streets..

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, January 19, 2015

Crispy Drawers - 01/19/15 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Friends and Family, 

I was not able to get online to write yesterday because of Martin Luther King Day, and all of the libraries were closed. So we caught word that the City Museum which is closed on Mondays, was in fact open yesterday. So us and the East St. Louis Elders hopped on the Metro train and went across the river into the city. We spent pretty much the entire day hanging out in Downtown St Louis! 

The City Museum is incredible, for anybody that doesn't know what the St Louis City Museum looks like, you need to look up pictures of it! It is more of a mass scale playground than an actual museum of art and artifacts. You just climb through re bar and concrete all over the building. There is just so much to see and do there it is incredible! But I am very sore today... 

Tuesday we had Zone Conference at the O'Fallon Stake Center with the Cape Guirardo Zone. Cape Guirardo is the Zone right to the West of us across the Mississippi River in Missouri. Then we are in the O'Fallon Zone which is the first zone in Illinois. Anyways, we had a great conference with a lot of great trainings and discussions! President Morgan talked about our New Mission Baptismal Goal for the Year 2015! This year our mission has set a new goal of 453 Baptisms!
(Alma45:3 "I Believe"). It is going to be a great Year for the St. Louis Mission and for the Church in general! 

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the East St Louis Elders. Elder Bell worked up in Glen Carbon while Elder Johnson and I worked down in East St. Louis! We had a great time riding the bus and Metro everywhere all over the city. People are nuts there! We were on the Bus, and Elder Johnson caught some guy reaching in his pocket! The man denied the whole thing, but still asked for money anyways... Haha! Despite the cold temperatures, several distant gun shots, and being talked at by a drunk guy, I had a great time down there! I even learned how to bake a darn good Apple Pie! I will be testing out my newly found baking skills in the coming weeks!

Friday we also had quite the experience up in Glen Carbon! We were sitting downstairs in our kitchen. We had just cooked us up some lunch and we were getting ready to do some planning for the week. About 10 minutes into our meal, we hear a loud beeping... We stop and look at each other as it continues.... "Do you hear that?" So we get up and walk to the front our our apartment. Then we look over and see smoke starting to poor down our staircase! We both run upstairs and see that the middle desk drawer of Elder Bell's study desk is totally in flames! We start looking for stuff to put it out with and a couple glasses of water later the flames were gone! But the smoke was still pretty heavy, so we opened all of our windows to let the upstairs clear out! 

After about an hour everything was pretty much cleared out, and we started looking through the drawer that was on fire. Everything in the drawer was pretty well ashes, including a whole box of envelopes and papers. But There was a Preach My Gospel book in there that looked like it wasn't even touched, so that was pretty incredible. The Flames also burnt a hole through the top drawer, but everything is good now! The only problem was getting rid of the smell! We had to wash all of our clothes and stuff. despite using a whole can of febreeze there is still a slight burn smell upstairs. But we had apartment inspections today, and they never said anything so I guess we did a pretty good job at getting it cleaned up. The Mission does know, and everything is ok. Elder Bell and I have no idea how it would have started though... I am just glad we didn't go out to lunch, because I thought about suggesting that we go somewhere! Little did I know, if we had done that we probably would have come back to our apartment not actually being there! 

So all of our investigators are doing well, we are still working on getting them to progress! Our top investigators are all not doing good health wise. Stephen is going in for surgery today to get his kidney looked at, then Lupie is having breathing problems, but we are still teaching them and trying to figure out ways to help them and get them to church! We thing something good is going to happen soon!

Well I think that is all for this week! I hope everyone has a great week and I know that if we need help it is there. I have been thinking lately that God, being all mighty and the supreme power of the universe has asked us to address him as Father.. Because he is our Father, and he loves us and wants us to be happy! He knows our wants and desires and he wants us to succeed. He has the game plan for each of us, we just need to follow him and Jesus Christ. 

Peace on the Streets,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, January 12, 2015

Stuck In The Mud - 01/12/15 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

I am having a great time out here in St. Louis! This week was kind of a long one though... There was a day or two that we didn't really get much done because I have been battling this weird head cold! I have been pretty sick, but I have found the rest that I need, sunday I slept most of it off because Church got cancelled due to freezing rain (which didn't happen). I am feeling better today.

We had a really awesome experience this week that I would like to share. Last week we got a phone call from a guy in Highland Illinois who asked us to come over and see him. This man, is actually somewhat of a local celebrity to some people. His name is J.R Potthast, he is not a member, but the church wrote an article about him a few years ago. He is a wood cutter by profession, and the church hired him to cut all of the wood for the Kansas City, Missouri Temple back in 2010. All of the very fine and intricate cuts he did. He worked with the church and worked on the Temple from start to finish. Anyways, we visited him and taught him part of the restoration, and picked him up as our new investigator!

We have been having the hardest time getting our investigators to progress.. Lupie is still dealing with some health issues, and kind of doesn't like my new companion.. Haha! So we are going to work on that this week, and brainstorm ideas to get her to come to church. Stephen and Tanya are still living in a Motel in Granite City, we are going to meet with them this week and teach them lessons without a member there, that way they are less focused on getting their temporal needs met by the church. We have trouble meeting with our other investigators because of their schedule, so we have a lot of work to do this week. We are also trying to work with some less active and part member families! We might start working with a part member family all because of my "background" with the National Guard.. so that is pretty neat.

I think I will end my letter now with a story from Saturday night.. So Saturday we helped one of the Sisters investigators move apartments down in Granite City. Afterwards we went over to the McCay's and they fed us pizza. Anyways, we also had the East St Louis Elders with us to help us do the move. So we leave to go take the other Elders back to their apartment. A little ways into our drive The Gps is taking us through some industrial park just south of Granite, and it takes us down this road, where there is a dead end. But little did we realize at the time we were driving onto a thick sheet of ice. All of the sudden the car broke through the ice and we were stuck.... For over 30 minutes the four of us tried everything to get the car unstuck! The Ice just kept breaking into pieces and underneath the ice was several inches of sticky mud! 

Eventually we got the car out and backed onto a road. Our red Carollla wasn't so red anymore though... It was covered in mud, and so were we... One side of my face was covered in mud, so were my shoes and pants. Luckily because of moving none of us were in shirts and ties... So after we got the car out we took some much needed Victory pictures... about 1 minute later, flashing lights pull up to us.. Not 1 but 2 cop cars roll up on us. One cop gets out and says very angrily "Are you guys having fun tonight?!" Then I was like, ".....No... Not really." Apparently he got a call from somebody saying he saw people out "car surfing" (whatever the heck that is). But we explained to the officer that the gps lead us down the road and that we got our car stuck.. He believed us and the other cop did too, so he put his M16 away. Then they helped us find out way out. 

Then the gps led as wrong again, when it took us right through downtown East St Louis at like 10pm at night. Luckily we were safe! We made it back to Glen Carbon Safe and sound. Luckily not too many people have inquired about our super muddy car, which we will be washing today!

Anyways, That is all I have to report for this week! I love you all! Stay safe and have a good week! My Mail box is always open, so feel free to drop me a letter. In fact let me quote the scriptures...
"Does thou lovest me?" "Ye, Elder thou knowest that I love thee." 
"Then fill my mailbox"

Till next week,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Transfer - 01/05/15 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

So for the poor excuse of a letter that I sent last week. I was with the Zone Leaders in Fairview Heights. We had trouble finding a library to write at, but when we did they kicked us off after 30 minutes, so that was that... Anyways, all is well over here in the Mid-West. I had a great Christmas, talking with my family, and spending time with members of the wad here. We also got to visit a few of our investigators and bring some cheer to their Christmas. 

We had to go to St. Louis Monday morning to drop Elder Abad off in his new area. He is going to be working the Lindell area as an office Elder. So I didn't get my new companion until Wednesday when we went back into St. Louis for Transfer meeting. I got to see most of my MTC Buddies and got to catch up and see how they were all doing! I also got my New Companion...

My New Companion is Elder Bell, he is from Gilbert Arizona. (Which is were both sisters in our ward are from, So I am the only Utah! And they don't let me forget that). Elder Bell has been out for about 14 months, his last area was Hazel-wood Missouri. He is a pretty cool guy and we get along really good! 

I have been doing pretty good at running the area so far, I guess I know the area and people better than I thought I did. But we have been out working hard this week and were not able to meet with anybody. But we have plans this week to try and get our investigators Lupie, Stephen and Tanya to progress towards baptism, not sure what to do yet, but something will work out as long as we are listening to the spirit.

Well It is going to be cold this week, like single digits at times! I hate the wind chill too, the cold just goes right through you and it is quite unpleasant. But we will be out working and doing our best to serve others, I am pretty excited for this week. I think that is it for now, I will end by telling a little story...

So Monday, we hung out with the East St. Louis Elders and Elder Johnson really wanted to go look at these old abandoned buildings in the middle of East St. Louis.. So we did, But it is ok because we had the Zone Leaders with us! haha! We think this building was an old Hotel, because it had about 4 floors with like 100 rooms! There was a big ballroom and foyer, except that everything looked like it has been left alone for 1,000 years. It was pretty creepy, but we made it to the 3ed floor then came down. 

After that we took the Metro train down to the East River Front which was awesome! We had the best view of The Arch and St Louis. so that was way fun! I love it out here, St Louis is so cool.. Anyways, everyone have a great week and be safe.. Until next week when I write again, peace on the streets

Elder Chase Peterson