Monday, February 23, 2015

Negative Temps/First Baptism - 02/23/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

Well this week was quite a chilly one! Most of the week consisted of negative or single degree temperatures, with wind that makes it even colder. Oh and about 7 inches of snow just as a bonus. Elder Phillips I were walking around all of Charleston in those conditions, I have never been so cold in my life! But All is well now, because though these conditions continue, we have the car this week!

This week we had exchanges, I went down to Mattoon with Elder Knapp and we tried contacting a ton of less actives. We are also going on Exchanges again this week with the Zone Leaders. Elder Phillips will be working down in Charleston with Elder Kettle, and I will be going up to Champaign to work in Mohamed with Elder Moore.

So Our teaching pool continues to grow and I want to take a minute and talk about some of our top progressing investigators. 

Colton - He is 17 years old, and has been investigating the church since November. He is a friend of the Stowell family who are active members and who's Dad is the Stake President. He had a baptismal date about a month ago, but got scared and dropped it. We have had some solid lessons with him the past few weeks and think we are ready to set a date with him maybe this week. 

Joe - We picked Joe up as an investigator the day I got to Charleston. He is a student at EIU and is a History and Religion major. He was studying for the Catholic Priesthood, but feels like the Catholic church isn't taking a lot of things seriously anymore. He loves Everything we talk to him about and even came to church on Sunday.  He has done so much study on Joseph Smith and the church, he even went and purchased his own Quad set of scriptures so he can have all of the books in one. 

Nancy Ann - Nancy is in her 50's and she has a son who is a member of the church and is getting married in the Temple in a  few months. She started investigating the church several months ago, and is being baptized on Friday.

Eric - We got a Phone call from a random number at 2:00am on Wednesday night and it was Eric who has met missionaries before. He just kept saying that he didn't feel very good and that he was ready to jump off a bridge.. We talked to him for about 30 minutes then made an appointment to stop by the next morning. When we had met with missionaries before he said his life was so great and he quit drinking for 2 years.. Anyways he relapsed super hard and that is when we got the call. He just wants to change and to not be a drunk anymore.

So I think that is all for this week, we are going to be working with our investigators and be trying to find new ones each day! Charleston is awesome and I think once I have the area down and the ward members down I am really going to love it here. Even though there is no food pantry, we do service each with at a soup stop at a Methodist Church where we serve fish to people. It is pretty great! 

Anyways, once again Thank You All for the prayers in my behalf. I miss you guys and think or you always. Have a great week, and we will talk again next week when I make another account of my dealings for the week. With Much love....

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, February 16, 2015

Charleston - 02/16/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

I am happy to inform everybody that I have made it safely to my new area, Charleston Illinois! I am now on the eastern side of the state of Illinois, just south of the city of Champaign. Charleston is a smaller college town, home to Eastern Illinois University (EIU). In fact about half of the population of the town is college students. Charleston is also where the food Chain Jimmy Johns got its start! Across from the campus is Jimmy Johns Location 00001. haha! So That is pretty cool I guess!

So I have a pretty good sized District of missionaries out here... Elder Phillips and I cover the Charleston area, and we share a ward with Elder Payne and Elder Knapp who cover the Mattoon area. Then There are two Elders west of us in the Effingham branch, Elder Blaylock and Elder Rausche. Farther East of us is a set of sister Missionaries, Sister Uta'i and Sister Lundskog serving in the Paris branch. 

In the Charleston area we have half of a car, which means we switch off every week sharing it with the Mattoon Elders. The car is a 2013 or 2014 Ford Fusion so it gets us around pretty good! I am in the Mattoon ward of the Champaign Stake, and there are a lot of great active members who take care of us and who are active in missionary work! The stake president is in our ward, and we hang out with their family quite a bit! 

The Charleston area is actually a great area for missionary work, in my almost one week of being here we have picked up 3 new investigators, taught 7 lessons and picked up several solid potentials! We also have 15 investigators who we are teaching right now, it is a lot to keep track of, but I think I am definitely going to be a better teacher once I leave this area. 

My New companion is Elder Phillips, and he is from Idaho! He is a pretty cool guy! We get along great and I am really learning a lot from him. Elder Phillips has been out on his mission for 19 months so he will be going home in July. He served in the mission office for a little while at the time I came into the field, so he was actually one of the missionaries who picked me up from the airport when I got here.

So we have a pretty full week of teaching and finding ahead of us! We have an investigator getting baptized on the 28th of this month so we are going to be getting her ready for that. Other than that it will be a week of walking around Charleston in the freezing cold and snow! From the time I got here, I don't think I have been warm once! The temperatures have been in the teens/almost single digits not taking into account the wind chill factor which goes straight to your bones and makes it like 15 degrees colder!  But it is fun, I enjoy the hard work that it takes! Going door to door makes a lot of people feel sorry for us.. In fact I have found out that I am actually really great at tracting! Haha! The meanest person can answer the door, but by the time we are done talking they have a smile on their face! 

It is still going to take me some time to learn the area and the learn all of our investigators and members and to keep them straight! It is a work in progress and I am sure I will have it down in a few weeks. Anyways, it snowed a few inches last night and Zone Leaders told us that all of the cars are grounded for the day, so that ruined our P-Day plans of driving up to Champaign to play Basketball. So now our day is pretty well open! 

Thank You all for the support, love, and prayers in my behalf... It really means a lot! I will type out my address in case anybody wants to write me a letter or send me something. Goodbye for now!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Goodbye Glen Carbon - 02/09/15 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

It is hard to believe that we are already into the second week of February! Time sure does fly out here. There were a few days this week with warm temperatures, but it is supposed to drop again this week. I am grateful that it has been a very mild winter! 

This week was kind of slow for us! We were able to contact several Less Active people who haven't had any contact with the church for a long time. We had a good lesson with Lupie this week, and we are working with her to get baptized on April 25. 

Stephen and Tanya, our investigators in the motel room, are doing better. They are starting to get back on track with reading and learning. They still just have so many temporal needs getting in the way of them progressing, which is frustrating! 

It is also the end of the transfer here in the Missouri St. Louis Mission! Saturday night we sat down and waited for a call from our District Leader, and I have to say that I was kind of nervous, more than I thought I would be! But I was ready for whatever was going to happen! 

So yes, I was told that I am getting transferred!! I have officially spent my last week in Glen Carbon and Wednesday Morning I head for my new area! It was hard to believe the news at first, I would have liked to stay in Glen Carbon for 1 more transfer! I have realized that I have built so many good relationships in my 4 1/2 months here, and it makes it way hard to say goodbye! I have made so many memories here and have learned so much. Glen Carbon will always hold a special place in my heart!! 

But it is time for me to move on... Wednesday morning I go into St Louis for transfer meeting where I will be meeting my new companion for the first time. His name is Elder Philips, he is apparently from Idaho, and has been out 18 months. 

I am moving from the O'Fallon zone all the way to the Champaign zone, which is the most Eastern part of the mission. So I am staying in Illinois for a little bit longer! Haha!  But I am closer to Indiana now. My Area is called Charleston,  which is about 2 hours away from St Louis. 

I kind of stinks that I have to go start all over again in a new area, but I definitely know how a mission works now and I feel adjusted and equipped enough to start working in a new area. It is just the unknown of doing something I haven't done yet which is getting transferred to a new area. So It will be quite the adventure this week I am sure! 

For P-day we are going to hang out with the East St. Louis Elders and go explore more abandoned buildings in East St Louis. In a strange way, I am going to miss that place too! Haha! I am packing my bags, that is pretty much the news of the week, so I will write again next week and tell you all about my new area and my new companion! Until then read your scriptures, pray, and go to church! Count your many blessings! 

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl Blessings - 02/02/15 (Glen Carbon, IL)

Dearest Friends and Family,

Another week has flown by and here I am writing again... Today I am writing from SWIC or SouthWest Illinois College in Belleville. We are with the East St Louis Elders because we are planning a adventure to go to the Arch for P-Day! It is a nice day for it, because the sun is coming out now, even though it was snowing this morning. 

This week was a good week, a lot of what we had planned to accomplish didn't actually happen. We were only able to see two of our investigators this week. We did focus most of our efforts on finding new investigators, and we actually found one. Her name is Brittany, and she is the Daughter of Stacy Tasallo who is a recent convert. Brittany is 15 years old, she started taking the lessons with her Mom back in April then decided that church is boring, so she stopped. We had a great Lesson with Stacy this week, and I asked Brittany if she wanted to start taking the lessons again, and she said she wanted to! 

We started working in this little town right above Granite City called Mitchell. In our finding efforts we tracted most of this little town and on the streets Big Four and Fleming we actually picked up a few potential investigators, so we will see what comes of it.

So I am sure everybody remembers the little fire we had several weeks back, well we have still been taking care of the smokey smell that remains in the apartment. With the help from a nice member in Glen Carbon who lent us their heavy duty carpet cleaner, the smell is now mostly gone! :) So we celebrated by having a few pizza's delivered! 

Sunday was Fast and Testimony Meeting and the whole O'Fallon Zone had a zone fast for all of the people we are working with! In church we had a member of the Mission Presidency come to our meeting. Elder Bell and I both bore our testimonies, and we made another young man come with us. There is this Young man in our ward named Devon, and he is 16 years old, When Elder Bell and I got up to bear our testimony we walked over and sat on both sides of Devon, then I leaned over and said "When this person says Amen, us three are going to stand up and go bear our testimonies." So we did! haha! Devon was a good sport about it, and his mom later told us Thanks for doing that, because Devon didn't want to go to church that morning! I really love the youth of the church!

Anyways, this week may or may not be my last full week in Glen Carbon! Transfer calls are Saturday night and I will soon find out my fate! Not sure what will happen, but if I had my choice I would want to stay in Glen Carbon one more transfer! There is just so much more I want to see happen and start to change, and the ward is starting to work well and get more involved. So it is just an exciting time for this area! But If I am told to go somewhere else, then I will go and not look back. This week is crunch time so we are going to work hard this week and baptize like 10 people!! Just kidding.. but maybe a few baptismal dates? I think we'll bake an Apple pie too.. 

I have learned this week that there is so much power in prayer, and that Heavenly Father does here our prayers, and we are always in his watchful care. We are his children and he loves each of us and knows what we need, even when we think we know what we need. God is just so much smarter than us, but we can trust him so we should never be afraid. Count your blessings!

As I am sure many of you know the Super Bowl was on Sunday... I didn't know that until Friday! Nor did I know who was actually playing! We stopped by a family who are WAY less actives in Glen Carbon, Douglas and Karen Garber! They were watching the game, but we felt prompted to go anyways. They let us in and we sat there talking for a little bit and yes the game was on! They let us share a wonderful message, and afterwards Karen said "I am glad you stopped by because Doug needs a blessing!" So we were able to give a blessing for some medical problems he is having. The spirit was so strong, now they want to have us over for tacos next week. so that is a blessing as well! I have never met this family till a week ago, but they are awesome! Doug used to train German Shepard's and compete with them. He is trophies from all over the world, so that is pretty cool.  

Tune in next week for another exciting report of my mission!

Elder Chase Peterson