Monday, April 27, 2015

The End In Charleston? - 04/27/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

Life is good out here in the MId-West and Illinois is starting to get more green as well. It is hard to believe that I am already been in Charleston for 3 months. This is the last week of the transfer, and we get calls Saturday night to find out what will happen to Elder Campbell and I. Honestly it could go either way, I could see myself staying another transfer here or I could see myself leaving. Saturday will be a big day...

We found out Tuesday that we have a surprise Mission Conference this coming Saturday, the same day as Transfer Calls. So We will be leaving early that morning and take our 3 hour drive down to St Louis Missouri. We will be hearing from Elder Quentin L Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. So that will be an awesome experience! It will also be nice to get out of the middle of nowhere and into the city again. 

There is one problem with Mission Conference though.. it has forced us to postpone Sharon's baptismal date. :( Saturday morning was the only time she was able to do schedule it, but now it has to be pushed back to mother's Day weekend. That kind of bums me out because I might not be here for it because I would have been transferred 3 days before it. That really came as a disappointment to Sharon as well, because she had asked me if I could preform the baptism for her. But now everything is up in the air... 

I am confident that whatever happens in regard to Sharon's baptism will be for the best. In the end the work I have been able to do is still there, and the important thing is not that I am there to preform the baptismal ordinance but what matters is that it is done. So If it works out or not, then I will feel good knowing that I did what I was supposed to do. 

Everything has gone alright in regards to work this week, we have been out there working hard. We have had some trouble with our teaching pool because It's kind of mellowing out. Most of our potentials and people we try each week are simmering out. So this week we will be focusing on finding more people to teach. We did get a referral a few days ago from a Girl who is 19 and lives outside of Charleston in a small town called Ashmore. Her parents are taking the discussions down in Kentucky and she wanted to meet with us so she can attend church and get back taking lessons. So that is pretty promising, and hopefully we will be able to meet with her this week. We also had a lady call us and said she used to meet with missionaries and will be down in Charleston and wants to take us to lunch. So she will be driving down from Paris on Wednesday so we can do that. 

The work continues strong out here in the Missouri St Louis mission and there are many miracles being accomplished. I hope that they can continue for this week, we sure need some good stuff to happen! I will report again next week about all the good stuff that happens throughout this upcoming week here in the Charleston area. I love you all.

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, April 20, 2015

Change In Champaign - 04/20/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

Another week has moseyed on by here in Eastern Illinois. Time is passing pretty fast, and it is hard to believe that the transfer will be over in about 2 weeks. Elder Campbell and I have been working pretty hard here in Charleston. We have been out walking all week, If I have kept track right this week we have walked on average 11 to 12 miles every day. The frustrating part about that is that we haven't seen much progress this week. There were a lot of appointments dropped and people flaking out on us. 

Our investigator Aaron is doing well. we missed him a few times this week, and he didn't come to church. But he still wants to be baptized before he buys his Harley Motorcycle and he committed to stop drinking Coffee. We are working on finding a good fellowshipper for him.

Sharon still has her baptismal date set for May 2 and she is doing great! She was probably the miracle for the week and probably the whole transfer! We had dinner/lesson with her Monday night! We talked to her about the law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and tithing. She committed to stop drinking Coffee. The next morning we got a text from her saying  "I only had a 1/2 cup of coffee this morning compared to my normal 4-5 cups. Two days later she sent us a text saying
"coffee Conquered. It doesn't even taste good anymore" So she is right on track, and will be ready for baptism on the morning of May 2. :) 

Eric, our "ready to jump off a bridge alcoholic" investigator found out this week that his Dad left him a bunch of land in Minnesota. Some casino wants to buy it from him and is giving him $144,000 dollars for it! Last week the man only had 3 crumpled up dollars to his name! haha! It's pretty nuts and he is trying to decide what to do with it. He wants to go to Vegas, but we told him that he needs to get a fresh start and to work on quitting the alcohol. I think I actually saw him sober for the first time this week.. it was weird. 

We found out officially this week that The Champaign Illinois Stake will be moving to the Indianapolis Indiana Temple District instead of the St Louis temple District. From what i understand this should not effect the mission boundaries, so our stake should still stay in the Missouri St Louis Mission. But at the end of May Elder D Todd Christofferson of the 12 apostles will be coming to address us in Stake conference and talk more about what will be happening in regards to the new temple and the changes that will be made. 

The Stake has also announced "Mormon night at the ball park". Which can kind of be compared to Stake Lagoon day if you live in Utah.. But out here Busch Stadium in St Louis does a "Mormon Night". Members can get tickets for the Cardinals game and missionaries get to go as well. They do this every year and I hear the mission gets quite a few referrals from it. That will be June 30th. To be able to go I would have to be a little closer. Champaign zone is pretty far. I would have to be back in O'Fallon zone, or in North St Louis Zone, St Louis zone, or South St Louis zone. So I just hope I am here one more transfer so I can meet an apostle, then get transferred to be able to go to the Cardinals game! Haha! 

I think that is about all for this week, we are going to have the car this week so we won't be walking as much. Tuesday we are going on exchanges and I will be working down in Effingham with Elder Thompson. Other than that we will be back to the normal week of teaching and finding. Gotta love life as a servant of the lord! 

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tornado Warnings - 04/13/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that everyone has had a pretty great week, it sounds like everyone is doing well. The weather is starting to change out here and summer is on its way! Temperatures have been up and the humidity is being felt more and more every day. It has rained quite a bit through out the week, luckily we've had the car. But this week we will be on foot, so hopefully the weather clears up. We were hoping the weather was going to clear up today, if it does we are going to go hiking! Well considering where I am at, it might just be walking... But a member is taking us out to a place called Fox Ridge, which is supposedly pretty awesome! I miss Hiking a lot, so I look forward to being able to go.

This week was a little rough, not sure why.. But it did go by really fast. We missed seeing a few of our investigators but we did manage to talk with a lot of people, and brighten a few days for several people! 

We saw our Investigator Aaron, his Dad Duane met with missionaries forever, but works so much he was never able to be baptized. Aaron just got out of jail about a month ago, he has an Aunt and uncle who are active members of the church in the Tuscola branch. We sat and talked with Aaron for a while and immediately began to tell us about how he is going to be purchasing a Harley Motorcycle soon and really wants to be baptized before he makes the purchase! haha! We set a baptismal date with him for May 16, and will be meeting with him this week to start getting him ready for that date. 

Sharon still has her baptismal date for may 2, which is the last Saturday of the transfer! last week she had texted us and told us that she wouldn't be able to be baptized because her husband didn't want her to be... We all fasted and prayed that his heart would be softened. Two days later Sharon texted us and said "My husband said I could be baptized". We asked her what changed his mind? She said " I don't know. We never discussed it further. He just said he thought about it." That was definitely a blessing! There is true power in Prayer.. 

We went on exchanges this week with the Effingham Elders, Elder Campbell worked in Charleston with Elder Thompson and I went down to Effingham with Elder Blaylock. We had a great time, we tracted a lot and met several potential investigators. We got to do service at a Green House and got fed lunch and dinner by some members! Then at about 7pm it just started pouring rain and then it started to hail. There was thunder and lightning everywhere. We were in the car and got a text message alert that said "TORNADO WARNING! SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY". We drove as fast as we could back to the apartment and watched the storm for most of the night! We saw the sky turn green, which is a sign of a tornado.. but I don't think one ever touched down in Effingham. The Paris sisters called us and told us that there was one that was going to touch down in paris. Luckily we are all just fine and everything is good now! It was probably the most exciting exchange I have had since going to East St Louis! 

I finished reading the Book of Mormon this morning! I didn't quite make it by conference, but I was close and I did finish, so that was amazing! Reading the Book of Mormon over the past few months has really opened my mind up and has greatly deepened my Testimony of the reality of our Heavenly Father and in our Savior Jesus Christ, they truly love each of us more than we can know or understand. Christ's atonement is real and we can use it every day to slowly become better than we were yesterday! The Book of Mormon has strengthened my testimony of Joseph Smith, I know he was a prophet.. To go through everything he went through, to be mocked, rejected, beaten, imprisoned, tar and feathered, he died and sealed his testimony with his blood to bring forth The Book of Mormon and this gospel. He was a prophet of God. "By their fruits shall ye know them" 

I think that is about all I have to report for this week,  this should be a pretty good week for us here, the mission as a whole is doing really well. We had 5 people mission wide get baptized this last week, with 105 people who have accepted baptismal dates! I love and miss you all, until I report again next week... 

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Time - 04/06/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope everyone had a great week back home and got the chance to enjoy General Conference! This was my second time watching it on my mission. I can say that this second time was better than the first, It wasn't a lot of fun watching it on the hard MTC bleacher chairs. We got to watch a few sessions with some great Members, and at the church building in Mattoon. 

Conference was great! It really is different as a missionary, and you listen to each talk trying to figure out things for other people more than for yourself. Although there were a lot of great things that stood out to me individually, I still found a lot for the people we are teaching and talking with every week as missionaries. I look forward to being able to read all of the talks again soon!

This week was a pretty busy week, we only got a few days to work in the Charleston area! We had a Zone Conference on Tuesday with the Springfield zone. All of the Missionaries here in the Champaign Zone had to make the drive all the way out to Springfield. It was about 160 miles round trip for us and the Mattoon Elders. The one thing I can say about Decatur is that is smells strongly of Wet Dog Food and cheese! It's kind of a dump too... Springfield on the other hand is pretty nice. I saw a Power plant with a lake next to it that looked an awful lot like the one in Springfield on the Simpsons! Haha! Not sure there was any mutant fish though.. 

We had a lesson with Joe on Thursday, and I did not go very well. Joe dropped us... It was kind of a shock, but he got offered a job in Effingham teaching Catholicism. He told us he really wanted the job, and then went on to justify himself in saying that he is a catholic to the heart and its just what he is, even though he knows they are wrong on a lot of things. He brought up a lot of other things as well, but it doesn't really matter... The hard thing was that he knows it is true, but decided to go back. It really broke my heart.. I was pretty down about it the rest of the day, and I still kind of am, but that is missionary work sometimes and people still have their agency. :/

We had a great lesson with Sharon though, and she continues to have the desire to be baptized! She is really solid and knows so much about the gospel already. We will be meeting again this week to help her prepare for her baptismal date on May 2.

I think those are the main things I wanted to share this week with y'all. This week Elder Campbell and I will be trying to pick up new investigators and pick up on a few who have gone cold. The Gopsel continues to move forward out here in the great Missouri St Louis Mission with a total of 105 baptisms this year.  The church is true and Christ is leading this church on the earth today. There is so much comfort and protection found in this gospel, found through our savior Jesus Christ. He truly knows and loves each of us, he is there with arms wide open all we need to do is come unto him.

Elder Chase Peterson