Thursday, May 28, 2015

5 Dunk Dates For Belleville - 05/27/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

It is hard to believe that I have already been in Belleville for a month next week! Time sure is flying out here in the mission field and there is just so much going on, and I can't believe how much success our mission is starting to see this year! May is almost out the door and the heat and the humidity is starting to get turned up out here! It has been strangely warm and rainy this week along with a few Tornado storm warnings and sirens. 

This week went by so fast I honestly don't even know what happened or what I should write about that happened. This letter is really late because Monday was Memorial Day and SWIC was closed, so we ended up going into the city and paid a visit to The St Louis Science Center! That was a pretty cool experience and I really enjoyed getting to spend time in the city for P-Day. Tuesday we were not able to email because we went on exchanges with the Elders in Waterloo. So that leaves us with Today.. So I am sorry this is so late.

So like I said We went on Exchanges with Waterloo yesterday. Elder Jones went with Elder Suchomel down to waterloo and I worked in Belleville with Elder Bishop! We had a lot of fun on our exchange and got a lot of work done. The best thing that happened was that we picked up 4 new investigators, 3 of them we set baptismal dates with! I will talk more about them next week, but they are awesome and super solid!

Friday we went to a birthday party in Mascoutah for a young little member, her name is Mae Petersen, her family is awesome. Brother Petersen is of course in The Air Force and was actually raised in Japan. His wife's parents even flew in from Tokyo and were there for the party. I really enjoyed getting to talk with them, and hear about missionary work in Japan.. It is not like missionary work in St Louis, that is for sure! There was about 5 other families there, so is was a great chance for us to get to know more of the ward members and meet a few nonmembers.., oh and eat some delicious chicken and curry.

That is really about it for the week! We got to see 5 less active people on the ward roster this week and see how they were doing. We also have a list of people we are trying to contact and get them to go to the O'Fallon Young Single Adult Ward. There is a lot of work to do this week, even though the week is already half over! haha! 

One more thing I want to mention is that I will be writing again on Tuesday not on Monday.. Because Monday morning we have to be in St Louis for ANOTHER MISSION CONFERENCE! haha! President Morgan has said the last two times that this will probably be the only time a mission conference will ever happen! But this will be the 3ed one! haha! We will be meeting and hearing from Elder D Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles!! He will be in town speaking this weekend at the Champaign Stake Conference, so he is staying an extra day to talk to the mission! 

Missionary work is really starting to explode here in the Missouri St Louis Mission! Here is what happened just this last week around the mission, This is what President Morgan wrote us...

"Dear Missionaries,

Can you #believeit? You should because Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be here to visit with and teach us on Monday, June 1st at the Frontenac building.

Great job everyone this past week, here is an update; 8 baptized, 95 dates and 218 NEW INVESTIGATORS! 247 MEMBER PRESENT LESSONS, and 280 OTHER LESSONS TAUGHT! THAT IS INCREDIBLE!


You are amazing,

President Morgan"

There is so much good being done out here, and the gospel truly is rolling forward proudly and boldly, that is definitely being seen out here! I am so grateful just to be apart of that right now! I hope that everyone has a great last week of May! Until I report again next week...

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Art Festival - 05/18/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Friends and family,

I hope that all is well back home! Another week has cruised on by and I can't believe we are about to start the 3ed week of the transfer. It is weird how fast time goes out here, and I am starting to see how people say that The Mission goes by really fast! I am trying not to blink.

I feel like I am getting settled into my new area of Belleville Illinois. I love the Eastern side of the St Louis Metro area. We picked up a few new investigators this week, and they seem pretty solid. I am starting to get to know the ward members and build solid relationships with them. I am learning the area and where things are located, although I still rely on the GPS most of the time. 

We met Kisha, our new investigator on Wednesday. We had a lesson with Sister Wilson who is  less active in the ward. We go over every week and read with her in the Book of Mormon. this week we had a great discussion and decided to get her ready to go to the temple! We invited her friend Kisha to start taking the lessons, to come to church, and to be baptized. She was excited about everything and agreed to each invite. So we are going to meet with her and sister Wilson every week and spend some time talking about the Temple, then having a lesson with Kisha. We are hoping that they will motivate each other to get to church and to progress together!

We had a lesson with Logan, he is a awesome kid. Logan is 11 years old and his Mom is active in the ward. The kid is ready to be baptized and knows so much. He will be a new member of the ward in June sometime. 

We met a guy named Sam who is an old retired Army veteran from East St Louis, he met wit missionaries a while back and said he is ready to start meeting again. He dropped our last appointment, but we are hoping we shows for our lesson on Tuesday. 

Belleville had a huge Art festival this past weekend, in fact most of main street was closed. But we decided it was a great time to go and meet some people. I have kind of discovered just how much of a people person I am. During the art festival I was able to just spark random conversations with people and just chat with them for like 5 minutes. There was a surprising amount of people not from Illinois who where there. But we were able to hand out some cards, talk with people about the church and about what we do as missionaries. It was a great opportunity to be seen by the public and to also see some way cool art! 

I think that is about it for this week... We are heading into St Louis today to go hang out at the Science center, I really look forward to spending some time in the city. This week we are going to be focusing our time on finding and talking with less active's in the ward roster! We plan to work a few days just down in Mascoutah and a day or so on Scott Air Force base. It is just hard to get into the base sometimes, and we aren't really allowed to proselyte there. It pretty much has to be by appointment. But hopefully we can use some dinner appointments there to our advantage since a large chunk of the members live on base. 

I hope everyone has a great week! The church is so true!

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, May 11, 2015

Belleville - 05/11/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear friends and family,

I hope that everyone had a great week, and all the mothers out there had a wonderful Mother's Day! Even though I am not a mother, I sure had a great one! It was such a blessing to be able to sit down with my family over Skype and be able to talk and laugh with them. It sure is a great booster for me as a missionary and gives me new strength to keep moving forward in the work. 

So I am getting settled into my new area of Belleville Illinois! Yes, I am still in Illinois! But I am back to being just outside of St Louis. I am actually about 30 minutes south of my first area in Glen Carbon, and I am back hanging out with the East St Louis Elders! haha! 

Belleville seems to be a pretty nice area so far, we cover a lot of area so there is a lot of work to do. We cover most of Belleville, the City of Mascoutah, and all of Scott Air Force Base. A very large majority of the ward members are active duty Airmen. Come to think of it, most of the non-members are Active duty Airmen too... everyone is either Active duty, former military, or family member in the military. But there are a lot of great people here! We also have a car, we drive a 2013 Chevy Cruz and our apartment is actually a 3 level house. So we are doing pretty well right now!

My new companion is Elder Jones, he is from Idaho falls, Idaho. He has been out for only 6 months and I am his 3ed companion on the mission. He is pretty shy and quiet, but we are making it work. he is a great a companion. 

I am still trying to learn he area and learn the ward members, but I am figuring it out alright. We don't have a very big teaching pool right now. We started teaching this guy on Friday, his name is Samuel, he East St Louis elders were teaching him a while back, then he moved over to Belleville. We were able to track him down and we started teaching him again. He is pretty interested, bu is obvious that he hasn't retained a lot of what the past missionaries have taught him. 

Ya, That is about all I know right now...I really don't have a great grasp on what is going on yet. I haven't really gotten the chance to meet our other 3 investigators and have a lesson with them. But the work is moving forward, and Elder Jones and I are working really hard here, and are set up to have a pretty good week! So we will see what happens! 

So funny story before I end, This morning we were headed out the door and as soon as I open it there is this little dog sitting on our front porch! He was wet and he didn't have any tags on. I tried feeding him a chip but he didn't want it. He seemed really friendly and happy, so we got some towels and let him inside. We put a leash on him and we took him to the Dog Shelter! It was pretty great, as missionaries It feels good doing some good in the community, for members, non-members, and animals! haha!

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, May 4, 2015

Saturdays Blessings - 05/04/15 (Charleston, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

I can't believe the week has already gone my so quickly as it has! It was a very busy week here in The Missouri St Louis mission, and a very busy week for Elder Campbell and I in Charleston Illinois. The transfer is over and we start fresh again for another 6 weeks. Before I tell you all what is happening for the upcoming transfer I will tell you all the exciting stuff that happened this week and the blessings that I have seen.

So Saturday we had our Surprise Mission Conference in St Louis that destroyed the possibility of Sharon getting baptized that morning. We were up at 4am to make the trip to St Louis by 8:30am. Our Conference was held at the stake center in Chesterfield Missouri. We got to shake hands and meet Bishop Stevens who is the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the New area 70 called to our region, and Elder Quentin L Cook of the Quorum of the 12 apostles. It was a pretty amazing experience. For about an hour we had a big question and answer session with them, and they all talked on a different subject they felt our mission needed to hear, then bore their testimonies. It was incredible to get to hear from an apostle of Jesus Christ. At the end of his testimony he left us with an apostolic blessing to know that we are where we need to be, to understand our sacred calling and that our time as missionaries will mean everything to us and prepare us for our lives. The whole mission conference was amazing, and I got to take some really good notes to reflect on. It was great seeing many people I haven't seen for a long time, like my MTC buddies, Elder Abad and all of my past companions and people I've served around. 

The second blessing came on Saturday as well... At the beginning of the week we were trying to figure everything out with Sharon's baptism, we didn't know when we were going to do it, or if it would even happen. Then a miracle happened and some space opened up Saturday evening, We were able to plan the service, get her interviewed and ready for that night. After Mission conference we drove back up to the church building in Mattoon and started getting the font ready! Long story short, her baptism happened! I was able to preform the baptism as she requested and the next day Sharon was confirmed a member of the church and received the Holy Ghost! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father was able to preform small miracles through out the week that Sharon was able to be baptized. I feel like that is why I was supposed to come to Charleston.. 

The third blessing came Saturday night as well. It had been a very very long day.. Once we got home from the baptismal service we got a call from our District leader telling us our transfer call doctrine! Everything was up in the air about whether we would stay together one more transfer in Charleston or if I wold be moved. We found out though that my time in Charleston is done. Wednesday morning I am being transferred to a new area! I will be serving in Belleville Illinois. I will be heading from the Champaign Stake back to the O'Fallon Stake were I was serving when I was in Glen Carbon, in fact I am about 20-30 minutes south of Glen Carbon. Belleville is right next to East St Louis, so I will be back around there again! At Christmas time I was even in Belleville for the Christmas parade, and I spent a few hours in Belleville my last P-day I was in Glen Carbon. 

I will be serving as senior companion with Elder Jones, who came out a transfer or two after me. In fact he was trained in Edwardsville While I was finishing being trained in Glen Carbon, so I am sure that since we are now serving together so close to our first areas we will make a trip up there one P-day! 

Anyways I think that is all I have to report for this week, it has been a great week. I look forward to starting my 3ed area and 5th companion which could very well take me to the year mark of my mission. Which would also mean spending the first year of my mission in the state of Illinois.. Which is weird since my mission is based in Missouri. I hope that everyone will look for the blessings of the lord this week and be able to see his hand in your own lives. I am grateful to be serving as a missionary at this time in the world! I Love and miss you all!

Elder Chase Peterson