Monday, June 29, 2015

Mini Missionary and Me - 06/29/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been a great week here in the Missouri St Louis mission! As a mission we are a little behind our projected goal for 453 baptisms in the year 2015. But This week I feel like we really picked up a lot of the slack. O'Fallon zone had several baptisms just over this past weekend, and we are having one this weekend! 

We had a great week here in the Belleville area! Tuesday we got to go up to O'fallon and pick up our Mini Missionary! Most of the missionaries in the zone came, along with a few sets from St Louis. We had a "mini transfer meeting" where all the mini's got to stand up and say who they where and what ward they were from and where they would be going! There we were united with our mini. His name was Jared Meldrom, he lives in a small town called New Baden which is north of us in The Shiloh ward. Jared got to spend the week with us here in Belleville and we had a good time! It was a great experience getting to show Jared what missionary life is like.. I think he was surprised, and wasn't exactly what he thought it would be. 

We had a great experience Wednesday, we went to contact a referral and they didn't answer. We had a few minutes before we needed to leave for our dinner appointment so we decided to take Jared tracting! The Very First house we knock on, this lady comes out and lets us teach her about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. She told us that she actually has a cousin who is a member in the O'fallon ward. She invited us back and was very grateful for us knocking on our door!
Our Mini was very lucky that it just so happened that the first door we knock on we pick them up as an investigator! haha!

Monday we were supposed to go to the zoo, but we weren't able to because we ran out of time. After emailing we had to drive over to Scott Air Force base because Elder Julian left his bag in the Visitor Control center. We drove in and picked it up no problem. But they were doing road construction on the exit gate and there was no way to leave. We go back in and ask them how we can get out. the guy came out, looked at the construction and said, "oh... shoot... well, I don't know." Long story short We had to take like 20 minutes and get passes issued to get on base. Which is not a big deal for Elder Julian and I because we do that multiple times a week. But we had the East St Louis Elders with us and they had never been there before. So Elder Dorland goes up and they are working on his pass, and half way through they inform him that his drivers license is expired! They said "Sorry.. We can't get you on base." so we were all literally just stuck there!! So Elder Dorland and Elder Reynolds had to walk down the road to a store, Elder Julian and I had to drive on and through the base, down to the Belleville gate, go all the way around and back up to the Shiloh gate just to pick them up! It was the biggest pain and it killed our miles!! 

Well, that is about all I have to report for this week, I need to go ahead and wrap up now since we are hopefully going to St Louis zoo today. I hope everyone has a great week! I am so grateful for these past 9 months I have had to be out here on a mission. The experiences and testimony I have gained is something I will never forget or ever forsake.. I love this church and this gospel! I love my savior Jesus Christ! It is because of him that we have everything.. I love and miss you all.

Until next week,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, June 22, 2015

Trunky Monkey - 06/22/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a hot and humid week here in St Louis! So everyone should enjoy the beautiful non muggy wet heat of the desert! But I am glad that Summer time has finally rolled around. Not a whole lot has happened this week, we finished the first week of the transfer and we are finally starting to settle in a little bit.

I said goodbye to Elder Jones Wednesday morning as he departed for his new area out in the Boone's of Dexter Missouri. I spent the morning with Elder Dorland in East St Louis while we waited for our new companions. Elder Dorland's new companion is Elder Reynolds who is from Denver Colorado, and will be "Dying" in a few months.. and by dying I mean going home! Or maybe for real, since it's East St Louis you never know! haha! 

My new companion is Elder Julian, who just came from Jefferson City Missouri! He is "Dying" this transfer and will be heading back home in 5 weeks to Spokane Washington. He is a great guy and we are getting along really well! He is pretty trunky though... Luckily we have a lot of work to do these next few weeks so hopefully that helps him out a little! We also got some exciting news from our Zone Leaders last night that Tuesday Elder Julian and I will be getting a MINI MISSIONARY who will be staying with us from Tuesday to Sunday! A mini Missionary is someone between the ages of 16 and 18 who want to go and see what it is like serving a mission. So for almost a week they get to be a missionary and work, teach, eat, sleep, and do everything we do. We are really looking forward to that for sure! (Hopefully that helps Elder Julian's trunkyness too) haha! ;) 

On Friday I don't think it ever stopped raining once! It just down poured all day! In fact there is was so much rain that the corn fields started to flood, parts of them were almost comlpetely under water. We got flood warning alerts on our phone. We had a dinner that night down in Mascoutah and part of the road was covered in about 6 inches of water. Our basement even started to flood, but luckily we got that taken care of before it got bad! 

Through the coarse of this past week we picked up a bunch of referrals including one of the zone leaders investigators and an investigator from the Columbia sisters! So this week should be a good one. Hopefully things turn out and we get to teach lots of lessons and help a bunch of people come closer to Jesus Christ. Today for P-day us and the East St Louis Elders are going to go into St Louis and visit the city zoo! I am really excited for that! 

Hope that everyone has a great week! Be safe and God Bless! 

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Killing Begins - 06/15/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Family and Friends,

I sure hope that everyone is doing great, I know I am. Things here in the MidWest are really starting to heat up! It has been really rainy and humid too, which I have discovered is a really weird combo. I was so used to Utah were when it rained it was dry and cooler temperatures. Here it just gets humid and stays hot! 

It has been a good week here in Belleville, Elder Jones and I have finished the transfer off and Today marks the start of a new one. This will be my 7th transfer, meaning that I only have 10 left. Anyways, we were not able to get any of our investigators to church this week! For some reason all of our investigators have the hardest time with that, it is really frustrating! But we finished all of the missionary lessons with Logan, and they are just trying to figure out when they want to do the baptism. 

We had a lesson with Kisha, and her kids, Mi Mi, Shakira, and Jermain. They are sweet! We taught the restoration and the Book of Mormon and I think they understood it well. They are all just so quiet so we had to ask a bunch of questions to really keep them engaged. 

We taught this guy named Dave this week.. Dave is from East St Louis but just recently moved to Belleville and is trying to get his life in order. He started going back to church at this non-denominational christian church and is loving it there. We went over and we taught him all about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel. I'm not sure he really payed that close of attention since half way through the lesson he stopped us and said " wait... Does y'alls know how to tie ya own ties..?" haha! It was funny.. But he accepted a Book of Mormon and said he would start reading and praying about it. He really liked that the Book of Mormon is additional scripture and supports the Bible.

We had a lesson with David Hampl, the lesson active guy we have been starting to visit. He talked for almost an hour and was telling us all these funny stories and pranks he pulled while he was an Air Force Fire Fighter deployed in Germany. David says that he really badly wants to sign up to go to Iraq, but his wife doesn't want him to. David started crying and telling us he feels like it is what he is supposed to do. It shocked me, because he is just this big dude, covered in tattoo's, he trains with Navy Seals and Green Barrettes, and he just broke down. We are going to start working with him to get to Church, start reading his Book of Mormon again, and to get his Patriarchal Blessing! 

So We got transfer calls on Saturday night.. A lot is changing this transfer and half of our district will be new! We found out that Elder Jones is being transferred. Wednesday he will be moving down south to Dexter Missouri. Which is about as far south as our mission goes.. I will be staying here in Belleville as Senior Companion and I am going to be getting Elder Julian who is on his last transfer, so he will be going home in 6 weeks! I will be sending him home, or "Killing him off" to put it in Mission terms! haha! which means I will likely be staying here in belleville again next transfer to bring a new Elder in here... So looks like I am staying here for a good little while! 

I think that is all to report for this week! Until I write again next week...

Peace on the streets,

Elder Chase Peterson

Monday, June 8, 2015

Curly Fries And Fire Flies - 06/08/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear People I care about,

Another week has scampered on by! The days just keep moving.. I am starting to understand now when people say that the days are long, but the weeks are short on a mission. That is definitely true. Time is just really weird as a missionary! It is something you can't explain..

This week was kind of a slow week, most of our appointments dropped and most people have been really hard to contact or set up appointments with. We only saw one of our investigators this week, and that was Kisha's 11 year old daughter Mi Mi. We taught her the Plan of Salvation lesson, but she is really shy so it was kind of hard to gauge her understanding. We are also having a hard time getting our investigators to come to church! But things should pick up this week!

So this Thursday night we had just got back to our apartment and there was this weird looking bug on the wall.. I had never seen it before, but it was pretty big. So I look around and grab the first thing I saw to kill it, which just so happened to be a frying pan. But When I smashed it, it left This bright florescent yellow all over the wall! It was then that I realized  I had seen my first ever Fire Fly! haha! They are so cool! well in the dark anyways... They are starting to come out now that summer is here!

Friday we had to go do Service at the Senior Center in Mascoutah, since Thursday we had District Meeting down in Waterloo. when we got to the Senior Center, all of the old people were doing Zumba, dancing around to Pop music! It was so great! I couldn't stop smiling and laughing! A few of them kept telling me and Elder Jones to go out there with them! haha.. I knew Elder jones wouldn't do it, but I really wanted to! We were pretty busy making them sloppy joes anyway. But I decided that next time we go do service on a Friday, I am going to go and do Zumba with them for a few minutes. I will be sure to take some pictures and videos of it for you folks back home! 

Sunday we had a sad and also touching experience at the same time.. We went to a Funeral for The Petersen family.. They had a baby girl born this last week who wasn't expected to live, and 20 minutes after she was born, she passed away. They had a great funeral service Sunday night for her. A lot of ward members showed up and some Nonmembers that Brother Petersen works with on base. Through such a sad event it was amazing to see how comforted and happy the family was to know that they are sealed as a family and that nothing can take their daughter away from them. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, death has no sting and the grave has no victory. All little children are saved through his grace! Their daughter was so righteous that the only thing she needed in this life was simply to get her physical body, and make such a huge impact on so many people in just 20 hours that she lived.

After the funeral the Meinhart's fed us dinner! Since it was like 7:30 and we had to be back to our apartment soon. They cooked us up some Hot Dogs and Curly Fries! They are such a great family, and they take care of us really well. 

Well this is the last week of the transfer, time has sure flown by! Elder Jones will probably be leaving, since he has spent 3 transfers here. Not sure who I will get or what will happen! There is a good chance I might be called to train next transfer.. This summer we are getting lots of new misisonaries.. 12 New this next transfer, 22 the next, then 29 in September. So by September, there will be 51 trainers! That month half of the mission will be training or being trained! So things are gonna get crazy soon! Anything can happen!

have a great week, I love you all!

Elder Chase Peterson

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer! - 06/02/15 (Belleville, IL)

Dear Friends and Family,

well it seems like summer has started to arrive here in the lovely Mid-West. Everything is so green, and the tree's are everywhere! I still can't believe how different it is out here, than it is back west. I've even started to notice how different Missouri is from Illinois. Once you cross over the river, the landscape changes so much! But the weather has been pretty nice lately. It hasn't been very hot, but it has been rainy and way humid. There have been several storm and tornado warnings throughout the week, but everything has been okay. 

This week has been a great week, and there have been many blessings! On Thursday we were down in Mascoutah. in the late afternoon we were looking for this less active guy, and it was just off the main road going through town. We knocked on the door and this woman answers and tells us that he guy we were looking for had gone to North Carolina for a few months and wasn't interested in the church anymore. We thanked her for the information and for her time then stepped off the porch. Then this car randomly pulls into the driveway right behind our car and this young Hispanic guy gets out and comes up to us. he says in some broken English, "I would like a blessing from you guys!" Elder Jones and I were pretty thrown off by this pretty random occurrence. He continued to tell us that his name was Juan Carlos, he was a member of the church, that he was gone through some family issues and hasn't been active in years, he was driving through on his way to Kentucky, but he saw us and felt like he wanted a blessing so he pulled over. So right there we gave him a blessing, it was beautiful and pretty profound and he appreciated it very much! Then he got back in his car and drove away.. It was strange, but a great experience. 

Friday we had to drive to walmart to get a prescription for Elder Jones, and it unfortunately took a good chunk of our morning. So by the time we were done it was lunch time. Elder Jones really wanted to go to this Chinese buffet place close by. I didn't really want to pay for it since it was the end of the month and we were both pretty much out of money. But we went. As we got to the front door there was a group of Airmen coming out. One of them stopped and said "Hey Elders!" We said hello and all kept walking. then the man sopped again turned around and said "Elders, are you meeting someone here?" We said No, just having lunch. Then he said "well my name is brother Wright, I'm a member in the Shilo Ward. Let me come in and pay for your lunch." That was a great blessing, the members out here are so willing to help. 

Monday night we were pretty tired and kind of done for the day. We were pretty close to the end of the day and we had nothing to do. We thought about just going home but after a few minutes decided to go see one more person. We stopped by a guy named David Hampl. His Wife pulled up at the same time which is always awkward. She had obviously just got home from work. She was dressed in her Air Force uniform and looked tired. But we talked to her and she invited us right in. We spent some time getting to know David and his wife. David grew up in the church, but quickly became less active. We was a Fire Fighter for the Air Force for 6 years. Met his wife wile he was training and they had been together for 3 years. He told us stories about how he would mess with the missionaries in Germany and driving down the road in his huge truck. But he loves the missionaries. He wants to get back into Church, go to the temple and get his Patriarchal blessing. He just has some issues. But we are going to start helping him and maybe start teaching his wife. That was definitely a blessing that came from working hard and being obedient.

Lastly we had Mission Conference on Monday! It was such a great experience! We got to hear from Elder D Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the twelve apostles. We got to meet him and shake his hand. He talked to us for 2 hours that morning, it was amazing! he talked a lot about that we know people are prepared if they are willing to read and pray about the book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a conduit to spiritual revelation and testimony, that is just the way it is. 
He talked about how when he is assigning missionaries he feels the perfect love Heavenly Father has for his children and that he knows us each individually that there is never any question about where someone should be assigned to serve. I could write forever about things that he said, but it wouldn't be the same. It was just a great experience! It was great to see all of the missionaries again.. I got to see so many Elders and Sisters that I haven't seen in forever! Of Course I got to see all of my former companions! 

Anyways, this has been a long letter so I think I will close for now! I hope that everyone has a great week. Remember that it is the plain and precious truths of the gospel that will bring the most joy into our lives. The Church is true! I love being a missionary

Much love,

Elder Chase Peterson