Serving from March 2014 to March 2016

Mission Address: (send everything to this address and they will forward to him daily)

Elder Jared Petersen
Tennessee Knoxville Mission
11320 Station West Dr Ste 101
Farragut, TN 37934

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 17th He Had a Birthday!

 ♥  Happy 19th Birthday Jared!!!! ♥

This was a hard day for mom, but it was a GREAT one for Jared! 
He loved all the packages he received in the mail. 

Jared was excited to get some homemade jam. I thought this story was funny.

A couple other missionaries tried to talk me into giving them one of the jars and I was like "This jam is worth more than gold, I'll let you have like a pb&j with it, but there's no way you're gonna get a whole jar"

Here is the email after his birthday on Sept 22nd 2014:

This week has been packed! My birthday was great! Thanks everyone for the packages and cards! On my birthday we had zone training, and it was really good. It was focused on finding more people to teach and we were challenged to spend 2 hours every day looking for people to teach. We can find them however we want, so the method we like most is called 'OYMing' for Open Your Mouth. Basically you just go around talking to everyone you see and try to bring up the gospel, it's super simple. We met a few people on Saturday in the park who we're going to try to teach so it should go well. We'd also had the Knox county fair last week and we've started getting a ton of referrals from it. The first one we contacted, I went on a split with a member to contact them and she was really excited to have us in and hear what we had to say. I taught her the Restoration and she stared me down the whole time, she was just soaking in everything I was saying and when I finished she asked quite a few questions. The member who I was with answered a lot of her questions and spent a lot of time bearing testimony to her. He told her how the gospel has blessed his life so much and what he wanted most was to help her to have the same feelings and blessings that the gospel brought to him. We visited her again yesterday with her husband and taught the restoration again and they both were super receptive and you could see in their eyes that they could feel the spirit and they asked quite a few really good questions. The member who we brought was able to share his testimony and answer some of the questions also. They said that they wanted to really know that the church was true before they'd want to be baptized, which was a really good sign, and they also said they liked how we explained that all churches are trying to do good and how they have some truth and we have the full truth.
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

Here are the selfies he promised along with the new ties!

Sept Transfers/New Apartment/New Companion/Same Area

 Jared's letter 9/15/2014

This week we had transfers, my new companion is Elder Rayburn, he's awesome! He's from salt lake city, all my companions so far have been from Utah, it's ridiculous haha. We get along great and have a lot of fun though. Elder Bills went to brainerd, which is in Chattanooga and it's a bike area. I told him he was going to a bike area in chatt before transfers so he was not happy that I was right. We also had stake conference this weekend and it was really good, President Griffin spoke and at one point he had all the missionaries come up to the front to show the stake what kind of efforts were going on in their stake. There was over 40 missionaries. It was so cool, they also showed us the preview for a movie called "meet the Mormons" and when they showed the preview President looked at me and Elder Rayburn (we were on the front row) and he could tell we were wondering if it was approved and he just smiled and nodded his head, we're super excited for it! The members who have met Elder Rayburn so far have loved him too, they like being able to joke around a little and have fun, but still be able to talk about the gospel. It's been great!
Love all y'all,   Elder Petersen

Pictures of  E. Petersen and E. Rayburn, and the group picture is of his new district. 
(Missionaries are organized into districts and zones.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sept 3rd 2014

Ambur, Jared's cousin, sent him a package which included a tie. 
Jared will send a picture, selfie, to anyone who sends him a tie. This one was for Ambur.
Ambur you are AWESOME!! It means as much to me as it does to him!

I find that I am not good at updating this blog if I don't have a picture to post. I love pictures! Pictures are worth a 1000+ words. Anyway, Jared had some great stories in his last couple of emails. It is awesome to read the impact that he has on those he teaches.

Email from Sept 2nd 2014:

This week has been pretty great. It started out with one of our investigators almost being evicted from his apartment, and he turned to us for help which was cool to see that he trusted us that much. The situation all got figured out though and he wont be evicted which is really good.
 One of our recent converts had us over for lunch and he had come across some anti Mormon stuff, so he was asking us about some of it. We were able to explain it to him and he said that most of the things he'd already assumed were made up or twisted, so it was cool that his testimony has gotten strong enough that he trusts what he knows more than what he hears. At church he was also answering a lot of questions in gospel principals and getting all the answers right, so me and Elder Bills were pretty proud that he knows his stuff.
 Elder Bright got emergency transferred because there's been a few missionaries who've had to go home sick so president has had to switch things up. Elder Bright was in our district and he was awesome so I wasn't happy to hear that he was gone, but he was replaced by Elder Froelick who is pretty cool too.
 Our investigator took us to Litton's and it was so good! They give you a ton of food though that's all really good so I stuffed my face and ate until I couldn't swallow another bite, it was great! While we were at dinner with him his son called and he told his son "I'm chilling here at Litton's with my new brothers. They're Mormons. They're from Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! They're my homies." (he's black by the way) So after talking with this guy 4 or 5 times we're homies. He also asked us quite a few questions about our beliefs and he was really receptive of our answers. His questions covered a lot of the stuff in the first 3 lessons, so that'll make teaching him go well.
 We helped install a new wood floor for our ward mission leader and we got almost all of it done. He's still recovering from donating his kidney, so we did most all the work since we didn't want him to push himself to much (which he ended up doing anyways) but it looked really good and it was fun to get it done for him.
 All the wards that meet in our building hosted a blood drive and a lot of people donated, Elder Bills was one of them. A few ward members were trying to convince us to donate and Elder Bills caved, but I stood my ground and didn't give into peer pressure. One of the members was really trying to convince me to do it though, but there was no way I was about to get poked. I'm saving souls, so I figure someone else can do the saving lives. A lot of missionaries donated though, so that was cool.

That's most of the highlights for this week, another great week as a missionary.

Email from August 11th:

I decided to do what a lot of missionaries do and just send out a mass email about my week because apparently it's easier that way. So this week Me and Elder Bills lead the district by teaching the most lessons which is awesome because we have 4 sets of really good missionaries in our district, so we're pretty proud of that. I also learned this week why I've been told by so many missionaries not to drink soda before you bike, it really is a bad idea, the heat and exercise have some kind of reaction to the soda that just hurts for a while. It goes away after a while though, and now I've decided I'm never going to do that again. We also had zone conference this week and President Griffin is awesome! He told us some of what he expects and how he's going to make sure we reach our full potential. He also talked about rules and when he was going over the music section of the white handbook he had someone start playing journey in the background. Then after a minute he turned it off and asked us how well we could focus and feel the spirit while the music was going and told us that's how we can determine if a song is ok to listen to or not. It was a really cool way to show us how to follow the spirit of the law, which he explained is actually harder than following the letter of the law. I also gained a bit more faith about prayer this week. A couple weeks ago we were struggling for investigators and so I prayed for about 2 days in a row for people to teach and then we found 2 or 3 people in 1 day who we could teach. Then this week we needed more investigators again and so for about 2 days in a row I prayed for investigators and in 1 day we found 2 people who we set times that we could come back to teach them at, and 3 more people said we could just stop by whenever and they'd talk to us. It wasn't until the second time that I realized how quickly God had answered my prayers both times, but it was amazing to see how it had worked.

♥ my missionary