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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Goodbye Knoxville - Grove Park

This has been a really hard week. It is hard to hear the sadness in Jared's email about leaving Grove Park. He said it has become a home away from home. He has a good attitude about transferring, but my heart can't help but hurt for him. He has met some really great people on his mission and I can't imagine having to leave them behind every few months. There are many people whom I would love to meet when we go get him. I can't wait! I hope to have pictures of some of them at the bottom of this post. 
I can't wait to hear where he got transferred and who his new companion is.

Oct 20 2014 -- email from Jared -- Goodbye Grove Park

This week we had transfer calls and I'm being transferred out of Grove Park. I'm not excited to leave because I've loved it here, but I guess I'm needed somewhere else.
So this week we also had a lot of rain, and we had to bike in a lot of rain, it was so cold!! The rain here is liquid nitrogen, I swear. We were able to have some really good lessons though, so it was good. There's one couple who has been inactive for years and recently moved here, and we happened to come across them even though their records aren't here. They were excited to see us and we got to know them and they've had some seriously hard times, but they have a lot of drive to improve their situation and they want to get back into church, so I'm excited for them. Another family we met with is a part member family who recently started coming back and it's almost the same thing, they have a lot of drive to get back into church and the members of the family who aren't members of the church are really interested and show a lot of promise.
We also had zone training this week and there was one really good training. One of the sisters told a story about 6 people who went on a journey and their destination was this super great city with mansions for everyone. A boy and a girl found each other early on in the journey and started going with each other, then they came across 4 youngins who they took in and helped along the journey. The youngins grew up and one by one decided to go off on their own on this journey. Eventually the boy and girl got to the city and waited for the rest. Over some time 3 of the 4 showed up at the city gates and came in. After a while they had a homecoming feast prepared for them, and when they went to the feast and all sat down they noticed that there was 6 chairs, but only 5 people. The empty chair overtook all of their thoughts and they couldn't eat knowing that this chair was empty. So they decided to go back and try to find the last one, but they learned that once you're in the city you can't get out, so they'd have to just hope and pray that another person who was still on their journey would come across the last one and help them along the way. The whole time she was telling the story the room was completely silent, and the spirit was very strong. She then explained that we are those travelers who they're relying on who are still on our journey and the only way those people will be with their loved ones again is if we go and find them and help them. She also gave us a kind of motto, it's "No empty chairs"
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

Silly E Rayburn

Oct 13, 2014 -- email from E Petersen

We helped out at the bishop's storehouse again this week, it was really fun to help out and see all the people who go. I saw Elder Smith there, one of my MTC companions, and I got to talk to him and talk about all of our experiences. We hit 7 months yesterday!Time is going by so fast it doesn't even make sense. We also got to see the Meet The Mormons movie, it was so good! If you haven't seen it, go see it and take a friend. The people on there have amazing stories. A sister missionary in our ward had her birthday also, so a member took all the missionaries in the ward to O'Charley's, which is a nice southern restaurant, that was fun. We had another lesson with the family who we're teaching who is progressing really well, we taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we committed them to be baptized on November 8th. They don't really have any holdbacks except coffee and tea and when they were talking about giving them up they were saying when, not if, so we were excited about that. They also really want to know that it's the true church before they decide to be baptized for sure so we were excited about that because they are asking really sincerely. An 8 year old boy in our ward was baptized on Saturday also. It was really cool because his parents had us go over the lessons with him before he was baptized, so we got to teach him and get to know him before he was baptized.
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

 Group at O'Charley's

 He got stung by a bee that was stuck in his shirt. OUCH!

A week later after the sting. He thinks it makes his arm look "buff" =)
I just love the look on his face..... this was the look I would get if he was annoyed.
Boy, I even miss this look!

 Jared volunteers at a library and found this.
Us girls thought it was HILARIOUS!
Dad didn't. 

Aiden enjoying the "tie trick"
Evidently you can ask any RM and they can show you.

Email updates Sept 29 - Oct 3 2014

Jared's email -- Oct. 3, 2014

This week has been a blast, and we've done a ton of biking. We started off the week going mountain biking on p day with one of our favorite members and it was really fun, he told us "To brake is to admit defeat" So I ended up going off the trail a time or two, but it was really fun. 
Then on Tuesday we biked down to Magnolia (the ghetto that's far away from our house) and on the way this lady was like "HEY MORMONS!!" So we stopped and talked to her and she's a nonmember who loves missionaries and likes to feed them, so we were happy to come across her. We had our dinner appointment that night in Magnolia and it got dark earlier than we expected, so we had to bike home from Magnolia after dark. We biked really hard because we're strongly advised not to be in Magnolia after dark, so we made a bike ride that usually lasts at least 45 minutes into a 30 minute ride. On the way back this guy on a bullet bike passed us and as he flew by he was moving his foot in circles like he was pedaling, it was the funniest thing ever.
On Wednesday we had district meeting and exchanges. Elder Froelick (a missionary in Chilhowee ward) came to Grove Park with me and we biked down to Magnolia again and then while we were trying to find an address we ended up in downtown Knoxville, so we went around just talking to people which was pretty fun. Luckily our dinner appointment gave us a ride home from there, so we didn't have as much biking.
On Thursday we had a lesson with an investigator family which went super well, we taught them the plan of salvation and they really seemed to like it and had quite a few questions that were good. Then we had to bike as fast as we could because we were going to be late to another appointment, which was a challenge because of how tired our legs were, but we made it.
A member in our ward owns a mattress store and I had been talking to him about getting a memory foam mattress from him because he offered them to us at his cost. So we'd been talking about this and this weekend he came over with 2 memory foam mattresses for me and Elder Rayburn and he just gave them to us! He also gave 2 to the sisters! He is an awesome guy, so now missionary work in our ward is going to pick up even more because we sleep a billion times better.
I also really liked conference, it's so great to watch as a missionary. My favorite talk was Elder Bednar's talk directed to non members, I loved how he explained that we want to share what is most precious to us with everyone and also that we didn't want to force anything on them, just share what we know. I also really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk and President Uchtdorf's talk.
Love Y'all,

Elder Jared Petersen

Jared enjoying his new mattresses? Crazy missionaries.

Letter from Sept 29, 2014

This week has been so fun! We've had a ton of referrals to contact, so our schedule has been packed! We've contacted a lot of them, and quite a few of them told us to stop by later so we're thinking we'll get some more good investigators out of the deal. We've also been talking to a lot of people as we're going places. Since President Griffin has challenged us to spend 2 hours a day finding new people to teach we've been doing a lot of finding. Our favorite way to find people is to just go places and start talking to people. Most of the people who we've found are people who are just out in their garage or lawn and we'll ask if we can help them with anything. It works really well because you get to help them and then they want to hear what you have to say. We also had another lesson with the same family as last week and it was super powerful. They came to church, which was super exciting, and then we were able to meet with them that evening. They had a lot of questions about church and stuff and the whole lesson was mostly answering questions. She asked us about how to forgive people who you haven't been able to forgive for a long time and Elder Rayburn started talking to her about the atonement and how much we can benefit from it. It was super powerful and it was absolutely silent other than him talking. She even started tearing up, so there's no doubt that they felt the power of the spirit and it's only a matter of time before they'll want  to be baptized and join the church.
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

E Petersen always takes pictures of funny things ....

 He says you can put a noun in front of the words "Baptist Church" and you will find it.

"The South" according to E Petersen