I went on exchanges with E Goldsberry this week, he came to bike around Chatt town with me. It was really fun, we didn't really have anything set to do so we just started biking and talking to people as we went along. We ended up biking all the way to Georgia! We came across a guy who was really nice as we were going, he offered us to come inside his store and get a drink of water. Then he was out of water and he was like, "Is Mountain Dew ok?" So we got some Mountain Dew and talk to him quite a bit. He told us he really likes stories and stuff that different religions have, so we gave him a Book of Mormon and told him about it. He seemed really interested and told us to stop by whenever we were passing by.
We taught S Maddox the next day and she was having a hard time, so we offered to give her a blessing. It was super powerful, she felt the spirit and felt a lot better afterwards.
We learned about the He is The Gift Initiative and it is huge! I'm way excited for it, there's going to be a lot of good stuff coming from it.
For Thanksgiving we went to our YSA Branch Presidents house and ate with all the YSA's. It was really good. Then we went to Elder Tucker's Aunt Sherree's house and ate again, and that was really good too, but I didn't have much room to eat. Then we went to Sister Bridgette's (our Chattanooga Momma) and we got some left overs. It was all really fun!
I got a flat tire in the ghetto, I ran over a shard of broken beer bottle, and then a member called us and was really sick. So we made a lot of phone calls and finally found some people who weren't out of town for Thanksgiving and got over to her house to give her a blessing.
We got transfer calls and Elder Tucker will be leaving. A lot of Branch members are sad to see him go, but I think he's going to get another great area that he'll love so it'll all be for the best. I'm also excited to get another companion, especially since I have a pretty good idea of who I'll get and he's really cool.
We spent a whole entire day helping a family move, it was a lot of work, but they fed us so it was good. I also didn't get tired at all from moving them #bikeareaperks haha. They're also still in our area, so that's good too.
In church on Sunday I gave a talk on the general conference talk, Free Forever to Act for Themselves. It was good, even though I did a lot of winging it.
Elder Jared Petersen
5th Week in Chattanooga: (highlights)
We had a lesson with one of our investigators who was a referral this week and it was great! We taught her a lot about the atonement and asked her to be baptized on January 3rd.
In district meeting we had a role play that was using listening and questions to find investigators concerns. It was really good! It was cool to see how to use questions and listening to get so much farther in a lesson than you can by just teaching.
We had a turkey bowl with the branch this week, me and Elder Tucker went hard and killed our legs. Which was a bad idea because right after that we had to bike across town to Ceric and Camari's house because they both had speaking assignments in church. We helped them a lot and it was really good.
It was so great to see Ceric and Camari talk in church, it was really powerful and the spirit was strong. I was sitting by Ceric just before he had to go up and he was holding onto my arm and saying that he didn't want to go up. After he came back and sat down he said that he didn't cover what he'd written down and I told him that's how it's supposed to go.
I'll have transfer news for youns next week.
Elder Jared Petersen
4th Week in Chattanooga: (highlights from letter)
So the highlight of this whole week has to be that Ceric, a 14 year old boy who has been being taught for a long time, got baptized by his older brother!
As soon as Ceric came up out of the water he jumped onto Camari and hugged him. It was so awesome!
Another experience we had was a member, Sister Bennett (she's my super hero) gave us a referral. A little background on her, she gives hundreds of referrals to missionaries and she's only been a member for 2 years. We taught this lady who she referred with her and did kind of a restoration/Book of Mormon lesson. It was great! At the end we asked her if she'd get baptized if she came to know that what we said was true and she said yes. She was also really anxious to start reading the Book of Mormon, so much so that she couldn't seem to wait for us to leave so that she could start reading it! We're going to see her again tomorrow.
Elder Jared Petersen
3rd Week in Chattanooga:
This week was pretty good, we've had Chick Fil A twice just this week, so I'm a happy camper!
We had a fun experience OYMing a girl this week (OYM means open your mouth and it's basically when missionaries talk to random people) We biked past her and Elder Tucker was like "I dare you to OYM her" so I took him up on it and we started talking to her and after we had asked her for her number and address we realized she probably thought we were trying to flirt with her #awkwardmissionarymoments haha but we're going to try to teach her.
We also had dinner with this family who recently came back into activity this week. We'd done some service for her last week and when we finished we played on a BMX bike they had, I showed off my skills of riding it backwards, and she took pictures and when we visited her she asked us if she could post the pictures on facebook, so if you come across them that's the story behind it haha.
We had Zone Training meeting this week which was really good, my favorite part of it was our zone leaders training. They said that we are supposed to 'work effectively' and they emphasized that it didn't say work hard, because you can work hard and not get anything done. So I decided to try to focus my work on effectiveness, rather than just working hard.
We also had stake conference and our investigator, Ceric, was there for all of it. His older brother will be baptizing him this weekend, we're so excited for it! He is a great kid, and has more of a desire to do the right thing and more love for others than I've seen in anyone else his age.
At stake conference there was quite a few really good talks. One thing that President Griffin shared was a story where he learned that 'It's not all about you.' He explained that in the church we don't gain much from trying to get all we can out of it. When we decide that it's not all about us and turn our hearts to the Lord and our actions to our brothers and sisters, that's when we truly benefit. He also talked about how we, as missionaries, can't fulfill our calling without the members help. It's true worldwide, missionaries need members who are willing to do their own missionary work, because the work of salvation can't be hastened if members and missionaries don't work together. You may have noticed that I talked about this same thing last week, but that's because it's extremely important and it's an area where we all need improvement.
Elder Jared Petersen
2nd Week letter from Chattanooga:
This week was fun, I've been feeling better and my sinus infection seems to be gone so that's good. We were doing service this week and while we were there we started talking to this guy about lots of gospel stuff and really getting into how it was important and he was agreeing with everything we told him. Then before we left he asked if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was seventh day Adventists (He asked because I had my hat on) And we were like "No no, have you ever heard of Mormons?" then he was like "What?? You guys aren't Mormon!! I don't like Mormons!!" But we were able to change his views about Mormons and it was really good. The next day we did more service and we ate with them after. It was a bad idea to eat, because there's this lady who feeds us every Wednesday and she piles the food high and expects us to eat it all. She's a super nice southern lady. So I ate as much as I possibly could, but I couldn't do it. Elder Tucker made me stop after I lost some of it. I was trying too hard to eat it all. After that we talked to this lady who was selling candied apples and we said something about how she might wonder why she should be interested in what we were telling her and she was like "Well, I am interested in it, otherwise I would've asked why I should be." It was really cool, we're going to try to teach her. We also helped another lady in the ward with some service, we cleaned up her whole garage and fixed her garage door opened and looked at her sink that had busted pipes and did a lot for them. They also had a BMX bike, so I got to show off my skills of riding a bike backwards haha. It was really good, we also talked to them about doing missionary work, it was good. We also shared a message in church yesterday about missionary work. We came across a talk by Elder Bednar that was in the May 2008 Ensign and in it he talks about how missionaries are full time teachers and members are full time finders. He also says in there that members should not be praying for missionaries to do their work by praying that missionaries will find people to teach. It's the responsibility of the members to lead the missionaries to the people who they know who need to hear about the gospel. It's something that is very overlooked by members and more members need to find people to be taught about the gospel.
Here's E Tucker
He is from IF.
We know his family. Brian worked with his family's
business when we were in SE Idaho.