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, January 27, 2015

Jan 26, 2015

Jan 26, 2015

This week was great, it was so packed! We're getting this area picked up and going pretty well and it's been great! It's also been almost up to 70 degrees for most of the week, so that was a bonus.
On Tuesday we went out and had to go home and change. It was just too warm to wear a jacket or anything. A long sleeve shirt was questionable. It was incredible January weather. We also had a team up to visit a less active and it went really well. Our team up wasn't too talkative at first and he usually has a lot of helpful input, but it wasn't long into the lesson that he started giving input more and the whole atmosphere of the lesson changed and got even better. The lady we visited came back to church yesterday.
On Wednesday we had our typical lunch at S Bridgette's and she had a couple who weren't members over. So we taught them about the Restoration. After that we did a lot of service for an older lady in our branch. It was great, I love service. 
On Thursday we had Zone Training meeting. It was an all day affair, because the Elders who we rode with locked their keys in the car. The meeting was great though, President talked to us about how in this mission we don't have room for gossip because it destroys our unity and an Elder who I know pretty well stood up and said that if he's gossiped about anyone that he's sorry and he wants to make sure that there are no hard feelings because he loves all the other missionaries in the mission. It was really cool, and he's the type of Elder who I'm sure he hasn't gossiped about anyone. We also had our interviews with President and he told me that me and E Titus are just too easy to take care of because we never have problems to come to him with. He also said that he can tell we're both doing really well. That was really good to hear.
On Friday we had a team up for most of the day, which was good because it rained most of the day Friday. So we got out of the little bad weather that we had. We also had a really good lesson with a less active with him, where we helped her to feel some reassurance that things are going to be alright.
On Saturday we had Branch Council with the Stake, and we went out and visited people. It was good, we got to go with Br Zhang and visit some recent converts and we had a good meeting with them. Then we spent most of the day helping with a move, so we got more service.
On Sunday we had Branch Conference in Family Branch. It was really good, we had some good lessons about hastening the work. There was also a lot in both branches about how we need to strengthen ourselves in the gospel. In YSA there was a speaker who told a story about how his son was diagnosed with cancer and he didn't feel spiritually in tune enough to give him a blessing. He hadn't been unworthy, he was just not as spiritually strengthened as he needed to be. So he spent a few days trying hard to become spiritually strong enough, and praying to know that he could heal his son of this cancer that was practically guaranteed to kill him. After days of working hard at it, he finally was able to give his son the blessing he needed and his son was healed and is now cancer free. It helped me see how important it is to always be strong, so that you're never caught off guard by something that you're not strong enough for.
Love y'all,
E Jared Petersen

We got this picture this week.... EXCITING!

No transfer, Staying in Chattanooga

January 20, 2015

So we bought that fun camera that downloads to the internet. So I usually get pictures throughout the week. This was what I got this week. Awesome right? Looked like it needed stitches to me. I got the story a few days later...... Just for me

"This week was pretty great, and it didn't involve any stitches haha. In that picture of my leg I made sure that the cut looked a lot deeper than it was, it really just took a chunk off the top. I did it trying to jump onto the stage at the stake center. I got up, but my shoe didn't have enough grip on the bottom, so it slipped off and my shin hit the edge of the stage really hard. It hurt really bad, and still does hurt, but it's just bruised really bad, I think the bone is bruised, but the cut isn't bad."

I send him favorite parts of lessons from Sunday School and RS.... I love to hear his replies

"I like that thought of praying until you feel like it. Another thing I've experienced is praying when you don't really have a good attitude, and then paying attention to how your attitude changes as you pray. It's really cool to me how clearly you can tell the difference when you just pay attention to it."

Here is his letter:

So this week was fun, we got to meet most of the new missionaries in the zone, and there's a lot of them. E Zuniga (Zoo-knee-gah) is the only new one in our district. He's a really cool guy, from Mexico. He's learning English
On Tuesday we had the departing breakfast at S Bridgette's. All the missionaries who are leaving get to have breakfast with her. We joined because she's in our area. There were 18 missionaries there. It was really good.
On Wednesday it was transfers and we didn't get to go. It's always hard to not go to transfers. I've only missed 2 of them though so far. We also had our missionary open house Wednesday night, and that was really fun.
On Thursday we had District meeting, where we got to meet E Zuniga. He came out with E Titus. It was pretty good, we learned about teaching without rote presentation. I'd also hurt my leg last p day, I bruised it really bad, so all day I was limping around since it hurt. That was really fun. 
On Friday we did some tracting and the first guy we came across let us in and we taught him about the restoration. He had lots of interesting questions, and he already had a book of Mormon. He had just found it and picked it up. 
On Saturday we spent most of the day doing service. An older lady in the branch needed some like mesh stuff put up around her porch, so we did that for her. We also contacted a referral from a member and had a lesson with her. It was really good, she recognized that the Bible is imperfect and that there are lots of imperfect religions. We shared the restoration with her and she liked and agreed with it.
On Sunday we finally got a Branch Mission Leader in YSA! He's a really cool guy and he's excited to help us. Other than that we had a typical 9 hours of church day. 
On Monday we had p day and it was MLK day. People here actually celebrate MLK day, I think that's because there's a lot of black people. We even heard fireworks (or possibly gunshots but we are saying fireworks) at night. 
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen
PS The temperature today is about 64 degrees, and it feels like May. I thought y'all might be interested to hear that while you have snow outside haha.

This picture was a few weeks old, but I like it =)

Happy New Year!

Jan 5, 2015

Happy 2015 y'all! So I realized the other day that I'll be spending all of 2015 on my mission, that was a crazy thought for me haha.
On Monday we had a team up with a recent convert in the YSA branch. We had plans all figured out and somehow, like most times we get a team up, all our plans bailed and we had nothing really to do. We stopped by a less active and found THE crazy cat lady. She had cat stuff everywhere and told us that she had 30 cats and she lived in a trailer. At the end of the evening we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the car in our parking lot and we told him a story that President had shared with us about how Alma was 'harrowed up by his many sins' and we each go through a similar process in repentance. When you Harrow ground it tears it up, like a rototiller, and that prepares the ground to be planted. We have a similar process in repentance, we are 'harrowed' by the memory of our sins, which prepares us to grow better. Then when the ground is ready (or when we have been humbled) the seeds are able to sprout (or we are able to start overcoming our sins). Up to this point it's all a good process, but something that Satan uses against us is he tells us that we need to 'harrow the ground again' or start feeling guilty for what we did, even though we've already started growing past it. When we do this we figuratively tear up all the sprouts, and literally go back and start the whole process of overcoming our sins over again. It helped him a lot because he said he is always really hard on himself about things he's done.
We taught Ceric and Camari and had a pretty good lesson with them. They're so great, I'm glad I get to help them. Then a couple who's visiting from a branch in Georgia had us over for dinner and they were great. They told us a lot of good information on how it was to visit our branch and also told us lots of funny stories.
Wednesday was fun, we had lunch at Sis Bridgette's and she had a couple visitors. We were able to teach one boy who was visiting her a bit about the restoration. We had the New Years party for YSA that night which was fun, and a girl who we had lunch with at Sis Bridgette's showed up to the party. She was interesting. E Titus also got a hair cut, and we found out that (in the most non racist way) white people shouldn't get their hair cut where black people do. White people and black people have very different hair and E Titus ended up with a very different hair cut than he was expecting. Unfortunately though he didn't get steps, or a flat top, or any other cool black people hair cuts.
We had District Meeting on Thursday which was good, it was focused on setting good goals and staying positive. Then that evening we were able to teach Sis Maddox some of the commandments. She was very open to all of them, and the only thing she even questioned was why we couldn't drink coffee and tea. So we explained to her that God created us and so he knows what's good for us better than science can figure out what's good for us and that he'll bless us for following what he asks especially when we don't know why, or don't even think it's that important. She agreed to pray about it and said that if she receives an answer that the commandments are from God that she'll follow them. That was so cool to hear!
Friday was so cold, we biked a bit in the morning and it rained and it was cold and kinda miserable. But that's missionary life haha. We had dinner at B Jahn's (pronounced yawn's) and B Amyx (pronounced a-mix) was there. (They're both white, mom) And B Amyx was telling us redneck stories. He told us how he didn't find Jeff Foxworthy to be that funny because when he tells jokes those jokes are his life story. For example, he has a joke that you may be a redneck if you mow your lawn and find more than 1 car. That's a story from his life, he's done that. We were dying laughing when he was telling us all about it.
Friday we did tons of tracting. We came across some interesting things/people though. We found the man who does everything, he had any kind of out door equipment you can imagine scattered around his house. Unfortunately he didn't have time to talk to us. I've also realized that people in the south are more busy than anyone in the world. I have no idea what they do, but they are ALWAYS doing something. It blows my mind how they are able to stay so busy.
Then church was church, we spent 11 hours in the church and had a couple fast and testimony meetings that were pretty good.
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

Chattanooga in December. 
"Oh what do you do in the summer..../ wintertime when all the grass is green?"

Jan 12, 2014

So we got transfer calls and I'm going to stay in Chatt with E Titus! So I've got another 6 weeks of biking! That's going to make 9 months straight of biking by the end of the transfer! It's hard, but on the plus side, I'm in really good shape haha. Our zone started a challenge of doing 100 push ups a day for the new year and I can knock it out in 2 sets of 50 pretty easily. I also realized I've finally developed the ability to do push ups 1 handed! haha The down side of that though is that recently, for some weird reason, I've started getting really bad headaches after about 15 push ups. I'll be fine though, so don't worry about me.
So now that I've got my bragging about push ups out of the way, I'll tell you about our week.
On Tuesday we were biking along, trying to see people and this ambulance passed us going the opposite direction as we were. Right as it was passing us it blew it's horn and it just about blew out our ear drums, I have no idea why you'd need a horn so loud. After a few more minutes of biking this charger comes up behind us and just flys by. He was doing at least 90, in a 30. The on ramp to the interstate was a bit ahead of us and he swerved around several cars at insane speeds and drifted around the corner to get on the on ramp. About 20 seconds later we heard some sirens behind us and 4 cop cars flew past us. I was a good citizen and pointed up the on ramp that the charger had taken. Then as we continue biking there was a flood of police cars that flew past us, there were at least 20 to 30 of them that flew past us. So basically we found ourselves in the middle of a high speed chase. It was insane! And we have absolutely no idea if the guy got away.. We also had a great lesson that night with a couple of recent coverts where we took a member and he taught them about how important it is to go to church. It was really great.
On Wednesday Pres Huff had us over for dinner and we had a study with him, it was really cool. 
On Thursday I gave a training in district meeting on learning by the Holy Ghost. It was good, but it took a long time. Then I went up to signal mountain on exchange with E Goldsberry. It was really fun.
On Friday we had pancakes at Brother Jahn's for dinner as usual.
On Saturday went to an appointment we'd set up with a media referral and he answered the door with a video camera in hand. He proceeded to record our entire lesson. I was worried about being the star of a "Missionaries get bible bashed" youtube video. It was actually rather terrifying. But it went well and he had a lot of hard questions that we answered pretty well.
On Sunday we had our regular long church meetings.
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

Excerpts from Mom letter:

 I'm sure Kali isn't excited to share the car, just remind her that I'm going on 9 months straight of only riding a bike... I don't think it's psychologically healthy to be on a bike that long, when we're riding in a car with a member and we start driving up a hill I seriously start getting anxious about if the car will be able to make it up the hill.
Speaking of that, I'll be in Chatt another transfer! Me and Elder Titus are staying together, I guess I didn't wear him out, so by the end of this next transfer I'll have spent 9 months straight just on a bike. I think that note from my elbow doctor where he said the only issue would be if I did a lot of biking either got totally ignored or somehow the wording changed to where it says that I should only be biking. My elbow is still fine though.

I asked Jared if he could meet anyone, besides Christ from the New Testament, who would he choose: 

I don't know that I could make an absolute decision on who I'd want to meet from the New Testament. I think I'd choose John though, because he's hilarious to read. Especially how he always gives himself great titles. Another one would be Paul, because he'd have a really awesome conversion story and a powerful testimony. Or Peter, because he seems the most easy to relate to, especially in the end of John when there's the 'Do you love me?' story.

Dec 29, 2014

Dec. 29, 2014

This week was GREAT!!! I got to skype home and see my family and Grandma and Grandpa Ames. That was definitely my favorite part.
On p day E Goldsberry and Sis Merrell (Pronounced Merl) ran into each other during basketball and Sis Merrell got a pretty bruised head and E Goldsberry's eyebrow got split open. They were both alright though.
On Christmas Eve we had the thought that tracting would be more effective, given that people should want to hear about Christ on Christmas. Apparently most every missionary learns the lesson that we did, and that was that people don't want to hear about Christ on Christmas. No one wanted to hear anything from us. To top that off, it started raining really hard. So we started to head to our lunch appointment and we had to go down this big hill to get there. I was flying down this hill in the pouring rain and then I started to come up on this stop sign and tried to stop. I slid from side to side, almost like snowboarding! My tires had absolutely no traction, and the road was coming to a T with a fairly busy road real quick. The only image that came to my mind was my blowing this stop sign and being wrecked by a truck or something. So I thought I was going to die. I blew through the stop sign, completely sideways, and then I kinda just plopped down and slid across most of the road. By some miracle, there was no cars. So I jumped up, probably faster than I went down, and we went on to our lunch. 
On Christmas we spent it with the Huffs. I skyped from there, which was great, and then we had Christmas dinner and played games and stuff. The Elders and the Sisters were both there, and we had a lot of fun. The Huffs daughter showed me her doll that she got for Christmas and I was like, "That's cool, so do the eyes close when you lay her down?" Apparently, that was like the perfect reaction because Sis Huff was pretty impressed about how I handled it haha, she thought it was pretty awesome haha. 
In district meeting we did a role play on teaching the saviors earthly ministry and the great apostasy like a story. It was really cool, it makes it a lot more interesting and it's a lot easier to keep peoples attention that way, so I liked it. Then we went out with Br Zhang, our branch mission leader, and all of our appointments fell through. So he was like "How about you guys go shopping in walmart with me and you can just talk to people. So we went and talked to some people in walmart. We didn't find anyone to teach, but we found a guy who said he didn't know if he believed in Jesus (a rare find in the south) and we put carts away for an old guy.
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

Christmas tie selfies =) ♥♥

Christmas in Chattanooga

MOM:Did you get your package yet?    
JARED: Yes... why did you put 'don't open until Christmas' on it??? That was just mean... It's just sitting under our tree taunting me now.

Patience isn't something that comes easily for Jared =)  He says that is one thing he is having to learn on his mission, because things don't always happen quickly or as fast as we want. I was just helping him out =).

We were able to skype with Elder Petersen on Christmas morning @ 10:00am. It was so good to see and talk to him! He has changed quite a bit. It is fun to see the maturity and spiritual growth. It is so visible. He is doing well and loving it! We took advantage of the opportunity and took a "family picture". 


" Just like Christmas morning at home..."

Pres Griffin gave everyone a mission sweatshirt.
His work, His way, by His power