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.
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.
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.