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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

June 2015 Letters

June 1, 2015 Letter

We have some eternigators who teach us magic tricks, and I figured out a way to use a magic trick that they use to ask members for referrals. It worked incredibly well, the first family who we tried it on gave us 4 referrals. Another family gave us 1 referral, so just this week we've been able to get 5 referrals from this magic trick. We're hoping to see more success in using the magic trick to get referrals and hopefully someone will be baptized as a result.
We also had our full mission conference to prepare us for ipads. Elder Zwick, a 70, and Elder Hemmingway, the director of proselyting, spoke with us. They gave us some great insight. I had an exchange with Elder Goldsberry afterwards and we went out with a member. He stopped for some kids selling koolaid in cups that were about the size of a ketchup container at wendy's. They were a dollar a cup. So we got 3 cups. We were hustled.
We've been working with a preacher, and this week we some some great progress with him. Over the time that I've been here I've seen him become more receptive to the gospel, and this week he finally agreed to read from the Book of Mormon. That was so cool for me to see, because he's talked to lots of missionaries and from what I've heard missionaries get bible bashed by him. He knows the Bible very well, so it doesn't surprise me at all. I've just followed the spirit in talking to him, and I think that's the reason why I've been able to help him.
Shannon, another investigator who we've been working with agreed to work towards being baptized on June 27th. We visited him with a member who told him about his conversion and it helped him a lot because he had gone through a lot of the same stuff. I'm excited to keep helping him.
So one of the biggest things I've learned more about this week was to depend on the spirit. It makes me want to do what I can to always have the spirit with me. And I've learned that in order to have the spirit with you the strongest you need to search within yourself and figure out what you need to do. I've found that when I'm doing things because someone told me it's good, the spirit isn't as strong, but when I do something that I've learned for myself brings the spirit it's a much better feeling. And it's something that you have to learn for yourself. I love to explain to people that they don't need to believe me, but that if they want to know if what I tell them is true they need to pray about it and find out for themselves, and that's really how it is with anything in the gospel.
Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

June 15th Letter

This week has been pretty good, we had a great lesson with Kenny (the preacher). We talked about the Book of Mormon, he's around 1 Nephi 18, and he had a ton of notes and questions. His Sister and her husband (who are members) were able to answer a lot of his questions and we were able to explain some things too. It's awesome to have members so closely involved, because I can know that their support wont fall when I leave. Kenny's wife was also there, she mostly just listens to our conversations and soaks it up and she was asking me who she could write to tell them about how I'm doing here. She's such a nice lady.
In our district meeting Elder Goldsberry read some verses in Alma chapter 8 and related it to member missionary work. It relates incredibly well to what I've seen. It starts out with Alma going to a new area (like transfers) and the people in that area don't want to hear anything from him (like tracting) So Alma has to move on and the Lord stops him and sends him back to the city. When Alma goes back to the city he finds Amuleck (a member) and Amuleck feeds him (dinner appointments) and then Alma and Amuleck go out to preach the gospel (like when we go visit people after dinner). When they go out the people already know Amuleck and he has a good reputation with the people (like members do) And they have much more success talking to people and teaching them the gospel because the people already knew Amuleck. I liked how well that shows the need we as missionaries have for members to help us. As missionaries we can try to do missionary work on our own and we often do, but it just doesn't work as well as when missionaries and members work together. Because of that one of my favorite things to do has become helping members find ways to do missionary work. They are usually super overwhelmed at the thought of sharing the gospel, but it's so cool to help calm their fears about it and help them see easy ways that they can share the gospel. A lot of people think that it's a game of all or nothing and if their friend or family member doesn't listen to them about the gospel then they've failed, but really all we can do is show them the choice that they can make and show them an example and we've accomplished all that we need to. If you try to do too much more than that then you're trying to take away their right to choose, which never works in the end.

Love y'all,
Elder Jared Petersen

Note from Jared:
I like the theme of testimonies, I think that's something that's really important to learn about. One thing that I've thought about quite a bit is how people come to believe in other churches. I've met so many people who have strong testimonies of Christ, but their testimony is based on teachings of another church. That's kinda helped me to realize that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints doesn't necessarily have a monopoly of the spirit. The spirit testifies of truth, and people in other churches have pieces of truth. The thing that we have exclusively is the complete truth. But it's like how building a testimony is related to building a house. You can't build a house all at once, you have to build it piece by piece, and you have to do it in some order. From the scriptures we learn that Christ must be our foundation, so he should be the first thing we learn about when we're trying to build a testimony. After that I imagine the walls and the floors and everything between the foundation and the roof are knowledge of things like the scriptures, the plan of salvation, the atonement, the prophet, and things like that. And then the roof is a knowledge that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the one and only church with the complete truth. But for some reason it seems people are too eager to put the roof on before building the rest of the house. Some people even build the house upside down because they start by trying to believe in the church before they believe in the Savior. And to me an upside down house is much less steadfast than even a house built on the sand.

June 29th Letter

We had transfer calls this week and I'll stay in Maryville again!
Elder Byron will be transferred though, so I'm going to get my 5th
companion in Maryville on Wednesday. One of the members asked me if I
was ever going to leave and I told him I'd probably die here. I
wouldn't even be mad, Maryville is great.
We met with Kenny this week,Mir was good. We talked about the Book of
Mormon and gave him a scripture from the Book of Mormon that he could
use in a sermon that he's going to preach in a couple weeks. His
sermon is about contrast, he's using Matthew chapter 5 so we gave him
2Nephi 2:13.
We put our car in the shop on Monday, and we got it back on Thursday.
I decided that cars are better than iPads. It was so annoying to not
be able to drive around our area and see people. We really weren't
able to do much without our car, so I really appreciate it more now.
Sunday night there was a family who had us over for dinner, they're
one of my favorite families in the ward, and we had a great time
talking to them about missionary work. They were super excited to find
ways to share the gospel with their friends and people who they meet.
One of the things we talked about at stuck out to me is that you don't
have to make it a big deal when you bring up the gospel. We talked
about how it would be really easy to talk to someone about a sport you
really like and that you should try to talk about the gospel the same
way. If we can show people that the gospel is something we love and
that it's a part of who we are it makes it much less threatening for
whoever you're talking to.
Next week I'll tell you about my new companion!
Love youns,
Elder Jared Petersen

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