This week we got 3 new investigators. 2 of them are a couple and they're really cool. We taught them the restoration and really focused on the Book of Mormon. We told them all about how to relate it to yourself when you read and about how much we've both learned from it. I always realize a little more about how much of a difference the Book of Mormon has made in my life when I tell people about it. Especially when I'm talking to people who wont believe in Joseph Smith being a prophet. We talked to a like semi retired preacher the other day about it and I was told him something that I didn't even realize how profound it was until I thought back on it. He said that he was having a hard time believing in the church, he just couldn't make that leap. So I told him "We don't want you to make any leaps. Anyone would have a hard time making a leap like that. What we want to do is help you make steps. So the first step we want you to try is to read the Book of Mormon and see if you can grow closer to Christ, and improve your life through reading it." At that moment I realized that people can't go straight from where they are to where I am and I can't expect that from them because it's taken me almost 20 years to get to where I am. All I can do is encourage them to make small steps, and celebrate when they to.Our other new investigator is a young man about our age. A family in the ward has been fellowshipping him and helping him . They've been taking him to church and we just started teaching him. He came up to me yesterday and said "I talked to Bishop and he told me that I should talk to you guys about getting baptized. I'm thinking the 16th, what do you think?" You hear stories about this happening, but it is incredibly rare. Especially here in the South. So when he asked me about it I think it literally blew my mind, because my nose started bleeding right then and I had to leave before I could talk to him more about it. Elder Smith picked up the slack though, and we're going to be teaching him every chance we can to help him prepare.
Love y'all,Elder Jared Petersen
I also said bye to one of my favorite members in Maryville this week. His name is Reggie, he is the coolest guy. He grew up on the carnival, so he left to join the carnival for a while. He said that Me and Elder Smith are the coolest missionaries that he's talked to.I'll let youns know what happens at transfers next week,Love y'all,Elder Jared Petersen
Elder Jared Petersen
May 11, 2015 Letter "Mother's Day" call
This week we got to skype home, as I'm sure y'all know. It was a lot of fun, it's always exciting for missionaries to skype their families. So that was one of the best parts of my week.The other best part of my week was our investigator, Tristin. We helped him figure out details for his baptism this week, and taught him some more. When we talked to him about who will do what, he was like "Elder Smith is going to baptize me and Elder Petersen is going to confirm me." It's really cool to me that he wants me to confirm him, he'll be the first person I confirm. We also talked to him about the commandments and when we went over the Word of Wisdom he wasn't excited to give up tea. He said everything else was easy to follow, but tea wasn't easy. We didn't have to explain it to him more or anything before he decided that he was going to do it even though he said he was used to drinking about a gallon of tea a day. That was incredible to me, and he's going strong with it.
He skyped us from the Crawford's home.
They are awesome!
May 18th 2015 Letter
This week we had Tristin's baptism! It was so great! I'm so glad that I got to be here to help him join the gospel. He's been my favorite person to work with in Tennessee. He made our job super easy because he was so ready. I also got the chance to confirm him and give him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was great. This has been a huge weekend in his life, and I got to be there for all of it. It started with Graduation on Friday, and Elder Smith and I showed up for it. Then on Saturday he was baptized. Then on Sunday he was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I included a picture of all 3.We also had transfer calls this week. I'm staying in Maryville! I'm glad that I'm staying, but Elder Smith is being transferred out. It was a surprise since he's been here for 6 weeks and I've been here for 12 weeks.
May 26, 2015 Letter
This week I got a new companion, Elder Wadsworth. He's from Utah. Apparently it's somewhere in the Salt Lake valley. And he's tall, so the streak of every one of my companions being taller than me is still going. Elder Wadsworth is #9. Elder Smith went to Farragut, so he's still in the same zone. He really likes that area, so that's good.
On Sunday I had the opportunity to ordain Tristin to the Priesthood. It was such an awesome experience, he's still going really strong in the gospel. I was also able to show him my priesthood lineage and show him how he's a part of it now.
For memorial day, the Bayle's took us on a hike to Abram falls. It was 14 miles, round trip. It was a really good hike, it reminded me of hiking back home. I'm definitely sore now though, I guess I haven't been on a good hike in a while.
Elder Jared Petersen