We got so much snow this week! The snow has got me jonesin for snowboarding. We got about 11 inches in 2 days and it shut everything down. I was told it was the most snow since the blizzard of 93, and people still talk about the blizzard of 93. The day before the snow came I took E Martinez to Ingles and it was packed. We barely got a parking spot and the bread section was almost wiped out. With all the snow we were stuck for about 2 and a half days. The roads are pretty dangerous when it snows here and the drivers are even worse. Being snowed in has to be about the worst thing ever, it was so boring! I couldn't even convince E Martinez to go build a snowman with me.. We also had church cancelled because of the snow, I think it's the first time in my life that church has been cancelled. But we had a few good service opportunities with the snow, we got to help people push their car out of the snow and shovel an older couples driveway. Before all the snow I went on an exchange with E Fifita. We had a party. We also taught a really good lesson to a less active lady. We read Lehi's vision with her from 1 Nephi 8 and we explained it as we went and specifically pointed out different groups of people. The important ones are those who wandered in the darkness, those who followed the rod to the tree and then were ashamed when they were mocked, and those who got to the tree and didn't care about the mocking. We talked about which group of people we want to be and how to accomplish that. We also talked to her about how Lehi saw that Laman and Lemuel didn't come to the tree, so he could have assumed they were lost causes, but he never gave up trying to help them and convince them to do what's right. That was touching to her because she has kids who she's tried to share the gospel with and they haven't been interested in it and she worries about them. So we told her to follow Lehi's example and never give up on them and she said she would. We had a missionary broadcast to all the missionaries in the world. They announced we have 75,000 missionaries. That number will probably jump in the next couple months with graduation. The whole meeting was titled, 'Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts.' E Anderson started off and I really liked what he said. He said that if we are ever unsure of what to say, we should speak of Christ. And no matter how much we talk about Christ, we cannot talk about Him too much. E Bednar's part was also one of my favorites. He talked about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. He said that without the Holy Ghost we could not be successful as missionaries. He also talked about the role we play compared to the role the Holy Ghost plays. And E Oaks was my other favorite speaker. He talked about how crucial it is that we share the gospel. He gave one of his own quotes from Preach My Gospel about how we are not here to increase the membership of the church or to persuade others to live better lives. Anyone can persuade someone to live a better life. We are here to show people the one and only path to live with God again. No one else can do that. The day before the snow we had a big service day. We started off helping a member replace her pipes, because they were plugged with calcium build up. So I had to crawl up under her house, which is one of my least favorite places in the world to be. But we got it done and now her water is working for her. We also got to help our branch mission leader split firewood. We've literally begged him to have us over to split firewood for him, so we were super excited. Afterwards he told us that was the first time he's asked missionaries or anyone from the church to help him with anything. And he's been a member for over 10 years. It was also the first time E Martinez has split firewood in his life and then for dinner he had chili for the first time in his life along with cornbread for the first time in his life I'm pretty sure.
Elder Jared Petersen