*This first part is an e-mail from me to Daniel, and then he responds and asked that I share his response.*
Hey Tempe! I probably won't be on-line when you get on today, but I wanted to make sure I still got to talk to you. So, I'm writing now! lol! Anyway, how are things? I can't believe you already had your first baptism!! That's so exciting!!! Oh, man! Jess and I were talking about it and both of us had the same reaction when we found out that you were going to be baptizing someone. We both thought "I want to go!!" That is so awesome! Do you know what you just did? I mean, yes you baptized someone, but do you really KNOW what that means?! By baptizing just one person you not one washed away all of their sins, giving them the chance to go through the temple and return to our Father in Heaven, but you gave them the chance to get sealed in the temple! The have children who will be baptized, who then could go through the temple themselves and have their own children do the same thing! By baptizing one single person you have given generations of people the chance to return home!! Man, I know how proud of you and how happy I am for you, I can't even imagine how our Heavenly Father must feel right now! If the rest of your mission you don't baptize a singe person, you can bet that you'll be welcomed back to Heavenly Father with His arms wide open! I am so proud of you Daniel! I love you very very much! Keep up the good work!
P.S.- Don't get me wrong. You still have to do all the "enduring to the end" stuff to gain full celestial glory. I'm just sayin' you're in a pretty dang good spot right now! ...lol, just sayin'!
Lol I gotcha Rand, thanks! I was actually thinking about that the other day. I was talking it over with Elder Carroll and the ripple effect that missionaries have is astounding. If you think about it, we have been called to gather Israel, right? The gathering is happening in these latter days and we are ALL a apart of it. Brigham Young issued a "Missionary Challenge" during his days as a prophet that I found in our apartment not too long ago. It talks about how ALL of us are missionaries and that we are ALL a part of this work. We all take part in missionary work. That is why the missionaries, because of the apostles and prophets, have stressed member missionary work so much these past few years. They know that 60% of all convert baptisms are because of member referrals. We may have the knowledge and skills to teach the gospel to them but, it depends upon you all to give us the investigators. We can go out and try to find people all day but in the end it isnt very successful. We need you, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to do missionary work as often as possible, otherwise we are spending time finding instead of teaching. I dont mean for this to come out as a rebuking kind of e-mail but rather an e-mail to give you a sense of how important you are to the work moving along. You as the member have had more influence on these people than the missionaries will ever have. We come in and teach AFTER you have befriended them and taught them the plain and simple truths that you feel are important for them to hear. We come in AFTER they have accepted YOUR invitation to meet with us. We are there simply to do what most member dont know how to do or feel comfortable doing. You are the ones who have built their foundation, you have strengthened them when they felt they were going to fall and you have kept them strong after they have entered into the covenant of baptism with our Heavenly Father. There is no one more important than the members of this church.
I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us just as much as He loves the next. "He is no respecter of persons." We all have a place in a mansion that He has prepared for us and He is building it up each and every day of our lives so long as we strive to do all we can to build up His kingdom. "Behold the number of [our] sheaves! Are they few? Nay. They are many." You, Randi Michelle, have already brought 3 people into the Kingdom of God by simply loving them. Their lives have been blessed because of your missionary work that you performed without realizing you were doing it. "If your joy will be great with one sould that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"
I Love you Randi, I miss you and appreciate everything that you do for me.
~Elder Daniel Peterson
P.S. - If you wouldnt mind sending that to the rest of the family that would be great =P sorry! It is specifically for you but, I also think it would be good for the rest of the family to hear.