Monday, July 2, 2012

E-Mail July 2, 2012

Hey kiddos,

So this week we didnt have a whole lot happen but, there were a couple of kewl things that did. Elder Woerner, being the DL, gets to go on exchanges with each companionship in the district which means I also get to do the same. I was on exchanges with another Elder this past week and we taught a few lessons while we were together. We had one lesson with the Hutchinsons which went really well. We had another lesson out in Vernon with a Part-member family, the Swanseys. They are an awesome couple and have such strong testimonies of the Gospel. The husband, Jeff, has a few Word of Wisdom issues he is trying to overcome before he can say he is ready for baptism. While at this lesson, going over the Gospel of Jesus Christ, this other Elder opened up about a few things. Things that I have never heard before but could kind of guess at. Anyway, we were teaching the lesson and, as usual, the topic of the Word of Wisdom was brought up. We talked about it for a little while and then it happened. The Elder opened up and the Spirit was immediately felt. We left that night with no visible, whether to the natural or spiritual eye, results. We went back over there to help them move some drywall the next morning. He lit up a cigarette in front of us as we worked and we both thought that that was our confirmation of there being no change. We exchanged back on Friday night and Elder Woerner and I went about our days as usual. We ended up going to Vernon Ward because of a call we had gotten earlier in the week telling us that someone had invited one of their friends to church. We stood in the back of the chapel watching people walk in before the meeting started and Jeff walked in. He walked up to us and started up a conversation, talked for 5 minutes or so and started to walk to his seat. He turned around remembering something he wanted to tell us. He said, "You go home and tell Elder [John] he inspired me. Since you two left that evening I have not had one drop of alcohol. I sat there and thought to myself, 'Drinking is a stupid habit. Especially at this age!' So I decided that I was going to get rid of the stuff. And I did!"

This past Sunday, as we all know, was Fast Sunday. The power that sits behind a small and simple sacrifice is incredible. To be able to see the Lord's hand in your life, to help others, is a treasure. To see the Atonement of our Savior take effect in someone's life is one of the greatest things I have yet to come across. I know that our Father in Heaven sent His Son for all of us. To teach us to walk in the path that he lead. To suffer for all of us so that we may overcome the obstacle placed in our lives. To strengthen us as we go through this mortal probation. To give us all hope for that which has yet to come and what we have yet to become.

President Uchtdorf gave the First Presidency message for the month of June. His message to all of us, as far as I can remember, was to change our perspective. Change it from "Beginning to End" to "In the Middle." He relates it to the short time we have on our missions as well as the short time we have on this Earth. He says that too many people look at beginnings as a time for a burst of invigoration and a time for new things to take place. The end is where we settle down with a sense of completion or a sense of failure. We need to look at everything as if we are in the middle, that part is too often overlooked. The middle of a game is when things can still change. Things DO change! We have the power to make any outcome possible while we are in the middle. He says that Missionaries should look at their entire mission as if we are in the middle. When we are getting ready to go home we start to lose focus and begin to slacken our efforts. When we, as individuals (not missionaries), come to the rear of life and tell ourselves we are set in our ways, we need to realize we are only in the middle. With an Eternal perspective we have the opportunity to always have the outlook of being "In the Middle" and making changes to lives, our own or others, for the better. The Atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, allows us to perfect ourselves as long as we are willing. He has descended below us all so that He may lift us higher.

I know that Our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of us. I know He sent His Son to give us the opportunities we need to be able to make the changes in order to qualify for the eternal glory He wants us all to receive. We need to do our part in making sure we utilize our agency and the Atonement for the bettering of our souls.

I love you all and miss you much. Thanks for everything you all do for me and for those you serve. We are all helping the Lord build His kingdom.

~ Elder Daniel Peterson

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