Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the Move

hey hey hey!

     wow a lot happened this week.  
     well on friday night we got the transfer news.  we were gearing up for it because i was pretty sure i'd be transfered.  elder cheel called and said "elder petersen your new companion is...elder hawkins."  yep i'm still in singapore.  somehow elder thomas beat me out of singapore.  he got transfered to zone leader in butterworth west malaysia.  i was quite disappointed to stay here i'm not going to lie.  i love singapore i really do, it is better than any other mission for sure.  but the longer i'm here the less time i'll have in malaysia and the less likely president will send me to east malaysia where i want to go.  oh well.  nothing i can do i guess.  so yesterday elder thomas left on a bus and in the evening elder hawkins came.  he's pretty cool.  he came out the group right before me.  so yep i'm still the junior companion.  i don't believe it.  he seems nice.  he's pretty tall.  i don't know much about him yet.
     sunday was awesome.  we woke up really early.  we had to get up at 5:30 so that we could make it to the church by 6:45.  we met all of the other elders there and also president and sister clark and two senior couples.  then we loaded into the van and headed off to mount fabier.  it's not really a mount.  ha ha there's no mountains here.  it was a large prominent hill.  we went up to the predetermined spot, right on the very top, and were surprised to hear a ton of people singing.  some other group beat us out.  so we went around the hill to another spot.  it was smaller and more private.  we sat and read our scriptures until elder perkins, elder chen, president lai, brother turley and brother neilson came.  we had a good devotional.  me and 8 other elders sang a musical number, "he is risen".  it went well.  then president lai (stake president) read the dedicatory prayer.  singapore was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel at that same mount by Elder Ezra Taft Benson in i think 1969.  the prayer was awesome.  really inspiring to hear all of the blessings and prophecies.  a lot of the prophecies in there have come to pass.  it kind of rekindled that fire to go and baptize thousands.  i really enjoyed that.  that was the main chunk of the devotional. we sang "Christ the Lord is Risen Today".  it was a really peaceful really spiritual meeting.  i could really feel the spirit.  i just imagine what the first two elders to singapore are now thinking in the spirit world when they see the group of us gathered together under much better circumstances and so many members in the stake.  it's cool to think how much this place will change in the next 40 years.  i can't even imagine.
     after church we got the privilege of meeting personally with elder perkins and the church historians.  these guys are amazing.  they are the top dogs.  i mean the very top.  they know it all.  they have the key to the vault if you know what i'm saying.  they just said hello and then opened it up for anybody to ask any question about general church history. there was no question asked that they didn't have an answer to.  and they gave lengthy answers quoting sections of D&C and dropping names and dates and places. ha ha it was cool.  none of the questions were really crazy, but they were informative.  they could have talked for hours.  and they were really entertaining.  then after that, there was a two hour stake fireside given by them.  so we listened to even more about church history.  it was just really cool.  i can't adequately describe it to you.  sorry.  
     easter was kind of...normal.  ha it was just like any other day.  no easter basket.  no egg salad.  no relatives.  sister clark did give us a bag of easter candy.  that made my day.  church was packed.  the expat ward had 363 people there.  that is a stake record i believe.  the other local wards that we go to are getting about 106 people.  the expat primary is bigger than that.  ha ha crazy.  
     well even though transfers are over, our area is still not settled.  on thursday we will have to move house.  that will take all day.  we are moving in with the zone leaders at the same condo as everybody else.  so that's cool.  we'll be closer to the church. but now we won't have a sweet gym or as nice of a place to stay.  but at least we'll live with other people.  i have only lived in two person houses.  also next week there are four sisters coming in from the mtc.  we have heard that they are going to put two sister companionships here in singapore.  that will definitely effect our area because we cover the most wards.  we won't know until this weekend how our area will shake out.  i tell you what, if they take the expat ward from me i will be ticked.  ha ha those dinner appointments keep me alive.  the expats are just so awesome and friendly.  so i'll let you know next week what happens.
     well that's about it really.  you're lucky mom.  i just read your email right before sending this.  thanks!  it was great.  i like to hear stuff from you.  it's hard to explain but it is easy to read.  i like the news.  nice! spencer beat davis! that's what i'm talking about.  say hi to james for me.  sorry this email is shortish.  i didn't really comment on yours.  i haven't read your talk yet but i am looking forward to it.  don't forget, i am the golden child!  ha ha.  well peace out. send me letters! send me pictures!

elder petersen

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pass the Buck...

hey ya'll
    it's sad i'll miss abbie's graduation and jaynanne's.  bummer. take lots of pictures.  spencer get off of starcraft.  that game is a waste.  we see people at the internet cafe's here just playing that for hours.  such a time suck.  hopefully tennis will distract you.  speaking of that how do you like it?  any cool people on the team?  how'd your match go last week?  oh homemade bread and rolls sounds so good right now.  i haven't eaten anything yet today and oh man just the thought of mom's famous rolls makes me so trunky.  good luck dad looking over the ward next month.  i would love a copy of your talk.  i remember your last mother's day one was way good.
     well there's this sickness that's been going around singapore this last week.  elder thomas and I picked it up.  we haven't been able to focus because of our case of Beiber Fever!!!  ha ha ha justin is in town right now.  he had a concert last night.  we went down to the stadium to contact... i got my picture with him. (Cardboard cut-out)  we could hear the screams from inside the stadium.  they were going nuts in there.  wow.  everyone is in love with that runt.  every expat the past week has asked us if we knew about it.  three different families told us that they went to the just beiber movie and surprisingly loved it.  we couldn't believe it.  he is so weird.  i can't stand him.  just a punk.  i didn't realize how many stars come here for concert.  just in the past few months there has been janet jackson, taylor swift, justin, maroon five, micheal buble, and others.  it's a happening city.
     alright get this.  do you remember elder hall?  he served in this mission.  he got back a few weeks before i went out.  we went to his house in pleasant view and asked him some stuff.  it turns out he is my grandpa.  he trained my trainer.  well anyways he is coming back to his last area.  he is coming back to marry a girl.  an indian girl.  ha ha so weird.  when a white guy marries an asian we call it a "larry".  my grandpa is a larry!  he'll be here sometime this month.  wow.
     so last week i went on splits with elder law from hong kong.  it was a lot of fun.  i already told you about that i guess.  he was a goof.  he doesn't know english that well but he likes to talk so it was fun trying to understand him.  he took us to a chinese restaraunt after we emailed last week.  me and elder gottfredson looked through the menu and it looked cheap enough.  so we both ordered this pork rice thing for 3.50 and a drink for 1.50.  not bad.  when the waitress brought out our food she brought tons out.  elder law ordered a bunch of stuff to share.  it was really good legit chinese food like dumplings and chicken feet and meatball things.  so at the very end the bill was 40 bucks!  we were shocked.  and of course elder law wanted to split it cause we split the food.  so i ended up paying 2-3 times what i expected.  the chinese will get you everytime. 
     some expats told us about a place called the "burger shack".  so we found it one day during dinner.  it was actually really good.  it was a legit flame grilled burger.  when we walked in the place it just smelled like america.  it was delicious.  the burger was kind of small but like unto best burger.  not quite that level though.
     well the missionary work is going good.  we've met a lot of referrals this week.  that's the only way to do it.  me and e.thoms were thinking,  since he's been here two months ago we haven't met a single person for a follow up lesson that we personally contacted.  every single one of our investigators on our board is a referral.  that's good i'd say.  as long as we keep getting them.  this weekend Elder Perkins(i think he's the asia area president) is coming to singapore.  he is coming with the two top dog highest up church historians.  they're having a stake devotional about the history of the church in malaysia and singapore sunday night.  we were told that right after church they want to meet with just us missionaries.  we're going to have a special meeting where we can ask any questions.  it might be cool.  we just recieved more news that at 7:00 sunday morning all of the missionaries along with president clark and those top dogs and the stake president and a selected few others are meeting and then going to the top of mount faber where singapore was dedicated for missionary work.  we're going to have a short devotional and then the stake president will read the dedicatory prayer.  pretty darn sweet.  but we have to wake up quite early like 5:30.  i'll let you know how that all goes next week. 
     sorry i never talk about missionary stuff.  ha ha the bulk of my letter is just random things.  oh well.  enjoy.  i hope everything is going good at home.  i told elder thomas that i have recieved something easter morning for as long as i can remember and that this year better not be any different.  ha ha so we'll see if the easter bunny makes it out here.  i love you all.  work hard and don't fight.
elder petersen

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Conference Weekend in Singapore

hey family!
     well your email just cracked me up.  ha ha the stowers girl sounds so funny.  i can't believe she knows who i am.  i don't think i've ever, and i mean ever, seen her.  ha ha that's cool.  that's too bad that you were sick daddio.  i hate being sick.  you feel so helpless ya know.  but it sounds like you learned a lot from it.  thanks for the advice.  hey did mollie ever get my letter? i sent it like last week.  maybe not yet.  jaynanne why have you stopped writing to me.  you can't get mad at dad for writing about you unless you fill me in.  i want to know what is happening to you back home. dad give me an update on everybody next email.  how is tennis going for spencer?
     well well this week was ok.  we saw conference.  it was so good.  there were so many good talks.  it's all a blur though.  i can't really remember any specific ones but i remember they were good.  i will re-read them in the liahona.  priesthood session was way good.  i seriously felt the pressure from President Monson.  ha ha it looks like i must get married asap when i get home.  in fact i'll just start looking now to speed it up.  memorable speakers include Monson, Uchtdorf, Anderson, Perry, Holland, Cook, Packer, and many others.  it was shown at the stake center in the chapel.  we watched all five sessions as if they were live.  there wasn't a whole lot of members on saturday, maybe like 40.  sunday though was very full.  unfortunately there wasn't many investigators.  during the whole saturday morning session i was just thinking of one of our investigators.  she would have loved all those talks.  then sunday morning Uchtdorf's talk and whoever was after him was so good.  if any serious investigator was listening they would be baptized.  too bad the investigator we really would like to hear that wasn't there.  it's a shame.  but besides that conference was great.  i learned a lot and definitely felt the spirit.  President Monson is such a good speaker.  he just has a different spirit about him.  he is for sure a prophet.
     that was the highlight of the week.  besides that nothing too crazy.  right now i am with Elder Law and Gottfredson.  Elder Thomas went to KL for a training.  i spent the day with Law yesterday.  he is funny.  he is from Hong Kong.  ha ha he is still learning english but we could still communicate.  he brought me to get some awesome chinese food.  right now we're sitting in an internet cafe in china town.  part of the reason this email is short is because i don't know how to use this computer because it's all in chinese and i'm running out of time.  ha ha oh well
     guess what?!  on may 23 Elder Bednar is coming to KL.  cool huh?  he's coming for "government meetings" but has agreed to meet the missionaries.  so all of the missionaries in west malaysia and singapore will bus up there.  the elders in east malaysia won't be able to go.  so i'll probably go.  i'm torn though.  my fear is that during transfers in two weeks i might get my long time wish of going to sarawak.  it would be terrible timing.  so if i don't get transfered to where i've been dying to go then i will get to see an apostle.  oh well we'll just see what happens.
     let's see, i think thats all.  sorry this one so short.  i very tired. have nothing to say lah.  hope you have good week.  write me letter.  say hi to everyone.  did you ever sell my motorcycle.  i guess no one would buy it if it's snowing.  elder gottfredson says "let's do it to it" ha ha.  elder law says "whats up"  ok have a good week!
elder petersen

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back...

hey fam
     well you told me that the kids put white eggs in the chicken coop but you didn't say if the stowers fell for it.  what happened?  i'm pretty jealous that you got to listen to conference.  we watch it at the stake center this weekend.  neither singapore nor malaysia, if i understand correctly, allow the church to broadcast by satellite to here.  but it is accesible on already.  i think it was live.  so on sunday we had a regular fast and testimony meeting.  it went really good.  that is sweet that you went to a session.  i really want to go to one when i get back.  i'll let you know how this weekend goes.
     well i have short news.  nothing really happened this week that was cool.  actually it was way quiet.  we have a lot of investigators come to church but they don't like to meet with us during the week.  so despite our big investigator pool our week is usually wide open.  do you remember michelle?  she came back from china last week.  we had a lesson on saturday and she had a baptismal interview.  bad news.  she said she doesn't know if there is even a God.  we were floored.  she likes and aggrees with everything we've taught which would point to there being a God.  she just is bad at connecting the dots.  so she pushed he date back yet again.  ugh.  she was so close.  now we have taught everything.  she's not really doing her part i think.  we're praying and fasting for her but still nothing so it's got to be on her end.  i'll let you know if we get any progress there. 
     recently i see so much potential in everyone we meet.  actually i've noticed this my whole mission.  whenever we meet someone i can imagine them accepting the gospel.  i can imagine them going to church each week and keeping the commandmants.  i can imagine them being happier than they are now.  but most of them don't make it that far.  for whatever reason they don't, all, accept the message.  it is a real shame because our message is for everybody.  i'd like to see everyone accept it.  they don't know how much it will help them.  i hope they don't reject it because of something we've done, or failed to do.  that would be terrible.  anyway just a thought.
     the other day me and elder thomas switched cameras for the day so that we could take pictures of each other.  it was fun.  i took a lot of pictures.  we'll have to do it again sometime.  something happened to one of my memory cards.  it locked somehow.  it won't take any pictures and it won't delete any pictures.  weird.  yesterday elder thomas signed up for classes.  that took forever.  so now he is hopefully situated.  he has been out like 21 months. 
     we're still having a ton of dinner appointments.  a large majority of these dinner appointments turn into referrals actually.  it's probably our most productive time.  everyone we eat with has a friend they are sharing with about the church and ask us for pamphlets or a book of mormon to give them.  it's cool. 
     two elders got denied entrance into malaysia.  one was already an office elder and one used to be an office elder.  they were both guinea pigs.  they held professional visitors passes which are good for one year.  they expired, so the elders went in to renew them.  the immigration told them they couldn't renew them.  they also said don't come back to malaysia.  they assume we are working because we come in and out so much.  so that elder might get stuck here.  they're trying to work it out with the US embassy.  time will tell. 
     we had a fun dinner appointment with the webb's the other night.  they are so cool.  they helped us when we first met michelle.  they have 5 girls ranging from like 6 to 15.  the little girls are so funny.  there is one named libby.  i think she's 9.  she cracks me up.  i like messing with her.  we had awesome dinner.  it was coconut rice and stuff.  hard to explain but it was a well cooked home cooked meal.  it reminded me of america.  this family is pretty straight laced.  they are really nice and really active and really righteous if you will.  i don't know how to say it.  a typical mormon family i guess. we had a good fhe with them.  we played a game where you have two teams and one person on the team has a quarter and so you all slam down your hands and the other team has to guess who has the quarter.  it was fun.  they got really into it.  and we had vanilla ice cream with caramel and blueberries.  wow way good.
     well honestly i can't really think of much else.  hopefully next week has more stuff. sorry this was random and short.  have a good week.  i look forward to your letters.  send me something cool. 
elder petersen