Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I have something important to be doing....

hey guys
     i almost thought you forgot about me ha ha.  i figured it was a pretty busy week but i didn't realize it was that busy.  it sounds fun though.  i think you had a typo in your time dad.  you said 1 hour and 10 min.  2 hours maybe?  count me in for sure next year.  i would love that.  i can't believe jaynanne graduated!!  that is nuts.  did she enjoy the ceremony?  i remember it was a lot of fun.  no commitments really.  just sit back and enjoy it.  that is cool.  hope she loved high school.  you didn't say how the dvd turned out.  you just said she did it.  was it well received?  that's sweet about helping the etheringtons.  they should "consider themselves part of the family".  name that musical.  ha for the last two weeks we've been trying to stump each other with tunes.  one day elder ngo was whistling some song and i told him to just try and stump me with any show tune.  he hasn't been able to stump me yet but i got him.  ha ha so be proud.  i stumped a genious harvard student.  ha ha josie sounds so funny.  will she still be funny when i get back?  will anything be the same when i get back?
     well two things this week.  last friday i ate raw fish.  it was pretty good.  here in the big city we have a lot of sweet oppurtunities to eat a lot.  we decided to go to this place called kiseki's.  it was a japanese buffet.  so good.  tons of food.  i absolutely stuffed myself.  i had a lot of sushi.  it was better than expected.  then they had a bunch of completely uncooked fish.  i had salmon and tuna it wasn't the best but it did leave me wanting more.  there was also a ton of prawn and rice and satay chicken and pork and drinks and an awesome dessert buffet.  they randomly had delicious pizza and waffles and ice cream and cheese cake and fondu.  needless to say it was... so so so delicious! 
     on sunday afternoon we got on a bus and headed up to KL.  it was a 5+ hour bus ride.  to pass time we mostly just slept.  but they did play high school musical on a tv and over the speakers.  oh man it was stuck in my head all day after that.  so dumb.  so catchy.  then we got dropped off in the middle of KL by the twin towers, took some pictures, and then found the elders' house.  it was a pretty fun day.  monday morning we woke up bright and early.  we headed off to a distant chapel by taxi.  it was all missionaries from west malaysia and singapore and sabah.  it was a pretty good reunion.  4 of my 6 companions were there and also both from the mtc.  it was a lot of fun seeing everyone again.  we all sat down and waited.  at about 9:00 Elder Bednar came.  oh man we had such a good meeting with him.  i can't even adequately describe to you what happened.  it was so good.  he is such an inspired man.  he told us something's prefaced by saying... do not tell anybody back home this because i don't want it blasted out all over the internet.  ha ha so sorry.  his biggest thing was teaching by the spirit and learning by the spirit.  he was so bold and so blunt sometimes.  he just told it like it was.  it was funny.  he is extremely serious but pretty witty.  his wife is also really funny.  also at the meeting was elder and sister pratt.  the two days before this they were in indonesia creating the first ever stake.  that is pretty sweet.  so he just talked to us for a while about teaching and then kind of shifted to a question and answer period.  there were some pretty good questions.  a bunch from a funny elder about marraige.  i asked him to tell us about recieving his call to apostleship.  he told us about their weekly quorum meetings.  i can't really remember any other questions.  my biggest impression is just that he was such a good teacher.  he had the spirit so strong.  he really motivated me to convert the world.  he told us his pet peeves about lazy missionaries and lazy return missionaries and about senior couples.  he told us what we need to do.  he is an apostle.  he is different.  he is set apart.  it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have that kind of small personal meeting.  he talked about the future in malaysia.  he prophecied that one day we would drive past this building and maybe it wouldn't be there or maybe it would be a restaraunt, but it definitely won't be church owned anymore, and we'd tell our wife and kids that there we met elder bednar and elder pratt.  we would remember the small chapel and the small number of saints in malaysia and we'd see how miraculously the church had grown since then.  i believe it.  one day the church will be huge here.  there will be multiple stakes and even a temple.  i can't wait to come back and see it.  and i'll think to myself that i was a small part of that growth.  i might not have made a big difference but i did make a difference.  it is so cool.
     elder bednar left to go to a government meeting.  for the rest of the day we had a combined zone conference.  no offense to president clark because i absolutely love him but he was just not the same as elder bednar.  ha ha he said so himself.  he said it is not fair to have to try and be the follow up act to that.  ha ha.  but it was good.  there is a group of about 20 elders going home in july.  this will be their last zone conference.  so at the end all of the elders with us that would be leaving bore their testimony.  there was a lot and it went quite late but i wasn't antsy or hungry at all.  the testimonies were so good. i actually cried during a few of them i just reflected a lot on my own mission and how far i'd come and also on you guys.  i wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you guys. even though i'm missing out on a lot of big stuff back home i hope my example is worth it.  i just have something more important to be doing right now.  i miss you guys though.  and i love you.  but i'd leave you another two years if i could have the same spiritual high i had that day again.  it was so cool.
     so that's the highlight.  sorry i didn't give you more detail.  you'd have to be there to understand.  things are still going good here.  i'm working hard and tired every single night.  have a fun summer.  don't be too bored.  i love you.  thanks for your emails and letters.  bye
elder petersen

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Say That Again...

hey ya'll!
     your emails were quite interesting.  mollie dislocated her knee cap eh?  ha ha ouch. did it hurt when brother turner popped it in place?  ha wow.  abbie and jeremy's talks sounded good.  should send me them.  i think i know brother oborn.  he seems nice.  if i'm right then his son ben is on a mission.  he was called to europe but got put in illinios or something.  i had a lot of classes with him.  ha ha in 9th grade we literally had every single class together all year.  project lead the way just lined us up.  ha ha.  jaynanne's story sounds hilarious.  ha ha i can just imagine.  good luck with the race.  i'm way jealous.  it sounds like a blast. 
     sorry i emailed you late today.  it's 5:30 here.  we were at the singapore zoo all day.  it was so awesome.  we sat on the front row of this sea lion show and we got soaked.  it deliberately splashed us.  pretty cool.  i didn't ride any elephants this time though.  we went to all of the free things. 
     ok so i've had some down time on a few long bus rides so i tried to think of things to tell spencer about camp loll.  hopefully this will be helpful.  bring warm clothes.  it's not so hot up there.  i mean there's still a ton of snow up there right?  it is only hot for two weeks maybe in july.  don't bring shorts.  bad idea.  your legs will be eaten alive.  i'm a fan of the knee high socks but one time i wore shorts and those socks and i had so many mosquitoe bites.  pants is the answer.  label your clothes.  there is only one washing machine.  one kid stole my shirt and wrote his name on the tag.  i convinced him it was my shirt because of the jamboree patch on it.  don't buy a bright neon green jacket.  delose won't let you wear it.  try to bring a dark zip up hoodie.  you can easily wear it under the camp jacket that isn't that warm.  buy chacos.  all you need is good boots and chacos.  and shower flip flops.  make sure you play games with your troop.  then they will invite you to eat with them.  spend any free time with them.  bring a towel for swimming and a towel for shower. memorize the songs.  ok that's all for now.  it's a lot.  do it.
     well this week involved a lot of knocking.  too much knocking last thursday we had interviews with president clark.  mine was pretty good i guess.  his interviews are really short and simple.  but you can get him talking.  later that day the top church translation guy for scriptures flew in.  he was a freaking genius.  seriously he talked non-stop while with us.  he majored in linguistics at byu and got a phd in ancient norse history or something crazy.  ha ha he had a huge vocabulary and was very detailed in his descriptions.  we had an hour with him.  he explained to us the entire process of translating the book of mormon into a new language.  it was way cool.  if they think a language has potential they put it at introductory status.  that includes the joseph smith pamphlet and the sacrament prayers and baptism prayer and articles of faith and maybe more.  he said there are like 180 languages in the introductory phase or further.  that is a lot.  he said that the malay book of mormon should be done being translated by august and should be printed before next april or may.  that is so awesome!!  it would be so cool to have and would really help the work in malaysia i think.  as soon as they finish that most of the other things follow like the liahona and manuels and stuff.  they are experimenting with it and doing it faster than any translation they've yet done.  sweet.
     last week was elder teng's chinese birthday or something so we went to a chinese high tea buffet.  it was so good.  i ate way too much.  it was just like tons of dumplings and "snacks" really.  high tea time is between lunch and dinner.  the place was called leo beijing i think.  there was these one dumplings with beef and soup inside.  really cool.  there was this gross looking sesame creamy stuff that was like boiled ash.  i tasted it anyways.  it was gross but surprisingly i wanted more.  so i kept eating it.  there was lots of spring rolls and pot stickers and stuff.  way good. 
     we've been going around trying to meet lots of members.  we've found some pretty crazy ones.  since all we have is a ward directory we don't know about anyone that we go to.  we've found some way inactive people.  we met this family that hasn't been to church in twenty years.  they invited us in.  it was just a mom and son.  the son was listed as a deacon on our sheet.  he is now 34.  we talked for a while.  they were baptized in the 80's when it was just the singapore branch.  he doesn't know any of our doctrine.  we taught him about joseph smith and it was all new to him really.  he was really interested.  cool.  there's been a few other like him but he was the most hospitable to us. 
     well sorry but that's about it this week.  we are heading to KL on sunday and then meeting with elder bednar on monday.  it just hit me that he is really coming.  ha ha wow that is awesome! i'll let you know about it.  keep strong.  good luck with the last week of school and surgery recovery.  tell the other runners good luck.  tell me some more funny stories.  dad tell me a funny mission story.  ok bye!
elder petersen

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Texting the Spirit

Selamat Hari Ibu!!! (happy mother's day)
     it was so great to see you all on monday.  after our conversation i was so trunky.  ha ha yes jaynanne that is a word.  i forgot how awesome you guys are.  you all just cracked me up.  jaynanne and spencer seem older.  your stories were great.  i miss you guys.  i can't wait to actually see you again.  you got the stamp of approval from elder cheel.  he was the one who was sticking his head up and over my shoulder at first.  he said a few times "that looks like a cool family"  it's true.  i just can't think that other people have it as good as me.  elder cheel for instance only had one brother there at the call.  how boring.  i can't imagine having less brothers or sisters.  you guys are awesome.  i don't know what else i would have said to you guys but after we were done i felt like i had more to say.  oh well.  yeah dad luckily the 6 elders in our house are all cool.  i really like them all.  the assistants are cool and my companion and the zone leaders too.  we now have the biggest zone at 17.  we have an old zone.  i'm the second youngest elder.  the youngest is only one group behind me.  so it's pretty sweet because we all have been out for a while and all get along. we don't cook that often.  sometimes though.  we've cooked curry and also fajitas.  i'm cooking pancakes tomorrow.  we mostly eat out.  no problem on our long conversation.  my companion was fine and the other two were the same length.  we just cut into lunch a little bit.  no prob.  hey i've been meaning to ask you, how is your iPad.  they seem pretty cool.  a lot of people have them here.  they use them as books and what not.  at church a lot of people use them as the manuals or the scriptures and one guy even read his talk off of one.  they are pretty dang cool.  do you maximize your iPad use or do you just play angry birds on it?
     well even though i just talked to you i thought i'd share a story with you.  so we've been teaching this one girl for quite some time.  since january actually.  she is so good and has so much faith but she just doesn't see it.  since our area got split we are no longer teaching her.  it's a major bummer.  the sisters will be teaching her.  last saturday we had a really good pass of lesson.  we met with her and the sisters.  it was the best lesson we've had with her in weeks.  two weeks ago she comitted to read the book of mormon every single night.  she never keeps her comittment to read the assigned chapter.  i told her that i would text her one verse every night that week.  i almost forgot sometimes but i set an alarm on the phone to remind me.  every night we sent one or two verses.  they were just really good ones like about baptism or the spirit or God.  at the lesson last week we asked her if she read them.  she said that she didn't miss one night.  she said that the first night was really hard.  she got my text while she was on the computer and she ignored it but then thought no i have to i told them i would.  she said that by the third night she was actually looking forward to it.  so cool.  she said her week went so good.  she's been praying about whether or not to go back to china.  she said she really felt like she should stay.  that same night her cousin from china called and told her to stay in singapore and make the most of this chance to be here.  her prayers were totally answered.  we had to help her recognize it was from God though.  then we talked about the church and how much she liked it.  she said she actually really liked it.  she said that during that week that one day she had this feeling that when she has children that they should be members in this church.  oh man that was so so cool to hear.  it felt so good.  these past four months of teaching her haven't been wasted.  she's been blessed and so will her future family.  it was so good to hear that.  then we asked her this week to continue to read every night and to pray about getting baptized in two weeks just like she prayed about moving.  she happily agreed.  it is so cool to hear.  good lesson.  one of those spiritual boosts.
     well that's all i have.  have a good week.  try to think of a good question i can ask elder bednar next week.  tell grandma i got her letter.  i was so happy.  i actually almost started to cry.  it was written really shaky and in cursive but i could read it fine.  it was really short.  after a few sentences she said "it has taken thirty minutes and a lot of pain to write this".  wow.  it's cool.  i know it was hard for her and a sacrifice so tell her thanks and happy mother's day.  i love you all.  i know the church is true.  i'm grateful to be a member.  i'm grateful to know what i know.  we are so blessed.  say hi to everyone.
elder petersen

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moving Blues

hey hey hey!
     your emails were sweet.  thanks for the link to flicker mom.  there are some cool pictures on there.  yeah we heard a little bit about osama.  president clark sent us all an email warning us to be smart and avoid trouble.  i think i'll be just fine here in singapore.  tons of white people here.  maybe in sabah i would've been in danger.  there is a big election coming up here soon.  but i don't think anything would happen.  back to comcast eh?  is it worse or no?  wow i don't know if i could run 12 miles.  ha ha we played basketball this morning and i am exhausted. ya know, some of those ideas could really help a lot of branches in malaysia get their attendance up.  ha ha i'll suggest them to president clark.
     well this week was really busy.  first of all happy birthday abbie!!!!  nice, the big 22.  how does it feel.  and graduated  wow.  my little girl is all grown up.  well i haven't sent a letter yet...i don't know if i will.  maybe i'll just email you.
     elder hawkins got in on tuesday.  he's pretty cool.  he's from west jordan.  he was the group ahead of me so he's been out 16 months.  he's pretty tall like 6'1".  so far so good.  he's a little bit quite but he's a good teacher.  and he is a good missionary work.  hopefully we can get some stuff going here.
     on thursday we moved.  the lease on our place was up.  so we used the mission van to put all of our stuff in the zl's house.  wow it took forever.  we had 6 desks and 2 bunk beds and a whole lot of crap.  i didn't know we even had that much stuff.  it didn't seem like that much stuff but as we were cleaning it just kept piling up.  we threw a lot away.  seriously we threw a lot of stuff away.  there was five of us elders.  elders ulrich, hawkins, nowland, gottfredson, and me.  we worked all day.  from 8 in the morning to 8 at night.  so now we live with the zone leaders, elders cheel and ngo.  they are pretty dang cool.  it will be a lot of fun.  also when the ap's are in town they stay there.  they are also cool.  i'm finally in a house with more than two of us!  but we have stuff all over the house.  we are storing it there until next week when four sisters are moving into a new house here in singapore.  they will take most of the junk hopefully. 
     well i've got some seriously bad news.  our area was three wards.  there are four sisters coming in.  we new they would take at least one of our wards.  we got a bad deal.  they took the expat ward and woodlands wardnoooooooooo!!!!!!  oh man we were so bummed.  they took the expat ward from us.  no  more white people.  no more american dinners.  no more interesting talks or lively elders quorum.  ha ha oh well.  the worst part is that we lost most of our investigators.  now we only have two, well, one really.  we got robbed.  also we don't really know what to do.  neither of us know people in that ward because elder thomas would always go there, not me.  so it was basically white washed.  i'll miss our investigators.  i hope the sisters are good.  our best ones were in the expat ward.  now instead of covering the whole island we only cover a small section.  that could be a good thing though.  more focus.  we were a little bit overwhelmed with three wards.  anyways that's the news.
     last night we had our last dinner appointment with an expat.  it was at the sloan's.  oh they are so awesome.  they stuffed us.  so much food.  there was this complex salad that was the main dish.  it had chicken and pecans and tons of cheeses and avacado and other surprises.  so good.  then we had family home evening with them.  i'll just miss seeing them at church.  their little kids are hilarious.  we'll probably try to go again in a few months. 
     hopefully we'll get some dinner appointments in this local ward.  that's the only way we can meet people and get investigators.  so that's the plan.  other than that we could knock all day but we all know that's not productive.  there really isn't any central location that we can street contact.  we'll try everything though.  any ideas?
     we are all looking forward to meeting elder bednar.  i can't think of any good questions to ask him.  any ideas?  there are some elders who will for sure ask great questions so i'm banking on that.
     so this past week we haven't been doing much.  just moving and trying to figure out our new area.  that's why i don't have much to say.  sorry.  i'm looking forward to skyping you next week.  actually i'm way excited.  i can't believe i've been here for 5 months.  it seems like i just talked to you guys the other day.  pretty soon i'll be home.  i'll probably call around 10:30.  i'm not sure when this place opens.  maybe around 11:00.  we'll see.  be prepared.  i read your talk dad.  it was so good.   i mean dang it was great.  i totally remember that time i cut the elastic string on the back of the bucket seat.  i think it was with the scissors on a pocket knife.  ha ha thanks for still loving me. 
     well hope you all have a good week.  get good grades.  do work.  say hi to people.  i love you!!
elder petersen