Tuesday, June 21, 2011


     oh man where to begin.  jaynanne you trunked me out of my mind.  ha ha those pictures were awesome.  so many!!  i think a lot of them need explanations though.  dad did you have a garmin watch on?  that is sweeet.  did justin wear his number on his shorts so that he could run without his shirt on?  jaynanne you're looking pretty cute, so are some of your friends ha ha. the trip looked awesome but i feel like it would be like hurding cats with all of those kids.  mom you looked pretty slim in those pictures.  it kind of looked like jaynanne and tara owned the place.  the pictures on delose's blog were cool.  it sucks that you can't even go to camp yet.  it will totally shorten your summer.  i remember on mid summer's night eve (longest day of year) last year that we all danced shirtless around a bon fire covered in blue paint and offered a sacrifice of pine needles to the pagan gods.  ha ha spencer missed that.  dad your talk was good but really frustrating because it was a cliff hanger.  (spencer do you recognize this "cliff hanger hanging from a cliffffff and that's why he's called cliffhanger.. can't..hold..on..much..longerrrrr!") 
     HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!  hope it was good.  i'll be there next year.  well i had a bunch of stuff to tell you about but again i didn't write it down and now i can't remember and i'm in a time crunch.  haha it's an endless cycle.  the big news is that on sunday we had a baptism!!!  but it could have been better.  after church we were planning on baptizing this woman named oyoki and her two sons.  they are chinese.  in the past the father has been against them learning.  he doesn't want them to forsake all of their family traditions.  our branch president went over a few weeks ago and they talked for a while and wrinkled out the problems.  so it was good to go.  on saturday they had their interviews.  on sunday all three showed up so we were looking good.  then she told us that the husband was once again against it.  she said he didn't mind her getting baptized, it was her own choice, but he didn't want the sons to be.  so for the next two hours during church we tried to communicate with this lady that knows no english and very little malay.  after a long talk we decided to put off the kids for a few weeks.  it is so frustrating not being able to communicate here.  i don't know how she sits through church not understanding anything.  she is solid though.  she read the whole book of mormon in chinese and the whole gospel principles manuel in like less than a month.  so after church she was baptized.  that is a good thing.  maybe her husband will see that she is happier and still normal and will later allow the sons. 
     after being back in malaysia i remembered how much malaysians frustrate me.  oh man my patience is tried during church.  dad would be losing his mind.  if there's one thing i've developed from my mission it is probably greater patience.  some of their talks are just pointless rambling.  or they don't take stuff seriously.  that's what really bugs me.  they stand up and joke at the pulpit.  east malaysia was way worse.  ha ha oh well.  it's a first generation church.  it will come with time.  i don't know if i told you but when the church historians came to singapore they said something like since joseph smith there have been a total of 16 million members and right now 14 million are alive.  this really is a first generation church.  they said it is always 1830 somewhere in the world referring to the size of the church in 1830 in america.  so true.
     speaking about not understanding people, yesterday i was lost.  i think that most missionaries that go to a foriegn country go through a short time where they just don't understand what's going on in the lesson because they don't know the language yet.  but they move past that.  in this mission you never move past that.  ha ha.  i learned malay.  people here speak chinese, tamil, hindi, tagalog, or any dialect of those.  so it is a very typical thing not to know what is being said during a lesson.  we teach a lot of lessons with members so that they can translate.  i've gotten good at just sitting there smiling.  yesterday i went on splits with the branch pres to go talk with sister oyoki's husband.  he doesn't know english or malay.  so i had a lot of time to sit there.  every now and then pres chi would ask if i wanted to add anything and i would say something that i hoped would gel with the last statement.  he was actually pretty good at translating for me.  we tried to talk to the husband about the importance of families in our church. i brought my four generation pedigree chart to show him.  after i gave my shpill i just sat there.  i thought a lot about that chart.  i thought a lot about what my ancestors had to go through.  like immigrating to america or trekking west or surviving the great depression.  i thought a lot about grandpa petersen.  he went through quite a bit in his long life.  i'm so thankful that he raised such a good family because dad is a product of grandpa's influence.  dad is like the best guy i know so grandpa must have done something right.  i'm just grateful to him and grandma because they provided the way for me to have a happy family.  i noticed that on my chart it doesn't say a death date or place for grandpa.  it almost made me cry to think that grandpa is gone.  like i said i had a lot of time to think so i just ran through all of my grandpa memories.  there's quite a few but unfortunately they are mostly from the last year and a half of his life.  to tell you the truth if grandpa would have died a few years earlier i would not have been as impacted or aware because i just didn't know him that much.  i'm so glad that we had the life changing oppurtunity to take care of him when he was sick.  i learned so much more about him, about his past and about his personality.  i really came to love the old guy as i took care of him and was almost forced to be responsible for him.  i think our family even came together more.  it is something i will never forget.  he lived with us for like 7 months and i will always remember that.  one thing i loved was just to see him give a genuine smile.  ha ha it was always fulfilling to get grandpa to really laugh or be tickled by something you say or did.  i can just picture him now smiling up at me.  ha ha i miss that.  anyways i don't want to get to sappy these are just some thoughts i had while sitting through a long lesson that i didn't understand yesterday. 
     well the zone here is really cool.  last week we had a zone fast.  we broke our fast together at chili's.  it was delicious but i ate way too much.  PJ is treating me good.  like everyplace it has it's ups and downs.  the transportation here is frustrating ha ha.  we were going to do something cool for pday today but it fell through thanks to some weenie elders so i can't report on that.  hope the summer is going good.  have a good time there.  don't forget about me here in asia.
elder petersen

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