Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Getting Old...donggongon it....

hi ya'll
     well first i'm really sorry for last week's email.   i wish i could have had longer but i was pretty busy.  i hope you understood everything i told you about transfers.  ha ha it made sense to me.  well your emails were so entertaining.  for some reason i feel like i haven't talked to you forever so it was way good to read those.  it sounds like it was kind of a sad week though.  i hope all is well there.  dad i don't think i could run the full marathon in may.  i don't think that is enough time to prepare.  sorry but i'd love to the the half.  thanks for the world news mom.  it's interesting to hear.  i have been peppering the two greenies in our apartment with questions about home.  ha ha they were kind of clueless though. 
     alright so it is AWESOME up here!  i'm really liking it.  it definitely feels like home to be back here in sabah.  it is totally different than other parts of the mission i've been in.  you know, i've had a way diversified mission.  my comp is cool.  he is from lehi utah.  he is kind of gung ho.  he knows malay way better than i knew it ha ha but he is still kind of funny to listen too.  he will be good though.  it is weird to be a zl and trainer but our zone is one of the smaller ones.  it covers sandakan- two elders, tawau- two elders, and kk- four elders two sisters.  so only ten of us.  we call our zone the sabah tribe instead of the sabah zone.  and don't worry we're working really hard.
     well like i said last week we kind of are opening a new area so we kind of have no investigators and are easily lost.  i didn't realize our area was so spread out.  we actually cover a huge area!  but the sisters gave us a few investigators that are pretty solid and then we did find a couple.  we share a branch with the sisters.  actually the branch only split about 3 months ago.  so all of the leaders are new and everything.  we are back on the buses.  it is fun to talk to people there.  i've met some crazy ones.  if you end up sitting by a muslim then you are stuck for the whole ride next to someone you can't teach ha ha.  actually i just had a good chat with a 20 year old muslim student.  he was way cool.  we talked for like 20 min.  if only i could share the gospel.  he was asking a lot of questions about the church but i had to defer the question or change the subject or something. 
     just today we went out knocking out away from the city.  it was in a place called donggongon.  try saying that 5 times fast.  out there there is a lot of jungle and just stand alone houses.  we talked to a bunch of christians but none were super interested.  one lady was so nice.  she was one of those people that i can totally picture as members.  she had 3 kids like 17 13 and 10 and she was so friendly.  she was well enough off to drive to church and would be, i pictured, a good leader in the church.  but she just would not commit to meet again.  we kept talking though and she did soften up and really listen but still nothing.  it is sad.  i hope that's not her only chance you know.  hopefully she will read the pamphlet and call us back.  i pray every day that someone will just actually read the pamphlet we leave and feel something and give us a call.  the problem with most of those houses is that they have a big gate in front of the driveway.  so you don't knock the door you knock the gate.  then you hope that they will come over to the gate so you don't have to yell at them the whole time.  we met another lady and she was cranky.  she was way in the doorway and we were out at the gate.  she was just like i'm RC and my husband isn't home.  she was definitely trying to ditch us.  so i was just like ok can we give you this booklet and stuck it through the door.  she walked out and then, by design, she had to wait while i filled out my name on the back while talking to her.  after talking then she was way nicer.  we had a good chat and she said she would read the book and that we can meet again saturday.  also can.  i swear if people would just listen to us then they would like what they hear.
     as zl i still have the responsibility of doing baptismal interviews.  i interview a girl last night.  she was way solid.  she was way funny too.  she definitely knew the questions i was going to ask and had perfect answers.  really solid.  it threw her for a loop then when i asked her in all seriousness "ok do you know the name of joseph smith's little brother?"  ha ha she was like what that's not one of the questions!  ha ha but yeah she did good.  she passed.
     well dass is doing good.  he still cannot move but he has feeling back in his limbs.  his spine was not broken in any way he was just like sent into some sort of shock because of the pain and the way he landed or something.  he is still out of commission and will probably go home after this but he is expected to make a full recovery.  it is a big relief. 
     sorry i am emailing at a different time yet again but i've got more big news.  today was not our p-day, we only emailed, because tomorrow we are going to mount kinabalu!!  it is so sweet.  friday is zone conference so tonight the ap's and pres and the other elders from our zone are flying in and then tomorrow early we are going to hike mount kinabablu.  we cannot go to the very top without a pass and tour guide and sleep over but we are going to go like half way up.  it should be fun.  president clark was so excited to tell me.  i asked him back when i was still a greenie if i could hike it.  it's so sweet.
     last thing.  it is weird to have to greenies in our house of four.  everything is new to them.  we have to explain everything.  actually my whole mission i've been with older missionaries.  all of my companions have pretty much been in the same graduating class as me or even one year older.  i never thought i'd be with someone from 2010.  well it's funny because laycock is from 2010 and even crazier elder bradley is from 2011.  what the freak!  ha ha when he told me that i was blown away.  i could totally picture him as one of jaynanne's friends.  wow.  i'm an old missionary.  i don't feel old but i remember the missionaries of my age when i was a greenie seemed so old.  ha ha crazy.
     alright well that's all for me.  hopefully next week i have some investigators to report on and some cool stories from sabah borneo.  keep up the good work back home.  i love you guys so much.  seriously i tell everyone how awesome you are.  don't worry i'm going to finish out strong here.  thanks for your prayers.
elder petersen

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Around and Around...Transfers

alright all ya'll listen i might not email you later today.  right now i am in the singapore changi airport.  i've been transferred.  about 15 new guys are coming into the mission today.  so i am being kicked out of butterworth and that will put chin and kelley together as comps.  then another elder will train there too so there will be four elders.  i am going to KK baby!!!!! dang i'm pretty excited.  you probably don't remember but that is kota kinabulu in sabahi will be zone leader.  but i will be training a new guy.  hawkins will also be zone leader but he will also be training a new guy.  so we won't actually be comps but we were already comps in singapore.  so sandakan is in the zone and hopefully i'll make it there soon for splits.  i can't wait.  i went to kk a few times for zone conference and district conference.  it is an awesome city.  i'll be opening a new area though so who knows how that will be.  plus i'll have a new guy so it is a gamble whether or not things will be as great as i imagine.  should be awesome though.  also sister wong will train there so there will be three greenies in the one city.  i think it will be pretty dang fun.  like i said i'm in singapore now using the free internet at the airport.  i don't know if i'll have a chance to email you later so i just wanted to let you know whats up.  hopefully later i give you the usual shpill.  alright i love you.  peace out!!
elder petersen

alright i'm in the office right now.  i don't really have that much time to email the usual so you'll have to wait until next week.  my new companion is elder laycock.  he is from utah maybe.  i forgot.  we went to little india with them for lunch.  so so good.  ok so sorry but have a good week.  jaynanne last week i printed off your novel of an email.  it was awesome.  i really enjoyed reading it.  i think i'll write you back in a letter so be patient.  we finally finished conference and it was awesome!! i loved it.  i love you bye

elder petersen

Here's my new comp.  check it out.  his name is elder laycock from lehi utah. alright peace
elder petersen

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Scrabble & the Spirit

hey guys
     ha ha jaynanne you crack me up.  it is good to hear from all you guys.  i don't really have a lot to say about your emails.  it is pretty interesting that so much is said nationwide about mormons now.  over here a few people have heard about our church but it is still very obscure.  i can't stand people that criticize us.  they are so ignorant.  they don't actually take the time to research us at all.  i really enjoyed Elder Ballard's talk about the name of the church.  it was pretty good.  i wonder if the church leaders ever talk with Mitt Romney or if they don't really care.  very interesting.
     well i don't really know what to say for this week.  sorry i am emailing late.  i know it is probably killing you.  i was in meetings in KL all week.  one day we had a zone leader counsel and then the next day we had mission leadership training.  it was way fun to see all my buddies again.  i love going to those big meetings.  also the meetings are very inspiring.  i always learn something new.   i'll say it again, president clark is awesome.  he is a very good speaker.  another thing about seeing all of the elders is meeting all of the strange characters.  ha ha there are some weird elders.  they are entertaining.  oh i saw elder williams for the first time since august last year.  you probably don't remember him but he is from georgia and was in my mtc group.  ha ha he is so funny.  we caught up on old times. 
     i don't know how thomas knows for sure his release date.  that seems strange.  when you first go to the mtc they give you a projected date.  i think he's counting on that.  maybe it is just our mission though.  it all depends on when other groups come in.  there is a chinese speaking elder that told me he asked president when he is going home and president said he is coming home with my group.  he said we're going home feb 22 but i don't know if that is true.  i don't really care yet.  elder kelley got his flight plans already to go home jan 3.  me and elder chin have started a countdown.  every day we change the number on the board and announce it.  today elder kelley has 82 more days.  ha ha he's dead. 
     last week after emailing we went to a buddhist temple.  they had a celebration for something.  we're not really sure what.  so that was cool i'll send you a picture.  later at home we decided to play scrabble.  i was looking through a scrabble dictionary earlier in the day for inspiration.  the game was going pretty well and i was ahead.  i then made an awesome word.  it was like tipsy or something and it went over a triple word bonus.  it was right on top of another word so it formed two two letter words.  i was sure these were words because i saw them in the dictionary earlier.  so the whole thing was like 40 points.  elder kelley said no way those were words.  ha ha so he challenged me.  when he realized he was wrong he was ticked.  ha ha then elder chin kept making up two letter words because nobody wanted to challenge him and lose all the points.  ha ha in the end we stopped playing because it was too heated.  but for the record i won.  ha ha.
     on saturday we had a branch party.  it was fun.  it was kind of like a talent show.  there was piano playing and violin playing and a comedy thing and a painting and stuff.  we did a puppet show.  it was pretty dumb but everyone was cracking up.  they loved it.  then we sang a song with everyone.  it was a scout camp song.  basically every time you sing the song you add an action.  by the end everyone is dancing around like monkeys.  ha ha it was so funny.  also our investigator came and did balloon animals.  it was a hit and she had a good time.
     because of the long planned party we didn't watch conference on saturday.  we're planning to watch it this next saturday.  but we did watch the two sunday sessions.  they were awesome!!  oh man sunday morning was so good.  it was the perfect session for any investigator or non member.  the talks were so clear and powerful.  they were about prayer and the name of the church and the book of mormon and God.  so good.  while watching conference i just totally feel the spirit.  how can this church be false?  it just doesn't make sense, not to mention the spiritual witnesses.  i am so glad to be a member of this church.  i don't know what i've done to be so lucky to be born into it.  i love conference, too, and can't believe i never watched it before.  i regret it.
     well sorry this letter is short.  because it is not pday i have to run.  transfers are coming up on saturday.  something will definitely happen to B-town.  i'll let you know.  i love you all. have a good week.
elder petersen 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Onward & Upward

hi one and all
     oh man oh man oh man your emails were all so good.  jaynanne you are killing me.  are you just trying to make me trunky?!!  ha ha oh those pictues were awesome.  it looked like you got all dressed up just to make cookies...did you?  ha ha i bet you did.  man spencer looked sharp.  he looked dang tall though wow how tall is he.  dad's story from the conference center was quite funny.  i really liked when we went down there that one time.  the place is just so huge.  it seems like when you're there you think i'm not alone.  even though that is just a fraction of the members worldwide, you just get a vision of how big and far reaching the church actually is.  the blog article was cool mom.  thanks for sending that to me.   i'm glad you liked my last email.  i hope you like this one as much.  i don't really have anything to write about. 
     well elder chin is nuts.  ha ha he is so funny.  i remember thinking back in sandakan what it would be like to serve with him and i thought ya know maybe he's too crazy, i'd rather not.  but it is a lot of fun.  he is a dang good teacher.  he asks good questions and clearly explains stuff.  but he has to teach in malay.  his english isn't that good.  ha ha a famous quote of his is "petersen you sucks" ha ha.  well we finally met up with one of the johnson's referrals.  i might have already told you about her.  her name is lisa.  she lives just down the hall from them.  she is way nice and is one of those people that is prepared to hear what we have to say.  to everything we say she nods her head and agrees or gives a perfect answer.  she is a strong christian but sees flaws with her church and some of the practices of other churches.  i don't want to tell you all of her concerns but she doesn't have it easy at home.  so i think she really like to meet us.  someone to talk to.  she is married with one 4 month old baby.  we are really excited to teach her.  we've already met with her three other times.  sweet.
     on saturday we went out to a town 27 minutes drive away called Kulim.  there is a family from Sarawak that moved out there.  they don't really know english so the johnsons never visit them.  well elder chin has been in Sarawak his whole mission so now he can speak their native dialect Iban.  they loved him.  ha ha they gave us so much random food.  they had two friends over who actually seemed really interested in what we had to say.  so we shared a lesson with them about joseph smith.  they liked it and agreed that we can come back next week.  before we left they wanted a picture with us. ha ha i don't think the friends have ever met white people before.  ha ha so funny. 
     the rest continues to roll forward.  the church attendence finally stopped going down.  we are trying to weed out our investigator pool.  there is this strange malaysian mentality that after someone has given us their number and agreed to meet us again, they cannot say no later.  these people cannot just tell us that they don't want.  they just avoid us and put off our lessons and run away.   ha ha just tell us and we won't bug you!!  so we've been calling people and just asking them straight up if they want to learn about the church or not.  it's good, we don't want flaky investigators anyways.  so another thing that we've been doing since i got here is praying that we will meet someone that has been prepared and the placed in our path for us to find.  i mean God knows everyone and i believe he definitely has the power to do that, so that's what we've been praying for.  we meet lots of people that seem interested and seem like an answer to our prayers but they always tend to drop off and lose interest.  it is kind of disturbing.  i wonder if it means that our prayer wasn't answered because they weren't the prepared ones, or if they were prepared and we blew it by something we said.  i'm scared of that.  i don't want my weaknesses or something offensive i say turn away a prepared individual.  what are your thoughts.  the easy answer seems to be "oh yeah you're planting seeds no effort is wasted don't worry".  but it is frustrating.  i asked president clark and he said just said don't worry keep working hard.  don't worry i'm not complaining or depressed,  it is just something i was thinking about. 
     sorry this email isn't well thought out.  i'm being rushed along by four other missionaries.  i had a few questions.  mom how did your single adult activity go.  you never told me.  and is jaynanne just still going to the 1st ward or what.   alright i love you all.  don't change too much before i get back.  from jaynanne's pictures it seems like you guys are always having good times and making cookies together.  ha ha so it better be like that when i get home.  oh yeah i haven't watched conference yet.  maybe this weekend if we get the dvd.  if not then next weekend.  i hope to see it soon.  i love it.  ok buh bye.
elder petersen