Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Still & Strong

selamat hari natal!

     well well thanks for the awesome TRUNKY email dad.  it's nice to see that you guys are having a good time.  what the freak spencer ha ha pretty much all of the clothes you were wearing were mine before ha ha.  oh well.  how tall are you now kid?  i'm glad you liked my last email.  i feel like i didn't really do the story justice.  it was cool though.  just an update.  that referral that came is so awesome!! her name is flora and she is just perfect.  it's true that there's no perfect investigator but she is just eating up our lessons.  she is taking tons of notes and she said that that night she read and reread the restoration pamphlet until 2 am.  ha ha wow.  and the other elders' investigator jerney is doing awesome.  just yesterday he told them that they need to meet more often and he is looking to be a miraculous end of the year baptism.  sweet.  yeah dad i totally remember that night caroling ha ha ha so funny.  don't worry about me giving a long talk later dad.  i've got nothing to say.  :)
     let's see.  awesome awesome week.  last Wednesday and thursday we went on splits to tawau.  it was really really fun.  Elder Brooks and i had some miraculous experiences finding.  i don't really have time to tell you them all.  but they've been struggling to find new investigators and we went out and found a bunch of good ones.  saturday was a great day.  
Trevor, Peter, Elder Laycock
Peter's family
elly and peter were both baptized!!!!  quick background on them.  elly is iban and was a referral from tawau.  a lot of his family was baptized in tawau.  some of them moved over here for a few months and so they introduced him to us.  he is about 30.  peter is the son of a long time member who has like 11 kids.  he is also like 30.  his brother right now is on a mission to washington dc.

he met the missionaries before but just wasn't ready to go all the way.  about 2 months ago he came to church on his own and asked if we could teach him again.   it was so sweet.  they are really awesome guys.  they both have pretty big families that came.  also the other elders had a baptism at the same time so they drew a crowd.  all in all between the three guys our little baptism room was packed.  but it was sweet.  flora was there again along with a few other investigators.  

Trevor, Theddie, Elly, Elder Laycock
we had theddie and peter, who are both about to go on missions, baptize them.  they did it perfectly first try.  like usual the baptism was a little bit stressful.  we were just running around trying to get everything in order and everything right.  

we just want everyone else to have a really good experience ya know?  that seems like missionary work in a nutshell.  well the biggest payoff of the night was when the two of our guys bore their testimonies.  this same thing has happened to me before.  sometimes when you are teaching an investigator you don't really know what they're thinking or how much they are absorbing.  
Theddie & Peter's family
both peter and elly are quiet guys.  they never exactly opened up to us but they clearly enjoyed having us teach them and we could see small changes in their lives. 

well they both gave extremely powerful testimonies.  they both talked about how before they weren't the best and they didn't really have anything to do with religion.  they both got really teary eyed when they said thank you and they expressed their beliefs in the gospel and the spirit they've felt.  it was really awesome.  i feel like i can't really understand how much this means to the people i teach.  i always seem to learn far after the baptism about how grateful my investigators were to meet us and how different they were before.  it is awesome.  that's got to be like the coolest part of missionary work.  sweet!
 on monday morning we took a bus to sandakan to do splits.  it was a blast.  i absolutely love sandakan!! i really really wish i could introduce you guys to the members there.  that would be so cool.  jaynanne if we have enough money i really want to go back there with you and tour the jungle of sabah.  we were able to see a bunch of members and also go caroling.  while caroling, one of the members brought us over to their cousin's house.  i actually remember knocking on the door and contacting the lady that lived there.  i don't know how i remembered.  she remembered me too.  that was atleast in august of 2010.  ha ha it was great.  so actually i might have planted a seed and harvested a seed.  one of my recent converts there is named jasli.  he has got to be my favorite.  he is 12 and a freaking stud.  last year he did not know how to read.  he has never been in school but he's really smart.  now a year later he can read malay and english.  he is going to be an awesome missionary.  there's another 12 year old named joshua.  we baptized him there along with his whole family.  he is the oldest.  when we were teaching him we basically had to drag him in to hear the lessons.  he really just wanted to join islam, but in the end reluctantly decided to follow the family.  now he is doing awesome.  he is totally different.  he has the priesthood, he is 100 percent active, he carries around the book of mormon everywhere, and he also will make a great missionary.  it's so cool to see.  i absolutely love sandakan. 
A house on a swamp in our area
lately we've been kind of low on our finding new investigators.  this past week was finally good.  we found a part of town that is almost 100 percent christian.  when elder laycock was on splits here with elder bradley they found a cool family.  they only talked to the wife though.  she is 21 and indonesian.  she's got 1 kid.  me and laycock went back and she was so cool.  she has read both of the pamphlets that they left with her and she asked us if she could buy a book of mormon from us.  we didn't have any with us but we said she could have one for free tomorrow.  the next day we went back and gave her one.  her husband was finally there so we had a good talk with him too.  he said "hey i've met your friend before" in my experience that is rare so i doubted whether or not it was really from our church.  he said "yeah elder, elder, elder oren"  i've never heard of him so we were just like uh yeah maybe.  he ran into the house and then came out with a name card just like ours and a plan of salvation pamphlet.  on the name card was elder oren and elder osborne.  i recognized elder osborn.  my group replaced his group.  so that means that this guy, yanto, has hung on to that pamphlet and name card for about 2 years.  wow.  that is impressive.  clearly this guy had been prepared to meet us.  exactly what we pray for each day.
     well merry christmas.  happy birthday mollie!!!  i'm planning to do skype here at 9 am monday morning, there 7 pm sunday night.  you better be there or else.  i'm so excited.  i don't really have anything to say to you guys though.  i just basically said it all in this email ha ha.  jaynanne i loved all the pictures you sent me.  you crack me up.  ok talk to you monday.  i love you

elder petersen

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