A great week putting on God’s Armor!

Hello à Tous!

What an EXCELLENT week! The Lord blessed us with opportunities with love and service!

On Tuesday, we continued our theme from last week of helping someone move again! We helped a woman move a pile of wood from her old house to her new one. It was a lot of work, but enjoyable. A member of the branch assisted us, and we were able to have a good discussion while driving between the two houses. We spoke about a lot of things. However, it seem as if the main topic of conversation here now in France, is just how horrible this world is, how everything in going down the toilet and how life sucks. Luckily that is not the message that we present! We were able to turn that conversation into something very positive. We were able to add something that seemed to be missing in the lives of these people; that is HOPE. It is not the “HOPE” Obama promised, 🙂 but hope in a brighter tomorrow. It is the love of our neighbors. We can each be such a great example for those around us. Then they can see in us that all is not only bad. There is righteousness and that good is stronger than bad, and good will also always triumph!

That evening we went and saw the Recent convert Jean-Luc, he had wanted to prepare us a meal for quite a while now, and we finally had the opportunity the other night, it was great! We ate Rabbit!!! and I even got to taste the liver (not my favorite part) 🙂 :). I have fallen in love with goose liver, but rabbit liver just doesn’t do it for me! We enjoyed that meal together with his daughter who is about 15 and not a member (yet), and then we watched “Meet The Mormons” with them. The film touched him, and it hit him that he has become part of a huge family of people who share these values.

The next day something extraordinary happened, when we got up in the Morning we would have never thought our day would play out like this I’ll tell you in a second, but it was in the afternoon, so I’ll talk about the Morning first!

We took a bus out to a city named Digne-Les-Bains where we were going to visit a member family who was in need of a spiritual boost. We get on the bus and head an hour and 20 minutes north towards the Alps. When we arrived and made it to their home, we were able to share an INCREDIBLE lesson! The husband joined the church after meeting his wife. He has been working so hard to progress in his knowledge so that he can get ready to go to the temple! His wife has been struggling with some things recently, so we were trying to help her see the fact that she can be ready for the temple soon as well. Then they can all be sealed for Eternity as a family with their little son! It went so well, and they were able to set some goals to prepare for their temple sealing!

Ok, here is that exciting news!!!!!!

Are you ready?

We leave their house and walk towards the bus station. We have about 45 minutes before the bus boards, so we decide to have a little walk through the city. I notice that there is a small street market, and I love going through those to talk to the merchants. We go through, and I talk to this woman who sells different Herbal teas, and I buy some Herbal Chai (she gives me a lot more than I paid for) and then as we continue walking down through the market we see a HUGE crowd. There is a Lavender Festival. Huge crowd = Not safe for us. We turn and we see a smaller crowd around a super long table, on the table was – here it is – THE WORLDS LONGEST FOUGASSE AUX ANCHORS! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is Bread with anchovy paste on top (it’s not very tasty.) However, It was the Guinness record-breaking one! We were excited and ate a small piece. 🙂 That was a good day! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Fougasse

The Next day we went to Aix to have an exchange with the Zone Leaders, it went very well, I was with Elder Kelsey who is a good friend of mine, was his District Leader back when he was Bleu!

We had a great time and had some great conversations! Then in the evening the Elders From Gap came, and we got pizza with the sisters because the next day we were going to have our Zone Conference!

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In the Zone Conference, we spoke mostly about putting on the Armor of God and making a title of Loyalty to our God. At this time, here in France, the only thing that can keep us safe is keeping all our covenants; remaining pure and clean, keeping ourselves close to our Heavenly Father, being worthy of his spirit and ready to follow his direction at any time!

My title of Loyalty is this:

L’Eternel est mon berger, je ne manquerai de rien. Ils me feront la guerre mais IL va me délivrer. Ses bras étendus me rassure, il m’aide à changer. Quand il me demandera m’aimes-tu? Je dirai, oui seigneur tu sais que je t’aime, je t’ai montré, voici mes œuvres.

Which means:
The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall lack nothing. They may fight against me, but HE will deliver me. His arms outstretched reassure me. He helps me to change. When He shall ask me, Do you love me? I will say, Yes Lord you know I love you, I have shown you, Behold my works.

That is the new creed that I will strive to live. I can always look towards this and know I am loyal to my God and that I am his son and am loved.

At the end of this Conference, I gave my Final departing testimony. With just shy of two weeks left of my mission, this might be my last post on this Blog.

My mission has changed me, I have become more capable of loving others and more loving towards all those who surround me. I have learned something important, God lives. He is here, in every smile that we share, in every service that we do out of love, in the laughter of a friend. The Lord lives, and we can be happy.

I share that with you all in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Here is a poem that I wrote:

In His Labor

The hills and the mountains testify of him,
I try living a life to magnify him.
I feel as if whatever I do cannot be enough,
He promised me blessings and he is not one to bluff.

As I live this life in the labor of love I know the Lord helps from above.
His angels keep me upright all day
He helps me back if I lose my way.
I feel his love when I work as his hands,
Although, I have given up my favorite bands.
I have learned his work is sure and sweet.
One day my master I will meet.

That glorious day will come, when he stretches forth his hand saying “son,
I take thee up, you have done well
Even in the moments when you fell.
I accept thee up on this day
For eternity thou shalt stay.”
Elder Peterson,
La mission Française de Lyon.

P.S See you all very soon!

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Time to Move… again

Hello, everyone!

I hope you have all had a great week; time has flown here. I cannot believe that I am already sitting at this computer again!

It has been a magnificent week!

Monday night we went and saw one of the Recent converts that are here, his name is Jean-Luc, and he is amazing, he had not been coming to church and always had excuses, so we wanted to see how he was doing, we had a Great discussion and by the end of it. We found out what his fears were and why he was apprehensive to come to Church.

We taught about The Atonement, its sacred nature, and the incredible opportunity that it gives us to change, to put our pasts behind us and to advance. It was cool to talk about these blessings, and then we spoke of the sacrament and the amazing benefits that can bring into our lives.Because he was not coming, he in a way was depriving himself of these blessings, to repent and to start off a new, to always Remember our Heavenly Father and his plan, to Remember our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ. That is the importance; we can remember him, follow him and have the promise of the Spirit of The Lord upon us to guide us and to help us change, what an incredible blessing! It was a very humbling lesson for him and at the end, in the closing prayer, he promised the Lord that he would come to church, that he would partake of these promised blessings of the sacrament.

The other day, he told us that during that evening he started to study about the sacrament and he was up till 3 AM studying about the Atonement and the Sacrament! It is such a blessing to be in the work of our Heavenly Father. I honestly see how he uses us missionaries as his hands!

On Wednesday we had District Meeting! The mission did not give an outline for the meeting, so it was up to me to figure out the needs of the District and teach in accordance.

It went well. I felt guided the whole time and filled up the two hours with no problem! Which of course, everyone who knows me knows that I can fill two hours of talking. 🙂 🙂 However, this was different, I felt the Spirit guiding me the whole time, and I feel it was all useful information!
The big focus was reminding ourselves how marvelous this Gospel is, often we forget how great it is, we forget about what it is like without the gospel.

A fantastic French Author Marcel Proust once said: “Le véritable voyage de découverte ne consiste pas à chercher de nouveaux paysage, mais à avoir de nouveaux yeux” which I think is beautifully said, but I’ll give the English translation. 🙂 🙂

“The true voyage of discovery does not consist of searching for new landscapes, but to have new eyes.” Meaning that we need not explore outside our current situation, for some amazing things, but we need new eyes with which we can appreciate what we already have.

I spoke about how maybe sometimes these incredible blessings seem to become “Normal” and simply a part of ordinary daily life. But in reality, these blessings are a marvelous gift from the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives! He loves us, and because he lives we can all live again. We can change have the blessing of forgiveness and then we, in turn, can also forgive others and draw close to our loving Heavenly Father! Often our eyes may seem to glaze over, and we become unfocused but if we learn just to wake up and smell the roses that surround us we can appreciate all that he has given to us.

Then Thursday was a superb day. We were invited to go to the Branch Presidents house to Lunch. He had asked some of their friends, one of whom I had met at the Branch Picnic, a few weeks back. We went over and shared a great meal, then we taught about the family and showed them how to start working on their family history work. They were very great people, and they seemed interested in learning more! I guess people listened last week in church about how we need to invite people over with the missionaries. 🙂 🙂 We had an excellent time!

Then we went to help some less active members move, luckily they are moving closer to the church so hopefully, they will be able to come back soon! They have ten children. That was fun to see a big family like mine own. I was especially able to connect with the youngest because we had a lot in common!

Then Friday we helped people move in the morning and then in the evening we played soccer at this indoor soccer place with some members and our new Ami Anthony. We had a spectacular time!

Saturday we continued to help the less active family move, a lot, seeing at they have ten kids, and it took a while. 🙂 🙂

This week with some great spiritual work and then three days of moving different people. We are tired, but we feel accomplished!

Oh, and Sunday afternoon when I was working on my family history, I found 14 new family names!!! Ended up being a super great day!

I hope you all have a great week!

Love,
Elder Peterson

Couscous

Hello, everyone!

This was a great week here in Manosque! We have been seeing the Lord bless us in some great ways even though we have been a little sick, like I said in the past, when someone in France gets sick, everyone gets sick!
This week on Wednesday, I was ill, so we had to stay in most of the day. Thursday we had zone training, it went super well! We discussed the importance of Obeidience and of having our loyalty to our Heavenly Father first and formost. It is easy to be tempted to do things, not even things that seem “very” bad, that however, means that we are not putting the Lord first. This is his work and as we strive to do it with a full loving heart that we will be blessed.
 I have given these 2 years to my God. I know that he blesses me for my service, what I need to do is to serve him with all of my heart, might, mind and strength and he will bless me and my family.
We focused alot on that, being very consecrated and we know that at this time it is the only thing keeping us safe.  We need to have the spirit with us, we need to work hard to have His loving direction to keep us from danger, we know that he will warn us.
I was really grateful a couple weeks ago for His loving hand in my life. I had just finished doing a baptismal interview in Aix for one of the sisters amis and it was really hot out, like 100 degrees and we decided to celebrate the future baptism with some ice cream.  We started off to the store and as we were walking there, when we were maybe half a block away, I felt the impression that we should not turn the corner onto the main road where the store was…. but I ignored it at first, saying ” well its like a half a block, I can almost see it.  Then, I take a couple more steps and I hear the voice loud and clear, “do not turn that corner, it is dangerous” ok, this time, I listened. I told my companion and the sisters that I felt we chould stop and go back the way we came and take another way to the store. I told them the spirit does not want us going on that road, and so we all listened to the prompting and went another way. We were able to enjoy some great icecream. 🙂
I dont know what could have happened if we took that turn, but I am totally happy not knowing because I know that me, my companion and those sisters are safe!
After the zone traning, I made a couscous and we all enjoyed the meal together. It was reallllllly goooood, not to brag but DANG! It was good!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
On Friday my companion was feeling sick so that day was also gone!
All-in-all. we had a good and spiritual week, but a couple days for rest were also had, being sick in the summer is awful, you just sweat non-stop!
Have a great week! I love you all!
Elder Peterson,
La mission Française de Lyon.

A Great Week for Picking up a New Bleu

Hello, Everyone!

This week was fantastic, here in the mission. I have seen the Lords hands working in my life.
On Monday, I went up to Lyon and spent the day with the missionaries that were going home and with the other training missionaries that were called to train. It was a really good time because a lot of the missionaries going home were my good friends, and so I was able to say some proper goodbyes and spend a few hours reminiscing together. It turned out that that evening they needed someone to drive a senior couple to the Presidents house for the departing dinner and I quickly volunteered my services and was able to drive a little. 🙂 🙂 🙂
We stayed in the office elders “Hotel” apt and we helped the elders get ready to leave and then we said final goodbyes before they went to take the airport express tram at 2AM. We get a call from them at 1:45 am saying the tram was not running till 4:30 am and alot of their flights were at 6:30 and were international so they needed to get going! We leave alot of the other people sleeping in the Apt and the office Elders and Elder Beck and I take the mission van and another car and start to shuttle all of their things and the people from Lyon to the airport (about 35 minutes each way). Then when we finally get them all there we have to help them all get to their gates and through security, it was a blast! 🙂 🙂 At 6:45, we grab some Starbuck’s muffins and watch the sunrise through the airport windows and then we set off back for Lyon. We got to the Apt at about 7:30 in the Morning and all of the other people were showered and ready for the day. 🙂  We went to take a nap; it was a splendid time being up for 27 hours total. I felt it was an unusual but fantastic way to serve the Lord here in the mission. Normally as trainers, we had lunch with other instructors and some afternoon contacting, but we were not able to attend these for reasons of needing sleep. As far as we know, all of those missionaries got home safely to their families! 🙂
That evening we had trainers Training discussion with the other instructors, it was a great, uplifting and spiritual meeting about how we can help the new Bleus understand our mission culture and become robust, and obedient missionaries.  Afterward, we all got Master Tacos for dinner and played some pool and ping pong to finish off the evening together.
The next morning we had to get ready fast and try not to be seen by the new bleus who were sleeping in the same apt. We went to the church and had an excellent meeting before meeting our new trainees. We learned about how to work by and with the Spirit, and how to teach the Bleu to feel it (which is the most important part of the instruction). As well as, following the spirit and just striving to be obedient and pure so that the Lord can use you as a sort of vessel to bring forth his Word.
Then we went upstairs and met the Bleus! It was a big group, and they went through one by one reading their assignments. A super cool one, whose name was Elder Mason went up and read off the City of Manosque serving with Elder Peterson!  My new bleu!
He is a cool, very motivated young man from Fresno California, who is striving to be a good missionary. His French language skills are fantastic, at church when he gave his testimony, all of the member’s jaws dropped, He did a great job and has a great drive to do this work.
That Brings me to the main subject of this week:
I have seen how the Lord knows me; he has given me exactly what I needed when I needed it most. I felt myself slipping, losing motivation and getting tired, maybe even a little Trunky. However, since I got this call to train Elder Mason my energy has increased and I feel young again. I feel so much more driven.
Also in the last couple months, I felt other things slipping, I was repetitive with my prayers.  I did not have the very edifying studies that I used to enjoy. I was becoming lazy, and I found myself occupied with thoughts of movies and music from home. Now, the Lord has helped me. He has given me this incredible opportunity to repent, I love Repentance, it means to change and put my life in order, to follow more closely the Teachings of Jesus Christ.
I feel healthy again; I Feel Spiritual again; I feel Close to the Lord again, and I know He helped me.  It was vital that I put my life in order at this crucial time, for this, I am so thankful.
A scripture that has helped me this week is in Mosiah 26, and it says:
Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.
I know this is True, the Lord is there with open arms of mercy, and he wants us to Learn, and to Learn, we must change.
Thanks for reading,
Talk to you next week!
Elder Peterson

My Last Transfer… I am Training

 

 

I can’t believe that I have almost completed my mission.  This is the last six weeks and I have been assigned to train Elder Mason. We are serving in Manosque, France.

It has been a very busy week as I headed to Lyon for preparation and assignment of our new trainees (bleus).

I will write more next week!

Here is a picture of us!

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Love you all,

Elder Peterson,
La mission Française de Lyon.

 

 

A New Bleu

Hello, Everyone!

I’m currently in Lyon! I had a great week but I am now up here because I will be training a new missionary!

It is crazy to be starting my last transfer but I am so excited to be able to work with a new missionary for this last 6 weeks!

I love you all! I will try to write more before tonight, but it isn’t sure thing!

Elder Peterson,
La mission Française de Lyon.