Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 40 in the Field!

Elder Stange- the soul saving master.

All right! Here's the week!

Monday we went to a Pioneer museum that highlighted a ton of history about Southern Illinois. I took a lot of pictures then, since I hadn't really taken any the previous week -- so if you want to see pictures of the place, just look at the last update. It was loads of fun looking in all the buildings. The main museum was closed to the public and only open if you schedule an appointment. The place doesn't get much business I'm afraid. We were the only two people there.

Tuesday we had district meeting in Eldorado for a change. I've now been playing piano for meetings even though I believe I'm not that good at it (haha), but it was a good meeting. We had trainings on boldness which is something I struggled with for awhile. For one of the role plays we did theatre exercises on unity which made me a bit homesick for BYU-Idaho. But those thoughts were quickly replaced when we started role playing teaching the law of chastity with the other set of elders.

After the meeting we went over to one of the investigator's we see regularly on Tuesday and had a super awesome lesson with her and her separated husband. I bore my testimony of my conversion story and the truth of this gospel and it touched the husband's heart a bit. The investigator sister said she would be baptized if she finds that this is the true church. Cool!

We also saw a elderly sister who is turning 89 this year and her husband is turning 93 soon. She was grateful we had stopped by and that we shared a message with her.

Wednesday around noon it started snowing again. We were told to park the cars and stay indoors. This was a PAIN! When you're a missionary and you're not doing anything, you are miserable. After cleaning, playing board games, and finishing a jigsaw puzzle, I literally just went to sleep. The same thing happened on Thursday. Hopefully this is the last of it.


Not as bad as last time, but snowed in again.


Friday we still couldn't drive, but we were permitted to go out and work around our house. We went over to see one of our part member couples who told us they were moving the next day. It was kind of sad since the missionaries have been really close with them for awhile. Bright side is they are still in the mission boundaries and in the neighboring area, so we will still get to go see the husband's baptism.

SPEAKING OF BAPTISMS! So I forgot to mention that on Tuesday night, we went over to our Branch Mission Leader's home and he told us that a baptism was happening on Saturday. Now I had met the lady getting baptized before at church. She kind of wanted the baptism done privately, so we weren't invited. BUT it still counts as a baptism in our books so that counts as baptism NUMBER TWO on my mission.

To top that off, I got to watch my friend Shawn B. get baptized in Hendersonville via Skype. He and his family are great people. The member who baptized him was the member we brought with us all the time over there. He stood in the font with Shawn for a few minutes and was in tears when he performed the ordinance (or as he calls it "an allergic reaction to the spirit"). I got to talk to Shawn, and he was so happy and felt good. It was awesome!


Skyping into Shawn’s baptism (he and his family are on the left,
Elder Hansen is speaking on the right, I'm in the bottom right corner of the screen).


Sunday was good except a lot of people were still missing, but a lot of people were there, too. We had a meeting, and later had dinner with the branch president.  He told me that he was grateful for what we’ve been doing for the branch and for my enthusiasm. I was grateful for the vote of confidence and morale boost.

We also went over to help out a kid at the Baptist church--or at least that's what I thought we were doing. It turns out he had just invited us out to his church meeting. It's kind of weird going to another church as a missionary. At first, everyone gives you strange looks, but then will be friendly. At this church, everyone was dressed casually and singing and praying randomly. I don't think there was any order to what they did save singing and then sermon. But the sermon was pretty good. It talked about how Christ said in John 11:25, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" They did not use the King James version of the Bible, so the wording was a little different. It was a good sermon up to when the preacher said, "What about those who haven't heard His word and die? We can't let them dwindle in unbelief and perish!" He went on to say something along the lines of how when they die, they won't get that chance. Well, when you have that grim outlook it doesn't make much sense to me.

What if you are born on some far off island in the Pacific and never hear the word "Christ" or "Jesus" or any touch of Christianity? Are you thrust out of God's presence forever simply because you never learned about it in this life? NO.  

That's one of the reasons I love our Church because we DO believe that people who die without a knowledge of the Gospel can obtain that later on. They aren't lost forever. What kind of God would let that happen? Our loving Father in Heaven has His Plan of Salvation.  It is a Plan of Happiness.  It is for EVERYONE.  It was a fun experience Sunday night -- but I doubt we will go back.

It's been kind of crazy this transfer, and I hope that things continue to pick up. We have a lot of nice people in the branch, and it is very slowly growing. One of the coolest things is to see former members of the Church come back after long periods of time. I love hearing their conversion stories ‘cause it reminds me of my own.

I'm looking forward to this week ahead and can't wait for the adventures to come out here in the mission field.

Thank you all so much for staying in touch! I appreciate all letters.  I also appreciate all your prayers for us and the people we are teaching.

Elder Peery

ps.  So we went fishing today and while messing around, Elder Stange kicked off his shoe. Now we were on a bridge so the shoe went into the river. I suggested since that shoe was long gone that he "might as well chuck the other one". This little video shows what follows. It just shows missionaries having a little fun on P-Day. Enjoy!
video



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