Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 47 in the Field: Birthday Week Request

View of the Ohio River from Paducah, Kentucky!

Hello friends and family!

I had a crazy week filled with disappointment and miracles. I hope you all enjoy it!

On Monday we drove down to Paducah, Kentucky to go on exchanges with the district leader (Elder Porter) and his trainee (Elder Senatore). I drove back up with the trainee and we had a blast. But prior to that, we had so much fun with the missionaries down there. I'm a little jealous at how much fun they all get to have in Paducah with so many missionaries down there. We played basketball, volleyball, and kickball. Very energizing. I think I lost like 7 pounds just from that day.

On Tuesday we went over to this lady we had been teaching every week or so. She kind of went down the whole "I've been saved" thing which was interesting. Technically, all who believe in Christ are saved and will be resurrected. It just depends on how much you follow His commandments for what kingdom you will get to be in after this mortal life.  (For more information, you can read a great talk given by Elder Dallin Oaks, which better explains what it means to be saved.  Just go to:

We also went out to go with our branch president to see our law of chastity lady friend who came to church on Sunday. What we thought was a miracle turned out to be a nightmare. Due to some legal issues with her and the member who drove her, she has officially dropped off the face of the planet. We have not been able to see her since Sunday and I fear that this will not turn out well. It's frustrating.  She was making great progress in learning and understanding the gospel.

Wednesday night we had dinner with one of the counselors in the branch presidency. Their daughters were hilarious. The oldest one is a big reader and totally out-nerded me. The youngest liked to collect rocks and loved showing people. She proceeded to dump her collection all over the kitchen table. We had a fun dinner with them.

We also got to see our Spanish investigator, Carmelo, who still has a baptismal date for May 17th. Elder Senatore is from Venezuela, so he talked with him in Spanish, and I listened with whatever Spanish knowledge I had through the spirit. They got along really well.

Thursday I went down to Paducah on exchanges with the zone leader Elder Nez. Elder Nez is a Navajo convert from Arizona and a spiritual giant. We had a blast on the exchange and had a bunch of miracles, including finding a less active who had just gotten out of prison and wants to get back in the church, a cousin of the missionary that taught Elder Nez's siblings, and also set a soft baptismal date for an investigator who is in prison for a time 12 years from now. AWESOME!

Elder Nez also had my trainer's crutches which was awesome to see them again. The crutches had been taken from the Smith Springs apartment when the area closed nearly 9 months ago.

Friday while still on exchange, we got to talk more about finding the faith to find people. It was great to learn insights from him. He also talked to me about how I'm doing and said he could see me as a missionary leader soon which would be cool, but not desired. I'm happy where I'm at. On the way back to Eldorado we talked about each other's futures. I really hope I'll get to serve around him again someday.
A small photogenic squirrel in the country side!

Saturday I was finally back with Elder Stange. We dissected the old paper Areabook that had a ton of investigators in it. Our object was to clean up the Areabook and to find some way to see those in it. We later went over to the "saved" lady again with a recently returned sister missionary. I would later make her family cookies the next day. The lady said she would come to church with the member, but backed out on Sunday.

Sunday at church we had a very small congregation for some reason. Only 29 people were there. I ended up teaching gospel doctrine on obedience. It was strange teaching a bunch of well seasoned individuals, but I feel it went well. I was complimented by the branch presidency.

In the evening we went over to the home of our investigator who is quitting smoking and found out she hadn't smoked in a week. She had been eating candy to keep the temptation away. One of her non-member friends gave her a coffee bar. To help her avoid temptation to break the Word of Wisdom, I offered to bake her cookies in exchange for the coffee bar. She consented and traded, and I went and chucked that candy bar as hard as I could into the dumpster. It was fun.

A pretty stressful week, but a good week all around.

Special thanks to all of you who have written me with birthday greetings.  I've been receiving several emails fulfilling what I requested for my birthday. I am very appreciative of the ones I have received. I am excited for my 21st birthday this Sunday, May 3rd!

To remind everyone, the main thing I'd like for my birthday is for ya'll to send me a story where you saw the hand of God in your life or when you did something nice for someone else. I am also grateful for all the many prayers on our behalf. We do appreciate them.

Thanks so much!

Elder Peery

You can contact me anytime – here is my information:

Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 Westpark Drive, Suite 190
Brentwood, TN 37027


Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 46 in the Field

Hi everybody!  Wow what a week. Eldorado is just flooding and I don't mean the rain—even though it was really bad the other day, but I mean flooding with miracles. God isn't kidding around when he says in Malachi to "...prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10).

We have been extremely blessed to be able to work with some of these people. It's fantastic.

So enough talk, let's get going.

Not too many pictures this time. I'm doing a lot of stuff today with some elders, so that'll be fun.My favorite DQ blizzard is now officially back on the menu which is awesome.

Monday, Elder Stange and I went bowling. I creamed him the first game by 40 points, but then he beat me the next game by 3 points. We then were able to contact the investigator we set the baptismal date with the week before. He solidified it and firmly agreed that he would be able to be baptized. The one issue is that he works on Sundays, and it's hard for him to find work elsewhere due to health issues and the fact that he has to support two kids (the youngest of which is also getting baptized). But he was in relatively good spirits.

Tuesday was a bit disappointing. We went up to Norris City, which is about halfway to the top of our area and struck out with all the people we were trying to see. The same thing happened in Eldorado. But after we had dinner with a member and went out teaching with him; that's when we were able to contact people. It was nice getting to see some members who were coming back to church. Some cases were kind of sad though cause some less active members felt like they were too lost to come back. It was sad that they didn't recognize the grace of Jesus Christ is for everyone.  The Atonement is REAL.

Wednesday we had a fun district meeting on finding new people to teach. Elder Porter inspired a lot of us on new ways to find people. I will be going on exchanges today with his companion who is a trainee, and then later this week with a zone leader. Later that evening we went out teaching with the newly returned sister missionary. She was really helpful when we taught our law-of-chastity lady the Word of Wisdom. Turns out, the lady is trying to quit smoking and is actually a lot more interested in the Church than I thought. We got dropped by to see a couple of not so nice people after that, but we kept our spirits up.

Thursday we went over to the part member family we went hiking with recently. The husband is not a member but is super cool and welcoming. He showed us his work which is making Jason masks (from the movie “Friday the 13th”). The masks are awesome and pretty legit. We also talked about where he is with the church. He is still figuring that out, but the family is doing great things by holding weekly family home evenings and nightly scripture study—a great family for sure. We also tracted into a kinda crazy girl who felt like she was called of God after experimenting with a Ouija (I think that's how you spell it) board (it's a board that supposedly interacts the users with spirits from beyond. Not sure how legit it is but I don't really want to find out). So yeah, interesting people all around.

Friday we went and celebrated the birthday of an elderly member at an all-you-can-eat buffet.  The member was the kind old lady we visited with last week. She was happy to see us. Later on we had another fun visit with the Long John Silver returning member. He was excited to see us. We talked about how he deals with anti-Mormons and talked about steps he can take to come back to church. It's another case where he wants to, but he works on Sundays.

Saturday Elder Stange felt sick around 8:30am and promptly went to the bathroom. About 45 minutes later he was in bed moaning. At first we thought it was food poisoning, but it turns out it was just a bug. He slept for about 6-7 hours after calling the mission nurse.

Puzzle I finished while Elder Stange was sick. (1000 pieces in about 4 days of off and on completing)

 Meanwhile, I finished a puzzle I had gotten as well as cleaned the house a little bit. I got bored around 2-3 hours later and just watched church movies while he slept. He eventually got better the next day.

Sunday the law-of-chastity lady came to church and was picked up by the returned sister missionary. She enjoyed church a lot and talked with the branch president on what she needed to do to be baptized. We are seeing her again on Tuesday. We ended up with 5 investigators total at church which was also great. I was pulled into Primary by the primary president to give a talk on why I came out on my mission. After I spoke they began to have singing time. I noticed they did not have a pianist so I volunteered for both junior and senior primary.

The teachers and leaders were very appreciative and will be using me a lot more. Unfortunately the priesthood had to deal with me not being there. I will have to be rotated around I suppose.

Later that afternoon we went up to Norris City again and saw our friend who was struggling with some issues. Turns out he is going to get medical help and will be quitting smoking. We are super stoked for him and he said he will try to call us while in the clinic if he has any questions. In the evening we were rather rudely rejected by a non-member husband to a less active member. I was a bit surprised by his actions but I suppose we are here to invite not to force. We also went to visit the lady we are working with on stopping smoking and she hasn't smoked in a week, which is awesome.

It was a pretty good week overall with many things that humbled us. We are very excited for the upcoming events-- especially since my birthday is only about two weeks away. 

To remind everyone what I would like for my birthday, please just send me a specific story or event of you telling me a story about how you helped out someone, or were kind to somebody else, or when you saw the hand of God in your life. You can send more than one --that would be great! I will be looking for these from now till May 3rd which is my birthday. I'm interested to see how this will play out.

Here is my contact information -- you can write me OR email me, whichever is easiest for YOU.  I am really hoping to hear from YOU!

Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 Westpark Drive, Suite 190
Brentwood, TN 37027


It's hard to believe that tomorrow will mark 11 months on my mission. Can't wait for more adventures. Talk to ya'll next week!

Elder Peery

Betcha didn't know that people use lawn mowers as vehicles here? We were behind this dude for about a minute or two.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 45 in the Field: Thunderstorms and Birthday Wishes...

No, it's not a picture at daytime. This is the effect of lightning when it hits less than 1/4 mile from your house at about 10:45 pm! We are all safe, but it was a nasty storm.

Hi everyone!  Hope you are doing well.  Here is the latest news from my mission!

On Monday we didn't really do anything too major. It rained a lot of the day so we couldn't really go anywhere. In the evening we went to see an elderly less-active who paid more attention to The Voice than to us, but that's all good -- haha.

Tuesday was kind of interesting. The day started with us hunting down a less-active member of the church who lived literally in the middle of nowhere about 15 miles south of us. Some dude came out without his shirt on and at first he looked pretty menacing. He was pretty muscular for sure.

After some light conversation we found out he is the father in law to the guy we were trying to find. He helped us find where he actually lived and we thanked him for the help.

We then did some less active searching over in Carrier Mills (about 7 miles south of us) but struck out repeatedly. Rejected, we headed up to Harrisburg again where I felt prompted to stop by an elderly member who lives in a nursing home. We had an awesome visit with her and learned how she joined the church. It's so interesting being in a branch filled with converts. The boost to the day helped us teach one of our progressing investigators later on about the tree of life. We will be bringing a member with us next time we go.

Norwegian chocolate that we got from a member's foreign exchange student. It's pretty much a creamier Kit Kat bar--REALLY good.

Later that evening we went over to the Russell's (Branch Mission Leader) and we had a fun conversation and dinner with them. They fed us steaks which were really really good. After that we went over to see this guy named Carmelo with Brother Russell.

Carmelo's son, RJ who is 7, started talking to us about baptism. We told him that when he turns 8 years old he can be baptized. He piped up "Well I turn 8 on May 7th! Can I be baptized on May 17th?!" We set that as a date for him. And then we started talking to his father about it. He had been on the fence about baptism, but actually agreed to plan May 17th as the day HE gets baptized too! We were so stoked and Bro. Russell has gained a lot of faith in us now.

The miracles didn't stop there. The next day I felt prompted to go to Long John Silvers... I literally have never thought I would ever write that, but it turns out, there's a less active who's a manager there! We set up an appointment with him for Friday. And in an amazing turn of events, this less active is Facebook friends with the less active we were trying to find the day previously!!

Thursday we had interviews with our mission president, which was great. He told me how proud he was of the changes I was making as well as the improvements in the area. He was pleased with how well I am doing and sees big potential for me and the area. The assistants were also pleased with my planning capabilities and attitude. By the end of the day I felt very blessed and humbled.

Friday was kind of interesting. We met up with the Long John Silvers manager and found out he was actually in the process of moving in a few weeks. We had a great conversation with him, though, and he and I personally connected since I worked in the food industry for a little while when I was struggling with my faith, too.

Later, we went to see an elderly investigator who was very interested in what we believe. This guy was raised Pentecostal but now associates himself mainly with Quakers, which is really amazing ‘cause for a while I just thought that group died out and the only thing remaining was the Quaker Oats products--but he was cool and came to church later in the week.

Saturday was kind of interesting cause it went back to a slow roll. We weren't able to see Carmelo or his son again because they had gotten sick. However we had a great lesson win a recent convert. He told us the big reason he joined the Church was because he felt needed instead of wanted.  He also gave us a kitchen table that he had gotten for free. We were in need of one and we're grateful for the help.

Sunday we had 7 investigators at church which was a new personal high for me--even our elderly investigator came. I sat next to him and helped him with the hymn book. At the end of sacrament meeting he complimented my singing voice which was awesome. Elder Stange gave a good talk on President Hinckley's talk "Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep." The branch was really excited at the news of a father and son setting a baptismal date.

Later that evening we went over to see our investigator with the kidney problem and watched "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" with her since she didn't know too much about church history. She loved it, and there was a great spiritual boost in the room. Everyone felt it. She's making great progress on quitting smoking too!

The area is finally starting to pick up. We love serving and teaching the folks here.  They are so wonderful!  I am looking forward towards the month of May for many reasons. 

BIRTHDAY WISHES:  Thank you all for asking me what I would like for my 21st birthday, on May 3rd. Honestly, I don't really need anything here. The majority of the stuff I would like would be stuff I would use when I go home, but I suppose if there is something I could ask, it would be a letter or email from each of you telling me a story about how you helped out someone, or were kind to somebody else, or when you saw the hand of God in your life from now (April 13th) till my birthday on (May 3rd). I'm interested to see what happens here.

Thank you all so much again for writing to me -- or even just saying hi.
I sincerely appreciate and cherish every email I do get.

Elder Peery

Please contact me at:

Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 Westpark Drive, Suite 190
Brentwood, TN 37027

 Elder Stange hit his year mark this week so he burned a shirt as a missionary tradition.