Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 69 in the Field

Hey everyone!

So we did a load of cool stuff today and pictures will definitely be included in next week's update, but for now here's this week!

On Monday we stayed around the church for the most part. Playing the usual basketball, dodge ball, etc. Nothing too major. In the evening we went over to a place that Elder Powell and Bedwell tracted out while I was on splits and got dropped by the investigator.

Tuesday we were on foot once again and went over to the neighboring area where we went to go contact some people. With some inspiration we went to go see our recent convert and he was super fun to talk to. If you get the guy going on comics it's a fun time. We contacted a few other families and found some new people. For dinner we went over to a TS1 family in some nearby apartments and afterwards went on a split with a member. Elder Powell and I tried contacting some other people near the church.

Wednesday we had district meeting and I had Elder Powell train on following the Spirit. He had Sister Kohler walk through an obstacle course filled with chairs, tables, and other things with Elder Bedwell trying to guide her and the rest of us throwing her off. I trained on testifying with your companion and working in unity. I thought it went okay. After that we had pizza, and I instantly didn't feel so good. Sure enough I came down with something that really messed me up the rest of the week. We stop by to see three less active families. One of the families' mom used to work at Disneyland which is one of my places that I want to work at. So we had a good time talking about what it's like. The other one was related to one of the members that was in Hendersonville, so we had a good time connecting.  In the evening we had a call it cause I started feeling sick.

Thursday we went over to the other side of the city and contacted a few people. However I felt totally awful. It started shortly after we went to The Well with our recent convert. We worked there for two hours and then went over to Sonic. But all along the way I felt terrible. We got about half a mile away from sonic and then I started having to use the bathroom. This. Went on for a while but I was able to still tract out a few people. We went home after that. And after we had dinner with the TS1 member we called it a day.

Friday I still felt awful, but we went over to help a lady move into her new house after read had weekly planning. She didn't have too much stuff so the move went pretty quickly. She was so happy to be moving out of the projects. Unfortunately we miscalculated how much time we had and were left in our service clothes on the opposite side of town without a ride. Thankfully the people at fed us dinner were kind enough to let us stay in our regular clothes.

Saturday was a lot of the same but at least it was passing through quickly. We finished helping the lady move some last things. And finally went over to try some other people near the church. After striking out and getting rained on, we went over to our dinner appointment at the home of a TS2 member. After dinner we went to go try one of our investigators who was watching the Pope give a speech at the worldwide family conference in Philadelphia, PA. So we got to see a little bit of that.  Ironically after that we went to go to the church where we watched the last bit of Women's Session of General Conference where we got to see a living apostle speak which was cool. I enjoyed President Uchtdorf's talk because it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon.

Second Nephi chapter 5 verse 27 reads "and it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness". Happiness isn't something you can catch. It's not an on-off switch. It is a pursuit. One of our three unalienable rights given in the Declaration of Independence is the pursuit of happiness. The best way to live happily is to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the only way to be happy eternally.

Sunday was very tiring. Especially cause I was sick. But I was grateful for the awesome testimonies and help throughout the day. What was really really cool was a member came up to us saying that her daughter wanted to be baptized and asked us to teach her about the church. We were more than happy to agree. We should be seeing them this week. We had dinner at the TS1 bishop's home and they asked me to play guitar for the Campout this Friday, which should be cool. I plan on playing a rendition of "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission" mixed with "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go." Maybe someone will record it. I was given a guitar to practice so I am very happy now.

Honestly things couldn't be much better. I love my companions, they are like my two younger brothers. Life couldn't be much better. Hope y'all are having a great week too!

Elder Peery

So I didn't really take too many pictures this week actually. None in fact. So today I decided to go take some pictures around the church.  Enjoy!

Elder Bedwell emailing

Elder Powell and his dog back home

Elder Powell jazzing up hymns

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 68 in the Field!

At the Loveless Cafe near Nashville with a TS2 member family

What's up friends and family!

This week was a blast.

On Monday we went to the Loveless Cafe over in Nashville with a TS2 member family and it was really awesome. But it was kind of strange because apparently it's such a big thing there, but there's nothing really too special about it other then a bunch of country artists go there. However the biscuits were awesome. They had this awesome blackberry jam that was absolutely stunning. Other than that it was pretty much nothing much else. The place was built in the 1950s, converted to a hotel sometime later, and then finally renovated to just the cafe and some shops nearby--still cool though.

The Loveless Cafe on the outside

After that we went down to Columbia via the Natchez Trace road which apparently is historic because it was a trade route from here to Mississippi. Very similar to the Blue Ridge Mountain Trail in Asheville. After some fun times in Columbia we drove up and had dinner with an awesome TS2 family. We called it after striking out.

Tuesday we cleaned our entire apartment. We then went out to try a bunch of people, struck out, and then went to have dinner with a TS2 family. Their son had recently busted his arm during work, so we went to get him a sling at Walgreens. We had Indian food which was fun. The only thing I couldn't really handle was the coconut okra. For some reason the only foods on my mission that I haven't really enjoyed were coconut and soda. After dinner we dropped off a Book of Mormon at one of the places we tracted and then went on a split with a member. Elder Powell and I went to go try some people and Elder Bedwell went with a member from TS1 to go try some people.

Wednesday was a lot of the same stuff. Except we got to contact an investigator who works nights. She studies things a little slower, which is good. We tried a few others and then had dinner at a TS1 family's home. Later on we went over to this one guy's home who was super cool. Really friendly. He had memorized Psalms 23 which is "The Lord is my Shepherd" one. He talked about making scriptures important to us which was cool. We ended the night playing volleyball with some members of 1st Ward.

Thursday we went down to Columbia for zone meeting. I was able to be a part of a leadership council for the first time which was a lot of fun. Zone meeting was a lot more inspiring because of it. After that we saw a couple people, had dinner with a TS1 family and ended the night.

Friday we did some planning at the church and then went to try a bunch of people. Not too much luck but we were able to see a less active family. We then had dinner at our place and tried to see some people afterwards.

Saturday was very busy. We went on a split with the TS2 WML's son. I took him to see a few member families (including his own). I also took him tracting which was fun. He had a great experience and wanted to study with us sometime later. We went to go see another less active family and ended the night at a bonfire with some TS2 families.

Sunday was the same for the most part. Except TS1 had a linger longer after church which we attended. It was handy cause we normally don't get lunch in between wards.

TS1 Linger longer (basically an event after church where people bring a lot of food for everyone. Happens occasionally)

TS2 had their primary program which was adorable as usual. We ended the day at a member's home having dinner and helping them move a fridge. They had some awesomely trained dogs.

Next week we will be heading to the Carter House which I am super stoked for. I can't wait. We will talk to y'all next week!

Elder Peery

Only the best missionaries buy light sabers

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 67 in the Field: New Companion and Tips for Effective Scripture Study!

 Me and former Elder (and Assistant to the President) Byington

Hi Everybody!  What's up!

So Monday was the last day we would be with E. Nalder. I was happy to be receiving a new companion. We spent the day in Spring Hill with the Spring Hill elders and had fun going different places and looking at stuff. We also mostly spent time playing basketball at the church. In the evening E. Nalder went on a split with a YSA to go contact other YSA's. Why did he go on the split when he would be leaving in less than 24 hours? No clue.

Preaching the gospel in the spirit world. Well, more like a Confederate Graveyard.

Elder Bedwell and I finished getting some items and went to Dairy Queen for dinner to celebrate the start of a new transfer together. He's a great guy and the new guy we got is awesome, too.

Speaking of transfers, we have a new companion!

Tuesday we went down to transfers and dropped off E. Nalder. To our surprise, The guy formerly known as Elder Byington was there! He finished his mission a little over 13 months ago. He was my favorite assistant to the president, and it was super great to see him there. Not only did I get to talk to him, but he remembered me! It was awesome. Nothing too crazy other than that happened at transfers. A lot of the missionaries that went home this transfer were some of my good friends so it was sad to see them go. People like E. Stutz, E. Cullum, the mission secretary Sis. Godfrey, and so many more.

Sweet Sister Godfrey, our Mission Secretary, gives her parting advice before heading home to Utah.

But the upside was that our new companion is Elder Powell from Boise, ID! He was the same guy we stayed with when I left Eldorado. He was E. Bedwell's MTC companion and it has truly been a much more fun transfer than the last one. He's also a piano player so that's a perk for sure. After we got settled in, we went over to see our recent convert and he was happy to meet E. Powell so that was good.

Wednesday during district meeting I had Sis. Kohler train on teaching when you find people, and finding people when you teach. I followed that up with some goals I wanted everyone to work on as well as a finding tournament to get everyone excited about finding new people to teach. It's been a good tactic thus far and hopefully things will work out. We also contacted a less active and began helping her with her computers. After that we tried a few people and then went on a split. I went over to see an awesome family that had a lot of dogs. The family loves to talk, and it was funny that the members I brought to see them had literally everything in common with them. It was scary cool.  Great to be directed by the Spirit!

Thursday we went over to the Well and helped out there. We had a lot of difficulties getting there because we couldn't get a lift till the very end. Elder Powell got a lot of blisters from walking this past week, but we will be glad to get the car for this week. After that we went tracting for a bit and then had ribs at a TS1 (Thompson’s Station 1st Ward) member’s house that we helped move a while back. We later got dropped by an investigator and contacted a TS2 (Thompson’s Station 2nd Ward) member family.

Friday we had planning which didn't last too long. We also got to go out to eat lunch with the Spring Hill elders since they were coming back from an exchange. We tried a few people but then Elder Powell's feet couldn't walk anymore, so we had to call it.

Elder Bedwell and Elder Powell helping cut hedges at the school

Saturday we helped out at the TS1 service project, which was cleaning up an elementary school. It was fun to work with every one and talk with the members. After that we went tracting for a bit and continued to help the less active with her computers, which we couldn't fix too well.

As we were walking back the bishop of the 2nd Ward drove up and took us out to dinner with his wife. We were very grateful to them and appreciated it very much. We went store contacting for the last little bit.

Here is a photo from the Franklin Zone Conference.
(I am third from left in the back row--don't know why the picture is blurry.)

Sunday was the same except we were all especially tired. And the 1st Ward had their primary program, which was fun to watch. I knew a lot of the kids involved and it was pretty adorable. The whole thing was centered around the idea that "I Know My Savior Lives.”  It was great to hear some of my favorite songs sung. As for 2nd Ward, I think I may have fallen asleep during sacrament meeting because I was so tired that day. In the evening we had dinner with the TS2 Young Women's leader and her daughter. After that we contacted a former investigator family and then returned to the church for the last bit of Standards Night.

Okay so here's something cool I wanted to share with you:

I figured out 5 things you need to do to have effective studies when reading the scriptures.

1. Have a clean and comfortable space - Remove distractions or things that would keep you from having a more effective study. If you can't do tight spaces, figure out a way that helps you be more open. Clean your desk up and organize it for how you will study the next day.

2. Pray - By inviting the Spirit into your studies, you are able to gain and retain more information than you normally would. I can testify this works not just for scripture study, but for educational study as well. At BYU-Idaho in the beloved testing center, one of the instructions my teachers would always leave on the cover of the test was to pray prior to beginning the test. It works.... If you studied beforehand. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, (an apostle in our Church) once quoted someone who said something along the lines of "So long as there will be tests in schools where kids may not study as well as others, the need for prayer will always be present."

3. Search Diligently - Casual reading will not be able to help you as much as diligently searching for answers. You will gain more spiritual knowledge and insight doing this, than simply casually reading a General Conference address. When Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy came to train the mission last February, Brother Gonzales from the Church Missionary Department said there are two specific ways we study. There is linear and exponential.

Linear increase was likened to causally studying because while you do learn,
you may not gain as much as you would by studying more effectively and
diligently, which was likened to exponential increase.

4. Ponder - When you pause and reflect on what you have studied, you can gain the understanding of how what you have read is important to you. Ask yourself two questions:
1.  What about that verse stood out to you?
2.  And what from that will you apply to your own life?

5. Pray Again - Closing with prayer allows you to be grateful to the Lord for the knowledge He has given you in this short hour we have. It shows appreciation for His wisdom and knowledge which is endless. By thanking the Lord for the knowledge you gain, you show your gratitude. And the Lord loves when we acknowledge His hand in everything we do.

So yeah just some insights from my training. Hope they help.

Today we are planning on going to the Loveless Cafe in Nashville. I hear that's a big landmark or something. Should be fun. A member is taking us there so we're excited. 

Talk to y'all later.

Elder Peery

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 66 in the Field: Happy Labor Day!

Beautiful Tennessee Sunset

What's up y'all?

Anyways, I'm super excited for this upcoming week. The biggest news of this past week was transfer calls! Elder Nalder will be transferred out, and Elder Bedwell and I will be getting a new companion. We are both super-excited and cannot wait to work with a new companion. I will remain as District Leader for at least one more transfer.

But anyways on Monday we didn't do too much other than give the car back to Spring Hill elders, so that they could use it for the week. We mostly played some basketball again with them and then went over to have dinner with an awesome TS2 family who gave us steak dinners, which was amazing.

Elder Bedwell working on some of the yard

Tuesday we went to go do service at a member's father's house. We worked on sawing off low hanging limbs and hedging,as well as uprooting a bunch of bushes. They gave us pizza for lunch which was great. We then had dinner at the home of the TS1 (Thompson’s Station 1st Ward) family who used to live in Herndon which was cool. Their family is awesome as is their over-energetic dog. After that I waited around for a possible exchange which didn't exactly happen. But it was cool cause I got to join the young men's and ask questions about what it's like being a father/husband.

Elder Bedwell and Elder Nalder at the landfill area

Wednesday we had a good district meeting. I had Sister Halbeisen train on knowledge, and then I
followed that with effective studies. For lunch we had pizza... We then had a good meeting with our recent convert and had a great time talking with him about some of the things he has to look forward to as a member of the Church. For dinner we went over to dinner at a TS2 family's home whose kids go or went to BYU-I. It was fun talking with them for a bit. In the evening I went on exchange with President Dennis, who is the second counselor in the mission presidency. We were able to contact a lot of people, which was great.

Thursday I had a hard time getting a long with Elder Nalder most of the day, but we were able to get some work done. We went to The Well with our recent convert who had some fun. We came back for leftover pizza for lunch... After that we struck out a bunch minus this one place where the lady gave us amazing Popsicles. We had an awesome breakfast for dinner at a TS2 family and then we ended the night at the church.

Friday we had weekly planning, which didn't last as long as usual, which was good. We tried to visit a lot of people, but struck out. Went back to the church and found out our dinner cancelled, but they were kind enough to buy us two pizzas... We tried more people but didn't really get anywhere.  It was a little frustrating.  We want to serve the Lord and teach.

Saturday we got transfer calls! But before that we tried a lot of people, didn't really get anywhere, and then helped a family move. After that we got transfer calls. Elder Danielson was made the new Assistant to the President, and other than Nalder leaving, nothing else changed in my district.

We had dinner with a TS2 family where the mom is from Brazil. And then tried a bunch of people and then called it a night. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that during the move we had pizza. Again. We literally had pizza Tuesday through Saturday. Accidentally. Yeah that was fun.

Sunday was mostly the same except meetings. We also had a “Break-the-Fast” potluck meal after 2nd Ward. We had dinner at the home of one of the counselors in the bishopric for TS1. Then Nalder went off with a YSA to go contact other YSA's. So Bedwell and I went contacting in the neighborhood and got to visit with two member families from TS1. After that we called it a night.

I am excited for the new transfer. Things should be awesome. Have a good week.  Thanks for your prayers.  We appreciate prayers a lot!  Talk with y'all later.

Elder Peery

Special Note:  I am not on Facebook at this time.  My mom only uses Facebook to post my weekly blog. 

Here is my contact info – I’d love to hear from you!  Thanks for keeping in touch – I really appreciate it.

Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
1646 Sunset Road
Brentwood, TN 37027