Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 76 in the Field: Mission Home, Moving Day, and Elder Zwick

 Moving the grand piano

All right, another awesome week in Nashville!
The mission home (President Andersen is in the middle of the picture)

So! Monday we hung out with the mission president again! We played walleyball and racquetball--both fun and competitive. We got to hang out at the mission home for a bit, which was also cool.

The missionary board

President and Sister Andersen had been preparing the place for when a member of the Seventy would come this week, Elder Zwick. In the evening I can't really remember what we did.

The living room in the mission home

Tuesday we were notified a family was moving from Smith Springs to Mt. Juliet so we went on over and began the move. The family was thankfully small, but the wife was a professional musician. So she liked music books. Lots of books. So much so that there were about six good size bookshelves for all these books. She also had a marimba, at least a couple violins, drum set, a couple guitars, possibly a mandolin, and a 9 ft grand piano. More on that for Wednesday. We moved the majority of the stuff over to their new place. In the evening we had a Book of Mormon class with the sister missionaries so that was cool. 

The U-haul set up

Wednesday was round two at the family that was moving. This time we had a lot more help. One of the people involved was the wife's brother who actually was a professional at moving grand pianos. The thing went a lot smoother than we thought and we got it out of there pretty good.. Until we arrived at the new house which had stairs leading up to the front door where the piano was going. Someone had the genius idea to park the Uhaul on the yard and have the ramp connect inside. Somehow, it worked. We were able to get the piano in there along with the rest of the stuff in a matter of hours. After that Bro. Drake drove us to Vanderbilt cause he needed to get something signed. We went over to this place called Pizza Perfect where they made the second best pizza I've had on my mission (first place is still Windy City Pizza in Hendersonville). In the evening we had dinner with David.

Thursday morning we drove up to Clarksville to meet Elder Craig Zwick.  He is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in our church. There were a lot of missionaries there. The stakes involved were Paducah, Hopkinsville, Nashville, and Madison. It was awesome. Elder Zwick talked about the birth of the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel. He talked about how in May 1995 President Hinckley relayed his concerns that many missionaries were teaching recited lessons and not from the heart. He wanted to fix that, and thus Preach My Gospel came into play. It was interesting to note that none of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles or the First Presidency died during the course of its making. Even though Elder Neal A. Maxwell was given six months to live in 1996 (he had cancer),  and Elder David B. Haight was at first pronounced dead on a hospital bed, he was successfully revived and lived to help with the production of Preach My Gospel. 

The book was published with each member having a significant contribution in it. And about a week after its publication, Elder Haight passed away and Elder Maxwell followed him two weeks later. Elder Zwick also talked about how we can improve as missionaries by teaching more simply--something I've been trying to implement in every teaching appointment since I've gotten here. Too many missionaries feel they have to expound everything and take forever, but you really only have to teach it simply. I also sat at Elder Zwick's table during lunch and got to talk personally with him, which was totally cool. 

Click here to learn a little more about Elder Zwick (or you may have to cut and paste the link).  It's worth it:

Friday we tried a bunch of people. We got to see Bro. Kessel at his new home which is a retirement complex in one of the taller buildings in the area. From the top, you can see the Nashville skyline. Super cool. We also had weekly planning and some other stuff.

Nashville skyline

Saturday we went and tried a ton of people. One cool experience was when we were tracting, we saw a car that had a Utah University logo on it, sitting outside an apartment complex. So we proceeded to try and find whoever lived there. First door we tried we found a lady named Skylar who was the owner of the car. Turns out she's a member from Utah and was happy to have us come back sometime. We also tried some others and ended the night playing basketball at the church with some investigators.

Sunday at church only one of our investigators showed up sadly. It's been hard getting people to church lately due to illnesses. But who knows what will happen. I ended up teaching Gospel Principles again on prophets and the role they play in our lives. During Elders Quorum meeting, the Providencia Ward opened up the gym for their primary program so we had to relocate. The only classroom we could find was the room with the baptismal font. It's a pretty tiny room, so cramming about 25 people in there was fun. In the evening we had dinner with the Relief Society president, and we were going over faith. I realized a really amazing analogy that was brilliant in my mind:

A lot of people I've met on my mission claim that science is the only way to know the truth of all things and that it's foolish to have faith in a God. However faith is a lot like science. The scientific method in a nutshell (it's been almost two years since I took a science class so bear with me), is developed first with an idea or thought. For instance, "I wonder if this rock will fall faster than this leaf?" So you develop an hypothesis: "I believe this rock will fall faster than this leaf." But then you have to test or experiment your hypothesis by dropping the rock at the same time as a leaf. Seeing that your rock falls faster than the leaf you begin to develop a theory. You maintain the theory by continuing to test it and use variables. The more tests you make, the more you come to a sure knowledge that this rock will fall faster than a leaf. 

The same thing works with God and the church. We just invite people to experience the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Book of Mormon, there is actually a literal explanation of this. 

It starts with an idea and hypothesis:

"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." (Alma 32:27)

An experiment and theory:

"But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow." (Alma 32:30)

Maintaining the experiment and re-testing:

"And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out." (Alma 32:37-38)

And then a sure knowledge:

"41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life. And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst. Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you." (Alma 32:41-43)

So yeah, you can actually use the scientific method on the gospel. It works. And when you develop a sure knowledge, your faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to grow and plant other seeds for generations to follow. Cool stuff.

Anyways life is going good and I'm working hard on improving myself. I hope to be even better for these last six months. I'm so excited for Thanksgiving next week. Hope y'all are doing well! Talk to you next week!

Elder Peery

Special note from Elder Peery’s Mom:
It means a LOT to hard-working missionaries to hear a kind word of cheer
from family and friends. If you would like to send (even brief) greetings to Elder Peery
at Thanksgiving, please know that he would be truly grateful to hear from YOU! 
Contact him at:

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

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