Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 86 in the Field: Worldwide Missionary Training AND Snow!

See Isaiah 1:18 written in the snow!

Okay so this week was fun.

Monday we had a three way dart war at the church. It was entertaining to say the least.  A lot of fun and not one dart was lost. We then ended the Pday playing Life.  Didn't have too much success contacting in the evening.

Tuesday we began the cold day tracting near our house but didn't pick up anyone except a nice family in a big house. In the afternoon, I went out home teaching with Brother Cosgriff, but didn't have too much luck. When we came back we felt inspired to go tracking this really fancy street. And I mean really rich. Like mansions all over the place. Surprisingly, we actually found someone who is semi-interested. He invited us back some other time, but we haven't been able to get in contact with him due to the snow. We had to call it quits in the evening because it was getting way too cold, and no one was opening up.

Watching the broadcast

Wednesday was sweet. We went to the church building and watched a worldwide missionary broadcast that was focused on the idea of "teach repentance, baptize converts". Essentially what I was gathering from it was that in some cases, missionaries may not focus on the most important things like repentance.

What the quorum of the twelve were emphasizing were teaching and testifying of Christ in every lesson, inviting the Spirit to really and soundly testify, and making sure we are teaching the atonement more. It was a big eye opener and you can read bits and pieces of what happened on 

Here is a link to Elder Oaks’ talk:

But I think the biggest thing I got out was when Elder Bednar said something along the lines of "The Holy Ghost is not supposed to be the instrument, we are supposed to be the instruments in the Lord's hands." Essentially meaning that the Holy Ghost isn't a missionary tool, the missionaries are the tools the Holy Ghost uses to testify to people. And that relationship is only open if the missionaries are diligent and obedient. 

He explained, “You can bring truth unto the heart, but you can’t push it into the heart. That is very important to understand. We can bring the message unto the heart, but the investigator has to allow it into their heart.”

Here is link to training presented by Elder Bednar, Sister Oscarson, and Elder Clayton:
Pretty cool overall. After that we saw some people and scheduled some more appointments.

Thursday we went out to go see some people up north. We found this one family, the Nagy's, and they were from New Jersey which was really cool. Accent and all. Husband was interested but he asked us to wait with him for a little bit till his wife got home. That "little bit" was more like an hour. It was kind of weird and awkward the entire time but we had some good conversations still. When the wife actually got there I couldn't remember if she actually was interested or not. It was a little hard to tell. They invited us back though so that was good. In the evening we had an awkward dinner with a part member less active family who were not interested in coming back. Elder Barrus was a little too bold with them, so it was just awkward all around. But oh well. We came back home after that.

Friday was when he fun started. We got a text at 9:00am from the ZL's (Zone Leaders) to "use this time to help people shovel their walks." We burst out laughing because it was pouring rain. But about three hours later it started to snow... And snow... And snow... We got about 4 inches which was good for TN. President then told everyone to stay inside until the roads cleared up. Bishop heard about us and got us dinner. That's when boredom sat in.


Saturday was a whole lot of nothin’. Elder Barrus is a very active guy so he was having cabin fever bad. He just kept cleaning and re-cleaning while Elder Beckett and I just chatted after calling all our investigators to try and set up appointments with them for the next week.

Sunday was the same thing. Church meetings were cancelled due to the bad weather.  We literally didn't leave our apartment. It had improved but was still icy. Luckily today we were able to leave.

That was about it for the week. I hit my 20-month mark this week on Wednesday, and as of today I have less than four months on my mission. It's kind of crazy to believe how long I've been out but it certainly has felt like it. Hope you are doing well with whatever snow you may have gotten. I can't believe how much snow Virginia got this past weekend.  That's incredible.

Talk to you next week.

Elder Peery


Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 85 in the Field!

 Old picture from Christmastime with Elder Harrison,
Hermana James, and Hermana Lutui

So Monday was the last Pday with Elder Harrison. He was kind of sad to be leaving, but happy to be going at the same time. We shipped a lot of packages home that day which significantly made the amount of things I have, much less. After that we spent the rest of the night packing and figuring out how in the world we were going to cram three missionaries into the apartment.

Tuesday we loaded up Bro. Wade's car and we drove on down to transfers. They aren't having any more transfer meetings, it's just pick up the new companions and off you go. However Elder Beckett arrived very late and so we spent more time there than we were supposed to. After arriving back at the apartment, Elder Barrus and I commenced the deep clean of the apartment. We threw out approximately 5 trash bags worth of Elders and Hermanas clothing, junk, and who knows what. The result? An apartment just big enough for two people (and one of them cramped in there). We had dinner at KFC in the evening after seeing a few people and I got to know them better.

Elder Barrus is from Grantsville, UT and he is a sports player through and through. In high school he played baseball, basketball, and football but his favorite is probably baseball. He hopes to make it to the majors and his favorite player is Bryce Harper (plays for the Nationals and is one of my favs too). He's very diligent and focused on whatever he's doing. He's been out about 6 months. Elder Beckett is from Idaho Falls, ID and now takes the record for the closest companion that I will ever live near. He's a gamer and kind of a nerd which I can relate to a bit. He's been out for about 15 months. Basically it's like serving with Elder Hansen and Elder Stange again.

Wednesday we had district meeting and other than my two new companions, the only real change is that Elder McClain is the new district leader and he is also training a new missionary, Elder Cox. It's a pretty cool district and I'm excited to work with them. After district meeting we tried a bunch of people but didn't have too much luck. We did tract into a young mom so that was pretty good. After dinner with the Cosgriff's we tried a few more people but mostly didn't have too much success.

The trek. Elder Barrus is on the left and Elder Beckett is behind him.

Thursday was day one of the trek. We walked approx. 13 miles that day trying a bunch of people. We found maybe 2 solid people and cleared out like 50. Very productive. In the evening we found a less active family and we are having dinner with them on Thursday which will be cool. 

Friday was a lot of the same, except we divided up our areas into sections to help know where investigators are living. We then walked down to the bottom of the area and tried some people there. We had much success near the projects in the south and have some new investigators. Hopefully they will be willing to keep commitments too. In the evening we contacted a few less active families and saw Bro. Mathis. He was very happy to see us and we talked for awhile. His accent is incredibly thick. As he explains, "Well back in my time, kids went off to school to learn English. But I went off to go fishing. So that's why it stuck." 

Elder Beckett getting attacked by puppies

On Saturday we finished off the bottom part of the area and went north and got the car back. We had walked a total of about 25 miles those three days. It was awesome. We tried a bunch more people but didn't have too much success. Most of our time was out in the boonies so it was good to clear that up.

Sunday we had a rather interesting day at church. Instead of the usual meetings, there was a regional area conference broadcast from Salt Lake City.  Elder L. Whitney Clayton who is in the presidency of the seventy conducted it and he talked about pressing forward with a steadfast faith in Christ. Sister Linda S. Reeves of the Relief Society General Presidency, talked about the prodigal sons and also talked about overcoming the temptations of the world by counting our blessings and serving each other. I really liked her talk the best. 

Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the importance of temples and Elder Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on strengthening families. They were all great talks. Afterwards we had a potluck so that was fun. In the evening we tried some more people but mostly cleared out a lot. We went from having about 200 investigators, to about 42 with some left to try. When I came to the area there were about 700 investigators so this is a really old thing to narrow down the teaching pool of who's really interested.

That was basically all that went down this week. We have a worldwide missionary conference this Wednesday so that should be really cool. I'm excited for it. Hopefully everything is going great on your end.  Please stay in touch.  I'd love to hear from you.

Talk to you next week.

Elder Peery

Barren Fork River

Please contact me at:

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

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 84 in the Field: Learning The Lord's Way

1-4 Northcutts Cove Chapel - The oldest standing LDS meetinghouse in the south. Built in 1909, some renovations on the inside (including lighting and heating) have been added
 to the original structure, but most of it is pretty original.

Okay lots to cover.

Monday we went down to the oldest standing LDS meetinghouse in the southeastern states. The Northcutts Cove Chapel was built on October 24, 1909. The door was open so we got to go inside and look around. It had a very peaceful feeling about it and you could feel the power of the spirit from behind the pulpit.

In the evening we had a great dinner with the stake president and his wife and we talked about the stake itself and how close it is to splitting into two stakes. Probably will happen in six months to a year. In the evening we went and saw Debra who is still struggling stopping smoking as well as getting up on weekends.

Tuesday we went to go work on the house again. I should make a note that although it may appear that's mostly what we do, the total time we usually spend on working on the house is about two hours every time. It's not a huge project really. After that we went on exchanges with the ward clerk and went to go see a few people. In the evening we went to try some more people and got into one house. He wasn't interested, but something Elder Harrison ate didn't agree with him so he had to use the dude's bathroom leaving me with an uninterested investigator for about 15 minutes. Here's how good I've gotten at talking to people. There was not one bit of awkward silence. Found out he was in the Navy during the Yugoslavian revolts as an electrician, something he's continued to do. I also found out he worked in Norfolk, VA which is decently close to home. It was cool talking with him, shame he wasn't interested.

The Manchester District (from left to right: Elder Tracy, Elder Partida (kneeling), Elder Harrison, Elder Catherall, Elder McClain (crouching), Elder Peery,
 Hermana James, Hermana Lutui)

Wednesday we had the last district meeting of the transfer and it was a lot of fun. Elder Harrison trained on using the Book of Mormon and Hermana Lutui trained on diligence. Kudos to her cause that's a difficult subject to train on. After that we went on exchanges with the district leader and I went down to Manchester with Elder Catherall. For the most part all we did was tract and walk. We walked about 12 miles which was fun. Catherall's kind of a quiet kid but he was cool to talk to.
Book of Mormon study group in Tullahoma

In the evening we had a Book of Mormon study class in Tullahoma which was fun.

Thursday we went back to McMinnville and did some more service on the house. All subfloor is down and we were starting to put the drywall up. We then struck out the rest of the day which was kind of sad.

Friday was the same story minus service. In the evening, President called, and among other things, he told us that Elder Harrison would be sent to Clarksville to be in a trio, and I would receive two missionaries here and be in a trio. The missionaries I will be serving with will be Elder Barrus and Elder Beckett. Elder Barrus replaced me in Thompson's Station and was greenie busted there by Elder Jensen and Elder Bedwell. Elder Beckett came out with Harrison so this will be fun. 
Playing a Les Paul Gibson

Saturday was spent mostly saying goodbye to people. We had dinner with the Pennington's and after dinner Bro. Pennington took us downstairs to his recording studio and had us jam on some of his instruments. I got to mess around on his Les Paul which was super fun, and I also got to play his bass and drums. Super fun time.

Sunday we taught Gospel Principles on the final judgment. So far the only area I haven't taught gospel principles in yet has been Hendersonville. It's been a lot of fun. Basically when it came to the lesson the point was that although we don't know everything about the final judgment, we need to be more worried about how our hearts will be at that time. President Dennis of the mission presidency sat in on the lesson, which was cool, too. After church we went over to the Caten's to go have lunch there and play games. After that we mostly just spent more time saying goodbye and packing.

If there's anything I've learned this transfer it could be summed up best in a quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

"The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way. Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive. Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy." 

I know that certain judgments from people shouldn't offend others. But if we are ever offended we must forgive those who trespass us. A good quote is "Harboring anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." It doesn't work to just hold it in. You have to let it go. Here is the link to President Uchtdorf’s talk: 

 But yeah that's basically what happened this week. I'm looking forward to transfers and a new start. Hopefully this will be a good one and hopefully I'll be able to cram three missionaries into an apartment built for one.

Thanks for your emails and letters. I really appreciate your support.

Elder Peery

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