Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 96 in the Field: GREAT Week! A Baptism, General Conference, and Mule Day!

Stephanie's baptism!
(Stephanie was the wife of a member in TSTAT and moved there while I was serving there.
We were able to contact and teach them once before I was transferred, but that took
several weeks of rescheduling. Once I got transferred, Elder Bedwell, Elder Barrus,
and Elder Jensen continued working with her up until she was ready to be baptized.
I was in the area so I got to go up and see it happen on Thursday.)

So this week was great!

On Monday we were incredibly busy. Elder Hinds is really into being active on pday, so in the morning we went fishing. I caught one fish and he caught like 4. After that we met up with Thompson's Station and the zone leaders at the Thompson's Station apartment. It was really weird walking into that apartment after about 7 months. But yeah TSTAT (Thompson’s Station) needed an extra elder for a lunch appointment so I volunteered. It wasn't with anyone I knew especially well, but it was nice. 

After that we went from baseball to basketball to volleyball and finally I got some time to email. We had dinner at a recent convert family, which was great! Turns out the ward here takes really good care of the missionaries. We had a dinner every night this week!

Tuesday we went down to Columbia to attempt to check out Mule Day, which is basically a week long celebration about mules held in Columbia. Yeah, it's kind of strange. But it turned out it didn't start till Thursday. So we ended up going tracting in the nearby area and found a new investigator. In the evening we went over to the Mouser family. I played dodgeball with their sons Bryson and Chris. Bryson is now serving in the Boise, ID mission, and his parents appreciated all the activities we and the Spring Hill missionaries at the time (Plant and Chapman) did with him. Chris is a little taller, but still fun to hang out with. It was cool to see them again.

Wednesday we had district meeting, and it was the first time the district saw that I had replaced Elder Hinds' trainee. One of the sisters started crying because she was sad the trainee had gone home. It was a bit awkward but I got used to it since this happened literally every day. But yeah district meeting was great. Hermana Kilgore trained on the power and authority of our calling and Elder Hinds gave a great training as well. After that we grabbed lunch, and tried a few people. I will admit my memory is not very good as I'm writing this because I still do not have the planner for this area.

Mule Day Mules!

Thursday we went to Mule Day and saw a bunch of members there. Mostly from Knoxville, Kentucky, and other areas not in Columbia. The same rang true for the people going. So missionary work wasn't exactly the most effective thing to do. But we did see a lot of cool stuff there. I bought a Cubs hat and a customized belt with my name on it, for all under $20. In the evening we went to go do some service somewhere and then went for dinner. During dinner, there were massive thunderstorms, and the winds started blowing heavily. What was it? A classic Tennessee Tornado. I didn't see it, but there were three rotations in the sky and the wind was beating against the house. But to my knowledge no one was hurt and there was mainly property damage throughout the city. Nothing major though. I don't think it even touched down, which was a major blessing.

Mule Day Schedule (Columbia Spring Jubilee)

Friday morning we went to help a member paint her house as she was preparing to sell it. I wasn't feeling very well at the time, so it wasn't the best experience for me. We ended up at the church for weekly planning which went really quickly since I still don't have the area book. (It has to sync over via Salt Lake. Every time a missionary gets transferred, his records get transferred to that area which includes the area book.) It still hasn't been sent yet. After that we had dinner, tried some more people and then called it.

Saturday morning was General Conference and we had a great experience there. I decided to test Elder Bednar's advice from when he visited the mission a few weekends ago and not take notes of direct quotes, but what the spirit says. However, I found it incredibly difficult to focus when I did that. So I think I may have to resort to the old ways. I did appreciate Elder Steven E. Snow's talk on humility. I really liked how he talked about how "Humility enables us to have broken hearts when we sin and makes it possible for us to repent." Because with pride, the opposite of humility, you have no idea of a sin, or at least you feel you aren't as bad as others. Kind of like the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. By esteeming oneself above another and putting yourself on that higher platform by stating you sin less than another, you are basically justifying your sin and not actually being humble enough to see that regardless of how many sins, or how bad the sin is, sin is sin. And no unclean thing may dwell in the presence of God, so therefore all must humble themselves and repent. It was pretty eye opening for me. I also like Elder Snow since he's a Church Historian, and I've been able to study some of his works.

Here is the link to Elder Snow’s talk on video.  Soon the talks will be transcribed so you can read the text, too.

After the morning session, a member took us out to eat at some Chinese buffet place. It was a really good buffet that had a lot of good options. Including.... Octopus. I had to try it. It wasn't like calamari, it was legit octopus with hot sauce. It was pretty gross when you think about it, but honestly it was like eating a really fatty peace of steak. But I did it!

The second session was just as good as the first, but even better because BYU-I was singing! I immediately noticed three friends and it was kind of awesome to see them again. (Two were female, one was male). I also really liked Elder Ballard's idea of family councils.

Here is the link to Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk:

Saturday evening, we had a really good priesthood session.

Sunday was a lot of the same. We went to church and watched conference. Our investigator bailed after texting an hour before that she was coming. But I really did enjoy President Thomas S. Monson's remarks about choices in this life. "Although it is imperative that we choose wisely, there are times when we will make foolish choices. The gift of repentance, provided by our Savior, enables us to correct our course settings, that we might return to the path which will lead us to that celestial glory we seek."

Here is the link to President Monson’s talk and announcement of four new temples:

All in all I enjoyed conference a lot.

After that session, we attended a Spanish baptism. Incidentally our dinners on Wednesday and Thursday were with Hispanics so I got to practice my Spanish. The people were happily surprised to see a gringo who could at least understand and speak a little of their language. The baptism was all in Spanish so it was hard to stay focused.

But afterwards, we went with the ward mission leader and his family and watched the final session of conference. I loved Elder Holland's remarks. And so did the recent converts that were watching as well. "With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed." It was really inspiring and I can't wait to be able to read the conference talks later.

Here is the link to Elder Holland’s amazing talk:

After that, we tried a few people, and I got packed and ready to go on an exchange to Thompson's Station today. It will be sweet getting to go back to an old area. We will see what happens!

I'll talk to y'all next week. Incidentally to the Herndon Choir, I really wanted to come up and see y'all but I will have to be content with waiting just seven short weeks. I'll see you then, but I really hope you enjoyed your trip to Nashville. Y'all come back now, y'here?

Elder Peery

Thanks for your prayers and support.  I’d love to hear from you!  Please contact me at:

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

Please note, I am not on Facebook at this time.  I read emails every day, but mission rules allow me to email you back only on Mondays, so thanks for being patient.


Two messages from Elder Peery's mom:

1.  Couldn't resist this meme from the Missionary Momma's Facebook Page!!!

2. From Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
Tomorrow, you and I will return to our regular responsibilities, as I said in general conference. Nobody wants the fears and concerns of tomorrow to destroy the peace and joy we felt yesterday and today as we listened to the inspiring counsel of our leaders. As good as our intentions may be, we may slip into old habits. We will make mistakes.
But don’t give up! The great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed. With the gift of the Atonement and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve.
So keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven will be cheering you on today, tomorrow, forever. I will be cheering for you too.

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