Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And the Lord still does miracles!: 29 March, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,
Well, after realizing that missionary difficulties was probably the main reason why I was sent here (you have two options with struggling missionaries - you can send them home, and hope that someone will help them, or you can try to help them in the mission field), we went to work. Today there was a huge miracle - all of us woke up shortly after 6:30. We make pancakes every day to help groggy elders arise and get out of bed (that means I get up at 6, but hey, eternal salvation is on the line. I'm willing to sacrifice for someone's eternal salvation!), and today I am grateful that the love I've shown and the simple invitations I've given have taken root and we are seeing results - like the Basilico I planted shortly after I arrived here. There was also something else dead in the pot where I planted the Basilico, and it is alive now as well... I guess a green thumb works wonders on lifeless weeds! As far as the work goes, we are seeing incredible miracles, yet again. Today we have 4 or 5 appointments (and we only do work in the evening) and yesterday we met with some great families that would come to Church... except getting to General Conference take over an hour on the train... and you have to take a train, the Metro, and a bus to get to the Church... and it gets over at 9 o'clock. Late. Va bene. We can get our investigators to listen to it on the internet in their native languages. We are planning on a few baptisms, and we literally are running out of time to do finding work - we don't have time to knock doors, and we have to plan time to do the mostra(streetboard) (yesterday during mostra an investigator showed up and we went to his house to teach him, leaving the other 2 Anziani with the mostra...). We have tons of contacts and tons of people came to Church on Sunday. The missionaries, our biggest focus, are becoming more and more alive in the apartment. Even so, we still have work to do, but I can testify that the Lord works miracles. I had lost my pen drive (with all the missionary files that I had created) and I could not determine where I had put it - I hadn't been able to find it since I left Quartu. I thought about it, and felt like it was in my backpack (you know, the feeling that you absolutely know is the Holy Ghost telling you something you didn't know). I actually envisioned myself putting it in a little pocket in the backpack... and so I looked, and it wasn't there. Devastating. I literally emptied every single piece of luggage and every drawer that I had touched over the last two weeks, then finally prayed again to get some guidance, asking for a miracle (for those of you who aren't familiar, I firmly believe that the Lord can do any miracle - even restore my pen drive to me when it is actually in a garbage can somewhere (or in the recycling bin) (or underneath the mattress - smile :)). He can do anything.) I thought again to my backpack, and for the 3rd or 4th time I checked through the now empty pockets, searching deep down in the pencil pockets where I "saw" myself put it. In the third pocket, I felt something hard at the bottom, and brought up my missing pen drive, with all the information that I will need to help the branch put together an activity on food storage. It was a miracle, and I am grateful that the Lord still works miracles among the children of men.
Saturday we had a huge activity with our Branch (well, at least the Branch President's family). They came and did scambi (exchanges) with us all day, and so we had 3 companionships and we did tons of mostra and house and appointments. It was awesome - the members were on fire, and the next day (because branch conference was cancelled at the very last moment by the district) the theme was on missionary work. It was incredible. Everyone was involved, and at ZDM (Zone Development Meeting) the Zone Leaders complimented the Zone on the huge improvement we had had in our work. We are going forward!
Other than that, I am teaching my companion many things. His handwriting needs help, so I'm teaching him Calligraphy. We work on singing every day so we can sing in appointments and actually do harmony without him losing the melody line. His language skills are getting better, and changing the language from English to Italian enables him to be a bit more couth in his expressions. I love my companion - the best part is that, around me, he is teachable. So are the other two Anziani - we can learn from each other, and we believe that we can learn from each other. I'm really grateful for the opportunity the Lord has given me to be here in Battipaglia, because the work is going forward, and we are becoming 100% obedient, and we are seeing great success on every front.
I love you all - go out and do some missionary work for me!
Anziano David Peterson

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