Saturday, February 17, 2007

For the beauty of the Earth!: August 10, 2005

...There are some things that we just need to make time for.
Dear Family,
I see that prayers and faith work! You got my picture CD, and here is a slight runthrough. At the MTC, my companions were 2 difference elders - one was shorter, with dark hair and the next was balding with glasses. My teachers were 1, again, balding with glasses, and 2, lighter hair, smile. We have some pictures from our visit to Rome the first day - that is my MTC group in front of Saint Paul's outside the Walls of Rome. There are a bunch of scenics of the art and artifacts of Rome near the Colosseum. Also, a picture of the Assistants to the President. Then, a picture of us at the Villa (the Mission Home) and me with the Mission President and his wife (you should have already gotten that one a while ago). That was a volcano - that is the famed Vesuvius (which by the way is impossible to access right now - it turned on my last week in Napoli and now hot lava flows hinder the tourist flow to the top :) ) and the tall Elder was my first companion. The peanut butter man (it was a joke - I bought seven jars of peanut butter at the American Base the day we went) is one of my Zone leaders, in the cave you can see 2 more (one is also in another eating cereal). My second companion is the only one that isn't in many other pictures. We went to the Amalfi Coast - and it is the most gorgeous place in the world as far as green goes. The super-scenic views of mountains covered in green and tiny sea-side cities are from there. There are a few pictures from Zone Conference, and then pictures of members and contacts. A member from Equador is in front of her paintings, and there is another where you can see her Joseph Smith chalking in progress. The activity director at Napoli has bright red hair.
Speaking of pictures... could you choose a few choice ones and send them on to your email list? Now, on to the meaning of my email title. I think that when I am senior companion to someone (Or when I get a companion that is so inclined) I will make sure to take the time to learn and observe and love the place and people and culture we are in. I have never seen a sunset here, and the people tell us they are absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen a sunrise, either. I have no pictures of Ladispoli yet, and transfers are next week! Oh... that reminds me... I should probably be telling you not to send mail to that address in the next 5 days, but I feel like I will stay in Ladispoli. I want to stay in Ladispoli. I don't want to ever leave Ladispoli... which may mean that I'm going... Either way, I love this little city. I really like that poem, Mom - I think I will have a copy hanging in my kitchen one day, too. I really think we all need to take time in our lives for the things that are important - our children, the culture of our people, the church... having a beautiful home and a good job are important, but children do grow up, opportunities run away, and soon we find ourselves with nothing but a beautiful house that still needs cleaning and a job that still requires that we come from 9-5 every day. I'll include the poem for those who get my email and wonder (I know you do) exactly what this wonderful poem is. "Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So, quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep!"
I'm glad that the missionaries who were "blown in" as we say (there weren't Anziani before) have taken notice of our family. Please tell them when you are available for going to appointments (everyone included) and don't feed them too much (they're like goldfish - they will keep eating food on their plates until they die). Also, make sure that there are always friends at home when they come. Talk to everyone about the missionaries and the blessings of the Gospel. Everyone was once on the side of the Lord - they just need to find His Team here and POW! We have another life changed for the better.
Yesterday we did scambio - when we change companions for a day - and I was with an Itlian missionary. He is a convert of 2 and a half years. He is 23, and has a strong testimony of the profound effect the Gospel can have on lives (he has seen it). He obviously speaks fluent Italian, and if I ever have him as a companion I will be greatly blessed. I'm grateful to have him as a zone leader. We were walking in a huge park in Rome and talking with the people (we decidede recently to be open - to open our mouths with everyone) and I saw the Guardians on horseback. I suggested that we talk with them, and we gave away a copy of The Book of Mormon! The woman was very interested and said she would read it, and inside they had placed a copy of the Brani I typed up. It was a great experience, and taught us that truly all people are ready for the Gospel. Everyone can use it. If you are having trouble with what to say to friends to teach them about the Gospel, read in Preach My Gospel chapter 3, first lesson. Bear your testimony about Joseph Smith and then talk about the blessings the Church has in your life. Always talk about the Restoration and Modern Prophets - this is our unique message to the World.
I love you all a ton! Be good, and do the Work!
Anziano David Peterson

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