Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lots and lots of things to do: September 20, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,
This last week we had Zone Conference, ZDM, exchanges with Siena, and a couple other things that kept us busy. Zone Conference was Monday, and it was incredible! I am grateful for the opportunity to have great leaders here in the mission.
ZDM was... interesting. In our planning for the training, my companion kept hinting on a topic he wanted to talk about. Strangely, it was a topic that really didn't apply to the other missionaries at all - it was something that I felt was only a problem for myself. It was on being a big black dog - giving loving correction or being a good example without seeming superior. Finally when the other missionaries left, he told me... and was very surprised when he learned that I was all too aware. It is interesting to see how each of my companionships develop into a productive relationship; we are totally different in so many ways, and after just so long we finally come to understand each other that we can simply talk about it for a few hours. It's sort of like a big companionship inventory. Our only problem was that it was the night before a major meeting and our part wasn't yet finished. It ended up going really well; there are some problems with some of the missionaries (is that vague enough for you) and thankfully it was exactly what they needed to hear.
I'm learning again the importance of humility. I've been very blessed in my life, in my mission, in my family... in everything. It is interesting to see how the blessings the Lord has given me affect others. Sometimes people simply hate me or are for some reason jealous. They assume I'm incredibly arrogant and suddenly there is a huge barrier between us. Others are on the other extreme - awe. They simply assume I'm perfect and thus we can no longer communicate. Anything that applies to me simply applies on a different plane. It's unreachable. And then there are some that are able to look beyond the talents or defects or whatever it is that I may have and see me as a person... a son of God. I've had companions that fell into each category, and contacts, and members, and friends... and it has been a life-long struggle to learn to humbly acknowledge the Lord for the gifts with which He blesses His children. No one is perfect. I'm certainly not perfect. Each passing day I realize that more and more. And each new face brings a new opportunity to learn new things. My companion impresses me each day; I am grateful to have another humble companion.
Our Mission President recently returned from a Mission President's Seminar in London; his remarks were based on the new Missionary Handbook and the talks given at the Seminar. There was a quote that hit me hard, by Elder Ballard, "... the harvest is about to commence... those coming in and those returning." Recently we have been very blessed here in Florence; we stop people and they want to talk with us. We set up appointments with members and they are more than willing to accompany us. Investigators come to Church and we find new people each day.
The work goes forward; let us call upon the powers of Heaven!
I love you all, and I know this Church is true.
Anziano Peterson

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