Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Travelling to and fro: October 18, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,
This week we spent a lot of time travelling. Thursday was transfer day; I went to Rome and picked up my new companion and then we came back to Florence. It was a long day. I should send a picture if I remember. Friday we did our huge programming session and my companion gave me a run for my money shopping - he spent 9,60 and I spent 9,20. I still don't remember a time that I've been beat. Most missionaries spend from 15-30 euro each week on groceries; the cost of living is very high in Italy. Saturday we saw some miracles. Early in the morning we went out to the Cascine - the huge park nearby our house. We started speaking with people and met Luca - the international affairs head for the region of Tuscany. He took a copy of the Book of Mormon and said he would look up the Church in France - he is going to live there for a few years - work transfer. We then met a man from India - Dhusmanta? - and he was so interested in the Gospel that he invited us to his home in India to be his guests of honor. He said, "I will take you around to many centers of worship, where you will teach many people your message. And you will be my guest of honor." Wow. What a referral for India - I hope there are Elders there. If not, add India to the list of international travel plans to do follow-up contacting!
Elder Uchtdorf arrived this last week, and we had a conference with him Tuesday. It was interesting to note the differences between this conference and the one almost 2 years ago with Elder Nelson. They are different types of teachers. I sang a duet with a sister missionary - We are Sowing, both in the chapel and without music - can you name that Italian musical term?
Monday we went to the Questura to get my companion legal, and adding that to all the rest of the travelling... we are tired. We have been on the train for hours and hours this week, going to and from Rome. It's nice that I don't have to worry about much traveling in the future.
Good news - my personal goal of saving the mission more money that I cause it to spend may be accomplished! I found a way to get 20% off deals on train tickets (of all things) and we are working towards lower ATM fees. Add food-storage and money-management training for other missionaries, and I think I may make it! I'm grateful that the money we are able to save will help some other missionaries to serve the Lord.
My companion is from Salt Lake City - near Sandy. He's a great missionary, and he is getting better with his Italian. We are learning a lot from each other. Today we went to the market and tasted a ton of different Italian foods as our cultural experience. It was a lot of fun.
As far as a deeply spiritual note, I'd like to invite each of you to think about the incredible promise and doctrine that we have - an assurance from God. We speak with people every day and many people believe they are right... but have never asked God. They don't feel they need to - they can figure it out for themselves. Almost no one has ever asked. And those who have... and asked in faith... found us. Don't take for granted the power of prayer. It is incredible. Pray for things and the Lord will grant them unto you.
I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that this is His Church. We are seeing great miracles in the work, and our faith together works miracles. May the Lord bless each of you in your lives as you faithfully walk in His paths and ask Him for the blessings He has in store for you.
Con amore,
Anziano Peterson

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