Monday, May 2, 2016

"You are who you choose to be!" - The Iron Giant

Chillin' in the Tro-tro.
Dear friends & family, 
On Thursday I went on exchange with Elder Friday (of Nigeria) and it was probably one of the worst proselyting days I’ve had on mission. We had several appointments fall through right after the other and I was stressing out about having the "model area."
We went to the Ransford family and everyone was just sleeping (at 2 in the afternoon, not having done anything all day) we tried to rouse them, but it just made them mad. The dude across the street was pumping his speakers that were the size of a small refrigerator, Kelvin (the 2 year old who’s not potty trained) started peeing all over. Mame then got mad, then a rain storm blew in and we couldn't be heard over the chaos and so in frustration I said we were going and we would try again tomorrow. Leslie hopped on the back of my bike and we pedaled toward home for lunch down a dirt road. I was wet, dirty, straining to pedal myself and a twelve-year old on a super bumpy rocky and now muddy dirt road. As I felt pathetic and sorry for myself I had a realization. I had flashbacks to all the great things that have happened in my mission so far. I thought of all the people we had been able to teach, and how there are missionaries all over the world that spend most of their days looking for something to do, I should consider myself lucky that that only happens once and a while. I will not get the chance to pedal through Russia Zongo in the rain very often in my life, so I should take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy it. 
On Wednesday we went to do service for a super pregnant lady (sis Hansen) in our ward who has three stubborn boys (thought mom would relate to that pretty well) we helped her wash her cars and iron some of their clothes. It was fun to figure out how to wash a car with nothing but a bucket, some laundry detergent, and a small net. Elder Miller and I had to get creative with that. Sis Hansen has a niece who is living with her and helping her with house chores and we have been teaching her. Hopefully she will be baptized in the coming month. 
This week I have really been working on not complaining. There’s a lot to complain about: I wish I had chocolate milk, carpet between my toes, the gospel library app, a hot pressurized shower, the list goes on and on. I have been striving to focus on the genius statement made by young King Arthur in Shrek the Third: "If there's someone you really want to be, or something you really want to do, the only person standing in your way is you." another great one is from the Iron Giant, "you are who you choose to be, go on choose" 
I have been trying to focus more on this idea as I have been teaching people. A lot of the time we make all kinds of excuses. People will justify not keeping commitments, sinning, all kinds of stuff with the most ridiculous excuses I have ever heard. So is it ok if we sit small with you? Oh, I’m small busy right now. Ok so what can we help you with? Well it’s raining. There’s a ton of really good scriptures on agency, but I feel like as a missionary I neglect to teach it as much as I should. Teaching all the other lessons doesn't matter if you don't believe that you have control over the outcome of your life. Ephesians 4:14, Moroni 7:16-17, 2 Nephi 2:27, there are a ton of scriptures on why this is important. 
One thing I have noticed is that most people look to a church for either welfare or entertainment, if the church doesn't satisfy those two wants then people don't really want to attend (unless the know its Christ’s true church) sometimes I think that even we as members of the church of Jesus Christ forget that. We look to our own involvement in the church of Jesus Christ for entertainment, and are disappointed when that is not the result. Really the whole purpose of church is to take the sacrament on Sunday, and commit to use your agency throughout the next week to make good choices, following Jesus Christ. Then go about your week, making good choices. Any other extra stuff is just that, extra.
I love you guys a ton! 

-love Elder Peters

One more from the exchanges last week with Elder Perry.  

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