Monday, September 26, 2016

 Happy Fall Everyone!

This week was the most successful week of my mission! We saw so many miracles in our area and in our district! We have 8 people who are preparing for baptism! The Lord is blessing us so much because of our faith! Its great to see! 

This week we visited and taught one of our investigators named Evan. He is in his early twenties. We met him tracting a while ago. In the past, he has had negative feelings/ideas about God. But recently, he has been praying a lot more and meeting with us and has become a lot more positive about God! Its truly amazing how much prayer and scripture study help us. We met with him a couple times this week and he committed to be baptized! He committed to prepare to be baptized on October 29th! Which sadly, i might not be here... but thats not what matters! What matters is him deciding to follow in Christ's footsteps and be baptized by proper Priesthood authority! Evan is doing great. I think he really enjoys meeting with us. 

This week fall started! Its been getting a little chilly here. So, we had to whip out the sweaters the other day. I love sweater weather. Its real refreshing because all summer we have been sweating like pigs because of the humidity. But thats what the weather is like here :) 

I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Marks this week to his area. We taught a cool guy named Rotex who is all about God. He loves to talk about the Gospel. He is from Nigeria too. That was cool. But i think the coolest part about my exchange with Elder Marks was teaching a less active member named Richard Thrift. Richard joined the church in the UK (he has the coolest accent btw). He has been inactive for 22 years! We went and visited with him and he ended up coming to church yesterday!!! He is so solid and is really wanting to get back in to the church and becoming active again. 

I cannot explain how much the Lord has blessed us and our district lately. 

We also met with Abby and Patrick this week. We met with their friend Gina who just moved in with them. We taught them and Gina committed to being baptized! We just have to continue to work with them on following the Word of Wisdom. The work is moving forward! Im glad to be part of it!

I got to hold a chicken this week! Cool experience! I kinda want one now...

This week we received a challenge to read some chapters in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible. Hebrews 11, Alma 32, Ether 12, and the Bible Dictionary: Faith. As you can tell, these chapters teach us about faith. Hebrews 11 talks about things that faith enables us to do. Alma 32 gives the great analogy of faith being like a seed, if planted it will grow. The Bible Dictionary had a great definition of faith as well. But the chapter that stood out to me the most was Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon. What a great chapter! I learned so much as i read. I really like how it says multiple times throughout the chapter that it isnt until AFTER the trial of our faith that we receive a witness. I love that we arent going to be given everything. We have to work for it! As we show our faith through scripture study and prayer and church attendance and serving others, we are showing the Lord our faith in Him and he will bless. He will ALWAYS bless us. I know it because ive seen it in my life! 

Anyways, I love you all! Thank you so much for all you do and the prayers that you see my way. I hope you have a great week this week. I know that as we continue to rely on the Lord, He will always bless. ESPECIALLY in time of need! 

I love you all! I will talk to you soon! Have a blessed week and keep up the great work! 

P.s. Here's a chicken  🐔

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Stay Strong, Get Stronger!

Hello Everyone! 

Before I get to updating you on my week, I would just like to take a little time and tell the Shanklin family that I love them and that they are in my prayers. Im so sorry for your loss. But I know that you will be together with your Dad again! Families truly are forever! I know that with all my heart. The happiness that comes when you are with your family does not end here. The Lord made it possible for us to have that happiness forever! I love you guys! Stay strong! 

This week was a good week. We have been behind on miles because of transfers and because our zone leaders had to take some of our allotted miles and give them to some other missionaries. But it's all good. That just means a little more walking than we have been used to! So, we walked a lot this week! 

We have been teaching a Filipino lady named Abby and her husband Patrick! It's been great! They love talking with us. I think the hardest thing for him to do is quit smoking and to leave their church. They are extremely involved in it. But we will see. The Lord is definitely capable of working miracles. Sometimes in life we just have to ask ourselves if we have the faith to see miracles. 
Stay Strong, Get Stronger!

Yesterday in church someone said, "Stay strong, get stronger." That is so true! With working out and exercising, you always have to be doing something to continue to build muscle or endurance or stamina. Or you will lose it. The same goes with faith. If we are doing everything we can to build it, once we have strong faith, we have to continue to do things to build our faith or we will lose it! Faith is so necessary in our lives to rely on the Savior and trust in Him. He will guide us back to the presence of our Father in Heaven. 

We got some more newbies in our district this week! Elder Gold is from Boise, Idaho and Elder Davis is from Overland Park, Kansas! I used to live there too! It's super cool. Elder Olson is the other new missionary but he's not new to the mission. He just got transferred to our district. We are having so much fun because guess what?! Rather than just having four missionaries in our district, we now have six! So you know what that means....3 on 3 basketball!!! It's super fun haha.  The other morning we were playing and Elder Gardner threw an alley oop to Elder Gold and he threw it down with two hands! We are confident that we can take any district in the mission! Haha

We had a leadership meeting in Amherst this week as well. All the leaders in the Buffalo area went and met with President Evans. He is so awesome.  He wrote out a phrase on the chalkboard and had us ponder and finish it. The phrase was "When I am obedient, I see the Savior..." I thought about it for a while. The way I finished the sentence was, "When I am obedient, I see the Savior smile." Sometimes in life it is hard for us to see why the Lord has given us certain commandments. But, when we picture Him smile when we obey and when we make righteous decisions, it is easier for us to obey. Remember that we are and always will be indebted to Him. But when we do the small things that He asks of us, He smiles.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! I will talk to you soon! 


Elder Peters

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Monday, September 12, 2016

The Word of Wisdom is for Champs!

Hey Everyone!

The Lord blessed us so much this week! It is so great realizing the
ways He blesses us on a daily basis. He is with us every step of the
way! He loves us and wants the very best for us.

This week was good. I started off by going on exchanges with the zone
leaders. Elder Ahola from Finland came to Orchard Park (he served her
before me) and we did some work down here. In the meanwhile, Elder
Gardner went up to Lancaster with Elder Leifson. While Elder Ahola was
here, we taught the Filipino lady named Abby that I talked about last
week in my weekly email. We were able to teach her and her husband! We
taught about Joseph Smith and how he was a prophet of God, called to
restore the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. They
were interested! We read Moroni 10: 3-5 with them. This is a reference
from the Book of Mormon. Moroni (who was the last prophet to write in
the Book of Mormon before they were buried to later be translated by
Joseph Smith) promises that if we read and pray with real intent and a
sincere heart, then the Holy Ghost with manifest the truth of all
things unto us. When we read that, we challenged them to read and pray
with sincere hearts. They both were willing to do so! They seemed
sincere and even desirous to do so! It was so cold. The Spirit was so
strong there as we bore testimony to them. It was great. Exchanges
with Elder Ahola were great. I learned so much from him.

Yesterday, we got the transfer email yesterday and Elder Gardner and I
are staying together in Orchard Park! That means I will be here for 6
months just like Batavia! So cool! Oh! And we are getting two more
missionaries in our district! One of which was just released from
being an assistant to the Mission President! Oh and another thing.
Elder Marks, Elder Olson, and I will all be training. So we will have
three greenies in our district! Haha fun! It's gonna be great!

We have been working lot with the members here trying to involve them
in missionary work as much as possible. They are doing well. I feel
like they all have a desire to be involved but sometimes may not know
just how to do so or lack the courage to do so. So, our job is to help
them feel more comfortable in sharing the Gospel with their friends
and family. We have been applying Elder M. Russell Ballard's promise
that he gave in a general conference a while ago. And that promise is
that if the full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask for our
fear to be replaced wi faith when it comes to missionary work, then
more missionary opportunities and miracles will occur on both sides of
the situation. We've seen great things come from it. We've received
referrals and members are a lot more missionary-minded! All this has
made me think. Was I as involved in missionary work as much as I could
have been back home? Or was I scared? Or nervous? Or did I not know
how to reach out? Was I scared that I might ruin friendships? All
these thoughts and doubts about sharing the Gospel come from the
adversary. He doesn't want us to share the Gospel and the Light that
accompanies it. But I know that as we all reach out to our fellow
children of God, that we will be blessed and we will share the Light
that we love so much with the world. The Lord said, "Ye are the light
of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do
men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your
Father which is in heaven." Let us all press forward and seek out
those who are ready to hear the Gospel. The Lord is preparing people
to bring each and every day. There are people in your lives NOW that
are ready to hear the Gospel of can at least benefit from its message.
My invitation to all of you is to kneel In prayer and earnestly ask
our Heavenly Father who we can help. I wanna hear how it goes with
you! Shoot me an email when you try this out. I wanna hear the
miracles that come from this! Whether it be by service, by our
examples, by love, by our testimonies. It is my testimony that there
are people who need the Gospel and are looking for it. We just have to
show them where it is!

His week we were teaching a less active lady who has recently been
coming back to activity in the church. We have been teaching her he
missionary lessons and she is loving it! She really has a great desire
to com back and to regain her testimony! It's great to see. This week
we were talking about the Plan of Salvation. She and her brother love
Pokemon so I used a Pokemon analogy in the lesson about how we gain
EXP (experience) here in life to help us grow and to eventually become
the Charizard that God knows we can become. They kinda paused and
looked at me. Then said, "that's awesome. I love the nerdiness
relating it to Pokemon!" Pretty proud moment right there haha. Oh! And
I also made a LEGO analogy with this kid who is preparing to be
baptized. I quoted Helaman 5:12 and built a structure with the LEGOs
he was playing with. I told him that the foundation which the building
was built upon was Christ and that when we build upon Christ, we
cannot fall. We had some fun teaching this week.

We had a fun experience yesterday. We had a little time before a meal
appointment with a family in the ward. So, we went street contacting
in Orchard Park. It was about time for us to head out to our meal
appointment when we were walking past a bar. There was a patio there
where people were watching football and drinking alcohol. A guy said
to us, "keep the faith!" They then called us over to the fence by
their table. They weren't all the way there, but they praised us for
doing what we are doing at such a young age. They then said that they
had a bunch of questions about Jesus and everything. It was great. We
were able to bear testimony. This guy didn't want us to go. He kept
telling us to come closer and keep teaching him. He would listen
really well to us as we bore testimony. He invited us to come to his
house tonight to talk about Jesus and to answer some of his questions.
It was so cool! But it was weird at the same time because who knows if
it was him talking or the alcohol. But we shall see tonight! Haha. He
kept telling us to come In and he would buy us some soda. That
probably wasn't the best idea. Just picture it, two missionaries
chilling In a bar. Yeah. That's like an oxymoron. Before we left, he
said, "you guys come here. I'm gonna give you a big ole hug!" So he
came up to the fence and gave us a big hug over the fence. The whole
bar was filled with some really happy cheering haha.

Anyways, thanks for all you do to strengthen me each and every day!
Your prayers are felt even as I am walking down the street talking to
people! I love you all and am praying for you each and every day! I
hope all is well back home. I love you all! Have a great week! I will
talk to you soon!

Much Love
Elder Peters

Oh and p.s. I was asked yesterday at our dinner appointment, "So Elder
Peters, do you have a football scholarship?" I sadly said no. These
push-ups must be paying off! Haha

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Dogs can fly! 🐶

Happy SeptemberEveryone!

Is it really September already?! Wow. This year is flying by!

This week was great! We saw lots of miracles, were able to go to the
Temple, and had a lot of fun!

We have been having a lot of success with he,ping less active members
coming back to the church. There is a lady in our ward who is a young
mom and wants to come back and set a good example for her kids! She is
willing to read and pray about anything and everything! She's been
coming to church and really showing a good desire to be in the church
and have her kids grow up in the church! It's been a neat experience
so far to help her come closer to Christ and regain her testimony. I
love being a missionary because I have such great joy when someone
decides to follow Christ and come unto Him.

This week we had a super cool experience. A couple of months ago Elder
Fielding and I were tracting a street (going door to door) in East
Aurora. We were walking down a street when we hesitated and felt like
we needed to wait before we went down that street. So we did. A couple
weeks ago with Elder Gardner, we found a Filipino lady on the street
that was very nice and accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. She
didn't really seem interested in meeting with us though. This week, I
felt like we needed to go back to that street again, so we did. I felt
as if someone were ready to hear the gospel on that street who wasnt
quite ready to hear it a couple of months ago. We tracted that street
and no one was interested if they answered the door. One door we
knocked on, we heard a kid say, "grandpa! The exterminators are here!"
The grandpa eventually came and opened the door and looked at our
badges. We said, "hello!" To which he replied, "goodbye!" And slammed
the door. It was rude but kinda funny at the same time. It's funny to
see people's reaction to us sometimes. But, the very next house that
we were going to knock, the Filipino lady we met a couple weeks ago
came out! She walked up to us and started talking to us! She was happy
to see us. We had a good chat and we invited her to read the
introduction to the Book of Mormon. She accepted and said we could
come back and teach her next week! The Lord truly does direct us to
those He has prepared to hear His gospel. It's amazing to see His hand
in all of our lives each and every day. If we follow Him and the
promoting He gives us through the Spirit, we will see miracles. He
knows us each individually and loves each of us.

We drove out to Palmyra this week and attended the Temple so all the
other new missionaries and their trainers. It was great! We got to see
Elder Stokes and his trainee (his son; my grandson)! We took a
posterity pic outside the Temple. It was pretty sweet. It was great to
see Elder Stokes and how much of a stud missionary he is. He's rocking
out in Bath. He and Elder Neinstedt had a baptism last week! The work
is moving forward.

Okay now for a funny experience from this week. We were tracting
around a members' neighborhood before our dinner appointment with
them. They live in a really nice neighborhood in Orchard Park. We go
up to this one house and knock on the door. I told Elder Gardner, "you
got this one." (We switch off on who does the approach or initial
contact) We heard a bunch of dogs barking and going crazy, ready to
maul us as soon as the door opened. When the door opened, this lady
was holding back what looked like a big ole black bear by the collar
and a bunch of other dogs ran out at us. We tried to talk to the lady
but the dogs were jumping on us and barking and was hard to
think. Then, the bulldog jumped up on Elder Gardners leg. Elder
Gardners first reaction was to protect himself so he kneed the dog
(more like kicked the dog) and the bulldog went flying and landed on
its back. That dog got airborne! He went from a chubby little bulldog
to Air Bud in a flash. The lady wasn't really interested and didn't
have time to talk to us. Maybe it was because her dog got got
kicked...actually, that was probably the reason. I was upset after
that because it was disrespectful to do but looking back on it now,
Elder Gardner is still brand new and wasn't expecting that at all so
he had to protect himself. At the Adjusting to Missionary Life
Meeting, President Evans asked everyone if they've had any "epic
fails" (yes he said epic fails haha he's awesome) on their mission so
far. Elder Gardner raised his hand and shared the dog experience and
everyone thought it was hilarious. President Evans will probably
remember that for the rest of his mission now haha. His first round of
new missionaries and someone is already kicking dogs haha.

This week we also took one of the young men out with us to do some
missionary work. His name is Brett Burnard. We took him with us
Tracting. He is going to be a senior his year but is already a rocking
missionary. He leads out I tracting approaches and is bold with
people. One of the first houses we knocked, a couple dogs ran out at
us and eventually started chasing one of the the crazy cat lady's (who
lives right across the street) cats. She was freaking it at the
neighbor who's dog it was and everything while we slowly walked away
haha. "Your dogs gonna be in big trouble if he gets my cat!" We walked
away awkwardly. (We talked to the guy who's dog it was already and he
said he wasnt interested) But he whole time we were tracting with
Brett, I was praying that we would be able to Have just a little bit
of success because it's hard to find sometimes tracting. We had taken
Brett out with us before and seen little success but I wanted him to
be able to pass out a copy of the Book of Mormon or something. We kept
knocking on doors and the very last house we knocked we were able to
share a copy of the Book of Mormon with them! It was such a blessing.
Brett was excited. The Lord grants us with the righteous desires of
our hearts if we but serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and

I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel with those I come
into contact with. The gospel has brought so much light, peace, and
happiness into my life and I want to share that with everyone!

Thank you all so much for the love, support, and prayers. You have
happened me so much. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
You are in my prayers! Talk to you soon!

Elder Preston Peters

From left to right: Elder Neinstedt (my grandson), Elder Stokes, me,
Elder Gardner

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