My last Testimony from the mission…

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Well I know that this will be the very last letter I will be writing you before I come home which honestly doesn’t even seem like it to me. First off I wanted to tell you guys all about my week! This was the best week I have had in my entire mission besides having a baptism. Wow so let’s just start out with how it was Wednesday. So that day I got to Viña with elder PueFua (the most talented Samoan I know. And I’ll tell you more about him when I get back) and he had a little rehearsal and then we went to bed in the pension of the office guys (which by the way was without light for the whole weekend until Monday when we left). Then Thursday was practice all day long and giving out invitations to lots of people and just having a blast. Friday was the big day. We got all ready and practiced a little more, then it was time for performance….okay ya know what I think I’m gonna leave that for you guys on Christmas or when I get back. I realized that it would take me a while to tell you everything that happened. Ha-ha But all in all it was an experience unforgettable. There were over 1,300 people there Sunday night for the last performance. It was just….incredible. There was a guy sent from the 70 to record everything and they will give us all DVD´s of the performance. I felt the spirit so strong it was something that I will never be able to explain. We performed right on the beach with the waves behind us. Gosh… I just can’t believe it’s over. But it’s ok 🙂 I got to use my talents and help others come closer to Christ.

Well I guess I will end this whole experience with my simple, but powerful testimony of this perfect church of God. He and His son together with the Holy Ghost have become by best friends out here in the mission. They lead and NEVER forsake me. They know what to do and when to do it. I try to thank God every day for the trials He gives me, Because thanks to those trials, I’m stronger. He loves me so much that He puts trials in our lives to test our faith and strength against the adversary. I know that the Holy Ghost is essential to the Lords work. Without it, we are useless. We cannot do anything without Him in our lives to guide and help us make right choices. like it says in 2 Nephi 32 last 2 verses, we need to always pray so that the Holy Ghost can lead us and guide us so that we will always make righteous choices. I want you to know that The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. My testimony and conviction of that Book has grown so much and has helped me understand the questions of the soul. The Book of Mormon has so much power. Words cannot describe the love I have for that book. The most correct book on the face of this planet. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He, besides Jesus Christ himself, did more for man than any other that ever walked upon this earth. He truly saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. He translated the Book of Mormon by the power of the almighty God. My testimony of prayer has exceeded beyond imagination. I know that if we are struggling, if we don’t know what to do or if we just need a friend, God is ALWAYS there to help us and comfort us. Families truly can be forever if we obey the commandments of God and Follow Him until the end of our mortal lives. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. He guides this church today. He is a man just like us. Illnesses can affect him just as much as they do us. However, He was called of God and I know that He holds all the keys of Salvation. I know with all my heart and soul that Jesus is the Christ, The Son of our ever living God. He died for us so that we may live. He suffered both body and spirit, so that we may one day live with Him and our Heavenly Father forever. Thanks to Him I will live. I CAN become clean thanks to what He did for me. I’m not perfect. Not even close. But thanks to Him, I will be. He is the light and the light of this world. If you are not with him you are against Him. But He is always with you. He will never leave us, but we seem to sometimes leave Him. He will never forget our name, but at times we seem to forget to remember His. Come unto Him. Come to the light, so that you might brighten the world with His brilliance. Give Him an inch and He will carry you a mile. I love my Savior more than anything in the world. I bear you my witness in the name of Jesus Christ, even our Savior and redeemer, Amen.

Les amo,

Elder Pedersen

 

 

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Busy, Crazy week. Lots of rehearsing.

This week went by way too fast. However, it was a good one! We had tons of rehearsals this week. For Thursday and Friday all day we were in Viña rehearsing. It was very tiring, but i loved it! It was a lot of fun being able to sing and use my talents. I feel as though the Lord is blessing me so much to be able to sing well enough to penetrate every heart there for the concert this weekend. I’m so stoked! It’s going to be soo awesome! It’s going to be an hour and a half long with tons of music and 2 pentatonix songs, a few professionals and solos from the choir. It’s gonna be a blast. I have been able to feel the spirit many many times as we have been practicing for the concert. We even had a special fast to make sure everything will go perfectly this weekend. i hope and pray all those that participate and those in the crowd will be able to feel the spirit of our Lord and soften their hearts so that they may be ready to listen to our message. That’s our hope and prayer.

Oh my gosh, right after the rehearsals, we came home on a train with a few elders. On the train we sang our pentatonix song for everybody on the train and it was so awesome! There was even one guy that was like “You’re not going to sing another song?” haha. I felt bad, but we didn’t have another one. But we invited him to the concert and I’m sure many will want to go now. It was the first time I had ever done that!

Oh so just so you guys know, Pablo and Isabel didn’t get confirmed this weekend. So they will need to get baptized again, and then will be able to get confirmed. I want them to be members so bad. Pray for them!!!!

Lastly i forgot to tell you last week about all the details, but just in case you didn’t know, ill be home the 31st at like 12:30ish. Is there anything else you would like to know? Oh and this next week ill be writing you guys Tuesday.

I love you guys so much and I can’t wait to see your faces again!!!!!!!!!:) 🙂

Les amo,

Elder Pedersen

 

Finishing in Quillota, La Corvi

IMG_0022IMG_0007IMG_0005IMG_0008IMG_0021[1]Well it looks like I’m staying here for the fourth change!!! And with the same companion!!!!! I don’t even know what to think. it was so weird when they called us and told us that we would be together for another change. The ward here loves us all so much its insane! I really love this ward too. It’s going to be hard to leave everyone behind. But that’s how life is here in the mission! It’s crazy, but I guess the Lord wants me to learn something from him that I haven’t yet. Which is strange because I feel like I know him better than anyone else here in the mission. haha, he’s a great comp though. He has taught me a ton. I have learned how to be more patient, how to love one another, how to be willing to change and how to serve. It’s incredible how much one can learn from the people the Lord puts in his path.

This week was really great. We did tons of contacts and found some really good people. we taught so much that we barely could go to all the appointments. It was great. People have such a connection with us right off the bat that they just tell us their life story outside their front gate. It’s awesome. We really get to know the people and we then are able to help them in ways that nobody else can. Or better said, the Holy Ghost helps us testify and teach with such a power that the people begin to recognize the truth and power of our message. Some days I truly can feel satan is tempting me not to work hard and just make me feel really down on myself. But when that happens I just think about the person doing that to me, so that  just means that I need to work harder because I’m doing something that irritates him. And of course who doesn’t like to irritate satan? ha-ha I do!!!!!

Our investigators are doing good. We have to work harder cuz this time of year is like their summer. But we will have to just work harder and harder every day to bring them closer to our Savior! We have found new investigators. So we just need to make sure they attend church!

Well the other day I don’t know if I told you guys but I was going to go home with an elder that came to the mission with me. But a few days ago he informed me that he will be going home on the 15th because of his eye infection. So I will have to go home alone. Pretty lame right? I’ll be all alone for like 3 days. nobody to talk to. but it’s all good. I have the Lord always by my side 🙂

The new Christmas video is so awesome!! I love sharing it with people. It really gets me thinking of the “why” in everything. like why an I a member of this church? why am I here on the mission? why is the BOM the word of God? Why do we need a Savior? Why did He die for us? Those questions will really help us all come closer to our Savior. Because I know that as we ask those things to our Father, He will respond and give us more light on the subject and increase our faith. I challenge you all to ask those questions in your prayers and study them out in your mind and in the scriptures.

Love you guys more than you can ever imagine. I have a perfect family. With all our traditions and family get togethers, I find so much peace and joy and love that only can come through our Savior Himself. So thank you all for being there for me and for being the examples you are!

Love your scared son,

Elder Pedersen

P.S. One of the photos is of all the cards I never opened on my mission from Shanna and the other is of wine bottles that get collected up. That’s how much chileans drinks!!! Ha-ha the last one is Chilean jerky.

Baptism…Happy Thanksgiving!

IMG_0036 (2)IMG_0033IMG_0030 (2)Wow another crazy week! Lots of practicing for the choir and lots of teaching. It’s been great. We had to shove tons of lessons into just a few so that Pablo and Isabel would be ready for their interview. It all went really well. Their baptism was supposed to be Saturday but they never showed up. They had to work and got back late. But we did it again yesterday, Which was better cuz a lot more people showed up. I baptized Isabel and elder Gardel, Pablo. He forgets to put his hand in the air so he had to do it again. ha-ha But everything went really well. I could feel the spirit really strong and Pablo told us that he felt lighter. It’s incredible how much weight you have over your shoulders with the sins you’ve picked up through the years. It was beautiful.

Also Friday was another choir practice which was great at always. And the secretary to the president gave me my “trunky” papers. I know everything. I will be going home the 30th at night and I will be getting there in the middle of the day on the 31st. How crazy! I will be calling my converts today to finish our appts and everything. I think I will ask Gonzalo if he would like to come with me to visit everyone. It’ll be sweet! 🙂 I honestly don’t even feel like I’m leaving this next month. I hope it stays that way to the very end! And we will be having changes this Wednesday, so I’ll let you guys know if anything changes.

Oh and coming back from choir practice in Viña, the assistants took us home with a few other sister missionaries. It was one of the funniest rides I have ever had in my entire life. I had shotgun and we were blasting music, talking to people on the road. driving way to fast and singing our guts out (cuz we were all part of the choir). We even gave a book of Mormon out! So much fun.

That’s basically what happened this week. lots of crazy stuff and helping people come unto our Lord and Savior by using the power of the priesthood and teaching them the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you guys so much and I hope you’re all doing well at home: D

Les amo,                                                                                                                       Elder Pedersen

p.s the other photo is of our district. The elder holding the camera is like 6 foot 7 inches. He’s a beast!

 

Great, busy, crazy, inspiring week!

IMG_0011 (1)IMG_0012IMG_0016IMG_0020IMG_0021 (1)IMG_0028I’m soooo tired!! We have had do to so many things this week it has been insane! Monday we had to come to Viña so that I could practice the Pentatonix song for the concert. Then Tuesday we had an amazing conference with our Mission President. Wednesday we had to come to Viña again to do my therapy for my shoulder, and then Friday we had a rehearsal all day long for the concert. It’s been crazy, and guess what…we have to do it all over again this week!!! Ha-ha. It’s going to be lots of fun!

All in all it’s been pretty awesome. I have learned so much this week it’s insane. For our conference (which was probably the most fun, entertaining and spiritual conference I’ve had in my whole mission) the focus was all on the importance of the Book of Mormon. It was incredible. Our president gave us tons of statistics about the Book of Mormon and how it compared to the Bible, the Bible doesn’t even stand close, so much has been altered and taken out. The Book or Mormon has so much power and so much more than any other book can give. It has the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and without it; we would never know how to truly follow our Savior. I could honestly be here for days telling you how or why the Book of Mormon is the most perfect book on earth, but I won’t take up all your time 🙂

We also played tons of fun games with sister Díaz all based on the Book of Mormon. We did skits and quizzes. It was like I was in seminary again! Ha-ha So much fun. She’s like the mom of the mission. She cooks for us and bakes us cookies and helps us with  anything we need. She was sent by God to bless this mission! Obviously nothing will ever compare to your cooking mom. That’s a fact that nobody can deny!

The choir practices are going really well. We are getting better every single time. It sounds really good. We are going to have to perform for the President this Friday so that he can tell us how everything is going. His wife will also be cooking us lunch! I feel so spoiled. Honestly. I don’t know why the Lord is blessing me so much. I don’t even deserve it. However, I will be forever blessed for the opportunity to be in this choir of the mission Viña del Mar!!

Well that’s all I got for ya this week. I hope you guys are all doing splendid at home and let me know how everything’s going! Love you and miss you all like crazy, like always!!!

Les amo,                                                                                                                         Elder Pedersen

P.s. Here are a few pics of dogs here. The huge one is of my convert Esteban. The small one is of the married couple we are teaching and that will be getting baptized this weekend. And the other two are the dogs that love and protect us. We call them big butt and bones. They walk us to church every Sunday! Ha-ha

More pics. The one of the house is our humble investigators that I told you all about. Oh and thanks for the package!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The little kids here love the candy: D Love you guys!

The Book of Mormon is the word of God.

What a great letter mommy! Seems like you guys got built up spiritually this week! how great is that? Thank you for all those amazing words and support. I know that I’m not perfect nor will I ever be. I strive to become more and more like my Savior every day as I serve Him willingly and unselfishly with Exact obedience. Love you so much mom. Have another great week applying what you learned 🙂

Wow these weeks are going by way too fast!! It’s been crazy. But these past few weeks have been soo weird. The weather has been really cloudy and cold. And it’s November! That would be like June over there. I love it actually as you know. It makes some people sad but for me it makes me happy as ever 🙂 I love the cold. When I wake up in the morning and it’s all cloudy, I love that! At least here in the mission!

Well just to inform you guys, I’ve been coming here to Viña sooo much for medical stuff. I had to fix my tooth again (which was under guarantee), I have had to get examinations for my shoulder and back. But nothing’s grave. It’s just small things that annoy me that the mission will fix. So I’ll have to come back for therapy a few times during the week for like 4 weeks. Lame, huh? But I’ll be good as new when I get back! the Lord has blessed me so much with tender mercies. Cuz with the tooth, they fixed it right then in one day instead of having to come back 2 more times as usual and then with my shoulder and back that have been able to find out what was wrong and they will fix me right up to work hard for the Lord in the time I have left!
This last week my comp and I have decided to pray together every night before bed and it has made such a big difference! We are a lot more united as a companionship and it’s a lot easier to talk to him. Its cool cuz that’s exactly what I will be doing when I get married. So it’s a great preparation for life after the mission!
Why is it that every single time we share the first vision with the members the lesson changes 180 degrees? Its because they put their full attention into what we are saying and it’s something new that they have never heard of before. The people thought that for years the Lord had stopped with the miracles and had ceased with the appearances to man. But as we know, God never changes and never will. And He has restored His church once again upon the earth to bless His children and give them the path that they need to take to reach eternal life. Which is only possible through the ordinances we make with Him, made possible only through His Priesthood power given to men, restored again upon the face of the earth, Thus giving us the keys to exaltation. I know that God loves and guides us through His spirit. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. This is the Church of Jesus Christ and The Book of Mormon is the word of God.
I love you all so much and I hope and pray all is well as home!!!
Les amo muchísimo,
Elder Pedersen

Work, Work, Work!!

How cool! I’m sure you guys just had a blast! I was walking here in Viña today and saw Christmas decorations and almost screamed and wanted to enter!! haha. I’m really gonna miss not having that.. but it’ll be great here 🙂 Thank you for all your support and love towards us kids. You’re the best! Love you so darn much mommy!!

Man, this week has been crazy with lots of teaching and finding. It’s been crazy. I don’t even know why the Lord has been blessing us so darn much. I haven’t had this many investigators for such a long time! It’s been really great actually. We have been able to teach a lot, we even have a baptismal date for the 21st, and we will be having more hopefully!! We are really excited and ready to bring all those who want to come unto Christ and be baptized by the authority of God.

So the other day i decided to fast personally and of course this humble family that we are teaching decides to give us dinner!! I was so confused of what I needed to do. Cuz obviously I didn’t want to eat and break my fast. I didn’t want to tell them no, and totally deny them either. But I said a little prayer and decided to keep fasting. It was the hardest thing in the world, but I think by my example in helping them learn the importance of the fast, they were able to learn a very important principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They understood and respected me for my decision.
So we found an investigator that lives in a ranch with her parents and she is super awesome! We gave the restoration lesson to her and the next time we came by she had read all about Joseph Smith and even watched the movie the church has about him 2 times! She loves Him and loves how he always fought for the church and never let anyone change that idea. She believes in him and all he did. Its really amazing how important it is for the investigator to learn about him and believe that he was a prophet. Because through that, we will be able to know that there is a prophet today, that the BOM is the word of God and that this is His church upon the earth today.
The Lord has blessed me so much these past few YEARS. I am honestly so grateful for everything He has given me. These past few months I have had to teach the gospel principles class and play the piano for sacrament meeting. I was very scared at first because i have never had to do either my whole life. But the Lord has blessed me a TON. I have improved my talent on the piano and the way I teach. Its been a great experience and blessing for sure!
Well I love you all so much and I hope every one of you had an amazing week!
Les amo,
Elder Pedersen

Amazing Week!!

IMG_0054[1] IMG_0057[1] IMG_0062[1]This was an amazing week!! I have so much to tell you! Ok, so starting out the week with the news of Johnathan was kinda depressing, but I got over it quick and we went to work! I finally got to leave my area for interchanges (it had been a few weeks), and I got to be with the only elder that I will be going home with in December. It was super fun, and we taught really well together. It was really weird teaching with someone who teaches the way I do.

Then the next day our zone leaders gave us a challenge to ask as many people possible to get baptized. So I got really pumped and idk about my comp, but I had the best contact that i’ve ever had in my entire mission. She was really receptive and wanted to learn more. We ended up talking about baptism and I gave the first vision right there outside the fence. The spirit was so strong that before we talked she explained that she was already baptized. But after explaining the priesthood and everything and after the first vision, the first thing she said was, “How would you guys baptize me? In like a river or something?”. With my mouth on the ground I told her that we normally get baptized in a baptismal font. But that if she wanted, we will make it possible!! haha. It was really awesome.
We then had choir practice again which was super super fun as always! We played games at lunch time. Really fun games that i’ll have to teach you guys when i get home. our president is so cool!! He is the one that taught us one. But anyways, we are singing two more songs and we are going to do one with a group of 9 people. And you wont believe what we are gonna sing. Little drummer boy by PENTATONIX!!!! Its going to be sweet. I think they are having me sing the part that the main tenor sings. It will be so much fun!!
So this new married couple that we found this week (which never happens here) have a baptismal date for the 15th of this month. Their names are Paolo and Isabel. I would like for you guys to pray for them. They are soooooo humble. They have like nothing. They gave us “once” (dinner) one night and we ate it under candle light!! I felt like crap coming home to a two-story house with everything we need. I’ll send you a pic of when we were eating. they are soo awesome!!
Well I hope you all have an amazing week as usual. I love and miss you all soo much!! 🙂 Dont forget to do your visiting and home teaching!! Our bishop and the 70 of the area talked to us a lot about that.
Les amo,
Elder Pedersen
P.S. I sent you one of it in the dark and one with flash. the other is of the elder I was with in interchanges. They bought me a sunday. Awwww 🙂 they are awesome!

Teaching to Apply. Johnathan’s getting married???!!!

IMG_0051 IMG_0052NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That little………ugh!!!!!!! I cannot believe that he will be getting married right before I get home. That little bum!! Is he tempting me to just come home early. What was he thinking?!?!?!?! Ugh, no that’s great for him. I’m happy that he’s happy and will be getting married. That’s going to be so weird!! Is he going to go to school at BYU still or what? That’ll be interesting. Ugh, I cannot even think. I’m so upset, sad and happy at the same time. haha. I don’t even know what to say… well I’m glad you’re all doing great. You all look so awesome. I laughed my head off looking at grandpa and grandma’s costume pictures. So awesome!! Good job to ya all 🙂 love you Mom and tell Jonathan that he’s a stinker!! 😉 haha no tell him congrats for me and I’ll be writing him too….. ugh…

I’ve been learning a lot lately about the importance of teaching to apply. At times as missionaries we get into a rhythm of teaching just to teach and not really focusing on what the person really needs and how they will be able to apply the scriptures in their lives. For instance we shared Helaman 15:5-6 with the bishop and shared with him how he can apply this scripture to the ward and try to meet together as a ward more than just Sunday and its helped a lot! Also as I’ve been reading Jesus the Christ, I’ve been able to learn so much about my Savior and not just the what, but the why and how. It’s been a life changing experience reading that book. Man, I could write you guys all day about the things I’ve learned!

I don’t know if I told you guys but in our house we have been living without a window in our bathroom for 3 months and with 3 broken windows downstairs as well. It’s been super interesting. Anyway, this week we haven’t been able to find investigators to teach, but the investigators we have are progressing! Pray that we can find new people to teach!! In addition, that the people we are teaching can keep progressing. I know that your prayers will help a ton! Because Jesus Himself promised us 🙂

Yesterday was our Stake Conference and it was super good! The first hour went really slow cuz the speakers were nervous and read almost the whole time, but the second half was awesome! Our president spoke with his wife and also one of the 70 from South America. He cut the members to the core! haha, but one man bore his testimony cuz he had recently been sealed in the temple to his wife and it was so awesome. He was telling us about a dream one man had that said this: “As I was speaking to my Savior, He pointed over to my kids and said “who are these children?” and of course I responded that they were my kids. He replied saying “No. They are my children, if you want them to be yours, save them.” Then pointing to my wife he said the same, and of course I replied the same, saying that it was my wife, and He said “No. She is my daughter, if you want her to be your wife, save her.” I loved that so much!! It just shows us the importance of being sealed as a family and helping them keep the commandments and to not stray.

Well I love you guys so very much and miss you all like crazy. Have a great week!!

Les amo,

Elder Pedersen

P.S. The photo is from a bee farm of an investigator. So crazy! Zoom in and you’ll see how many there were.

Knowledge is Power!!

IMG_0029 (1)IMG_0011 IMG_0015 IMG_0021 IMG_0034 IMG_0043Wow, this week flew by really fast! The week started out really well. Our convert’s family is now a lot more interested in sharing with us. They are all so awesome. They are all really sad cuz either my comp or I will be leaving this Wednesday for changes. It’s going to be really crazy. I think I will be leaving cuz every single 3 months they change me from my area. But we will just have to see 🙂

Man, our bishop is so awesome. He seriously is so darn smart. We were talking to him last night and he was telling us that he read the doctrine of salvation (all three books) when he was 14 years old. He started telling us about profound doctrine that I had no idea about. it was really cool. I learn so much talking to him. I know that this might sound kinda obvious, but I have really gained an understanding of the importance of learning and gaining knowledge this week. because as we know, knowledge is POWER. and as we gain more knowledge, the more power we have and the more we want to share that knowledge with others. At the beginning of my mission I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and ya know why? lack of knowledge. I never liked giving talks or teaching classes, and ya know why? lack of knowledge. How can the Holy Ghost work through someone that has their reserves all dried out?? it cannot. But as the months have passed by, the more I love teaching and doing all that I didn’t like before. It’s really a simple concept, but at times we forget how important it really is. We need to always be gaining more knowledge, because if we don’t, the Lord will NEVER be able to work through us to help others.

Ok, so this week has also been kinda rough. This was how our days were from Tuesday through Friday: We would make lots of appointments with less actives, members and investigators and our days would be chalk full of appointments. but as the hours went on, nobody was letting us in. We would contact and the person would be really receptive, but as it came time to visit them… they weren’t there or couldn’t that day. It was very tough. I was getting really sick and tired of not teaching. Cuz that’s why we are here right? to teach. One of my comps said one time that a missionary that only wears out one pair of shoes has had a productive mission. I love that, because it signifies that we have been sitting down teaching instead of just walking and walking all day. Then Saturday came and everything turned around. We found new people, taught lots and we had lots of spiritual experiences. Sunday we normally have like 25-30 people assisting and 52 people showed up. It was amazing. So awesome to finally see lots of people at church!!

Oh and also this week my comp had another seizure. However, this time I was super calm. I was scared for it to happen again while I being alone with him, but the Lord helped me out and everything went ok. I hope that it doesn’t happen again!

Oh my goodness!! that’s so awesome. I am so happy that the Lord is blessing my mommy and making sure that she is alright 🙂 Makes me feel good and kind of sad too thinking about the fact of not being able to spend lots of time with you when I get back. At least we will be talking every day! ha-ha

Shanna and Adam’s house is gorgeous!! So beautiful!! I love it a lot. she already has like a million decorations. How cool is that. it already looks like a Pedersen home!! How amazing. I’ll be coming over soon Shanna!!!

I love you mom and I know that the Lord is in your lives all the time every single day.

Love ya mommy! you’re the best!

Well I got to go, but I’ll send you guy’s pics this week!! Love you and miss you all bunched!!!

Les amo muchísimo,

Elder Pedersen