September 4, 2017


First Area


Elder Peterson

September 2017

Happy Labor Day to everyone! Hope your holiday is going well.

Last week was another blast! I keep thinking that mission life is supposed to flatten out a little bit, but everyday I am constantly proven wrong on that end. Everyday brings new experiences, people, and opportunities.
Zone conference was this week, and it was incredible! Just like every new day, no zone conference is the same. The structure is more or less the same, but the insight and enlightenment that we receive never is. This zone conference President focused on chapter 17 in First Nephi, where he is commanded to build a ship, but he looked at the chapter a little differently. Every time I have read this chapter I have always focused on how Nephi knows that he can build the ship if the Lord needs him to, but President focused on when Nephi was building his tools to make the ship. To make tools, Nephi goes to find ore to molt down into tools, but in order to do that, he had to separate the precious materials from the impurities around it. To do that he made a bellows to blow the fire to make it hot enough to blow off the impurities. I had never dug that deep into this chapter, the message hit me hard and reminded me of how we "receive no witness until after the trial of our faith"(Ether 12:6). We hardly ever progress if we are just over a warm fire. In order for us to truly "Receive His image in our countenance" (Alma 5:14), we must construct that bellows to fuel the fire to get it hot enough to burn off the impurities.
Another thing that stood out at zone conference was the departing testimonies of the missionaries who will be heading home this transfer. In those few minutes of each testimony, I could not only hear the conviction in their voice, but also the love in their eyes. There were many missionaries I saw who truly and literally had received His image in their countenance. They also were like Ammon when he said "I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12). The change the gospel has on people is not only apparent, it is physically visible.
There are several recent converts in the Batesville ward, so I am fortunate enough to see this change in people quite often. It often leads me to have pain when people do not have a knowledge of their Savior, because even through a short time, I have seen the joy and peace it brings to people in their lives. I know that that is true, but everything we say hangs on two words.

Therefore, what?

That was a cool story about Nephi. Therefore what?
Zone conference was uplifting. Therefore, what?
Christ is our Savior. Therefore, what?

Ultimately, it is what we do, and how we act upon our experiences that makes those experiences worth something. If we stand idly by, our fire can never be hot enough, and we cannot change.

Sure love you all,

Elder Wells


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