Elder Peper

My Mission Experience

Too Many Excuses

Hey Mom,

Things seem to be going pretty well with you for the most part. Work sounds like it’s still good, and everyone in the family seems to be doing fine. I got an email and letters from Chelsey today, so that was good. I haven’t heard from her in a couple of months. I haven’t had time to read them yet, though. I also got a letter from Jackson today. He was telling me how excited he was to get his mission call and how awesome snowboarding was last year (I wish he wouldn’t have told me that.) He said that he was able to get the 360 down, which is what I was working on before I left. I also got a postcard from G & G Peper (I believe. I’m actually not positive who that’s from…I haven’t read it yet either.) Things are going good so far in Shawnee. I’ve already been here for 4 weeks, and the ward seems to be getting a lot friendlier towards us. I heard about the old bishop in the ward and was thinking that it could’ve had a lot to do with the inactivity rate here. It was ward conference last week, so in PEC we heard some stats from the stake presidency. They said Shawnee has about 550 members and about 98 active, so about an 18% activity rate. That would almost make them a branch I believe. Anyway, there was a man who was in a stake presidency, then became a temple president of the Oklahoma City temple. After that he was the bishop in the Shawnee ward. During that time he wrote a 70 page letter to church Headquarters stating things that he felt were wrong with the church. I understand that a lot of it had to do with changes that had been made in the temple. What ended up happening is that he left the church and then Shawnee got a new bishop, who is the current bishop. I’m not sure if the activity rates are related to that or not, but it’s interesting anyway.

The ward is alright here. There certainly are members that are more involved than others. People seem to have too many excuses. The people who are devoted are awesome, but there are a lot of people who have horrible excuses for not coming to church. We can’t force them, but we can be pretty bold with them. We can tell that those people feel guilty for not coming to church, and it seems to work fairly frequently to get them coming to church. The logic is this…if you are bold with them, what are they going to do, not come to church? We’ve been making lists of Less-actives in the ward and we have been trying to visit them. We are working with a few part member families at the moment, and should be making good progress with them.

Elder Stokes is a really good guy. We get along well, but he’s definitly ready for home. He goes home in two months, and you can tell. When we work, we work, but it’s hard to get him to work as hard as Elder Jackson and I did in Burkburnett. I have learned a lot of things from him though, and I can see improvement when I talk to people; especially, while tracting. He is a REALLY smart person, but he seems to rely solely on his knowledge of the gospel while he teaches rather than the spirit, but we all do that at times.

May is tornado month here, and we had a couple of close calls, but the only major one was the one that did damage in Tecumseh. That is a town where the other missionaries in are district are. We went on exchanges and we saw the destruction there from a 1.5 mile wide F-5 tornado. Crazy stuff. People seem to be getting back on their feet, but cleanup, I’m told, is always quite the process. It seems to be coming along.

Not too much else to report. I’m not sure what else you wanted to know, but that’s what’s going in in Shawnee. Thanks for the letters and everything, I appreciate them. Hope you are well. Tell everyone hi. I love you.


Elder Peper

By the way…a little nugget of information. Brad Pitt is from Shawnee, OK.


May 25, 2010 - Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. He sounds so mature.

    Comment by Geneil | May 25, 2010 | Reply

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