Elder Peper

My Mission Experience

Crazy Week

Norman, OK - Home of Oklahoma University

This week has been crazy. First off, we were playing a little basketball on Tuesday morning and I landed WAY wrong on my foot and it cracked a bunch. It was swollen bad. I took a picture of it, but I forgot my camera, so I’ll get it to you later. I went to Dr. McCrory’s (he is in the ward.) He wanted to take X-rays, so he did. He says it’s a second or third degree sprain. He ordered me to not tract for a week. Haha. I was all excited to tell you that story, then I heard I got beat out by Madi’s broken arm. 🙂

Let’s see. I got socks for my birthday and a really cool board game from Grandma and Grandpa Peper. Grandma and Grandpa Barrus also sent me a card with some money in it. They told me to go to a good dinner with it, so I’m very excited about that. I was starting to wonder if your birthday package was actually socks (which is fine). I did find out that your package was lost in the mail. I sure hope it finds it’s way here eventually.

I’m getting transferred to Norman 1st ward on Wednesday. It’s only about 40 miles from here. I’m looking forward to it. My new companion is going to be Elder Evans. I’m in the same district, and that’s a little out of the ordinary, but I know everyone. I’m looking forward to this transfer. The only bummer is that we don’t have a car 😦

Mario Andretti (the race car driver who was named driver of the century) came to little po-dunk Shawnee to sign autographs. I told a member, Billy, about that and he got really excited. We were all going to go for a few minutes, but Elder Palmer and I were helping people move during that time so we couldn’t go. Billy surprised us, though, and got us each an autograph of his. Mine says “To Elder Peper” on it (Peper was spelled right and everything.) So, that was a really cool thing.

I don’t think there’s too much else to say. I really love Shawnee and am going to have a hard time leaving here. No offense or anything, but honestly (I’m not trying to sound cliché or anything) it’s harder to leave here than it was to leave home. I think it’s because I was expecting to leave home, and I was hoping I could’ve stayed here for another transfer. I’ve made a lot of good friends in the ward and town here.

Well, this is my letter to you. I love you a bunch. Thanks for everything. Tell Madi that she looks good in that pink cast. I’ll talk to you later.

Love,

Elder Peper

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August 30, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

August 23 Photos

Elders Peper, Stokes and Palmer

Gardening in Hell

Elder Peper: Outstanding in his Field

Elders Palmer, Stokes, Peper and Li'l Friend

Elders Stokes and Peper with their newest Convert

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Photos, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 23 Communication

We didn’t actually get a letter from Riley this week (yet), but he did communicate a bit via email and provided some photos.  He informed me that he has had 7 baptisms to date and they have 5 more scheduled for September.  He’s very excited about that and is hopeful that he is not transferred next week (which probably means he will be).  🙂

I asked him about the goal they set of giving away 80 Books of Mormon during a one-week period.  If you recall, the other missionaries set goals for 10 or less and the zone leaders were annoyed with Elders Peper and Palmer for not being realistic.  He was happy to report that they gave out 83 books that week.

I also asked him about weight gain or loss, as missionaries tend to gain a lot of weight while serving, usually due to the kindness of the people in the area to feed them well.  I know that Riley has been working hard to ensure he doesn’t gain weight and he let me know today that he has lost about 6 pounds.  He also noted that he can run a mile in just over 6 minutes and can almost dunk a basketball.

He turns 20 years old this Sunday (August 29) and is looking forward to celebrating. Feel free to send him a card, if you wish.  I will work to add some of his photos in the next few days.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Missionary Life

Okay,

We’ve had a busy and interesting last couple of weeks. Elder Stokes, to much of the dismay of the ward, left on August 9. Everyone in the ward seemed to like him and to care about him a lot. He was an awesome companion. Now, he’s home and is going to school at UVU.

Elder Palmer and I are still in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and are doing really well. A super awesome lady got baptized last Saturday (on the 14th) and she is doing quite well. She was not looking forward to her baptism, however, because her parents weren’t too pleased with her decision to get baptized into the church. They both came to her baptsm and supported her, though. So that was really awesome. Afterward the whole extended family went out to eat, and they invited us to go with them, so we did. I love spending time with them, they are an awesome family. Actually, one of the cousins in in President Gee’s ward in Sugar City, Idaho, and they said that they would say hi to him for us. That was really interesting. So, that all went over well.

Last Tuesday, our car was acting up, and after some time we figured out that is was the alternator that was broken. So, we had it towed to the Toyata Dealership (it was still under warranty) in Midwest City, which is by Oklahoma City. We had exchanges on Thursday, so a really nice member in the ward here, Brother Carter, offered to give us a ride. So, he dropped us off for exchanges on Thursday, and offered to pick us up Friday, and take us to Midwest City to get our car. So, we get to the dealership and they notify us that the car wasn’t ready and won’t be ready until Tuesday. (I had just called them a hour previous to this and they said it would be ready.) So, with that sad news, we headed back home in Brother Carter’s car. Brother Carter asked us how our bikes were and we told them that they needed to be tuned up. So, we took them to his house and worked on them. As soon as we pulled in the driveway, Sister Carter got in the car and drove about 5 feet and the whole front end of the car fell onto the ground. The ball joint broke loose and basically disconnected the wheel from the car. Had that happened on the freeway, who knows what the outcome would have been. Instead of getting mad and complaining that this shouldn’t have happened to him because he had been driving the missionaries around, he said, “Well, I’m glad you guys were with me, so that didn’t happen earlier.” I was amazed, and am conviced that that was no coincidence. That was a neat experience.

Elder Palmer and I gave talks in sacrament meeting on Sunday, and it seemed to go over okay. I haven’t been not nervous giving a talk before. I was still a little nervous, but not that bad at all. I spoke on Preparing for a mission and what I expected a mission to be vs. how a mission really is. It was actually kind of fun.

The investegators in Shawnee are all doing really well. I expect most, if not all, to get baptized someday. They are all serious about learning about the church.

Well, I should get going. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you guys. I love you a ton. See you later.

Love,

Elder Peper

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Loving Shawnee

Hey Guys!

There’s been a lot of stuff going on in Shawnee over the past little while.  This place has definitely grown on me and I’m really glad to be in Shawnee.  It’s one of the prettier places in the mission.

Well, we had Elizabeth’s baptism on Saturday (well, last Saturday) and it was really good.  Elder Stokes baptized her and I had the privilege of confirming her.  That was really a good experience.  Last week she wasn’t at church, so we paid her a visit.  A couple of days before, I guess, she fell and hit her head.  She didn’t know what day it was.  It was really sad, but we gave her a blessing and she was fine after that.  I hear she’s still in a bunch of pain, but we’ll keep checking on her.  She is an awesome lady.

Another one of our investigators has told us may times that she knows the Book of Mormon and church to be true.  I am confident that she will get baptized, but I couldn’t say for sure when.  She is a really awesome person, though.  We have been helping her and her husband hang siding on the house, and it’s looking really good.  We played sand volleyball yesterday with her and her sister, husband and sister’s friend.  It was really fun.

Elder Palmer, our new companion, is a really cool guy.  I knew him because he was in my district when I was in Texas.  I am pretty excited to be able to serve with him.  This transfer should be just fine.

So, we get a call from our zone leaders last week with a challenge to use the Book of Mormon when we tract and try to hand them out (both of which are common sense).  They ask us for our goal.  We said 80.  They weren’t happy about that at all.  They told us to set a realistic goal.  Their goal was 8.  So, we went out on Monday and handed out 25 in about an hour and a half.  It was pretty cool.  We tracted that government housing building, too.  However, I guess that we’re not supposed to tract on government property because we got in trouble.  One lady yelled at us to get away from a door.  She’s not even in charge of anything–just a “concerned neighbor,” I guess.  We were able to hand out 13 before we got in trouble.  They guy who is actually in charge was really nice to us and calmly explained that we couldn’t tract there.  Oh well, we talked to a lot of people there.

We took a lot of cool pictures this week.  I will be sure to send you my memory card once I get all of my pictures backed up.  I’m putting them online.  In fact, I could proably just give you the link for their location.  If I had an extra 8 or 16 GB flash drive (8 would probably do) I could put all of my pictures on Picasa.  I could install Picasa to my flash drive and upload them to Picasa web.   I should be done by next week, so you’ll get your card then.  You’ll just have to exercise some patience, I guess.

So, what’s new with you guys?  Are you excited for Texas?  You’ll have fun at that Astros game.  The Tv was on when I walked into a member’s house the other day, and I saw Lance Berkman hit a grand slam.  I watch only one batter and see that.  It was pretty cool.  So, have fun at the game.  🙂  Thank you for everything.  I love you Tons!  See you next year!

Love,

Elder Peper

(2 pages of Scooby-Doo stickers were enclosed in the letter)

August 1, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper | Leave a comment