Elder Peper

My Mission Experience


Hey, Dad:
I’m trying to get my priesthood line of authority. They need to know who ordained you an Elder, but I think that since you’re a high priest now, it would be who ordained you to be a high priest wouldn’t it? Anyway, can I get who ordained you to be an Elder and a High Priest? Thanks.

Things are going well in Norman.  I now know that I was sent here to learn patience. Everything that is happening in this area is requiring me to exercise my patience. It’s a good thing, but it can be really difficult at times. I do like it here a lot, though. Being in a bike area is good for me. I like it some days, but other days I wish I had a car again. The weather suddenly became fall-like starting yesterday. The highs went from 90 to high 70s overnight. It’s supposed to be like that for at least the next couple of weeks. I’m told that the falls are really nice and long here, which I’m excited about. Apparently, the weather is supposed to be fall-like until the end of November. Everyone seems to love the falls in Oklahoma.

We are striving to work more closely with members. President Taylor came to Norman 1st Ward last week for ward conference and taught 2nd and 3rd hour. He said that members should get rid of the “What can I do to help the missionaries?” attitude and change it to more of a “What can the missionaries do to help us?” He said that the ward was the mission and that full-time missionaries are to be used as a resource for wards and areas that they serve in. It was really interesting because everything he said was backed up in Preach My Gospel. I learned a lot.

Well, things are going good here. What about you? Are you guys gearing up for ski season? It’s a bummer I’ll miss Warren Miller this year. I guess you’ll have to watch it twice for me. I hope to hear back from you soon. I love you.

Elder Peper


September 27, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper | Leave a comment

Who Wants Pie?


Norman is a pretty cool town. This week has been pretty decent. We’re trying to increase our pool of investigators, which is rather difficult. The best way to do this is by member referrals, so what we’ve decided to do is to focus on inviting members to come out and teach with us at every dinner appointment. Hopefully, it will get people excited about sharing the gospel with their friends, thus more investigators. President Taylor came to church at our ward yesterday which was really good. He read a lot of stuff out of Preach My Gospel, and said that our job as missionaries is to teach. He talked a lot about member missionary work and how, ideally, it should be mostly how it is run. He said that a lot of missionaries in Utah cover multiple steaks instead of just one ward because the ward mission is structured really well and, if done right, is way more successful. It should be good.

I like the people in the ward here a lot. The members are really nice and care about us, and the bishop is really cool. He just got called to be the bishop a couple of months ago. We got a copy of a part member list yesterday and are going to contact the families on there this week. If we play our cards right, things should start to pick up little by little.

We are working a lot with one of our investigators who is hoping to get baptized soon. She is really solid and comes to church every week. She is very enthusiastic. I hope that she can get baptized soon.

Friday was kind of a cool day. The Norman Stake put on a show called “Broadway in the Park” wards and members from wards took turn putting on different musical numbers along with costumes and dancing. A lot of hard work went into it, and it was rather entertaining. A few hundred people showed up to watch. I’d say it was really good.

Friday was also Elder Evan’s birthday, so a family took us out to Marie Callender’s for pie. The waiter started off bad, but it just got worse and worse. First off, he brought their little boy water instead of Sprite. Then, he brough us a Raspberry Pie instead of a cheesecake. Then he brought us pie scoops, which were dirty and had just been ran under the faucet. Then, he asked if I wanted more water. I said, “No, thanks,” so he promptly picked up my glass and poured the pitcher of water into it (which was empty.) Then, set my glass down. Since, the pitcher was empty, and my glass remained half full, I guess he did what I asked. Later, he brought back the same pie scoopers (which I’m sure were just run under the faucet.) Oh, Brian, the husband, found a really long hair in his pie as well. Good thing that everyone at that table was extremely patient, because it was a really funny time. Oh, best part at the end JQ, the wife, says to the waiter:

“How long did you say you worked here?”
“About a month and a half, Why?”
“We were just curious.”
“Why? was it bad?”
“It was pretty bad.”

The guy was pretty sad, but it was true. JQ felt really bad because she didn’t mean to say it like that. It was funny, though. Oh well.

Well, I’m not sure what else to say. I hope you’re enjoying your new internet. Love you guys a bunch!

Elder Peper

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Meal From Home

Last week, we received a telephone call from a very thoughtful woman in Elder Peper’s new ward.  She wanted to let us know that our son would be having dinner in her home on Sunday, September 12, and she wanted to make a dish that his family makes at home–something that he really misses and would like to have.  He gave her some suggestions and she called us to get the recipes.

Riley sent us a short note yesterday mentioning that the meal was “really delicious” and “so awesome.”  Today, we received a note from the hostess/chef as follows (she did this for both Riley and his companion and sent the note to both families):

“We had a wonderful dinner on Sunday, and your sons both said that the recipes turned out ‘just like home’. They played a large part in getting dinner on the table that day. The left overs all went home with them!  Thanks so much for sharing!”

She also included pictures:

Elder Evans and Elder Peper

In case you’re wondering, Elder Peper requested Greek Souvlaki with Tzatziki sauce.  Elder Evans requested his mom’s “famous” seed bread and cherry pie.

How grateful our family is for this wonderful sister, and the other kind and giving people who are so willing to provide this type of thoughtful service to our son.

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Photos, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Week in Norman


First off, I would like to apologize because I forgot my camera at the apartment. So, you will have to wait until next week to get all of my really cool pictures that I took. I’m now in Norman, Oklahoma. Norman is the home of OU. This town is crazy. Last week, on Saturday, was the first game of the season. It was a home game, and the entire town (plus a ton of people from surrounding areas) went to the OU campus and had one gigantic party. The Norman missionaries all went to the Institute building for this thing that they call the “Family Fun Zone.” The stake here puts together a giant party fit with moon bounces, free food, free snow cones, free cotton candy, and projectors and TVs playing football games leading up to the OU game. Our job was to hand out snow cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, and water. There are a ton of people always walking by there. It was a really fun time. Our mission president and his family showed up as well. I didn’t recognize Sister Taylor at first because she was in jeans. They were all going to the game. After the game started and the crowds kind of died down, Elder Evans and I walked around Norman and talked to a few people. We also walked around the stadium (which you can hear from all over town) and took some pretty cool pictures and video. I will be sure to get that to you next week. It was a really awesome day, and we get to do it this Saturday as well.

Sunday was my first chance to go to church here in Norman 1st Ward. The people in the ward are really awesome and they are really nice to missionaries. We have a really, really good ward mission leader, so that is always a plus. There is a lady who is really excited for her baptism, which is coming up in October. I haven’t had a really good chance to meet a lot of the members, but I like the members whom I have met so far. Things seem to be going okay here at the moment. Shawnee, I hear, is like a snowball, and they just keep getting more and more and more people to teach. All of the investigators there, by the way, are from member referrals, and it works out wonderfully. I’m really happy for them. Elder Palmer seems to like his greenie.

There is a family here called the Reeves. Their daughter converted to the church a few years ago, and then went on a mission to Boise, Idaho. Soon after, the Reeves got baptized. They have been in the church for only a few years, but you sure couldn’t tell it. I like talking to Brother Reeves. He’s a really smart guy. They let us come over every P-Day morning and make breakfast for us, and let us do a load of laundry. They are a really awesome family. They are super into geneology work. In fact, during second block at church on Sundays, Brother Reeves teaches a geneology class in the Family History Center. I thought that was pretty cool.

I’m not sure of too much else to say. Everything seems to be going really well here in Norman. I like this city a lot. It’s a really pretty town. I hope everything is going well with you back home. It sounds like the weather there is awesome. It’s been really good here as well. It’s been in the 80s the past couple of weeks, and it’s nice. I hope Madi’s arm is getting better. I love you guys.

Elder Peper

September 6, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment