Elder Peper

My Mission Experience

More Photos from Norman, OK

Note:  In a note received via email today, Elder Peper advises that he and Elder Egbert will be staying in Norman this transfer, which will keep them there through the end of the year.

Walking to the Institute for an OU home game

Sabrina with Elder Egbert and Me at her baptism - 11/6/10

Last P-Day we all went to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. L to R: me, Sister Grant, Elder Endicott, Sister Lamb, Sister Migita, Elder Rivis

 

At the museum. L to R: Elder Rivis, Elder Egbert, Me, Sister Grant, Sister Lamb, Sister Migita, Elder Garner, Elder Mortinson, Elder Endicott

At the Museum

Elder Jackson, Elder Palmer, Elder Timoteo, and Me at the Leadership Training Meeting. We all served in the same district in Texas earlier this year. Elder Palmer also served in Shawnee with me. 11/12/10

November 22, 2010 Posted by | Photos, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Revelation

November 18, 2010

Hey People!

Well, transfers are coming up in six days and I have no idea what’s going to happen.  I think it would be cool if Elder Egbert and I both got to stay, but I don’t know if that is going to happen or not.  Elder Palmer, who is one of my Zone Leaders, told me everything that they recommended to President Taylor, but I don’t know how much of that honestly happens.

I can’t believe November is more than halfway over, either.  Things are great here.  We’ve received a lot of referrals this week (from Salt Lake), and they’re all seeming to pan out so far.  A couple of them are single college students, so we’ll need to turn them over to the missionaries in the University Ward.  I’m still pretty excited, though.  Everything seems to be starting to come together.  I hope I get to stay here now.  Before, I was pretty indifferent as to whether I stayed in Norman or left, but now I’d like to stay.

Okay, so you wanted me to answer some questions about the Leadership Training Meeting.  The meetings were held in Moore, OK, which is where the Mission Home is.  We had the meetings at the Stake Center there.  Moore is a suburb of Oklahoma City, and Norman is, as well, so I came back to my apartment every night.  The missionaries who had to travel long distances to get to Moore stay with missionaries who live closer.  While I was gone, my companion, Elder Egbert, was with Elder Endicott and Elder Mudiliar.  When I got home, it was Elder Mudiliar, Elder Egbert and me.  The meetings themselves were long, but one of the coolest experiences that I have ever had.  We learned a lot of stuff and I learned some things that changed my whole perspective on things.  I learned how to recognize certain revelation that I didn’t know I was even entitled to.  For example, recently they have been stressing something called “real-play.”  This is where, instead of just practicing teaching a lesson on your companion, you are supposed to be one of your investigators and try to teach to his or her specific needs.  You are supposed to pause while you wait to receive a prompting of what to say or ask.  The coolest part, though, is that the companion acting as the investigator is supposed to pause and wait for the Spirit to prompt him as to what that specific investigator would say in that situation.  It seriously works good.  At the LTM, one day I was practicing with Elder Rivis.  I was being one of our investigators, and Elder Rivis asks, “So, how was your meeting with the Bishop?”  Then, he pauses and says, “Wait–did he have a meeting with the Bishop?” I said that he had, which Elder Rivis didn’t know.  Then, Elder Rivis said “Why weren’t you at church last week?”  Again, he then asked, “Uh, was he at church last week?”  I said that he wasn’t.  That was pretty crazy.

The next day, I was practicing with Elder Jackson, and I was teaching him as one of his investigators.  I made a reference to a topic that was covered extensively in the last lesson, of which I had no idea.  Elder Jackson was about to cry, which was pretty cool. And we just heard story after story about lessons going pretty much word for word as they had been practiced during the meetings.  It was really cool.

Well, I’d better get going.  I hope you get this by Saturday.  I hope everything is going good back home.  Let me know if you guys need or want anything.  I love you!

Love,

Elder Peper

(Pictures were included in the letter and will be posted soon.)

November 21, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Super-Conference, Leadership Training and More

Hey All!

How are things going back home?  I am having a good time in Norman still. I miss having a car sometimes, but I don’t mind biking all that much.  It’s fine.  At least the weather is nice.  The weather has been in the 70’s and 60’s the past couple of weeks, so that has been nice.  There is a baptism this Saturday, so we’re pretty excited about that.  A young girl in a part-member family is getting baptized, so that is a good thing.  It should be good.  She is pretty excited.

Let’s see.  Nothing else too huge is going on as of right now.  We’re still working with a few investigators in the area, which is good.  One of them has a baptismal date, which I hope works out.  That would be good.

I’m not really sure what to talk about.  Everything is pretty much the same in Norman.  Nothing too cool or exciting to report.  I know you like to get letters from me, so I will try to think of some semi-interesting stuff.

Oh, we had a super-conference (1/2 the mission) with one of the General Authorities last month.  His name is Elder Zwick.  He is one of the Seventies.  He is a really cool guy.  The conference we had with him went pretty well.  I took some cool notes.  Our mission has the goal for every missionary to finish the Book of Mormon by Christmas.  I started in Mosiah and I’m on Alma 25 right now, so I hope I can get done in time.

Every other month the mission has a 4 day leadership training meeting.  People who go are zone leaders, district leaders and trainers.  The zone leaders called yesterday and asked me to go.  I’m not sure why, but I do know the next week will be a long week.  The meeting runs from Tuesday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm each of those days, and even longer on Friday.  Through dinner on Friday.  I’m excited though.  I heard from other missionaries who went last time that it is really cool.  So, I’m pretty excited.

Some members took us out to dinner tonight.  They also invited one of our investigators, which was good, because she is goin through rough times.  We had a really good time.  We are going to visit that investigator tomorrow.

Nothing too much else of note has been going on here in Norman.  Sorry about that.  I hope everyone is doing well.  It sounds like you’ll have a really good Thanksgiving.  I’m pretty jealous.  I’d love to hear from all of you soon.  Thanks for everything.  I love you guys tons!

Love,

Elder Peper

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Elder Peper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obedience Brings Great Blessings

Dear family and friends of the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission,

Thank you for your patience.  It has taken four months, but we finally have some pictures on the blog.  You can find it at taylorsinok.blogspot.com.  We will probably update it on our preparation day–which is different every week!  Please don’t be disappointed if we don’t update it more than once a week.  We will be doing really well if we do it every week!  We hope you will find some interesting things there about our mission.  At least you will get to see what big meetings your missionary attended that week.  We love the missionaries and look forward to seeing them as often as possible.  We will try to take lots of pictures when we are with them.

We are running as fast as we can here.  The missionaries are doing well and baptisms are up.  We all love to see people here make sacred covenants with The Lord and receive blessings.  Please know how important your love and support are to the missionaries.  They LOVE to get “real mail” in addition to email.  Please remember to help them stay focused on their purpose here–“inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end” (see Preach My Gospel, page 1).  It is easy to get distracted by events outside the mission.  Remember to direct them back to their work when you write them.  They have such a short time to be a missionary–and their whole life to do “home things.”  Thank you for helping them stay focused on their purpose as full-time missionaries.  That is when they are the most happy and it is the best gift you can give them.

Speaking of gifts…here are a few thoughts on Christmas gifts.  Most of you are not far from Oklahoma.  You shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting things here on time.  Packages have to go through the office, so try to have things here by December 1.  Just be aware that we have a few dates coming up when it would be easy to deliver packages to your Elder or Sister.  On November 24 we will be having a transfer.  We will take any packages that are in the office to the church for the transfer so that zone leaders can pick them up there and take them back to their areas.  We will also be having two multi-zone conferences at the Surrey Hills Chapel (next to the temple) on Dec. 2 and 3.  Every Elder and Sister in the mission will be there on one of those days.  We  will deliver any packages we have to the chapel so they can pick them up and take them home with them.  Please remember to send gifts that are not too bulky–they don’t want to haul too much “stuff” around with them every time they are transferred.  Please keep in mind as well that this is a unique opportunity for them to have a truly spiritual Christmas with very little “stuff”.  Sharing messages about the Savior at Christmas time is a very rewarding experience.  They will be content with very few presents on their mission.  As well, try to be sensitive to their companion who may not receive much for Christmas.  Please remember to send them only things they are allowed to have.   When they are obedient to the missionary handbook they are more protected, happy and blessed.  As we are sure you have already taught them, obedience brings them more blessings than they can imagine–including great joy.

We have been emphasizing greater obedience to the missionary handbook lately.  We have found that many missionaries have gotten casual about some items in the handbook.  As they decide to change and try to be completely obedient we have had elders bring us things that are distracting to them and not permitted such as electronics (including iTouches), big elaborate board games, portable hard drives and digital picture frames.  Digital picture frames can be used to view downloaded movies as well as those wonderful family pictures, so they have been misused.  Any device that has internet capability is not appropriate on a mission–specifically iTouch or other electronics.  They are not supposed to listen to rock music either–so iPods with inappropriate music are distracting as well.  They are supposed to listen only to music that helps them feel the Spirit.  Many missionaries have told us they have gotten rid of CD’s of music that is not approved.   Some families have actually shipped saddles, chaps, cowboy boots and lariats to missionaries–inappropriate items that have caused great problems.  To better support your missionary we ask you to go to a distribution center, or the on-line distribution center, and get a copy of the little white missionary handbook.  We invite you to read it carefully and be aware of the rules your missionary agreed to obey while a full-time missionary.  The contents of the white handbook are not commandments to any of you–but they are commandments to full-time missionaries.  Look at page four of the handbook for the promises made by the First Presidency to obedient missionaries.  The work here is hard.  To be successful, our missionaries must rely on The Lord and do His work, His way.  As you become more aware of what their rules are we hope you will be able to encourage and support them as they try to be completely obedient.  They will receive great blessings from obedience–and you will be thrilled to see them become stronger and more spiritually mature each week.

Young men and women can be transformed by a mission.  They have the opportunity to become the people God knows they can be.  They learn more about themselves and the Savior.  They spend most of their time working selflessly for the salvation of men.  They come to understand that their purpose while on a mission is to invite others to come unto Christ by developing faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  They are not the same people you sent on a mission.  They are more brave, confident, bold and righteous.  We love every one of them and count it an amazing blessing to serve with them.  Please enjoy the changes in them and encourage them as they grow and mature.  That is one of the greatest blessings parents receive while their child is serving a mission.  We appreciate all of you.  We appreciate the love and support you give your missionary.  We are gratetful for the prepared, confident young men and women you sent out on a mission.

Please contact us if you need to discuss any problems or concerns.  You can call Sister Taylor at 405-519-6455, or leave a message for Sister Taylor at the mission home, 405-692-2040.  You may email us directly at ntaylor@ldschurch.org.  We love your sons and daughters and want to help them and you in any way we can.  Thank you again for all you do.

Love, President and Sister Taylor

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Letters from Mission President/Wife | Leave a comment