Monday, August 29, 2011

The Legend of the Hair Tie

You may recall, I mentioned that there was a family legend previously in THIS POST.  Now, at long last, I can tell you THE REST OF THE STORY (a la Paul Harvey). 

hair tie title copy

By definition, legends are often fantastical in nature. 

This one is no exception.

It began before the time of Jeff, or Brad, or Susan, or Michelle (the Peacock siblings). In fact, legend has it that it began in the olden days, those days when kids walked two miles in the snow to school, uphill both ways. Stories are always better when they begin in the olden days.

Our tale begins in the dental school at the University of Southern California. In those days, students were required to wear formal attire not altogether different from, say, that of modern day Mormon missionaries. Dress shirts, dark slacks, neckties and white dental smocks were the order of the day. Uncle Steve complied with the rules and far as they were specifically dictated. Apparently, the regulatory apparatus at USC neglected to invoke any restrictions on the type, color, size or shape of said required neckware. You could wear any kind of tie you liked, so long as it formed a knot on your Adam's apple, you were deemed compliant.

In order to demonstrate their rebellious streak underlying their technical conformity, those Trojan tooth technicians added a bit of flair to their daily wardrobe boredom. Ties so hideous that a new tradition was born. These students went to great lengths and expense to outdo each other in finding new and outrageously repugnant neck ties. And these cravats spawned new terminology: the HAIR TIE, definition-- ties so visually, texturally, or otherwise disgusting they make your hair stand on end.

The first official passing of the HAIR TIE occurred in 1981. Jeff Peacock had received his mission call to serve in the Zurich Switzerland mission, and began the missionary clothing ritual. Dark suits, conservative shoes, white shirts. It was then that Uncle Steve presented him with his very first HAIR TIE . Actually, three HAIR TIES were passed that day; which Brad, Grandpa Charlie and Jeff are modeling below.


It's not easy being a style maven. (See Charlie recovering).


In 2010, the tradition of the HAIR TIE was reborn with the next Peacock generation.

The morning of Justin Peacock's entry into the MTC, he found a HAIR TIE on the porch graciously left by Uncle Steve (who is always SO pleased to be of service).

Here is Justin modeling this HAIR TIE while in the MTC.


While in the MTC, Justin traded ties regularly, trying to get an even BETTER (i.e., worse) HAIR TIE .  Sometimes his efforts were a bit wacky, but he was always a trendsetter.


In April, he finally found IT


Here is what he said about it:

“Lastly, the legend of the UGLY tie lives on. Elder Diaz had a tie from Peru that is without a doubt the ugliest, grossest, most horrfic, scariest looking tie I have ever seen. It makes you think...Who designed this? and when and where would anybody ever wear it. I successfully traded for it...and am now in possession of the ugliest tie in the world. So don’t worry Uncle Steve...the ugly tie tradition has been carried on. And Jordan Peacock....good luck trying to find an uglier tie than the one you´re gonna receive. I´m gonna figure out how I can send it Jordan, you should get it before you leave.”

We had the privilege of attending Jordan Peacock’s farewell yesterday.  He enters the MTC on 9/7/11 bound for Puerto Rico.  He will be an amazing missionary.


Of course, we had our own mission to complete and we successfully transferred said tie.


Official HAIR TIE Rules

Sorry ladies, this one is just for the boys!!

1. Each outgoing Peacock, Madsen or McGill missionary will receive a HAIR TIE from the missionary just prior.

2. He is to choose that HAIR TIE OR acquire a BETTER one (and by "better", of course, we mean even more dreadful) through trade, purchase, or otherwise.

3. He must take a picture wearing the HAIR TIE while in the field.

4. Picture and HAIR TIE is to be passed on to the next departing missionary. Stories of how any new HAIR TIES  are acquired are always welcome.

5. Pictures and any stories will be maintained in this book for posterity, guffaws, and general merriment.  The book will be passed on mother to mother for safekeeping

September Around the Corner

[Lisa:  I had to clean this one up a lot—the keyboard he was using dropped most of the “e”’s out.]

Wow, can you believe its almost September?

We are moving from summer into fall...and the time seems like its going faster than ever.  Thanks for all the emails and th pictures...everyone is growing up!! I’m super jealous of Luke and Tyler [beginning BYU today] They are going to have a blast.  I can’t wait to here some experiences from the new Elder Peacock [cousin Jordan Peacock enters the Missionary Training Center on September 7th, bound for Puerto Rico]. And yes, Tyler, I have been keeping a journal, although I have been getting lazier and lazier with it as the mission goes on. I missed maybe one or two day the first 6 months of my mission ....but now I write in it about once a week. And haha, yes Grandma Nancy we do have quite a bit of rules as missionaries.  But, listen to the missionaries.  I promise you that if you do the things that thy invite you to do, it will change your life because you will be doing the things that Christ wants you to do. I have seen it time and time again here in Mexico.


And for the big news of the week:  I am now 5 pounds fatter because I got your box!!!!! I have made quite a dent in the junk food, it was great. But even better than eating cookies and milk daily topped off with Starbursts, was seeing all the pictures and reading the notes that everyone wrote me!! Thank you so much, those letters mean a lot to me. I have also gotten a lot of comments about my new ties...they are fresh!!   Good job to whoever picked them out.

This week we were able to have a baptismal service for two daughters of a family that is less active. They are named Erika and Alejandra. They are both really smart girls and their family was very happy that we were able to help them learn more and more about the Gospel and enter into the baptismal covenant with our Father in Heaven. The baptismal service was very spiritual.  The father of the two girls bore a really powerful testimony about the Gospel. He expressed that when we first started visiting them, he wanted his girls to wait a little bit before they were baptized so that they could learn more. He asked us in a lesson why they shouldn’t just wait.  I´ll be honest--I don’t really remember how we responded, but in his testimony the father expressed that when we responded he could feel the Spirit and he knew in that moment that God wanted them to be baptized even though he didn’t understand completely why. I know that if we follow the promptings of the Spirit we will ALWAYS choose the path that God wants us to follow. Whenever we feel it, follow it. It will not lead you astray.


As for the rest of the week, we had a couple of rough days. Not a lot of people home and not a lot of appointments. So we ended up knocking a LOT of doors. I think more than I have knocked in any other week of my mission. I can´t say that we had a whole lot of success either, but the Lord blessed us for our diligence and we were able to receive a referral for somebody that ended up going to church on Sunday and accepted a date for this Sunday for baptism. I know that when we show our diligence and our willingness to keep working and pushing even when its not fun, the Lord will help us and provide a way so that we can have success.

Love you and miss you all.

And this is my joy,

Elder Peacock

Monday, August 22, 2011

I’d Say It Was a Pretty Good Week

Hello everyone,

Crazy to think that it has already been another week. And another transfer already in the books. Thanks for all of the emails and love and support, as always.  And yes dad, we do baptize at an amazingly fast rate here. However, all of the missions in Mexico City (there are 6 now...they just added the southeast mission) don´t baptize like we are baptizing right now in the [west] mission. President Villareal told me that we are the only mission in Mexico that has broken the 300 mark for one month...and we have done it twice in both May and July. I am very blessed to be serving in a place that has so many people that are willing and ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.

Last Monday we went to downtown Mexico City. It was sweet. It would be a great place to go back to as a family. We went to a place called Zocalo. It is where all the government buildings are and there were museums and old Catholic Churches and tons of stores and little stands selling cheap stuff. I bought one of those cool Mexican knit sweaters like the one Tyler has (100 pesos or like $8) and a Manchester United jersey (authentic of course), the white one with Chicharito´s name on the back (the best soccer player from Mexico who plays on Manchester...needless to say he is like a God here).  I would love to go there with you guys someday.


As for the week. It was very successful. We had 2 baptisms yesterday. One of them, Elias, was a sure thing all week. We had been teaching him for a while and he accepted a baptismal date a week or so before.

The other one, Alicia, is an older lady who went to church about 3 years ago with the missionaries and we recently just started teaching her again (we found her in the Area Book). She went to church with us a week ago....and stayed for all 3 hours and for a baptismal service afterwards. So, it appeared to us that she had a lot of interest...and we planned to invite her to baptism for the following Sunday (yesterday). But we couldn´t find her all week until Friday night. We finally found her and started talking to her about the church and questions she had etc. It came up in the conversation that she felt like she needed to wait and go to church a few more Sundays before she would be baptized...and also that she had already been baptized as a child. There was her doubt. We taught her the doctrine of baptism and following the example of Jesus Christ, and then we read with her a story in Acts about a person that got baptized the same night he met Peter. We explained to her that baptism is an act of faith and that we don´t need a lot of knowledge. Then my companion (that´s my boy) invited her to be baptized on Sunday. Now I will be honest, I was thinking of inviting her for next week, because of the doubts she had and I didn´t think she was going to say yes to that coming Sunday. The room got quiet. For about 20 seconds nobody talked. We waited. We could feel the Spirit as she pondered. I know without a doubt that the spirit testified to her heart and she felt that it was something she needed to do. She said yes...was baptized and confirmed yesterday and looked extremely happy the whole day.


It was an amazing experience, seeing the Spirit work through us and testify to Alicia´s heart. I know that when we teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need that 3rd companion with us -  the Spirit. If we don´t have it, it is SOO much harder to do everything because the people don´t FEEL anything. I am so grateful for the help that the Lord gives us through the Spirit each and every day. 

And this is my joy (alma 29:9)

Elder Peacock

Monday, August 15, 2011

Off to DF

[This is Lisa…we have fallen into a ritual of sorts.  Jeff spends Sunday mornings on the computer, writing his email to Justin and adding tidbits throughout the day.  Justin has limited computer time so I’ve urged Jeff to stop when he hits 2 pages….!  On Mondays, I typically get my email done by noon, but almost never by 10am, since I know that Justin usually gets on the computer mid-late afternoon.  Today, for some reason, I felt like I should just sit down and write Justin’s email right away.  I was almost done with it at about 8:15 when I got a short email from Justin telling me he’d be early today.  Tender mercy?  Yes, I think so.]

Hey everyone,

I loved all the emails. And no dad, I am not 6 foot 4 now....everyone is just a little bit smaller here in Mexico. Everyone here always comments about how big I am...I always just think that I am about the same height as all of my other friends in school.   

As for the week. It went pretty well. I got sick a couple of times. Sick to the stomach....Monday night until Tuesday morning I was sick...I think due in large part to a new food I tried on  Monday....pig snout tacos....I didn’t want to try it but another Elder bought me one, so I had to eat it. Friday night I was also sick. Who knows why? But now I’m all good. Yesterday, my companion and I and the 2 other missionaries in the ward with us ate some super spicy chiles at our food appointment. We were dying. My face felt like it was going numb for a little bit and Elder Mora shed some tears haha.

As fas as the work goes, we had our baptism fall through, but we are having a lot of good things happen in our area. We have a lot of people progressing towards being baptized and coming closer to Christ. I think we’re going to have a lot of success in the next few weeks. Speaking of which, this is the last week of the change. But President Villareal said that I will be with Elder Mora for another change due to the new training program, so unless something weird happens I will be in Chamapa another 6 weeks. Also I complete 13 months on Sunday!! wow it’s going fast. It doesn’t seem like a months seemed I burned my shirt. Crazy.

And today, I am on the computer so early because we are going down to downtown DF with the zone to see what kind of cool cheap stolen fake stuff we can should be pretty sweet. 

I love being a missionary, and being involved in the work of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I love you and miss you all.

And this is my joy,

Elder Peacock

P.S.  Since May, we are baptizing more than any other mission in the world. We baptized 319, 267, 319 in May, June and July.  Since President Villareal got here, we are baptizing double what we were a year ago!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

[Email dated August 8, 2011]

Hey everyone,

This week we had an AMAZING experience. It really just showed us that the Lord will bless us when we do everything we can to reach a goal. And if we keep pushing forward with all of our might, he will provide the way for us.   1 Nephi 3:7 from the Book of Mormon:

7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

So, here goes the story.

We have the goal in the mission of baptizing one every single week. It is something that is very obtainable in this mission, and if we work hard we can definitely accomplish it. So, naturally, every week, we as a companionship have the same goal. This week, we had a guy named Jordan, that we were thinking was ready....but on Thursday, it became clear that he would need a little more work and was not going to be ready on Sunday.  So, Thursday night we were thinking, we have this goal, and we need to accomplish it, but how??

We started pulling out all the tactics we knew of. We went through the area book and found a bunch of previous investigators that had been to church before and were progressing and we decided to pass by for them on Friday. We found some news...but still nobody that was ready to be baptized on Sunday. I was looking through the area book after planning Friday night and I came across a couple of old baptismal records. They were of people who had been baptized but had never received the Holy they would need to be rebaptized because it was over a year ago...(for more on rebaptism see Acts 19:2-6). We went to see these people on Saturday.

On Saturday, at about 12:00 during the day, we found one of them. It was a family that was baptized a year ago, but were now inactive in the church. One boy named Cesar, was baptized but never got confirmed. And his little brother was now 8 years old. We invited them to be baptized the very next day....they accepted and the whole family went back to church for the baptism. We met our goal...and more importantly, we helped a family come back into the church...hopefully for good. I know that the Lord works in many different ways and that he worked through us this past weekend to help Cesar and his family. We set goals so that we have something to work towards...and when we work towards it, the Lord can work through us and our efforts. It really was such an amazing experience...I know without a doubt that the Lord guided us, and that we couldn´t have done it on our own.


I know that this Gospel is true and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to live it and help others to live it. I hope that you all have a good week. I love you and miss you a lot.

And this is my joy.

Elder Peacock

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Solid Week

Hello family and friends,

Thanks for all the emails!! It´s always great to open up my account and see that I have a lot of messages in the inbox. Good to see that everyone is doing well. Wish I could have been there in Yellowstone with the family. No joke, everyone looks a lot older. Kylie without braces, Bryce the same height as Mom, Tyler...pretty much the same just wearing my old Laker shirt so his style is better, Spencer with muscles etc........It´s gonna be crazy to see how much everyone has changed when I get back.  

As for the week, it was very solid you could say. Nothing crazy like last week. Just working hard. Finding, teaching and baptizing. Helping people come unto our Savior Jesus Christ. There isn`t anything better. 2 weeks ago I believe, I wrote you about a pretty cool experience I had, with a lady named Sara. She prayed and a little after we knocked on her door...and because she felt like we were an answer to her prayers, she listened to us. Well, she progressed very rapidly and she got baptized yesterday. It was a spiritually uplifting experience and it just reinforced my testimony that the Lord works through us and prepares the hearts of the people to receive His gospel. She was very happy, she and her family were smiling all Sunday. 


Elder Mora and I are getting a little bit closer...I feel like he`s starting to open up a little bit. But he is still pretty timid. Won´t try new foods really...and doesn`t eat a lot. Its almost scary how little he eats....I mean c`mon...who gets full after one serving??? haha. He is still pretty scared of dogs and of crossing the street. I`m thinking he might have experience with dogs like the ones Elder Spiker has to deal with...that lay traps and are extremely clever and sneaky (definitely did make my day mom*)...who knows. It rained pretty hard a couple of days this week...summer is the rainy season in Mexico.


That`s pretty much all for the week. I am so grateful for your love and support and for the opportunity I have to serve my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that if we follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His atoning sacrifice will save us and allow us to enter into the Kingdom of God with our families for all of eternity. 

And this is my joy. 

Love you and miss you all, 

Elder Peacock

*  Justin’s friend/BYU roommate (Elder Patrick Spiker, serving in the Argentina Salta mission)  wrote this week:  “There's a dog that lives next door that is not very nice to us. His name is pop-eye cause he's only got one eye. But even with that disadvantage he and three other dogs attack us daily. So I drill them with rocks or a solid kick,but they just get sneakier. The dogs here are like the velociraptors in jurassic park. They can open doors, lay traps, and get you when you least expect it. Very sneaky.”  His mom posted it on Facebook and I emailed it to Justin just because I thought he’d appreciate it.