Monday, January 6, 2014
Yes, it has been 18 months and Amanda is coming home. She will be home on January 15, and her welcome home will be on January 19, at 11 am at our building up the street from our house. Lunch will be served afterward, and everyone is invited. Please come join with us in welcoming her home!!!
Monday, December 23, 2013
HOWWWWWWWWWDAAAAAAAAAYYYY! A big Texas Birthday celebration for Kate today!! xoxoWait Christmas is this week....? I thought it was MAY with the weather we are having! :) It is so weird to be so sunshiny and warm (at least for the most part). But we are so excited to talk to y'all!!!
Christmas day we are eating dinner with a member of the bishopric and will talk to you at 2 my time. YAYA! Make sure my babies are on so they aren't scared of me when I get home! So excited to see y"all!
Mom, we are over like 5 sets of sisters so to see them in two weeks would be hard, plus one of the weeks we have a missionary leadership training so that would be 3 in one week and with preparation days and weekly planning days they sadly cancelled exchanges. But that's okay I know I have been called at this time so it all works out.
We have been having a rough time this past week especially. Literally EVERYONE is gone away for this month. And then we had one girl we were teaching and she is NOT progressing and told us that the more she researches the Book of Mormon (mind you she hasn't even read any of it!), that the more she thinks it isn't true! Heartbreaking! But Sister K is awesome, and suggested we fast to help us and this area. So we did on Friday and we just feel so much better and we have seen some really cool miracles since then!! Like we have been trying this kid named Alex for a while but he was out of town for 2 weeks and then when we went to see him on Saturday we were talking to him about what he had talked to missionaries about before in California and come to find out he was BAPTIZED! Which we count as a huge blessing that Heavenly Father lead us to him, to help him come back into the fold! We think he didn't realize that this is a worldwide church. So he came to church yesterday. Sadly his family is NOT supportive, but he is headed off to school where he will have a better support group! Then we were out contacting and walked up to this kid on a bench and talked to him about the church. He is from Africa and actually speaks Portuguese: is learning English here and was really interested. So he came to church yesterday (sadly had to cancel on our appointment, but we will be meeting with him tomorrow) and at church we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said that he was really excited because he read about it in the pamphlet we left him and he was wanting to read it! What a huge blessing here!
So life is good, we are just treking along. Hopefully more people will be around after this week, but we are just happy and healthy and excited to talk to all of you! love you lots!
Monday, December 16, 2013
I said I wasn't sure about Skype, BUT we actually just found out we CAN skype. For 45 minutes only this year. So I liked the google plus so I could see everyone. I don't know details of when or where I am even going to do it yet (especially since we are in a ysa and everyone is gone) but we will do it. Just let me know next monday what will work best for y'all and we will try and swing it. I'll also need Mitch's account or something again.
Oh and the Christmas party is tomorrow. :) YAY!
I cannot wait to see my babies! Kate sent me funny pictures of Sabree this morning! :) I don't even really know her! And I love that Mad's told dad she wanted to live with them forever and then 15 minutes later had changed her mind! Too great! I can not wait to see them all! and I am glad we get to skype so that they will be able to see me and wont be scared of me when I fly in!
Today Sister L got on the plane to fly home. As I think of these past two weeks, and as I started crying in Relief Society yesterday because I don't want this to all come to an end, I am just really really glad I decided to stay here. We are doing some really great things in this ward and I am glad I'm not done yet! Sister K and I have been trying to focus on how to help and miracles are happening. The Spirit was so strong in our ward council yesterday as we brought up the ward mission plan. A new Relief society president (the only sister in the whole ward who is an RM) and a new Elders quorum president this past month have really laid forth the foundation for us to all help each other and change for the better! It was one of the greatest and wonderful experiences I have had working with a ward, and I am excited to see it still unfold.
Also all 4 of us sisters in the ward were asked last Sunday if we could speak. So yesterday we did. It was really funny because S Kramer was having the hardest time putting her talk together. I told her Saturday that it was probably because she wasn't going to end up speaking and sure enough! She was last on the program and we ran out of time! (that's what happens when they put 4 sister missionaries all on the same Sunday!) But I was asked to speak on Building the Kingdom with my three main focuses: the Savior's birth, preparing for the 2nd coming through the scriptures, and sharing the gospel with others. Kinda crazy subjects to smoosh together, but I felt so inspired as I prepared and a recent convert told me afterwards that of all the talks she has heard in her year of being a member that mine was the best she has ever heard! I thought that was so sweet of her. The bishop on the other hand afterwards said that this was just preparation for the talk I'll have to give in a month...when I'm home! :) dagger in the heart!! haha no it's okay. But in my talk I felt so inspired to share the hymn, "They, the Builders of the Nation." It was perfect for my topic. I read the first verse at the very beginning and said that this is talking about they who went before us- but I want to talk about us being builders now. So instead to say "WE, the Builders of the Nation." I am so grateful for hymns because I barely know that hymn but the tune came into my mind as I was preparing to speak. I looked it up and knew that I was inspired of God to share it with this ward. I closed my talk by reading the second verse and said that I wanted that verse to be our motto. Look it up. I think Hymn 36. It is a great song.
Other than that our work is dwindling. Everyone has left for home. But that's okay we are still working hard to bring about a great work!
With my responsibilities of STL, it means we go on exchanges with all the sisters in our zone. And since there are two zones in Lubbock we are over, it is 2 zones. So there are about 14 of us total! Sister Johnson and I work together so we left our companions in this area and we went on exchanges this past week: Sister T and Sister C. We had a real nice exchange where we go to their area for 24 hours. They are both such amazing sisters and I just really want to help and lift: though they are doing so well there wasn't much lacking there. But it was good to be with Sister C again. So after that exchange I had great ideas on how I can train and provide more assistance and we found out, later on in the week, that since we have our Christmas parties this week, and then Christmas next week that they decided to cancel all of the exchanges for the rest of the transfer! I may or may not have cried when I found that out. I just really wanted the chance to help, and this is my only chance as an STL. But I do know that Sister J and I both prayed about who to see that first week, and even though I don't feel like I did much to help that I can find peace in knowing I was following the Spirit. And Sister K is the nicest and told me that Heavenly Father called me at this specific time for these specific sisters because I could help them in different ways, without going on exchanges with them. So I have been really focusing on praying for each sister, and I have set a goal to give each sister an uplifting quote each time I see them. I am just trying to do what little I can with what little I have.
So that is life here: deep in the heart of Texas! Where the 16th of December looks like a nice March day. No snow, but always a chilly wind.
I love and miss you all!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Hello Family! Yes it is a cold cold day here in Lubbock Texas. It is a gray gloomy day- it's not snowing but it is misting. Very cold, but luckily we haven't had any ice storms. Some mornings they have us stay inside till the ice on the road melts but other than that no complaints!
So to explain about that! I have been called as a Sister Training Leader! This is a new position since I have been on my mission, and it is similar to a zone leader- except I am just over the sisters in my zone. So I go on exchanges with them (hence why I will probably not even be around Wednesday). We are there for them to help the Sisters in their needs. It is a brilliant inspired calling to be able to help us as sisters, and to keep relationships between elders and sisters very professional. I am still not sure what all it entails. I just got called on Friday about it, and just got an email about my responsibility. The goal is that one day they will have two STL's be companions like zone leaders, but with the growth of the mission it isn't possible yet due to so many sisters needing to be trained (by the way we got our first shipment of SPANISH sisters to Lubbock this last transfer! so cool!) So I will be working with Sister J who is another STL and she is serving in Plainview. So I am excited to be able to get to help and love all of these girls! There are about 15 sisters in the Lubbock city so this will be busy and exciting!
I am so lucky that I am able to have Sister K as my companion. She is from Spanish Fork and is a TRIPLET! Cool right?! She is absolutely great, and we communicate and get along really REALLY well! Which is such a blessing because we have a lot to accomplish this transfer! Not only am I trying to magnify my calling, but we are working really hard to get this area really organized and working on really being unified with our ward mission leader and bishop. It is very different because it is a YSA and everyone is learning things together. But it is such an exciting time, and I know I have been called to serve with Sister K for a direct reason, and we are going to move mountains this transfer. And really lay the framework for things to boom when the semester starts up again!
So yes, everyone and their dogs are going to be leaving this week for the 4 week break! Like 90% of our teaching pool! But we are already making great steps with less actives in our ward. We had 1 less active at church yesterday who hasn't been in 8 years. Another who hasn't been all semester. And another who hasn't been in at least 4 years. Plus getting we saw people that come not very often where there too!! It was so great!
We also had the great opportunity to go to the annual Stake activity called the Nativity. The stake collects nativities and opens it to the public and man was it quite the event. There were 705! nativities. The rooms each had a specific smell, and they had color schemes and all sorts of fanciness! It is so amazing though that it would be something I would want to come back and see every year. They had choir concerts and artists sculpting that you could watch and really just so intense. We were able to watch the Christmas Devotional last night too! It was a really good week!
Well I love you all! A month from this upcoming Sunday and I'll be seeing you! My planner this month is covered with pictures of my 7 babies! Can't wait to kiss them all!! haha
Happy Holidays! And don't forget about Elder Ballard's challenge from General Conference! Christmas is coming so don't forget! Love you
Your missionary- Sister P!
me with some of my previous comps at the transfer site!
leaving sister o
Monday, December 2, 2013
"Good Morning Good Morning" (singing in the rain style!)
Yes, we had transfer calls and I am staying here! Sister O is being transferred after NINE months of staying here! She is going to Midland, and I hope this experience is really good for her. And my new companion is going to be Sister K. I have met her before a few times. She has been out about 7 months, and was down in Abilene when I was in San Angelo. She is from Spanish Fork I believe, but I will have more solid info for you next week. I am excited. This transfer has been hard in the most unusual ways. And I am ready to work till I drop! -Are you ready for this?! :)
So next on the agenda to tell you all about is Thanksgiving! It was eventful to say the least! I can only say I am so SO glad that we had the other missionaries with us. So it was us, and the other sisters in our ward (who are staying this transfer too) and then the assistants. So we went to thanksgiving and it was kinda crazy because A, a less active (who is now active!) who we were working with in the Canyon West ward was there (because small world it was her husband's family!) So that was fun. But after I talked to her at first she went to attend to her kids, and all of us missionaries were left by ourselves for like 45 minutes.... Awkward much. It was really weird, we felt super out of place, until eventually they remembered us and told us to come eat. And that's when things got really weird. The dad of the family came and started talking to us about his mission and about how disobedient he was. Going to movies wearing wigs so that he could go! Gag! IT WAS HORRIBLE! Little did he know he was talking to the assistants and us who all thought it was ridiculous! So after standing up to get pie we announced we had to go! It was so contentious and weird, and just gah! But we went back to the church and played games and ended our Thanksgiving well. So the food was good, but man what a ride!
Other than that this week was pretty slow. Everyone was out of town for Thanksgiving, but it was fun on Friday we were all invited, here in Lubbock, to go decorate the mission home for Christmas. It was really fun, and when we were done we sang Christmas hymns. It was so wonderful!
Oh also good news, after thinking I might have a sinus infection, we called the Doctor here and he prescribed me some good stuff for my allergies. He told me not to take decongestants, and I now have a nasal spray and pills I take. Allergy pills are expensive, but I can honestly say I feel SO much better! I can finally breathe through my nose! Hooray- and finally at the end of my mission!!
Okay I think that's about it! The weather is like spring in Utah. A little windy, but not winter coat weather. Can't complain! Doesn't feel like December though! Miss you all!!
our district. the pic is blurry. sorry
Monday, November 25, 2013
I feel like I have A LOT to update you in the past week, so I'll try and type as fast as I can:
First off, with Thanksgiving not a week away we finally found a place for us to go for Thanksgiving this past Saturday! Their two daughters are in our YSA, and they say they try and have the missionaries at their home each Thanksgiving as a tradition! Thank heavens or else who knows where we might be. :) No I am sure it would have all worked out. I don't know much about them, except Sister O says their kids were all home schooled. Seems like that is a reoccurring thing in my life. It'll be good, the mom told us that she will make us any dish that we request (though I have none- it is a really nice offer!)
Also yes, we got "snowed-in" yesterday. Which means like barely anything, but apparently Texas doesn't own snow plows- and Texans don't know how to drive in the snow. So they cancelled church (which was a BIG bummer for us: not only do we look forward to church all week, but for the first time this transfer we had 3 investigators and a less active who were all planning on being there yesterday! But we know it'll all work out.) They also had us stay inside all day. And can I just say how happy I am to be out again! It was nice we got lots of paperwork, and letters written, but there is nothing quite like being a missionary cooped up all day! Yuck! But Sister O said it was really good for her, so there was a blessing that came out of it.
Sister O is doing better. No more big panic attacks. This is a process though, and I am just glad I can be of service. I know that I am with her for a direct reason. For me to learn from her and for her to learn from me. I also can see how all my past experiences have given me the understanding, patience, and will to help her. So I am so grateful for this chance. I just love Sister O.
Oh by the way transfer calls are coming this Saturday. I'll be shocked if I transfer, for my last transfer: but I do hope I stay with Sister O!
So we are teaching a guy named M, he is from Czech Republic, studying Physical Therapy here at Tech. Sister O has been teaching him for a month or so before I came. Well we finally had our first lesson with him this past week, and he won't accept a baptismal date. I declared after that lesson that young single adult men from ALL nationalities have commitment problems! What is this whole world coming to?! :)
We also have been working hand in hand with the ward council here to rescue and find all the less actives in the ward. So I have been calling all of these unknown people to try and locate them. There have been a few (one in particular) who were not so happy about us calling (I got yelled at), but for the most part it has been really rewarding! One that really warms my heart is a guy named A. He was baptized about 2 years ago, but took a job that had him working on Sundays and he moved from where we last knew he lived. So I called him up, he was one of the few who actually answered, and we set up an appointment. We met this past Wednesday and he said how he has been wanting to come back to church, and that he actually is looking at a job offer that has him working only weekdays, and that this might be his answer to take the job! It was so wonderful! We are going to keep meeting with him, and reteach him the lessons. On the way out of the lesson we asked him if he had been to the temple, which he had, and he told us he has the Aaronic Priesthood and he would really like the Melchizedek priesthood! You don't hear that everyday!! So amazing!
We had another miracle like that this past week. We had already made our plans for the following day, but while I was preparing for bed a couple came to my mind, to try and see. Mind you I had never seen this couple, only heard about them from Sister O. But our night was already packed with other people we were going to try. But then then next morning they again came to my mind. So we changed our plans and moved things around and fit a time in to try them that evening. And miracle: they were home! I love these amazing blessing of being a missionary! the Spirit is amazing! There are plenty of times when I think I have been inspired to try someone at a certain time, but they aren't home. But we have to diligently try anyway, and sometimes it just pays off!!
Oh I don't know how, but I almost forgot to tell you the funniest story from this week. So it was raining on Thursday night, and it froze... So our car was miserable the next morning. And due to the fact that we live in Texas, we don't have ice scrapers. So what did we use instead?! Spatulas!! It took us about 20 minutes to clear of our car- with lots of scraping, and wacking, and arm muscles! Too funny! Always an adventure!
Love you lots! I am so grateful for how supportive, and loving you have all been as I have been here. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Gobble till you wobble! And eat lots of cranberry frozen deliciousness for me! xoxoxoxo
Monday, November 18, 2013
Hello Jello! (yes Avery you can now roll your eyes!!)
Missionary work is really progressing here. We still have troubles getting people to commit and come to church- but I think that just comes with the area of being a YSA. But we have lots of appointments set up, and people are reading from the Book of Mormon so things are good! The other trial that comes with YSA would probably be that since everyone is a student they just take these lessons as knowledge and not to the heart. But we know as they keep reading and praying they will come to know for themselves and it will all work out! So currently one of my favorite investigators is a quirky shy girl named E. She is catholic and more of the active kind I would say. We met her on campus and she has met with us twice. We committed her to be baptized in our first lesson and she said "probably not" but in the second lesson when we brought up baptism again she said "I'll think about it." Yay for progress! It is so fun to teach college student who read and then come to us with questions! It is so much more personal and fun that way!
With other things around here: Sister O and I get along amazingly. And that really is such a blessing because this past week she has been having some troubles. She had 2 major panic attacks and pulled a muscle in her rib cage because of it. I was so grateful because her second one which was worse than her first one was when we were on exchanges with Sisters B, D, and C. And I don't know what I would have done without them. It is kinda scary when they happen because she is not in her right mind and I have no idea how to help calm her down. I have my own emotional issues but what helps me to recenter does not help her when she gets to that state. She met with the the mission therapist this past week, but we are still working through things. She was able to get two amazing blessings: one during that second attack and one for her pulled rib. Her hurt rib makes it hard for her to breathe and sleep which only adds on top of these other things. But what a blessing and power the priesthood is! The miracles of healing that were produced are astounding. The change in her from right before the priesthood blessing during her anxiety attack and right after was like day and night! Things will all work out and I know that Heavenly Father has placed me in this companionship with my past experiences and trials for a big reason. It is a difficult situation, and not one that is going to be fixed overnight, but it is all going to be okay. I felt impressed to ask the Bishop yesterday for a blessing after church. (Elders aren't allowed to give the sister missionaries blessings anymore) And again the power of the priesthood and the personal relationship that Heavenly Father has with me was made apparent. The Bishop here barely knows me and said exactly what my soul needed to hear, (just so you know I am doing really well even in this rough time. I am very happy and not having troubles except in small moments of how to help Sister O) but I must say that blessing yesterday was one of the most personal and special blessings I have ever received in my life. It even quoted parts of my Patriarchal Blessing. I feel very blessed to be here and to know the truth of this gospel! What a blessing our lives on earth are!
So I guess with all of that info I just wanted to let you know what's going on on my side of the world, and if you could keep Sister O in your prayers that would be so SO appreciated.
Still have no idea what our exact plans are for thanksgiving. Hopefully some pie and turkey! even if I have to make it! (YIKES that would be scary! I set off the fire alarms in our apt last night during dinner....)
Okay I love you all! It is a cold day here in Texas but glad to hear dad that is should be warmer for the rest of the week!
xoxo Sister Peterson!