Monday, April 29, 2013

4/29/13 I am in Chile!!


I am alive. Holy cow I don´t know where to begin. So here in Chile, we get 1.5 hours to email!!!! Today is only going to be about 45 minutes, because I want to send a few pictures, and because I took a little longer to write my weekly email to President Humphrey! I´m just going to start at the beginning :)

Monday - I left the MTC at 10:30AM and found out when I got to the airport that I´d have a layover in Georgia instead of flying straight to Santiago like I thought. I also found out that the only leg I´d be doing alone was from Santiago to Concepción. So I got to talk to my lovely familia for about an hour and a half in Georgia. I also had my last Panda for 16 months :(

Tuesday - So I probably got 1 hour of sleep on the plane. NOT FUN. But, I heard my mother telling me to be smart and pack my toiletries in my carry on and I had a 3 hour layover in Santiago, so I was able to "clean up" as best as I could before I took off for Concepción. (p.s. the computers can type in Spanish here. WHO KNEW?!) My hair had struggled the morning before I left, so I knew it was going to be a struggle anyway, but I put on some more deodorant and brushed my teeth ha ha then I bought a doughnut because I was starving. I flew straight into Concepción, and my mission President and His wife were waiting for me. I didn´t know how to carry my luggage all together and so I used my stretch band that I got for working out from the MTC and tied my two smaller suitcases together and then held onto my pillow and my other suitcase with the other one. My mission Presidents were super impressed with my intellectual abilities :) So they took me back to the mission office where I met the office couple, Elder and Sister Kimball, the AP´s, two elders that had extended for 30 days, and my new companion Hermana Oldroyd. She´s really great, a little too persistent and not aware of time, but we´re working on that :) She´s from Utah, and she´s only been here in the mission for 6 weeks longer than I have. She had almost 5 years of Spanish before coming, so we entered the MTC on the same day and she was there for 12 days and then came straight here. So, lucky for me, the Lord knows me more than I know myself and knew that I would be a wreck if I had a native companion. She´s able to translate the things I don´t know, which is basically everything. I sit in lessons. That´s it. I feel like a child sometimes because she´ll turn to me and cue me for my testimony, I´ll bear it, and then she´ll keep going. They talk so fast and they don´t talk dramatically with mouths open like Americans do, and so it´s SUPER hard to understand, but I KNOW that with time I´ll understand. But, lessons are getting better, and even if I don´t understand anything that´s going on, I´m working on listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost because he does understand. That first night I thought my head was going to explode ha ha. I literally thought, what did I just learn for 8 weeks in the CCM!!! Also, I have never fallen asleep as fast as I did that first night. I hit my pillow, and I was out cold.

It´s starting to get really cold here, and I´m super nervous for the winter.

Let me know how long letters take to get there. The post office works weird here, and we don´t buy our own stamps. We take them down to the office, they weigh them and then mark them. I haven´t gotten any letters or the package, but I know they're coming! Also, since I´m close to Concepción, I can get my mail once a week. But once I move further away from Concepción, it´s going to be longer than that. Probably mail once a month. That doesn´t mean don´t send mail, but if you need something to get to me quicker, send it via email and it´s definitely cheaper via email too. Also, tell the kids they can write me via email! Also, I need Summer´s email, and Katie´s email :) Gracias! Also, hiya summer. Your ring is gorgeous and I´m so proud of you!
 
Also, our mission office is changing, and we don´t know the address yet, so for now, keep sending mail there and I´ll let you know as soon as I know the new address. They´ll forward mail for a while after we move too.
So, basically living here in Chile is like living at the Cabin for 16 months. My first night here, my shower was freezing cold, so I did the put my hair under, and wash quickly! It was horrible ha ha but since then, it´s gotten better! We figured some things out and now it´s so hot. Plus it´s an electric shower, so it never gets cold :) the actual shower is like half the size of ours at home though. Our toilet is sky blue, and the distance from the lid to where the water is that you flush is like 2 feet. You can figure the rest out :) The total size of our little apartment is probably 2 and a half of Leah´s room. Our room is about a third of Leah's room, and we share our apartment with 2 other Hermanas, Hermana Daglio (a yearish in the field from Argentina) and Hermana Mendoza (8 weeks in the field from Mexico). They´re great!
 
This is my nightly ritual. We plan, I get in my pajamas. I wear socks, tuck my black pants into my socks, wear a long sleeve shirt, and tuck it into my pants. Then I lift up my sleeping bag, spray the bed with my anti-bug spray, spray the inside of my sleeping bag with bug spray, and pray I don´t get bitten by fleas. My companion has them in her bed and I don´t want them. Sister Humphrey read somewhere that Bounce sheets keep them away, so if you want to send a thing of those with my boots, I´d super appreciate it. Please if you could pray for no fleas or lice (and if you have ideas to keep lice away too, send them my way!) I´d appreciate it. I´m super serious that I´d rather have a dog pee on me than have fleas or lice. Speaking of dogs, I´m pretty sure that I´ve seen at least 800 different ones. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. I have decided that I will never own a dog. There is also dog popa everywhere, and when we´re walking down the street, they bark at you and I don´t like it. My first night here, we had some dogs charge at us, and I threw myself onto a huge woodpile on the side and I have never been more scared in my life. Then this guy came out and basically said hey what´s going on. So then I looked like a weirdo peeling myself off this wood pile. Sheesh... I´m sure I´ll have plenty of dog stories :)
So, Chile just had their daylight savings time, so right now we´re only 3 hours ahead of you. On Sunday, our block is at 10 ( so 7 your time) and then we have lunch at 1:30 (10:30 your time). We will probably call after that, but guess what. We get to SKYPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So get ready folks! I need a skype name from you (send it in your next email), and then I´ll add you from the computer in the members home we are going to use. I´m freaking out!  We´re going shopping after this, and I´m going to be so good and get lots of fruit :) BUT, speaking of food.... the food here is so freaking good. Oh my gosh. They have pancita with every meal (they don´t have dinner, so only for lunch I guess) and it´s SOOO good. It´s basically their bread here, and it totally dominates American bread. Also, their ice cream is better too. Mmm Mmm Bueno.
Bekah, you looked SO SO SO pretty at Prom! Holy snaps, I was almost crying like a child over here. I best hear all about it.
So, we had no investigators come to church this week, but we had a noche de hogar (family home evening) with some of the members last night, and two of our investigators came, Luis and Mercedes. She had to work and that´s why they didn´t come to church. We found them last week, and they don´t have a baptism date yet, but we have a cita with them tomorrow night so hopefully they´ll have one! Their son Victor was also with us when we found them so we´re hoping he´ll investigate too! Also, the other night we had a goal to find 4 new investigators. We were having NO luck, and I said let´s say a prayer. So we said one, asking Heavenly Father for help to help us find the 4, and when we were done, my companion said lets go there. So we went to the house that she pointed at, and the mom let us in, we taught her a lesson, and she wants to be baptized! She can´t come to church this weekend, so we have to push back her date (here they have to come to church 3 consecutive times before they can be baptized) but she has two boys and we´re hoping they´ll all be baptized! She was so sweet, is super active in her Catholic church and is open to change. Her name is Adriana, and we have another cita with her tonight. Ah! Also, we had another investigator Danny, but he got a hold of some anti Mormon literature, and isn´t really interested anymore. If you could PLEASE keep them all in your prayers, I´d appreciate it and I know my companion would too!
I know the church is true! I´m sorry this letter is all over the place, but this next week it´ll make more sense. Our ward is amazing, but only about 90 members attend each week and there are 600 members on record. So we´ve got some reactivation to do! Our bishop is fantastic and there are some incredible members! We eat breakfast in the mornings, have a huge lunch (I´m talking 3-4 courses each) at 1:30 each day, and then if we´re hungry, we munch when we get home. I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else. I love it here. It´s not easy, but I´ve been working this week on the Christlike attribute of patience and I´ve studied some great things. One scripture particularly is Alma 17:11 that says patience sets a good example. This has kind of changed my perspective on lots of things. Help the missionaries to find people! The bishops wife does our laundry each week, and I ate a banana as large as my foot today.
 
I didn´t know I had to bring a cord with me, but I was planning on sending pictures but it´ll have to wait until next week. LO SIENTO! I promise I´m taking them though, and there will be lots next week.
I love you all so much and appreciate your love and support!
Love Hermana Peterson
p.s. how many stairs are there in the Great Wall of China? Pretty sure I hike that many everyday. My companion said she thinks we´ve walked at least 15 miles this week... ha ha it´s so awesome! Oh and about my area (oops) I´m in Lirguen (Leer ken), which is about 30 minutes outside of Conce (Concepción). The sisters we live with and the two of us are in charge of the whole area. I don´t know how big it is across but you there in the states could look it up. Tell Brother Thorton to email me about his areas, etc! I´d love to know! I got pictures, can open them, and can print them. I don´t have time to look at Austin's blog, so if you could pass me his emails, I can print them and read them throughout the week!
I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU SO MUCH! Keep safe, and enjoy the warm weather!

 
 
     New Missionary Training Sessions in Concepcion

                 (My first companion in the field)
              Hermana Oldroyd and Hermana Peterson


      Practicing with a pen in your mouth helps with your
             pronunciation of Spanish...who knew??

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4/24/13 Elder Peterson


Well, Dear Familia,

This past week has been crazy!!!! It seriously has been. We have been blessed in so many ways. I don't even know where to start but I am going to just write.

To start off I want to tell a story. The West Elders in our district Elder Giles and Elder Boddha received a call from the Mission office that there was a man who was at our chapel who wanted to talk to the missionaries. They were able to hurry down there and they taught him the first lesson. This man's name was Samuel and he is from Nigeria. Back in Nigeria he knew a lot about the church and the Stake President in his area was one of his friends. He had been attending church for a few years but is not a member. He was also a very big journalist over there. Because of some comments in one of his articles in the newspaper, he made some really bad enemies. These people found him and put a bag on his head and tied him up and basically told him that they were going to cut his head off. They stuck him in the trunk of their car and drove off. But, by the grace of God, Samuel was able to escape from the car because the car hit a bump and the trunk opened and he fled. He came over here to America with basically nothing and has been living here for 7 months trying to find the Mormon Church. The West Elders taught him the 1st lesson and he told them that he already knew everything that the talked about. So they asked him why he hasn't been baptized yet and he said that nobody had invited him to. So they invited him to be baptized and he said yes!! He is going to be baptized this Sunday April 28th!!

It turns out that Samuel lives in our area and we were able to take him up to the VC for a tour and to teach him the plan of salvation. He is a VERY intelligent man and we are excited for his joining the church. He said that he is planning on staying here for the rest of his life basically. We are so excited for him!!! He is going to be a great leader in the church and help bring many souls unto Christ.

So that is basically how our week has been so far. Samuel, Walter, and Charles all came to church on Sunday and all had a great time. The members are doing a great job in helping them feel loved and appreciated in the church. Also, Samuel was able to come with us Sunday Night to the "Why I Believe" Fireside. He really enjoyed it and so did we. Elder and Sister Cardall spoke at the fireside and they did a wonderful job. (They are Paul Cardall's parents by the way). They are super sweet.

Alright  that was all of the really spiritual stuff that happened. Mom, something that you will appreciate and will make you say "I told you so".

I have had to play the piano more times than I can count. I have to play it at district meetings, zone meetings, F.H.E. on Tuesday nights, and ward coordination mtgs. on Saturdays. Mom, I hate to say it, but you were right. I should've played the piano more at home. You are very wise and I am not. But, my 5 hymns that I know how to play has grown to 6!! I know how to play "Hark, All Ye Nations" now. I am trying to find time to practice the piano so the people in my district will not be so annoyed with Sweet Hour of Prayer.

Well, I am really excited for today. It is an All Day P-Day!! We are going to the Nationals game today. I will be taking plenty of pictures and I was able to buy a really sweet Nationals hat. (Seth don't be too jealous, I will be taking a picture of it just for you:) The pictures won't be in til next week which is transfer week. Elder Gremillion was basically told straight up that he is going to be leaving. It is going to be really weird not having him as my companion. He has been really great and has taught me a lot. I am going to miss him dearly. But, the Lord has something new in store for me. And just to let you know I will be staying put for at least another transfer. Walter and Charles are going to be baptized on the 5th of May just to let you know as well.

Just to let you know as well, Bro. Armstrong is going to be taking us out to dinner tonight. I am hoping that I will have time to write letters but the game is going to take up a lot of the time today. I am going to try but I don't know how the day is going to unfold. I love you all!! I can't wait to talk with my family on Mothers day which is coming up pretty quick!!

Once again I Love you all so much!!! and I miss you just as much which is basically a lot. Can't wait to write you next week and send some awesome pictures!

Love,
Elder Peterson


Elder Peterson, Farley and Johnson at the National's Game...
Thanks, Sister Farley!!

And this photo was taken off the Washington DC Mission blog...
Elder Johnson and Elder Peterson at the Washington DC Temple...
Thanks Sis. Matsumori!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

She has arrived!! 5-23-13


23 de Abril 2013
Dear Brother and Sister Peterson:
 
Sister Humphrey and I had the great pleasure of welcoming your daughter, Hermana Peterson, to the Chile Concepción Mission. After we met her at the airport when she arrived on Tuesday, she enjoyed  lunch together with other missionaries.  Hermana Peterson met her first companion, Hermana Oldroyd, who will train her to be a missionary. They will be laboring in the sector of Lirquen and located in the zone of Penco.    
 
A mission is a wonderful experience filled with challenge and success that strengthens the testimony and spirituality of each missionary. The greatest support you as a family can give your daughter during her time as a missionary is that of uplifting letters. Missionaries look forward with great anticipation to each letter from home. In addition to using email, you can send packages and letters to our address. The U.S. Postal Service and the Correos de Chile do a good job of delivering packages.
                           
We invite you to look at our blog.  www.chileconcepcionmission.blogspot.com
 
It will be our privilege to work closely with Hermana  Peterson as she serves here in Chile.  We are blessed to have her join us in this mission and know that she will have many life changing experiences as she proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your support and for sharing your daughter with us.
 
Sincerely,

Neall Weston Humphrey                                                                                         
Mission President

President and Sister Humphrey with Hermana Peterson after a really long night of flying!!
 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4/17/13 Elder Peterson


Alright, today has been super busy and so my email probably won't be as long as usual but it might be so bear with me. I am trying really hard to write a lot today because I would feel like a failure if I didn't. Anyways this past week has been pretty normal. There wasn't much excitement besides the fact that Nichole received the gift of the Holy Ghost! She is making so much progress now. And she even came to our weekly F.H.E on Tuesday. It was really fun we were in charge of the game and our roommates were in charge of the lesson. It was on Missionary Work and how the members of the ward could help spread the gospel. It was a really fun and spiritual night. Also, we are making some wonderful progress with Walter. We have been able to teach him up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The thing with Walter is that he is a little slow with understanding. The plan was that he was going to be baptized on the 21st but we are moving it back to May 5th. He wants to be baptized on that day and also we feel like it will be good to wait a bit. But, he is extremely willing to change his life so that he can have great friends and be closer to God. We are very impressed with him.

So Charles our investigator's cell phone is turned off and we can't get a hold of him. We stopped by his home and he wasn't there but we are trying. We just need to get a hold of him so we can keep teaching him!

Alright so I didn't have time today to write any letters I am REALLY REALLY SORRY!!!!! But I want to answer some of the quick questions people might have especially Mom's questions. I got the package with the shirts today and I am very thankful for it. I forgot how expensive they are and so I appreciate it. I don't think that I will be asking for anything more for the rest of my mission because I feel so bad. I feel because I am serving in the U.S. I am spoiled with the letters and the packages because I know that Hermana Peterson isn't going to get as much as me. Anyways enough of my rambling I am just SO grateful that you sent me the package. Alright now I am going to answer some questions. 

1. I get to go to the temple once every transfer. We went today because next week we are going to the Nationals game!! It was great this morning, I was in the session with Pres. and Sister Matsumori and they sat right in front of me. They are so awesome. I am really going to miss them because they go home this next transfer!

2. The weather is nice up here but it is getting pretty hot but it is great.

3. My investigators are doing awesome! This week our goal is to pick up a few more and we are determined to achieve it.

4. I can't remember anymore of the questions I was asked.

Lastly I want to share a very spiritual experience I had. This week I was reading in 3 Nephi chapter 15. Jesus is explaining to the multitude that He needs to leave to do His Father's business. When He cast His eyes on the multitude they were "weeping" as if they were asking Him if He could stay. This is where I felt the spirit very strong. Jesus says "My bowels are filled with compassion towards you." My love and my understanding of my Savior was strengthened because of this passage. Jesus had things that He needed to do but because He loves us so much He was willing to stay. And guess what's the first thing He does when He stays..." Is there any sick among you? Bring them hither"
He HEALS THEM!!

I love my Savior. And I love you all and miss you. I am growing spiritually so much and I am so happy for the chance that I have to be a missionary for the one and only true church here on the earth.
 
Love,
Elder Peterson 
   
Beautiful Washington DC Temple in the spring!

 

 
Elder Gremillion and Elder Peterson (I love the tulips!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4/16/13 Um Hi...6 days...Hermana Peterson

Hola!

CCM - centro de something de misioneros I can't remember, sorry. It does make sense though!
 
44% of the missionaries in the CCM right now are girls. I am seriously blown away! What the heck?! We almost fill the gym when we have Relief Society. Speaking of R.S. this past week Sister Mary Edmunds came and spoke to us. She does Timeout for Women, she's a motivational speaker, and she's HILARIOUS. She used to be on the General Relief Society Board, but now she's not. She was SO powerful, but SO funny. K so she was joking around and then she got super serious and said "DON'T TOUCH THE ELDERS. Don't high five them, don't pull a string off of them, DON'T TOUCH THEM. BUT, keep a list of the ones you DO want to touch." She.never.smiled. I haven't laughed that hard the whole time I've been in the CCM. It was absolutely hysterical. She cracked up after she said it, but oh my gosh I wish you could have heard it! She was so good at being funny, but spiritual at the same time and it was just a testimony to me that I can continue to be who I am as a missionary. Heavenly Father has called me to Chile to be ME! Sometimes, I feel like missionaries lose their personality but that's not how it's supposed to be! Also, she ended her talk with her testimony but also said, "There have been over 1 million missions served for the church but this one (talking to us individually) has never been served, nor will ever be served again. We are to go out and serve with all we've got, and the Lord will not leave us. He has called us, and He will NOT leave us alone. No one was pre-destined to fail." It hit me super strong and I thought "Okay people of Chile, Imma coming!"

Speaking of Chile.................. I'm LEAVING ON MONDAY!!! In 6 days, I am going to be in South America. W H A T? Not going to lie, I'm starting to freak out. Voy a vomitar. I couldn't be more excited, and more nervous at the same time. Honestly though, I think the reason I'm nervous is because I have a 3 hour layover in Santiago where I'm not going to know what's going on ha ha. I leave the CCM at 10 AM (respectively), and should be able to call you around 11:30 but then my plane takes off at 1:00 so I don't know how long I'll have. I'm hoping more than not, but prepare for the worst okay? I'd love if all of you could be home (I know the boys will be devastated that they get to miss school) and dad I'm sorry it's going to be right when you're supposed to teach, but uh..... esta bien! :)

Speaking of teaching, thanks for the letters from your students! Some of those students are going to be firecracker missionaries, some others.... I'm a little worried! Ha ha I think you know who I'm talking about. We had some good laughs, but tell them nice try. :)

My letter is kind of wimpy this week, I apologize. I started packing this morning, and it just took up a lot of time. There is one coming, and a package will be coming sometime soon with a few things, and I'm going to try to finally write the thank you cards I've been meaning to write forever and put them in there so Mom if you could distribute them, I'd appreciate it!

Seth, Bekah, and Caleb, I don't know if I'm going to have time to write you back this week but I will for sure write letters on the plane. I'll do my best though, I promise. Leah you are slacking. I'm offended. Lisa, thank you for your package!! I ate all of the carrot cake cookies except for 2. I know, I know. But they were SO good! I'll try to write you soon too, but to answer your question, Yes, yes they were the best! :)
 
I still see Austin around all the time and it's awesome! He's going to just bring so many people unto Christ in Brazil I know it! He has an ability to help others around him, and I'm so grateful I've seen him here! I've seen Haley Brown, Savannah Stapley, and Jake I saw Lexi Wadsworth. Dad the first two told me to tell you hi, and Jake, Lexi said to tell you hi!

I forgot birthdays last week, but happy birthday last week and this week to Shantele, Nathan, Aaron, Annie, Jess, Luke & Riley!!! I hope you all have/had fantastic birthdays!! :) I miss you all tons!

Dad, thanks for laminating my mission call! Mom, thanks for the package. I don't have means to upload a picture today, but the peach-o-rings were TOTALLY melted together! Don't worry I took a picture, and yes I'm still eating them, I just have to eat it straight from the wrapper :) ha ha thanks for the pictures too! I.HAVE.THE.BEST.PARENTS.IN.THE.WHOLE.WORLD. No question.

Leah, you look SO beautiful without braces! Not that you didn't before, but you look awesome! Dad and Seth, keep those boys away for 2 more years!

Mom, I don't know if you were planning on sending another package (if not, seriously don't worry about it.), but I'd like a photo album (like flip one... I hope that makes sense). Somewhere in my room I know I have one, but whatever works. REMEMBER, this is only if you were planning on sending one. If not, I'll survive. Promise. ALSO, I don't need ANYMORE clothes. I seriously have plenty. I could probably send back most of my wardrobe and survive. I seriously only wear my black and grey skirt (that's a tad bit of an exaggeration) but really. I wore my black one 3 times last week. I have PLENTY!

Grandma Peterson, just so you know, your name means "cute" in Spanish. Linda = Cute  When I discovered that this week, I said yup basically that describes my grandma :) I hope all is well in Vermont. I love and miss both you and Grandpa! I hope you're keeping Grandpa in line :)
 
We seriously met a girl that was on Arthur. Not lying. Her name is Janessa and she was on the episode about lying. I don't remember her, but just so you know. I basically know a celebrity!

K so here's a dilemma. I really want to send my journal pages home so that you have them just in case my luggage gets stolen or lost or something, and I also want to send you home my study journal pages too. But I'm not sure if I should... You tell me and I'll do whatever. I can send all of my journal pages home in my package and keep the rest for the rest of my mission, I can do whatever! YOU TELL ME!

Caleb, I love your letters (I love everyone else's too, don't worry). I'll try not to ask you too many questions, but that just means when you write me you better write me about everything that's going on. You better be keeping an eye on Seth for me. Give him a good thumping every once in a while will ya? Oh, and when I call on Monday, have your best song prepared for me so I can hear it over the phone!!! :)

Okay hi, I LOVE my companion. Seriously, we are so much a like, it's not even funny.  We get along SO well, and I have learned more from her than I did my first 6 weeks here. Truly, I believe one of the reasons I'm still here is so that I could have her as my companion. I love her so much and am so sad that we're only going to be companions for 2 weeks. She's headed out to Ecuador on Monday morning and I leave 7 hours after her! I love my district too. I go into more detail about it in my letter you'll get later this week. They are just awesome! They truly help me want to be a better person! There are 6 hermanas and 5 elders, and all of us hermanas are in the same room! I have pictures, but will send them later. We collect empty toilet paper roles, and are up to 141. There's no reason behind it, we just do it, and it's probably one of the funniest things I've ever done. Anyways, I totally am not sad that I'm still here. It has been SUCH a blessing.

Okay a quick little tid bit, I went to the doctor yesterday and he told me he wants to wean me off my boot. I didn't wear it for about 5 hours last night, and it was a little sore, but not much. I didn't wear it all morning but am wearing it right now and to the temple. Tomorrow I'll go half and half, Thursday I won't wear it at all, and I go back Friday! So I'm leaving on Monday!

Oh and on Sunday I played a musical number in sacrament meeting, AND I got called up on the spot to speak!

I'll end with some spiritual stuff now. Sorry my letter is all over the place! It's been a roller coaster of a week, and I'm just still freaking out that I'm actually leaving!

The scriptures are my favorite thing. Truly. I have learned so much this week from them and I have been seriously keeping a study journal. I have found so much amazing stuff! We talked about the Brother of Jared the other night as a class and some of the stuff we found was amazing! I then restudied after by myself and it was awesome! In Ether 2:19-25 The Brother of Jared goes to the Lord with questions, does what the Lord asks, and then the Lord asks him what he wants Him to do. I know that the Lord cares about us so much, but many times He wants us to exercise our agency and make our own choices!

I know that my Savior lives, and that He loves us! I become more and more grateful everyday for the decision I made to serve a mission! I cannot wait to get to Chile next week, and serve, serve, serve!

Be happy, read your scriptures, be a missionary, and stay healthy!I love you all!

Love,
Hermana Peterson

p.s. Jacob, keep up the good work. Sorry I didn't have time to respond to all your emails! Thanks for the pictures though, and I just write more because I'm a girl :) I love you! 

Here's where Jacob and I will be serving

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4/10/13 Spring in DC - Elder Peterson


Dear People,

I want to start off by saying that I don't know how Hermana Peterson can write so much in her emails. Either she is breaking the rules or she is just amazing. Probably both.

Well, I have been having a great week. CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING!!! I was so grateful that I was able to watch it. I learned so much about myself and things that I can do to be a better missionary, and also things that will help me after the mission. Not that I am thinking about after the mission...:). I really enjoyed Pres. Uchtdorf's talk during the Priesthood session. It was very powerful and helped me to learn more about our Heavenly Father. I knew that he loved me, but my understanding of his love has increased greatly. I am also grateful for conference because both Walter and Charles were able to make it to one session each. They both enjoyed it.

Well, here are a few highlights for the week. The first one...NICHOLE GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was
This is at Nichole's baptism.  Bro. Ewing baptized her.
 
such a wonderful day. Conference, then baptism, then conference. She was so prepared and now she is going to have the blessings from being a member of the church. I am so grateful that she made the decision to be baptized. Something that was great was that her parents and her sister came to support her for the baptism.

The second highlight is that Elder Gremillion got his bike back and now we can officially go out on both of our bikes and share the Gospel. It was really weird going out on bikes because we haven't done it in a while.

Third, we don't have to wear our suit coats anymore. I shouldn't be happy about it but I am. It is really crazy though because it has been pretty chilly the past couple of weeks. But we got a call out that we could take the suits off and on Monday? IT was super hot. I was sweating like crazy! It was definitely perfect timing. Today the high was 90 degrees and yeah 90 degrees is hot, but it is also humid here.

Well, that is basically what has been going on over here in D.C. Our investigators Walter and Charles are doing wonderful. They are both excited to keep meeting with us. Walter's baptism date might need to be moved because he is needing to take it slow so he can understand. Also, Charles accepted our baptismal invitation and he is going to be baptized on April 28. It is really exciting.

Alright just a couple of things for home. Is is possible that you could send me a couple more short sleeve shirts? And possibly one of those tie hanger thingies? I wasn't anticipating the warm weather so fast and I know that I will need a couple more to make it through the summer.

Well, I am going to be sending a ton of pictures and so I need to end. I love you all so much and I miss you all! I hope that everything is going great in AZ!!

Love,
Elder Peterson

 
Sunrise at the Washington Monument
Me, Elder Johnson, Elder Gremillion and Elder McDonald
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms and the Washington Monument




 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

4/9/13 Hermana Peterson


Hola. This weeks email is going to be shorter because I sent a bajillion pictures. Please let me know if you got them! I don't remember how many I sent. I apologize, I just figured pictures were more important!

So first things first. I'm in a new district, an intermediate Spanish district that speaks Spanish todo. I've only been with them for a day and I can already feel my memory picking up and I'm learning tons. It's amazing how much the attempt at immersion helps. So yesterday was a crazy day. Basically I've decided that because the mission is as crazy as it is that I should've come out sooner :)

Hermana Harris had to be at the travel office at 4 AM so Hermana Taylor and I woke up at 3:15 to get ready and get her there on time. However, the night before I don't think I went to sleep till almost midnight because they were all still packing and the lights were on. So keep in mind I was running on about 3 hours of sleep. Anyways, so we dropped Hermana Harris off and had about 2.5 hours left until 6:30 so we decided to go back and crash. Hermana Taylor didn't leave till 10 so we made a game plan, she was going to shower and get ready and then we had a few errands to run, and the other Hermanas had left the room a pigsty (sp?) so we had a lot to do. So we crawled into bed and about 10 minutes later a voice came on the loud speaker asking for Hermana Taylor. They said she was needed at the travel office immediately. So we threw her stuff together and rushed. The man at the travel office told her that her paper was wrong and she was leaving now! I looked at him and said but I don't have a companion!! He told me to figure something out and went back to his business. More than ANYTHING, I felt SO bad for Hermana Taylor! Poor thing!! So I sat in the travel office contemplating what to do, and decided to head back to my room. At this point it was like 4:45 so I couldn't start cleaning because people were still sleeping, so I propped my door open and got about an hour and a half of sleep. People were leaving so it was loud, but I just laid there and laughed because this would happen to us! Haha At 6:30 I got up and went down to my new room and told them what had happened and let Hermana Bytheway know that we were now companions :) (Yes, John Bytheway is her dad's cousin). So bless her heart, she came and helped me clean up, we got locked out of her room in our pj's and barefoot so we had to walk to the front desk and get a key :) I got the room cleaned, got moved over, and life is good :) When I hit my pillow last night though, I passed the heck out. Fue bonita.

So quick tender mercy story. On Wednesday of last week, my foot was really hurting me and I had finally hit a wall. Our elders were hosting so it was just us sisters in the room, and I had a good cry. Hermana Harris felt prompted to go to the doctor and see if we could get an earlier appointment (I had one scheduled for Thursday afternoon). So we went down there, and the doctor wasn't there that day that's why I'd been scheduled for Thursday afternoon, but the had an opening Thursday morning, so I took it. Not lying here, but we walked out of the building and THERE WAS AUSTIN! I forgot he was Elder Zimmerman so I yelled AUSTIN! (Speaking of Austin, Aunt Jennifer, thanks so much for the cinnamon rolls! They are delicious, and don't worry, I'm sharing :) ) Anyways, back to the story. So he got super excited and gave me a huge hug haha.

I'm sure people were freaking out. But he's my cousin, so esta bien :) I had been praying all morning that I would see him and I'm so glad I got to. I've seen him quite a bit actually and we have the same P-day so that's cool, even though our schedule is different. But I'm SO glad he's here with me!

Receiving travel plans: CHECK
In-field orientation: CHECK
Departure devotional: CHECK
Packing, cleaning, and saying goodbye to teachers and my district: CHECK

AND GUESS WHAT?! I get to do it ALL over again!! :) Truly, I'm excited! Ha ha

In my scriptures I have a quote written by Marvin K Jensen que dije, "Instead of asking "why me, why now," we need to ask "what we need to find out and what we are supposed to learn." I'm not going to lie, when I found out I'd be here for another 2 weeks at least, I was devastated. I held it in until I saw my companions and I lost it. I didn't want to be here, I want to be in Chile ahora! Pero, I remembered this quote in my scriptures, and I made up my mind that instead of complaining I was going to trust the Lord and work my hardest (and talking to my Daddy on the phone helped :) ) But I made a list of blessings for still being here in el CCM:

1. I have 2 weeks in an intermediate Spanish class, with a district that is SO welcoming and nice. They are super patient with the little Spanish I know compared to them, and they correct me instead of just letting me say the wrong thing. It's awesome!  We SYL (speak our language) todo tiempo, and it's helping me SO much!
2. I got to talk to my Dad on the phone. (Mom I wish I could've talked to you too, but in a few weeks yes!)
3. I have more opportunities to serve in el CCM
4. I get to go to the temple 2 MORE TIMES!! There isn't a temple in my mission, and this is such a blessing!
5. I have 2 more weeks of CCM food, which means 2 less weeks in Chile to have to eat seafood :) Also, I'll arrive in Chile when it's more into winter!
6. More devotions, which means possibly an apostle!
7. Es una prueba en mi vida. 2 Ne. 2:11 - there is opposition in all things!
8. I get mas practica con uno companion instead of dos.

There are lots more too. I'm so so blessed! Because of this prueba, I am seeing parts of my setting apart blessing happening. The hand of the Lord is so relevant in mi vida and I love this gospel!

Thanks for all your letters and emails. Thanks Sister Laux for the list of synonyms :)

I have tons that I want to tell you, but I can't remember any of it. This week was CRAZY, and I didn't write down things as they happened to tell you like I normally do. I'm sorry

OH! Vocal point was our devotional on Sunday night. They were way good. I attached a photo. Seriously, he was standing by my companions and I and I walked up and said "My brother loves you guys, but he's on a mission. Could I take a picture with you to send to him and make him jealous?!" He was all for it! LOVE YOU JAKE! I wish you could have been here with me :)

Also, how about Conferencia General?!? SO GOOD!

Elder Holland did it again. WHAT WE KNOW WILL ALWAYS TRUMP WHAT WE DON'T KNOW. I have a hard time having confidence in the Spanish that I DO know, and this talk hit home for me. Don't complain, don't be afraid to ask for help, and hold the ground we have already won. Satan is trying SO HARD to make us forget who we are, pero if we hold true to the things we know, Heavenly Father will continue to help our faith grow! Satan is attacking the family much! With our families should be our best relationships!

I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve a mission! It has changed me in ways that I wouldn't have been changed with out my mission. I have completely fallen in love with this gospel, especially the scriptures. If you don't read them everyday, start now! Your knowledge will increase and your opportunities to share the gospel will too! I'm reading right now in Alma about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis and I'm amazed by their strength. Alma 24 is incredible. The last verse (vs 30) is a little scary, pero the faith of the ANL is amazing! The chapters that follow are amazing too! I'm in 28 and getting into the crazy wars. Grandma and Grandpa Z sent me an awesome quote by Elder Holland last week. I don't remember it exactly, but they could tell you. We KNOW who is going to win in the end, so why do we have such a hard time choosing which team to cheer for? I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!!!!!!!!!

MEAGAN! Don't kill me, BUT I forgot to write down your email address and I sent all of my letters and dearelders home in a package this week to help me be underweight. If you could dearelder it me again, and I also completely forgot which day you said we could wear our skirts. If all goes well, I'm leaving on the 22nd so we could do some day after then. You pick, once again! I'm sorry!!!! I love you and thanks for all of your letters :)

Okay, well I'm over time now! Good luck and keep working hard to all other missionaries out here and those preparing. Bekah could you thank Bethany Wright for her dearelder? Tell her I'll try to send her a note!  Also, Bekah!! Tell Wesley Burnham that he's going to the same mission as 2 elders that were in my district!!! Tell him to keep an eye out for Elder Heywood and Elder Broadbent. They are awesome!!

I love you all!! Thank you for your prayers and support, I can truly feel it! I miss you all and keep up the missionary work! We need the help of the members. "CATCH THE WAVE!" Listen and read and study the conference talks OVER AND OVER. Pray! Read your scriptures! I challenge all of you to make it a goal to go to the temple once a week, especially the youth! Go and do baptisms!

Okay! Bye!

Con amor,
Hermana Peterson

Hermana Willard and Me

This is where I'm going!

Me in my Chilean shirt and my snow accessories from Aunt Lisa! Thanks!!

With our Easter Goodies

Probably one of the reasons I am so fat here! :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

4/6/13 New MTC address


Hey familia!

Real quick, my new mailbox is going to be #36. So if you dear elder me, use that number with a departure date of April 22nd. My address will be:

Hermana Hannah Lynn Peterson
MTC Mailbox #36
CHI-CON 0422
2005 N 900 E
Provo UT 84604-1793

My foot is feeling a little bit better. I have moments where it really hurts, but for the most part, it doesn't ache continually! Fingers crossed, and prayers and faith!

I hope you've been enjoying Conference! I know I have been :)

I'll write on Tuesday cuz my P-day will be the same. I sent you a package today.

I love and miss you all! Eat lots of french toast.

Love,

Su Hermana Peterson

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/4/13 Two More Weeks...

I know many of you are praying for her foot.  Thank you!
After meeting with the doctor today, it was decided that she should stay for 2 more weeks at the MTC.  Her foot isn't doing much better, and taking into consideration how the health care is in Chile, we all would much rather that she get better here on this side of the Equator! She was able to call and talk with her Dad today, and despite some tears, and frustrations,  he was able to calm her down and let her know of our love for her! We all know that there is a plan, and our Heavenly Father knows the plan, we just have to follow him in faith!! We are looking at the positives here.

I'm feeling very helpless right now, and so wish I could hug her, and help her know it will all be alright!

Extra prayers are always welcomed, and notes of encouragement would be appreciated!! Here's hoping that 2 extra weeks will do the trick and that she will still be able to go to Chile this month!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

4/3/13 Elder Peterson - Happy General Conference Week!!


This past week has been crazy!! I don't know where to start and so I am going to start with answering mom's questions because they are the most important :) I got the Easter Package! Thank you for all of the deliciousness and my roommates were very grateful that you were thinking of them. Just one tip of advice though. Exnay on the Fake Plastic Grassay. That stuff is not very pleasing to find all over the apartment:) Thank you Leah and Seth for writing me i loved you letters. Seth I am writing you back! It just takes me a while to get your letters so patience. Easter was great this weekend on Saturday we had a Easter Dinner at  our ward building and we had a great ward turnout. A few of our less actives in our area showed up and it was nice to see them. And as usual the food was DELICIOUS.

Just to let you know, we had to drop Andre (from our teaching pool). We were very sad about it but he is not wanting to meet with us anymore. This is about the 3rd time that he has done this to a set of missionaries and I hope that sometime he comes around. He just needs more time. But Nichole is doing fantastic!! We were able to meet with her on Friday and we had a wonderful lesson with her. Something else that is great is that we picked up a new investigator on Wednesday whose name is Charles. He is a very wonderful guy and we are excited to teach him.

We had many wonderful blessings come up this weekend. On Sunday all three of our investigators (Walter, Nichole, and Charles) came to Church!! They all had a wonderful time even though Walter had to leave after sacrament. The Spirit was very strong and we had some great lessons at church which touched Nichole and Charles. Also, it is official...Nichole is going to be baptized on Sunday! She has her Baptismal interview on Friday with Pres. Matsumori and we are sure that she is going to pass. We just have to squeeze in a few lessons for now until Friday. We are very excited for her and she is definitely changing a lot. Yesterday we were able to meet with her at the library. While we were there someone said something to us that really made her frustrated. She was in a very contentious mood but she was able to say a prayer and the Spirit was able to return to our lesson. She recognized the Spirit come back and it was great. I AM JUST SO EXCITED!!!!

Also, all of our investigators are planning on coming to Conference this weekend. Both on Saturday and Sunday, General Conference will be shown at our church building and we will be having lunch/dinner in between sessions. Because of the time difference, the sessions are shown from 12-2 and 4-6. Priesthood is from 8-10 and we have to go to the Visitors Center to watch it (Count your blessings Arizonians) :)

Other than that everything is going amazing. I don't have much time to write today but I hope that everything is going well in Arizona. Miss you and have a wonderful conference!!

- Elder Peterson

 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4/2/13 Last P-day at MTC...we hope!!


So, I've been staying off my foot as much as I can, and it's getting better, but not at the same time. I've been trying to be careful, but as of today it's still really sore. Just walking up here to email actually, it spazzed (sp?) a little and it's pretty achy. We'll have to see what happens... If I don't end up leaving on Monday, I'll make sure that I'm allowed to email you to get you more information. But, I am going to have mucha fe, and put my trust in the Lord!! :) I know what I'm supposed to be doing, and if for some reason I'm supposed to stay here a few extra days, as much as it'll stink, I just have to trust that my Savior knows what's best for me. But, I'm gonna leave on Monday!!

Mom thanks for your email AND the Easter package (and the boys for the letters)! My companions loved it and I did too! You are the best mom in the whole world! :) Seriously, snap bracelets? Best.idea.ever! We took pictures, so they'll be coming as soon as I can send them!

So this last week in a nutshell...

Tuesday night we sang in the choir for I don't remember who (everything here blurs together, hard core) but we sang a rendition of Joseph Smith's First Prayer. It was the best version I've ever heard. It's by Beebe and it's an SATB with a men quartet, but we just sang it full choir. It was SO powerful and the Spirit was definitely present, bearing valiant testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Every time I sing that song, or even hear a smidge about his life, my testimony of him just grows! Because we were in the choir on Tuesday night, we were able to sing in the choir on Sunday for our special Easter program. We sang a new rendition of the Lord is My Shepherd by Fen Frehner. It was the prettiest version I've ever heard and it was in my favorite key :) And NO, an apostle did not come, but that is not important. That Sacrament meeting was one of, if not the most powerful experience in my life. We had el CCM wide Sacrament meeting. In the gym where I was at, there were 5 tables of the Sacrament set up. We sang Hymn #193 (#118 in Spanish), I Stand All Amazed as the Sacrament was being prepared and I can't even describe to you the Spirit that was there. Last Sunday in Choir practice, Brother Eget (sp?) the choir director who is an institute teacher too, made a comment about how the Sacrament is a literal commemoration of the Atonement. When the bread and water are covered on the table, it is literally a symbol of Christ in the tomb. He then said that once the Sacrament is passed and when the Aaronic Priesthood folds up the cloths, that it is a representation of Christ ascending back to Heaven and part of him has joined us. I'd never thought of it that way, and so when I was watching this miracle of over 3,000 people receive the Sacrament at once on Sunday, I was able to look at it through this new view, and it was really powerful. Seth, and all of the rest of the Aaronic Priesthood holders out there. You are LITERALLY helping bring Christ unto others each week as you pass the Sacrament. REMEMBER THAT, and ALWAYS remain worthy of the priesthood. You never know when the Lord will call upon you to exercise it. I am so grateful for the Priesthood that I was able to have access to growing up, and am grateful that I still have elders around me who can help me if needed. Thank you Dad for always being worthy of the Priesthood. It means the world to me. Thank you for being a worthy representative of Jesus Christ. Thanks to all other priesthood holders in my life for being worthy too. Uncles, Jake, Grandpas, members in our wards and stakes, friends, etc. THANK YOU.

This last week I've read a few talks that I would ask you to read if you never have. And if you have, read them again.
1. Watch Over and Strengthen - President Eyring. This talk brought me tons of comfort this last week!
2. Candle of the Lord - President Packer. HOLY COW. What a powerful talk! I wish I had it with me so that I could share my favorite parts with you, but read it. Study it!

On Sunday night, Sheri Dew came and talked to us. I'm sorry that everything is such a blur for me here, but I don't have my notes with me, but it was so good! We snuck around the back after and got to hug her. She said "Pretend this hug is from your mom." So I did, and squoze her pretty tight :) She basically talked about being constantly worthy of the Spirit and she talked about how our Savior is not our last chance but our ONLY chance!

I'm glad the Jones liked the Easter Pageant! Have you been able to take anyone to the Joseph Smith movie yet? Let me know when you do! I'm counting on you all to be missionaries at home!

So 2 weeks ago I tried out for a musical number, and was chosen to play at the departure devotional (for all the departing missionaries) on Sunday night. It went really well, and I'm super excited and super blessed that I'll be able to play in Chile! Jake, did you ever do a musical number while you were here? When I was trying out, I wished you were here with me so we could have done one together. I miss that a lot!

K, so Michelle! Your sister is going to Minnesota?!?! I have 2 friends in that mission. Tell her their names are Elder Mattison and Elder Sharp! I'm sure she's going to love it! Tell her congrats, and to get a head start on PMG and the scriptures!! :)

Mom, our investigators that we have here are NOT real. They are our two teachers, and we are teaching them as investigators that they actually taught on their missions. We taught our final lesson to Ruby yesterday, and will teach David for the final time tomorrow? It's been a cool experience, to see and feel the Spirit work through me. I can't wait to teach REAL investigators in a few short days!

K, so obviously you know it, but here is my email address.  peterson.hannah@myldsmail.net I can receive emails from everyone now (I think) so if that would be easier for some people (even though legitimate mail is the greatest thing ever) I'm 99% sure I can get mail from everyone. Here is my address in Chile, just in case you lost it. The only thing is that the "O" in Concepcion (both times) needs an accent, I just don't know how to do that on here ha ha.

Chile Concepcion Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina 502
Casilla 2210
Concepcion
Chile

So we're not going to talk about it, but I've gained a few pounds here in the CCM. I've come to the conclusion why too.

1. We have set times to eat, so regardless if I'm hungry or not, I have to eat.
2. I was raised in a home where wasting food was not appropriate. They give us good sized portions and I feel bad wasting food, so I feel obligated to eat it all.
3. This is a problem.

Dad laugh all you want, but I haven't gained the new missionary 40 like you said I would. CLOSE, but not at all ha ha I do work out everyday, and I even lifted some weights today. I know I know. You can pick your jaw up off the floor now. Es verdad!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, who's excited for Conferencia General this fin de semana!?!?!?! ME ME ME ME ME! I'm super excited that I get to watch it here. Saturday night during the Priesthood session, they are showing us the Young Women's Broadcast from last weekend. If you don't already have questions you would like answered for conference, pray about it and come up with some. I promise that if you go in with an open mind and heart with sincere questions, THEY WILL BE ANSWERED! Familia, eat much french toast sticks for me. They have them once a week here (oh and Caleb, they had Mac and Cheese for lunch. It wasn't that good, though). Anyways, I always get them and am sad I won't get to eat them with you on Sunday morning! But I expect favorite talks, quotes, etc from all of you and you better believe I'll quiz you!!

How was Easter?!? It was super awesome here. Easter in Spanish is Pascua. Just so you know. It was el dia de Pascua :)

Dad, I don't know if this is possible, but if there is a way that you could get my mission call shrunk and laminated like you did my Patriarchal Blessing, I'd love it! Our Branch Presidents wife counseled us to read our Patriarchal Blessing frequently and our mission call too. I didn't bring mine with me because I didn't want it ruined, but I'd really like that. Sorry, I feel like I'm so needy all the time! Truly, I feel bad!

Also, if you have any good synonyms for the word incredible up your sleeve, let me have em. Literally, the word increible in Spanish means "not credible". It's one of my most powerful words, but I don't want to say that Jesus Christ is not credible!!!

Okay 2 more things (I think) then I've got to go. If letters won't get here by Saturday, send them to Chile, or they will be lost in time. And, they don't print out Dear Elders on Saturday or Sunday, so if you want to get a dear elder here, do so by Friday at NOON! Otherwise, send em to CHILE! :)

So if all goes as planned, I leave here at 4 AM on Monday morning. Our flight takes off at 7:05AM from Salt Lake and lands in LA at 7:55AM. We have an almost 6 hour layover, so I'll get to talk for a while! :) :) :) :) So I'll collect my luggage, and I'll be calling probably 8:30 or 9:00ish. I bought a calling card today. Should I call the house phone? I'll do a call first with quarters to make sure it gets through, and then I'll hang up, and call back using the calling card! My plane takes off I'm not quite sure when (12 ish), but then we have like a 17 hour flight to Santiago and then we switch planes for Concepcion, landing at 10:00 Tuesday morning! I'm freaking out!!!

I appreciate the prayers for me, and right now, for my foot too. We'll see how it continues to feel. I've been taking this prescription and icing it, and now I'm exercising great amounts of faith now! Thank you for your love and support! I love and miss you all! Thanks to Eric and Michelle for your cute letters this last week. Eric, your Spanish needs a little touching up :) And I can't believe you have a bajillion fish in that tank ha ha. The MTC is great, but I can't wait to be in Chile!

I'll talk to you Monday! Hasta luego!

Con amor,
Hermana Peterson

 p.s. Lo siento por any spelling errors. Spanish is seriously getting to my brain ha ha