Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7/31/13 Elder Peterson - I am 19 years old now!

So first off, I have to say that being in a trio is crazy! There are a lot of things about it that make things difficult but those don't matter because we are going to work through them, but there are also some great advantages! First off, when we go and visit someone who doesn't have a male figure in the home we can still go in. Secondly, we can have more crazy conversations, and third, Elder Manning is awesome! He is really a great kid (probably shouldn't be calling him that cause he is older than me) and he works really hard. It is crazy that I am still the youngest in the apartment, but it is kind of cool to be able to say that I am 19 years old now. Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

 So, this past week has honestly been kind of a struggle, we have not been having much success, a lot of our appointments that we have set up have cancelled and it has been really frustrating. Also, we are still trying to get used to each other and it has been pretty difficult, but we are working through the quirks. But, something that I do know is that as we continue to work hard that we are going to see the results of our efforts. I am really excited about it. We are really making a push to work with the members and it seems to be working out pretty well so far. 
Just a couple of updates from the past few days. Bishop Abbott and his family had us over for dinner again and they invited their neighbor Terry to join us as well. We really enjoyed their company and it was a wonderful evening. That same day, we were walking on the road and there were some kids playing basketball at a park and we decided to go over there and join them. I was the only one who wanted to play and so I went up and asked if I could shoot a couple of hoops and they said yes. I ended up playing 3 on 3 with them and I was able to show of my skillz...just kidding I kind of didn't do very good but that is okay. We invited them to come to basketball the next day and they said that they would come! They didn't though but that's okay. We did still have basketball and a lot of people came including our new investigator Sam. We think that he had a great time, it seemed like it. But it is all good. He is coming to church on Sunday and we are really excited! He is really a great kid and we are really pumped to be able to teach him about the Gospel in sit down lessons. 
Well, this morning was pretty awesome. We had the opportunity to go and do Sunrise pictures at the mall. We had to get up at 4:30 though to get there on time for the sunrise. We made it in the nick of time. It takes about and hour to get from our apartment to the National mall. There were a lot of other missionaries there and we took some pictures and just hung out for a bit. After that we went to the grass of the Washington Memorial and played some football. It was really fun actually. I didn't do too bad myself. Scored a touchdown which was fun. After that we went to the Union Market in East DC and it was really cool! It was my first time down there. They had a lot of stuff for really cheap and so I was able to get a thing or two. We also went to this local Italian Sub place and let me tell you it made Krazy Sub's sandwiches look like crackers and cheese. It was really delicious. We really had a great time this morning and the day is still young! We came up and emailed right afterwards and so here I am.

Well, I have to apologize I did not bring my cord for my camera and so pictures are going to have to wait til next week. I wish I would've had it but it's all good. (Maybe some super Mom out there can invent a tie that has a cord in it, so they never forget the camera cord when it is Pday!!) Aaaarrrggghhh!!! I love him to the moon and back, so I forgive him this time...

How are things going in AZ? Is everyone excited for school to start again? Just a couple of more weeks everyone! Out here in Maryland  the schools don't start til the end of August. It was weird to see the differences in the times. They didn't get out of school til early June though so I guess it is the same.  
Well, I hope that everyone is staying out of trouble! And sharing the Gospel with everyone! I love you all and I miss you all, but the Lord's work is moving forward and I am blessed to be apart of it. And so are you.
Elder Peterson

Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29/13 Hermana Peterson - What the freak?!

What the freak.... (common "English-Chilean" phrase.). This week has been crazy. I keep singing the song from Sound of Music, "Let´s start at the very beginning.... a very good place to start," because it´s the truth. It´s a VERY good place to start!

So Hermana Urizar and I have been kind of in a slump lately. We´ve been trying really hard to not let it get to us, but when it´s weeks after weeks, it´s really hard. We realized that over time, our attitude was changing without us really noticing. We had a great weekly planning session on Sunday, but our attitudes were still bleh. On Tuesday, we had an incredible district meeting about the attributes of Christ, and we left with a different attitude. It´s funny how when our focus is refocused on Christ how things change. So we left totally pumped and we found 2 new investigators that day! That is almost more than any other week combined. The people in Independencia are always working or studying and it´s really hard to find new people to teach, BUT WE DID IT! On Wednesday, because Hermana Urizar is one of the sister trainers, we had a mini cambio. I went over to zona Talcahuano Sur, and one of the companions came to Talcahuano Norte. When we switched back on Thursday morning, this was the story from Hermana Urizar.... So we´ve been having a hard time finding Juan, the "husband" of Joselin. When we pass by, he´s always working. Well they passed by on Wednesday night, and miracle of miracles, he was home. They taught him a little bit, and then he said, I want to be baptized and I want to be baptized the 3rd of August because I want to be presented in church the same day as my baby. They are blessing their baby this coming up Sunday, and he wants to be confirmed the same day. He smokes, and he told Hna Urizar that he "cold turkeyed" last Monday, and at this point he hasn´t smoked again because he made a promise to Joselin. He also was invited to play futbol with other men in our ward and had a hard time running because he smoked. He was befriended, and it helped him to overcome the last mountain to change. What the freak. I almost cried, I was SO happy. He wants to be baptized because he wants to change his life, and he wants to live with his family forever. The hermana that was with my companion talked to him about fasting, and he wanted to fast with us for added strength because it wasn´t easy. So we started our fast with him after lunch on Thursday. What a incredible guy! They were married on Saturday, and we were able to attend, and it was his last time that he drank alcohol. He promised his mother in law and Joselin that he wouldn´t drink it again. So, they´re married, and he´s getting baptized on
After their wedding
SATURDAY!!!! Please keep him in your prayers, that he can be strong. We aren´t only going to help him come unto Christ, but his wife is going to be active with him!!!!! Okay, so on Thursday we had another great day, that ended with a lesson with Hernan, Carol, and Catalina. I hope I´ve told you their story in detail, but we decided to focus more on Catalina because she can be baptized. She´s 8 months pregnant, lives with her family, and lives the word of wisdom... golden right? We invited her to be baptized on the 17th of August and she accepted!!! She has a good friend that is a member and mentioned that she always NOTICED that this friend and her family were more unified than any other family. Miracle #2. She hasn´t ever attended church up until Sunday, so right now she has one assistencia. On Sunday, Cata and her mom asked us if she could be baptized sooner because they don´t want the baptism to induce her labor earlier than necessary. SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED EARLIER and not later! So we´re talking with President Arrington, but if we get the okay, she´ll be baptized on the 10th! Oh my goodness. I now have a firm testimony, that our attitude in this life is everything. If we have the attitude that we can do anything, then the Lord is going to see that we are willing to do whatever is necessary! We will also be able to see the blessings of the Lord more, because our attitude is uplifting. I like to believe that I´ve always had a really good attitude about most things, but sometimes it´s easy to get frustrated or down on things. I´d rather be happy than sad and frustrated, and I know that through the Savior, and our efforts to strive to become like him, this is possible. He didn´t atone for our sins and our pains for us to be sad and depressed in this life. Life is good :)

 Oh, I know that 1 Nephi 1:20 is truer than true. The tender mercies of the Lord are EVERYWHERE!

1. I now have a huge testimony about attitude.
2. When nonmembers have friends that are members who are examples in every way, eventually they will join the church. This is why it is important to do the little things, because people notice more than we think!
3. I now have a huge testimony about menos activos. If we want someone to come back to church, the first thing we need to do is show them love and invite them to do other things (NOT CHURCH right away). Maybe the movies, maybe dinner, maybe an activity in the church. Share a scripture, bear testimony, and WITH TIME, invite them to come back. We had a Noche de Hogar last week with a menos activo woman and her nonmember husband with some members. A few days later we found her mom and dad and sister that also are menos activo that live in our ward. The mom told us that her daughter is so grateful for us and that she had been super nervous to have this Noche de Hogar because she thought we were going to say COME BACK TO CHURCH. She was completely shocked when we didn´t, and is totally open to us coming into her house! We had no idea of this until after, but it is another testimony to me that all others need are friends that love and care about them.

And that´s this week in a nutshell. I LOVE this ward and could stay here for the rest of my mission. Yesterday we had lunch with the Familia Coloma (they are my favorite family by far. They are my mom and dad here. Don´t worry mom and dad, I´m being cared for). Hermano Coloma is a pretty stern guy, but with time he has opened up a lot. Yesterday, he told us that he knows that our job in this ward is to help the ward. The members, the menos activos, and he told us that the attitude in this ward has changed since we´ve come. He is so grateful for the excitement that we are bringing, and the things we are doing. It was an answer to prayers that it wasn´t just hermana Urizar and I that were thinking this. We are, through help from the Lord, helping this ward! I couldn´t be happier. Even when we were in a slump, I felt like we were doing something. They haven´t had a baptism in a while, and now we´re working to help 2 whole families come back/come in. This gospel is true, and the Lord is preparing his children to come unto him, or to come back!!!

1. Bekah. I got your book this week, and I cried like a child. I love you so much sista-friend! I have your photo, and you know which one, in my book of photos. With a positive attitude, anything is possible. I would love to hear from you more often! :) Thank you for your letter! Also, congrats on the Sophomore of the Year Award! That´s my sister :) BUT, how come I didn´t know about this until now?! Punk. I LOVE YOU!

2. Congrats to Leah, Seth, and Caleb (yes I know this is late) but for your swimming! I hope mom and dad filmed it and took tons of pictures! You are all fishes and I miss you like crazy! Also, write me you locos.

3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week to Miracle (who I can´t believe is turning 5 and starting school....), Daniel, and Elyssa!!! I hope your birthdays are as beautiful as you are :) I love you all!

4. Also, happy wedding week to my schnookums cousin Summer! I wish I could be there, but know that I´ll be there in spirit! I got your announcement today, and I´m so stinking excited for you!! Take lots of pictures everyone, and I want an album of photos in the near future :)

5. Jake, my companion always asks if it´s you that´s singing on my ipod when Josh Groban comes on. And it´s happened more times than not haha so congratulations. You sound like Josh Groban. And yes, Josh Groban Christmas. It´s freezing here okay?!

I think that is all. I always remember 85 things I need to say when I log off. Oh well. I need to write a little email to Henri (he got the Priesthood yesterday and Hna Oldroyd said that he´s helping out so much in the ward!), and send a few photos! (all the photos she sent today were saved as a .dat file and not a .jpeg file, and I can't open any of them...anyone out there able to help??!) Please keep Juan and Joselin and also Catalina and her family in your prayers. Keep my companion and I in your prayers too that we´ll be able to keep keepin on :) The church is true, I know this without a doubt. It is only through the church that we can be with our families forever, and this is my most favorite blessing :) I am so blessed to be sharing the gospel, the things I believe, with the people in Chile!

Seguir adelante. ¡Les quiero muchísimo!
Hermana Peterson
Our Non-alcoholic drinks - so yummy!
I love my companion - she acts like a 5 year old...just like me!
Sword fighting with Sebastian (Joselin and Juan's 5 year old son)

Thanks to Stacey Christensen, the photo problem is now fixed!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7/24/13 Elder Peterson - Happy Birthday Week!!

Some cool fireworks from 4th of July

This is Elder Peterson, how is everyone doing? Well, it is official I have been out for over 6 months. I know I shouldn't be keeping track and stuff but it is hard not to since I have a pretty good gauge of tracking. Time is flying by so fast. It is insane.

Well, transfers happened this week and Elder Moss and I are staying together. But, Elder Moss is going to be training so we are now in a threesome! Our new companion is Elder Jacob Manning. He is actually waiting for his Visa to go down to the Curitiba, Brazil Mission. It is going to be weird to have 3 people to be honest. It is going to have its benefits but the space in the apartment is limited. He is a pretty cool kid. he is from Oregon and is taller than ego was kind of shot again. It got shot really bad with Elder Gremillion who was 6'8". He is doing great by the way.
Elder Manning
 So this past week has been pretty stressful and awesome at the same time. We finally were able to meet with Mike! We were having a hard time meeting with him. We don't know how sincere he is about learning and keeping commitments but we committed him to read the Book of Mormon and to do the homework in the back of the pamphlets. He said that he was going to do them. Also, we had a great turnout at church on Sunday. It was awesome! One of the nonmembers that came was a friend of one of the ward members. His name is Sam and he is really cool. Every Tuesday we play basketball up at the church and it is pretty sweet. Sam has been coming with us a couple times and we invited him to church and he came! Working with ward members is sweet.
So I received the package today. I got it at transfer meeting. It is really hard to wait to open it on Friday I am not about to lie. Transfer meeting was so crazy. only 3 missionaries went home this transfer and 19 came out! There are a lot of trios right now. Also, it was fun to see Pres. Cooke at his first transfer meeting. He is still getting into the swing of things. But he is working so diligently. I love him so much. He is really teaching us all how to work hard and still have fun. Something that I am working on heavily.
Well, congratulations to all of the wonderful success at the swim meet! Good job Seth, Leah and Caleb. And by the way how was the Cabin trip? 

I love you all and I hope that you are all trying to be great missionaries. Share the Gospel with EVERYONE! 

Elder Peterson
The Gaithersburg 1st District
From Left to right: Elder Snow (Roommate), ME!!, Elder Queen (Frenchie), Elder Schoemig (Roomie), Elder Bledsoe (Frenchie), Elder Nollet (Frenchie and he is from Belgium),
and Elder Moss (my companion)! I'm guessing "Frenchie" means they are part of the French Speaking Mission...

This is what my wall looks like.  I see it every day.

Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22/13 Hermana Peterson - Bread and Soda make you fat!

I did it. I finally did it. I stepped foot on a scale and I´m sorry that I did. BUT good news, I haven´t gained as much as I thought I had. We´re going to keep the exact number to myself, but just so you all know, weight gaining is happening here in Chile. I blame all of the pan and soda that we eat and drink, because I exercise everyday! BUT, I didn´t eat much pan before my mission and I never drank soda, so it´s an adjustment. I also know a lot of the weight that I´ve gained is muscle because of all the walking, and I know this because my legs are the nicest they´ve been in my whole life.

Moral of the Story: pan and bebida make you fat.
And moving on. Life here in Chile is cold but dry :) I almost cried when I saw the forecast via Mamá for this next week and we barely have any rain. What a blessing. Yesterday in the evening we were walking around in 30 degree weather. I had a beanie on my head and 2 jackets. It was SO cold! I know, I know, 30 degrees is nothing, but for an Arizona girl it´s a TAD FREEZING!

So this week has been just a normal week in the mission! I had my first mini cambio where I was the senior companion and it was really good! I was with another gringa, Hermana Lyons from Nevada who has less time in the mission than I do, but we survived! I learned something so crucial from her. We were talking about baptisms and how it is our main focus as missionaries, but sometimes they just aren´t ready. She said that "The thing we need to remember is that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and so we need to invite others to be baptized the way that they would. Jesus Christ didn´t say DO IT DO IT DO IT! but he didn´t say, Well it´s okay if you don´t want to." He is the happy medium to everything in this life, and if we can strive to become the most like Him, we too will find this happy medium in this world that is progressively worse and worse. I loved this! Sometimes as missionaries it is so frustrating that other people have their agency because I KNOW that this Gospel can and will bless everyone more than anything else, and I just want others to GET IT too. But, it´s part of life and I´m grateful that I have my own agency and that I can make my own decisions! We´ve been working really hard but have been having a hard time seeing results in the way of new investigators. This first week of Noche de Hogar was so good though, and we learned so much from it! We have faith that we´re going to start seeing results from it so we´re going to keep doing it! Our very first one that we had was in the house of the familia Coloma (who are my mom and dad here in this sector) and their son Rodrigo is the ward mission leader. Hermana Coloma invited one of her menos activo neighbors, Cynthia, and she´s been at church the last 2 sundays. We have another noche de hogar tonight in their house, and Cynthia is coming again, and this time she´s bringing her husband who is NOT A MEMBER! Hermana Urizar and I feel like our job here as missionaries is to strengthen the members and reactivar los menos activos más que todo. We had 2 hermanas ask us yesterday in church why we haven´t had a noche de hogar in their houses. Oops! The members are getting excited and we´re seeing results with the members! We´ve got this noche de postre (night of desserts) planned in 3 weeks and we know it´s going to be a success especially if we talk it up! We have seen a difference in the attitude of the members here and we have more plans to keep working with them and strengthening them. I know that the active members of the church are KEY to total, and with that being said, they are just as important as our investigators!
Speaking of our investigators... None of them are really progressing at this point and it´s super frustrating. I love all of our investigators, but ya. Hernana and Carol, were married, but are separated now because their kids have benefits for college because their mom is "single." But, everything is the same in their house. They are incredible people and both have said that when their kids finish college, they are going to get married and baptized as soon as they can. After our lesson on Friday night with them when they said this, I cried and cried. Sometimes, when others don´t fully accept the gospel when we want them too, it hurts more than I thought possible. But, we prayed and continued to have faith that the Lord would bless us, and he did! They have a daughter that is my age and is 7 months pregnant. She lives in the home of her parents, and told us the other night that she wants to get married in the temple someday. She loves the church and she told us not directly that she wants to get baptized. SO, we´re going to start working with her, and hopefully we can help her to that waters of baptism so that she can have a good life for her baby! We also found the mom of 2 menos activos the other day, Elena, and she was really interested. We´re going to visit her this next week, and see if she was really serious when she said she wanted to be baptized! Raul. Raul, raul, raul..... he knows it´s true but he has a fear of asking specifically because he doesn´t want to follow through with the answer. We found out this week though that basically his whole registro de enseñanzas is wrong because he had never been taught the plan of salvation! So we´re going to go back over the Restoration this week and hopefully get him with a fecha.

I was reading this morning in Matthew 13, the chapter with a billion parables. I invite you all to read this chapter, and decide which seed you are. Are you the seed that´s going to endure?

I LOVE this gospel and know it´s true with all of my heart! We´re pushing the work forward here in Talcahuano, and I hope in the states it´s moving forward too!

One more quick story....

So two weeks ago, we had a TON of rain. And I mean a TON. My rain pants had holes in them and I was really scared that my legs were going to be wet again. My rain boots are fantastic, but the area between my faldas (skirts) and my boots allows tons of water to enter. I knew my pants had holes and that it was going to be a rough few days if I didn´t think of something. I was praying so hard for an idea of how to keep the rain out of my boots. I went to bed with nothing, but the next morning remembered that I have my rain jacket. One of the menos activos in our ward lent us 2 rain ponchos for the time that we are here in the ward (and it was a miracle) and so I haven´t needed to use my rain jacket. So, I had the thought to put my rain jacket on my legs. I put it on my legs, and had to tuck everything in. I have not laughed so hard in my life, and I don´t think my companion has either. Luckily, this rain poncho is a poncho and so nobody could tell that I had my whole jacket bunched up underneath. I tucked everything in and held it up by the hood. I most definitely had to walk like a gangster, holding everything in/up with one hand. I have not laughed so hard in my whole life. We were walking and all of the sudden everything was on the ground. The hood had ripped off of my jacket, and so things got a little more complicated. I wish I could retell the story with justice, but I´ll let you imagine things with a few pictures! But, let it be known that I was dry. For 2 days :)

Happy (LATE) birthday to Clark this last week! Hope it was a good one buddie :)

Also, happy birthday this week to my favorite big brother Jakie poo! Ah, the big 1-9! I hope your day is fantastic, and I hope it´s just as fantastic for my beautiful cousin Hailey too! Party hard!
Stay warm, love one another, and preach the gospel.

Hermana Peterson

We saw and heard a bagpiper today! Word!
My completo fell into my drink :(

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

7/17/13 Car Fast?? Elder Peterson

Well, hello everyone!
Well, this past week has been a little slow and fast at the same time. Transfers are coming up quick and it is so crazy how fast this transfer has gone. Only one more week! I am still trying to figure out where time goes. I haven't figured it out yet.

Well, we had wonderful miracles in the past few days. So the first one that I would like to talk about is that this past week Elder Moss and I have been focusing on former investigators. We have gone through the teaching records and pulled out a few that we want to focus on. Miracles have happened! We set up 3 appointments with 3 of our formers. One was this past Saturday and we were really stoked for it. But it got canceled. The miracle was that on Sunday our former who's name is Darius came to the Visitor's Center with us. We went to the Night of Music and Inspiration  and it turned out that it was in Spanish. We had no idea. But it was still great. Darius had a great time even though he didn't understand any of it. He is a cool kid.

Another miracle is that we haven't been able to get a hold of two of our investigators Jerry and Mike. But we finally got a hold of them and set up appointments with them. It was really great. We are SO excited.

The last miracle. Caesar (from my last area) is getting baptized and I am going to be able to attend! I am so grateful that we are going to have the chance to go to it.
So that is about all the miracles for this week. Now onto the crazy fun stuff.

So the past two days we have had a "mission-wide car fast". Which is basically we don't use our car. The only exception was District Meeting. So we didn't. We got to walk everywhere because my bike was out of commission. It was a great time to talk with people. It was very hot but we pushed through it. And it was a great experience. We had some great experiences talking with people and exploring the woods for shortcuts. Something that is so crazy out here in Maryland is that there are small patches of forest everywhere  and so mostly everyone has forest in their backyard. It is pretty cool.
Last thing. The ward I am in is so great. They are so missionary minded it is almost insane. The ward I serve in is very small. There are only about 100 people that are active. But all of them are willing to help in any way they can. It is a great help to the missionaries.

Well, that is about it. Everything is going great out here in the mission field. Thanks for all the prayers in my behalf. I can really feel them! And just know that you are in my prayers every night. I love you all! Stay cool!
Elder Peterson

Monday, July 15, 2013

7/15/13 Hermana Peterson

This is the entire mission before President and Sister Humphrey left

Okay first off before I forget, I bust up every time I read a letter from Jake and it says, "This is Elder Peterson." Thank you Jacob for letting us know. Also, I could hear Jake´s voice saying he´s still a "shawty." I miss that kid so much.

Okay, I don´t have a killer amount of time today, because I was busy reading and responding to other letters. Daddy, I´m printing yours off to read so I have time to write a little bit, but I´m so proud that I didn´t have to remind you to write me this week :)

So life here in Chile is fantastic. A little slow, but good. We´re really really struggling to find new investigators, and it´s starting to frustrate us both. If anyone has good finding ideas, send them our way please. We received a good idea from one of the other hermanas and we´re starting it tonight! We´re going to have Noche de Hogar (FHE) every night with different members and menos activos. If investigators live close, we´re going to bring them, and we´re encouraging every family to bring a nonmember. Through the rest of July, we´re having these Noche de Hogar in the houses of various members, but starting in August we´re going to reverse it! We´re going to have all of our Noche de Hogar in the houses of the menos activos! We´re hoping that we´ll definitely be able to find people this way, and pray that things work out! The families are really animated about it, and we know that we can see miracles!

Also, our ward mission leader asked us to start a thing with the Book of Mormon with everyone in the ward. He´s concerned because there are many active members, but not so many that read and pray everyday. We´ve been inviting the members and they have been responding like crazy! One couple wasn´t reading, but they started and when we visited them on Tuesday they were finishing 1st Nephi that NIGHT! They are probably over halfway through 2nd Nephi right now! They read every night together after they both get home from work. We also challenged a menos activo to do the same and she came to ALL 3 hours of church yesterday and was so excited to tell us she´d started the Book of Mormon over and was reading it! I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I am challenging all who read this email to start reading it. I want to hear about your experiences, and where you are at. I´m reading it in Spanish, but English is good too :) Or really whatever language!! If you are reading daily, keep reading, but if you aren´t, start over with us!!! This book has power, and I´m seeing it´s effects. It has changed me and I know that this book is so so so true!

1. The other Hermana Peterson, she´s pretty cool. But wanna hear something crazy? Not only do we have the same name, the same skirt, almost the same birthday and we´re serving in the same mission, but we both have an 18 year old brother named Jacob and a sister named Rebekah. What the freak?! (side note, this is a phrase that a lot of the Chileanos say to me because it´s English and with their accents it is my favorite thing).

2. I KNOW that Christmas is a long way a way, but I´m thinking of things I would like to get, so I´ll send a list your way. Don´t worry, I´m not high maintenance...but I´m just thinking. hahaha

3. Mascara here is almost 10 bucks. Forget make-up.

4. Okay, so I have been thinking. I know, shocker :) But, I was really lame and didn´t put much music on my ipod before I left. If you feel the need, you could buy another ipod, send it to me loaded with Conference talks and Church Music and I could send you back mine for one of the kids. Just a thought haha

5. Also, something else a little random. Could you send me some origami patterns? I´ve discovered that my brain pays more attention when I´m doing things with my hands and the only 2 things I know how to make are the bird and a heart. The kids love them, but I want to expound and be able to make a few more things! Thanks!
Raul is progressing, but doesn´t want to commit to a fecha (date) until he feels right about it. I totally understand this and would rather him be baptized in 5 months than right now if he doesn´t feel ready. We´re working with him and are going by with our ward mission leader tonight to give him a blessing for support. Keep praying for him please!

Gaby was at church yesterday! Her dad is menos activo and he works in the North, but he was in town and he was there too! They´re coming to our noche de hogar tonight and we´re going to talk to him tonight about permission for Gaby. Right now she has a fecha for the 3rd of August, but we´re hoping it´ll be this next weekend the 27th!
We´re still working with all of the others, and ARE going to find new investigators this next week! Thank you for your prayers, support, and love! This Gospel is true! I promise I´ll have a better letter next week!

Hermana Peterson

p.s. Mom you´d be so proud of me. We "gung hoed" our house this morning (it was filthy when we got here and we haven´t had time to do much to it), but we cleaned for about 4.5 hours this morning. Scrubbed, washed, threw away, borrowed a vacuum and FINALLY vacuumed. Thank you for teaching me how to clean.

The Best Zone in the World
We found these huge sweaters in the closet

At the feria (outdoor fresh market)

The trees here are beautiful!
President and Sister Arrington (our new mission president),
the Talcahuano North Zone, the assistants, The Baldens and The Pulsiphers.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

7/10/13 Elder Peterson - Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Dear Everyone,
How is everyone doing? It is so crazy the changes that are being made around the world. I was reading Elder Wilson's letter about the changes that are happening in his mission and it is crazy! I haven't heard about those things yet but it is going to be exciting! Things are really going to be different!

And Mom, just to let you know I am not allowed to get on the blog spots...yet. I will let you know when that changes. I can only go onto church websites and email. That is it for now. 

Well, this week has been a little slow to be quite honest but things are going to be great! We picked up a new FAMILY that we are teaching. They are a family that moved into our area that has been investigating the church for a while in a neighboring area. They are really awesome! The wife is wanting to be baptized but we have to wait a little bit due to some complications in visas. But the work is moving forward! I am really excited to see how the rest of the week is going to unfold. Mike and Jerry are doing well I guess, we kind of lost contact with them, but it is all good. They are going to get baptized for sure:)

So the new additions to the home look amazing!! I can't wait to come and sit on the couch. It looks very comfortable. Hopefully the kids don't destroy it. And I can't believe that Rebekah finally passed up mom!! She is getting very tall! But she won't ever pass me up. Speaking of growing a few inches..I have grown a little bit out here. I measured myself and I am just about at 6'3'' now...
Just kidding, I am still a shorty. But I really wish I had grown a bit.
So the ward that we are in is so awesome!! I am amazed at how missionary minded they are. This past Monday we had the privilege of going over to Bishop Abbott's home and having dinner with them. They brought one of their neighbors to eat with us and it was a wonderful time. Her name is Micki and she had a great time with us. We shared a spiritual thought about having Christ in our lives and how He makes things easier for us as we turn to Him. She really liked it. We will probably be seeing more of her soon. 

Oh I almost forgot to mention about the 4th. It was a great day!! We got to march in the Montgomery Village Parade and it was a blast! We got to hand out Popsicles and just be a light to the viewers of the parade. IT was a great success! After the parade a family in the ward took us out to Baja Fresh for lunch. It was muy rico. Then we went and shopped around for a little bit and then came home and played a couple games. Then we watched the fireworks that were about a mile away from our apartment. They were pretty good for a small town. I was impressed. And that was the extent of our day. How was the 4th for the family? It sounds like you had a great time at the cabin!
Well things are going great up here in Maryland. Lots of rain, lots of shine, and lots of great people.
Last thing, Happy Birthday Old Man (Dad)! Hope that you had a wonderful birthday!
Well, I love you all! Keep cool.
Elder Peterson

2nd row up, far right - we spot our favorite missionary! This is a photo with his new mission president and family - the Cookes.  This is the Seneca Zone that he is part of.

Monday, July 8, 2013

7/7/13 New Mission Home Address...make a note!

Okay. So first things first before I forget. Our office changed! From now on, PLEASE send my letters/packages/whatever else to...

Hermana Hannah Lynn Peterson
Chile Concepción Mission
Casilla 2210
Castellon 1063
Oficina Norte

Muchísimo Gracias. For the next few weeks, all the rest will be forwarded to our new office, but from now on use this address!! Please change this address in your contacts...I already changed it on the blog homepage...

So life here in Talcahuano North is great! Rainy and cold, but great! My companion and I are getting along great right now, and we´ve got some great plans to pick up the work here. We think the missionaries in this area before us were more of friends than missionaries to all of the investigators here, and we truly don´t know how much they really know.
Our district: Elders Osorio, Pereira, Flores and Plummer
Hermana Urizar and ME!
Right now we´re working really hard with Raul, a 70 year old man who reminds me so much of Grandpa Z (speaking of Grandpa Z, what is their email?) He is a widower of 13 years, and lives with a daughter and a grandson. We found out yesterday that the grandson´s girlfriend is Mormon, and so we´re hoping that we can use that to start teaching the grandson too! Raul is amazing. He has the memory of who knows where, and he is such a happy man. We´re working with him, and hopefully are working towards a baptism this next weekend on the 20th with him. We´re going to go through the baptism questions with him tonight to see if we can find what he lacks, and why he is struggling to receive an answer. But, he´s great. If you could please keep him in your prayers, I´d appreciate it!
We´re also working with Juan and Joselin. Joselin was married before and has 2 kids from that marriage, but now she is getting married to Juan and they just had a baby together. Joselin is a menos activo, and their oldest daughter Catalina was baptized about a year ago (she´s 9). Joselin was at church with her 3 kids yesterday, which was such a happy thing! Joselin knows she needs to come back, start reading and praying, and all the rest. Now to work with Juan. He´s not at home a ton, and so it´s hard to try and gauge where he´s at. He´s received the lessons before, but not from us. Please keep him in your prayers too that he´ll soften his heart and that we´ll be able to teach him and help this family towards eternity together!

And right now that´s about all we´re working with. Work here is really slow. There are a lot of students in our city, who don´t have time. But, we´re going to double time everything this week and really find people who are ready. The few weeks before I got transferred here there were NO new investigators, and these last few weeks we´ve had 2 or 3, but I know we can have more of upwards 10! So, here´s to hard work!

There is a lady in our ward, who does our laundry. For free. Her husband isn´t a member, and they have a 20 year old girl and a 18 year old boy who are both working on their papers. They are an incredible family, and are such selfless servers! We had lunch with them this last week, and it was salmon. I don´t like fish. And when the people ask me if I like fish, I can´t say no, because I feel bad. They made the food for me, and then I can´t tell them I won´t eat it. So, I began to pray fervently that I would be able to eat this fish. Our appetizer was hard boiled eggs. Oh I have never prayed harder in my life. Then she brought out the salmon, and it wasn´t just salmon, it was a FULL salmon. For each of us. Pretty sure I´m never going to pray harder than I did during that meal. I just wanted to be able to eat it and like it, because I felt terrible! I should´ve just told them I didn´t like fish, but I couldn´t. I´m just going to tell you, it was a terrible experience. Oh it was terribly hard to eat it.. It was the first time in a long time that I´ve actually gagged while eating it. I made it halfway through the salmon and then these were my thoughts. Which is more rude?
1. Not finishing my food, or
2. Flying fish.
Not finishing my food won, because if I would´ve taken another bite, I would´ve vomited. I just couldn´t stomach it. I just don´t like fish! And I would´ve been known as the vomiting missionary. I´m sure that it was cooked well and that others (Dad, Jake, etc.) would´ve LOVED it, but for me, it just was hard to eat. I still to this day feel bad, but sometimes, we just don´t like foods that are given to us!
1. Burgy shmurg! I was looking up a word the other day in my dictionary, and I saw the word burgundy. Burgundy in Spanish is Borgoña, and this is what I will call you from now on, just so you know!
2. Happy birthday this week to my main man! Daddy O´ is turning the big 4-5!! Woo, happy birthday! I hope your day is fabulous! I love you so so much, and hope that Mom and the kids spoil you and that you get a break from all your worries! Know that I´ll be thinking about you all day Wednesday, and you´ve got birthday cheers from Chile! Thank you for your example, for your confidence, and for the love that you´ve given me my whole life. You are the best daddy a girl could have and I´m so glad you´re MY daddy! Also, happy birthday this week to Michelle, Jen Z, and Emily! I hope your days are fabulous too!
3. I got a letter from Jake this week. Word. I basically almost cried and I was so happy.  I´m so glad, I miss that kid so much! I also got a card from Milano´s!! Woo. I love and miss all of them so much. I hope life is hoppin´ in Milano´s! What is the email address there?

And I think that´s about all. Sorry this week wasn´t anything CRAZY. Oh, this morning, we went to the beach as a zone. It was SO WINDY AND SO FREEZING! There were a bajillion dogs, and we were going to play ultimate Frisbee but the wind was so strong. I took some pictures of the ocean with thoughts of Grandma Z, and maybe she can print one or two off for her bathroom and have a little bit of Chile there :) So we played ultimate Frisbee with a mini soccer ball and it was tons of fun. Also, good news. I still fit in my jeans. My figure is shot, but I was able to button and zip them, so life is good. And I never thought I´d say this, but I miss jeans. It was nice to put them on after almost 3 months! Woo!
Well, until next week. I love and miss you all! I started reading the New Testament this week, and was reading in Matthew. I read Matthew 5:13 (which is right before the scripture mastery), that talks about us being the salt of the earth. But if we lose our flavor, who do we profit? I have been incredibly shocked by the amount of active families that don´t actively read their scriptures, say their prayers, and have family home evening. Mom and Dad, thank you for ALWAYS doing this. It makes me so sad that there are so many families that don't do this. I´m not kidding, if you aren´t doing this, start now. It is in the little things that Satan pulls us further and further away. I´m so grateful that I grew up in a family that read, prayed and had family night together. This has been such a stable foundation for me, and thank you Mom and Dad. The flavor that we have comes from doing these little things. If we are members of the church, but we don´t "endure to the end," who or what do we profit?! NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING!! Please, encourage everyone to do these things, because they are crucial. I am a different person now, than I was before my mission because I actively do these things EVERY day. I refuse to stop when I´m not a missionary either! Oh I love the scriptures :)
Read, Pray, Assist, Fulfill, and Endure.
Hermana Peterson
I think this is a falcon...I took this picture for Jacob!

The sky in Chile - gives AZ a run for its money!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

7/7/13 President and Sister Humphrey's Farewell Conference

So, while looking on line to see if the new Concepcion Chile's Mission President has continued with the mission blog, I came across an Elder Zach Brown's blog spot, and look who I found photo bombing one of his photos!! Oh, Hermana Peterson...We love and miss your happy self!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

7/3/13 New Washington DC North Mission Blogspot

New Mission President = new blog spot address
Meet Elder Peterson's new Mission President and his family, and read all the latest and greatest in his mission...


7/3/13 Rain, rain, go away!! Elder Peterson

So to start off I am writing today but p-day is actually tomorrow for the 4th!! It is going to be awesome. We were asked to email today because a lot of the libraries will be closed tomorrow. Just to let you all know...

This past week has been a crazy one as usual. Things have been really busy and wonderful. First things first, Pres. and Sis. Cooke came in and they are so awesome!! It was really great to see them and be able to meet them and their family. They are the first family in a while that still has children living with them at home. They have 3 kids with them. One is not here yet but they have a 15 yr. old boy and a 13 yr. old girl. It is going to be different but awesome.

Alright I am going to talk about a few miracles we have had. It is pretty awesome not going to lie. Well, we have picked up two new investigators this past weekend. One was a referral named Mike and he is super awesome. We had a wonderful lesson with him and he is really excited to continue to meet with us. He has a little girl and is practicing with the Jehovah's Witnesses and knows a lot about Christ. It is going to be a wonderful time getting to know him. Second the other investigator is Jerry. The way that we found him was by knocking on a less actives door. Turns out Jerry is his son and he knows absolutely nothing about the church. We were able to teach him on Monday and it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever had. He felt the spirit very strong and committed to read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it. We are so excited to teach Jerry and Mike.
How are things in the AZ? It was great to hear about the wonderful breaststroke meet that happened. great job Leah, Seth, and Caleb! I guess you learned well from me...ehhh...:) I can't believe that it got up to 119! And then dad wrote about it being 122!! THAT IS SO HOT!!!! But that's okay. I know that you guys will survive. It has been raining a lot up here the past few days but it has been great to be in a car. This morning since it wasn't P-day we went and helped a member family the Johnson's in our ward clean out their flowerbed. Alma our investigator and Wilmer and Maybelline Galicia (the family who Alma is staying with) came along as well. It was a great time but we got soaked from the rain! And I am writing you at the library now in my wet service clothes! It is all good though but everyone keeps staring at me for some reason...

Alright, we have had some wonderful dinner appointments this past week as well. The members of this ward are so great. I don't know how we would be able to survive without them.
I have a confession to make.....I haven't been very good at taking pictures this past week but I will be better. I am planning on sending home a package soon with a whole bunch of letters and other things I don't need and I am thinking about putting my memory card in it and buying another one. Then you can put the pictures on the computer and you can send it back to me. What do you think about that?

Anyways, things are still going great up here!! Elder Moss and I are working as hard as ever and it is really paying off. I am really excited to see how things are going to unfold in the next few weeks.

Well, I love you all and miss you so much!
Elder Peterson
P.S. it was great to see the pictures and all the fun from Grandma and Grandpa's 50 anniversary. Looked like a great time. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

7/1/13 Keep Cool! I'm freezing! Hermana Peterson

So we found a place today that we can print photos at for cheap, and I printed a few to send home, but they don´t fit in my envelopes. Kill me. But, I´m going to improvise with them this next week, and hopefully send a few home next week!! Woo!

1. Daddy, you´d be so proud of me. First of all, I have a budget. My companions laugh at me, but I have to have everything laid out or I´ll go crazy. But, in June I did SO good with my money. I didn´t do so good with keeping extra weight off, but that´s another story. BUT, you´d seriously be so proud. I´m seriously thinking about going into Finances when I get home.

2. Hace 3 semanas, we bought bananas and sprinkles, and we had bananas, sprinkles, in milk. It was delicious and took me back to childhood!

3. Caleb, last week I bought a can of "Spanish" Pringles and I thought of you the whole time I ate them. I promise I´ll bring some home for you to try :) Mom, I also bought "Spanish" kettle corn. It was rockin`

4. Okay Dad, I know I´m not the bishop, but I have an idea to help the missionaries in our ward. Our ward mission leader, along with our bishopric gave us a list of all the members in our ward that were blessed but never baptized. I don´t know if there are many in the States with this same problem, but if so and you could figure it out, I think it would really open some doors for the missionaries!

5. Okay the rain here is a joke. Seriously it is a joke. But, I love it. Haha I just have to laugh and life is good. The other day we had a little miracle that happened. It was pouring rain, and we stopped by a less active family, who the daughter (11 years) is an investigator. Well the uncle that lives in the house, had two ponchos that he never uses. He told us we could use them, if we took care of them, until we leave the sector! What a blessing! 2 days later we used them in the rain, and I was D.R.Y. Oh, finalmente! hahaha

6. Okay otra pregunta. My hair is a joke too. It always looks like I stuck my finger in a socket. But, the gospel is true, so I try not to dwell on my hair. I´ve heard some pretty scary horror stories from the other hermanas about not letting anyone here cut your hair. Mom, could you ask maybe Sister Oaks for some tips of things that I could do instead of cutting it to keep it not looking ratty and or dry? Thanks :)

7. I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON. What an incredible experience. I couldn´t even wait until the next day to start it again. But, this time I´m reading it in Spanish. :) I have an incredible testimony of the Book of Mormon. WITHOUT a doubt, The Book of Mormon is true. I love that book with all of my heart and hope that all of you that aren´t reading it, start! I have had my eyes opened to the number of families don´t read, pray, or have family home evening together every day/week. Mom and Dad, THANK YOU for establishing this for me when I was little. It is something that I will forever do with my family, because even with the active families here, I can see a difference in the families that do these things, and those that don´t. The majority DON´T! Ah, it breaks my heart. These things are the MOST important, the most simple, and the easiest to do. PLEASE, keep doing these things, because they will bless your life forever!

8. Henri. Oh dear, dear Henri. His baptism was awesome! I got there and Hermana Oldroyd said, you have a solo. Haha what a joke. I talked her into letting me play, but we sang Teach me to Walk in the Light, she sang first verse, I sang second, and we harmonized on the 3rd. I miss having a companion that can sing! But, oh it was so good and it was SUCH a miracle that I was able to go. I was able to find a lady in our ward (Hermana Coloma) to come with us (She is an ANGEL!) and it was awesome. She is the mom of our ward mission leader, she knows the family Osses, and she is just an incredible woman! Henri´s family was there too, and hopefully Hermana Oldroyd and Hermana de Léon can teach some of them. BUT, she said that received the Spirit on Sunday and this next Sunday he´s going to get the Priesthood! WOO! Oh what a marvelous miracle. Henri is awesome and he was SO surprised when I walked in! Haha it was AWESOME! My picture on my camera, I don´t have a head, and so I´m going to email Hermana Oldroyd and ask her to send me hers and hopefully I´ll get it before I´m done!
9. Could you send me the conversions like between Celsius and Fahrenheit, miles and kilometers etc. Everything down here is different, and I really want to know what´s going on haha Thanks!
Okay, I think that´s all. I was seriously busting up when Mom said that Jake forgot about her birthday and paid almost 6 bucks to send a card and it was STILL late haha oh Jakie poo! Well life here in Talcahuano is life here in Talcahuano. We haven´t found any new investigators, but we have a few that are promising!

Juan and his (almost wife) Joselyn are a family with 3 kids. Joselyn is menos activo, and Juan isn´t a member. Their oldest daughter is 9 and was baptized a yearish ago, and they have 2 more, one who is 3 weeks old! I SO wish we could hold babies! But, long story short, the system with marriage and all the jazz is crazy down here, and while she was pregnant she couldn´t divorce her husband and marry Juan, but they have a date to be married on the 27th of July! Juan has received the lessons before, but we´re going to reteach them and we´re hopefully going to put a fecha with him tomorrow night for the same day, the 27th!

Raul, is a widower of 13 years and is a firecracker. He cracks me up! He has prostetic (sp?) legs and has a fear about this for his baptism. BUT, he knows EVERYTHING! We´re working with him too, but if you could keep Raul and Juan and his family in your prayers, I´d appreciate it!

We have a few others, but a lot of the situations are just not progressing. We have some plans to work with them this week and really find out where they are at and what their desires are, but other than that, the work is progressing!

I´m sorry this letter is all over the place. It´s been a crazy week and hopefully things will turn up this week. The work is hard, but the gospel is more true than ever! I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else. I probably say that more than necessary, but I´m serious! I love it here and love this work!

Keep cool (122 degrees is a joke), and Happy 4th of July to everyone! Wish I could be there, but I think I´ve got it better than all of you here :)
Your Chilean Hermana!

At the fountain in the center of Concepcion
Kiwis the size of oranges - fruit here is AWESOME!!

The Plaza - Concepcion
I felt like Mary Poppins - Feed the Birds!!

The cows are EVERYWHERE!

With a completo - basically a loaded hot dog - so good!!
Hermana Coloma and Lorena

Learning to make Calcones Roto (ripped underwear??)

Hermana Urizar my new companion - these are so good!