Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8/28/13 Elder Peterson...Crazy stuff has happened!!

This is Elder Peterson, reporting live from another week in Maryland! Some crazy stuff has happened this past week. So, Darius is still on to be baptized this weekend! He is so awesome. We are really excited for him. We have to meet with him a few times this week to make sure he know everything he needs to know ( we are procrastinators:) it's all good though. He's going to make it. Everything is falling into place nicely. We are going to be meeting with him tonight and talk more about his baptism and stuff. Keep him in your prayers please! He really needs the church in his life. 
So, this past week we had our Zone Conference where a couple of Zones get together and have the Assistants and President give us a few workshops to help us become better missionaries. It was really awesome. I really learned a lot about being on top of things not only outside but inside the apartment. To tell you the truth it is really hard to focus sometimes while we are at home. It is really hard to keep myself busy and I find myself sometimes just sitting and wasting time. But, I am getting better and I am really wanting to work harder and smarter. 
So, we got to go to the temple this morning. It was awesome to go to the temple and to feel the spirit that always resides there. It is always a blessing to go on the temple grounds and inside it too! I love going to the temple to see all of my friends too. 
So, Sam is going to have to push back his baptism. We haven't been able to meet with him for a week and he is now having to work on Sunday's due to some scheduling conflicts at his work. Please pray for him! We are going to continue to meet with him and teach him so it is going to be a work in progress. Dominique is doing awesome though!! He is a super cool guy. He is really understanding and accepting to the lessons, he really likes them. A lot of the things that he believes are things that we believe. Convenient right? 
Also, I don't know if I have ever mentioned Mohsen and Zahra. They are a couple from Iran and they are super awesome. For the past few weeks we have been working with them and they haven't been cleared for baptism because of their circumstances but this past week they were basically cleared for baptism! Well, Zahra was, Mohsen is going to have to wait for a little while but he will be baptized! We can't wait to see them be baptized! 

Well, that is about it for this week. Things are just going and I am having a great time. Transfers are next week! We will see what happens. Will I stay or will I go? I guess you will have to wait until next week...

Well, I love you all!
Elder Peterson

Monday, August 26, 2013

8/21/13 Hermana Peterson - training is SO HARD!!

Oh this week was not the best week I´ve had in the mission, but it was still a good week and things are looking more up now. I have truly learned this week, that everything we do in life and the outcome is based on our attitudes. Through the course of my mission (yes it´s 6 months tomorrow...), I´ve heard lots of people say that they don´t like training because it´s really hard. They said that it´s so stressful, etc. Well, being the stubborn person that I am, I didn´t believe them. Pridefully, I thought, "What could be so hard about training. You're just teaching someone else the same things that you already know." And now I´m being struck is SO HARD. SO ridiculously hard. And the reason that it´s hard, is because I want EVERYTHING to work out perfectly. I want my companion to have the best experience that she´ll ever have, so that she has a good first impression of missionary work. And when things don´t work out, I get stressed. And when I get stressed, I´m not putting my trust in the Lord and I feel like things just start to fall apart. As missionaries, we are out here teaching a perfect message as imperfect people, to imperfect people. OBVIOUSLY, everything isn´t going to be perfect all of the time, and when I was a junior companion, it was like whatever when something wasn´t perfect. But now as the senior companion, and ESPECIALLY because I´m training, it´s not just´s killer! I´m having a blast and I love my companion, and am so blessed that she wants to work so hard. It´s been a blessing to me, and it´s helped me to have someone who has the same vision with me :)

We started off our week last week, on Monday night, finding 2 new investigators. In 1 hour. It was awesome! Both of them accepted fecha, one to a specific date. One was a street contact, and one lives in the house of an antiguo investigator that we "re-contacted." It was so so awesome! Then things just started to go down hill from there. I just felt like nothing was working out, members weren´t coming with us, and our plans were falling. Because we didn´t find many new investigators when I was with Hermana Urizar, we don´t have the best back up plans, and it was just frustrating. But then on Thursday and Friday, Hermana Meyer had a new missionaries training and I got to go back to Lirquen for one of the days! I got to see Henry, who is doing incredibly fantastic which makes me so happy, and I got to see el obispo too! It was awesome, and I was with Hermana Mena who is our sister trainer, and I was with her in Lirquen for 4 weeks when I was there. She´s amazing, and she helped me answer some of my questions, find new ways to do things, and it was just a heaven sent 2 days with her. My attitude changed (which I didn´t realized had not been the best) and we finished the week off good! We didn´t meet any of our goals, but we did improve a LOT in all of our goals and that´s okay with me. I learned early in my life from one of my favorite people, that if we improve our personal best and if we´ve tried our hardest, then we have reason to be happy, because there is always room to improve. And that´s what we´re aiming for. We have improvements with Hernan and Carol, we have an investigator with almost a date, and many hopes for new investigators with dates this week. I love this work and truly have a testimony of obedience. Sorry if my comment about obedience last week was a little off color, but I´m really grateful that my companion has desires to be obedient with me, because we truly have been seeing miracles. I´m grateful for inspired leaders who give me advice when I need it most, and for a companion who is so patient with my young training skills (yes I just thought of Star wars). I KNOW without a doubt in my heart, that we have a loving Heavenly Father who listens to our prayers, and will respond in a way that we can constantly be growing. Training has been an eye opening experience for me, but I have also grown so much closer to my Heavenly Father and my companion is an angel. We´re going to get her really involved in lessons this week and fluent at Spanish. The Lord rewards us for our obedience, there isn´t anyway around it. DC 82:10.
I love you all. Be obedient. Be wise, and pray in all things. It´s the only way to find success in this life :) Faith, trust, and pixie dust, or the force. My companion and I are definitely Jedi´s.
Sorry this letter is short, and all over the place. Know that I´m happy, dry, and serving the Lord with all of my heart.
Hermana Peterson

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8/21/13 Elder Peterson - Things are amazing in Maryland!

Dear Everyone,
This is Elder Peterson wanting to tell you that I really don't have much time at all but  I am going to type lighting fast! Thank you Mom for the music and the Cd's. I love you so much.
So, this is this past week in a nutshell. 

It has been amazing! Truly amazing!! We have been working super hard and it has really paid off. So Dominique our investigator is really doing great. We met with him yesterday and he has been reading the Book of Mormon and had a lot of questions to ask us. So, we were able to meet with him and answer all of his questions. The spirit was very strong and he was really feeling it. So, we were able to give him a baptism date!!! And he accepted!! He is going to be baptized on Sept. 22nd! We are so excited!!!!!!! Lots of exclamation points!!! 
Also, I don't know if I have ever mentioned Sam our investigator. He is the friend of Josh a 19 yr. old in our ward. Sam has been coming to basketball for a few weeks and has been to church a couple of times. We had the opportunity to meet with him for the 1st time yesterday before basketball and taught him the first lesson. At the end, Elder Manning committed him to be baptized!! And he said yes!! Once he comes to know that what we are teaching is true. He is really going to try and I know that the Lord will answer his prayers. He is scheduled for Sept. 8th!! Things are truly amazing out here in Maryland.
I just want to close with my testimony. This past week I have really felt the spirit very strongly. I know that what I am doing is God's work. I know that what we are sharing as missionaries is true. I love what I am doing and I am so grateful to see the fruits of my labors. I love this gospel!! And I love you all and I miss you all.
Elder Peterson

Monday, August 19, 2013

8/19/13 Meet My New "Gringa" Companion...

Hello. This is Hermana Peterson for those of you who thought I was Elder Peterson.

Today is the day. I love p-day!  I love that I have the opportunity to hear how things are at home, but also for the time to get to tell you about all of the spiritual experiences I´m having here!

So first things first. Happy birthday to MEAGAN, SUMMER, and RIVER this next week! I hope you all have amazing days and that you get spoiled like crazy!

So this last week has been a good one. My new companion is Hermana Meyer. She´s 25, from California and she´s a gringa! Ya, we´re 2 gringas walking around Independencia without a clue in the world. Just kidding. I think I am about 95% fluent right now. It´s amazing how much the Lord helps us rise to our callings. At first I thought "oh shoot a gringa", but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I do really know. The gift of tongues is a real, real thing. Hermana Meyer is amazing. She´s such a sweetheart and she´s so willing to learn. Our personalities mesh so well, and I know that we´re going to have a great time together! I´ve already seen the Spirit working so strong through her, and even though the language is a struggle for her, it´s not stopping anything! I´m really excited to be working with her this next transfer (and hopefully the next) and we´re going to see miracles here.

In my last companionship, we weren´t as obedient as I would´ve liked to have been. Okay, we were far from it. It was super frustrating because I could only do so much, but I did what I could do for myself to be obedient. BUT, now that I´m training, I can decide if we´re obedient or not, and you better believe that we´re being SO obedient. We can always be better too, and I know that we will see more miracles than we did this week this next week. We´ve got firecracker burnin´ in us and we´re going to do all that the Lord needs us to do here!

We have our areas that we´re struggling, just like every companionship, but we´re going to focus on our we could improve those areas, and we have some awesome plans this next week. Our standard of excellence is to talk to 140 people in the street. This signifies that we talk to them, and leave them with an invitation. Obviously all of them are not going to be very pretty, but the goal is to get addresses. Well this last week, we only had 36. I´m not trying to justify, but we lost 2 days because of my companion coming here and such, but it´s unacceptable. We promised yesterday during our weekly planning that we would get 140 no matter what. We had our weekly correlation meeting with Rodrigo yesterday and he gave us some good ideas on how we can get more contacts. We´re trying, lots of people don´t want to talk to us, but obviously we´re not trying hard enough. We also have had a really hard time in this area finding new investigators. The other night I was really frustrated because we´re not finding anyone, and I prayed so hard for ideas on how we could find new investigators. I received 2 very specific answers. 1. We received a bunch of references from an EFY that was here in Chile a few weeks ago, and so we´re going to contact all of them this week. 2. We have a ton of numbers in our phone from old old old investigators that we don´t know. We have a plan to contact all of them and start meeting with as many as we can! We´re going to do it too. I don´t have any doubt in my mind. Actually, last night we were waiting with Hermana Margarita (Rodrigo´s mom) while he got home, and one of these old investigators that I don´t know called us and I asked him if he would like us to start meeting with him again, and he said yes! We have a lesson with him tomorrow in the chapel! I know now more than ever that we are rewarded for hard work. We are rewarded for obedience. We are rewarded, because the Lord is bound when we obey (D&C 82:10)

So, Juan received the priesthood yesterday! They have a goal to be sealed in the temple in a year!!! They have their own problems, but they are completely different people. This next week, Juan will have a calling too! Thank you for praying for him. Thank you for helping him have the strength to do the right things!

Also, yes Catalina was confirmed on Sunday!! Baby Nicholas is inside as far as we know, but Carol called this morning and SHE´S HAVING  CONTRACTIONS!!!! They were getting ready to head to the hospital!!! We´re gonna have a baby in the next little bit. WOO HOO! Please, if you could keep them in your prayers that all will go well, we´d appreciate it and I know that they would too. They are an awesome family, and are you ready for this crazy story?!
At Catalina's baptism (right before Hma. Urizar left)

Catalina and her friends and family
So on Tuesday night our district leader called us to tell us that the zone leaders wanted us to schedule support interviews with various of our investigators that could use one. I thought, I think Hernan and Carol could use one. Well turns out our district leader couldn´t come, so the zone leaders came with us. Elder Cottle and Elder Falcón studied a bunch of stuff to help them out and off we went. The plan was to have the elders interview them separately to help to remove some of their doubts. (Hopefully I´ve already described their story. If not, I´m really sorry!) But, it didn´t work like that. Elder Cottle started talking, after Elder Falcón, and back to Elder Cottle. We had a lesson with the whole family about obedience and the blessings from being obedient. I felt prompted to promise them that if they would exercise their faith and get married and baptized, that the Lord would take care of the rest (paying for their girls to go to school). I didn´t know if it was me or not, so I prayed that if it was something that I really needed to say, that I would feel it. I was immediately tingly and one of the elders stopped and I just started talking. I remember promising them that, and telling them that it wouldn´t be easy, but it would be possible for sure. I wasn´t talking. I was purely a mouthpiece for my Father in Heaven, and the things he wanted his sweet children to know. We all talked a little bit more, and we finished the lesson with Hernan saying that when the Lord gives us problems it is so that we can figure out the solution and with Carol saying she was ready to kick him out so that they could live the law of chastity and that they could get baptized. That in and of itself was a huge change in her from a few weeks ago! We called the zone leaders later after the lesson to see how they thought it went, and both of them told me thank you for saying what I had. It was a bold thing to say, but they were grateful that I had been that tool for the Lord. I told them I know it wasn´t me, that it was purely the spirit, but they thanked me anyway. They told us obviously not to focus on them, but to keep visiting on them. It was the same thing that we had decided, but was grateful for another opinion.

On Sunday morning, we had to walk out Raul after Sunday School, and came back in to use the bathroom before relief society and Carol and Catalina were in the hall talking to Rodrigo. I heard Catalina say my name and I was so scared that maybe they were telling him that this lesson had been too much (FAITH OVER FEAR HERMANA). So we came out of the bathroom and they were all gone. We went and found Rodrigo to ask him what had happened. He told us that Carol wants to go to the registro civil this week and set a date to get married. I literally almost cried. She said that the other night we had had a lesson with the other missionaries but we had all explained everything so well and that was her plan. She told him that she wants to get married soon so she can be baptized!!!! We went by after lunch with Rodrigo, taught them about fasting, and asked them to do it with us. She told us she can´t because she has to eat every 2 hours with a medicine she´s taking but asked if there was something else she could do. My companion said, "you could fast from the things that you really like!" So, we´re fasting with them today, and she and Catalina are fasting from the foods that they really like. She told us yesterday that they are doing everything they can to find another way to pay for school (grants or scholarships) but they could get tons!! She´s studying, both of her daughters (one of whom is going to be a single mom), and Hernan doesn´t work! PLEASE PLEASE keep them in your prayers! They are trying to find other solutions and go to the registro this week! Our goal is to have them with a fecha to get married and a fecha to get baptized this week! They have a goal as a couple to have it done in less than 2 months! Oh my gosh, I am so happy right now! I KNOW this is because we are so obedient and diligent! I know the Lord allows us to bless his children when we do all that we can to be obedient! Oh, and to make things even better, when we walked in on Friday night, Catalina and Carol told us that the boyfriend of Catalina is reading the book of Mormon!!! He wants to marry her, and I think that they both want to do it in the temple. When we first started teaching Catalina, he wouldn´t even say hi to us, and he would always leave. But on Wednesday night he stayed for the lesson, and after started reading the book of Mormon. Please, pray for this family. They are so so special, and I know the Gospel is what they all need RIGHT NOW!
Yesterday, we only had Raul in church (who is just still kind of stagnant  but we had 9 menos activos and 7 conversos recientes! We´re really still working on focusing on these members that are new or less active! It´s awesome, and we´re seeing results!

This week I started reading True to the Faith and also Our Search for Happiness. I would recommend BOTH of these to everyone, members of the church or not. Our Search for Happiness is an incredible book written by one of our apostles to answer many of the basic questions of the church. Sometimes, people outside of the church have warped ideas of the church because of things they have heard from others, but this book puts it so clearly! I´m learning so much from it and also from True to the Faith. This book is a book of definitions of different principles of the church! I´m loving them both! This is my invitation to you this week!

We played football this morning with our zone and the zone next to us. I don´t have much coordination, but it was so fun. My legs are going to hurt, and I also didn´t realize that soccer balls were so hard!
And that´s a wrap! I hope that it all makes sense, sorry it´s kind of long.

I love you all!!
Hermana Peterson

p.s. the mail is on strike and has been for 3 weeks now. So I can´t send letters or receive them, but keep them coming!! I´ll just have a fiesta with my letters in a few weeks! (Hopefully less than more)

p.s.s. Jared Richardson got here on Tuesday! I was so happy to see him, and now there are 3 of us from good ol´ Mesa, AZ representing Westwood High School! :)
A huge torpedo right in the center of our area.

This is for Rebekah's bday...sorry it's late!

When we borrowed bikes last week...bad idea!
The primary children and their dessert for our Noche de Postre.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

8/15/13 Better late than never...

Alright, so I don't have a lot of time today but this is Elder Peterson again. I only add it is me because I want Hermana Peterson to laugh...but whatever. I am emailing today, sorry something went crazy with the computers yesterday, so we got permission to email today. I hope that Rebekah had a wonderful birthday! I sent a card out today, yes I know that I am a slacker, but it is all good. Here are some of the highlights this past week.

So, on Thursday we were going and checking on some less actives in our ward and there was a guy walking on the sidewalk. We almost didn't talk to him but something nicked at me to talk to him. (I think that it was the Spirit or something). We did, and we asked if we could stop by and share a message about Christ with him and he said, "Yeah I live right over here let me show you." This guy's name is Dominique and he is from the Ivory Coast. Instead of setting up a time with him we went and met with him!! He is a really cool guy. We were able to teach him the first lesson and he accepted it well. We were able to answer a lot of his questions. He also accepted a conditional baptism date. It was truly a miracle! 

So Heather and Travis are doing fantastic but the woman from Jamaica is getting hard to contact. We are working on it for sure. We want her to have the gospel in her life! Also, we have been working with a former investigator Darius. He wasn't answering our phone calls and wouldn't talk to us at all and we were a little worried. But we were finally able to meet with him and he told us why he didn't want to talk with us. SO... long story short... he had an LDS girlfriend who broke up with him to go on a mission and she broke up with him on his birthday and so he didn't want to talk to any Mormons at all. Funny eh? I almost laughed out loud when he told us but I decided it wouldn't be a great idea. So, everything is good now for him and he accepted a baptism date for Sept. 1st!! We are so excited! It is going to be awesome.

Jessica is in Omaha, yes. That will be pretty crazy both of them there. (He has a friend Sister Jessica Fuller who is serving in Nebraska, and another good friend Eric Staples, who was just called there...)

Oh, Trinity!! I am sorry to hear that.  I will be praying for her every day. (There is an 11 year old girl in our ward that was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer).

I can't wait to go to the Temple! We get to go once a transfer. The new video is going to be sweet!

Well, that is really all I have time to write about this week. I am sorry but I love you all and I hope that everything is going great. The church is true! I love it here so much. It is great to hear that so many people are making the right choices.

Elder Peterson


Monday, August 12, 2013

7/12/13 Hermana Peterson - I'm a trainer!!

How is life in good ol´ Arizona?! Life in Chile is good! Today is a little nippy, but the weather is starting to warm up a bit! I´m so so sorry, but the connector for pictures doesn´t work on my computer. I´ll have to send a bunch this next week...

So first news first. Hermana Urizar left this morning. I´m gonna miss her like crazy. Although things started out really rough, they got better with time, and she turned out to be one of my best friends. I learned SO much from her, and I learned mainly that communication is key. I´m glad I´m not the only one who has had to learn that (Elder Peterson). One thing that I have learned though is that our assignments are inspired. I KNOW I was supposed to be with Hermana Urizar, and I am so grateful for these past 8 weeks. She truly is more than just my companion. I know that we will be friends forever. We had a meeting with our ward mission leader last night and he told us that we have changed the ward in these past 8 weeks. He even got a little emotional as he was saying thanks. He said that we have done more in the past 8 weeks than the missionaries have done in this ward in the past year. He told me that she has been a blessing for me, to learn from someone who has so much experience! I agree 1000000%. He also told Hermana Urizar, "it was a blessing for you to have a companion who has as much fire and animo as Hermana Peterson. I don´t know where it comes from, but it´s so awesome!" I´m glad that I have a Savior and Heavenly Father who know ME, and who know where I can be used as a tool, and I´m so grateful to be here in Independencia!
Welp, we got the calls this morning. I´M TRAINING! I will meet my new companion tomorrow, and no, I don´t know if she is a gringa or not. I´m praying for another Latina because I still am not 100% with my understanding, but I know that whatever happens is meant to happen! I´m hoping that I can help my companion in the ways that she needs, and I know that she will help me tons too! I have learned more than anything in these last 8 weeks that the members are THE KEY to everything! We (my companion, Rodrigo, and I) are going to work so hard to use the members for everything in this next cambio! We are working with the menos activo list that the Pulsiphers gave us and we are going to RIP CITY here in Independencia! I´m so excited for this cambio! A little nervous, but so pumped!
Last week Hermana Urizar and I were talking about our missions and how they basically are "the plan of salvation." Before our missions, we need to make the decision to "come to earth," to gain a body (a testimony) and to learn and grow. Once we´ve made the decision, we will have trials and we will have good times, but the ultimate goal is to share this plan with everyone and help them to make the correct decisions. We are here on "earth" to prepare us for the mission that is most important, life for the eternities "marriage with my husband and kids." Cool analogy huh?!

CATALINA WAS BAPTIZED! It was such a good service, and she is so happy. Her little Nicholas still hasn´t come yet, and I know he hasn´t because he wanted to be born into the church :) I know that she is going to be such an example and a help to her family! Keep praying for Carol and Hernan that their hearts will be softened and they will realize that being married is more important than money for school. I know that if we can help them to see this, the Lord will work miracles in their lives so that they will want for nothing. BUT, the obstacle is getting there. Juan is also doing SO good. His family is thriving now and there is a different Spirit in their house. They did have a week of trials though. Joselin´s mom was in an accident, then Juan was in an accident, and the week ended with Joselin and baby Agustina in bed sick. We called them and she asked for a blessing so we went over with Rodrigo to give them both one. Sunday morning we called to see how they were feeling and BOTH were 100% better. I asked them if they were coming to church and she said, "Obvio Hermana!" I am so so happy right now. Life is good.

We don´t have hardly any other investigators though, so that´s a struggle. BUT, we made plans last night to work with the menos activos lists and we know we will find tons of part member families. Please pray that we will be led to the people that are ready so that we can teach investigators!

Grandma and Grandpa Z. I don´t know if I have said anything before now, but if not, I´m so sorry. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your weekly letters. It may be something super simple, but it´s probably the best gift I could get. I absolutely love P-day because I know I´ll get a letter from you two!! They make me laugh, cry, and I love that you are so involved with my investigators! I miss you two like crazy and thank you for your support!
So a little story this week. There is a family in our ward. The dad was the stake president, and he has a wife and 3 kids. Well, they are all completely inactive. Everyone in the ward tells us to visit them, and this last week was the first time we had a chance. We talked to the wife on Tuesday, and the husband on Friday. Within 5 minutes of being in their house, they both said that they are active because they read and pray, but they struggle SOMETIMES to go to church. In the 2 months that I´ve been here, neither have been in church. There isn´t a very good spirit in their house, and they just kept bashing on the members in the ward, like it was their fault they are inactive. Both times we left really frustrated and upset. To them, callings in the church are all about power and position, like "look at me". It´s so sad to see someone who had such influence in the ward and stake be so hateful. It truly breaks my heart. I don´t really know what to do to help, because their hearts are so cold to everyone and everything. Well when we were talking to the dad, we were talking about our families and such and I mentioned that dad was the new bishop in my home ward. His response was, "Well I bet he´s struggling and suffering so much right now." Without even thinking I responded "No actually it´s been a huge blessing for my family and the only thing that´s different is that my dad is praying a little bit harder." He just kind of looked at me with a blank stare like "oh." I then proceeded to bear my testimony of this calling and even though things may be a bit challenging, all callings in the church are blessings. Later that night I was talking with my companion and she said "Hermana, when you said that it was like you reached out and slapped him. I was like YA GO HERMANA GO! Where did that come from?" I told her I had just spoken the truth because it is and I didn´t like what he said. I didn´t try to say something that was like a slap, I was just responding, but I know the Spirit prompted me to say that. They weren´t at church on Sunday, but I was more and more grateful for the influence of the Spirit in my life and for the life of my dad and his example. No calling if done right in the church is easy, but I´m grateful for a dad who looks at the good instead of the hard. My testimony was also strengthened that activity comes from keeping the commandments. Someone can read their scriptures and pray everyday, but going to church is probably the most important thing because we have the opportunity to renew our baptismal covenants with the Sacrament. For this, I am truly grateful!

Happy birthday this week to Kaylee and Emily! I hope your birthdays are so fun! Is Emily old enough to be baptized now?! :)

Also, drum roll please........ HAPPY SWEET 16 TO MY LITTLE SISTER. Watch out boys, here she comes! Holy cow, Bekah I can´t believe you´re 16. Be smart, and date tons. I love you so much and hope your day is SO awesome!
And that´s a rap folks! Please pray for us, pray for Independencia, and pray that I can be an instrument for the Lord here in Independencia. I´m nervous, but I know this will teach me so much! Keep keepin' it real in Arizona and be reading your scriptures! :)

Hermana Peterson 
We borrowed bikes for 2 hours the other day, and I am SO sore!
Also, we had our Noche de Postres on Saturday. We had a competition with big marshmallows to see who could catch the most in their mouth. Catch, and push to the side. I caught 7. It was a proud moment in my life :)
Oh Ashley Carroll!!!! SO excited for her! Meredith Christian is her name. I´ll send a message to her to look out for her! How exciting for the Carroll family. (A family in our stake's daughter is going to Madrid Spain on her mission, and Hannah's good friend Meredith is already there...same mission, small world!) Good luck, Ashley! You will be great!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

8/7/13 Elder Peterson - Communication is key!!

Opening up his birthday box...he had a hard time waiting!

Sorry this is blurry, and not sure what the red line is all about
Great snacks!
Brother Armstrong came to wish me a happy birthday. He's the man!!
Well, this is Elder Peterson....again. I hope you aren't getting sick and tired of hearing from me. But I am going to keep writing every week even if you are.
So this week has been pretty crazy. And I mean it. I don't know where to start but I am going to just start. So I have a crazy testimony building experience that I would like to share. 

So for the first time in my mission...we were able to go on splits with a member of the ward. We have had many opportunities for members to come with us to lessons but not like we did. Bro. Ellison was his name and I was able to go with him while Elder Manning and Elder Moss stayed together. Bro. Ellison and I went out and checked on one of his home teaching families and then a less active of the ward. She wasn't home and we were walking back to his car. There were two ladies sitting on their porch and I had the impression to talk with them. So we did...and it was awesome. Turns out the lady we talked to the most was from Jamaica and was just visiting family for a few weeks. We asked if we could stop by sometime and share a message about Christ with her and she said yes. So the next week we stopped by and talked with her about the Plan of Salvation. We were able to answer some life long questions that she has had about the afterlife. It was a very spiritual experience. We are actually meeting with her again tonight. I know that it is so important to share the Gospel with EVERYONE! Even if it might be awkward. 

Alright another amazing experience. We got a phone call from some Sisters in the Baltimore Mission. They had an investigator who just moved down into our area and they wanted us to come by and keep teaching them.  They are having a lot of struggles in their lives right now and the Sisters in Baltimore wanted us to take really good care of them. We are really excited to help them out the best that we can. Heather is her name and Travis is her boyfriend and they have 3 kids. They are in a big need of the Gospel. It is amazing to talk with them and see how the gospel is really changing her life especially. We have a lot of work to do with them but I know that the Spirit will be able to touch their lives and they will be happy. 

So even though this past week has been pretty awesome, our companionship was having a few struggles with getting along and things were getting a little contentious. It is amazing what talking about it can do. We are doing a lot better now. If there is one thing that I have learned on my mission it is COMMUNICATION. I suck at it, as you all know, but I am getting better at it. 

Mom, thank you for always printing out Hannah's letters. It is great to have time to read them. Also, thanks for always keeping me updated on stuff. I love hearing about all the crazy things that are happening in Arizona. 
Well, that's about it for me this week. I know that the church is true and I know that this is the Lord's work. I am so grateful to be a missionary in the Washington D.C. North Mission.

I love you all!!!
Elder Peterson
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (sorry my eyes are closed)


Sunrise at the White House

A better shot of our trio

Monday, August 5, 2013

7/5/13 Hermana Peterson - Juan got baptized!!

Okay I´m going to apologize first, but my letter this week is going to be really small. I´m trying to take advantage of Hermana Urizar´s camera before she leaves. I got tired of it and gave up and am just going to keep everything on my flash drive to sift through them later, so I won´t send many pictures this week, but will send a ton this next week so I can get a few words in today!

First off, JUAN WAS BAPTIZED! I don´t even know how to explain it, but he is a different person. When we met him a few weeks ago, he was different. But now, he´s got a light in him. He was confirmed on Sunday, his baby was blessed, AND he´s in line to get the priesthood this next Sunday. Happy happy times. Juan and Joselin have plans to get to the temple in a year. And that is what this work is all about. Helping families to be together forever. This whole thing was a miracle, but now he´s happy, and his family is too. Ah, happy happy times!

  At Juan's baptism

After Juan's baptism, a family in the ward fed us!!
I got an email from Henri (I emailed him last week) and he told me that he´s so happy and that because we brought the Gospel to him, he isn´t living in his bad times anymore. Oh it´s so good to hear that he´s still doing so good!

Everything too is in line for the baptism of Catalina this next week. We saw a little miracle with Carol this week (her mom) and are hoping that we will only see more, but she said that every time she reads the Book of Mormon that she wants to get married faster and get baptized. This was like "Alllllelluja!" Catalina is super excited for her baptism and we have her interview on Wednesday. Please keep her and her baby in your prayers that the baby comes after her confirmation on Sunday!! Please please please! She also told us yesterday that when she starts working again, she´s going to not work on Sundays and this too was like "Allllelluja!" We are seeing miracles with this family! Someday, someday, all will come to the knowledge that this is the true church enough that they´ll all be baptized. It´s a frustrating situation, but they are opening up more and more!!! Wooo!!

Okay mom and dad. Our bishop and his wife are almost you two to a T. Our bishop reminds me so much of dad, and his wife is mom. It´s so funny, but it´s a constant reminder of the incredible parents I have! I have been shocked of the number of families that don´t have prayers, read scriptures, and have family night together. I´m so grateful that I had ALL 3 OF THESE THINGS growing up! This is probably so repetitive, but THANK you!!!!!

Happy birthday this next week to baby Katlyn who isn´t a baby anymore, and to Uncle Dave and my one and only beautiful Grandma Peterson!! I hope you all have such good days :)
Also, there is a brother in our ward who is Uncle Sterling, only Chilean. It´s hilarious. He´s short, hysterical, and he´s just a ball of energy all the time. Hope things are going well for you Sterling! I miss you!!

Okay. Ready for the nasty story of the week. It actually happened last week and I forgot to tell you. So one night I was brushing my teeth. I got done brushing my teeth, and was brushing my retainers to put them in my mouth (obviously). I pulled out my top retainer and I don´t even know what happened, but before I new it, my retainer was barrelling slow motion straight into the toilet. Yup you heard me. The TOILET. And not just a toilet, a Chilean toilet, which is pretty gross. Oh my gosh my hand was in the toilet faster than lightning and I just stood in the bathroom thinking, "this would happen to me." We boiled some water and I scrubbed it so much with hot hot water and soap and I´m still living, so life is good.

I´m so sorry that this letter is really lame this week. I was taking care of some other computer things in my time, so it was shorter. But, I know now more than I did this last week that my Savior lives and that this gospel is true! This is my last week with my companion, and then we have cambios on Monday! Wish us luck! We have a goal of 20 lessons with members this week!! We´re going to help others come unto Christ!

The church is true. Read, pray, and go to church.
I Love you!

Hermana Peterson

Hermana Jimenez - I love this picture!

My district - but not for long - most go home this next transfer...

Me in Talcahuano

I kept thinking about my Grandma Z and my brothers and how much they would love this!

Yep, just saw these today!!