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.

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