October 26, 2015

I am behind in my journal...Sorry in advance

We heart attacked Ermilisa while she was out of town.  She LOVED it!!!

President Smith, Elder Funk, Elder Ellesworth, Sister Wood and Sister Peterson @ Logan's

Oh Halloween....
An eyelash I caught on Sister Wood's arm! It made a smiley!
Hey everyone! You know how last week was like uber fantastic, well it kicked this week's behind. Nah, it wasn't that bad. Every missionary needs a week like this one. We just have been having no luck with our plans. Everything has been falling through, even our backups. And our backups' backups. (We had to start planning those too...)
I don't have too many day titles because I have been too sick to write in my journal, sorry!
Monday: "Take a Breath" Pday was great. We went to the board walk and it was gorgeous. I needed that break from all the crazy stuff we do as missionaries.
Tuesday: "I am Dealing With Stuff Too" So, I had a pretty bad melt down. Don't worry, I am okay. I just forgot how much I am dealing with from my own life and my own problems. It makes a huge difference in missionary work. I came to the realization that I need to figure it all out so that I can be capable of training a new missionary if I am called to do so. I can't be dealing with these types of problems if I do train. On a lighter note, we taught with Sister Smith (president's wife). That lesson was awesome and we really did need her testimony there with us. Afterwards we went to dinner with her, president, and the elders in our ward. How fun! I love my mission president and his wife. They really care about us and always know what to say. Plus they are pretty fun people, that's always good :)
Wednesday: no title, but a back up plan actually worked out well. We love this less active and we are pretty sure Sister Wood's older brother met him on his mission here in the FTM.
I did stuff on Thursday and Friday, just didn't write it down.
Saturday: "Get out of my Head!" Sister Wood and I are totally in sync! We also actually had a great day! We felt impressed when we ran out of people to visit to go see this less active member. I felt a lot of peace about it. We went and his non-member fiancée was home and so welcoming! We love her and she said she wants to come to Ermilisa's baptism and the ward social on Friday! Funny story, so we share a car with the Elders in our ward. Missionaries have to have someone outside the car backing it whenever it is in reverse. We have this thing called celestial parking; essentially it is parking where you don't have to reverse to leave. We parked sideways in the church parking lot to exchange the car, but we pulled all the way up to the edge of the lot so they would still have to back. It was too funny. Probably not to anyone but other missionaries though.
Sunday: "I could Stay here" We had a primary program! That was the first one I have ever seen! It was so special. That night we went to dinner with the Kanupkes (my unofficial favorite family) and took Ermilisa with us. Bro. Kanupke will be baptizing her! We had so much fun there. Oh man. I love the people here and I don't want to leave quite yet.
That's this week for the most part. Life goes on. I am getting used to the mission and I like it. I realized it is doing what I was doing at home, just all the time and with structure. I love to help people and I love to use the gospel to do so. There is no better way. Have a good week! I know we will, as there is a baptism tomorrow! I can't wait for Ermilisa to get baptized!
-Sister Peterson


October 19, 2015

Family History is the Key

I  can't even begin to explain this week. It was truly amazing. Not every minute or day, but the experiences we have had could hold me for transfers. I have had the opportunity to see so many miracles this week as we use the doctrine of family history to bless the lives of others.
Monday: "Respond to Promptings for Blessings" This was Pday, which was all fine and dandy. That night, we visited Ermilisa though and she was struggling with her addiction to smoking. You can't be baptized if you don't live the word of wisdom, and she knows this. I felt prompted from the moment I sat on her couch that we needed to ask the elders to give her a blessing of health. I eventually acted on that and it changed everything. She has been so much better since then and really understands the priesthood now. I am so grateful for the priesthood, the authority of God, and the blessings we receive through it.
Tuesday: "Family History Part One" We took one of my favorite (not that I have favorites :) older members out to lessons with us. Sister Roswold is so great and super sassy. I love that because I love to be sassy right back. For some reason members like that down here? Fine by me! Anyways, we took her to Ermilisa and then to another investigator who is about 70 something. We felt impressed to share with this women the doctrine of family history. Our mission has basically created a whole discussion on this subject with our own pamphlet and everything. During the discussion Sister Wood felt the impression to say that the reason they were led to her was because her husband wants to be with her forever and he knows that can only happen through temples and the priesthood. That was powerful. This women got emotional about her husband minutes later and didn't recognize why. I can't wait to go back.
Wednesday: "An Ermilisa Kind of Day" We spent a LOT of time over there. More than we should of. But, we did service for her, had a lesson, did some of her family history, it was great. We also weren't going to see her for a good while anyways. We shared family history with her too, and she is just so excited to go to the temple to do baptisms. I wish so badly we could go with her. She still thinks she can take us with her on a road trip to Birmingham... sad day.
Thursday: "It's All About God's Love" We shared a lesson with our eternigator, Dianna Roberts. She is so cool. Like in every way. She still wears pants to church though...awkward. But, I led a lesson (can you believe that?) on the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Somehow, it ended up being super central on God's love. I think that is just how I interpret that lesson. The whole restoration is a sign and example of how much He loves us. She even at the end was like "that was a really good lesson" (as any eternigator should know. (I was one, it's fine)). Later that night, we went to a less active women's home, Sister Robertson. She said she really connected with us over other missionaries. I know it is because of how much love we feel Heavenly Father has for her. And that is what we talked about with her. Everything we end up saying in her home just feels so inspired and right. She even said she would come to Ermilisa's baptism and the ward social we inspired to occur.
Friday: "Coordination Day" I feel like we did a lot of planning and coordinating this day. We had ward coordination, which was super handy. Our bishopric felt inspired to reassign home and visiting teaching to benefit our less active members. That was definitely inspiration. We planned the rest of our weekly planning (we never finish on Thursday anymore). Then we planned a lesson to teach and invited a member who was recently reactivated. We also went to the bishop's house and talked with his family about missionary work and whatnot. Good day.
Saturday: "One Good Thing is All It Takes" Here's the whammy. I am just going to copy and paste what I told my mission president. On Saturday, October 17th, 2015 we visited a less active women, Sister Knight, who we usually visit once a week. Generally our lessons with her are not as productive as we would like them to be. This time, we prayerfully found an approach that would help us stay in control of the lesson. We discussed the restoration with her using the pamphlet and going on the spirit to find scriptures to discuss. At the end, she somehow started talking about her first husband and her children. She mentioned how she had already had a child when she married him and how he took that child in as his own. This husband was murdered later and all of the children they raised together were dead now. As she was talking about this, I began to have thoughts about how she still wore her wedding ring and talked about her husband. She must really love him still I thought. I wonder if she has ever thought about going to the temple and being sealed with him. Then I figured that we had shared that so many times this week and that maybe my mind was just trying to justify a personal opportunity to say something profound like Sister Wood already has twice this week. But, the Spirit would not stop letting me think about it, so I asked Sister Knight if she still loved that husband. She said yes, and before she could continue, words just started flying out of me. I (or more properly, the Spirit) told her that her husband was waiting for her to be sealed to him for eternity and that he really loved her. I also said that he has been cheering her on through all the hard trials she has been going through just as he had in this life. She just stared deep into my eyes. I could feel his love for her so strongly in that moment. She knew it was true and started crying. How could I know to say that she said. My answer seemed obvious, it was the Spirit. We began to tell her that we can and will help her to get to the temple to be sealed with him for time and eternity. That was a real game changer for her. She is now motivated more than ever to come to church and prepare to enter the temple.
I know that it is because I finally learned to act on a prompting no matter how hard it may be to bud in that the Lord trusted me with that sacred message. I am so grateful for such a powerful and spiritual opportunity.
Sunday: "I'm Proud of You" So, we totally made it sound like President was not coming to our sacrament meeting, which our elders happened to be speaking in. Their faces when he walked in were priceless. They gave great talks though, so it was fine. Afterwards, president asked if he could just interview us then instead of on Tuesday. I am so glad he did. We each got about half an hour (double the normal). I needed that interview. He said that Sister Wood and I are the finest missionaries in the mission. I couldn't believe it, but I needed to hear it. We work so hard and get so critical of ourselves, but we do everything we are supposed to. He thought our planners were the most gorgeous things haha. I got to role play with him the family history lesson. That was intimidating, but the spirit helped me and he felt it. I can't count the times he said I am proud of you. When he asked how long I had been out, I obviously said 6 weeks and he was blown away. I don't want to say this boasting, just to emphasize how badly I needed to hear these things. I know that I am in the right mission at the right time, called to serve who I need to and with the right people. On Tuesday we will be teaching with Sister Smith, president's wife, and going to dinner with them and the elders afterwards. I am so excited!
Overall, this week has been powerful. I am really adjusting and I hope that I get the opportunity to train soon. I just want to help every missionary I can to experience the joy I have felt. Thank you all for your love and support. I hope all is well in your homes. I think about you all often.
-Sister Peterson


October 12, 2015

End of My First Transfer!

No exciting news about transfers - my companion and I are still here together and the elders in are ward are also staying. We do however get a new district leader as ours will be flying home on Thursday.
Sorry about how short my email was last week. The computer must have been possessed or something. I loved conference though. I always have, but I feel like it meant just that much more to me with the extra spirit I have on the mission. I have already ponderized a scripture too! (All of you seem excited about that). Heleman 5:12 was my scripture. I will let you decide what I could have gathered. I will tell you though that I read it, pausing at each comma with a passionate tone. It means more when you do that.
Monday: "In the Good and the Bad Times" We had a fun zone activity where we all played volleyball. I really needed that socializing time. I guess you could say I am a social butterfly. We sadly had hardly any time to email before our appointments and then the computer was you know, possessed.
Tuesday: "Dare to Be Bold. Dare to Be Old" I learned a lot at district meeting about being bold in our approaches and how to approach less active members we have never met before. I feel that I have forgotten something very important about my personality as I have conformed to my companion's style. I am a bold, and generally fearless person (socially). I need to get back into that frame of mind so that we can be effective in our efforts. It has been working so far. That night we also had dinner with the Roswold family. Sister Roswold is just so sassy in her old age. ( I believe they are in their 80's). She doesn't let anything stop her, and if she gets bored of what her husband says, she starts talking about something random to me because she knows I will listen. Oh man hahah.
Wednesday: "Am I Being Trained?" Sometimes, we aren't sure who is training who. My goal currently is to learn how to follow. I have always been a leader and I am pretty comfortable with that. What I need to learn to be a better leader though, is how to follow a leader.
Thursday: "Leaders Need to Know how to Follow" So, again, I need to learn this haha. My exchange follow up with our STL's was a lot about this. Sister Wood is struggling to figure out how to lead, but it would be a lot easier if I would let her take the initiative to first. Woops. We all live and learn though! This day, though, we met with a sweet less active member. We truly were impressed to visit her. She needed to hear that God loved her personally and that she can do the things He asks of her. I see a lot of success with her in the future. The spirit was just so powerful in that lesson and I really felt His love for her. Those are the sweeter parts of missionary work.
Friday: "Seek The Fruits" We visited this less active member who turns out to be super involved in the youth program of her church. It appears they had this terrible idea that Mormons are super judgmental and all they want is for you to get baptized in their church. Well, we showed her that wasn't true by how genuinely interested we were in her personal faith. Her husband shared some really personal trials with us. I can tell we were the answer to their prayers for help. I can't wait for them to see that.
Saturday: "The Spirit Works Even When I am Asleep" This was a typical day. Ermilisa, our investigator with a baptismal date, met basically her church twin. They got along. We then visited my favorite southern black lady, Sister Knight. Problem is, her house is a million degrees and dark, and we always get there about 3pm. It was hard to stay alert, but we made it and we made some great spiritual headway with her!
Sunday: "Sleep or Strengthen Comp Unity?" We chose to 'strengthen comp unity' until 1:30 last night. We shared all these great secrets and personal stories. I felt good about it, minus how disobedient it was to stay up talking... I will try better from now on, I promise! We had a great day though and dinner with the Kanupke family was so fun. We are doing in home MTC with them and they are great because they just want to share the gospel! We always have tons of fun at their house.
Well, I hope you all enjoy your week. Please, go over a conference talk a week. It will change your life as you see the great words of our modern day prophet and apostles affect your life. I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support!

Sorry, I haven't sent pictures in a while!
-Sister Peterson
There are some 'pine trees'
Sister wood and I driving places,
what we missionaries call 'celestial parking'
the goods you know.


October 5, 2015

Christmas, basically 
Hey all!
Thank you to those who emailed me and sent me letters! I wish I had more time today to write, but the computer was really being a bum today. Hopefully I get more letters and emails out next week!
This week was really a spiritual journey for me. I want to just highlight a couple of things. On Thursday, we had a zone training from the mission president. This training brought Sister Wood and I a lot of comfort. We had been praying recently about what Pensacola really needs. We felt strongly that it was the less active members that needed reaching out. This training was all about how our mission is going to focus a majority of our time on reaching out to less active and part  member families. I couldn't be happier. He also had us focus on family history to do so. One thing that stuck with me was when our STL's were training. Sister Stewart was talking about how excited we get to be baptized and what a great experience that is. Then she said, what if you were told at that moment you couldn't be baptized and that you had to wait? Well, little did anyone in that room know that I had experienced exactly that. I had to wait a year after getting so ready. This is exactly how people's ancestors feel while they wait in the spirit world. They have to wait for them to do the work, and often, be taught by the missionaries! We are therefore focusing on the temple. Not baptism, but the temple where we can have even more baptisms.
Sorry, I am really low on time, but know that general conference was quite the spiritual game changer for me this weekend. I gained such a testimony of our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is our elder brother and did everything He had to, to get his siblings back. I am out of time, but I will leave you the day titles just so you have them :)
Monday: Funerals Can be lessons
Tuesday: Real People. Real Tender Mercies.
Wednesday: October 27th
Thursday: My Purpose in Florida, Tallahassee
Friday: That Mission Grind
Saturday: Better than Christmas
Sunday: The Testimony I have Been Praying For
Thank you for your prayers, love, and support. I promise I will get more out to you all next week!
-Sister Peterson

I have this poem on my wall:

Don't You Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out -

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

September 28, 2015

A Week of Learning
Did you miss me? I missed you all! This week has been good. I say good, knowing that good doesn't mean tons of huge miracles and grand experiences. I learned a lot about myself, the work, and my companion. We have been struggling a bit lately. Both of us know that we have some things we want to change about ourselves, but neither of us want to admit that it takes time or sometimes difficult experiences. However, we are getting good at taking time for companionship inventories when needed. We are listening more to each other and we are becoming even more patient with each other. I can't imagine what it would be like if we didn't tell each other how we were feeling and what we wanted to fix. I am grateful that Sister Wood is willing to be so honest with me. Personally, I need to work on being more self affirming ( I am far too self critical).
Tuesday: "What's a PDay?" Our pday was almost non-existent as we had to cut it short due to district meeting and an exchange. I went to Milton for 24 hours! Sister Stewart (the sister I was on an exchange with) is so much like me! She is a convert of about 3 years (So, I am a baby and she is a toddler), she is from the northwest, loves to just have fun and smile, and we both have many similar experiences.
Wednesday: "Every Second is a Lesson" I learned so much on this exchange. I learned that I am capable of having fun and that really I just need to help my companion get out of her shell and have fun with me! I taught a large part of a very intimidating lesson, so clearly I am capable of that too! Sister Stewart helped me see that all these trials in my life are truly blessings. I have been given such great tools for missionary work. That can be intimidating to companions though, so I am now learning how to magnify her strengths. That is much more comforting to me, as I am happier thinking about how I can help someone else rather than myself.
Thursday: "Maybe I don't Want to Leave" This was a solid day. I didn't even want to stop exercising or studying! Planning was hard, but I learned a lot about what I can do better. My companion was more open and happy as we tried new things. Everyone we tried to visit was home and enjoyed having us over. I did the dumbest thing too haha. We were trying to meet with this 86 year old women who is a little less active. I knocked on her storm door, but she didn't hear. I decided that I should call her. "Are you home? We were in the neighborhood and would love to share a message!" "Yes, I am" "Oh great! So, actually we are already here and knocked, but guessed you didn't hear it". Being awkward can have it's advantages. We had a lesson that night with this lady, Amanda Warren. She just said things that got to my heart and she was so grateful for us. In that lesson, I learned a lot of personal things and felt like I didn't want to leave. Sadly, that feeling didn't just stay forever. It is there much more often now. My goal is to not be wanting to leave after this first transfer.
Friday: "You Could Say I am Emotionally Involved" This day just tore my heart out at every meeting. Our comp study even brought me to tears for a while. I realized that I care so much about what I am saying. I really do believe that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. I have seen it and know that to be true. I even got passionate about family history as I have seen how much that has blessed my family and my life personally.
Saturday: "A Taste of Christmas" They tell us on the mission that General Conference is like Christmas for missionaries. Women's Conference was the bomb. I have never been a huge fan of womens anything, but as a missionary, it doesn't seem to bother me. This session was exactly what my companion and I needed. If you didn't watch it, or don't have a desire to because it is "Mormon", I urge you to do so anyways. The lessons you can learn are for anyone. It's message is just about how to be a happier person!!! Oh, I almost forgot that I also had a great experience tracting this day too. We found a guy on his porch who really needs to feel the love of God and find direction in his life. I never got his name though... woops.
Sunday: "The Lord Knows Me" Relief society changed my life. Overall, the meetings and their topics felt like they were just for me. One thing during relief society really helped me. The teacher showed us this display of what God would have us feel and what Satan would have us feel. Satan makes us feel stress, confusion, rushed, and discouraged. I had been feeling all these things! No wonder it's been hard to feel the spirit! These feelings are not of God. He loves us and wants the best for us. We experience those things though, to be able to know good feelings are truly of God. I have been so much happier and more in tune with the spirit since I learned that. I was feeling stressed at lunch time and took a moment to kneel and pray. That prayer was the most honest and straight forward prayer I have had in a while. I learned so much.
Everything has been going well. I am slowly but surely getting the hang of this whole mission thing. Sometimes it is quite overwhelming to remember that this is my life for a whole 18 months. But, then I think about how I will be so used to it that I won't be longing in remembrance of what my life was like before the mission. It is all about what is happening now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. The Spirit is only telling me what I need to know in the moment, so I cannot get too caught up in all the extra stuff.
Maybe next week I will start sending you all something you can do so I am not just ranting about my self growth. Until then...
love you all!

-Sister Peterson

September 22, 2015

Has it Already Been a Week?
Sorry that these tend to be long, I will try to shorten them... maybe. Well, this week went by super fast, and I even added a day prior to my p-day, if you call this a p-day. The reason why I am emailing today is because we had an emergency transfer, in which my companion and I had to drive to Fairhope, Alabama and be someone's companion while she waited for a new one. It was hard taking her companion to the airport to go home because I knew her in the MTC and she was someone I really got along with. So, because of all that, my p-day is today: the same day I have an exchange and a district meeting. We even had to move two appointments with our investigators!
Okay, the week!
Monday: "Homesickness? Not Really!". Things have been getting better. I prayed for help before I got onto email and it really did make the difference.
Tuesday: "I taught!" Man this was a great day to be a missionary. District meeting reminded me of the Christlike attributes I want to develop, one being Patience. I tend to be patient with others, but rarely myself, so I am now working on that. We had a lesson though, where my companion just was blank as far as ideas went, so I basically taught the whole lesson! That was a first for in the field, but it went really well. We read from the Book of Mormon with her and she committed to start reading it every day and praying about it's truthfulness! We have this other investigator who was waiting on approval for baptism from the first presidency. President Smith called us about her application that day and then two hours after he submitted it, she was approved! That's the fastest approval he's ever seen! It was so great telling her that she can set a date to be baptized.
Wednesday: "All the Feels" We taught two people that day. They were both powerful lessons, but one of those investigators is so busy that she told us she would see us the same time next month... man. On our way home, Sister Wood and I opened up a lot about our pasts and our families. It is hard for me to do that, but it really brought us closer as companions.
Thursday: "Waste the Lord's Time to Learn a Lesson" We spent soooo much time searching for a street map of Pensacola to realize that it was where Sister wood first thought it might be. I thought it would be weird for Barnes&Noble to have those, but they do... Listen to your promptings and trust your companion. Never again will I waste so much of the Lord's time. It felt terrible.
Friday: "These People are Beautiful" The whole day was a miracle. We met with three different people in very difficult financial and emotional states in their lives. All of them though, show such great strength as they rely on the Lord and trust in Him. It is so amazing to see their faith and help them strengthen it. I am so grateful for their wonderful example in times that are rougher than I could ever imagine. Also, this was the night before my month mark as a missionary, so Sister Wood took me to Olive Garden for dinner. What a sweet companion :).
Saturday: "Companions Teach Each Other". Being that Sister Wood is a trainer after having just finished her training, she struggles sometimes. I trust her so much, because I know the Lord does. She learned a hard lesson this day though; your trainee can teach you just as much as you can teach them. I can't imagine how humbling that is, but it was nice to be on the other side of the missionary breakdown for once. I much prefer to help others than to require help.
Sunday: "Everyone Goes to Church" Seriously, like everyone we invited to church came. It was awesome. We sadly could not find a ride for one of our less actives. That has been a problem for us. You have to be willing to give rides to church if you want to have more active members! We left this night to go to Alabama too.
Monday: "Sweet Home Alabama" That's what the sign said when we got to Alabama. It was great spending time with the sister over there. She is so experienced and I learned a lot from her! I also watched legacy for the first time. What a powerful movie. I am always so touched by the stories of the pioneers. It was hard letting my friend go home, but I learned something from the experience she has had. When she prayed about it, she felt peace. When I pray about it, I feel that my family is better off with me here. My companion and I both struggle with that, but I know that I have to be here for them to be blessed.
Thank you all for what you do! Please send me your addresses so I can write you!!! I want to be able to send you letters! I also love getting them because it makes the week go by easier.
Love you all!

-Sister Peterson
(Here are some very southern esque photos :)

September 14, 2015

So Much Learning
Thank you all again for your love and support. It makes the difference. I have learned pretty well how to handle my homesickness. I really just don't let myself think about any of it any day outside of Monday. The Gordon B. Hinckley quote was something I used while in college, but I am getting how useful it can be in the field of the mission. That quote of course is "Forget yourself and Go to Work". I sometimes replace forget with lose. I don't forget my personality (though I did for a few days), but I lose my worldly desires. Nothing but those things that we take with us after this life should matter as a missionary. The Lord will provide.
So this week! I decided to title every day so that I can a) remember them, and b) reflect on what I learned.

Monday was "Sweaty Homesickness with Love for God's Children". It all hit me pretty hard that day. It was also the second day we went biking. It was so hot and humid and my bike seat was all messed up. We biked to the edge of our area, just to visit someone who wasn't home. I realized though, that this was similar to the savior's atonement. I had sweat, bled (bug bites), and felt pain as I worked for the people I tried to visit.
Tuesday was "Be an MTC Missionary for Real People". I realized that I was such a great missionary in the MTC! I miss that. I literally degraded as a missionary when I left. My goal is to be who I was in the MTC. We also had our first district meeting. It was great and the lesson I had forgotten was that every second of my day is planned for real people. It's hard not having met most of them yet, but they are real!
Wednesday - "A Miracle from a Broken Tool's Plea". I have decided that I am a very broken tool in the Lord's hand. I begged that He would help me with all the negative feelings I was having. And somewhere in our studies, it just switched. I just was happy again and willing to work. Amazing what He can do!!!
Thursday - "20 Years to Accidental Bible Bashing". This is great. We share an area with Elders as well as a car with them. They accidentally tracted (knocked on doors) in our part of the area so they had a referral for us. It was Sister Wood's birthday that day too. So we go to this house, and it happens to be the meeting place for a bunch of Jehovah's Witnesses. Man was that bad. I just wanted to share with them the restoration and where the Book of Mormon came from, but they had all these questions that were about things I didn't know in the Bible!!! Outside of that, it was a great day.
Friday - "My Purpose is Miraculous". We taught the referral we got my first day. Her name is Charli. She has so many questions and experiences that remind me of myself when I started investigating. The Spirit was so powerful in our lesson with her. I felt that if she is the only person I get to teach, then I have fulfilled my purpose in being here. The Lord has blessed me to see how important it is that *I* am here.
Saturday- "Plan B+Obedience=Blessings (for others)". None of our plan A's worked out, but all of our backups did and it showed how important those are. We have some great prospects now and I feel really  good about it. I can't wait to help this family we met grow closer to the Savior. Also, Sister Wood said this week was amazing because we were obedient missionaries.
Sunday - "Do What You Fear" I have learned that my fears are purely of Satan. I knew this, but what I never realized was that usually when I have a fear, it's because God needs me to do that thing!!! I have always just known what I was supposed to do and did it without fear, so this is a new lesson for me.
Overall, things have been great, but difficult. That's what a mission is. I am so grateful that the Lord trusts me to help bring His sheep into the fold.
Please, keep the letters and emails coming. Letters get me through the week when I occasionally get them. Also, if you have any good ideas for exercises or healthy cheap meals, send them!!!
-Sister Peterson

PS: Ideas for things I need in packages if you feel so inclined..
-pretzels (any junk food really.. Popcorn!!)
-mac and cheese
-sensodyne toothpaste
-dove deodorant
-comp books
-sticky notes
- color ink pens
-diet caffeine free Doctor pepper
-CD's (blank or with music/general conference talks)
-scotch tape
-clear packing tape

I keep forgetting about these. Funny story. We have three beds in our apartment from a trio like 6 months ago. I got tired of sleeping on two mattresses and a box spring, so I made a mega bed yesterday. It's fantastic.

Also, that is how busy we were on Friday. It was a really good day.
-Sister Peterson

September 7, 2015

Well... I Made it to Florida in One Piece

Thank you all for all the emails. They were much appreciated and needed. My last week at the MTC was again, amazing. I would never trade my time there for anything. I learned so much, and was changed so much. I am grateful for the opportunities I had in leadership there as well. It is now clear to me how the Lord built me up during my time there. I am going to miss my district and my teachers so much! The love I felt for them is amazing and they all helped me a ton. Not seeing them everyday has been an adjustment.
Florida and the field has also been an adjustment. I never thought I would endure homesickness in my life, but I have been. I have found what it means to love your family and now I want nothing more than to go back and change how I was before my mission. Sadly, I have about 17 months before that happens! Just remember I said it and hold me to it.

I love my mission president and his wife. They are so sweet and are exactly who I need to be in charge of me.

A couple of things about Florida: Don't touch the spanish moss, cockroaches are seriously not that bad and they are only out at night, there is no dirt in my area - it's all sand, and the humidity is not as bad as they all say.

I have been assigned to the Pensacola area with Sister Wood. She is just awesome. She just got done being trained and so we are both learning together. It's quite the experience.
I have honestly struggled a lot since I have been out here. It is so clear that there is an adversary in the work. I have also realized that I have to trust in the Lord to give me the words to say to anyone. It is only because of Him helping someone else that my life was changed. I also have learned that I need to have fun. If any of you other missionaries or RM's have any suggestions, please let me know. I tend to get way too over focused.

Let me tell  you a little about PCola. The ward only has like 50 active members, most of which are retired. There's a phrase we use "nearly dead or barely wed". It is sooo true. I have witnessed miracles already though. Since I have been here, we have already gotten 3 new investigators and apparently it's been a while since that happened. We also had a less active family of over 2 years come to church out of the blue yesterday. Things are happening!
The mission has been incredibly humbling to me. I can't believe I have learned as much as I have already. I can't wait to see what happens next. Thank you all for being such good examples to me. I wish I could email everyone individually, but I don't have the time quite yet. Enjoy my pictures though! Sadly I can only send one per email... so sorry if I flood your inbox!
I love you all! Have a good week and don't be afraid to follow your heart and the feelings you receive through the Holy Spirit. You never know the impact you can have on another person.
-Sister Peterson
(Amanda Peterson for the Family :)

 My new address is
700 E College Blvd
Pensacola, FL 32504

August 27, 2015

It's Official - I have a nametag!
Hello everyone! I have officially finished my first week in the MTC! I love it here so much and I am going to miss it a ton when we leave on Tuesday morning.
Where to begin...Please email me and write me so I have something to go off of when I write emails! Today was hard because I had no emails and my companion and everyone else had tons. It really does make a difference.
Here at the MTC I have been learning tons! I wouldn't use the fire hose expression, but I would say that we learn a ton all day every day. It's basically college, but waaaaay better. I have gained such a testimony of the savior and His atonement. I don't think I ever truly understood how to rely on His atonement until I became a missionary. I have also learned that repentance isn't just for our sins, but also for any change we want to make to become more like the Savior and in line with Heavenly Father's will.
Okay, my favorite part of being a missionary is teaching and preparing lessons. Preparing lessons has been hard, but as I open myself up to the Spirit more fully, we have been able to receive revelation for our "investigators". (These are people in the TRC who may or may not be members, portraying progressing investigators for us). Teaching lessons, I have gained a greater testimony of the doctrine as we share it. The Holy Ghost truly guides me to what to say and testify of. I even surprise myself sometimes. I have also learned how to use my conversion in a way that helps investigators feel the Spirit. It is hard for me sometimes to be that open with them about my life, but I am finally reaping some of the benefits of my trials.
My district at the MTC is so amazing. Words cannot describe these Elders and Sisters. We have created a culture that could resemble the temple and we work hard to learn and stay obedient. I have seen so many blessings through being obedient here at the MTC. I love my district with all my heart and will truly miss them. We have been through a lot together as we lost an elder last weekend. Though we only knew him for a couple of days, I felt the love of Christ for this elder and wanted the best for him. Our district has a lot of heart.
My companion! She is so sweet. She definitely is a little different from me as she is much more introverted and likes to study things out before discussing. I have learned a lot of patience through that as well as how to ask questions that get her to open up. Seeing her struggle with homesickness has broken my heart, but she is so strong. Sister Mantlo (matt-low) is the best. She's also a black belt so I should be safe on my way to Florida at 3:30 am on Tuesday. We are also sister training leaders for our zone, so that's just how cool she is.
Also, for you ebrolites, I have been so blessed to see some of my best friends here at the MTC. I got to see Elder Hanna a few times prior to his leaving. I have seen Sister Mower many times. We had the great blessing of being able to sing in the MTC choir together. It was a tender experience that I won't forget.
I want you all to know that I love you and am so grateful for your love and support. It means the world to me. Please write, send me other people's emails so I can add them to the list.

I want to leave you with my testimony that I know Jesus Christ lives and has suffered every pain and affliction of the earth so that we may return to our Father in Heaven and receive of all that He has. I am so grateful for the light I have received in my life and for the trust that God has in me to share it with those of Florida. The next time you hear from me will be when I have my first Pday in Florida.

Until then!
-Sister Peterson



From new member to missionary!

I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in May 2014!
It was one of the best days of my life!

'Due to recent experiences, I have felt prompted to testify.
I know that this church is true. Every teaching, every scripture, every spiritual prompting.
These are gifts of our Heavenly Father, helping us progress and to return to Him.
I know that through the charity we give each other, He is overjoyed and will send us more blessings. By obeying the promptings of the spirit, I know that I have felt more comfort and peace than ever before. I encourage you all to do the same, as you could never regret it.
Lastly, I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is the most honest book I have ever encountered in my life. As Jeffrey Holland said, 'no bad man could write a book as good as this and no good man would.' I know that many people have given their lives to get this great work to us and I could not be more grateful for its presence in my life.
I love you all with all of my heart and am so grateful for the support and love I feel from this ward. Thanks to you, I can say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.'
Arlington Ward Bishopric
Bro. Gaskin, Bishop Nichols, Bro. Schilaty

After attending BYU in Utah for a year, I couldn't wait to submit
my mission papers!

Before entering the MTC in Provo, Utah I was able to go to the Seattle Temple, the House of the Lord on July 1, 2015.
I was set apart as a missionary on August 17, 2015.
'A lot of you may not understand why I would give 18 months of my early adulthood to go talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wanted to share this short scripture to help you. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candle stick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
-Matthew 5:14-16
Once you have received such a great gift, you can't selfishly keep it to yourself.'
 'Thank you all who have helped me along the way towards discipleship of our Savior Jesus Christ.
I can't wait to share His wonderful light and truth with those in Florida. See you all in 18 months!'