November 30, 2015

Quite the Grateful Week

This week has been fantastic. I have been truly blessed. I am so excited to stay here in Pensacola another transfer with Sister Wood. Maybe we will just be companions for half of my mission! Who knows. I actually kept up on my journal this week! You're all welcome :)
Monday: "Tender Mercies" This day was just full of tender mercies. I could list them, but just know that it is the simple things that matter. God granted me plenty of them and my eyes were open to all the great things that He had to give me that day. I also got a hair cut from Sister Wood!!
Tuesday: "An Inspired Meeting". Our district meetings have been amazing. I learned so much from all the people who taught. Our zone leaders taught us about having fun. Having insiders is the key. Sister Wood and I have tons of insiders, but it was fun to hear all the others. One of these days, I am going to try throwing her first name under the bus in some funny way. Our best insider is going over speed bumps slowly. I get way too much joy out of it. I legitimately cry from laughter when we don't make it over a speed bump in the car. Safety first! The best part of this meeting though was when my district leader talked about being consecrated spiritually. I know that this is why I have good weeks when I have them. The spirit impressed me with such power that I won't struggle as a missionary if I am completely consecrated spiritually. That made me really emotional. I needed it.
Wednesday: "Gratitude". When watching the district for my last day of 12 week training, I was really touched by what the missionaries had to say about their missions at the end. That's all what I want to be able to say about mine. I know I have been given so much and a great opportunity to be here. It's because of the great gifts I have received from the gospel that I am here.
Thursday: "This is Home for Now". What a great Thanksgiving. I had two meals. One was at the church with a couple families. I had fried turkey and loved it! The other one was with a younger family from the ward. We had a great time with them and their adorable daughters! I loved getting to talk to them, because they met at and love BYU. Anything BYU is a great tender mercy for me in the mission. The nice thing is, I didn't have a ton of homesickness. This place has really become home. So though it was my first Thanksgiving away from home, it wasn't too hard.
Friday: "Commitments". Sister Knight is quitting smoking and drinking coffee!!! We had a super great lesson with her! I really see this being one of the great fixes to a lot of problems she has been having. She is one of the most faithful women I have met. I can't wait to see how following those commandments will bless her life!
Saturday: "3 Less Actives, Dear Lord" I had prayed all day that we would be able to meet our goal of 3 RC/LA's. That is recent converts or less actives. Ermilisa was out of town, so it had to be less actives. Well, the beginning of the day made it seem pretty unlikely, but I kept praying. That afternoon and evening, we ended up spending a lot of time on the phone having lessons with Ermilisa, and two less active members. What an odd way for God to answer my prayers. He did though. I know that He answers all of my prayers, no matter what.
Sunday: "Spirit of the Sabbath". The Sabbath is such a special day. The best part was our lesson with Jonathan. He is an international reverend from Ghana. We taught him the doctrine of family history and it really touched him. He wants to do proxy baptisms for his family. We tried to set a baptismal date with him, but he said he will get back to us when he receives an answer to his prayers about its truthfulness. I just know he will get an answer. I can't wait!!!
I love the mission and I love this season. This is going to be such a great transfer for Sister Wood and I. We are both changing all the time, but it is for the better. Though that may be hard to adjust with, we are there for each other. I would never be able to do this alone. I hope you all have a great start to the Christmas season! Don't forget to watch the awesome Christmas video at Christmas.mormon.org!!!
Love you all!
-Sister Peterson


November 23, 2015

Transfer Calls!

This week was a pretty good week! We got our transfer calls, or didn't I guess. Sister Wood and I are staying right here in Pensacola for another six weeks! I am so excited. I love her and we have so many great plans for this area. I couldn't picture being here without her. I actually have day titles for you all!
Monday: "History" We went downtown and saw the history of Pensacola, and some pelicans. This is actually where Florida was signed and declared a state. There are some super cool sites downtown and lots of historical buildings. Everything here is way older than in the west.
Tuesday: "Serving With Great People" I love my district so much. We had a district meeting, as per usual on Tuesdays. I actually taught a lesson during it about extending and following up on commitments. I gave my district a commitment out of PMG so we will see tomorrow if they did it. I did! We took fun pictures as a district too. We don't ever take ourselves too seriously in Pensacola, so there isn't a single serious photo. I will make sure I send those today if I can.
Wednesday: "Exchange" We started an exchange with the sister training leaders on Tuesday night. I was with Sister Brown. My purpose was to learn how to worry less. It is something we both needed to work on actually. We realized it boils down to trusting people more and having even more faith. I thought I was pretty good at having faith, but I need a lot more than what I have. Since I realized this and started studying it, I have seen a lot of improvement in my daily missionary life. Sister Wood is happy too. I said I don't care the other day and she rewarded me with a frosty.
Thursday: "Planning for an Eternity" We do weekly planning on Thursdays. We planned for a good 5 or 6 hours total. We had to take breaks and get out of our apartment. It was pretty bad. We saw one of my favorite less active members though. We taught her about forgiveness. I was worried about it, but that was what we felt impressed to share. It went perfectly. She came to church on Sunday too!!!
Friday: "I love this Place". We visited a lot of people this day and they all are really progressing. Even this one person I wasn't sure would ever come back. She really is ready to follow the Lord. We took the first step by asking her to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if this is the path they need to take. I know she will get a good answer.
Saturday: "Any other Day" This was a typical ho hum missionary day. We tried to visit people. Some were home and didn't answer, some weren't home, some were busy. The usual. We came home for a while because Sister Wood was borderline sick. I was not going to let her get sick like I did. We had decent success though.
Sunday: "I LOVE the Sabbath" The Sabbath is my favorite day. It has been for quite some time. I just love the spirit you feel. My spirit and the studies we have are always so much stronger on the Sabbath. We also got no transfer call. Most of my district is staying too. We lost one elder and we are getting a brand new missionary in the ward!!! I won't be the newest anymore!!!
Overall, things are looking up. I am really trying to keep happy and keep enjoying what I do. Sometimes this is quite the challenge for me, but I know that Heavenly Father will always be there to guide and help me. He has always answered my prayers and I know He will continue to. He answers all of your prayers. You may not see it and it may not be in your time, but I promise you He does.
I love you all! Have a great Thanksgiving! I know I will :)
-Sister Peterson
PS: Guess what time of day this picture was taken at. The closest guess earns mad missionary points. Maybe a reply back from me too (no promises).


The definition of our district in a picture. Enjoy.


November 16, 2015

Lessons Learned From My Death Bed

So, this week was a little interesting. I don't have any daily titles, sorry. The weekly one is all you get. My companion legitimately thought I was going to die this week.
On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference. That morning at 5 am, I woke up with a super sharp stomach pain. It was the worst it has ever been. I spent all morning wondering if I would vomit or not. I did right before we left, thinking that would be the end of it and that I felt better. Sadly not. I was in and out of the conference being sick. We went home afterwards and stayed there for the next day. Then I still couldn't eat much on Thursday, but we had two meal appointments (The only time this would ever happen). I ate nibbles. By Friday I was good. That was the worst sickness I have ever had! I was well taken care of though. My companion did things for me that I don't know if I could do for someone. I learned lessons on charity, humility, and patience while I was sick. I also learned to value my missionary work so much more. I love so much to be out working as much as possible. And we have so much work in Pensacola to do.
Friday we visited tons of people. I feel like we had a lot of success with them as well. Saturday was more of the same. We had a few plans fall through, but then an actual investigator called and said we could come over without us even asking! We love her so much. She even came to church for the first time the next day. That is huge for her. Sunday was my week's highlight though.
Church was incredibly edifying. Sister Wood gave an amazing talk on gifts of the spirit. All of the lessons were just so fantastic. Our studies were great afterwards. Our investigator Chrissy was almost sober enough to remember what we talked about. She is really opening up about her relationship with God too! She apparently gets a lot of peace out of Hail Mary's, which in a sense is a good thing for someone questioning if God exists. The icing on the cake is when we went to this woman's house though. She is a mother of a boy who is on a mission as well. He converted to the church and faced a lot of the same situation I did when I converted. He made mistakes and his mom is very upset with his decision to leave on a mission. She let us in though with Brother Nichols, the first counselor of this ward. She was so sweet! We talked about her son, she took a picture of us and sent it to our parents. She said we could come back, but we won't convert her. We can do bible study with her though! This is so great! I feel that there is much I can learn from her. My many prayers and my fast was answered yesterday. I truly know that God will answer all of our prayers in time.
That's this week! Enjoy some fun photos! Thank you all for your uplifting emails! I wish I had more time this week to respond, but I will next week!
Love ya!
-Sister Peterson



November 9, 2015

Hey everyone!
This week has been especially hard for me. I'm a missionary, so I won't lie to you! (not that I would otherwise). I am dealing with a lot of personal problems while trying to be a missionary, while fighting sickness. It's been quite a lot to juggle. On the bright side, Pensacola is cooling down. Hopefully not too much before I get my winter clothes. Last night was pretty cold and rainy! I still am greatly appreciative for all of your support and love. It makes a huge difference when I come in on Monday and I have words of encouragement. I spend an awful lot of time trying to convince myself that I am not a terrible missionary or companion. It's okay, I am working on that.
Monday: "A Whole Family??!" We met Stan and Tish. They happen to be the parents of this super awesome woman we met on Sunday who was visiting. They are also the parents of a less active we have been visiting, as well as the grandparents of two other less active people we can visit. I feel that the Lord has handed us this whole family for a reason. I couldn't tell you what that reason is yet, but eventually we will find out.
Tuesday: "Family" We were volunteering at the Genealogy center at PSC and I had time to work on my own family history. (I also helped someone, it was great!) I ended up finding a line of my family that goes all the way back to Switzerland in the 1600's. I couldn't believe it. Then, I found that all of their work was done. I felt a soft prompting at that moment that these people had found me through the missionaries and my friends back home. Their descendants, who are also deceased, are the ones who guided people to me to bring me into the church. I felt so much love and peace at that moment. How cool!?!
Wednesday: "Remember How You Got Here" That title is just for me :) I kind of had a break down this day. It was hard, again. But we worked it out. Then, we saw the Face to Face with the Piano guys at mutual. I flew right back to that first day I came to the Jon Schmidt fireside. Hearing him talk about the church reminded me of that day so clearly. He said a lot of things I needed to hear. I was subtly reminded of HOW I got here. It's weird to say, but I often forget that I am a convert and that I too had to do things to find the truth and convert. I am so grateful for those experiences though.
Thursday: "Better than Yesterday" I like Thursdays, because we get the car back that day. We were able to find little success during the day, but we then had a great lesson with a less active member. She knows that the spirit brought us to her house and that it is time for her to get active in the church again. I respect her so much! Her husband is not a member and her children are not active. This woman has a lot of faith.
Friday: "We Saw People" I am making up titles on the spot now. We visited a lot of people! I am super excited about the amount of investigators we were able to visit. The people we are visiting are really trying to make changes now. I can see it in their eyes and what they say. We also met a potential investigator who is the finacee of a less active member who is the son of the Kanupkes. (Just Sister Kanupke). Have fun with that mess of relations :) She is super cool and curious about temples, being that she is Baptist and knows nothing about Mormons outside what her man tells her. She is also closer to our age. We need that. Too many old people is definitely a thing.
Saturday: "I'm Sick, But There's Nothing Wrong with Me" We had no success in trying to visit people during the day. Sister Wood then told me it's because God wants me to see a doctor. So we finally did, per the mission nurse's request. I don't have strep or flu like my symptons feel, so I am now just trying to get better. Being a sick missionary was one of my worst nightmares. It sucks.
Sunday: "Church was Edifying!" I really loved church yesterday. The talks were fantastic and the Relief Society lesson was super interactive and educational. We taught gospel principles, so take from that what you will. I learned a lot about the spirit world. Those just aren't things you would normally take the time to study other wise.
Hopefully I get better this week. Or soon. The end of the transfer is coming and I have no idea what is going to happen. Sister Wood and I have come up with at least 5 different scenarios. Some of which are incredibly unlikely of course. Oh well! I will just keep working wherever I am!
I hope you all have a great week and stay dry. We will try, but I can't make any promises.
-Sister Peterson


November 2, 2015


Yeah, we had a baptism. I am so excited for Ermilisa to be baptized. She is so happy. Seeing the light in her eyes reminds me of my own baptism, just a year and a half ago. I am so grateful to be on the other side of that experience. I am also so grateful for all the member support she has received. I know that when we leave, she will be taken care of.
Monday: "Soaked" We got so wet on our way to email. It was pouring and we walked. It's because I care for you all that I got soaked to the bone :). I also found out about a difficult experience in my family this week that made it very hard for me to do anything on Pday. My poor companion had to deal with me that whole day.
Tuesday: "Baptism" Ermilisa was baptized!!! I am so happy for her. Seeing her come back from the font, I just felt and saw so much. She is clean. So much of what was dragging her down is gone. One sweet part of that night was when we sang "I Believe in Christ" with the Elders. The spirit was just pulsing through me. I have not felt it that strongly since I was confirmed a member of the church. Ermilisa was just crying. We sang that right before she went to get baptized. It was a perfect day.
Wednesday: "Wow..." It was a good day. The highlight was reading Enos during mutual. The part where he talks about hungering from his soul and later about wanting the same peace for his family really struck me. I too want that for my family. Right before the elders left our apartment from dropping off the car, I remembered that I felt impressed to ask for a blessing. Doing so is really hard for me due to prior experiences. I had already asked for 2 others since I have been here. They gave me a blessing though. It was so very sweet. I heard something in that blessing that gave me the greatest comfort. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood.
Thursday: "Not My Best Day" I was just not the best follower and really struggled with keeping a soft heart in difficult situations. I begged the Lord through prayer to forgive me and take the contention from Sister Wood and I. Our investigators don't deserve the poor missionary I was setting myself to be that day. Thankfully, He did so.
Friday: "We're All on the Same Page" There is a young man serving from the Pensacola Ward in Australia right now. He has almost exactly the same situation as myself in regards to the church and his family. Everything he has told me has sounded just like the things that happened in my life. Even weird details like how he would talk to the first counselor of this ward whenever he needed help with his situation because they were friends. He made some mistakes when he investigated the church with his mom and therefore made the situation more difficult than it should be, like I did. Now, I felt impressed to look into this situation. The bishopric happened to also be thinking about him every time they prayed. This is not happenstance. I learned a lot from a member of the bishopric this week about the situation. Sister Wood and I really feel like we need to go there and visit his mom. I can't believe I might have the opportunity to do for someone else what I wish someone could do for my family. This is amazing.
Saturday: "Holidays: Not a Missionary's Friend". When we planned this day, it seemed perfect, flawless! Then we got out, and no one was home. I mean no one. Dang. That was hard. We did all we could though, so at the end of the day, Sister Wood and I did not let ourselves feel bad. We did our part, the rest is in the Lord's hands.
Sunday: "An Answer to My prayers" we saw Ermilisa get confirmed! Man that was great. She is so excited! That night, we went to visit a couple potential investigators. One we had been thinking about, but dropped, was finally home!!! She is so great! She is almost identical to how Ermilisa started out. We also have a return appointment for Saturday to help set up her Christmas decorations. I am so excited to have new work to do!
That's my week! I appreciate all the emails! Forgive me if I don't get back to all of you, but do know I print and read all the emails! I love you all!
-Sister Peterson
Eating soup and bread at Ermilisa's house on Halloween :)
My whole district on a single couch. That was fun. What a great week.

Baptism Pictures!