February 29, 2016

Tornado: The Sequel!!!


February 22, 2016


This week's story could really be told through pictures, but I will still write some stuff.
I didn't really title any of my days either, so bare with me :)
Monday: We did stuff during the day. My stomach still was hurting a bit. We went to dinner with our recent convert, Ashley. After that, she took us to our next lesson. On the way we get a phone call, and Sister Hilton answers it. I looked at her while she was listening to the other end. Her eyes bulged out, which I had never seen. We were told to return home immediately because a tornado had touched down in our stake. We did and just tried to do some organizational stuff. We had no idea till the next morning that a tornado touched down a mile away from our house. I am so thankful that we were okay. We also were called to go and help in Century and Flomaton where there was a lot more damage.
Tuesday: I begged God to heal me so that I could go help people. I love doing hard labor and being outside. He did heal me. We crammed our whole district into our senior couple's suburban and drove up to help. It was amazing. We helped total strangers, even non members. I hope I never end up in a tornado!
Wednesday: Sister Hilton made me rest from being sick for a whole week. I don't like to do it, but it helped a lot. She's the bomb :)
Thursday: We volunteered at the bishop's storehouse again. I am loving working with our new members as well as helping our people. A lot of our less actives and other members need help from the bishop's store house. They are so humble and sweet. They are actually the ones who try to feed us the most. It is amazing how you can want to give so much when you have so much less than those around you. Amanda is one of those that I am very close to. Ironically, we have the same name :). She just keeps trying to give when she has almost nothing. She took us home with her and we had a lesson afterwards. Her baby son started crying when she dropped us off at home! I love those kids!
Friday: We worked! This is like the first day this week I feel like we actually went out and had lessons all day. It felt good. We picked up a new investigator! I feel so much of God's love for her. Though she doesn't see herself converting, I know that she can feel the power of the spirit and that it will work through her. She has the desire to learn and change and that's all she needs.
Saturday: We went up to Century to help with tornado relief all day. We had Ashley take us. It was awesome being up there. We helped completely random people that day. We even got done earlier than we thought we would. I also had a chance to sit down and have a real heart to heart with Ashley. Satan loves to work on recent converts. She is going through a hard time, but I know she is strong enough to handle it.
Sunday: Church was awesome. I really learned a lot. We also had a lot of changes in the ward leadership. I can't wait for ward council next week! It will be so much more effective! After all that, we had a powerful lesson with Jonathan. I have never born my testimony with that much passion in my life. He is going back to Ghana for two weeks, but he said that he will come back with a decision on baptism. He knows the church is true, but he wants to know that this is what God wants him to do. I just know he can receive the right answer through prayer. He is so in tune with the spirit.
That's this week. I am doing a lot better than I was. My goal is to become worthy of being an example to others. I have a lot of work to do, but I want to become a better missionary and disciple of Jesus Christ. Line upon line, precept upon precept, this will become possible. Love you all! Have a great week!
-Sister Peterson

PS: I saved a cat in a tree yesterday. It was awesome. I like climbing trees. See? I did it!

Saving the cat


February 15, 2016

Encounters with Vampires

Sorry, this email will probably be short. I had no time to write anything down this week!
So, nobody freak out, but I was in the ER twice this week. I have been having some pretty bad abdominal pain and no one can figure out what is wrong with me. I officially cannot stand the ER. It is not my favorite place, not even close. This email title comes from the fact that I have also come to the conclusion that nurses are vampires. I am definitely their favorite victim, because I have 'beautiful' veins. I also made the lady who was driving me around on the hospital bed laugh, because when I am tired and sick, I get pretty sarcastic.
Well, in between hospital visits, I drove almost to Tallahassee, which is about 3.5 hours away. No big deal. So, we didn't get much done this week. Miraculously, we hit one of our lesson goals. Also, this ward has taken such great care of me. Our bishop and his family remind me a lot of my own, and they claim me as one of their own haha. I stayed there a lot this weekend while Sister Hilton went on splits with their 18 year old daughter.
Church was really hard for me yesterday. I could hardly move around, I felt so weak. I received a powerful blessing from the elders. That really helped. Thankfully, all of our people are doing really well. Travis and Taylor are getting married on the 27th!!! I can't wait! Plus it means we get to go to Pensacola Beach... :) White Sand!
Through all of this, I have been reminded of a lesson I learned a couple years ago when I joined the church. These trials are all for our good. Every time we get hit so hard that we don't think we will make it through, God is preparing us to help someone else. He knows that is my greatest desire in life. All I have ever wanted to do is to help others. Through His great atonement, we can overcome all these trials, be made whole, and go and help others to do the same. I pray that you may all feel the atonement work through you life as you employ the gospel of Jesus Christ in your daily actions.
I love you all! Enjoy these super great pictures from the hardest week of my mission so far. I am still smiling :)
-Sister Peterson
The first is of me and the random noodle they leave in my arm at the ER

The second is me with some polar bears on our very very very slow walk home yesterday.
I was one with the polar bears.


February 8, 2016

I forgot to tell you we had a baptism!

​Hey everyone! This week was fantastic! We had a lot of blessings and I learned a ton!!!
Monday: "Does that Count As a Pday?". We were soooo busy. We spent our morning cleaning this lady's apartment - it was gross. But, I felt so much of God's love for her. Then we had a zone activity, playing volleyball. Then we emailed, at six... Then we had a lesson at seven. We got home just before nine. We were super tired...
Tuesday: "The Spirit of Baptism". This day just seemed to be all about baptism! We had a district meeting and talked a bit about it. While we were volunteering at the Genealogy center, I studied for institute tonight, which happened to be a lot about baptism. There was a talk I studied by Robert D. Hales in October of 2000 really hit home with me. That night we had institute and Ashley was there. That lesson was all for her.
Wednesday: "I got a new Trainer". We took Saige, a recentlyish returned missionary, to go contact a ton of referrals. She taught me a lot of things about missionary work that I had never learned before. I dubbed her my new trainer.
Thursday: "Never As You Plan". This day was nothing like we wrote down or planned for. I loved volunteering at the bishop's storehouse. I just felt so much love for the people I helped and was so happy to move stuff around and work hard. After that, we had a surprise lesson with Taylor and Travis. I love those two. Things are going much better for them now that they are trying to live the commandments.
Friday: "Blessed Following PMG". We were really following the guidelines in preach my gospel, and it works. Ashley had her baptismal interview. She was so ready!!! We met a lot of people that were going through some hard times. We also contacted a member referral that day and it was perfect! She is now an investigator and a pretty solid one at that.
Saturday: "A Soul Sister's Baptism". Ashley got baptized! It was awesome. I love her so much. Nothing beats watching someone walk out of the waters of baptism, perfectly clean. I sung with an elder "A Child's Prayer". People really want me to sing every sacrament now.. woops.
Sunday: "Let's Convert Ghana". This title comes from our lesson with Jonathan, who happens to be the pastor for the president in Ghana... This man wants to get baptized in our church. He is seriously considering it. Are we going to convert a whole country? And his church here in Pensacola? Us and our members think so... Also, Church was great. Another investigator is ready to quit smoking and work towards baptism. Things are hopping here! This never happens in Pensacola. Also, I learned a lot about fasting this week. I really feel that my fast has been worth it. Our second counselor said that fasting is for the blessings we could not receive otherwise. That is so true.
I love you all. I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ. He has indeed atoned for all of our sins. He loves each of us dearly and you can know that for yourself by taking the counsel from James 1:5. Love you all! Have a great week and share the gospel!
-Sister Peterson



February 1, 2016

Week or Month? You decide!

This week is insane. I keep asking Sister Hilton if she can believe that we did what we did last Monday. It feels like it was a month ago. It feels like she got here months ago. Where has the time gone? Time is so weird on the mission!!!
I didn't really write in my journal this week (for shame, I know.), so bare with me.
Monday: "Cleaning and New People". We cleaned the apartment. A lot. We also had dinner with a new family from one of the other wards. They are the bomb!!I love em. Plus, they both went to BYU so we all get along pretty well :). After that, we went to help a new young family move into our new area. They are super cool! Also another BYU person. I think we will get along just fine.
Tuesday: "Ready to Redeem" I learned a lot at district meeting. I am ready to change parts of my missionary work. It's pretty hard when you are trained by someone brand new who was trained by someone brand new. Things get lost... I also learned that I am pretty directly related to a family who joined the church in 1910 in Grundy County,Tennesee! They were super active and everything! Who knew?
Wednesday: "I'm Doing Better". Well, I was on exchange with Sister Willes. Her curse came with her. Everytime she goes on an exchange, nothing seems to work out that day. We spent hours trying to see people in our area. We walked a lot. We saw one person though and she was super bold with them. That was exactly what we needed! I learned a lot from her example. I also realized I am not as terrible a missionary as I thought I was.
Thursday: "Keep Working". We did a lot of that. I felt really good about that day. We had solid lessons with Ermilisa and Amanda. I really care for both of them. They are really progressing too!
Friday: "We Tried". Well, we drove a lot that day. I got pulled over by a cop on the freeway because apparently I was going too slow in the left lane. That scared me so much! Thankfully, I was still on time to my doctor's appointment. That afternoon, we drove around trying to see people and it just did not work out. We had a great dinner appointment though!
Saturday: "A Friday Redemption!" We were busy! We had lessons non stop. They were all pretty successful too. I am so grateful for days like this. They keep us going when we start to lose hope.
Sunday: "Non Stop". Truly a non stop day. We had members take us all over the area! What's great, is they really love the people we teach now and want to keep coming. My dream for this area is greater member involvement and it is finally happening!!! I also had coconut curry shrimp, which is probably one of my favorite foods. Good day.
That's the week. I want you all to know that I know that our Savior Jesus Christ does live and that He loves each of us dearly. My challenge to you this week is to pray for and look for opportunities to feel that love He has for others. It is amazing how deep and abiding His love is. Have a great week!
-Sister Peterson
Sister Hilton trying to cool cookies fast enought to take them to an appointment.