March 28, 2016

Feeling Successful

This week just felt good. Yeah, we still had tons of people cancel and plans fall through, but we taught and had lots of great backup plans. Also, Easter was yesterday. :) If you haven't done it yet, you really need to check out the video the church put out about Jesus Christ. You can find it at followhim.mormon.org. I know that as you watch this video, the Spirit will teach you things about your relationship with Jesus Christ that you didn't understand before. We can learn so much from the atonement that our Savior performed for us.

Monday: "What's a Pday?". We keep giving up hours of our pday to see people. Don't ask me why. They just need us. We saw Travis and Taylor again. I did their dishes again and we made them cake :) It was delicious. She just wants to have the baby sooo badly. 
Tuesday: "Progress". It was a normal day, kind of. In district meeting I learned a lot. Our zone leaders came and taught us some very important truths about staying on your mission and staying committed to the work. Our mission has seen a lot of missionaries return home early recently. We helped Ermilisa chop some branches down at her house. I used a little saw that you plug into the house to cut branches. It was awesome!  We also had a fantastic lesson on the atonement in Insitute. I learned so much and just felt the spirit so strongly. I would be nowhere without the atonement. 
Wednesday: "Just Go with It". Everyone canceled. We still had lessons though! Jonathan is back from Ghana and we set an appointment with him! Mutual got moved with nobody telling us... go figure.
Thursday: "Storms Confuse People". This was not a normal Thursday. We saw people we never see. Also, they canceled coordination without telling us. We were there and eventually asked the elders where they were. Apparently nobody felt they should tell us there was a tornado warning. We stayed at the church till our dinner appointment. We also saw the Lott family that night. They are the sweetest young family. Brother Lott actually came into the church around the same time as me. They also came to church for the first time in months this week, but with the intent of continually coming back. 
Friday: "Smile and Wave Boys". The day started rough, but then we had set appointments; a missionary's dream! Those went well. We then had someone cancel on us, so we tried to contact some referrals. We had this Book of Mormon referral that we called. They live in the scary part of the ghetto, and tried before but the spirit screamed at me to not go. When we called, she said just knock on the door of the sanctuary and someone will lead you in. We do this and a guy who looks homeless answers the door. When we walk in, there are beds and things everywhere. The people there were in need of a place to stay it would appear. There was just a weird spirit there. Sister Hilton was thoroughly freaked out. I just thought it was cool that they were helping people :) We then decide to get krispy kreme on our way to another referral. We never go that far south, so it's a treat. A member from another ward spots us there and buys our doughnuts!!! Sweet :)
Saturday: "Answers to Prayers". That morning we had a super fun Easter activity with the kids. The kids in our ward are so fun to play with. I am like a big 5 year old sometimes hahah. The rest of the day went well. We had the Women's Broadcast that night. I was reminded of the feelings I had at the time of my conversion while we were watching it. That brought me a lot of comfort. I received a lot of answers to prayers that night. I do greatly suggest that you all go into General Conference this weekend with a question or two. You will get an answer. I know it. 
Sunday: "Easter". Church was... weird. Oh well :) We had a great dinner with a young couple in the ward. I love them! All of our appoinments canceled, but we had backups, so it's okay :) 
Have a great week everyone and remember the Savior! As you do so, you will have the Spirit to be with you! That's a promise from the Lord :)
-Sister Peterson
How I park when I don't want to back
The pills for my strep
Happy Easter :)


March 21, 2016

Strep + Zone Conference!

Most of this week was spent with me overcoming my strep. That was a hoot!! I will let the week tell you all about it.

Monday: "Too Busy to Sleep". We set goals every day as missionaries, and we actually made up a goal for how many hours we were hoping I would get to sleep. The goal was three, but I only got 2.5. Not bad though! Biking to the library was hard, but not impossible. We also had a zone activity that day though. We were playing kickball. I couldn't help but play a little. Then we were busy all night with appointments. I definitely could not wait to sleep that night. 
Tuesday: "Back to the Doctor". When I woke up, I felt terrible. My mission nurse told me to go back to urgent care because they gave me a pretty weak antibiotic. We canceled everything for the day and had a member take us to the urgent care. I got a waaay stronger medicine. Then I slept, then we had dinner and institute. We had to go to that because Ashley would be there and we have had poor contact with her. Turns out, it is because she is completely questioning her testimony and God's love, and has been having problems with the word of wisdom. We are very concerned about her. 
Wednesday: "Zone Conference!!" I love Zone Conference. We had President Smith and the gang come to give us a training all day. Though I was battling some serious strep the whole time, I got so much out of it! I learned about inviting people to baptism, teaching repentance, and worked directly with president to help us overcome one of our investigator's problems with setting a date for baptism. It was great. I am praying that I may be able to apply all that I learned in the field. It's one thing to know, it's another to do. I loved seeing everyone though. Seeing Pres and Sister Smith makes everything so much better. That night we went to eat with a member, then went on a surprise visit to Taylor and Travis. Taylor is the one I had the role play with President about. We tried to find her struggles with baptism and found that she didn't even know for sure about the church. It turns out that I and others had her convinced that when she knew, she would have this great and overwhelming feeling about it. I asked Sister Hilton to share how she gained her testimony to show that we can gain one through smaller and more subtle means. We comitted them to focus more on reading the Book of Mormon. We had overlooked that in our teaching, so hopefully now she will have the perfect opportunity to gain a testimony. 
Thursday: "Just Go Back to Sleep". We had plans. But then I couldn't really do anything. This day was the worst for my strep. I just laid in bed all day. We did do stuff from 4 to 9 though. One of those things being seeing the Lotts! They are a younger less active family who just had a baby! They are pretty hard to get with, so I was so excited to see them! We had a great lesson and they comitted to have family prayer, something they had already wanted to do. It really was like the perfect lesson.
Friday: "We Did It Anyways" Though I was still struggling, we went to an appointment and they weren't there. This was at 10:30am. I promptly fell back asleep when we came back. We went out later at 3. We kept teaching and then even got randomly fed dinner! We just kept trying to work.
Saturday: "You're Not Here" That is just a funny quote from when we went to heart attack Ermilisa's door. She got in late the night before and wasn't feeling well. She opened the door half awake to tell us she wasn't feeling well, so Sister Hilton said "Shh, go back to bed, you aren't here". We then proceeded to cover the door :) The rest of the day was normal. It was hard to work, but we did it! We also found ourselves in the hardcore ghetto to deliver a referral's bible. We couldn't do it. The spirit was just screaming at me that this was not a good place to be. (In the most kindest, spirit like way). 
Sunday: "Progress" We had an amazing Ward Council. They really focused on people, which is what you are supposed to do. Ashley came to church, thank goodness. She is doing better, but I am not sure how much so. We had a great lesson with Travis and Taylor. The elders came to give them both blessings. She is a week to her due date, but she wants the baby to come so badly. It's been really hard on her. I love those two so much!!! 
Okay, Enjoy some of the pictures. I am out of time sadly. 
-Sister Peterson
That mail sign by the way, was in the super scary ghetto area.



March 14, 2016


Well, this week was pretty basic. To nobody's surprise, the wonderful state of Florida has made me sick again! This time is almost  as bad as when I had food poisoning, but I am still able to walk around and pretend that I am feeling fine.
Monday: "Burn!" It was a pleasant and normal pday. We had a car, which is nice. I bought a super cute skirt for super cheap. Yay! Dinner canceled though, which is good because as I was trying my hand at making French bread, an accident occurred. I was heating water in the microwave for the yeast, but I was too good at it! It was really hot and I grabbed the mug with my bare hands, giving myself a second degree burn. It hurt. We went to walmart a lot that night to find something to give me relief. Thank goodness for the mission nurse. I proceeded to be a baby and plan with my companion for the week.
Tuesday: "The Real National Pancake Day" So it was a normal Tuesday, then we went and got free pancakes with Taylor and Travis!!! It was sweet, because Taylor told us that Travis had found her texts to us about baptism and he just started crying. He has definitely been so happy since he found out. This is going to bless their relationship and future family so much. Then, I went to Milton with my bff Sister Brown :)
Wednesday: "Miltown!" I learned so much over there with her. That girl and I have been companions for over a week's worth of time now. But, yet, I still learn so much from her. This might be our last exchange though, as she leaves next transfer, and I very well may be transferred on April 6th.
Thursday: "Rain, Sick, Work". I started to feel icky this day. Not too bad though. We did service for Sister Morales and had delicious seafood gumbo. There is so much raking to be done in the state of Florida. It is ridiculous, but I love raking, so no problem! We also had delicious home made pizza for dinner. We saw Sister Robertson, and she is doing just fantastic. I am still amazed at how I was able to pick her name on a map by the spirit and see her progress so far from the first day we met her. She comes to church every week, goes to activities, and even has us over for dinner with her nonmember husband. Things are going well.
Friday: "A little more sick". We ended up staying in until 3. Then we went on an exchange with Joanna so I wouldn't have to teach while feeling so gross. Dinner with Sister Adams was good though. It had been a while (two months) since we had been there. She is moving though! I keep saying, "as long as I leave first, I don't care!". Then Sister Willes came for a trio exchange.
Saturday: "Even more sick". I thought I would be okay, that maybe the illness was just passing. Well, I was wrong. During the relief society birthday brunch, I started to not feel so good. I was just so tired. So, we tried a person that we had a lesson with afterwards and she was gone. We tried another and I eventually prayed and decided I needed to stay with a member and let them go teach. There was no way I would have made it through the day. I stayed at the Freemans, and then went to the clinic with Sister Freeman. It turns out I have strep and a sinus infection. We then went to go get medicine and she bought me some soup :) She is such a good nurse too, so she knew exactly what else to get to help me get over all the sinus problems. I stayed there all day! Then, I met up with my companion and the elders gave me a really great blessing. I know God is just trying my faith now that I am set on doing better and not letting things keep me down. I know I must rest, but I won't let my spirit rest.
Sunday: "Did I mention I was still sick?" I went to church, careful to not spread germs. We came home and I just crashed while Sister Hilton did whatever it is she does. She's always working. We then went to the dog park with Taylor and Travis and had a great lesson on the word of wisdom. We committed them to some steps towards quitting smoking. We had a great time at dinner at the Nichols' house that night. It was a room full of BYU alumni. You don't find that too often down here. After that, it was back to planning while I lay in bed.
I am still not feeling well, but it will pass. Just no one tell on me for biking to write these emails. We had no other way of getting here! I love you all! So does your Heavenly Father. One spiritual thing I have learned just this last day, is that no matter the circumstance, we should still be doing our daily prayers and scripture study. I managed even just one verse of the Book of Mormon yesterday and it made all the difference. Have a great week!
-Sister Peterson


March 7, 2016

Overcoming Fears

Oh man, this week was awesome. Really just the latter half, but hey, I got to bike a lot, so no complaints.
Monday: "Ermilisa?!" We actually saw her!!! She was in town for a little bit. Her husband is basically dying out in New Orleans, long story. But we had a lesson and started painting her kitchen. We love painting. Good day.
Tuesday: "Stuff.." It was normal, we saw Ermilisa again!!! Yay! More painting. I got crazy and just started sanding tons of walls and painting. We got a lot done and she is very happy about it. Institute was the bomb too. I bore a testimony of difficulties I have been facing on my mission. People really liked it!
Wednesday: "More Biking!" I love biking. Not as much in a skirt, but it's okay, I am getting better at it. We tried to see people, tried to mow someone's lawn, but her lawn mower didn't work. We tried a member around the corner, but they happened to have been on their way home when we went over. Oh well! Later we went and saw said member. They committed to come to church on Sunday!!!! That is so awesome! (They did actually come to church!) I have been teaching them my whole mission, so that brought so much joy to my life.
Thursday: "Not National Pancake Day". After volunteering, we went to go get free pancakes with Taylor and Travis, except, they read it wrong. National Pancake day is tomorrow. Not the 3rd. You all better go get yourselves some free pancakes tomorrow. We saw Amanda and had a great lesson with her. Same with Sister Robertson. I love her! Her non-member husband made us some delicious spinach pie! He is really warming up to us weird Mormon girls!!!
Friday: "An Eventful Day". Well, it started out with lunch. I was minding my own business when I go to the bathroom and low and behold, there is a cockroach on the wall. A big one. After making girly noises, I got my more macho companion to come and kill it. We didn't know how though, and didn't want it turning on us. We called the elders. Our district leader finally answered and gave us the wise counsel of "Hit it and run!". We had other concerns, but after resolving them, we stayed on the line while Sister Hilton got on a chair with a shoe to hit it. I hid behind the bedroom door in case it was a palmetto bug. Those fly and bite. She hit it, thinking she had killed it. It was on the counter, but not quite dead. She proceeded to hit seven more times. We disposed of said cockroach in the dumpster, ending the story.
That afternoon, I overcame a large fear of tracting! It went well! Then, that night, another big hurdle! I invited someone to baptism for the first time on my mission! He said yes, and is going to try!
Saturday: "Just Sit and Listen" We did a lot of that. Ashley took us places while we taught the plan of salvation. That went well. Sister Knight talked forever, but it's okay, next week we are going there for dinner! (She is a great, authentic southern cook). That night we got caught in the middle of a huge fight between a baby daddy and his two baby mamas. It was pretty crazy. I don't think my companion has seen something like that.. It's okay though, because if he hadn't been there, things would have gotten physical. Missionaries to the rescue!!! We had dinner with the Freemans, my adopted family. They invited a nonmember! It was great!!!
Sunday: "Oh the Joy". Church was alright. The testimonies born really struck me. The spirit was powerful. Sadly, Taylor and Travis weren't there. She was having contractions and bad back pain. Don't worry, baby hasn't come yet! We went there after church and spent way longer than we should have, but it's okay. We needed to. We ended up teaching them all while eating cupcakes that we made for them. We went over the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the intention to invite her to baptism. She started talking about all of her concerns while we were there. She had already overcome them though...? We then invited her to pray about the date we had thought of. Travis was to become worthy of the priesthood by April 16th. That day, she texted us telling us that she actually had been praying and did want to be baptized, just we weren't supposed to tell Travis. He would get too crazy about it. She wants to quit smoking before the baby is born and be baptized when all her family is down here for the baby!!! How exciting??? That made my day. Two people I invited to baptism. I can't believe it.
The trick to overcoming my fear, was to pray in advance about a day. That seems obvious. When you do that, you know that God knows they can be ready by that day. It doesn't matter where they are now, because God has told us they can be ready. What a miracle. I am so grateful for this week and the many things I have learned! Thank you all for reading! Have a blessed week :)
-Sister Peterson