January 30, 2017

It's the Final Countdown!

I am by no means trunky, but I just hear that song in the back of my head as I start the last transfer of my mission. It's kind of motivating to realize the amount of time I have left is so little.

This week just felt good. I don't really know what to say about it though! We just were where the Lord needed us when He needed us there. Much of that was taking advantage of opportunities to serve.

We helped one of the elders' investigators move on Saturday and it was so much fun. She was so grateful for what seemed like such little help to us. Those moments are just heavenly. 

I really don't have too much to report from this week though. It was just one of those average missionary weeks. We also don't get to know what happened in the missionary broadcast till tomorrow, because transfers were on last Wednesday. I am so excited for these changes though! Even though I have only six weeks left, they are going to be the best!

Sister Richins and I are having a ball and the work here is ready to move forward. Our members have taken well to the efforts we have made to help them in their missionary work. I am amazed by their willingness to talk to others about the gospel and invite them to learn more.

I can't wait to be a better member missionary! As President Odom (Mobile Stake presidency) said, "Missionary work is the life of the church". It truly is. It is not just for the full-time missionaries. Our job is to invite others to come unto Christ. That means working with those who have already made those covenants to build up the kingdom of God wherever we may be! It is magnificent. 

Sorry, I am really excited today. That's all though! I hope you all have a great week and keep your eyes singled to His glory. 

-Sister Peterson


January 23, 2017

Do You Roll Tide?

This was quite an interesting week! It starts off with Monday, as a pretty normal p-day. We started teaching someone new though! Well, new to us. They have been taught before by missionaries. It's quite a challenge teaching them, because they are very knowledgeable of the scriptures. That's not a bad thing, but often people down here believe that what they know about the scriptures is the only way they can be interpreted. But, they really want to understand why we claim what we do. I am excited!

Tuesday we went to the pier at eight, and we met Jesse. We really were interested in this guy that pulled a giant redfish out of the water, so that was distracting. We taught Jesse the entire restoration, and gave him a Book of Mormon, but he did not want to give us any of his contact information. The struggle continues. 

I got to take another stab at quilting this week, so that was nice. We had a productive Friday and Saturday though! We did tons of service this week. Jhemerial also met us at the library and we had a freezing lesson on fasting. She is such a solid investigator, but just can't get away from family obligations to come to church. 

On Saturday, we made some more headway on our finding efforts and tried an area we don't frequent. Found out that even more people have moved, and that the elder's investigator, Chad, lives in our area at the same trailer as a less active on the rolls. I don't think she lives there anymore. I trudged through some gross mud to get to his house, and he was so excited to see us! That night we had a super fun meal with the Amare family, and pranked some of our members from their house! One was our Bishop. He thinks it is the Stake President that pranked him, so we are pretty excited to see this one play out. 

Yesterday was a great day! We had church, and most of the topics were about Jesus Christ, which is becoming my focus for my last transfer. I am really trying to take on Sister Smith's commitment to me, and develop greater discipleship in my last six weeks. When we got home from lunch, we heard this loud noise and realized that it was coming from the bay. We walked down to see the waves that are represented in pictures to come. It. was awesome. That night, we had the treat of going to visit a Pentecostal church. I don't know how much y'all know about them, but it was quite the experience. It was your classic, southern man at the front preaching in kind of a singing voice. They went on and on about the day of Pentecost, quoting Acts 2 like crazy. Then they did what is called an altar call, and the real show started. They started being baptized by the Holy Ghost as they would say. Lots of speaking in tongues, people falling down. It was weird. It was not the best feeling being there, but I really am glad I was able to learn more about their church. 

Today we had a great p-day, visiting the battleship in Mobile.  
I love you all and am so grateful to spend these last 6 weeks serving the Lord. I can't wait to see you all though! By the way, I found out yesterday that my companion and I will be spending a third transfer here in the Fairhope area of the Daphne ward. 
Till next week!
Have a great week!!!!

-Sister Peterson
Daphne pier


River Park we went to.
Sister Richins had to go to the bathroom, and we were in the middle of nowhere,
so this is what she got...

The Bay!!

These are from the Battleship


January 16, 2017

This week was pretty average. But there was some good stuff :)

Monday we had a zone pday, hence why I didn't write as much. I had my interview with President Smith that day as well. I always love seeing him and Sister Smith. I really have grown close to them since they have been here. That night, though, we started our exchanges with the STL's in our area. We went to a less active family for dinner. We just started working with the Franks too, and they are awesome! I had king cake for the first time and it was fun. My comp got the baby. (If you don't know what king cake is, it is a classic southern mardi gras thing). 

Tuesday, Sister Masiasomua (Pronounced Mas-ee-as-ih-moo-a), and I went to work. There was lots of finding involved. I met someone who was atheist though, which NEVER happens in the South. It reminded me of what I was like before I was a member of the church. Boy am I so glad that I have the gospel. You can feel the difference in the spirit. 

Wednesday was awesome. We found service opportunities, then we went to a chinese buffet with some awesome members and the elders. It was actually a good buffet, which never happens down here!!! Then I felt impressed to try to find our investigator at the library. She hadn't responded to our texts or calls, so why not peruse her stomping grounds? She was there, we found out that her phone was off, and then proceeded to have a super sweet lesson! The rest of the day was also pretty great. 

On Thursday we met with the elders and worked on the ward mission plan. I just am so converted to member missionary work. Our efforts mean almost nothing without member help/involvement. We felt really good about the plan and then presented it to our ward mission leader on Saturday. The rest of Thursday was service for various people. We dried in someone's shed. I love doing handy work like that!! 

Friday was a well planned and productive day. We did lots of service again, per our mission president's/the Lord's request. We also had a great lesson with Jhe'merial where we learned more about her concerns. She is such a solid investigator though. She reminds me so much of myself as an investigator. 

Saturday was a classic Loxley day. We love our little town of Loxley. We also met with the Brooks for a while. It has been great learning about them. The dad goes on active duty for a year in a couple weeks and he's going to Bahrain. It's nice, because I relate from my experiences. 

Yesterday we were at church from eight to six thirty. We had meetings, and since we live twenty minutes away, we chose to do our studies at the church. We got to attend the stake training for the new self reliance program though!!! This program is amazing. I am so grateful for it. I want to attend it when I get home! We are really excited to roll this out in the Daphne ward. That night we went to Doug and Linda's for dinner. It was great. We love them so much :)

That's about it for the week. I will share a thought though. During church yesterday, the phrase "anxiously engaged in a good cause" was mentioned. I have pondered this a lot on my mission, and it just hit me during that talk. Lately, I have been struggling to know that I have done well on my mission. But, to be anxiously engaged is to be so invested in the work that your whole soul is absorbed in it. That's the only way I can describe it. It is a feeling that really cannot be described. I have realized that I have been anxiously engaged my entire mission though, and therefore am a successful missionary. This may also be very applicable to everyday life, and I encourage you to ask God if your life is in accordance with His will. I know you will be blessed by having that interview with Him. I have been. 

-Sister Peterson

These are all from Sister Richins' birthday. Sorry, I didn't get her SD yesterday.

 Elders all piled up on the couch at Doug and Linda's
 Classic, Southern spelling error :) "Untill" 
 Pier pictures :)
Elder Johnson in the window
 Where everyone now thinks I am from...Arlington, WA really doesn't exist...
 My plan is on my portal now... ewww
 #Mormon Surveys hahaha
 Straight hair :)


January 9, 2017


So, this week was really cold... Like, the wind chill was down to 10 degrees or less at times. I have never seen it this cold down here. That coupled with many dropped appointments created an interesting week. Sister Richins and I have definitely been challenged to work as hard as we can. 
I have seen the Lord bless us so much. We have done our best to contact anyone who is on the roster in our part of the ward. We met several families with great potential! I am super excited to teach the ones we were able to set appointments with this week.
On Monday we had a super crazy storm warning, so we watched all the lightning from the window as we emailed.
Tuesday I had tons of fun at our district meeting. Seriously, God has blessed me with funny people in the mission. That night, I prepared to celebrate my companion's birthday by blowing up 25 balloons that I had the elders buy for me and setting up decorations of other forms. So, the next morning, Sister Richins woke up to her bathroom full of balloons. It was great. 
Her birthday was sooo fun. The highlight was when we went to Hibachi for dinner. It was soooo fun. Neither of us had been before, and since it was her birthday, many jokes were made. The cook kept saying "Happy Your Birthday!" That has been a theme in our daily conversations all week. 
Funny moment of the week was definitley when we were trying this less active member and she was walking towards the door while we were standing in front of it. She was on a phone on speaker, so we heard it get closer to the door, and then get further away. Problem is, we figured we would just stand there and listen for a while. She kept moving around and would get closer and further every little bit. So sneaky ;)
Then there are days like Friday, where everything falls through. I loved yesterday though. Church was just so refreshing. I love fasting and getting to feel the spirit in an even greater abundance. We had dinner with 6 other missionaries and our recent convert, Doug and Linda. 
Today though, I was studying "The Character of Christ", by Elder Bednar. Right now I am trying to focus on turning outward to help me with the fear of going home so soon. This talk is just such a good foundation for how we can become more like Jesus Christ and how we can learn of Him. I am so excited to work on this again. 
Sorry, I am super distracted because my entire zone is here right now. I will write a better email next week! I love you all and am grateful for all that you do to serve those around you. 

-Sister Peterson


January 2, 2017

Well, this week was more of a grind than normal. Since everyone was still celebrating the holidays, not too many people wanted two Mormon girls in their house. Most of the week we tried less actives we didn't know and did some tracting.

On Monday, right before we ended our Pday, I felt very impressed to ask the elders for a blessing. That blessing was full of power and helped me realize that I need to work on some things.

Tuesday we had a lesson, but not much else happened. I had made a goal this week to knock a certain amount of doors a day, because I really can't stand doing it. So, we did and it was a great experience! It was awesome!

Wednesday we went with Linda to Loxley, like all day. That was pretty productive. We ate lunch with this less active member who is from Brasil. She is a convert at 18, like me. She served a mission down there, and is now married to a non member who doesn't quite believe in God. It was really cool helping her with some concerns over her husband and sharing the gospel. I know how much she must want to be sealed to her family. That night, we ended up not having a real dinner hour, so we ate our snacks at the church and helped the elders plan a lesson they were working on.
Thursday we got to meet with Maxine! We met her at our family history workshop and she is sincerely interested in our faith. We went to her home and she is what we call a Southern Debutante. She lives in a high class area (which is really all of our area). We toured her home full of beautiful Christmas decorations and lots of fancy family antiques. Then we sat down with fancy treats and got to know her. Sister Richins and I love her and can't wait to teach her more!
Friday I received the tender mercy of seeing a lot of Asian people at Burger King. This may seem silly to some, but living in the south, I rarely see Asians. They are a staple in the Northwest, so I felt very at home for a moment. The rest of the day was filled with trying to find people and helping our friend, Sister Giles, take down her Christmas decorations.
Saturday, we decided to take advantage of the 150 extra miles we had and find less actives in our more rural area. We drove around all day, realizing that most of these people either moved or don't want contact with the church. It was also New Year's Eve, and the day of the Alabama bowl game. Though somewhat hopeless, we pressed forward until our early curfew for the night. Sister Richins and I proceeded to watch church movies, eat snacks, and do a puzzle. We even went to bed on time. A good time was had by all.

On Sunday, we had a low attendance for sacrament meeting, but we were very surprised to see that Brother Brooks and his son had come. I have never seen them at church before, and we only had just started working with them! 
That afternoon, we had already planned on dropping by, so we went to see them and he let us know that his daughter was starting to get more curious about religion. Neither of his children have been baptized, so we are really excited to teach them and help them find direction in this crazy world.  That night we also met another less active who would love for us to come over. Miracles are occurring in this area! 

We are very excited for this week, being that people are finally going back to normal routines. We have lots of potential to tap into!
-Sister Peterson
New Year's Pics!

A picture my comp took while I was on the phone. 

Fish Mailbox! 
Tiger Leopard Cat! 
New Year's