Monday, April 14, 2014

2 Weeks of Letters "He Is Risen"

Letter from April 7th - "High on the Mountain Top"

Surprise! My p-day got switched to monday this transfer :)
I feel such deep gratitude today to be on a mission. After hearing the words of the prophets, and to feel the spirit witness to me that they truly are men of God, i feel so humbled to be a member of the church! What a blessing the gospel is!
I could probably type for hours on all that i learned from conference. It was so awesome, man alive. Better than Christmas day. I was totally uplifted and strengthened by every speaker, and i was able to receive many answers to the "inspired questions" i brought to conference. I will just give you a little recap of some of the things i loved:
Elder Holland. He is the man. I absolutely loved his powerful testimony about "defending the faith". It hit me so hard while listening to him speak that we are LITERALLY in the last days, and that the Savior's second coming is SO close! AH! i want to do everything possible to strengthen my testimony so that i can be ready for that glorious day.
Sister Reeves. I love her. It was honestly the most bold talk of the whole conference. Talk about representing the women of the church so perfectly. She spoke with power and authority, yet complete love and kindness. I LOVED her insights on how to protect the family, and how the greatest way we can provide "filters" for our family is through daily scripture study and prayer, and weekly family home evening. Being out here it is so evident the families that are doing that, and those that arent. I am going to be one that does.. and i am so grateful for such wonderful examples of parents and grandparents who have instilled that in me as well. It is really the only way that we will be protected in the upcoming years.
Which reminds me - so many similar themes this conference : Helaman 5:12, Being a disciple of Christ, replacing Fear with Faith, and having complete Love/Kindness towards everyone.
Elder Hales. Obedience. I loved everything he talked about, and have found that obedience TRULY is the way that we show our love to our Heavenly Father, and also how we avoid the pain and sorrow of the world. Definitely will be reading his talk again.
.... there are SO many other things i loved. I cannot wait to get the Ensign and read the talks again. I know that the words spoken this weekend are scripture, and we need to study them.
Conference provided so many miracles in our area as well - Our investigators Sharon, Lena, Diamond, and Charlie all watched it at the Trail Center with us, along with some less actives, Rochelle, Tamara, and Jessica. It was so awesome to see them enjoy conference, and have the faith to come even with the adversary pulling them the other way! There was also an amazing miracle as the internet on Saturday was super spotty, and so we eventually just had to all listen to it without watching. I was nervous that the spirit would be limited and our investigators would be upset about it, but it was exactly the opposite. they all loved every word. What a miracle. On Sunday we prayed super hard and did everything we could to fix the internet, and it was able to play conference without a glitch. The Lord is so good to us.
On Sunday morning we were on shift at the Trail Center, so i missed most of that session of Conference. Luckily we had investigators there to watch it, so i knew they could enjoy it even if i couldnt watch it. But, the coolest miracle happened. A tour came in while i was sitting up, and it was 3 couples who were all non-members. They have been to almost all the church history sites, and for "some reason" have a great pull towards the mormon pioneer history! I was able to take them on tour, and the spirit was so strong in testifying to them of the faith of the pioneers. They asked so many awesome questions, and they left with copies of the Book of Mormon committed to reading them. I know the Lord blessed me because of my "sacrifice" for missing conference. It was just a greater blessing added to me for the day to take them on tour.
This week we had an amazing experience with one of our investigators, Kendra. She is so cool, i wish you all could meet her. She not only cracks me up, but she also has so much faith in her Savior. It seems like every single time we call her or visit her, it is a direct answer to her prayer. On Saturday when we visited her she had been having a terrible week, and was in an awful depression. We were able to lighten her mood, and help her feel the spirit. She said the most beautiful prayer, blessing us and thanking her Heavenly Father for all the many blessings she has. It was a moment that i will never forget, and sister Brough and i both left her house weeping. It is moments like those that make me want to be a missionary forever. She is so humble, and i know that the Lord is so aware of her. i love her so much, and love seeing her continue to progress in the gospel.
Last week on exchanges sister Barton and i had met a girl outside named Diamond. We brought our less active/returning member Jessica to our return appointment with Diamond, and it was the COOLEST team up we have ever had. Jessica was able to relate TOTALLY to Diamond, and it made me want to cry hearing this less active member bear humble, yet powerful testimony of the blessings that have come into her life by being a member of the church. Jessica, and Diamond, are both excited to continue meeting together, and it is the greatest miracle. I know that the Lord has been preparing Diamond to hear this message, and that He also had been preparing Jessica so she can have this opportunity to strengthen her testimony.
We met two new awesome investigators on Saturday, Summer and Sierra. i am stoked to meet with them tonight. They are a mother and daughter, and actually approached US while we were getting into our car after trying a potential. Love it when that happens. ha. Pray that is goes well!
We also have this new family we are working with, Angelo and Danielle and their two babies. It was so cool because we were standing on their porch this week, when some sketchy things were going on across the street. the spirit instantly warned us to pray and to get inside. I prayed and knocked another time on their door. Whereas Danielle has never let us in before, this time as she opened the door she said "you know, it seems kind of cold out there, want to come in?" we basically hopped inside and shut the door ha, but it was a total answer to prayer and i know the Lord protected us. They are a darling little family, and we are also meeting with them again tonight.
We were able to see some former investigators Penny and her daughter Diamond (different one). We had a great lesson with them yesterday, and were able to set them for baptism on May 3rd. Pray that all goes well!!

So many miracles. I am so thankful to witness the Lord's hand working in the lives of so many of these people. it is the greatest honor and privilege i have ever had.
This week being transfers made it pretty busy for sister Brough and i, making the trail center schedule and figuring out the car schedules. We are down to 12 companionships at the Trail Center, which means more shifts and a little trickier to figure out scheduling. But, the Lord's hand guided us the entire time. By the end of figuring out the first 3 weeks of the transfer, we really thought we had created "the perfect schedule". ha come to find out we had made a few mistakes, but i know that the Lord really did help us figure out the sudoku puzzle so our stress level could be at a minimum. He blesses us so much, it is so overwhelmingly wonderful.

i know that this truly is the Lord's church. I know that we are not far away from the Savior's return, and it is up to us to do all we can to prepare. I love my Savior, and know that He lives.

love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Peterson

Letter from April 14th "He is Risen"

Hello from the Trail Center!

The recently green-ed grass is now covered in snow, as it was 80 degrees this weekend, and then snowed last night! I still havent gotten used to Nebraska's temperamental weather.. ha. it always keeps things exciting!

The theme of the week is definitely REVELATORY. It has been a jam-packed week of spiritual goodness. I never get sick of feeling the spirit! This week we had interviews with President Weston, Mission Leadership Council, and then an incredible Trail Center Training on Saturday given by President and Sister Weston. After watching General Conference last week i dont know if my brain can hold any more revelation!! just kidding. but seriously, it has been a wonderfully inspiring week.

Here are 3 things that i have learned this week through these various meetings:

1. As women, we need to understand what the priesthood is so that we can teach our children. If our children fully understand this sacred power, they will understand covenants and the Lord's hand in their lives. With all the madness of "women in the priesthood", it is critical that as women we fully understand how the priesthood works and why it is so important, and WHY it is given to men. Studying Dallin H. Oaks talk from the Priesthood session has been one of the most enlightening talks i have ever read. 

2. Miracles are never wrought without prayer and faith. Miracles are part of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if miracles cease, it is because of lack of faith. When we pray with faith, then work with faith, then pray again with faith, then work some more with faith, we are BOUND to witness miracles.

3. President Weston is an inspired man. Ha. In my interview with him, it was the most revelatory experience i have ever had. i found my mind going off into a whole other world while he was still talking to me. I had an incredibly sacred experience while meeting with him, where in answer to my prayers and thoughts, he literally recited a line out of my patriarchal blessing. it was amazing, and i know that the Lord is extremely aware of me and also aware of all of us. 

Those are maybe 3 of 1000 things i learned this week.. i am so grateful for the spirit! Man alive. We are so blessed to be able to communicate with our Father in Heaven because of our Savior, and receive direct answers to our prayers through the spirit. What a great gift!

This last weekend was so wonderful. Sister Brough and i were able to attend Devin's baptism, the boy that we started teaching (who was called out to on the street to come take a tour at the Trail center) and then turned over to the single's ward elders. It was so amazing, and the spirit was so strong. We sang "I need thee every hour" at the baptism, and then also were called upon to teach the Restoration while Devin was changing. While being at his baptism it just was so apparent to me that this is the Lord's work. Even though it was a miraculous event that we met Devin, and even though we started teaching him and had very spiritual experiences with him, it was ALL the Lord that led Devin to be baptized. And i know Devin will be a great leader in the church because of it. It was a beautiful day.

Sunday was awesome, as our investigator Deanna and her 3 children came to church! The two oldest, Vanessa and Alex, along with Deanna are all set for baptism on May 17th. They are darling, and SO loving and friendly. The three hours of church was long for them, ha but i know that they had a good experience. They are progressing, and i love teaching a family. It is so fun and such a great blessing.

We had the COOLEST miracle last week on monday. We had a return appointment with our investigators Sierra and Summer, which we were looking forward to all day. At around 5 oclock we got a call from a member in our ward, Sister Larson, who said that she and her daughter, Kelsey, wanted to come out with us that night! It was TOTALLY a miracle, as Sierra and Summer are a mother and daughter, and Kelsey and Sierra are the exact same age. We were stoked. So, we drive over to Sierra's at 7 for our appointment, and we saw her and her mom leaving the house. Our hearts dropped, and we were super disappointed. The Larson's live 30 minutes away, and so we both had a pit in our stomach that they would be driving all that way to have a cancelled appointment. BUT. we didn't give up faith! We prayed for a miracle, and then started texting and calling other investigators that we could come visit. As the Larson's pulled up, we went over to them to tell them the situation, and right as we did so we noticed that a man walked outside of Sierra's house. We bolted over there to start talking to him, and came to find out he was the dad of Sierra. We talked to him for a while outside, and eventually he looked at us shivering and invited us in! (which was a miracle we had forgotten our coats that day!) We were able to have an awesome lesson with him, and "soften him up", as right before we were about to leave, Sierra and Summer walked through the door! We were able to then teach THEM and Sierra and Kelsey hit it off. When we asked Sierra if she would pray about the things we talked about her response was "I think i already know what God is going to say... He is going to say that they are true". ha it was so awesome, and such a tender mercy from the Lord!

This next week we are having a man named Jason Mitchell come from Salt Lake to train us at the Visitor's Center! I am so excited! He came last year, and his training was awesome. I am sure i will tell you all about it next week :)

At Mission Leadership Council, Elder and Sister Cleverly gave an awesome training about the Trail Center and the blessing and tool it can be for missionary work! They bore powerful testimony of our call as trail center missionaries, and how we should be using it more effectively. They talked about having Elders who are bringing people in to call ahead for tours, and letting the sister who will be taking the tour know a commitment that they want extended. Well, the day after the council i was sitting in the "up" chair when and Elder tour came in. They had called ahead, and so i was prepared to take a tour based on receiving revelation through prayer, which was per request. It was one of the best tours i have ever taken. It wasnt a tour at all, but it was a lesson where the spirit could teach the investigator. The Elders contributed, the message was powerful, and i know that conversion happened within all of us. I am so grateful for inspired leaders, and once again, for the spirit. I also have such a strong testimony of the power of preparation. The Lord blesses those who prepare. I felt that as i was given the words to say in this tour, because i had taken the time to study and prepare specifically to fit the needs of this investigator. it was awesome.

Well, now that i have rambled on for an hour, ha i better jump off. But i am so thankful for our loving Father in Heaven, and of course for His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. i know that "He is Risen" and that we is truly the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I am grateful that we get to celebrate Him this weekend. I am so thankful for His redemptive atonement in my life, and know that it is real, just as He is.

Love you all! Happy Easter! "Now have we not reason to Rejoice?" We have the good news of the gospel, which is truly that He IS Risen!

Sister Peterson

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mosiah 2:9

Written April 1, 2014
Hello from Omaha!
It has been one of the most miraculous weeks of my mission. I am so grateful for the Lord's hand in this, His work. He is so aware of us, His children, and i can't get over how thankful i am to be here!
I think Sunday was the best Sunday on my mission. It was incredible. We have been working with all of these different people for a transfer, and they all FINALLY came to church! ahh!

 it was so amazing. Our investigators Lena, Kendra, Charlie, and Joshua were all there, along with several less active members who havent come to church in months. There were moments when i was either sitting in gospel principles listening to Charlie answer questions, or watching Kendra sit with our Relief Society president's family, where i literally felt like weeping. my emotions were like those in 3 Nephi, where the people were "gushing" tears of joy.
I will never forget the look on Joshua's face as we picked him up from Primary. We had peeked in before his class was over, and seeing the little kids in his class sharing their book of mormon with him honestly melted my heart. When we asked him afterwards what he thought and if he liked primary, his hands clenched up and he threw his head back and was smiling from ear to ear. He LOVED it. what a miracle. Charlie, his dad, showed up in a suit and tie, and he looked so good. He felt super comfortable in class and the spirit was so strong i knew it touched his heart.
The Lord answers our prayers, and i know that He loves each of His children. I was definitely disappointed last week, as some of the investigators who had told us would come to church didnt attend. But i have been humbled as i sat in church this sunday and came to the strong realization that this is the Lord's work, not mine. This was the perfect sunday for all of them to attend. I need to trust in HIS timing, and recognize that all things happen for a reason.
We also had an incredible experience with one of our investigators, Dionna. We had an awesome lesson with her earlier in the week, and then invited her to come to the Trail Center. She got SO excited and told us that she is always looking for fun activities to do with her 3 kids. They came and took a tour/dressed up as pioneers with us on Friday, which went SO well.
.... at the lesson with Dionna earlier in the week, we taught the Restoration and while teaching i had the strong prompting that we needed to give her a Family Proclamation. Well, i didnt have one with me, so i prayed and asked Heavenly Father to put one in my purse! ha. that prayer was not answered at that time... but. As we took the tour on friday, i had the prompting once again to give her a Family Proclamation. Once AGAIN i didnt have one on me, but lo and behold as i looked down while standing by the wagon, there was a Family Proclamation LAYING ON THE GROUND under the wagon! i honestly almost fell over. And almost started crying because i know God had answered my prayer, in HIS timing, and had provided a little miracle. So cool.
The trail center has been SO great the past few days! I was able to take this darling family on tour that were traveling from New Zealand, and were on their way to conference! they were so kind, and the spirit was so strong on the tour as the mother bore her testimony of missionary work, she having two children out on missions. Sister Brough and i took a tour last night of a non member woman who had kind of just wandered in. She made it very clear at the beginning of the tour that she only wanted the "history"... so. we taught her the "history" of the church! ha. it was awesome bearing testimony of the restoration, and literally seeing her countenance change right before our eyes. She had come into the Trail Center ice cold, but left with a Book of Mormon in hand, hugging us and a huge smile on her face. "True doctrine, understand, changes behavior". I love what the spirit can do.
We have an investigator named John, who all of the missionaries in our ward our teaching. ha. He lives with a recent convert named Kitty, and she loves going on team ups and feeding the missionaries, so we are all over there, with John, quite a bit. John has warmed up SO much to the church, and every time one of us goes over there, he always says "each time you missionaries come over i get more and more interested.. i am getting THIS (puts his fingers together) close to joining your church!" ha he is so cool. He came into the Trail Center on Saturday, ha and he took a 5 HOUR TOUR. i have been laughing about it ever since. It has been an ongoing joke since, but in all seriousness i cant wait to see how he progresses. And, it is super fun to all be in on teaching him.
On Saturday we got to watch the General Women's meeting! We were able to broadcast it at the Trail Center, and had desserts and punch for all the visitors. it was incredible. I dont know what got into me, probably the spirit, ha, but i literally could have balled through that whole meeting. I guess i was just so touched by the unity between all the women of the church, no matter their age. Watching the little girls hold their mother's hands and sing together was like a stab to the heart. i loved it. I was SO uplifted by the comments on covenants, and being willing to say "Here am I, SEND ME" to the will of the Lord. That is my goal, to have that be my attitude always.

Watching the Women's Broadcast made me even more excited for this weekend! I am SO EXCITED for General Conference, ah! We are SO blessed to have a prophet on the earth today, and to be able to hear from him and the 12 apostles! it is Christmas in April. Since last conference, President Weston has committed us to read a conference talk from the fall conference every day. i have now read all of them many, many times over, and have learned so much from the words of our leaders. i can hardly wait for a new conference to learn even more!
In preparing for conference, i just read Mosiah 1-4, and have been so touched by the words of King Benjamin in his "general conference address" all those years ago. I especially love Mosiah 2:9

9 And these are the words which he aspake and caused to be written, saying: My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to btrifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should chearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your dhearts that ye may understand, and your eminds that the fmysteries of God may be unfolded to your view
I know as we prepare our hearts and minds to actually hear the messages this weekend, that we will be able to receive answers to our prayers, and that the Lord will let us know what we need to be doing with our lives. I will forever be grateful for the conference address in Fall 2012 that helped me receive the revelation to come on a mission. I know that these men and women are inspired by God, and it would "be wise for us to heed their council" :)
Love you all! Pray for me this week with transfers... it often sends the sisters into an uproar! ha. just kidding.. but seriously.
Sister Peterson
ps. Happy April Fool's Day!

-Sister Brough thought it would be funny to set our alarm at 3 am, in hopes that i would get up thinking it was time to go work out. Well, it worked.. to an extent. I got up, went to the bathroom and saw it was only 3 am, so i went back to bed. Unfortunately, her April Fool's day joke backfired as she wasnt able to sleep for the rest of the night! haha.
- We also came to the trail center this morning a little early before working out and dressed up in pioneer clothes. We hid in the gallery so as the sisters ran by us it became like "night in the museum". it was a riot, and got some good laughs. Ha. what a ridiculous holiday.

 At the temple with Karla! Sister Corrigan, Bishop Burton and his wife, and Brother Fokken from the Ralston La Vista ward
  At the temple with Karla!

 Sister Brough and i getting our toes done last p-day! best treat ever!

 With our BIKES! (in my new skirt! thanks mom i love it!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Come Unto Christ!

I am sitting here in awe, crying as i have just listened to Anne sing that beautiful version of the song Come Unto Christ. I am so grateful for the powerful spirit music brings, along with the bearing of pure testimony while singing. I am so uplifted and grateful. I love that song. i watched the mormon message of Jason Bromley singing it a few weeks ago, and it has become a favorite.. so Anne, you were inspired! love you!
I was also so uplifted this week thinking about how we are all missionaries! We had Stake Conference this last weekend, and i was so motivated to be united with the members of Nebraska to hasten the Lord's work. Our stake president, had all of us, members and missionaries who were invited to the front of the room, join arms and sing Called to Serve. It was one of the most powerful meetings i have been in, and the realization that this is the Lord's work was so strong. There was a huge emphasis on working together to share the gospel, both to those living and those on the other side of the veil! i feel so pumped to open my mouth (#oym) and share with EVERYONE. I love this work, and i am grateful for such great examples (you!) who are sharing the gospel with those around you.

It has been a wonderful week. Every week is wonderful. I am so grateful to have this time to consecrate and dedicate every ounce of who i am to the Lord. As the stress of "the real world" has hit me this week in regards to class registration, and realizing i still have so much to change and learn in these next few months, i have been filled with the Lord's strength in knowing that i am exactly where i need to be. I am so thankful to be a missionary.. ah. it is so fun and such a privilege.
Fun Facts:
- Sister Brough and i got BIKES this week! Ah we are so excited! haha i have always wanted to ride a bike on the mission.. i feel like THAT is real missionary status, ha so i cant wait. a member of one of Sister Brough's old wards was kind enough to let us borrow them for the next few months. More stories to come i am sure!
- our zone, as told to Sister Brough and i from our zone leaders, is "King of the Hill" right now in the mission (words of President Weston). Everyone in the zone has baptismal sets, and our zone is definitely super unified. It is fun to serve around such wonderful missionaries!

We had a great experience this week as we worked with one of our investigators, Lena. I wrote last week that she was set for baptism, which is so awesome. This week we really focused on having her feel comfortable coming to church. Miraculously, she came to a Relief Society  activity, (where we had homemade cafe rio.. i was in heaven) and she loved it! We then went on a church tour the next day with our relief society president, which was SO cool. I totally have a testimony now about church tours. We basically just showed her all the places she would go on sunday, and explained what to expect. it was awesome. .... Well, fast forward to sunday morning. we had arranged a ride for Lena, and called her right before church to make sure she was still set to go. Well, long story short, she was not. I wanted to cry... i felt like we had literally done EVERYTHING we possibly could to prepare her for church, and help her have the desire to come. We were definitely disappointed. BUT. we did not give up faith! Since Lena would not be attending, we still had faith that we could have an investigator at church. We decided that we needed to ACT on our faith, by calling and re- inviting all those we have been working with. It wasnt until relief society (which is our first meeting) that we heard back from our investigator Kendra, who texted and said she was on her way. It was such an incredible blessing, and such a testimony builder to me that as we have total confidence and faith in the Lord, AND as we do everything in our power, the Lord takes care of the rest. Kendra had a wonderful experience and is planning on being there again next week. It was beautiful. haha and it made my day to see kendra walk in with her bright yellow shirt that said "I LOVE JESUS" on it. i couldnt have been happier to see her.
Another miracle this week was at the Trail Center! Things are starting to pick up, and visitor's are starting to come again! Hallelujah! ha i feel like it has been a long winter, and it was so fun to have so many people come in this week... most of them non-members! I was able to take a really amazing tour this week of two couples, both non-members. They had SO many questions about the church, and were willing to listen! the spirit was so strong as i was able to bear testimony in the memorial room of the blessings i have experienced personally because of my membership in the church. One of the men started to tear up, and i know that they felt the spirit. It was so fun. If nothing else, i know that that experience with them will keep their hearts open for experiences with the church in the future.
I love my Savior. I feel His love every single day, and i think more than ever this week i have recognized the power that He has. I know that NOTHING is impossible as we trust in the Lord. I love Him. I "will sing forever, the praises to His name".
love you all! Hurrah for Israel!

Sister Peterson

Dinner with Dr. Fischer and Andrew (investigators) on our year mark
 Picnic with Sister Brough

 Shopping on P-day

 Sisters that came to mission with me - our 1 year mark!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Shall we not go on in so great a cause

It has been an amazing week. The theme of the week has definitely been FAITH. Faith that we can see miracles, faith that things will work out, faith that the Lord is aware of us and will help us. I know that as we have enough faith to even exercise faith, the Lord will ALWAYS bless us, and give us greater strength. I feel as though my faith IN faith has become more of a knowledge.. it is always worth putting forth faith.
- This week Karla, the woman Sister Barton and I helped re-active in the Ralston ward, went through the temple! Ah! i was able to attend the session, and it was honestly one of the greatest experiences of my life. To see her SO excited, and SO happy to be there was something that i will never forget. She alone has strengthened my testimony of the atonement because of the change/transformation she has made. It was a beautiful day and i am so grateful for the gospel.
- We gave the Trail Center Training on Saturday, and it went so well. The Lord was helping us out big time. It was amazing because we couldn’t get the internet to work, which totally ruined our plan of having a powerpoint presentation and we had a video to show. Sister Brough and i went out and prayed, reset the router, and had the faith that is would work. We went back in and RIGHT as it was time for us to train the internet turned on and the training went just as we had planned. The Lord ALWAYS helps us if we just have faith in him. We had a neat encounter after the training, when our historian, Sister Latey, came up to us sobbing. She told us that she had felt angels around us through out the training, and that she knew we were not alone. It was an incredibly sacred experience, and i couldnt help but to think of Uncle Max, Ken, and other loved ones who have passed on. It makes me cry just to think about their continual support of us still on earth.
- We went on exchanges with the other set of sisters in our ward, Sister Bowles (who came out with me) and Sister Tune (from Fiji). I went with Sister Bowles, and we saw the most incredible miracles! We were able to find 5 new investigators! it was so humbling to have the Lord literally place people right in front of us who are searching for the gospel.. it was so much fun. We found this amazing family. The grandma is Loretta, her daughter is Penny, and her daughter is Diamond. They are so cute, and i am sure we will have more details to come, as we are teaching them again tonight! cant wait! i know that the Lord will bless us as we have enough faith. We had set our goals high for the exchange, and because of the faith and work we put forth, the Lord dumped the blessings. I am so grateful.
- We were driving in the car, and we noticed we had a missed call from a random number. i called it back, and this man named Cyril answered the phone. this was the conversation we had: "Hi my name is Cyril. I used to learn from the missionaries when i lived in Omaha, but now i have moved to Georgia and really want to continue learning so that i can get baptized into the church. Can you help me?" hahah!! i almost passed out. so cool. we were able to send the local missionaries to him to start teaching him. God is good.
-- Sister Brough met a boy named Devin, miraculously, at the Trail Center. She and Sister Seguin were waiting for a tour, when they saw Devin walking down the street. They ran outside and invited him in to take a tour. He agreed, and they had an incredible/converting tour. Miraculously, he lives in our area (!) so Sister B got his info. We were able to meet with him a few days later, set him for baptism on April 5th, and then he went to church on Sunday! The only sad part is that we have to turn him over to the singles ward, but still! he is incredible and is going to get baptized. We had another awesome lesson last night with him, and he is seriously so prepared. I know he will end up being an apostle or something.. he is solid. So fun.
- We met this amazing man named John this week. He lives with a recent convert named Kitty, and she is seriously an angel. John has been prepared his whole life to join the church, he just doesnt exactly know that yet. But it was SO cool to talk with him this week. He kept saying how every time we come over, we dont even have to say anything and he finds himself more and more interested in the church, and how he hasnt been able to sleep because it has been on his mind so much. AH! we were able to bear testimony about the truthfulness of the gospel, and help motivate him to read the Book of Mormon. It is amazing how the spirit teaches. I honestly think we each said about 10 words in the whole lesson, ha but by the end of the lesson his heart was completely softened and willing to learn. More details to come, im sure.

Fun Fact:
- We got invited to a less actives Mary Kay party this week. She had told us we could come over to get a free facial, so we were thinking it could be an awesome "in" to getting to know her. haha. little did we know what we were getting ourselves in to! It was this crazy party (crazy meaning so worldly i almost died) where these women were standing up talking about how many cars they had earned and how Mary Kay answers prayers, etc. I just about lost it when they asked the question "What would you rather have? The car or the money?" and the whole room yelled either CAR or MONEY. yuck. it was quite the experience and sister Brough and i laughed for a good hour or two about that one.. it was ridiculous. i am so glad i am a missionary.
- My talk in church went really well. Like i have been saying for over a year now, haha the Lord is seriously so good. He helped me a ton, along with Sister Brough, in kind of organizing my thoughts. My talk was on the atonement and grace/works. kind of broad, but i feel like it all came together really well. Go read the talk "His grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. it is my favorite and i have loved reading it this week. I really love how he talks about the more we understand GRACE, the more we understand the requirements that Christ asks of us. So profound.

i seriously could go on and on and on. it has been the most miraculous week. These werent even half of the miracles we saw. I feel so humbled to be a missionary, and i know the Lord is blessing us big time.. i guess it is our job to keep the faith and be worthy of these great blessings!
All my love to you. Keep the faith. The blessings of living the gospel may not come right now, but to "those who keep the faith, they ALWAYS come".

Sister Peterson

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

One Year!

Can you BELIEVE it has been a year? MAN ALIVE. Best year of my life, hands down. I am so thankful to be a missionary, and am holding on to every minute that i have as one. It is the greatest blessing.

Dad: Happy Birthday!!! I am so grateful for you, and i love you so much. I will think of you all day on the 6th :) I feel so blessed to have you as my dad, and i hope you can feel my love on your big day! Miss you!

I was so sad to hear about Uncle Max Pinegar's passing. I will be praying for grandpa and all of the family. I am so thankful though that he is now in a wonderful place, away from pain and suffering. Thank goodness for the plan of salvation.. what great peace comes from our savior.
This has been such a great week, full of miracles! I absolutely love serving in Lake Cunningham. It is so much fun, and the people here are awesome. A little crazy, haha but awesome. I love serving with sister Brough because she laughs at everything, like me, ha and so we have had some great times this week at some of the situations we have had. here are two examples:
1. We were driving down the street one night when we saw this guy walking. Sister Brough turned to me and said "should we talk to him?" We already knew the answer. She hurried and parked the car, we jumped out, and then proceeded to literally chase after this guy (no joke.. we were running haha)  up this big hill in order to talk to him. When we finally reached him, we were out of breath, and had been yelling out to him for a good minute or two, so he looked at us like we were insane. haha, BUT, we were able to teach him, give him a book of mormon, and set up a return appointment! The rest of the night we giggled thinking about how we had literally chased after someone in order to share the gospel! Check off my bucket list :)
2. We were street contacting one day this week, in 0 degree weather ha, and were not having a ton of luck (most people stay inside when it is 0 degrees.. go figure). So, we decided to knock a few doors. We noticed this one house that had puzzles taped to the front door, a skeleton decoration, and unicorn posters in the windows. We laughed a little bit, and then for the fun of it, knocked on the door. A man came out to talk to us named Raymond, and he was actually really nice! The conversation was centered on the plan of salvation and at one point of the conversation he said "well, i know that God is real. ohh i know it. He saved me life! Get this. i am dead. I died twice already.. police come to my house and they cant find nothin' about me in them records cus i ain't alive!" ... haha it was at that point that we decided to try someone else.. but we got a good laugh at how we had taught a "dead guy" that day.
3. We helped a less active in our ward clean up her house this week, and i prayed "mightily" that i would not get sick. it was pretty bad. We cleaned up tons of dog hair and urine, cockroaches, and, to top it off, i was the lucky finder of a little mouse! haha Mom i thought of you the whole time. it was amazing how the Lord helped us be calm, and have a "strong" stomach, where to we were able to help with no problem. The song "when we're helping we're happy" was stuck in my head the whole time we were there... haha and through Heavenly Father's help i definitely WAS happy!

haha so awesome. i love serving in Florence.
This week we had Zone Conference which was SO wonderful. i absolutely LOVE Zone Conference. Not only was i totally uplifted and edified, but we had the Finals for Zone Olympics, which was a riot, and which was so fun. Sister Brough and i make a good team - She won Gold in Ladders, and i won Gold in sit ups. It was super fun (see pics.)
Something that President Weston trained about in our Saturday morning training this week has been sticking with me, and i have had a whole new insight on the laws of Obedience and Sacrifice. He talked about how they are inseparable, and how you cannot have one without the other. I have totally seen that. But what is so neat, is that once we decide to be obedient or to sacrifice because of our utmost love for God, it no longer becomes either thing. It just becomes a part of who we are. Since being out on my mission i have grown to understand this principle, as i have felt no great sacrifice or resistance to be obedient because i WANT to do the things God has asked. i LOVE being obedient. It has been the coolest transformation, and i can now strongly testify that following Christ is the ONLY way to be happy. Sister Brough and i have talked a lot this week about how we literally change as we follow Christ.. our temperament, our desires, even our personalities change and become better and more like God. It is beautiful, and i want to live the rest of my life with a continual progression forward in becoming like Christ.
We saw some amazing miracles this week, i wish i had time to share every little one. But here is one that was incredible:
- We went to visit our investigator named Charlie. We had set up an appointment, but when we got there Charlie had forgotten we were coming, and so he had company over. Thankfully, he still let us in, and we were able to start talking to one of his friends who was their, named Kenyatta. She lives just down the street from Charlie, and has been going through a lot lately. We jumped on the opportunity to help her feel of God's love and awareness, and said a prayer together. Instantly the spirit in the room changed, and she recognized it. She then decided to listen in on the lesson with Charlie and his son, Joshua. Joshua is absolutely adorable. He has cerebral palsy, and kind of goes in and out of reality. We were able to teach all three of them about the love that Heavenly father has for all of His children, and how he has reached out once again to us through the Restoration. We sang I am A Child of God with Joshua, and the spirit was so strong we all started to cry. the coolest part was, as sister Brough and i sang, Joshua joined in and he some how knew every single word to the song. it was miraculous, and i know that he is a choice spirit that is SO close to our Heavenly Father. In zone conference we had a training about setting investigators for baptism on the first contact, and so i knew that we needed to set Kenyatta for baptism... we had a ton of faith, and the Lord directed the conversation to where we were able to invite her to be baptized on April 5, and she willingly accepted! it was honestly one of the coolest lessons i have ever been in. It is amazing how the spirit is able to soften our hearts, and also how when we exercise our faith, God makes up the rest. amazing.
I am so grateful to be a missionary.. it is the best thing ever. It has been fun to read over my journal from a year ago this week, and realize how different i have become, in the sense of how much i have learned. It is the greatest blessing. I am so thankful to have this time to consecrate all of my efforts to serving the Lord's children.
This week we are giving the district meeting training, Saturday morning Trail Center Training, and i'm speaking in church again.. ha pray that i have the energy i need! It has been an exhausting week, but the Lord ALWAYS, without fail, gives us enough strength. it is honestly pretty remarkable. And i definitely need all the strength i can get!
Till next week! All my love,

Sister Peterson

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Humbly kneeling sweet appealing"

Thank you for all of your sweet notes, cards, and love! i am feeling 100% better than last week ha and am grateful for the humbling experience of being sick. It is amazing how the Lord is able to heal us, and get us back to work so fast. It really is remarkable, and i have felt his love more this past week than ever before. I know that He lives. I know that He is perfectly aware of us.
It was transfer week, and "the phone rang" on thursday morning. I had felt like i was probably going to leave Ralston, and now looking back the Lord really prepared me to do so. I was able to see everyone that i have come to love there, and saying goodbye was not as hard as i imagined. However, when President called on Thursday to tell me that i would be moving to Lake Cunningham, and would be serving as the new Trail Center Leader, i was completely shocked and overwhelmed. I think my heart literally almost popped out of my chest, it was beating so fast ha. I have been humbled, and have really come to learn this week that the Lord doesnt call the strong or the perfect to do His work. All He asks is that we strive to follow Him, and He makes up the difference. I am so grateful for His trust.. it honestly amazes me, and i have never felt so inadequate. I also feel like it has been a dream because i am now serving with my best friend on the mission, Sister Brough. We came out together, and i never imagined actually being companions! it has been too fun, and i am so grateful to have the chance to learn from her. She is incredible.
I had a really neat experience on Friday, the day that all the craziness started! we went to transfer point, changed companions, and then Sister Brough and i went back to the Trail Center to start working on the schedule for the transfer. Before we started, we went into the memorial room to squeeze in our personal study and companionship study. In my personal i read Alma 32, which i have read a 1000 times. But this time it was so enlightening, and i really felt the Lord's confidence in me to be able to fulfill all of the new responsibilities i will have. As i cried in prayer and asked "How am i going to do this?" i was quickly, and sweetly chastised by the spirit with the answer "YOU arent the one doing this work. It is through HIS strength that we can do all things". i immediately knew that i needed to repent, and completely trust in the Lord.
That trust and reliance on Him has been greatly used the past few days! we were able to finish the schedule, figure out the training for Saturday morning Trail Center Training, and also plan the new sister orientation that was on Saturday afternoon. My brain felt like jello by the end of saturday night, ha but without fail the Lord gave us just enough strength to get everything done.. along with having it all run smoothly! It really was a miraculous weekend.

We had a ward coordination meeting on sunday morning, and i just laughed the whole time as we discussed some of the problems in this ward. parole, house arrest, abuse were all the hottest topic. It was a great welcome to the area. ha but it all sincerity i am SO excited to be in this area. It is so prepared, and i know we will see miracles!
I was able to speak in church on Sunday, and i already love the ward. The people are so humble, and they love the missionaries. I am excited! there is a lot of work to do. Sister Brough and i also taught the 14 year old sunday school class, and we basically taught the Plan of Salvation to them through song. it was super fun to sing primary songs and hymns in order to teach.. sister brough and i will be singing a lot.. i cant wait.
Because of the business at the trail center this weekend, We had just a few hours in our area. But it was amazing to see the miracles that happened in just a short amount of time. I know that the Lord consecrated our efforts. We were able to find a new investigator, named Carla, who we will be teaching tonight! we were trying a potential investigator when we met her, and she is so prepared. We also met a less active woman named Ashley, who is darling and has invited us back to teach her and her 8 year old son. The Lord led us to so many different people, and i feel like all we had to do was just "be there" and the Lord did the rest. i am so grateful.
Sorry this is such a long email, i hope you were able to read all of it. I am doing so well. I love Omaha. I love being a missionary. I am so thankful for the many opportunities that have been handed to me, and i know it is because the Lord needs me to improve. and i am excited to do so.

i love you all, and feel so grateful to have such wonderful support from back home. know that i love you all as well!

Sister Peterson

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's a great day to have a good day!


Thank you SO much for the gifts, notes, and love i felt so strongly on my birthday! ah. i just feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. I am so grateful.

I have been so excited to write this e-mail, haha because of the events of the week. it has been quite the week! 

Here we go:

1. On wednesday night an investigator named Andrew, who we met while serving at a health clinic on thursday nights, invited us for dinner. He is a gourmet chef, and so for valentine's day he wanted to cook for the sisters that serve at the clinic. He served us a 7 course meal (since we didnt have time for the 11 courses he had planned!), and i dont think i have ever eaten that good of food in my whole life. it was delicious. i was definitely "miserable" by the end of the night.

2. Thursday, were the "try-outs" for the Olympics. haha. it was so fun. Everyone was so into it. i was still SO full from the night before, haha but it ended up working out ok. the event i won was the sit ups. I did 110 in 3 minutes. also, i totally thought i had the push ups too: i did 85 in 3 minutes. the girl who won i think got like 90... but you'd be proud, because mine were "real" push-ups :) so fun.

3. it is transfer week, and my beloved trainer, Sister Whittaker goes home tomorrow. It is crazy to think how fast the time has gone.. i feel like i was just emailing home telling you about how much i love being companions with her! that was almost a year ago. I am so grateful for the friendships i have made while being here.. i know that they will last much longer than just the mission.


My birthday.. haha one i will never forget! So, Sister Hamilton and i woke up, went running in the snow, and then followed the daily schedule. I was able to study, and then get ready/open presents! it was a great morning. Well, during companionship study at 9 o'clock, we started reading from the white handbook, and all the sudden i knew that something was not right. i felt super dizzy, hot, and nauscious. yep. You can guess what happened...haha Thankfully i made it to the bathroom before getting sick! ha so, i spent the day in bed, throwing up. haha can you believe it?! thinking about it now, it is honestly hilarious. i know that the Lord was keeping me humble - the one day a year (or on your mission) you can think about yourself, and i end up sick as a dog... which is the only time i have ever been sick on my mission! haha. But, looking at the bright side:

- we never get to rest on our missions.. maybe it was a birthday present from heavenly father to let me stay in bed all day? :)
- i lost 5 pounds?
- i avoided eating a bunch of junk food!
- because it was my birthday, i was able to read love notes from my wonderful family, open presents, and still feel super loved even though i was stuck in bed. if i wouldve been sick any other day, it would have been a lot harder to not feel bogged down.
- it made my birthday last longer, because i was able to ACTUALLY celebrate it the next day!

ha. definitely a journal entry moment! i am so thankful for Heavenly Father and always allowing me to improve, and to never get prideful.

Other than that, the week was great! Bill was able to receive the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday, which was so wonderful. He is doing great. it was so neat to be able to be in Ward Coordination this week, and have a game plan to help him feel fully accepted into the ward. I am so grateful for those members of the ward that have been reaching out to him, sitting with him at church, inviting him and Joanie over for dinner, and really helping him feel like he is "a member". it is wonderful to see.

I know that God is extremely, and perfectly aware of us. Today we needed to get our oil changed, and so we went over to Jensen Tire and took the car in. We had planned to have lunch with some of the sisters serving near us, and they were going to pick us up from the tire place. Well, we waited there and they were running behind. While we sat in the waiting room though, we noticed a boy sitting in the chairs across the room, and sister Hamilton and i both felt the need to go talk to him. We started chatting with him, and he quickly opened up to us about how he feels so overwhelmed with the decision of where to go to school, what to major in, and who he wants to become. It was an amazing opportunity to bear our testimonies to him about the peace that comes through Christ, and through His restored church. While we were talking to him he kept saying that he knew it was by no chance that we met. We were able to set up a time to teach him this week. Total miracle. It is so amazing to me how there are SO many people around us who are struggling, and who need direction in their lives... it is just up to us to open our mouths. It was awesome. It definitely strengthened my testimony as well of doing missionary work after my mission. I didnt need a name tag to bear my testimony to him and give him a book of mormon. The spirit can prompt all of us to open our mouths and share what we know.

I love my Savior. I love the gospel, and i am so grateful for the peace it brings.

love you all so much!

Sister Peterson