Monday, July 14, 2014

Let us Pray

Hello friends!

Some fun happenings of the week:

1. We got to sing the National Anthem at the Storm Chasers baseball game on tuesday - when else would i get the opportunity to sing at a professional baseball game? it was so awesome! and now i have done it twice! I honestly had been pretty stressed about it, because we only had time to practice all together for 30 minutes before the game.. talk about scary. But, we prayed hard that it would sound ok and that the angels would sing with us! and guess what? it sounded great. Total miracle. Sister Weston bought us funnel cakes afterwards to top the whole night off.. great day.

2. I had some awesome experiences at the Trail Center this week. With so many people coming in, that means we are all taking more tours, which means more miraculous events! here are the highlights of a couple of the tours i took this week:

- I greeted a couple that told me they were from a tiny town in Nebraska. They walked in looking kind of confused, and so i told them the things that we have at the trail center. They quickly declined the video, but agreed to have me take them on tour. We rounded the corner near the bust of Joseph Smith, and i started asking a few simple questions about their family background. While i was asking the question, the man cut me off by saying "Ok, will you just stop talking for a second? We are Catholic and will never become Mormon. If you have some sort of quota or mission you are trying to fulfill, we are NOT the people you want to talk to. I am a US History teacher, so i already know about the mormons, and so if you are wanting to convert us you are talking to the WRONG people!" ha! I stood there rather stunned, but prayed in my heart for charity for this couple. I know that the Lord helped me bite my tongue, because i was able to smile big and just say "Oh, i am so happy you came in because i would love to learn more about the history of this area! So hopefully we can learn a little bit together, and i hope you enjoy your experience here". I smiled as big as i could ha and he quickly got quiet. Long story short, i honestly feel bad for the man and his wife because i am sure they felt silly for acting out in such a way. We had an awesome tour, and they left feeling great. We were able to laugh and learn together, and i was even able to bear my testimony. I learned that it is NEVER ok to be rude - never! You always regret it. I know that man did. And if we want to represent Jesus Christ, and profess ourselves as Christians, then we should always act in kindness. i am so glad that the Lord helped me do so.

- A YSA group from Brigham City Utah came in, a group of over 100 people. I was lucky enough to take part of the group on tour. It was honestly one of the best tours that i have ever taken - it was SO fun, and SO spiritual. i loved it. It started as i took the group out to the cemetery. We talked about the sacrifice of the pioneers, their faith, and how they have left a legacy for us. One girl came up to me afterwards and asked if i would help her find the grave of her ancestor. We traced it out, and found where she was buried. As we stood there together, the girl started crying and the spirit was so strong. We both felt the "spirit of Elijah" as we realized how grateful we were for the sacrifice of these pioneers. it was a moment i will never forget. We were then able to come into the TC and i took them on tour. I dont know what got into me, but i felt like i was floating around the gallery haha. When we were in the memorial room, i know the words i was speaking were not my words- they were the Lord's. I was able to bear powerful testimony on the blessing of temples, the gospel, and the pioneers. I love when i bear my testimony and i feel my understanding grow of different parts of the gospel. That is the spirit, and that is how i know that this truly is the Lord's church! 

- (see picture) i got to take sister Saufley and her granddaughter on tour at the TC. It was so good to see her, man i love the Saufley's. We had a powerful lesson with her granddaughter about baptism, and how important it is. i really hope she gets baptized! we dressed  up as pioneers, and had a great time. i know that the spirit was there, so i am praying that it softens her granddaughter's heart.

3. We were able to go to a Catholic Mass this week, for a "volunteer thank you dinner" for the catholic nuns/retirement community we do service for. It was so great to experience another church, especially as we teach so many people that are of different faiths, so it was nice to get a clue in on what they believe/are used to. But i am so thankful for the gospel and i know it is true. I recognized while in mass how much truth they have, but also how much the restoration of the gospel clarifies simple truths. I know that the power of revelation is REAL and that the way we can recognize truth/the spirit is when we feel our hearts and minds enlightened and opened.

 4. We had an awesome lesson with Chris this week about the Word of Wisdom. another tough lesson, but it went so well. He is progressing beautifully. He and his fiance are in Vegas this weekend, so we were joking with him that he should come back married! ha, not going to lie, that would be great! ha but our lesson about the Word Of Wisdom went great, and he has to make some changes in his life, but has the desire to do so. i know he can do it. We had been praying that he would accept the things that we taught, and after we had the lesson and asked him his thoughts, he replied "well, it totally makes sense." answer to prayer! It was incredible. Please continue to pray for him!

The first fireside at the Trail Center is this week on friday - we are praying that people show up! ha it is like throwing a party, and it always is kind of nerve racking until the first guest arrives. I know it will be a success, even if we just have 1 person there! I am excited to see how it turns out.

Love you all, and thank you for your prayers and support! Being a missionary is so much fun. 


Sister Peterson




 Singing at the Storm Chasers Baseball game


 Hanging out in Old Market/ Walking Bridge

A Finding we found near our apartment - very convenient! 

 The bag i have had my whole mission finally broke/fell apart. it had gotten so gross that i was grateful it died.



Friday, July 11, 2014

God Bless America

Letter written 7/7/14

Another week! 

This has been a wonderfully humbling week, one that i am so grateful for. It has been madness here.. ha half the time i feel like i am running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Thankfully the sisters/elders are patient with me and my weaknesses, and i am grateful that the Trail Center hasn't burned down yet! 

I am so grateful for the experiences that the Lord let's us go through in order to help prepare us for the future. This week i feel like i have learned much about pride, repentance, and following the spirit. And because i have been learning/studying about that, the Lord has so graciously blessed me with opportunities to exercise what i have learned! I have realized that i honestly know nothing, am comparable to the dirt under my feet, and cannot do anything without the help of our loving Heavenly Father. He is the one who gives us life, support, and the ability to accomplish anything. I am so grateful for His merciful hand and for His constant mercy in my behalf.

Happenings at the Trail Center:

1. Sister Brough and i have been planning a Summer Fireside Series that will be held every friday night here at the Trail Center. We have contacted local stake presidents, ward leaders, the temple presidency, and anyone else we can think of to speak at these Firesides. Well, since sister Brough was transferred, it has been quite the ordeal trying to catch Sister Hanks up on everything, and finish up all that needed to be finished (printing of the flyers/getting them to all the stakes/published in ward bulletins). It has been so crazy, ha but we finally were able to get almost everything finalized this week, and so we are just anticipating the first event on the 18th! It has been really fun to see people get excited for the events, and i will be praying that they go well! 

2. Tomorrow night we (along with 10 other missionaries) are singing the national anthem at the Storm Chasers game! I was able to participate in it last summer if you remember, so i am excited to do it again! This time we have been the one's in charge which puts a different spin on the excitement, haha but it still will be fun. Pray that it goes well!

3. There has been a sister that has been really struggling the past transfer, and so we have been working really closely with her to make sure she is doing alright. Well, on the 4th of July she ran away. Thankfully her companion chased her down the street (barefoot) and was able to reach her before the sister had passed out. Anyway, long story short. I went on an emergency exchange with the struggling sister. it was honestly such a great experience and an answer to my prayer. I have been praying so fervently to know how to help this sister, and i received the answer of just to love her and listen to her. That was able to happen as i drove her to talk with President Weston, and then took her to dinner afterwards. She is a different person now and is doing so well. it is a miracle. That has been one of the greatest joys of my mission - i have realized that the reason i was called here to the Trail Center hasnt necessarily always been for the visitors that come in, but for the sisters that are here. i have loved to see their growth and their testimonies continually strengthened. 

In the area:

1. Chris is doing awesome. He came to church this week with his fiance, and they loved it. He told us after sacrament that he wanted to get up and bear his testimony on how he has seen his life change since meeting with us! i wish he wouldve! thankfully there are many more fast and testimony meetings to come :) He called us this week to talk to us about some of his concerns, especially about how he is worried with him being in "the public eye" that people wont vote for him or support him if they know he is mormon. we were able to have a great lesson about standing up for our religion and on defending the faith. He is currently praying about whether or not Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, and so we are praying that he receives that answer! I know he will, because i know that president Monson truly IS the prophet! So Chris will get there. He also told us that he already considers himself mormon even though he isnt baptized yet. so cool. I have LOVED seeing him progress and make changes in his life. it is amazing, and it is through the atonement that he has seen so much change.

2. We had some extra time yesterday because church was only 45 minutes long - someone stole the copper out of the AC unit at the church, and so there was no AC. it was 97 degrees yesterday with high humidity, so we could only last in that building for so long. We were praying to know where we should go/what we should do with the extra time we had. Sister Hanks had the impression to go to Craig Street. We drove over there and i remembered a house of a member of the church who had moved. We had already tried once before, and knew that the member had moved, but we still felt like we should try it. We knocked on the door and a man came out named Isaiah. We told him that we had a message about Jesus Christ to share with him, and he was so open and wanting to learn. He has a 5 year old son, and has been wondering what he needs to do to be a better parent to his son. We are meeting with him again this week on wednesday, so i hope it goes well! i just know with all my heart that if we listen to the quiet impressions of the spirit, that we will be led to exactly where we need to be. the Lord knows ALL of His children, there is no doubt in my mind. I am so grateful to get to meet so many of them!

3. Lena is set for baptism on July 26, so we are praying that everything goes through! She has progressed a ton, and is really starting to get involved with the church. we are praying for her!

4. Sue, our returning member/less active, bore her testimony on sunday. it was so awesome. she has come a long way, and i love her a ton. she always tells me that "i am hard on her" ha. i think it is because i love her, and can see the potential she has. She has made a lot of changes and is now reading from the BOM daily and praying. i am so proud of her, and i know that her relationship with Christ is much better than when i first met her. It is amazing to see what the spirit can do to people.

5. we had dinner at a recent converts house this week, and the only thing i will say is that while we were waiting for dinner, i looked over at the oven and i counted over 50 cockroaches climbing out of the oven. i have never prayed harder in my life. i know the Lord blesses us to handle things like that. and you know what? the dinner wasnt half bad. haha.

I love you all! So grateful for the support and love from you. Sending all my love your way!

Sister Peterson

here are some pictures of sister hanks and i on the 4th of July! at the end of a crazy day :)







Monday, June 30, 2014

How Beautiful upon the Mountains shall They Be

I'm alive.

what a week!

I know that the Lord strengthens us and helps us have the energy and strength to continue forward, even when you are so exhausted that you almost fall asleep while giving a tour. Literally, i  found myself dreaming while taking a couple around the gallery, but somehow my mouth was still moving and i think i was making sense?! ha it has been a non-stop week, but one completely full of miracles.

Transfers was this week, and the dream team (Sister B and P) are separated. But i have a wonderful new companion, Sister Hanks! She is from Utah, and came out the transfer after me. She is an incredible missionary, and i am really excited to learn from her. I know that the Lord has prepared her her whole mission for this Sister Training Leader "calling" and i am really anxious for the miracles that we will see this transfer.

One of the biggest miracles this week just the amount of work that we were able to get done, regardless of the many tasks/responsibilities we needed to accomplish! Sister Brough and i, by thursday night, had already taught the amount of lessons/ seen everyone that we had planned for, for the entire week! It was remarkable, and such a tender mercy. I know that the Lord gave us that blessing and that because of our obedience and diligence, He completely consecrated the work we needed to do.

Fun Facts:

1. Transfer point: oh boy it was so ridiculous and hilarious! We went to the transfer point on friday to switch companions and also to help the new sisters find their companions and so forth. Well, as we are doing our "Hoorah for Israel" cheer in the gym of the church, we hear a big crash outside and realize that it is raining/thundering cats and dogs. We then spent the next hour in the POURING rain running back and forth trying to get everyone's luggage where it needed to be, getting the sisters to their right companions, and making sure that everyone was accounted for! it was CHAOS!! Sister Hanks and i, along with the assistants and some of the zone leaders were literally drenched from head to toe. i eventually just took off my shoes and was barefoot running around the church parking lot getting everything in order. it was nuts, but by far THE most memorable transfer point experience of my life. funniest part was after everyone was gone and all was done, it stopped pouring. of course! The Lord has a sense of humor.

2. Part B of 1. One of the new sisters, Sister Savage, lost her luggage in the frenzy of transfer point. We finally found it yesterday, but that added a whole new level of craziness as well. Thankfully sisters were able to lend her some clothes and make up/necessities, but talk about stressful for this poor new sister. We can laugh about it now, but it just added to the fun of the week!

Miracles:

1. Chris and his son Josh came to all three hours of church on Sunday! Ah! They loved it! After the sacrament was passed (the water), Josh leaned over to his dad and said "What do they pass next?". He then laid down on his dad's lap but shot up quickly and said "I like the Mormon church". it was miraculous. We were able to teach Chris this past week with Brother Piercy about the family, and the law of Chastity. always a scary topic, but it went perfectly. We bore powerful testimony about the blessings that come into our lives as we obey this commandment, and helped him see the importance of him and Girly getting married. He is all game so we will see what continues to happen. Continue to pray for him, he will need it as he makes these big changes in his life! 

2. Lena came to church this week, along with the relief society activity! We had a really fun activity with s'mores and "pinterest" drinks. Lena loved it. She is still pretty anxious whenever she comes to activities/church, but she is slowly making progress. We are hoping to set her for baptism this week!

3. Jessica - ah i love her. She is a less active/returning member who we have worked with since i have been in the ward. She has had some really unfortunate things happen to her her whole life, but especially in the past few weeks. Sister Brough and i have gone over to her house 5+ times within the past 2 weeks, left notes, called, banged on her windows even (!), and still no answer from her. We have been praying so hard for her and praying that she was ok. She has major depression and so of course our thoughts were the worst. But the day we found out sister Brough was being transferred, we prayed that we would be able to see Jessica. We went over there, and she came to the door! it was SO miraculous. We gave her a cardigan for church, and helped her feel the spirit again. She is struggling so bad.. but it made my day as i saw her walk into church on sunday, first time in WEEKS, wearing her new cardigan, with her two kids. It was such a blessing. And i know that the Lord is so aware of her! She is so strong, and i am so grateful that she realizes backing away from God never solves the problem - as we turn to Him, that is when we can be supported through our trials.

There were so many other miracles this week. It was incredible. I am grateful that i have this time to become who the Lord wants me to become. I took a senior couple on tour on saturday who were coming home from their mission in West Virginia. They talked to me all about how sad it makes them when missionaries come home and they revert back to their old ways and it was like nothing happened out here. I pray that that doesnt happen to me. I know that i have truly been changed, and that the Savior's infinite atonement has healed me. I i know that it will continue to do so. 

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers, i have desperately needed them! Hoorah For Israel!


Sister Peterson

Monday, June 23, 2014

Joyful, Joyful Lord!

Hello!

It has been a week of all weeks, and we have been busier than ever! Most weeks feel like we are on one of those little moving sidewalks at the airport, moving faster than anyone around us... but this week the amount of things to do/stress level is bumped up to running on a treadmill! it has been crazy! but so, so good. Somehow i am able to get up every morning at 6:18 and have the energy to get through the day. I have no doubt that the Lord strengthens us as we do His work!

It is transfer week, which i have been trying not to think about because it means sister B and i will not be companions! We have already figured out a way to have us in a tri-companionship, ha but when we presented the idea to Elder Cleverly and President Weston they weren't sold. It really has been such a blessing to be able to serve together, and i know that i will survive without her... maybe. ha.. but please pray for us as we have so much to get done before then! I wish we could cut ourselves in half so we could be in two places at once. But i know that the Lord will make up for our weaknesses in order to help us accomplish "the things that he has commanded".

This week was so wonderful, i can't even begin to tell you all of the miracles that we saw! ah! it was so awesome! Here is a short preview:

1. I was on exchanges Tuesday with Sister Mahlstede, and we were trying a less active we had an appointment with. We were sad that she wasnt home, so we left her a note on the door. As we turned around to walk away from her house, a man in a scooter was just scooting down the street and so i called out to him to say hello. He instantly got a smile on his face, and long story short he told us that he is a member of the church! He hasnt had any contact with the church in years, but had been taught by sisters when he was baptized so it made him super happy to see us. we had a lesson right there on the street all about the word of wisdom, and the temple, and he is desperately wanting to get back to the temple. we have an appointment with him tomorrow! when things fall through, the Lord ALWAYS provides another person to see. without fail.

2. We had an incredible lesson with Chris this week - he is doing SO great! We brough Brother Piercy with us, who is a member of the bishopric. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and helped Chris feel the need to be baptized and also help him understand the sacredness of that ordinance. Brother Piercy is a convert, and bore such a powerful testimony of the blessings that have come into his life since being a member. Chris told us that since we had invited him to be baptized a few weeks ago, he has been praying about a date and keeps have August 8 come into his mind! We were able to invite him again to be baptized on that date, and he said yes :) He came to church this sunday as well, and we talked afterwards about the spirit. He said that ever since he has been meeting with us he feels this constant "good" feeling.. he explained it as his emotions being very leveled, with him not getting super angry any more, but having more peace in his life! we were able to testify to him of the Lord's constant desire to reach out to us through His spirit, and how He was telling Chris through those feelings that this is right! It was incredible. We are having FHE with the Portwoods in our ward and Chris tonight, so pray it goes well! It is such a joy to work with him.. he is making such amazing progress.

3. CHURCH: We had an incredible day at church.. so many people came! it was truly miraculous. I know that the Lord is blessing us greatly, and i feel humbled for the sacred responsibility He has given us to be His servants. here are all who came:

- Chris and Girly (3rd week in a row, and Girly, Chris's fiance, really opened up which was great)

- Lena and her granddaughter (investigator: she has been once before, but had a really weird experience so we were worried that she would never come back! When we invited her to come this week, she was more than willing to. It was such an answer to prayer!)

- Rochelle and Tamera (both recent converts - tamera has only been to church once since i have been in the area, so to see her there yesterday was such a miracle!)

- Sister Webster (less active member who we met this week! We taught her with Bishop and it went awesome. She is deaf, and so Sister Brough typed out all of church for her since we dont have an interpreter. She loved it.. first time to church in 4 years!)

- Sue, Mark, and Jon (less active/returning member and her not active son and his boyfriend)

4. We found an incredible new investigator this week named Ricky. We have already seen him 3 times, and he has so much potential. He is one of the least-assuming investigators i have ever taught: meaning that by looking at him, or even initially talking with him, you would NEVER think he would be interested in learning about the gospel. But the Lord has taught me so much this week, as i have realized the God truly loves ALL of His children. I have felt the Lord's love for Ricky more than anyone i have taught before. He is part of a gang, has been shot in the face, is paralyzed on his whole left side, is unemployed and basically just sits at home every day. Learning more about his life has humbled me so much, and i am so grateful for the gospel! He told us last night as we were visiting with him that he has been in and out of prison all of his life, and he has tried everything to change, accept for religion. When he saw us in his apartment complex, he heard something in his mind tell him that this was the the thing that would actually help him change. He has already started reading the book of mormon,praying ever day, and is committed to being baptized on July 26. i know he has a lot of bumps ahead to get over, but he has already seen changes in his life that are miraculous. He is experiencing the atonement.. and it is REAL. It makes me cry to even think about how much the savior loves us, and how willing He is to "succor us" and help us change. We are seriously so blessed.

5. The trail center has been so busy! Every aspect of my life has been crazy! haha but it keeps things exciting. I have been able to take some awesome tours this week - one in particular was really great, as i was able to take a girl who is preparing to go on a mission on a tour. it was just her and i, which was really great because we were able to really get to know each other. she is a convert of less than a year, went to BYU and is studying elementary education! we had a lot in common, and it was so cool to feel like i had a little impact on her motivation to serve. Being a missionary is the BEST!

I could literally keep going for 6 more hours.. ha. so much to say! But i am truly so thankful to be a missionary, to be serving the Lord every day. It is the greatest thing. I am in Alma right now in the Book of Mormon, and today read Alma 26. What an awesome chapter. I will add my testimony along with Ammon's as he said

"Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea and my joy is carried away even unto boasting in my God; for He has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

Now if this is boasting, even so will i boast, for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo"

This is Christ's church, and we are so blessed!

love you!


Sister Peterson  

 With Sister mcbride, her daughter laura, and sister Stoecker (from ralston-lavista ward)

 Out to dinner with Dr. Fischer, his girlfriend Marsha, and Gordon


It has been SO hot and humid here, that i got home one night and my shirt was completely soaked through with sweat! nasty!

Monday, June 16, 2014

2 Weeks - "Tornado's to Miracles"

Letter sent June 9th, 2014: (“Tornado’s to Miracles”)

Hello! Greetings Earthlings.

Guess what?... yep. you are right. another incredible week full of miracles. I feel SO blessed to be out here in the best part of the country, among the most amazing people. I don't know why the Lord has been blessing us so much lately, but man am i grateful and humbled. This is seriously the best work on earth.

First things first:

1. Congratulations to Hayley! Her wedding pictures/the musical looked SO beautiful and fun! So happy for her. Beautiful bride and couple.

2. Happy Father's day to the best man alive! I am so grateful for you, Dad! You are my favorite and i love you so much. 

3. Happy Birthday to the greatest Mom! It's kind of fun to be able to celebrate both of my parents on the same day this year! Maybe president will give me permission to skype home? ha just kidding. But really i love you so much and can't be more grateful for your example to me. Love you!

4. Happy Birthday to my fav French missionary, Kales!! Love you! Miss you and can't wait for the reunion of a life time.

... and happy birthday/anniversary/wedding to anyone and everyone i may have missed!

What a great week. Literally so much happened this week that i dont know how i am going to be able to fit it all into a tiny little email. Ill try my best though! 

We started off the week with a bang, literally, seeing that we had a tornado on Tuesday! I was on exchanges with Sister Pettyjohn, which was way fun, ha except that right around 4 oclock the sky started turning green/black and the rain started to pour. We drove as fast as we could to get back to the Trail Center, and by the minute the weather was drastically changing from blue skies to "the jaws of death". We had no food at the trail center, haha so we decided to drive through Jimmy Johns to pick us up some food in case we actually got hit by a tornado.. dumb idea. We were ordering and the sirens were going off, and the lady that was taking our order was so slow sister pettyjohn almost had an anxiety attack! ha we grabbed our food and rushed to the trail center right as the hail was starting to come down. It was awesome. We all went down into the basement, including guests ha, and waited it out. it was a fun adventure.... yesterday at church we had our lesson on "signs of the times" and it was so fitting for our experience this week. The Savior's second coming is drawing near, and there is no place i would rather be than here!

A lot happened this week, tiny miracles every day. I wish i  could tell you all of them, but i aint got no time. Just know that the Lord is involved in the very details of our lives, and is aware of every single one of His children. If we look, we will be able to see His hand in all things.

SUNDAY:

Yesterday was one of the greatest days of my mission.. Big statement, i know. But it really was so miraculous and i attribute it to fasting. We decided sunday morning that we were going to fast for our investigators to come to church. We saw Chris this week, and really were praying that he would come to church because he is seriously so solid. We also had invited several other investigators and less active members, so we knew we needed the Lord's help in getting them there.

Sunday morning one of our investigators, Lena, called to say that she wasnt coming to church. We were totally bummed, but didnt give up hope! We knew that the Lord would provide a way. And he totally did. In relief society, our less active/returning member, Sue, walked in right after the meeting started. We havent been able to get ahold of her all week, so we were extremely worried about her.. seeing her walk into church and then stay all 3 hours was such a huge miracle. We then went to gospel principles, and there was John, in a white shirt and tie (!), with our other investigator named Michael! I couldve cried. John looked SO good all dressed up and i felt the Lord's love for him so strong. He is getting baptized this Saturday at 10, and he couldnt be more prepared or more excited. 

After gospel principles we went into Sacrament, and were waiting for a text or a call from Chris to tell us he was there. We waited and then had the feeling to go outside and wait for him. Right as we opened the door to go outside, there he is, with his girlfriend Girly, in their sunday best. Elder and Sister Cleverly were there as well to welcome them in and to help fellowship. They loved Sacrament, and the ward council is on board to helping them feel completely fellowshipped. I am so excited to see what happens with them! Please pray for them!!

As we were sitting in sacrament, ( which sister Brough and i werent even together, we were both sitting with different families because of the number of people there - not a bad problem to have! ) in walks our less active/recent convert, Rochelle. We didnt think she was coming because of her heart attack, but there she was, smiling from ear to ear. Ah! it was amazing!

Sister Brough and i sang Savior, Redeemer of my Soul in sacrament meeting, and that was another miracle because it went over great, even with only running through it once. It was a sacred experience as i know that the Lord helped strengthen my voice.. there is no other explanation to it. The harmony went perfectly, and we were truly able to bear testimony through song. The spirit was so strong, and i really hope it touched the investigators/less actives hearts that were there.

All in all, i KNOW that the Lord lives and that He blesses us as we sacrifice and show our obedience to Him. He is so good. He wants us to be happy and so He has prepared the perfect way for us to be! It is only through the gospel of Jesus Christ, made possible because of the Savior's atonement. I feel His love every day, and it is the greatest gift.

I love you all! Continue to endure!

Sister Peterson 



Letter received June 16, 2014 (“John the Baptized”)

Hello from Omaha!

My heart is full of gratitude today, and i am just so thankful to be a missionary. I remember when i first came out i would get kind of nervous to have people notice i was "different" .. wearing a skirt, and a big black name tag on my chest. I dont know what i was thinking, because now it is literally the greatest joy of my life to wear Jesus Christ's name over my heart each and every day! What a blessing, and i wouldnt trade it for anything!

We were able to witness a miracle on Saturday, as John entered the waters of baptism! it was a beautiful day, and my heart was so full as i realized, once again, the sacred nature of baptism and the importance of that covenant. It is the only way back to live with our father in heaven, and is made possible because of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to have His authority on the earth today so that we can have hope that one day we will live with God again.

Saturday was a crazy busy day - by the end of the night my head felt like a bowling ball and i couldn't even make it through my nightly prayer without dozing off! i love days like that. We started out the day with Trail Center Training, which was so totally awesome! We had asked the Assistants to train on obedience, and they did such an incredible job. I have had so many trainings on obedience, but this one was still so enlightening. Some points i loved:

- There are 3 motivations to be obedient:

1. Fear
2. Praise of man
3. Love

Love is the greatest motivator, and as we obey the 2 great commandments (to love God and to love our fellow men), obeying all other commandments will come easier.

- Jesus Christ was perfectly obedient to the Father. His will was "swallowed up" in the will of the Father. Even though He asked for the "cup to be removed" three times, He still was able to say "not my will, but thine be done". He set the perfect example of loving God and His "fellow men" (us) by suffering the atonement, and therefore being exactly obedient.

- Being exactly obedient doesnt mean we are perfect. It means that we are trying our very best, and then continually repenting.

- Why am I obedient?

I was so motivated after this training to be obedient in every aspect of my life, and to evaluate my standing with God in order to become more exactly obedient. I have a lot to improve on, but i know that being obedient is the only way to bring the greatest amount of blessings!

So, if you can't tell, the day started off AWESOME.

THEN. We rushed off to the stake center for John's baptism! It was supposed to start at 10, but right at about 9:55 we got a call from John who said that he had lost the keys to his car, and he was still at home! The stake center is about 30 minutes away from where we live, so we quickly said a prayer and petitioned the Lord for a miracle. And of course, right after we prayed he was able to find the keys! Satan is one tricky guy. But John was able to make it by 10:30, and the baptism went just great. Sister Brough and i sang "I know that my Redeemer lives" and it went so well. The spirit was the strongest it has ever been, and John broke down in tears as we were able to sing TO him our testimonies of the Savior. It was powerful, i wish you could have all been there. I know Sister B and i were blessed and that the angels in heaven were singing along with us. 

* a little side note about John. He is a talker. He has come into the trail center many, many times and each time stays for at least 4 hours. He LOVES to talk and it is one of my favorite things about him! Well, after his baptism was performed, he bore his testimony and he was literally speechless. He talked for about 5 minutes but that was all he could say - it was so cool. He was completely overwhelmed with the spirit, that all he could really say was that he felt "glorious". What an amazing day.

After the baptism, Sister B and i and the Cleverly's drove down to Nebraska City to help with a fair they were having in the town. We had a booth all about the Mormon Trail Center/Pioneers. It honestly was a really small turn out, but the best part was that i got to spend the whole time with my trainee, Sister Palmer! She serves there, and is doing great. It was like being reunited with family to see her - i love her so much.

We were able to see SUCH an incredible miracle this week with Chris! AH! Here is the week's break down of events with him:

Wednesday:  We had a lesson at his house with Brother Portwood in our ward. They totally hit it off and we had a great lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ/tithing/ a bunch of other things. Brother Portwood was going off on all sorts of tangents, haha but it totally worked. The spirit was there and it was exactly what needed to happen.

Thursday: Chris calls and says "Did you girls say an extra prayer for me last night?" we told him that we always pray for him at night, but nothing in particular! He then went on to say that he woke up Thursday feeling totally energized and like he had been re-born. He said that he got a bigger check that day, bigger than he had ever received and had really no way of explaining where it came from. He also said that he was feeling so peaceful, and that he was on "the right track"! The greatest thing about it is that he attributed everything to the Lord, and him coming closer to Him. Chris said that if things continue going the way they are, there will literally be no denying what his next "step" in life is.. baptism! SO awesome! We were able to bear testimony over the phone of the reality of God, and how blessings truly do come when we are obedient to Him. 

Sunday: Chris and his fiance Girly came to church, and they loved it. Second week in a row(!) which is such a huge miracle. 

Continue to pray for him! He is so awesome, and i feel seriously so privileged to be able to teach him.

We were able to see the Lord's hand every second of this week. I really felt like every prayer offered was answered, and that is a very humbling thing to experience. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father and His great love for us, His children.

Love you all! Have a wonderful week!


Sister Peterson





Monday, June 2, 2014

Miracles

Hello!

I am just sitting here listening to Anne singing "The Miracle" and it is so absolutely beautiful! I am still waiting for her to put out a CD. The words are so true, and it is such a strong testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him, and know that through His atonement we can see "miracles" every day.

i am SO jealous that you got to have dinner with Emma Lancaster! ah! i miss that girl and can't wait to see her! Tell her a big hello from me! love her.

Speaking of miracles, this week was absolutely miraculous. I LOVE missionary work, ah. it is so much fun! I am so grateful for the chance i have to share the "good news" with everyone.. it really is the happiest "news" ever!

List of Miracles:

1. John. Oh John. haha i cannot wait for you all to meet him one day. He is so awesome. We had a great lesson this week at the Trail Center, and he is officially getting baptized on June 14!!! He is SO excited to get baptized... So excited, in fact, that he bore his testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday and invited the whole congregation to come to his baptism! ha i couldnt help the tears from coming, it was one of the happiest moments of my mission. He is going to be such a faithful, strong member. He bore a strong testimony that he has been prepared his whole life for this, and that he knows the Lord has big things in store for him. He is 60 years old (and believes that he will live till he is 120) so he also bore his testimony that the NEXT 60 years of his life he will be completely devoted to God, and His church. It was so powerful..... What was even cooler though, was after he bore his testimony, and boy in the ward who just graduated high school who is preparing to serve a mission, bore his testimony about the Holy Ghost, and spoke directly to John, bearing testimony that the Holy Ghost was there and that it was the reason John has felt the desire to come to Christ. It was so amazing to see this young boy bearing testimony and solidifying the experiences that John has had. I will never forget it.

2. Rochelle. Since May 7 she has had 3 heart attacks, and her health has slowly declined. It has been heart breaking (pun not intended ha) to see her in such a low, and weary state. BUT, she is honestly the most faithful woman i have ever met. She has complete trust in the Lord and total faith that she is just accomplishing the "plan" that God has set for her. We visited her this week, and her daughter Tamera, and got ice cream with them and had a wonderful visit. When we saw her earlier in the week, Rochelle was still so weak, so when she walked into Relief Society on Sunday both Sister Brough and i were totally shocked. She even bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting - the purest testimony i have ever heard. 

She talked about how she was able to get up, get ready, and drive all the way to church today - knowing that God gave her the strength to do so. She said that even amidst all that she has been going through, she still has "every reason to rejoice" because God has given her breath for one more day... and she didnt want to waste that breath by not bearing her testimony. The spirit was so powerful, and i wept hearing of her faith. I want faith like her. When John got up to bear his testimony after Rochelle, i thought I was going to be the one with a heart attack! and when John announced over the pulpit that he was getting baptized, Rochelle said "Hallelujah" and started clapping! haha it was awesome. I love her, and i love our ward.

3. Jay. We got a call at the Trail Center earlier this week and it was a man named Jay, who wanted to know more about the church and have some of his questions answered. I was the one who answered the phone, so i was grateful for the opportunity to teach him! He is orthodox jewish, and is currently reading the Book of Mormon. He has already read 3 Nephi, Alma, and has just started from the beginning. He is awesome. He did, however, have a ton of tough questions about who "God" is and who we worship... "God" or "Jesus Christ". He was able to ask questions that totally went over my head, and kind of trapped me into questioning even my faith and who we believe to be our God! We agreed to have him call back the next day, so i could study a little more and have a more solid answer for him. As i was praying that night and the next morning, along with studying the scriptures, i had one of the coolest experiences. I think i finally realized who i was praying to! We literally have the ability to talk to our Heavenly Father.. our father who created us, who loves us, who sent us here to earth, and who has a body of flesh and bone. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, our brother, to fulfill His plan.. and Christ came to give all honor and glory to His God. While praying i found myself saying "Heavenly Father, i know you know who You are! Help me to know who You are, so that Jay can know who you are!" I was then filled with so much light and love, and i know that the God we believe in is the true and living God. I know that Joseph Smith really did see two beings - God and Jesus Christ. The spirit led me to many scriptures that teach of these things, and i was able to have a great conversation with Jay the next day. It was such a learning experience for me, and my heart is so full of gratitude for the knowledge we have as members of the church. I know that God lives and is aware of us. Oh how i love Him!

4. We were able to find 7 new investigators this week, which was totally awesome. I  know that the Lord is in charge of this work, and that He will lead us to those who are prepared if we just have faith in Him!

5. We were able to find a lost sheep this week, named Alice. We had felt prompted to go and try this woman named Ruby, and had no real reason why. Her name had been mentioned by one of our investigators, who thought that Ruby was a member of the church. We had tried her with no luck, and so decided to try her again on wednesday. It was SO awesome because ALICE answered the door, not having any idea who Ruby was, but Alice was a member of the church who hasnt gone in over 10 years! She has a darling family, and when we were leaving her little kids kept asking their mom when they could get baptized. I know that the Lord led us to her.. there is no other explanation to finding her, besides the spirit guiding and directing us. Pray for her!

I could keep going for probably another hour.. but my time is up! the joy of missionary work is so great! I have been studying in the first few chapters of Mosiah, and man alive are they so good. I never want to stop reading them! But i love the Book of Mormon so much, and am so grateful to have such an uplifting, beautiful record to light my life.

love you all! 

Sister Peterson


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Memorial Day :)

Happy Memorial Day!

I am so grateful to live in this wonderful country, and to be alive in such an incredible time! We are so blessed. It is also so awesome to be a "solider"  in the "Lord's Army" at this time. It is the greatest thing, and i am doing all that i can to "fight with my might" to "choose the right"! 

It has been a wonderful week in the mission. We had family night this last Monday with Deanna and her kids at a member's home. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to be baptized, but she is still wanting to wait until her daughter is "really into it" to make the commitment of baptism. They are so awesome, and i have definitely learned patience as we have been teaching them... I know that they will eventually get there, and it will be in the Lord's timing. 

On exchanges this week we had a really cool experience. I was with Sister Bowles, who is one of the sisters i came out with but is also serving in my ward as well. It is always fun going on exchanges with these sisters because we know everyone they are teaching, and the dinner appointments are always with our ward members! ha. But we had an incredible experience as we ate dinner at the Swapp's house. They are an active member family in the ward, and are awesome. it was my first time over there. They had invited their nephew (who is living there) and his non-member girlfriend named Ria to join us for dinner and the lesson. We had felt inspired to prepare to share the Restoration with the Swapps, and were thrilled when Ria was there. Sometimes i get nervous teaching the Restoration to members, just because we all know "what happened". But it ended up being one of the most powerful first lessons i have ever taught. As i was telling the first vision account, Sister Swapp had tears running down her face, and bore a powerful testimony of the Restoration of Christ's gospel to her kids and also to Ria. The spirit was so strong, and Ria was given a Book of Mormon and invited to pray about it to know if it is true. It was so wonderful, and i am excited for Sister Bowles and Tune to continue teaching her. 

On Wednesday of this week we had Zone Conference! ah, zone conference is like Christmas. We had the most amazing conference, and i was so totally uplifted. The whole theme of ZC was "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". We have been studying that the past few weeks to prepare for conference, and i was able to receive so much wonderful revelation and also counsel from our leaders. The thing that was so cool about it, was that the whole conference was focused on US! ha. It was all about how we can prepare now, while on our missions, to be the best mothers/fathers for our children, and how our responsibility to have a righteous family is great! President and Sister Weston bore powerful testimony about the family, and how it truly is the only thing that will be able to combat evil in these last days. Some of the elders, after conference, came up with the phrase "Puffed Out" haha meaning that they arent "trunky" but are excited for marriage! ha. I think all of us are feeling a greater need and desire to be the best parents we possibly can be. I know that the family is ordained by God. I know that the Lord specifically put us in families because in them is where our joy and happiness can be full. I am so thankful for my family, and feel so excited to continue to raise a righteous posterity!

Sister Brough and i were asked to sing at zone conference, and knowing the theme of "families" we decided to prepare an arrangement of "Where Love Is". We didnt have much time to prepare, and last minute changed our minds on the song, and so i was a little nervous how it would go. But we prayed that the music would bring the spirit in and not glorify ourselves but glorify God. It went great. We recorded it so i will try and send it. We were definitely blessed.

We had a neat experience this week with a recent convert, named Kitty. She comes out on team ups with us all the time, and is one of the sweetest people i have ever met. I love her. This last week she called us because she wanted us to come over to talk. She opened up to us about some concerns she has been having, especially in regards to knowing that God really does love her and is aware of her. It was so cool because we had prepared to share with her Proverbs 31, all about "who can find a virtuous woman", and teach her more about her individual worth as a daughter of God. I was so grateful we followed the spirit. The Lord blesses us with so much charity, and the love in that room as we taught was so strong. I am so grateful to have even a tiny impact on the people here in Nebraska. It is the greatest joy.

Fun Fact:

1. After we serve at the Healing Gift clinic every Thursday night, Dr. Fischer always takes us out to dinner. Well, at dinner this week we went to this awesome restaurant called Goldberg's. He loves it. and so do it! ha. But anyway, it was the end of the meal and i was telling some story, and the water glass that i was holding in my hand completely slipped out, crashed on the table, and water/glass/ice flew everywhere and on everyone. Thankfully everyone got a good laugh, ha but it was so awful. I think the worst part it though that i wont be able to live it down with Dr. Fischer. He is a huge tease, and i love him. 

2. I saw Lauren Patterson and Jim Holmes this week! It was so fun, and felt like seeing family. Brother Holmes came to my ward on Sunday and was able to meet our investigator John who was there. It was a sweet tender mercy

Saturday Sister Brough and I gave the training at Tral Center Training. We had felt earlier in the week to do a tour upstairs to practice some different techniques, but as we were preparing for the training on Friday night, we both didernt feel good about it. We had read a talk called "What if Love were our Only Motive" earlier in the week, and both felt like that is what we needed to train on. We totally switched our plan, and gave a training about Charity. I was nervous because we didnt have much time to prepare for it, but i know that it was what God wanted us to do. A sister after the training told me in tears that she had prayed to know how she could improve/help her companion, and felt like the training we gave was an answer to her prayer. It was so awesome, and it brought me to tears to know that the Lord trusts me and is so willing to guide us to bless even just one of His children. It was such a tender moment.

After TCT Sister Brough and I held New Sister Orientation for the 4 new Trail Center sisters. They are incredible, and it was so fun to get to know them. With every new sister that comes in it is like having an addition to the family! I already love them so much, and i know that they will be the leaders of this mission. They have such strong testimonies. The Lord really is continually strengthening the younger generations to serve Him and do His work. It is so cool to be a part of it!

We had a wonderful dinner last night at the Williams home. They, and the Hobbs, who were also there, are both active member families who i hadnt really met before because they  live out in Bennington, which is about 20 minutes away. I dont really know how ti describe it in words, but i just left feeling like i had left one of my relatives houses. They were so loving, and so kind, and i was so uplifted by the spirit that was in their home. It was cool to see the trust that they gained in us by the time we left their home. They asked if sister brough and i could sing for them, so we sang the version of "I need thee every hour". The spirit was flooding the room by the end of the song, and everyone was in tears. Sister Williams then insisted that we all gather around the piano and sing all together some Hymns. I loved it. it was just like being home, and could literally hear mom saying those exact words.ha. It was wonderful, and made me so grateful to be a missionary.

I love you all! So grateful for your constant love and support. I was thinking this morning about what we would do on memorial day each year.. and i couldnt remember, until i remembered! Big Sur! ha. of course! I hope you are enjoying the bugs and dirt .. haha just kidding. But seriously, have fun!

Till next week,


Sister Peterson