Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2 Timothy 1:8

i have so much to say, oh man. let's see if i can fit this all in! ha
First off: MATTHEW!! happy birthday!!! i love you so much and am so grateful for you! i hope the 27th is a wonderful day for you :) miss you!

miracles. so many miracles... are you sick of me saying that? Sister Barton and i started a "gratitude wall" in our apartment, where every night we come home and write a sticky note with a miracle from the day on it. it is amazing to see how blessed we truly are, and how even the craziest days are full of God's love. we are so lucky!
quick note: transfers were this week. Sister Barton and i are still together in Ralston. i totally forgot to tell you last week, but i knew we were staying so it slipped my mind.

in case i run out of time, i want to share THE COOLEST experience ever. seriously, i have been giddy the past couple of days even just remembering it. here we go:
So a few days ago, our investigator Val dropped us. i'd go into detail but i dont have enough time. but basically, it was awful and a first for my mission. she doesnt want to change, and that is hard. especially when you love them so much! but anyway, sister Barton and i were totally bummed, and i was trying not to be discouraged.
well, friday night Elder Deshler from the 70 was coming to a mid-single adult conference, but because Val "broke up with us" (that's what it felt like! haha) we didnt think we would be able to go anymore. But, we decided to call Walt last minute to see if he was free. He was, and we were super excited. we met Walt at the church (which by the way, it was super awkward when we got there. a bunch of mid-single adults playing "get to know you Bingo"... haha) and had dinner there. Right as we were finishing up, Elder Deshler came into the gym and came right over to us. I have met him several times, but i still was so surprised when he remembered who i was. We were able to talk for a minute or two, and then he asked who we were with. i told him that Walt was our investigator, and Elder Deshler instantly said "oh, awesome. make sure you bring him up after to meet me".
So, we go into the chapel for the fireside. the spirit was awesome and i was stoked to hear him speak. Elder Deshler gets up to the pulpit, and after standing there in silence for a good 30 seconds, he says "i have loved meeting with you all during dinner. and after talking with you, i have decided i need to talk about something different than i planned". Elder Deshler then proceeds to give the most POWERFUL, SIMPLE talk about the Restoration, and about Jesus Christ. He told about his conversion story, and how joining the church was the best decision he ever made. I sat there absolutely amazed because, Elder Deshler was speaking directly to Walt. out of the hundreds of people there, he changed what he prepared to meet the needs of our investigator. i couldnt believe it. sister barton and i kept looking at each other with "can you believe this is happening?" faces. it was so cool.
after Elder Deshler sat down, i looked up at him to give him a huge "thank you smile" haha. well, as i did so, we made eye contact and he quickly smiles and winks right at me. yep. im serious. i wanted to jump up and down.
We go up after the meeting, as promised, to meet him and say thank you. as Elder Deshler grabbed Walt's hand, he said "you must be sister peterson's investigator. Let me just say, that you are doing the most important thing of your life. This is the most important decision you will ever make. The biggest regret i have is that i waited so long to make it. Dont wait".
Walt then proceeded to tell him that he feels like he is getting a lot closer to baptism than ever, and that january 23, (his baptismal date) is what he is shooting for. Elder Deshler got SO excited and then said, "i want to stay in contact with you Walt. Is that ok? if you ever have any questions, you tell Sister Peterson and she can call/email me." he then wrote down his email in my planner and said "walt, you are in good hands with these sisters. They are going to see you baptized". (!?!?!?!)
hahaha. isnt that incredible?!?! sister barton and i danced all the way home. it was amazing to hear the powerful testimony of a chosen servant of the Lord. Sister Barton and i have been joking all week that "elder Deshler was our team-up" ... but truly he was! ah it made my day. and week. and mission. i love missionary work.
we had another amazing miracle last night.
yesterday was a crazy day. NO ONE was home. we literally did not talk to anyone until literally 7 oclock last night. it has been getting colder, and so less and less people are outside, which makes missionary work a little more tricky. but we were praying around 7:15 pm (probably the 100th prayer yesterday, no joke) and as sister Barton was praying to know where we should go, the thought came into my mind to call Crystal, a less active in our ward. we called and she invited us over. boom. answer to prayer.

we went over to her house, and she began to tell us that she was in Trader Joes, and she was feeling absolutely awful because she had tried to share the gospel with her friend just an hour before and she had totally rejected it. Right as she was thinking really negative thoughts, that is when we called her. She told us that she instantly "looked up to heaven and told God 'that was quick!'" haha. it was so neat to be able to lift her spirits and to help her see how amazing she is. It was an answer to our prayers, to be an answer to her prayer. it was incredible and was just another reminder that God is SO aware of each of us. no such thing as coincidences.
funny story:
Sister Barton and i decided to treat ourselves to Pizza Ranch (it's like a pizza buffet place... kill me. it is so good) because we have been eating so healthy lately haha. while we were stuffing our faces, i said i silent prayer that i would stop recognizing all of the songs that they were playing so that i could keep consecrated. well. no joke. The next song that came on over the radio at the restaurant was AN EFY SONG. i looked at sister barton and asked her if she could hear the song playing because i honestly couldnt believe it.. haha. but she could. the Lord answers our prayers... i still cant get over that one.
Ah, i am so happy. i got home sick for the first time on my mission this week because a family came into the trail center that literally reminded me SO much of our family... same numbers and everything. and there was a little girl that was opal's age. i almost cried. haha. BUT. it just made me realize how thankful i am for families, and for the temple, and for loving friends. We are so blessed... and i am so grateful.
I love my savior, and i am trying my absolute best. it hit me this week how i am almost half way done with my mission. that is a scary thought... how could that be?!? i am so thankful to have this opportunity. even the hard days are great because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
you know what is a great book? the book of mormon. you should read it.
love you all! :)

Sister Peterson

Note: 2 Timothy 1:8 reads, "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God"

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