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