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

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