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

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