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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Storm Warning

Long time no see!!

What a glorious day yesterday.. i am still floating from a wonderful skype call - meeting baby MckSpen along with seeing all of your faces was a dream. Just another testament that i literally have the best family in the whole world... that sounds prideful. But really, i am so grateful for such an uplifting day yesterday! :)

We saw so many miracles this week. With the Cleverly's gone, and with much to do, the Lord really helped us out in every way possible. I saw His hand so readily this week, and i know we could not have done it without Him!

List of Tender Mercies:

1. The parade for Florence Days was about to start, and we started feeling like drops of rain. Sister Brough and i said a pray, and the minute we said amen the rain stopped, and it didnt start raining until late that night. the weather was perfect for both the parade and the concert.

2. Last night - a. Being able to ALL skype. for an hour! such a tender mercy. b. right as our phone call ended, we ran to the basement of the house because the tornado was passing by the house! ha so crazy. thankfully we were safe! And actually, i SAW the tornado! The member we were with made sure to show my it before getting for cover, ha. It was a huge "wall cloud" that was forming into a tornado.. super crazy. never want to see one of those again! craziest storm i have ever been in.. but of course, it ended right at 8:30, so we were able to get home right at 9. so cool.

3. John came to church! I told you yesterday, but he came to the concert after Florence days, and absolutely loved it. President Weston was also there, and so i went and introduced the two, hoping that President would be able to say something to John to get him even MORE close to joining the church... and that is exactly what happened! He LOVED taking to President, and feels like they are very similar. He loved church yesterday, and felt so comfortable there. It was a total miracle. I am so excited to continue to see him progress :) 

4. Diamond and Laurie - Our investigator Diamond, who we havent been able to get in contact with a ton the past few weeks, met with us this week... with her mom! And it was SO awesome! Her mom had all of these questions about the Spirit, which is my fav topic, and it was so apparent that the Lord has been preparing her to hear the gospel. She has had a hard life, but they both are excited to meet with us again this week. Pray for them!

I am so grateful to be a missionary. man alive. it is the best thing ever. I am so thankful that there is a living prophet on the earth to lead and guide this church, Christ's church. I know that Christ lives and that He is our Savior. I am so thankful that "i have a family here on earth" and that "they are so good to me". I am grateful for the Book of Mormon! love that book so much.

Last night as we were in the middle of the Tornado, all i felt was pure peace. i think a huge part of it was that i had just skyped the family, so if i were to die, that would have been a good time! ha, but i know that the peace i felt was through our Savior. I kept thinking, as i was looking at the crazy winds/storm, about Helaman 5:12.. these truly are the last days... and i know that peace and comfort come as we have a sure foundation in Christ. The talks in this last General Conference were so awesome in reminding us to "hold on tight" to our beliefs so that they are not shaken in the storms of life. We are so blessed. And what a blessing we could all be to those who do not know of the "protection" we have in the gospel.

This week is transfer week, so pray that everything goes smoothly! We will have 4 new sisters coming to the Trail Center, which will be so awesome. Change is always good.

Love you all! Miss you!

Sister Peterson

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

What do you call four mexicans in a boat that is going down? ...... Cuatro Cinco! (sink-o)

I am anxiously awaiting baby "Jose" or "Maria"! What an exciting week for the Peterson family!!

It has been another wonderful week.. One that has been humbling, but also very encouraging as well. it was the first week in probably about 8 that we didnt have anyone at church, so that was pretty discouraging.. but looking at the bright side, we have had so many blessings the past 2-3 months that i can't complain!

This week we have a TON going on. We are trying to stay calm, and i know the Lord will be there with us the whole time! We meet with the Cleverly's every monday morning to talk about the affairs of the TC, but received a call from Elder Cleverly last night, telling us that Sister Cleverly's father is passing away, so they were leaving on an early flight tomorrow (today) to San Diego for the week. That means that Brough and I are really the head honcho's of the TC! Ah! Pray we don't burn it down! ha.

This week we have the annual Florence Days - the city parade where we dress up as pioneers and pull hand carts down 30th street (i can't believe it has already been a year since we had this parade! So crazy!) It should be a really fun event. Sister Brough and i (along with the TC sisters and some elders) are having a concert after the parade to help advertise  the Trail Center! We are kind of just throwing it together this week, so pray it goes well! We are excited :)

Some fun things that happened this week:

1. Mission Leadership Council - so awesome, as always. It was kind of neat because President Weston gave a training all about faith/miracles ... the same training he gave the TC sisters 3 weeks ago! We felt ahead of the game at MLC! ha but it was neat that even though it was the same training, i was still able to receive a ton of new revelation, and have a much stronger testimony of faith. I want to have more of it, because it truly is the only way that we can receive miracles!

2. On exchanges this week, we saw so many miracles. One of them, ha, was when we had dinner! We have been short on food the last week, and so we decided that we'd use a Little Caesar's gift card. When we tried to pay for the food, however, the cashier wasn't working, and it turned into a whole fiasco. Well, there was a woman behind us who stood up for us and told the man behind the cashier to "be nice to these girls!" and then eventually paid for our dinner! ha isnt awesome? She was so sweet, and it was a tender mercy...

.... another miracle on exchanges: We received a call from the Rockbrook sisters, telling us that they met someone in our area who we needed to go see. We went over that night, and met Curt and Lisa, two new investigators! They are SO awesome, pretty crazy, ha but the kindest people. Lisa actually gave Sister Winterton (who i was with) her coat since she had forgotten one. Kind, kind, people. We visited Lisa yesterday and had a wonderful visit. I am excited to see where things go with her.

3. Remember cindy and tudie? well.. they don't have to move for another month! such a miracle. AND, their son, Josh, is now investigating the church! He is in his 20's, and is super willing to study and learn. We gave him Alma 32 to read, and when we came back the next day to talk to him about it, he had taken 10 pages of notes! star student! He didnt come to church this week which was super sad, but i know he will come next week!

The Lord has been so good to me this week. i caught a little cold from one of our less actives, Jessica, and have just been praying that the Lord will take it away from me so i can work as hard and as diligently as i need to, especially on a high-stress week like this one! But it has been so cool to see that even though i still have a cold, He has given me every little bit of strength i need to make it through the day. It reminds me of the scripture:

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and he brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord

I know that as we trust in the Lord, He will ALWAYS strengthen us. He is bound to bless us if we are doing our best to follow Him. it is the best deal ever.

With a new niece/nephew on the way, i cant help but cry with happiness for the blessing of family! isn't it about.. time? :) Family is what the gospel is all about! it is the reason that we are able to have joy and happiness in this life, and exaltation in the next! I am so grateful for the gospel and for how it blesses our families. We are so blessed, and i am so thankful!

Talk to you soon... like, on Sunday! :) Love you all!

Sister Peterson