Monday, July 14, 2014

Let us Pray

Hello friends!

Some fun happenings of the week:

1. We got to sing the National Anthem at the Storm Chasers baseball game on tuesday - when else would i get the opportunity to sing at a professional baseball game? it was so awesome! and now i have done it twice! I honestly had been pretty stressed about it, because we only had time to practice all together for 30 minutes before the game.. talk about scary. But, we prayed hard that it would sound ok and that the angels would sing with us! and guess what? it sounded great. Total miracle. Sister Weston bought us funnel cakes afterwards to top the whole night off.. great day.

2. I had some awesome experiences at the Trail Center this week. With so many people coming in, that means we are all taking more tours, which means more miraculous events! here are the highlights of a couple of the tours i took this week:

- I greeted a couple that told me they were from a tiny town in Nebraska. They walked in looking kind of confused, and so i told them the things that we have at the trail center. They quickly declined the video, but agreed to have me take them on tour. We rounded the corner near the bust of Joseph Smith, and i started asking a few simple questions about their family background. While i was asking the question, the man cut me off by saying "Ok, will you just stop talking for a second? We are Catholic and will never become Mormon. If you have some sort of quota or mission you are trying to fulfill, we are NOT the people you want to talk to. I am a US History teacher, so i already know about the mormons, and so if you are wanting to convert us you are talking to the WRONG people!" ha! I stood there rather stunned, but prayed in my heart for charity for this couple. I know that the Lord helped me bite my tongue, because i was able to smile big and just say "Oh, i am so happy you came in because i would love to learn more about the history of this area! So hopefully we can learn a little bit together, and i hope you enjoy your experience here". I smiled as big as i could ha and he quickly got quiet. Long story short, i honestly feel bad for the man and his wife because i am sure they felt silly for acting out in such a way. We had an awesome tour, and they left feeling great. We were able to laugh and learn together, and i was even able to bear my testimony. I learned that it is NEVER ok to be rude - never! You always regret it. I know that man did. And if we want to represent Jesus Christ, and profess ourselves as Christians, then we should always act in kindness. i am so glad that the Lord helped me do so.

- A YSA group from Brigham City Utah came in, a group of over 100 people. I was lucky enough to take part of the group on tour. It was honestly one of the best tours that i have ever taken - it was SO fun, and SO spiritual. i loved it. It started as i took the group out to the cemetery. We talked about the sacrifice of the pioneers, their faith, and how they have left a legacy for us. One girl came up to me afterwards and asked if i would help her find the grave of her ancestor. We traced it out, and found where she was buried. As we stood there together, the girl started crying and the spirit was so strong. We both felt the "spirit of Elijah" as we realized how grateful we were for the sacrifice of these pioneers. it was a moment i will never forget. We were then able to come into the TC and i took them on tour. I dont know what got into me, but i felt like i was floating around the gallery haha. When we were in the memorial room, i know the words i was speaking were not my words- they were the Lord's. I was able to bear powerful testimony on the blessing of temples, the gospel, and the pioneers. I love when i bear my testimony and i feel my understanding grow of different parts of the gospel. That is the spirit, and that is how i know that this truly is the Lord's church! 

- (see picture) i got to take sister Saufley and her granddaughter on tour at the TC. It was so good to see her, man i love the Saufley's. We had a powerful lesson with her granddaughter about baptism, and how important it is. i really hope she gets baptized! we dressed  up as pioneers, and had a great time. i know that the spirit was there, so i am praying that it softens her granddaughter's heart.

3. We were able to go to a Catholic Mass this week, for a "volunteer thank you dinner" for the catholic nuns/retirement community we do service for. It was so great to experience another church, especially as we teach so many people that are of different faiths, so it was nice to get a clue in on what they believe/are used to. But i am so thankful for the gospel and i know it is true. I recognized while in mass how much truth they have, but also how much the restoration of the gospel clarifies simple truths. I know that the power of revelation is REAL and that the way we can recognize truth/the spirit is when we feel our hearts and minds enlightened and opened.

 4. We had an awesome lesson with Chris this week about the Word of Wisdom. another tough lesson, but it went so well. He is progressing beautifully. He and his fiance are in Vegas this weekend, so we were joking with him that he should come back married! ha, not going to lie, that would be great! ha but our lesson about the Word Of Wisdom went great, and he has to make some changes in his life, but has the desire to do so. i know he can do it. We had been praying that he would accept the things that we taught, and after we had the lesson and asked him his thoughts, he replied "well, it totally makes sense." answer to prayer! It was incredible. Please continue to pray for him!

The first fireside at the Trail Center is this week on friday - we are praying that people show up! ha it is like throwing a party, and it always is kind of nerve racking until the first guest arrives. I know it will be a success, even if we just have 1 person there! I am excited to see how it turns out.

Love you all, and thank you for your prayers and support! Being a missionary is so much fun. 

Sister Peterson

 Singing at the Storm Chasers Baseball game

 Hanging out in Old Market/ Walking Bridge

A Finding we found near our apartment - very convenient! 

 The bag i have had my whole mission finally broke/fell apart. it had gotten so gross that i was grateful it died.

Friday, July 11, 2014

God Bless America

Letter written 7/7/14

Another week! 

This has been a wonderfully humbling week, one that i am so grateful for. It has been madness here.. ha half the time i feel like i am running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Thankfully the sisters/elders are patient with me and my weaknesses, and i am grateful that the Trail Center hasn't burned down yet! 

I am so grateful for the experiences that the Lord let's us go through in order to help prepare us for the future. This week i feel like i have learned much about pride, repentance, and following the spirit. And because i have been learning/studying about that, the Lord has so graciously blessed me with opportunities to exercise what i have learned! I have realized that i honestly know nothing, am comparable to the dirt under my feet, and cannot do anything without the help of our loving Heavenly Father. He is the one who gives us life, support, and the ability to accomplish anything. I am so grateful for His merciful hand and for His constant mercy in my behalf.

Happenings at the Trail Center:

1. Sister Brough and i have been planning a Summer Fireside Series that will be held every friday night here at the Trail Center. We have contacted local stake presidents, ward leaders, the temple presidency, and anyone else we can think of to speak at these Firesides. Well, since sister Brough was transferred, it has been quite the ordeal trying to catch Sister Hanks up on everything, and finish up all that needed to be finished (printing of the flyers/getting them to all the stakes/published in ward bulletins). It has been so crazy, ha but we finally were able to get almost everything finalized this week, and so we are just anticipating the first event on the 18th! It has been really fun to see people get excited for the events, and i will be praying that they go well! 

2. Tomorrow night we (along with 10 other missionaries) are singing the national anthem at the Storm Chasers game! I was able to participate in it last summer if you remember, so i am excited to do it again! This time we have been the one's in charge which puts a different spin on the excitement, haha but it still will be fun. Pray that it goes well!

3. There has been a sister that has been really struggling the past transfer, and so we have been working really closely with her to make sure she is doing alright. Well, on the 4th of July she ran away. Thankfully her companion chased her down the street (barefoot) and was able to reach her before the sister had passed out. Anyway, long story short. I went on an emergency exchange with the struggling sister. it was honestly such a great experience and an answer to my prayer. I have been praying so fervently to know how to help this sister, and i received the answer of just to love her and listen to her. That was able to happen as i drove her to talk with President Weston, and then took her to dinner afterwards. She is a different person now and is doing so well. it is a miracle. That has been one of the greatest joys of my mission - i have realized that the reason i was called here to the Trail Center hasnt necessarily always been for the visitors that come in, but for the sisters that are here. i have loved to see their growth and their testimonies continually strengthened. 

In the area:

1. Chris is doing awesome. He came to church this week with his fiance, and they loved it. He told us after sacrament that he wanted to get up and bear his testimony on how he has seen his life change since meeting with us! i wish he wouldve! thankfully there are many more fast and testimony meetings to come :) He called us this week to talk to us about some of his concerns, especially about how he is worried with him being in "the public eye" that people wont vote for him or support him if they know he is mormon. we were able to have a great lesson about standing up for our religion and on defending the faith. He is currently praying about whether or not Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, and so we are praying that he receives that answer! I know he will, because i know that president Monson truly IS the prophet! So Chris will get there. He also told us that he already considers himself mormon even though he isnt baptized yet. so cool. I have LOVED seeing him progress and make changes in his life. it is amazing, and it is through the atonement that he has seen so much change.

2. We had some extra time yesterday because church was only 45 minutes long - someone stole the copper out of the AC unit at the church, and so there was no AC. it was 97 degrees yesterday with high humidity, so we could only last in that building for so long. We were praying to know where we should go/what we should do with the extra time we had. Sister Hanks had the impression to go to Craig Street. We drove over there and i remembered a house of a member of the church who had moved. We had already tried once before, and knew that the member had moved, but we still felt like we should try it. We knocked on the door and a man came out named Isaiah. We told him that we had a message about Jesus Christ to share with him, and he was so open and wanting to learn. He has a 5 year old son, and has been wondering what he needs to do to be a better parent to his son. We are meeting with him again this week on wednesday, so i hope it goes well! i just know with all my heart that if we listen to the quiet impressions of the spirit, that we will be led to exactly where we need to be. the Lord knows ALL of His children, there is no doubt in my mind. I am so grateful to get to meet so many of them!

3. Lena is set for baptism on July 26, so we are praying that everything goes through! She has progressed a ton, and is really starting to get involved with the church. we are praying for her!

4. Sue, our returning member/less active, bore her testimony on sunday. it was so awesome. she has come a long way, and i love her a ton. she always tells me that "i am hard on her" ha. i think it is because i love her, and can see the potential she has. She has made a lot of changes and is now reading from the BOM daily and praying. i am so proud of her, and i know that her relationship with Christ is much better than when i first met her. It is amazing to see what the spirit can do to people.

5. we had dinner at a recent converts house this week, and the only thing i will say is that while we were waiting for dinner, i looked over at the oven and i counted over 50 cockroaches climbing out of the oven. i have never prayed harder in my life. i know the Lord blesses us to handle things like that. and you know what? the dinner wasnt half bad. haha.

I love you all! So grateful for the support and love from you. Sending all my love your way!

Sister Peterson

here are some pictures of sister hanks and i on the 4th of July! at the end of a crazy day :)