Friday, December 17, 2010

Re: You say it's your birthday!!!

Email sent Monday 13 December 2010

Feliz Cumpleanos a mi! Yup yesterday was my birthday. I have to say it is one of the stranges birthdays I have ever had. I was just another day. Only like five people I saw knew it was my birthday. My district leader, the three sisters I live with and this cute little old lady investigator we have. So it was pretty uneventful...except that I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Gotta love that. And the sisters made me this awesome thing. It's called a Pizookie. It is this giant cookie that you cook on a cookie sheet and then you cover it with brownie batter that you mixed (without the egg) and top it with ice cream! It was really good. But other than the Pizookie eating it was just another day on the mission. Ni modo. I got your letter last week. Thank you for that! I also got one from Grandma. Tell her thanks! And I got a package from Lynne. SHe's such a cutie. It has christmas stuff in it too so that's fun. I'll be waiting to open that till later. So who am I supposed to be giving to out of the cousins this year? Cuz I guess that was either nate or spence giving to me. Let me know so I can send them a card or money or something.

Ok so this week was crazy. Wednesday evening my companion started getting sick. Thursday morning she was worse. So she slept and I studied. By 1:30 she felt a little better so they told us we could try to go out and work. So we did for teh rest of the night. But by the end of the night she felt super bad again. We came back and found out that another sister we live with, Sister Villalobos also was sick and had been throwing up and stuff. So Friday, Sis. Zamora and Villa just slept and were sick and suffered and Sister Platt and I had to have weekly planning by ourselves and then we studied a lot and sister platt and I went out at night to some of my appointments. Saturday sister Zamora was still not very good so we only went out to the appointments we had scheduled and she was a trooper. Also Sister Platt got sick that day too. So basically this week everyone in my apartment, EXCEPT ME, got sick. I think I have a very strong immune system. I'm telling you, it is the peanut butter/chocolate diet that helps you out. No I'm just kidding I eat better than that, not much better, but better. But ya, I spent my birthday week with sick people. It was fun. Luckily they are all feeling better now.

My spanish is really improving. My favorite is when we go up to people and start talking and then they say , "No speak english" and we switch to spanish and they just stand there dumb-founded. It's great. Or even better then people who we go up to and start talking in spanish and they say, "No speak english" and we say, "Estaba hablando en espanol." And they get all confused, they thought they could play dumb but we speak both languages so it is great. Anyway, it is coming along. Little by little.

Ok to answer your questions:

-Cockroach boxes? No idea. If we were cleaner I think they would go away. I don't know. It grosses me out less and less every day. It's just becoming normal. You get home and smack a couple and then clean up. It's life in Laredo.

-Yes I brought my bike with me, no I have yet to ride it. It still has a flat tire from when I got it. Yes I need to fix it. That's something dad should have taught me before I left.

-One of the office elders drove me and a new greenie here from McAllen in the truck.

Sister Zamora's first name is Amorette and she is from San Jose California.

-I have no idea about the christmas phone call. Hopefully we find out this week and I'll let you know next week I guess.

-Packages: you can actually send them to my address here. If you like specify that I have to sign on delivery they will try to deliver it and if I'm not here, they will just leave a slip and I can go pick it up at the post office. The post office is in my area, so we can go there whenever. So then you don't have to go through the nelsons. By the way make sure the zip code you use is 78041.

-(This is the scary story she mentioned in her last email that she wasn't going to tell us.)The story about Nuevo Laredo is that this member lives down there during the week and one day he was going to school and driving and all of a sudden all of these big black trucks and suv's that were real nice started flying by him in his car. and he was like, oh crap. Because stuff like this happens all the time down there and if you are there when they start to fight or whatever you die. So he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the last truckcame back and stopped him and they surrounded him and they made him get out of teh car and he had a machine gun pointed at his head and they were doing who knows what. But he was telling us this story because at this time he felt this overwhelming feeling of peace come over him, that everyting was going to be all right. He knew that it was the Holy Ghost comforting him in this horrible situation. And because of that peaceful feeling he was able to stay calm and they ended up releasing him and leaving him there alone. He was protected because of the Holy Ghost. But that's how scary the streets are across the border. In some cities the church has been canceled. people do not leave their homes except to go to school and then they come right back. Seminary is canceled, mutual is canceled. It's not safe. They live in fear every day. It is sad. But don't worry on this side it is not bad. We are safe.

-That song about laredo I think I heard on the wedding planner, it's great, quinton reminded me of it last week too.

-That's so cool about Sister Smart. A member here told us about that. She said that Elizabeth Smart's companion got to come with her and has been by her side every day of the trial and everything. That is so awesome that the church let her do that. What a companion. That would be the hardest experience. I am sure they will change so many lives together when they go back to France. (I think it was a companion that had already come home that was with her every day.)

Well I hope you are all having a very good Christmas season. Thanks for writing some dad! Tell Quinton hi, I feel like he doesn't exist sometimes now. He doesn't write me much. :( I'm excited to talk to you soon. Tell casey hi. Oh also, other random things that I might want for christmas, tapes (blank ones or ones that you all or our cousins have talked on) I have a tape player. Stamps. That black shirt I have with cream chain-like things on it in my closet, There was somethign else but I don't remember right now.

Well thank you all for everything. See what you can do to serve people at this christmas time. Don't ask people what you can do to help them, just use your eyes, look and find something that needs to be done and do it. See how you feel. Spread the spirit of Christmas. I love you all.


Sister Petersen

Continuation of Email sent in a Letter

Letter dated Monday 6 December 2010


This is a continuation of my email. You can type it up and put it on the blog.

So my whole time here in Texas I have heard about how in Laredo there is a member who is a chiropractor and he lets the missionaries come for free every p-day. So, today was my first p-day here; I was so excited. I had been waiting for this day for over 6 months now. So we went to the chiropractor and it felt so awesome! He was great! It was sort of the same as Dr. Hutchings and he popped my back and my neck and everything. And then he looked at my jaw and had me open and close it. He said, “You don’t deviate very much at all. Looks like they did a really good job.” So you can tell Dr. Hutchings that he did a great job.

But anyway, then he did this cool thing to my jaw to put it in place. It didn’t hurt at all or make popping sounds, but after it felt so good. I hadn’t realized how much I missed having it right in place. And then we got to lay on this water bed type thing that massaged us. It was awesome. And he gave me some calcium pills that I should take to help my jaw and a whole bunch of other things. He is super nice. So we get to go every week! YAY!

OK. Dad, I hope you start feeling better. Maybe if you didn’t go skiing that would helpJ But, of course, nothing would stop you from skiing. Does Tim Praag know you are 20 years older than him? Are you like best mowing/skiing buds now?

Brandy, thanks for the videos! I really like them. Quinton wasn’t in any though. It’s like he doesn’t even live there. He might as well be in Africa. (Note: It really isn’t Quinton’s fault that he was not in the video’s. It is my procrastination and having to do the videos at the last minute when Quinton wasn’t there - Laurie)

Quinton, I can’t believe you bought a MAC. Not fair. Hey, I only got to the chiro once a week too nowJ P.S. Thanks for the scripture case! I love it! I thought you said you had gotten me a big one?

Mom, thanks for always writing and for the package. As far as what else I want for my b-day/Christmas…A tape with ya’ll talking on it, maybe even our cousins and stuff could talk on it (you might have to send that after Christmas). Stamps! That is expensive, but I use a lot. Remember how I spent like $60 on stamps before I came? I used them all & bought 40 more & only have 20 left. So stamps would be good. Thank you cards w/envelopes to match them. A conference Ensign in English spiral bound with clear plastic covers. Clicky pens that write nice. A cute scarf that could go with lots of colors.

Mom, thanks so much for all you do for me. Sorry I can’t be there to help out with Christmas.


Con amor

Hermana Melinda Petersen

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Greetings from Laredo...aka MEXICO on the US side of the border

Email sent Monday 6 December 2010

Wow, so I don't have a lot of time, but I will try to recap the craziness of this week really fast. Sorry Q and B I didn't read your emails yet, but I didn't have time.

I am in Laredo. It feels a whole lot more like Mexico here than in McAllen. Not that i really know what Mexico is like cuz I've never been there, but it feels like I think Mexico would feel without the danger aspect. We are SUPER close to the border here. Super close! And just across it is Nuevo Laredo and I guess it's pretty dangerous there. Like really dangerous with the drug cartels and stuff. A member told us a pretty scarey story the other day about it. I will refrain from telling you it as to not scare you. But just know that on this side of the border it seems to be a lot safer. And don't worry we haven't seen anything dangerous over here...except COCKROACHES!!! In our apartment. EWWWW!!! It is gross. I really don't like our apartment. It is ALL tile. I hate tile. We have to wear shoes all the time. And every night when we come home we go straight to the kitchen and start killing cockroaches with a fly swatter. It is nasty. I really want to deep clean this place and everything. I really hope sister sigler gets transfered up here next time and we can go cleaning crazy and fix this problem. Ok really it's not that bad but it really bugs me. Bugs...get it? haha

Thank you so much for getting me that package. I had been wearing sister Morrill's coats and scarves and it's good you got it to me because Sister Zamora, (who has only been out for 6 weeks) doesn't have any warm clothes either. So we have both been wearing the clothes you sent me. THanks so much!

I am already starting to find my way around this new area. I think I've finally got my bearings here in texas. I now can tell at any random moment which direction I am facing. So that is good. When I first got to McAllen I was so turned around. But I'm figuring out the streets. Yes we have a car. The church here in laredo is just a district with branchs. They just reorganized boundaries and things here like 2 weeks ago, and even missionary areas got changed. So basically Sister Zamora and I are whitewashing. Though she has been here for 6 weeks, our area got changed and now we have some part that used to belong to elders and we are only in one branch (which both english and spanish people have to go to, but it is only done in english) and we don't know any of our members and I'm new here and I've never been a senior comp-let alone basically training. It has been a rough week. But we are trying to turn things around. I have a lot of things on my to do list if you know what I mean. I'm sure the other missionaries who ahve been here were working hard, but they didn't leave us much to go off of. You know me and how I am organized and such. Well, I just walked into an unorganized area. I will work some magic and get this place in ship-shape and start baptizing.

This is going to be a transfer of learning for me. I need to learn how to lead, how to teach better, and how to speak and understand spanish better. There is definitely more spanish here than there was in McAllen. And now I am the senior comp so I need to know it better because I have no one to rely on if I don't. YEsterday in church I had to translate for our investigator who came. THat was the hardest thing ever. When the teacher is talking super fast and you just have to listen and translate at the same time. It was craziness. I was humbled quickly. But I will learn.

Ok, what I want for my birthday:

Clothes!! Skirts that cover the knee. I want some cute ones. Plain colors might be good so that they match more things, but whatever. make sure they are sort of flowy so that if I want to sit down on the ground indian style I can with no problems. Also more cute shirts would be nice. Or money so I can go shopping and buy some. Cardigans!!! I would love a couple cute cardigans!

-Pictures of ya'll

-a good smelling perfume

-cookies, dunford donuts, fudge,

I don't know, I'll write you a letter today with more things if I think of them.

Well that's all the time I have for now. I love you tons and don't forget about me over here in this month of my birthday and christmas! :)


Sister Petersen

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yo me voy a Laredo!!!

Email sent Monday 29 November 2010

Drum roll please!!!....Transfers are this week and I am headed to Laredo tomorrow morning! It is sad and good at the same time. I really love the people here. The wards are awesome and I was excited to spend Christmas with them and Sister Morrill and I didn't want to get split up yet. But all of the sisters in our mission are just so young and 4 newbies come in today so we needed lots of trainers, so Sister Morrill will be training and I have to go be a senior companion. What the right?! I hit my six months this week on the mission. One of the pictures I am sending is of us burning some nylons that had a hole in them to celebrate me being out for six months already! I only have a year left! Isn't that weird? Yes.

Anyway so this week was crazy. We had thanksgiving on Thursday and that was weird to be a missionary. It wasn't the same as at home but the members took care of us. We only ate twice. Some elders had 8 food appointments. We didn't want that many so we turned some down. The Torres family is awesome. He is the bishop in our spaish ward and I just love them. They really made us feel like we were at home. It's sad to have to leave. I thought that leaving home would be the only goodbyes I'd have to say because of the mission, or at least that's the only ones I thought of, but leaving these people is hard. I just love them.

Mom, I really needed you to send those jackets. I HAVE NO COLD WEATHER CLOTHES! I have been wearing sister morrill's coats and scarves this week. I know there is no snow here, but tracting in 43-55 degree weather makes you cold. One day it will be cold like that and the next day it will be back at 80, but I do need clothes. And now, when you send it who knows how long it will take to get it to me because Laredo is far from the mission home and they don't come out here that much. But I would really appreciate it if you could send me those jackets/coats and scarves and gloves (the ones that are brown and orange with the fingers and mitten part too) I would really appreciate it so I don't freeze. THanks.

P-days: sometimes we go shop a little at target or something. But usually we/I play basketball with the elders. Or two weeks ago we went to a park and played basketball and soccer and double dutch with the jump ropes iwth the elders. Oh and we limboed. There was no competition so of course I won. But mostly we justs take a nap or write a ton of letters.


Sister Petersen
Christian at his baptism!!!
Burning of the nylons to celebrate 6 months on a mission!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Email sent Monday 22 November 2010

Wow I can't believe that the holiday season is here. To me it still feels like summer should be starting. I went straight from school to the mission so to me it feels like time has frozen and it is still June. But no, it is November. There is no snow here. Nor will there be any anytime soon. People always talk about this one time when they got snow like 7 years ago, and it snowed "really good" on a Christmas Eve and everyone scraped up what little they really got and made snow/dirtmen on Christmas day. But that was the last time it snowed here. Right now it's like 85 degrees out and humid. I think it will rain soon. But snow-no.

To answer your question mom, yes I do play the piano quite often. My very first sunday here they had me play in sacrament meeting in our spanish ward. And I probably play about every other week in spanish sacrament meeting. And I play at the baptisms a lot and sometimes they call me into primary. I always play at district meetings and stuff too. I am super grateful that Leslie had us learn all of the songs in the hymn book, because it doesn't matter what it is I can just sit down and play it on the spot well enough. Because they don't give me any heads up to what I will play. I just get there and they say "Puede tocar el piano hoy?" y digo, "si" Y toco. It's fun. We also have been singing a lot. Last week the missionaries (six of us, 4 elders, sister morril and I) sang a musical number in sacrament in our english ward and then Bro. Lestarpe asked sister morrill and I (which we had done a duet part in that musical number last week- me soprano, her alto) to be part of this ward choir number(which consisted of us, 3 guys, and 3 sisters) for yesterday. So we have been sharing our musical "talents" quite a bit.

That is really sad that Cross Country is over. Triste! Oh well. Now I guess we can find a new family activity that doesn't involve running your guts out and that horrible region course.

Let's see, Christian got baptized this week! It is a miracle! Really it is. He is awesome. He also got confirmed yesterday. In the blessing he talked about how he could serve a mission someday. That would be so awesome if he became a missionary. He loves to help people and I know that the best way to help people is through sharing the gospel.

Question: have you sent my stuff yet? Could you include in that or sometime send me some blank tapes--to record on. Or better yet, ya'll could talk on it and then send me some. PS did you know that my birthday is coming up? And christmas? :)

Well I hope you all have an awesome Thanksgiving. Take pictures and send me some :) Save me a place at the table. :) We have one or two thanksgiving food appointments but other than that we will just be working. Normal day. But we will remember to be thankful anyway.

I love you all. Tell Cookie hi.


Sister Petersen

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

!C..... se va a bautizar!

Email sent Monday 15 November 2010

Drum roll please......!!!!.....!!!!..... C..... will finally be entering the waters of baptism and we are SO excited for this! That will be this Thursday. We'll let you know how that all goes next week.

This week was crazy. After we sadly had to drop a lot of our investigators last Saturday and Sunday, Tuesday was a great day. We found 6 new people and set 2 baptismal dates with two of the most prepared people ever. They are awesome! The Book of Mormon really is so powerful in the process of conversion. The more we study the doctrine of Christ through the book of mormon, the more that i realize how baptism and coming unto christ really does solve everyone's problems in life. No matter what it is, Christ is the answer. Following him is the answer. Which equalls: having faith, repenting, getting baptized, recieving the Holy Spirit and enduring to the end. Whether your problems are financial, emotional, health related, relationship, whatever it is, the gospel of Jesus Christ is what will help you overcome all of those things.

This week sister Morrill and I had to give talks in one of our english wards on the restoration. I decided to speak on what the restoration really means to us, and how we are using (or not using) the blessings of the restoration in our lives. We have so many blessings from the restoration: the three I focused on were the BOM, living prophet and the temples. So basically here was the jist of my talk:

1. Read from the BOM daily. Daily scripture study is what invites the spirit into our lives and fights off Satan and his fiery darts. Make it a habit. Start now. Knowing the Book of Mormon is true is not enough. You must read it. You must learn from it. You must gain strength from the teachings of prophets who wrote for us in these days.

2. Follow the prophet. Do you remember what Pres. Monson spoke on last month at conference? Do you remember what the October Ensign was about? Have you applied any of that in your life? Knowing that we have a living prophet on the earth to lead and guide us is not enough. Study his words. Rewatch the talks, read them again in the November ensign. Apply it to your life.

3. Go to the temple. Knowing that our families can be together forever is not enough. We have to make that happen. We have to prepare to go to the temple and be sealed, and after we have to live worthy of that blessing. How do we do that? By reading from the BOM and following the prophet, and consistently attending the temple. In South Jordan there are 6 temples within a 30 minute drive from our home. We can make it a priority to attend one of those at least every other week, if not every week. Here in McAllen the nearest temple is about 2-3 hours away. And yet some people go once a month. Show God you are greatful for the blessings he has given you.

Fortify your life. I know that as we do these things we will be continually blessed and God will "renew our strength" and we will mount as if "on eagle's wings" (Isaiah 40:31).

Ok random business: Did you know? It gets cold in Texas. It is cold here. And apparently it will get colder. So here's what I need soon (and she listed a bunch of cold weather items that we can send her). It is about to get chilly here and I have no cold weather attire.

Thanks, I love you tons. Have fun getting ready for thanksgiving!

Love, Sister Petersen

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Craziness in the Lone Star State

Email sent Monday 8 November 2010

Hey there,

Thanks for the long email and for answering more of my questions. I'm glad y'all are having a little more time now that Cross Country is over. Yes daylight savings time messes things up only because it gets dark super early and so we need to plan better and have appointments scheduled for everything after 6 pm and not be in sketchy places. --- No the border and drug wars and gangs and stuff don't really affect us. We hear about it from people just saying that Mexico is really bad right now and it's dangerous down there but on this side of the border it's pretty fine. Our area is pretty safe. --- Thanksgiving, I don't know what we will do yet. The bishop's wife says we might be invited to her house, but I'm sure we'll end up with like four invitations. --- If you send a package send it to the mission home. --- I have my bike, no I have not yet fixed no I have not yet riden it. :( Maybe soon we will. On Saturdays now we have these "walking/bike days" from 11-4 so we have been doing a lot of walking. But it's nice cuz the weather is really nice right now. It feels so good! Not humid at all. Just cool Utah-Septemberish weather. --- We have three weeks left in this transfer, and then yes there could be changes. I have been in this area for over 3 months now. Crazy. We'll see what happens.

Ok enough with questions. This week:

-This week I learned what alcohol smells like. I guess I lived in a buble in Utah, well not I guess...I know I did. This week in the course of 2 days I got quite a few strong wiffs of alcohol and now I can recognize it wherever I am sure. It's sad that I had to smell it the way I did, from investigators and less active members that we caught drinking their problems away. I guess what this week has made me realize is that we are really freed when we follow the commandments. The word of wisdom especially is not just some random rule that God gave us to see if we would obey. He gave it to us because those things that we are not supposed to take into our bodies take away one of the greatest gifts that God gave to us: our agency. We become slaves to a substance and our ability to choose and really act for ourselves is who...well Satan I guess. He is who has control over you if you are not following the laws of God. Why people ever justify it away and even drink casually or even smoke a vez en cuando will never make sense to me. Well I guess it makes sense when we think of all the power the Satan reall does have. But the thing is, he is only as powerful as we let him be. Because one person with God is always the majority and Satan will have nothing on that. The moral of the story: Live the Word of Wisdom. Don't do drugs. Stay in school.

-This week was the begining of the month. Here in the valley EVERYONE's cell phones get cut off at the beginning of the month because no one pays their phone bills. It's super annoying. We loose contact with half of our investigators.

-We called 911 this week. Don't worry we are fine. Our apartment complex just reaked of gasoline one night when we got home. But it is all ok. It was from something far away and the wind blew the smell. And we didn't blow up.

-This week the bishop's four year old daugther said, "Adios suckaz" to us as we left their house. It was super funny. Her mom says she learned it from her dad.

-This week I.... was being awesome and went to institute twice and was awesome and told us he quit smoking pot cold turkey and cigarrettes too and drinking....and then, as we had been suspecting, we found out he was lying to us all week. He came to church, but asked where the bathroom was and then disappeared. He had taken off and walked home. I love investigators. Especially high ones. NOT. This is a huge lifestyle change that needs to take place and we are going to work so hard to make it happen.

I love you all. That's this week in a nutshell.


Hermana Petersen

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A week to Remember.......That Can't be Expressed in Words

Email sent 1 November 2010

Snow! What is that? I've never heard of such a thing.

Ok so this week - Esta semana was probably the most stressful/busy week I have ever had in my life. We have found these two investigators that are huge druggies, well basically there is not a single commandment or any part of a commandment that the two of them are not breaking and breaking badly. And yet they seem to be looking to change. Their circumstances and the lives they have been brought up in make it hard to change because they know nothing different from "the streets" as they call it, but we know this is no excuse for it. I..... and R.... are 18 and 21, and never has "daily contact" been so important before. It is amazing to Sister Morrill and I how much trust they put in us from the moment we met them. On our second visit they were going on about telling us how if anyone ever tries to mess with us, or any other missionary, they will beat them up. While that was nice of them, we assured them there would be no beating-up going on. I..... always says that he hates it when we leave and wishes we could stay all day because he just feels so good when we are there. I think that he can recognize the spirit so strongly because of the stark difference it is from what he feels the rest of his days when he is breaking all the commandments and not living in a way pleasing to God. Because of their seemingly sincere desires to change we having a lesson every day has been possible. But every time we leave a lesson we feel like someone just needs to babysit them for the next 24 hours so they don't do something stupid. The minute we walk out Satan walks back in. The day these two get baptized will be the biggest miralce. We have faith that it can happen, but it is going to take so much work to have it brought to pass.

I wish I could explain to you all of the funny/sad/crazy things that happen with these two, but there is not enough time nor would you understand it all. But here are some quotes from our lessons:

the other night we drove down their street to visit with one of their neighbors. we see them walking across the street, book of mormon in hand. we asked them where they were coming from:

"we were just sitting at the canal, sharing verses, relieving stress."

us: do you know what a prophet is?

"yes, prophets are like.... they're god's soldiers."

talking about weed:

"i'm not addicted to it. i just have to have it every hour on the hour. i can stop it whenever i want."

us: are you both sober right now?


5 minutes later:

"i'm sorry, i'm high."

"is it bad to have three girlfriends?"

"wait, you're going back to utah when this is all over? can we come with you?"

"if somebody gives you girls crap, we'll beat their @#$. you're our homies."

"i think that this bible, and the holy bible are the only ones i will ever read." (refering to the BOM)

"can i like.. give you a hug?" (Don't worry we said no)

"wait, we can't do any drugs? what about cocaine? what about chronic? what about xanax? what about virgin mary's?" (the list went on and on, but I didn't know what half the things were and so ya...they can not do them)

"@#$!" (never have I heard so many swear words in my life. But we are training them to stop)

"i feel like.. this big right now (holding his fingers really small). you just dominated me." (this coming from this big tuff streets homie to us 2 little mormon missionaries in dresses. we rock)

"my brother is the anti-christ."

"i just need someone to slap me around."

conversation, telling them not to fight people:

"wait... what about boxing and UFC fighting. is that okay?"

-yeah, you can box. go for it.

"cool, because there's this underground cagefighting that i want to do on weekends. you can get lots of money."

-wait.. is it illegal?


-no you can't do it.

"i mean, you mormons are actually legit. walkin' around, rain or snow.. helpin' a thug in need. you don't see any other #$%#rs doing that."

after we made a quit smoking plan:

"can i sign it in blood?"

"i'm in a band now. rap. we flow. we're called mac-town thugs."

"i'm sober today!"

-good job! (high five) i'm so proud!!

"nobody's ever told me that before.."

So if you can see, we have a lot of fun teaching them but we have A LONG WAY to go. They need miracles. They also reaked havoc at the singles ward yesterday. Apparently they were clapping after the hymns and stuff and taking breaks to go outside and take a smoke. Prayer will be our friend. The gospel is the only thing that can change people and it's a good thing that's what we are preaching.

Sorry I didn't have time to tell more. P.S. we had a baptism yesterday. A nine year old named J..... It was beautiful. I love you all. Have fun in the snow. Send some to me.


Sister Petersen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Week Full of Changes

Email sent Monday 25 October 2010

Dear Family,

This week seemed to be so full of changes. Boarders of everything got all changed because of the new ward in our stake. So we are in a new district as missionaries with a new DL and we even got a new sliver of area added to our area so we get to go explore it. We are also now in THREE wards! We have one at 9, 11, and 1. So basically we are in church from 8:30am-4:30pm every Sunday. Church is so long, Sunday is the most tiring day of the week. But it's ok. Change is good. We are excited for these next couple weeks.

We found an awesome new investigator this week named I..... It was meant to be that we find him. Because Tuesday we had an appointment set up with his neighbor who wasn't there, but his dad was sitting outside smoking and we were talking to him and hten I..... came out. We were talking about our beliefs and stuff and his dad said, "Well looks like I need to change religions." It was funny. So we set up an appointment for THursday. THen we went and knocked a couple more doors and then went across to this other building where we had another appointment and guess who answered the door? I...... THis was his sisters apartment. We were meant to find him. Also on Wednesday, we had an apointment below him, and he happened to be outside then too, so we decided to go up and teach him then. And we set a BD. He basically set it himself. He really wants to change his life. He had had a cigarette when we first got there, but he had put it out and he had this box in his pocket, and he had told us how he smokes a pack a day. And somewhere in the lesson he turns to me really sincerely and says, "Can I ask you to do something for me?" I said, "ya sure." He pulled out the box of cigarettes and said, "Can you take these from me?" It was awesome! We hadn't even taught him anything about it. He just knew that that would come with changing his life around. So I was then in possession of cigarrettes. :) I have never touched a box of cigarettes before that day. But it was a very happy thing for me to do! He hasn't smoked them since. But, we have also since found out that cigarettes are not the real big problem. He is extremely physically addicted to marijuana. He has real sincere desires to change, but this is an addiction that is 10 years strong and a daily habit. He is 18 years old and has been on drugs since he was 8. Welcome to the valley. When I was 8 I did not even know what drugs were. Last time he tried to quit for 3 months and he was violently ill every day, so he just went back to it. We know that this time as he tries to kick this addiction with God on his side it will be possible, but it will take miracles. But we believe it can happen.

Monday we experienced the most horrible thing ever. We were driving and we saw, right in front of us by the car coming the other direction, a dog get hit and killed by a car. Because we are in Texas and it is flat the light of the horizon could be seen under the car and between the tires so we had a very clear view of the dog getting hit and bouncing under both sets of tires. I don't want to be too gruesome, but we then saw it suffer and die in the middle of the road. At which point I stopped my car (yes in the middle of the road) and got out and had to pick the poor dead dog up off the road and move him to the side. It was the grossest sadest thing I have ever done. We were both crying and the car that hit them, the wife was crying and all these people in cars behind us were troubled too. That whole rest of the night we could not get the images out of our heads. It was horrible. But we decided, it's ok. THe dog is in doggy heaven and he is happy now. Everything is ok.

On a happier note, we think we will have a miracle baptism this Sunday of this 9 year old we met yesterday in Church who is from a member family, but he just never got baptized. They are active and everything, but they just never got him baptized. So we'll teach him on Wednesday and then hopefully he will get baptized Sunday! Which is awesome because our misison has this legit goal for October baptisms of 105 and it will take miracles to reach it, so this will be one of them.

I realized this week how much more things I need to work on to be a good missionary. The sisters we live with are having a rough time right now. The one that just got transfered here is the Senior Companion...and she came out with me. In other words this is her 3rd transfer. And the other one has only been here 1 transfer. They are both super young and didn't get trained very well it seems, because sister Morrill and I have been having to help them get a handle on everything. I am so grateful that I had a good trainer and a good comp right now.

Anyway, I'm glad Quinton's headaches are going down and everything is busy and good at home. I love you tons and don't go too crazy on Halloween!


Sister Petersen

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Email sent Monday 18 October 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Aren't you lucky I get to write you this ON your birthday! haha, hope it's going to be a fun monday for you.

This week was alright. Nothing super crazy..well sort of, it could've been, there were lots of changes taking place here but none of them really ended up involving Sister Morrill and I. So transfers are tomorrow...and we found out on Saturday what was happening. We really thought that we could be changing, but we didn't want to because we get along really well (she is awesome) and we want to see our people progress here. But luckily the changes did not involve us. One sister area had to close because 3 sisters are leaving and only 2 are coming in. We thought that one of us could be training, but we're not. President Trayner likes to make really young missionaries train. A girl that came in one transfer before me is a trainer for her second time. (Granted she already spoke spanish) But ya, so Sister Morrill and I are still here. But the other big change came yesterday at church. For church in our spanish ward we had 3 wards meet together for the big announcement. In our stake there were 4 english wards and 4 spanish wards that cover the same area. But yesterday they got us all together and announced the changes and the creation of a 5th spanish ward in our stake!!! Wow! So they had to re-align the boundaries and some of our members will be in the new ward and it was all sad, but happy that there are now enough members to create another ward here!!! So they had to call new bishops and stuff and that guy that gave me the blessing last week was called to be the bishop of the Hidalgo ward. Cool huh. We think his prompting to give me the blessing was sort of the lord testing him to help him learn and follow the spirit to prepare him for this new calling that he has. Cool huh!?

Ok so those were the changes, now about what actually happened this week. On Tuesday, Sister Morrill and I had organized this activity to do for mutual with all the Young Men and Women in our Spanish ward. It went awesome. We had 2 Elders come too, and we did this funny knocking doors roll play. The youth thought it was hilarious, little do they know that is what our life is really like. :) But then we helped them make plans and practice sharing the gospel or inviting their friends to church or mutual or something. We think it is really going to help the work progress here, because the youth are the strongest members in my opinion. The youth here in Texas are AWESOME!!! Way more awesome than youth in Utah. Like no one goes to mutual in Utah, which is partially because of the school systems (and sports teams) and how they can't have their whole teams missing on tuesday and wednesday night, but the youth here work it out with their coaches and teachers. They say they have to go to church and that the schools have to respect the students religion and so they all come to mutual, and are awesome. Anyway, sorry, youth are just awesome here.

We ate dinner with the bishop's family in our spanish ward this week. They are so awesome. The bishop is a funny guy, it's different to see people in their homes and not in his suit up on the stand. He was humming and dancing around in his kitchen. I love them! Their kids are awesome too, their son is thinking about going to UVU or BYU. That would be so cool.

On Saturday I went on an exchange with Sister Ruano(who we live with, who just got here 5 weeks ago). Her and I went in her area for the day. It was a really good expereince for me I think. I got to be the "old one" so it was kinda wierd to see if I could actually do this whole being a missionary thing sorta by myself. And I realized that I can do more than I thought I could. Sister Ruano already spoke spanish, but she's still super new and sorta shy - as am I - but I had to step up and take the lead instead of just letting my trainer or senior comp. do it. We had an awesome day. We taught a ton of lessons and found 6 new investigators. And hugged a 17 year old boy----that part was funny...don't worry, we won't ever see him again, and it was totally Sister Ruano's fault. And also a guy tried to give us money. It was a good day.

So we will start another transfer together. Here we come Texas.

I love you all.


Sister Petersen

Monday, October 11, 2010


Email sent Monday 11 October 2010

We had some many complications with some investigators this week. Y....., our investigator who came to conference last week, is going through something really hard right now. We talked on Wednesday or so. She wouldn't tell us more, but she said she couldn't live in her apartment anymore and is now at her mom's house but can't meet with us there. So we are praying for her that something can be worked out and we can find a way to keep teaching her and that she can find a place to live.

Also C......... We had this big fast this weekend with him and we promised him he would get an answer. But after we finished it when we went over he still said he didn't feel anything. We really don't know what to do with him. He is a "progressing investigator" by the numbers but he's really not progressing to baptism. We want to help him so bad, but everything we try doesn't seem to work. He is keeping all of his commitments. He reads, prays, fasts, stopped drinking, smoking, started exercising only because we mentioned the word of wisdom being the Lord's plan of health, comes to church, really thinks about the questions we leave him to think about. He is doing everything...except one thing, he says he can't leave his friends behind. And he has some pretty bad friends. He says he knows that baptism is what God wants for him but he is not ready because he doesn't want to just take it lightly, he wants to be sure that he won't mess up afterwards. We decided that he needs a week break from us and so we started that last night and I guess we will see if anything changes by Saturday. Sister Morrill says he's the hardest investigator she's ever had. It was so hard to tell him we couldn't come by for a week. Tears were almost shed. Someday...he will be ready.

On the up note, we found 9 new investigators this week and we are really excited to teach them and see how they can progess. The S....... family is AWESOME!!! S..... had a surgery this week and they were really struggling financially and they didn't know if they would have money to pay tithing and for the medications he needed, but they decided not to dip into the tithing fund and his medicare randomly ended up covering the medication that it should not have covered. MIRACLE! Also, he met this guy somewhere and somehow the guy found out that he was mormon and told him he wanted to come visit him sometime and so S..... said of course. The guy came over on Saturday night and was apparently going off on them about how Mormons are a cult and showing them all this anti stuff and just bringing up every anti arguement possible. V..... said she got really offended, and just told him she was never going to believe him because he is saying he is all christian but he never once showed them any love, he just came into there house and tried to start tearing down their faith, and S.... just sat there calmly and told him that the reason he became LDS is because he prayed and knows for himself that it is true. After the guy left S..... and V..... asked each other if that guy had given them any doubts about their faith, and they both said "No way." They both came to church yesterday just as happy as can be. S..... kept saying, "I love my church." THEY ARE SO AWESOME!

Also we knocked into the FedEx guy that delivers to the mission office. He said that we (the missionaries) keep them in business.

We may or may not have almost been eaten by a rattlesnake on Saturday. We were crossing this sketchy field and it sure sounded like there was one nearby, but we ran and we are still alive, rattlesnake bite-less. But we do have TONS of ant bites and probably spider bites. Our legs are always covered.

Saturdays from 11-4 are now bike/walk days. So we were out and about walking far so that we can be seen and people will now of our presence here in South Texas.

Brandy, I loved your pictures. You are such a senior. Looks fun.

Dad, sorry fishing wasn't that good, but I'm sure it was fun anyway. You better carve some good pumpkins without me this year.

Mom, thanks for always writing me, (I know dad "helps"). P.S. happy birthday coming up!!! How old are you going to be? I hope you do something fun!

That's all for this week. Hope you all (friends, family, wardies) are doing really well and that you send me more letters... and maybe a package would be fun too. Thanks. Just kidding...but really. :)

I love you all.

Hermana Melinda Petersen

Monday, October 4, 2010

General Conference Weekend

Email sent Monday 4 September 2010

HI, breaking news from Texas...this week we experienced a "Cold front." Actually it was AMAZING!!! It hasn't been humid since last monday. Last monday was actually the coolest day. I can't feel the humidity at all, and that is the best part. But also Monday through Wednesday were really nice temperatures. In the morning when we went running it was low 60's and it only got up to upper 80's. After wednesday it's been back up to 95, but it still feels great because it is not humid. I love it. Those first few days it felt like we were back in Utah in the mountains or something. It was awesome!

Ge... speaks English. So we teach her in English. Basically all youth here speak English. They might speak spanish too because that's all that their parents speak, but the youth would always rather speak English. So we teach in whatever they feel more comfortable in. And since basically all of my investigators right now are troubled youth, we teach in English. But actually this week we were able to find a couple of Spanish investigators so that was really good. My spanish needs some work. It's just so hard because we are with english speakers so often. We actually had a spanish investigator at one of the sessions of conference yesterday so I had to watch it in Spanish. It was hard to follow and other than that the prophet talked about gratitude, I don't really know what he said. Just kidding, I understood more than that, but really I need to watch it again in English so I can really get it.

So ya, for conference they broadcasted it in the church. The chapel was in Spanish, and all of the other rooms were in English. So we just watched it all there. Most people watched it on BYUTV at home.

We had zone conference and interviews with the president this week. It was really good. Our new mission focus is on getting members to do their part in the work. Basically I've realized since coming out here that members don't understand that they should really be the source of investigators. Missionaries should just teach. But nobody gets it. I know I didn't get it when I was at home. But ya, so we will be focusing on helping members have confidence and be prepared to share the gospel with their friends and neighbors.

The mosquitos were really bad a couple of nights this week. We had gone out into the boonies of our area late one night, from like 7-9pm and it was pretty dark out there, and the mosquitos were like swarming us. We had run to the car for safety but then we turned the lights on in the car and realized that some mosquitos had gotten in and so we were smashing them with pass-along cards. It would have been a really funny sight for anyone watching us. My legs are also covered in these bites. I'm pretty sure they aren't mosiquito bites though cuz they itch me and mosquito bites don't itch me. I think thy are ants. They are super annoying. We sit on the ground too much I think.

So really this week was very interesting. It was sad in that we had to stop going by two of our investigators with baptismal dates. It's really sad. Actually one of them, we um...caught alone in his parents house with his girlfriend. It was really awkward the next day when we had to teach him. But we were already planning a "you need to make a decision, get off the fence, do something" lesson with him so that he could either progress or not, so we did that, and it went really well considering the situation. He has some soul searching to do and hopefully he'll come back around in a week or two.

We have found the most random array of messed up people the past four weeks. The valley here is a horrible place to raise a child in my opinion. Satan is working hard on the youth here. And yet, the youth in the church are the strongest youth I have ever met in my life. So who knows.

So basically, this week was crazy. Conference was great though!!! I hope you all watched all of it, or if you missed a session for the race, make sure you watch it in the next week. All of the talks are online already so you all need to watch them. And when the conference ensign comes out next month, read them like President Monson said. Also, there is a story in the Sept. ensign that you all should read about Preach My Gospel. Read it and apply it. Missionary work is everyone's work and PMG is more than just a guide for missionaries.

Dad, I hope you liked the fishing analogy in conference. I thought it would interest you. I hope you didn't fall asleep. :)

Also, you hope I didn't see the BYU Utah state game...actually I sorta did. A member took us out to eat was on the TV and I may have glanced at the score now and again. It was not good. 17-3 when we left. Bingham should challenge them to a game.

Ok, well that's all for now. I love you, keep me updated on Quinton. Tell Ali to send me a stinkin letter if she misses me. :)


Sister Melinda Petersen

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Greetings from the Petersen missionary

Email sent Monday 27 September 2010

So let's see, how about my week, it was a week of miracles. We had a miracle baptism this week! So there is this 16 year old girl Ge... that I have been teaching ever since I got here, and the other sisters actually found her in May and she had a baptismal date set for June, but...her mom wouldn't let her get baptized. This girl is awesome! She is more of a member than most members.... Ge... has been getting her own rides to church every week since June, and goes to mutual willingly every week sometimes walking there...and it's way further away than our church is from our house. And randomly without anyone telling her to do it or anything, she quit swim team so that she could go to early morning seminary. AND SHE WASN'T EVEN A MEMBER! She's as legit as they come. But she just couldn't get baptized because she had to have her mom's permission. We hadn't even met her mom till like the beginning of September. So when Sister Morrill got here, her and I started talking about how we need to figure out a way to talk to her mom and meet with her or something so that genesis could get baptized. We started talking to Ge... about talking to her mom about letting her get baptized and we were praying for the ability to talk with her ourselves, but she was just never home, always working or spending 2 random weeks in Mexico. But on Sunday, while we were over teaching Ge... her mom, came home from the store and started bringing groceries in. Of course we jumped up to go help her and get to know her better. We then asked her if there would be a time that we could meet with her to talk to her about the things that Ge... has been learning and doing the past 4 months. She said sure so we set up the time for Tuesday.

We were super nervous for Tuesday, but we were sure that with the Lord on our side there would be no way this day wouldn't end without permission for Ge... to be baptized. We had a 2 hour lesson with her mom. TWO HOURS! It was so long. But we finally got all of her doubts out of her. Basically it came down to the fact that she thought that as soon as Ge... got baptized she would be sent off on a mission somewhere. Don't worry we cleared that up. So after two hours of spiritually draining conversation, she said that she would talk to Ge... that night and if it was really what she wanted to do, she would let her.

We got a call from Ge... later that night with the news! She had said yes! We immediately drove over to her house and gave her and her mom hugs and set up the baptism for Saturday. We had it on Saturday so that her mom would be able to come and see her baptized. It was the most amazing baptism. And i'm so glad that her mom was able to come and see it and hope that some day her heart too will be softened to accept the gospel that has brought her daughter so much happiness.

We had a bunch of other crazy miracles this week too, but I just don'thave time to write about all of them. We are still basically only finding troubled youth. I don't know why sister Morrill and I attract them, we just do. Pretty much every investigator we have is under the age of 21 and has been locked up before, or should have been. But that is why there is repentance. I am learning so much about that as I try to help them use the Atonement in their lives and come unto their savior.

I love you all and am definitely praying for you!

Con amor,

Hermana Petersen

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This week here in Texas

Email sent Monday 20 September 2010

So this week Sister Morrill and I (team Jordan) went to work. We had a lot of fun this week and found a lot of success. It seems that everyone that we find and are teaching are troubled youth. We are teaching SO many people betweent he ages of 17 and 26 ish. EVERYONE. We like attract these people or something, or they are like the ones that we can connect with or something I don't know. And they are all very similar in background. They've done stupid things (like in trouble with the law and alternative lifestyle type things) and are trying to change their lives around and get out of trouble.

We had a lot of miracles this week. In planning session on Friday we were going through our investigators and deciding to drop some of them because they were not that I mean we had tried countless times and could not get ahold of them in person or on the phone. But there was this one that I hadn't seen in a month that I just didn't want to drop. What I now recognize as the spirit told me that we should try to go by her that day. So first thing after planning session, we went by her house. While we were praying before getting out of the car, the school bus pulled up and our investigators daughter Ashley got off the bus. I had only met her once, but never taught her. So then we went and knocked on the door. Ashley answered and we asked for her mom, but she said she wasn't there. So we asked if we could come in and teach her. She said sure. We got to know her and found some of her needs. We had a realy good lesson. The spirit was there so strong. She started to get more and more into the lesson as we asked inspired questions that really made her think about what she wants in life and her potential as a daughter of God. We taught her about repentance because of her desire to change and baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it will be her companion to guide her as she tries to change her life to stop getting into trouble. Her face just lit up as we talked about how she could have a fresh start. We then extended the invitation to her to prepare to be baptized on the 24th of October. She accepted and proceeded to tell us that she has been waiting for someone to ask her the questions that we had been asking her. She was feeling the spirit so strongly. It was amazing and a testament to me that when we are doing what we are supposed to be doing and are really seeking to have the spirit with us, it will be with us and we will be given the words we need to say in the very moment we need them.

We also had this other super cool lesson this week in which we were SO bold. Bold with love though. This guy we were teaching was unsure about his belief in God. He is a very logical thinker and has had many experiences in life that lead him to question the existance of a loving supreme being. But we really laid it down in the lesson. Another testament to the fact that when we are studying diligently in the mornings and praying for the spirit to guide us we will have the confidence in ourselves and the trust in the Lord and the Spirit that we can say the things the Lord would have us say to help people exercise their faith.

All in all this week was really long, really good, and then...not so good in that only one came to church. But on the up note we have an appoinment to talk to our amazing investigator Ge...'s mom. We are going to ask her if Ge... can get baptized. We are stoked about this. Ge... is basicaly a member. She comes to church, seminary mutual you name it she comes.

I love you,

Sister Petersen

Monday, September 13, 2010

A better week

Email sent Monday 13 September 2010

Ok so this week was better than last. Anything would have been better than last I think, but this week really was good. Let's recap.

Monday: we went bowling for p-day! I decided to try see if I could whip out my skills, but I fell a little short. I took 2nd out of 14 missionaries and I only lost by 3 points. What was my score that got me such a high place you ask? 128. Let's just say that the missionaries here in McAllen Texas stink at bowling, only 4 of them getting over 100 , but it was really fun nonetheless...especially since I did it in a skirt. Funny looking with the bowling shoes I know. Also on Monday night Sister Smith and I went over to the Trayners to help sister trayner cook the meal for the new incoming missionaries. That was fun. So we didn't work any on monday.

Tuesday: At 9 am I said goodbye to my trainer, Sister Smith, because she got transfered after only 6 weeks with me to Raymondville. But my new companion, Sister Morrill wouldn't be getting here till later that night, so for the day from 9am -7:30pm I was in a trio with Sister Nelson (who is training and has only been out here since may) and her BRAND new companion Sister Ruano. So it was a trio of newbies. It was fun. We worked in her area all day and then went to the Trayners again to help with the meal for the missionaries who were leaving. Then at 7:30 I got to go pick up my new companion! Sister Morrill is awesome! I already knew that from having worked with her before, but she still is. She is from West Jordan and went to WJ high school. So it's really funny when people ask us where we're from and we are basically from the same place. Funny. She knew Chase Petery also. So when we picked her up we went straight to our dinner appointment with awesome Gutierrez family.

Wednesday: So after 2 whole days of having no one work in our area, we went to work. Sister Morrill and I decided that what we need to do to turn this area around is to get to know the members better. You know me, I like organizing, so we are going to fix up the area book and the member book and turn this area back into a baptizing machine. :) So anyway we have decided to focus on going by member and getting to know them all and get referrals from them and stuff. And we are going by former investigators and talking to everyone we see throughout our travels, maybe knocking some doors on the streets with member and formers. It's a really great system I think. It's starting to work really well. We have found that a lot of members (people on the ward list we got) are inactive. Or there are part-member families. So this will give us a really good start at finding new people to teach. Because we had a big investigator pool before but no one was progressing really. So we just want to start new, and since we are both pretty much new to this area it is sweet. We feel like we're really on the same page. She's only been out for 9 months, and me almost 4 months, so both being pretty new, hopefully we can figure something out. ;)

Thursday: We were knocking in the middle of the day wondering if anyone would be home because everyone should be at work, but we knocked by this place where a member should've lived, but must have moved, and we knocked into this awesome couple. This man, Cruz, had been taught by missionaries int he 90's and actually had a baptismal date but backed out the day of the baptism...the font was already full. But anyway him and his wife are awesome. They have both been through a ton of crazy health problems and Cruz just had heart surgery on Saturday. They have had a lot of near death expereinces but they are still here and they know that it is because God still needs them here, they have a purpose to fulfill before they go. And mind you this is a pretty young couple probably in their 30's. But anyway, we found them and are really excited to be working with them and to help them realize the blessing the gospel can bring to them.

Friday: So once upon a time before I came here, Sister Smith had taught this crazy guy. And we hadn't heard from him in forever, but he called last week and said he wanted to be baptized. That is so not possible, but we went and taught him tonight. It was crazy. We brought two members with us which was awesome because the Roque's (from Puerto Rico) rock, but this guy just doesn't listen. He even came to church yesterday and the bishop had to be brought into our gospel principles class to control the false doctrine and random outbursts. The poor teacher. We just couldn't stop him. But whatever, it makes the mission intersting to have some crazies. One day he'll understand.

Saturday: Fiesta Mexicana! I love our Spanish ward. It was awesome.

Ok so anyway the two main things that I realized this week were that we take the temple so close to our home so much for granted. The people here have been waiting forever to have a temple closer. There are some, those without papers that will never be able to go to the temple because they can't go back to mexico and they can't go up to San Antonio because of the check-points. It is really sad. But also for those who can it is a long drive. Like 3 hours or something. They have to plan ward temple trips to get people to be able to go. I think of how it is back home, when we have "Ward temple night" and how not everyone even cares enought to take the little time to go when the temple is so close. These people ahve to take work off for a whole day and pay lots in gas money to go to the temple. They are amazing.

Also, I have realized that the members who are the most actively involved in the missionary work are the converts. Basicaly all of the families that feed us are converts to the church. Whether it be recent converts of a year or less, or those who joined 10, 20 40 years ago. They are the ones who are bringing people to church, giving us referals, and actively seeking to share what they know with others. I think this is because they know what it's like to not have the gospel. We should follow their leed and share it as well. Missionary work would progress so much more ever member was really a missionary. Think about a way you can be a better member missionary and do it. Make a plan and put it in action. Everyone deserves to hear this gospel and have it bless their lives.

 I love you all and hope you have an awesome week.


Sister Petersen

Also, we have a Mission conference tomorrow with a 70! That should be cool.

Rain: the hurricane just kinda came and went. It rained a lot that day I told you about and the streets were crazy rivers, but then like an hour later everyting was dry and it was over. but now it's really humid. ugh

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

La semana de muerte...but don't worry there were redeeming qualities

Email sent Monday, 6 September 2010

Hola familia,

Sorry I haven't had time to read your emails so sorry if I don't respond to your questions. But I think I should tell you how my week went. This was the hardest week of my mission, and my comp (who only has 3 months left, said it was her hardest too). It started out sort of ok. We finally got ahold of this former investigator and had two awesome lessons and were excited for her to progress, so that was good. We also were teaching this 11 yr old and told her if she prayed about getting baptized that she would have an answer in two days when we returned, she was excited to get an answer. I also went on an exchange with Sister Lopez (who I live with). She is from El Salvador and she is going home tomorrow. She is an amazing missionary and she helped me out with her spanish, while I helped her with English. It was cool to switch it up and see how someone else does missionary work. I taught the word of wisdom for the first time and we set a BD. So that was good. Also on Tuesday after district meeting our district all went out to eat at this Mexican resaurant and we all got these $11 buffets. And as we were sitting there eating, this guy walks by on his way out and says, "Hey guys, I got your check today. I'll pay it all." And we were just dumb-founded, shocked. There were 8 of us so that was over $100 of food, that this one random guy that we don't even know was going to pay. We told him he didn't need to do that but he said, I got it, and we thanked him and he walked out. Then he came back like a couple seconds later and said, "sorry I was talking to just the sisters." and we laughed and then he said just kidding and reassured us that he would pay it all and then he left. What a nice guy. We don't know if he's a member or not. He's just a nice guy. then thursday and friday came. Thursday was horrible, but we just laughed the whole time. We were knocking doors and we talked to a lot of people, but it was people with the sadest most horribly misled beliefs. False doctrine all over the place. This lady even gave us these brochures from her church where this guy the leader clames to be God and Jesus and that there is no sin and no devil and all this stuff. False doctrine like I have never seen before and she was SO sure it was true. It was sad. A couple other ladies were nice to us but they were sure that the only truth was the bible. Also the dinner appointment we had fell through with in, they forgot, bless there hearts. So we ate at Dairy Queen. We got scared by a rattle snake...we don't know what it was but it sounded like that when we stepped on somehting at a doorstep. We could see what it was cuz it was dark. That among other sad things was Thursday.

Then Friday.RAIN! Which I love, but ya. We got drenched it was fun. But there were a lot of sad things that happened. Like this investigator that, that very morning we had decided to focus on in weekly planning, she told us she didn't believe JS saw God and Jesus Christ and had tons of scriptures to back it up and was sad. Basically, I don't have time to tell about all the sadness that was Friday, but it ended in tears..un poco.

Saturday, there was a little relief. We found an awesome lady named Istella. We are really excited about her. Also we found out about transfers. I am staying, but I am getting a new companion tomorrow. Sister Morrill! Way excited. Also you should tell Chase Petry that after only being out here for 4 months his student, Sister Nelson is training!

Sunday the Trayners showed up at Church. I love Sister Trayner. Seeing a face I know just made all the frustration of the week come out. Really I'm fine. This week will be better.

I haven't gotten your letters yet. I'll look. I'll try to write you some today too. Brandy awesome job at pre-region!!! That's legit! You are a rock star. Keep it up.

Love you all!

Sister Petersen

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

People in Texas really love Texas!

Email sent Monday 30 August 2010

Hey y'all,

Wow another week down here in the Sunshine state. I'm going to call it that because that's all the weather ever SUN...and more SUN...and more HEAT. But Actually this week we did have a few days that were a little bit cooler...and we actually were cold in our car once because it was less that 100 degrees outside. I never thought it could happen.

Brent wrote me a letter about where the name Petersen comes from: it is from Copenhagen Denmark when my great great grandpa came from there to utah. So tell Brent thanks so much, I'll write him too, don't worry. Yes please keep sending me quintons and make sure I send mine to him. Sometimes we write each other, sometimes not.

Ok so people here in Texas are obsessed with the state. It really is like it is it's one country. Every house, ok not every but most, have like texas flag decorations or giant stepping stones the shape of texas witht the lone star, or giant cowboy boots with teh lone star as flower pots, or whatever you name it, they have it. I even saw a like a ford truck that was a "Texas edition." No lie. It's super funny. And I love the tex-mex that is spoken here. It is funny. Our zone leader in the middle of a district meeting last week said in the middle of a jumbled english/spanish comment, "A veces we tenemos que cut them off." Basically, ya, and it's not just the missionaries it is everyone that speaks a little of both in mid sentence people switch. It's funny.

A boy got baptized this week when he turned 8. I love his family! They are continually progressing and sharing the gospel with their extended family and everything.

While tracting this week we knocked into a Hindu lady. It was really intersting. She let us in and she was from India so her house was all decorated cool. And we talked about what she believed and she even showed us her prayer room, which was more of a coat closet, but it was super cool. She had tons of stuff and idols and stuff in there. But we had no idea how to teach her because her beliefs were so different we couldn't find much common ground. So that is a section in PMG we will be studying soon.

We played soccer again today. It was really fun, but super hot again. Sweaty! Gross.

This week really was hard though. We worked really hard but basically none of our investigators are progressing and we should've had a ton at church because we worked so hard and had a ton committed to come and we did everything we could to get them there but only one (who is amazing but her mom won't let her get baptized) came. It was frustrating. Sometimes we just want to make people do what's right...but then we realize that's bad. That's Satan's plan. And we have to respect people's agency. So we'll do our part and that's all we can do.

This week we had a talent show in our English ward. It was super funny. We have a very talented ward. The young women danced to Thriller. The bishopric and the high priest did an awesome beach boys number, the bishops wife and the young womens leader learned to clog in the last month and performed, and there was even an appearance by kiss. Ward talent shows. Love it!

Thanks so much, I love you all!

Sister Petersen

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another week in Texas!

Email sent Monday 23 August 2010

Wow what a week. I felt like I was back at the MTC this week because tu-f we had trainings with President Trayner from 10-5. It was crazy. The church has come out with 8 new lessons to help us be better and more effective missionaries. So we were learning all of those. President Trayner is amazing! He is a wonderful teacher and is doing great things for this mission. I am so glad that I have him as a mission president. So this week we weren't able to do do as much work, and yet we still had as many lessons as last week, actually more. :)

We had a dinner appointment every single day this week. The members here really like to feed us. So yes I have eaten a lot of mexican food. And it is really good! And actually you should be so proud of me, I eat what is given to me. For one meal the main dish was salad. I ate it all, and got seconds and I even liked it. It's crazy.

This week we had 3 investigators come to mutual! So I got to go with them...but then we realized that what they were doing for mutual was playing rockband, and I didn't even think about it, but then I got there and realized I would be listening to worldly music. Ah! It was weird. But they had a good time. Bishop told me that I would have to listen to 100 primary songs to bring the spirit back after that.

Also this week because of the training I had an extra companion. Sister Morrill was with Sister Smith and I this week so we were a threesome. She is amazing. She asks people great questions and is really good at getting to know them and becoming friends. I was really grateful for her example and wish I could've spent more time learning from her, but she had to go back to her area in Brownsville.

So at the training, we all get so excited to apply everything we learned but then you get out and try to do it and it's a lot harder than you expected, but we are going to try to take things one at a time, because we know that all of these things are so important to teaching people about our savior Jesus Christ.

We are teaching one family right now, a lady and her 6 daughters. They are so cute. All of the daughters are really interested and we tried to set a baptismal date this week and all of the daughters said yes, but then all looked to their mom for permission, and she is uncertain. This seems to happen with every family that we teach. The children are so ready and willing to learn and are open and feel the spirit but the parents are more closed and apprehensive. This is a testament to me of Christ's words when he tells us to become like little children. Humble ourselves and be teachable. I know this is something that we can all do. So I challenge you all to think of ways that you can become like a little child this week and put them into practice.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week and enjoy the begining of another school year!


Hermana Petersen

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 Weeks in the Field

Email sent Monday 16Aug2010

Hola familia,

Wow, I only have a tiny bit of time. You guys send a ton of long emails, and then I have to read them and it's hard and Ah! Ok so I feel like we need a new plan. But I don't know what else to do. So oh well I guess, my emails will just be short.

Conference tickets: she wants four for whatever sessions you can get, preferably sunday. I'll tell her that you don't know anything yet but will look. I don't think she's asked any other people. No one lives that close as we do. So just let me know.

Bedding: I used this random sheets that they had in our apartment, but don't worry last week I bought cute white ones blue and green polka-dots on them! Only $13. I love Walmart!

Ok other thing that I want...Is there any way you could get me a Liahona in spanish of the last general conference? That would be awesome!

That stinks about the CD. That is stupid. Well I still have the memory card, so I'll try to make another CD today at walmart. BUt I had no way of testing the other CD at the MTC it was just a chance I took. And I'll have no way of testing this one either, so we'll just wait and see i guess. But don't worry I still have the pictures.

Ok so this week was crazy, somewhat frustrating but also really great! So because of our double work last week with the mini-missionaries, we had TONS of appointments this week (not enough time to contact, but tons of appointments). But the problem was that basically every appointment fell through. No one would be there when we would show up. It was really frustrating because we felt like we were wasting a lot of time, but it got better, for as many as fell through we actually did pretty well at contacting and finding others to teach to make up for it. So this week our faith was tested a lot. We had to have faith that our investigators would follow through with their appointments and as well have faith that God would put others in our path to contact and teach.

We also had a First Companion Training this week! It was awesome. I got to see all the people who were in my district in the MTC! It was really good to see them all again and see how they've been doing in there different areas. Also President Trayner is amazing! He is doing great things with this mission. He is putting a huge emphasis on learning spanish and baptizing. Which is how it should be. And we need one to do the other. We have a Zone Conference Tu-F this week from 10-5 that is going to be crazy good. I am really looking forward to all the practice and knowledge we are going to gain about how to be better missionaries.

Ok funny things from this week: On Friday the 13th, we were knocking houses and we knocked one that had this fake skeleton with fake blood all over it laying on the ground outside in a pile of garbage and a black cat walked by...scary! But nothing happened. :)

About Texas: It is hot. All the time. I don't really notice the humidity anymore, except for at 6:30 in the morning when we first go outside to run, it feels humid, but after that it's just hot. It's always over 100 in the days, and as soon as it drops below, you know, because it feels so good!!! 97 degrees is like heaven. There are frogs everywhere in the mornings it'sfunny.

Where did our name "Petersen" come from? Everyone keeps asking me. Please find out so I have a response. Is it like Danish or what?

Ok so I saw my first cockroach! We had a baptism yesterday...actually two!!! Of two 9 year olds who are so cute that I had never taught yet because of the mini-missionaries last week. But it was awesome, but when I went into the closet to get the baptismal clothes out at the church, a cockroach was scurring away. Ah it was creepy.

But I have to go. So I love you all and I'll try to write more next week.


Hermana Petersen

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another crazy week in Texas!

Email sent Monday 9 Aug 2010

Let's see where to begin. Monday was fun. We got to play basketball with some of the Elders. Brandy: do you know a like Kayla Hawkins or something. Cuz this elder (Elder Austin) comes up to me and asks me if I have a sister named Brandy, and I was like ya, and he said that that girl is his cousin and that you told her to tell him to look for me. So ya we are in the same zone. And he is TALL. And I played basketball with him. He's quite good...he will play for BYU when he get's home. funny.

Then came the Mini-missionaries. We picked them up after some miscommunication on Monday at 3:45pm. And we had them with us all week long till yesterday at 6:30pm. There were four of them for each of our companionships in our apartment. So that meant that there were 12 people in our apartment, except they didn't sleep there, they slept at member's houses, but the members would drop them off at 7:30 am and pick them up at 9:30 pm. So, basically, after only one week of being trained by my companion, I became a trainer because we had to split up. We were split up all week. I had two 16 year old companions all week. It was quite an experience for me. They were awesome and I loved working with them. But it was really hard to all of a sudden be the one who was expected to know what to do, especially when I couldn't even understand the people who were speaking to me in Spanish. It was so hard. I felt very inadequate to be in the position that I was in, but I just kept working anyway.

We had some great experiences. One is that we found an investigator on Monday, taught on Tuesday with siblings and cousins. Had another appointment on Thursday and taught the Plan of Salv/Restoration..BOM. This investigator then says, "I think I want to get baptized into your church." I knew this investigator was golden the first day we taught, was really looking for truth, and was already reading the bible and everything.

So even when I don't know what I am doing I know that the lord can guide me. It is the spirit that does the teaching. Some people are prepared and others are not. But the field is white. We are not here to plant seeds, but we are here to harvest. This week we will be focusing on finding and teaching those who are ready and helping them make and keep their committments to come unto Christ.

We had a lot of other really cool expeirences this week too, but I don't have time to tell them all. There has been a huge emphasis in this mission about setting baptismal dates. This is something that to me is somewhat scarey to do, especially when we are supposed to try to do it on the first or second lesson. But if we are not inviting people to change, we are denying them the opportunity to act. This is part of our Mission Zone "hulk-up." Our zone leaders invented a new word in spanish "hulkearse" which means we are hulking up when we set more baptismal dates. It is quite exciting.

Actually, mom, I haven't gotten to buy bedding yet. Last week with the mini-missionaries, the shopping trip was too crazy, but we will be doing it today. :)

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Go to the temple! Our ward here took a temple trip this week...8 hours to get to San Antonio. It is so easy for y'all.


Hermana Petersen

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So you are in Texas?!!!

Email sent Monday 2 Aug 2010

Hola familia!

Wow it has been a crazy week. I guess I'll just start at the begining. (Melinda has never flown before. She called from Dallas and said that the descent made her fell sick, but as soon as she got off the plane, she was OK.) The plane ride from Dallas to McAllen. Ah! It was not good for me. Well, the begining was fine, but then we ran into thunder storms. We started our decent into McAllen, but then the pilot said that because of the clouds we would have to come back up and fly around for about 9 minutes. Decents make me sick to my stomach. So then he went back up, and then we flew around for like 45 more minutes, going up and down and making a big figure 8 around the border of mexico, we even crossed the rio grande into Mexico and went out over the gulf coast. The clouds were beautiful and I really wanted to look at them more but I couldn't because it was just making me so sick. I had to try to just stare straight ahead so I didn't lose it. But don't worry, I didn't lose it...just almost. But as soon as we hit the ground the feeling went away and I was fine. But then the second we stepped off the plane of course the wave of humidity hits. We felt all sticky and wet, you know, weird humidityness. And it was raining! love the rain, so I was glad then didn't just drop me straight off into 100 degree weather. So taht was good.

Seriously the clouds here are so cool! I can't even describe them. Maybe the veiw from the sky for the first time in my life changed my perspective, but also, I've never seen skies like this in Utah. It is really pretty. And McAllen isn't anything like I expected it to be. It is actually pretty. There are lots of palm trees and green stuff. It's not just dessert. It really is nice. So anyway, the trayners (Mission president and wife) picked us up at the airport and took us all to the church and then to their house where we all ate an awesome dinner and then did some stuff and then the sisters stayed the night there. It was great. But then the next day, after they fed us all breakfast, one by one he called us into his office and assigned us our areas and companions. My companion was actually at the house helping prepare the food. Her name is Sister Smith. And our area is Mission East, which is the city of McAllen, but in the Mission zone. Confusing, but ya, we are very close to the mission home and the mission office. And we live in an apartment with two other sisters that serve in the area next to ours.

Ok so let's see. That very day, Tuesday, we went to work. The first thing we did was go knock doors. My first contact was a man named Jesus. Funny huh?! I thought so. My fist lesson was also that day, half in English half in Spanish, with our investigator Filip. And my first meal with a family was at the Herrera's, an old Spanish member couple...and guess what we ate?! COW TONGUE! Oh my gosh. Way to drop me into the wierd foods. I ate cow tongue. And I could not understand a word that they were saying...except the work "lengua de res" so ya. It actually wasn't that bad, but I would never eat it normally. Ah!\

Ok so let's see, what do we do. Tocamos muchas puertas-We knock a lot of doors. All the time. It is hot and wwell we have a car, so we drive to a spot and "parkear" (I love the Tex-mex down here) and then walk around and knock and talk to anyone and everyone who is outside. And sometimes it randomly starts raining. It's great.

The Sanchez family: they are a recent convert family of about a month. THey are so amazing! This weekend the mom, dad and the oldest daughter is going up to the temple (like 4 hours away) to do baptisms. THey are awesome. When we had a lesson this week we asked the youngest daughter to pray. It was so cute. In her prayer she said, "Thank you for the mess we made." It was awesome!

Church: We cover two wards, one Spanish at 9 and then our English starts at 11 in the same building. Yesterday rigth before english ward started, they asked me to lead the music in sacrament and teach the gospel principles class. Welcome to the mission I guess. Prepare a lesson on the spot. Ya that was fun. :)

Spanish is hard. I can understand the missionaries who speak it, but the people...not so much. It is really hard. But it will get better.

Yes I got the bike. It has one flat tire. But we'll fix it maybe. But I don't think I'll need it here at all. We are never over our miles.

I love you and I'll try to send a letter. Again here we only have 30 minutes of email time.


Sister Petersen

Friday, July 23, 2010

Off to TEXAS in 2 1/2 days!!!!

Email sent Friday 23 July 2010

Howdy Y'all!!!

Thanks for all of your letters and...the PACKAGE! Yay, my music. Thank you. It came on Saturday, but I didn't get the notice from my District Leader until after the mail room closed so I couldn't get it till monday morning. But it's ok. Thanks for the paper and envelopes. That works great. Though I should have had you send that to Texas so I didn't have to pack it in my suitcase. But oh well. I haven't started packing yet so hopefully that will go well. I may be sending somethings home that I don't want to just look for that package to arrive. Also thank you for the pictures and stuff!

Let's see...Mom, your letter was so funny about the dear elder website and how they didn't have a Spanish option for "Elder." Mom that this because the Spanish word for "Elder" is "Elder." Funny. We laughed, not at you but with you. You say the same word, but just with a Spanish accent.

Ok so monday mornigh, we leave here at 5 in the AM. My comp. and I, and 3 Elders in my district leave with us to McAllen. But there are at least 14 in our travel group going to McAllen monday morning. Apparently there are supposed to be two other sisters, but I only know of one, so if there is another one, we will be surprised. We also have one elder in our district who is supposed to go to Spain, Elder McKinnon, but he doesn't ahve his visa so they reassigned him temporarily to Mesa, Arizona and our other two sisters leave for their missions in Iowa on Wednesday. We will be leaving before the older district in our zone that is supposed to go to Mexico. They have been here for 13 weeks now, and still don't have their visas. Poor Elders. Also, a bunch of Elders going to Brazil got temporarily reassigned and some are coming to McAllen Texas on Wednesday while they wait for their visas.

Ok the bike. So I guess I'll just wait till I get down there and see what I need to do. I will buy bedding too.

I shared the donuts with people in my district and zone. I introduced the Elders to the BEST donuts ever.

Mom: have fun in Portland. THat's cool that you just get to travel and have fun.

Dad: water skiiing huh? Nice. Yesterday some elders were talking about how people over 50 can't do anything, they just golf, and I was like, "that is so not true! My dad and mom are like 56-57 or somehting and they still go skiing and waterskiing all the time." My dad can do anything. He's awesome. And then the elder was like, "wow, well you're dad and mom are cool then." So good job dad. Way to stay young.

Brandy: I'll try to get you a letter in a sec.

Thanks for going to Brett's homecoming. I forgot to tell you you should go. I'm glad ya'll went and that he's doing good. You should also go to these weddings that are coming up if you get invitations for me. :)

Raja Bell is coming back! Yay! I liked him

Mom the daily writting does not have to end. YOu can just mail it instead. haha

Ok yes the dress code has changed. No nylons necessary and shorter skirts are ok! Yahoo!!!

Ok sorry time is short, but one thought for the week. What if we all treated our Book of Mormons the way we treat our cell phones? Think about that and try to make your Book of Mormon more important to you. Do you check it multiple times a day and go to it for answers?

Love you all!

Hermana Melinda Petersen

Friday, July 16, 2010

Something Special!!!

Email sent Friday 16 July 2010


GUESS WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!? We just went to the mail box to check for something special and...WE GOT OUR TRAVEL PLANS TODAY!!! I leave a week from Monday!!! OUr flight is at 8:30 am on monday the 26th. and We fly to dallas and then to Mcallen and we will get there around 3:20. Oh my goodness!!! Isn't that crazy!!! I only have a week left of this place. Ahhh! Scarey.

Also in the mail this week I got...AN AWESOME PACKAGE!!! Oh my goodness do I love dunford donuts! Muchas gracias!!! My district loves you all for that too. And thanks for the shirts and socks too! Perfecto. I do hope my suitcases don't weigh too much too. But We'll see. Thanks so much.

About the music...I was hoping that You could send me that other music soon, cuz our district has to do a song in sacrament meeting this sunday and I wanted to maybe use some of my music. but we can sing a hymn if it doesn't get here in time.

So let's see...did Sis. Sigler's mom reply? what did she say? Korver is gone!!! :( What the?! I am not very happy about this. I leave and Utah goes crazy. What is the deal? That's too bad about Brian Higgins. I feel like our Youth Conferences are always doomed for injury. Every year someone ends up in the emergency room. One time Topher bit through his tongue. That was gross. An Elder in my district here hurt himself playing basketball and tore his ACL. He had surgery on it this week. So he's just in the health clinic all day everyday. I don't know how long it will be before he can start doing real missionary stuff again. Sad.

I try to write Quinton every week. But he only writes me like every other. But when we do write it's only like two or three lines. It is very short. Sad, but we just don't ahve time.

And Brandy, don't feel bad if I don't write you an email. THat just means that I am sending you a letter. Which is way better. If I sent you an email it would be crappy and short, but letters are way better, but I'll try to send you an email today.

Thanks for the funny's and emails. Elder Armstrong is going to like houston or sanantonio ?

So have they made a plaque for me yet? Y'all should take a picture of it and send it to me. :)

So they have these videos about missionary work that we watch that show us what it is really like. They are called "The District" but they just made a new series and released it, and we got to watch them, and it's kinda awesome because it's like a missionary reality tv show. It's pretty funny, but spiritual also, it get's us pumped to get out there.

This week has been really good. In our class and study's we ahve been focusing on la Expiacion, the atonement. It has been awesome. I would encourage you all to start a study of the Atonement as well. Study and find scriptures of how the atonement can bless your lives specifically and what Christ actually did for you. The scriptures are awesome.

This morning I was reading in Alma 60 and it is where Moroni and Helaman and their armies have been fighting the Lamanites and they need to be strengthened and so Moroni is writing an epistle to Pahoran to basically rebuke him and get him to send them more armies and support to defend their country. It is an awesome chapter. It can be aplied to us in our lives as well. In verse 7 he is saying, why are ya'll just sitting back while Satan and his hosts are spreading spiritual death among your brethern? vs. 8 says "ye ye might have sent armies unto them to have strengthened them." We can send support to those around us who are being attacked by Satan and his temptations. But sometimes we just sit back and watch "on our thrones" so to speak. vs 9 says " ye ahve withheld your provisions from them." Sometimes we have withheld, or not been willing to share, our testimonies with those who are beeing attacked by Satan. We can not do this. We must take a stand and send support to our bretheren. vs 30 Says "and behold I wait for assistance from you." They are waiting for us to help them. We need to go out and do that. So I challange ya'll to have FHE on Monday night and read this whole chapter and talk about ways you can send assistance. Do it. I promise our family will be strengthened and so will those that need our assistance.

I love you all! I am so excited to get out and fly (for the first time) to Texas!! Next week is going to be crazy busy packing and trying to cram as much gospel knowlege in as I can but it will be awesome.


Hermana Melinda Petersen

-Do it afraid

Friday, July 9, 2010

Como estan?

Email received Friday 9 July 2010

Hola familia,

Como estan? Estoy muy bien. Esta semana fue muy divertido. The fourth of July was awesome! Saturday was just a normal day except that while we were at gym outside on the fields we could hear Carrie Underwood practicing for the stadium of fire. THat was kinda funny. and then at 8:30 at night we had a special program all about the history of teh world and how it was prepared to bring forth the restoration of the gospel and how America played a big role in that. It was pretty cool. And then after.....they let us go outside and watch the fireworks that started at 10pm for the stadium of fire!!! It was so fun. And that was the latest I've stayed out in quite some time. I took some videos and pictures so sometime when I send my card home you'll have fun looking at that. Or mostly just listening to the videos cuz you can't see anyone's faces in the video cuz it's dark. But it was a really fun night to just hang out for 30 minutes with our district and have a taste of summer.

Yes mom, Wednesday was the first day that mail was delivered on my mission and I did not recieve a letter. My district leader Elder Dewey thought it was so funny. On thursday before he went and got the mail he siad to me, "Is the drought going to continue?" and was miaking fun of me and stuff. It was funny. All of the elders are sorta jealous that me and hermana sigler get more letters than all of tehm combined normally. :) haha. But don't worry on thrusday I got 3 dear elders

No you never told me about that oil leek here. That's crazy, but at leaste they did a better job cleaning it up than that BC or whatever in the gulf. That is crazy that they moved the wedding receptions at their expense.

And ARE YOU SERIOUS???? BOOZER is leaving for the BULLS??? What the? Where's the loyalty. I am very upset over this. This is horrible.

Yes mom, Hermana Sigler and I are getting along. We have differences but every companionship does. I just needed to comprimise and we are doing great. It's all about loving each other. When we pray for charity or the pure love of christ like Moroni tells us to in Moroni 7:48 the lord will bless us with it. So ya I'm learning a lot from Hermana Sigler and we are doing great.

You said Sister Sallsbury bore her testimony in Spanish. I don't know how I'm going to understand the language either. At our TRC this week our investigator just talked and talked sometimes and I got so lost. They speak so fast, and soft, and slur words together, it's going to be ruff when I get out there and hear natives speak. But I'll be able to do it evenutally.

Package: ok let's see, I really wnat my sheet music. That white folder I told you about and a copy of that red Hatch book, or at least the I Heard Him come and Love one another from that book, and possibly a copy of the his crhistmas ones the first noel and Angels we have heard on high. Also you could send copies of the actual hymns in my EFY book. That would be awesome. I love just being able to play the piano. And if I had more music I could do cool accompainiments instead of just hymn book versions. Also, I would like some safety pins. Just like 5-6 normal sized saftey pins. And dunford chocolate donuts if you feel so inclined.

Brandy: I'm going to try to write you a letter today.

Does Grandpa know Robert K Dellenbach? From rotary. He spoke to us at our devotional on tuesday night. (And I had to give the closing front of the whole MTC cuz my Branch President asked me to like a week ago. It was scarey-and weird to pray in english again). I will probably send you my notes from last weeks devo by Sister Dalton.

My district is SO close! I love them all so much. We are awesome. It was sad though. We lost a member this week. Elder Paarish got his visa and so he flew to Spain on monday Elder McKinnon is still here waiting for his. But we miss Elder Paarish. He was such a funny Elder and always made us all laugh.

Also, I'm thinking of buying a new set of small scriptures, withthe book of mormon and the bible separate. I can get them both for a total of like55 dollars here. Do you think I should do it? My other scriptures are so marked, if people are going to have to read out of them, they will be weirded out by all my margin comments. Also if ya'll every wanted to send me a tape that ya'll have talked on that would be cool. I might buy a recorder.

How is my laptop. I am worried about it. :)

I taught the law of chastity for teh first time this week. That was weird. And hard

got to go bye

love you!