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 is...is 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