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 it...so 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 surrendered..to 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