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