Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A week of lasts - Pday, mission, emails

Email sent Monday 12 December 2011

I got the package! Thank you for the cookies! I loved them and so did G... my investigator and all of the elders in the brownsville zone today after we played sand volleyball. Thanks! And the tissues...gonna need those.

Sorry I don't have time to say much. Thanks for all the birthday wishes! It really is a crazy birthday to be my last pday my last hours of proselyting time and my last day in port isabel. We drive to mcallen tomorrow morning. And sister Mazey will find out who she is training! She will do awesome. We are just in kind of freak out mode right now though.

I think I am in shock about all that is happening. It has been a crazy week. I am so grateful for the chance I got to serve here int he greatest mission on the earth and serve with so many great people. I love it here. I look forward to seeing yall in two days, or three depending when brandy and quinton get up there. :) Please be patient if i stress upon getting home. haha. :)

I love you all!


Hermana Petersen

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's begining to feel a lot like Christmas!

Email sent Monday 5 December 2011

Happy December,

It is sure feeling like December here in Port Isabel. Though we don't have any snow, we have frio, or cold, and lots of wind lately as I guess you all have had. We are being blown away, and wearing a skirt makes the wind kinda difficult. haha. But somehow we manage.

This week was great! Sister Mazey and I had done a special fast last week, and we have been really working hard on looking for prepared people, and more importantly FAMILIES. And this week we found a bunch! It was the best finding week that I've had in awhile. It was such a huge blessing. The families that we have found are awesome, and though I won't be here to see them get baptized it's ok, I am so grateful to have been here and guided to find them. This one that we found is A.... She is a single mom with 5 kids ages 8 to 8 months. And she is 26. She has a lot on her plate. She was taught by elders about 10 years ago and went to church a lot, but was never baptized because of her mom. But now she feels like this is what she needs to help her kids to learn and behave better. Her girls are so sweet. They were hugging us from the very first day. Yesterday actually, when we went over, A... hadn't been able to find her phone all day long. So Sister Mazey suggested to the kids that we pray and ask God for help. It was a great teaching moment. One of hte girls got on her knees right away and said, I'll pray. She said the prayer all by herself and asked God to help us find the phone. After the prayer all of us started looking through their little cluttered apartment in search of the phone. And out of nowhere it appeared on the floor under a pillow that A... couldn't remember being there before. She was amazed, and the kids were surprised that the prayer worked so fast. So then we said another prayer to thank Heavenly Father for his help. What a great teaching opportunity we had wtih them. We were only at the house for about 15-20 minutes, but they have now learned a very strong lesson about prayer from personal experience.

G... is still doing awesome. We are still just waiting and praying for a Dec 11th miracle. At least I am.

This week I got a letter from an "investigator" of mine in Laredo. Really she was just the wife of a member, that I had found and visited multiple times to try to get her ready to recieve the gospel. At the time we would "go over to teach the kids" and just make her sit in on the lessons and participate since she wasn't very keen on being taught herself to prepare for baptism. But little by little we developed a relationship with her and trust. I loved her, and could see that some day this family could all be faithful active members, but that time did not come while I was there. But in the letter I recieved yesterday it brought me to tears to here that 2 months after I left Laredo the son was baptized and a week later the mom. J... is now Sister D... and she wrote thanking me for my visits, and saying that she thinks of me often. It was such a blessing to see that even when we don't think our efforts bear fruits, somewhere down the line other missionaries harvest our seeds. I look forward to the day the D... family will be sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. She ended by saying, "Just keep in mind, your mission was accomplished." I just love missionary work!

This week lots of emotions are starting to fill my mind. I am completely focused, but in the back of my head I just get sad to think that it is all ending. I am excited to see you all, but the mission has just been such an amazing experience. I am so grateful to have been able to serve here in Texas.

Well I hope you all have a great week. Don't get blown away by the wind. I love you all!


Sister Petersen

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pavo Pavo Pavo

Email sent Monday 28 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all enjoyed it. We ate some turkey too. But made sure not to eat too much. Had some great meals though. Only two. :) Things went well this week. Working hard to meet our goals. The mission is doing well, but we have to work super hard to hit our goal this last month of December.

This sunday we had a baptism! It was a crazy week, but we saw miracles from fasting and were able to gain the trust and support of the mom of our investigator. We had been praying for weeks for an opportunity to serve her in some way and on Wednesday it came. When we got there they were cleaning the house and so we just insisted and jumped in and helped.

The baptism was S..., he is only 12, but it was fun teaching him. He is a cute kid, and so smart, just needs to be taught. I really hope that people keep teaching these kids so that they don't get corrupted by the world. The things they learn at school and "on the street" take theire lives nowhere fast. That is why teaching children the gospel when they are young is so important, so that they can have that foundation. It is essential.

G... is doing awesome. I keep praying that he will be able to be baptized before i leave.

I kinda am running out of things to tell yall as well. I hope you are preparing my room for me, haha. Cleaning up Brandy's take over probably is what you ahve to do. haha.

It got really cold these past two days. We had winds that were so strong and they blew ALL NIGHT LONG. It was crazy. Windy!

Well I hope you have a great week. We put up our christmas tree today and got it all decorated. For some reason we have a 6 foot tree in one of our closets, so we have a big one in our apartment. :) I love christmas!

I love you all!


Sister Petersen
pps THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LETTER!!! I loved getting mail. Thanks for sending it.

ppps my comp will be getting a bike. And i bought the light thing I needed too so we will be obeying all the rules.

P-Day and Baksetball

Zone after Volleyball on Pday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I'm grateful for you and to be a missionary!

Email sent Monday 21 November 2011

This week was full of hard work. Dealing with people's agency is hard sometimes, and it is sad to see them chose and make wrong choices, but we just keep teaching and testifying of the truth.

I am so grateful to be a missionary in the greatest mission on the earth - the Texas McAllen Mission. I love this work. I love all of my faithful brothers and sisters in this mission. Last night we were able to attend the special memorial service held for Elders Walker and Strong in the Weslaco chapel. About 80 of our mission's 170 missionaries were in attendance, and the rest watching in stake centers throughout the mission by internet broadcast. The parents and twin brother of Elder Strong were in attendance as well. The chapel was packed. Media from local news was there as well. The entire front middle section was reserved for us missionaries. It was such a great service. A former companion of Elder Walker, Elder Field, gave a tribute to him, as well as Elder Harris, and Elder Strong's mother. President and Sister Trayner spoke and the Area 70, Elder Villareal. As well as a musical number by a youth choir in a ward that I and Elder Strong used to serve in. And a stake choir from that stake.

It was a beautiful service, full of tears, lots of tears, but also lots of joy and the strong conviction that THE WORK GOES ON. These two elders continue the work, they are not resting in peace, but working in peace. They are not the type of missionaries who would rest. And neither are we. I have never wanted to hug so many elders before in my life, but we are such a strong family here in the TMM. I love my mission. I wish it could go on forever. I love these people. I try not to think about the fact that it is winding down because it just makes me so sad. A piece of my heart will always be here in Texas. These people are so amazing. So full of faith and love, really charity - the pure love of christ. They are such examples to me.

Here are some random but super useful things that we learned this week (composed by sister mazey and I):

Never get a haircut without first studying hair-style spanish vocabulary (sister mazye learned from experience)

Having someone tell you "I wish I could hug you right now but I know I can't" is almost as good as getting a hug.

The Light of Christ is so real...kids with very bad decision making parents know exactly what's up.

Everyone needs to keep a journal. period. no exceptions.

Sister missionaries should be able to serve 2 years...

Everyone needs to either serve a mission or go to jail at some point in their lives.

Never be lazy...because then you will be lazy on important days and think it's not a big deal when actually it is a very, very, very big deal (learned from actions of a member who was lazy)

Don't drive 40 in a 30 even if you are leaving church...sister mazey got a warning

If you act dumb, dumb people will trust you. (aka no one trusts a smart person)

Last words of Elder Pinter: work hard and be obedient. that is the secret to success

Love every minute because at some point your minutes start to run out. :(

Well that's a lot, but I best be going. I love this work, I know that this is Christ's church. I know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can be healed from any pain, sin or trial in our lives, whether we self inflicted it, or it was due to the actions of others. I know that God has a plan for us and that we WILL return to live with him and see all of our loved ones again if we follow his commandments. I testify that this is true. I love you all and I am so grateful to have you all in my lives.


Sister Petersen

Monday, November 14, 2011


Email sent Monday 14 November 2011

This week was the best of times and the worst of times in the Texas McAllen Mission.  November 8th will forever be remembered as the best day and the worst day this mission has had.

Tuesday we held a Valley Wide Zone Conference with all but two zones of the mission in which Elder Claudio Zivic of the 70 was presiding and offering instruction.  Elder Strong, Walker and Harris were in attendance at this zone conference and we were all instructed and inspired by the leaders of this great mission and by Elder Zivic who brought instruction from the general authorities of the church to direct the missionary work.  It was a wonderful conference in which he recognized us for our efforts and the great success that the many faithful missionaries have gained in the Texas McAllen Mission.  My personal favorite quote from him went something like this, "We would love it if every mission in the world could have the success that you are having here.  You have nearly doubled convert baptisms in the matter of two years.  This kind of growth is not seen in many missions in the church.  President Trayner, you are doing great things here!"  Yes, those were the words we heard from Elder Zivic, among many other counsels on how we can make it even better.

Even at one point in his training he called on Elder Walker to come up to the stand and teach us how to tie his shoe without being able to demonstrate.  He used this as an example to show us the importance of practicing and roleplaying our teaching and demonstrating to each other how we will do things so that when we actually teach lessons we will be prepared.  Elder Walker had us all laughing at his facial expressions and his fun personality as he roleplayed this with Elder Zivic.

The Conference was held in McAllen and afterwards we departed back to our own areas to work for the night.

Unknown to us at the time, but around 7:30 that same night, Elders Strong, Walker and Harris (a trio serving in Donna) were hit while riding their bikes after leaving a lesson in which they had set a baptismal date.  Elders Strong and Walker passed away this horrible night and Elder Harris was in critical condition in the hospital.

We found out through a phone call from a member on Wednesday morning at 6:46am.  To be honest, that was the begining of the longest day of our lives.  My companion, Sister Mazey was in the same MTC district with Elder Walker.  She knew him very very well, and had served under Elder Strong as zone leader.  Though I did not know these two elders personally, I knew who they were and as with all of the missionaries in this mission, they are family.

Many thoughts start to run through your head when you recieve news like this, and among them was the thought "why them? how could this happen?"  But those thoughts were quickly removed by the comforting knowlege of hte plan our heavenly father has for us.  These two elders were examples of the believers, livers of the gospel and defenders of truth.  Their love of missionary work was recognized by all around them.  God had a plan for them and we now have to accept this as part of it.  We sat and we cried and we cried, and tried to pull it together to study.  We attended our district meeting as normal and held back the tears.  It was one of the most spiritual district meetings i have had on my mission just because of the renewed sense of urgency and great importance of this work.  Bearing your testimony of the plan of Salvation takes on a new meaning when you are living what you are preaching.

A special meeting was called for the brownsville and harlingen zones in the harlingen chapel at 1:30 that day.  We went and sat in the chapel waiting for presidents arrival for about 45 minutes with all of the other missionaries.  That was a meeting I will never forget.  I can not forget the tears streaming down the elders faces and all of the hugging and statements of "I love you" that were heard that day.  Though two of our brave soldiers were transfered to heaven, those of us left here were brought closer together and strengthened by one another.

It seems that the last section of the Doctrine and Covenants was written about our two great elders.  D&C 138:55-60 reads, 

55 I observed that they were also among the anoble and great ones who were bchosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.

 56 Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first alessons in the world of spirits and were bprepared to come forth in the due ctime of the Lord to labor in his dvineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.
 57 I beheld that the faithful aelders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the bpreaching of the cgospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the dspirits of the dead.
 58 The dead who arepent will be redeemed, through obedience to the bordinances of the house of God,
 59 And after they have paid the apenalty of their transgressions, and are bwashed clean, shall receive a creward according to their dworks, for they are heirs of salvation.
 60 Thus was the avision of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this brecord is ctrue, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen. 

As president trayner said, "we can not control the great transfer board in the sky."  God has his plan, and we are trying to learn what is part of it and accept it.  In the meeting President and Sister Trayner both spoke to us, as well as a man from LDS family services that the church flew out here from Florida.  I don't know if there was a one of us that was not in tears that day, but the tears did not fall without hope.  We all have the hope strong and the faith strong that it will be ok.

Elder Harris, also was there with us that day.  We were able to shake his hand and he bore his testimony to us.  Our love goes out to him and he truly is an example because of his strength and continued desire to serve.

Sister Mazey upon looking through her journal found a quote from Elder Walker, on meeting God again at judgement, he had said, "I want to want it to happen." (Oct 28, 2010 - see below).  As well she found his favorite scripture that he had told her while they were in the MTC, which is Moroni 10:34, which reads, 

34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to arest in the bparadise of God, until my cspirit and body shall again dreunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the eair, to meet you before the fpleasing bar of the great gJehovah, the Eternal hJudge of both quick and dead. Amen.

Elder Walker was truly ready and needed in Heaven to further the work of preaching the gospel to the dead.  There is so much more work to do there than there is here and he needed them.

We have talked with many people this week who have expressed their sadness to us for our loss this week, and we know that the work here will continue to move forward.  Great things are happening in this mission.  The spirit is here with us and nothing will stop it from progressing.  We pray for the families of Elder Strong and Walker and have a renewed desire to be the servants that God wants us to be.

I am doing well, don't you worry.  Glad to hear that Spencer is back and doing well.  Sorry I don't have time to talk about much else.  Thanks for being awesome.  I love you all so much and hope you always remember to accept whatever Heavenly Father puts in our paths.


Sister Petersen

ps. remember: WalkSTRONG
The following is from Melinda's companion, Sister Mazey:

Last night I had the humbling experience of rereading some journal entries I had written during my time with Elder Walker in the MTC. I'm not sure how to express how much it means to me now so I thought I could send you what I wrote; maybe his parents would appreciate it:

My Journal Entry October 28, 2010
“Wow so many things were awesome about today but the part that really hit me was during our teaching experience with Elder Walker and Elder Brown.  I did not realize until this last week that you can feel the spirit even in fake teaching situations.  Since then I have really made it a goal to teach and ask questions according to the spirit.  We were practice teaching “Francisco” and  “Gordon” about the Plan of Salvation – mainly the Resurrection.  I then had a question come to my mind along the lines of how they envisioned, personally, reuniting with their body to meet God.  Elder Walker…told me something afterwards I did not expect to touch my heart so deeply.  He said that the one question was so strong for him that it made him reflect on himself as Elder Walker not as Francisco.”
Next page of my Journal says:
“On seeing God again at judgment:
‘I want to want it to happen."
-Elder Walker

This is our motivation to be righteous, have faith, and endure.  We are on our way back to Heavenly Father now!”

 I hope his family treasures this memory as I do.
-Sister Mazey
Page from Hermana Mazey's journal

Sister Mazey's favorite picture of Elder Walker(left) from the MTC.

Please stop the time. It is flying too fast.

Email sent Monday 7 November 2011

Greetings again, from Port Isabel, the best area in the Texas McAllen mission.

This week was such a whirlwind. It was crazy. We just didn't even have time to breath. Not to mention that yesterday was daylight savings time and nobody told us so we got up an hour earlier than we had to and missed that extra hour of sleep that was much needed. :( but we'll get over it. But really this week flew by. Sister Perkins and I carved a pumpkin last p-day of two sister missionaries, it was cute, when I get home you can see the picture. sorry, don't have time to send it now. haha. On tuesday I got to pick up my new companion. Sister Jenna Mazey is from San Diego California, well Carlsbad really I guess. She is super cute and lots of fun and talks a lot. My throat is getting dry from talking so much :) but that is good cuz I love it. haha. People ask us all the time if we are sisters, cuz we are kinda the same height and sort have the same hair and eyes and blah blah blah, so everyone here thinks we are really related. It's funny. But it also is funny how alike we are in other ways too. It will be a fun last transfer.

That is crazy that it is snowing for you. Sad there are no piles of leaves.

We are teaching this one kid, and he is really funny. He is a jokester. He is 18 and is a "cool kid" if you know what I mean. He has a tatoo of "misunderstood." His name is D... and he knows that baptism is something he needs to do, but he also knows, even without being told that he needs to stop drinking...and some other things in order to be ready. He just says it is really hard because of the "scene for kids his age." He is amazed by us, being 22 and 23 and that we don't do that stuff. He comes up with the funniest analogies for things, for instance when teaching the sacrament he saw a picture of the sacrament cups and called it "shots of holiness." It is hard to not laugh while in lessons with him. Stay serious stay serious stay serious, but afterwards when we get in the car we just bust up laughing over some of his lines. He is really cool though. He is probably one of the smartest people I have met here on my mission. He picks up on things so fast and understands the scriptures so well. It is incredible for someone who didn't finish high school.

Umm, g... is doing well, we're just still waiting on approval. I really hope it comes before I leave. That would be so sad if it didn't.

We are still teaching i... and i... and debating about their baptism, because they are 10 and we want to make sure that they can stay active afterwards even though their parents aren't interested. Their older sisters were baptized three weeks ago, and they are doing great but we will keep working with the twins to help them too. It is sad if children have to pay for parents wrong choices. That, too me, is against the 2nd article of faith, it really frustrates me that maybe because of the lack of desire to follow christ of their parents, the children have to suffer. ugh. Being a missionary makes me want to be such a good parent someday.

Well got to go, I love you all. Write me letters!!!! I think my mailbox is broken maybe cuz it never gives me letters. hint hint.


Sister Petersen

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hope you carved some pumpkins for me!

Email sent Monday 31 October 2011

Well, well well.  Today is halloween and we are not allowed to work really.  We have to be in our apartment by 7.  :(  And tomorrow is transfers!  After 3 and a half months with sister Perkins, President is splitting us up.  I will be getting a new companion tomorrow.  Sister Mazey!  I have met her before and she is great!  Super cute and a hard worker.  So I am really excited to spend the last 6 weeks with her here in port isabel.  I am glad to have a change, and not a change of area.  I love it here, but getting a new companion will keep me on my toes.
Yes mom, we have primary programs here, they are so cute.  I love them.  Also we had some ward halloween parties, with costumes, they were fun. 
Something that I have been studying lately is the new Relief Society book, Daughters in My Kingdom.  I guess before I never really understood or fully appreciated the relief society, but reading about it's history has really opened my eyes.  That book is awesome!  I encourage all relief society sisters and even priesthood holders to read it to better understand the purpose and divine mission of this auxiliary organization of the church.  It is really cool, and I have a much stronger resolve to do my part as a relief society sister. 
Dad, what size t-shirt do you normally buy if you were to buy one?  And what do you all want for christmas.  I think I will do my christmas shopping here, cuz it is much cheaper.  So let me know what you want.
Port Isabel gets all decked out for Halloween, there are decorations everywhere, and people are dressed up, I'm sure tonight.  It gets really crazy and that is why we have to be inside. 
But I have to go, sorry the library is closing. 
Sister Petersen

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sister Baptisms!

Email sent Monday 24 October 2011

Happy October!

Sounds like y'all had another fun week. Glad state went well and Quinton could make some cash from doing somethign other than donating plasma. Silly kid. haha. Hope you had a good birthday mom! That makes me so sad to hear about Vernon. I thought of him the other day. He was such a nice man. I wish I had got to know him better. That's cool that you had regional brodcast and got to listen to Elder Bednar. What did he talk about?

You have known my release date for a long time. It's on that calendar I made for you last year. I believe that I will be flying out on Dec 14th and get home that same day. As far as I know that is still the plan. But now, you know, and I don't want to think about it anymore.

This week was a great week with a great ending! M... and C..., two sisters, entered the waters of baptism yesterday! They are so cute. M... is 16 and has two daughters and she knows that the gospel will help her to raise them the way God wants. The gospel really is going to change her life. She now has many examples to look up to and a big ward family to help her through the trials that lie ahead in life. Her sister C... is 13 and is loving young womens. C... is very shy but we have seen the gospel and the other young women help her to open up and develop more self-esteem and a brighter light in her eyes. A great door has just opened for these two girls. They come from a familiy life where they don't have much in the way of parents as examples to look up to, but they now have many people aware of them and ready to help them along the path to return to their Heavenly Father. The also have 2 younger sisters, 10 year-old twins, that we have been teaching, but the aunt is putting up a fight about their baptism. So maybe a little later on those two as well will be able to experience the blessings of the gospel.

This week, I encourage you all to study the Doctrine of Christ. This is found in many places in the scriptures, but you can focus on 2 Nephi 31 which lays it out perfectly telling us that baptism is the "door" that gets us on the path to heaven. For those of us who have been baptized, we have already opened that door. But now we are on the path. and "all is not done." Recieving the Holy Ghost, for men-recieving the priesthood and magnifying their office therein, and preparing for , recieving and keeping covenants made in the temple are all steps along that path that will lead us to the kingdom of God. If we are at a halt anywhere on that path, we must pick up our feet and start moving again. Analyze what is ahead, be proud of how far you have come, and make plans to move forward. Part of enduring to the end is helping others along the path. God's work and his glory is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." Part of our baptismal covenant is that we will take upon the name of Christ and by so doing, represent him, do what he would do. We need to help others along the path as he did. Is God's work and glory our work and glory? If not, analyze your life and figure out what to do to fix it. I know that no greater joy comes, than by helping one soul return to God. The worth of souls is great (D&C 18) and we need to help each and everyone recognize their greatness and help them return to God. That is my invitation to each of you this week. Study the Doctrine of Christ. And write me an email or letter about what you learned. And better yet, apply what you learned, cuz if you don't apply it in your life, what good did it do you. "Be ye doers of the word not hearers only." -James 1:22

Well I love you all a lot and am so grateful for your prayers. Hope you have a great week!


Sister Petersen

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Email sent Monday 17 October 2011

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear mo--om, happy birthday to you!

I don't know how old you are turning, but I'm sure it's a good number. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and that everyone takes you out to do do something fun tomorrow. Sorry I can't send you a package or gift. I looked last p-day but was not able to find anything that seemed to work. I didn't have enough time to look for my liking, but I didn't forget it was your birthday. Thank you so much for being an awesome mom. Being out here I ahve realized a lot of the sacrifices that you and dad have made for us over that years and the example that you always gave to us. I am so grateful for everything that you have done to help us reach our potential and live our dreams. I really am grateful! I hope you ahve a great birthday!

That's fun that everyone is home for the weekend. We are having a sister's conference! The first one ever. All of the sisters int eh whole mission will be coming. I will get to see everybody again! I am excited!

This week was good. I realized the reality of the gift of tongues. This whole time in port isabel I haven't really found it very hard to understand anyone's spanish. I for the most part, understand all the words people say. But this week I went on exchanges in Brownsville, and I don't know what happened but that day, I felt like I was lost half of the time when people were speaking. It was so weird. And then I thought about it. God blesses us with gifts of the spirit to use them to help others and be able to bless teh lives of others. In port isabel with sister perkins, I NEED the gift of interpretation of tongues, cuz if I don't have it, then we would not understand what anyone is saying. So God gives it to me. But that day in Brownsville, I was with sister Ruano, and she is fluent in english and spanish and so I didn't need the gift to be able to teach. Sister Ruano had it under control. So I really saw the gift of interpretation of tongues come and go this week. It was an interesting experience. It makes me wonder that if I go home I will still be able to understand spanish. hmmm I don't know. I sure hope I still understand it. haha

We had 3 investigators get their interviews for baptism this week. Two of them will get baptized next sunday! The work is moving forward!

Well I have to go, but I hope you all have a great week. Keep reviewing general conference and find ways to apply it to your life.


Sister Petersen

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Great week in PI!

Email sent Tuesday 11 October 2011

wow you sent a long email this week! That was cool. :) I was glad to hear about all of the things going on. Thanks for the updates about Elder hales and everything else in life. I'm sorry to hear about Jana's dad. But so grateful we all should be to know of God's great plan for all of us and our families. We will see them again. That I know is true.

This week was probably the best week of my mission, numbers wise. The Lord really blessed us with being able to help a lot of people to come to church and accept the invitation to be baptized. We had about 14 or 15 people at church today, granted only 10 of them are over the age of 8, that is still a really good week at church. I would say. It was a miracle. The members were so willing to help us to get them rides and everything. Two people drove all the way down from Los Fresnos, 30 minutes, to pick them up and take them to church. the sacrifices people make here are incredible.

G... is still progressing great. We are teaching a couple of families and I love them all so much. Port Isabel is awesome. We just need to keep helping these people have the faith enough to enter the waters of baptism. it is awesome to see them grow from week to week as they make the gospel a part of their lives.

My pinkie is fine, I guess, It doesn't really "hurt" persay, it just feels a little wierd. It looks like it has a bump, and I'm pretty sure it didn't used to be like that. but it's fine I guess. There's nothing I can do about it really, so oh well.

Thanks for everything that you do!


Sister Petersen

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Conference Weekend!

Email sent Monday 3 October 2011

Dear family,

What an amazing weekend we had, didn't we. You are right, it is different to finally be able to watch the saturday sessions of conference live, since cross country and track took up our lives for so many years. haha. But yes we were so blessed to be able to listen to all of the sessions of conference this weekend. We watched them at the church in Brownsville. Our investigator G... came to 4 of the sessions. We only met him 2 and a half weeks ago, but he is progressing so fast! He had an interview for his baptism this week, and now we just have to have president interview him and then wait on first presidency approval. The waiting will be the hard part.

But conference was so amazing. President Monson is so funny. "Hello" haha, I love how that is how he started his talk. Can you believe the Provo tabernacle is going to be a temple?! I feel really blessed to have lived in the only two cities in the world that have two temples each. Go South Jordan! We recieved a lot of great counsel from the leaders this weekend and I hope that each and every one of us takes the time to ponder the things we ahve learned and make specific plans on how we are going to apply those things into our lives. Conference does us NO good if we do not make what we learned a part of our lives. Take the time to sit down, and write some notes and make goals and plans of how to practice these things. I really loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk about how each of us matter to God. The worth of souls really is great in his sight. And not just all of us souls as a whole. But each and every individual one of us. He knows us and he knows what we are going through, our successes, our struggles, our happy times and our times of trial. He is aware, and we need to not forget that. I have seen that this week in the life of one of our investigators. God is there to answer whatever little prayer he says. Because what matters to us, matters to him because he loves us.

Do you all know what has happened to elder Robert D. Hales over the past months? He looks so different and was in a chair.

The talk about hte Book of Mormon was SO awesome! That was very bold. That is the kind of boldness we need to work on as missionaries. I can not sum up sufficiently all of the things I learned or liked from the conference, but I encourage you all to ponder those things you liked and take steps to apply them to your life.

I don't know if I will stay here in PI till the end of my mission. I hope so. I don't want to move. But I feel like one of us will be moved next transfer which is like Nov. 1st. But I don't know if it will be me or sister perkins. Who knows. But that would be sad if I had to start in a new area for my last 6 weeks. BUt whatever happens will be fine.

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week! I love you all and appreciate all that you do and your prayers and letters.


Sister Petersen

Thursday, September 29, 2011

As september comes to a close

Email sent Monday 26 September 2011

Hola family,

This week was a transfer week and of all the over 25 sisters in the mission only 4 of them didn't move, and sister perkins and I were two of those. President made some big changes in all the sisters areas. My old area in Raymondville was just white-washed by elders. And my Laredo area was whitewashed by elders last transfer as well. My area in mission, is still sisters, but has had a lot of boundary changes and is now two sister areas I believe. Our area here in Port Isabel is staying the same. And we are seeing some great progress here.

With the start of a new transfer, I realized that I only have two left. :( That is a really sad thought, and try not to think about it at all because it is sad.) Everybody else seems to find ways to bring it up though, and it's kinda annoying. Everyone's favorite question to ask missionaries is "How long have you been out?" I usually just say "a little over a year" and they say, "oh so you still have a little ways" and I say, "ya" but I feel like I'm lying. But oh well. These last two transfers are going to be the best of my mission. At least that is what I am striving for. I feel I am becoming a better missionary every day, even though I still have such a long way to go.

This week we were able to get a lot of work done here. We had some good goals set and this week was probably one of the most successcul weeks of my mission as far as hitting our key indicator goals. This week we invited 7 people to be baptized and 6 accepted! We set 6 new baptismal dates. And they are actually with some pretty legit people. We are really excited for the month of October. Our zone has set a pretty high goal for october of 25 baptisms. 3 of those need to be ours to help our zone hit that goal. And we are really excited because as of right now we have the people.

This week we even found a family! Well the mom is a member, was baptized when she was 10, but is inactive and recently moved here. But we set a BD with the husband and the daughter. And we also set a marraige date! Cuz they need to get married before they can get baptized. I've always wanted to have a marriage/baptism. They are pretty cool, and we look forward to seeing them progress and be ready for the covenant of baptism in October.

I think I told you of our investigator G..., who is super awesome and prepared. This week we had some great spirit-filled lessons with him on the Restoration, word of wisdom, and law of chastity. He is so awesome, and his prayers are so sincere. He is committed 100% to live these commandmends and has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the BOok of Mormon. We have only been teaching him for almost 2 weeks, but he is very solid. We are excited for him, but he will have to wait for 1st presidency approval for his baptism. But he is willing.

Let's see, sounds like you all had a great week. Fun fishing and running and having Brandy home and whatnot. That is so horrible about what happened to sister doman. I hope the ward is doing a lot to help out their family right now. Wow. That is super sad. But what a blessing that she is ok.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, like 3 or 4 we played basketball on pday and I jammed my left pinkie real bad. But I thought it was fine, just a normal jammed finger. But it's been weeks, and while the swelling and the coloring is down and gone, it still hurts sometimes. Like when it gets cold, it hurts, and when I try to put weight on it or carry somethign. It kinda has a little bump on it too. Is it possible that I broke my pinkie? Probably not. But it's weird that it still hurts a little. Oh well.

Anyway, hope your weeks are going great. Keep having fun. Do some missionary work.


Sister Petersen

Monday, September 19, 2011

Transfer news...exchanges...miracles...and the island...

Email sent Monday 19 September 2011

Greetings from Port Isabel!

This week was quite a crazy one. We have been working with these two guys for a couple weeks who are preparing for baptism on the second of October and this week, they have been really hard to meet with and are still really struggling with word of wisdom, and then whether it was phone problems or them ignoring us we don't know, but all Friday and Saturday, we couldn't get ahold of them. We thought that neither of them would end up coming to church since we couldn't contact them. But a miracle, on Sunday morning H... finally called us to tell us he was on his way to church! That was awesome! And we were able to find J... later that night and found that he had been in brownsville all weekend with his kids. Hopefully they will be back on track this week and be ready for their interviews next week.

This wednesday, we had exchanges for the first time in 2 months. It was about time we did those. Sister Villalobos got to come with me in my area. She was in the MTC with me and is such an awesome missionary. I love her so much! It was good to be able to talk with her and get her advice to help us out over here. We both go home together. We had a great miracle happen that day when we were together. We found this awesome guy. His name is G... and he really has been being prepared by God. God literally guided us to his house. He was ready and willing to accept a baptismal date. We had lessons with him as well since wednesday and he came to chruch yesterday! It was great. He really liked it and was asking questions and participating in all of the classes. We are very excited for G... He wishes that he was baptized already, but he has to wait until sometime in October. He really was a miracle find, and hoepfulley I can tell you more about him in the weeks to come.

Also this week, we got to go to the island! For a lesson we had in a member's home with G... It was weird to cross the bridge, we felt like we were doing something wrong, but we weren't cuz we had permission. But it was cool to go over there.

Also on Friday, there was an awesome mexican party in the spanish ward. It was so cool for mexican independence day. There was lots of food and music and dancing, we had a lot of non-members there. And don't worry we didn't dance.

Transfer news...both sister perkins and I are staying. So we get to keep working port isable.

the computer is going to kick me off so I have to go.

I love you,

Sister Petersen

Monday, September 12, 2011


Email sent Monday 12 September 2011

This week ended with a great baptism day. C..., the ten year old daughter of less actives that we have been teaching, was baptized and confirmed yesterday! It was a great baptism. C... was so cute. The relief society presidente had made her a white baptism dress that was very cute and everything. About half the ward stayed for the baptism, it was awesome! And they fed us hotdogs afterwards. mmm. We were so happy because all of her family came. Her dad has not come the whole time we have been teaching her, but he came to all three hours of church yesterday and stayed for the baptism. And her older brother and sister came as well. It was a great day!

The rest of this week was a little rough though. Appointments falling through and stuff and people not progressing, but it's ok, we will work at it even harder this week and find people who are going to progress. Many will listen to our message, but those that will act on it are far and few in between. Those however are the chosen that we were sent to find and teach and so that is what we are trying to do. We know God has sent us here because there are people who are ready. We just got to find them.

About the bikes. The only area I have used my bike in was Raymondville, and we used it a lot. I can't use it here cuz my companion can not ride a bike because of medical issues. But otherwise we would. The mission is starting to use bikes more and more. All elders have to have bikes and sisters are supposed to as well. All sisters have cars, but we all only have a certain number of miles we can use each month and so if we are going to go over we have to bike instead. Some elders areas are only bike areas. District leader or not, just depending on the size of their area, it may be a bike or car area, but even the car areas have to bike a lot too. I've heard of some getting stolen, but nothing ever happened to mine. Just lock it up everytime you leave it. Be smart.

About the lawn: well the think was, it was fine, but then all of a sudden this tropical storm came and it rained a ton, and then we were working really hard, and kinda didn't notice that it was growning so fast, and a week or two later it was a forrest. oopps. But ya, cuz normally it never rains and so you only have to cut the lawn like once every couple months. But when it rained, and poured and flooded...it grew rapidly.

Sounds like yall are staying busy. Have fun. Sorry but I got to go. I love you all!


Sister Petersen

Hola familia

Email sent Tuesday 6 September 2011

Hi there from another week in Port Isabel. Guess what, it is starting to actually feel cooler this week. It rained I think one day this week, and now it is only about 97 degrees outside! It is great. I got a hair cut yesterday!!! That is the first one I've had since before I left on my mission. You can ask sister Morrill, way back in Sept of last year I was saying how I needed a hair cut, and never ended up getting one...until yesterday. Just a trim, but I sure needed one.

So this past week, we had some mission trainings on the 8 lessons the first presidency put out about a year ago to help us with the missionary work. It was the same training that I had last year in September right when I got out to the field. But it was much needed to review these things and hone in on our skills at teaching these basic doctrines. So that was three days long. We didn't have much time to work in those evenings, (tues-thurs) cuz we had to drive all the way from brownsville or harlingen back to Port Isabel, but we still got a pretty good week of work in. We had a great restoration lesson this week with one of our investigator's mom. We were able to set a baptismal date with her as well. She felt hte spirit so strongly. And the next day when we went back to follow up, she had had a dream that even confirmed her testimony even more that this is true. Opposition came on sunday morning though, so she didn't make it to church, but next week we hope to have her there with us.

I don't know if I told you all about J... and H... THey are two single guys we met a week ago Friday who both have baptismal dates and came to church that sunday and loved it. last Thrusday we were able to follow up with them about church finally and they had recognized so many blessings from coming. As missionaries we really do have the power and authority to promise people blessings from God because we are Christ's representatives. It was cool to see those promised blessings fullfilled. J... was able to come to church again this week and he loved it even more. The testimony meeting this week was awesome! As missionaries sometimes we are weary of testimony Sundays because you never know what people are going to say and you are afraid it will freak out your investigators. But this week it was great! People bore very strong great tesitmonies and J... felt the spirit so strongly. He loved it.

Also in our ward here we ahve a very strong Young Women's president and group of girls. We had three young women investigators in church on sunday and during young womens they had a testimony meeting and the 3 girls loved it so much! They were all crying. And are so excited to come to all the activities and stuff.

Guess what? There are aligators here. Scarey! For real. People have these little resacas behind their houses in lots of parts of port isabel, either that or they just live right on the coast, and aligators appear. That would be so scarey to see one day. Apparently they get pretty big.

Nathan is engaged!!!  Wow, Congratulations! Tell him he needs to send me a picture!  Let me know the details as things come along. Hopefully they get married AFTER I come home. I want to go.

No I didn't get to see Nicole. I guess I'll just have to wait a few more months. haha

Sounds like you all are having lots of fun. Well until next week.


Sister Petersen

Sunday, September 4, 2011

august is ending

Email sent Monday 29 August 2011

Dear family,

Well this week, I don't really remember what has happened. Sounds like yall are still staying really busy. Sorry if this email has some typos, I jammed my finger playing basketball today with the elders, and it hurts and is purple, and makes typing kinda deficil (hard). But anyway, mom, your calling seems like it has lots of stuff for you to do. That is good. You are blessed for service. That is one thing that amazes me SO much about the active members here in Port Isabel. Well actually the only active members live in this tiny little town called Laguna Heights, but there are 3 active members and they are willing to do whatever it takes to help us out. Brother Lobato and Alvarado both work a lot, but as soon as they get home in the evenings, and we call them, they are ready and willing to come out with us or to have a lesson in their homes. Sister Martinez it is a little harder cuz she has two little boys and works while they are at school, but she shares the gospel with all of her friends. In fact, we found this lady the other day and set up an appointment, and when we went back and began teaching her, she told us that she has a friend that is from our church who comes and reads her from the book of mormon and stuff. Yup that would be sister Martinez. She is not afraid of sharing the gospel. She is awesome.

So those three members also have to help us every week to give rides to our investigators. And they are so willing to do it. And when there is not enough room, there are members in Los Fresnos (30 minutes away) who are willing to come down here and get them and drive them back to Los Fresnos for church, and take them home after. They don't even hesitate. It's crazy. I hesitate to ask them, cuz to me that seems like a huge sacrifice, with gas money and time and convenience, but they know the importance of it. They were all investigators once, and probably had to have members come and get them. Or at least they understand the reason behind the sacrifice and service.

A cool thing that happened this week is that the Relief Society taught sister perkins and I how to make gorditas!!! Gorditas are these tortilla-like things. Sister Martinez made us do every step of the process. We mixed the Masa (corn flour) and made the dough stuff into balls and flattened them into little circles with our hands like true Mexicans and and cooked them and turned them with our hands and then scrunched the edges and fried them and topped them with the salsa and meat and cabbage and cheese and onions. They were all so impressed that we made all the gorditas. (Gorditas means fattys or somethign like that. They call them that cuz they are super fattening. All tortillas are. Hense the weight gain). We made SO many. It was tiring. But now I can make themfor youall when I come home. They are really good. Oh and I love homemaid flour tortillas. When I was in Raymondville I learned how to make those, but I don't really remember. So...I might have to do something about that.

OH: Thanks for the package!!! It was really cool. Thanks for the memory cards back. And the pictures of you all!!! That was my favorite part. Did you know that that is only the second time on my whole mission that yall have sent me pictures? Yup it is true. But thanks those were cool to see. Quinton looks silly. What's up with his hair? Is it black? I don't know if I knew he died it, or I forgot. In that picture of seminary graduation he looks like he could be a guy on an cd album cover or something. Silly kid. Brandy's gown was white! Weren't mine and Quinton's blue? That picture of her in her gown posing like a runner by the statue is really cool. Cute heels too Brandy! Nice yellow ones too. Thanks for the shirts and the brownies and scripture markers and FLOSS! Yay!

Dad, our neighbor, and lots of other people here for that matter, is a really big fisherman. He fishes all the time. Goes out and wades in the water and catches big fish. I told him about how you like to fish too. He said he actually has a brother in Salt Lake. That is cool.

We need to try to convert our neighbors here. We say hi to them everyday but they have lived by missionaries so long they don't really every really "talk" with them. But we will work on it.

Quinton is on the soccer team? That's random. Is the team very good? haha, he probably got some good practice playing over in Africa! OH, guess what? I met this super cool guy this week from Kenya. He is awesome, he speaks english but we could hardly understand him. His accent was pretty thick. He was super funny though and really nice. We tried to get him to learn more, but he was just like, well I have my own church and even though it is different from the other church I had in africa it's ok. whot whot whot. haha. <---Quinton should understand those "whot" words. That's what he would say in the place of how we say "blah blah blah" He was cool.

Well That's all for now. We have a 3 day conference this week so that should be cool and much needed training. So until next week...farwell.


Sister Petersen

ps mom, about registering for school classes...hmmm I don't know what to do really, you should go on and check what day is my date to register. If you go on to RouteY and then MyMap and then register or something and check the date. Let me know and I can see if I will be able to register for classes or if you will have to do it for me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ay las cosas que pasan...

Email sent 22 August 2011

Hola familia,
Wow, lots of changes, kids in school, sounds like they are doing good, Brandy said she loves college and it hasn't even started yet.  She just loves the college life, we'll see how she likes the school part of it this week.  Quinton said he was nervous for classes.  haha.  He will do fine as well.  You two seem like you've been having way to much fun with all of us gone.  Thanksgiving point, Bee's games, ward parties, waterskiing, fishing, high school reunions, etc.  Too much fun.  DOn't forget to work too.  haha
This is our sixth week here in Port Isabel.  We have been working so hard, using every idea possible to help this area progress, but sometimes it seems that our efforts don't produce results.  Yesterday two of our investigators were supposed to be interviewed for their baptisms next sunday, but they wouldn't come to church.  As a missionary sometimes it is easy to think, man if these people just didnt have their agency and we could just make them choose the right, but then we realize...that was Satan's plan.  He wanted to do exactly that, make everyone choose the right and get the glory.  We chose to follow God's plan.  Everybody get's a choice and God gets the glory.  We are only here as instruments to help people know their options and exercise their agency accordingly.  So I guess what we need to work on right now is just loving the people enough to tell them their options, teach them the doctrine, and it will change their behavior.
We set some baptismal dates with some awesome people this week.  One with a nine year old daughter of an inactive family that is coming back.  C.... will be getting baptized on the 11th!  Also with these two young men, J.... and O..., they are friends and both really want to be clean of their sins.  All three of these people made it to church yesterday so we were really excited for that.  September should be a good month.
What I am realizing right now, is that time is so short in life.  Every day we need to focus on what God wants us to accomplish on that day and not get overwhelmed with the bigger picture.  Every day we set goals as missionaries and we need to do everything we can in that one day to reach those goals.  Our daily goals help us reach our weekly goals, which help us reach monthly goals and our yearly goals as a mission.  It is the same in life.  Right now is the perfect time for all of you to set some goals for yourselves.  Mom and Dad, wow congratulations, you have raised three children and gotten them all into college.  That is an accomplishment and probably a goal you set for us a long long time ago.  Way to go!  But now that doesn't mean it's all done.  You are starting another part of your lives and you can set goals and make plans to be able to continue to grow and fullfill the purpose God has for you right now.  Quinton and Brandy, the start of a school year is also a great time to set goals for the semester and year, and even break them down into weeks.  Set goals for everything, scripture study, chruch attendance (100%), church activity attendance, home teaching/vistitng teaching, daily study time, running, grades, money saving, whatever else it is you need.  Set goals and make the plans to help you reach the goals.  Share your goals with someone else so that they can help you reach them and be accountable for them.
THis is the way that our mission has been finding so much more success in recently.  Focus on each day.  Do the small and simple things daily that will lead to the great things that will be brought to pass.  I promise this will help you all so much if you really apply it and use it daily in your lives.  I'm trying to do it over here too and God really blesses you when you show him your efforts and heart.
It's like on Alice and wonderland, it doesn't matter what path you take if you don't know where you want to go.  Make goals, don't be afraid to dream, but make your dreams come true through your efforts and prayer.
Hope you all have a great week.  Pray for me.  I love you all!
Sister Petersen

el fin de la temporada!

Email sent 15 August 2011

Finally the summer is coming to an end!  Ya!  That means soon we will be out of the hottest part of the year.  But more importantly, as summer ends and the kids here go back to school, all of the work on the island slows down.  This is when people will be able to get sunday's off and be able to come to church!  Yay!  That is the biggest thing holding this area back, and it is a built in part of the culture of port isabel...work on sundays cuz that's when the world vacations.  Ugh.  Just keep the sabath day holy people.   But ya we are excited for people to be able to come to church in the upcoming weeks.
Also we've been lucky here in port isabel.  The rest of the mission has been REALLY hot these past few days.  Sister Trayner even sent out a high heat index warning telling everyone to take frequent breaks in the shade or AC and drink lots of water and wear lots of sunscrean.  But here in Port isabel I guess we've been a few degrees lower than everywhere else and we ahve a really nice ocean breeze so it feels a lot cooler to me than my previous areas.  I think God knew that I needed to be in a cooler place during the summer. I'm not a fan of the heat.  haha
Update on D..., my investigator in Raymondville.  He has recieved approval, but has a bit of cold feet apparently at the moment.  That makes me really sad, I want to be there and just tell him what's what.  But I know that Sister Salan and Sister Ruano will help him to remember the great importance of this step of baptism.   He will follow through.  I know he will.  And I think I will get to go to his baptism when it doesn't happen.  As long as it's not at the same time as one of my baptisms here.
This week we had a couple of lessons that were really amazing to see the spirit work on people.  We found this one lady last week and had set an appointment to come back.  We came by but we were late and she wasn't home, but I guess God knew we needed to be late cuz she pulled up as we were leaving.  So we caught her and she invited us in.  It all started as we were standing in her living room.  She told us straight up that she would listen to what we have to say, but that she was not looking for a church, she doesn't really have a religion and doesn't want one at all.  She said she didn't want to waste our time and wouldn't come to church or change.  This was all before we had really said anything.  But then she said she would give us some time.  She asked us what we teach.  and then invited us to sit down.  So we sat down at her kitchen table in her disorderly little house with kids running around back and forth.  There we began to explain to her that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that God has sent us to help her and her family return to him.  We began to talk and ask her some more questions about her background.  She told us she was a Jehova's Witness, and that her husband is catholic.  She wants the family united so she goes to churhc with him sometimes but doesn't believe the catholic chruch at all.  She said she doesn't "feel it" in either of the churches.  She has questions and neither of the churches can answer them.  We began to teach simply of the book of mormon and of the spirit.  JWs don't believe in the spirit.  But somewhere deep inside of her she is seeking to feel the spirit testify of truth.  That's why she doesn't "feel it" at those chruches, cuz they are not true.  As soon as we found her need, to understand the spirit and his role in conversion and truth, her demeanor softened.  She began to open her heart.  She became interested in learning more.  She said, "I would really like you to come back and talk to me more about these things."  It is amazing to me how the spirit can testify of truth and change people's hearts.  When we teach truth or even state truth the spirit testifies.  That is something you can do in normal life as well, not just as missionaries.  When you can state a truth of the gospel the spirit will testify and people will recognize it as something familiar and good.  Their desire to learn more will increase.
Another funny thing that happened this week:  this member Brother Alvarado is a really smart guy.  During our lessons though I think he was paying attention more to the way we speak spanish than what we were saying.  After the lesson he says to me, "You think in spanish right?"  I told him yes.  He said, "ya you can tell that you don't have to translate it in your head as you go along, like your companion, you just understand it.  Also, you speak like a mexican...but you have a bit of a different accent, I can't figure out what it is.  You kinda sound like someone from Vera cruz."  People from different parts of mexico speak with different accents or changes in tone and stuff.  I just laughed.  I told him that maybe I speak kind of guatemalan cuz I had a guatemalan companion for about 5 months.  I'm glad I finally learned how to understand this language.  My poor companion is still in the not-understanding state.  She works so hard though, she will be fluent in no time.
Well sounds like your trip was really fun and now you have nothing to do.  :(  You can write me letters!  hah
I love you all lots.
Hermana Petersen

President Trayner's email to us this week. Thought it might be interesting to know

Email sent 15 Aug 20101
Just realized you probably can't understand it cuz it's in spanish.  But try to find someone to translate it for you.  Only (computer) translators aren't very good, don't try that.  haha, but there are some nice stats about the progress the mission has made in the last year.
Sister Petersen

14 agosto 2011

Mis queridos élderes y hermanas,

Este fin de semana, la hermana y yo tuvimos el gran privilegio de reunirnos con la estaca de Harlingen en su conferencia de estaca.  Nos disfrutaron bastante las sesiones en Brownsville y Harlingen.  Había casi mil personas en las sesiones del domingo.  El presidente Mata habló mucho en cuanto a su gratitud por la obra misional.  En verdad, se nos explicó que la obra misional había cambiado por lo mejor el espíritu y amor en su estaca, especialmente en una de las unidades allí.

En preparación por mi discurso por la reunión de líderes del sacerdocio, preparé unos datos que nos ayudan entender lo que está pasando en la obra misional de esta misión en este momento.  Se los comparto con ustedes:

1.  Durante los  años 2006-2009, la misión logró un promedio de 603 bautismos cada año.

2.  En 2010, realizamos 860 bautismos o sea un aumento de más que 42% sobre el promedio de los años 2006-2009. (Hubiera sido más bautismos pero no todos los registros de bautismos del mes de diciembre llegaron a tiempo a la oficina de la misión).

3.  En el año presente por los fines de julio, logramos 650 bautismos.  Durante el mismo periodo de tiempo en 2009, logramos 520.  Esto significa un aumento de 25% sobre el año pasado.

4.  Según la memoria de los misioneros, la misión nunca había bautizado más que 99 personas en un mes.  Ya hemos bautizado más que cien personas tres veces en este año (¡y dos en seguida!).

 5.  A este paso, lograremos 1114 bautismos en este año (un aumento de 30% sobre el numero de bautismos en 2010).   (o en otras palabras hay mucho que hacer para lograr la meta de 1200).

6.  Uno de los indicadores claves más esencial es la asistencia a la iglesia.  En 2010, tuvimos siete domingos con más que 200 investigadores.  Hasta esta fecha, hemos tenido 17 domingos con 200 o más investigadores asistiendo a la iglesia.

Como pueden ver, tenemos mucho que dar gracias a Dios por el éxito en la obra misional de esta misión.  ¡Les felicito por sus esfuerzos tan poderosos!

En la semana pasada llegaron a los diecinueve nuevos misioneros.  Están muy animados por haber llegado aquí.  ¿Los han visto?  Son los misioneros con tanto ánimo y caras rojas.  Ya saben que hace mucho sol aquí en la misión.  Favor de prestárselos loción bronceadora.

Cerramos o cambiamos los nombres de unas áreas de McAllen Central (cerrada y conjuntada con La Vista), Helms Deep (unos cambios de límites y ya se conoce como Colegio Sur), San Isidro (una división de Laredo North), Laredo North (cambio de nombre, ya se conoce como Country Club), Del Norte (antes se conocía como Laredo Central, con unos cambios de límites), Los Encinos (una división de Mission East), y Ingleside (cerrada).  Esperamos abrir una nueva área en la zona de Brownsville en septiembre.

Milagrosamente llevamos a cabo el traslado de casi la mitad parte de los misioneros sin problemas gigantes durante la semana pasada.  Gracias a todos por su ayuda y paciencia.  Sabemos que todavía nos falta cumplir unos arreglos con algunas viviendas.   

Hoy cayó lluvia en McAllen por la tarde.  Casi no sabía lo que era.  Esta es una temporada muy calorosa. No se les olviden de tomar bastante agua a lo largo del día.  Por este momento el Caribe no tiene ninguna tormenta que nos molesta.  Sigan vigentes con sus preparativos de emergencia y garrafones llenos.  ¡También tengan listos su ropa blanca porque vamos a bautizar este mes!

Tenemos la capacitación sobre las ocho lecciones de los fundamentos de Predicad mi Evangelio esta semana en Corpus Christi.  La próxima semana la tendremos en el valle.  ¡Prepárense!

Si no ha recibido algún certificado o alfiler de los capitanes, favor de mandarme un text hoy mismo diciéndome lo que le hace falta.  Quiero presentarles los certificados y alfileres durante las sesiones de capacitación.

¡Con mucho cariño y bautismos!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cowboy Boots and more!

For those who are faithful followers of Melinda's blog, I am finally updating her blog for the past four weeks with her emails from July 18, 25, August 1, and 8.  Sorry to be so slow.  Enjoy reading about her adventures.

Email sent Monday 8 August 2011


Wow there have been three convert baptisms in our ward this year? Who else? That is so cool! Baptize the whole neighborhood that should be the plan! That's awesome. These people need to experience the blessings of the gospel in their lives. They are living in darkness and just don't know it cuz their eyes have adjusted to it, but somebody just needs to turn on the light.

This week our district leader gave us a great word of advise. He said, "Church is the kink in our hose, and as soon as you un-kink it, port isabel will be wet." AKA we are going to baptize as soon as we figure out how to get our investigators with baptismal dates to come to church. And it is true. This area is really great. And mom, we can't work in the area that is by the church. Our area only includes Port Isabel, Laguna Heights and Laguna vista. THe church is in the elder's area in Los fresnos. But we have taken the advice of our zone leader and decided to work more in the area where people are more likely to have cars which is laguna vista. It is helping we think. But this week we found two pretty legit people AND they came to church! So we are progressing.

This week was transfers. It feels like this transfer flew by. SO fast! I can't believe it. And now we start another one. I feel like time is winding down way too fast. I'm not going to think about it though cuz I don't want to.

I found the boots (Melinda sent ised cowboy boots home for Mike or Quinton) in this members house that we were helping her clean out. There was tons of all this old stuff and she was throughing lots away and stuff. It was like treasure hunting in Raymondville. haha Did you find the memory cards?!?!?!?!? There should be three of them. If you could put those on the computer and back them up real good and then send them back to me that would be good. I'll need them at some point soon.

Oh also if you do send me a package could you send me my BYU ID card? I can get discounts on some sight seeing stuff if I have a student ID.

D... got 1st presidency approval to get baptized this week!!! I think he will be getting baptized on Sunday. At least I hope. I don't really know what is going on up in Raymondville, but that is what I am praying for.

Sounds like lots of fun moving everyone down to school and stuff. Yall are going to be alone in So Jo. :( Get a dog. A good one. And NOT a chiuwaua. A golden retriever. Nothing else. Understand.

There are lots of changes happening in the mission! For the past three months straight we have broken records and baptized over 100 each month. President Trayner really is called of God to help the people of south texas accept the true gospel and come unto christ through baptism in his church. We are excited for the upcoming conferences in which elder Zivic of the seventy (who is also my MTC teachers dad) will be coming to take a mission tour. Things are going great and are also still quite hot here in the great state of texas.

I love you all,


Sister Petersen

ps have yall made mormon.org profiles yet? or checked out mine?

tropical storm...that never came haha

Email sent Monday 1 August 2011

So this week was cool. Interesting with the storm. We had all these preparations like having our water and 72 hour kits ready and gas in our cars and everything and waiting on word to see if we needed to evacuate. And everyone and their dog was leaving the island. The bridge was backed up all morning long on friday. But then the rain came and that's all it was. Just a little rain. Not even very hard. Nothing exciting. It was just a little normal storm. Everyone freaked out for nothing. But I was happy that it rained. I love the rain. So we had that one day of nice (rainy, not so hot) weather and then the very next day it went right back up to super hot. I think it was only like 95 but it was super humid. super humid.

Oh also this week somebody keyed part of our car this week on the hood. And another morning the gardener at our apartments came and knocked on our door and told us that someone had egged our car and the the neighbor said we could use his hose to get it off before the sun baked it and ruined the paint. So ya, we were a bit late to the zone meeting/interviews with President cuz we had to wash egg off of our car. The neighbor was really nice though and washed it all off for us and everything.

We found a lot of people this week, but we are still in the same problem that nobody comes to church. It is a hard area for that reason. I have heard that port isabel goes through spurts of success adn baptizes a lot, and then it dies and is dry for months. Right now there hasn't been a baptism here for 4 months. That is WAY too long. We are going to fix that for sure, we just have to figure out how to help people get to church, to have that faith enough to drive the 30 minutes to get there. Any ideas?

Have you all gotten my package yet? I hope the sisters sent it and that it didn't get lost. That would stink so bad. If you didn't get it you should send them a letter right now straight to the raymondville address and tell them to send it allready. goodness they are slow.

No I don't ride my bike. My companion has hypoglycemia so she can't exert to much energy or she'll pass out. And she has to eat like every couple hours. So we definitely canNOT ride bikes with her. She eats a lot of apples.

Sorry this is short but it's all the time I have. Love you!


Sister Petersen

The field is white....

Email sent Monday 25 July 2011

Dear Family,

Week two in Port Isabel texas. What a crazy adventure this is. I feel that I am getting more and more tired as teh weeks go on. We are working really hard and I think the sun is getting to us a bit too. haha. But the cotton fields really are "white and ready to harvest" here in south texas. We drive by them a lot and are reminded of how there are also many people ready and waiting to accept the gospel here.

This week was a bit slow in terms helping people progress, there seemed to be wierd road blocks at every turn. But we still found some awesome people this week that we are really excited for. We are looking for ideas on how to make our work more productive. Knocking doors is not very successful...so we haven't done it at all here. We ahve just been going by all of the members on our list and all the former investigators in our area book. We are finding some people, but we need a breakthrough idea on how to get the work moving a lot faster. Any of you returned missionaries out htere have any ideas, please send them to me.

Sister Perkins has been sick this whole time, but wednesday it got pretty bad, so we couldn't even work. I organized our area book and continued our cleaning quest as she slept and then we took her to the doctor. They gave her lots of meds, and she felt a little better the next day so we've continued working but she is still sick. Poor girl. She's a trooper and is so excited and ready to get the job done always. She has so much enthusiasm for the work. Working with her is really fun.

Our ward mission leader here is really awesome. The best one that I have had in my whole mission. He is so willing to come out with us to lessons and get the ward excited about missionary work also. He has been a member all his life but they went inactive for like 12 years or something, but the missionaries about 8 months ago found them and helped re-activate them and they are AWESOME! His wife is the YW's president and there are SO many strong YW in our ward probably partly because of her. And they should be going to the temple next month to get sealed, so that is super exciting.

Well that's all for now. Love you!


Sister Petersen