Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sister Petersen...is staying in Laredo...and...

For those that are trying to stay current with Melinda by reading her blog, I have just added her emails from 20 December to 10 January.  I know that it really doesn't take that long to update the blog, but somehow I didn't get it done with all the activities of Christmas.  Thanks so much for your love for Melinda, writing her, and even just reading about her mission!!! Laurie

Email sent Monday 10 January 2011

Dear family,

Wow what a week we had here. Monday evening we got a text from the zone leaders telling us that Sister Villalobos and I would need to be in Corpus the next morning for a two day leadership training that would start at 9 am. So..wow. We had no idea what that meant or why we were going to leadership training. But we went. We had to leave at 6 am and drive the 3 hours to corpus. Mom yes I drove. Aren't you so proud of me. When I get home you will never have to wonder if I have had enough practice driving. (As senior companion I always have to drive, so I drive...all the time. And we drive a lot.) But anyway sister Villalobos and I made the trek in the dark through the nothingness that is between Laredo and Corpus in the wee hours of the morning. We did not get lost at all. And then we had the training from 9-6 on Tuesday and then they told us, "you get to go work with the sisters over in Ingleside...which is like another 45 minute drive away. So then I got to drive some more and we crossed this huge bridge over the ocean! It was crazy. We saw the Lexington, which is this huge boat and the ocean of course and it was so pretty up there. Anyway and then we got to go on splits with the sisters there and work for about an hour and a half and then drive back to corpus. But while I was there I got to see the real ocean. THE gulf of mexico. I was standing right next to it. It was crazy. I wish it had been day and it would have been so much prettier. But all of the houses over there are on stilts and there is water under them and their boats are parked under them. It is so crazy and awesome. I hope I get to serve there sometime. It was super humid though. That part is not fun. But other than that it was pretty. So then at 8 we had to drive back to corpus and...nobody gave us directions, well sort of we had some, and we got lost. We were heading off into the darkness and finally called someone and they told us we were on our way to mcallen and so we finally turned around, and made it back to corpus where Sister Villalobos and I stayed the night in this SUPER NICE guest room in these member's house. They were so nice to us. The bed was so comfortable. And they made us a nice breakfast in the morning. Wow it was good. Then the training started again. It went from 8:30-4 or so. And then we had to start the trek back to Laredo. Sister Villa drove us home and we made it safely. Sick of driving, but safely. But anyways, what we found out before we left the training was that.....ready for this....I am training. Yes. Crazy. But true. I have only been in the field for a little over 5 months. But ya. Tomorrow I get a greenie. It is going to be crazy but I am excited. I don't know if she is a native or not, so this week may be full of surprises.

Yesterday, Ralph, got BAPTIZED!!! It was awesome. All three of the companionships in our district baptized yesterday and we held the service all together so it was really fun and extra special. Our district leader Elder Northey goes home tomorrow and we are all really sad to see him (as the "relief society president) go. But it was good and awesome for us all to end with a baptism. Ralph is 17 and he is super cool. The gospel has changed him, even in the short time that we have been teaching him, only five weeks or so, but we can see the difference. It truly does bring hope and joy. I hope that one day he choses to serve a mission.

I'm sorry you all are having crazy car troubles. Breaking in with hangers and being truckless and such. I hope that all gets fixed. That's crazy about the baptisms in justin's mission. The trainings they are giving us now on the new 8 lessons are awesome and we have seen miracle and the work is so much more effective because of them.

I love you tons and hope you are getting this new year off to a great start. Remember to do your visiting and home teaching. In Utah you only have 3 or so people to visit. Here...let me just say it is a lot more...like 10 or more. Just magnify your callings by performing the service that pertains to it, just like President Monson said. I know you will be blessed, in no matter what calling you have.


Hermana Petersen

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