Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Email sent Tuesday 22 February 2011

Hi everyone.

I know that I don't have enough time to describe everything that happened this week and so that is sad, but I will try to get as much in as possible.

On Tuesday the four of us sisters had the amazing opportunity to serve a less active family in the branch. Sister Salan and I have been working with them and they've been coming back to church, but the wife, (who is my age) is pregnant and is due in like 2 weeks and is not supposed to do any work really. They have 2 18 month old twins, and the husband works and goes to school. They have been struggling getting the apartment ready for the baby and everything. So we had told the relief society president about hte situation and she got a sister who set up this service project. They set aside one day wehre the family would leave the house, and 8 or 9 of us would come in and deep clean everything and reorganize all of their stuff. So the four of us said we would love to help. We showed up Tuesday morning and only the Sister who organized it was there. She was on the verge of tears, and had already been cleaning by herself for an hour. She immediately thanked us for being there and went to her knees so that we could pray for help and give thanks for the opportunity we ahd to serve even though there were so few of us to take on the huge task. Two other members showed up later, but the 7 of us cleaned and transformed their entire apartment. us sisters worked in the kitchen, we cleaned and reorganized everything, dishes, food, everhting. It was fun. I love organizing.

I learned more about the relief society and how it is truely inspired of God in those four hours we spent cleaning than I have learned the whole 5 years I have been a member of it. This sister showed genuine love for her fellow sister and was willing to do whatever the Lord led her to do to help her even if others would not support her.

Another amazing thing that happened this week was during sacrament meeting on Sunday. President Castillo (the branch president) had asked R... (my recent convert - 17 years old) to bear his testimony, but R... didn't show up, and so president asked another 17 year old, F..., who was baptized with his brother J... a year ago, to bear his testimony instead. F... is quite a character, he is kind of a terror to the teachers who have to teach him in sunday school and priesthood because he doesn't show respect and is always irreverent. But he is a good kid. Sometimes when we teach him we don't know if it does any good or if he is really even listening, but we do it anyway becasue we love him. So He got up to the pulpit and did not know what to say at all. the Young Men's president came up from the congregation and put his arm around him and said, "F... has never been up here before, so I am going to just ask him questions and this can be like an interview" He proceeded to ask him things like, how did you find out about the church, what have you learned, why do you like coming, why is it important to you. F... began to open up. He began to bear testimony about what had touched him. The president sat down on the stand as F... began to tear up and give thanks to the members & President Hartley, in particular, who had welcomed him and made him feel needed, loved, wanted, and cared for. In the church, he expressed, he had found friends, a father figure in President Hartley, and while by the way he acts normally you wouldn't know he is grateful for it, he expressed in tears and broken sentences that this is where he knows he is supposed to be. It was the most powerful testimony I have heard in a long time. Even if sometimes the work we do seems to not help, we never really know the extent of the service we are offering.

On Saturday, I started to get the worst headache. I knew it was going to be a bad one. It kept getting worse and worse. Then we were in a lesson and all I could think about was how I needed to get out of there because I was going to throw up. Gross I know, but true. Finally around 9 we got out. and I had to drive us home. I knew it was coming. My head was pounding so hard and it was bad. We made it home and a few minutes later I did. But that didn't help it feel better. It just got worse. It was the worst one I have ever had. Sensitive to light and smell and sound and everything. It was super bad. Sister Salan said we had to call the elders so they could come give me a blessing. They got permission from president and at 10:15 four of them came over to our apartment to give me a blessing. It was a blessing I will never forget. During the blessing the pounding in my head went away, my sensitivity to light lessened, and the spirit of the Lord filled the room. The comfort that I needed was present and I know that the power of God is on the earth. I know that worthy men in the Chrch of Jesus Christ hold that power and authority to act for God. What a great blessing it is that we have.

The next day at church I asked Bro Gibson to adjust me. My neck and my back, everything was super out of place. I don't know why I keep getting these headaches, but I want them to go away.

Anyways, so that was this week, among other things. I love you all but I have to go! I will go pick up your package today. :) thanks!


Sister Petersen

ps I played basketball yesterday for the first time in 14 weeks and I am sore in every part of my body today. I love it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentines Day! Les quiero mucho!!!

Email sent Monday 14 February 2011

That's a cute thing mom! I liked it. (She said this about a valentine heart picture I put in the email and this saying - Roses are red, violets are blue, missions are great and so are YOU!!!)

Thanks for the package also!! The books are awesome and that will help as I do piano lessons this week. It's going to be bad if I get transfered because no one will be able to continue the teaching when I leave. But we'll see what happens. I don't know if I will be staying or going. In my gut I feel like I am going to be sent to Corpus. But I could also stay here with sister Salan another transfer. Who knows. We'll find out on saturday.

You should send me some of the valentine cookies. Those are my favorites too. Thanks for the tapes too. And I can't remember what else at the moment. It's been a crazy week.

Dad's been sick and yet he's still doing crazy things like skiing, plowing, working and playing basketball with people half his age. Of course you're sick dad. REST! And go to church. That's the cure. :) And add a little chiropractor, that'll help.

My headaches are doing better. He had told me to drink more water and honestly I think that is what is helping. Water. I was super dehydrated.

BYU is 7th!!! That's sweet. How come I miss the sweet year? Jerry Sloan quit!?! NO! I love him as the old school jazz coach. I hope this new guy is good. My buddy d-will better behave.

Ok so recap of the week/transfer. This transfer has been a bit rough in the terms of finding success. We have been realy struggling finding people who are prepared to recieve the gospel. We weren't discouraged, just a little disappointed that our efforts weren't bearing enough fruits. So this last Sunday as part of a mission wide fast of thanks for the success we had in January, Sister Salan and I fasted to be able to find a family who is prepared to teach. We had the faith that the Lord could answer our prayer. Also this week our district leader told us to go back by all of our investigators taht we had dropped who used to have baptismal dates and teach them the doctrine of christ again and see which of them were really prepared. Becasue in the past four weeks we had found 25 new investigators and the standard of excellence was 28 so we had almost gotten it and so as a mission, the Lord has promised us that if we find those 28 we will baptize 2 a month. And so 2 of those people are prepared to be baptized. So, this week started and we immediately found a mother with 3 kids, and we thought they might be our family. Wednesday we found another mother with 2 children and thought that might be our family. And then Thursday...we may have found the most prepared people in the world!

Sister Salan and Sister Platt were on splits and working in our area and went by all of our old BD's and set 2 new BDs with two of them, and then while knocking came upon this door, where this man, G..., invited them right in. He and his wife listened super intensly to the lesson as they taught the doctrine of christ. He is from cuba and his wife S... is from mexico. They are awesome!!! They knew he wanted to be baptized just like Jesus Christ and had to recieve the Holy Ghost as well. They accepted baptismal dates and were so excited to learn more. He read on the back of the pamphlet that we gave him that it is says "Suggested Readings: the book of mormon." He said, "I need to read the Book of Mormon, I don't have that book. Where do I get one?" He is awesome. They both came to church on sunday and loved it! We went over again last night and they fed us cuban food. They are so nice and so prepared! I am so excited for them.

All in all this week we saw our prayers and fast answered with blessings that there really weren't room enough to recieve. I know that God is there adn always watching over us. He is the one who gives us success when we look to him for his guidance. We are just the tools. I love this work!

I hope you all have a great valentines day and enjoy the cold. It is starting to warm up here again.


Hermana Petersen

P.S. Oh and this week everyone seemed to be obsessed with my eyes. It is kinda rare here I guess to see blonde people or people with blue eyes. But never as much as this week have people commented on it. I would just be in teh middle of a sentence with someone on a contact and they would stop and stare and say, "you have blue eyes" or "I love your eyes." So awkward/hard to bring the spirit back after I felt super subconcious about looking at people. I'll have to start talking with my eyes closed!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Email sent 7 February 2011

Guess what happened this week in Laredo Texas?! It snowed! Yes that is right. We had a very cold cold front come through and everyone was going crazy here. Wednesday it got really cold. We were so bundled up. They started canceling everything. Because it was cold they canceled school for Thursday and Friday. They canceled mutual on Wednesday night because of the cold. Nobody wanted to go outside. Granted it was cold, but it was only like 28 degrees or something. Not really super cold. But way colder than Laredo ever gets. So nobody wants to leave their houses.

Ok so on Thursday we bundled up a ton. I was wearing 2 skirts, nylons, basketball shorts, socks, shoes, two shirts, a sweater, jacket, scarf and gloves. The other sisters bundled up even more than us, Sister Platt was wearing like 4 skirts, nylons, big thik socks-2pairs, 2 pairs of pajama pants, jeans, 3 shirts, 4 sweaters, and a jacket and scarf. It was super cold. And we just had to contact and no one would let us in because they wouldn't open their doors because it was cold. It was kinda funny how the whole city shut down just because it was cold. But then finally thursday evening, the snow started to fall. It just snowed tiny little flakes and didn't do enough to coat anything, but it was snowing. And it was awesome. I thought I wouldn't see snow for the whole year and a half of my mission, but guess what, I did! The last time that it snowed here was on Dec. 25, 2004. And before that it hadn't snowed for 30 years. So it is pretty rare and I got to experience it. It was fun. Take that global warming.

Let's see, what else. Sister Salan actually doesn't ahve to use crutches anymore. They told her now that she just can use them if it hurts. Dr. Gibson ( chiropractor in their area) is really helping her knee out a lot. It is getting better really fast.

Thanks for the piano stuff. I don't really know how to conduct group piano lessons. Last week there were only four people there and they were either young women or adults. Some have some experience, some have none. So it is going to be interesting teaching them all. I think the book is a really good thing, even though I would never teach people to play by finger number in real life. But it will help them get started fast. And they can just get stuff off of online, so if they don't have their own they can just look online.

This weekend we had a district conference. Actually it was a mulit stake/district conference broadcasted from Salt Lake. It was 76 stakes and 3 districts in Texas Oklahoma and New Mexico. President Monson and Elder Nelson spoke and 2 other people. It was super good. President Monson talked about rescuing the less actives and magnifying our callings. They are really pushing to get activity up in this region so that we can get a temple soon. it seems plans are in the works to make Laredo a stake. It holds the record or something for one of the longest places to be a district and not become a stake. Laredo is a very unique place and has unique challenges, but the leaders and working miracles here with the members and soon we will see the blessings.

We have had a bit of a struggle finding new people, awesome people to teach lately. But it's ok. We'll just keep working. There are people who are ready and we are hear to find them. As we exercise our faith we wil be instruments in teh hands of the Lord and bring his children back unto him.

I'm glad basketball is fun mom, wish I could play some with y'all. How is the snow in Utah? How is the home doing without Cookie?

Well Thanks for your email. Hope you have a great week adn enjoy the snow!


Sister Petersen

also, it was so cold that night that it snowed, the next morning we had to scrape our windshield off with our name tags because we don't have ice scrapers. But my car windshield was covered in a solid sheet of ice like nothing i've ever had before. it was funny

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hobbling around!!!

Email sent 31 January 2011

She (the YW President) read my letter in church?! Ah. Oh well. That's good I guess. Hope people learned something. :)

So this week has been a roller coaster. An interesting one. And you know me, I don't really like roller coasters, but I seem to get on them anyway sometimes. So a little companion is very accident prone. In her past she has broken like every bone in her body. About 4 years ago she broke her knee. While she was in the MTC she hurt her same knee again playing volleyball. They took an MRI, and gave her crutches and a brace and painkillers. And she didn't put any weight on it while there. But right before she came out here, they said she was fine to walk. So then she came to me here in Laredo to be a missionary. And what do missionaries do? We walk. A lot. Yes we do have a car. But we drive it and park. And walk and walk and walk. So she came here and we walked, for the past 3 weeks. And the pain got worse and worse in her knee. So anyway they sent us to a doctor. Basically, it was the worst ever, because we were there for FIVE hours. Waiting. and waiting. And then he assessed her completely wrong. Scheduled her to get an MRI of her back and said she can't walk or work for a week and a half and put her on three meds one of which was steroids. So after 5 hours we left. The next day while she was on the meds she couldn't work at all so I did splits with the other sisters adn we were just running here and there back and forth trying to get to all of our appointments in both of our areas while one person stayed home with sister salan. It was a crazy day. I even got to go out with Sister Nelson for a couple hours at night. (the one that you talked to and sent my one package to) It was fun. But then, after further investigation we all realized that there is nothing wrong with Sister Salan's back and that she will not be getting an MRI and the big area medical doctor for the missions took her off two of the crazy medications that the doctor had given her and re-diagnosed her and stuff over the phone. So then we were calling everyone we know so that we could find crutches. Because the doctor said she could work as long as she doesn't put any weight on it. But no one on earth had crutches. So church was crazy yesterday, cuz I went with sister Platt, and then after sacrament we came home and the elders gave sis salan the sacrament and then sister ruano and I went back to church. Where Ralph recieved the priesthood and I had to play the piano again in the other branch, where apparently NO ONE plays and last week they sang the opening hymn accapella and it sounded horrible, so I played for them again and finally we found someone who had crutches.

So now, we have crutches and it is hard to get around, so I don't know how we are going to contact this week, but we'll figure it out. I just hope it gets better.

So other than that, let's see, this week we found a bunch of new people to teach. That's really what we need right now. Tell Jimmer good job for me :) and keep cheering on my cougars.

Oh I am starting to teach group piano lessons here so that this branch can have their own people play the hymns, so mom I really really need you to send me something ASAP. You know all of the scales with the finger numbers that Leslie would always right in our notebooks. Can you make a page with all of them, and what key they are and the fingers and send it to me in the mail. Also maybe send me the lists of books people could use to start learning. I don't really know how I am going to do this because I can only spend like an hour or hour an a half a week doing it, so if you have any ideas that would be great. There are I think four pianos in the church I am thinking about having people in different rooms and rotating doing different things or me rotating teaching them, or I don't know. Basically I just want them to be able to play the hymns. So I'll see tomorrow how many people will show up and I'll figure out how I'm going to do this. But if you could send me those scales and reminders of how else you help people start learnign to read music and stuff that would be great.

Well I hope you're all doing great. Have fun cleaning mom. Tell dad not to do too much manual labor. He's kinda getting old. :) How old are you going to turn next month dad? If quinton still exists, tell him hi too.


Sister Petersen