Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter!/Happy Baptism!

Email sent Monday 25 April 2011

Dear Family,

I can't believe yesterday was easter. I mean I knew it was easter all along, but half way through the day it hit me that it was easter where you all are too and that you would all be getting together at Grandma's and you would search for chocolates in our living room and all that jazz. It kinda made me sad that I wasn't there to be with all of you guys. But easter is for celebrating the life and resurection of our Savior Jesus Christ and so I did that over here too. I actually do that every single day of my mission since our purpose is do "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." All of these things are made posible becuase Jesus Christ came to the earth and fulfilled the purposes of His father by paying for our sins and dying for us so that in him we might all live again. That is what Easter is about.

Yesterday we had the awesome opportunity to watch the play The Savior of the World, except it was put on in Spanish, so it was literally "El Salvador del Mundo." Brandy, remember when you and I went to that about a year or year and a half ago at the conference center? Well it was the same play, but they just remade it in Spanish and they broadcasted it to the church yesterday. It was cool. We had two of the people we are teaching come and see it with us.

Also yesterday J... was baptized! She is the sweetest woman. This week she fed us every time we went over. She was so excited for her baptism. Her family multiple times invited her various places that would have made her miss her baptism, but she just told them no. There was not a doubt in her mind that God wanted her to be baptized THAT DAY and that she could not put it off at all for any reason. She is amazing. Most people would say, I need to be with my family, can we do it next week. But she saw the importance of "not procrastinating the day of her repentance" she was so happy after she came out of the water. She is awesome! Us four sisters also sang a musical number at her baptism, she cried. We felt the spirit very strongly yesterday.

Also this week they randomly asked all of us missionaries to sing a musical number in Sacrament meeting as part of the Easter program. It was a song I had never heard before, and on Friday they decided that I was the one that had to play the accompaniment. I learned it, with the help of God, in one hour just trying to site-read it while they sang. It was crazy. But it ended up being really good. I am SO grateful for Leslie and that she always made us practice all the hymns and that I can for the most part play any hymn in the book on the spot. That has been a big blessing here on the mission, especially here in laredo.

I got your package on Saturday!!! They just delivered it to our apartment!. Here at our new apartment the mail comes in the morning and so we are almost always here I think, so packages will be given to us. I was VERY happy to get what was in the package. With the weather how it is already here in Laredo, I am going to need all of those things. We may end up showering and changing mid-day because it gets so gross here.

Our new apartment is nice. Our beds are not so nice. Well mine is fine, but my companions is so annoying. The elders gave us there beds when we did the move and we gave them ours, and well...her bed is so annoying. The box spring stinks so bad. You move one muscle a tiny bit and it squeaks like crazy. We haven't been sleeping very well for awhile because she moves a lot. So I am kinda tired. But we'll figure out how to fix it.

That's sad about the trees (Melinda is referring to a tree that was blown down in our neighborhood with the wind this last week, and then a neighbor cut his down probably so it wouldn't fall on his house in a big wind). Quinton finally wrote me. Hi dad. Thanks for the neclace mom! And the potatoes...I am a little confused about those. I will try them and see if they are good, but I don't know cuz I have not found any fake potatoes that I like as of yet. BUt thanks. :) haha

Well enjoy the nice weather. It has been about 107 every day this week. Minus sunday. But ya. It's hot and I hate it. Good thing I didn't come to texas to enjoy the weather. There are bigger purposes of being here.

I love you all. Have a great week!


Sister Petersen

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Instead of Graduating I will be baptizing... (not me personally, don't worry)

Email sent Monday 18 April 2011

So I guess this week I would be graduating from BYU if I was home. That is super weird to think about and I am super glad that I am not graduating right now. I am not ready to be done with school. But instead of going to my graduation, you can pretend that you could come to our baptism this Easter Sunday. J... will be getting baptized on Sunday. She is the sweetest woman ever. She is so humble and so excited to be baptized. She knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that only in this church can she be baptized by someone who has the authority of God so that she can be clean of her sins. I have loved teaching her and being able to help her recieve answers to her prayers, We have seen her progress so much. Sister Salan and I found her knocking doors a month or two ago. Originally we had talked to and taught her daughter, but now her daughter wants nothing to do with church, but J... is so awesome. She was looking for a church and God sent us to her through her daughter. J... is willing to do whatever it takes to get to church. She even walks to church with her little grandchildren because she wants them to be able to learn as well. Her baptism will be a very special day.

Updates on a couple of our other recent converts: L... who got baptized back in December is a primary teacher of the 7-8 year olds. She is doing awesome and reading the book of mormon. She is probably in Mosiah or so. R..., after being baptized in January and going kind of inactive for about a month is coming back. He should be going on the youth temple trip next weekend to do baptisms for the dead. He is also now the secretary in the priests quorum here. V... is also doing great! She is so sweet and I know has a very strong testimony. Her goal is a temple marriage one day. She is on the Relief Society Meeting Committee and helps plan those fun RS activities. She also should be going on the temple trip next week.

This week we saw a miracle when we were able to set a baptismal date with F... and J...' mom. F... and j... were baptized and taught last May by Sister Morrill (my old companion). They are 16 and 17 years old. They are two of my favorite people. They will both serve missions in the future. Their mom has been taught off and on for the missionaries for the past year. She knows this church is true. She has known all along that she needs to get baptized. We had a very spiritual lesson with her this week in which the spirit prompted us to invite her to be baptized. She accepted! She said that she knows she needs to take this very important step so that the Lord can bless her. Her sons are going to be SO happy. And more importantly God is going to be so happy.

We had interviews this week with President and he hinted that I may never leave Laredo. I don't know if that means that is for real, or if that is a sign that I will be out of here REALLY soon. President likes to throw people blindsides. I don't want to leave. I have to stay here for C... and L..., and F..., and J...'s baptisms. So I hope he leaves me here for a bit more.

Well mom, I'm glad that taxes and Fafsa's are done. Those are always stressful, well I guess I wouldn't know, since you always do it, but I would imagine that they are stressful. Thanks for being so awesome and doing all of that for all of us. :)

Alex Bingham and Nick are going into the military? Wow.  Matt is home? Wow can't believe it. Time flies so fast. Dad, you lost in pingpong to a teenager. What a shame. You better practice up. Brandy, make sure you take and send me pictures of all of your fancy pots in the art show.

I got Sister Green's letter. She's too cute. Tell her thanks. I'll write back soon.

Hope you still do an easter egg hunt for easter. that is a must. But more importantly remember the true meaning of Easter. This week is la semana santa. Podemos recordar la vida de nuestro salvador Jesucristo y la ulitma semana de su vida que termina con la resurecion y la esperanza que nos dio. Let's remember the life of our Savior and the last week of his life that culminates with his resurrection and hope that he gave us to be able to return to live with our heavenly Father again. He is the reason for the season. Don't forget it.

Well thats all for now. I love you all!


Sister Petersen

random question. Are we going to get another dog someday?

I want to be there if we have a puppy.  We can get one in december when I come home.  I'll be there for like a month.  Sort of.  And I will train it all the way, and then you will have company when you are an empty nester.  :)  I miss Cookie too.  I still think that when I come home she will be there.

My (Laurie's) answer:  Funny you should ask, but right now, NO. Brandy and we were talking about that yesterday. They are a lot of work and you need to be home for them. It is hard to leave for very long if you have a dog. Not that we go that many places. We do miss Cookie.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Welcome to Laredo, bring on the 100's

Email sent Monday 11 April 2011

That stinks about the meet. Sorry Brandy's sick. That's never fun. I'm sure I'll get the letter from Sister Green soon. that's nice of her. Sister Ramirez's first name is Amanda.

Also I went to that Asmussen Horse place. It was right on the other side of the border of my area. We drove around inside but couldn't see much. There weren't really houses, so we couldn't knock, but it was cool to look at. You should ask him again like if he lives there and if he is a member. We could send the elders back since it is in their area.

So aparently summer starts full force in April here in Laredo. Yesterday at one point it was 108 degrees. Yes. It was super hot. And not to mension, Sister Ramirez were running to an appointment we had last night at like 8:45 in our skirts and everything because we had left our car and walked like 15 minutes with this awesome prepared lady that we found all the way to her house and then we had to run back because we were late for the appointment. We probably looked super weird. Two girls in skirts running down a neighborhood street at 8:45 at night. We probably looked sketchy. Also we were really sweaty. Ew. I hate the heat. I am so not ready for another summer. I pray that God will just forget about summer and just bring fall back because fall and spring are super awesome. But summer...no...ew. But it's ok. I will deal with it. At least it is not humid here in Laredo. So that is a good thing.

What were you asking me about lds.org and conference? I just want the English ensign. I'm going to get someone to put the cd's you sent me on my ipod so that I can listen to them for spanish study. But I don't need any more if that is what you are asking. I won't have room for them.

Matt is getting home?! Wow, that's fast. I can't believe he is done already. Tell him to write me. If he wants I guess.

Ok so this week as you know was full of change, sort of. Just a new companion. She is awesome. Sister Ramirez is a convert. I have always wanted a convert companion. It is cool. She is from Puerto Rico and has pretty much perfect English. And is helping me with my spanish. She is really awesome at following the spirit and we have been able to find some cool people. She loves to cook, and feed me what she cooks, so I may gain so weight this transfer. I will have to be careful. Her food is really good though. I think it is going to be a really good transfer. I'm grateful I get to spend more time here in Laredo and help this great city at this very important time as we try to become a stake. I have learned SO much here about how the church is supposed to work, and can see that when people magnify their callings which just means "performing the service that pertains to it" (as was stated by Pres Monson I think) the whole ward will function. If everyone just lifts where they stand. I encourage all of you who read this, whoever you are, whatever your calling, magnify it. Do everything that you are expected to do and do it with a smile and willing heart. You will see miracles. Even if it is just faithful visiting or home teaching. You have no idea the miracles that can work in the lives of people. Just do it. Don't procrastinate. The callings and assignments we have in the church are responsiblities the Lord has trusted to us specifically. He has confidence in us and our ability to do the part of His work that he has so graciously allowed us to participate in. Try it out and see how the blessings come to you.

I love you. Hope you enjoy the weird Utah weather. I'll try to mail you a few degrees that we don't want here. haha


Sister Melinda Petersen

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Loved General Conference! And transfer news...

Email sent Monday 4 April 2011

What a week!

I hope all of you had the chance to watch all of general conference. Lucky for us we have it right at our fingertips. I encourage everyone to go online and watch any sessions that they may have missed (due to watching wierd teenagers run in circles in short shorts and shoes with pointy things, or whatever else may have drawn you away, like white things falling from heaven or whatever else) :) The words of our leaders, who are called of God, really were inspired for each and every one of us, just as Elder Holland so beautifully put it.

This week we were able to see the converting power that comes from listening to the Lord's chosen prophet and apostles. Our recent convert V... was very touched by their words and I get to see her testimony and commitment to live the gospel grow every single day. Our investigator J..., who is super awesome and committed to do whatever and make whatever sacrifice to come to churhc and prepare for her baptism was stunned and overwhelmed by the beauty of the conference as well. Another woman, who is a neighbor of a member and was interested in the church, with who we have been working came to the last session of the conference on Sunday was brought to tears during Elder Hollands talk. She told us later on the phone that this is what she needed to hear. This is what she needs in her life. She pleaded for us to come by so that she could speak to us about this and in the days and weeks to come we hope to see her enter into the waters of baptism as well.

Everything that was talked about in conference was of great importance to all of us. I love it. I wish I could go listen to it again. haha Especially the saturday afternoon session, because I was trying to entertain 3 little kids under the age of 4 so that J... could pay attention and feel the spirit. So I'll be honest, I didn't get anything out of that session, except an investigator with a strong testimony of the prophet of God - which is actually a lot I would say. So I can't wait for the ensign to come out so that I can read those talks. (Mom could you send that to me as soon as you get it, bound and stuff like before? Thanks!)

Ok, so we got transfer news on Friday. Are you ready for this? All four of us sisters are being pulled out of Laredo and sent to Zapata to open up a new branch there! Crazy huh?!?!??! To help you understand how crazy it is, here is some background: Zapata used to have a branch, but they closed it down I think back in July when President Trayner first came because it was a bit/super apostate. Basically it wasn't being run right I guess. I don't know. But ya, so they are ready to open it back up I guess. haha, April Fools! That is not true. But that is what the zone leaders originally told us when they called with transfer news. They made up fake news for everyone, but obviously when they told us we were going to Zapata, we knew it was a joke. THere is no way. haha. It was funny. Did you fall for it? haha

Ok but here is the real transfer news. It is surprising also. I am staying in Laredo. Again. :) And sister Salan is leaving. She is headed to Brownsville. And I will be getting Sister Ramirez. She is from Puerto Rico! Speaks both spanish and english, and was trained by my MTC comp, sister sigler, and is currently with my last comp Sister Zamora. Funny huh. Apparently she needs me in her life. haha, but I am really excited to work with her. I think she has only 3 transfers in the mission, but I have heard she is awesome. So ya, she will be coming tomorrow. :)

Well, I hope you guys are doing good. Sorry myldsmail is lame sometimes. I have heard of other troubles with other missionaries but I don't know what the deal is. Enjoy the snow. Pretty sure we have hit 100 once maybe twice already. It's starting to get hot.


Sister Petersen