Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ahh challenges, awesome people, a house and bikes

So yes it has been quite a week of change.

Saying goodbye to the city of laredo was a very hard thing. I love those people so much. That monday evening we went by like a million people to say goodbye. I was all stessed out because everyone and there dog wanted to feed me and we only had 3 hours to do it all. It was a crazy day. Tuesday was just as crazy but really involved no missionary work. Sadly. We visited a few people in the morning but most of it was just traveling to the distant land to a city called Raymondville. What a place.

Raymondville: population 9773

This town is tiny. But what's even tinier is the 3 little towns that are also part of our area. Lasara, San Perlita and Sebastian are puny little towns with only a couple of streets. Everybody knows everybody and its crazy. I have never lived in a place this small before. It is very different. But we live in a house. Yes a house. Sister Ruano and I live ALONE in A HOUSE. All to ourselves. It's weird to live alone. I've always been with four sisters, so it is a bit strange to come home and only have us two.

This area is the wierdest part of the mission probably. Not weird bad, but weird different. Why? Well part one is the missionary situation. So let's think. I just came from Laredo where there are about 26 missionaries in the city of Laredo. Before that I was in Mission, which is surrounded by lots of other cities real close and full of missionaries. Like 3 zones that get together on pdays. Now I am in Raymondville. Guess how many missionaries there are....4. Yes us. And our district leader and his companion (who is distantly related to the Prophet). Us four missionaries. That is it. All of the rest of our zone is about a 30-40 minute drive away. We are alone. haha. It is really funny. Yes we do have a car. BUT, the elders do not. So we have to drive them to things. Which is strange because it is strictly against mission rules to do that sort of thing anywhere else. But basically we see these two elders like every single day. THey ride in our car and hang out in our garage on p-day because they can't come in our house. It is strange. But fun.

The other thing that makes this area unique is the Branch. I know that God always has the big picture in mind when he puts us places. I started in Mission where the church is pretty strong and runs for the most part how it should. Then I went to Laredo, where there are 4 branches that make up a district and they were working hard at becoming a stake. And now...I am in Raymondville and the surrounding towns and we have one branch. One branch. And it is chiquito. Small. Very small. Apparently last sunday there were only about 20 people at church on sunday. Yesterday there were more, maybe about 40. No se. But it is cute. Our little branch is fun.

This week was the craziest week. Sister Ruano was shoked by all of the things that have happened right as I get here. This week felt like dumping week. And by that I mean that everyone and their dog THIS week just decided to dump all of their problems on us. It was a nice welcome to Raymondville I guess. There are a lot of things that I can see we need to work on. It can be kind of overwhelming at times when we as two little 22 year olds become the ones that everyone comes to to fix all of their biggest struggles. But that's what we're here for I guess. Us and the 20 year old elders. Oh goodness. THis transfer will be unforgettable for so many reasons. Being a small town everyone knows about everyones business and they get in it too much. THey need to work on that. The members have a lot of faith but it is hard because the church is so little and new. For example, the branch president has been a member for 2 years. The second counselor has been a member for 1 year and was baptized by my former zone leader. There is no first counselor at the moment because he was a 19 year old boy and left on his mission last week. The young womens pres has only come to church once in the past 6 weeks. I don't htink there is a ym's pres. The EQP and the RSP are husband and wife and seem to also be a bit newer to the church. As missionaries we are the ones with the experience. THe four of us together have more experience in the chruch than like the whole branch put together. It is crazy. So we have our work cut out for us. But it is good. The members have a lot of faith.

Let me tell you about my first sunday in Raymondville. Get up at 6:30. Go pick up the elders...weird. And take them to church. Greet everyone and meet them all. Play the piano for sacrament meeting. Pres Ramos speaks literally in Tex-mex in the meeting. Literally. Every other word in a different language. Literally. Welcome Hermanos and Sisters. Hoy vamos a sing hymn cientodos. No lie. He is for real. It's great. Give a talk in sacrament meeting. Round up all the youth...all 4 of them and teach their sunday school class (on the spot with no preparation). Round up all the young women and teach young womens also on the spot. Help a boy who was choking on a a hard candy. Ok then church ends and we take the elders with us, weird again, to a lunch appointment with the Relief Society pres and Elders quorum pres. Good food. Found out the RS pres was thinking of going inactive this past week. Give her a little animo. Teach some lessons. Carry a stick around with us to scare away pit-bulls and chiuauahs. etc etc. Then to finish up the night we are in a lesson with htis awesome investigator who has been one for a year and there is a knock on the door. Who is it? Oh it's the elders. Not like we hadn't already spent all day with them, but here they are. Random. But cool, whatever.

This really is a special place. Very unique. I can not convey to you all of the quirks of raymondville. It's awesome/I have my work cut out for me.

Sister Ruano is great. Oh and yes today we fixed my bike because we are going to run out of miles on our car and we still have like 7 days of the month left, so we will be biking a lot. It was super hot yesterday. It is hotter in Laredo, way hotter, but it is humid here so that is lame. But there is nice breeze. It is always windy here.

Well mom, that's a cool new calling. It has a SUPER long name. but you will do awesome at that.

Well thanks for writing, glad you liked the package. I need to send you memory cards soon.


Sister Petersen

P.S.  I saw four haveleenas (i don't know if that is how you spell it, but they are these wild pig things that are scarry. Kinda like pumba on lion king, but wierder)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Changes...baptisms and...

Drum Roll Please!!!!!!!>.............................................

Sister Petersen, after nearly 6 months of time and sweat spent in Laredo, Texas has been Raymondville!

Where is that you ask? Please look at a map. Pretty sure it is a very small town in the middle of somewhere. I think there are only 4 missionaries in the town and only one branch that is both english and spanish. I will be companions with one of the most awesome sisters ever...Sister Ruano!!! I have lived with her for 4 transfers already. She was with me two in McAllen and two here in Laredo, so we keep following each other. But now we will actually be companions! Yay!

Leaving Laredo is crazy. I can't believe it's real. I don't want to, but change will be good.

This weekend was bittersweet. As a companionship we had 2 baptisms planned for Sunday. Do you want the good or the bad news first? Let's go with the bad news. Only one of them went through. C..., the mom of the two recent converts, did not show up. We actually pretty much lost her since Wednesday. She is facing a lot of opposition and that just shows how much Satan really doesn't want these people to change their lives for the better. But I have full confidence that Sister Ramirez and her new companion will be able to overcome her doubts and help her take this step this Saturday. The good news, the other baptism of F..., went through and was the most special one i have been priviledged to participate in. It was so amazing! She is so awesome and I am going to miss her a lot. The actually ordinace of her baptism was so awesome. When she came out of the water she just stood there and cried. And then she came up the stairs and hugged us and cried. Yes we got a little wet. But it was so amazing.

Sorry I don't have a lot of time right now, but tomorrow I will be leaving to Raymondville. I'll write more next week.


Sister Petersen

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Miracle May...we are praying for it

Email sent Monday 9 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day again!!!

Sorry I didn't get a card out earlier. Hopefully I'll get this package sent off soon. We just don't have time for anything for some reason.

Wow. What a week. This transfer has gone by so fast. I can't believe it. It feels like it just started. This month is going to be an incredible month. We (our district) are deciding to call it "Miracle May." Right now that is because for everything to go as planned we need tons of miracles. But they are miracles that these people will be blessed with because of their faith and strong desires to follow the Savior. This is going to be a power week. As a district we have 5 baptisms scheduled for Sunday! The most I have seen in our district in the whole 5 and 1/2 months I have been here in Laredo is 2 in one month. And we are supposed to be having 5 in one day. Yes 5. Two of those baptisms will be ours and they are huge conversions from family members of recent converts. C... and F..., the two we have been teaching, have been through a lot to bring them to this point and it will continue to take miracles to help them actually enter the waters of baptism. Miracle May. This month is going to help make the Laredo 1st branch explode. We are going to be able to show the branch that we, as missionaries, mean business, and our work is baptism. We have been working hard, always have been, but it is going to show for real this month and we are going to continue to have months like this from here on out.

I told President in my email this week, basically, that I don't want to leave Laredo yet. I mean part of me does because it is so STINKING HOT! I hate the heat. I want to see some rain so bad. Send me to Corpus or something. BUt the weather really isn't that important. I told him I want to stay. Cuz I do. If i leave it will be sad. I think that all six of us in this district agree that we need to stay together for another transfer. We are on a roll, well God has helped us get on a roll. We need to stay together again to keep it going. I don't think Laredo is done with me yet. And I don't think I'm done with it. It probably still has more to teach me. And there are still more people I need to baptize. But Heavenly Father might have different plans, but...I hope I stay. that's all I will say en cuanto a eso.

I'm glad you are all de-junking the house. And yes I do think that declutter is a word. Just don't get rid of anything cool. And don't touch my stuff. :) After you declutter you could start finishing the basement....just a thought. Or go up to hobblecreek and get another dog. :)

I love you all. I just talked to you yesterday. haha. That's weird. The next time I'll talk to you it will be in the Salt Lake Airport two or three days after I turn 23. Weird. Time flies too fast. I love you!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Petersen

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day is coming!

Email sent Monday 2 May 2011


Hi everybody. I don't really know what to say today. It was an interesting week. It was so hot. Apparently Laredo is leading the nation in scwarching temperatures. Not exactly my favorite thing to be known for. We are kinda dying of heat, but that's what makes it fun I guess. But luckily today there is a cold front and it actually rained!!! It was amazing. It is pretty cool outside right now, but as for the rest of the week we were looking at 108s. It's hot. Welcome to Texas I guess. Love it.

J... was confirmed this Sunday! She is so awesome. She is so willing and excited to do everything that the Lord wants us to do. She has a huge desire to learn always. She has been reading on her own all sorts of stuff out of the Gospel Principles book. She is so cute. V... was able to go on the temple trip this weekend. Her first time seeing and entering a temple. We are so excited for her!

This week honestly has been a bit of a struggle for me. You know how you have those days when it just seems nothing is working. Well, we actually had a pretty successful week, we are hitting a lot of our goals, and while we can't control people's agency, we are doing all we can to help the work progress. But I don't know, this week was just kinda blah. And that is not ok. So I know I need to work on fixing that. We are preparing two people this week to get their baptismal interviews next sunday so we need to do a lot of work. This is when Satan works the hardest on people. When their baptisms come closer. He turns up his attacks. But God is always stronger.

I get to talk to y'all on Sunday! In don't know when, I guess I will call on friday morning. I don't know when you want me to call on Friday morning. How about around 7? Hope that's not too early. And then on Sunday I don't know when but we'll talk on Friday.

I'll talk to you soon.


Sister Petersen