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 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.