Monday, October 9, 2017

Back to Normal...ish

Hi fam! 
It looks like we're finally done with the crazy proselyting-week days, service weekends thing. So this week we got to spend the whole week working in our area! We've kind of been all over the place and crazy all the time, but that's pretty much the norm for us. Being a missionary is great haha.

We met with Freddy and Darlyne a couple times. Freddy's been out of work and the family is really struggling, so a member of our ward took Freddy to work for him for the day doing mold remediation (that's a big business here in humid-land). Ten minutes into the first job Freddy was carrying a huge vase, tripped, and to protect the vase let it land in his hands. He busted his fingers open really badly and is now out of commission for the next little while. Satan is literally working every angle with them! But they still came to church and we've got a temple tour set up with them for Saturday! I also realized that November 11 is 3 days after transfers and I probably won't stay in Royal Palm for 4 transfers, so pray for a miracle that they can get baptized earlier!!

We're having the unique experience of teaching an excommunicated man who wants to be rebaptized. He chose to be excommunicated when he was younger because he wasn't living the commandments and didn't want to misrepresent the church. He's expressed a desire to come back to us, the bishop, and his home teachers, so now we're finally getting the ball rolling! It feels kind of weird to teach the lessons to somebody who already knows this stuff, but if you think about it everyone we teach once knew this stuff.

We had MLC (mission leadership council) on Friday, so we got to go to the mission home and see all our other leadership homies. The training was mostly about being Christlike leaders. I really liked a story that President Garns shared about his brother in law. He got a call from President Hinkley when he was called to the Seventy. He had never served in prominent leadership callings, so he was really nervous. He expressed his concerns to President Hinkley and the prophet asked him one question,
"Can you travel around and uplift and inspire the saints?" 
"Yes, I can do that."
"Then you're qualified."

I love that exchange! As leaders, our job really is just to uplift and inspire those in our stewardship. Sister Monson and I have been talking about how we can better do that and we have some great plans up our sleeves. I can't wait to tell you all about them as we put them into action!

This morning I read in Alma about the Stripling Warriors and Captain Moroni preparing to go to war. Although I love the story of the Stripling Warriors, what really caught my attention was the epistles between Moroni and Ammoron. Moroni writes his letter in anger, but he expresses that his army will not attack the Lamanites if they will retreat. The Nephites are only fighting to protect themselves. Ammoron, on the other hand, writes that they are trying to conquer or destroy the Lamanites because their fathers robbed them of the right to rule. When you look at those reasons, the Lamanites seem so petty! The Nephites understand that what really matters is God and family. Those are the things that last. I love that!

Yesterday we were running around like crazy. It came to the point that we had to decide to either eat dinner or get a full hour of knocking. We decided to knock and ended up meeting a family that we got to teach! From the moment they opened the door, the husband was really interested and the wife was not. They invited us in, though, and we felt strongly that we needed to teach them about the Restoration. The Spirit was incredibly strong the whole time and the whole family was listening so intently! Sadly, they would not accept a solid return appointment, but I know they felt the Spirit and whether they call us or not, they will not forget what they felt or the ideas we shared.

Have a wonderful week!

Sister Peterson

A couple pics from MLC

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Hurricane Madness Continues

Transfer week is crazy. This transfer week was coupled with another trip down to the keys, so literally everything was insane. Sister Monson and I are working hard here in Royal Palm and it's been fun. This week we were able to meet with Freddy and Darlyne a couple times and teach them about the temple. It reminded me of when we taught them about the Plan of Salvation and mentioned that they could be sealed together forever. Freddy turned to Darlyne and said, "You hear that, babe? We can be together forever." Darlyne gave him the sassiest look, but we know she's happy about it. Those two are still trying to get Darlyne divorced. It's made things a little more difficult with Freddy losing his job, because they need money for her to get divorced. Satan is throwing all sorts of things at them right now. Keep them in your prayers! We met with Freddy on Friday night and talked about the Priesthood and helped him catch the vision of being the priesthood holder in his home. He said the cutest prayer, just thanking God for "his sisters," the members, the gospel, and all he was learning. He ended his prayer by saying "We'll talk again soon." I loved that! First of all, my heart was so full of love and the Spirit. The gospel is amazing! Second of all, the thought that we'll talk to Heavenly Father again soon should always be our attitude. I'm learning so much from teaching.

Elder Thompson, our area Seventy, asked us to miss General Conference and go down to the Keys again. I was sad to miss conference, but happy to serve. President Garns is giving us four hours this week to catch up, then we have to wait until pday to watch the rest. We had a great weekend doing what the Lord would have been doing.

We got up at 3 AM on Saturday and drove over to a member's house so we could carpool down to Marathon. Little did we know, we were going to be riding in their 8 passenger van with every seat filled. Sister Monson and I squished in next to a brother in the ward and we were off. We finally arrived in Marathon at about 8 AM and we started our day! We spent a little time getting camp set up. The owners of the museum at the campsite were nice enough to open it again so the sister missionaries could stay there. Yay for AC!

We did a lot of outside work this weekend. It's amazing how many people's homes are still covered in trees, branches, seaweed, and other debris! I'm so grateful to be able to help where I can. On Sunday they sent our group down to Big Pine Key and we were able to clean up a few homes there. That's the area that the eye passed over when the hurricane first hit land here, and it was BAD. Trailers were flattened, homes were flattened, and there were downed trees everywhere! We helped one man shovel a thick layer of muck out of his garage and bring all his furniture out to be thrown away. I'm grateful we ended up there because there's no way he could have done it by himself. He was saying that he'd only lived in the Keys about two years and he definitely wasn't rebuilding there. We also helped a woman who had a collapsed fence, tons of seaweed, a refrigerator, and a hot tub in her back yard. The funny thing was, the hot tub wasn't even hers! That and a desk had blown in from someone else's house! Hurricanes are cray.

I have begun reading the war chapters in Alma. I especially love reading about Captain Moroni and contrasting him to Amalakiah. Captain Moroni is appointed to be the chief captain and he leads in righteousness. Amalakiah achieves leadership by trickery and crime, then uses hate to stir the people up to anger against the Nephites. I feel like Satan often uses the same tricks as Amalakiah to confuse us or make us lose sight of who we are. It's our job to follow the example of Moroni and remember who we are and what we're fighting for. 

I'm thoroughly exhausted, but excited for this upcoming week. Miracles loading!

Sister Peterson

P.S. I'd love to hear from you!!
488 Goldenwood Way
Wellington, FL 33414

The new District!

Us with the Garns

Keys life-this is where the water came up to!!

As close to the ocean as we could get

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Workin' in Marathon

Well, it's been another crazy week in the FFLM. I am continually blown away by how much God loves us as His children and all the opportunities He gives us to grow. I'm excited for the new transfer and how I'll grow in the next 6 weeks. Sister Monson and I are staying together in Royal Palm. She is the only companion I've spent more than one transfer with except when I was being trained and training. We found out that Sister Johnson, my old companion, will be coming to Wellington so we'll live together! I'm so excited! I literally love her so much. God is so good!

We found a really cool investigator this week named Fitore (Fih-tor-ee). People in Royal Palm have interesting names, man. She is so cool! She has a one year old daughter named Athena who keeps trying to climb on my lap and it's taking all my will power to resist haha. We actually met Fitore when we were trying to visit a former investigator. We found out that they'd moved, but she let us right in and we were able to teach her. She was baptized Christian about 4 years ago when she was really struggling after her divorce. She feels like she's fallen away and we were literally an answer to her prayers. She loves what we share with her. We told her about the Book of Mormon and she was like, "That's so cool!" which is a pretty good reaction.

Freddy and Darlyne picked a new date for baptism and are now on track for November 11. They are so ready to be baptized, but with all the work that needs to be done so Darlyne can be divorced and she and Freddy can get married, they need some time. Freddy lost his job and Darlyne is starting at McDonald's this week. They could really use your prayers! I love this family!

We met with Amy again and sadly she is not ready to commit. She told us she might come to church sometime, though. It's always sad to see someone reject the Gospel because I know how it can change their life, but God has a plan for everyone. Hopefully she'll be ready one day!

We had zone conference this week and talked about being 100% responsible. I'm working to figure out how I can take full responsibility of my stewardship here!

We've had lots of opportunities to serve since the hurricane. During the week we proselyte normally and offer to help when we can. The past couple weekends have been completely devoted to hurricane clean up. All the missionaries on the east coast of our mission were sent down to the Keys to serve this weekend. Sister Monson and I drove down on Friday and left Sunday night. We were stationed in Marathon and I was shocked by the devastation. Some streets we went to literally looked like a third world country! It was so humbling to see. We had a very hardworking crew and helped to remove furniture, drywall, trees, and debris. The smell of the rotting homes was haunting. I can't imagine coming home to a completely destroyed house! It really makes you reconsider what is truly important. 

As I was praying about the opportunity to serve, I thanked Heavenly Father for allowing us to fully devote those few days to helping people clean up and rebuild their lives. The Spirit taught me that that is my job as a missionary every single day. With the hurricane, we're helping people repair their physical lives. As missionaries, we're helping people to clean and rebuild their spiritual lives. Hurricane clean up is important, but these homes can be destroyed again. The seaweed and trees can be washed back up. But with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our spirits receive full healing and cannot be destroyed by the circumstances around us. I'm so grateful for the Gospel!

We camped out for a few nights. Luckily, there was a museum at the campsite that they opened for the missionaries. We got to sleep in air conditioning and have flushing toilets. What a blessing! The stake provided portable showers. There were two showers inside this tarp block, but the divider between the two was only waist high...sadly the lines were very long to shower so there always needed to be two people going at the same time. Let's just say that Sister Monson and I have bonded in a way that I haven't with any of my other companions haha.

I just want all of you to know that I am incredibly grateful to be a missionary. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart. I'm grateful for the opportunity to hear from living prophets and apostles. Take advantage of this weekend to receive what the Lord needs to teach you. I know that I learned a ton from Women's Conference! I learned that I love myself and I hate myself, but luckily the Atonement is infinite!

Sister Peterson

Clean up craziness in Marathon. Side note-the Keys are really beautiful! And it looked like fall there. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Master the Tempest is Raging


This has been about the craziest two weeks of my life, so let me share a little bit about life here in the FFLM over the past couple weeks.

On Tuesday, September 5, we received a text saying that the whole mission was required to be on bikes to save gas. At this point, we'd been hearing about the hurricane from members and random people we talked to, but nothing had been confirmed by the mission. For the next couple days we biked our tails off and had daily conference calls telling us to prepare our houses and ourselves to evacuate. It was super weird to see everyone putting up boards and shutters, and the mass exodus out of south Florida was pretty crazy too.

On Wednesday, we biked out to visit Amy. Her house is about 4.5 miles away, and right when we got to her neighborhood to knock, it started pouring. That would have been fine, but the lightning was so close!! We didn't have any umbrellas and no one was letting us in, so we ended up standing with our backs against someone's garage door under the alcove. Right then, we got a message from Amy cancelling our appointment. There was a flash of lightning and a boom of thunder that literally shook my bones. We didn't know what to do and were just wondering if we should try to run to a store when Amy drove by. She stopped and waved us into her car and drove us home. It was such a miracle that she came right when we needed her! God has a plan, I tell you. 

On Friday, we were told that we would all be evacuating. My zone was sent up to Jupiter to take shelter in the chapel there. We got to spend the next 3 days in the church all together. We didn't lose power until Sunday afternoon, so that was a major blessing. We mostly just studied, played games, I scrap-booked super hard, and hung out. I love my zone! Seriously, these elders and sisters are amazing. Even though it was a little stifling to be living in half of a church building (we couldn't go through the chapel or gym since the steeple might fall in and collapse the roof), I am so grateful I was able to get to know these wonderful elders and sisters. I'm not saying the FFLM has the best missionaries in the world, but I'm not saying it doesn't ;)

On Monday morning the mission allowed us to go outside and clean up the destruction outside the chapels. Our stake president took us to his house to shower (#BLESSED) and then we headed over to one of their friend's properties to help her clean up. We cleaned up trees, branches, pine needles x 1200000, and other debris that had blown in. It was a lot of work, but it was so fun! The woman we helped was so appreciative and I was so satisfied seeing the grounds all nice and clean.

We were able to go back to our house that night, and for the next two nights we had to be in at 8 because there was a city curfew. That's almost as serious as missionary curfew, folks. The good news is, we were able to contact Freddy and Darlyne and they're safe! We went by their trailer with some other missionaries and spent a couple hours cleaning up all the trees that had fallen next to their home. Freddy was so cute! He was telling us how bummed he was that we had missed the temple tour and joked with Sister Monson about needing to give her water first since she has the same name as the prophet. He is a completely different man than the one Sister Cottrell and I met some weeks ago. We asked him what else we could do to help, and he just said, "Come back tomorrow so we can have a session (which is what he calls our lessons haha)." I love that family!!

On Saturday we woke up at 5 AM and drove down to Kilian to join in the Mormon Helping Hands effort. My group spent the day helping families around the area. The whole operation was so organized! The church had already collected work orders for people from Kilian to the Keys. A goup of 8-14 was put together and sent out to work. There were massive trucks coming in with food, chainsaws, and other supplies. I was surprised by how many people rejected our help. It reminded me that God has given us our agency and He will force no man to happiness.

All day Sunday was full of miracles. We were supposed to wake up at 4, drive over the the West Palm Beach chapel, and be there for a 5 AM sacrament meeting before going down to the Keys. Our alarm didn't go off, but for some reason I woke up at 4:48. We were out the door in under ten minutes and somehow made it to the chapel in time to take the sacrament even though the drive is supposed to take 30 minutes! The miracles just kept coming as my group made it to the Keys. The National Guard and police force were blocking the roads keeping people from going into the Keys, but we were able to get through. We helped to clean up a little Christian church in Key Largo that had mostly elderly members. They were so cute and so grateful! We were turned away by many people in Islamirada, but felt prompted to try one more trailer park before heading farther south. There we met Joe, who was happy to accept our help! The trailer park was knee deep in seaweed and debris, which we helped to clear. Joe told us that in the morning at church, people had said that the Mormons were in town helping. Many people said they didn't want help because they wanted to have their insurance come check. Joe stood up and said, "Lord-send them to Diver's Cove because we need all the help we can get!!" And a few hours later we came. God has such an amazing plan! I have no doubt that He is in charge!

Here's a couple of fun things that happened these past 2 weeks:
  1. Lived through the worst recorded hurricane to date
  2. Ate a meal provided by the Red Cross
  3. Visited the Florida Keys
  4. Lived in a church
  5. Sweated 14 gallons (approximately)
  6. Grew my testimony of God's plan and His hand in all things. 
I know that our Heavenly Father is fully aware of each one of us and that we are under His watchful eye always. I love this gospel and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be actively involved in such a great work.
I love you all!

Sister Peterson

Twinning is winning

Amy rescued us!


We filled every receptacle in the kitchen with water.

Chapel livin'. We had wheelbarrow races haha

My ping pong skills are improving.

The clean up crew.

We had our own sacrament meeting in the young women's room.

Tree straight up fell right on the chapel.

Cleaning up the chapel

Cleaning up our own yard

All the sisters + zone leaders

Cleaning up Darlyne and Freddy's trailer.

First day of clean up in Kilian!

Cleaning up in the Keys!

Cleaning up in the Keys!

Cleaning up in the Keys!

Cleaning up in the Keys!

Cleaning up in the Keys!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hurricane #3

September 12, 2017

Good afternoon,

Thanks for your faith and prayers for our wonderful missionaries in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. The Elders and Sisters are safe, in good spirits, and anxious to get back to the work.

The Florida Fort Lauderdale Temple will be closed Friday, so the scheduled temple day for the Jupiter Zone will be postponed. This means that P-day will not be Friday as previously planned. P-Day will be next Monday, September 18th, which will be the next time you will hear from your amazing missionaries.

Thank you again for your faith during Hurricane Irma. We have been immensely blessed.

Sister Burdick
Referral Secretary
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission

Monday, September 11, 2017

After the Storm...

Hi Family!

I'm alive! The storm has now passed us. The power in the chapel was out for about 28 hours, but it's back on now. We've received word that our home is safe, so we'll be going back soon. 

We were instructed to evacuate into chapels by 7 PM on Friday. We stayed in the chapel all day Saturday and Sunday. The storm hit us around 2 PM on Saturday and that's when the power went out. We were able to go out and help clean up some of the debris today and that was really fun!

Anyway, I'm safe and I'm happy. Thank you all for your love and prayers! They were certainly heard and answered. I don't know when my actual pday will be, but I'll talk to you soon!

Sister Peterson

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane #2

September 6, 2017

Dear Parents,

We want to reassure you that every precaution is being taken to protect the Elders, Sisters, and Senior Couples in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

The Church is led by inspired counsels. Last evening our Area Seventy, Elder Stephen Thompson, Emergency leaders in Salt Lake City, and General Authorities met to discuss all the options available.

Following that counsel, President Garns met with the President of the Tampa Florida Mission, Elder Thompson, and local Stake Presidents. They counseled together to determine the best course of action.
Under inspiration, they collectively agreed the missionaries would be best protected gathering in selected church buildings, based on location and construction. Each church building will have supervision by an adult couple.

The missionaries are well prepared with supplies and are ready to evacuate as soon as instructed. Rest assured they will be moved to these selected chapels well before the storm hits.
As new information on the timing of these evacuations becomes available, it will be posted on a new FaceBook page for this purpose which you can access here:

Please know that we love your sons and daughters as our own.

President and Sister Garns

Sister Burdick
Referral Secretary
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hurricane Irma

Hello! This week was good and crazy! We started to have people ask us to pray for Irma and I was like, "Who?" Well, Hurricane Irma is predicted to hit us this Saturday. It's currently a category 5, so I'm praying really hard that it will turn back to the ocean. In case you are interested, here's the first things that sell out when there's a hurricane coming:

1. WATER. Bottled, jugs, it doesn't matter. It's gone.
2. Bread.
3. Peanut Butter.
4. Canned food. Soups, fruit, the only thing that doesn't really sell out is vegetables. #Merica
5. Gas.

All of those things make sense, but it's still a little startling to walk down an aisle at Walmart and see completely barren shelves! Don't worry, the Lord blessed us to get what we need since our shopping is limited to pday.

Freddy and Darlyne are doing really well! They came to church again this week and a couple of the members directed their testimonies to them, so that was pretty cool. Darlyne is meeting with a court representative tomorrow to discuss her divorce. We are praying for a miracle because she needs to get divorced so she and Freddy can get married so they can both be baptized next Saturday. Yeah, major prayer and fasting has been going on over here. I love seeing how their testimonies are growing! Darlyne asked us when we both go home and got all upset. Freddy turned to her and said, "It's okay, after we're baptized we won't need the sisters to teach us everything. We'll have the Spirit!" I just love seeing that he's truly becoming converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to us. We're trying to swing a temple tour with them this Saturday, so the hurricane needs to move on over.

Last week when I was on an exchange with Sister Johnson we met a woman named Adrienne. She really enjoyed the prayer we said for her, so she invited us back. This week Sister Monson and I headed over and were met at the door by Adrienne's husband. He invited us in and they were both so hospitable and kind! It's a little unusual for both spouses to be interested and welcoming to us, so I was blown away. We had a really good discussion about the Restoration where they felt the Spirit very strongly. I'm excited to teach them more!

I got to go up to Stuart for an exchange with Sister Callister. She's so funny! She's got tons of energy and new ideas. We got to do service at a place called "House of Hope" and sort cans. We met a man whose nametag just said, "Mr. Ed." Well, we struck up a conversation and were able to teach him a little about the church. Pretty cool!

Elder Krieger, our district leader, gave us a comp study on Confidence and Pride. I've been thinking that the main difference between the two lies in selfishness. Pride is putting your trust in yourself, while confidence is putting your trust in God. I know who I would rather trust in-God can truly make more of you than you can ever dream. You just have to let Him.

We may have pday next Friday, it will all depend on the hurricane. But until then, I love you all and the Gospel is true!

Sister Peterson

Exchange with Sister Callister!

We literally caught 4 lizards in our house this week. I'm basically a professional at this point.

Hurricane #1

September 5, 2017

Dear parents, 

We are very aware of your loving concern for your missionaries as Hurricane Irma approaches. Please know that every precaution is being taken to safeguard your sons and daughters. You can be completely confident in President and Sister Garns' commitment to take all necessary steps to protect the missionaries.

The President and AP's had a mission-wide conference call yesterday morning telling the Elders and Sisters how to prepare. They were advised to stock up on supplies and water, have their emergency backpacks ready,  to keep their gas tanks full, and make sure their phones are kept charged. Each missionary has been given emergency cash. 

An evacuation plan is in place if needed. Missionaries will be relocated to Church buildings if conditions require that they move. Your missionaries have been instructed to be packed and ready to leave their homes and apartments if instructed to do so. 

It is still uncertain when/if evacuations will be necessary in various areas of the mission. The Key West Elders will leave the Florida Keys tomorrow morning, well ahead of the recommended evacuation times. The mission leadership is carefully monitoring the storm as it nears.

This Friday's temple trip which was scheduled for the Palm Beach, Naples, and Fort Myers Zones has been postponed. Due to this change, all missionaries will have P-Day today, Tuesday, September 5th.

We will keep you advised as more reliable storm patterns are available. 

We would very much appreciate your faith and prayers.

Sister Burdick

Monday, August 28, 2017

Orange Juice and Calendars

Hey there!

Crazy things are happening here in Royal Palm Beach. I got to share a couple of Sister Monson's "firsts" as an STL so that was pretty fun. We spent all day Wednesday driving up to Port St. Lucie, then Stuart to exchange and knock with the sisters in those areas. It's super fun to be able to see how other missionaries work and spend time with them. Since PSL and Stuart are so far away, we finally got back to our area to work at 7:25, right in time for our appointment with Freddy and Darlyne.

BUT WAIT. Let me tell you about a pretty cool little miracle Heavenly Father gave us on Wednesday, as well. We ate dinner quickly so we'd have an opportunity to go to the dollar store and pick up a few things for our lesson. We heard that drinking orange juice helps you stop smoking since they taste bad together, so we picked up some of that as well as a piece of candy for the kids. What we really needed was a calendar so we could look at it all together and pick a baptismal date with them. The only problem is, people don't really sell 2017 calendars when it's already the end of August. We were searching high and low and the woman at the store said there was no chance they had any. We stopped and I said a prayer telling Heavenly Father how important it was for us to find this calendar and why we needed it. Afterwards we started looking for a planner or something we could use instead and from behind a 2018 calendar I pulled out a 2017 calendar! It was definitely the only one in the store and it was a miracle to find it. Heavenly Father really does hear and answer our prayers!!

Anyway, we had a lesson with Freddy and Darlyne and they decided to be baptized on the 16th of September! We need a couple miracles to make that happen since they need to quit smoking, get Darlyne's divorce, and get married before them. Please keep them in your prayers!! They are wonderful and progressing really well.

I got to go on a full day exchange with Sister Johnson, my comp from Boca! It was so good to be back together. I love her so much!

Yesterday we stopped by a former investigator and were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon since she's searching to understand the Bible better. It was pretty cool because it turns out that Angie knows sign language! Her 20 year old son has autism and is very hard of hearing. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to communicate with him and I'm so grateful Heavenly Father has blessed me with this opportunity to use sign language.

Well, let me just tell you about one last experience this week. We had a family we ate with this last week pick a knocking spot for us after a mighty prayer, so we went there on Monday. As we knocked we weren't having any success, so we decided to go back to our car and then walk the other way. That first door in the other direction was where we met Amy. Amy recently had heart surgery and knee surgery and is just recovering enough to start getting around on her own. Amy met with missionaries a few years ago but has recently been studying with the Jehovah Witness'. She told us that she doesn't like the way she feels with them and the only time she's really felt good about a faith is when she was meeting with Mormons. We've been able to teach her and her daughter a couple times this week and I know the Lord really sent us there :) So that's pretty cool!

The gospel is good and I know it blesses lives. Think about how it's blessed your life and share that with someone this week! I love you all!

Sister Peterson

Sadly, my glasses arrived in the mail post-eclipse.

Exchanges with Sister Johnson! Love her!!

We've had a stressful week.

A cute lady in our ward made us a little package of bread and rolls.

Monday, August 21, 2017

#2 in Royal Palm Beach

My dearest family,

Hello! This week has been so full of craziness. On Wednesday I said goodbye to Sister Cottrell and I may have cried. I love that girl so much! God definitely blessed me with a wonderful companion last transfer who became my best friend. She's now home in AZ! My new companion is Sister Monson. She is tenth cousins with President Monson, so she's basically a celebrity. She's from Saratoga Springs and she's super sweet and calm. I'm sure she'll help me to mellow out after how crazy last transfer was. 

We were able to see Freddy and Darlyne a couple times this week and I just love them so much! On Monday night we talked to them a lot about faith and counseling with the Lord, since they're trying to pick a baptismal date and they're just so stressed trying to get Darlyne divorced. We were able to bring Bishop over to their house and he blessed it, since apparently two people died in their house and they've been seeing some things...They also both got priesthood blessings and then Darlyne asked Bishop to bless all her kids. The Spirit was so strong and they definitely felt it!

Drama went down Saturday night when Darlyne texted us to say that they couldn't come to church because Freddy and Macho had been throwing up all day. We were so sad, but then Darlyne texted us saying that they were definitely coming. She called and explained that Freddy had felt something push him and he went out the door and almost fell down the stairs! They were really freaked out, so we prayed with them and talked about how God is more powerful than Satan and we have the power to cast those things out of our lives. The whole situation made them decide to come to church no matter what so that they could have the Spirit with them this week. It was crazy, but it was also kind of a miracle. When they left church yesterday Freddy said, "When are you sisters coming over again?" and we told him Monday. He said, "Aw. Why can't it be sooner?" I love this family so much and I can see how God has been preparing them for the gospel.

It hit me this week that I only have 3 transfers left. WHAT??? Anyway, I'm so grateful for the gospel and this time I have to be a missionary. It's so special to wear Christ's name on my chest and know that I represent Him above myself. There's a line in preach my gospel that says that the missionary setting apart can be taken literally-a setting apart from all things vulgar, crude, and worldly. It's an opportunity to rise to a higher standard. I love that promise and direction. I'm grateful for the time I still have to focus all my efforts on sharing Christ's beautiful gospel.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Peterson

Me and Sister Monson

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bye Sister Cottrell

Dear Fam,

Hello!  It was the last week of the transfer, so it's been a good and crazy week. Sister Cottrell flies home on Thursday, and I'll be staying in Royal Palm Beach. My new companion will be Sister Monson! I've never served around her, but I've heard good things. This is her first transfer as an STL, so I'll be training her. What? I've been doing this for 12 seconds! But it's cool.

Freddy and Darlyne are so wonderful! We taught them about the Word of Wisdom on Wednesday and they accepted it right off the bat. They've both smoked, drank coffee, and had alcohol for most of their lives, but it's almost like they knew this was coming. They gave us their coffee and tea, poured out their alcohol, and made a plan for quitting smoking right then and there. It's amazing to see the faith they have! Especially Freddy, who has never been religious but now just craves the Spirit. They've changed so much since we met them two weeks ago. I know that God has been preparing them for a long time to receive the gospel and I'm so grateful that I get to teach them! They weren't able to come to church on Sunday, so now they're praying about a new baptismal date. Gosh I love them!

We're still teaching Jackie, but there's not to update with her. She found out on Tuesday that her husband's cancer is back and he has 1-2 years left with treatment. That was really hard on her, so we talked about God's love and putting on the armor of God. She asked for a little space this week, so we're hoping to meet with her again soon :)

We went on exchanges with the West Palm Beach sisters, so I got to bring Sister Langarica to Royal Palm for a day of craziness. We visited a woman I met when I was on an exchange with Sister Tilby clear back in February and she remembered me! So I guess missionaries make a bigger impression than I'd thought. We also got to teach a woman named Cindy about the Restoration, but she left for Canada today and doesn't know when she'll be back, so hopefully we'll see her soon!

We had the first Zone Conference with President Garns and it was wonderful! President Garns is really shifting the focus of our mission onto following the Spirit with exactness and tailoring the Gospel to every person's needs. I've been working on talking to every person differently and giving them every opportunity to feel the Spirit and it's been really cool to feel Heavenly Father working through me. President Garns is definitely inspired!

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Sister Peterson

Oh, I forgot to tell you that WE GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!!! We're not sure how often yet, but President and Sister Garns have changed the rule so we'll get to go with our zones every so often. I'm pumped!!

Exchanges with cute Sister Langarica

We played a volleyball and clearly our arms weren't up to the challenge.
I caught a lizard from behind our toaster. Only in Florida.

Love you, Dad!

Zone conf!

Coffee and Tea given up by our favorite couple

Freddy, Darlyne, Macho, and Jaylene. Love them!

I saw the Mendenhalls again :)