Monday, January 30, 2017

McMiracles

Hi Family!

To start off with the most exciting news...JEAN PAUL GOT BAPTIZED!!! He's the last member in his family to take this step, so now they're getting ready for the temple. The day of his baptism was super crazy, with him showing up early then having to run home, me accidentally walking in on my new bishop in the bathroom as we were trying to check on the font, the program (still needing to be copied) being delivered five minutes late. The good news is, Brother Paul was baptized and the  rest of that stuff doesn't really matter. It's just STUFF. It reminded me to slow down and focus on the gospel. That is more important than anything else. When you focus on the gospel the little things don't matter and everything just works out one way or another.

Sister Schiers and I had so much fun this week! We went to do service at a dog shelter and found it abandoned. I straight-up felt like Nancy Drew as we walked over broken glass and looked for clues about what happened. Oh, did I mention there was a palm tree laying in the road that we had to climb over to get to the shelter? Anyway, apparently a new shelter has been built or is being built. We are still searching for places to do service but it's pushed me to be more proactive asking members if we can serve them! We had an opportunity to go help a member that has been struggling a little bit lately and she told us that she found out the day before that she'd broken her foot so she really needed our help. We helped her clean up and everything just felt so much better! Mom-remember how you always told me I needed to clean my room for the Spirit to be there? Darn it you were so right!

After Brother Paul's baptism on Saturday we were so hungry that we decided to get a value mcnugget at McDonald's super quick before our next appointment. We ordered and went to sit down when we passed someone who looked familiar. We realized it was a woman who used to investigate the church and who we had actually met last week. She told us she was too busy to meet, so when we saw her we went over and asked to sit with her. We had a really good discussion about missionary work and church and her daughter told us she wants to be a missionary. It was one of those smack-you-in-the-face, God-planned-this moments! I love being a missionary and being able to be part of McMiracles like that!

We've been working really hard and having a lot of success, and I think my spanish is improving. I prayed over dinner in Spanish for Hermana Sotelo and she was so excited. It was the cutest thing! Being a missionary is just the best.

I've been thinking a lot about humility this week since it sort of feels like I swallowed a humility pill this week. I just keep thinking of the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that says something like "nothing can do done without faith, hope, and charity." It's so true! Life goes better when you focus on those three things. 

Have a good week! Les quieros mucho!

Love,

Sister Peterson

Abandoned dog shelter


Shocked about the changes to missionary life


Brother Paul's baptism!


I'm not drinking it in the car!! I'm out the window!


Isn't Florida beautiful?

Sister Tilby and I fangirled over boybands together (we look pretty rough because it was the end of the night)

We accidentally matched yesterday and it was adorable



Monday, January 23, 2017

We are the Hokey Pokey Church where you Turn Yourself Around

Hi!
I saw that on a church marquee and I though it was fabulous so obviously I had to use it as my subject line. ANYWAY,

I'm in Wellington now, so I'm really close to my first area of Palm Beach North! It's weird because PBN was so ghetto but Wellington is the winter equestrian capitol of the world, so it's not exactly ghetto haha. I firmly believe you can find ghetto people anywhere so I am determined to do it! #i'mgonnafindyou #missionarylife

It was so weird to say goodbye to everybody! I honestly thought I was staying in Vanderbilt so it came as kind of a shock. I said goodbye to Zonquez and as far as I know he's still doing well but his mom is still being difficult about signing the baptism record. I was able to talk to Matt on the phone but I started to cry so I just handed the phone to Sister Jennings. It's weird how you can know someone for so little time but love them so much! I will miss all my homies in Vanderbilt.

Transfers were crazy! A member in the Vanderbilt ward drove us and I realized I have way too much stuff. But that didn't stop me from bringing it all anyway! Tralala. Luckily we shoved it all in the car before President could see haha. We live in a cute little house that is essentially a cabin. There's no carpet, just tile and then we have wooden ceilings and countertops. It's kind of fun but also you can always tell how gross the floor is. I think I'm really going to like it here anyway!

Sister Schiers has been out on her mission for almost 6 months (including the CCM) and is from Arizona. We're still in the awkward get-to-know-you stage but we'll be just fine! We are teaching a latin family who only speak Spanish...well I can ask them how they are at least. The Ramirez family is doing well and they came to church for the second time! Another one of our investigators is named Jean and his family recently got baptized. He's super cool and pumped for his baptism this Saturday! He said he wanted to be baptized in our church so I said, "Because it's the only true one, right?" And he straight-up high-fived me right there. It was awesome haha. One of my favorite gators that we're teaching is named Deandra and she is so cool! She's very intelligent and loves to talk about the gospel. She wants to be baptized really badly but her mom is on the fence about it. She turns 18 in March so one way or another she's going to be baptized!

I love the people here so much and I'm excited to serve them!

In my studies this week I just kept thinking of how much God loves us. He lets us choose, but once we choose a side we cannot go back to neutral ground. There is righteousness and there is sin- there is no middle ground! I've been considering each of my actions and judging what side they put me on. We know what team wins, we just have to stay on the right side :)

I love you all!

Love,

Sister Peterson

Me and zonquez!

Guyrlene taught us how to make plantains the Haitian way! 




Zonquez and Jorgenson wanted to take a karate picture but I'm the only one who really went for it...

The sassiest 3 yr old to ever happen-Lamorrow

Sister Schiers 



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bye Naples!

Well, if you have any sense you've probably guessed from the subject line that I'm being transferred. You're right, folks! I'm leaving Naples and heading over to Wellington. I hear it is a nice area which is a shame because the ghetto is my favorite place ever! Just kidding. But really.

Zonquez was not baptized on Saturday :( Here's the story:
He was all set for the 14th up until about 2 days before his baptism. Zonquez was still doing so awesome, but his family was really being pushed by Satan. His mom, Tyronica, refused to meet with us to sign his baptismal record, and his sister suddenly got very antagonistic. We met with Zonquez at a park and he had his interview and passed with flying colors! He was beaming! He called his mom and said, "Mom-you have to sign the record. I have to be baptized tomorrow!"  A member drove him home and we went to talk to his mom. She wasn't home, but his very Baptist sister was. He was smiling so much and then she started in on him-"You want to believe in TWO books? You know the Mormons are a cult, right? Zonquez, I know you better than anyone and you're not ready to be baptized. They're pressuring you into this." And on and on until Zonquez said he wanted to postpone his date :( So that was really sad, especially now that I'm leaving because I won't get to see him be baptized! Do you think President Richardson would let me skype for that? It's a bummer that he pushed it off, but I have so much peace knowing that I did literally everything in my power to help him be baptized on Saturday. I know that God accepts my efforts!

We have been trying so hard to meet with our investigator's mom so she can sign Zonquez's baptismal record but she just wouldn't meet with us! On Monday morning she sent us a text asking if we would like to meet in 15 minutes! We ran over and talked with her and even had the opportunity to serve her. She has a much better attitude toward us and is totally willing to sign the record! God truly has softened her heart and I love that I got to see that!

Evelyn has made a lot of progress this week! She came to a relief society activity and made a bunch of friends! She loves the members and always wants us to bring them over when we teach her, which is just fine with us :) She came to church again, but she won't commit to being baptized. She says she doesn't understand why she needs to be baptized if she's already living the right way and has faith. She's currently praying about it, so I have been too!

I have been studying Christ's visit to the Americas and I couldn't believe the things that were standing out to me. Of course I've read it before, but a few verses in particular really stuck out to me. In chapter 12, Christ talks about comforting those that mourn, blessing those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and blessing the peacemakers. I was thinking how all Christ asks us to do is let Him comfort us, seek after righteousness, and be a peacemaker. He just wants to bless us. I am going to go after those teachings with all my heart this next transfer so He can!
We're teaching a woman named Moon Beam, so basically missions are the coolest and you get to meet cool people with awesome names.

I have done a lot of growing this transfer, and I'm excited to see what this next transfer holds! I love you all!

Love,

Sister Peterson




You have to put plastic bags over the rubber on your car to keep vultures from eating it, so that's good times.

In my interview with President I asked if we could take a selfie and he said yes haha. He probably enjoys me.

Our egg survived the egg drop! Go Hounds of Vandy!


The Rookery!!
I'm a big nerd and seeing alligators was the coolest thing of my life!







Monday, January 9, 2017

F-f-f-f-florida

Well, it finally got cold here. And by cold I mean it's been about 50 degrees. I know, I know, Florida is turning me into a wimp. I've just been shivering and trying to pretend that I'm warm in my sweater and rain jacket combo. Sister Jennings doesn't seem to get cold at all but I run to the car every time we go to get in. Sadly, she's the driver so I have to wait outside to back her up anyway haha. But the work must go on! 

I saw some really awesome miracles with Zonquez, our 15-yr-old investigator, this week. He lives with his mom and his brothers and sisters and plays football. He's also SUPER ELECT and he's getting baptized this Saturday! We've been trying really hard to get the young men involved with him so he can be so loved and comfortable at church. The YM President told us none of the young men were really "sporty" so we just went with one that was about his age. Howie came and it turns out he used to play football! What??? We were inspired on that one. Then we took another young man named Caden and even though Caden isn't super into sports he is super into fellowshipping Zonquez! He was inviting him to mutual activities and asked if he could come to Zonquez's next lesson. But wait-there's more! On Sunday Zonquez called us to tell us he was over at his friends house trying to get him to come to church (our investigator was rounding up his friends-that's literally the coolest thing ever!) and he wanted us to come talk to him. So we hustled over there and convinced Jorgenson that he could come to church in the clothes he was in (he was locked out of his house and wanted to put on nice clothes for church but he didn't know when his uncle would be home). So we said a prayer with him and the Spirit did the convincing for us! I love Zonquez. I am so excited for his baptism!!

We've been working with an investigator named Evelyn who adamantly said no to church when we invited her. We went over to teach her earlier this week and the Spirit told us to just talk about what goes on at church so we did. Evelyn wouldn't commit, but she said she would pray about it. About 30 minutes before church started she texted us to tell us her decision. She said, "Good morning girls it's Evelyn. I've decided to attend today's gathering at 1 pm. Hope to see you there." I literally started jumping up and down! I can't even express the joy that comes from your investigators wanting to come to church! She came and stayed all three hours :) 

We went to deliver a DVD to someone this week and met Gale and Hubert. Hubert was having a great time talking with us and he told us about growing up in France during WWII. He lived in his grandparent's chateau during the war and they harbored 56 Jewish children. A nearby farmer reported them and the German soldiers told them the children had to go or they would take all of them to concentration camps. They sent the children to another place, but he still remembers living with those other kids. You meet the most interesting people on your mission!

This week I was ponderizing Alma 57:21, which talks about exact obedience, faith, and remembrance. I've been studying and praying about how to recognize and understand the Spirit better, as well as how I can grow on my mission. I realized this verse perfectly addresses that! Exact obedience will put me in a position to have the Spirit testify to me, and as I have faith, remember, and act upon the revelation that I have received I will grow and become the person my Heavenly Father wants me to be. I love the Book of Mormon! Everything applies to me!

Also this guy answered the door with a gun in his hand yesterday and told us he didn't like strangers. We saw the gun when he reached out to take the picture of Christ hahahahahahahaha. Florida is a strange and mystical place.

Te quiero mucho!

Love,
Sister Peterson

I had to eat 10 full size marshmallows as fast as I could at our zone activity. I'm real competitive so I just suffered through the pain haha!





Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Holla for 2017!

Happy New Year!

I can't believe 2016 is over. I left halfway through and time has just flown! This week went by pretty darn fast because it was awesome. Let me give you the highlights:

We recently started teaching a 15 year old kid named Zonquez (remember-I love the ghetto so teaching somebody by that name is a dream come true). He is the coolest kid! His prayers are so sincere and he keeps every commitment we leave with him. He keeps telling us that he just wants to be a better man and he feels so warm when he prays and reads the Book of Mormon. I love that he is humble enough to recognize the Spirit! He was all set to come to church on Sunday and when he didn't show up we got worried-so naturally we walked over to his house during second hour to find out what was going on. He came to the door and he was SO SICK. He was wrapped in a quilt holding himself up on the wall. We told him his baptismal date would have to be moved back and he was so disappointed! He asked if there was a later church he could come to so he wouldn't have to move it. Sadly, there was not but it was amazing to see his desire to be baptized-it was so strong he was trying to get himself there when he wasn't even strong enough to stand. Sometimes God puts the most elect people in my life and all I can do is say thank you!

Matthew is doing really well. The bishop wants to make sure he understands the priesthood before receiving it so we had a couple good lessons on that. Matt really understands when we teach, he just has a hard time expressing his thoughts and feelings about the gospel. I just wish we could make the ward see that! He is really excited to receive the priesthood and called us to tell us he got a job and he made sure he won't work on Sundays. I love Matt and I just want to see him succeed in the gospel!

We had a very exciting New Year's Eve. When our appointment with Zonquez fell through because he was sick we decided to go visit a recent convert, Guyrlene. Her son was being so crazy and eventually she sent him to be with his older sister (who is in her 20s). We were trying to help Guyrlene because she feels so guilty about not having a calling and having to miss church for work sometimes. As we were talking Jordan ran in looking panicked and said he swallowed money. We quickly realized he had swallowed a penny and was choking. Sister Jennings started doing a diver Heimlich-thing and I was yelling at Jordan to keep looking at Sister Jennings and keep his mouth open so the penny could dislodge. After like 15 minutes Jordan could feel the penny move to his stomach, so at least it wasn't stuck in his esophagus anymore! It truly was a miracle that we were there and that Sister Jennings is a trained scuba diver. She told me she met a man in her last area who reminded her of the very technique she used to help Jordan. God is amazing! I love Him so much!

We tried so hard to find new people to teach this week and we ended up with nine new investigators through our own efforts and the efforts of other missionaries. I'm so stoked and so blown away! It's so exciting to be able to teach my brothers and sisters the message of hope that I've grown up with. The gospel helps more than anything. 

I'm really grateful for this new year to grow and change, and for all of you in my life. Hopefully I'll grow, but still expect the same craziness and sass from over here in Florida. 

I love you so much! 

Love,
Sister Peterson