Tuesday, February 28, 2017

SAVANNAH and Transfers

My Dearest Family,

Hello! I just wanted to take a minute and say I love you all. I'm honestly so grateful for all the love, support, letters, and prayers. You are amazing!

Savannah was baptized on Saturday! It was so beautiful! It was a crazy day leading up to it, though. Our bishop really wanted one of the young men to baptize her so we proposed it to her. About 10 minutes later she called us to say she wanted to postpone her baptism. We were freaking out! At this point she'd been taught everything, passed her interview, and we'd confirmed with all the people participating in the program! We started praying and talking to her and her aunt, but it wasn't until about 2 hours before her baptism that she finally decided for sure that she wanted it to be that night. Satan works so dang hard on people who are making the right choices! All day I just kept saying, "Dang it, Satan!" We had to keep reminding Savannah of her own testimony and experiences and help her realize her own conversion. Satan doesn't stop working on you after you're baptized either. Conversion truly is a continual process and you have to work at it every single day!

Anyway, right after Savannah came up out of the water we ran to meet her in the bathroom with a towel. She told me, "I feel like I'm going to cry." So we asked, "Happy cry or sad cry?" and she answered "Happy." It was a reminder to me of the power of the Spirit and of baptism. In that moment, Savannah was completely perfect. Yay for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! Gosh I just love her so much! I am so grateful for the people I get to serve. If I can love people I barely know this much I just can't fathom how much our Heavenly Father loves us! Jackie and Makayla didn't come to church on Sunday, so we have to postpone their baptism yet again. They came to the baptism and Jackie LOVED it, so I know she will be baptized. If not when I'm here, one day. We're still teaching them, so I'll keep you posted!

Basically I can't remember what else happened this week, so here's the news about transfers: I am staying in Wellington and training a new missionary. I'm a little shocked but a lot excited! I don't know what to expect, but I know I'm going to grow a ton in the next two transfers. Heavenly Father definitely knows me far better than I know myself.

Well, I love you all so much. 

Sister Peterson

Sister Schiers thought she might have a UTI so we decided to do a Cranberry juice cleanse haha

Us with Savannah

Us, Savannah, and Bishop

The whole Lawrence clan!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Let Them Eat Cake!

Why Hello There!

Thank you for joining me again for the random thoughts and adventures of an awkward missionary in South Florida. Anyway, this week was so fun! We are continuing to teach Jackie, Makayla, and Savannah. We went hard all week teaching the gospel so they can be baptized this coming Saturday, but Jackie got sick and she and Makayla didn't come to church :( We had to push their date back a week, but Savannah is still excited to be baptized on Saturday! I love them all so much! All of their trials and struggles in learning the Gospel are so different and it's interesting to teach them all together. It constantly amazes me how the Gospel relates to every concern any of them has and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them :) Teaching them actually led us to a HUGE MIRACLE last night.

We were going over to teach a lesson to Jackie, Makayla, and Savannah and we even had a cake with us because it was Makayla's birthday. Well, Savannah and Jackie were home but Makayla was gone and they didn't know when she'd be back. So that was awkward. We talked to them for a minute, then one of Sister Lawrence's daughters (Jackie, Makayla, and Savannah are Sister Lawrence's sister, niece, and niece respectively) told us that she used to take the lessons but always got stuck before baptism. I almost jokingly invited her to take the lessons again, and she said YES! She told us that she'd been so frustrated feeling like she wasn't receiving an answer in the past and then told us all her concerns that had held her back before and we had a lesson right there! She, her boyfriend, and her daughter and joining us for our lesson tomorrow. We told them we'd bring the cake and eat it then (totally not bribing them into showing up, we'd never do that).

Another cool miracle: We had just ended a lesson with Jackie, Makayla, and Savannah and were a little bit late to our appointment with a less active member so we gave her a call. She said it was fine and that dinner was ready (we had literally eaten a latin meal an hour before). We showed up and she fed us salad, giant plates of pasta, and ice cream. Latins get very offended when you don't eat and finish their food, so we prayed for help and somehow ate all of it! That is a gift of the Spirit, I tell you. It is also a gift that makes me worry I will not fit into my clothes when I get home haha. Anyway, we shared the video "Where Mercy, Love, and Justice Meet" and talked about her and her daughter's relationship to the Savior. They both shared amazing experiences they have had and talked about how they miss feeling the Spirit. The Spirit prompted us to invite them to take the lessons again and they are so excited about it! I absolutely love them and I'm excited to see them have the light of the Gospel in their lives again.

The moral of this week is God is so good. He knows every single one of His children. If you ever feel like He has forgotten you, take a minute to pray and ask Him. I promise He will manifest His love for you to you in that moment, like He does for me all the time. The Gospel is true and there is truly no greater gift! I love you all!

Sister Peterson
Zone selfie after playing sand volleyball (that one dude is named Brian and he asked to play with us so we sort of just let it happen)

Valentine's Day antics

Being cute and Valentine-y on the pier at Juno Beach

District Training on V-day. (I forgot my tag and failed to hide that with the paper heart. Awkward.)

People like to leave notes like this on our car, so we put it up on the fridge. Tra la la.

Me and Lamaro with a turtle (was literally so excited to hold it)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith!

Hi Family!

First off, I want to share a quote with you that I heard yesterday at church as we were discussing the Gospel of Jesus Christ: "Faith in Jesus Christ is not insurance against trial and tribulation, it is assurance that He will be there during those things." 
I love that! I think sometimes it's easy to think that if your faith is strong enough than you won't have trials. Something that I've learned is that God gives you trials to help you grow. When your faith is strong He gives you trials so you can continue to become even more faithful and see that He is always always there to help you. I am so grateful for a Savior who understands me perfectly and a loving Heavenly Father who is so mindful of me. All this makes me think of Hugh B. Brown's thoughts on the little currant bush. One day we will be able to say, "Thank you, Mr. Gardner, for loving me enough to cut me down."

Brother Paul was able to receive the Priesthood yesterday! I love seeing converts grow and progress in the gospel! What a blessing it is to see conversion happen :)

We decided to go visit a part-member family on Monday and ended up teaching them! Sister Lawrence has a really kind heart so there's about 20 people living with her, including her sister, Jackie. Jackie's husband passed away 6 months ago so she's having a rough time. We are teaching her, her daughter Makayla, and Sister Lawrence's niece Savannah. They are crazy but I love them so much! Everything they say makes me think of a part of the Gospel that I'm excited to share with them. It's amazing how the Gospel can be used to address every need! They are all excited to be baptized in the next couple weeks and I'm beyond excited to help them get there :)

We taught a lesson this week where we were basically anti-ed for an hour. The woman we were teaching was insisting that she lives the same way we do and believes the same things, but she doesn't. She was fighting us on every point and trying to tell us that we were closed-minded and that there is more than one way back to God. Kind of a "different paths, same destination" type thing. It was such an example to me of how Satan works! He mixes the truth with the philosophies of men and confuses us. Satan wants us to feel too confused to pray or study for ourselves. It really strengthened my testimony of how important it is to feel the Spirit every single day! The influence of the adversary brings confusion and discontent, the influence of the Spirit brings light and understanding. Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith! Take it to the Lord and ask!

Well, the Gospel is true and God is so good. I love you all!

Sister Peterson

Happy Galentines Day!

Car selfie!

I love the signs about Alligators. What even is Florida???

Adair street! Holla

Skrait up gangsters (or missionaries, whatevs)

In Wellington you yield to airplanes hahahahahaha

Florida? Africa? You decide.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Trials and Faith

Hi Everyone!

This week has been one of those growing weeks. It started with all these changes in our schedule. If you know me, you know I really like structure and planning and all that stuff, so it blew my mind to have our schedule thrown out the window. We now start studies at 8:30 and plan for our day right after personal study. Since we don't plan our full day at night, we can go to bed earlier (holla!  #eyebags #nevernottired) We can go out and work for a couple hours then come back and finish our studies and have lunch, or we can break it up, or do it all together. So many choices! Lunch is 30 minutes, so that's a bummer. I guess I'll be eating sandwiches the rest of my mission haha. BUT ANYWAY it's been really stressful trying to find a new rhythm for everything, but it's actually been pretty cool. We were able to schedule a lesson with someone we met in the morning with no problem and then the day seemed to fly as we were switching back and forth between work and study! I know these changes are inspired so I'm working hard to apply them and do what God really wants me to!

We've been having a lot of success in finding and teaching recently, but this week that sort of flipped. We had almost every single one of our investigators tell us they didn't want to meet with us anymore and that always stings. I just want to be like, "Wait! This is the only way you're gonna be happy!!" but I don't know how effective that would be haha. What I do know is that we have a lot of room in our teaching pool for God to fill it with the elect! I think He's testing our faith right now so we better step up! I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father directs this work and not me. For heaven's sake I'm 19 years old and I have no idea what I'm doing like 98% of the time. But I do know that God knows, He is incredibly mindful of His children, and He just asks that we trust Him enough to let Him work. Do that's what I'll do!

Not everything was bad though, we met a really cool Brazilian actress named Jessica who was super sweet and really willing to hear our message. She originally said she didn't have time to talk, but after praying with her the Spirit touched her heart and she invited us right in! She currently doesn't have a phone, but we're going to stop by in the next couple days to check in. She's so cute and she said she would teach us to make Coxina (Sister Peel-I'm sorry but I have no idea how to spell that. The struggle is so real.), which is a really delicious Brazilian pastry things. But I'm pumped about that!

I went on an exchange with Sister Tilby and we spent the day working in Loxahatchee. Well folks, for those of you who don't know, Loxahatchee is an interesting place. There's a lot of farms, ranches, roads that end suddenly, and dogs. We climed through or under like 5 fences and I feel fine about it. Sister Tilby was a little iffy about the whole thing, but I say you've got to do what you've got to do! It was such an adventure! I love the crazy things that happen on missions haha.

One other crazy thing...Sister Tilby and I decided to go visit a potential investigator from like a year ago. We knocked on the door and a Haitian woman answered very confused because she only spoke Creole. Well, Annette, the woman we were there to see, was laying on the couch not wearing a shirt. She invited us in so what could we do?? We went in and she sat up and made no attempt to cover herself. So I saw a Haitian woman mostly naked. That was fun. Florida is a crazy place, I tell you!

I love you all so much! Trust God and look for the good in everything!

Te quiero!

Sister Peterson

Sister Schiers and I at zone conference

Pretending to be Gangsters with Sister Tilby

This picture describes Wellington. Flashing horse crossing sign and a rider right by it. What is this place??