Monday, March 27, 2017

The Spirit and Party Tricks

Hello hello hello!

Where to even start this week? Our week was crazy and full of miracles. We started off by having interviews with President Richardson on Tuesday. We talked a lot about me training Sister Cohen and what I can do to help her. I asked him how we know for sure that the Book of Mormon took place in America and he was telling me about when Cortez came to the Americas and the natives fell down and worshipped him. They described him as "a white god with a beard." The only reason they would respond that way is because they had heard stories of a white god visiting their brethren before. Crazy! The gospel is so true!
On Tuesday we went to go visit a former investigator and found out that he had moved. We asked the woman at the door, Rosa, if we could share a prayer with her. She called her son and we prayed with them. Rosa really loved it and we set up a time to come back and teach her family. 

Pause- I went on an exchange with Sister Root on Friday and we had so much fun! In the morning we went to do yard work with a former investigator and had a blast cutting back bushes, weeding (or sometimes pulling out small palm trees that came from birds pooping out the seeds), and helping Yvonne learn how to use her lawn mower. She also started playing music and I heard three One Direction songs, so I know Heavenly Father loves me :) We visited our 11 year old investigator Julian in the afternoon and planned his baptism with him and his mom. It's really happening! We're so excited. Anyway, then we went to visit Rosa.

Unpause- Rosa is from Mexico and her husband, Guido, is from Italy. They have very different religious backgrounds because Rosa was raised devout Catholic, and Guido didn't grow up religious but joined the Catholic church to marry his first wife. Kyle, Rosa's son, said he used to believe in science but really liked the bible stories his mom told him so now he believes in God. Guido is a pastry chef and Rosa is latin so they fed us while we were there and we had an awesome discussion. Guido has a lot of questions but not too much faith, so we threw down a little and told him that God would not answer him if he didn't sincerely want to know and listen with real intent to act. He was a little surprised that we would say that to him when we'd known him for 45 minutes, but when Kyle asked if we would come again the next day Guido was all for it! So we've been teaching them. Rosa came to Women's Conference and she and Kyle came to church yesterday. They definitely understand that this is important so I'm excited to see them progress!

Update on Jackie and Makayla: we went by to teach Savannah a new member lesson but the whole family joined in and it turned into a lesson for Jackie and Makayla. Makayla started asking questions about things she was confused about and her family was making fun of her for asking, so we set up a time to go back and just talk with her. She's beginning to trust us and like us again! She even invited us to come watch her and Savannah play rugby on Saturday. We went and met all her non-member coaches and it was way fun! Savannah was so proud and was bringing people over to meet us. Makayla was a little embarrassed but she's coming around. I'll keep you posted!

Michele called us Friday to say that she felt rushed with baptism and wants to continue to learn but take it slow. That's totally fine, but she hasn't called us back since then so we'll see what happens. I hate how quickly Satan works! Michele was so solid and he pushed his way right in to keep her from happiness. As the scriptures say, "Oh the cunning plan of the evil one!" Don't forget how real he is and how much he hates you. He will never lead you to happiness or anything good!

We had the most wonderful lesson with Julian and his mom on Sunday. We taught Julian about the Plan of Salvation and he thought it was pretty dang cool! Then he went outside and we started to talk to Sister Christiansen. She told us about an experience where a doctor had intentionally misled her with one of her pregnancies. The Spirit was telling her to get up and leave but she didn't. Her baby died and a terrible case concerning that specific doctor was on the news the next week. She has felt so incredibly guilty and unworthy of the blessings of the gospel since then. That's when she stopped going to church. That's why she's so hard on Julian to be absolutely sure about being baptized. We read Alma 36 with her, where Alma the Younger is telling his son about his conversion. He talks about being racked with guilt and eternal torment...until he remembers the Savior. She and I cried as we read this account and the Spirit was so strong. We committed her to read that chapter again and she is so excited to do so. The Spirit is so real and Heavenly Father is so mindful of His children! I could feel the very real love He has for Sister Christiansen and it was beautiful. I'm so grateful I get to be a missionary and experience that love!

On a lighter note, we ate dinner with the Boix family and Brother Boix's Cuban parents. They asked us to pray for them so I said the prayer in Spanish and they were blown away. It's so fun to say prayers in Spanish for people because they don't see it coming from me haha. They complimented me on my excellent Spanish and I had to explain that praying in Spanish is sort of like my party trick. It's all I know how to do but I do it pretty well haha.
I know the Gospel is so true. Everything testifies of the reality of our loving Savior and Redeemer. Never fall for Satan's lies that you are not good enough or that you've gone too far to be forgiven. You are good enough! You can repent! Heavenly Father knows you so personally. I know He loves you and I do too :)

Sister Peterson

There's a basically abandoned mall in Welly with weird statues so obviously we took pictures.

I've been told by four separate shoe salesmen this week that my feet are really flat and in bad shape. So I'm supposed to soak them. We don't have a bathtub so I use a crate with a garbage bag in it. #ghettolife
The Rodeo District with our horseshoes :)
What a week!

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