Monday, July 31, 2017

Miracles in Royal Palm Beach

Hi Fam!

I really focused on sharing my testimony of the Savior and His gospel with everybody we talked to this week, and we saw some pretty cool miracles!

Since this is a five week transfer, I went on two full day exchanges this week. We exchanged with Wellington and Palm Beach North, but sadly it wasn't the Lord's will for me to go to my old areas. The first exchange was with Sister Oliverson. She's the sister that Sister Garlick trained right before I came! I felt a little weird since she's been on her mission longer than me, but she is literally so sweet. I love her determination and pure joy in doing the work! I may be the leader, but I definitely learned a ton from her. We were able to go teach J.O., the excommunicated man, together and commit him to read the Book of Mormon every day. That book is powerful, folks.

Two days later I went on an exchange with Sister Ricardo, my MTC comp! It was crazy and so fun to be back with her. I couldn't believe how much we've both grown and changed since the MTC! We went to the wilderness of Loxahatchee and met a super cool woman named Jackie! Apparently Jackie and her husband met missionaries 41 years ago when they were first married. We got to know her and she was sharing her experiences with feeling the Spirit and being lead by God. We felt prompted to teach her about the Plan of Salvation and it made so much sense to her. Some people are way thrown off by the Spirit world and the three kingdoms, but she told us about a dream she'd had about her family and said it fit perfectly with the Spirit world. Sister Cottrell and I went back on Sunday and taught her about the Priesthood and the Restoration. She's praying to understand more!

One funny story, on Friday we didn't have a meal appointment, so Sister Ricardo and I decided to make fancy macaroni and cheese that I bought at Walmart. It went great! There were a couple burned black flakes that boiled with our noodles because cooking utensils in missionary houses are never that great. The gross part happened when Sister Ricardo pulled out bowls and we found cockroach poop in our cupboard and in the bowls! Cockroach poop is really small and black. It almost looks like chia seeds. We were super disgusted, but we just washed the bowls and started eating our macaroni. About half way through my bowl, I remembered the black things floating in the water with the macaroni noodles...So yeah, I'm pretty sure we ate macaroni boiled with cockroach poop.

Let me just tell you about the cool peeps we're teaching!

June-We met her on Monday night when we were knocking! She's from China and has lived in the US for 5 years. She said no to a prayer, but asked us how she could become a Christian. We were able to teach her about the Restoration and I've never had someone listen so attentively. It was surprisingly challenging to teach someone who has no background in God or Christ, but she's doing so awesome. We're bringing her a Chinese BoM tonight!

Rachel and Zan- They're the 9 and 15 year old daughters of a former investigator. We met their dad, and he wasn't super interested, but then Rachel scheduled her own return appointment with us. We've taught them a few lessons and they came to church yesterday! Zan is quiet but she's totally loving everything.

Anyway, the work is going well and I'm extremely grateful for my calling as a missionary. I love you all!

Sister Peterson

Our last picture with Carmen and our friendship bracelets!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Exchanges for Dayzz

Hello Trolley People! (Princess Diaries, anyone?)

Well anyway, this week has been super fun! First of all, shoutout to my comp Sister Cottrell. She is so awesome and we're basically best friends. I'm so grateful for her!

This week I went on four exchanges. We did 3 fire exchanges (which means that we go and knock doors with the sisters for an hour in their area) and a full day exchange. I got to knock with Sister Ricardo, my MTC comp, and Sister Davis, who was in my MTC District! It was so fun to be reunited and see how much we've all grown. I also got to knock with Sister Wingert, who came out a year ago, went home, and just came back. I am so humbled to be trusted to love and work with these great sisters!

I went on a full day exchange with Sister A. Davis and got to spend the day in Stuart! Sister Davis is finishing her training this transfer, so she was very nervous to take over the area. She did so well! We got caught in crazy rain and realized that they didn't have any umbrellas in their car, so we visited people soaked. People definitely thought we were crazy, but we just told them, "The Lord's work doesn't stop!" #positivityforthewin #attitudematters I also got to give my first comp study, which is like a mini training specifically for the sister you're on exchanges with. It was kind of stressful to come up with a training for her, but I know that the Lord's hand was in it.

After church on Sunday Sister Cottrell and I got to say hi to some of the members of the Wellington ward, since they are coming out of Sacrament meeting as we're leaving to go home. (Fun Fact: All of the sisters living in our house have served or are serving in Wellington!) It was great to see a couple members I was close with and GUIDO! We took a picture :) He was so proud to tell me about how he blessed the sacrament and he is just beaming. The Gospel is so good!

Also after church, the nonmember husband of an active member called us over. We were very surprised to see him there, since he was excommunicated by choice when he was 17. With tears in his eyes, he told us he was working hard to come back and wanted us to teach him. It's amazing to see how the Lord softens people's hearts! I'm really looking forward to helping him find his testimony again.

As far as investigators go, we don't really have anyone we're working with, but we did have one pretty cool experience with a less active family. We knocked on the door and the dad invited us right in. We were pretty pumped until he started "asking" questions with the intent of confounding us. I testified that I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ, the one way to have the happiness and peace our Father in Heaven wants for us, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The Spirit was so strong in that room. He may have denied it, but it only strengthened my testimony of this wonderful Gospel.

I love you all! Don't forget that the Gospel is true!

Sister Peterson

Sister Davis!

With Guido and the Masons :)

Blurry picture with an intense Florida sunset, taken by my comp from the car

Monday, July 17, 2017

Chillin' in RPB

Well, this week has been CRAZY. I don't even know what to say. I got to spend my last few days in Boca Raton with Sister Johnson. We were able to get Carmen to meet us at the church so we could say goodbye and she could see a baptism! She ended up having to leave before the baptism, but she made us care packages and gave us bracelets made from spoons from the 1930s! She's so cute and I miss her so much. She's getting ready to head to Oregon and I hope the missionaries and members will take good care of her there. Katherine and Logan, our golden couple, have been passed off to the hands of Sister Cohen and Sister Almeida. 

I was totally overwhelmed when I walked back into the Wellington house. I lived there for four months, loved the people, and gave everything I had to the work and to the Lord. Now I have the opportunity to work with the people in Royal Palm Beach and see the fruits of my labors from "over the fence." I got to see Guido and Kyle yesterday and it made me so happy! Guido looks like a different man since his baptism. The power of the Atonement is so real! I also got to see some of my favorite members. I'm so grateful for the time I had to serve in Wellington!

My new companion is Sister Cottrell. She is from Dallax, TX! So I was incredibly excited about that because of my lovely hermana, Kim. She's super funny and super sarcastic, so we get along swimmingly. She goes home after this transfer, so that's fun. We've already been able to teach a few people together and we've had a grand old time.

I go to go on my first exchange as an STL! It was just an hour of knocking with a different sister, but it was cool to feel the Lord's love for her. I know that my responsibility as an STL is primarily to love the sisters, and that is something I can do! I'm excited to learn more and more about what my responsibilities are and what the Lord has in store for me.

Here's one crazy tender mercy I saw in my new area happened at dinner last night. We were eating with a family that is relatively new to the ward, the Lewis family, so both Sister Cottrell and I were excited to get to know them better. The opened the door and I heard a man say, "It IS Sister Peterson!" I was really confused until I saw Sister Mendenhall stand up and she ran over and hugged me! The Mendenhalls are a family that I worked with in Palm Beach North that were less-active, but now both have callings and have been sealed to their adopted daughter in the temple! The Mendenhalls, especially Sister Mendenhall, were some of my very favorite people in Palm Beach. Apparently Brother Mendenhall is Sister Lewis's brother! It was completely unexpected and such a tender mercy. It was such a confirmation that Heavenly Father knows me, He loves me, and He needs me to be in Royal Palm Beach right now.

I love the work, the Lord, and all of you!

Sister Peterson

I'm so sorry I forgot to include the address of the Wellington house!
488 Golden Wood Way
Wellington, FL 33414

I finally got a picture with Carmen!

Sister Johnson and I with Shelley, a returning member.

Snickers knows what's up.

Sister Cottrell! 

I loved this bridge so much, so we finally took a picture with it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Leaving Boca

Hi Family!

Well, this has been the craziest, longest week ever, but in a good way. Sister Johnson and I worked so hard and we saw a lot of success, but we ended this week by finding out that we will both be leaving Boca this transfer. Sister Johnson will be going to Palm Beach North, and I will be going to Royal Palm Beach to be a Sister Training Leader! I was blown away when President Garns called me last night. This means that I will now be going back to the house that I lived in when I was in Wellington and attend the same church building. It's all a little crazy, humbling, and hard to take in, but I'm excited to be able to see the members I love in Wellington again and to get to know the members in Royal Palm Beach! Also, Guido got baptized last week!!!

We had the chance to meet President and Sister Garns this week at a special conference on the 4th of July. They both seem very sweet and very spiritual. They're definitely very different than the Richardsons, but I'm excited to see where they take the FFLM :) For everyone who's wondering, there's been no changes to music yet. President Garns did change that our investigators need to attend church 3 times before being baptized now, instead of 2. After the conference we had time to knock and then have an awesome 4th of July house party! We showed Sister Muniz what Americans are like as we wore our silly headbands and ate hot dogs, then played with glow sticks :)

We had a little incident last Monday night where Sister Muniz fell and ended up spending the night in the emergency room. I was so worried about her, but after the elders came and gave her a blessing we all felt better. She was back to normal by Wednesday, and I was reminded that the power of the Priesthood is so real. I'm so grateful for the sisters I lived with this transfer. They have all become my best friends and I'm grateful the Lord let us spend 7 weeks together :)

All of our investigators but Carmen dropped us this week (or, in other words, they told us they didn't want to meet with us anymore). That meant we had lots of time for finding and we ended up finding a golden couple! We were knocking some nice town homes and a lady came out and semi-kindly asked us to leave. We really felt like we needed to be there, so we drove to the other side of the place and kept knocking. We ended up meeting a girl named Katherine, and she invited us in. We were able to teach the Restoration and she loved it. She told us that her fiance is from SLC and that she'd like us to meet him. We went back a couple nights later and had an awesome lesson with both of them and Logan (her fiance) told us that they've discussed it and they want to be "LDS or nothing." It's cool to look back to the night we met Katherine and see how God directed us to go to that area, and then redirected us through the manager so we would be in the right spot. So that was pretty cool! We're excited to see how they do with Sister Almeida and Sister Cohen, who will be taking our place. :)

I have absolutely loved my time in Boca and the wonderful experiences I've had here with Sister Johnson. I feel like what I most learned this transfer was how to put my full heart into the work again. I love the people of Florida and the chance that I have to serve them. They will never know how much they've impacted me, but I will always be grateful to them and to the Lord. I know the Lord has a plan for each one of His children and I love His gospel.  Jesus Christ lives and this is His Gospel! Never forget that.

I love all you awesome nerds.

Sister Peterson
Celebrating 'Merica

House picture!

When you share an area with other sisters and take an epic selfie at a stop light

Monday, July 3, 2017

Red, White and Baptisms

Hi Fam!

Happy Fourth of July! How grateful I am for the sacrifices that the early settlers made and that Heavenly Father prepared our country so the gospel could come forth. The biggest news I have is that we got a new mission president this week! His name is President Garns and we will meet him on Tuesday. I love President and Sister Richardson so much, but I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for the FFLM with President and Sister Garns.

Here's a quick update on our gators:
LAURA: She's doing really well! She's been taught almost everything now, but wasn't able to come to church on Sunday. We had to push back her date so now she's being baptized on the 15th!

YUVI: Our miracle gator last week! Turns out she works 6 12 hour days so we really struggled trying to meet with her. She's going to text us this week when we can meet.

CARMEN: She came to church again! She's progressing slowly but steadily. We're just trying to teach her as much as we can before she leaves for Oregon.

CATHY AND PHILLIP: Ah, you don't recognize these names? That's because they're our newest gators! Last night we were knocking an apartment complex that we'd scouted out earlier in the week. It was actually a really weird place. We prayed with someone that neither Sister Johnson nor I could tell if it was a man or a woman. We still don't know, but the feeling there was so weird that I declined the offer for Dr. Pepper and we went down to the next floor. It was there that we met Phillip. We prayed with him and he actually cut me off mid-prayer by saying his own amen. We knocked a few more doors and then a woman came over to us, introduced herself as Phillip's wife, and asked us to come back and pray with her. Of course we said yes! She's been really struggling and has been asking God to send her some sort of sign that He is still there. We were able to teach her and Phillip about the Restoration and they're really excited to pray and find answers for themselves. So even though the place was weird, I know we found who we were supposed to.

This week I studied the chapters in Mosiah where Zeniff is describing what happened after they left Zarahemla. I noticed that he was making comments about himself being "overzealous" to inherit the land of his fathers, and other things that suggest he may have written this after seeing the consequences. Hindsight really is 20/20, but just like with Zeniff, I know that if we humble ourselves, repent, and go forth "in the strength of the Lord' then we will find success. Heavenly Father loves each of you so much and so do I!

Sister Peterson

My Haitian Mami dress from Carmen. I love it so much! (I can feel you wincing, mom)

Sister Muniz really wanted to put my flip flop magnets on my toes.

When the Zone Leaders give you a comp study.