Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 26, 2013 Sister Pehrson is now serving in Virginia

Family!!! Wow, what a whirlwind week it's been here in VA. So after I hung up with you Wednesday morning, we got on our first plane headed to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I sat by an older LDS woman who was so sweet! She told me how my testimony just shined out of me and how much she admired what I was doing. I wish there were more people like her here in VA, but I'll get to that later! We had a quick 40 minute layover in Minneapolis. On that plane I sat between an Elder and a lady who was a patent lawyer headed to DC. She had mormon neighbors and had lots of questions for us. It was fun to talk to her! When we got off the airplane, our mission president and his wife, as well as some AP's were waiting for us. They gave us some much needed granola bars and water and then we went and walked around DC for a few hours. The back of my knees were literally dripping with sweat. It was disgusting and I don't know how I'll survive in Fortaleza!! Then we went to the President's house, which is absolutely beautiful! It made me want to live here so bad. I want to come back with you guys and show you all the amazing houses around here! We finally ate dinner at around 6 and then started interviews with President. He is amazing and I love him so much already! Then we had a testimony meeting. I have NEVER been so exhausted in my entire life. The group of missionaries that arrived here was a group of 42. They'd never had such a big group, so us sisters spent the night at a best western. Thursday morning we got up and went to the stake center for transfers/to get our companions. My companion is from Utah! Super sweet girl. She is really nice and I know I'm with her for a reason! Anyways the way the transfers work is we get our companions, then we have abunch of talks and stuff, and then finally we find out where we're going. my companion told me we'd be whitewashing, which is when neither of us have been serving in that area. What we didn't know is that we'd actually be opening a new area. We're the Leesburg B sisters. We cover one ward and our ward already has a set of elders. Since we are opening a new area, we are literally starting from scratch. No investigators, contacts, nothing. So unlike whitewashing, we didn't even have an area book to try and find people. We found out that we'd be living with some Hermanas for a few days until the senior couple living in the apartment we're moving into today, moves out. We've been living out of suitcases and sleeping on air mattresses, so it's been fun!! Thursday night we had dinner at the Bishop's home. When I walked in there was a Brasillian flag hanging so I asked who went to or is headed to Brasil? His son is entering the mtc on Wednesday! crazy right? So I told him how I'm a visa waiter and everything. His son is going to Provo as well, it'll be intersting to see when/if he gets his visa. The Bishop and his family are so sweet and we had a great time eating with them! Friday was rough....really, really rough! I had to keep reminding myself that this is what I signed up for, haha. But since we have no investigators or anything, we started tracting. We first tried to go meet our Ward Mission leader, but he wasn't home so we tracted these town homes. Everyone either didn't answer, hid from us, or just said they weren't interested. They weren't really mean about it, it was just hard to be rejected!! We did visit a less active woman the missionaries told us about. We have an appointment with her tonight that I'm really excited for! But besides that, Friday was just very hard on my self esteem! But luckily I have prayer and scriptures to make me feel better, so I got some rest and woke up the next day with a better attitude. So Saturday was much better than Friday. We again tracted, but we tracted in a apartment complex which is much I guess you would say, than most of the mansions/town homes around here. We talked to a few people including an older lady who I can't remember her name. We set up an appointment for yesterday, and another appointment for tomorrow night, and the older lady is another story. She is african american and as soon as she saw us walking up and saw our name tags she was like "girls! what you preachin?? preach it to me!!" so we told her we were talking to people about Jesus Christ and we began sharing some of the restoration. The whole time we talked she was like "amen! amen! hallelujah!!" it was so fun. her sister came out and they asked if they could pray for us. so we held hands and as she prayed her sister was in the background going, "Jesus, Jesus, yes, yes!, amen, amen!!" It was so great. We didn't set up an appointment with her because she agreed with everything we said, but she just wanted to talk about Jesus, not go to church or anything. It was a fun time! After that we went and tried to meet some more members. We finally met our ward mission leader. He gave us this rootbeer called old dominion root beer, it tastes like grandpa's sasparilla! SO GOOD! we also met a lady, who is a seminary teacher. We heard of her through the bishop because she has a daughter in law who is not a member and so we wanted to meet her. She is actually on vacation in brasil right now. This Sister is super excited that I am here. Her daughter in law has had a few lessons in Portuguese and was supposed to return to the U.S. today. I'll tell you about that later. Then we went and tracted around our dinner appt.'s home. We didn't have success, but we talked to this older man for awhile. He's a huge Romney fan and also loves the motab. his wife passed away a few months ago and he reads the bible religiously, but was not interested in the Book of Mormon. Too bad! after dinner we decided to vist the high priest group leader. he wasn't there but his hilarious wife was! so we knocked on the door like 3 times cause we knew people were home, we just thought they couldn't hear. She came to the door in her bathrobe and poked her head out the door and she was liek "oh my gosh! sisters!! I'm so glad it's you. I thought it was the elders, they always come unexpectedly and i'm trying to get ready for vacation so i wasn't gonna answer the door but then i thought it was an emergency so i panicked and put this on." so she's wearing like a swimsuit coverup and a robe. she's so funny! They have 5 sons. 1 is serving his mission in Las Vegas right now. she wants to come and tract with us and work with us so we are really excited for that! Sunday we got the chance to meet the whole Ward! well everyone who was in town, pretty much everyone here vacations in august. anyways, we went to ward council. that was an ecclectic group!!! Bishop was like, "before we start, i have to warn you sisters, sometimes the ward council thinks they are supposed to be putting on a comedy show." it was true. it was funny, but also good because we got a lot of information about what kind of stuff we can to do further to work here. then we had sacrament and got to meet even more people. they are SO excited to have sisters. they haven't had sisters for a few years now and a lot of the relief society women want to go out and work with us, as well as the young women! this area isn't going to be a whole lot of tracting, but mainly working with members. the ward had 6 confirmations last sacrament meeting and they were all met through members. how amazing is that? on a side note, i just want you guys to start helping the missionaries with referals now! now that i'm a missionary, I see how hard the work is and how much better it goes with member involvement. I know we're all busy, but just try!! anyways, after church we did our studies and then went to a bbq at a house! they have a daughter who is serving in everett washington right now! crazy right? After the bbq we went to the open house for Bishop's son and we talked to a member there. she told us that her daughter in law is stuck in Brasil right now because they created this new law that parents can't leave the country with their children unless both parents are there. Well, she and her son are the only ones there! so today she is going around to courts and stuff to try and get back. I'm pretty sure Satan figured out I was serving here and realized she can't come back or else I'll start teaching her haha. so keep her in your prayers. I don't get a lot of time to practice portuguese, but my companion is awesome about helping me and if i had to chance to meet with this woman, I know that my portuguese would improve or at least stay where it's at! I feel like she is part of the reason why i was sent here! after the open house, we headed to our appointment to an appointment. as we walked up the stairs to her apartment, we heard a loud movie playing, we knocked and heard someone walk up to the door, grab the doorknob, and then there was this pause for like 30 seconds. i think they were debating if they should pretend they weren't home or not! this guy opens the door who i am assuming is her boyfriend, and he was like yeah allisson doesn't live her..i don't know where she lives. he was obviously lying but we tried calling her and got the voicemail. she called back and pretended that we had the wrong number! it was a little dissappointing, but I know we'll find the people we need to. It actually made me laugh a little bit, I don't know if that's bad. But it's just funny cause it's like people here are afraid of us missionaries! So we ended last night with trying to find a family the Bishop told us about. it was dark and we pulled up to this complex and let me tell you, it was like the ghetto, for me anyways. we walked around trying to find her place for like 30 minutes, with no success. no one really spoke english so that was an adventure in itself. i spoke portuguese to this spanish guy and he understood but no one knew the family and so we headed home. we are going to go back in the day light and try and find them haha. Today will be filled with moving into the new place, getting groceries, writing letters, and all that jazz! we have an appointment at 6 and then an appointment with a girl we met tracting at 7. wish us luck! I'm so glad to hear the wedding went so well. I am so happy for Dave and Tasha Love you!! Sister Pehrson

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Picture from Sister Pehrson

Here is a recent picture we received.

August 16, 2013

Sister Pehrson has been assigned to serve in the Washington DC SOuth Mission until her visa arrives. This is part of the same Mission her father served in over 30 years ago. Wonderful family, What an incredible last week I've had here. I can't believe the 6 weeks are up! To be honest, I'm a little sad! I'm going to miss my district, my MTC companion especially. She has taught me so much and I know we will be friends for life. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father decided to bless me with my first companion, rather than challenge me. :) Well, I'm going to try to be all chronological in this letter so it's not so confusing. I'll start with Saturday Saturday morning, my companion felt really sick so she stayed in bed while I did my morning study. I was studying diligence since it's our last week and I knew it would be hard to focus. Well Heavenly Father decided to do a little test of my studies like right away! my companion still felt sick so we were going to be spending the next 3 hours in our room rather than in class. She slept and I had to figure out how to be productive without a teacher telling me what to do. I said a prayer and asked for help to figure out something that would be good for me to study. I ended up memorizing 3 of the verb tenses that I didn't get at all before! It was a really cool experience. my companion felt better and so we went to TRC, which is where we teach volunteer portuguese speakers who are like RMs, or just members from around here, or sometimes non members. This was a special TRC though because we got to skype actual Brazillians! Our teacher had his fiancee be one of the volunteers. We did NOT want to teach her because she knows him so well and our Portuguese is still so bad that we just thought it would be so embarrassing. Well, the teacher decided he wanted us to teach her! We taught about families and told her what a great example she is for her family. We had an amazing lesson with her. The spirit was so strong and we were all crying. She told our teacher after that if she were an investigator, she would have been baptized because she felt so much love from us. I really did feel so much love for her and it made me so excited to teach real people next week!!! So Saturday was a great day. Sunday was great as usual. We were woken up Sunday morning by quite possibly the most obnoxious fire alarm I've ever heard! I don't think there was actually a fire. I didn't figure out what happened but that was eventful..On Sundays we have relief society with all the sisters in the MTC and we have a guest speaker. Before Relief society starts, we watch music and the spoken word. I don't know if you've watched it lately, but that host has definitely had some work done. His lips are so weird! my companion and I always get a kick out of that, but the music is really amazing as well! Every Sunday we sing this song in Relief Society and I want you to try and find it because the words are amazing. It's to the tune of "As Sisters in Zion", but it's about missionaries. try to find it! So our speaker this Sunday was the Primary General President!!! She and her husband are such a cute couple! They actually were the Mission President in the DC South mission awhile ago..which wasn't significant to me til now! Anyways she gave an incredible talk. She told this cool story of when her husband was Mission President and it was Thanksgiving and her kids were visiting. the night before Thanksgiving they went to the store and were basically buying everything they could for dinner the next day. it was super busy and she started putting her stuff on the belt and then looked at the sign and it said "10 items or less" she quickly said sorry and told the man working there she'd move to another check out. He stopped her and said "no, please, I would love to help you. The man on your chest is my best friend." she looked down at her name tag and said "oh! which missionary do you know?" he said "no, Jesus Christ. He is my best friend." she smiled and said, "oh, he's my best friend too." The man then said, "yes, I can tell, by the way you treat your daughters." She had many more conversations with that man over the time she served there. She saw a lot of evidence of how he really did know Christ. She talked to us about truly knowing Christ and how we can get to to know him better through our prayers and scripture study. After Relief Society we have a District Meeting and then lunch and then Sacrament Meeting. Sacrament Meeting here is..interesting. You don't know if you're giving a talk until the Bishop calls your name and it's not even before the Sacrament is passed, it's after!! So you have like 0 time to get your nerves out of the way. We prepare a talk each week. I haven't spoken yet thankfully, but we'll see, maybe this week! Monday was a fun-day! I'm sorry to tell you this mom, but I had to go to the doctor. I have a small wart on my thumb that had to get removed (gross) and I have athlete's foot (grosser). I think I got the wart from another Elder. He has a huge one on his thumb and we both got them removed the same day haha! I got some medicine for the foot but I realized yesterday that my hawaii shower shoes are COVERED in mold...seriously they are like blue. So i'm pretty sure that was the issue. Anyways I am taking good care of my feet now so don't worry! my companion and I got to walk off campus to the doctor to pick up my prescription. It was weird, it felt like everyone was staring, even though they definitely weren't since we're in Utah! I'm excited to go out in public with my name tag next week. :) I had a really embarrassing moment in class on Monday. So I'm still learning all the conjucations and grammar stuff. We were talking with our teacher about his fiancee and i was trying to say "I love your fiancee" in Portuguese but I said "eu amo voce" and he starts laughing at me because I said I love you. And then the whole class made fun of me because the teacher is so good looking and everyone knows it. I don't think my face has ever been that red...So we've been teaching our teacher as our investigator Tiago and it's actually an investigator he had on his mission. Tuesday was incredible. We always do service, which is just cleaning our residence. My companion and I have lucked out and have never had to do bathrooms (hopefully I won't have to this tuesday..) But tuesday night we have devotional. Everyone kept saying "it's an apostle coming" and so we were all really excited. Well guess who came? RICHARD G. SCOTT!!! Oh my gosh it was incredible. The moment he walked in the spirit just filled the room and I felt so much love from him. He spoke about prayer and it was so incredible. It's one thing to hear them speak at general conference, but at MTC devotional it's just so cool because they're speaking only to us! It was cool because it was the first ever international MTC Broadcast. Elder Scott started by saying that every good thing that has happened in his life happened because of his choice to serve a mission. He talked about how the mission will bless our future families and bless us so much more than we can ever imagine. He talked about goal setting and said "to reach a goal never before attained, one must do what one has never done." then he preceded to speak specifically to us missionaries learning a language. he said "I invoke a blessing on those of you learning a language, with apostolic authority, that you will be able to develop the gift of tongues according to your studies and faith." WOW. WOW WOW WOW. I was like "did that just happen?" yeah. it did. He is such a sweet spirit and I feel so blessed to have been able to hear him speak! He talked about how we really need to trust Heavenly Father and tell him everything in our prayers. It was amazing that out of all the things he could speak to us on, he chose prayer. I think that really shows how the basic doctrines of the gospel are SO important. I've been trying to be better in my prayers about telling heavenly father about my days and about really thinking about what i pray to him about and making it a true conversation. it really has made a huge difference already. Elder Scott talked about how when we ask for things, we can't just expect him to answer right away. in fact answers rarely come that soon. We need to act and then seek for the approval and pay attention to what the spirit is telling you. He told us that the Lord has called us. The Lord will fit the tasks he gives us to our capacity. there was so much cool stuff i wish i could write it all! Anyways, he finished by telling us that the first presidency and 12 always pray for us when they meet in the temple (awesome). and then he again invoked that blessing on us language speakers. then he said "you've probably noticed how i am very emotional tonight. you may be wondering why. My wife passed away in 1995, but I feel that tonight, the Lord was able to lift the veil and allowed her presence to be here with us." I love him and the love that he has for his wife. he is a precious man and if I didn't have a testimony of apostolic authority before, i sure do have one now! Wednesday was great, we had classes and worked a lot on the language. We had a cool experience. We teach the other missionaries in our district as investigators, as i told you about last week. We were teaching some Elder's and while we taught, one couldn't stop crying. it was really cool to see how strong the spirit was just in practicing teaching each other. I've never been in such a spiritual place as the MTC, I'm almost a little afraid to leave. We had another funny experience teaching them though. We went to read the scripture James 1:5 which in portuguese is Tiago 1:5. He asked if we liked the bible and I said "sim , eu amo Tiago." which is like "yes, I love james (the book)" but of course the teacher was RIGHT NEXT to us and started cracking up because of when I said I loved him on monday,and our investigator, which is him is Tiago. Hope that made sense, it was funny though! We also got to host again wednesday. I looooove hosting! I hosted 4 girls this time. The first was from italy and spoke very little english, but she was so sweet and has been assigned to serve at Temple Square for her mission. I love sharing my excitement for the MTC with these new missionaries. I remember coming here and being so nervous, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what to do! Hosting is a great opportunity because it allows me to really get out of my shell and do everythign i can to make these new sisters not be nervous. It's so much fun and now whenever I see them they wave at me and I feel really popular ;) Thursday...thursday was so cool! we had in field orientation so we basically were in this class from 8 in the morning til was so long but really, really good. we would go to different work shops too so it wasn't too bad. One of the missionaries from the district taught us!! I controlled my beieber fever though. I didn't even ask for a picture. :) It made me really excited for the field though. we basically just learned about working with members and how they are really essential in the work. how is that going in our ward? You guys should try and find some referalls for the missionaries! So the highlight of thursday was obviously the reassignments! the crazy thing is, we expected them today (friday), not yesterday. we were eating dinner and this missionary from the other district who arrived here the same day as us, comes running up and says "we got our reassignments!!!" We all ate super fast and were trying not to get our hopes up too much. An Elder ran to the mailbox and came out with them! we all were screaming! We got in trouble for that. Then we ran to the classroom and opened them all one by one. I will send you the video probably on the flash drive, it doesn't fit in the email but it was honestly one of the coolest experiences i've had. we started with a prayer. the spirit was almost tangible in the room as each person opened their call. i felt so much love and joy for each person. I could feel the spirit testify to me that i was going exactly where he needed me, and so is everyone else. other districts here have all had people recieve visas and leave, but my district hasn't had anyone leave. I know that's for a reason, and I have learned so much from each of them and I love them all so much. they are my brothers and sisters, and I am so grateful for the time i've had here with them. I'm so glad we're not saying good bye for forever and that we're all eventually going to Fortaleza. The MTC is a place of God. I could never experience these things anywhere else. I feel so privileged and honored to be counted among one of God's servants, and I am grateful for the people I am serving with and will serve with. I get to go to the temple at 1:45 today! I am so excited to visit the temple again! I hope your weeks go amazing. Tasha and Davey- good luck with the wedding. I love you both so much and I know you're making the best choice of your lives by being sealed in the temple. Mom and Dad- I love you both so much as well and am grateful for the support I have felt from you throughout this journey. I wouldn't be who I am without all of you! Stay sweet, make good choices! don't get too overwhelmed with all the wedding stuff this week, and most of all have so much fun! Love you all to the moon and back! Love, Sister Pehrson

Sunday, August 11, 2013

addendum to last post

Just to clarify a few things from my last post: 1. I studied virtue, chastity and purity. (I had typed charity in error) 2. Irmau Rodriguez's Fiance speaks only Portuguese. (I had stated that she only spoke English)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 9, 2013 Letter from Sister Pehrson

Ola Familia!!! Can you believe it's already Sexta-Feira (Friday)? The saying "the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days" is so true. I really can't believe I'm emailing you right now! I feel like every week feels like it's been the best week ever and has reached the maximum potential of greatness, but then the next week comes along and is even better! I think a lot of that has to do with my amazing companion, wonderful district, and constant love from my Heavenly Father. Thanks for the packages and letters this week, especially when I got like 9 dear elders on Monday and my district was so jealous, but then 8 of them were full of jokes from a friend! love that girl, it made my day :) I did get Aunt K' package as well so thank her for me!! The language is coming along still, slowly but surely. We're learning a lot more conjucations now and learning to have better grammar. It's really hard and confusing, but it's amazing to see how much I've already learned. We worked with this district the other day who has only been here a week and hearing their portguese was such a confidence booster! It's nice to know that I am actually progressing because sometimes it doesn't feel that way. The MTC is such an amazing place and learning a language here has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life! Speaking of language, it was so funny the other night we did a lesson where our whole district taught our teacher. We would say one sentence each and go around the room. But then the teacher switched it and each person would only speak when he would make eye contact with you. He could cut you off mid sentence, by looking at a different person. (hopefully that made sense?) So we were doing that and talking about Faith in Jesus Christ. This Elder in another district told us he was practicing a door aproach in front of his class with his teacher and asked if he could give her a massage instead of message hahha. Learning a language is too fun. I try to write these emails chronologically but it always ends up a jumbled mess so just know that I only have so much time and that's my excuse for my awful grammar! We had two really great devotionals this week. The first was on Sunday by a woman who apparently is like a celebrity in the mormon world, i didn't know about her but she plays the violin amazingly. She went to Juliard for violin and so she played a lot of songs and talked to us about spiritual gifts. I think it will be amazing to see how the spiritual gifts Heavenly Father has blessed me with with help me and my invesigators on my mission. One spiritual gift i have been praying for is the gift of tongues so I can get Portuguese. I know I have been given a portion of this gift here in the MTC because there is no way I could speak this much without the help of that. Also I think I've been blessed with an increase in focus and a true desire to learn. Every day is so exhausting and at the end I look back on what I did and I feel so proud and accomplished and am so happy to be doing the Lord's work. The devotional on Tuesday was was on scripture study and he gave us a ton of tips on good things to do during our scripture study.I'm really excited for the newest edition of scriptures to come out..I'm interested to see what they look like! I finished the book of mormon last week so now i've been doing more focused studies and it's been so awesome to really study certain topics. I try to focus them on what my investigators needs are. This week we're teaching 2 law of chastity lessons so i read about virtue, charity, and purity. it was a great study and has really helped me to focus on my investigators and how I can help them. I've also been studying about charity and how I can have an increase in my charity. I think I remember mom and I having a talk about how that was something I struggle with someimes. Well I've been studying and praying for opportunities to have more charity and that opportunity came in the form of Sister. She has some foot problems and her district left wednesday so she came to my companion and told her she would be in our companionship now. So we were going to be a trio. This was kind of hard for me because me and my companion seriously have such a great companionship. We are both able to completely open up to one another and we teach really well off each other, so when I heard this I really had a bad attitude. But I prayed that night that I would be able to love this Sister, and I really started to. She was so nice and she fit in really well. But then during class the zone leaders came in and told us our President felt she should be in the other district. So apparently we passed that test? My companion and I talked about it after and it's funny because we were both praying for that opportunity and sure enough, it came!! The Provo Temple has been under construction since we've gotten here, but it opens next week and on our last p day we get to go! I am so excited! Speaking of temples, it's the final countdown isn't it? How is all the wedding stuff going? My teacher is getting married to a girl from Rio and we get to meet her next week! She doesn't speak any English at all, so that'll be interesting. So this Sunday I got a calling to be sacrament greeter! It's fun because I just get to talk to everyone as they come to church. our branch is so amazing and I love every single district in our branch! Also it was so cool on Sunday, we had fast sunday. it was really, really hard. Definitely the longest I've ever fasted! But we had testimony meeting in english and this one elder got up and was like "okay, I need you to put your hand on your heart and lean over to the left" so we all did and he was like "now you can say that your heart was touched and you were moved by my testimony." he's this big samaon guy and he's hilarious. but on a spiritual note, that was one of the most amazing testimony meetings i've been to. I was thinking before it started "yeah, I'll go up during one of the awkward silences." well there weren't any. people were literally running to the pulpit. it was so cool for me to see so many of my peers have such amazing testimonies and have such a desire to share it. I know I'm in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things! it's the best. Sunday nights we get to watch a movie. The choices are usually talks from different general authorities, the testament, or oher church movies. This week they played the new Joseph Smith movie. wow. That man is so incredible. It was cool because during personal study that day i'd read D& C 135 which is john taylor's testimony of joseph smith. I highly recommend watching the joseph smith movie. just warning you mom, you will cry. My companion and I had this box of tissues and 2 elders just laughed at us. rude! Also another cool thing that happened Sunday- an Elder from the band The Mighty Sequoiyah gave me and my companion a cd he made with him singing hymns. I am excited to listen to that! Monday we got new investigators which are other missionaries in our class acting as someone they know who is not a member of our church. it is really cool teaching them and we also get to act out as investigators. it's a really cool experience and makes you really think about the person you are being. Tuesday we learned more about the culture of Brasil so that was really fun and always makes us excited. Our teacher is from Brasil so he has lots of advice for us! He told us not to worry about snakes too much, just to keep our houses spotless because of spiders and cockroaches and all that fun stuff! We talked about truly loving our investigators and teaching to their needs. Even in the MTC where we are teaching teachers, I feel so much love for them. I love them because they help me really appreciate what I have and help me to not take that for granted. Wednesday was such a fun day because we got to host the new missionaries!! This is where between 12 and 2 the missionaries families and shuttles drop them off and we take them to their classes and help them get settled in. It was so much fun and I loved being able to share my excitement of being in the MTC with these new missionaries. It made me a little sad to watch the families crying and saying goodbye to their missionaries, but overall it was such a fun experience and we get to do it next week too so I'm super excited for that! There is this elder in our building who has classes on the other side of the compus. One day I made eye contact with him while he was walking out and he just pointed at me and now every time he sees me he does that! So my companion and I talked to him and he is from Utah and knows som people I know back home! small world right! He still points at me every time we see him, i dont get it. In companion study we studied luke 24:13-32. its about when the Savior comes after his resurrection and walks with his apostles but they dont recognize him at first. It made me think about how awesome this mission is because I have an opportunity to get to know my Savior and Heavenly Father so much better than I have before. Thursday we had a lesson with and we brought 2 other Sister to act as relief society members and talked about ward families. When I was teaching, I thought of all the wards I've been in and all the people who have touched my life and been placed in my life to help me in addition to my family. I feel like my companion is definitely one of these people. We always have these great talks and I learn so much from her. I am going to miss her a ton when we get reassigned but i know we will be life long friends! Thanks to you all for your dear elders, letters and emails. Tashas especially make me laugh! I am so excited for Tasha and Davids new journey and I can't wait to hear all about the wedding. Hearing from you all makes me so happy and makes me feel so loved. I think I feel more loved here than I would if I was at home with you all! ;) next email you get from me we will find out where I'll be serving until I get my visa! I dont know about you but I am way excited! Thanks for all the love and for helping me get to this point. I probably haven't even told you half of what happens every week, there is just way too much but know that i am in the right place and that I am loving life and loving this work. I know that I am doing Heavenly Fathers work and he is blessing all of us for it. I love, love, love you all so much! Please keep writing, it really does make me so happy! Love your favorite missionary, Sister Pehrson

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 2, 2013 Post From Provo, Utah

Que isso familia?! It's been another amazing week here at the MTC! I really don't know why some people don't like it here. It's so much fun! But most of all it's just so spiritually uplifting. I always write high lights of the week in my journal to send to you, but in reality that's not even half of what I am experiencing! It's so amazing being here and I'm so glad I chose to serve. I have lots of exciting stories this week! First of all, I have one that mom will love!! So you know the show that missionaries watch - The District? Well, yesterday we were walking to dinner and I saw one of them. The cute blonde missionary who served with the cute brunette one!! I was speechless! and I just pointed at him so my companion would see. I'm pretty sure I experienced what Beiber Fever feels like, except for it was the guy in the district! haha so that was really fun. Another funny thing that happens all the time in the MTC is this weird thing sisters do where they harmonize in the showers! They have great acoustics, yes, but it's ridiculous how much sisters sing in there. So the other day I hear these two sisters talking to each other from separate showers, choosing what song they want to sing. They decided on Come Thou Fount... haha. Alright onto more spiritual matters! We had devotional this week and it was AMAZING. The speaker was an ameritus general authority H Bryan Richards. His talk was so encouraging and I just felt so pumped to go into the field. But he shared part of a talk that Elder Holland gave and he talked about how we're not the first ones to ask "couldn't this be easier?" The atonement applies so much to missionary work, more than I ever would have thought. Elder Holland said in order to more fully appreciate the Atonement in our lives, we must experience a few of those minutes in Gethsemane, just a few steps up the hill to Calvary. Sometimes even in the MTC the work seems really difficult, especially in Portuguese. But knowing that the Savior has stood where I have, and has gone through everything I have makes it so much easier. Our teacher gave us a really cool sort of motivational speech about how Heavenly Father wants us to speak portuguese. Heavenly Father is sad when we don't try our hardest to learn this language. It was really inspiring to me that I need to give it my all every minute of the way or else I will have regrets. Church on sunday was also centered around the atonement. We have the best branch presidency ever. One of the counselors wives gave a talk and said she was so scared to give her talk but it was so amazing. She talked about a lesson she had in RS years ago. The teacher took a 4x6 and hammered a bunch of nails into it. then she removed all the nails and held up the board, full of holes and said "the Atonement removes the nails, but the holes will always be there and be felt." This really bothered her and she thought about it alot through the years. Years later were serving in the East Europe Area Presidency and Elder Holland came and spoke to the mission presidencies there. He told them he wanted to talk to them about this object lesson he'd heard was going around, and it was the 4x6 object lesson. He started weeping, and told them never to use this object lesson because through the atonement those holes can be filled and we are left with a board just as beautiful and shiny as when we started. Obivoulsy Elder Holland understands the atonement very well, but I just thought that was a really inspiring message and will be for many of the people that I teach. I am so excited to be able to share this wonderful message of the gospel! I finished the Book of Mormon this week! i'm going to try and finish it once more before I leave the MTC. It's so cool to see how much I can get out of it every time I read. I just barely restarted and am finding new things already. I want to challenge you to start reading the Book of Mormon, you obviously won't have time to finish it in 3 weeks like I did, but just see how much you can read every day. It brings so much peace and happiness to me and I know that through reading the book of mormon, heavenly father will teach us new things and make our lives even better than they already are! So we teach investigators here in the MTC, which are actually our teachers just acting as people that they actually taught. My teacher was playing the role girl who texted through our lessons and just wasn't really into it at all. It was so hard because we didn't know how to reach her or anything. We had a pretty bad attitude about it. But we talked to out other teacher and he said "you have to find out why she has this wall up. she has something soft underneath everything else and your job is to find it". So our next lesson we just talked to (the investigator) and told her we want to know more about her. We found out her parents had died and she didn't understand why. We had planned talking about the atonement this lesson so it was perfect. We first just shared experiences where we felt Gods love, and then had her share. then we talked about how Jesus Christ knows exactly what she went through, because he experienced it. We testified that her family is with Heavnely Father now and that she can live there too through the atonement of Jesus Christ. it was so cool to see how one question can open a person up and how the spirit works in such different ways for everyone. We are also practice teaching a guy who's wife is an inactive member. He's basically a golden investigator and does everything we ask but it was still weird because we didn't have a good personal connection with him. We were teaching him yesterday and all of a sudden I remembered a couple I know very well who were in the same situation years ago! So I told him about how mom joined the church and how much it influenced my life and what a great effect it's had on so many people! It really brought the spirit to the lesson and made me so grateful that I was raised in the family I was! There are probably lots of experiences I've had up to this point that are going to help me so much on my mission. I love you all so much and am grateful to have you. On sunday mornings we have a district meeting and we discuss a gospel principle. this week we talked about having faith in Christ and how that pertains to missionary work. A Sister told us how her sons patriarchal blessing told him he needed to serve a mission and be in the right place, on the right corner, at the right time because there was someone he needed to meet there. She talked about how we all have people like that. we had friends before this life. We all got our "calls" to come to the earth and we were so excited to see we'd have the gospel in our lives. Our friends might not have been as lucky. At that time, we promised them we'd do whatever it took-we'd learn languages, travel to different countries-to find them and bring them the gospel on the earth. I thought that was so inspiring and it will be amazing to see people on my mission who I will feel I have known before this life! One cool teaching opportunity we have here is TRC. People come here and we teach them the lessons as themselves. Some are members, some are non members, some are Stake Presidents. It's just a good opportunity to listen to and speak the language. guess who my companion and i taught this week? A Temple Sealer from Brazil! I was like, wow you should probably be teaching us. it was funny though because we said, do you read the scriptures daily? And he's said, well i'm a temple sealer so..yeah. haha but he was such a sweet guy and even though i didn't understand most of what he said, i felt the spirit very strongly and it was such a special experience. so something i would like is hydrogen poroxide. anotehr sister uses it to whiten her teeth and it works super well. so yeah just random but besides that i am doing great. i love you so much, all the letters you send me make me so happy and help me so much! thanks for being who you are and for supporting me in all that I do. let me know if you need anything! please write my address, email, and dear elder on facebook so more of my friends can write..hint hint :) love love love you!! eu amo voces!! Sister Pehrson