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

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