Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Familia!! What an amazing week we've had. I feel like each week gets better and better and goes faster and's just a crazy time warp! This week I found out that 3 of the Elders from my MTC district got their visas! 2 of them went through San Fran..interesting right?? Anyways, I am not too worried but I would like to get out of VA before it gets too chilly..haha. On Monday after p-day ended, we went to dinner with ward family. I wasn't quite sure what to expect because their son is severely disabled mentally and physically. The wife signed up to feed us every Monday because her husband works late so she likes the company. She is an INCREDIBLE woman! She and her husband have 5 kids ages 4-12. She spends a ton of time at Doctor's for her son. He just started kindergarten this year so when he's not at the doctor he's at school. she told us that this mom in the class e mailed her and she adopted a boy from Ethoipia when he was 5 and so it's been really hard for him to adjust to life in the US. as soon as he saw her son in his class, he basically latched onto him because his best friend in the orphanage was in a wheel chair. The other mom said it's been really healing for her son to have there. How cool is that? She has had so many amazing experiences because of her son. Another story she told us was last Halloween, she was trying to make this bulldozer costume that she saw online. She went to home depot (side story, all the people at home depot know her son because he was the "face" of a campaign that raised money to build a handicap accessible park) so all the workers know their family and she told them what she was trying to make and showed them the picture and the workers were like..hmm lets take this to the manager. so the manager took the picture and was like "come back in a week, we'll take care of this for you." when they came back, the whole staff was in the parking lot and presented this crazy, decked out bull dozer costume with strobe lights and all the works. she said that they put it over his wheel chair and he just started zooming around the parking lot. she said everyone was crying and it was such an amazing experience! It was so cool to see how much joy she finds in every day and you can tell how blessed she feels to have her son. He is an incredible little boy! the spirit in their home is so amazing. After dinner we had 2 appointments which fell through. We were walking around the country club apartments (which are WAY less classy than they sound..) and there is this guy we always see out on his balcony/porch thing and he's always blasting rap and smoking who knows what, but when we saw him monday night he kept yelling at us and saying "i like yo dress!!" "come on up here girls, its a party!" we decided it probably wouldn't be a good idea to go up there, it probably would have been entertaining though haha. But I came home to find 2 letters! They were great to read. Tuesday was an awesome day! we went out tracting and didn't really find anyone but on our way home we found one of our investigators we've been trying to get ahold of and we set up an appointment with him. He's so funny, He's african and when we saw him, he was walking down the street listening to his ipod and just belting out whatever song he was listening to...he has no inhibitions. He also always hugs us when we leave, so we'll have to explain to him that's not allowed next time. We had dinner with a ward family. oh my gosh the wife is HILARIOUS. She's also very profound at times. she and her husband are just so was really fun having dinner with them. after dinner we visited a part member family. Their daughter came to church last week and we were trying to see how she liked it. She was doing homework so she couldn't come talk to us but we had a little lesson with the 12 and 10 year old boys. One of the boys said the prayer and he was like "thanks for the girl mormons and protect them on their way home." It was so funny. when we left their place we had a call and voicemail from a lady we recently met, who we've tried visiting several times this week with no success! She said her son is not okay with us meeting with her, but she still wants to find a way to meet with us so that was great to hear. Wednesday was an answer to so many prayers!! We've been praying for prepared people and also for service opportunities. Both of these answers came in the form of a text message! The first was from the Elders in our ward who told us about this lady who we needed to go see. So we headed to the address and found 2 ladies, one older and in a wheel chair and a younger lady. The older lost both of her legs due to some artery issue and the other lady was her care taker. We talked for about 30 minutes and set up a return appointment for Tuesday. they both seem like incredible and prepared women so i'm excited to teach them this week. The second answer (text) was from Sister in the ward who asked if we'd be interested in a service project. We went to her house and she told us about her neighbor whose family and marriage is basically in shambles and needs to pack and move by October 1st. so we made plans to help her Thursday and Friday. Aafter that we headed to our lesson. I was worried because we thought she had some "different" views about Christ and so we focused our lesson on that, but after asking several questions it seems like she's on the same page. I guess she was really nervous when we brought up the baptismal date so I explained to her how that's really just a goal for us to work toward. She said at the end of the lesson she feels "tranquilo." :) I talked to her for awhile after our lesson about moving to the US and it is so difficult for her. She has no friends and only one family member here who she can fully communicate with. But she knows her son will have a better life here so she's willing to give up all she's ever known for him. That is true love and sacrifice! She just amazes me. We had dinner with the family after the lesson. We had Guarana and the 2 year old drank 3 bottles of it! That's a true brasillian child hahaha. After dinner we went and taught our african friend. we taught the restoration. every time I teach the 1st vision, I gain a stronger testimony and am reminded of how incredible the things we know to be true are! He agreed with all that we said and I think that he would really like being a member of the church! On thursday we started our "little" service project at 10 AM. We had no idea how much stuf she actually had and needed to sort through and sell, so that was quite the project. We were moving all the stuff from her basement to her yard for a big yard sale. I loved it so much though. We helped her until about 4 and made a very small dent. It was amazing to see her gratitude though. We prayed with her before we left and it was amazing how much love I felt for her in the short time we spent with her! After dinner we headed over to see if we could catch the bench boys, the older men we taught a few weeks ago, and we finally did!! I love them so much!! It was just 3 of them that night. They opened up to us a lot more that day. they had a lot of questions for us. some were really funny like "do you believe in holidays?" They asked us if we've been proposed to and said they are very surprised to see two young beautiful women out doing what we are. One was telling us how he hunts and eats squirell..haha. we just need to keep visitng them and get them to church! the ward would love them. Friday we went back to help clean the house some more and she was just a wreck. We were there from 12-4 in 80 something degree weather...we got a lot done but were not able to have a lesson with her like we hoped. I got a great letter from my Aunt that night too which was so awesome! On Saturday we headed over to to the house at 7 AM and she wasn't even awake to help us but we set everything up for the garage sale. We then went to a walk for the homeless that 4 Wards in the area were involved in. I got to wear a helping hands shirt!! There were a lot of members there and it was cool for the community to see our church in action. One of the members of our ward was joseph in the testament movie! how cool is that?? After the walk, we tried to track down one of our investigators cause we had set up a lesson with him, but i guess he doesn't come outside when it's raining so we weren't able to get ahold of him. We went around that night and did church invites for our investigators but no one was home.. Sunday was an amazing day!! I woke up feeling kind of grumpy and nervous about my lesson because I didn't have time to do language study hardly at all this week. During sacrament I was just thinking about how hard of a life the Savior had and how easy I have it in comparison to Him. I realized how much better I need to be! I felt my Heavenly Fathers love so strongly as I prayed for His help to improve my missionary work. in sacrament our ward choir sang, Did you think to pray. The words really stuck out to me and made me think of all the trials we have in this life, but that we are literally GIVEN the solution to all our problems :Prayer! As i looked around at the ward members during sacrament, i was so humbled. i though of all the incredible trials they all are going through. it made me realize how this life isn't supposed to be easy. it's meant to be hard. it is our job to find ways to have peace and joy, even when we are knee deep in the mud! Then in Relief Society our lesson was based off Elaine Dalton's talk about how we are daughters of our heavenly father. as much as I repeated that in Young Womens, it never hit me as hard as it did yesterday. i just felt this amazing sense of identity and i thought of all the experiences i've had in my life where my heavenly father has shown me that he knows and loves me. I felt so much gratitude for my membership in the church. After church we had our lesson. it was on repentance. She always believes and agrees everything we teach so in the middle of the lesson she was like "I believe everything you've taught me. I love the book of mormon. I really don't feel like I do much. It's the Spirit and her husband! After that lesson we headed to a dinner with a ward family. Sister They set up a lesson for us with her neighbor after dinner! It was so great having them at that lesson with us. It's so much more personal for people when they are being taught by their friends who are members because they know they are being taught by someone who really loves them. I think the woman was surprised at how much of what we taught she agreed with. We watched the restoration movie and every time i see that i am reminded of how amazing that first vision was! I just get goose bumps and know that it really happened. I felt so much love for Melanie during that lesson and it was great being able to share with her that this gospel can truly heal her and help her with all of her hardships. I'm not sure what will happen with her, but i'm glad she knows that we really care about her and want to help! This week strengthened my testimony of service so much! It's amazing how much more willing people are to listen to you when they are shown how much you care for them! I also had some great experiences reading the book of mormon. I'm almost done with it again and I've gotten even more out of it this time than i did last time! I love how I can learn different things each time I read! I hope you guys are doing well on your missionary work. I think about you often and pray for you always. I miss you, but I don't wish I was home. I only miss the feeling of being around people who love me 24/7 haha :) I know I am in the right place and I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store for me this week. Eu amo voces MUITO!!! Love, Sister Pehrson

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