Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September 30, 2013

Family!!! Thanks for all the letters and emails this week!! They mean so much to me! I am grateful for all the support I get! This week was sooo amazing!! We didn't expect it to be super busy teaching wise because we had a ton of meetings, but it was so cool to see how the Lord magnified the time we did have for teaching and finding people!! On Monday after P day ended, we headed to go check on a referral we received from church headquarters. That was awkward...this guy answered the door and when we asked for the person. He acted super confused to see us and then she came to the door and said she didn't request probably someone sent her name in without her knowing it. She told us she was Catholic and wasn't interested! Then we went to check on a less active member. We shared a spiritual message with her and her husband and they didn't talk about not being at church or anything so we'll see what happens with that! Tuesday we had district meetings which were all about getting our investigators to church and ways to invite them and all that. After meetings we went to our lesson with 2 women. one of them lost her legs and her husband in the same's been a crazy lifestyle adjustment but she seems okay with it all. She really has amazing faith. I love teaching her because she's just so warm and full of love. So is her care giver. I'm not sure where things will go with them but I think with faith they will be baptized! After studies and dinner we went to meet a fmaily in the Ward. we kept hearing that we needed to meet them! The husband wasn't home, but the wife was. she is so great! She told us her conversion/love story. They are so cute... after visiting with her, we went to teach an investigator that has a lot of financial pressures in her life it was hard for her to focus on the lesson. A very cute moment came at the end when she prayed. She said "Oh lord, help us cause the Devil done got his nose up into everything!!" I loved it!! After teaching her we checked on another lady we recently taught. she is such a loving person. I wish she could see that she needs the gospel. She talked to us about her plans for the future. She hasn't realized that the real her is within her reach!! she is just looking in the wrong places. I love her so much though. Wednesday was such a great day! We had launching leaders at 1 and it was all about teaching the commandments as liberating, not restrictive. which was perfect for the upcoming lesson we had with Andresa!! after the meeting we had our first exchange! I was nervous because of things I had heard, but my experince was so good. I went with one of the Sisters and I was able to do practice teaching with her and I felt super comfortable and encouraged. We walked over to our dinner at a ward members and we talked to everyone on our way there! It was awesome. after dinner we taught a lesson to a lady. Then we went and saw another person, whose little brothers and mom are members, and invited her to mutual and church! Exchanges were awesome because I got to see how much potential this area has and I realized how I need to really talk to EVERYONE and have full trust in my companion. I also really learned that I can be myself in this work. I think before this point, I've just been so nervous and I've felt like i have to fit a certain missionary mold in order to teach well, but seeing this other missionary teach with her own personality and everything I realized that Heavenly father made me exactly how I am for a reason. There are people who need me to teach them and who will connect with the real me way better than they would connect with who I've been trying to be! So i was really happy to realize that i don't have to change my entire personality to be a missionary...I'm sure i should have realized that before but at least i realized it eventually right?! Thursday we had a meeting called return and report which is for trainers and missionaries being trained. President showed us this movie clip that was so awesome. it was this football player whose coach tells him to run 50 yards with this other player on his back. the kid complains and says he can maybe do 30. then the coach tells him he'll do it blindfolded. the coach leads him along, encouraging him and by the end of it he makes it all the way to the end zone. The point was to show us how much potential we have, but how we often settle for less and put limitations on ourselves. Heavenly Father knows what we can accomplish, so I need to be constantly turning to Him for encouragement and advice!! After showing us that clip, they put the trainers in one room and new missionaries in the other and said "tell us what you want to tell your companion, but are too scared to tell them." ha ha you can imagine how that went!!! It was awesome though because I realized that so many other these other new missionaries are going through exactly what I am and some are going through worse! I also realized that I really need to communicate with my companion better. So I did and it went super well! After the meeting we met with a woman with an AMAZING testimony but she never comes to church! She read the first article in the ensign this month which i guess was on rescuing less actives. she was like "this is me! I need to come to church!!" so she told us she'd come to church on Sunday. Then we had dinner with a lady in our ward whose daughter is on her mission in Denmark. I loved our visit wit her. It's crazy..her daughters apartment caught on fire while they were at church on Sunday and they all lost they thought. when they went in after, the things that didn't burn were their scriptures, journals, and cameras, and a few of their clothes!!!! how cool is that???? Heavenly Father is so aware of us and our needs! So after that dinner we went to mutual with Nicole! It was so awesome to see how sweet the young women were to her. I don't remember being that nice when i was that age..seriously though i feel like the youth are really stepping it up and it's so fun to work with them! tell the youth in our ward how much I admire them and that they are setting examples for me!! Our invetigator had an awesome time though and felt very accepted. I was soo happy! Friday was crazy!!! We had a half mission conference which was amazing. we talked all about getting back to the fundamentals and studying Preach My Gospel. After conference we went to lunch with some other sisters. Then we had addiction recovery which was about "change of heart". I felt like I needed to hear that one! I am really trying to work on humility and not being critical and i know the only way i can do this is through prayer and faith. after the class, we had our lesson on the word of wisdom with andresa! I was so nervous, because I really had hardly any time for language study this week. But I had been praying all week that it would go well and the spirit would be there. it went SO well!! . I told her she should focus on her relationship with Heavenly Father and that's all we're here to help with! Then we taught about the Word of wisdom. I told her how I'm from Seattle which is like the coffee capital and how we need to ressit temptations to drink coffee. I've seen how addicted people can get to it and that it's way better for us not to drink it! I explained how these are not commandments to restrict us, but to help us and there are promised blessings that come from living the commandments. It was amazing to feel the spirit as we taught and when she broke down in the beginning, I was just praying to be able to understand what she was going through, because a lot of times I can't actually understand everything she's saying. As she opened up to us, i could understand everything!! It was amazing. We visited some members that night who have like 5 little boys and 1 girl. After we said the closing prayer the 2nd youngest boy was said "(name withheld) eyes were open the whole time during prayer!" I remember when we used to do that during prayer, ha ha! It was so funny. Saturday was so hard! I have been fighting a bad cold all week and so we decided i should rest inside all day Saturday until the Relief Society roadcast, which was AMAZING! I was so jealous of the Sisters in the MTC choir who got to sing there! di ha ha so cool! The 3 talks given were all on covenant keeping and making. it made me really think about all the covenants I've made and how well I'm keeping them. as the prophet spoke, i felt my heavenly father's love for me so strong! it's actually really hard to be a missionary because I'm constantly surrounded by these amazing missionaries and members and I am guilty of comparing myself to them too often. The prophet shared that that's not how Heavenly Father wants us to think of ourselves. I realized I need to work on being less self critical and on just improving what I need to! When we sang "I'll go where you want me to go" it hit me so hard! waiting for my visa is so frustrating at times. But i know that I am not in VA out of coincidence. The Lord needs me here. It also hit me during the broadcast how much the members of the church are counting on me! And that I have millions of people praying for ME each's so cool to think about and I have felt those prayers so often and I couldn't do this without them! Sunday was seriously THE BEST!! I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the 2nd time as a missionary...that book is so amazing! Then we went to church and both our investigators were there! It was so fun to watch the husband explain things to his wife during church and to see how much her faith has grown since we first met her. And we sat by our other investigator and her little brother got up and bore his testimony. I think she realized she was where she should be! and she was happy to be with her family. We also got to teach sharing time which was so was about service and so my compoanion was trying to get the kids to come up with a way to serve this week. so she was like "how about when your mom makes a big delicious meal, you do the dishes for her?" and this little girl goes "yeah..if my mom actually makes a big delicious dinner!" so sassy... after church we had a lesson. She made us a Brazilian dessert which we have yet to try!! I will explain that later..ha ha but the lesson was on tithing and fasting. she loved both of these concepts and they made a lot of sense to her! I talked about the programs in the church that help us all so much and I told about when grandma and grandpa had to use the Bishops storehouse when they were struggling. I'm so grateful that I have such a wonderful family and have so many experiences I can share with those I teach!! We talked more with her about the date for her Baptism. she said she knows baptism is what she needs to do, and she wants to, She's just not sure about when! So we'll see what happens. I'm just so glad to be able to teach her and to be able to see how she is growing. She had a cool experience because after our lesson Saturday, she ran into a member of our ward who is from Brasil! The member shared that her experience joining the church and moving to the states was very similar. She was so comforted to see how her life has turned out and she realized that she really can make all of these changes in her life! it's so cool how heavenly father helps us out through other people. So something crazy happened yesterday that I thought only happened to Utah missionaries...we got double booked for dinner! what happened was that one family had talked to us at the beginning of the month about setting up a big dinner, but she never actually told us if it was happening or not. so someone else signed up to feed us! so we ate at both places (very small portions..but still SO MUCH FOOD..) I am supposed to tell you to hold your letters because of transfers, but I am almost positive they aren't going to effect us. I love you all so much and I couldn't be doing this without you! It's definitely getting chillier here...but I think I'll get my visa before it gets too cold...we'll see!! Love you all, you're always in my prayers!! Love, Sister Pehrson

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