Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 25, 2013

This has been one of the longest, most exhausting, BEST weeks of my mission!! I love serving in Franconia!! Super different from Leesburg, but it's wonderful! When last p day ended, my companion and I went to visit one of the less active members of our ward who owns a wedding dress shop! We're going to be doing service for her starting next week and I'm super excited!! From there we headed to a part member family in the ward. The husband is getting baptized on Saturday. Our meeting with them was great but we found out that the Taliban came to a family members home in Pakistan and started fighting with his family. 2 people were killed, none of his family though. His brother is a big leader in the Shi'ite government...it's crazy!! From there we went and had FHE with our investigators. A mom and her 13 year old daughter. OH MY GOSH, I love them so much! they are just so fun... Tuesday was wonderful! I had a really great personal study. I was reading in 3 Nephi when Christ comes and he counsels the people to basically just deal with being persecuted because the prophets were all persecuted as well. He tells them (us) that they are made to be the salt of the earth and to be a light unto the world. It helped me recognize that as a member of the church, I'm meant to be different! And as a missionary, I'm REALLY meant to be REALLY different!! So this really helps me get over my fear of talking to everyone and being bold!! We had district and zone meetings Tuesday AM. We did a practice teach with another missionary and I thought that the lesson went really well. I truly do love serving with my companion! We met with our 87 year old investigator that afternoon! He is soo cute! He can't come to church much because of his health, but he tries! From there we went and did facebook!! I was finishing up the clean up process most of the week ! I'm sure you guys saw some of my posts. It's definitely weird being on there, but I'm kind of used to it now and I'm just excited for what a great tool it'll be! We had dinner with a member whose sister is living with her and we are teaching the sister. so we taught her and it went really well! she is still very hesitant, but i know that she'll get more into it as time goes on. The member gave me the number of a Brazillian woman who is in another ward but isn't super active, so we're going to start teaching her!! I am super excited. I am so blessed to have the chance to use my portuguese still!! Wednesday morning we went and visited another investigator. She's in her 60s and is very sick, but she is just the sweetest woman ever! She has a pug named Jezabelle who is like her baby. She told us that day that since she didn't have kids, we are really her children. She's such a wonderful woman and once she starts feeling better she'll be baptized! We spend most of the afternoon and evening tracting with hardly any luck! The one man who let us in just told us stories of some other mormon missionaries he'd met with earlier in his life. After seeing him we went and saw an older woman from China! She was raised in communist China, so it's very different teaching her. We take things very slow. she invited us back for a dinner and a lesson saturday! We then went and visited a woman in the ward who recently started attedning church again! We're trying to get her to the temple. She's super awesome!! Thursday was really great! We did weekly planning this day because a General Authority, Elder Teh was coming Friday. We had a great companionship meting and I really appreciate how honest my companion is and how she really wants me to be a better missionary. One thing I am now working on is being more excited and involved in lessons. I get really nervous around new people and it's been hard to be myself! So i've been really working on being cheerful and being ME and it's working quite well! I feel much happier when I do this! So we went and did facebook for one hour and the hard thing about facebook is that you're focused on yourself. The rest of the time, we are focused on others. So when I'm on facebook and I think all about me and my life and my family, I get a little sad!! But when I focus on others, I'm so happy and I love life! It's been hard adjusting to that and getting the right mindset for WHY I'm on facebook. It's hard to continue to focus on others on facebook, but I know it's possible and I'm excited for all the potential that comes from using facebook as a missionary!! After dinner we had a lesson with the investigator that is getting baptized Saturday. We read the Book of Mormon with them. They converted from the Muslim faith, and it's hard for them to understand the Book of Mormon, so we just go over there and read with them a lot. They are so sweet.. We then went and visited a lady that joined the church 3 years ago and her husband isn't a member, but is super friendly towards the church. When we got there she told us we probabbly didn't want to come in because everyone was so grumpy. Her husband invited us in though. We had a great visit and got to know them better. She texted us later and said "I'm sorry i was so grumpy. Maybe your visit was to remind me to be happy and to feel the Spirit." It was really sweet and it felt so good to know we could help her feel better! There is so much about the mission that I feel I don't quite cherish enough, that I know I'm going to miss. I am trying so hard to savor every moment!! Friday was EXACTLY what I needed...we had Elder Teh, of the Seventy, visit our mission. there is so much that I got out of it, but the biggest was at the end when he said his closing testimony. He talked about how we are all exactly where we are needed and how we can never doubt that because this is where we're called. I couldn't help but think "Well, I'm not actually called here so what am I supposed to do!" Almost as if reading my mind, he then said that he knows some of us are here on reassignment. he said "Never think that the Lord has forgotten you. Don't you think He knew about visa issues when he called you?" He told us we are meant to be here for now and we are to grow where we're planted. I came to that meeting with the question "how can I wait more patiently and trust the Lord and his timing?" on my mind. WOW did I get my answer! In that moment I felt, probably more than ever before, how very aware Heavenly Father is of me and of all of us. He has not forgotten me! He knows where I am and he wants me to give my all while I'm here, so that's what I'm going to do! It was such a priviledge to hear from Elder Teh and I am so grateful for everything that I learned!! On Friday I got to start posting on my facebook as a missionary! It was a lot of fun and I really hope that people ask me questions about it! From there we went and visited a ward member, who we're eating with on Thanksgiving. She's an extreme couponer and gave us cereal along with about 30 coupons! After our dinner we headed to visit another ard member. Then we went and saw a potential investigator. He's a young single dad. He's very laid back and is just awesome. After that we went and visited this sister in the ward who we wanted to come with us to a lesson the next day. Friday was really great for our companionship,it's a real blessing serving with my new companion! Saturday was great! We went and did a ward leaf raking activity and 2 of our investigators came! It was so much fun. We had a meeting right after, so we raked in our skirts, quite an adventure! :) Our meeting was amazing. One of the senior couples taught. The wife taught most of it and it was amazing!!! It was interesting because both Elder Teh and this couple really emphasized how our mission is our story. We decide how it will go! It made me think about how none of us are victim to circumstance. you can say "oh my companion is this way so i'm going to be this way." Or my area is this way, therefore I have to act this way. but those are just excuses! This mission is what I want it to be!! After the meeting I got a package from Grandma Jane! She sent me a nice warm sweater! Then we went to one of the Elders investigators daughter’s birthday parties! It was really fun. My companion made balloon animals for the kids. She rocks! We decided on Saturday that we were going to give up sweets! Well the ones we have in our apartment..we can't control what the members give us at their homes haha! Could I have asked for a more perfect comp? :) We went and visited our 10 year old investigator after that. Her mom and Grandma are inactive members. We taught her the plan of salvation. there was a gorgeous sunset that evening and so on our dinner break we went and took a bunch of pictures! I'm grateful my companion appreciates nature as much as I do! After dinner we saw a member family, and then a less active woman. We then went to check on a potential investigator. There were no parking spots by her house, So we had to park about 15 minutes away. It was 40 degrees and the wind was blowing LIKE CRAZY so we had to park and walk over. On the way back, I began singing a hymn. I didn't care if anyone was listening. I just sang! My companion sang with me! As we walked that short walk, in some mildly cold weather, in skirts, I felt like I caught a bit of a glimpse of the pioneers' lives. Singing hymns just brought me such encouragement and I knew that what I was doing was more important than anything hard I have to go through to do it! This is MY story. I choose how it ends!! I want to be remembered as the crazy sister who sang hymns in the freezing weather when she could be at home in sweats watching netflix! this is how life should be! It's hard, but it brings so much happiness! Sunday was wonderful!! We had Ward Council and I got asked to say opening prayer, which was pretty intimidating! This ward is soo different than Leesburg, but they are incredibly missionary minded and they are wonderful! They really want to help in any way possible so we're really going to try and utilize that. 2 investigators came to Sacrament Meeting and Relief Society was so great! It was all about putting our trust in the Lord and mvoing forward in faith in regards to missionary work. There was one quote shared that really inspired me: "You can never fail when you are doing your best when doing the Lords work!" I often feel really unqualified for this, but I was sent to DC for a reason and I need to do my best and learn and grow so I can help who I've been sent to help! I left church feeling very inspired. We went to choir after church which was a lot of fun! I felt right at home and I felt like this really is my family for now! :) We had 2 lessons fall through that afternoon and it seemed like everyone we tried to visit wasn't home. We ended up visiting a former investigator who wasn't home , but her sister told us to come back! We walked back towards our car to visit a member and there was a guy outside smoking. My natural instinct was to just walk by and say. “hi” because why would someone who smokes want the gospel? I ended up stopping and walking over and introducing msyelf and asking him if he knows his neighbor (who is a member). It felt so effortless and I realized I need to stop walking by people and stereotyping! So i'm not sure if anything will come of that visit, but it sure taught me a lesson! We went and visited his neighbor. She is a hoot! She's an older woman. Her husband died about the same time Grandpa Brown did. She's very lonely but she's also very independent, so she won't admit it. She shared a lot of wonderful stuff with us and we had a long talk with her about marriage! We had dinner and a lesson with L and T at a ward members home and it went AMAZINGLY!!! They are on date to be baptized the 21st of December! One thing I am learning here is to really have friendships with our investigators and to let the gospel conversations flow naturally. I felt so much love as I taught them and I was barely scared at all! In ward council, Bishop told us that we can actually pray to develop friendships with people. I was planning on doing this with my companion, but our friendship is really developing so naturally and I'm just so happy to serve with her! She's an amazing person and I learn a lot from her, but she learns from me too and we just work so great together! This morning, we got to go over to the ward members home who has a forge in his backyard and he made these amazing necklaces. It took a really long time and that's why I'm emailing so late, but it was cool to watch. I love you guys so much and hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! I will miss you but I am in such an awesome place right now and I know I'll have a wonderful holiday! I'm so excited for this Saturday. We have our ride set up and everything so I'll send lots of pictures from the baptism. I have a feeling it's going to be one of the best days of my life! I love you all so much! Keep up all the good work! Love, Sister Pehrson!

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Greetings from my new area!! Wow is this place different from where I came from...but different doesn't necissarily mean bad right? ...I hope not! haha it's been really crazy adjusting to a new companion and to a new area..but I'm really excited for the opportunities I will have here!! After dinner Tuesday night we attempted to visit a bunch of people with no luck. we ended up at a ward members home and visited with them for awhile. Really great family! So we got home that night and waited for transfer calls and that was when I found out that I would leave Leesburg! My companion and I were both completely shocked!! We definitely thought it was her leaving.. Wednesday was my last day in my first area :( We did morning studies and then went and got a winter coat, since I had been borrowing one from a ward member. I was able to find a super cute one for 15 bucks at the thrift store! BOOYA! Then we had a lesson with A. It was so hard to say goodbye, even though I'm pretty sure it was more of a "see ya later." she told me how grateful she is for my dedication and how she couldn't have done this without me. and yet the whole time she told me this, I thought the same about her. Waiting for my visa is HARD! but knowing, without a shadow of a doubt why I am reassigned has helped tremendously. I don't think it's a coincidence that I was transferred as soon as A had been taught everything!! I will definitely come back for her baptism though! So after the lesson we saw some ward members and said goodbye. one ward member who helped us out with M. She let us know how wonderful M is doing now. She said when M went into rehab she posted a picture of a cocoon on her FB. she said that she was entering into her cocoon and would be off FB for awhile. when she got out of rehab, she posted a picture of a monarch butterfly emerging from a cocoon and said that this represented her in her journey and that she was ready to fly. a few days later, she was on the phone with the ward member and started freaking out and told her that a Monarch Butterfly had just landed on her porch! It's November...butterflies aren't even out anymore!! M was so happy and just said she knew that God is helping her. Pretty cool how Heavenly Father really lets us know of His love for us and how he knows what we need!! It was so hard saying goodbye to my friends in that area, but it was a great last day I spent there. Thursday was just INSANE!It is sooo weird coming into a new area. I have no clue what is going on. but it's an adventure, that is for sure! I am sure that my new companion and I will have a wonderful companionship. she's from Utah...my 2nd Utah companion! I have a feeling the work here will be much different. We had dinner at a members home whose husband was recently baptized! We had a lesson with her and her sister who seems some what interested in the gospel! We also visited a less active member who has been coming back to church recently. she's a really awesome lady and we are going to work with her a lot. Friday I realized how I am in an entirely different universe over here. It's really awesome though and I love it. We had a meeting that morning so I got to meet my new zone! They are awesome. We had a great weekly planning session and an awesome companionship inventory where each of us explained what we want the companionship to be like. I can definitely see why Heavenly Father assigned me to be with this companion. She's very patient and kind. I will help her recognize her strengths and build upon them. She told me she loves how calm and peaceful I am because it allows everyone to feel peace. i thought that was sweet. we had dinner with a ward member who literally owns the FATTEST daschounds I have EVER SEEN! Not even an exaggeration. they are MASSIVE....haha. then we met our ward mission leader who is super awesome and WAY more involved than my last one. it's cool! we made a lot of attempts to visit people that night with no luck. The low light of my evening was about 8 pm. we went to check on this guy who has only met with missionaries once. Well we knocked, and waited, went to knock again, but the door has a window in it and all of a sudden I see bare legs, and then a big fat belly, so I turn around and go "IS HE NAKED!"? SMy companion says "yes, yes I think he is." he peeked through the window,then walked away. I just started booking it and my companion goes "I think he's getting dressed..." But I didn't wait to find out!!!! NOT WHAT I WANTED TO SEE!!! so disturbing. I'm definitely the more dominant companion...which I am not used to! But it'll be a good experience. Saturday morning we got a knock on the door and the Jehovah Wittnesses decided to pay us a visit...when they saw our tags they just walked away haha! We spent our day visiting many people! Lots of unanswered doors, but we talked to one older woman who the sisters here have been working with for a bit. she's a real character and we left her with some book of mormon reading assignments. we talked to quite a few people on the streets with not much luck, but everyone was civil! we had dinner with a young family from Utah. They are super sweet and their kids are hilarious. the 10 year old is 10 going on 30. it was a really fun dinner. after that we visited a woman whose husband is investigating the church. she was baptized a while back and was actually muslim before she joined the church! talk about a rough life. she and her husband are both attorneys but are waiting on citizenship so they work at gas stations for awful bosses who treat them like dirt. makes me so mad....we read the scriptures with them and it was wonderful! after that we visited a sweet old asian woman. she had lots of questions for us, like if women in the church were equal to men. we told her to watch this years general conference. we ended the night visiting a family in the ward who the dad is inactive. we had a great visit with them. The father has a metal shop where he makes these amazing swords and knives. Sundays as a missionary are CA-RAZYYYY. but great! I met a lot of people at church. this ward is so much bigger than my old ward. it's a litle intimidating. it's great though! Gospel principles was really entertaining. it was about honesty and this lady kept bringing up situations where you'd have to lie. the teacher was struggling to keep control of the class. gave me a nice laugh though! A lady we taught Thursday surprised us by showing up to church!! after church we had a lesson fall through, so we went and saw an inactive member. she doesn't speak english but her daughter does, and her daughter is going to come to church Sunday! she was super interested! we talked to a few people on the street who were semi receptive, but nothing solid. then we went to the assistant ward mission leaders house because they do this thing where they have one of the sets of missionaries in the ward film a little movie for the ward each week. i'm debating forwarding it to you..it's slighlty embarrassing though haha! there are 3 sets of missionaries in this ward! 2 sets of elders and 1 set of sisters!!! after dinner we had an appointment with a Muslim woman who is studying about our church. it's amazing how much more culture I am experiencing here! This morning at walmart it was crazy because EVERYONE here is a different color! I got my groceries from Laquinta and Shameeka..haha and this guy was like " if you don't mind me sayin, you look real nice today!" only here would missionaries get hit on. ;) I am excited to serve with my new companion. i'm sure it'll be awesome! we are trying to find a ride from a member to A's baptism, because we aren't allowed to drive ourselves there. so fingers crossed I can go!!!! I am hoping things are going well for her still. it's crazy how attatched I get to different areas! I feel like there are lots of things here that are really preparing me for Brasil, so that's a good thing! But yeah, there’s the weekly update! I miss you guys like CRAZY! for real... but I know that I am doing the right thing by being here. I love you all so so much and am grateful for your support!! Love, Sister Pehrson

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 12, 2013

Man it throws me off when I don't get to write on Monday..but I am glad that I get to now! Hope all is going well.. I am so glad to hear everyone is safe and happy! :) I would say healthy but WHAT THE HECK CELIAC DISEASE?!!! ahhh poor Davey...you eat everything! haha but hey you can probably get some recipes from Chris and Jaci right? anyways good luck to you with that! This week has been great!!! It was very busy and there was just a lot of random goings on. On Monday we did a zone activity and we went and hiked on some civil war trails. It was so much fun! We ended up getting super lost though. So we took this trail that led into a neighborhood and then we had to walk on this really busy main road to get back to our cars. I can only imagine what people were thinking as they drove by. There were 14 of us missionaries in our P day clothes with name tags on, trekking down the street! I got a good laugh out of it. It was a gorgeous hike as well. After the hike we had dinner with a young couple in our ward. Apparently the husband served his mission in San Diego when the district was being filmed so he knows all the missionaries on there!! unfortunately, during our hike, Sister Stott had a fall and basically couldn't walk on Monday night, so we couldn't do any work! Tuesday was a great day for learning. My comp's ankle was acting up really bad. I prayed LIKE CRAZY. I tried to be a good help to her. We had zone and district meetings that morning which were both awesome! The zone meeting was about our morning exercise and studies and they shared a quote by Elder Holland that was really profound. He said that the way that our morning studies go is how our life will go. I have loved mornings on the mission. it's super hard to get up early, but I feel so great when I work out and when I study, I feel even better! I feel so ready for the day! In District Meeting we talked about asking inspired questions. I feel like I get stuck in teaching mode sometimes and don't ask enough questions. so that's something I want to work on! After our meetings we met up for exchanges! I was with Sister O for the night. It was so awesome to serve with her that day. I was able to express to her a lot of the concerns I've been having lately and she just told me that they were 100% understandable and that I just needed to keep a good attitude and control what I can, which is mainly my attitude. She told me that often on her mission she just thanks Heavenly Father that her eternal companion won't be a girl..hahah! So we headed out that afternoon and did some finding! We talked to a man who is an Ammonist, which is sort of a native american religion and he said he's been through the war in Vietnam and based on those experiences, he feels that he has evidence there is no God. He's read the book of mormon and done lots of studying of other religions. it was very sad talking to him. right after that we met his neighbor who is a Messianic Jew. He was AMAZING!!! seriously. he shared many of his beliefs with us and really wants to know more about our faith. he has read the book of mormon and believes it is the word of God. he has a son in law who is LDS and so he really wants to find out if the things he's heard are true or false. he has studied many religions and he says based on his studies he knows there must be a god. he also served in the Israeli military for a few years. really amazing guy and it's cool how he had very similar experiences as his neighbor and they both have such different views on life. It is pretty cool to see how your attitude and the way you view things really makes a big difference in your life! Thursday was such a roller coaster...I had such an awesome exchange and I felt so motivated. I got back together with my companion and we went and visited our investigator who is a double amputee who was so happy to see us! she told us that she really didn't want to go to her therapy that day, but that she did and she was able to walk with her prosthetic legs! she talked about how she owes it all to God. She has such an amazing attitude. after that we visited D, a less active member of our ward. She was one of the highlights of my day. she's been out of work since March and has been relying on her kids for financial support so she's just been really struggling because she hates asking for help. in her nightly prayer, she expressed concerns with Heavenly Father about not having the money for groceries this month and asked for his help. the next morning she opened her door to take the trash out and she found a card from her visiting teacher with a 50$ gift card to a grocery store. WOW...amazing right?!?!? So then she told us that at her daughters baby shower, her daughter told her that she needs to get back into church. her daughter isn't even a member of our church!! So D literally had her clothes out for Sunday...(spoiler alert, she didn't come to church :( Still a powerful experience though!!) her telling us that story really helped me realize how important it is that we fulfill our callings, especially home and visiting teaching because those people need our help and we need to follow the promptings that we receive. after visiting with her, we did some tracting. we talked to an atheist guy and he said "i'm happy how i am" i said "you don't think you could be any happier?!" and he said "not really." sad that people don't realize their potential!!! tracting went so well because on exchanges sister o gave me some advice and told me that when the spirit is present in our lessons, it doesn't matter what we say, as long as the person we talk to hears what they need to through the spirit! so that helped me and seriously ever since then I have been super confident in all my teaching and talking to random strangers! tracting is way more fun this way!!! We had a great lesson with N on Wednesday night. this girl from the young womens who isn't exactly cookie cutter mormon came and she and N just get along so great and it was awesome having her there and helping her realize the testimony that she does have. we were also able to get N to pick out a baptismal date which will be the 23rd of this month!!!! Thursday was another roller coaster for sure. satan sure works hard on me out here, that's for sure. the day started out great. we found out earlier in the week that we had apartment inspections, so we had to take a few hours out of our work to clean. it bugged me a little, because I felt like we were wasting time, but i just decided to drop it. we got a call while we were cleaning and found out that my companion will be a sister training leader, which means we will not be companions this next transfer. after we cleaned we had a visit with our investigator L. it went really well because we were actually focused and were able to share a scripture and stuff so it was awesome. then we met with a woman the elders taught who will be baptized this week to tell her what to wear under her baptismal clothes haha! it was funny. that night we went to young women in excellence with N. it was awesome. it was all about our relationship with Christ and how he truly knows us. Friday i went on another exchange while my companion attended a leadership meeting. it was so much fun! i went to centreville and worked with with a sister who came in the same transfer as i did. we bonded a lot because we have experienced so many of the same things so it was alot of fun. we visited this lady who was getting baptized the next day along with her 11 year old daughter. apparently the daughter had this dream awhile back that heavenly father was telling her she's on the right path and that she needed to be baptized. pretty cool!! when we got off exchanges we went and visited this lady that the elders told us to go visit. i've never been in a more smoke filled apartment!! we had planned a lesson with Joshua at the but that fell through, sadly. we had a great lesson with A that night about faith. i am even more amazed every time i see her at how much she learns and progresses. we invited her to a baptism the following day which she was very excited for. Saturday we did weekly planning and then went to visit a man we had met tracting earlier in the week. we got to teach him about the restoration and he said he really wants to know if it's true. we tried to track down J to get him to the baptism but we had no luck. We then went to the baptism. The lady has been an investigator for YEARS...so when we talked to her before she was like "i'm not that excited....i've been baptized before." but after she got out of the water she was like "this is the most pleasant baptism i've ever had..the water was warm!" hahah. and when she bore her testimony she talked about how happy she was and how she expected this to just be another baptims, but it had turned out way better than she expected. A was there and really enjoyed the baptism as well so that was awesome! Sunday was such a wonderful day! J didn't come to church, but N and A did! after sacrament, A told us she was coming to both sunday school and relief society! she never does that so we were super excited. it was ward conference today, and i had to attend a meeting during sunday school, but i got to be with her in relief society. it was the stake that taught and it was about the priesthood, so i just told her it was something we'll teach her more about after he baptism. she seemed to enjoy it though! it's interesting how many times in the past few weeks i've had lessons on the priesthood...makes me realized there's lots to learn. in sacrament the stake president spoke and he talked a lot about adversity and he said that "often times the Lord provides instruction, not explanation." i know for me i get the "why me" attitude a lot, so realizing that I have everything I NEED to learn and to get through my trials helped me recognize not to ask why. after church we had dinner at a members home that i really enjoy! it was really fun and good to be with them on a more casual level. we learned a lot about their family and it made me even more grateful that i've been able to teach A and bring that family even more closer together! after dinner, we attended a fireside where 2 rm's that play for the redskins spoke. it was really cool because they both made the decision as young kids to serve missions and never waivered in that decision. N and her sister attended the fireside but it was really centered on serving missions, so i don't know how much they got out of it. the players names are tevita stevens and brian keel. if you want to look them up! :) tevita is also single sooo.....i'm keeping that in mind for a few years down the road! yesterday was a great preparation day! we went and got pedicures and then had dinner at the patriarch's house. he is an awesome person and so is his wife. i love being in their home. we were finally able to track down J! he didn't drink at all during the parties he went to this weekend so we were happy to hear that and will be teaching him the word of wisdom later this week. This morning we learned all about facebook proselyting. i am getting on facebook today and starting to clean up my old account and make it a missionary account, so you guys don't need to go on my account anymore (til i go to brasil.) I don't have tons of details still.. but the main thing is to remind you guys that i'm doing this as a missionary, not to socialize with you. if you have people that you want me to teach online, you can have them add me and you can tell me missionary-related stuff over facebook, but besides that i can't communicate with you guys on there. we can still be friends though!! :) i am really excited to see what being a facebook missionary is like. also nervous! But yeah so we're starting that this week. i can also start updating my blog....i'll keep you posted when i have more details on all of this! transfers are thursday! we're almost positive my companion will be the one to go, but its not set in stone. we will definitely both be getting new companions though. besides that not much to update ya on. I love you all soooo very much and wish you the best this week!! love, Sister Pehrson

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 4, 2013

It's been another awesome week here in VA! I am loving serving in the DC south mission and I am having so many opportunities that I know will help me in my service in Brasil!! On Monday after we emailed, we went to a members home and she gave us haircuts! Their house is amazing! it is the house that the husband grew up in and it's this cute little log cabin with a bunch of barns and gorgeous fields around it. She is a really cool lady too. She met her husband at work when he was not a member and they dated on and off a bunch until he brought up marriage and she said she wouldn't marry a non member so he took the lessons and got baptized and a week later they were married! I love cool stories like that! We had dinner at our Patriarch's home on Monday night. It is so cool to be in a Patriach's home and recognize that they are normal people too! They have an awesome spirit in their home and it was so nice to spend time with them! After that we visited a ward member who is getting ready to move. She is kind of a hoarder, so it's going to be a huge job and wemade plans to help her to do some organizing before her move. Tuesday was wonderful! We had zone and district meetings in the morning. zone meeting was all about getting members to our lessons. apparently 4% of investigators who are taught in their own homes get baptized, but 25% of investigators taught in members homes get baptized! pretty darn cool, right? district meeting was about how to begin teaching. We did a practice teach which I felt like I did awful in and so I was feeling kind of down, but then we went to our investigators house and I taught the restoration and it went really awesome. I was scared at first, but I just prayed and put it all in the Lord's hands and I felt so calm and happy! it was a very focused lesson as well, which usually they are not, so it was really great. That evening, we had our lesson with J at a ward members home. I was sooo nervous that he wouldn't show up!! But he did!!! Funniest thing ever: the ward member whose home we were in, have these 2 tiny dogs...like maybe 9 pounds each, and they are super yappy, but they're harmless. so J walks in and they bark at him and he freaks out! He sat down and one came up to him and he basically jumped on top of my companion and was like holding on to her for dear life. The lesson went so great though!! I am so happy we are having lessons in a member's home now. They are so much more focused and J learns way more. Also, we didn't want to risk going to teach him in his home and being stuck alone with him and his weird guy friends again haha. But the lesson went really awesome. we taught the restoration and watched the restoration movie. it was so cool because I felt the spirit so strongly telling me that this is true, that Joseph really did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I love receiving that witness! I think it's one that we as members need to feel over and over again! After dinner, we worked on visiting some less active members in the goose creek ward. we met one who is married to a man from Afghanistan. she is a convert and hasn't been to church in a long time, but she was so happy to see us. she said her son in law is really interested in hearing about the gospel as well so we're really excited about that! On Wednesday we started the day by helping the member who is moving get ready for her move. she's moving the 14th of this month and has loads of stuff so it's a really big job! after that, we went to D's, a less active member of our ward. we talked to her about how our every day decisions effect us eternally! it was a great lesson as always. after visitng her, we were planning on visiting one of the less active women we tried to visit last week, but her husband said they were too busy to have us come by, but then she ran into bishop at the store and he told her what we had told him, and she told bishop she actually would like us to visit, just not when her husband was home. We're going to start visiting her when her family isn't there because she wants some connection to the church still, but she also loves her husband and doesn't want to mess that up! it's super sad! that night we went to N's house for her birthday! we met her dad, who is a very active member of the Jewish church, and he is just the nicest guy ever! he's been really opening up to us lately as well and he has a book of mormon in hungarian, so we will see what happens! Thursday was so much fun!! We are not allowed to proselyte on Halloween, so we spent the day studying, doing weekly planning, cooking for the zone activity, and going to addiction recovery which was super awesome. it was all about seeking forgiveness and being humble. After that we went to this gourmet burger place called melt...oh my gosh, best burgers ever. you should google it. so the rest of the day we cooked and studied and then headed to one of the goose creek missionaries investigators house because he offered us his home theater to watch movies in! so we spend the night watching Monsters University and Megamind. it was so fun! also, don't worry, we were allowed to watch movies for the holiday haha. I think we get to watch movies on New years as well! On Friday we had launching leaders, which is such an awesome class. it was all about standing up and overcoming fear. we also talked a lot about how our missions are not about numbers, but are about the person we become. After launching leaders, we had our lesson with J. Brother C is the perfect person to help J out. You wouldn't think so, since Brother Cis in his 60s and J is 26, but they are so funny together! they tease each other and just get along amazingly. it's been really cool to see how big of a difference it's made teaching in the member's home. he said he's received his answer and wants to be baptized the 16th of November! After our lesson, we went to the young women presidents house to talk to her about N. she is an awesome person and I am excited to be an RM like her someday!! The best part of friday was that it was 80 degrees!!!!!! it was amazing! it's much colder today, but apparently november here is going to be pretty mild so that's good to know. On Saturday we went to visit a L's mom who is 93 years old! she is very hard of hearing and she had her wood stove on so it was seriously a million degrees in there. and it was already a super nice day outside, so we were melting...sadly i think that may be a glimpse of the weather in Brasil! haha she was talking about how much everything has changed and how we need to make sure our friends are true friends. she had lots of words of wisdom and it was fun getting to know her. she was really happy to have visitors. after that we walked over to L's. I'm not sure who was more happy to see us, L or her mom! but it was funny because L said "things always come in 3's. this morning I had a Jehova witness come over, now you're here. who is next?" not even 10 minutes later a woman from the baptist church came by and brought L a meal! it was crazy!! after that we headed to see P. she has had a really rough week work and family wise, but I think our visit really helped a lot. we read Alma 14:9-11 with her and talked about how the book of mormon can help her with her problmes and we can be comforted in the fact that when we make good choices, we will be rewarded. we spend the rest of the night doing less active visits. one guy was super friendly and the other guy was pretty mean. I got my wonderful package from my family that night so thanks so much for that! it was super sweet! :) Sunday was an amazing day. J graced us with his presence at church which made us super happy. one of the members of our ward got his endowments yesterday and then was sealed to his wife and new baby girl, so yesterday he got to bless the baby. it was so amazing to watch and it was just such a sweet experience. I am excited for when Davey and Tasha can bless their new baby!! it will be amazing! it was also super cool because one of the less active members the Elders have been working with got up and bore his testimony. he has had it really rough. he has a law degree and an MBA in finance, and has help very prestigious titles in places he's worked, but is currently working at a really crummy grocery store. he was baptized in 2011 and shortly after was diagnosed with bladder cancer. he said he's been using his health as an excuse to not attend church, but that he isn't going to do that anymore. he talked about 2 people who have really helped him in his process of joining the church, and one of them was my friend Anna's dad! he said " I swear that man has wings." it was so sweet! no wonder anna is so awesome! :) gospel principles was crazy yesterday....this woman that the Elders are teaching was talking about dinosaurs and then one guy brought up evolution and it was just the weirdest conversation haha. the teacher was finally able to reign things in. After church, this lady who has been investigating the church for years got her baptismal interview and she will be baptized this saturday! A is going to attend so it'll be so awesome! we had dinner at one of our favorite ward members house. after dinner we had a lesson with A. when we got there, we were asked us if we'd eaten at that family's house. we told him yes and he said did you wash your hands? we said no. he said well they have mrsa. we immediately washed our hands!!! So hopefully nothing bad comes of that. Our lesson was so wonderful. she is so excited for her baptism and kept saying "i'm so ready!" we told her more about the gift of the holy ghost so that made her even more excited for her baptism! she told us that she will never forget us. she is an amazing person and I'll never forget her! My VA Brasillian :) The countdown for her baptism is 26 days!!! I doubt I'll be sent to Brasil in that short of time, hopefully not anyways! it's weird to be hoping not to get my visa, but i just really want to be at her baptism! If my visa came on December 2nd that would be perfect :) haha. I haven't found any new info out about the FB missionary work. i will keep ya posted, but they're kind of just slowly integrating us into it, so we'll see what happens! i'm excited for it though. thanks for the letters and the package this week! I must tell you i gave most of the sweets to the elders, because we get sooooo many sweets here! but the elders really liked them so you made someone happy haha. I really appreciated the thankful leaves. that was such a cute idea and I am SO thankful to have a family like you guys supporting me! I don't think I could do this without your support. it's really hard some days, but it is so, so worth it! some days when I miss certain things, I just think "I'll be sick of that after I get to have it for a few weeks when I get home" so if you ever miss me, just think "i'll be sick of her after she's back for a few weeks!" ;) love you all soo so much. one thing that you can do to help the missionaries back home is to have lessons at our house when you can. also ask them if you can pray for their investigators by name. it brings miracles! I'm sure you guys are already doing great, but those are just some things that I have seen that help a lot. also inviting non members to church parties and events. even firesides! we have a cool one coming up about the internet and internet safety. one of the ward members is going to stalk one of the kids' in the wards facebook and show how easy it is for them to find out confidential information about them! i kind of hope I get to go because it would be cool to see! we'll see though. anyways, love ya lots and hope you all have an amazing week ! you're always in my prayers! love, Sister Pehrson