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!

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