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 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

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