Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 16, 2013

It's interesting how when you have a really awesome week on the mission, Satan just throws a really crummy one at you! But in retrospect, this week was AWESOME! I have loved getting all of your letters and reading them each night. It means so much to me to know how many people still care about me! I'm gone but not forgotten ;) I hope your weeks went well!!! This week was COLD!!! Thanks to thrift stores, I am fully equipped with warm clothes. when we finished emailing on monday, this sister in our ward and her daughter took us thrifting! it was soo fun! I got some boots which i desperately needed, and a new skirt! it was nice to spend some time with members. we did our grocery shopping super crazy fast and then went and had dinner with one of the elders investigators! she is getting baptized on december 28. happy birthday davey!! :) she quit smoking a few weeks ago and is such an inspiration! she has a really rough life. she is a single mom and i can tell she wants male support but she's been through so much.... i told her about the mid singles ward in the area and she seemed pretty interested in that!i was in kind of a bummed out mood because my mtc companion got her visa and i had been thinking about everything that wasn't going my way and blah blah blah. hearing about these families i was so humbled and realized how easy i've had it! it really made me stop and think about how much more life is all about. it's so much bigger than all of us and yet i get so caught up in my own selfish desires! we ended the night having FHE with La'vonne and Teya. i love ending the nights with them! we taught them tithing and fast offerings and we played a game where we gave starbursts and had to figure out 10% of them to give back. it was fun and we had a great time! Tuesday was my 5 month mark if we're counting by the exact date. i'm not sure how that actually works, but whatever! i can't believe how fast 5 months has gone by! there have definitely been some slow days, but in reality it's all flown by! the day was a bit ca-razy! we woke up to beautiful snow falling!! but we got a text that informed us we couldn't use our cars. since we don't actually live in our area, this put us in a bit of a predicament! BUT, we did what we could! we scraped peoples cars for them, went and bought a pie for La'vonne for her birthday, and then decided to walk to the library. on our way there, we got a text saying we could use our cars until it got dark, but we had already walked about halfway to the library at this point! a few minutes later, a member pulled over and picked us up! she told us she'd seen tons of elders walking around, but we were the first sisters so she picked us up! she took us to the church where we practiced for our musical number the missionaries in our stake did for the stake christmas program on sunday. we came home and ate and to be completely honest, i was dreading going out to work. it was FREEZING and ICY and I was so TIRED! I could tell my companion wanted to be in too. I decided to be the leader and get us out of the apartment. so we walked and walked and walked and saw a member who informed us they are creating a byu california? is this true?? if so i want to go to there! haha. by the time we left her place, it was too late to visit anyone else! the boots i bought at the thrift store are cute but not comfy or waterproof. but i survived the trek when i was younger, so i knew i could make it back to our apartment!! i am glad that i experienced walking around in extreme weather and nobody bailed us out!! sister B and i had great talks and i just felt a lot of love for her. i know i'm here with her for a reason. i had a bit of a "i want my visa" pity party that morning, but throughout the day i noticed so many things that made me grateful to be serving here right now. i know i'll make it brazil. i need to be better about having patience and really, REALLY being 100% okay with serving here. Wednesday was yet another crazy day! In the morning between studies, we scraped ice off peoples cars. talk about a workout! it was a lot of fun. we finished studying and went and visited a sister in our ward who wasn't home but her granddaughter was. we had a really great visit with her and she has a lot of potential! we went and did facebook and i saw that BRANDON SCHAUERS IS LEAVING ON HIS MISSION! AHHH THAT MADE MY DAY! I am really excited for him!! after facebook we checked on a potential investigator who is leaving for a month so that was disappointing. we talked to some people on the street who weren't interested. i MADE myself talk to them. and it really wasn't scary! we then decided to go pick up sister k, a 78 yr old woman in our ward, and go see our 87 year old investigator. that was an adventure! Sister K was shocked by how much we pray. it was funny! i think it was a really good experience for her. he kept talking about how he doesn't go to church now because it's so cold. sister k is old too and she has plenty of excuses not to come to church. but she does come and I think coming to the lesson with us helped strengthen her testimony. we went out to diner with a sister in our ward and we had the coolest experience! as we talked to our waitress, i could tell she noticed something was different about us. in the middle of our dinner she came over and started talking to us about how she is a member of this church that she was raised in but is really searching for truth and wants to leave that church. well, the sister we were with used to be a member of the church this woman was talking about! she bore testimony to this woman and it was so powerful! we left our number and an invite to the Christmas lights on the table, not really sure if the woman would act on the invite. as we were in the parking lot, i heard someone yell "SISTERS!" i looked and saw our waitress. she yelled "thank you!" and was holding the pamphlet! talk about the Lord placing a prepared person in our path! that was truly the highlight of my day. We went and saw a family in the ward after that. side note...when we were visiting J that day we told him some members live down the street from him. he described them to us and told us how a few weeks ago they brought him dinner after he had surgery! he thought they were from his old baptist church but when he found out they were LDS, he was so grateful! it was amazing! I had a cool experience that night as we were driving. sister B gets super stressed out about driving and we were in a stressful driving situation and instead of getting annoyed, i calmly gave her directions. she was so grateful. i learned that the better we treat others, the more influence we have in their lives! if we want someone to change their behavior, we have to show them how to act! i realized that day more than ever that I am in control of every happiness i feel! i can choose happiness or grumpiness, laziness or diligence! i know i'm late to the party on this realization, but i'm glad i learned that! Thursday morning sister k called us and needed us to go by and help her set up her christmas tree! we did so and she treated us to lunch. she's a real hoot. she told us she felt really "bah humbug" but i think we helped her get in the holiday spirit! we then went to our last rehearsal for our performance. it was supposed to be one hour but ended up being 2. we then did Facebook! one of our investigators wanted us to come see her and she hasn't ben talking to us much so that made us really happy! we then stopped by a member families and shared a message with them! i love teaching little kids! it is so much fun! i love being called "sister missionary." it really makes my day! we then had dinner with a family. the mom is an RM and as we ate i thought of the type of member missionary i want to be and the things i want to do for the missionaries in my ward! the mission doesn't end after 18 months! we then had to take money to our zone leaders for mission t shirts! My companion ordered one but i know she doesn't have a lot of money so i paid for hers. instead of feeling annoyed, i felt really good!! our family is so temporally blessed and i want to share that blessing with others. we then had our lesson with La'vonne! it went so well! we taught the second half of the plan of salvation. it started out really rough. but i kept praying for the spirit to be there and it was like every doubt and question she had she answered for herself. it was pretty incredible! there is so much power in having a member present during lessons. I really want all of our lessons to be with members! Friday was such a busy day! we had our mission christmas conference! it was so amazing! the departing missionaries this transfer bore testimonies and it was so powerful! one elder told of a sister who had created this sculpture of the tree of life. she spend hours and hours on it and when she was done, she was very unhappy with how withered it looked. someone nearby said "it's okay, it's not done yet!" the elder talked about how none of us are done yet! not even RMS! he talked about how even when things don't work out and we aren't doing as well as we think we should be, it's okay because we're not done yet! president riggs spoke about a lot of cool things. one thing that really hit me was when he talked about setting goals. he said "you may not reach them in the first month. but you'll reach them in month 2. and even if you never reach them, if you're giving all you've got to give, you will witness a tremendous change and you'll never let yourself down! its funny because he was talking about goals, but that totally applies to my visa even if it never comes, if i give all i've got to give, i won't let anyone down and i'll love every minute of my service!! it was fun seeing all my mission friends at the conference! when i saw sister S i thought of all that i'm grateful for about her and what she taught me. my first 2 transfers were so hard but now i have the perspective that transfers do end and that new companions come so you gotta make the best of what you've got!! after the conference, we did service for sister e at her wedding dress shop! we then ate dinner and dropped off a secret santa gift for a ward member. we knocked on this great door that night! the man was from peru and his grandma was mormon! he says he wants to come to church and to learn more and i'm really excited for that. we then visited another family the and i'm really worried about them. i am realizing more and more how the only way to true happiness is service and charity! you have to focus on others! when i think about myself, i think about all my problems and i get discouraged. as i focus on others, i forget about myself and feel joy! it seems simple but it's actually hard to do. Saturday was great!!! we headed to Leesburg in the morning with La'vonne and teya for nicole's baptims! we got there early so i got to visit with a lot of the ward members that i've missed so much! seeing nicole get baptized was truly amazing! i was so happy! i'm still in disbelief that she's baptized to be honest! she got out of the water and with a big smile on her face she threw both hands in the air! it was so cute! on our way home we prepared la'vonne for her baptism interview. from the interview we went straight home and began helping her move! the elders could only help for like an hour so it was really just us and one other lady. it was intense! we finished barely at 7 and we had a 730 appointment. we hadn't had food for a long time and when we got in the car our appointment texted us and told us they were gonna feed us! it was so sweet and even though it was a small, temporal blessing i just had so much gratitude for that day and for the fact that Heavenly Father is aware of all our ridiculous needs! Sunday was such a great day! it was really exactly what i needed. As this week was a true roller coaster. I had just been really grumpy and irritable all week and didn't like it. we went to church and it was ward conference. bishop spoke and said something that really struck me. he said that when we have trials and burdens we often ask why when we should be asking "what am i to learn from this?" our stake president also talked about trials. to begin his talk he asked anyone who has been through or is going through a trial to stand. basically everyone in the room was standing! he encouraged us to remember that the Lord is doing what he knows is best for us and that he truly has the perspective to know what is right for us! that was encouraging to me! so last week the gospel principles teacher asked la'vonne to do part of the lesson! she did amazing! she's going to be a power house of a member! we came home and we needed to do weekly planning. i was dreading it. i told sister butts all that i was feeling. our numbers were so awful this week and i felt like i failed and was letting my heavenly father down. sister b went through our planners and went over all we actually did this week, and it was a lot and it was all good, it just didn't all reflect in our key indicators. i felt much better after that and apologized to her for being a grump. we talked about a lot of stuff and i told her how i have trouble letting people help me because i feel like i am being judged for my weakness. she said that i need to let her know when i'm struggling. even when i am homesick! she said that even though we come from very different home lives, i can still tell her when i'm struggling and she'll help. i know that we were meant to be companions! we had dinner at our bishops and then went to our stake music program. I am not trying to brag, our number was amazing! there were tons of non members there, so everyone clapped after the songs, but after we sang we got a standing ovation and people were crying and cheering. it was super powerful and one of the most spiritual experiences i've had singing! it was amazing! La'vonne came and afterwards we were talking to these members and told them la'vonnes getting baptized. turns out they are both converts and they encouraged her and helped her feel more excited! this week i have learned SO SO MUCH! i am really learning to be assertive here and to communicate with others in the way I need to. I am learning to be more bold, but not overbearing. i am leading my companionship which is scary but i learn a lot from it! La'vonne is going to take us to the temple and see the lights tonight which will be amazing! i hope your weeks are great! love you all so much! Sister Pehrson

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