Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 23, 2013

FELIZ NATAL FAMILIA!!! man, I don't know what it was about this week but it feels like forever since we last talked! well..emailed :) this was a crazy week! a great one for sure! but also very insane... transfer week is always exhausting but I'm loving my new companion, sister Phelps and i know we'll have a great companionship!!! I'm glad you guys got my Christmas card. I hope you liked it! i had fun making it! so Monday night, we got to go to the temple with La'vonne and Teya. it was SO beautiful! we saw a concert with Jenny Oaks Baker which was really good. we also ran into quite a few ward members! La'vonne used to drive by the temple all the time and she could never figure out how to get to it, so it was fun for her to finally be able to see it! on our way there the gas light came on, and La'vonne realized she didn't have her purse. thanks to a 20$ bill and some McDonald's coupons and gift cards, we were able to get gas and food and head on home afterwards haha. it was quite an adventure! we talked to her a lot about the structure of the church and how prophets are called and things like that. she has the most amazing questions, so i love teaching her! Tuesday was a day of miracles!! Tuesday morning during studies I read a lot of the finding chapter of preach my gospel. we haven't been able to find new investigators lately so i decided to see what we could improve on. we had zone training that morning and President actually did a conference call with us! i guess our mission is doing really great on everything except finding. he encouraged us to have the faith to find. we were also told to go caroling! then we talked about the "culture" of our mission and what we need to keep and what needs changed. i left feeling so excited!! I'm learning so much about communication out here! when i got on FB on Tuesday, i had a message from Andresa!! we got to chat in Portuguese. it was incredible! she told me how grateful she is that Heavenly Father placed me in her path and all this sweet stuff. i will remember her and treasure my experiences with her for the rest of my life! talking to her really made my day!! after that we witnessed a true miracle!! we were only going to have time to visit one person before dinner. we chose a former investigator. as we got out of the car, this woman with a dog walked towards us. we started talking to her and it turns out she's the referral a member gave us! we had an amazing conversation with her and it was so incredible to see how Heavenly Father literally put her directly in our path! if we wouldn't have opened our mouths, we wouldn't have had this GOLDEN opportunity! we also had time to check on the former investigator! :) we then had dinner with the relief society president. we have created a policy that whenever we visit someone, before we get back in the car we have to knock on 2 doors. we hadn't been doing that and I thought about it as we headed back to the car. I tried to ignore the prompting and we had the car on and had just finished praying and I told Sister B we needed to go knock on the 2 doors. we sang a Christmas carol to one of the families and the other didn't want us to. I'm so grateful I followed that prompting and did what I really didn't want to do! we went to visit another woman and it was almost 8 and we were in a more wealthy area so we really didn't want to knock those 2 doors, but we knocked! the 1st house was a man who said he didn't want us to carol for him. the 2nd house was a darling old couple! their names are Tom and Elanor. We sang for them and they gave us hot chocolate and cookies. they both served in the Korean War, where Tom lost his legs. He met Elanor at the MASH hospital. they are Lutheran but they believe every religion is good. They were involved in a lot of charities when they were younger and they have actually visited a bishops storehouse in Maryland. they told us we are welcome to come by anytime and if we need somewhere to go on Christmas, we are welcome there. we sang joy to the word and had a prayer with them before we left. it was so incredible meeting them!! we came home and got a call that Sister B is being transferred!! i had very mixed emotions about this! I've loved serving with her. i was also afraid of getting a crazy companion! haha but i heard a great quote that i want to live by. "don't let your surroundings determine your effectiveness." we are all agents! we can blame the way we act on others, but in reality we have total control over how we act and we CAN make a big difference! the day before transfers is always crazy. it's never very productive, but Wednesday was pretty good. we went and helped a Sister in her wedding shop for a bit. She had Sister B pick out a veil to use in her future wedding and gave it to her as a gift! she is so sweet. i really love visiting with this Sister! she has such a strong testimony. she is an incredible woman. after that visit we went and saw an investigator who has been very distant lately. she told us that she doesn't want to get baptized right now, but she still wants to learn about the church, so there is still hope! i don't know if you guys got to watch the mormon message i posted Wednesday, but it was all about the atonement and how we don't need to hold things from the past against ourselves because the Atonement is meant to set us free from that pain and guilt. i felt like a lot of people needed to hear that so i shared that on facebook. after dinner we went to the church for La'vonnes baptismal interview. President B got stuck in traffic so he was about an hour late! La'vonne was worried, but it all worked out! la'vonne was so happy and I think the interview relieved much of her stress. we ended the night seeing a member family who sister b wanted to say bye to. the mom knitted us these really cute scarves for Christmas ! it was so sweet. Thursday we headed out to transfer meeting after studies. it's funny because you always kind of scope out all the sisters during the meeting and wonder who you'll be with!! transfer meeting was so incredible though. it reminded me of the fact that this season is the prefect time to share the gospel! so many people are prepared. there is a special spirit this time of year that makes sharing the gospel so much fun! since the departing missionaries left Tuesday, President Riggs chose some random missionaries to bear testimony. he chose a senior couple, the Carlisle's. they are AMAZING!! Sister Carlisle's testimony was especially incredible. she talked about their conversion process and what a righteous priesthood holder her husband is. she was sick for the first 10 weeks of their mission and he was so obedient and stayed with her the entire time. she said that whenever she needs a blessing, it doesn't matter what time it is, her husband will get in his white shirt and tie. she told us sisters to find a man like that! I would love to! i definitely have higher standards for who I date now, which i am sure we are all grateful for ;) when her husband bore testimony he said something really cool: "i will be a missionary for the rest of my life, with or without a badge." the name tag is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary, but i can still do this work without It! and i will! so my new comp, sister Phelps is great! she's from Syracuse, Utah. She's very social and fun! we headed to a young family in the ward who we visited last week. we challenged them to share their favorite scripture with someone last week. they told us they hadn't done that but they were doing different forms of missionary work. this week we challenged them to ask someone a question that would lead to a gospel discussion like "do you believe in god" or "do you go to church" so they all came up with their own question and told us they'd ask someone! after dinner we saw sister k. man i love that lady! then we went to our family fun night with la'vonne, Teya, sister G, and her roommate. it was so much fun! i don't know if i told you guys about family fun night. but it's a thing President Riggs came up with. so we can go to a ward members home and play a game with them, then share a spiritual message. at the end we ask "is there anyone you know who would enjoy a night like this?" this is the first we've done. it is ideal to have an investigator there, but you can do it just with a member family. we had la'vonne and teya there so it was really awesome. we played taboo and then i told this story that i got in a package from Norisah about 3 trees. you should ask her about it. it's an awesome story!! Friday was wonderful!! we did weekly planning and then went on facebook. there were a bunch of people setting up for the ward party at the church and these little boys came up to us and told us that they had asked their friend if he believed in god at school that day. it was so adorable and they were so excited to report to us what they'd done!! we then got to attend our ward Christmas party! it was such a blast. before it started we met with La'vonne to try on baptism jumpsuits. they seriously didn't have any in her size!! the one that fit looked straight out of the 70s. we all just busted up laughing when she walked out. she looked so beautiful though and she decided to lay her vanity aside for the day :) the ward party was very well attended!! la'vonne planned on doing a musical number for her baptism but she needed someone to accompany her. sister G's friend let us borrow her guitar so we practiced for that after the party. Saturday was so so great! i learned so much! since my last 2 baptisms have been after i left the area, i got to learn what it was like preparing for a baptism and being the missionaries in charge of a baptism. LOTS OF WORK! but lots of fun too!! before the baptism started, lavonne had all of us sisters plus sister graney and teya come into a room and pray with her. she cried and thanked us for what we've done for her. it was so humbling because she's the one who has really taught us so much and it there was a wonderful spirit in that room! i felt the spirit most strong when la'vonne was actually baptized. she looked so happy!! sister g had a reception for la'vonne after at her house. after all that, sister phelps and i got to work!! we met several potentials and ended the night seeing a less active member, sister b. i was nervous because I've only met her once. we had an amazing lesson though! she was on vacation for awhile, and left her Book of Mormon at home, but she told us she had begun reading it again and she felt really happy and excited to do so. we had planned on teaching her about repentance, and i really didn't want to for some reason, but i felt the spirit telling me to teach that, so we did. it went super well and at the end she told us how that's exactly what she needed to hear. it was good to know i was teaching what needed to be taught, even if it felt uncomfortable at first!! Sunday was another wonderful day! different ward members gave us over $45 in gift cards and then some hot chocolate and other gifts. it was so sweet! this ward is amazing. sister b and her husband both came to church, which was awesome!! la'vonne was confirmed which was incredible! she was honestly just glowing. it was kind of funny because a bunch of members came up to her and congratulated her and told her how they thought she was already a member! she's just amazing like that. during church sister A asked us to come help them set up their Christmas tree. we did that after ward correlation. They have never had a Christmas tree before, so they were SO excited! it was really humbling to witness that because I've been so blessed throughout my life to always have Christmas and always have more than enough at the holidays, so to see the ward members reaching out to people like that was so great! as we were leaving, she handed us 20 dollars and told us to buy ourselves a Christmas cake. we kept trying to give it back and she said "no, you are OUR sisters and we want you to have it." it made me feel so good to know that I am a little piece of string in someones quilt of life! :) it really is humbling to know how much these people appreciate the small, simple things we do for them! it inspires me to do this work for the rest of my life! we had "linner" with a ward member after that and we are going to start teaching someone in their home. the rest of the day was full of attempted visits with no luck! i honestly had no desire to tract, but i knew i needed to do it. i didn't want to knock those 2 doors, so I would knock 4! we didn't meet any potentials or anything, but i knew i was doing what i was supposed to be doing and that was a really incredible feeling! I'm so excited to talk to you guys on Wednesday. i miss you all so much, but am also so aware that I'm in the right place! i get more and more attached to this mission each day!! i don't know if I'm ready for my visa to come! i hope you all have a great week!! i will be looking forward to seeing your beautiful faces! love you so much! love, Sister Pehrson

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