Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 9, 2013

It's been an amazing week here in Franconia! Lots of crazy stuff going on, but it's all part of the adventure right? It's so much fun serving here and I love it more every day!! I have loved reading my Christmas letters every day this month. I have felt so loved and it's just made my day!! On Monday when preparation day ended, we went and had dinner at the H’s home. Their kids shared their favorite scriptures with us and it was very sweet and fun. Their 5 year old drew us pictures! Sister B made them all balloon animals...yes she can make balloon animals haha! after that we saw Sister E. She was very busy but let us in and we shared a bit of President Monson's talk "We never walk alone" it was so good! we are really making progress with her and I hope she comes back to church soon. We then stopped by the P's. We got to share a spiritual message with Brother P, which was great since he's not super active. Then we tried to see the F’s, another less active family. Their door has a window on it so we knocked and saw someone peek out. then they turned on their super bright porch light and kept flicking it on and off so we left...interesting technique to get rid of us! We had FHE with L and T and watched “The Restoration” with them. it's really cool teaching L because she is so inquisitive. She asks REALLY hard questions and yet she's okay with us not having all the answers. She says she realizes that there are some things we won't have earthly answers for. She really identifies with Joseph Smith, which I think is pretty great! Tuesday morning we had studies and everything I studied made me so excited to just get out and work! But that had to wait cause we had district meetings! For some reason I had a lot of trouble that day comparing myself to other missionaries so that made the meetings really difficult. Satan really uses that against me! he also tries to make me feel sad and lonely and do the whole self-pity thing, but I am learning that the way to cure that is to focus on others. "Forget yourself and go to work!" right? so that's what I've really been working on and I feel like it's brought a lot more enthusiasm into the work and helped me get rid of Satan!! On Tuesday I found out that 2 of my MTC district missionaries got their visas! crazy right? I got on facebook for about an hour and did my missionary thing. it's so weird how used to it I am already! it's a great tool though. After that, we went and saw Sister K. she's in her late 70s and is so sassy! I love her so much! so it was really cool because when Elder Teh came, he talked to us about earning our referrals and not just begging for them. well I think we did that with sister k! she never talks about anyone we can teach, but since we've been visiting her quite a bit, she told us tuesday of her friend she wants us to go see who lives down the street from her! we were so excited!! from there we had dinner with a family in our ward who are just such great missionaries! they both served in Japan. actually, the husband was the wive's first zone leader..slightly awkward right? but they are truly great people! from there we went and checked on our 14 year old potential investigator. sadly she doesn't seem very interested at this time. we then saw the A’s'. they are still struggling quite a bit, but we made plans to take Sister A out with us to some lessons! Wednesday I went on exchanges! I always get sooo nervous for exchanges, and I have no idea why! they're always amazing! after our studies in the morning we had addiction recovery. it was all about receiving personal revelation and how important that is in our lives-as missionaries and as members! it really made me want to learn more about how i can better receive and act on promptings and revelation i receive. then we practiced for a musical number we're doing with a bunch of other missionaries in our stake. the entire time I was really dreading the exchange! so we exchanged and Sister B and I headed to the apartment. I talked to her about how I can help my companion more and then she taught me more about teaching repentance to investigators, members, and less active members. i learned a lot about asking questions and that's something I really want to implement in the work more. we then tried to contact our referral from Sister K, but she wasn't home. Then we tried to see a former investigator and ended up teaching her sister! then we talked to a man who was so darn stubborn! we tried to give him a book of mormon but he was like "I'll read it but I can promise you that i won't believe any thing in it.." it was pretty sad! we then had dinner with a family in our ward who have been members about 5 years. the husband is from peru! we taught our 10 year old investigator and realized that she really hasn't understood anything we've taught her yet, so we're going to have to go back and reteach a lot of stuff. Since she's not allowed to be baptized til she's 13, i think we have time for that! ;) We ended our night visiting L. We were supposed to teach T the gospel of christ, but she was at the young women activity. we had a wonderful talk with L though. she was praying to know if God really has a body, because that's something she struggles with understanding, and so as she prayed she remembered the story in the bible where jacob wrestles with God. so cool right?! the thing I loved about my exchange was that i learned so much just from Sister B’s example. she's getting ready to go home this transfer. She helped me realize that the only thing holding me back from being the missionary I want to be is myself! I have this idea of the person i want to be at the end of my mission, and I realized when talking to Sister B that that is totally possible and that the harder i work, the sooner I'll become that person! it was just great learning from her. Thursday was quite the adventure!! Sister B and I studied together and she told me that my meekness is a huge strenth and that it is a characteristic of Christ. I have often felt like my meekness holds me back out here and that I need to be bold and loud. but Sister B pointed out that I am not timid, i'm just calm. that made me feel really good and also made me want to improve and make sure that my meekness is never confused for apathy! when we exchanged back, we had launching leaders. it was our last one!! it was amazing though. we learn so much about being better leaders! Serving here, I've really had the opportunity to be a leader. My companion is a little shy and gets nervous talking to others, so I am usually the one to speak up and talk to people! it's scary but it's a lot of fun and I'm glad I'm learning all of this! after our meeting we went to Sister E's wedding dress shop. IT'S SO CUTE!! we got to do service for her there so that was so much fun!! as we left the shop, we realized that our car got towed! We had a lesson at 7 and there was no way we were getting our car back that night, so an older couple in our ward came and got us and took us to our lesson. the funny thing is that i wasn't stressed out at all about it. I just don't really get stressed and i've seen from my 2 companions that this is a huge blessing! i don't want to be one of those moms running around panicking all the time. I'm just glad that I could stay calm through that situation because it really helped my companion haha. our lesson that night went soo amazing! it was with L and T and it was on chastity. the spirit was so strong! we got home and finally had dinner...that day reminded me of the scripture where Christ tells the disciples not to worry about purse or scrip. because we had no food, no car and yet I was so happy! I wasn't worried about it at all. it was the strangest thing. Friday was great! we got our car back in the morning and then went to our zone conference. it was so great! Sister Riggs talked about having faith and how being faithful really means going above and beyond what we are asked to do. i have had many examples of this in my life and i want to do this in missionary work! then President Riggs talked about repentance and how important it is to teach this. my mind was pretty much blown! i learned that to repent daily means to take inventory of our day and then to change what needs changed and ask for strength. so i'm really going to work on teaching that and doing that! we went to check on our referral from sister k but she wasn't home. we then saw the A's. On Thursday, Brother A lost his job, but when we saw them Friday, they had both gotten hired again! talk about blessings! we did this really fun activity with them where we made christmas count down chains but on the strips of paper we wrote gifts we will give to Christ this season, like helping others feel good about themselves, or thinking positivelly. The things Sister A' wrote were so amazing and gospel centered and it made me realize how we really need to find friends for her because she has so much potential and it would be such a shame for her to fall away! We ended the night at Sister T's. we shared Alma 37:45&46 with her. these are some of my favorite scriptures! i was very slothful before my mission about reading scriptures, but now i've felt the joy that comes from scripture study and i don't want to miss out on that happiness again! On Saturday morning we took L to a baptism with us. There were actually 3 children getting baptized! the kids in this ward love us so much and it's so much fun! There are these 3 little girls in particular that are the relief society presidents daughters and they always draw pictures for us and things. Well we were sitting by them and one little girl asked me how old I am. I told her I'm 20 and she goes "20?! You should be getting married by now!" nothing like being humbled by a 7 year old! hahah it was so funny sister b and i were cracking up! L had a really wonderful experience. i think it made her feel more comfortable, but also nervous. She started crying and said she felt like a bride before her wedding day! we were talking with her about who she wants to baptize and confirm her and she couldn't decide between these two people so she's like "Okay, we're going to flip a coin. but we're going to pray first!" it was so funny! after studies that day, we went and saw P. She's an older woman who has a lot of health problems. she'd been progressing really well but then something happened. she didn't really want to let us in, but she did and so we're still working with her and trying to figure out how to help her! when we got to the car we had a voicemail. it was from N in Leesburg inviting me to her baptism this weekend! :D :D :D I am sooo excited! and L and T are going to come with us to it, so we have our ride set up and everything. It's so amazing! we then went and tried to visit some people but no one was answering so we street contacted! It was like 20 some degrees...I was FREEZING! But it went super well! i've just been praying for confidence and the Lord has truly filled my mouth! we were walking around Sister K's neighborhood and she saw us and gave us brownies and let us use her bathroom. I think we're her granddaughters now :) there are definitely perks to serving stateside! after dinner we saw L and T. we taught T the gospel of Jesus Christ. i've been really wanting to use more analogy's and involve investigators more in lessons and that nights lesson went super well in that aspect! we invited T to really pray about baptism and i know if she does, she'll get her answer! we then went and saw S..it was really sad. she has super bad paranoia. she thinks the government is after her and is following her and she said her phone is tapped and all this crazy stuff. I don't think we can really teach her anymore. Sunday was so great! we had ward council and bishop talked to us about receiving revelation for the people we serve. both L and T came to church as usual, and L had a really wonderful time! everyone was coming up and introducing themselves to her and she felt so good! she is progressing so well and so fast and she's going to be such a powerful member! S showed up at the end of church which was a shocker!! after church we talked to her and she kept saying she wanted to talk to this man she met who is her age. so she takes me and we go find him and he's the ward clerk and i guess last time just to be friendly he said "i hope to get to know you better!" well, i think she thought he was flirting or something because she asked him when she can get to know him better. It was so awkward and funny! it started dumping snow during church so when we went to head home we needed to scrape off our car. one of the members was like "sisters get in the car, i'll take care of it!" it was so small and seemingly insignificant, but it's so nice to be cared about and I just love the members of the wards. they make being away from home much easier and just make me feel so grateful to serve! we had invited L to come to ward choir with us, but it got cancelled. our ward does weekly missionary videos. there are 3 companionships in the ward, so we switch off each week. well we decided to invite L to be in our video this week! i'll forward it to you..it's pretty hilarious and it's so awesome that she was so willing to be in it! i am so excited for her baptism!! when we were doing the video, we got the message that we should stay in but if we need to be out, we need members to drive us. So L dropped us off at a members where we stayed for awhile. we talked to the member about her conversion and she was showing us pictures of all the missionaries who taught her. She said the name kyle N and up pops a picture of my FHE BROTHER FROM LAST WINTER SEMESTER!!! Small world right?!! it was soo wierd! we were talking about him and i brought up this “sassy” girl he baptized who came to visit him and she came to our apartment (at BYUI) for a few hours one day. well the member goes "oh yeah Kyra? she's in our ward!" she's at byui right now but will be back on christmas break. So i'll get to see her again! someone from my past life..hahah :) it's crazy how small this world is though! we spent the rest of the night cooking dinner, having a lesson, and watching the christmas devotional with L and T and Sister G. the lesson really couldn't have gone much better. i expected L to freak out about the no tea rule, but she was more concerned with coffee. as always though she told us she'd really try to live this and it wasn't a deal breaker or anything! she is so humble, patient, and faithful. i love the relationship we have with her and T! it's just fun! it's like i'm teaching my best friends! i wish every missionary could baptize someone like L. This week has beeen so wonderful for me. I've gained a lot of confidence in myself and I am able to form relationships with people much easier and not be so shy! i've been trying extra hard to have a positive attitude, and it has made a tremendous difference in me! every morning i wake up and i'm so full of energy and i'm just excited to go and see people! I know i am doing the Lord's work. and I am so humbled to be doing that! thank you guys for all you are doing. thanks for the prayers and the things you did to prepare me for serving. I am so grateful that i have a loving family to write home to each week! i hope your christmas season is going wonderful and that you guys realize that I'll be home around this time next year...i hit my 5 months this week...WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?! I can't wait to see you on the big screen in a few weeks! love you so much! love, Sister Pehrson

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