Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Family!!! It was so so great talking to you guys on Christmas! definitely the highlight of my week! it was good to have that reminder that I am where I need to be and that (no offense) I'm not missing too much besides your good company back at home! This week was so good! It was really hard..but it was really good! On Monday after emailing Sister Phelps and I did some thrift shopping! that was a blast! she's such a fun companion! as you know, we had dinner with Susan and Bob that night and we really enjoyed it! Bob was very inquisitive and was shocked to find out that sisters actually knock on doors and do that kind of missionary work! after dinner we went to have FHE with La'vonne. we were going to watch the movie 17 miracles with her (which we have permission to watch, in case you were worried :) ). The movie was too long to watch that night so we talked. Tuesday we had our meetings in the morning. We found out that our district is the youngest district in the whole mission! we have 3 missionaries in our district being trained. our district leader had to go home for about 6 months for surgery so he's technically older but he is still "young" in mission terms. he had us go around the room and say "what I wish I'd known at the beginning of my mission". there were some great ones! i think what i wish I'd known is that our companion is there to help us! that's something i really struggled with. after meetings we had companion and language study and then did facebook. then we had dinner with Asra and a family in the Ward! they love Sister Phelps! we got to share a story with them about the meaning of all the symbols of Christmas. It was a lot of fun! after that our district went caroling! it was such a blast! we saw some members as well as investigators. our district is a lot of fun! sister Phelps and i are the only sisters in our district. we knocked on one investigators door and this super buff shirtless guy answered the door and it was so funny because all the elders just automatically looked at us to see what we would do. the guy told us to wait there for a minute and put a shirt on and came back. It could have been worse, right? on Christmas morning sister Phelps and I opened presents under our "tree". we had 2 Christmas breakfasts and then got to skype you guys! that was a lot of fun! i was honestly anxious about it because i didn't want it to be awkward and i didn't want to cry too much! it was a great reminder that i am loved and it made me very grateful to be out here! i miss you guys and i know you miss me, but once i get home you'll be glad to have the improved Emily to spend time with! :) after skyping, our dinner appointment called and had us come and pick up our dinner because they had a family emergency. we came back to sister Graney's and watched "a little princess" and then ate and talked. They made us peanut butter soup and these rice ball things. it was DELICIOUS!!! it was fun to have a non traditional Christmas dinner! we left sister graneys' planning on visiting a ward family, but they cancelled on us and we couldn't drop in on anyone, so we went home and watched the district haha. it was a very fun Christmas! the day after Christmas i woke up feeling pretty gross, so i slept awhile and then we got up and did our studies. after studies we went and did facebook! we then came home and made dinner. then we went to La'vonne's for a make-up FHE and watched 17 miracles with her. i don't know if you guys have seen it, but it's a super powerful movie! we wanted her to know about the history of the church and about the pioneers. she really enjoyed it! at first, i was nervous because La'vonne kept sort of criticizing the miracles that were happening, but by the end of the movie her heart was really softened and she was just in awe at the sacrifices these people had to make. she was like "wow, you guys must be really proud to have people like that be a part of your history!" after the movie La'vonne was sharing with us this conversation she had with a friend from work and he was mocking a lot of her beliefs. it was cool because she said she wasn't even tempted to lower her standards for this person and that she was strong and proud of all of her beliefs. she is such a powerhouse! I'm so grateful she's a member! she's such a great example to me. Friday was really good! we had weekly planning during the afternoon and it was fun because we got to just talk and bond a lot. we then went and did facebook and then ate dinner. we went and saw Kyra and Mikyla after that. Kyra is the one who came to my apartment at Byu-i who knows my old FHE brother...small world! she's back for the winter semester and we are trying to teach her sister Mikyla, so we had a good visit with them! we then visited a ward member. that's going through some trails with her family right now and really needed a visit. She recently became active in the church again and it was cool to see how she is relying on the gospel during this difficult time! Friday I decided to give up sugar for this transfer. I am now on day 4 so wish me luck with that! so far I have turned down apple pie, and some Tampico orange juice. not too difficult yet... :) Saturday was a very good and productive day! we got up and went on a walk for our morning exercise, got ready and did some studies, and then went to Sarah and Casi's baptism! Casi is the one who gave up smoking to be baptized. her daughter Sarah is 9. it was a wonderful service! there were actually 3 convert baptisms that morning. that's 5 people I've seen be baptized in the last week! pretty incredible! talk about hastening the work!! Baptisms are really great because they remind us missionaries that there are prepared people out there! after the baptism we finished our studies and then had lunch with a ward member. after lunch we went and checked on one of our potential investigators. he was coming out of his home and he was very excited to see us! sadly, his dad passed away the night after we met him. it is kind of cool how heavenly father placed us in his life during this time though! i hope he recognizes this! he's pretty busy right now with the funeral and everything, but he still is interested in the gospel so that's really awesome! after seeing him we checked on a referral. she was definitely not receptive, but we met a man with a lot of potential on her street, so that was good! we then saw a sister in the ward! she got an electric bird feeder for Christmas. it has a remote on it so if there is a squirrel climbing on her feeder, she presses a button and it shocks the squirrel! every time we see her she complains about those squirrels, so she was very pleased with this gift...haha! she's such a funny lady. i love this person, but she is always complaining about relief society and church and uses a lot of excuses not to go. it made me really grateful for my faithful grandmas! they have plenty of excuses not to attend church, but they are so righteous and they just keep going! after dinner we saw Elizabeth, our 10 year old investigator. so her mom is inactive, and her grandma would be active but is really sick so she can't attend church. we were finally able to meet her grandma on Saturday night which was great! we made plans to get Elizabeth to church. i think church would help her out a lot so we'll see what happens there! we ended the night visiting another Ward family. they are a great family! The mom is a saint...she is always so giving and is always doing good things for others. her husband is not active but she and the kids still attend. i really admire her for that! Sunday was really awesome. sadly we were not expecting to have any investigators at church, but Sue surprised us by showing up! we are hoping to teach her more after the new year. sacrament meeting was really great. all the talks were about hope. the theme that really stuck out to me is that we don't have to go through anything alone! Christ is always there and he understands perfectly. that was something i really needed to hear! after church we came home and did our studies. i again had the reminder that i am not in this alone! i only need to reach out and ask for help and it'll be there. i had a good experience sort of brainstorming ways to improve the work in this area and how to be a better example to my companion. it's been difficult this transfer..i think heavenly father is laughing to himself watching me because last transfer i really felt like i was leading the area and that i was such an example to my old companion. We have to go above and beyond in order to be obedient. the alarm is now set at 6:15 so we can get up on time, and we have to be ready early so we can leave on time. but i know that if we obey, we'll be blessed! I got some really good ideas on what i can do better during my studies, and i was filled with a lot of hope! i also started reading the book of Mormon again. I've been studying other things lately but i decided i wanted to read through the book of Mormon again and it was really awesome! I just love that book. reading it brings me so much peace and true happiness! after studies we had dinner with a member. the wife is from japan so we ate with chopsticks. she made the Japanese version of chicken noodle soup. it was super good! we then went and saw the abbas' since they weren't at church yesterday. they have a sick bug going around the family but they expressed a lot of gratitude for the ward helping them out on Christmas. i was so grateful for the wards help! we kept asking and asking them to help out and they did a great job. I'm grateful for that! we then went and visited a less active family. they are going through some struggles right now, so hopefully our visit helped! on the way home we added up our key indicators for the week. even though the mission is not about numbers, we still count all of our lessons and everything. i was very discouraged to see that we only taught one lesson this week. it's really hard to take over an area because you are constantly worrying about if you're doing a good job and you don't want to let anyone down! sadly last transfer we were so focused on La'vonne that we didn't do much finding. this has made it hard for sister Phelps and i because we don't have many people to teach. I'm learning that each transfer needs to be a mixture of finding and teaching because if you don't find, the next missionaries really suffer! I know the Lord will help me through this transfer and that as long as I do my best and keep working hard, we'll see results. it may not be as quick as I'd like, but the good things will come! i am so grateful for you guys. for your love and support and the smiles you put on my faces! i hope you have a wonderful new year and I'll talk to you in 2014!! :) love, Sister Pehrson

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