Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 3, 2014

Familia!!!! Man it's been an awesome week! it was so good hearing from all of you and I'm glad all is well back home! I'm glad to hear that Seattle won and most of the members here were glad too! :) On Monday evening before we went to La'vonne's we went and checked on some people. The first house we went to we were standing at the door and had just knocked when we saw a van start to turn into the driveway but then quickly speed off when they saw us!! it hurt a little but it was also pretty funny! So for FHE we did that object lesson. it was scary because we only had one chance to get it right so the pressure was really on!! Everyone except La'vonne knew what was going on!! it was really fun! it was really awesome because i think la'vonne sometimes feels like we forget about her since she's become a member now and so since we really focused on her in that lesson we were able to show her how much we really love and care about her still! that night reminded me of how much fun this work really is!! Tuesday was awesome!! we had district/zone meeting in the morning and our zone leaders talked about how we will be "crowned with righteousness" for our obedience so then they had us make crowns with construction paper and markers it was so funny. district meeting was really awesome! it was all about helping our investigators keep commitments and understand the "why" behind them. one thing i especially liked was the idea of telling our investigators that Satan doesn't want them to do what we're asking them to do and so they need to be aware that he'll really be working hard on them! i thought that was a good idea and I'm super excited to try it out. we had a really great day that day on FB because someone that we've been trying forever to get in contact with messaged me on facebook so that was super cool!! after that we went and did language study and then went to check on an investigator who wasn't home. then the member who brought us dinner that night called and said she was at our apartment so we headed home. we ate and then saw sister B! that was a really awesome lesson for me! we talked to her about how much our Heavenly Father loves us and asked her what it means to her that she has a Heavenly Father. as we were teaching I had this realization that I was teaching a lesson and not a person. i knew that needed to change so I immediately started to pray. after that i felt the spirit so strongly and i felt so much love for sister B! it's amazing how easy it is to just get stuck in the rut of just teaching a lesson and not feeling enough! from there we went and saw a family in the ward who were baptized about 9 years ago. we got to know them a lot better and they really appreciated our visit so it was really cool! Wednesday was super fun! we were supposed to have a lesson with sister Abbas at 11 30 that morning but we got there and she wasn't home. it made us sad! we came home ate and then got on FB. I talked to Erik for awhile and we set up another skype lesson! after that we saw Sister Ketch. she told us she has "halfsheimers." not full alsheimers, but just half. she is still a very sharp lady though! from there we went to dinner at a young families home. from there we checked on two investigators who were TOTALLY home but didn't answer! but that's okay because we were supposed to be out tracting!! we chose a street where we felt we'd have success. the first girl we taught was pretty young. she said she was comfortable in her faith and so we asked if she'd prayed to know if her church was true. she said no so we shared some of the restoration and invited her to pray about her church and about what we shared. she started arguing a little and then said she was busy so we prayed with her and left. a few other people were "not interested" and then we ran into Robert!! we first talked to his friends who were leaving his house and they told us they had to leave but they threw their friend under tot bus and told us to go see him! we knocked twice and out walks the VERY inebriated Robert.... he was definitely on something...maybe a few things! he told us we were crazy for being out in the cold and so we told him we were out there because we have THE MOST AMAZING message to share with him!! we had a great lesson with him and he said he was baptist and just "wasn't into the whole Mormon thing" we tried to leave him with a Book of Mormon and he's like "I don't wanna hurt your feelings or anything, I'm just not interested." he started to try to go inside so we asked if we could pray with him. he said no and we kept asking so i just started "dear heavenly father." he then walked into his house and I go "amen!!" just as he closes the door! it was really funny. he was SO out of it. we'd ask a question and he'd go, "wait...I'm really confused." i told sister Phelps after that I'd just been praying he wouldn't go crazy and kill us. she said she was praying he wouldn't throw up on us!! i love tracting... after that we were supposed to go meet a friend of one of the members but she just ended up cancelling so we tried to visit tons of people who weren't home! even though pretty much everyone rejected us, we were still happy because we knew we were doing the Lord's work! Thursday was one of those days where i realized both how far I've come and how much i still have to learn! after studies and FB we went and checked on Sister Franchialfaro. she ALWAYS talks about dogs. she hasn't been to church in a long time and she is such a spit fire! she's great. that days conversation however revolved around her experiences with dogs....she's a unique individual. we talked for about an hour and SHE WOULDN'T LET US IN!!! my toes were so numb and frozen that when we got in the car i had to take my boots off and stick my feet on the heater to thaw them! after that we visited the Reeders. it was just sister Reeder and her son so we had a great visit! we then ate and tried to check on lots of people and none were home. by then it was time for our lesson with Teya!! we had a really awesome and fun visit with her. in that moment i realized that it really didn't matter to me when Teya gets baptized. it matters to me that she knows i love her! i tried to tell her that but who knows if she believed it! i definitely hope so! it's hard teaching a 13 yr old girl who hasn't had much opposition in life. she said she still wants us to come over and teach her, she just wanted us to know how she really feels about baptism. it was a much needed conversation!! Friday was a really awesome day! we had weekly planning and we had a great companionship inventory as usual. communication is so important! I'm grateful I've become a better communicator on my mission. we spent all afternoon frantically trying to find a place to skype Erik that night when Casi, a recent convert, finally texted us telling us we could go there! we went after dinner and helped her set everything up and then had a great lesson on the Book of Mormon with Erik until Casi's computer restarted right in the middle of our lesson! sadly we weren't able to reboot it fast enough. but we had an awesome talk with Casi while we waited. she talked about how glad she was that we came over because we showed her she can still be herself and be a church member. she has felt like there's this mold she needs to fit and there are parts of her personality she needed to get rid of to be a good member. she said we showed her we can still have fun and be goofy! kind of ironic that she said she learned that from us when that's something I've really struggled with on my mission! i love Casi so much! we got the computer all fixed and Erik was gone, but we messaged him and i really feel like it was meant to happen! Saturday was sooo great!!! we went on a field trip to the visitors center with sister Thompson. she has recently started coming to church again and so on our way there we had a great talk about the book of Mormon! the visitors center was really awesome though! there was a section on temples so that was good for her to see since she's preparing to go there eventually. we watched bunch of I'm a Mormon clips as well as 8 stories, which is stories of 8 missionaries before, during and after the mission. after that we walka ed around the temple and took pictures ! we didn't have to wear coats it was so nice out! it was like 40 degrees!! on our way home we cut through D.C. which was super awesome! i got to see the Brazilian embassy and the national cathedral. we then went straight to dinner. we ate with a cute young family in the ward. after that we went and saw the Days. we mainly talked to sister Day. she has such a great testimony! from there we saw sister Francisco. I looove Sundays!! we had ward council yesterday morning so we went to church at about 9 15 right after personal study. it is very interesting experience to be in the ward council meeting... my last Bishop was more relaxed, but my new bishop is a business guy and he just likes to get stuff done! i have learned a lot through my experiences with the ward council!! teya showed up to church on crutches. the youth went on a ski trip Friday and she hurt herself...testimony meeting was especially wonderful! la'vonne got up and bore her testimony! we got invited to help a youth class plan lessons they're teaching to their friends they invited to come to church next week. that was super fun! i love the youth! it's still so weird to me to have them ask me for advice and to trust what i say simply because of my calling! it is so humbling! we also got asked to come into the 4 yr old primary class and share how we made the choice to serve a mission. that was so fun! after church we went to a ward members for "Linner". there were several members there. one is from Ghana and she served her mission in St Louis so she had lots of crazy stories to tell! after that we came home and studied a bit and then went to lav'onnes to go to the new member fireside! our mission has a fireside once a transfer where new members bare their testimonies and we can bring investigators and members and other people to it! it was so awesome! it was my first time going! there were about 5 people who spoke at the fireside, and i know I'm biased but la'vonne was my favorite for sure!! it really hit me hard as i listened to the other people speak how truly prepared la'vonne was for the gospel! there is no better joy than doing this work and seeing the fruits of my labor!! on the way home, i was feeling sort of sad and lonely and I'm not sure why. i had just had such a peaceful spiritually uplifting experience, so I'm not sure why i felt this way! i had the ipod set to random and in my mind i thought "heavenly father...if you're there and you're really listening..put this song on." it was really silly and i thought "this won't happen. why am i even testing Him!" i was really preparing myself for it not to happen! lo and behold, the next song to play was "he knows me better." the exact song i had prayed to come on! it was so simple, but it means a lot to me that Heavenly Father is willing to show me signs!! even when my faith feels weak, He is there to help me strengthen it and I think that is pretty darn amazing!! I found out that night that sister Knowles, another visa waiter here, just got her visa. i wish i could say I was immediately super excited for her, but i wasn't. i was jealous.... i wanted to know why!! and yet, i didn't feel like i needed a reason since I've been given SO many since serving here. but still, it hurt. so i knelt and prayed and i just know that NO MATTER WHAT, I am here because God needs me here. i am on a mission because God knew that was best for me. And even if I never get to Brasil, I will forever be grateful for my mission and the knowledge I've received. I know i am not forgotten. I know he Loves me and that I'm here in Alexandria because that is where Heavenly Father has placed me! these are things I truly KNOW, and they carry me through any hard times I go through!! As you saw in the heading, it is transfer week. i don't think I'll be transferred but ya never know! I'll find out tomorrow! so hold off the mail for this week! I love you guys so much...I say this all the time but I honestly could not be out here if it weren't for you! keep being amazing! love you so so much! Sister Pehrson

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