Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Family!! K this was seriously one of the best weeks of my mission EVER!! I looove my new area and my new comps and Heavenly Father has blessed us with so many miracles this week!! So Monday after emailing you guys we did our shopping and we went to this target somewhere and it was in this shopping area that had all this cool stuff to do like a life size chess game and random pianos everywhere for people to play. It was fun so we played around there for awhile! we came home and wrote some letters and I unpacked. that night we ate with some members and since we are teaching the members the doctrines of the lessons we taught them the plan of salvation. we were teaching about the 3 kingdoms of glory and we asked them "what do we need to do to get to the celestial kingdom?" they have 4 kids and the daughters were like "pray, read your scriptures go to church, etc." and then the little boy who is probably 4 or 5 said "die." hahahha! we were laughing so hard! so after that we visited an investigator named Spike who is this really cute old man! he wants to go to the temple visitors center but he didn't have much time to talk so we had a really quick lesson with him. Then we went and met a ward member that is in the military and doesn't get out to church much. he's a super nice guy and we had a great visit with him! on Tuesday we had district meeting and our mission is doing what they call an "AR competition". an AR is when you talk to someone (either tracting or street contacting) and you share a message that they can accept or reject based on what you tell them, not just based on you. I'm not sure if that definition makes sense but whoever gets the most wins something. its like march madness and so we start out going against our district and then we compete at the zone level and then it goes to the whole mission level. so we were pretty pumped about that! after our studies and lunch that day we went and I got to meet Valerie. She is a "spiritual healer" from Rwanda. She's lived in Brasil, Denmark, and Paris as well so she helps me and sister Egbert with our Portuguese. she is really intimidating sometimes but she's also really sweet. that night we did a little tracting and then we had an appointment with some former investigators.They had never met sisters before so they were excited to have us there. they told us they were having their neighbors over as well for dinner so we were excited! we were even more excited to discover that their neighbors are from BRASIL!!!!! it was just the mom Silvana and her daughter Anna that came but we had such a great time. We talked and Anna taught us some little Brazilian games and cheers that little kids do and her mom talked about how shes read almost the entire book of mormon. we got their FB info and were able to add them on facebook so we can set up another appt with them. so it was pretty cool that we were able to make such a personal connection with them! when we got home we looked at our area book and found out that the husband is a former investigator so we're excited to see what is going to happen there!! Wednesday was super fun! we got to visit a member of our ward who is in a nursing home. her name is Lucille and she's so adorable! she told us the same stories over and over and we loved every minute of it. after visiting with her we tracted around our dinner appointments home. we met a lady who let us in and gave us water and told us her cousins are mormon and served missions so she likes to do stuff to help us. she's a scientist and doesn't really believe in God but she believes in grace. we had a cool visit with her! We ate with this family in the ward who have 4 boys under the age of 11. It was a mad house but it was so much fun!! we taught them about the book of mormon and the littlest boy was like "i know whats in the book of mormon...good stuff!" then a few minutes later he's like "hey..i know what else is in the book of mormon...better stuff!" haha it was so cute! so after them we had ANOTHER dinner because the second dinner at another members house and they were inviting a friend. well the friend didn't get to come but we had a great time with those members! i literally almost burst that night though, i was so full! Thursday was another awesome day! after our studies we had another language study with a nice lady. she shared with us some of her beliefs. some of them are similar and some are not. she believes in reincarnation and shes afraid of snakes because one "killed her in her past life." she's such a sweetie though and we love to visit her! after that we went and tracted around our dinner appointments home. this guy answered the door and i guess our beauty made him a little tongue tied because he was like "wow! how can I do?!" he turned out to be atheist and not interested but it made us smile. we ate with some members and it was their sons birthday so that was super fun! while i was there i saw one of my friends from college's wedding announcement on the about a small mormon world! after dinner we went and had a lesson with Ellen. she has a 16 yr old named Maddie who i didn't meet and then a 12 year old named Morgan who i met. They are an amazing family! Morgan is such a cutie! she's afraid of EVERYTHING! like she said she wants to live in Utah because that has the least amount of natural disasters and she was talking about how she wants to travel the world but she said she's "going to bring a Brita filter and like 6 water bottles" because the water is bad everywhere else. she's a hoot! but it was cool because she has been reading the book of mormon and she asked us about prophets so we got to explain how conference is coming up and talk about what exactly a prophet is and all that. Both she and her mom wanted to come to the women's conference but Maddie had a color guard competition. I'm excited to teach them more. they have lots of mormon friends and so they are really prepared to hear the gospel! after that we went and taught the Martinez family. They have a son who has the chubbiest cheeks ever, he's so cute! but we also talked to them about prophets and conference and hope to get them to come to it this weekend! on Friday we had weekly planning and it was sooo awesome. we do companionship inventory and it's cool because I feel like everything my companions tell me is genuine. what we do is we tell each other what their strengths are and then ask each other how we can improve. It's awesome because even when we share things we need to work on! That night we spent most of our time tracting with not much success. The cool thing is that here even when people reject us they reject us so nicely! it's awesome and it makes tracting much more enjoyable!! we met a lady named Becca who has been taught before and we're going to go back and do service for her. after that we went and tried to see this lady who is in the ward. we live right by the metro and she lives across the road on the other side of the metro. we parked at our house and walked over to the other side. in the metro station there are a lot of street performers and just tons of people. (side note: we wrote a cool song this morning that we are going to go sing there to try and find new investigators) but we weren't able to get into their apartment since it's like fort. knox but we met a cool lady outside named Elaine. she has cerebral palsy and she talked to us for almost an hour. she wasn't interested at first but she really softened as we just sat and listened to her! Saturday was the day of miracles!!! i don't know if you guys saw the weather this weekend but it was MISERABLE!! it was dumping rain all day long! :( we went and were putting stuff in our car before we went on FB and there was a lady out there who we talked to and she was like "Man i picked the worst day to move in!" we offered to help and she was like "really? are you serious? its so wet! are you sure!?' we assured her we wanted to help and she just hugged us and said thank you! she hardly had any stuff so we got to job done fast. while we were helping she was like "are you guys mormon?" we said yes and she was like "I KNEW IT !I JUST KNEW IT!" it was awesome and she told us she's going to invite us to her "eat, pray, love" party lol. after that we did FB and then we tracted in the pouring rain. only sister martindale was smart enough to bring an umbrella but she tried to share. we were still all soaked. we tracted for about 2 hours and no one was home or they just weren't interested. we headed back to the car but we knocked on all the doors as we passed them by. the last door we knocked on this hispanic man opened the door and invited us in after we said who we are. his name is Luis . hes a medic in the army and when he was in Afghanistan his wife took the kids and left him. he has had a really rough past couple of years but God has helped him get through it. now he is in the reserves and works at a hospital as a nurse. he also spent some time in Utah for training so he said he saw all the temples and lds churches over there. he also is from El Salvador and saw the temple there so after he told us that he was like "okay so tell me about your church!" we taught the first lesson and we started talking about prophets. we told him we have a prophet on the earth today. he started freaking out and was like "what?! how come no one has told me? what's his name???" we told him it is Thomas S. Monson and we read Mosiah 8:16-18 with him and he goes "that's what i think a prophet is!! so what does your prophet say? what's he like?" we told him conference was this weekend and that he could watch it with us. he got so excited and was like "YES!! I have to know what this man says!! I have to see what he's like!!" then when we shared the first vision he said he had chills and that he wanted to read the book of mormon and wants us to come back!! it was the coolest experience EVER!!! i have never met anyone so excited to hear about a prophet! most of the time i just hope that they'll feel neutral about it! this guy is so golden and it's so much fun to meet him! after that we went to dinner with the woman Krista from Whidbey Island (side note: she may be moving back there soon..i'll keep ya posted) and her daughter Chelsea. we had an awesome visit with them and ate at the tastiest place ever! it's called the sweet water tavern...mmm! but after that we went to the women's conference! it was such a cool experience! it was amazing to think of all of us women gathered together and how powerful we are! me and my companions couldn't stop crying, i don't know why!! I'm grateful i got to go and hear all the amazing messages though! Sunday was another great day! we had an investigator show up to church unexpectedly which is always exciting! after church we had lunch with some members and then did our studies. we then went and did more tracting! Sundays weather was way worse than Saturday but this time we were prepared! we had coats on and boots. no one was interested, but as we were tracting in this cul de sac one of the ladies we tracted into earlier sent her son after us to give us cookies. it was super sweet! we then visited some members who haven't gotten out to church much lately. they are really sweet and we talked to them about conference so they're going to watch that! i am loving my area and companions so so much! it's awesome being with another Portuguese speaker and it's awesome serving with 2 sisters who have really similar personalities and senses of humor! we have such a blast and this area is being set on fire! i love you all so much and hope you have a great week! love, Sister Pehrson

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Hey family!!! I am loving Vienna so far! It's so much fun to be serving here and there is a ton of potential in this area so it's super exciting! It's also just nice to have a change! I'm excited for what the next 6 weeks will bring! So Monday after emailing we had a huge lunch/dinner with Sister Thompson! We came home and were about to do some quick grocery shopping when a ward member called and asked if we were on our way there for dinner...our phone had opened the text on its own so we never got the message that they were feeding us!!! Needless to say after the second meal I have never been so full in my life!!! From there we went and had a really amazing lesson with La'vonne and Teya. We talked about the temple and then got on a little tangent about finding out who you are. It was actually really cool because La'vonne said a lot of things that I felt I really needed to hear. She said that the only way we can know and love ourself is by knowing God. It was a really awesome lesson! Tuesday we had District Meeting in the morning and we did a really cool exercise where the missionary who is acting like the investigator thinks of a question of the soul (how can I find peace? does God love me? etc..) and they don't tell the missionary who is teaching the lesson, because the one teaching has to figure it out through the conversation and asking questions. it was kind of hard but it really helped me focus on the needs of who I'm teaching. after the meeting we picked up a package for Sister Phelps and then came home. Her knee was really hurting so she elevated her leg while we cleaned the apartment and organized stuff. After dinner we were going to check on Sister Bryk and then the Abbas'. We ended up just seeing the Abbas' and we had a really wonderful visit! We were talking to them about Pakistan (where they're from) and what it is like and then Asra the daughter took her scarf and showed us how to wear the middle eastern way! it was really fun. We read Mosiah 2 with them and talked about the commandments and why it's important for us to obey. Sister Abbas talked to us about how much she loves reading the Book of Mormon because it makes her so much stronger. I really noticed that as I read that day too. The words are so simple, but powerful! Every time I read I learn new things and I feel the Spirit so strong! It's cool because I've been able to see the influence of the Book of Mormon through those I teach. Most recently I've seen it in Sister Thompson. She was doing good, but reading the Book of Mormon has just set her on fire! She's so excited for church and she comes to every activity possible. She is constantly sharing stuff on her Facebook and sharing the gospel with the people she comes in contact with. It's so much fun to watch the Book of Mormon completely transform people and their lives!! That night we got the transfer calls and I had a lot of mixed feelings! I was super excited..but nervous too! On Wednesday we studied and did FB and then did a ton of packing!! I have accumulated a lot of stuff apparently...haha. after dinner we headed to mutual and I got to say goodbye to a lot of the ward members. I was shocked at how hard Teya took the news that I was leaving. As I was visiting with some members I started talking to a woman from a different ward. It turns out her sister is waiting on her visa and is serving in Jackson Mississippi right now. This woman talked about the challenges it has given her sister. as she was talking I thought to myself.."I don't really feel that way." I realized how truly happy I am to be here in D.C. My life would not be the same without the incredible people I've met here. I have still been immersed in a new culture! Many new cultures in fact!! And I have the opportunity of being a Facebook/iPad missionary! The list goes on and on of how blessed I am to be in this mission! Of course I have days where I wish I could be in Brasil, but I don't wake up every morning miserable because I'm a "visa waiter". I love my mission!! I wake up overjoyed that I get to serve the Lord (even at 6 30 am...)!! How could I ever complain about being a missionary?! It's truly impossible when I really think about it! I'm grateful that Heavenly Father taught me that lesson through that woman. After mutual we went to the ward mission leaders for correlation. Brother Rosenberg asked me what I learned from serving here. I told him I learned how important and powerful love is and how it truly motivates and changes people. It makes everything I do a million times easier! I think before I was too focused on all my "tasks" and just did them to check them off the list. Now I realize that nothing I am doing is worthwhile if it's done without love! I'm so grateful for all the lessons I learned in Franconia. I'm grateful I stuck it out with my companions here. I've grown to love them so much!! Thursday was great but sooo exhausting!! We had to go to a dr. appt. for Sister Phelps' knee first thing in the morning, so we packed up the car and headed out right away! she got a knee brace and will be all healed in a few weeks! From there we went and I say Goodbye to Sister Everly. She let me choose a veil from her shop to take with me and made me promise to send pictures when I get married! She is so sweet and was definitely so hard to say goodbye to. After that we went to transfers!! I was sooo anxious!! This was only my second time leaving an area on the mission!! Imagine my surprise when President announced I will be serving with Sister Egbert!!!! We are in a trio with Sister Martindale!! I was sooo excited! I must admit it really was hard to leave my companions in Franconia. But I am loving Vienna! It's way less city than Alexandria!! our dinner that first night was with a family in the ward who the wife is from Brasil and the dad served there! They had their non member brasillian friend there and we taught her the first lesson in Portuguese! She thought we were just practicing our portuguese...but it was amazing because when she left she told the member how much she loved the lesson and how she wanted to invite us to her home!! Later that night she again told the member in a text that she really loves us and wants to meet with us again! MIRACLE!!! The members are helping Sister Egbert and I with the language so it's cool that I have that opportunity here! On Friday we did studies in the morning and it was so nice to have someone to do language study with!!! sister egbert and i practice taught sister martindale in portuguese, it was really fun! after lunch we did our weekly planning. This area has only been open for one trasnfer so we get to do lots of tracting!! after facebook we went to a members home. she is the sister coordinator which is basically like the girl ward mission leader. we challenged their family to write their testimony in a book of mormon and hand it out to someone! we then ate and visited a sister that recently lost 2 family members so she's going through a rough time. After that we went and had a lesson with Remi, Ermi, and Sheila. Ermi recently started coming back to church. Her husband (Remi) and daughter (sheila) are investigating the church now! we had a really awesome lesson with them about the restoration. from there we went and checked on a few potential investigators. one was Paul. He's moving to Colorado to be closer to his son and to try to get back together with his wife. he's a really awesome guy! Saturday was so awesome. we studied in the morning and then went to the ward mission leaders house so I could meet him. He’s a really nice guy. we had a good visit with him and then did some tracting!! It was such a beautiful day and we tracted this street that's in the historic district of Vienna so the homes were gorgeous!! everyone was so nice!!! most of them rejected us but they did it in a really nice way so that was good! One lady we talked to wasn't interested but she loves family history so we told her we'll have a fireside on that soon and she became super interested all of a sudden! we also talked to a man named Paul for the last hour before dinner. he is super cool! He's in his 50s and has been studying religion his whole life. he had tons of questions for us and agreed to read the book of mormon. his wife is jewish and he said she'd kill him if he told her he was going to convert! but we'll see what happens! :) After dinner we went and visited a woman named Krista ( i think..). shes from Whidbey Island!!! she works for national geographic and has a daughter named chelsea who has down syndrome. she is so cute and sweet! they were busy but they invited us to dinner next week and chelsea got so excited! it was so sweet! i'm super excited to work with them! we ended the night doing some tracting and we met a guy who had read the book of mormon but wasn't interested...not sure how that's possible but that's what he said! ;) sunday we studied for a bit and then went to church which starts at 9. the ward is really small but so great! it's very home-y. it's also a really young ward, but the nice thing is that the members are here to stay. It's not a very transient ward which is a huge change from Franconia. during sacrament the little girl in front of us was drawing pictures of us and then at the top she wrote "feed my lambs, missionary!". it was so cute! After church we came home and studied and then went out and tracted! no one was really interested but we had a lot of fun! after that we went to a members home. their teenage daughter had her friend Maddie over so we had dessert and a little lesson. Maddie is dating a mormon and is best friends with one AND her dad is an inactive member! she's really a cool girl! we talked about school and got to know her more and then talked about prophets and general conference and how we get our mission calls. I'm not sure how much we'll teach her, but I know Heavenly Father has placed great people in her life for a reason!! serving here is so much fun! My companions are great examples to me. I am learning so much and having such a blast!! my companion sister martindale reminds me SO much of Tasha and sister egbert reminds me of pay pay! so how could I not be having fun?! :) thanks for all your prayers and encouragement. Serving a mission is definitely hard, but i know it is exactly what heavenly father needed me to experience! ihave learned a lot about patience and love and how to accept things i cannot control. I can see now how much i learned in the last 2 areas and how much it has prepared me for being here! I love you all so much! I miss you and hope that you have wonderful weeks!! eu amo voces!! Sister Pehrson

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014

Familia!! Once again Sister Thompson saved the day and gave us a ride here so we could email! We don't have wifi in the apartment, so we still come to the church to email. This week has been so awesome! Monday we got to go to Arlington Cemetery which was so amazing! It turned out to be a really beautiful day and we got to see the changing of the guard and everything. We had our lesson with Teya that night. She didn't come to church on Sunday and we were bummed about that but we ended up having a really awesome lesson. It was nice because we got to focus on La'vonne for part of it and then on Teya for the other part! Teya has actually been reading the book of mormon on her own which is huge!! Tuesday was really awesome! we had zone training in the morning that was all about the things we an sacrifice to the Lord. There are a lot of things I can still sacrifice so I'm working on a list for that! we ate after the meeting and then went to work on the area book. when we did Facebook i was able to find a guy, Emilio, that we had talked to the other night. he messaged me and was like "you found me!" so that was pretty exciting! Who knew i'd become an even better facebook stalker on my mission?! after that we had dinner with a really cute family in our ward. I always love eating with them because their kids are so much fun! They always ask us the best questions. we had a great visit with them and then we saw sister ketch! we talked about the creation with her. it's amazing to think that out of all the amazing and beautiful creations God has made, we are the most magnificent!! after that we attempted to visit some other members with no luck. Wednesday was pretty uneventful! i came down with some sort of bug so i was in bed most of the day. we did get to do some area book work and tried to be somewhat effective, but thankfully staying in that day helped me feel better for the rest of the week. Thursday was super exciting!! we did weekly planning since we had sisters conference the next day. it was a little hard to focus since I have a feeling I might be transferred on Thursday. I guess it's just the "butterfly" in me, as mom would say! so after that we went and updated the progress record and got on facebook. i talked to Emilio some more. i invited him to church and he said he had band practice. i asked him if we could meet with him another time. he told me he'd be at the spot we met him at that night at 8. So we finished facebook, ate dinner, and then went to our lesson with Teya. once we got more into the lesson things really improved. we talked about fasting and how Teya can find answers through fasting. So, we set up the appt with Emilio for 8. we left Teya's at 8:30. I really wasn't expecting him to be there, but HE WAS!! He is one of the sweetest guys ever! Life has dealt him some pretty nasty cards and they've left their mark, but he still has faith. there is a really special light in his eyes and a softness about him when you get to know who he really is. he is seeking and he is soooo prepared! he accepted everything we talked about. he committed to read the book of mormon and to come to church! he has never eaten french toast so we're going to talk to some members and have a french toast breakfast with him! i'm grateful that heavenly father has given me new eyes. i love seeing people as who they can become, not who they are! so after our lesson with Emilio we stopped at La'vonnes and picked up crutches since Sister Phelps hurt her leg. we had a great talk with La'vonne about our expectations with Teya. That day was so amazing ! it really strengthened my testimony of talking to EVERYONE and not judging people. there are way too many people prepared to receive this gospel for me to be narrowing and limiting my vision! Friday was so awesome!! we had sisters conference which was so amazing!! it was pretty cool because all the talks ended up being on the same topic and they said they didn't plan it to be that way! they were all about having a good attitude and focusing on right now instead of the future or the past. i am so guilty of this! i feel like i get stuck thinking of the past and the future way too often! Our mission "counselor" spoke to us and he said some really cool things about this. he talked about how the past really doesn't exist--it's over! and the future doesn't exist either because it's all just what we imagine it to be. the only real thing is the moment we are in right now! Then President Riggs said something that really helped me see why we need to focus on right now. He said "Don't think about going home. It has changed! It will NEVER be the same!!" The home that I left behind is not the home I will go back to. that may sound really harsh but it's true! I used to really hate change. I still am not a huge fan, but I'm learning to love it! I think since I get attached so easily, it's hard for me. but i've seen throughout the mission how amazing change is! it brings so much growth and goodness! another thing we talked about was this thing called one word. it's from this motivational speaker. you chooose one word to define your goal for the year. so instead of setting like 80 goals you just focus on this one word. the way you choose the word is by looking in (what do I need to change? what do i struggle with) looking up (ask God) and looking out (how will i implement this change? what will i do?). so i'm still trying to figure my word out. I want to focus more on others, but at the same time, I want to not worry so much what others think! so if you guys know a word that would encompass all of that, let me know! :) I got to talk to sister butts and sister stott at the conference! i have been so blessed with my companions! seeing them helped me realize that i am going to miss sister phelps and wilcox when our time together ends. I truly love them and need to take advantage of my time with them!!! after the conference we worked on the area book and did FB. we had a good talk with Emilio. he has a really rough life so I'm excited to see how the gospel will help him! he had posted the night before on his FB that he is super grateful for his 3 new friends who really listen to him! that was super awesome!! after FB we ate dinner and then went to visit a less active member to remind her about stake conference. her dad was visiting and he was such a hoot! after that we went and saw some members and introduced them to sister wilcox. we talked to them about how the gospel blesses families. the mom is divorced but we talked about how the gospel helps families no matter what their makeup is! obviously the ideal situation is to have both mom and dad, but i've seen some super amazing single mom and dads who rely on the gospel and it helps their family so much! Saturday was great! after studies we worked on the area book and facebook. we talked with Emilio and things in his life were not going well that day. it's sad because I can see how much the gospel will help Emilio, but he's too afraid to come and see himself!! after teaching him we came home and had to get everything off of our shelves so an exterminator could come spray for roaches. gotta love VA.....after that we went to sister thompsons. on our way there i had a really cool experience. there was tons of traffic and we were stopped at a light. we saw a woman walking on the other side of the road who had just fallen over. we then saw someone pull over and run to help her! it really struck me seeing that because D.C. is full of people constantly rushed and overbooked. to see people take time out of their day to serve as the savior did was so great to witness and reminded me to always seek for those service opportunities! to contrast this beautiful scene, we watched a truck with major road rage whiz by another car while blaring on his horn. it showed me exactly the kind of person i want to be! both of these people will probably never see the people they interacted with again, but they both really impacted that person's day. I want to help people feel happy! so it was really cool to see that! we had a great lesson there and then went to stake conference! man our stake is massive! we have almost 60 missionaries in this stake too which is awesome!! all the talks were really inspiring and i learned a lot! the main focus was hastening the work so of course i loved that! :) Sunday was so awesome!! also a very exhausting day. honestly I think yesterday is the most tired i've ever been on my mission! i used to see the missionaries and they looked so tired and i was just like "why are you guys so tired?" but now I actually get it. I have never been so stinkin tired in my life!! its the best though :) anywho...we got up and studied a bit and then went to stake conference! and TEYA ACTUALLY CAME!!! she said she wasn't going to, but she did!! I sat by lav'onne and she told me she really doesn't want me to be transferred. part of me doesn't want to go, but i almost feel like i'm too comfortable here. we'll see what happens! Emilio didn't come, but he sure missed out!! i think that was the most amazing stake conference i've ever been to! it was broadcast from SLC so we heard talked by some general authorities including L. Tom Perry. our stake president gave a wonderful talk as well! he talked about how being tempted is not a sin. the choice that we make after being tempted is what makes it a sin or not. i feel like sometimes i beat myself up because these negative thoughts or temptations will come to my mind, but that's not in my control! the only thing in my control is what i do with them. so that really helped me change my way of thinking! the first speaker from SLC was elder carlson. he talked about self discipline and 5 steps we can take to develop more self discipline. he said something really cool too. he said that "we are not here for our bodies to control our spirits. we are here for our spirits to learn to control our bodies!" the second speaker was sister stephens, shes in the primary presidency. she talked about hastening the work of salvation and what that entails. then we heard from Paul V. Johnson. he talked about charity and that one really hit me! I have been focusing on charity a ton lately and it's made me so much happier to really focus on serving others and not being so darn impatient with peoples weaknesses. he told several stories about president monson and his life of service! then l. tom perry spoke about hastening the work of salvation as well! he talked about how we have so many missionaries that now we have to figure out what to do with them! he told members that it's not all the missionaries responsibility to do this work. the talks were all so powerful and i learned so much from them! after conference we went and saw Elizabeth! she's back visiting her grandma this weekend. turns out they moved to Leesburg, which makes me want to get her involved in the ward there even more!we got her new address and had an awesome visit with her. she kept hugging us and telling us she misses us! it was sweet! from there we had linner with some members. one of them had lost his job a few weeks ago and finances were really tight. they had the choice to pay tithing or important bills. they chose tithing! this week his boss recommended him for a new job with higher pay and better hours. they got several tax refunds and other money came up out of the blue as well! it was super cool! after our visit with them we went to a fireside at the church. it was a musical fieside by the mormon choir of D.C. a recent convert in the stake bore his testimony and it was so powerful! he talked about his journey of joining the church and he was just really emotional. it was cool to see how powerful the spirit is and how it truly humbles us! i think the spirit is the only thing that can make big, powerful men like this convert realize how truly small they are! he said something that really hit me though. he said "my testimony is a great story, but the most wonderful story you'll ever hear is your own testimony!" I loved that! so often we focus on other peoples strengths and wish to be like them, but we each have our own incredible story and testimony and we can change and help someone else with our stories! after the fireside sister phelps got a blessing from one of the elders since she hurt her knee and we have to go to the doctor for it tomorrow. it was his first time giving a blessing and it was so amazing! he was so nervous but the spirit just took over and it was cool to witness that! all in all this was just another incredible week! i love being out here on my mission. every day is a new adventure and i learn SO much! I love you guys and miss you tons, but I'm grateful for all that we are experiencing in our lives right now! Heavenly Father has blessed us all so much! Have an amazing week! Love you!!! Sister Pehrson

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 10, 2014

Family!! This week has been really awesome! I have definitely had a change of heart and Heavenly Father has just been watching out for me so much and I'm so grateful for all the lessons I have been able to learn! On Monday after we emailed Sister Thompson took us out to lunch and then we went and grocery shopped. We didn't have permission to drive, so that night we decided to walk and visit some people that live pretty close to us. On our way over, we decided to write stuff in the snow like "" and "God loves you!" stuff like that. It was super fun and while we were writing one message we looked back and saw someone writing by what we had already written. we decided to check it out on our way back. We got to the persons house and they weren't there and by that time we needed to head home since it was kind of a long walk. So we discovered on our way back that the person had drawn an arrow and a "like" thumbs up sign from facebook next to the that we wrote in the snow!! it was so awesome! I wish we could have talked to him, but it was kind of dark and we weren't sure if they were writing nice things or not haha. But i am sure that somehow, some way, some missionaries will find him! The whole walking thing was actually really good for our companionship too. I feel like we bonded a lot! Tuesday we had district meetings and then we went on exchange. Sister Phelps left the area and me and Sister Wilcox stayed and worked with Sister Hills. Exchanges are always a little strange but they were extra weird in a trio! Sister Hills is super amazing though! she showed us this book called "adjusting to missionary life." I got it at the beginning of my mission and truthfully haven't picked it up since then. but I'm so grateful Sister Hills showed it to us. it has this little self assessment you can do and it has all these topics you can read about and has solutions to many problems I have faced or will face on the mission! part of me thought "really!? Where was this last week!!" but i am thankful i have that resource now! After that bit of training we went and did facebook. Sister Hills didn't get to send an email home the day before due to the storm so we had about 1 and 1/2 hours of facebook time. after dinner we checked on James, whose records our ward just received. he wasn't home but when we were walking to the car, we saw this little girl who was selling hot chocolate. we went and bought some and had a really great conversation with her parents. she realized fairly quickly that we were Mormon and although she said she really wasn't interested, it was a really awesome visit and I know some seeds were planted! from there we went and visited Sister Bryk! she comes to church every so often and has done so for most of her life. she is SO AMAZING! it was a really powerful visit! we all shared our favorite scriptures with her and she was really moved by what we shared. We challenged her to read the Book of Mormon every day this week. Well, first we asked her how her reading is going and she said she reads occasionally. so we asked her how often she thinks she can read it this week and she was like "every day!". it was so awesome!! we agreed to send her reminder texts every night. after that we went and saw some ward members. the mom is getting ready for surgery on Friday and even though she was really nervous, she has such a wonderful attitude about it! she had breast cancer in the past and they think they found a tumor on her uterus now so she's had a really rough go of it. her husband doesn't attend church much. she has all these problems of her own, but she is constantly serving other people! she's that lady who is always making meals for those in need and finding ways to help others! it blows my mind how amazing and Christlike she is when she is going through so much! she's such a great example! I have these moments on my mission where I just sit in amazement at the powerful and incredible people I get to meet out here! Wednesday was just as wonderful as Tuesday! we studied and then exchanged back. we were supposed to do some service for sister Everly that day but she was busy so we ate and then did some FB. after that we went and saw one of our ward members who doesn't get out to church much. we had a really great talk with her! normally she doesn't bring up the church at all but this time she brought it up over and over again so that was pretty cool! from there we visited sister ketch! we talked to her about repentance and how that is something we should do daily. we then had dinner with the relief society president. during our message, their oldest daughter who just turned 8 told us she isn't sure how to feel the spirit so we had a lesson on that !it was really sweet! we then tried to visit a few people with no luck. but we met a young guy named Emelio! he lives with his grandparents and is in a metal band. apparently his grandma is mormon. we told him we have facebook and asked if we could add him on there and he said yes! it was pretty awesome because if we didn't have FB, i don't think we could have connected with him ever. after that we went and had a lesson with a ward member. she has some struggles with smoking, but she has a really amazing testimony! she had a pretty rough day and we shared about the plan of salvation and i think that was pretty fitting for her. after that we had ward correlation which went awesome as always! Thursday was super exciting! because I am now an official ipad owner!!! yup you heard it right!! we spent most of the day in training. i am so excited to see how these will improve the work! there are a lot of awesome apps for us to use and it's just so exciting! we spent the afternoon finishing our studies. we had a really awesome companionship study and i felt like we were all on the same page for Teya's lesson that night. we had dinner with our ward mission leaders family. it was fun to talk to his kids and ask them about missionary work. it reminded me of when i was a teenager and the missionaries came over! we brought Maddie, his daughter to our lesson with Teya and it went WONDERFULLY!! we wanted to show her how the book of mormon will answer her questions. we wanted her to see how baptism would help her and why it was necessary. i feel like we definitely accomplished that! the spirit was so strong and Teya was more open with us than she has been in the past. we all testified of the power of the book of mormon and Maddie shared a very powerful testimony. she is the perfect person to bring to lessons with Teya! She pushes teya to be better! teya committed to read the book of mormon every day, so I'm really excited to see how it all turns out!! a lot of times lessons turn out way different than I expect them to. but the lesson with Teya tonight was exactly what we planned for and what needed to be taught! it was great! Friday was awesome! we studied and then began our weekly planning. we have to transfer all the information in our area book to the ipads so we spent a good chunk of time doing that. we finished weekly planning and set some really wonderful goals. Heavenly Father is so wonderful! he takes care of our problems when we do what He asks us to do!! thank goodness for Heavenly Father!! after doing FB we went home and ate and then were supposed to have a lesson with the Abbas but they weren't home. We ended up visiting some ward members. their son is a junior so we talked to him about practice teaching the missionary lessons with us and so we're going to start helping him with that! it's fun sharing with the members because they help this work so much! Saturday was great! after our morning studies we went and updated the area book and then used FB. we tried to visit a lady who peeked through her window and then didn't answer the door. then we visited a girl who was taught by the last sisters here and she's just going through a lot right now so she said she'd call when she's not busy. then we tried Ghana Elizabeth but she wasn't home! by then it was dinner time. we ate with Sister Thompson and it was wonderful as always! I've grown to really love and appreciate her so much recently! She is such an amazing example of someone who is always giving and thinking of others! she will be one of the first on my list of people for us to come back and visit after the mission! after a great visit with her we were able to see the Abbas'! i love them so much, especially Asra, the daughter! she has definitely shown me how powerful our words are! Sunday was so amazing! i learned so, so much! since I've been working on patience I decided to find a talk about it. i searched in the gospel library and found one by Joseph b. Wirthlin and it's called "patience, a key to happiness." it had so much amazing advice, not just for right now, but for after the mission too! the part that stuck out to me the most was about having patience with our Heavenly Father. he said "How incredible foolish to be impatient with him, the Father of our spirits, who knows everything and whose work and glory, through his Son, Jesus Christ, is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" Then he quoted Neal A. Maxwell who said "Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best--better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his. Either way we are questioning the reality of God's omniscience." Man that hit me like a ton of bricks! it was kind of a chastening, but i really needed it! when i have been impatient in the past (with my visa, companions, etc.) I have really been questioning Heavenly Father's plan for me! I know he has a perfect plan for me!!! So why do I get impatient? I'm not sure, but I am working on it! it was such an awesome talk and you guys should all read it..especially if you struggle with patience like I do! so after studies we went to church and a lot of the talks and lessons had to do with patience so I think Heavenly Father was really trying to drill this into my thick head! :) after church we studied and then had dinner with some members. They invited some non member friends over and we had an awesome time. it was very laid back. the members had asked us not to teach a lesson or anything because they didn't want their friends to feel pressured. but it was cool because the friends ended up asking all about our missions and so we ended up being able to teach! after that we had ward correlation! we have the best ward mission leader! he always helps us see how we can improve and encourages us at the same time! today we get to go to Arlington cemetery which will be AWESOME! sister Thompson is taking us, go figure! I'm so grateful for all your prayers. they really do help! this is the last full week before transfers, so we will see what happens! I've been here 3 transfers now so I'm guessing I'll get the boot, but you never know! i hope your weeks are amazing! thanks for being you! Love, Sister Pehrson

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

hey hey family! it was a really good week! rough for sure! but it was wonderful as always!! on Monday after we emailed we went over to some members and they taught us and the Elders in our ward how to cook! that was an adventure and was really entertaining to watch those Elders try to cook! after that we did a little more shopping and then got to work! we visited a few people who haven't been out to church in a while. after that we headed to family home evening with La'vonne and Teya. Everything was just great! Heavenly Father takes care of us all the time and i'm so so grateful! He always provides the answers that I don't have! so for FHE we talked about service. we made cookies and challenged La'vonne and Teya to give them to someone who they know needs a pick-me-up. it was really cool because Teya chose these 2 people who really aren't her friends at school, but she knew they needed them! it was a really great lesson! On Tuesday we woke up to SNOW!! it all melted off by the afternoon though. we had district meeting and we talked about the book of Mormon. After the meeting we came home and ate and had a great companion study! we talked about what the area needs and how we are going to accomplish our goals. After that we went and did FB at the church. We got an email from President Riggs the day before telling us more rules regarding facebook so I spent time trying to clean mine up! we then had dinner with some members. it was just the wife and her 2 little boys. she is a convert so it was fun getting to know them! after dinner we had a lesson. it went so wonderfully! we weren't expecting to teach the whole family, but they all were there and we had such a great lesson with them! right now the father is trying to find a job where he doesn't have to work on Sunday and one that is closer to home. we challenged them to fast as a family for him to get a job! it was so powerful and the spirit was so strong! after that we had a member lesson which went wonderfully! On Wednesday we got more snow and got stuck inside in the morning! I studied that day about being a successful missionary and there is a part that talks about serving other missionaries and how charity will be developed as we serve others. well i had not been feeling very charitable the last few days! but as i read that i knew i needed to focus on others not myself! so once we got permission, we went and got on facebook. from there we went and had dinner with some members. afterwards the member took us to meet one of her neighbors, which was awesome! she didn't have much time but she is a really sweet lady. after dinner we went and had a lesson with Sister Bryk. she is such an awesome person! we talked to her about how to gospel blesses families. it turned out to be a really powerful lesson. after the lesson we went to mutual. we left about halfway through the activity and decided to visit Sister Ketch. we talked to her about the Savior's earthly ministry and atonement. the last few days I'd gained a very strong testimony of the atonement and i knew that no matter what I was going through, Jesus Christ knew exactly what I was feeling! and he made it possible for me to overcome those feelings! so it was great to be able to testify of that to sister ketch. Thursday was a lot of fun! i had amazing studies in the morning. i studied about Christ's atonement in Matthew. it really struck me as i read how completely alone Christ was during that time! all of the disciples just ran off when the wicked men came to get Jesus. I love the quote that says that because Christ suffered all of that completely alone, we don't have to go through anything alone! it made me have even more love and respect for the Savior as I read that that day.after language study we went and helped sister Everly in her shop! she's the one who owns the wedding shop in old town. it's sooo cute and she let us try on dresses! it was so much fun! we had an amazing talk with her and I was glad we could finally see her again after such a long time! after that we went and got on FB. that night we got to go to teya's birthday dinner. there were quite a few ward members there and it was a lot of fun! On Friday we had weekly planning. we set a lot of great goals and then headed out to do facebook. after dinner that night we went and checked on a few names of people we didn't know, we ended the night visiting the Day's and their chubby dachshounds :) Saturday we had an appointment with sister Thompson so in the evening we went over there. we had a good visit with her Sunday we went to Church. It was really really great though. sacrament meeting was especially wonderful because sister Thompson got up and bore her testimony for the first time since she was a teenager! it was so powerful and it made me so happy to see her progress! there really is no greater joy in life than being able to watch people grow in and accept the gospel! after church we ate with some new members of our ward and then we finished studying. we visited a few people and then went to the mission office. I am so so SO grateful for president Riggs! my companions were really surprised when he asked if he could interview us all individually. he started with sister Phelps and then he interviewed me. in our interview i explained to him the help that i needed! he talked about how everyone is on very different levels when it comes to motivation, but that it is my job to love and help lift those around me! he talked about the day he was sealed the sealer said that there is no such thing as unconditional love, because love in itself is without condition. He talked about how Jesus loves all of us despite our flaws and weaknesses and we must try to do the same even when it's SOOOO hard! in the middle of the interview he stopped and went over to the big board with all the missionaries pictures and the areas they are serving in. he said that right now we have 2 trios of sisters in the mission. he talked to a bishop today who has sisters serving in his ward that cover 2 wards and he said he is thinking that it may be a good idea to open a new area!! but he is still praying about that. we talked about our interviews on the way home. i am feeling a lot more positive now. I realize that I have such a long way to go and i just need to love my companions and be their friends. i know that right now i am learning a lot and whatever happens is what heavenly father NEEDS. so i will really be okay either way! i am so grateful i got to have that interview with President though! he is so amazing and I know that everything he said was exactly what Heavenly Father wanted him to say to me. I'm really grateful for all that I'm experiencing right now! there are so many ups and downs every day, and i am learning how to handle the hard stuff so much better! it kind of scares me to think of what my life would be like if i wouldn't have served a mission. I'm sure i would have learned this all in a different way, but I'm just so so grateful that i get to learn it all now! i am so incredibly blessed and it blows my mind more and more each day of how much I'm learning and how far I've still got to go! thanks for all of your support!!! I'm sure you all have seen the weather reports. we got a ride to the church from sister Thompson but the weather is ca-razy right now! hopefully the snow will clear up by tomorrow but we will see! it looks beautiful and will make for some fun work! we are going to do some shoveling tonight for service and then just try and visit people who live nearby us. i love you all so much! i hope that you have such a great week and have fun in Boise! i miss you all and will talk to ya soon! love you! Sister Pehrson

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February 24, 2014

Hey guys!! I hope that your weeks were great! Mine was great..but also really challenging! Being in a trio is super different. It's what the Lord wants for me at this time and I am learning soo much! So to catch you up..last Monday we got to go to the temple with the Rosenberg's and 2 of the Elders in our ward. I love going to the temple! The next time I'll be able to go is September! I felt the spirit so strongly and I was so grateful for that opportunity! We came home after that and shopped and then got to work! We were going to do some tracting but the day before we'd gotten some records of people to go check on and so we decided to go check on James. We knocked on the door and an older Asian man answered. We thought we had the wrong house, but when we asked for James, he told us to come in and wait. A few moments later he came back with a younger man covered in tattoos. He looked pretty surprised to see us!! We got him to tell us about his background. he was baptized in Florida about 3 years ago but quit attending church and is currently attending a church in Manassas. We asked him why he stopped attending our church and he said he didn't really have a reason. He's been back and forth between here and Florida for awhile now and he just sort of quit going. We invited him to come back and although he will be in California for the next 2 weeks, he says he'll try to come when he gets back. We shared Romans 38: 38-39 with him and told him how much Heavenly Father loves him and that it doesn't matter where he's been! I'm so grateful we got to meet him! he is so sweet and I think he's just slipped under the radar for awhile and now it's time for him to see that he is remembered!! after that visit we stopped to check on Bethany. she wasn't home but we had a really good visit with her dad. then we checked on Debbie, a former investigator. we set up an appointment with her for next Wednesday! after that we had FHE with La'vonne and Teya. we talked about how God doesn't always give us the answers. we are left in the dark at times. but that those are the times when we need to focus on our faith and not worry about what we don't know! we played a fun game and then went on our way! that night we found out we would be getting a new companion the next day! Tuesday was soo wonderful! we had zone conference from 8 to 4, so it was a very looong day!I learned so much at zone conference! the 2 focuses were revelation through the Book of Mormon, and revelation through church attendance. President Riggs encouraged us to use the scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon) in our teaching and to really get to know the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. He told us that right now we need to be studying for those we teach, not for ourselves. I had the great opportunity to practice teach in front of President Riggs. I was nervous, but at the same time I felt like I sort of knew what I was doing. the advice he gave me was to let my passion for the gospel show as I teach. If someone isn't really "into it", get them to be! help them become passionate about it. that's something I really want to implement into the work! sister Riggs spoke to us about having "good cheer". she shared some amazing stories of her ancestors who suffered so much. she told us how they remained positive through all their trials. she told us "we are missionaries! we get to serve the Lord 24/7 for 18 months to 2 years. we have no reason not to be happy!" she talked about how we need to choose to be happy now and not let our happiness depend on our circumstances.I think I really needed to hear that! I left the conference feeling so inspired! after that we emailed and then came home and started to rearrange our apartment so that our new sister could fit. then we went and picked her up from the mission home! sister Wilcox is from Oren, Utah and is really really sweet! Wednesday was really good! different, but good! Sister Wilcox wasn't feeling well in the morning so we studied until she felt better. we were supposed to have an exchange that day but we cancelled that. she felt a little better in the afternoon so we went and did FB but after that she wasn't feeling good again so we came home. I cleaned the kitchen and read ensigns and watched legacy. after about 6 sister Wilcox felt better so we went and checked on sister a sister we had set up an appointment with, but she was not home! then we tried some other people with no luck! we ended the night seeing sister francisco. we had a really awesome lesson with her. she's got such a wonderful testimony and it's really cool to see how when we teach the members, we see who we should bring to our lessons! Thursday was better than Wednesday, but still not the most fruitful. sister Phelps was sick that morning, so sister Wilcox and i studied together. it was actually really fun getting to know her better. she is an awesome teacher and a very powerful missionary! after sister Phelps got up we ate and then headed out to do a bunch of visa stuff! i had to get fingerprints and a money order and send it all as express mail! hopefully that'll result in a visa!! then we did FB stuff. after FB we went and mailed my visa stuff and then ate. after dinner we had a lesson with Teya! it was a lot of fun! we taught about the after life and there were some really powerful moments where the spirit was so strong! it was good to just have the lesson with Teya and Maddie. i feel like Teya's true feelings came out more. she still dodges the baptism bullet, but it was still a good visit! after the lesson we went home and the office elders brought me a new bed! so now i have a twin! it's definitely comfier than my old bed so I'm happy! :) Friday was actually really awesome! we got to have comp study all together which was awesome and we got to know each other a bit better. we did weekly planning all afternoon and had the most amazing experience during companionship inventory! to be honest it made me feel like a total loser for complaining about my visa. i am grateful that heavenly father showed me that I really have so much to be grateful for! i never fully realized how amazing of a family I grew up in. I'm not sure I recognized how blessed we are! I'm not sure if i fully understand the magnitude of any of the incredible blessings I've received and do receive. it really was an awesome reminder! after weekly planning we did FB, and then we headed to a baptism in Warrenton, sister Wilcox's last area! i want to serve there so bad! their youth are so powerful and it's out in the country! it's really pretty and really far away! sister Thompson drove us. it was fun to see sister Wilcox's old ward and they missed her so much already! we didn't get home until 11:00! very exhausting!! Saturday was a roller coaster for sure! our stake had a mini-MTC and we got to go help with it! oh my gosh it was soo much fun! the youth each got assigned to a different mission and they all \had their own name tags. it was super cute! i was in charge of being the district leader for the Jackson Missouri mission. my group was mainly 12 year olds and they were CRAZY. they were fun though! we got to help with one of the classes and I had the privilege of teaching kids how to! i thought that was a pretty obvious skill but apparently not...some of the boys would start ironing and then get distracted and they'd leave the iron on their shirt!!! some of the kids didn't know what a collar was! it was really fun and funny to teach them. after that we got to take 2 laurels out on splits with us! that was a really great experience for me. the 2 girls who came with us were not exactly excited to be there! we took them to see La'vonne. she was definitely the perfect person for us to see. she asked the girls a lot about their faith and testimonies and if they really believed or if they just came because their parents wanted them to. it really helped them see that they have stronger testimonies than they thought! it proved to me to never judge a book by its cover!! it was so fun to work with those sweet girls and it made me want to work more with the youth here. after the mini mtc we went and helped sister Thompson do service. i windexed her huge windows, mopped, dusted, organized name it i did it! then she took us to dinner! when we were eating i looked around the restaurant and i saw so many people trying to find happiness in the wrong ways. some were drinking, some were just caught up in their phones completely ignoring who ever they were with. at first it was really depressing, but then I remembered my calling! i remembered that I am here to help these people change and find happiness! I'm grateful for that knowledge that provides me with such hope. that day was rough though. i had so many amazing experiences, yet i was really struggling. being in a trio is not easy! someone told me about it before, that it's like when you're a little kid and you can only have one best friend. well being in a trio is like that. it's a super weird dynamic because sometimes you're really hitting it off with one comp and another time you're united with the other. and Satan uses that jealous and insecurity like none other!! today my companions were really hitting it off! they have a very natural bond because of their trials. so silly me, i was jealous! i felt left out! i felt so much pressure because I am the "strong one" right now. i felt so overwhelmed. i went into the bathroom and knelt right by the toilet-sister ketch style!-and I prayed probably harder than I've ever prayed before. I poured my soul out! I let Heavenly Father know everything! i asked Him to just show me, just prove to me His love. I waited for a sign and the quote came to my mind "if you want to find an answer to your prayers, read the scriptures." so i did. and i wish i could really describe to you what I felt. all I can say is that I know He loves me. And by reading His words, He showed me His love! Faith is not dormant! we have to act! we must search for the good in the world and do everything we can to be in a position to feel His love. Missions are rough! I get overwhelmed. But day after day I am gaining a firmer testimony that He is with me every step of the way! I never walk alone! Even though it was after a really hard day that I learned this, I'm still so grateful for everything that happened that day. Sunday was another roller coaster... the day started out really well! during sacrament I decided to read in Luke and I read about when Peter denied Christ. that part hit me especially hard for some reason. I just can't imagine having to go through what Christ went through. He knew Peter would betray him. yet he still loved Him so much and treated him so well! and to have someone who is that close to you betray you in that way is almost unfathomable to me! it just made me even more grateful for the savior! there were some incredible talks given in church as well. one was about faith and the other was about missionary work! i may be biased but the missionary work one was my favorite! :) the speaker had so much passion and i think it really inspired the ward to do better! the trouble started in Sunday school. they were talking about the Millennium and the conversation got really heated. it was probably the most uncomfortable Sunday school class I've been in! after church we ate and then took La'vonne and Teya to the visitors center. the whole way there la'vonne was just venting about the class and asking questions none of us could answer! I was hopeful that the vistors center would help, but I really don't know that it did. it felt like it had been more of burden than a blessing for them. it was really disappointing and when i got back i just wanted to burst into tears! after they dropped us off we had correlation. after that we had a big long talk about our level of diligence and thankfully my companions were on my side. i just want the best for this area! after that we all talked about la'vonne and how to help her and teya and it was just so nice to get all of my feelings out! i have never been one to want to talk about stuff I'm struggling with, but it really helps a lot. today i am still really struggling with the whole insecurity stuff, so please keep me in your prayers! I am not doubting that the Lord has made a mistake by putting me in a trio! it is just a little bit hard. but I know that during the hard times I really do learn the most! I love you all tons and am constantly praying for you! you really are the best and I'm grateful that I have a support system like you! love you all so so much! Sister Pehrson