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

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