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

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