Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 14, 2014

Family!!! This was such an amazing week!! It made me so so thankful to be serving here and to be a missionary! I love this work SO MUCH!!! so Monday was super hectic since we did the cherry blossoms,but it was super worth it! that evening we had dinner with our relief society president! she's such an amazing person. so I don't remember if I told you guys but we set up a member lesson with the woman in our ward. so that was coming up on Thursday and we asked our Relief society president if she had any advice for us or anything. she told us how awesome the lady really is and told us not to worry. I admire the relief society president so much!! she truly doesn't judge anyone and I think that is incredible. After dinner we had a lesson with a girl named Sloane. she's a senior this year and is friends with one of our ward members. Sloane went up to her and started asking her about the church and said that she had found the book of Mormon on her kindle, downloaded it and was now in Alma!!! how cool is that?! she is such a cool girl. she's a military kid so she's moved around pretty much everywhere and has met several church members through her life. her family is baptist, but she is loving the book of Mormon and wants to know more about our church. after that lesson we had correlation with the Bishop which went great! starting on Monday of this week I just had these feelings of things I want to change but I'm not sure how and since I knew my "halfway" point was approaching I was just wondering if I have really made that much progress or not and I was feeling a little bit down! Satan was definitely working on me, but Tuesday really helped me out with those feelings! We had zone training Tuesday morning and it was so amazing! we talked about the story of Abraham and Isaac. Elder Bednar talked about this in his conference talk so it was something I was wanting to study. we talked about how much of a sacrifice it was for Abraham to do what he did. we talked about true sacrifice and what the results are. I thought about my mission so far and how it's been so amazing, but that I can do so much better and be more than just mediocre. I've been having a lot of feelings of "what if I didn't do enough in my last area?" and "what if i could have been a better companion?" But I know that Heavenly Father needed me to have those experiences. He doesn't want me to regret any of the time I've spent and He accepts my efforts, as imperfect as they are! I've been really praying for His help to deal with feelings of inadequacy or failure and it's been helping a lot! But zone training really taught me a lot about what I still need to sacrifice. it's interesting because right now is a point in my mission where I can really fell myself changing. I have such a strong desire to become better every day and to make the most out of the next 9 months, and I'm excited to see all the adventures they hold! But the most exciting thing happened at zone training! Sister Kramer, who served in Leesburg after me, told me that Joshua was going to be baptized on Saturday!!! I'm not sure if you guys remember him but he was the hilarious African who wore the "cool story babe. now make me a sandwich" shirt! But i guess he started going to the singles ward over there and decided to get baptized!! It was so exciting!! after training we ate and then met with Valerie. We had a good visit and then we went on exchanges. me and sister martindale stayed in our area with sister kramer and sister egbert left. Sister kramer is so incredible!! she's so full of the spirit and is so loving and fun to work with. she is exactly who I needed to go on exchange with. we started off the exchange by reading an email sent to us by president that he sent to his son serving in Texas right now. it was all about practice and specifically practice teaching and truly being prepared each day. we realized that although we've been doing the practice teaching, it's been pretty meaningless and we've really just been doing it to fill time. So sister kraemer said she'd help us with that the next day. after that we ate and then went to see a less actrive family. Sister "M" was baptized when she was in her 40s with her kids were baptized. later on brother M got baptized but they haven't been to church in a long time. this was only my second time meeting with them and it was seriously one of the most spiritual lessons on my mission so far!! we talked about grace and about the temple. but we were talking about the temple and sister M told us that their son was in the first group of LDS people to get to go to the Kirtland temple and he got to pass the sacrament there! sister m also went and she cried as she told us how strong the spirit was when they sang the spirit of god. she said that she went to church 2 weeks ago with her grandkids and they sang the spirit of god and she just cried the whole time! she said she promised herself she would go back to church after conference and so we talked about how we could help her do that. we talked about the sacrament and how important it is because it allows us to get that extra strength from God to improve each week! after we said that, Brother M was like "we need to take the sacrament!!!" he told us that we need to be at their house at 8 30 on Sunday morning so that they really will go! oh my goodness it was the most exciting thing ever!!!! I was so scared that sister kramer had brought up the temple but it was exactly what they needed to hear. after the lesson in the car we talked about being bold in our inviting and how bringing up uncomfortable stuff is so important!! the rest of the night we mainly tracted with not much success but it was such a great day! at the end of the night I told sister Kramer how I'd been feeling about my last area and the time i spent there and she told me she has felt the same way about some of her past areas but that I just need to remember that i did impact peoples lives there and that all I can do is focus on now and becoming better every day! it was something I really needed to hear and I'm so grateful Heavenly Father sent Sister Kramer to tell me that!! Wednesday was another amazing day!! during comp study that morning we tried out some new ways of practice teaching and it went so much better than it had in the past. it's funny because i felt like we were doing so well just because I came from an area where practice teaching rarely happened! but I realized that we really weren't meeting our full potential here. just because this area is a million times better than my last, doesn't mean it can't be a million times better than it is now!! we then talked about all we learned on the exchange and set some goals on how to improve. mine were: 1. truly focus on right now and savor it! 2. Make things happen. Don't wait & don't hesitate! 3. Do the uncomfortable things. ALWAYS! I don't know if you guys read my blog or not but Sister Kramer is the one who told me about the talk "always in the middle". i read that on Wednesday morning and that talk encouraged me so much! I feel like I have all these changes I've been wanting to make but I felt a little stuck and overwhelmed. Now I see that I have 9 amazing months ahead of me to make whatever changes I need to want to make! And I still have years of progression after the mission as well!! it was so funny, as I shared some of these thoughts with sister martindale and sister kraemer i got all emotional, but it was like happy emotional! I was crying and I was like "I just love eternal progression!!'" then we all just busted up laughing! gotta love those hormones..haha. anyways after that we exchanged back and shared our thoughts and ideas with sister egbert. we then had FB and language study. then we did a whole bunch of tracting. we were walking up to this door with kind of a long driveway and then the UPS guy showed up and we were walking to the door the same time as him. it was like an awkward stand off and we were all just cracking up! after that we ate and then went and saw sister C. she had all of her Easter decorations up and there is a sign by her door that says peep, but it's written in cursive so it looks like poop. she was like "if you're wondering,the sign says peep, not poop!!" she's such a hoot! she had us blow up her inflatable bunny decorations, we talked about conference, and then we left. we stopped by the woman who let us use her bathroom last week, and we brought her family some cookies. they were so excited to see us, it was so cute!! after that we decided to check on this address from a sticky note i found in my bag. that person wasn't home but we knocked around them and met a girl from somewhere in Africa. she was excited to hear about the book of Mormon and said she'd let us know when we can come back over. it was cool to see why we were needed over there!! after that we had a member lesson with a younger couple in our ward. they are so awesome and it was one of the most spiritual member lessons I've ever had! we taught the plan of salvation and they committed to study in preach my gospel about that and let us know if anyone's name comes to their mind that we could teach. Thursday was so great! after studies and facebook we went and saw an investigator, Valerie. after that visit we knocked doors. it was the most beautiful day ever so tracting was really fun! Unfortunately no one we met was interested, but everyone was really kind so that was good. after that we checked on a ward member how was baptized about a year ago. she's from somewhere in Asia and she invited us to come over for tea some other day. after that we ate dinner and then went to check on some former investigators we had dinner with a couple weeks ago where we met that brasillian family. we decided to check on some of their neighbors we met last week and it turns out they were all outside on the porch of one of the neighbors houses. as we walked up we hear someone yell "IT'S THE THREE SISTERS!!!"it was Anna, the little brasillian girl! It was so cute. i guess she keeps asking her mom when we are going to come back. we talked to everyone for a while, mainly about our missions. Christine said she'll call us and have us for dinner soon. after that we went and checked on some other investigators. when we left their house we had about 20 minutes before we had a member lesson. sister martindale needed to go to the bathroom, so we stopped by Safeway. we were looking for it and we passed these 3 guys using a coinstar and one of them looked at us and was like "dang, ya'll are pretty!!" Sister Martindale and I kept walking but sister egbert stopped and started talking to them. they gave us their address and told us to come over. one was like "we got a pool! ya'll can come swimmin with us! I won't let none of mah friends mess with you." they were sooo creepy! haha then one of them was like "my mom was a Jehovah's Witness once." they were a little intoxicated...then when we left they again told us to come over and see them and one guy was like "I'm not telling ya'll to come over just cause I'm single at Safeway or whateva. i really want to see you guys!" they were all in their 40s too which made it so much creepier! we decided we're going to give that address to the elders to check on haha!:) on Friday morning, the missionaries in Russia called us and asked if we could help teach Pedro again that afternoon. we called sister K, who is from brasil, and asked if we could do it at her house. sadly once we got to the house, the missionaries called and told us pedro had rescheduled at what would be 6 AM our time the next day. we were going to say no, but sister K said she'd help us teach him at that time and we could use her wifi! they called again and said it would be more like 7 30 so we decided to do it at the church since we had a meeting/breakfast there at 8. sister k fed us lunch and we had an amazing talk about missionary work and how it really is hastening. sister k is so excited about missionary work and she's always talking to her friends and family about the gospel, it's so amazing! she was like "i don't care if it's 3 A.M. if someone needs to hear the gospel, I'll teach them! I can't sleep if I know someone's missing out on hearing this." it made me think about if I feel that way and if I really have that anxiety for others to hear the gospel! after lunch we finished weekly planning and then did FB. then we had our interviews with President! I just love that man! He is so passionate, humble, and full of love. he talked about how important our studies and and how we need to be preparing to teach every day through our studies. i do study every day, but I know i can always make them more meaningful! He shared a quote by Joseph Smith, "A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation." Then he invited me to think about what I will sacrifice this transfer in order to produce the faith necessary to reach everyone the Lord has in store for me to reach. it's something I need to pray and ponder about so I know I am truly sacrificing. it was an amazing interview and made me so thankful to be in this mission! he also told me about this visa waiter whose been in the mission for a year and he got his visa on April fools day! president called him and it took him 5 minutes to convince him that he seriously got his visa. SO FUNNY! after that we headed straight to our lesson with Luis!!! we had a member come with us and it was such an amazing lesson. we taught the plan of salvation. he didn't get a chance to read the book of Mormon this week because he's been so busy with work. he said he's been asking everyone at work what they know about Mormons haha! our lesson with him was so intense though. the spirit was so strong! I've set a goal to be more bold and confident in my teaching so I invited Luis to be baptized in a pretty bold way! We invited him to be baptized on May 10th. he was pretty darn shocked! He was like "you don't sound like my teacher anymore! you sound like my superior now!" we all told him that he needs to know for himself if he should be baptized that day or not. i think he was excited but just really surprised! when we left he shook everyones hand but when he got to me he saluted me. hahah love that guy so much! after that we were supposed to have another lesson but the guy wasn't there. we stopped by a members to use their bathroom and they gave us some Georgetown cupcakes. it was glorious! Saturday was so amazing!! we woke up at 5 45 so we could work out and get ready in time for the lesson with Pedro at the church and then our breakfast and meeting. so we waited and waited and waited..and Pedro didn't show. i guess it's good to know that the same stuff that happens here happens in Russia too! anyways we ate and then the area 70 spoke to us! he talked about working with members and how we need to be really patient with them. he said "you have 18 months to serve, but you have eternity to reflect on it!" powerful!! after that we studied. it was a beautiful day so we studied out in the park and i got BURNT!! but it'll be a tan soon...i hope :) after that we met up with sister kramer and her comp so we could exchange and sister kramer and i could go to Joshua's baptism! it was amazing! Joshua was so surprised to see me! he was like "how was brazil!!" i told him I hadn't been yet. we asked him how he was feeling and he was like "I'm good! I like this jumpsuit. it's so comfy! I need to buy one!" hahah i love him! so one of the members in his ward plays for the redskins and is going to take Joshua shopping for a suit! the baptism was so amazing though. it was cook to see that tracting really works and that planted seeds do grow! even if they seem like they never will! after the baptism we exchanged back and checked on a referral who wasn't home. we knocked doors with no success. on our way back to the car we saw a ton of people around this car so we asked if we could help them out. the woman looked up and got super excited and we were like "shoot are we supposed to know her?!" haha but she explained that she's in the Oakton ward. so the lady, sister h, introdued us to her sons and their friends (who are our age and not active). she let us use her bathroom. she kept talking about her sons and how good It was for them to see us and when we were walking out she was like " go through the garage so they can see you again!" i think she wants us to flirt to convert...haha. after that we had quite a few unsuccessful visits but then we checked on that girl, Gelica who we met a few days before. we met her mom, Clarice. she's so sweet and has actually been taught by missionaries before!! they told us to come back in a few weeks and teach them so that was exciting! we were really bummed out though because we had a voicemail from the M's that night saying that brother M got sick and they couldn't come to church! :( but they promised to come in a few weeks when sister M gets back from a trip. Sunday was a great day! kind of disappointing at first because Luis and Sloane both didn't get to come to church :( we got a new ward mission leader so that is exciting! he's pretty young and is excited about the work so I'm really looking forward to how it'll change things in the area! after church we studied at the park for a bit but got way too hot! after dinner we did some tracting! we met some super amazing people! the first we met was Melanie. she's a kindergarten teacher and had 2 lds kids in her class a few years ago and their mom gave her a book about the history of the church and she is learning more about the church now. she was raised Jewish and the became christian at age 31. she and her husband are still looking for "the right church" for them. she feels like her friends can teach her what she needs to know but she was freaking out that we were girls!! she's only seen elders so she thinks it's amazing that girls do this too! we gave her our card and invited her to church and she was like "you don't have to be a member to go?! you can just come any time?" we were like "YES!!! anyone can come! please come!!" so they're probably gonna come next week!!! after that we met a super hilarious family from England. the son answered the door and he was about our age and is incredibly good looking! as soon as we heard his accent it seemed like we all lost our ability to speak and think clearly hahah. but he had a Mormon friend in high school but he never really told him much about the church. his name is rowan, and the family isn't religious but rowan accepted the book of Mormon and said he'd read it! his dad then came out and told us he's going to really make his son go to our church now. his dad was super hilarious but not too interested! we told them we'll stop back by and they seemed okay with it. the last really cool person was Mr. Murray. he is episcopalian but said their family doesn't go much. his daughters have LDS friends and he actually uses the churches family history website a lot! they told us we are welcome to come back and share more. it was a really successful tracting experience! we ended the night doorbell ditching a lady. we left her cookies and a note. she has cancer and we wanted it give her a little pick me up! this week was seriously so amazing! i can't believe my 9 months are up. it's gone fast for me, i don't know how it is for you guys though! probably torture ;) i love you all so much and hope you have a fabulous Easter! I'll be really missing dad's awesome Easter egg hunts! love you!! Love, Sister Pehrson

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