Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

Oi familia!!!! I hope you've all had an amazing week and that you're not too worried about me leaving the country ;) I've obviously had a very exciting week in soo many ways!! So monday after emailing we shopped super fast and then went to the viva Vienna festival. Our investigator Morgan was dancing there and we got to watch her! Her mom Ellen was really shocked and so grateful that we had come! it was a ton of fun. After we watched her we went and ate some deep fried cookie dough because you can't go to something like that and not buy deep fried cookie dough! it was disgusting and delicious all at the same time.. haha. we saw tons of members and investigators there too so it was really fun! after that we went and had dinner with some members and it was about that time that i realized how fried i had gotten so they sent us on our way with a whole bottle of aloe.. haha i guess that was a good lesson to learn right before Brazil! That night we attempted to visit quite a few people with not much luck but we street contacted a lot and met some really awesome people! this one guy was out playing basketball with his son and when we were talking to them the dad explained to the son what we do as missionaries and told us how cool he thought it was. but then he pointed to the beer in his hand and told us he's not quite interested haha. Tuesday was obviously a really crazy day! we went to our district and zone meetings and everything was normal until the end. President walked over to the room we were in with our district and said "I need 2 missionaries." and then he pointed at me and sister Egbert! i had no idea what to think! he took us into the hall and said he'd talk to sister Egbert first. As they were in that room I had a million different things running through my mind! oOe of them was that one of us had gotten our visa but I didn't want to get my hopes up or anything! So then sister Egbert came out of the room and I was trying to read her face to see if I could tell what was going on but I got nothing! So President took me into the room and sat me down and told me he had good news and bad news. The bad news was that sister Egbert hadn't gotten her visa. the good news was that I got mine. I think I had about a million different thoughts running through my mind! Excited, yet sad that Sister Egbert didn't get hers! thrilled for a new adventure, and yet so sad that I have to leave the amazing place I've grown to love so much! Incredibly nervous and apprehensive about speaking a new language, experiencing a new culture, and leaving the country for the first time!! I was all over the place and still am! I asked President how to help sister Egbert and he said to just hold off on telling the ward and suggested some other ideas. He then told me how proud he is of me, which made me feel really great! It was weird walking out of the room because everyone was watching trying to see what was going on. Me and sister Egbert just hugged and cried for awhile. I always thought when I got my visa I'd be doing cartwheels and jumping for joy!! In some ways I am but it's also really hard knowing that i got mine and sweet sister Egbert didn't!! I feel like this next week will teach me a whole lot!! The mood of our day definitely changed after that. We went and did some stuff for sister Egbert's visa and she felt really discouraged. It's hard to cheer someone else up when you have what they want!! But I am really trying!! after lunch we went and saw a ward member. she is such a sweetie! she's the one who bought us the really amazing blender! she needed to borrow it so she could make pesto for the mutual activity that night. we helped her and it was so fun getting to know her! after that we did FB. We then went and ate dinner with the Kofords, the family from Brazil. Being in their home always makes me want to go to brasil so it was extra fun being there tonight and realizing that I'm finally going! After dinner we walked around in a huge rainstorm until it was time to have a lesson with one of our members. they are a really cute younger couple! at the end of the lesson the husband told us how much he loves having us in their home and it was really exciting!! After that we went to try this lady that a member told us about who they had given a book of Mormon to sort of randomly. we knocked and met a cute little Filipino family and they invited us to come back later in the week!! Wednesday was really great! we had our second half of zone conference in the morning which was awesome! it was all about boldly inviting and was an awesome reminder that if i really love the people, i can be as bold as i want! this zone conference made me realize again how much I'm going to miss this mission!! after the conference we went and mailed off stuff for sister Egbert's visa. after that we did FB and then went and saw a family in the ward. we talked to the mom and set up a time to come back and do a member lesson! during dinner I started sorting through my stuff and getting rid of lots of things! It's weird because I want to prepare, but a lot of stuff I still need to use so I can't sort and pack quite yet!! but I'll be sending some stuff home and I've already let sister Egbert sort through some of my clothes and things I don't want and I'll probably take that bag of stuff to district meeting so other sisters can look through it! but after dinner we went and had a member lesson with this family that just moved in. they probably have some of the craziest kids I've met on my mission! it was definitely an adventure to teach them haha. After that we met this amazingly prepared guy named Brandon! He talked to us for an hour just about life and God and it was so amazing!! Thursday was such a blast! we got to do service for our cute friend Louise in the morning. we pulled weeds and trimmed bushes while she told us lots of amazing stories! she then gave us another tour of her house and showed us pictures and then she and her husband ordered pizza for us. it was so sweet! and a really cool miracle happened! before that day, when her husband saw us he would kind of ignore us politely. but that day he completely opened up and pretty much told us his whole life story! it was so awesome and really strengthened my testimony of serving others! after that we rushed home and changed and then saw Valerie. we spent most of our time that day talking about the atonement and what it means for us. it was really amazing! we then did fb and then had dinner with some ward members! they are an awesome family! they were pretty shy at first but by the end they really opened up and gave us a ton of referrals! we went and checked on one right after dinner but they were busy and told us to try another time! we then went and saw Ellen had forgotten about our appointment but we just sat and talked with the girls for awhile. it was really nice! we then had correlation with the elders and our ward mission leader! Friday was great! definitely different than most days I've had on my mission so far! we did weekly planning and then while we were doing FB Jean Pierre called us and asked us to come do some service for him! we went over there at four and did service and when we finished he asked if he could show us some of his inventions! this guy really is a genius. it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen! we then shared with him about the plan of salvation and left him with a pamphlet to read. when we were getting ready to go his cute older Swiss couple showed up to see him! they were the cutest, funniest couple! their names are Otto and Audette. Otto is super sarcastic and audette is as sassy as an old lady can get! (think grandma Jane with a Swiss accent) they told us that all three of them met because they took an English class from Mormon missionaries years and years ago in Switzerland! how cool is that?! Jean Pierre told us he remembers audette teasing the elders a lot. when one of them said he was from Tennessee he asked if any of them knew where that was. Audette told him no, they only studied civilized societies! haha! they were so cute and fun to talk to. and Jean Pierre is opening up to us more and more! we told him i got my visa and he said "I will miss you vewy much when you go to Bwasil". he's the cutest! i love teaching him because even though he's older he still has a really open mind! Saturday was such an adventure! we got invited to Ermie's birthday lunch which was lots of fun! we then did a church tour! despite the many flyers we handed out, no one showed up. but it was cool because we invited a laurel who is graduating and preparing for a mission and so we got to know her really well! after that we went and met our neighbor for dinner! sister Egbert met him way before i got here and just talked to him one day when he was going through a hard time. he was really grateful that she listened to him and we've been good friends ever since. we always see him in the gym in the morning and so the other day he came up to sister Egbert and was like "I'm not going to convert, but I've always wanted to know more about Mormons! tell me more!" so he then invited us to ice cream which ended up being lunch. he took us to a sports bar which was a little awkward and we stuck out like sore thumbs haha but we weren't in the bar area so it was okay i think. so we had about a 2 hour meeting with him! this guy was so prepared. he brought paper and pen for taking notes and was just loaded with questions! It was one of the funnest lessons I've taught on my mission! he said he'd try to stop by our church soon! I'm super excited for what will happen with him! after that we realized that we were almost out of miles and it was the end of the month so we were going to start walking everywhere but then we remembered the elders have bikes and we could borrow those! so we did and it was an adventure!!! lets just say Vienna has seen more of me than it probably wanted to. there is NO modesty on bike! we biked over and had a great chat with Travis. we shared a scripture with him from Mosiah and we got him to pray at the end and it had to be the most amazing prayer I've ever heard on my mission! it was sooo funny and yet awesome! he was like "thank you for that scripture that the sisters shared from....(pause)..." then sister Egbert said "Mosiah" and then Travis was like "yeah i was gonna say like Almiah" haha and then he continued his prayer! he is so great! after that we stopped by 2 members homes and invited them to share their testimonies about missionary experiences they'd had recently! they both were really willing to do it and excited! Sunday i woke up with a very sore backside because those elders do not have comfy bike seats ! but besides that i felt like a million bucks! Church was wonderful! sadly no one we invited came but the meeting was so great! one of the members we invited to bear testimony did and then basically the whole rest of the testimony meeting was about missionary work and it got the ward REALLY excited! it was so cool! after church we studied a bit and then did some tracting! we met some really nice people and then a guy who answered the door in his towel. i still can't comprehend why people do that and then look at us like we're the weird ones! we then ate with a family and it was a ton of fun! the mom texted us before and was like "you need to convince my daughter to go on a mission." so we did our best and hopefully we're going to be taking her out on some splits with us in the near future! after that we took the ward mission leaders wife out with us and neither of the people we wanted to see with her were home. luckily she's an RM so she really understands ! my ward mission leader is soo amazing and his wife is too and its so fun serving in the ward with them! after that we decided to go see Alicia. I felt really impressed to go see her. we went and no one was home except for her step daughter, Mazie. Mazie is 19 and she let us come in and we had the most amazing, spirit filled lesson! She just opened up to us about everything and I think she realized how interested she is in the gospel! her dad is a member and her mom is not so it's hard for her to decide where to go. but we got a return appointment with her and everything so the future is looking really great for her!! I am loving my last days here in VA. I am trying to give it my all and to do all I possibly can here before I go!! some days I thought my visa would never come and I was actually really okay with that. but I am excited that I did get it and for the new adventures ahead of me! I know it won't be easy, but I know that it's all a part of God's great plan! He has so much in store for all of us if we're just willing to accept the things he offers! I love you guys sooooo much! You have helped me through a ton out here and I will be forever grateful for your constantly positive emails and letters and packages! you are the best! love you so much!! love, Sister Pehrson

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