Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

Família! That's right! I am about to depart the U.S. for the next 7 months! It really isn't sinking in yet to be honest! I'll think about it a little and start freaking out but I've been so busy this week I haven't really thought of it a ton! I feel like I'm in a super weird dream! As soon as the members found out I am leaving they all wanted to feed me a bunch of American food! They are the sweetest! But really, this week has been so amazing! The perfect way to end my time here in VA! Monday was super fun!! We did the usual shopping and cleaning and then went to these beautiful botanical gardens! It was so much fun! Right after that we went to a ward family we have been working with and found out the husband was sick so that's why they didn't go to church Sunday. But they've been reading out of Preach My Gospel like we challenged them to so that was so exciting to hear! After that we went to visit another Ward member. His mom was visiting Texas. It was a ton of fun talking to them all! After that we decided to go check on a referral we got from the ward. It was the coolest family ever! They know tons of Mormons and are so amazing! We had a really awesome visit with them and the dad's heart has been softened a lot this year so I've excited to see what'll happen! Tuesday was wonderful! We had zone and district meetings and then had a lesson with Valerie. I told her I was leaving and she was pretty shocked! She told us she'd wait until Thursday to cry about it...she is so funny. She had a meeting with a publisher that day and is getting a book published. So maybe she really will be on Oprah someday! I hope so! After that we did FB and dinner and then we went to a member lesson but they weren't home. So we were walking around talking to people and met this older guy who was a little bit insane. It was really sad because he is so negative and has such a sad outlook on life. He thinks that everyone is out to get him. Sadly he wasn't very receptive but hopefully we at least made him feel better in some way! After that we went to a lesson with the singles ward sisters who are teaching a Brasillian! Her name is Caroline and she is a hoot! We brought a Returned Missionary who served in Brasil with us. It was so fun to teach her and made me really scared and excited for Brasil at the same time! :) Caroline has a crush on the member we brought and at the end she asked if we wanted food. We were like "oh we better get going" but she was like no you guys need to eat because brasillians will get offended if you don't eat their food. So we expected her to bring chips or something but she brings out a huge platter of sandwiches and cookies and every food imaginable! Then she brings out a cake that she had decorated that said "thanks for coming!" Haha it was the best thing ever! And then at the end she gave us chocolate and gave the member a gift bag with a teddy bear, chocolate, and a card. She is so cute! Wednesday was awesome! In the afternoon we went and picked up my flight itinerary. They also showed me all my paperwork so I now know what a visa actually looks like haha! But I am not allowed to have it all until tomorrow. After getting all that we met up with our sister training leaders and went on exchange. It was a really awesome exchange! I went to the sister training leaders area and sis Egbert stayed in Vienna. We taught lots of interesting people but my favorite person was this lady named Stacey and her son Adam. Stacey has a friend who is a member of the church and she went to church with her on Sunday. She really loved it and signed up to feed the sisters! So we came over and she cooked dinner for us and we had the most amazing spirit filled lesson! It was so great! She grew up not going to church at all. Her step family went to the Catholic Church and she asked her mom if she could go and her mom said no. That sparked a desire in her to attend church. When she went to college she dated a Lutheran and then joined that church but hasn't been back to that or really any other church since then. She has a 10 yr old boy Adam who is the sweetest thing ever! He loves his mom so so much. She is worried that Adam won't like church and their time together is so precious but she wants to get them both involved in church. She has an amazing relationship with God and knows she needs to go to church, she's just scared of committing. We taught her about Joseph Smith and how she was a lot like him because they are both truth seekers. She's really excited to learn more and she is so prepared! She's a very private person and it was amazing to see her just completely open up to us! I love being a missionary!!! Thursday was awesome! We exchanged back and then met up with Valerie. Our visit ended on a good note! She has been one of the most unique people I've taught on my mission...that's for sure! We had dinner with a family in our ward who had the newest members of our ward living with them while they moved in! It was fun to meet them and they will be a very powerful addition to Vienna ward! I'm super excited! After that we went and had a lesson with another family in our ward! We ended the night visiting brother Beck. He hasn't been to church in quite a while. We talked to him about family history since he's an expert and we're trying to get a class set up for that. He has amazing stories and it was very fun to visit with him! Friday was great! We weekly planned and saw our investigator Mazie. We visited her at Chipotle where she works. We walked in and a member from another ward paid for our food! It was so nice! We had a good visit with her. We then did a bunch of service for Jean Pierre and had a great lesson! He showed us even more of the stuff he's invented and worked on. He has made parts for drones and he created one of the first recording device for military planes. The one he created was being tested when the Russians shot down a Korean airline plane. They were denying it all but then the recording device Jean Pierre had invented recorded the Russian people telling one of their pilots to shoot down that plane! How crazy is that!? He kept telling us how "very Impressed" he is with us. :) After seeing him we tried to see Sadia who wasn't home. Saturday was sooo amazing!! We'd been trying to see Ellen all week and sent her a text Friday night just checking on her and telling her we love her. She texted us the next morning and invited us to come over and do service for her. We did and she sat outside and talked to us and we got to teach her a lot! She was so grateful and afterwards texted us telling us she knows god sent us because we've been coming exactly when she needed it! She is being prepared more and more and a lot of the rumors she's heard are being cleared up!! :D It's the best! After that we saw the Clark's. Oh how I will miss them! I truly hope Brasil has some hilarious people because I'll just miss that too much if they don't! This guy rode by on his bike and he was just average size and Travis was like "there goes that crazy giraffe man again! He's so huge! Wouldn't wanna run into him in a dark alley!" Teresa was like "he's not that tall Travis.." They always sit on these plastic chairs on their porch and they now have 2 more chairs set up for me and sister Egbert. I feel like one of the cool kids :) after dinner we went and took cookies to the new family in the ward and then found the house of someone we met at another persons house the other day. They weren't home but it was still so exciting! Sunday was amazing! We had an interesting gospel principles investigator talked about cow poop and evolution the whole was an adventure! After church we had lunch and a lesson with some members and then right after another lunch and another lesson with another ward family! Me and sister Egbert were about to die. It was great though! We then went and said bye to the McLeod's and then saw Ermie and Sheila. We saw some other ward members and then saw Alicia and Ed. It was one of the best most exhausting days of my mission! As far as my flight goes I fly out tomorrow. I will email you once I get there. I'm excited for the new adventure, but sad to say goodbye to Virginia. I have no doubt whatsoever that this was part of God's plan for me. I needed to serve here to learn many lessons. I now need to go to Brasil to learn other lessons and to teach those who need me there. Heavenly Father has blessed me so so much and I am excited to learn Portuguese and learn to exercise my faith in him even more! Love you all tons and will talk to you next week from Brasil! :):):):):) Eu amo vocês muito! Viva Brasil! Tchau! Irmã Pehrson

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