Monday, December 4, 2017

One way ticket to SLC airport

FRIENDS! This week has been so so so awesome and wonderful and OOOOOOh I just love Christmas I really do!

Well did I mention Marina had her baby?? Probs forgot but he is the cutest little bean you have ever seen! Mateo Rene Ramos! (: (: I died. 

So we've been #Lightingtheworld in Fairhope this week and we went to this huge parade. Not gonna lie the adversary knows I do not love huge crowds of people, and Mariah Carey playing in the background, and I have to be focused on people's salvation... But we met some super cool people and hopefully they enjoyed the spirit we helped them feel! 

We went up to TOXEY, ALABAMA this week! Toxey is the very edge of our mission so here is our miracle story! Sister Petersen is the Designated Driver...or should I say, WAS the Designated Driver until this snafu..

-pics or it didn't happen
Here we were on our nice pleasant three hour drive to Toxey. I was just taking in the beauty of the never ending trees and 55 mph twisting road. When on this drive my back started getting a little uncomfy, all you truckers know what I'm talking about. Well as I was fixing my chair, some people would claim I was "distracted", I turned left on a fork when I was supposed to turn right. Our fancy GPS from the 21st century rerouted us on this new highway and no one, not even yours truly, the designated driver, noticed it had rerouted. Not far down this path I got an unsettling feeling that we should check our route. Sister Hulstine, my trusty sidekick soon realized we had a one way ticket for MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI! YES THAT IS M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, MISSISSIPPI! We were just moments away from crossing the border outside of our mission boundaries!!!                Satan totally would've had us in his clenches! 
Mercifully we had the time and shoulders in the road to turn around and get back on our desired course. You know President Smith would've shipped our booties outta here had we crossed that line, there was a line and we almost just crossed it!

As I've been pondering this climatic episode, trust me the car was not very calm during this in real time, I've been so touched by how much our Father in Heaven loves us. He is never going to let us stray too far down the pathway of a wrong choice. He is always going to reach out to us through the spirit and other means to bring us home. I know it. I have felt it on this car ride and in my road trip of life. I know that my Heavenly Father sent me here to grow and learn but it is the plan, and has always been the plan, for me to return to Him. How merciful for our GPS (Holy Ghost) and the vehicle of the restored Church of Jesus Christ to give us access to get there. 

._. everytime I serve the volleyball at sports night the elders start a slow clap and get everyone applauding to make me mess up! 

-I just wanna be a big rockstar.. [:
last note we walked up to someone and the first thing he said was "ooooooh Mormons are so cute" (: I took it as a compliment (: I am cute!



-SISTER  p e t e r s e n🎄

-Sissy Hulstine being sung to by the Spanish Elders on her birthday (:
she turned 22 take a wild guess what they sang to her....

Monday, November 27, 2017

Choose your love, love your choice.

Three thanksgiving dinners. Five dessert stops. One exchange later. The freshman fifteen came a little later in the game for me. 

Friends I just want you all to know who you are. You are a child of God. He loves you. I am so grateful for my knowledge of the restored gospel. I promise you it blesses lives. Be grateful for all things. 

This week I had the opportunity to go to Saraland after Thanksgiving. As we were driving up to their apartment, Sister Larsen realized we didn't have the key and it was on it's way to Fairhope with Sister Nielsen and Sister Hulstine. She felt really bad for not remembering and at first I was annoyed that we had to waste our miles to go back, and we wouldn't get in on time. Then, I remembered who I was representing to this new sister, and I frankly forgave the situation. Later as I was writing in my journal, I remembered an exchange many months ago when the exact same situation happened with a key mishap and I was that younger new missionary. That exchange changed my mission. To this day the only person who maybe knows how much it touched me was my dear Sister Training Leader.

I have changed so much the past 11 months. I now know who I am, why I'm here, and who sent me here. I will forever and always love my choice to serve a full-time mission. I love my choice to love. I love my choice to be exactly who I am. My dear friends, you are exactly where He needs and wants you to be. Stop wishing away your life. Stop throwing away all the chocolate bars looking for the golden ticket. Roll down the windows every now and then. Smile at strangers. Forgive and forget. Have seconds. Be late. Don't make your bed. Laugh at the awkwardness. Don't delete the bad picture. I promise you when you look back over your shoulder, you will love your life.

That is my simple invitation to you: Love your life. 

-SISTER  p e t e r s e n☀

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Momma I made it!

.. y'all don't even know what's about to hit this zone

Picked up this Sister who was hitch hiking down the road and needed a ride back to Fairhope. Sister Hulstine is sweet. Like suuuuuwweeeet! She is from California and she actually came out on her mission the transfer right before me! We served in the Fort Walton Zone together and basically she doesn't know this but I've had an undying desire to be her companion for 11 months. (: So I'm excited!

The most exciting thing in the mission right now is that we made it on the news! HEYO! Basically there was a big lighting of the trees in Downtown Fairhope, and we went to talk about Hashtag Light the World with people, and this guy was like hey do you wanna do an interview and we were like, yeah. So now I'm famous! I've made it. I've arrived. I might as well just pack up and go home now because I've peaked getting that black tag to all of the the Mobile Tri-State area 
 (: .. my 15 mins of fame - link -   News - Fairhope Christmas Tree Lighting #lighttheworld

Elder Beheshti from the seventy came to our stake conference and it was awesome! He was so powerful as he testified about repentance. It really all begins with one choice. Who do you want to be in one yearIn five years? In thirty? It had a huge impact on me. 

 all my beautiful sisters from the Mobile Zone
Yesterday wasn't Pday so we could have a Zone Conference. Friends, there's a lot I don't know. There's a lot I am imperfect at. But I know President Smith is called of God to be here and to lead out this mission, and in knowing that, I know even more deeply that this work is true. I am beyond grateful for the knowledge I have of this restored gospel. I take it for granted far too often. I have such a deep love for my Savior. He truly is the Master Healer, the Great Physician. Please, come and join in His redeeming love. 

.. the one and only Sister Nielsen, she brings life to my soul

-SISTER  p e t e r s e n☀

Monday, November 13, 2017

Can you hear my voice this time?

We're gathered here today to remember our dear loved one Sister Evensen, who is graduating from this period of her mortal life. She was a fighter. Her name will always be engraved on the hearts of many in Bama including for starters my own. This soldier has changed my life and impacted the history of the world. Tallahassee 6 is gaining the best of the best of the best SIR. I truly had the time of my life fighting dragons with her. Only Jesus Christ and probably Mama Suz truly understand how much I adore and love Liz Evensen from Alpine Utah. I thank my Heavenly Father every day that she is a soul I have in this life to call my friend.

On another note, this week changed my mission. We have some really incredible people we're working with. One of our bff members Sister Schuerman (Nikos aka Dumbledore's mom) referred us to her neighbor and Katrina is SO COOL. She loved the Restoration and when we taught her about Joseph Smith she was like "whoa, I have chills." It was cool. But there were a lot of distractions so even though she got a lot out of it we didn't really feel the spirit, it was weird haha. 

Thursday the RS threw a baby shower for Marina Ramos at Olive Garden! Oh it was such a blast! I love this woman with all my heart she is so great! Her mom was visiting from Moldova and only speaks Russian. Well when we were leaving her mom grabbed my bag of leftovers and would not give it back because she thought it was hers.. I was anxious. I wanted my leftovers woman. I EAT CANNED SOUP, GIVE ME MY RAVIOLI! Long story short through an awkward broken conversation I got my food.... I'll spare you the details...

Friday we had a mission wide no car day and it was supposed to be really faith promoting and seeing a bunch of miracles but we just got stranded and had to walk and waste a bunch of time...... I guess it built our character or something. HAHAH

Saturday my testimony got wrecked. We visited a family who hasn't come to church in a while and apparently they converted to Catholicism. He was so nicely and cunningly vicious. Like he would compliment us and then just stab doctrine and testimony and he liked completely ripped apart the character of Joseph Smith. We left on a good note but all that night my spirit was hurting so bad. The next day at church was not a fix. In Sunday School our class very quickly got into deep doctrine and the elders were scrambling like turkeys because their investigator was there for the first time and she was SO FREAKED OUT! So basically it was like a million stress levels and a half. 
By the end of the block I was drained. The elders had a baptism for these two kids right after church and that's when God lifted all my burdens off my back. President Jurgens over our stake, pulled me and Sister Evensen out to ask us about something and we ended up debriefing our work with him. He gave us so much good advice about being a missionary for Jesus Christ and truly understanding what we are offering people. He told us that the "darkest night is just before the dawn." It changed my mission. I felt so powerful walking out of that divinely appointed meeting. The rest of the day went seamlessly. And the most piercing miracle of my full-time service occurred. 

Two days previous we met a kid named Damelle who was home early from school. Because of time this was the only house we knocked on in this huge cul-de-sac. When we came back to see him Sunday night I felt a special presence of something about to take place that I would forever be a witness to. His mother then answered the door. Damelle was attending a night session at their church but we told her who we were and Danyka invited us in. We sat five feet away from her small, humble, living room and we answered questions she had about God. We explained to her how important our message of the Restoration of Jesus Christ's gospel is and the spirit shielded the entire room. Every word that we spoke was not from us but it pierced her heart with truth. Danyka heard, for the first time in her life, two ordained ministers of Jesus Christ. She is getting baptized December 9th and I plead with each person reading this to pray for her family. Pray that they will not forget that night.

Sometimes being a missionary is rough. But Jesus Christ never had it easy, so why should we? He will shape our backs to carry our load. He is working through us at every turn. Brothers and Sisters, I testify to you that this truly is the fullness of times. God has a prophet on this earth. Now is the time to arise and bring our families back with us. 

"It doesn't matter how hard you hit, it matters how hard you get hit and get up and keep going."
-SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀

Monday, November 6, 2017

Because He Lives

My baby brother turned 18 years old. Whenever I think about God not being real and life just taking me here and there, I reflect on what has happened to me in the past two years since I turned 18. Since I turned 18 I have graduated high school, survived jumping out of a plane, gone through breakups, lost friends, gained friends, seen loved ones pass away, received blessings in the temple, watched my family hurt, felt alone, got my associates degree, left my family, cried myself to sleep, had a witness from the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and served as a full-time missionary for 10 months in the Southern United States. All of that since I was 18.

When I think that God is not around, I am reminded of all the things God has helped me conquer. I know that without a doubt He is in the details of my life. But how is this possible? Because "God so loved the world, He gave His Only Begotten Son." Jesus Christ has carried me through grace by grace, day by day to where I am now. I might not recognize that He's in every morning, giving me the strength to kneel down next to my bed at 6:30 am, just following a long hot day of tracting. I might not realize that He sends His comforter to my heart after every vile encounter we have. I might not realize in the moment that all things work together for my good. But when we look back at what He has carried us through, there is no doubt in my mind that God is real. And Jesus Christ is my Redeemer.

I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives.

-the field is white already to harvest..
The blessing it is to carry this testimony day to day and minute by minute to the hearts of my brothers and sisters here in Alabama is indescribable. Jesus Christ is real. He lives and He knows you by name. "If I were and angel" I would stand on the rooftops of Fairhope and pierce every heart within the sound of my voice. Friends, I can only do so much as a missionary. I can only knock on so many doors a day. I can only stay awake during so many study prayers. I can only laugh at the same gospel jokes so many times. But I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I love each one of you so very much, but I am so grateful I get to spend this time away from you to serve my Father in Heaven. Live everyday to serve others and you will feel the power of Jesus Christ change you.

- SISTER  p e t e r s e n☀

-live in Fairhope Library (:
oh, ps, because this was a serious email..... we're getting smartphones in January WOOOT WOOOOOOOO. And I ate crab legs this week. And I got more ant bites. And I slept on the floor. And I made Sister Evensen laugh so hard she spit out her water everywhere. And we spent a whole dinner hour walking around the Disneyland of all grocery stores. And I had a nerf war with kid Boxx. And we made homemade pizzas on Halloween and the only thing that makes me happier than little kids who really believe they are Elsa and Ninjas is pizza.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Quality vs. Quantity


The Lord directs our plans! That's a fact of life. Thursday we went into downtown Fairhope to contact at this Farmer's Market. As we were driving into town, there were witches everywhere!!! On bikes and roaming the streets all decked out black pointy hats strolling around. We jumped out of the car and found out that there was a huge charity witch bike ride! I LOVE FAIRHOPE! We contacted a bunch and watched the parade, it was a blast! Oh and we were casually on tv because the news reporter was filming right next to us... (: 

MEAGAN! Send prayers for our dear friend! We met her at Subway a few months ago and we saw her again and she is so stoked to learn more and meet! MIRACLE. I'm telling you what she was a straight answer to tons of prayers! 

-Dogwood girls at the 5k- High class stuff here. Frankly Scarlett.
Saturday the Elders ran in a 5k (Turkey Trot) and they took 1st and 2nd! HOLLA! We were at the finish line cheering them on! It was so, so, so freezing cold, but with all those race vendors and such, it was #worthit.

Yesterday, I had to speak in Sacrament Meeting with President Smith. That's right, President Smith as in the President Clint W. Smith of the Florida Tallahassee Mission. :]  I wasn't stressed at all. Anywho, I spoke on overcoming the world and I took a spin on overcoming the natural man through Faith, Hope, and Charity. For charity I talked about how my mom has grown to love and forgive our family cat after clawing up her favorite couch. It was a crowd pleasa. I love being around President Smith, he just brightens my soul. But dang it they pulled a prank on us! 

So Bishop Boxx has a specific spot in our church parking lot that he likes to park in. Over the past several weeks we think it's so funny to race him and try and take his parking spot before ward council and such. Well, yesterday Bishop Boxx legit pretended to be really mad in front of President Smith that we've been stealing his parking spot, and then this morning for interviews President very seriously rebuked me and Sister Evensen, telling us we need to respect Bishop Boxx. We felt pretty bad and we were also annoyed with Bishop because he knows we're just trying to be funny. Well, I get into my interview with President and he just starts laughing! Apparently, after our fireside last night, Bishop and President devised this twisted plan over dinner to make us feel really bad. President knew the whole time that it's all lighthearted fun! He apologized if he was too harsh but I was just so joyfully surprised that President Smith is a real life jokster!!! I LOVE MY PRIESTHOOD LEADERS (:

We have been having kind of a dry spell the past several weeks in our area but this past week we have seen a billion miracles! I got to pondering about the work we've been doing. In Elder Ballard's book Our Search for Happiness he says, 

"'The quality of our lives.' It's an interesting phrase. I suspect most people think of this concept in terms of the comforts and conveniences they enjoy. But I prefer to think that the quality of our lives has more to do with substance than style. A quality life is one that positively influences others and makes the world around it a better place in which to live. A quality life is one that is constantly growing, expanding its horizons and enlarging its borders. A quality life is one that is filled with love and loyalty, patience and perseverance, kindness and compassion. A quality life is one that is based on eternal potential and not confined to this life only. A quality life is a life well-lived."

I know I am surrounded by quality people. I have given a quality effort. We might not have a huge teaching pool, but we have quality individuals we have the opportunity to be around. I have had a quality mission, and that's all that I think really matters to me, and the Lord. 

Bring more quality blessings into the world around you! I love you! I genuinely love each of you very much! 

-SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀

-Witch ride
- My best pal Nikos put on his Dumbledore costume when we went for dinner.
 Legit he is the coolest human I know.

 Nikos found his twin. I have the best humans in my life here. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

I look around me and I see it isn't so

The world is BEAUTIFUL! I don't care if it rains or pours or storms the world and the people in it are BEAUTIFUL!

From getting donuts with our Soul Sister, Sister Dykes, to Tallahassee, to Church Tour adventures with Bishop Boxx! This week was SO MUCH FUN!

Thursday we drove to Tallahassee for an exchange. We were on FSU campus! It was so fun! Tons of people to talk to!!! We got to teach some awesome people! And basically we walked allllllll day hahaha. It was great! We had to sprint across campus to meet someone and I felt like I was in a movie! It was so fun and Sister Jenkins is legit the coolest person I know. 

Sunday was awesome! We had a crazy storm blow in and got stranded at the church. Meanwhile, Bishop took us on a tour of the rafters. And then later that night, everyone came to the church for ADDY'S BAPTISM!!! AHHH. Here are my thoughts. Heavenly Father knows us. He knows each and everyone of us by name. I had a couple of very personal experiences this week and I cannot deny that God knows me. He knows it and I know it. And I know what we're doing matters. When Addy's dad confirmed her a member of the church he gave her a blessing from her Father in Heaven and it was powerful. I felt the power of the Holy Ghost touch every person in that room. We did a small talk about rainbows and the promises we make at baptism. We are all colorful lights making an impact on the world! And the amazing part is that everyone has the light of Christ! Every single person is a child of God! 
I have cared too much about what everyone in this town thinks about me wearing a nametag and I have cared too much about walking up to their fancy houses. I have cared too much about people loving their own church. I DON'T CARE ANYMORE. Because the joy and love I felt in Addy's confirmation blessing, I KNOW they do not have that in their lives!


Go out and love them to death (: (: (: (: I promise you that's what we're doing. We are ALL enlisted. We might not be perfect 
missionaries. We might get a little distracted by their cute dog or the weather, but I can tell you one thing...


I love you all!

-SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀