Monday, October 16, 2017

Touchdowns for Jesus

🏈Yesterday I went to a rock concert church and it was...... pretty awesome, actually if we didn't have the priesthood, and temples, and the Book of Mormon, and the fullness of the gospel, and stuff, I might consider converting. Just imagine how much me and Sister Evensen worshipped yesterday, it was awesome. They had fog machines and laser lights and a yelling pastor and the whole nine yards. It was great! Very apostate, but great!

🏈TRACY CAME TO CHURCH. I REPEAT TRACY CAME TO CHURCH! No texts, no calls, nothing for weeks! And then, the gospel principles door opened and she walked in and sat down next to me like it was no big deal. IT WAS A HUGE DEAL. Wow. We couldn't even sit still we were so happy. I'm still smiling just writing this.

🏈We finished Addy's lessons yesterday (: She's getting baptized next Sunday! Super super super excited! 

🏈Sister Evensen is twenty. aka super old. Either I have dirty glasses or she has wrinkles...

🏈Friday we ate at a member's home and she fed us pizza, God is real. 

🏈Marina!!! Wow. WOW. Wednesday night I taught the Ramos family with Sister Pipe. We taught very simply and powerfully why Jesus Christ is our Savior through the atonement. It was very spiritual. The best part of the lesson to me was when we asked her if she feels God's love and she told us yes. Because she would never be able to sacrifice her child for anyone. I know my words are weak, but this evening was very pivotal for her. I am so grateful for all the unseen angels in their living room that night. Thank you all for her prayers. Please, keep praying. She is so, so very close. I love this family very much.

🏈Finally, our triumphant baking experiment. Me and Sister Evensen threw some stuff in a mixer and called them pumpkin cookies. I was very skeptical of how they would turn out. When the beeper on the oven went off, I asked Sister Evensen how they turned out. She turned and with the most loving look she exclaimed, "They're BEAUTIFUL."

Love you all! The weather dropped to the 70's today, really starting to feel like fall! Oh yeah, this is the true church and that's a fact. So at the great and spacious building church, the pastor gave a pretty bumpin speech. He said that thousands of fans don't buy season tickets to watch 11 grown men bend over in a huddle on the football field. They want to see how that huddle effects the game. That's how our church, scriptures, and prayer is. What are we taking onto the field after we have our personal huddle with God? 

Get your game face on. Go wear your jersey with confidence in the true and living God.

- SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀

Monday, October 9, 2017

Hurricane Nate: Forecast for disappointment.

I'll cut to chase, I'm still alive. Nate hit over in Mississippi. It's always a sad day when they tell you you're gonna get a hurricane and then it never happens..(Irma, Jose, Nate) Quit playin with my heart Al Roker.

Tuesday- Embarked on a man hunt for people to teach. We biked. We walked. We danced. We sang. We knocked. We worked our little butts off. And as it turns out, the Lord is very mindful of His servants. We were led straight to Missy and Sophie's front porch! Missy was raised all hell fire damnation, and demonic crap, which has caused her to become somewhat agnostic. We testified of the Plan of Happiness and just seeing the light and love that filled their home. Wow. Sophie is 10 and she is the cutest girl in my life. Pretty much a miracle if I ever did see one.

Wednesday- 9 MONTH MARK BABY! We had to spend the day at Transfer Spot in Pensacola.. it was hot, hot, hot. BUT, I got to see our Elders from the MTC so that was super fun! Oh man at Chick-fil-A I couldn't decide what to order so I let ONE person go in front of me and he turned out to be the 100th customer of the day so he got free food and cookies!!! UGH I WAS SO SO SO ANGRY AGHHHHH. Still mad just thinking about it. Lesson learned.

SHOUT OUT~ Tiff birthed my new baby niece!!!!! <3 
family is forever, that's what's up.

Thursday- In the car for 6 hours to be at Mission Leadership Council, but don't worry I told the whole story of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to Sister Evensen with music included. MLC was hilarious but turns out I'm the only person in the mission who understands quality humor, so yes I was the only one laughing basically the whole time. HAHAH!

Friday- Zone Conference in our building. It was craziness. Basically, Thursday night we drove straight to the church, set up tables, drove home, slept, came back to the church. So my little tush was sitting for almost two days! It was a good conference but the energy level was low. We did everything we could to pump it up, BUT THEN we got word of the hurricane coming in!!! Dang that was super exciting! 
Ok best part of the whole day, Sister Evensen was a champ and got her flu shot!! We supported her the whole way, she never would have got there without us. (; but fo reals she was a flippin baller getting the needle plunged into her arm!

Saturday- We wake up to texts and phone calls from the Zone Leaders that they are evacuating us! HAHAHAH We were SO EXCITED. Throughout the day we got assigned and reassigned to other missionaries/members homes. We finally ended up staying at our Stake President's home with his family. Then a miracle happened inside my soul...

The Jurgens made their kids get our stuff from the car, now that's quality service.
This whole week I was having somewhat of a pity party being a little pooper. I was really missing home. I was sick and tired of my leadership role. I felt like we didn't get to work much. My head and body have been throbbing (because of the drastic changes in air pressure), I was basically done. Friday night I prayed to God and I told Him I just can't do it. I cannot be the missionary He expects of me. I received a spiritual confirmation "hold on til tomorrow". Saturday we spent literally from about 3:30 until 10:30 playing games and eating and laughing and telling stories with the Jurgens family through the storm. They had a bedroom set up for us. We mentioned caramel popcorn and they made it. I had homemade waffles with Mrs. Buttersworth Syrup! CHECKMATE ATHEISTS!!! They treated us like royalty! We had permission to watch Aladdin. For the first time in my mission I felt like a normal person. This was probably one of the funnest nights I've had this year. 

Sister Evensen's first time watching Aladdin, obviously converted her.

As I was writing in my journal that night I realized that my true favorite part of the whole day was teaching Ben the Word of Wisdom. I found so much joy teaching him about the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And that's when I understood true happiness. Don't misunderstand me, Saturday was beyond fun on so many levels, but nothing will ever compare to the pure joy I feel when I find, teach, and baptize God's children. Nothing compares to the pain this burden is. Nothing compares to the happiness that enters my soul to look into someone's eyes and proclaim to them a God who created them and loves them. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent Hurricane Nate, which ps never even touched our area just some intense thunderstorms, to let my see first hand the contrast of my normal life and what I'm doing now. Commandments, mission rules, standards, promises, covenants, they are not restrictive, I promise they create the perfect and only path for true undying joy. I know that God wants me here. I know that we are making a difference in His kingdom.

I know that God answers prayers.

-SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀
Permanently moving to Alabama just for the sunsets.

Monday, October 2, 2017

If we don't find Tommy or Gina this week I'll be highly disappointed.

Halfway baby. How did that happen? Couldn't tell ya. State the obvious, this week was not a perfect fantasy. I'll be honest with you, we're hardcore on the struggle bus to find new investigators right now. Fairhope is a really fun, artsy city, kind of like Park City, therefore people don't recognize anything missing from their lives. BUT that's ok! We're still searching. 

​Sis Asberry made me caramel popcorn for General Conference <3
General Conference was fab. Like totes ma goats the realist. I could get very deep with you and share all my personal insights, but it would take me years to write that. I loved hearing from God. Read the Book of Mormon daily. It is true. There are no coincidences. Show your love for others by putting your phone down long enough to serve them. Yes, that applies to you who are reading this thinking that doesn't apply to you.

Just a note on my favorite humans in Fairhope (:

Marina and Byron Ramos~ Marina is taking the lessons right now and we're taking things very slow with her. She is from Moldova and her foundation of Jesus Christ is really shaky, unlike every soul in the south, she really isn't Christian. The sisters have been teaching her for a long time, helping her know about Jesus Christ enough to come to know Him. Also she's pregnant and she is the cutest lady in my life! Brother Ramos is a convert himself and he absolutely loves the gospel. Yesterday they had us over for dinner and she made me BORCHT (Spence, I don't know if that's how you spell it). It was the kindest thing in my life. She made it because I mentioned how I wanted to try it one day! The spiritual highlight of the night was when we asked about their experiences watching conference. Brother Ramos told us his only goal in life is to have his priesthood restored so he can be worthy to give his children father's blessings. I almost fell out of my chair the spirit was so raw and powerful.

I've never thought about how blessed I have been in my life until I served a mission. 

Sister Evensen is stuck with me another six weeks and we have our work cut out. It is our reaction to the hard situation that we're in that will distinguish us from the world. Also, I love her more than peanut butter so it's gonna stay bumpin.

Sis Evensen sent this...She
s determined to teach Sister Petersen the Splits!
Mid-Mission Crisis: A milestone that one reaches halfway through serving a Full-Time LDS mission (typically 9-12 month mark), when said missionary reaches the capacity to handle emotional, physical, spiritual stress and starts to question or doubt the effectiveness of the past several months. Usually resulting in a state of panic causing much stress and self criticism, while recognizing desired improvements and goals that may or may not be reached by the time they are released.

Antidote: "Take my hand, we'll make it I swear, we're livin' on a prayer."

SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀



Monday, September 25, 2017

Man, I feel like a Woman.

CAN WE ALL JUST AGREE HOW AWESOME IT FEELS TO BE A SISTER IN THE CHURCH AND A WOMAN IN THE WORLD?!?!


~We deserve Donuts
Okie doke smokes. Tuesday morning we had interviews with President Smith and that's always fun. Then I had to train at District Meeting on contacting people/HTBT. It was funny because I'm not used to teaching solo haha so every time I said something I'd look at Sister Evensen to chime in. HAHA. She did, like a champ. 

We hunted down Tracy at her work because she has not been answering any texts or anything. When she saw us come in she just started crying. Tracy is probably one of the most solid people I have ever met on my mission and basically her boyfriend is an alcoholic and very abusive and he's anti-ing her hardcore. She's in a very sticky situation. But she assured us that it had nothing to do with us or her testimony of this gospel. She just needs to figure some stuff out because he won't even let her see us. It was heartbreaking. I've never left Pizza Hut sad until that day. 


~ Our cute Buddy Bella (: (:
Later that night, we had a few minutes before we left to go to the ward Relief Society activity. We decided to go find a recent convert of 4 years that we've never met before. As we were driving, we were both a little down because of all the events of the day, and then we couldn't find the address anywhere! Alex Boye did a cover of "Have I Done Any Good" and it came on in the car. We were kind of laughing trying to get pumped and this line pierced me, "Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?" Just then, I looked up and saw two older gentlemen, one in a wheelchair, who both looked homeless. I told Sister Evensen to pull over! Bruce and Charles were NOT interested to hear about the gospel and they made that known as soon as they saw us. But, as we talked with them, they invited us inside into the Rehab Center they were in front of.
The next day we went back to the facilit,y to talk to the activity director to volunteer in the week, where we met Antonica, a young mom from Jamaica, who recognized us because she's seen missionaries a lot back home on their bike! And while we were talking to Antonica, a woman rolled her chair to Sister Evensen and in a very hard to understand pleading voice she said, "Are you Mormon?" Sister Evensen said, "Yes, I am!" And the woman replied, "Me too." We didn't discover until later, that Debbie was the recent convert we were originally searching for!!!! She had a stroke shortly after her baptism and she's been in this rehabilitation center ever since.
How marvelous are the workings of God? I know I did my best to explain this story in words but it's impossible to explain how miraculous it was to meet Debbie. And her tender spirit is just hungering to be close to the Savior. Everyone we told this story to didn't realize the magnitude of what had happened, but we know it, and we know that God knows it. "To God each good work will be known."


~ DEBBIE!
Ok, ok, ok, I know that was heavy stuff but I can't control the miracles that we saw this week. This is a quick one. A few weeks ago I wrote about my bee sting story.  🐝 So on an exchange with Sister Whatcott, we went back to go see John, the old man with the bee cream. Well, his wife was not warm and fuzzy to say the least, and she turned us away. So we went across the street to knock some doors and the neighbor we went to was also quite uninterested. But right as she was shutting the door, Sister Whatcott asked if any of her neighbors had recently moved in, and she directed us to their other neighbor. When we went and knocked on the newly moved in neighbors, we woke Ashley up from a nap. She was pretty groggy but really nice. She told us we were more than welcome to come back it was just a bad time.
This initial contact with Ashley happened about a month ago. Wednesday, during our daily planning, we looked at our whiteboard of names and we both zeroed in on Ashley. When we went to her house later that day her husband Blake answered. He was so, so nice. He explained how he grew up Jehovah's Witness and he left that organization because he felt like he didn't really know God. He believes in God but he wants to know the God of justice AND mercy. He wants to know the God of commandments AND love. We had a really great conversation with him and we hope to teach their family very shortly. Send prayers because they are searchers of the truth. There is too many things that have led to them being found, God does not design coincidences!


~Sister Viola at Sister's Conf (:

Also we had a mission wide Sister's Conference on Friday, and I'm pretty sure President Smith saw that me and Sister Evensen are getting along way too well, so with transfers coming up next week, extra prayers are welcome to the #SaveSistersEvetersen companionship! HAHAHA




~A little piece of home (Cafe Rio Salads) 😍
                                   My soul cannot wait to hear the words of our prophets this week at General Conference. Friends, the true and living church of Jesus Christ is on the Earth today. I know it. And I know that God is working miracles through His servants to bring to pass His children's happiness. It's like when a loving parent fills your car with gas without you asking, or folds your laundry, or has your dinner ready on a plate when you are running in and out of the house, or gives you their gloves when you're at a soccer game in a blizzard. Yes my parents did all these things because they love me, and you don't realize it until you look back how much the Lord loves us and he is cheering us on every step of the way. (: I love you all so much!                                                                            SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀

Monday, September 11, 2017

Don't let the fear of not being Slash, keep you from playing guitar

Short and sweet, just like my pinky toe. We did back-to-back exchanges this week. We went up to Atmore and then drove over to Semmes. It was way fun but truly exhausting. I've never felt more excited to come back to my own bed. Which isn't actually my bed.... but still. It gets the job done. 

ATMORE: We stopped and got some dinner at Subway and when we walked in the worker was like, "Those name tags look familiar." AHH. We flipped. Bethany turned out to be a less active member who has really been struggling. She bought us dinner and then sat down and joined us. It was really cool because we could talk very boldly and openly with her because we don't even know her. She is so amazing and we were so excited that we ran through her path that day!

SEMMES: My dad always threatened that we would have to live in a "double-wide down by the river" if he ever lost his job. Well I'll have you know, double-wide trailers are actually quite cozy. The Semmes sisters sleep in a trailer. In the middle of nowhere. On a farm. Needless to say, I will no longer be complaining about the weird smell in our study room. Whilst in Semmes, me and Sister Wall were walking and started talking to a lady sitting in her front yard. I asked her what she's looking for in a church and she said she just wants a church that's focused on families. We walked away because we didn't know how to help her. JUST KIDDING BECAUSE THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST HAS THE PROMISED BLESSING THAT FAMILIES CAN BE TOGETHER FOREVER THAT'S WHAT'S UP. Yeah Kristen and her family will be baptized in the near future, I guarantee it.

Other than that, we have been searching for the elect. We sadly did not reach our five goals, but the Lord is still helping us out. Please pray for our investigator Tracy, she was supposed to be baptized this week and she has a lot going on in her life. We love her so much and she is very prepared, Satan is just working his hardest

Last note, no pun intended. At Zone Conference last week President Smith asked us if we're happy with the person we're becoming. Then I had a vision for not only myself but all my brothers and sisters around me. Are they happy when they look into the future? Do they have hope? Not the way we do. They don't know their Savior to the full extent as we do. I read a talk that explained how Jesus Christ knew what he had to do before he preformed the atonement, but he had never actually experienced the true exacting exquisite pain of it. And his submissiveness to being our savior, being who our Heavenly Father appointed him to be, change the course of human existence through the eternities. In our primary program the children sang "Gethsemane." At the climax of the song, each little child sang powerfully, "The fight was won by Jesus.


So if Jesus Christ can be a pivot point, why can't we. I decided I want to be someone that I am proud of becoming. I wear my glasses now, I'm applying to BYU, post-mish, and I'm picked up playing guitar. Who knows what the Lord has in store for every single person on this earth. But I do know we have the divine gift to choose which direction we go because of the beautiful gift of our great Redeemer's sacrifice.






Decisions determine destiny, choose your course and then run as fast as you can towards God.

-SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀

ps. my nails are only blue because my bff Addy who's getting baptized in October painted them today. (:





Hide yo wife, hide yo kids, IRMA is here

My lovelies. How are you beautiful souls doing around the world?

IRMA- I'll cut to the chase and tell you what you really want to know, Hurricane Irma is not going to hit Fairhope, sadly.....but the East half of the mission is on total lock down! It's been so exciting here! Wow. Last Monday Elder Southway went on and on about how the hurricane was coming this way and we needed to be prepared, me and Sister Evensen were like "yeah yeah". Well the next day President Smith orders a mission wide conference call and he very strictly instructs us to get water cases, top our gas, and have a go bag ready if we needed to leave within a half hour. WHAT.



Now, I'm not your average Joe who goes into panic mode, but I'll tell you how foolish we felt not having any water and having to run to Walmart and all the water was completely SOLD OUT! WE HAD TO BUY RICH PEOPLE WATER (dasani). Lesson of the 10 Virgins I'm tellin ya. #calledtorepentance



-Sis E preppin for IRMA





Basically this week has been like the funnest week of my whole mission. Nobody is keeping their return apts because of hurricane prep but literally ANYBODY will talk to us if you use the word Irma in your approach. Blessings in disguise! We debated whether or not to make cardboard signs that say "REPENT NOW- IRMA IS HERE" and stand on the street corners preachin. 😉
Alright alright. Thursday we went back to my homeland of Fort Walton, what a celestial area, and we had Mission Leadership Council with President and Sister Smith. Whoa talk about some spiritual giants. I couldn't even soak in all their inspiration. Basically it's just this meeting where we talk about moving the work forward across the mission. It was AWESOME. But this is SO EMBARRASSING, I'm in this room with crazy good missionaries and we had to take a vote on what we thought needed improvement, and for the first option I WAS THE ONLY PERSON THAT RAISED MY HAND. HAHAHAHAHA Me and Sister Evensen could not stop laughing!!!
.
Straight from there I went and stayed the night in Mobile with Sister Polanco on an exchange. Dang straight Mobile was intense. HAHA. We went and proselyted all day in a town called Pritchard. (If you've ever seen that meme "hide yo kids, hide yo wife" that was made there) Met some AMAZING people! It was so awesome! Then we went back to Fairhope for Zone conference the next day.

-My Zone Sistas
At 8:30 at night me and Sister Evensen find out that because of the storm situation our neighboring zone would be combined with us.... what. So we had to train a whole bunch of missionaries, like 60 something. You can feel the power of other missionaries. I made a fool of myself multiple times but all is well. Moral of the story is, me and Sister Evensen are basically best buds with President because we laugh at all his jokes! HAHAHA, We're like his personal audience.

-President and his lackeys
Sunday rolls around and we go to this appointment, they don't answer. But while we're standing on his porch 3 police cars slowly round the corner to a house. 🚓 We both kind of agree that it's a little sketch, but we wear tags, we're fine. Next we walk over to their neighbor and this really creepy car with completely tinted windows rolls right next to us and stops.. Then this really drunk guy standing outside tells us that someone down the street just got shot! THE SPIRIT BASICALLY YELLED AT US TO GET OUTTA DODGE. We thank him and quickly make our way back to our car. I will neither confirm nor deny that Sister Evensen held my hand because she was so scared. Isn't that so cool that Heavenly Father kept us safe. (:

Tracy is in a tough situation so please please pray for her! And this coming week we're focusing on 5's. 5 BCDs, 5 Friends at Sacrament Mtg, 5 New Friends. (: Pray for 5's.

Well friends, I want you to know that God loves His children. Straight up. No if's, and's, or but's. Reach out and spread the love. Don't wait until a hurricane is on it's way to be your best self. We experienced a lot of miracles this week and if I wrote them all you'd have to get a life long subscription. Just know that God is working miracles here. We are messengers of truth. And like I've been saying since one year ago September, the Florida Tallahassee Mission has a big storm coming. 

I have just begun to fight.

SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀

Monday, September 4, 2017

I say, that what you say, is what I SAY

Put it on the books, you heard it here first, miracles are straight going down in Bama. WARNING: Please properly secure your surroundings before continuing the following email, in the words of Mitchell Mosher, it's gonna get "lit."

Dumping tea like she's a Yankee
Tracy- What a wonderful human being. On Monday night we committed her to live the Word of Wisdom. I promised her I would run a mile every single day until she gets baptized. We went back on Wednesday and she confessed that she had been drinking the rest of her jug of sweet tea trying to finish it off. We were devastated. So one thing led to another and the spirit did it's thing, and we were standing in her kitchen cheering her on as she poured every last drop of the sweet tea down the drain!!!! SHE IS SUCH A MIRACLE!

I've ran 26.2 in the pouring rain, what's 1.3 more?
.....then I got super super sick on wednesday and thursday because there's actually a hurricane outside and we wanted to keep our promise about running so we still ran in the pouring rain...... don't try this one at home kids.

Later in the week we had exchanges with some sisters and it was SO FUN! I was like "okie doke Sister Whatcott, I have no idea what I'm doing so let's just go for it." And then MIRACLES! We happened to go to the library and while we were there, this guy walks straight past us, turns around, and then introduces himself! As we talk with him, we find out that he has been friends with all the missionaries that have come through this area for the past couple years or so. Turns out he's been kind of out of contact with them but he was so nice! And get this, his last name is "Moormen" LIKE WHAT. That's not even a joke. He ended up coming to our volleyball shin dig that night. Well it was good at first, but then we quickly got into a soft bible bash, LIKE WHAT. The Elders, just like walked away, HAHA. So me and Sister Evensen held our ground, invited, testified, showed charity, welcomed him to stay and play volleyball. It was crazy. But I felt like the spirit was actually able to be in that convo because we were standing in the church! MIRACLE.

(SAUCES)
So basically me and Sis E have the most unified companionship with the spirit and we were able to testify and back each other and it was beautiful. The next day at church our lesson was on witnesses and double edged swords. The gospel will pierce souls when the testimonies of two or three (spirit) witnesses bear it. Whenever I have no idea what to do, I look at my companion, we look up, and we say that what He says, is what we say. Because we're the ultimate Newsies, spreading the GOOD NEWS OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL.

SEIZE THE DAY, SEIZE THE MOMENT. And for all you humans in the world not living in Alabama.... Ezekiel 20:29, my heart goes out to ya.

It's a birthday present.... from ME
Welp. Nothing new for the new kids on the block. Oh except one small thing.... HAPPY 8 MONTHS TO ME AND SIS E🎉         

 SISTER  p e t e r s e n ☀