Monday, August 7, 2017

More. Many. Much. MOOSEN!

Hi, Sister Petersen here, with another weekly email from the promise land also known by the name of Marianna, Florida. 

We set a contacting goal this week with our district. 70 people for every companionship. I'll just skip to the end of this story and inform you that we did not reach this goal HAHAH, but we did meet a lot of really awesome people that we otherwise would not have talked to! We contacted in Payless, TWICE. It's golden, you tell the worker you need close toed comfy shoes, they ask why, and BAM. or should I say...... BOM! (book of Mormon) (lol)

This email is going to be shorter, here's all I have to say. Being a missionary is tough. But it's really not. We get to get out everyday and do something meaningful. Not many people can say that, not many people want to have that opportunity. This week we lost quite a few of our friends whom we have been praying for to progress.  They have chosen in the words of Jynx, "The Mormon's not for me." Well you know what! WE LOVE YOU ANYWAY! Yes we wish everyone would just COME TO CHURCH but we have agency. And, that's a beautiful gift.

Get out and go love someone! Go spread Jesus Christ's love! Wake up, and do something MORE. More holy, more worthwhile, more christlike, more important, more meaningful. I love you all so much. All is well in Zion, we're just searching for the elect and Happy Are We. 

- SISTER  p e t e r s e n☀

Monday, July 31, 2017

secret to missionarying: make 'em laugh

What a wonderful, spirit filled week..!

Let me just tell you a thing or two about the Marianna ward. 
1. They are more jolly than anyone I've ever met
2. They know how to cook!

So I got two stories for y'all. Saturday night we had a ward pioneer celebration. There was tons and tons of BBQ'd meat. OH MY YUM!!! Holy canoli kids it was divine! So here's the hitch, it started at 5:00 but our Ward Mission Leader insisted on doing the pioneer/restoration program beforehand, to make sure we had everyone's attention before it got crazy with the food. Debatable. Anywho! This program lasted and hour and twenty five minutes. I am not kidding right now. Meanwhile the whole gym smelled like brisket and baked beans. My dad would've had a cardiac arrest. Halfway through this program I was about to lose it, seriously I was mad. And then, I looked back, and half the crowd was filled with non members who were engaged in the video that was being played. It was a call to repentance for me! The whole night ended very well! SO many people came and the food.... oh the food... I don't think I can ever live anywhere besides the south and that's a fact. But a plus to the program was that our primary marched into the gym singing "The Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked and Walked and Walked..." It was super cute to see all five of them singing their hearts out.

Alright alright alright. Sunday morning during ward council they were asking us about the situation when we got a gun pulled on us. I thought they asked, "What did you do? (Meaning how did you react to the gun)" but what they meant was "What did you do? (Meaning WHY did they pull a gun)" So I answered saying, "We just said Howard Wimberly" THE ROOM EXPLODED WITH LAUGHTER! Everyone thought that's why we got the gun, Brother Wimberly is our ward mission leader ps, it was so funny! Bro. W knew what I meant but everyone was laughing so hard I couldn't correct myself. The stake president was attending and he leaned over and said "I think Sister Petersen has been in this ward too long, y'all are rubbing off on her!" Everyone thought it was so funny, they even patted my back and commented on it the rest of the day. They all think I'm very witty. 

Moral of this story: I felt extremely bad because I hate jokes at the expense of another person, but the ward has officially accepted me as their own. #worthit  Bishop Sims pulled an audible for 5th Sunday and gave us a missionary pump up speech. Coincidence that I get them on my good side and then they help us....? Perhaps. There is no secret ingredient..... but the ward thinks I'm funny so that's a win.

This week has been very humbling and inspiring. Our investigators are all struggling right now with various issues. It really hurts my heart and some nights I just don't know what more to do for them. In Fort Walton a member told me "the difference between grieving and discouragement is the lack of hope." I learned in zone conference that we have to have faith, but not just faith, Faith in the savior Jesus Christ. I have faith that He succors his people. I have faith this is his work, his children, his timing. 

-sister  P E T E R S E N ☀

ps. I know I sound like my father in this entire email, don't remind me :):):):):)

my favorite humans send me my favorite things :) :) :) 

Frankly Scarlett this is my dream house!

(PICTURES ARE NOT LOADING!! I'll try again later, mom)

Monday, July 24, 2017

8 cows for you, 8 cows for you, EVERYONE gets 8 cows

T'was a good week in the neighborhood~~~ 

Our investigator Shon is getting baptized August 26th (: (: (: Southern and Caitlyn are getting baptized August 19th (: (: (: both really special days to me and now I'm so excited I get to share it with them! 

Shon is the chillest woman I've ever met! She is so awesome! She is pregnant right now and she has 3 kiddos and she's going to school and UGH I JUST LOVE HER! Every time she says the closing prayer and she always says "Thank you for sending my sisters" :'D I love her to pieces. Oh and she has like the SICKEST dreads! Anywho, we had the funnest lesson with her the other day. I was on an exchange with Sister Smario and we re-taught the Restoration using little plastic cups. Shon was very quiet and truly taking in everything we explained.. but her cousin Leeah! HAHAHA OH WHAT A HOOT! Leeah had so many questions and she was so much fun she just kept laughing and asking us REALLY off the wall topic questions like if her daughter's name was actually from the Bible or if she made it up. HAHA It was so much fun teaching them together!

Southern and Caitlyn! Wow I love these girls more than life itself I swear it to ya. They are so near and dear to my heart. Their mom is a convert from many, many years ago and because of moving and life, she has become a little distant from activity in the church, but she has such a firm foundation of the Savior and the truthfulness of this gospel. The other day we stopped by Tonya's (the mom) shop, and she got really emotional as we talked about how much progress her girls have been making. They're 12 & 17 (: I just love this family so much. 

My sweet Clint and Lana (: wow. You have never met a family that is closer to receiving the gospel. Our Bishop is very mindful of them and he advised us to go slow and test the waters a bit. Today we got to meet with them and teach the Restoration. It was really, really good. They had some concerns and questions and even though we can't answer all of those, we did help them understand God's love for His children. (: They are perfect and I am so excited. KEEP THEM IN YOUR PRAYERS!

Trolls under a bridge (:
So yes, tis true I have gained a pound here or there while serving in the FTM. But listen up. God looketh upon the heart! WE LOOK AT PEOPLE'S HEARTS!!! I love every single person the moment I look into their eyes, yes some don't want our message but I love them so much! I love that I get to represent the Savior in their homes and on their streets. They are not ugly to me. They do not have ugly hearts, they have ignorant hearts. Searching hearts. Broken hearts. I truly believe that the way we talk about others and the attention we give them shows them how much we care. This subject weighs heavily on my mind when I hear someone had a bad experience with someone in the church, or with missionaries, or had a "difficult" companion. Elder Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve said, "To effectively serve others we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes. Only then can we begin to comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Only then can we sense the Savior’s caring concern for them. We cannot completely fulfill our covenant obligation to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort unless we see them through God’s eyes. This expanded perspective will open our hearts to the disappointments, fears, and heartaches of others."
Second Coming Skies (: 

So even if they seem ugly on the outside... or on the inside... treat them like an 8 cow soul! BECAUSE GOSH DANG IT, I AM AN 8 COW WOMAN, YA HEAR?

Moroni 7:48  “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.”

share the love. share the cows.
-sister  P E T E R S E N ☀   pics for the win:
Polaroids (:
Southern and Caitlyn (:

Monday, July 17, 2017


durelo.. it's too hard to sleep. I got a cockroach on my pillow, yes I screamed. Sister Viola had a rude awakening the day before we had to leave early for transfers. SIS P DOESN'T SHARE HER PILLOW WITH ROACHES! Bed bugs.. you're killin me Marianna.

SISTER ANDERSON! My new comp. What a cutie. Love her. Love the dress. Love her. She's super awesome! She's from Texas and she's been out for quite some time, yeah she's just way awesome! We were in the same zone in Fort Walton so luckily we didn't have that awkward "I-have-no-idea-who-my-companion-is-I'll-just-try-to-read-their-nametag-really-fast-when-they-get-off-the-van" situation. 

We are having just some awesome times here in Jackson County. I'll share a couple quickies that stood out this week.

HELL. Just had to grab your attention there. Our Sunday School teacher Bro. Wimberly walks into the room, and he gets really quiet and serious. So we all quiet down and turn towards him and he goes, "I'm sure y'all noticed this obscene word on the board." And on the board behind him the word HELL is written pretty big, and then he erases it and says "I wrote it up there to get your attention, now that I have it......" And then he began teaching. HAHAAHAHAHAAH IT WAS SO FUNNY. I had real tears coming down my face because it was so stinking random!! Gotta love it.

TRISH THE WISH COME TRUE- A few weeks ago we stopped by this potential's home and she talks..... A LOT. She shared her whole life story with us and honestly would not let us leave. So I was a little hesitant to go back but she kept coming to mind as we often pass her home in this town. We stopped by her home and, it was one of the most powerful restoration lessons I have experienced on my mission. When we started talking about prophets she stopped us and asked if we believed there were prophets on the earth today. We testified throughout the lesson. She had genuine questions. Trish is searching for the truth. There was a huge power that enveloped her living room. I know she felt the spirit. At the beginning we invited her to pray and she declined and at the end of the lesson she offered a heartfelt plea to our Father in Heaven. It was so powerful. One of those moments when everything is so clear why Heavenly Father calls us weak, and simple kids, on missions. I love her!

Stay classy my dears. Don't miss out on the moments.

-sister  P E T E R S E N☀
pic of the district, so long. 
and... me feeding a gator.. it got intense.. but it was on a dock.. not in a tent.. just to clarify.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pulling Weeds

Honestly here's my food SQUIRREL for thought for ya. We have tons of investigators and that's why I hardly ever write about them because I can't even keep up with all their stories. So we've been working really hard on trying to SQUIRREL discern the progressing people. And ​ for whatever reason, we SQUIRREL aren't even trying to find, and Heavenly Father keeps putting people in our path and dang it I just can't keep up with all these sheep sometimes! Like having investigators is not the problem but helping them see the fruits SQUIRREL of the gospel is!

Earlier this week we stopped by a former investigator's house, Penny, and offered her any service (super slacking on our service hours...). Well she invited
SQUIRREL us back the next day to weed her "garden". Sounds good right? We get there the following day and she shows us her JUNGLE of weeds and plants and SQUIRREL overgrown moss and vines and sprouts and trees and I just wanted to say "this mess is too messy!" Needless to say we doused SQUIRREL ourselves with deet, rolled up our sleeves and got to work in the 98* 75% humidity. We sweat, we pulled, we swatted, we yanked, we gathered, we burned, but we did not plant a single plant. Well by the end her "garden" looked SQUIRREL so beautiful. It was clean and fresh. Even though we were absolutely disgusting, we didn't care. She invited us in and she had ordered us pizza (TENDER MERCY JUST FOR SIS P's UNDYING LOVE OF THE GREAT ITALIAN DELICACY).


ok bye. oh and try guessing what I was fed this week, I'll give you a hint.... SQUIRREL.

-sister  P E T E R S E N 🌿 4:20

PS - Elder Bradley Gunnell is sadly departing from our Marianna district and going back into the world of the great and spacious building aka Denver. Long live the MaryHadALittleLambDistrict. 

*whistles Hunger Games theme. 

He fought a good fight. 
He stayed the course. 
He kept the faith


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Made in America: Stateside Missionary

January 4, 2017, I entered the Provo MTC as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Six months into my full-time service, I have truly embraced and understood my assignment to labor in the Florida, Tallahassee Mission.

Last September I received my mission call with news that I would be serving in Florida, Tallahassee, a "stateside" mission. Upon initial response I was so excited and honored to even have a call in my hands and a place known that Heavenly Father wanted to send me to. As the weeks passed I became somewhat apprehensive and even a little bit embarrassed that I wasn't going to a foreign mission. This increased the disappointment for my mission assignment, but did not waver my decision to serve my Savior. 
From the moment I entered the MTC I believed that I needed to be in this mission because of the companions I've had the honor to serve with, this was only the tip of the iceberg. In my first assigned area, Fort Walton Beach 2nd Ward, the Eglin Military Air Force Base was just outside the city limits. Many of the individuals we worked with had strong ties to the military and most of them were veterans themselves. I grew up with two grandfathers who were vets, and serving with the military so close deepened my appreciation for the men and women who defend our freedoms. A month ago I was transferred to my second area, the Marianna Ward in Jackson county. The miracle it has been to serve in Marianna has completely changed who I am and my vision of serving the Lord as a missionary in the United States of America.

The United States gained it's independence and was preserved as a nation by the grace of our Almighty King. In small town America, I have understood what this country means to God....

Last Wednesday night I sat on the front porch and of a black woman's home. She works a full-time job, while raising her two kids, and being a football coach- Brandi believes in God. I sat across from her as mosquitoes buzzed around us, and sweat gathered on the back of our necks. This quiet neighborhood seemed completely still as we testified to her of Joseph Smith's first vision. The spirit that engulfed the three of us that evening was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know that this is Christ's church back on the Earth. The spirit pounded in my heart and tears streamed down our faces as we shared with our sister her divine destiny. Reflecting on this moment in my mission seemed to make everything about my mission call clear. I finally understood through the testifying power of the spirit that this is God's chosen country. He provided this land to lay the foundation for the restoration of the gospel. This is a choice land above all other lands. Stateside missionaries are here fortifying the homeland to ensure that we can continue to be a standard for all nations. High on the mountain top our banner is unfurled, nations now look up, it waves to all the world. I am a soldier in God's army, an American Soldier, beside my brothers and my sisters, and I am proud to be an American. 

Last June I went to Disneyland with my family. (: As the 10 of us adults and baby Daniel rode through the "It's a Small World" boat ride, I saw a preview of God's plan for His children. Throughout the ride all different cultures that Disney has represented through it's films are shown but when you come to the final room of the ride, all the characters are wearing white and the whole room is lit up. America is the standard for the nations, we are the light of the world, but this light will shine brighter and brighter until the perfect day, when all nations, kindreds, and tongues, will unite and declare with one voice, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last." Because of the Savior of the world who is Jesus Christ, we will finally be free from all bondage. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior. I know that He is the light and the life of this world. I know that this country is a special and holy land. His love does not discriminate between the sinner and the saint. He is perfect, and he's calling our names to join with him and rejoice in the freedom that did not come free. As brothers and sisters, we are one nation under God.

"As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free. His truth is marching on."

-sister  P E T E R S E N [?]

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rainy days and Mondays.... ALWAYS GET ME PUMPED ON JESUS

I LOVE HURRICANE SEASON! Scary, but so fun.

Man I don't even know where to start with all the #MiraclesinMarianna! 

Clint & Lana Brock- We got referred to a family from our bishop and as it turns out the Brocks who took extremely good care of missionaries in Fort Walton is Clint's uncle! So now we're teaching his family and man, it is so amazing to teach a family. Every single time I even think about them I get emotional because I realize that the gospel is truly centered on families and connecting generations. So I'll keep you updated but extra prayers for them, they are my reason in FWB and Marianna <3

OUR HOUSE, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE..............woods? HAHAHAH We contacted a potential from our area book and she told us "I live in the woods." Well listen, EVERYONE lives in the woods... so we thought she was just mistaken us for a couple of sissies. As it turns out, this lady wasn't joking. We were with a member who was determined to find this woman and we drove miles and miles on the winding dirt roads, in and out of trees, around a lake, over a bridge, across the Mason Dixon line and back, and finally ended up at this tiny little cabin. Needless to say we did not have cell phone reception or GPS and the thought crossed my mind many times that we could very possibly be in a poorly filmed horror movie. Well it turned out that the lady has been working on her Family History for MONTHS and she was absolutely thrilled to have us back... It's therapeutic and we're connecting generations = worth the drive.

Angerita! We got a bible referral from SLC for this house. So after driving on this road, oh ps only the main highways in Jackson County are paved, everything else is dirt, so we finally get to this house and turns out this 8 year old kid ordered the bible. Well we end up talking to his cousin and she just graduated high school and she is amazing. I love her so much. She is very prepared and the spirit was just beaming in her eyes as we shared the Book of Mormon with her! She has amazing things in store!

Confederates Baby. We asked this sweet sister in our ward what it's like learning about the Civil War in the South and she told us that the confederates are highly praised! HAHAHA She said one time growing up the North sent them text books and the schools got so mad about the perspective, they sent them back!

Ok last thing. I swear the members here have a competition to see who can make us gain the most weight in one dinner appointment. Well IT AIN'T GONNA WORK ON ME FOLKS! 
House #1- A gallon bag of Spaghetti sent home, that was served on my plate and I ate about 1/5 of it! 
House #2- TBONE steak from their cow THE SIZE OF MY THIGH! Sent home with tin foil
House #3- 4 Fried chicken breasts, brought it home in a box
House #4- potatoes, collard greens, and grits...!!!

you already know I've been doing my daily sprints every morning pretending Hansen is standing there yelling at me. Geez Louise. 

Master the Moment- sister  P E T E R S E N☀
Pics for the record of my father: 
We role played bible scenes for Sister Jones' Sunday School class. Hank Sims(14) asked "Jesus" (far left) if any of the feet he washed were nasty. 
Country Roads...take me to the homes of the prepared.

Monday, June 19, 2017

These are the days you will remember!

one for the BOOKS. JW's, Dogs, Gunpoint, Ant bites, Peanuts, Gators, and Rain. LOTS AND LOTS OF RAIN. stay tuned.

I really had to use the bathroom in one of our small towns (Sneads- yes it's a place, we also have 2 Egg, yes the number is in the title) with no members. So we rode our bikes to the school football field park hoping the bathroom gate would be open. It wasn't. But across the street was a family getting ready to leave for bible study. We stopped and talked to them and as it turns out the mom was taught by sisters in Panama City a few years ago, so she recognized us and was totally willing to talk. As we stood there teaching, this car pulls up with a nicely dressed couple. The homeowners who were talking with us looked at us in question if the people were with us, we looked at them thinking the car was with them, both of us shrugged and out of the car came two Jehovah's Witnesses. So what do you get in a trailer park with 2 Baptists, 2 JW's and 2 Mormon Missionaries? 2 New investigators. HAHAHA. They turned the couple of JW's away and accepted a return appointment with us! All the while, I never did get to pee. 

HUUUUGE (Trump voice) pitbull almost ate my head off when I walked into it's chain radius. I didn't see it hiding under the trailer we were knocking on. Tap the tag. It's fine, I'm fine. Just peed a little but it was all fine. Probs pee from the JWs.

I was standing on an ant hill while we got stopped by this lady and got huge ant bites all over my feet and they have itched like no ones business! I keep waking my comp up at night because I itch in my sleep. Lol the mission doctor lives like .5 miles from our house and he's been watching my bites like a hawk. 

I went up to ALABAMA!!! For exchanges.. Lol so Dothan is like the Peanut Capital of the world and they have all these statues outside of businesses with huge personified peanuts. I guess a few years ago the stake center up there ordered two painted like missionaries and as they were putting them up in front of the building a guy from Salt Lake came and put a huge kabosh on the whole operation.... which begs the question, is our church also anti-peanut? What will hit the headlines next???

Our ward mission leader gave us a referral and she greeted us around the corner with a huge shotgun on her hands questioning who sent us. HAHAHA we threw Brother Wimberly under the bus faster than you can say sweet nibblets! Our area book description of her goes, "Threatened us with a gun, referral from Brother Wimberly, SUPER NICE, try again in 6 weeks." Hahahaha. Oh what can ya do.

It's Hurricane season. Nothing too exciting there. But the rain is hot. It's like I'm taking a shower all day long, IT'S AWESOME HAHA

Ok spiritual note. I had a really humbling experience with my STL Sister Housel this week. We talked a lot about people that live in the past and the future and they're always missing out on the present. Life is just a small small small moment in the eternities. Enjoy the eternity of every moment because you will never live it again. I love being a missionary. Yes there are days when it's pouring rain and all your appointments fall through and a little girl pours her juice all over your favorite skirt and ants bite your legs and you get 5 'check your speeds' from TIWI, but you just throw your hands in the air and laugh at all the fun stories you'll tell your kids about your life. Learn to love the moment. 

master your moment.

-sister  P E T E R S E N ☀

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mind your y'alls and all y'alls

Elder Uceda visited our mission this week and that was really amazing. He gave us great insight on how to go about the Lord's work. He is from Peru and we had the opportunity to hear from his wife as well. Sister Uceda speaks Spanish so one of our Spanish elders had to translate for her. She talked about what mothers hope for their children to gain on a mission. Her whole topic was very moving as each of us thought about the people we want to become and the missionaries our families back home pray that we are being. I was particularly touched by the thought of sacrifice by all the missionaries and their families that are serving the Lord as best as we can. The spirit was very overwhelming. Afterward, I ran up to Elder Uceda and talked to him for a moment. In the fall he actually spoke at USU and I had the opportunity to listen to him in the crowded Spectrum. We talked about his talk he gave on prayer and he shook my hand and looked me in the eyes and the spirit was very piercing. I am very grateful for the servants of God that I get to work with. 

So the funniest experience happened! We went to visit a less active, and boy are southerners TALKERS! Phew.. ok so we go up to her porch and the moment we get out of the car, mosquitoes ATTACK! We try and make the conversation short but this lady, not even inviting us in, just keeps gabbing on and on about her life. Finally Sister Viola cuts her off and offers a prayer before we leave and she agrees....... Sis V- "Our dear Heavenly Father," "Wait one more thing I need you to pray for! (Followed by a long list of things to pray for)" Hahaha we didn't even know how to stop this one! 20 mins later we were back in the car with more bug bites than I've ever had in my life. But it was totally worth it that this sister was able to have the spirit on her porch. 

Ok, so tonight we went to a member's home for dinner. They have a few kids and man I just love the south! We talked about accents and all the kids giggled telling me I have an accent! The one daughter about 9 goes, "Yeah, you sound like you're talkin out of your nose!..........Ma'am!" Hahah I love how respectful everyone is here! Even little kids makin fun of how I talk! 

I've joined in a lot of street prayers with people and we commonly join hands in a circle because that's typical here for group prayers. This isn't something we normally did in my family and sometimes it can be kind of weird. But the more I do it, the more I love being connected spiritually and physically with my brothers and sisters. I am constantly reminded that our prayer language is very important. Mind your thee's and thou's, we gotta respect and love God the same way my cute friend respected me even when she was laughing at my voice (; God is always listening!

Also last thing, Marianna has some DANG HUGE hills. I'm talking San Francisco stuff here. Yeah I biked up a super steep one and needless to say I'm gonna have thunder thighs pretty soon. Hahahaha.

Y'all have a good day. (: (: (: (: (: (: (: (: 

-sister  P E T E R S E N☀

Monday, June 5, 2017

You ain't seen nuttin yet!

Transfers are always bitter-sweet but this week has been probably the funnest week of my entire mission!

I said all my goodbyes to my FW crew and headed out for Marianna! Holy smokes it was a long day for transfers. We finally arrived at the transfer spot and my new comp Sister Viola was just waiting for me! Next to our red car~ and no car share here!! But we have to bike a TON! Because our area is huge!!!! Like half the county huge! Our ward covers the whole county and the elders have the other half! My district is smaller, only 6 missionaries and the senior couple, but the other sisters are an hour or so away so we only see them at district meeting once a week! Our Elders just whitewashed this area and one of them is straight from the MTC and the other just got done being AP and this is his last transfer, basically we have the dream team in the mission!

Sister Viola
My companion is probably the funniest person I've ever met, and I know some pretty hilarious people! She is so random and honestly just amazing. She is so hardworking and literally never wastes a single second of the day! Sister Viola is from Ohio and she has been out about 8 months. This is her 2nd area.. nothing too exciting to tell about her but she is always laughing and just an all around goofball! I love being with her! I am learning so much from her everyday! The other night we were about to go to sleep and she says, "Goodnight Sister Petersen, don't let the........... Oh hey I forgot to tell you, you have bedbugs.. anyway Goodnight!" I SPRANG OUT OF BED! LIKE WHAT! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Don't worry we're bed bug free but it was so, so, so funny! Hahahah.

We work so hard here. We have appointments on top of appointments and it feels like we don't even have enough time to see everyone! Every night we get done with area book and every thing at like 9:50! Oh man. But this area is so fun! Nobody does anything away from their homes around here, so everyone always keeps their appointments! Hahah it's so crazy! And everyone is willing to talk to us! At least until they find out we're mormon! Hah. This lady invited us in, found out we were mormon, and like the black plague or the devil himself she kicked us out! "Behold, they were cast out of the synagogues". Oh well. 

But everyone is such a hoot down here! This is the deep deep South. If I thought I had any idea what the South was, I was wrong. Hahaha. Movies got it all Hollywood and glamorized, this is real. I ate boiled peanuts! hahahah.

It's so fun down here! Details to come.. but the coolest thing about being down here is the people. The love down here is just shining in everybody. One fella said "We give respect until you do something to lose it, and we give love because you can't do anything to lose it." People are just amazing here. And they truly worship the Savior. Testimony meeting yesterday blew me out of the water! This is not a Mormon congregation, it is a congregation of Saints. They sat shoulder to shoulder in the chapel, said amen, sang loudly, and testified boldly of the Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world.  I add my testimony to theirs. He is our Savior and this is the Kingdom of God rolling forth
I love this place. They are my people. (:

-sister P E T E R S E N ☀

Monday, May 29, 2017

"I didn't say it, I declared it." -President Smith

Over hill over dale. IT WAS A SUPERB WEEK. MIRACULOUS if you will.

Tuesday during conference call President Smith ended the call saying, "AS THE MISSION PRESIDENT, I HEREBY DECLARE THIS MIRACLE WEEK!" And let me just say the faith of the missionaries in the Florida panhandle shot up ten thousand freight trains full!

MIRACLE #1- Kenny got baptized *** AHHHHH. It was so amazing. We got up uber early and played beach volleyball with the district for exercise, and then we headed to the church to fill up the font. Everything went awesome. Kenny came with his family and Brother Atrice did the ordinance. The whole meeting was really awesome but what was even better was the next day when he got confirmed. He looked so sharp and pure. I feel very humbled that Heavenly Father let me teach Kenny. We tracted into his house the first day of this transfer and Baptized him the last. IT HAPPENS. People are here and they are prepared.

MIRACLE #2- While on exchanges in the nearby town of Crestview, I was at the park doing studies with my STL Sister Jamison. She was talking to me and I had a random thought about Spencer serving in the Czech Republic and how the heck he found people to teach. I was interrupted in this thought when Sis Jamison wanted to go talk to a family who was rock hunting (Crestview thing, don't ask) (I'm in the South, get over it). So we go over and not 30 seconds into the conversation, Jennie tells us she did a mission for her church in the Czech Republic. MY JAW DROPPED, I'm not a codfish so I quickly shut it! We talked with Jennie and her 20-year-old daughter Rennie for two hours about missions and the restored gospel and the Crestview sisters are now going to teach them! It was amazing. I'm still amazed.

MIRACLE #3- Shauna. A referral from the Elders. She told us to come teach her Sunday at 3. So we stopped by and she was in a frenzy because of a financial crisis. I didn't really know what to say to her and I thought she was just looking for money so I wanted to leave. Well the spirit very firmly told me I was needed there. I told her we can't help with what she needed money wise, but as she listened to our message everything would work out. We testified of the gospel and Jesus Christ and she told us she's been waiting for God to answer her. I testified that we were servants of God representing his son Jesus Christ. She very humbly and quietly responded with tears running down her face, "I believe you." I will never forget the rest of the conversation we had with her and the power of God that I felt. Her body was filthy and her house reeked of cigarette smoke, but Shauna's eyes shined with the hope of Christ brighter than I've ever seen in my life. Truly miraculous to be in the presence of God's children. Shauna is getting baptized July 22nd

God is pouring out miracles on us every second of the day. Faith proceeds the miracle. Look to Christ the author and finisher of our faith. I'm getting transferred to Marianna on Wednesday, so in my farewell to Fort Walton Beach all I can say is "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" which shepherd is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be His. 
-sister P E T E R S E N ☀

Pics- Saving souls and saving lives just for you pops, Kenny gets dunked, and Ruth's Crappy Happy song (: Enjoy!

Monday, May 22, 2017

speak softly, but carry a BIG STICK

I learned how to juggle this morning at the beach, check that off the bucket list.
dat southern tree overhang doh ft. Good Will dress numba uno

At district meeting last Tuesday we sang I'm trying to be like Jesus, and let me just tell you when you have 8 adults who are literally trying their hardest to be like the Savior singing a primary song, the spirit is pretty overwhelming. It was definitely one of the better parts of the week! Also me and Sis E bought a bunch of dresses at Good Will last pday and we've been rocking those on the daily! Elder Greene said I looked like his first grade teacher hahah

Wednesday we had interviews with President Smith, and it was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had. I know that the Priesthood leaders of this church, especially mission presidents, are called of God. Just another testimony to me of the truthfulness of this gospel. 

The Moellers fed us again and their five kids chased a fly the whole dinner it was hilarious!

OK The KENSTER!!!! Kenny! He's getting baptized on SATURDAY! Yes, you read that right! This Saturday!!!!! Oh my goodness words do not explain the joy I have for him. Yesterday we taught our last lesson on Tithing and Fasting and not gonna lie, I thought it might be a deal breaker for him. Well after we taught tithing, he was like "Yeah that totally makes sense, I'll do it." So I'm thinking sweet hard part's over, NOT QUITE! Kenny isn't your average Joe! Ha! So we teach fast offering and he goes "What! You want me to not eat! I HAVE to have BIG meals" HAHAHAH I was SO taken back that he was willing to pay part of his income in faith, but not skip a couple meals I don't know why but it struck my funny bone! He's just so funny and he's so flippin prepared for the gospel it's unreal. Yesterday he told us he might go on a mission one day! He's so awesome! 

ok final words from yours truly... Carrying a big stick, aka your testimony of the Stick of Ephraim- The Book of Mormon. Testimony is the only thing we have. Really. And I believe that's why it's so powerful. All we have to know that Joseph Smith truly did see God the Father and His son Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove, is his testimony. We stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. We don't have to shout, we just have to share. The spirit speaks softly but the impact it has is BIG. The Book of Mormon is the only way to know that all of this is true. When we are anchored in the words of Christ, we can testify boldly and the spirit will work through us. One of our Part-Member families we have been extremely involved with just dropped us and I'll admit I was at a loss as to what to say to them. I honestly could not hold back my tears as they were denying themselves the opportunity to be an eternal family. So in response to their concern and what seemed like a final answer I just opened my mouth and testified of the Book of Mormon. It had nothing to do with what they were worried about, but I knew it's what I have been called to bear my witness of. The family agreed to continue reading the Book of Mormon but will not be taking the lessons any longer. Although my heart felt crushed because of how much I love this sweet family, I know that they will come to find the truthfulness of the everlasting gospel. I know it. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. So speak softly, let the spirit testify through you, but be anchored in your conviction of the Book of Mormon. It is the words of Christ. I know it and I cannot deny the miracles I have experienced because of it. 

I love y'all so much!

-sister P E T E R S E N ☀   pics or it didn't happen: 
Stewbies with a captial S, 

 car selfie for the win
 and lastly my home girl Marie (Age 89) and no she did not want to take this picture, all I remember her saying when I asked was "I always hated chocolate" 

Monday, May 15, 2017

What about second breakfast? Elevensies?

Yesterday was KILLER! Such a wonderful day! I got to talk to these crazy rascals, codename: Petersen's, and it was AWESOME!

Just in the spirit of some home cooking our members made us Cafe Rio salads, yes tears of joy were shed. And then later that evening we went over to another member's house for late night steaks!!! Holy cow, no pun intended, it was an amazing day for my belly! 

This week Kenny has been doing so awesome! We taught him the Law of Chastity and after the lesson Sister Mathews commented on how spiritual and mature we were while teaching and I thought to myself, "Yeah we were, when the heck did that happen??" Hahah I guess it was the spirit because I still laugh at jokes that a fifth grader would laugh at.. Haha. 

So here's my spiritual thought of the day.. While I was trying to skype my family we had a bit of technical difficulties, not naming names or anything, but Trevor and Tiffany were a weak link (; So the three way call made it where I couldn't see my family in Utah but I could see my family in Seattle and they could see both of us. I've thought about that call a lot and the role our Savior plays in our lives. Our Heavenly Father is like my family in Utah. We can't see him, but he sees us and he hears our cries. We have to trust in our Savior, or family in Seattle to be our mediator. I am very humbled that God listens to my prayers and He send me His son Jesus Christ so that I can make it back home to Him one day. 
We see a lot of unhappy families down here and I just want everyone to remember that God is our Father, we are His family. 

Mother's Day 2017

Side note, while the Elders were dropping off our car two nights ago this random kid just sprinted into our apartment and I was like, "Kid......come back...." Hahaha it was so random! 


When you can't walk, RUN! Much love amigos!!! Blessings come in RAINDROPS!

-sister  P E T E R S E N☀

Monday, May 8, 2017

Do or do not. There is no try.

PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST WEEKS OF MY LIFE- Topic for this week, The enabling FORCE that change brings. Do it. You'll like it

For starters, last Monday I started a competition with my dearest Sis Evensen! No sugar, soda, secondsies, late night munchies, and a whole bunch of other crap haha. Needless to say this week I experienced a lot of jelly bean and marshmallow matey withdrawals. But the loser of our competition has to wear the same pros outfit for a week straight...and with our humidity and sunshine.....I can't afford to break!

May the 4th--- 4 MONTH MARK!!!!! **cue Hot Rod grocery store dancing** Sis E got me a huge easter egg with G's in it, the 4th of every month is now our anniversary, we're like an old married couple that laughs at dad jokes. 

Zone Conference on Thursday was KILLER! Me and Sis Davis taught about the sacrament--- HUGH COSMIC POWER.... itty bitty little piece of bread.---- and TBH we blew it out of the water. Actually the spirit did all the work but it was way fun to teach everyone and I looked really good that day so double bonus. I love Zone Conference because our zone is so much fun! Last transfer like half the zone got moved so we have a bunch of new way fun people! President Smith read Enos with us verse by verse and we talked about teaching repentance, it. was. so. cool. Read Enos!

Later that night we visited our dear 89-yr old Marie. She was complaining and complaining about how the scriptures are too hard to understand and read. So we offered to read with her and she was in Jacob 3. In this chapter Jacob is explaining how difficult it is to write on the plates and that we need to cherish the words of Christ. OH THE IRONY OF THE HAND OF THE LORD! Marie is so stubborn and I actually could not hold back my laughter as we read the couple of chapters. It WAS SO FUNNY! We left her in good spirits and hopefully she will start enjoying her scripture reading more.

Seis De Mayo- Our ward had a huge fiesta because we find any reason to celebrate and that was way fun. But long story short the Elders took our car and we were stranded at the church. When we finally got back to our apt (spongebob voice 3 HOURS LATER) Elder Moore our ZL felt so bad! Later that night he was like "Sisters, John 11:35. 'Jesus Wept'. I want you to know, I wept when we hindered the work of the Lord today for you" Hahahaha what can ya do with Elders. Ya can't live with em........ and that's about it! Hah. But alls well that ends well.

Ok last stop on the Sis P express- KENNY!!! Kenny is our investigator that we tracted into and he is so so amazing! The first time we met him he told us he wanted to quit smoking and he's been clean for 3 weeks! He set his own BCD for May 27th! And yesterday when we walked into the chapel he was sitting with a white shirt and tie, clean cut, just beaming. Words cannot explain the joy that filled my soul to see him. I know I haven't written much about Kenny, but we've been teaching him for a bit and he is awesome. He's 20 and he's been smoking since he was 15. He has a small case of Autism and so he's not super emotional, but he understands and accepts a lot! He is so amazing. It's been a really cool experience getting to teach him! And our members have been so awesome helping him feel welcome! Yesterday when we talked about Word of Wisdom he was fine with everything until we said coffee, "NOPE, THAT IS OFF THE LIST!" Hahaha. It was so fun to teach him and he committed to following the WoW. He's prime!

-Healthy Diet will change your whole mindset and make you feel physically happier
-Don't take jumping pics with a slippery abnormally large Easter egg containing covenants
-The sacrament taken with a penitent heart, manifests the power of Godliness within us
-Learn to Love the scriptures, man those prophets took a long time on that for us dang it!
-Don't make the Elders feel bad because they do a lot for people, and learn to not get annoyed when your plans get bumped a few hours

Well that's all folks. Have a sunshiny day, we're gonna go hit up the beach. Be diligent in everything you do and you will find joy. It's guaranteed to the faithful! 
EMBRACE THE CHANGE WE CALL LIFE the Savior invites everyone to change (repent) and come unto him. Make the necessary changes to have joy (: (: LOVE Y'ALL

-sister  P E T E R S E N ☀