Monday, February 27, 2017

Mardi Gras? Mardi NAHHHH

subject has nothing to do with my week.... everyone is just celebrating Mardi Gras down here and I have been struggling with a clever subject.... lol #sorrsnotsorrs

Miracles. Miracles. Miracles. Straight blessed. Ok this week has gone so fast it really seems like a blur so I will tell y'all just some of the crazy miracles that God let me experience.

Miracle right there!
-We gave a Book of Mormon to our neighbor and SHE invited US back tonight! So solid.
-A member in our ward got us TONS of groceries right when we both ran out of money on our card
-We walked in home in the sketchiest neighborhood ever without getting mugged
-I have gone without sugar for 32 hours now, but who's counting..... hah
-I got a package from my favorite family the Weaver's yesterday!!!!!! ahhhh no post on Sundays! Unless the ZL's bring it from Tally. hahaha
-And finally, My bowling team, (Me, sis R, Elders Waddell, Cornforth, and Magnusson) GOT A TURKEY IN BOWLING TODAY WOOOOOOOOO. lol I broke 100... personal record. 

Okay so yesterday we went and visited this part member family and the husband is a anesthesiologist nurse. So his job is to put patients to sleep before their surgeries and whatnot. Well me and him are talking about his job and stuff and I look over at Sister Ramadhar and she looks confused/mortified. I ask her if she's ok and she asks if Brother Kamer like puts people down like dogs.... HAHAHAHAHAHA I laughed so hard I had tears coming out of my EYEBALLS! hahahah you gotta love language barriers (;(; I love Sister R she's always making me laugh. 

On Saturday we had a Stake Women's Conference and the theme was "Choose Joy, Make Covenants" I learned SO MUCH about choosing joy in our circumstances. We don't get to choose for other people. And sometimes we have to be the ones to suffer from other people's agency, but we do have the power of how we want to react to things. Choose to be joyful. Heavenly Father didn't send us down here to be miserable and just go from day to day and then die. No. He sent us down here so we can enjoy ALL that life has to offer. I promise that when you choose to have joy, the covenants we have made with Heavenly Father will empower us to feel that joy. Make Convenants ---> Receive Power-----> Feel Joy. That's all there is to it. Mormons aren't trying to work their way into Heaven, we are choosing to have joy in this life and making sacred binding promises with God to obtain those blessings and joy. 

Last story because I am sooooo tired of typing today haha. I had to speak yesterday in our ward and my dad told me that whenever you speak, start with a story because people are more inclined to listen haha. So I thought a lot about what story I would share and I had nothing. Our opening Hymn was "High on a Mountaintop" WHEWWWWW. SO powerful. I told my ward how when I was little and growing up my dad would always lead us in that song at the top of mountains at the peak of our hikes. The words in that hymn are so amazing. As members of the church, it is our sacred calling to spread the gospel and to shout it from the mountaintops. Us as missionaries are just servants Full-time, but EVERY MEMBER IS A MISSIONARY. You have a call to share the gospel and spread your light of Christ to those around you. Be strong examples of the believers.

I love you all. Sorry for the longish email. Don't let Satan get you down, he's a real bugger sometimes. 


- Sister  P E T E R S E N

Pics- Photo shoot with our miracle groceries, our typical dinner, and my best friend. Her name is Emma (: she always holds my hand and I love her. Don't mind the nasty sticky sweaty me after our weekly kickball game. haha. But Emma is cute (: 

Monday, February 20, 2017

LC. Life Changer.

This Week Changed My Life.

Last Monday I had the opportunity to participate in an extended exchange that went from Monday to Thursday! Yeah it was a crazy long time not being with my sweet Sister Ramadhar. In those few days I was with Sister Saunders. SHE IS SO AWESOME. you know those people who you know for a fact God handpicked and placed in your life?? Yeah that is Sister Saunders. We had so much fun in her area in Crestview and I learned a lot from her. I love how much you can learn from others and how the Lord uses people to answer our questions and prayers. HE IS SO MINDFUL OF US. Meanwhile down here in Fort Walton her companion Sis. Jamison and Sis. Ramadhar were organizing our area. It was so fun being on exchanges! But I love love loved coming home to my sweet Trinidadian comp hahaha. I love when she says my name "sista peta sen" hahaha she is so cute!

ROAD TRIP: Friday afternoon we drove to Georgia and stayed with some sisters so we could go down to Tallahassee in the morning for a mission conference... basically it was party central the whole way there.

drum roll please....... I got to shake Elder Stevenson's hand. Elder Maines. and Elder Parker. Three General Authorities of the church. One of them an Apostle. WHAT THE WHAT! It was so so so so so cool. Definitely an experience I will never forget. We all go to the chapel and I went straight for the front row but after some disagreement and bargaining we settled for the second row. But like c'mon, and apostle of the Lord was coming to speak to us, what can ya do? When he walked in with President Smith the Spirit in the room overwhelmed us. We all went through a line very reverently and shook their hands. When I shook his hand, he looked deep into my soul and said "Sister Petersen thank you so much for your service." Whether by mine own voice, or by the voice of my servants it is the same. 

All three of them addressed us and we learned a lot that morning. When Elder Stevenson was talking he came off the stand and stood right in front of me. Obviously no one sat on the front row because they all though the same thing as my companion, so the only thing separating me and an apostle of the Lord was a pew. The power that he spoke with was insane, it was a good thing I was as far as I was because I almost couldn't handle it!
When he started speaking he told us he knows that many of us feel inadequate, maybe because we're new, or we hold a leadership position, maybe because we have never been this spiritual before or we're uncomfortable with all the experienced people around us and we feel like we don't know what we're doing..... and then he paused a moment and said............."I have absolutely no sympathy for you." hahahahahaha. He said when he was called into the Quorum of the 12, he replaced three apostles who combined had 112 years of experience, between him, Elder Renlund, and Rasband, they almost have 3. Hahah. He told us that his first meeting he participated in the Quorum he sat in a room with Elder Holland and Elder Oaks and Elder Bednar, and all of these spiritual giants and he has never felt as small as he did in that meeting. haha. It made me feel a lot better about being in my first transfer still. haha it could be so much more intense!

He gave us an apostolic blessing and he specifically said "Since you are here on the Lord's errand, He is sending special specific angels to your families and life back home to take care of them and protect them." I know Heavenly Father is ultra aware of my family. He is sending countless angels to uphold them on their left and on their right. When I was driving to the MTC I thought to myself "Oh man, what is my family gonna do without me" haha. I know the Lord is taking care of them while I take care of His children in the Fort Walton Beach 2nd ward. 

Heavenly Father blesses us every single day. The sacrifices we make are sufficient. I am making a sacrifice being out here and the blessings of heaven are being poured out to my family and all the people I love in my life. God is so so very aware of us and the things we struggle with. He allows us to have these experiences to help us grow and learn and rely on him. Don't forget who you are and your purpose when you wake up in the morning. Have a perfect brightness of hope and love those around you. I'm so incredibly grateful for all of you in my life. I am grateful for every sacrifice that has been made so that I could be here in this moment. I love serving God's children. I find so much joy in serving and sacrificing. So here's my challenge to you, if you are struggling, if you are hurting or lacking something in your life, if you feel distant from God, or you feel lost, Find some way to sacrifice to God. Whether it be your time in serving others or something you need to let go of to allow yourself to grow. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. But while you thing about the changes you can make...
"Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are build, which is a sure foundation, and foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. Through the atonement we have access to the boundless blessings of heaven. Angels are surrounding you my friends. Heavenly Father is blessing you. Stand Tall and Remember that YOU are a child of God. I love y'all

-Sister P E T E R S E N

Sis Ramadhar & me

(Hahaha the Georgia State line pics are a straight joke. Lol we def struggled on that) 

Monday, February 13, 2017

piña coladas. CAUGHT IN THE RAIN

WOOOOOOOT WOOOOOT! Last Pday we hit up the beach as a district and played in the sun all afternoon. Basically we have the best area, just sayin. The picture attached is my district and they are such a blast! I love them! 

Tuesday we went out to our appointments and WE GOT STUCK IN A HURRICANE!!!! Legit we were riding along having little success and I threw my arms up and said "Bring it on God" and then IT STARTED POURING! hahaha be careful what you ask for! So we rode home real fast and watched as the streets flooded! It was insane....! But no worries Tracy, I kept my hair dry and it still looked decent when we got in (;

Sister Ramadhar is teaching me how to rap it's pretty gnarly.

So Friday night we ended up going to our ward Valentine's dance unexpectedly because of some miscommunication haha, and while we were there I met my best friend Ashley! She is so hilarious! We told her we weren't allowed to dance so she taught us how to dab. hahahah I loved her sweet sweet spirit. She was great. Honestly my favorite thing on my mission is seeing families. In my homeward the kids sang this song for the primary program and they scream/sang, "God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be" SOOOOOOo True!!! And the best part is, we're all part of God's family!!! I love it. 

I love how you can meet people and have completely different backgrounds and feel so connected with them.  It's because we truly are all children of God.

Ok ok ok I'll tell you a story, stop begging. Thursday afternoon we set out to go tracting. While riding to our neighborhood we chose, we decided to stop at this investigator's apartment who we've been trying to drop. This investigator has some crazy life issues and she hasn't been progressing so we have not been meeting with her. Well when we knocked on her door she didn't answer and so we were leaving the complex when her neighbor came outside and stopped us. He was very nice at first and asked us if we were JWs. We went on to explain we were missionaries for the LDS church. On a dime he started screaming and cussing at us, waving his cigarette at us like we were of the devil. He said some pretty nasty stuff about how awful Mormons are and told us we were wasting our time on missions. 
To be honest I wasn't scared or hurt, I was angry. I was so frustrated with everything he said because he was so rude. Like some people down here say they love Jesus but then they treat others with so much hatred. Like Breh, cmon. "They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." So as we were leaving, Tammy's other neighbor ran outside and apologized that for what just took place. We assured her it was no big deal and we were fine. She promised us we would have success that day because there is opposition in all things. AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH! 
Tabitha. The sweetest most charitable woman welcomed us into her home and we talked about Jesus Christ for a very long time. Tabitha taught us so much about Jesus Christ's love and treating others as he would. Her example and life story truly inspired me that day. We haven't confirmed her as an investigator yet, but Tabitha is very much elect.

There are so many amazing people in the world. Don't put your head in the sand as a member of the church and think that everyone who isn't LDS is wicked. Christ is gathering His sheep. We are searching out the elect and the humble hearted followers of Christ. Most days here are kind of crappy without much success, but like Tammy's sweet neighbor told us, there is opposition in all things. When you are discouraged or upset or unhappy with the trials that you are going through, please please remember how great your joy is going to be. Men are that they might have joy. Enjoy to the very end.

I love y'all so very much. DCK. Love  S I S T E R   P E T E R S E N !!!!! 
Pday with the crew!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Golden Investigators?? Nah, Golden CORRAL

This week was straight solid. Me and Sister Ramadhar just cruise the town on our bikes and try not to get hit by cars, it's fine. The other day we biked like 8 million miles to go to a referral and then we were turned away haha. It made for some good riding though. 

Oh man so many people have dogs or cats and Sis R is way allergic so whenever we leave a house she basically douses herself in hand sanitizer haha. I feel so bad. 

Even though we don't have any "golden" investigators.... or even *any investigators currently lol... we have GOLDEN members!!!!!! They are so awesome down here and they feed us like it's going out of style! I love our members to death but if I eat Golden Corral again I'm gonna explode. I'm pretty sure I've gained 17 hundred pounds since I came to Florida, and the Elders serving in our ward always give me candy. Why do people have to be so generous?!?! So annoying. (; but real talk our members are incredible. Not gonna lie I was pretty skeptical coming from Utah what the church activity would be like away from home, but the members here are so dedicated to Christ it is UNREAL. They are such good people and amazing examples of the believers. I love them.

We had the opportunity to attend Zone Conference this past week and watch the General Missionary Broadcast. Hot Dang it was soooooo good. It got me so pumped to be a part of God's army. The biggest thing I learned from it though was building the church from within. As members of Jesus Christ's church, it is our sacred obligation to sanctify ourselves and be steadfast in Christ. 

My favorite thing about serving down here is hearing people's conversion stories. Everyone has one. My comp is a convert to the church with her mom and dad and her dedication to missionary work is a constant reminder to me that people like her are ready and waiting to hear the gospel. Yesterday at dinner the sweetest little old sister who was feeding us told me, "God sent us here to know each other and to love each other. Not to walk as strangers but to be a family" Those words really struck my heart. We really are all God's children. It doesn't matter your race, wealth, age, appearance, trials, WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD. If everyone in the world really accepted that we would all treat each other so much better. Christ always had such pure love for everyone and that's all we are asked to do. In the words of my dad's favorite holiday singer Jewel "In the end, only kindness matters." 
SO THIS WEEK: Be kind to everyone. Seriously and truly. Show your love to God by loving His children. They are your brothers and sisters and they need you.

I love you all so much. Don't forget your divine worth. DCK. and don't get fat like me.

-Sister Petersen

DCK - Destination Celestial Kingdom