Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas time is almost here!

So, this week was fantastic! Now the problem, is just remembering everything that happened. I feel like last Monday was an eternity ago. haha
First off, you are all fantastic!!! Seriously, to get ready for this exam has been a little difficult in a Spanish ward. To find anyone that believes in those leafy green things is about impossible. They all have to ask someone what you would put on a salad, because they have never had one before. Normally it's super good, but the salad dressing has been a blessing! haha I never thought I would say that about salad dressing, but when you're given some chopped up iceberg lettuce, you need something else to help it out a little and taste like a good meal. But, it's been fantastic. I have been having fun with a few recipes and then I just make sure to always have some sort of food in the car for meals just in case something happens and they forget or we go to a party and there isn't anything I can eat. So, thank you sooooo much!!!!
On Wednesday we had this super spiritual zone meeting. It was amazing! We were talking about the importance of planning and on invitations so that we can be more prepared and find strength in the Lord. There are a lot of missionaries in our zone that are converts to the gospel, so they all got up to explain what the invitation they received was when they decided to accept the gospel into their lives. For most of them, it was a strong invitation to come to church and pray to know if it was true. It's amazing the power the church has as we just sit inside and can feel the spirit and learn from the teachings of others. Then Elder Burton, one of the zone leaders, trained about breaking down our barriers in life. How many things do we build up around us because we are scared to be different, or we don't have enough courage to change. There are expectations set, and sometimes they don't make sense, but we follow them because people don't expect us to be any better. It's not about the expectations, it's about changing them. We must find the strength to go against the odds and make things happen. People are changing everyday, but we must change more. The Second Coming is near, and we must be prepared to meet our Savior, no matter what the circumstances. When I actually started to write out the expectations people have set for me as a missionary, I realized how much work I really do have in order to get out of the norm and make a difference here.
Friday was the Young Women's in Excellence here! We were invited to come help decorate and get things ready and then to come and enjoy the event with the ward to support the young women here. Good thing I had a long skirt on while we were decorating because I spent the morning up and down on chairs stapling a  long string of decorations across the ceiling in the primary room. It was fantastic and so much fun :) As I have been doing some personal progress as well here on the mission, it has been fun to see the progress of these young girls in their own lives. It truly is amazing the power that this program has for the young women in the church. They truly can learn how to become better women, wives and mothers for the future. 
Yesterday was a day full of fun surprises and events. We found out Saturday night who was getting transferred and who was staying here. Hermana Jones and I are staying here through the holidays! Woohoo! But, tons of missionaries are moving around, so we had to get all of their Christmas presents to them early because we wouldn't see them again soon. We ended up crocheting and wrapping presents early in the morning and then made some phone calls before heading to church. Two of the elders in our ward, Elder Pesantes and Elder Griffith finished their missions and were heading home! Super crazy! So we all said our goodbyes and took some pictures before they had to head off to the mission office.
Church was interesting, Elder Pinedo was teaching the Gospel Principles class, but part way through, he started getting super dizzy and felt really sick. He almost fell over, so he just said sorry and walked out and asked someone to teach! So, I got up and started where he left off teaching! haha Good thing my Spanish is way better so that I can teach a class without any notice at all. He didn't end up coming back, so I just taught the rest of the class, finished up and we went on with church. I guess the Lord prepares us in different ways to do His work. I absolutely love teaching that class though! It's a little better though when I have at least a few minutes to look over the manual to know how I want to teach it.
After church, there was a baptism for a little girl in the ward, and like always, our names just sort of appear on everything...everywhere. If someone is playing the piano, it's me. If someone is leading the music, it's usually my companion. haha So we weren't too surprised when we showed up and saw the program had our names on it! Then we had a Christmas fireside for the stake and it was so much fun! I played again for our ward and then we got to hear songs from other wards too. And, we finished it off with the "Hallelujah Chorus" and it was so much fun!
But, just some things to think about this week-what are your barriers that you put up? How can you have the courage to go against the norms and break them down? How can you put your own will in line with the will of God?
Mosiah 4:27 - don't run faster than you have strength. You have to be strong yourself first before you can help others! So, get prepared now :)
Love you tons! Hope you have a fantastic week and enjoy getting ready for Christmas :) Go and serve someone who needs you now. 
Hermana Jessica Peterson
19792 E 49th Ave
Denver, CO 80249
Mission Home Address:
Colorado Denver North Mission
Hermana Jessica Peterson
1250 Main St.
Broomfield, CO 80020

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