Monday, April 28, 2014

Back for good...

Hey everyone!
Dad! Hope you had an amazing Birthday!!! And Matt, that's so exciting!! You graduated!! Woohoo!
So, I got transferred....not too excited about it. But, I know it's what the Lord wants for me. I got the call to be a sister trainer leader in the Spanish areas. It's a new leadership calling that we are opening up. We will work with all the Spanish sisters in the whole mission, go on exchanges with them and help to unify our areas. There are only 3 Spanish areas, with only 12 the whole mission. So, there aren't very many of us. If we haven't been companions with one of them, we have at least served with them before. So, we will see how it goes! Hopefully it's a good change and doesn't take us away from being part of our zones here.
It's been crazy though, these last few months up in Monte Vista have gone by way too fast. I didn't want to leave, but I guess that's not up to me. I'll just have to go back and visit for sure. :)
This week was crazy. So many things happening, so much work to do, and not enough time for anything! haha But, so great. We picked up a few new investigators this week, Lupe and Ruby, and they are great! Their family is awesome, but there are so many of them! There are 13 kids, 7 still live there, with lots of nietos and other people always running around. Kinda reminds me of home! haha But, they are awesome, and hopefully will start coming to church soon! the daughter really wants to learn more, so it's more just getting the parents to recognize the need for it. Slowly but surely!
Elder Mahina drew on my soccer and rugby balls!! They look legit!
Last week we had our zone pday which is always a blast...this one was definitely one to remember. We ended up meeting at a park with the zone for games and a BBQ...well the elders were in charge of the grill and everyone was going to bring something. Well, turns out that they kinda failed with the whole grill thing, and the park was too windy to just use charcoal. So, they brought the food over to the church building, then with all the smoke ended up setting off the fire alarm. We got some calls from the Stake President about 15 minutes later. We had fun playing some soccer and vball though, until this lady decided that we were using too much of the space to play (it was a huge park) but oh well! We still had fun! One of the elders brought a water balloon launcher, so we had to event a way to fill up the balloons. We decided to use my soccer pump and just fill it with water...that was an adventure and took forever! Then we just used a plastic water bottle and squeezed hard-that worked way better! We had fun launching them across the field. I'll send a few pictures :)
We have been working a lot with the Maldonados recently, and it's so exciting! The parents both have callings now, the son finished all the lessons to be baptized, and the dad already had his interview to receive the Melchizedek priesthood! And, his dad is planning on coming up from Mexico this weekend to ordain him!!! Woohoo! We are sad to not be there though! It's been great. If everything goes as planned this weekend, he will get baptized on May 10th! So exciting :) Definitely going to make it back for that one! We went up to see them last night to say goodbye and it was soo hard! Everyone was crying, and we didn't want to leave, but it's going to be good. They are in good hands for sure!
Thursday turned into our service day. We were planning on getting around a bit and teaching in different areas, but that didn't really happen. We took an investigator over to Obispo's house to get some clothes and things for her family. She literally took the entire basement...soooo our entire car was full with baby things and clothes...literally full! It was crazy! We went to crochet with a member for a little bit. She just had a baby and wanted to learn how to make little headbands. So fun!
We went and saw what we thought was going to be or new house with the Sanders. We were planning on helping them finish it up and then moving in at the end of the transfer...I guess those plans kinda changed! But it was fun to go around the house and get to know them a little bit. They are kinda crazy! She has a fairy garden...yup it's just a garden for her little fairies...and he has a bonsai tree, well had. She forgot to water it and it died. Sad day.
We were working with Leonor again this week! She is awesome! She got baptized back in November and is super excited to be in a new ward. We were explaining a lot of things about family history and the temple, and she is working to get a temple recommend to go do baptisms! She was a little confused and didn't think she could go at all yet, good thing we got that fixed up! The Lord definitely guides us to know what to teach and when :)
Sorry, I'm super scattered...I don't think I have really accepted the whole idea of being back in Denver. But, I know it's going to be great. I'm excited for the chance to go on exchanges with all the great Spanish sisters as well and get to know them a little better.
Something I was thinking about yesterday...sacrament's topic was prayer, and as I was thinking about it, prayer is one of the most important things we could ever have. It's such an amazing blessing. We have the opportunity to talk with our Heavenly Father and to seek out His guidance and help. He allows me to walk by faith, but always guides as well. As I was getting up to bare my testimony yesterday, I was just thinking about all the blessings and miracles I have witnessed here on my mission. It's all because of Jesus Christ. Because of His suffering and resurrection, we have a purpose here on earth. We have goals and an eternal vision. We just need to all accept the atonement and the fact that Christ can help everyone. No one has fallen too far-Christ paid it ALL. Not just the last part, but ALL.
I love you and miss you all so much! I hope you have an amazing week and can continue being the amazing people and missionaries that you are. :)
Love you!
Hermana Jessica Peterson

We decided that our zone leaders needed a good laugh, so we got some help and decided they were a newly-wed couple. We had the pop cans and all! And, the entire inside of the cab is full of balloons, good thing the other elders driving with them were our under-cover spies and left the back window cracked. :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter-It's all because of Him

This is us with Daphney on Easter! Oh yeah, she is getting baptized Saturday!!! We met her at the open house last month, and the other sisters have been teaching her! And, now she is getting baptized. Woohoo! 
Hey Family!! 

So, this week has been amazing on the spiritual side of things. I say that because I spent most of the week in bed. haha Everyone is getting sick it seems. But, I had the chance to really think a lot about what this time of year means for me. It means that I have a chance to become like God and Jesus again. That I have an eternal potential to return to my Father and to live as an eternal family. 

This week we focused on sharing the Easter video on, so hopefully everyone had the chance to see it! It's amazing :) But, it really does make me think about all the things I have been given as a daughter of Heavenly Father because He loves me and sent His Son to die for me. I really do have everything I could ever ask for in this life and more because of Him. Because He lived and died and rose again, I can live forever with all of you. I know that my Savior lives and loves me, He loves you. He wants us to find joy in the little things in life. He wants us to always be happy. 

Wednesday was temple day again! I absolutely loved the opportunity I had to go and be reminded of the great covenants I have made with God, but more importantly, the blessings that God has promised to me. He wants me to be the happiest that I can be as I am here, and for all eternity. I brought my patriarchal blessing along with me to the celestial room, I think that's okay? haha But, I was reading it and pondering it over there as I was thinking about the time I have spent on my mission, and the little time I have left. It seems like yesterday that I left and decided to change my course of life again, and I would never regret it. Maybe my life has been different than I could have ever imagined, but God knew it would be this way. He knew that I needed this opportunity to learn and grow and to meet all of these amazing people. He wanted me to change just a little more, get out of my comfort zone and really see my own potential. He wanted to see myself and others as they truly are, beautiful, talented, children of an eternal Being. And, this opportunity has given me this chance. 

We visited again with Leslie and it is interesting to see how the gospel is so profound, but simple enough that someone with little education can understand it just as perfectly. She is coming to understand for herself that the gospel is true. But, of course, Satan is right there, placing every obstacle in the way. We just need to have faith now that God will help her realize and gain the testimony that she needs to take these steps towards conversion. 

And, us sisters being crazy in the car :) Their car was in the shop all week, so we did a lot of chauffeuring around. haha Good thing I like to drive.
I am so grateful for the words of a living prophet and apostles. We are so blessed to live in this time of great prosperity spiritually. We have the true gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. We have all the keys of the restored gospel here again. We have the ordinances necessary to become eternal families. I know that my family will live forever. I know that one day, I too will be married in the temple and receive those same blessings. I am so grateful that right now, I too am helping others receive those same saving ordinances. I got to email a girl back in my first area, Daniela. She was my first investigator that was baptized last year, and it is so exciting to see that their marriage will soon be eternal as they continue to make the steps necessary to enter the temple and be sealed together. I know that this is God's plan. That families can be eternal. That death is not the end. That there is happiness that extends beyond the veil. 

Love you all! Hope you have an amazing week. :) 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Having strength on the Lord's errand

Woohoo! To an amazing week :) 

I'm pretty sure that every week is amazing on a mission though, it's our choice whether or not we want to smile and enjoy every moment of it. :) 

We were out doing a lot of contacting and finding this week, and we found Leslie! She is awesome!  :) Pretty much golden already. After the first lesson with her, she was asking if we could come back everyday to teach her. She wants a ride to church because her husband works. A member came with us the next day and they planned out scripture studies in the mornings while they are both home alone with kids at school. She asks us about everything. She asked if we always had missionaries in this area and why no one had ever knocked on her door before. She wanted to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Too bad Satan is getting in the way of things and wouldn't let her come to church yesterday, but she will for sure this weekend! Super exciting :) Miracles happening everywhere. We just need to see them! 

Had our last interviews with President Toombs on Tuesday...sad! I'm going to miss him for sure! I think that God needed to send me here so that I could have the chance to experience so much change. I will have interviews with 3 different presidents before I go home. I feel like all the changes that normal people go through in a life-time, I'm doing all in 18 months. But, it has definitely taught me a lot. I need to love everyone and find ways to help them along the way.

This week has been a lot of pondering about all the things I have been studying recently. We had our zone meeting on Wednesday and we talked a lot about the enabling power of the atonement, a subject I have been studying continuously for years now. President Boyd K Packer said, "For some reason we think that the Atonement of Christ applies only at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more than that. It is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life. When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us" ( in Conference Report, Apr. 2001, 28). It's so true! We can be given the power and strength we need to do the Lord's will. Not our own, but His. I think I am finally beginning to understand how that works in my life. I can't and won't have the strength to do everything, but He will give me the strength to do what He needs me to do!

Like President Monson always says, "Along your pathway in life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and worlds to save." So, go out and find those people that the Lord wants you to serve and help along this difficult pathway we call life. 

This week is Easter, and it has a different meaning here on the mission than it ever has before. It's incredible. We are counting down the days to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior and Redeemer. He is our everything. He helps us to find strength in our everyday challenges and obstacles. And, this year we have a new message, a message of HOPE, INSPIRATION, LOVE, ENDURANCE. He came so that we could be. He came so that we can have the strength to continue on and to be better each and everyday. 

Check it out! Read about Him. Strengthen your testimony in the Savior and in everything that He did for you. Because of Him, you are who you are today. You are His brother or sister, you are His best friend. He died for you. How can you show that love back to Him? Be converted. 

Love you all! And I hope you have an amazing week :) Enjoy Easter! 
Hermana Peterson

Monday, April 7, 2014

You'll never regret being too kind :)

The jumping picture!
To the BESTEST family in the entire world. 

So, as I was listening to conference this weekend, I was reminded just how amazing our family is. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to grow up in a family that is centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so glad that we had the habit of reading and praying together daily, of always having fhe together, and being able to see now the blessings that came from that! 

Most of our appointments fell through this week, but it all ended up well. We went tracting one night and this dad let us in. It was pretty cold and we were grateful to be let in. We talked for a minute, but his wife was in the shower, so we set up a time to come back. Saturday, we knocked on their door again and Leslie opened up. We introduced ourselves and she said she didn't have time then, but that she wanted us to come back. She asked about the church, how often we could come teach her, how she can get to church, and if it costs anything to keep the pamphlet we gave her. Legit!! Super excited to go back tonight and teach her with a member that lives around the corner :) Miracles! 
My comp and I with our bigotes :)   And...Martinez in the background. Hna Browning looks like a killer...creepy! 
Our pizzas we made as a district between sessions on Sunday...soooo good! 
We are still teaching the Maldonado's and working with them to prepare for Jayden's baptism in a few weeks, for Hermano to receive the Melchizedek priesthood, and to enter the temple in the next few months. Super exciting! We saw them practically every other day this week between fhe, dinner, and teaching their son for baptism. :) They are such an amazing family! 

And pizza time...take one! We had to try it out first to make sure it tasted good of course! :)

This weekend was super fun! We ended up going over to church for all the sessions of conference. Saturday sessions were intense! I felt like we were all being told to spiritually prepare right now for the second coming. But, it was so cool! I am starting to realize more and more what it really means to give our heart to God. We must really be devoted to Him and find ways to give Him our all. It's difficult, but it's so worth it! 

Oh yeah...almost forgot. But I got a hair cut on Monday! If you saw the pictures you prolly already saw that though! It's super short and weird! haha but I love it! 

Sorry kinda random today...
But Sunday was incredible. We stayed at church all day to listen, and between sessions we made home-made pizzas as a district. They were soooo good! We had a lot of fun making them and spending time together talking about conference and laughing. It's nice sometimes to just relax and enjoy some times of spiritual uplifting. 

We headed up to a baby shower Sunday night for a less-active in the ward. She was the one that had her baby last week, so kinda backwards...but that's what happens when your water breaks a month early! We just stopped by for a few minutes, but it was good because she didn't really know many people there either! Yikes! So it was good we stopped by to support :) 

Oh, and there has been a random family living with us the last week...and we finally met the mom this morning! haha They are friends of the family we actually live with, but they went to Utah for conference this weekend, and we haven't really been home to meet the family that is actually there right now. But, their two kids are so cute! Mystery solved :) Kinda awkward this morning to go put in some laundry and walk past the dad passed out on the couch...not really the introduction that I was expecting. haha 

But, my mind is kinda all over the place right now...and I can't even think what else happened this week! But, it's been great :) Conference was amazing, and definitely the highlight of my week for sure! Loved it! 

Hermana Jessica Peterson

This is the hypothetical wedding of Hermana Olson...yup we are all there. She was my red-headed comp at the beginning of my mission last year. We are serving around each other again, and she decided to draw out the wedding party. haha I'm the one with the blonde hair and purple cardigan, if you couldn't tell already! haha Pretty awesome.