Monday, August 29, 2016

Wo shi pan geh mae!

I just said: "I am Sister Peterson" in Chinese. You can all try it.

**** BEFORE YOU READ ANYTHING ELSE****

Our mission just got a new rule that we are allowed to read emails on
our iPads throughout the week so if you wanna send me some real good
emails to cheer me up I would love it ❤️

This is just gonna be a throw up email of all that's happened because
I've been too busy to put anything nice together and I apologize.

This week we've done the craziest door and street contact approaches
and I've given out more BOM's this transfer than I have like my whole
mission.

That's actually all I can think of right now. I'm sorry this emails
the worst. I'll try better next week.


Love ya loads, Sister Peterson.

Alnwick 😍

The view we had when teaching a lesson

My crazy companion sets everything on fire....

Tea at a glance

Monday, August 22, 2016

My companion's actually not Chinese.

Well, she speaks Chinese. But she's from Taiwan.

    She's actually the cutest little ball of sunshine I've ever met.
It was so strange, as soon as I heard the transfer call I just felt a
huge amount of love for her and I hadn't even met her yet. And I've
never had that before, I'm usually terrified or scared or sad when
transfers come but I was just so excited to meet her and just love
her. Ah, she's the best.

    So on missions, when you're sleep deprived or haven't had a good
nights sleep in a couple days, you can't just take a day and catch up
or sleep in. It just kinda adds on to the sleep deprivation you've
accumulated your whole mission and it's INCREDIBLE that your body
still functions and the amount of energy you have every day. This week
has just been chaos.
Sunday: transfer calls didn't come till 11 pm
Monday: slept over in Newcastle with our STL's and China and got no sleep
Tuesday: transfers, left the flat at 7 am, traveled 2 hours back to
Alnwick on the bus
Wednesday: woke up at 5:30, traveled 2 hours back to Newcastle and
then traveled 2 hours back to Alnwick, exhausted.
But hey, I can sleep in a year.

    Something fun we do now is language study because Sister Chiu
(pronounced "Cho") is learning English and it's a good thing I've been
a grammar nazi my whole life cause it's really been testing my English
too. She just reads the Book of Mormon out loud to me and writes me a
short essay about something. The other day I made her write me an
essay about panda bears. Now I can say panda bear in Chinese. She's
actually been teaching me a lot of Chinese and now I can properly
introduce myself and you might as well change my mission call to
Chinese Speaking 🎎 She's added a couple words to her vocabulary since
she's been around me. She's added: exhausted, starving, and freezing.
She says I'm very dramatic haha.

    DRIVING. I had my lessons on Thursday and I had to drive for 2
hours with an instructor to make sure that it's safe for me to drive
in England. My instructor was so cool. He's taught missionaries before
how to drive so the first thing he said when he got in the car was
"don't even try to convert me." Haha he probably said that like 40
times the whole lesson. It was so interesting because he'd say that
when I knew he was feeling the Spirit. We'd be talking about literally
anything (money, cars, family) and when I'd ask him questions and he'd
start feeling comfortable he'd yell, "No, no, no! Don't try and
convert me!" And I'd be like, "we're just talking about money!" But
the Spirit speaks to those in ways they will recognise it. 😏

    But really, driving over here is one of the funnest things I've
ever done. And it's been 7 1/2 months since I've even touched a
steering wheel so I forgot how much I love driving and how much I've
missed it. You know that scene in Harry Potter where he's in a magic
bus and it squeezes in between two buses? That's how I feel 80% of the
time. Just squeezing through everyones cars and trying to drive on
these tiny roads. But it's like a game so I enjoy it. On Saturday we
were driving home from Seahouses at night and there was no one on the
road and the weather was beautiful and the scenery was amazing with
rolling green hills and sheep and cow pastures and trees everywhere
and I was driving in Northern England in one of the most beautiful
counties with the road all to myself. I could've driven around forever
😍

    Our favourite approach this week is when we go knocking, Sister
Chiu hides behind a bush and when they open the door, I say, "If a
book fell from the sky, would you read it?" And then Sister Chiu
throws a Book of Mormon and I catch it and every time IT WORKS.

Yesterday at church, one of our members, Jenny, ran up to me and said
that when she stayed at her sisters house this summer the missionaries
came over and one of them was Sister Du! She was a sister who was in
my MTC group that's serving in the Manchester mission. She wrote me a
little note and gave it to Jenny to give to me. What a tender mercy ❤️

Well it's been a great week and I can't complain. Love ya loads.
Sista Pete

Last selfie/First selfie

Monday, August 15, 2016

Transfer calls are in and I'm...

STAYING.

and my new companion is...

CHINESE.

and I am also...

DRIVING.

but don't forget I'm...

TERRIFIED.

Not about my new companion, she came out 2 transfers after me so I'll
be senior companioning it and Chinese people are the best. But about
driving. English roads are tiny, cramped, the driving rules are
different, and everything's on the left side of the road. Our area is
huge and I'll be driving to Newcastle every week. Pray for me.

Also, our zone has 30 missionaries and 20 of them are leaving. 20!
They're either getting transferred or going home, only one
companionship out of 15 are staying the same. Even companionships are
getting transferred together to another area. It was an insane plot
twist transfer call.

Anyway, last Monday was THE BEST PDAY EVER. We had the whole zone at
the Newcastle chapel and we played gatorball and chair
football(soccer) and watched movies and spent most of the day out in
the sun (a rare opportunity in England) and it was definitely the best
pday of my entire mission. A lot of missionaries are going home on
Wednesday and it was our one last hoorah and there were moments when
we'd all be laughing and you just look around and your heart almost
bursts because you have so much love for these people and this mission
and it hurts that at one point this is all going to come to an end.
But I've still got a while so I'm fine.

Speaking of that, I was talking to an Elder and I asked him how long
he'd been out and he said a month and a half and I was like "Oh so you
came a little after me." And he asked how long I'd been on my mission
and I was like "7 months." And then we both looked at each other and
he laughed and I was like "oh. Never mind." Haha it's gone so fast and
I still feel like a baby of the mission but I guess I've been out
longer than I think.

Cool side note: I got my mission call on August 14th last year and
transfer calls were August 14th so it was like another mini mission
call 🙃

About twice a week, we go see a member that's in a care home and this
past week he prayed and said: "Heavenly Father, you've done it again.
You've brought these two lovely ladies to come and see me. Anyway, in
the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." ❤️

Okay. This week's miracle find of crazy old conference talks wasn't
actually too old. I've been studying humility every day because it's
something I really want to refine and there are SO many blessings that
come from just being a humble person. So here's a quick list of all my
inspirations in chronological order.

Pride and the Priesthood (October 2010): Humility means that we give
all glory to the Father, just as the Saviour did. It means that we
lose ourselves in the service of others, just as the Saviour did.
Pride is a switch that turns off priesthood power. Humility is a
switch that turns it on.
    When we see the world around us through the lens of the pure love
of Christ, we begin to understand humility.
    Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up.
Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless,
meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or
withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility
by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less
about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of
serving God and our fellowman.
    Humility directs our attention and love toward others and to
Heavenly Father’s purposes. Pride does the opposite. Pride draws its
energy and strength from the deep wells of selfishness. The moment we
stop obsessing with ourselves and lose ourselves in service, our pride
diminishes and begins to die.
    I once owned a pen that I loved to use during my career as an
airline captain. By simply turning the shaft, I could choose one of
four colors. The pen did not complain when I wanted to use red ink
instead of blue. It did not say to me, “I would rather not write after
10:00 p.m., in heavy fog, or at high altitudes.” The pen did not say,
“Use me only for important documents, not for the daily mundane
tasks.” With greatest reliability it performed every task I needed, no
matter how important or insignificant. It was always ready to serve.
    In a similar way we are tools in the hands of God. When our heart
is in the right place, we do not complain that our assigned task is
unworthy of our abilities. We gladly serve wherever we are asked. When
we do this, the Lord can use us in ways beyond our understanding to
accomplish His work.

How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life (April
2012): For spirituality to grow stronger and more available, it must
be planted in a righteous environment. Haughtiness, pride, and conceit
are like stony ground that will never produce spiritual fruit.
    Humility is a fertile soil where spirituality grows and produces
the fruit of inspiration to know what to do. It gives access to divine
power to accomplish what must be done. An individual motivated by a
desire for praise or recognition will not qualify to be taught by the
Spirit. An individual who is arrogant or who lets his or her emotions
influence decisions will not be powerfully led by the Spirit.
    When we are acting as instruments in behalf of others, we are
more easily inspired than when we think only of ourselves. In the
process of helping others, the Lord can piggyback directions for our
own benefit.
    Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail but to
succeed gloriously.

Be Thou Humble (April 2016): Think of all the heartache you can avoid
by humbling yourself to say, “I’m sorry”; “That was inconsiderate of
me”; “What would you like to do?”; “I just wasn’t thinking”; or “I’m
very proud of you.” If these little phrases were humbly used, there
would be less contention and more peace in our homes.
    I am grateful for prophets, like Alma, who have taught us the
worth of this great attribute. Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th President
of the Church, said: “How does one get humble? To me, one must
constantly be reminded of his dependence. On whom dependent? On the
Lord. How remind one’s self? By real, constant, worshipful, grateful
prayer.”
    It should come as no surprise that President Kimball’s favorite
hymn was “I Need Thee Every Hour.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks reported that
this was the most oft-sung opening hymn by the Brethren in the temple
during his early years in the Quorum of the Twelve. He said, “Picture
the spiritual impact of a handful of the Lord’s servants singing that
song before praying for his guidance in fulfilling their mighty
responsibilities.”

HOW LUCKY ARE WE TO HAVE MODERN DAY PROPHETS AND APOSTLES THAT RECEIVE
DIVINE INSPIRATION. so lucky.

If you sat and read this entire novel of an email, you're already one
step closer to humility.

Well, I'm out.
Sister Peterson

Sneak peek to a high class Ashington District photoshoot 😎 
All the elders except the one on the far right are going home on Wednesday :(
and Sister Jäger is getting transferred, so me and Elder Wheeler are

gonna be the only originals left.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Don't want no phony testimony

We found a missionary CD in our car and that was the lyrics to
one of the songs but I feel like it could also be the anthem of a
Mormon teenager in the 80's.

    HIYA. Every week just keeps getting better and better and I keep
thinking it won't top the next week but it does! So we got to go to
Gateshead this week and do a service project at this giant park they
have there and it was so much fun. Living the #villagerlyfe the only
time you get to see other missionaries is district meetings so it was
just nice to talk with everyone else in the zone and have fun with
them. Also we never get the opportunity to do service projects ever so
it was like Christmas.

    Sister Jäger and I realised this week that the reason our mission
has a weekly goal of 16 hours of finding is because that's what's
HEALTHY. 32 hours a week is NOT HEALTHY. And we're feeling it now.
We're completely exhausted. I could write a whole list of stupid
things we've done because of our exhaustion but I'll spare you.

    We had to go to the car mechanic to get a new lightbulb for our
headlight and when the guy was filling out the form, he asked who our
employer was and then he said: "Eh, I'll just put God." Haha we
actually had a really good conversation while he took ONE HOUR to put
in a light bulb (I think God was just helping us out by stalling) and
he said we could come back anytime to just talk about our beliefs.
Pretty kewl.

    There's a point when you're so sick of listening to EFY music
that you pull out David Archuleta's Christmas album and jam.

    We went on an exchange with the Newcastle STL's (we have two) and
it was so much fun. They live in a four man flat with the Chinese
speaking sisters who I also love. I love exchanges because I learn SO
MUCH. All the STL's I've had have just been incredible missionaries
and they teach me loads of things I want to take back to my area and
apply to my own missionary work. It's like a fresh start every couple
of weeks and I'm so grateful we're able to have that.

    I'm in love with a devotional given in 2015 called "Living with
Purpose: The Importance of 'Real Intent'" by Randall L. Ridd. If you
haven't watched it yet and have a feeling like something is missing in
your life, this talk is the answer. He shares a Parable of the Oranges
that we've been reading in like every member lesson and he has a cool
focus test with basketballs.
    My favourite quote though in it is: "One of life’s early lessons
should be that there is great power in the compounding effect of
little things that we do each day. Small and simple things are at work
in your life right now--working either for you or against you. Just as
the Lord uses such things to build you up, Satan uses them to distract
you and lead you slowly, almost imperceptibly, off the path.
    Our challenge is that when we see a wonderful family or a
financially successful person or a spiritual giant, we don’t see all
the small and simple acts that produce them. We watch Olympic
athletes, but we don’t see the years of daily training that made them
champions. We go to the store and buy fresh fruit, but we don’t see
the planting of the seed and the careful cultivating and harvesting.
We look at President Monson and other General Authorities, and we
sense their spiritual strength and goodness, but what we don’t see are
the simple, daily disciplines repeated over and over again. These
things are easy to do, but they are also easy not to do--especially
because the results are not instantaneous.
    We live in an instantaneous world. We want to go directly from
planting to harvesting. We are so used to getting instant
results--anytime we have to wait more than a few seconds for Google to
answer our every question, we get irritated--but we forget that these
results are the compounded effects of generations of work and
sacrifice.
    Alma gave Helaman counsel that is excellent for us today.
Speaking of the Liahona and the “many other miracles” that guided
Lehi’s family “day by day,” he said:
    “Because those miracles were worked by small means it did show
unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise
their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and
they did not progress in their journey. …
    "O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of
the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for
them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us.
The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.
    "And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things,
yea, see that ye look to God and live”" How important are the small
and simple things in our life, right? Just go watch it, it's so good.

    Utah came to Alnwick! Our branch president had his daughter and
granddaughter over from Utah this Sunday and we met them at church and
it just brought me back. It was weird cause they have a daughter on a
mission in Bolivia and we look exactly the same! And it was so good to
hear the Utahn accent. I miss you guys.

Well, God loves you and I love you.
Bye.
Sister Peterson

Newcastle and China and love

Inside view of our drive home
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Lunch with our neighbors/best friends

Monday, August 1, 2016

Auuuuugust

That went fast.

So I can't come home because I can't take the heat. I think it was
like 70 degrees (with humidity) this week and I was dyyying. People
here are so funny. Whenever they tell me the temperature in Celsius I
just shake my head and wait for my companion to react because I have
no idea if 14 degrees is hot or cold. And when I tell them I don't get
Celsius, they just say, "it's simple! You just think of 0 degrees as
the freezing point of water and 100 degrees is boiling." And I'm like
"yeah because I totally walk around with a cup of water outside to see
how warm it is." It's just kinda funny.

I GOT THE BEST SURPRISE THIS WEEK. I got a letter from Sister Co, my
last companion, and in it was a note from Ron! My recent con-Ron! He
told me about a "Brother Holland" talk he read and just said thank you
for everything. I miss teaching him so much, I started crying when I
got his note. I just miss Pontefract so much.

Here are some English phrases that I've actually heard used in a real
sentence by real Englishmen and smiled so big because #stereotypes.
- It's not my cup of tea
- Cheerio
- I beg your pardon
- bonny lass
- (One we get a LOT) Oh we usually get the lads in suits coming around
- Smashing
- Cheers, love
- rubbish bin
I just love England.

Favorite scripture of this week: Helaman 10:4-5. SO GOOD.

Miracle find: We knocked into this woman who had lost her faith
because of the passing of her mom, but as we kept talking to her she
seemed really open minded. We asked her if we could come back another
day and teach her more but instead she said "when you're done knocking
this street just come back and we can talk some more." So we did and
she let us in, we taught part of lesson one, part of lesson two and
then we invited her to be baptised and right when she was going to
answer, her neighbor walked in. She was very loud, very distracting
and told us that she wouldn't listen to us because she liked Christmas
too much. (EVERYONE thinks we're Jehovah's Witnesses it's kinda
annoying.) So at this point, me and Sister Jäger were like "yeah
there's no way she's gonna say yes." But after she went outside, the
woman we were teaching came back in the room, sat down, and was like,
"Yeah. If I come to find this is true, I'd definitely commit." WHAT. I
definitely learned my lesson about having faith and trusting Heavenly
Father.

I read a talk called "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson in 1989 and
if you're like me and struggle with pride, please go and read it. I
learned so much and it's really helped with how I treat others and
myself. Some parts that I really liked were:

"Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having
more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you
proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of
competition has gone, pride has gone."

"When pride has a hold on our hearts, we lose our independence of the
world and deliver our freedoms to the bondage of men’s judgment. The
world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The
reasoning of men overrides the revelations of God, and the proud let
go of the iron rod. Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others
but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a
sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking
down at the rest of us. There is, however, a far more common ailment
among us--and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest
in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting,
murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding
gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving
and jealous."

"God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or
we can be compelled to be humble. Alma said, “Blessed are they who
humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.” Let us choose
to be humble. We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity
toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and
lifting them as high or higher than we are. We can choose to humble
ourselves by receiving counsel and chastisement. We can choose to
humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us. We can
choose to humble ourselves by rendering selfless service. We can
choose to humble ourselves by going on missions and preaching the word
that can humble others. We can choose to humble ourselves by getting
to the temple more frequently. We can choose to humble ourselves by
confessing and forsaking our sins and being born of God. We can choose
to humble ourselves by loving God, submitting our will to His, and
putting Him first in our lives. Let us choose to be humble. We can do
it. I know we can."

Well yeah, I guess you don't need to look it up because I just wrote
it all down for you but, please please go read it. 20 year old talks
are for our day too.

Reasons this week was an enjoyment:
1. Everyone in the branch is on holiday this week so yesterday we had
15 members at church and they were scrambling for bread for the
sacrament, and 5 minutes before the meeting started, one of the
members shouts: "IS ANYONE ALLERGIC TO NUTS? WELL IF YOU ARE WE'LL
HAVE TO SHARE A COOKIE BECAUSE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD IS ALL WE HAVE." I
was dying.
2. I have a 'Book of Rubbish Responses' and this week I added to it
when we asked someone what makes them happy and this woman said, "
It's none of your business, actually. I don't even know you." And then
Sister Jäger goes: "You don't have to share it with us, we can share
something with you." #championcompanion
3. We knocked a total of 662 doors and 78 dogs barked at us. Last week
our weekly total was 485 doors so we really improved.
4. We ran out of mormon.org cards a couple days ago and now we're
giving out the old Easter and Christmas ones and we feel like such
losers.
5. We went to the store today and they had an American food section
and I was freaking out. THEY HAD ROOT BEER. I also got some pop tarts
and cheez-its and I could not be happier.

Well that's it for me. Tara, love.
❤️ Sister Peterson

Go cougs 💙

Berwick (my new fave place)

As cool as sunsets get over here. But still cool.
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