Monday, October 31, 2016

lesson: learned

I just remembered today is Halloween. No one really celebrates it over
here so I completely forgot hahah HAPPY HALLOWEEN πŸŽƒ i am so English.

This week I learned two very valuable lessons.

1- One day while helping out at a youth activity this couple came up
to us and said basically, "Hey we want to feed you guys when can you
come over." Sister Savelio and I had never seen or met them before but
we scheduled a time, went over, had an amazing time, and have been
over three times since. We went and stopped by one day this week just
to see how they're doing and the husband opened the door and we had a
really good chat with him and then out of nowhere he said, "Guys, I'll
be honest with you. You know how I'm on the high council so I go to
other wards every week instead of our ward? Well I actually haven't
been going to church at all the past couple months until we started
having you two over. We hadn't had missionaries in a long time and I
started losing the motivation to come to church. But when you two came
over, you brought the Spirit back into our home and my wife and I
really needed that. I usually don't tell people when things like this
happen but I just felt I needed to tell you that, so thank you." This
was an answer to my prayers. And I'll explain more why in a second.

2- We have an investigator who was supposed to be baptized this past
Saturday. Everything was planned and underway when we got a text from
her sister saying to call it off because she wasn't ready. We were
extremely confused and devastated. After talking to our district
leader about what had happened and what our plans were for the next
time we see her, the three of us felt really good about how we were
going to resolve this and what we were going to do. However after we
hung up, we got a call from another set of leaders that didn't feel
the same. They told me we weren't being bold enough with our
investigator, we weren't trying our best, and we needed to do more,
including things they suggested that me and Sister Savelio should do
that we were not comfortable with. After the phone call I felt awful
and for the next four days I second guessed basically my entire
purpose as a missionary and if I was even doing what the Lord wanted
me to do here. I've never felt more lost my whole mission. It wasn't
until we had a lesson with her this week that it all started to fall
into place. There was a concern we didn't know about that was finally
brought to our attention which will have to delay her baptism for a
little while. Although we were sad she won't be baptized as soon as we
thought, I have felt a whole lot of comfort because of all that has
happened.

I learned from these experiences that Heavenly Father truly speaks to
us through our feelings. Those days where I felt awful and completely
lost I remembered how good I felt when we made the decision with our
district leader and wondered, "Was that a good feeling because it was
a good decision? Or was I just staying in my comfort zone and the
leaders are right, I'm not being bold enough and I'm not doing my job.
Maybe God is making me feel bad so I'll be motivated to do better." I
decided to just go with the good feeling and trust Heavenly Father and
looking back, it was indeed the right decision. Pushing our
investigator would've been too much and especially if she wasn't
ready.

I also learned that sometimes God uses tough times to get our
attention. Although those four days of sucky feelings wasn't ideal,
what the member told us about how we brought the Spirit back into
their lives was just what I needed to hear at that time. Heavenly
Father knew that I was struggling and through someone else, He let me
know that I mattered to Him and that I was doing His work, whether it
be great or small. IT'S SO COOL TO BE A MISSIONARY.

Okay I'll get off my soap box now.
Love ya loads,
Sister Peterson

Our pumpkins. (Sister Savelio's "hole" is a bird called a 'kiwi'
which is like a New Zealand thing)
Savelioooo
#GodSquad
England in the fall 🍁
We helped some members wrap neighborhood Christmas gifts so it got

me in the mood πŸŽ…πŸΌ

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Five General Authorities came and spoke to us"

^^^ inside joke with President Nelson 

MAN, SATURDAY WAS SO GOOD. We had to sleep over at the Aycliffe sisters flat and woke up at 4 am and was on the road at 4:45. We got to Billingham and then took a coach to Huddersfield for 2 hours and then I was reunited with all my best friends. It was so weird having everyone in one place but I loved it so much!

Then things got real. We all filed into the chapel and sat down listening to prelude music and then a choir of missionaries sang beautifully to us and then we listened to some more prelude music and THEN they came. We all stood up and five general authorities with their wives one after another came in and stood at the front of the chapel along with President Russell M. Nelson and his wife. Then we all got to go down the row of them and shake each of their hands and shaking President Nelson's hand was the coolest experience. And his wife is so cute. 

I went with a question in mind and every single one of the speakers answered it in a different way. It's amazing how if you come prepared to something you can draw things out of the speakers through the Spirit. Since making things into sentences would take too long here are my notes from conference in their glorious note form:
  • We are not just the Savior's servants, we are his friends
  • DON'T STRESS
  • If you ever feel like you shouldn't be here, remember who your Father is
  • If you're letting the world tell you who you are, they'll get it wrong every time
  • The first words of this dispensation were, "Joseph, this is my Beloved Son, Hear Him." He knew his name, He knows your name. 
  • Every day you should be pumped to go out and share the message
  • Repeat the Articles of Faith to yourself and replace "We believe" with "I believe"
  • The Restoration is not an event, but is ongoing
  • This mission has a fantastic reputation built up over the years
  • You either need to be a little more gentle on yourself or a little more challenging on yourself. Which one are you?
  • When you take notes, go through and underline the actions you're gonna take
  • Enjoy your service
  • BE HAPPY
  • Begin to grow up in the Lord
  • "That who I am I cannot give to you, become like me."
  • "Thy will is done" --> "I came and I did it"
  • There's a reason why you're here
  • "Have you decided what kind of missionary you want to be?"
  • "Lovest thou me more than these (worldly things)?"
  • Will we show up at the Second Coming as one of His disciples?
  • "How did you know?" "I didn't know, the Lord knew."
  • This is the Saturday night of the Sabbath of the world
  • What's gonna happen about the gathering of Israel today?
  • *President Nelson talking about becoming the senior apostle* "Everyone above me had to die for me to get here. You think it's a laughing matter but for me it's not!" πŸ˜‚

I can't put into words how lucky I am to have been able to hear the words of a living day apostle directed towards us 200 missionaries. At the end of the conference we all stood up while President Nelson and the others left and just before he walked down the stairs from the stand he looked at us and said, "Well... bye!" And then he waved to us all and we waved back while he mouthed the words, "I love you". ❤️ I couldn't help it, I lost it at that point. He's just so cute. 

And then yesterday two of the authorities picked our stake to have a special stake conference and they came and spoke to us again and every single one of their talks was incredible. I've never felt the Spirit stronger in a meeting. Man, I wish I could just bottle it up and send it home. SO GOOD. 

As you can tell this week was killer and now I'll spend the next 9 months catching up on all the sleep I lost. BYE. 
Sister Pete xxx

P.s. We had interviews with President and Sister Turvey this week and in my interview with Sister Turvey she wrote in her notes: "Sister Peterson smokes weed" (I won't explain) and in Sister Savelio's interview she literally told President I was "fresh to death" SUCCESSFUL DAY. πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘

P.s.s. In a lesson: 
Me: "Do you pray before you smoke to help you resist the temptation?"
Jean: "I pray after... to say thank you." *mic drop*

(In this same lesson, Jean said her second prayer out loud and it's a prayer I will never forget❤️️)

Tryin' on Savelio's glasses 😎
I mowed my first lawn! IN OCTOBER
My good ol' comps (Froerer, Connolly, Cockburn, and Savelio). (minus JΓ€ger and Chiu)
Look at all those Elders
Sister Marston forgot her name tag so she borrowed mine and DIY'ed it. You should've seen the authorities face when they each read her name tag hahah. 

I MISS THIS GIRL πŸ’”

Monday, October 17, 2016

"I don't like your voice at all"

Another incredible week out here in Bishop! 

Just a couple quick hilarious things about this week:

  1. We had a lesson with a member we had never taught before and as soon as we sat down, Sis Savelio asked her how long she had lived there and the member just looked at the ground for a while and didn't say anything and then all of a sudden looked up and said very intensely, "I don't like the way you talk to me. Not you (pointing to me), but you (pointing to Sis Savelio). You make me feel very uncomfortable. I don't like the tone you use and it sounds like you're angry with me. Don't talk to me like that, I don't like your voice at all." Okayyy plot twist! Sis Savelio looked at this sweet old lady who was obviously very offended and just said, "okay." She leaned back and at that point I was on my own. I had to teach the whole lesson BY MYSELF. Man, the vibe in that room was just weird. Once we left we couldn't stop laughing but I still can't believe that actually happened hahah. 
  2. Mission goal: achieved. We got on this bus and our bus passes didn't work so we got off and were talking about what we were gonna do and we decided that if we took a different bus we'd be late for our appointment so we decided to get back on and just pay for the ticket. The bus driver was super cool and said that he had met people like us with badges before. Well we got on the bus and there was just one lady on and after a few stops she got off and then all the sudden this bus driver just start yelling back to us asking what we do and what church we're from and stuff. And then after a couple questions he yells, "WHY DON'T YOU GUYS JUST COME SIT UP HERE AND SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT THIS CHURCH THING." So we went up and sat on the front row of seats and talked to him about why our church is different and our beliefs and things like that and then we got to our stop so right before we got off I handed him a Book of Mormon with a Restoration pamphlet and told him to read it and he took it! We didn't have time to get his details or anything so Sister Savelio and I have plans to take the #7 bus at 5:33 in the near future. My entire mission I've had a goal to contact a bus driver and whadda you know, he contacted me hahah. 
  3. We went to a members house for a lunch appointment and as we were sitting in their living room eating, I was looking around and saw all these American products and packages and a bunch of tourist stuff and I thought it was kinda interesting. And then Sister Savelio asked her if her husband ever cooks American dishes for her and I thought "wow okay this lady is crazy obsessed with America". So I was like, "where are you from?" And she says, "Chicago!" And I'm like "WAIT. WHAT." Yeah, after that I realized she actually does have an American accent but after being here for so long I've developed an English filter in my mind which just makes everyone sound English. Glad to have met a fellow American though. 
  4. November is slowly creeping up which means everyone talks to me about Donald Trump! YAY. πŸ˜‘
  5. There is a member family that promised to cook me homemade Cafe Rio and another member family that invited us over on Thanksgiving to make me a classic Thanksgiving dinner. HAVE I TOLD YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THE NEWTON AYCLIFFE WARD. 

My testimony of the Book of Mormon:
This week I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time ever on my mission and the third time ever in real life. But this time I actually read it, pondered it, studied it, and applied it to my life. And what a HUGE difference that made. The Book of Mormon really is just a book of nice stories if you read it as a book of nice stories. But if you read it and apply the teachings to your life and believe that these were real men and women who lived and saw Jesus Christ, it becomes a lot more than that.
I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true. I believe Joseph Smith, that he saw a vision and was visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and was called to be a prophet of God. I cannot imagine how difficult it must've been for Mormon and Moroni, as their families were killed and their world was destroyed, to finish the records and make it possible so that we can have wisdom and protection to stand firm against a world that is slowly falling apart. We can learn from the examples of the past prophets and their people and come to understand that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and His church is unchanging, just as it was back then. 
I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and the only true church on the Earth. I am so grateful to have been brought up with Christ's teachings and the opportunity I have now to share it with others. I can promise you that I would not have left my family, friends, everything to come to England to ask people to read a book and pray to know if it is true if I did not know it was true myself. It's amazing how we can go out and share a Book of Mormon with a stranger with a PROMISE that if they read this book and pray to God sincerely to ask if it is true they WILL get an answer. There is no way I would have the confidence to do that if i didn't know it was the word of God. 

I am so grateful for all I have learned so far and can't wait to start it again and see how it will apply to my life now. I love love love this Gospel. So much. 

President Russel M. Nelson comes to our mission on Saturday and has already had a celebrity sighting at the Preston Temple. Byeeeee
Sister Pete

Sis Savelio cooked a nice New Zealander meal and after filling both our plates this is still what was left. It's like we were feeding the 5000. 
Thanks to the nice old ladies at the community centre, I can now proudly say I can knit. :-) #momskills

We started this Simpson's puzzle and realized it was the worst idea ever. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Operation: Service

This week completely topped last week. I'm not kidding when I say I love it here. The area, my companion, the missionaries, I love it all. 

So Sister Savelio and I. We get along a little too well haha. We actually had to have a 'civil' day where we were only allowed to make jokes and act like ourselves inside the flat or behind closed doors because it got a little out of hand. There's only 3 sisters from New Zealand in this mission and after having two of them as companions I'm convinced I have New Zealand in my blood because we just click so fast. Seriously, me and Sister Savelio got comfortable with each other in our first hour together and we got asked twice from members how long we'd known each other and we were like, "uh, a day." I just love her and am stoked for this transfer. 

Our mission president did a conference where he ripped out all the pages from chapter 9 of PMG (about finding) and taped them together and from like the 10 pages of that chapter there was a tiny little sentence that was highlighted and it was "street contacting and knocking". The point of it was that he doesn't want us street contacting and knocking all day because there are SO many other ways of finding new people to teach. Which is weird because if you have nothing else planned, that's automatically your back up. Or that's how it used to be. Now, he wants us volunteering at hospitals and community centres and food banks and stuff and we're pumped. 

Halloween is on a Pday this year and so we have to be in our flats at 6 and Sister Turvey is making us all deep deep clean our flats to perfection which I'm actually really excited for because this flat kinda needs work. And we're gonna order Chinese food too so it'll be greaaaat. Speaking of Halloween, I guess there's like a big deal about people dressed up as clowns that go around every night scaring people? Every time we leave someone's house they say "Watch out for the clowns! Be safe!" And now just out of curiosity I want to see one of these clowns. I'll keep ya posted. 

More out-of-context quotes:
  • "I'm just not good at eating" -Sis Savelio
  • "Can you please help me understand why you did that" - a suggested question from the Safeguards handbook we use completely out of context
  • "FRESH"
  • " ...and then she got upset because her sister didn't give her a slice of the pie" -Sis Savelio talking about a woman who won the lottery 
  • "I'll go find Kermit the Frog. (As if I don't know where he is)" - the bishop
  • "I have an emergency baking box in my car with a carton of eggs and everything." -also the bishop
  • "He didn't laugh? Here, tell me the joke and I'll see if it's funny." - Sis Savelio 
  • "I'll give you a shoutout in my next letter to president to nominate you for zone leader." - Elder Cope

I was thinking about what spiritual enlightenment I had this week that I could share with you but I couldn't think of anything specifically spectacular. Until this morning. I was reading the Book of Mormon student manual and had never read anything that touched me so much with 5 minutes left of personal study. I read:

"What does it mean to have “a broken heart and a contrite spirit”? President Ezra Taft Benson explained that it is the same as godly sorrow, which is “a deep realization that our actions have offended our Father and our God. It is the sharp and keen awareness that our behavior caused the Savior, He who knew no sin, even the greatest of all, to endure agony and suffering. Our sins caused Him to bleed at every pore. This very real mental and spiritual anguish is what the scriptures refer to as having ‘a broken heart and a contrite spirit.’ Such a spirit is the absolute prerequisite for true repentance”

Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy explained further, defining the meaning of “a broken heart and a contrite spirit”:

“When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are. The sacrifice so entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms. Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master. …

“… Those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit are willing to do anything and everything that God asks of them, without resistance or resentment. We cease doing things our way and learn to do them God’s way instead. …

“There is yet another dimension of a broken heart--namely, our deep gratitude for Christ’s suffering on our behalf. … When we remember the Savior and His suffering, our hearts too will break in gratitude for the Anointed One.

“As we make the sacrifice to Him of all that we have and all that we are, the Lord will fill our hearts with peace. He will ‘bind up the brokenhearted’ and grace our lives with the love of God."

I don't know about you but I have a lot of weaknesses. And sometimes I've felt like repenting and asking for forgiveness just isn't enough sometimes. And when I read this, I realised that when we truly want to repent we need to think of the Atonement in this kind of way. To know that our Saviour committed no sin but suffered for all of ours and every time we sin, it's another price he has to pay. I absolutely love Jesus Christ with my whole heart and am so grateful for His love for me. 

God is good and England is wet. 
Love ya!
Sister Pete πŸ’›

Happy birthday to meee

#basic

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Promised Land 2.0

GUYS I LOVE IT HERE. I'm back in my comfort zone. Alnwick was way too
posh for me, I'm back with the normal northern englishers and all
their daftness ☺️ I love it here.

So transfer day was crazy and saying goodbye to the car was
heartbreaking. Sister Chiu and I were late to catching the metro with
the other sisters so I had to drive all of them to the train station
and send Sister Chiu off and pick up the new STL and then drive back
and chill at the church for a while with the zone leaders and Sister
Czeisla until my new companion and my new STL came and picked us up.
Then we had to smush all of our luggage into this tiny little car and
then we finally made it here.

Sister Savelio: another New Zealander! She reminds me so much of
Sister Cockburn, and just like Sister Cockburn and I, we're already
best friends. I haven't laughed this hard in a week probably ever in
my life. She was also trained by my MTC companion, Sister Connolly and
it's fun to hear all the stories she tells me about her. Ah, I miss
her.

We share our area with the STL's and they live in Newton Aycliffe and
we live in Bishop Auckland which is like a 10 minute drive from where
they are. Bishop Auckland has soo much potential. Basically everyone
we teach is in a part member family which is like gold when you're a
missionary. And my second day here we scheduled! I honestly haven't
scheduled someone in over 4 months. She's 14 years old and is living
with her sister and her husband who are members and she is so pumped
for baptism. She already goes to early morning seminary, young
women's, and church every week and says that being baptised will give
her "more focus" for her future. October 29th πŸ‘πŸΌ

Reasons why this week was hilarious:
1. I've been here six days and have already tripped 14 times
2. We had a lesson with a less active we found while knocking and we
ended up talking about the word of wisdom, law of chastity, and Jesus
Christ's brothers and sisters all in one lesson and I think me and
Sister Savelio said ten words total and all of this happened while she
was sitting in an anime onesie
3. This guy tried to sell me his front door when I complimented the
woodwork of it
4. This atheist wouldn't take my Book of Mormon so I did the puppy dog
eyes and he took a pamphlet and Mormon.org card as well and a promise
to read the first few pages
5. After the Sunday afternoon session of conference we went to
Billingham to have tea with all the missionaries and I got see Sister
Chiu and Sister Koepf again! And I got to see Sister Marston today :)

When reading the women's conference talks, I was thinking that the
messages each of the speakers shared reminded me of the stripling
warriors mothers. They talked a lot about having unshakeable faith and
a firm testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be converted
covenant keepers. And just like Helaman told about the stripling
warriors, "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and
they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did
upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if
they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me
the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew
it." Just like their mothers, we gotta know it! We need to take time
and study and learn the teachings of this Gospel so we not only
influence our own righteous actions, but we can influence an entire
generation.

WAS CONFERENCE GOOD OR WHAT. I loved all the talks about member
missionary work. It wasn't just a wake up call to members but to
missionaries as well to get us pumped about member involvement.
Honestly if someone were to ask me what the hardest part of missionary
work is I would say member involvement. I can't tell you how many
appointments I've had to turn down because we couldn't get a member
out teaching with us or how stressful it is when you bring an
investigator to church and no one talks to them. So we're gonna set
some new goals to get members excited about missionary work but also
for ourselves to do better at gaining their trust and serving them to
strengthen member relationships. Woohoo! I wish I could adequately put
into words how incredible conference was and how spiritually uplifted
I felt afterwards. And the music! Ah, the Spirit was so strong. I wish
I could relive it again and again. 6 more months till next time!

I hit my 9 month mark this week and I feel like throwing up all the
time about it. They're not kidding when they say it's the downhill
slope because everything has just sped up so fast recently and it
needs to stop.

I love you and God loves you.
Peace.
Sister Pete

Flour War
Bishop Auckland town centre
Transferrrrrs

My last night with good ole Alnwick