Monday, September 24, 2012

Jequié: Vol 1 Chap 7

Oh my goodness, my sisters are the most beautiful thing in this world!  They are so big and grown up... what am I going to do with them?  I wont say that Luke and Nicholas are  pretty, because thats not very complimentary for a boy, and I didnt get a picture of them =)  I will have energy to go to the track meet, dont even worry about it!

I will be headed to Salvador Tuesday night, really late, and get there early in the morning... I know we will have interviews with Presidente Andrezzo and I know we have dinner with him, but I think the afternoon we can do what we want.  And then on Thursday, 3pm, I will be headed out on a jet plane.

I am excited to come home.  I know I am going to miss the mission, the experiences, the Spirit, but the Lord has let me know in so many ways that he has prepared things for me that are much  better than the things I have experienced here on the mission.  And one thing that I have learned is hope.  I now know the difference between hope and faith, and I am so thankful that I have them both and to know how they work together for our happiness.

I cant descibe this last week.  I cant put into words what we did, the miracles that happened, how I grew, the hand of the Lord in everything that happened.  He knows everything and how he loves his children.  I will certainly explain everything when I get home to the best of my ability.  I understand so much better what Mormon was saying when he was talking about the weakness of his writing and how the Lord had not made him strong in writing like he had in speaking, because when we speak with the Holy Ghost, we speak with the tongue of angles.  I learned so much about that this week... what joy, what love... I love being the mouthpiece of my God.  I really can just go on and on.  Its incredible what we can do with the help of the Lord, its incredible the confidence we have when we KNOW his will and what he needs done in the world, because in those moments we know that we were called to fufill his purposes and we know that we will do what needs to be done.  Because the purposes of the Lord are not frustrated.  They never are, never can be.

Our recent convert, Claudionor, went out teaching with us this week, and his testimony and his spirit are so amazing.  I know I knew that man before this life.  He is one of the noble and great ones that had been lost in this world.  But now he has been found, and he will not be lost again.  He will do so much to build this kingdom here in the Bahia.  Cristina as well.  She was baptized this week, and it was the most inspiring... incredible... spiritual circumstances....

This work is real.  We are saving souls, saving children of God, our brothers and sisters who have lost themselves and know not where to find the light.  We are to be the light on the hill for them, to bring them to the One who gives us our light, even our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the Christ.  He is my Saviour.  I cant express my love, my gratitude for everything that He has done for me and everything that He makes me capable of doing.

My dear family, I am so proud of you and so thankful for you and your examples.  You have lifted and supported me here when I have most needed it.  Let us go on in so great a cause, and we will say, we will proclaim to Zion "Thy God reigneth!"

I love you all, e pela última vez -
até logo

Sister Petersen

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jequié: Vol 1 Chap 6

Wow, these days are going by so fast, and at the same time this week was really really long.  I went to the hospital once again, but it was a false alarm - Sister Andrezzo thought that I possibly had an alergic reaction to heart of palm, but it was just a sore thoat.  So I refused to take the IV they wanted to give me and I went home and slept.  It was great.  I think the doctor was very confused... he couldnt figure out why I didnt want to take an IV of ibuprofen... oh Brasil... =)

This week we had a baptism - the man who had the dream about being baptized in green water, do you remember him?  Well, he was baptized in green water this last weekend =) It was one of the best experiences of my life.  The man is one of the noble and great spirits that was in Heavenly Father's council... he just got a little lost here on the earth.  I  have never been to a baptismal service that was so spiritual before in my life.  He understood so well what he was doing, the promises that he is making... he has been searching for this truth for a long time, and I am so thankful that I could play a part and help him find it.

So much happened this week that I am having a hard time remembering everything... or anything for that matter.  Its like asking me to think about what happened a year ago and tell you about it.  And its hard to explain, too.  I have had so many experiences where I have felt so in tune with the Spirit, that I can see people starting to understand things that they have never understood before.  I really wish I had been able to figure out how to do this before, but obviously everything happens in the time of the Lord.  Apparently I learned it right when I needed to.  I cant think of a whole lot at the moment, just the fact that I love this work because I love what its done to me.  I love how I am understanding the gospel so much clearer and so much better than ever before, that I am able to see how my life and what I am doing fit into the plan of heaven.  How I am a part of my Heavenly Father's plan - a crucial part, because I have become who I am.  I have remembered who I am.  And I have been given the wonderful gift of helping others to understand their part in this plan, too.  Its incredible.  Thats really what it comes down to.  This life is incredible.  I am incredible =)  I am happy, too.  Thats better than being incredible

Até logo -

Sister Petersen - a incrível ;)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jequié: Vol 1 Chap 5

I am doing so wonderful - I just had a really bad cold last week, nothing to be worried about at all =)  This week was so full of blessings once again.  I was a bit discouraged because I had been sick, and our goals for this month are really high, and so at district meeting I was not myself.  Thankfully, one of my Zone Leaders recognized that and he came and talked to me and told me that he has thought for a long time that I have a lot of faith in the Lord and what he is capable of doing, and the only reason why i havent been seeing things happen is because I lack faith in myself.  I thought very seriously about that, and did a few studies this week about miracles and faith.  One thing that is very interesting is that most of the time when miracles happen, they happen simply because someone asked for them and because they believed that they would happen.  I am putting everything I know in practice now - its been my goal for a while now to have 12 more people baptized before I go home, and as of now, no one has been baptized.  But I know it will happen.
On Sunday I was  little discouraged because we went to go pick some of our investigators up and they didnt end up coming, so I was trying to figure out - once again - if there was anything I could do better at, anything I needed to do differently, if I still had the promise of the miracle from the Lord.  And the lesson this week was about doing our part and believing in the Lord and knowing that we still have his promise.  That He keeps his promises.  One of my new favorite scriptures is "Who am I, saith the Lord, to promise and not fufill?"  I love that scripture.  I love feeling the Spirit and knowing that I have the promise of the Lord.  He ALWAYS fufills his promises, most of the time, we just arent looking.

This week we also went to Salvador because Elder Godoy of the 70 was here to give us training.  That was very interesting as well.  I asked him what one of the biggest concerns of the church is right now, and he said that its the youth.  He explained (and I will talk more about it when I get home) how the youth are essencial to this work and to the Kingdom, and satan is working so hard to destroy them before they realize who they are.  It was incredible to hear him talk, to see how emotional he got when he talked about how many of the noble and great fall away because they dont know who they are.  The apostles of these days love us so much.

Sister Boone and I have been getting along well - she reminds me of me when I came out on the mission.  She is ready to do this.  She is going to take great care of this area when I have to go.  I know that this work is true, that Jesus the Christ is at the head of this Church, that He is guiding it, and that we can work at His side.
I love this work and how it is changing me.

até mais!

Sister Petersen

Monday, September 3, 2012

Jequié: Vol 1 Chap 4

Alright!  So!  This week was super exciting!  I spent almost all of it in bed!  HOORAY!  I love being sick in Brasil!
Ok, I wasnt that excited about it when it happened, but I was able to handle it a lot better than usual, which was good for me.  I think I am learning a lot better to trust in the Lord and that what He can do is a lot more than what I can do.  Did you know that trusting in his help is part of humility? Yup, it is.  I had yet another lesson in humility this week.  I think I am learning about it a little...
But being sick in bed all week just means that the Lord was able to bless me even more on Sunday.  I was feeling a little sad that I wasnt able to do as much this week, and I knew that the Lord was going to maximize my effort, but I just wasnt able to see how the things I did that week would help anyone.  So I said a prayer during sacrament meeting and I prayed to know how the Lord saw my work, prayed so that I could see my work in the scheme of eternity.  I finished my prayer, looked up, and I saw our investigator up on the stand waiting to bear his testimony.  I started to cry.  And as he was waiting to get up to bear his testimony I realized that every other person who was bearing their testimony was talking about missionary work - about how it had changed their lives.  And then dear Claudionor got up and bore his testimony about how this work is true.  About how the Book of Mormon is true, that it contains the truth, which is something he didnt know, about how this church has the truth, which is something he has been searching for.  He has looked in so many churches and finally prayed and told God that if there was a truth out there to send it to his door because he was done looking.  The next day he was standing in front of his door and we talked to him.  After he finished his testimony another brother in the ward got up and thanked us for the thought that we had given at lunch the other day and said that it had helped him - that this week had been really spiritual, and that he was really thankful for our work.  Then he wife got up and said practically the same thing.  And I am a little slow, so I didnt realize until they were talking that this was the answer to my prayer and I started crying all over again.  The Spirit was so strong in the room, so strong.  The branch president actually got up as the meeting was finishing and asked the branch to pay attention to how they felt, to the Spirit that was in the room at that time, that this was a feeling that we should seek for in everything that we do.  And it was amazing.
I know that God lives.  I know I am His child and that He loves me, that everything I do is important to Him and that He answers prayers.  He answers them when we are paying attention, and even sometimes when we arent.  I love this gospel.

Até logo!

Sister Petersen

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jequié: Vol 1 Chap 3


This week was soooo amazing - I dont really feel like I can do it much justice just by writing, because the feeling wont be there.  We found a family this week!  They are so amazing and they came to church this last sunday and liked it a lot - they all have baptism dates and I am feeling really, really good about them and how they are progressing.  We also found a senhor, who is seriously looking for the truth.  And he knows that he has found it.  He had a dream the other day that he got baptised in green water and he thought it was a little odd so he asked us about it.  Well, i thought it was a bit odd, so we didnt say much.  But this weekend he came to watch a baptism and when I came the Elders and the branch presidente were talking about how there was something wrong with the water filter and so the water was green... The hand of the Lord is in everything.  That man has told us that he will be baptized.
I am so excited to hear about how you guys are doing, how the branch is growing there in Chilton.  I cant say that I am ready to come back home, but at least I know that there will be work for me to do when I get there!  I am so excited to see how the Lord is blessing me, my companion and everyone that I know.
I love you all!  sorry this is so short!  I am doing really, really well (this computer is dumb and its a little hard to type)  Pray for us!


Sister Petersen

Monday, August 20, 2012

Jequié: Vol 1 Chap 2

Hey hey!

This week has been sooooo good.  Have I told you recently that I am so happy that I am a missionary?  That I have the chance to share this gospel and feel the Spirit working in my life and in the life of others?  It really is such and amazing experience.

So!  I picked up Sister Boone this week from Salvador!  Shes from St. George, and it is sooo great to have her here with me - she reminds me a lot of myself when I arrived, which is kind of funny to have this time to reflect and think back to how I have changed in this last while.  Its also great to be training, to remember all of the things that we are here for and to realize that I really have put these things into practice and they have become a part of my life.  Its been a really good personal evaluation.

We have gotten a little lost here in Jequié these past days, but it hasnt been as bad as I thought it would be - we have been able to get around and to find people and to really feel the Spirit in our lessons, which has been such an answer to prayer for me.  So much has happened this week, but its a little hard to explain... I was writing in my journal last night and I realized that its  hard to put into words the things that I am feeling and learning right now.
One thing that I have really learned about is that the power of the priesthood is real and that our Heavenly Father waits for us to ask for things before he gives them to us.  I was still having a few problems with anxiety this past week and I was praying to know what to do, what i needed to do to make this time here on the mission most effective. I got a very strong answer that I should ask to be cured from the problems that I am having.  So I asked my Zone Leader the next day to prepare to give me a blessing and explained to him what I was asking for. In my personal study I read DC 24:13-14 which was rather amazing to me.  Sunday he gave me the blessing, and I dont know how to describe how I felt... but I know I am different.  I feel so much better than I have been feeling.  I feel so much more in tune with the Spirit and that I am able  to hear and know what the Lord wants me to do.  Its amazing.  Its so incredible what this gospel does.  I love this work.

Até logo!

Sister Petersen

(as a side note for mom, I am not going to quit taking my medice, dont worry (=  And happy birthday tomorrow!!!!  I love you soooo much!  And remember, you are only as old as you feel! )

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jequié: Vol 1 Chap 1

Well, I have been on the road again as well!  I had to come back to Salvador to renew my prescription, and so Sister Cornwall and Sister Lima.  It was quite the experience - our bus left at 11:30 last night and Sister Lima couldnt find her identification, so we almost missed our bus.  But we made it, and at 5am we arrived here in Salvador, had to call the assistants because we didn't know what we should do to get to Stella Mares because of all of the bags that we had.  They loved hearing from us so early =) And then we showed up at the sisters' house, and they didnt even know we were coming.  Its been great.  But Sister Cornwall got her visa renewed, we went to Subway and I went to the doctor, and now I am writing to you - and now you know everything.  Well, almost everything...

This week went by so fast... I am really trying to remember what it was that we did.  And it was so much fun that when we actually got down to turning in our numbers Sister Cornwall (and I, for that matter) was really surprised at how much we had gotten done.  It really is amazing, that we can work hard and still have so much fun that it doesnt even feel like we are working.

We met with one lady this week, and one of the main reasons that she hasnt wanted to leave her church is because of a dream that she had.  She told us the dream, and I felt so odd that I kept thinking about it until suddenly it clicked in my head (and by that I mean the Spirit told me the interpretation thereof).  It was such an interesting experience, to tell someone about their dream and know that it was something that came from the Lord.  Well, what I said came from the Lord, her dream I am not so sure about.  And what was more interesting was just to be reminded of the fact that people hear, listen, and follow things that they want to hear, listen, and follow.

Sister Cornwall and Sister Lima were really busy showing me around the area and helping me get to know some of the members and the investigators here.  I am really praying that I remember the things that are the most important.  We also have a senior couple here - the Morgans.  I love them so much.  Pretty sure that Sister Morgan is one of my best friends.  She really is so smart and has the Spirit so strongly.  This couple and the Sisters have made such a difference in this branch it is amazing.  To see the reaction of the members, to feel the love that is in this branch, it is incredible.  I am praying so that I will be able to follow the Spirit and do what the Lord needs done here in this branch for them to grow.

There is one my reason that I am here in Salvador - I will be training!  There are two Sisters that are coming in this transfer, both are American, and I found out this morning that I will be training one of them.  I will find out tomorow who it will be, and I will spend the day in a training session and with the other trainers.  I am really excited.  I know it will be different than anything else I have done, and at the same time, it will be the same thing.  Just let the Spirit guide.

I am so thankful for this gospel, for all that it gives me and all that it lets me become.

amo vocês, viu?

Sister Petersen