Monday, December 26, 2011

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 2 Chp. 3 - In which there are birthdays of two very important people and Sister Petersen goes to the hospital again.

Merry Christmas!  And happy birthday to me!  Yes, to celebrate I went to the hospital yet again (thankfully it didnt last that long this time) to find that I had a virus.  We then spent the next day looking for my medication (that was an adventure) and then the mission doctor told me (after I had taken it) that i should not take it because it could have potentially leathal side effects, but it turns out he was thinking of a different medicine.  So I am on the road to health and happiness again!
Our Christmas miracle was that we had a family of 5 come to church this Sunday!  It really was quite incredible.

I want to hear your goals for the new year!

Love you,
Sister Petersen

Monday, December 19, 2011

Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 2 Chp. 2: In which Sister Petersen is emergency transfered and gets to start all over in a new area. Again.

First of all, MUITO OBRIGADA por todas que lembrarem meu aniversário!  It has been... a little interesting.  I woke up to sticky notes all over the house with notes on them for me that my beloved companion wrote for me in the middle of the night.  There was also a trail of paper snowflakes that led to peanut m&ms and birthday pancakes.  I have to admit, Sister Cornwall did a pretty amazing job!  We also went to a daycare and delivered presents for all of the kids there (it was a ward service project) and other than that... we havent done much because we have been feeling a bit exhausted.  But its been a good day.

Second of all, I am sure you are wondering about this transfer.  I am a little confused myself, but I know that it was the hand of the Lord, and everyone involved is safe and healthy, so no need to worry.  I am still here in Conquista, just in a different area, the ward Candeias and I am here with Sister Cornwall!!!  How neat is that?  We are pretty excited, to say the least.  I got here Wendesday night and we have already had some pretty great times, and it is so interesting to talk about the different experiences we have had and the things we have learned since the MTC.  I have also already given a talk, sung in church and led the music during sacrament meeting.  The ward is the smallest I have been a part of (about 60 people) and so it looks like I will be pretty involved with teaching/music/qualquer outra coisa while I am here.  I am also trying to get used to a new area.  It always takes forever for me to figure out my surroundings, and I felt like I was just figuring everything out in Sumaré when I was transfered.  Oh well.  Obviously the Lord feels like I am capable of learning quickly... I hope he´s right =]

We have also been busy with Christmas things.  We had a ward part and the next day we had the stake christmas party that we went to, and we have been singing a lot of christmas songs in our lessons and in our contacting, and it has been great.  I love sining, and I really love singing with Sister Cornwall.  Christmas makes me feel so wonderful.... not to mention that Sister Cornwall has Manheim Steemrollers Christmas music... we have been enjoying that in the mornings.

It has been so hot here recently.  I am not sure how hot exactly because I have no way to check the tempurature, but its been hot.  (I would love to know how hot its been if someone could look that up for me.... =] )  We have been commanded to drink 3-4 liters of water every day.  I have been failing with that goal, but I am trying.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to drink that much water every day?  Its horrible.  But I will go, I will do the things that Sister Vecchi comands.

Thanks once again for the birthday wishes!
Oh, e

Sister Petersen

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Conquista da Conquist: Vol. 2 Chp. 1

So - it turns out that there was a bit of a misunderstanding, and yes, my pday was only moved for this past week.  It will continue to be on monday from now on for as far into the future as I can see.  Which is about next week =]

This past week we had our Christmas Conference, so I got to go back to Itabuna for a day!  The van that took us there was supposed to arrive at 2am. We didnt get much sleep that night.  The van took forever to show up at the chapel ( it didnt show up until 4) and then, just try to imagine being in a van with 12 missionaries.  Or better yet 12 boys ages 19-21.  They sang the entire way to Itabuna, which means that I didnt sleep barely at all (not to mention I was a little nervous to sleep because I was sitting next to one of the Elders, and I was a little afraid of falling asleep on him, which Sister Andrade said that I almost did).  We got there at 7am, and it was great to be with half the mission and hear from the different areas and have a talent show.  And then it was back in the van to go back to Conquista, and we got home around midnight.  The rest of the week... we had a fight a bit to keep going.  But keep going we did.

And our dear friend Nathalia was baptized!  Have I ever mentioned how stressful it is to get someone baptised?  Its ridiculous.  She was supposed to be interviewed and baptised Saturday.  So Sister Andrade and I went to the church to fill up the font and there was no water. None whatsoever.  We were able to talk to a member and he said he would take came of it.  We came back a few hours later and the font was still completely empty. We talked to another member who said he would take care of it.  On top of that, we couldnt get a hold of Nathalia all day long until 8pm (turns out we had the wrong cell phone number for her).  When I finally did get to talk to her, she asked if we were going to the church that night, and I said no.  Her response? ´Well then how am I supposed to get baptized?!`  Best thing in the world to hear.  We were able to get her to the church to get interviewed, but the baptism had to wait until the next day (which was stake conference).  9pm: the baptismal font is still completely empty.  In the morning we call for the member who said he would get it filled and he was very surprised that nothing had been done, but assured us that it would get filled.  We showed up at the church 9:30am to see two young men filling the font with buckets.  We were finally able to get a hose so that the font could fill during the conference.  And who knows why, but the church had a lack of water, and the font was only filled about two feet and the church completely ran out of water.  But they said that 2 feet of water was enough.  And then we found out that we didnt had a jumpsuit for the baptizer to use... so that took another half hour to figure out.  Ridiculous.  But Nathalia was baptized, and thats what is most important!  They had to try three times, and the final time she had to completely lay down and hook her toes under the bottom step of the font so that her legs would stay submerged =]  It is an amazing feeling to watch someone be baptized.  Incrível.

And I will be straying here in Conquísta with Sister Andrade this transfer, too!  I am excited for that.  I will get things figured out for Christmas this next week and give you details next monday.   And I have left all my presents wrapped except for the mashmellows that I used last week and the Shout (I was hoping to find chocolate one day, so I opened one package.  It turned out to be shout and I desití.)

Love you!  Talk to you soon (literally!)
Sister Petersen

My District

Thanksgiving Dinner

Sister Andrade´s 11 month mark

Me with all of my companions from the field

Nathália´s baptism

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 1 Chp. 4

Today, we had Thanksgiving with our entire zone, and Presidente Vecchi decided to make an appearence!  It was soooo good - not many people eat turkey here, but we had chicken, stuffing, rolls, salad, macaroni, sweetpotatoes (made with the marshmellows I received in my Christmas package!) rice, and even pumpkin pie!  A few of the things were a little bit different (did you know that sweet potatoes here are white?) and it was a little ridiculous to see the Elders trying to cook things like gravy and corn.  Yes.  Corn.  One of the beloved Elders in the zone (Elder Duncan) didnt know how to make corn.  We are proud that he was able to open the can by himself =]  We had a testemony meeting after we ate, and everyone talked about the things they were thankful for and then bore a their testimony.
Afterwards we played frisbee and uno (which they have a lot more rules for here) and had our interviews with the president, which went a little long... so I dont have a lot of time to write!
But.... let it be said, that we worked, we prayed, we sacrificed, we laughed, we cried, we received revelation, and it was a week accepted by the Lord.

Até mais -

Sister Petersen

and sorry i still havent sent pictures - the computers here are REALLY slow and I dont have time to let them upload =[  But now I know, and next week you will have pictures

Monday, November 21, 2011

Conquista de Conquista: Vol. 1 Chp 3

This week was a learning week, yet again.  Sister Andrade and I have come to the conclusion that we are not receiving much inspiration because... we dont need it.  You know when that point arrives in your life when no one has to tell you pick up the toys after you play, because you know you are supposed to do it?  Yeah, we have hit that point.  Supposedly, it shows growth and change... But I still dont like it =]  I feel a little lost, and I was thinking in Sacrament meeting about the things I am supposed to be doing to help the missionary work in this area grow, and the only thought I came up with is to continue what we are doing.  Which would be a great feeling, if I didnt feel like I was hitting my head against a wall at times... I just gotta have faith that that is not what I am doing.

I also have reason to be very greatful - this past week the sisters in the area next to us werent answering their phone, and the Elders were worried about them, so they went over to check on them and werent able to get there until 11:30pm.  They were fine, the phone just wasnt working and they had forgotten to call to pass in their numbers.  So Sister Andrade and I were up till the Elders called us to say they were ok, because we were a little worried.  The next day we get a call, and the same Sisters had their apartment broken into and their camera, money, and a few other things stolen.  Thankfully they werent home when this happenned, but they ended up spending the night at our apartment... So Sister Petersen is running on very little sleep, yet again in the mission.

And another thing that seems to be reaccuring - we played volleyball again to day, and this time I machuquei my other hand.  Yup.  My thumb and my knuckle are a little larger than they should be, but I will brave through it.

Oh! I recieved my Christmas package!  Thank you very much!  The window clings are up (Sister Andrade liked those) and the Christmas tree, and the presents were placed above the tree - I will send you a picture next week.  In other news, I also bought a camera!  Hooray!  I am a little sad - its the same brand as my other one, but its an older model, and it was R$269.  Ridiculous.  But it works!  I only took 3 pictures today, but I will take lots and send them to you next week - promise.

And.... thats about all.
Signing off on a cloudy, but as of yet rain-free day -

Sister Petersen

Monday, November 14, 2011

Conquista de Conquista: Vol. I Chp. 2

And the journey continues to be very wet here in the land of Conquista.  Tuesday and Wednesday it rained soooo much, and it wasreally heavy rain, which is unusual here.  But that didnt stop Sister Andrade and I from teaching two lessons outside during this time.  Oh the joys of not being able to enter houses when there isnt anotherwoman around...

And yet with all of this rain, will you believe that the other issue we ran into this week was a lack of water?  Yep, we went to fill the baptismal font (because Mariana was baptised - HOORAY!!!) and I turned
the font on... and no water proceeded forth from the font.  I have no idea what broke, but Sister Andrade and I spent the next two hours filling up buckets of water and dumping them into the font so that there would be enough water.  We were blessed in two ways.  1. The font was already part of the way filled because of the baptism that fell through the week before, and we forgot to let the water out.  2. Evanaldo, a young man in the ward, happened to be at the church, and so he helped us, too.  It was great fun =]

Other than that, I continue to have people think I am much younger than I am.  Usually, people wont give me more than 18 years old, but normally its 16.  But one lady gave me 12 in Itabuna.  This week I gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting, and afterwards one of the irmãos in the ward said something to the effect that I looked like I was 10, but my voice sounds like it belongs to someone who has 50 years.  Yeah... we are going to go on the side of, that was not a compliment =]

In other news, this letter will be short, because Sister Petersen played volleyball today (be it know, that of the 3 duplas of Sisters in Conquista, only Sister Petersens dupla showed up for the zone activity with the Elders). Whilst in the midst of playing, she looked at her arms (which were very red because she was playing so much) and realized that one of her knuckles? (I have no idea how to spell in English anymore) looked funny.  Comparing it to her other hand, she realized that it was about twice the size as normal.  We are fairly certain that she burst a blood vessel in her hand, and while we have hopes of a full recovery, her hand is hurting a bit, and typing isn’t helping.

Até mais -
Sister Petersen

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Conquista de Conquista: Volume I Chapter 1

Óla gente!

I am here, in Vitória da Conquista, and you want to hear something strange?  I am FREEZING!  Yeah, its ridiculous!  But its true!  I have been using 3 blankets at night to keep warm and have been layering at least two sweaters every day just so that I am not shivering the entire day. RIDICULOUS! I am in Brasil - BRASIL!!!!  I should NOT be freezing!  Maybe I wont buy sandals for a while...

I am here with Sister Andrade, and can I say how much I love this woman? Probably not.  We work, gosh darn it.  We work a lot.  I got here on Wednsday, and we werent able to work until almost 4 because of when I got in, and we didnt have lunch that day so we had to make it ourselves (and we need to buy gas for the stove, so we cook everything in the microwave) and Sister Andrade wasnt able to work in our area before I came because of the way transfers worked out, and guess who had the best numbers in the zone - thats right.  We did.  Unfortunately, the person who was going to get baptized Saturday decided 1/2 hour before that she didnt want to be baptized anymore.  That was... heartbreaking.  Really and truly.  Its amazing how fast we as missionaries learn to love people, and really and truly internalize the fact that when they decide that they arent ready to keep compromisos or they dont go to church or dont read the Book of Mormon - simple, little things - they are losing the chance of gaining salvation.  And this is a battle, my friends.  I dont remember who it was in conference, but someone said something to the effect that if we arent sharing the gospel, we are risking the chance of losing people.  Literaly losing people.  As memebers of the church, we know that death is not the end; but we also have the knowledge that there is an even more complete way to lose people.  To lose our brothers and sisters.  Some chose to be lost.  Others dont know they are lost.  And if no one is there to tell them any better, they will stay that way.

But I was talking about Sister Andrade =] She is from São Paulo, has 3 more transfers than I do, and is very entertaining.  She speaks a little english (I actually have the sneaking suspition that she knows more than she thinks she does) and so a miority of the time we talk in português, which is amazing.  I love português.  I still have some issues, and my vocabulary still isnt that great, but I love this language.  And every once in a while, Sister Andrade will surprise me and say something in english.  Like yesterday when I stubbed my toe and tripped, she yelled from the other room - Dont kill yourself!!!   =]

The ward here is great and is ready to grow.  There are only about... 85 active members, but the Lord, Sister Andrade and I will work and split the ward here in a little bit.  Dont even worry about it.

Até mais -
Sister Petersen

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood :)


SO!  This week has been... crazy.  It started with our Zone Leader, Elder Fernandes, getting emergency transfered to Salvador, AND with the knowledge that Elder Campos´s companion wouldnt arrive until this Wednesday... which means we have spent a LOT of time with Elder Campos these past few days so that he wont be alone.  Saturday he was with us the entire day - we studied together in the church, we had lunch together at a member´s house, and then we visited a few of the investigators that Sister Taylor and I have and then we went over to his area.  Oh my goodness, their area is SO different than ours!  Its a lot poorer and they have soooo many more hills (really, really, really steep hills) and - I dont understand how - their area is a lot hotter, too.  Now understand that our areas are in the same ward, its not like there is a lot that separates the areas, but their area is soooo different.  And it was a lot of fun to work with Elder Campos - he is gaúcho, and speaks portuguêse the way it should be spoken, and he was talking a lot about Rio Grande do Sul and Florianopolis... and I am pretty sure I have to go visit him after the mission.  He was with us almost all day yesterday, and he will stay with us almost all day today.  Its different, but I like it =]

We also started teaching an English class this week, and it has been soooo much fun.  The first night we had more than 100 people there!  The second night there were only about 50, but thats a lot better. Sister Taylor and I taught everyone how to sing the ABCs song in English =]  I loved it.

And my camera died =[ To tell the truth, I dropped it, and it didnt actually die, but the lense is bent and so it wont open =[  I am very, very sad.

And I am being transferred!  I am headed to Conquista, a city about 5 hours south of Itabuna, and it is really really dry there, so I have been told.  which I am a little excited for, because its so humid here and its been killing me.  Not only that, but I am pretty sure my new companion will be Sister Andrade, and she trained Sister Forester!  So I am excited.  I will be a bit sad to leave Itabuna... I have almost been here 6 months and have really gotten to know the people and the ward well.  Half of our zone here is changing, and its weird to see everyone leaving.  I am excited, though, because Sister Freitas is being transferred to the area that will be next to mine in Conquista, so we will still be in the same zone.  And we get to travel together tomorrow night.

And thats about all folks! 
This is Sister Petersen, signing off for the last time from Itabuna, São Caetano.

Até mais, boa sorte e boa noite

Monday, October 24, 2011


So, spent another two hours at the doctor today waiting to get the results of the exames and the results are in..... and..... Sister Petersen is perfectly fine.  Which is good.  And annoying at the same time.  All the doctor could say is that I need to rest more during the day.  I was diagnoised (i hate not having spell check and I hate not remembering how to spell in english) with fatigue.  I always thought that sounded really whimpy, but I can honestly say that I understand what fatigue means now.  She asked a little about our schedule (we leave at 11, eat lunch 12-1, work until 9 stopping for half hour to an hour for dinner) and her suggestion was to break up working more: start at 9 work till noon, rest for two hours, work from 2-7 and be done for the day.  We left the doctor and the Irma that went with us to help basically said ´These doctors dont know anything.  They dont know the work you do, they dont know why you do it, they dont know the power you have recieved and they dont know the blessings you are receiving and how the Lord is watching over you.´ It made me happy.  That being said, Sister Vecchi will be advised as to what the doctor said and she will talk with the area medic for the mission.  I am in good hands =]  And I have been feeling a lot better, so dont worry.

And my package arrived in Salvador!  Hooray!!!  It so happens that my old Zone Leader became the Assistent to the President, and he was nice enough to call and let me know that it got there.  He may or may not have had an alternative reason for calling, since he knew that there was stuff in there for him... but we will say that his motives were pure =]  Its a little annoying that it showed up when it did (Saturday) because if it had come a week earlier, I would have it now, because this past Thursday we had Zone Conference.  Which was amazing, I might add.  One of our leaders told a story, and it went a little like this:

Once upon a time there was a kingdom of Ducks.  One day, the king of the Ducks made an amazing discovery and called all the Ducks in the kingdom together so he could tell them about it.  When they all arrived, he proclaimed My beloved Ducks!  I have made a discovery that will change our lives: We Ducks can fly!!!!
The whole kingdom of ducks was so excited, everyone was talking about it and how they couldnt wait to fly for themselves.  And then they all walked home.

And that is how we live life so many times.  We are told in Conference and when we read the scriptures and pray and receive answers from God they things that we are capable of doing.  We hear these things and think Wow... thats so amazing.... but we never do anything to apply it, to do the things that we are capable of doing.  We are capable of so much more than we do at times.  I read the stories in the Book of Mormon and the Bible and realize that I am no different than any of these men and women.  I have the same right, the same capability to see angels, to perform miracles, to change lives.  And you do too =]

And this is Sister Petersen´s very short letter!
(brought to you by the letter ´B´and the number 7)


Monday, October 17, 2011

Term Paz Minha Alma (

Today, we spent the morning practicing music because our zone has been asked (by the lovely assistents to the president) to present a musical number at zone conference this thursday.  Let me tell you, its difficult learning a piece of music in one day when practically no one knows anything about music =]  I love my zone.  And I am excited for zone conference. We finally figured out that we will sing Be Still my Soul, which I am excited about - I really like that hymn.  And want to know what else I did today?  I ate at Subway. !!! =O !!!! How exciting is that?!  Let me tell you, it was really exciting... a foot long, chicken teryaki with sweet onion sauce... yumm....  The Elders were a little surprized I was able to eat it all, but to tell the truth.. I am still kinda hungry.  We will go home soon and I will figure out something else to eat.
I feel like every time I get on here I talk about someone new, so theres no way you ever really get to know the people I am talking about, which makes me feel a little bad at times.  We really do go through people so fast at times.  But thats what happens when practially everyone lets you in the door, even when they are not the least bit interested in the message we have to share.  And everyone believes in God and thinks that what we are doing is good and the message we have is true... just not for them.  Just not for now.  Just not if they have to come to church =]  But thats not what I wanted to talk about!  I wanted to talk about Jackson, who we have worked with off and on for months now.  I met him with Sister Freitas, and he has come in and out of our investigator pool a couple of times.  The lessons we would have with him would always be so good, I would always feel the Spirit really strongly, and then I would always get really confused, because he never progressed at all.  But this past two weeks he has made sooooo much progress and yesterday he went to church (and as I sidenote I may add that sacrament has NEVER been that reverant in the 5 months I have been here!) and he liked it a lot and said that he knows that this is the right path for him!  Sister Petersen did a little dance of joy inside her head when he said that.  You would have to know him to understand completely, but he likes to joke around a lot and sometimes he will say something and I am not sure if he is being serious about it, so it took a little bit more to convince me that he was being serious when he said that, but he was =]
I am excited.  Say a prayer for him =]


até mais - 

Sister Petersen

Monday, October 10, 2011

Onward, ever onward

Olá meus amigos - 

Once again, I went to the doctor this week, but this time just for a check up to see what was wrong and have them test me for things.  We were scheduled for 8am.  We didnt get in to see a doctor until 12:30.  And then we only talked to her for maybe 15mins and she ordered a couple of tests to be done which I couldnt get done that day (I got them done this morning).  Yeah.  Not a big fan of the health care system here in Bahia, but what can you do but smile and try to ignore ´Dungeons and Dragons´ that is playing on the tv in the waiting room?
Other than that, we have been helping Carlos to stop smoking, which will take a lot of faith - he usually smokes more than a pack a day.  But the other day when we came to visit him at 4pm, he had only smoked 1!  Hooray!!!  Milagres acontece!  
Our mission has talked a lot about

And... I am not sure what else to say about my week.  I am a little frustrated because we have been spending a lot of time in the house because of sickness, and I am tired of it.  Especially when nothing is done to make it get better...  We are going to chalk this one up to the Lord teaching me something that I am going to need later on in the mission/life.  It doesnt help that while we teach a lot of people and we have really great experiences during the week, everything really comes down to whether people show up on Sunday or not, and these past few Sundays have been terrible.  Hardly no one has shown up, and when someone does show up, its not someone we have been working with through the week.  Which makes it feel like everything we did during the week, all the experiences we had, were in vain.  Which isnt true.  But its hard not to feel that way at times.
So, sorry this is going to be another short email, but I cant think of much else to say.

I love you lots!!

Até mais - 

Sister Petersen

Monday, October 3, 2011


Sorry that all this is is answering questions - I had a lot of emails because I didnt get a lot of them last week and I wrote to more people than normal (dad, nicholas, emma, carmen, ect)
I love you, this week was good, hope you are doing well in Utah ( i kinda miss Utah to tell the truth) try to see Emily for me if you have time =]


Sister Petersen

1. How are you feeling?  Are you gaining any weight? 
I have gained about 2.5lbs and its staying steady at that weight, so I am not too worried.  i have been feeling great!
2. Have the medical tests been set up yet? 
I will be going to the doctor Thursday.  Say a prayer for me that I will remember and know how to relay all the information I want to.
3. Did you get the package in the tube yet with your camera cord in it?  I know it was delivered a couple weeks ago to the mission office.  I thought you would get it when you were there for the sister's conference but you didn't mention it.
     I did! and I love it!  I have to figure out how to put it up now... thanks so much!
4. Do you still love me? ;)
Of course!  You are beautiful!  Thank you sooooo much for the pictures in your last email.  I miss seeing you and the rest of the family.  Pictures really do help
5. Who do you hear from?
Um.... You... Dad... my siblings... companions from the MTC... Carmen... and Elder Bahr.  The End =]  But I really dont have a problem with not getting mail - it really doesnt phase me the way most missionaries say that its so important... my english is going out the window, goodness gracious....  Elder Bahr is the only one I have gotten letters from, besides the ones you send through mission ties
6. Any Christmas requests? We will need to send off the package very soon.  We won't be sending you a pinata, it is just too expensive to ship stuff, maybe you can buy one there and we cold send the stuff to fill it.  Let me know.
 Um.... I dont know. Marshmellows! My hymnbook in english! shout or tidepens... umm..I will think about this...
7. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you so far.
Oh gosh... I am near about brain dead when I show up to write these emails, I will let you know... Um... I might have to think on this one for a while.  a lot of them have to do with circumstances... Oh!  This past week Sister Taylor and I were teaching a woman and she is a little... emphatic about things.  Overly dramatic.  So she was telling this story about how she went to a different church and a missionary there ´said a word that offeneded me´ to translate roughly.  Sister Taylor then asked with a completely straight face ´what word? ´  And I about lost it for the rest of the lesson.  Every time I would catch Sister Taylor~s eye, I would have to try sooo hard nott to start laughing
8. Did you listen to General Conference?
I did.  All in portugues.  It was a little terrible (ask Nicholas to explain) but wonderful at the same time.  I loved the talk that Elder Uchtdorf gave - I really felt like he gave that talk especially for me.  and the talk by Elder Anderson was terrible, too.  I do not know how to explain it; I have always wanted to get married, always wanted to have kids, but there have been a couple of things that have happened on the mission and my desire to have kids has grown 40fold.  It is completely ridiculous.  Especially because I cant do anything about it right now.  And I sit there and ask the Lord if He thinks Hes funny.  He thinks He is =]  Or maybe just smart.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Alrighty, so it turns out that the reason we went to Salvador is because we had a conference of all of the Sisters in our mission!  It was amazing - Sister Forester, Sister Cornwall and I were finally reunited after all this time =]  It was wonderful to get to see everyone, to hear about all the different areas, how things are going, and to get some training as well (training is always good!).  The next day, Sister Taylor and I spent the day in Salvador because she had to renew her visa, and that was a bundle of problems.  Leave it to Elders... they tell us to be somewhere at 9:30am... no, 10:30am (they changed their minds), not tell us how to get there and not tell us what we needed when we were there.... we were on the bus a lot that day going back and forth between places.  But it was neat to get to spend the day in Salvador with the secretaries, learn a little bit about what they do, see a little bit of areas that we will never serve in because apparently they are dangerous or something... I wish Id taken more pictures, but its a little difficult.  I also learned just how much fun it is to go out with the secretaries, because they have lots of money.  Like, lots.  I will not tell you how much money we spend on busses and taxis (all of which were necessary) but it was a little bit disgusting.  But we were also able to go out to eat, and that was kind of nice.  After we got all of the visa stuff figured out, the Elders didnt know what to do with us, so we ended up back at the office and did.... a lot of nothing.  Which drove Sister Taylor and I a little crazy.  We were able to have a little bit of fun; we had a rubberband war and the letter openers they have are these little samuri swords... so we played with those, too.  We also got to see the all-powerful whiteboard that has all of the pairs of missionaries on it, where they are serving and their companions... and I´m not there =[ Every missionary is supposed to have a little card with information on it, but apparently the printer broke, and I still dont have one.  After nearly going crazy in the office, we finally convinced Elder Clemmens to let us go teaching with him, and we got to walk the slums of Salvador... and I fell in love with them a little bit.  Salvador is completely different than Itabuna, and I have such a desire to serve there.  But the area we were in happens to belong to the assistents to the president... so I am going to have a little chat with President Vecchi and see if we can work something out...
All this traveling means that Sister Taylor and I havent had much sleep.  Monday night and Wednesday night we spent on the bus, and I dont think I slept at all, but we have been getting over that today (we slept a lot already)

And mother, one of the wonders about being the the office of the secretaries, I saw your letter that you wrote to Pres. Vecchi.  Just so you know, I did talk to Sister Vecchi the day before at the conference, and she is looking into scheduling an appointment for me.  Dont fret =]

Love you!!

Até mais - 

Sister Petersen
                                                                                              Reunited at last!
                My mother and father of the mission... the story behind this picture would be that I have beat them with the things that they are holding in their hands... I am not a very good child at times... =]
                                Our night with the Sisters in Salvador.  They never use that bedroom, and it looked and felt like a haunted house.  We were scared, if you cant tell.
                   Daniel (who was baptized two weeks ago) baptized Rafael - one of the neatest experiences ever =]

Monday, September 19, 2011

One more transfer in Itabuna =]

So, you asked a lot of health questions, and they will be very simple to answer.  The hospital here did very, very little. They didnt ask me anything about background, I just went and told a doctor my symtoms, he checked me out really quick and gave me an IV of dromin because I was feeling dizzy.  They give IVs for everything here.  The doctor just thought I wasnt eating enough, and thats all he said.  I really do think that is a lot of the problem.  And dad asked what I normally eat durning the day, so here in the lowdown.... In the morning, we are looking at fruit, maybe a grilled cheese sandwich and chocolate milk (they have something called Necau here, and its kind of like nesquick, but its got a lot of vitamins and such in it).  At lunch usually its beans and rice and farina (which I love) some sort of chicken and salad.  And dinner... lacks a little bit.  Usually its something like a mix between a hotpocket and a sandwich that they sell at the bakery here.  Its really good.  And I think I told you about my rule that I have to drink 2 liters of water every day... thats been a little difficult, but I have been trying.  Also when we eat with the Elders, Elder de Campos has taken it upon himself to dish my food up for me... I am actually quite amazed at the amount of food I am able to eat.  The problem is that its hot here, and when I am hot I dont feel hungry... so its hard to tell when I have actually eaten enough.  But I have been eating much, much more. And I will be going to Salvador tomorrow, so I will talk with Sister Vecchi and Pres Vecchi in person and I will bring up what you said and we will figure out what to do.

As for how I am doing today: I am tired, and my body is begging for sleep (I will explain that in a little bit) but other than that, I am really, really happy.  Sister Taylor and sat down and I practically yelled at her, but I think she was happy about that, because she is kinda like you, how you hate it when certain people always keep their cool all the time when they are fighting with you.  So the fact that I yelled at her actually made things better.  And we were able to (finally) get down to the root of what our problem was.  After that, we went teaching, and it was amazing how well we taught together.  Amazing.  I have no other word for it.  I am really, really excited, even more so because we learned about transfers today, and I will be staying here in Itabuna with Sister Taylor.  And today I beat her with a pillow because she didnt want to get out of bed =D  And we are happy.

I am really tired today, because this past week, Wed, Thurs, and Friday I spent all day in Ilhéus, once again on a split with the sisters there.  I Looove Ilhéus, and I was almost certain that I was going to get transfered there this transfer.  Obviously the Lord has other plans for me.  But I know that at some point in the future I will serve there.  And working with Sister Oliveira was soooo good!  I learned so much from her.  Friday it rained three times during the day, and we were blessed every time to have someone let us in right before it started to rain and the rain stopped right as we were leaving.  But at the end of the night, our luck ran out.  We had to walk about 45mins to get back to the house and it was downpouring for 30mins of that time.  We were walking really fast, trying to avoid the big puddles, until Sister Oliveira realized how stupid that was (since the rest of us was already drenched) and the rest of the way home we looked for the biggest puddles and we splashed our way through them!  We were dripping wet by the time we got in the house, but somehow, the Book of Mormon that I had in my bag managed to stay dry... =]  But I wasnt able to sleep very well there (I had the weirdest dreams...) and Sister Oliveira and I may or may not have talked a little late a few nights...

And then today our Zone had a activity and we played volleyball and basketball, and I learned a little better how to play futeball... so I did a lot of running this morning.  And then we found out that Sister Taylor and I and Sister Freitas and Sister Arcoangol are going to Salvador for a training meeting.  We are not sure why, since as far as we know its just us four sisters and then the Elders who are going home.  But I am excited about that.  So we are leaving tonight at 10:40 and we will get there probably 5 in the morning or so.  I am actually thinking that I will sleep better on the bus than I have been since I like sleping in the car =]

So, yeah.  Thats that.  I am sorry if I havent had much to write.... its hard for me to get here, only have one hour to write and have to sum things up... and so much happens in a week that I feel like it was a month ago that I wrote you last, and I dont know what to say because I dont remember half of it.  I have been keeping a journal almost every day this past transfer, but even so, there is so much that goes on here that I dont know how to pick what is most important.  So I talk about the work, because thats why I am here.  I want you to know that I am having fun, that we do things to make sure that things arent too serious, the members here LOVE us and a lot of them are really interesting.  I will make sure to tell at least one fun/interesting story every week from now on.

I love you, I am sorry I have been stupid and made you worry (gosh, I feel like I am 16 again saying that)
And I am sorry I dont have any pictures to send - the computer wont recognize the camera for some reason =/

Oh, and the scripture of the week (I dont remember where it is in 2 Néfi...)  ´And we lived after the manner of happiness.´  Thats just beautiful, isnt it?

Com amor -

Sister Petersen

Monday, September 12, 2011

My dearest, dear mother...

1. read the first part of my email first before you open the pictures
4.Daniel is the one standing


 I know you have questions, so first of all, I want you to remember that Im not dying.  Ok.  That being said, you can open that first picture..... Openned it?  Ok, so Sister Petersen got to experience the wonders of Brazilian hospitals.  I have really been up and down this last weeks, and Sister Taylor has been worried about me, expcially since we found out how much weight I had lost.  And I had been getting dizzy during the day and completely lacking energy and animo... So the Zone Leaders and us took a trip to the hospital (which I wasnt very happy about) and we got to wait half hour and watch The Incredibles in portugues until I was finally called in.  And bascially I just havent been taking care of myself.  Apparently stress can heighten your metabolism, too, which I am sure didnt help.  They put people on IVs for everything here, so Sister Taylor and I got to wait for two hours as I got some sort of medicine in me.  And then we did nothing that day and the next day.  Which just about killed me.  But, you will be happy to know that I am eating three or more meals a day now, and I have also been ordered by Sister Vecchi to drink 2 liters of water every day and my Zone Leaders have forbidden me from fasting.  I am feeling great =]
And let me tell you about a miracle.  A week ago Saturday, we had a long day of not a lot of nothing, and I was tired.  We were headed back to our neighborhood to try to talk to a reference we recieved few days before.  But this reference lived in an apartment building thats locked at the front and doesnt have an intercom.  We already were let in one time, but our reference (Daniel) wasnt home.  Well, no one was there to let us in, and I was sick and tired of doing nothing.  So I knocked on someones window and asked them to let us in (a very un-Sister Petersen thing to do) and thankfully, the lady did.  And Daniel was home.  And we taught him the first lesson, invited him to church the next day, gave a baptism date, ect.  He is 16 and has been living in Belgium until this past year, which means he speaks French and Dutch and will pray for us in French (because he feels more comfortable with his French) and it is the neatest thing ever.  The first miracle is that he showed up the next day for church, and he stayed talking with people until the church was locked up for the afternoon.  We met with him again Monday and Tuesday, and Tuesday we invited him to be baptized the following Saturday because he was completely and totally ready.  He was a little surprized, but said yes, if we thought he was ready he would be baptized.  Wednesday I was in the hospital, but Sister Taylor called him and he said he wouldnt be baptized Saturday.  Thursday we found out that he didnt want to because someone in the church told him that our only goal as missionaries is to baptize as many people as we can, and afterwards we basically abandon these people.  So we tried to explain about that, taught a lesson... Friday we couldnt talk to him, but Sister Taylor and I still felt like he should be batpized Saturday.  So we showed up Saturday all prepared to explain the importance of baptism, explain why it would be good for him to be baptized earlier rather than later (we prepared for this lesson a LOT).  We show up and he says that he and his family are going out of town that night but would return in the morning.  So we said we would like for him to be baptized in the morning.  He thought for half a second and said  `Tão bom´ which basically means ´ok´.  Sister Taylor and I were a little startled, but we called the Zone Leaders who showed up 5 minutes later and interviewed him.  And Sunday morning he was baptized =D  I am a very happy sister =D  Amanda was also confirmed this Sunday, which is amazing, too.  Our two elect teenagers =]
We have also been working with another teen, his name is Taylon, and I love that kid.  He is a little punk - he likes to joke around with us and will give us a hard time about our accents - but he is such a good kid, really honest and very willing to keep the commandments.  now we just need to work with his mother a bit more so shell let him be baptized... =]
Thank you so much for your love and your prayers - they have made such a difference, I know.  This week was really difficult, but we also were so very blessed to see the hand of the Lord in our work.  He really does make up for what we lack.

Love you! Até mais -

Sister Petersen

Monday, August 29, 2011

....o sol e a chuva cairá mas eu batizarei....

Olá  meus amors -

Sorry if I havent been writing a whole lot; I have been doing a lot, but it hasnt really resulted in anything.  Just to give you an idea, we taught more than 50 lessons this week and at the end of the week we only have 6 people that we are going to keep teaching.  Its a little bit frustrating at times, but its worse when I look back on the week and realize how much time we wasted.  Sister Taylor is very good with reminding me that as long as we are working we are not wasting time.  Everything has a purpose, and I have seen that.... but I am a little bit impatient and a little hard on myself sometimes.  
One of the people we met this past week when we were wandering around trying to find a house (because I still do not remember where peope live and how to get there) is Rosenburg.  He has an interesting story... He hasnt lived the best way a person should, and so he has been shot three times (one of them was very recent) and he has a scar about 8 inches long going down the middle of his stomache.  He also showed us the bullet that the doctors removed from the last time he was shot.  He seems interested in the gospel and our message, but its a little hard to tell since he is still kinda doped up on the pain killers the doctors have been giving him.
But the highlight of my last two weeks has been Amanda.  She is 12, and she absolutely loves everything we are teaching her.  Its amazing how she likes everything we talk about, and we gave her a Book of Mormon a week ago and she is already in 2 Nephi!  She reads every night before she goes to bed.  Her mother is also wonderful, and she has a little sister who is the same age as Megan which is nice for me.  We went to visit them yesterday and Amanda asked us what time her baptism is going to be this week.  Missionaries love questions like that =]
I love you!  Hope your week was great!

Até mais -

Sister Petersen
almoço with Irma Norma and Bruna
Elders De Campos and Fernandes.  Yes, they are my ZLs =]
O torta de limão that the Elders made for us (because we wrote their mothers)
Neia´s birthday party (she is Amanda´s mom)

Monday, August 22, 2011

A luta dura na Bahia mas batisarei...

As I sit here and start to write, I cant think of anything really to write about because I feel like we didnt do a whole lot this past week.  But!  As you can see from the pictures, we did have a baptism!  Hooray for the elect who, when they are told they are ready by a man of God, believe and are baptized without any difficulty!  We have been working with Bruno for about the past month, and I love him.  He is so wonderful, so smart.  When he actually started to read the Book of Mormon, he didnt quit.  He already finished 1 Nephi, and his favorite story is of Lehis vision of the Tree of Life.  He talked about it so much after he read it and all the things he learned from it, the different analogies... its amazing to see people make these connections and really learn about the things we are teaching them.  After that, its just faith that they need to continue on.  The first time that he actually prayed (not just saying the words, but really praying) I wanted to cry.  Sister Freitas and I would always run into him on the street, and Sister Taylor and I did a few times, too, and I know that was the Lord putting him in our path again and again and again, because he was really difficult to work with at the beginning. But by the end, we would walk into the room to teach him and I could always feel the Spirit so strongly.  I know he is going to do so many great things.  I know it.  I am so excited for the life he has ahead of him now, and I am really hoping I will still be here when he receives the priesthood.
Other than that... Just going to keep working, keep finding, keep baptizing, keep teaching, keep smiling, keep fighting, keep breathing, keep testifying.
I love this work.
Até mais -

Sister Petersen
A picture that Bruno drew and gave to me
Sister Taylors birthday was the 11and so the Elders made her a cheesecake.  It was really delicious.

Monday, August 15, 2011 find our brethren who have gone astray and back to Him we´ll bring!

Olá minha familia!  ...e amigos (=

First off, I think you want to hear about my companion.  Sister Taylor is from SD, and her grandparents are the Witney´s, the former Temple President and his wife.  She also knows Melanie Steeley.  Crazy small world, isnt it?  Shes been on her mission for a little more than a year now, and we have a lot of ideas for how to work in Itabuna, so it will be a good transfer.  Its a little weird, because I am kind of in charge in the area right now because I know the area and the people that we are working with.  At the same time, I really know the area very well.  Its huge, and I have never been very good at remembering directions. I have been praying a lot for guidence.  A lot.  And I am still not exactly sure how this will work, but I know the Lord has a plan for everything.  I know I have a lot to learn from Sister Taylor, and I know that we will both grow from our time together.  I am ready to work.  I am ready to do more than I have been doing, and I am ready to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands.
One of the first nights Sister Taylor was here I was feeling especially lost, and so I asked if we could stop and say a prayer.  We did, and I found myself talking to the Lord and begging for His help and asking him to dedicate the street where we were (I am not sure if I can technically dedicate things since I dont have the priesthood, but I figure the Lord understood what I was asking) and I asked Him to direct us to a person who will be baptized this month.  The very first house we knocked on after that we were able to find someone and we gave him a Book of Mormon and a baptismal date and we will baptize him!  His name is Julius Cesar.  Think about that for a moment - I will baptize Julius Cesar.  And we have another person with the name Bruno with a baptismal date who will probably be baptized the same day. ´E tu, Bruno?´ =D

We have been working with Bruno for a little over a month now (he is really busy and therefore it is difficult to find times to teach him) and this last week he finally gave the closing prayer.  Yesterday he said the prayer again, and it was so beautiful.  There is nothing to compare to the feeling.... he never wanted to pray before, but in his prayer last night he was thanking the Lord for the strength he received to go to church and asking for more strength to continue reading the Book of Mormon and to receive an answer.  He has read through 1 Nephi 12, and he absolutely loved Lehi´s dream.  Its so great to see people excited to learn about the gospel and share what they have learned.
And so we will continue to work in this (sort of) dedicated street and find the people the Lord has prepared for us there. This is the work of the Lord, and therefore it will not fall.  So if you could remember Rua São Paulo in your prayers I would greatly appreciate that, as will all the people that we will baptize.

Love you all!  Glad you are all safe and sound!

Até mais -

Sister Petersen

Sister Freitas and I getting the phoncall of transfers

Our Zone Leaders had a little package of peanut butter in their fridge that I happened to spy... and since they are both from Brazil it wasn't as if they were missing peanut butter.  So they were nice enough to give it to me.

this is a typical day (actually, a rather slow day) in the mission

Monday, August 8, 2011

...his message we will share. We´ll serve obey and sacrifice for Jesus Christ our King....

First off, your pictures of Germany are amazing!  If I werent here in Brazil saving people´s souls, I would be jealous.  Ok, maybe I am still a little bit jealous, but I am still very happy that I am here =]
Oh, and Bekah made a comment forever ago in one of her letter about how in the early days of the church they called people Brother Joseph and used the first name, and I have been wanting to tell her that we do the same thing here! Irmão, Irma, Bispo, all followed by the first name of the person.  I like it.  Dad would be President Erik, and I think thats pretty neat.
Language is going alright.  I still cant say everything I want to - I am not sure if that will ever happen at this moment.

This week I saw so many miracles, and I am trying to focus on that and not how many  things went wrong.  We met with Luane this past Wednesday; she is the cousin of a member who came with us to teach and Luane came, too.  So we taught two lessons with her and then we taught her a lesson and she said how she wanted to come teaching with us some more because she liked it so much.  As we were sitting there, I had the desire to ask her to be baptized this Saturday (as in two days ago) but I thought that was a little crazy and I was also afraid Sister Freitas would think I was crazy, so I didnt say anything.  Turns out I could have.  We came back to visit her on Friday and she said shed only read a little bit of the Book of Mormon.  By a little bit, she´d read all of Moroni 10 and the Intruduction until half way through the Testimony of Joseph Smith.  Yeah.  Only a little bit.  And she´d been asking her cousin questions about the different standards we had and said she wouldnt have a problem with a lot of them, the only thing she was worried about was changing the way she dressed - not because she didnt want to, but because she didnt have very many clothes that were modest.  And she kept talking about the different things she´d been thinking about and how she wanted to change and wanted to be baptized.... and Sister Freitas invited her to be baptized the next day and we gave her all of the baptism questions then and there.  Now it would really make the story wonderful to say that she was baptized this past week, but she wasnt.  But I have faith that she will be.  Thats a lie.  I dont have faith - I know she will be baptized.  She is a little worried about what her family adjusting to the change, but I know I know I know she will be baptized.  She is an elect, no doubt about it.
And you asked about transfers... Well, they´re Wednesday, but Sister Freitas is leaving me tonight to go to Salvador because she is going to train again and she has to go get her trainee.  And I´m not exactly sure when Sister Taylor will show up here.  Probably Wednesday afternoon.  So.... I am not sure where I am going/ what I am doing tomorrow and Wednesday.  I think a member is going to stay and work with me, which I am a little nearvous about.  But it will be great!
Com amor, até mais -

Sister Petersen

This is cacau - yes, what they make chocolate out of.  It is also a fruit you can eat.
The little girls who call me ´tia´ =] I love them
Grasielly was baptized this past week and came to church all by herself the next morning so that she could be confirmed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

...we´ll give our strength to God above...

Oi minha familia e amigos!

Estou feliz.  Estou muito cansada, mas, isso é minha trabalha, e eu sei que O Senhor me abençou esta semana muito.
This week was excellent!  I am amazed more and more each week with the things the Lord blesses me with.  I have also learned to be really, really specific in my prayers, because the Lord answers them.  For example, this past week we prayed to find a family with 7 people who were of baptismal age, and we found a family of 8, but all of the kids dont live at home.  We also prayed for one of our investigators that she would quit drinking coffee so that she could be baptised.  And she quit.  But she didnt want to be baptised this week (we are still trying to figure out why...)  I know the Lord answers the prayers of His servants - I just need to learn to be a little more specific. We had so many lessons and made so many contacts and have so many new people that we are working with.  This week really was a miracle, and I continue to learn that when I work, the Lord blesses my efforts 10 fold.  Which means if I work harder.... =] I am excited for this week to come.

As you can tell from the pictures, we also had a baptism this week!  Efraim is so great, our future apostle from Brazil, and I know he will be such a good missionary once he learns to wake up on time and walk a little faster =]  We had a few problems finding him Sunday morning so that he could be confirmed (sound familiar?) but all is well for those who work extremely hard.

I am also excited because we should have the baptisms of 3 little girls this week, Grazielly, Fabiana and Caliane.  We are also teaching Cailane, but she is only 7.  They are soooo cute, and they call Sister Freitas and I ´tia´.  They also live in the same neighborhood as us, so every once in a while we will hear ´Oi, tia!´ and it will be them, calling for us.  I kind of feel a little bit like a mother hen during sacrament meeting, though.  Normally, I keep an eye on them and Sister Freitas talks to our other investagators, so they sit by me during sacrament and I try to entertain them a little bit with my puzzle of the Plan of Salvation and after sacrament I try not to lose them.  It is so much fun, and I love them so much.  They are doing such a good job with reading the Book of Mormon, too.

I just got the newsletter where you talked about all your mosquito problems, and let me tell you - I know how you feel!  The other day I counted and I had 8 mosquito bites on one hand.  Yes, just my hand, from the wrist down.  Its sad, really.  One of the Elders asked the other day if I had already had chicken pox, because it really does look like I have them sometimes. Its sad.

I also have a few requests, if you love me.  I would really really really really really really really like music.  Like, really really.  I would also like a couple of Green Bay Packers shirts so I can trade with some of the Brazilian Elders for different soccer shirts.  And I want peanutbutter and gummyworms.  Like I said, you only have to send things if you love me =]

I hope you are having fun in Germany!  Love you all!

Até mais -

Sister Petersen

In regular clothes!  We had a service project this last Saturday, Mãos que Ajudam
Clara and Jaiane, the sisters of Efraim
Efraim!  He will be an apostle someday
Everyone in white =]
Zone Itabuna - and I took it today =]
in front we have Elders Tarbet?, Brandão, Fernandes, De Campos, eu, Ricker, Freitas, De Oliveira.  In the back, Zollwig, Vitelli, Pontes, Andrade (with the ball in his face)

Monday, July 25, 2011

As missionaries of the Lord with faithfulness and prayer...

Olá mues queridos -

We had a Zone Conference that wasnt really a Zone Conference this past Tuesday, and it would have been perfect if I hadnt been so tired and wanted to sleep during half of it.  But it really was so good.  A lot of the Elders who were transfered from our Zone were there, so we got to see them again.  We also received training from President Vecchi, and let me just reiterate: I love that man.  It was back to basics, things were already know, things we learned in the MTC, fundimental things that have just been lacking a little bit in the mission, and I was able to remember and think about how to apply these things in our area here.

Also, I got to spend two days in Iléus with Sister Forester, and it was wonderful!  I loved getting the chance to work with her again and re-remember some of the things I learned in the MTC.  Things I should be doing.  And it was so much fun.  Sister Forester and I only had about 2 weeks together in the MTC, but we clicked from the very start, and it was great working with her and it was great to know that we still click =]  Learning to work with a different person, being exposed to a different teaching style was great, and not only that, but I love Iléus.  I dont really want to leave Itabuna, but if that is in the cards in the near future, I vote I go to Iléus.  Although I know my vote doesnt really do anything when it comes to the will of the Lord.  But I do love the area and I love the people.  Its kind of amazing how fast that love can grow when I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

And then, when I came back to Itabuna, Sister Freitas had told a lot of people that I had been transfered to Iléus as a joke, and then told them afterwards that I was just there for 2 days.  But a lot of the members didnt hear the second part, that I would be coming back on Friday.  Ergo, on Sunday, there were a lot of members of the ward who were excited/confused that I was here.  Including the bishop.

This coming week we have baptisms, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure these do not fall through.  We are meeting with these people every day, and they seem really excited about coming to church each week and about their baptism, too.  The two that I feel sure about are a mother and son, Regina and Efraim.  Efraim is 13, but he looks more like he is 8, so I have to remind myself at times not to talk to him like he is a kid.  But they are both so great.  They have been reading the Book of Mormon every day and praying and things are looking really really good.

This past week we also had a lot more investigators in sacrament meeting, and I know the Lords hand was in that.  We are working with the other ones.  So many of them I feel so good about, and we were able to meet with a lot of them yesterday and they all said that they will come next week, which is GREAT!  Now we have just got to find more people this excited about coming to church, because I know they are here. But anyway, we were able to get 8 investigators in sacrament meeting and 6 of them have baptismal dates!

Funny story for you.  We went by one house to talk to one of our investigators and we asked if Bruno was home.  So out comes a young man who doesnt really look like our investigator, and Sister Freitas asks, ´Um, Bruno?´ and he says he is, so we start talking to him, and he doesnt know what we are talking about, and after about a minute Sister Freitas just asks if another Bruno lives in the house.  And indeed, another Bruno lives in the house.  So right now, we are teaching the brothers Bruno =]  I dont really understand why people give their kids the same name, or even names that seem the same.  We have investigators who are sisters and their names are Caliane and Kaylane.  Talk about confusing.

We also spent the morning this morning waiting in line for about 4 hours in a governmentish building, trying to help some of our investigators get married so they can be baptised.  It was a little annoying, because my vocabulary does not extend to legal, marriage vocabulary, so I was really lost most of the time.  And then, after waiting for 4 hours, we found out that they couldnt get done what they needed to get done (dont ask me why, I have no idea).  But we were able to get lunch out of it, so that is always nice.

Our goal for the Zone this week is for every dupla to have a baptism, and we will perform all the baptisms the same time in the Stake building in California.  It should be really exciting, especially considering that the ZLs here are teaching a family of 10 people who have a date for this day.  We should have more than 20 baptisms this day.  Remember us, and give us your prayers.

Love you!  Miss you!  Read your scriptures!  Say your prayers!

Até mais -

Sister Petersen

Monday, July 18, 2011 batizar os seus eleitos e ousado serei! (... to baptize their elected and I will be bold!)

Estou feliz!! 
We had not one, but two baptisms and confirmations this past week, and I highly doubt that there is a happier missionary in all of Brazil right now.  The morning of the baptism we had so many problems, so much went on and there was so much confusion about when and how and where Hiago would be baptized.  He is 9, and his mom and his moms family are members, so we had to coordinate with them and it was such a mess.  We also had to go to another church in a different bairro for his baptism, and Sister Freitas and I had never been there, so we were a little nervous about that.  Then we showed up and he wasnt there.  But he showed up, thankfully =] 
Our other baptism has been called a miracle, and that is a very humbling thing to hear.  Edla has been going to church for the past 2 years without fail and almost all of her children are members, but she went through many pairs of missionaries and still refused to be baptised.  She gives lunch to the missionaries every week, and they always share a spiritual thought afterwards, and my first Wednesday here I gave the thought and I invited her to be baptised - this was my very first baptismal invite on the mission.  She didnt accept or not accept, kind of more of a, We will see, sort of an answer, and we have worked with her ever since.  But about two weeks about she set a date for herself because her daughter was going to be here.  My goodness, when we started to tell people in the ward that Irma Edla was going to be baptised.... I wish you could see my face right now =D  Everyone was incredulous, and more than one person said what a miracle it was.  And I believe it.  It is an answer to so many prayers, and I will never forget it.  I have no words to describe how I felt at that baptism.
The next day - Sunday - was kind of a mess, too.  We were trying to get our investigators to church, and by the time church started we only had one.  So Sister Freitas and I set out to find more people.  We invited everyone we saw.  An hour later, we returned to church with 1 more investigator to find out that Hiago wasnt at church, and the member we had asked to pick him up said that no one was home.  This was really bad, because he needed to be confirmed in Sacrament Meeting (which we have last here).  So Sister Freitas and I set out again to the opposit side of the bairro.  We showed up at his house and his aunt, sister and brother were there, but not Hiago.  So we sent his brother off to find him and we offered one of the most ferverent prayers I have ever given.  10 minutes or so later he came walking down the road with his brother.  I have never been so releaved in my life.  Turns out he had woken up at 6 that morning to get ready and waiting and waiting until 10am when he finally decided no one was coming and so he went to play.  We got to Sacrament right as they were finishing the confirmation of Irma Edla, just in time to have Hiago confirmed.  I am a very, very, very, very blessed missionary, and I am trying so hard to show my gratitude to my Father in Heaven by working even harder.
This next week should be interesting - we have a conference of sorts in Iléus tomorrow, and then I will stay there until Friday moring on an exchange with Sister Forester!  I am excited to be able to work with her again, although I still want to be here to help Sister Freitas accomplish the goals we have set.  This week, the goal the ZLs gave for us is to have a Zona de Exelência.  Presidente Vecchi set a few goals for the mission, and when a companionship meets those goals they have followed the Pattern of Excellence.  So the goal for the zone is to have every companionship meet these goals of the President.  We are praying and working really hard to make this happen.  Again, one of the hardest things is getting people to church, but we will make it happen with the companionship of 3 - Sister Freitas, me, and the Lord =]

I hope all is well with vocês!  I miss you and love hearing from you!

Até mais -

Sister Petersen

Pictures sent this week.

Itabuna at night
Our apartment

Our desks and our tiny area map

Sister Freitas and eu

Elders Adrezzo and Fernandes, my first ZLs

Elders Fernandes & de Campos, my new ZLs

Baptism of Hiago

Edla's baptism, she was baptized by Irmao Castro

Monday, July 11, 2011

...convênio santo e leal fazemos com o Rei.... (... holy covenant and loyal to the King do ...)


My dear mother, if you could place the quote about church in with this email, that would be wonderful, because one of our biggest problems here is getting people to come to church, and this week it was really difficult for me.  We worked so hard, and I think it was our best week in terms of lessons given and people found, but the entire week builds up to sacrament meeting, and when no one comes to sacrament meeting, the work of the past week is almost not important.  This is the second week in a row where we have only had 1 investigator in Sacrament meeting.  Having one is great, but not when we have 15 investigators.  That, coupled with the fact that I am still sick after 3 weeks, led to a little bit of a break down.  Thankfully, I have been really blessed with a wonderful companion, friends in the ward and really great Zone Leaders, all of whom gave me really great advice and encouragement.  I truly am a very blessed missionary.

That being said, our Zone has a goal of 44 baptisms this month, and the Zone Leaders have given us different goals for each week of the month starting this week.  So, our goal this week is to have the best numbers in the mission, or ´GH da Justiça´  I am not sure how to explain this in english exactly, but GH means ´glória do homen´, I think, which is bascially ´the worlds greatest´ and I know all about that =]  Elder Fernandes is still here, but we have a new ZL, too, Elder de Campos, and the first thing out of his mouth is always ´Oi! Esta feliz?!´  It has helped a lot this week.  Us sisters have also seen a lot of the ZLs this week because of our various probelms with our apartment and our landlord (who is a lovely little old lady who is just a little crazy, I think).  They have been over almost every day this week talking to her and trying to figure out our water issues.
(They also have a request for reices pieces, gummy worms, swedish fish, 2 pairs of basketball shorts (which they dont have in Brazil) and 2 Journals (like the first Journal Emma got, blue, hard covered).  They would like to know how much these things are so that when you send them they can pay you back =]  Thats my ZLs =] )

I continue to have problems with being beautiful. Had a man tell me that I look like the queen of Europe.  I think he meant England, and I think he meant it as a compliment, but considering how old Queen Elizabeth is, I am not so sure it was.

We also taught a family this past week, and when we explained about the Book of Mormon the wife got really excited and asked if she could buy it.  She was really sad when we said no, but we made her happy by giving it to her for free.

As Im sure youve noticed, you have pictures thanks to Sister Freitas.  I dont know which is which, but the one with the most people is my zone, the other is my district (me, Fernandes, Terxaira?, Vitelli, Freitas and Andrezzo in front), and the other is Sister Freitas and I.

Love you!
Até mais -

Sister Petersen

Here is the quote about the Sabbath Erin wanted me to include: 
Elder Mark E Petersen said,  "We can readily see that observance of the Sabbath is an indication of the depth of our conversion. 
"Our observance or nonobservance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead.  It is a sign of whether we are Christians in very deed, or whether our conversion is so shallow that commemoration of his atoning sacrifice means little or nothing to us"

                                                                                        Sister Petersen & Sister Freitas

                                                                                             Erin's District

                                                                                          Erin's Zone