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