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

Monday, August 6, 2012

Exchange Sister Chap 3

Alright, I am a little bit sad because its not letting me send pictures, and I have a few that i would like you guys to see... but I guess we will all live until we get to see them.

So!  about 7pm last monday I found out what was happening with me, and that same night I went to Mussurunga, another area in Salvador to stay with Sister Rosado and Sister Freitas!  It was sooo amazing to have the chance to be her companion again and to see the changes that she has made.  It really was amazing to get to teach with her again, to see how we are still really in tune with each other and with the Spirit.  It made me really happy, and was exactly what I needed after the stressful week before.  I was definately feeling better.  which is good, because on Friday I got the news that I was being transfered - for good this time.  My time as a "analista de Sistens" has come to a close and I am now here in Jequié!  Guess who my companion is!  Just guess!  Try to figure it out!
Nothing?  Alright, I will tell you........... Sister Cornwall!!!! Tada!!! I will have the unique experience of sending home my companion from the MTC and going home at the same time as my trainer. I can not explain my joy to be here with her and with Sister Lima as well.  They are AMAZING women who really understand our purpose here, not just as missionaries but as women, and it is so amazing to working with people with vision.  They are both leaving next week to go home, so this week and a half that we have together is time for me to get to know the area, the members and the investigators that they have.  I dont know how to explain how right it feels that I am here, and as they talked about the area and about the things that have been happening... I dont know how to explain it, the feeling of gratitude that I have for my Father in Heaven for giving me this blessing.  In all my other areas I feel like I was prepared to serve in the area.  Here, I feel (and have had the confirmation of the Spirit) that this area was prepared for me, that all the things that are falling into place here and now are in large part answers to my prayers and to my personal worthiness.  For example - this past week the sisters found 20 new investigators.  They were working with a few investigators that had baptims dates for this past week and the coming week and all of the dates fell through and they were trying to figure out why, and Sister Lima received the revelation that it was because these people were being saved for the next set of sisters that were coming in, that these people will be baptised and they are a fufillment of the blessings that the Lord promised for the next missionaries that would be coming to the area.  Which so happens to be me.  The liders here in the branch have opened their vision.  The liders of the mission here have opened their visions, and now... the only thing I have to do is stay close to the Spirit and follow his promptings. As they were sitting and talking to me, telling me all of the miracles that have happened here in the last little while, my eyes just conintued to leak tears of joy and gratitude, because i know, I Know that this area is a blessing and a fufillment of promises for me.  I know that.  In the MTC I prayed for two things - patience and humility.  I am in no way perfect in these two things, but I have learned them.  I know what it means to be patient, I know what it means to be humble, and I know part of it is believing, expecting, and receiving the blessings that the Lord hands to us.  And he does hand them to us when our hands and our hearts are open.

I am so greatful, so imensly thankful to my Father in Heaven that I am here in Jequié for the last transfer of my mission.  This is an area of miracles.  I know that.  I know that the Lord has saved blessings for me to harvest here, and I will.  I know that, whoever my companion will be, she will have the vision of missionary work as well.  I am so thankful for this gospel, for my Savior, for my Father in Heaven who loves me so much that he tests me and he tries me, and through it all, He blesses me with all his tender mercies.  The veil truly is thin here, because it is a sanctified land for those who are serving here now - a land of promise.
Thank you so much for your prayers - they truly are making a difference here, and in me.

com todo meu amor -

Sister Petersen

Monday, July 30, 2012

Exchange Sister Chap 2

Hm, not exactly sure what to say about this week, but here we go!

I am still here in Stella Mares with Sister Cruz and Sister Smart, and I have been doing my best to show them around the area, but I think they still feel pretty lost =)  On the up side, I feel like I know where I am now - I have finally figured this area out, or at least the little portion of it that we are working in, which is the most important part.  The week has been a little strange, and I cant exactly say why... my anxiety decided to act up a little bit, which didnt help anything.  We got lost quite a bit, and usually I am able to make the most of it, but this week it didnt go over too well.  Thankfully we had a member who made a lot of visits with us this week and he helped me out a lot.

Anyways, I still dont know what happening with me yet.  Presidente said that i would be leaving the area sometime this week, but when I called the assistents to get more information they were really vague, and the only thing he told me was "dont by food in bulk."  He's so helpful =)  so I think i will probably be going somewhere else soon, but who knows!

i really wanted to sent pictures to you, but the computer is being dumb and wants to send all the pictures on my camera, which will never work.  Anyways....  we made smores today!  I love smores, did you know that?  I am not even sure that I knew that before today, but it is true!  very very true.
At the moment i cant think of much else, but if i do i will send it along!
I love yoU!
sister P

Monday, July 23, 2012

Exchange Sister Chap 1

alrighty!  You asked how life is going for me, and its great!  I am really loving it!  I passed this last week with Sister Rounds and Sister Santana here in Stella Mares, and it has been so much fun working with them and getting to know the area and the members.  Turns out that its a good thing that I liked it, because they are leaving the area and I will have the opportunity of showing two new sisters around this area before Presidente Andrezzo ships me off to another place!  I am excited, but a little nearvous - I am really hoping that I remember the streets and peoples' names so that i can show Sister Smart and Sister Cruz around.  It was really weird the night that we got the call learning about the transfer.  Sister Round and Sister Santana will go to Lauro de Freitas and fill in the gap there, so I got to show them around the area a little bit on Sunday, which was nice because i got to say a few goodbyes to people taht I wanted to see and didnt get the chance to talk to before I left.  So tomorrow morning I will pick up the new sisters at 6am and we'll get to work!
It really was interesting to be thrown in the middle of a companionship and see how they work together and what ideas they have and the projects they are working on and the people they are working with.  This ward really is special - I already love the people here, and they are so great and so willing to help out, which is good because the new sisters will need some help.  I feel very blessed to have been given the chance to come here and to meet these people.
We also got to go to the beach today!  Actually, we went to visit the Lighthouse de Itapuã, but its on the beach, so we got permission to go.  Have I ever said how much I love the ocean?  Gods creations really are spectacular
I love understanding and knowing that everything happens according to the plan of the Lord.  It really does helpe me to have more confidence in myself and in what I am doing here, to trust that whatever happens, he will use it to benefit someone, and that I can be a part of his plan... its incredible the faith he has in us to do our part.
I love you all!  say a prayer for me and know that you are in mine!
Sister Petersen

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 3 Chap 4


Alrighty - yesterday was a bit of a mess, and I have already talked to so many people about it that I dont feel like explaining things again at the moment - sufficeth to say that everything was done the way it should have been and everyone is in a better place right now - physically and emotionally, I do believe.

As for me... we are still trying to figure out what to do with me for the moment =)  This week I will be staying in Stella Mares with the Sisters here, but I dont think I will be here for good.  Presidente Andrezzo and I talked quite a bit and I mentioned that Carmen was an exchange Sister and explained a little of what I understood about that.  So at the moment we are trying to figure out if that is what I will be doing for the rest of this transfer, but I think thats what will happen.  I will go and do exchanges with the other Sisters in the mission for the next 4 weeks and then we will see what will happen with me for the next transfer... So weird to think about.  Say prayers for all of us that we will be able to figure things out.

I am feeling really good about things now.  Sister Stull still calls and talks to me every once in a while and that helps (she really is amazing) and all in all I feel like I am back to myself - for better or for worse =P

I am happy, and like I said, I know that everything happened the way it should have, so I am happy about that.

its great to hear from you and how everyone is doing - you really dont know how much it helps to know what everyone is up to.

Thanks so much!  Until next week -

Sister Petersen

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 3 Chap 3 The doctor, a marriage, and some dunes

Aaaaaaaaalright!  This week has been FULL of things that we have done.  Lots and lots of them.

First off, Sister Clark has been going to the doctor quite a bit to get some tests done because she has a heart problem.  Its been really interesting for me to have to translate a bit for her since cardio vocabulary isnt part of what we learn as missionaries - but its been coming a long pretty good.  Going to get the tests done that she needs has taken up a bit of our time, but we have been getting to know Salvador really well!
Also, Presidente Andrezzo came this past week and we had a zone conference to get to meet him, which was pretty exciting because the former Elder Andrezzo was there, and it was great to see him again.  Presidente Andrezzo is amazing.  It really is incredible to me the way that people can come into your life and you realize just how much room your heart has to take people in, because people dont ever get replaced.  I also sang "This is the Christ", and it made me realize how much I love bearing my testimony through the music that I sing.  The next day we had interviews with Presidente, and he thanked me for singing that song because its special to him, which was an answer to pray, really, because three days before the conference I was asked to sing and found out that no one could play for me, so I was trying to think of a song that I could sing and I said a prayer asking for guidence, and the next day I was looking through a Liahona and found that song in português.  Thats more of a side note, though.  Basically, I got to confirm what I already knew at the interview - that Presidente Andrezzo is amazing.  I felt so amazing as I was talking to him, the Spirit was there so strongly.  He has a way of making people feel special and being very sencere about it.  At the end of the interview I felt like I should tell him that I knew that he was going to be a good president because I knew Elder Andrezzo, and I knew that the man who raised him had to be a very good man.  His reply, "But not as good as the man who raised you."  That is probably one of the best things I have heard here on the mission.  It really made me think about Dad and all the things that he has done and how I am so greatful that he is my dad.
Also, one of our investigators, Silvania, got married this past week!  We are so excited, and her baptism is already schedualed for this Sunday.  Say a few prayers for her, please =)
And as you can see from the pictures, we went to the sand dunes today!  It was soooo much fun just to relax and do something a little bit different.  We also met a mason this week, which was quite an interesting experience - I learned a lot of things that I didnt know and became even more greatful for the gospel in my life and the guidence that it gives.
We had a problem with our microwave (actually, it just burnt out) and it was quite a chore to get another one and then to find an adaptor for it so that we didnt burn the house down.  Yet another thing that my português vocabulary doesnt cover, but we taught a lesson to the man who was helping us after we figured everything out.

and thats my really short show!

love you all! tchau!

Sister Petersen

P.S.  We had a Zone conference this week, so the picture of all the sisters is from zone conference
The others are from the sand dunes - we went there today and it was a lot of fun!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 3 Chap 2 Mondays Tuesdays - happy days!

Hey hey!

Actually, when you sent me the questions that Sister Clark had, the thought did pop into my head - "I am going to be her companion" funny how things like that work, isnt it?  And I am sooooo happy that she is!  We have been having so much fun, there is just no other way to put it.  She is from New Jersey, and she has a little bit of a valley girl accent, which I absolutely love, she is blonde and is as tall as Mom.  And we are doing miracles here.

It was also really nice because Sister Nascimento went to São Caetano and she visited a few of the people that I taught and she got to see Daniel!  I miss him, as well as all of the others in Itabuna.  It really was a little odd writing letters to all of them to, the kind of feeling that I had.  I think its the closest someone can come to parently love before they become a parent.

I also had a huge realization this past week.  I remember that a couple of times I was going through some difficult things in life and I would always be told that because of my experience I could help someone else who was going through the same problem.  To be honest, I never really liked hearing that - that I was suffering so that I could maybe some day help someone else.  But this week I had that opportunity.  One of our investigators was really struggling, and as she started to talk and tell us about that things that were going on I thought, "wait a minute, this sounds really familiar..." and I realized that it was basically the same thing that I went through not that long ago.  So I shared a few scriptures with her, scriptures that really helped me and explained how they helped me - especially Moroni 10:33-34 - and as I was explaining I could see her understanding, I could tell that she not only understood but that she knew that what I was saying was true, not that what she was going through was easy or insignificant, but that there was a way to get over it -  that Christ provided that way for us, and what we need to do is accept His will and His way and our lives will be perfect, because He will make them perfect.  It was amazing.  It was amazing to see that, as she understood, she was able to feel the Spirit and overcome the feelings that she had.  And it was incredible because I realized that the pain I felt as I was going through the same experience lasted a long time, but the joy I felt when I was able to help her, though we were only together a few minutes, completely validates everything that I went through.  And that is what Christ knew when He accepted to be our Savior - He knew that it would be really difficult, that more people would reject His sacrifice than who would receive it.  But he knew that if he only saved one soul, one human, and yet eternal being, all his suffering would be worth it.  And it is.  I can testify to that.  I was reading Jesus the Christ today, and Talmage has a part when he is explaining the difference between happiness and pleasure - I just focused on the part that he said about happiness.  I dont remember exactly what he said, but I remember feeling that it was the best description I have ever heard.  Happiness is something that is fulfilling, it has purpose, and it makes even more sense to me now why "men are that they might have joy".  I think one of the Godly atributes we are sent here to learn is how to let ourselves have joy in the midst of so much sorrow - that would be how we hope for things.

I am so thankful to be a member of this church, to know things that the eye cant see and that words cant explain, but that are so real that when people deny their existence, the very purpose of life is negated.  And all of the things that I know can be broken down into one simple sentence:
Jesus is the Christ.

Até logo -

Sister Petersen

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 3 Chap 1

Ok!  This week has flown by - and just so you know, I was able to read your emails last week!  I passed by the mission office and explained what happened and was told that I could check and read my emails if I had been sent any.  So dont worry, Mom, you didnt miss a week!  thanks so much.

Lets see... what has gone on this week... São João has still been in full swing this past week because the actual festival wasnt until yesterday.  There have been a lot of bonfires in the street and a lot of banners, dancing, and really, REALLY loud music and firecrackers, which has made working a little hard, but alls well that ends well, right?  And compared to last year, the partying in the street was nothing.  It turns out that most people leave Salvador for the festival because its a kind of harvest festival, so they like to go to places like Itabuna where it is a lot closer to the farm land.

This week we had a pretty fabulous lesson - one of our recent converts here is a chef, and we were able to partake of his culinary skills this past week.  We taught the Word of Wisdom, and to finish he made a dinner for us and for some of our other recent converts and investigators, and it was sooo good!  Its amazing to see what a bit of skill can do, because the food he made was what we eat normally - salad, stroganoff, potatoes and mousse - but it was soooo much better than normal.  And the presentation was pretty spectacular, too.  He knows how to make a tomatoe look like a rose - pretty neat, eh?

And speaking of the Work of Wisdom, it was really neat because we were talking to Marcos the other day, and he let us know about something that happened to him.  He went to breakfast, and all his family had to drink was coffee.  So he got some, and he was about to drink when he remembered what we has taught him.  So he stopped, thought about it for a minute, and said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father if he could drink coffee, and he got his answer, "Son, you already know - what did the Sisters teach you?"  And so he put the coffe away and he drank water.  He was so proud of himself, and we were too =)

This week another one of our recent converts had family visit, he he brought a lot of them to church.  It was amazing to see.  His kids were there, we are teaching his sister and she was there and her kid, some of his cousins that are already memebers... they took up almost two rows in the chaple.  That really is what the church is all about, bringing families together and helping to keep them together.  Its Heavenly Father's Plan for all of us to be united.  And in church one of the speakers talked about family history work, and it was so easy to see how that fits in perfectly to everything else; it really does play such a huge role in missionary work.  Redeeming the dead, sanctifying the saints and preaching the gospel really are all the same thing - living the Plan of Salvation.  I feel very blessed to have the understanding I do about this wonderful plan and very blessed that my family is protected by this plan.

I guess the other thing that has to be talked about is transfers.  Yep, they have come around the corner once again.  This transfer will be 7 weeks long and I will be spending it in...... Lauro de Freitas!!!!  And I will be spending it with..... Sister Clark!!!  Sim, our beloved Sister Nascimento will be departing for the land of Itabuna, where she will give a lot of cards to the people that Sister Petersen worked with there.  That seems like such a long time ago.  Time really does go by so fast, doesnt it?

And that would appear to be it, because I cant think of anything else to write!

I love you all!!

Sister Petersen

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 2 Chap 4

Hey hey!  Looks like I got up before you today =)

This past week we had our final Zone Conference with President Vecchi - it was more a preparation for when President Andrezzo will come, which will be at the end of this month.  Its a little weird to think about that... I will definately miss him, but I know that President Andrezzo will be wonderful as well.  At the end of the conference President and Sister Vecchi let us ask questions - whatever sort of question that we wanted, anything that we wanted to know about them that we have always wanted to ask and never had the courage to ask... it was interesting what some people decided to ask about.  They really are so amazing and I feel so blessed that I got to know them and that they were my leaders.  When Elder Clayton of the 70 came to visit he told us that a lot of the time when the apostles are praying about where missionaries should go, they usually ask the question "What mission president can best help this missionary?" and I know that that is part of the reason that I am serving here.  I have learned so much from the Vecchis, and I am so greatful for their service and love.  We also sang for them "A Child's Prayer" which is one of Presidnt Vecchi's favorite hymns.  The day of the conference was a bit of a mess for us - we had to run afterwards to a doctor appointment for Sister Nascimento and riding on the bus and in taxis all day isnt really fun, but we made the most of it!

I think I have already talked a little bit about Marcos, but he continues to amaze me.  We went to teach him the other day about service, and when we got there he started talking to us, and he said "I want to help our church.  I want to help with the chapel, I want to help with the kids, with the youth, with the adults, I want to share my testimony, I want to help and go on visits with you, I want to visit the members and I want to do everything I can.  And you know the boys who give the bread and the water to people?  I want to do that, too."  It was amazing.  He just kept going on and on about how he wanted to help.  And we thought we were going to teach him something that day - he always teaches us when we go there.  Its his birthday today and he invited the whole ward to come to his party.  He is really excited.

The ward had their Festa Juninha this weekend, too.  I dont know if you remember last year when I wrote about São João, but it has reached that time of year again.  Next week I will try to send pictures to you.  It was a lot calmer this year.  A lot of people go on vacation and leave the capital for this holiday.  The festa was a lot of fun, and I love the food that they have.  Tapioca cake is probably one of my favorite things... its soooo yummy.  And munguzá... é tão bom!  And the dancing - I have to come back here when I can dance.  They had a live band at the church, and I really like the music.  We also got to talk to the mother of one of the members of the band - she came to drop her son off and stayed waiting for him and started reading all the things on the board and asked to talk to us.  We talked to her a little bit, she said she had never been in our church before and then she asks "Who is the living prophet?"  I love direct questions.  And who knew that something as simple as the message board in the church helps to share the gospel?

I am having a hard time not writing in português... alright!  I hope you have a great week!

Amo vocês!  Até logo -

Sister Petersen

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 2 Chap 3

This week was great.  There have been some amazing things that have happened.
First of all, I forgot to mention about Marcos (and I cant believe I forgot!).  I think I talked about him a few weeks ago.  Anyways, he was sooo excited about his baptism that he wrote out 53 invites for the members of the ward.  This is amazing to me because he doesnt know how to write - he asked one of his sisters to write the invite and he spent who knows how much time copying letter for letter everything that she had written down.  And he was baptized Saturday!
We also did a division this week and I stayed in my area with Sister Cornwall - can I say how much that woman helps me?  I think not.  She helps me SOOOOO much to understand things that I can do better and what I am doing well and things I can do to be happier.  And all she does is talk to me.  And be my friend.  And its amazing.  I love her to death.  In result of this division, Sister Nascimento and I have decided to move our area that we are working in.  We will now be working in Villas do Atlântico, and we appreciate all the prayers that we can get.  Its a really rich area and we are trying to figure out the best way and time to try to talk to people there.  I know the Lord has prepared a lot of people - its been a really long time since anyoen has worked there.
We have also been talking a lot with a "family" here in the ward - at the moment, it is comprised of two sisters (Erica and Elida) and their cousins who are also siblings (Henrique and Carla).  Erica was baptized about a year ago and is preparing to go on a mission; Henrique was baptized right after I got here.  I love them all so much.  They took us out to get pizza the other day =)  We have also been talking o Carla a bit lately - Henrique gave her a Book of Mormon and she has been reading it.  She hasnt been able to come to church because she has been working, and she isnt working at all this month and is SUPER excited to come to church.  We went to see them last night, and its the first time that we have actually had a lesson with Carla, and it was soooo good.  She has already been able to see how reading the Book of Mormon has changed some things, and she has seen how much Henrique has changed for the better, and she is ready to make changes.
The other miracle of the week is that the temple in Manaus was dedicated!!  They broadcast the dedication and we were able to watch it - it was so amazing to be there, to feel the Spirit of the temple... I miss the temple.  And I know how much the Saints here work and sacrifice to be able to go to the temple.  I am so excited for them.
I know this work is true, and I love seeing the miracles that the Lord works in our lives.

Até o proximo -

Sister P.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 2 Chap 2

Woohoo for the end of school!

I am feeling better.  This week has been a little bit of a relaps, which I am not too happy about.  I am having a bit of a hard time remembering everything that happened this week, but I know that the week went well.  I think I will have to start making lists again of the things that happen during the week.  It helps me remember what I did, too.
I got Nathan's letter today - I read it just before writing to you guys =) He sounds pretty good.

I love hearing from you guys.  I love hearing what it is that you are up to, who has been doing what and how thing are going.  Its a little weird sometimes to remember that everyone elses life is continuing, too!  It really is amazing to hear what everyone is doing, where they are... amazing how we grow =)  I am learning to be more and more greatful everyday for the chance that I have to grow and to learn.  Our knowledge is the only thing we take with us, so it had better be worth the trip, right?

I am sorry, I am really struggling today... I cant think of anything at all that happened this week.  =(
Thanks for your email!  Thanks for your prayers!

Love you -


Monday, May 28, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 2 Chpt 1

Sooo!  This week started off with a bithday - Sister Nascimento is officially old now.  Well, at least shes as old as I am, I am not sure if that really old or not.  But I was a good companion, I talked to memebers and investigators and she had TWO parties and 3 cakes for her birthday.  Thats right.  She is pretty darn blessed, isnt she?  =) it helps that the members here love her so it was pretty easy.  We had a lot of cake in our fridge for a while.  Actually, we still have a lot of cake in our fridge.

I am trying to think... this week was really long and really short at the same time, so I am having a hard time remembering things.  Oh!  We lost power in our apartment one night; that was exciting.  It was a good thing that Sister Nascimento had her birthday, because that means that we actually had candles to burn so we could see as we were getting ready for bed.  The power came back in the middle of the night, so it wasnt too bad.

The week went well - I have been sick with a cold, so there was one day that we ended up staying in the house for most of the day, but it was still a really productive week in comparison to some others we have had recently.

oh!  we went to talke to a family this week who is relatives with a member of the church.  The mom wanted us to come by and talk to them because she realized how different her sister-in-laws family is, how happy they are, how they dont see to fight, how it always seems calm in their house.  She is really active in her church, but she really wants what her sister-in-laws family has.  It was so neat to see that others notice that we are different, and when they actually think about it, that they realize that they want what we have.  It was such a good lesson, and the next day in church we went and talked to the irmã and she started crying because she has been praying for such a long time that her brothers family will accept the gospel.  Its moments like this that I know what I am here for, and its amazing.

I love you all!  I hope the pictures make up for the lack of a letter!  Have a great week - Amo vocês muitooooooo!!!

Sister Petersen

ps Where is Loren going on his mission?

Lets see if I can tell you about these pictures...

                           The first one is Sister Nascimento and I in Pelourinho - take a close look at the chairs =)
                                                                  The next is a photo of the street we had to swim across
                                                                                               My broken umbrella
                                                       A pic of us and Jaqualine, one of our wonderful investigators
                                                                               Look at our lunch!  It was soooo yummy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 1 Chpt 6

Well... thanks for letting me know Brian is pregnant....  Thats about the only thing I got out of that email, just so you know =)

Let me tell you about this week.  It started out with the spider, which you already know about, and the week proceeded in good stride.  We bought umbrellas because it has been raining buckets (I would send you pictures but the computer wont let me) and after a week of use our umbrellas broke.  It has been reatively cold here this week and we dont have hot water, which means we have been heating up water on the stove to take showers (we will call someone to get that fixed this week).  Half of our house doesnt have water, the half with the sink and the washing machine.  The streets here have been flooding and so almost every day we have had walk in water up to our ankles at least once during the day.  We found that a mouse has been living in our house and the bird that was living in our house has tried to come back and we keep having to kick him out.

In short, our week was rough, and tiring.  Sunday rolled around and we went to get an investigator.  He is a little special (he actually reminds me alot of Devin) and we have been teaching his family, but he is the one who is always ready for church and always listens to us when we come.  We were walking to church with him and he starts talking about how he was reading the Liahona about baptism, how he  has always wanted to be baptized but every time he prayed about it in the past (before meeting us) he felt like he shouldnt, that he should wait until he found "the waters of the Lord".  And he asked us how he could be baptised, because he feels like he should be baptized in the church.  It was amazing.  We have never ever spoken about baptism with him at all.

When we got to church two of our other investigators got there at the same time and the came and watching the classes and went to sacrament meeting and as we were waiting for it to start one of the senhoras was talking about how much she liked the church, that its so great, that she feels so good here, and she knows she was already baptized the Catholic church, but she is going to get herself baptized in this church because its so great.  Yet another person we have never talked about baptism with.

The Lord is amazing, and we works miracles every day. Every single day.  I love being a part of them, I love seeing them, I love feeling the power of them.

Até o próximo!

Sister Petersen

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 1 Chpt 5

Let me think of something I can tell you about the week.... oh!  When we got home last night there was a spider the size of my hand on the wall.  Yup.  Unfortunately, Sister Nascimento was really worried about it and she killed it before I could take a picture.  So I only got to take a picture of it after it was dead.  But I will send the picture to you soon.  I feel so fufilled here on the mission - I finally saw a really big spider.  And I saw monkeys the other day!!!  That was pretty darn exciting, I wont lie.  Monkeys... its kind of amazing.

The people we are working with here are so amazing - its really great to be able to see their growth in the gospel and realize how it has helped them change who they are and reazlie their self worth.  This gospel really is amazing.

It was sooooo good to see you guys yesterday!  Its amazing to see how everyone has grown!  I love you all!  Hope you have a great week!

Beijios -

Sister Petersen

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 1 Chpt 4

Sorry that my other email took forever to get to you... I'm not sure why that happenned.
We have good news!  Sister Petersen will be going to a doctor tomorrow and she will receive exactly what kinds of drugs the mission wants me to use!  There is a doctor who has worked with the mission for a while and he know more of the program that the church uses to help the missionaries, and so basically I will go in with Presidente Vecchi and will explain a little of how I have been feeling and Presidente will tell him what medicines our doctors have recommended and he will write us a prescription.

 I dont really know if I am getting better or worse or staying the same... I dont feel normal, that much I know, and I am completely and utterly exhausted.  And there are times when everything seems a little... surreal.  I dont know how else to describe it.  I think its more the the depression side of things kicking in, which I am not thrilled about, but I know that everything will get better soon, so I am not too worried.

The best thing that happened this week... I dont know.... there were a lot of little things.  I kind of was district leader this week, which was kind of neat - our leader lost his phone, and he lives close to us, so I got to talk to him and get his numbers for everything, ask him how his week was and if he wanted anything passed on to the Zone Leaders, and then I passed the numbers and information on the Zone Leaders, who were very impressed that I had thought of asking and passing along information about how the week was.
And today we went to Pelourinho - I will have to send pictures next week, but it was really pretty.  And the ocean is soooo pretty - have I mentioned that?  I love that we are close to the ocean and I get to see it and smell it every once in awhile.

I am having a hard time thinking of things right now... we knocked down a birds nest that was in our house - we let them raise their little chicks and once they knew how to fly we kicked em out.  Because its our house.  And I dont think we are allowed to have others living there =)

Sunday I will be able to talk for an hour - no more, but no less =)

Love you all!  Muito obrigada por tudo!

Sister Petersen

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 1 Chpt 3

 1. Did you get your Easter package finally?  If so, what sort of condition was the bread in?  I hope you enjoyed it.
I did!  Thanks so much!  Everything was great... except for the bread =( it went moldy, which I am really sad about.  (I tried an experiment, I vacuum sealed a small loaf of homemade bread, obviously it still took too long to get to  her)

2. Have you made plans yet for us to visit on Mother's Day?  Our church is still from 9-12noon.  It appears that we are once again 2 hours different, so our church is from 11-2pm your time.
 Ok, yeah, we are going to skype at an investigators house.... and probably at about 230 or 30.  I need my password for one of my gmails so that I can talk to you through that - so you NEED to send it to me next week!

3. You asked me to update you blog, do you want the stuff in your emails put on it about your anxiety and such?  I wasn't sure if you would want that posted.
Yeah, I dont have a problem with you putting it up there.  Who knows?  Maybe it will help someone out someday

4. How are you doing, better, worse, the same? Have you been put on medication?  How often are you scheduled to see the psychiatrist?
Medication is a hassle - I still havent been because the mission wont allow me to use the one that was prescribed.  They are trying to talk to the doctor about that and get me on a differnt one.  Still, Sister Stull talked to me and told me that it will take about 3 weeks for the medication to take affect, which I think I knew but at the same time... it was a rough day.  I really just want to feel better.  I am scheduled to see the doctor about every 15 days, so its coming up again.  I am just kind of feeling... numb, and trying to keep myself going.  Talk to Sister Stull helps, because she lets me know that how I am feeling is normal.  But at the same time its no fun not feeling like myself.

Sister Nascimento is great - really really great.  She is really understanding, really upbeat, and really proactive - all things that I need right now.  It makes me wish I was feeling better at times, because I know how great we would work together.  Now its just a little frustrating, and I am trying not to get frustrated about it, because we make plans and goals and I dont feel like I am helping because there is absolutly nothing in my head.  I cant remember people that we have talked to or what we talked about...  And I am very thankful for Elder Malloy, because he has been helping me out because he isnt stressed about numbers and he already knew me, too. And that always helps.

This week Elder Clayton of the 70 visisted - so we all went to Salvador to listen to him.  And Sister Cornwall, Elder MacDonald and Elder Higley and I sang "Come thou Fount" for him, and it was soooo beautiful.  Not to mention that I had a prayer answered, too.  About two weeks ago I was really craving tacos.  Yes, crazy I know.  When Sister Cornwall and I went to practice the song the morning of the serão Presidente Vecchi had a council with the ZL and they always have lunch afterwards.  Guess what they had for lunch.  Yes.  Tacos.  And guess who was invited to eat with them.  Us!  It was pretty great.

I think thats about everything for now.  Oh!  I am going to need to buy shoes, and I have no idea how much they are going to be... I havent looked at how much I have on my card yet but I will.  If you could look and if you think I might need more just put it on that would be wonderful.

Love you all!  Hope Emma feels better soon!

Amo vocês!

Sister Petersen

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 1 Chpt 2

Yes!  I am here in Salvador!  Actually I am in Lauro de Freitas, but it is a city right outside of Salvador, and it is soooo good!  Its a lot hotter - more like Itabuna - and the mosquitos have found me again... I had forgotten about the mosquitos.  Sister Nascimento is my new companion, and Sister Petersen has finally become a senior companion!  Not that that really means much - I have no idea what to do here still because the area is huge and the ward has a lot of people in it, but they all seem really nice and really helpful.  And Sister Nascimento is great - she is really up beat and on top of things and I am really excited to work with her.  She also told me that one of the people that I found on an exchange in Ilhéus was baptized and he is preparing to serve a mission!  That was amazing to hear.  I already knew that he had been baptized, but to know that he is getting ready to serve a mission.... that is so amazing.  Also, I dont know if you remember Elder Malloy from the MTC, but he is my district leader!  Oh the tender mercies of the Lord....  He really does love his children and know whats best for them.

Lets see... we had a sisters conference again, and it was really good.  I dont know if they exist in the USA, but here they have short time missionaries who are called to serve in the same mission that they are from and usually for only a few transfers.  We have 6 of them right now, which brings the number of sister missionaries up to 21!  There are a lot of us, and we are doing good work.

I went to see the psyciatrist... that was a little interesting just because of the language barrier - I think he thought that I understood less than I did.  But it was good.  We are getting things all figured out.  At one point he said to me "So, tell me about your childhood..." and I thought of Silly Songs with Larry.  Who would have thought that Veggie Tales was helping me prepare for my life?

It appears that Matheus understood your email just fine - he wrote me a little today and shared some things that helped a lot.  But I wouldnt have a problem with someone translated for him.

Well, I should write to Presidente - love you!!!  Glad you are all safe!!! Update my blog!!! =]

até mais -

Sister Petersen

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lauro de Freitas: Vol 1 Chap 1

I wanted to send a bunch of pictures, but for some reason it wont let me attatch files... you'll have to do without.  Again.  Sorry about that.

I thought I would fill you in on a few things that have happened that I have forgotten to mention.  I have officially fufilled two of the things that I wanted to do while on my mission. Number One:  I helped someone move!  I am not sure why, but I always think of missionaries helping people move.  Sister Andrade and I were working one afternoon and we saw a family moving in so we offered to help.  We stayed there a good hour moving things out of the truck and into the house.  Afterwards guess what we found out?  The people were less active members of the Church!  Who would have thought?  Oh the Lord works in mysterious ways.... they didnt seem too excited about the invitation to come to church, but we have their address and we will go back and see how things are soon.

Number Two: I washed clothes by hand.  Yessiree, I learned how.  And I learned that I didnt know how to wring water out of clothes the right way.  Who knew that their was a right way to get the water out?  Well, I know now.  I also discovered some muscles that I didnt know existed... they hurt a little bit the next day.

Also, something else you asked last week was about Easter traditions here.  There arent many, but one thing that everyone does is they get chocolate easter eggs, and some of them are huuuuge.  They are hollow and are usually filled with other little chocolates or sweets.  Sister Andrade and I received a few, and lets just say that I am a little sick of chocolate at the moment.

We had Zone Conference this past week, and afterward the Zone went out to eat and I got açaí e cupuaçu - you are going to have to look that second one up, because I dont have a clue how to describe it, other than the fact that its delicious!

As for how I am feeling, I am doing pretty good.  Presidente told me to relax and I am doing my best. Our numbers werent great this week, but I felt wonderful when I passed them to my district lider because I know I did what the Lord wanted me to do.

As for transfers, I am pretty sure I am still going to Salvador, but we havent heard anything officially yet, which is a little strange...  But Presidente told me that they are setting up appointments for me and such and that I would be transfered there, so I am just waiting to hear what area.

I love you all!  I hope youre doing great!  Give Nicholas a hug for me!  I wish I could be there.... take a lot of pictures!!!

Love you!  Até logo -

Sister Petersen

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol 4. Chpt 6

This week Erin just answered questions for me that I had about her anxiety.  Pres. Vecchi called us on from Zone conference and I got to talk with Erin for about an hour.  It was wonderful to hear her voice and get to hear from her how she was doing.  Pres. Vecchi told her that she would be transferred to Salvador the following week when transfers came.  That would put her closer to the mission home and give her the opportunity to visit with the psychiatrist.  Erin was fine with the transfer, she had had the impression several weeks before that she would be transferred to Salvador soon.

I am so proud of Erin, she is an amazing woman and missionary.  She is dealing so well with this situation and sees the hand of the Lord everyday in some little thing so she knows he is aware of her and watching over her.  She is such an example to me.

Here is a short note she wrote to me, you can see from it the difficulties she is having:

And I dont have much time to write this week.  It was a really rough week.  Sister Andrade and I are both really really worn out physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and there were just so many things that happened this week that I have no idea what to do with - I have no idea why it happened right now, why it happened in the first place... and I am just really tired.  Really tired.  And really tired of being tired.  And really tired of not being able to think straight and feeling bad (and trying not to feel bad) that it looks like we have done so little, and trying to make myself feel better and trying to make her feel better about what we have/havent done in the week.  And I am tried of it.  I am really tired of feeling like I cant trust what it is that I am thinking.  Its completely and utterly frustrating.
But the Lord has also done wonderful things for me this week to remind me of his love for me and to remind me that I am doing useful work here and that He still thinks that what I am doing is worthwhile.
I love you - thanks for everything

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol 4. Chpt 5

Conference was incredible!  I liked it soooo much, and it really saved me this week.  We were also able to have three of our investagators come to conference, and I know that it helped a LOT, especially with one of them.  She really felt the spirit when Sister Beck spoke and when President Monson spoke, too, and she finally accepted a baptism date!  I am so excited for her.  She understands the gospel so well.

We also had the chance to clean the church this last week - do a real deep cleaning.  Let me say that cleaning here in Brazil is much more fun than it is at home.  I will send you some pictures next week so that you will understand a little better =]

This week was kind of a mess.  I havent been lying to you when I said that I have been doing good (or at least better) because when I write to you guys, I really do feel better.  But I was talking to the psycologist this week and she is worried about me because of a couple of different things and she wants me to talk to a psyciatrist (I give up on spelling!) because she thinks that I do have either anxiety or bipolar.  That news kind of screwed up my week a bit.  I talked the the bishop here (whom I love and is a wonderful support) and he gave me a blessing and I felt better, but I don't think I am getting better.  Not really.  I don't really know how to explain it, but hearing her say that I should talk to a psyciatrist has made me worry about a lot of things that I am really trying not to worry about.  Especially because when I was watching conference I had the impression that I should stay here until September.  And so I think I will.  But I need to get some things figured out.  I still haven't talked to a psyciatrist, but I will get there.

Thank you thank you thank you for your support, for your love, and for your prayers!

até mais!

Sister Petersen

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol 4. Chpt 4

Hey hey hey!

Ok, first and foremost, I would like you all to pray for me.  I always thought I would come home in September, but lately I have been thinking about coming home in August - I dont know exactly why, but it seems right.  I am praying to receive an answer during conference this weekend.

Second - we had a fun time on the bus the other day - we got on and ended up staying on for 2 hours because they forgot to change the sign for where it was going and it had already passed our apartment.

about the pictures - the first one was taken on my mission aniversary - the sign says something about me being old and to have patience with me =)  The other is the baptism of Maicon!  Soooo exciting!  And the couple standing next to him are working on getting married so that they can get baptised, too!

I love you all soooo much - sorry this is short, but I am sending a letter to you in the regular mail this week, too, so dont worry.  I am doing great!  I am happy and happily working

Oh! and if everyone in the family could send me an experience of how they received blessings for obeying a certain commandment, that would be wonderful!

Love you all!


Monday, March 19, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol 4. Chpt 3

Just a couple of things that have happened this week - We started an english class here, and I am excited.  I will just be helping out because there is an english teacher that is part of the ward here, so I just get to show up and help people say things correctly.

Also, I love the people here. We went to the house of one of our investigators today for lunch, and I love that family so much.  We just sat and talked for two hours with Márcia, the mom, and she is incredible.  There is another couple here that we are working with and they have a son who is 4 and the cutest thing ever.  They went to church for the first time together here, and when they left they were talking to each other and the lady said "Lets get married as soon as we can so that we can get baptised!"  Its so incredible.  This work and how it changes peoples lives is incredible.  And that we get a chance to be a part of this work... The Lord loves us, thats all I can say.

I am doing a lot better, really and truly, and I love hearing from you - everyone that writes.  Its so good to hear about what youre doing and how youre feeling and how the gospel continues to bless the lives of the people I love.

Amo vocês!!

Sister Petersen

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol 4. Chpt 2: In which we jump rope, go teaching with some members and find an amazing young man

Oi da casa !

For all of you who think that I have been working too hard or that I am too serious, I decided to lighten up a little bit.  We were walking in a part of our area that we had never been to before and saw a group of girls jump roping, so we decided to help them out a bit.  We stayed there batendo corda for them for a good ten minutes, and then we had to go.  But they called their friends over and there was a group of about 10 kids following us trying to meet "a americana" and so we stopped to talked to them a little more.  A few days later we were walking down the same street and a lady calls us over.  Turns out there her son was one of the kids who talked to us, and that he hadnt quit talking about us since!  We set up an appointment to talk with them this week, so we will see how that goes.

Other than that, we were able to go out teaching with the Bishop and one of the recent converts here, Suelen.  It was amazing to hear the bishop share his testimony about his conversion story, and after we finished teaching with him he thanked us for helping to remind him what the gospel has done in his life.  And I think he likes us just a little bit - he bought us pizza after we finished teaching =]  Suelen also went out with us to help with a different family that we are teaching. Nossa, her testimony is so incredible.  So incredible.  Just to hear her talk about what this gospel has done for her life and her family, to hear the faith that she has and what she knows this gospel can do... I feel privledged to know her.  It really is amazing, this work that we do.  I think at times I forget that, but it really does change peoples lives.

I think one of the things that I am learning most as a missionary is how to be a better memeber of this church.  All the things that I want to do when I get back, all the things that I want to put into action, all the goals that I have set for myself... It doesnt benefit us much if the gospel is not constantly changing our lives, and that is exactly what I want it to do.

We were also blessed this week to meet Maicon.  He read the panflet The Restoration that we had left in his cousins house and he came up to us and basically explained the whole thing to us, and how everything makes sense, how it makes sense that we needed a restoration (and yes, he used the word restoration) and how we need to have a prophet here, and how he believes in the Book of Mormon (although he hadnt read it yet).  It was incredible.  Needless to say, we gave him a Book of Mormon, he read, prayed, and received an answer and he went to church and has assured us that he will be coming back many many times.

O Senhor nos abencoes quando nos fazemos a nossa parte.  Sie isso com todo meu coração.
Amo voces e tudo que estão fazendo para mim e para esta obra maravilhosa!

As for your questions... Its really wierd, the thought that I will be here one year.  Really, really weird.  I feel like I have been here forever, but at the same time I feel like I got here yesterday.  I know I am going to have a hard time when I come back and I have to talk in english all the time.  I have tried a few times, and I am not capable of praying in english any more.

The best things to eat? Arroz e feijão. Com certeza ;)

Até logo -

Sister Petersen

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 4 Chp. 1: In which Sister Petersen is not transfered


First, let me explain a little bit about the first picture.  Its Patricia and her two kids, Micheli and João, and Patricia is probably one of the best people on the face of the planet.  Seriously.  There is such a strong spirit when ever we teach her, and she has so many things that are working against her, but she is so determined to make it through, so determined to get an answer that the church is true and be baptised, and I know that it will happen.  She has a baptismal date for March 17th, which happens to be her birthday... and I think it happens to be the birthday of someone else I know, too... =]  I am really praying that it happens. She was at church Sunday, and testimony meeting was so good, it had such a strong spirit, and I am really excited about the next coming weeks.

The other people I am excited for is a family of 5, but in particular the youngest (who is 11), Josué.  They are such a good family, very united, and they want to do what the Lord wants them to do.  So keep them in your prayers, too!

I have grown so attatched to these people here its incredible.  Its amazing how close you can feel to people after so short a time of knowing them, and to know that it was the Lord that put these people in my path, so that I can have the opportunity to talk to them, to learn from them, and to grow with them.  Part of this attachment makes the work a little hard at times, to be honest.  I love these people so much that sometimes, when they dont fufill a commitment or when something comes up and we dont get the chance to talk to them, it literally hurts.  Because I know what they are missing out on, I know what opportunites they have that they cant see.  Its difficult to explain sometimes.

These past two weeks have been difficult for me and for Sister Andrade, very difficult.  I have had some of my highest and lowest moments of the mission to date, and its a little hard to keep up with the run of emotions.  But I am good.  I am fine.  More than that, I am happy.  I am so happy that I still have the chance to work here in Candeias and to be with Sister Andrade.  We have a lot of things that the Lord wants us to do, that much I know.

Thank you so much for all of your support, for your love and your prayers!

até logo -

Sister Petersen

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 3 Chpt 6 : In which Sister Petersen gets very tired, goes on a division, and has 8 investigators in sacrament meeting

This week was really hot, and its amazing what the heat can do to my energy.  We had to stop a couple of times for me to get my strength back, and I wasnt very happy about that, but I survived and I know that my health is important for me to be able to keep working.
I feel like my grammar is horrible, but I dont know exactly what is wrong with it... besides the fact that portugues is dominating my life!
We had two families come to church this sunday!  I would have been jumping with joy if I had had the energy.  I am SO excited to be working with them, and they seem really enthusiastic about everything, too.  We still need to talk to them and see what they thought of church, but I think it went really well.
And i hope the fact that I have pictures makes up for the fact that my email is short, once again.  Please forgive me, because I love you LOTS and I dont want  you to be mad at me =D


Sister Petersen

                        Yes, it is an avacado.  And you know what else?  Its a small avacado.  arent you jealous of me?

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 3 Chpt. 5: In which, unfortunately, Sister Petersen stayed in the sun a little too long and her mind is not working as she writes home

I hope that tells you a little of how I feel right now.  This week was good... was hard... we worked a lot... found a new area to work in... lost a lot of our investigators.... and found out about the power of the Sacrament.  Unfortunately, thats all I have.  Dont hate me.

Love you!

Sister Petersen

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 3 Chpt. 4: In which we have to call three times a day, come home before dark, a strike ends, and we do more work than any other week

Oi pela casa!

Yes, the strike has ended, and, my dearest Mother, I didnt tell you more about it because I didnt know more about it.  Conquista is pretty calm compared to the other parts of Bahia.  I know that in Sumaré there was a lot of gunfire in one of the neighborhoods where the sister were working... I did fail to tell you that someone tried to rob us, but you will have to forgive me for that.  I am telling you now.  I think the guy didnt know what he was doing, because he asked for our cellphones, Sister Andrade said we didnt have any, that we were missionaries and all we had were books and she showed him her bible, her felt her bag a little bit and let us go and apologized.  He didnt even look at me, (which is really weird because EVERYONE looks at me) but I am pretty sure thats because there of your prayers being answered for my safety.
Other than that, we had to call in three time a day letting our leaders know we were alive and in the middle of the week we started having to come in before dark.  But all in a days work.  We were still able to get a lot of things done, find a lot of people and work hard, which is all I can ask for.  And the end of the greve happened sooner than I thought it would, but I think its because of Carnival, too.  There is no way that the state could function during Carnival without the police.  They timed their strike very stratigically.
As for the missionary work, Sister Andrade and I are working and studying so hard.  There were so many times during this week when we left lessons and she told me that I had said exactly what she was thinking or when she said something that I was thinking.  Por exemplo: we were teaching a kid about the Book of Mormon and how to apply it to our lives, and I thought to share the story about Nefi when he breaks his bow.  We read a little, and then I asked him what he would do in that situation, and he said "Well, I would just make another one out of wood."  Woah.  Yeah, thats EXACTLY what you should do.  I have never used the story before on the mission, and when we left his house Sister Andrade told me that before I said anything she thought that we should share that story with him.
I know that this gospel is true, that this church is true, that the Holy Ghost tells us exactly what we need to do and how we need to do it, and if we follow his whispers, we will have peace in our lives.  Sei que é a verdade.  Deus é um deus de milagres.

Até mais - guarda a fé!

Sister Petersen

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 3 Chpt. 3: In which we learn the reality of "when the cats away, the mice come out to play

This week was once again full of hard work and miracles.  We were able help 4 youth get to church on Sunday and they are all friends taking the discusions together.  It gets a little rowdy at times... so we will have to figure out how to keep the Spirit in our lessons a little better.  But I like them all a lot - our ward is lacking a bit with youth, and I think the entire ward liked having them there.  Sunday we also found a family that looks very promising.  Its always great when you explain the Book of Mormon to someone and they understand and have intelligent questions.
We have also learned a little about faith and hope, and that when we set righteous goals, Satan doesnt want us to reach them.  To explain: the police here in Bahia are on strike.  All of them.  Which means there has been a little... disturbance of the peace in a few areas, and today we were informed that we cant go into one part of our area... which would happen to be the part that we are working in.  It made me think a lot about the Book of Mormon and the war chapters, and the idea that when our political leaders are corrupt, the entire civilization is in jeoperdy.  It also made me realize that those war chapters are a whole lot more applicable to our days and the future than I ever thought before.  They really are there to guide us and to help us figure out what we should be doing and who we should be standing with.  They talk about the leaders on both sides of the fight and the qualities and arguments that the leaders have for doing what they are doing.  It is interesting to compare to what leaders are saying and doing now... its quite the reflection.
But in everything, I still have an unshakeable hope in the things we are doing.  The Great Jehovah has not said "The work is done", and therefore I know that there is much work to do, and that He is here working with us.
Obrigada por suas orações - elas ajudam mais do que vocês sabem.
Um grande abraço -

Sister Petersen

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 3 Cpt. 2: In which there is a plan made between some Sisters and the Lord to bring His children back to Him

I have to say, I am not sure exactly what to write about this week.  The week was... incredibly full of a lot of walking, and a lot of miracles.  I think the easiest way to put it is that when we work our hardest, and we keep working and we stay happy, maybe our efforts come to nothing.  And then, out of the clear blue sky, the Lord plops a present in front of your face.  One of the investigators that Sister Cornwall and I worked with for a while - and who we quit teaching about two weeks ago because she wasnt showing any sign of progress - showed up at church yesterday and said she wanted to be baptised.  What a kind, merciful, loving and generous God we have.

Sister Andrade and I are tired of just doing what we are supposed to.  We want to do more than that.  We are also tired of people being downers.  So we are going to be miracle workers.  We have it worked out - what we are going to do, and we have asked (and received an answer) the Lord what he will do to help us.  Did you know that if God stops working miracles, he stops being God?  Well, Sister Andrade and I are going to let him be God.  We are going to do everything in our power so that we dont obstruct his power.  And it will be exhausting, that much I know.  BUT! Do not worry about me; it will be more spiritually exhausting than anything else.  I have learned to give my physical effort without killing myself.  And I figured out that one of the things I am going to have to sacrifice is the length of my showers in the morning... that is going to be a sacrifice, without a doubt.  BUT! I know that the Lord repays our sacrifices with more than we deserve.  Its going to be great.  Sem dúvidas.

Signing off, but tune in next week to learn about bênçãos do céus chegando em Candeias.

Até mais -

Sister Petersen
(Missionária do Senhor, Jesus Cristo)

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 3 Cpt. 2: In which there is a plan made between some Sisters and the Lord to bring His children back to Him

I have to say, I am not sure exactly what to write about this week.  The week was... incredibly full of a lot of walking, and a lot of miracles.  I think the easiest way to put it is that when we work our hardest, and we keep working and we stay happy, maybe our efforts come to nothing.  And then, out of the clear blue sky, the Lord plops a present in front of your face.  One of the investigators that Sister Cornwall and I worked with for a while - and who we quit teaching about two weeks ago because she wasnt showing any sign of progress - showed up at church yesterday and said she wanted to be baptised.  What a kind, merciful, loving and generous God we have.

Sister Andrade and I are tired of just doing what we are supposed to.  We want to do more than that.  We are also tired of people being downers.  So we are going to be miracle workers.  We have it worked out - what we are going to do, and we have asked (and received an answer) the Lord what he will do to help us.  Did you know that if God stops working miracles, he stops being God?  Well, Sister Andrade and I are going to let him be God.  We are going to do everything in our power so that we dont obstruct his power.  And it will be exhausting, that much I know.  BUT! Do not worry about me; it will be more spiritually exhausting than anything else.  I have learned to give my physical effort without killing myself.  And I figured out that one of the things I am going to have to sacrifice is the length of my showers in the morning... that is going to be a sacrifice, without a doubt.  BUT! I know that the Lord repays our sacrifices with more than we deserve.  Its going to be great.  Sem dúvidas.

Signing off, but tune in next week to learn about bênçãos do céus chegando em Candeias.

Até mais -

Sister Petersen
(Missionária do Senhor, Jesus Cristo)

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol 3. chp. 1: in which there was a zone conference, a transfer, and a lot of walking.

I should talk a little about zone conference, because it was amazing.  sister cornwall and i sang, and it was one of the best feelings ever.  i love sharing my testimony when i sing.  and that about all i have time to share.  ask dad for more details.
other than that, this was was chata.  Só chata.  We planned amazingly well (we had training on how to plan in zone conference) and every single plan fell through.  All of them.  Except Patrícia and Erlan, our amazing investigators that we are working with right now.  I love them.
and sister petersen will be staying here in candeias, but sadly, sister cornwall will be leaving.  her spot will be taken by the loverly Sister Andrade! The one and only!  Yes, we will be working together yet again, and I am super excited for that.

aaaaaand thats about it.

até mais!
Sister p.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Conquista da Conquista: Vol. 2 Chpt. 6: In which the Lord decides to put a roadblock in our paths so that we turn and get on the right track

The title of this email is more true than you probably think.  Tuesday and then again on Thursday, Sister Cornwall and I had to completely stop what we were doing so that we could sit down, think, pray, and try to figure out what the Lord wanted us to do.  He has a way with people...  It is such a testemony to me that this is the Lords work, because without His Spirit, I can teach and I literally can not speak.  I get so lost for words, I cant think of words in português that I need (which rarely happens now) and I just feel completely and utterly empty.  And sometimes, He takes His Spirit away from us not because we did anything that was wrong, but because He needs to get our attention - He needs us to focus on something else because there is something else more important to Him.

On Tuesday, after sitting down and praying, pulling out the map of our area and looking at it I decided to look up the scripture that was written on the map, which was Moroni 6:4. So I read it, didnt get anything out of it, so I read it to Sister Cornwall and finally I understood that the Lord wanted us to work with less active members of the ward here.  So we have been working with them a lot this week.  Its really sad at times to see people with complete lack of enthusiasm for anything and know that they have the gift of the Holy Ghost.  But we were really blessed, because one family came to church who hasnt been in years!  We are excited to work with them - they have a desire to come back, but I think they are a little lost about how to do it and where they fit in now.

The second time the Lord had to turn us around, we had a very, very unproductive day.  At the end of the day, we went with a member to teach his friend.  This friend of his didnt seem too interested, but we asked him to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, and he started reading while we were there and just kept going and going until he finished.  The Spirit that filled the room while he was reading was incredible; there is no other way to describe it.  Here in Brasil, the missionaries have a tendency at times to just keep on going and going and going, and do everything really fast and just keep goin and going and going because there are so many people we can talk to and so many people that will let us in to talk to them.  But this needs to be balanced with actually teaching a person, and not just teaching a lesson, and Sister Cornwall and I discovered, after this lesson, that that was something that we had been neglecting to do a bit.  So we are now focused (once again!) on teaching people, and not just teaching lessons.

In other news... Zone Conference will be tomorrow and Sister Cornwall and I will sing!  Um... today is my 10 month mark (weird) and I finally had the chance to try água de coco and I almost threw it up.  Sometimes, the fact that Brazilians are so nice and like to keep giving you things to eat and drink is a little annoying, just because at times I am not hungry at all and sometimes (very rarely) I dont really like what I have been given.  But normally its a really good thing - we are taken care of here by everyone!

Amo vocês! Têm uma ólitma se