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 -
Monday, September 17, 2012
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
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.
Monday, September 3, 2012
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.