February 23, 2010

Mommy!! (February 22, 2010)

Hey family!

I hope that you got my short letter home. It has my new address and a picture I think. Or maybe she just put it on the blog.
To be really honest, It's crazy here!! I really mean it. They have a new approach that no other missionaries do in any other mission. This is total inspiration from the mission president. We are to invite other to come unto Christ, pray, and read the book of Mormon and be baptized all at the front door! It is the boldest thing I have ever done in my life. I ask people to prepare to be baptized as they are smoking in one hand and have a beer in the other. It is so crazy! and the other part is that some people actually say yes not fully knowing who we are or what our religion is about or why they have to change, but they just do it. some of them take time but most of them stop cold turkey and are baptized in two weeks. You only have to come to church twice before you are baptized and on the second Sunday you come is usually when the baptism is held.
Some times I look around and think, there is no way i can do this. This is crazy and no one will care about what I have to say because they can't even fix what they have now. I'm in Kingsland Georgia, west side of the railroad tracks or off the 95. This town is just one big trailer park. you talk about an extreme home make over! You haven't seen nothing yet. These people need homes. They live in homes that have fallen apart and are filthy and full of drugs, alcohol, and everyone smokes. You can assume at the door of every home that someone in their family does one of those things. Thats why i say that it is so crazy. These people have nothing to their name. Nothing! and here we come expect them to change and come to church and be baptized in two weeks time because God loves them and wants them to. It makes me want to cry to see what i see every day. But the best thing is. What do they have to lose? Nothing. They know God loves them and they know how to pray because they do a lot of it so we just ask them to give up what they already know they should. We are doing more than giving people the gospel but we are changing lives from the inside out. You have to be bold with these people because they know it's true but don't want to change so you have to push them in order for them to do it.
There is a young boy name Danta'e that i met that was baptized before i got here. He has done everything under the sun and had been living on the street and some friends Traylor when they would let him. The sisters were tracting in one of the trailer parks one day and found no success so they left without finishing the lot. They were then praying about where to go a couple days later and felt they should go back to the lot and finish. Unknown to them, danta'e was too scared and shy to talk to them and stop them from going home so he prayed they would come back and kept praying hoping they would find him. Luckily they did and he was baptized two weeks later. I asked him how he felt now being in the church (The church has really stepped up to help. They give rides to church, clothes, food, and watch out for him and take care of him) He said " Ya i like it, I got family now." I love him with all my heart and i would adopt him if i could and take him out of here. I feel that way about everyone i meet. But this is what the gospel has done for his life. He still lives in a trailer but at least he is not on the streets. He is out of drugs and we continue to help him makes it through. He doesn't know where his parents are because he moved out when he was 15! Life went downhill from there. We met one on his friends last night who kind of did the same thing. He had just got out of jail for doing drugs and is trying to clean up his life and sees that Danta'e has done it and thinks he can too. If we can just start with one hopefully it will have a domino effect on the rest because of his example. This is how crazy it is here.
Oh and Mom don't freak out, I am safe and live on the nice side of the neighborhood. We have two young men that live next to us and split the house kinda so I feel safe with them next to us, even though there not members. But it's cute and i like the apt. I get my own bathroom! The water here is terrible and everything taste how this place smells, because the water smells like that and we use water in everything. I think i got the smell down. It smells like eggs, wet dog, sulfur, and some kind of mildew. It's really wonderful. lol So I'm going to buy water today;)
Yes the kids can write me here at this e-mail. The president doesn't have rules on that part but we have kind of made a pact to write off all our friends in sacrifice of the mission. Oh and we sacrifice music too. I know crazy right!! That's what I've been telling you, it's crazy here. I can totally still write the family and they can write me so I'm hoping to get letters soon. and I want and e-mail or letter from Shanna. She has time and I miss her!
My ward here is a little different. No one really sings so when i sing normal I'm the loudest one. It's kind of embarrassing. My ward is small just because everyone moves in and out and most of our converts have gone inactive so we are trying to fix that. This place is next to a navy base so that is why people move a lot and there are a lot of Mom's and no Dad's. (Oh and everyone here has babies with dad's they don't know and five kids with different Dad's and everyone lives together here and have kids like there married but they're not. It's again, Crazy!)
We were taught the same thing in relief society yesterday too. It was good. I really love relief society. It's one of my favorite parts, one because sacrament is chaos looking for your investigators hoping they come and if they do answering all their questions and concerns; two because gospel principles is spent making sure your investigators stay and you can't answer the questions in class and three because finally I have time to sit down relax and enjoy relief society, unless someone is getting baptized then we have to fill the font and make sure the person is ready. Sundays are one of the most stressful wonderful days of the week. I love it.
I don't really know what else to say. Oh my companion's name is sister Johnson and she is a hard worker but I think she compares me too much to her old comp that just went home, sister Carstens. I think she gets frustrated too easy and her sarcasm is mean rather than funny. Our district leader Elder van Gendern agrees with me. We both don't understand it yet so we laugh until we do. His comp's name is elder bishop (really) and i don't really get him either but oh well. I'll learn to deal with it and if I don't like them It's my fault. They are hard workers and i trying to fill their old comps shoes. It's not even a week here, so I'm sure God will help me in making her shoes fit or making better shoes that fit and stay. I want gold solid converts that stay in the church after they are baptized and not go inactive after they are baptized. God has a plan for me and people to find. He will help me figure out why he sent me here. I just need to be obedient and press forward in steadfastness till the end.
I got a little Trunkey last night (that means thinking about home or missing something from home.) I miss my family. You all have been the biggest strength to be throughout my life and continue to be while i am here. I want letters from you and pictures and everything else. It's nice to feel that my family is behind me. I love hearing that you all are ok and doing really well. I'm going to send some pictures home on a cd so you can see all of my comps from the MTC and the picture there. I haven't really taken pictures here because the president doesn't like us taking too many pictures except we can on P-Days. We only can listen to motab but now no music at all because of sacrifice and we work out every morning. Run a half mile, 30 lunges, skip/ high knee for 30, 10 push up's, and 60 sit ups. It's good for me. I'm still in shape and hope to stay in shape plus this mission is 95% tracting. I tract in high heels believe it or not. The elders make fun of me but they don't hurt my feet and they look cuter than the flats. So I'm doing good here. I'm loving the work, cause let me tell you, it is work. They say that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It's true. I hit the pillow at night and i am out. I sleep better than ever before out here. It's nice.
Umm Write me a letter if I forgot something. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon. God loves you and will always answer your prayers. You just need to listen and pay attention to how he answers you. Continue to do the work there by going to the temple, going out with the missionaries and talking to your friends. I just found my mission scriptures/chapters as people call them here. It's D&C 33-35.It gives me strength everyday to talk to everyone I can and be bold and do not spare anyone. Read it and find your strength. I love this gospel with my whole heart and my testimony of this work only shines brighter as I see miracles of God's love for his children. Keep going strong, be a duck and love each other!
I love you all!!!!
your SISTER Pedersen



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