March 29, 2010

TRANSFERS!! March 29, 2010

Oh my goodness! Holly overflow of e-mails! I had 12 in my box this morning. It totally made up for last week. There is so much that went on this week and I don't know where to begin so I'm sending you a tape. lol

First things first, TRANSFERS. So we all put in our votes and we think that elder Bishop and Sister Johnson are being transferred, and we were all right except for the fact that I'm being transferred too. Sister Johnson and I are being white washed out, which means we are both leaving! I could hardly believe it. I felt like our area was being taken away from us because we weren't baptizing anyone but through prayer I know that that is not true but that's what it felt like. Then we got a call telling us that we needed to find a ride to Jacksonville that has a boy and a girl in the car, a girl for us and a boy on the way back. That means that they are white washing elders into our area and the sisters are being taken out. Then we got another call this morning from the President and Sister Johnson is training again! She is freaking out and she keeps asking me if she screwed me up and I reassured her that she did a perfect job and I couldn't have a had a better trainer. Honestly I couldn't! I love my companion so much. I don't know what I'm going to do without her but we have cell phones so I can call her. (That's allowed if it's under 10-20 min.) So I'll call her and we will get through this together, lol but i know everything happens for a reason. Elders will be good in our area, but most of our investigators are male so we'll see if they really wanted to get baptized or if they just wanted to talk to girls.

We have this one investigator who has two kids a boy and a girl. Her name is Ranae, she is in her 40's and she is a single mom with a fiancĂ© out to sea. She was sad when we told her one of us was transferring soon but we promised her that at least one of us would be here for her support; Bad idea. In church yesterday the Bishop announced it in sacrament meeting on her fist time coming to church. She looked at me and said "you promised you both wouldn't leave." I could have screamed at the bishop. We were going to sit her down and  explain to her why this happens and how she is not being punished by God. But it all worked out. All of the missionaries got up and bore there testimonies and I think she is starting to understand. We met with her tonight to talk with her and help her stay close to the church. We also told one of our recent converts Melissa and she lost it. Sister Johnson has been here for 3 months and people love her to death here. There were so many people crying over her. They were so cute. People really haven't gotten to know me in the ward so it's more of a bummer for them than sad.

We have another investigator here that I'm worried about leaving. Her name is Jennifer, she has two kids, one with a man she doesn't know and one from her "husband" that she is living with. Come to find out she has another daughter with her real husband who will not divorce her so she is forced to live with her Husband/Boyfriend. She wants to get married and be baptized but she first has to stop smoking, get divorced and then get married. The kids think that their parents are married. The husband/boyfriend is illegal, so it's really a mess. So needless to say she won't be getting baptized for awhile but she is so awesome and amazing and I love her to death! We haven't told her yet that we are both leaving but we asked her what she would do if that happened and she asked if she could come visit us wherever we went. She is so cute. So I'm nervous about her but i know the Lord will take care of her. I just hope our investigators that need more working with wont be dropped or fall through the cracks.

So that is one thing that is crazy~ the other is that we got to go to the temple on Saturday!!!!!!!!! It was so amazing and we got to help out at the baptismal font. It was so great. We got to go because this will be Donte' Sass's First time at the temple! He was so cute. I have lots of pictures! He was the boy that was homeless. I talked about him in my first letter home. It was a big hassle getting him to the temple but we got him there!

Oh and matt didn't end up getting baptized on Sunday but he will on Tuesday before we leave on Thursday. He decided to go visit his sister for the weekend, the weekend he was supposed to be baptized!!!!! I couldn't believe it but at the same time i really didn't feel disappointed in myself because we have done everything in our power to help him and others we are teaching and the fact that I haven't baptized anyone this transfer does not mean that I'm a bad missionary. It just means I have been preparing people to hear so that someone else can do the rest. I also think God is trying to teach me some things; Patience, love, support, hard work, and a lot of understanding. There is a lot more than that but I would have a page if I listed them all.

This transfer has been the hardest most wonderful couple of weeks I have had in my entire life. I have cried for the past three days, not for myself but for the people that I'm surrounded by. I do this all for them and it kills me to see them not take the gift that I'm trying to give them. Some take it and then reject it and some take the gift use it and then give it to a Goodwill store. I have seen so much more in a month in a half than ever in my life. I have learned more about people and how much I love them no matter how much wrong they do to me. I love my mission with all of my heart and although I'm sad to leave this area I know that God has prepared another promise land for me to help prepare the children there and bring them back to the fold. There is nothing greater than this, nothing. I don't want to be anywhere else doing anything other than this. If they had a major in school for missionary work I would change my major and never leave school.

I'm so happy for you Christopher and Kenny your on her way. Don't let one thing get in the way of you going on your mission. The only thing that can get in your way is you. You make your own choices and decisions; no one makes them for you. Choose the right and stay out of the way of Satan. Don't even go there. We have two teams; Satan's team and God's team. We already know whose team is going to win, all you have to decide is whose team you're playing for. There is no in-between. There is not, (it's only kind of bad or it only has this part in it). If it is not of God it is of Satan. Stay away from his team. If you end up on his team you will break your leg, you will sit on the bench or you may find yourself fighting your brother by playing for Satan. Please stay on God's team and don't let anyone or anything drag you over to the other side, not even yourself. This mission is worth everything you have to offer and I would give my life in order to serve and preserve it. You will never regret the things you gave up to come on a mission. So don't wait to give them up till you're on a mission start to give them up now so that you can give yourself to the Lord the moment you step off that plane. I love you all so much and i can feel your prayers all the time. I have gotten through this tough week because of your prayers and because I have put all my trust and support in God. I love him with all of my heart and I'm trying so hard so that I can be worthy to wear his name over my heart. That is where he should always belong; over my heart. This is a wonderful work!

Mom I love the wall! My companion is jealous and I cried when I read Christopher's mission letter and saw our picture together. I'm so excited for him!

Because of transfers just send mail and packages to the office. I won't know where I'm going or who my companion will be until Thursday afternoon. I love you all so much!

Your missionary
Sister Pedersen~

March 23, 2010

I Wuv's you!! Letter to Shanna 3-22-10

(Mom, Dad & Christopher's letters came to late! So she missed out on pictures and reading Christopher's Mission Call!! She was on earlier than usual to hear about Christopher's call and they barely missed each other.)

I wuvs you!‏                                                                            Mon 3/22/10

First things first~ Christopher is going to Chile!!!!!!!!!!! Mom didn't write me this week. I don't know what's going on, maybe she sent it to my other e-mail on accident. I can't believe it. I wonder if he cried. I was a mess! That is so awesome! I wonder where. Christopher needs to talk to Kyle and get the low down, Cause that's where Kyle served. I'm so excited for him and really nervous too. It is hard enough learning the lessons in English but in Spanish? He can do it though. Man that is so crazy. The lord will bless him a lot. Wow~

I know what you mean about the drunken scary people. There here everywhere. There was this guy the other day that kept staring at us and following us around. He was so creepy. He kept saying "you're so fine, can I have your number, if I come to church can I have it." Nasty man!

That is the only thing I don't like about this place. Men here are so blunt. Plus, you know when you look at someone and they look back at you and you look away because it's embarrassing to stare? It's not like that here. Here they stare and keep staring till you leave. Then they make some embarrassing comment that makes me blush and I don't ever blush. We met a kid the other day that has two kids from the same baby momma but he's 18 and the kids are 5 and 3! That means the girl was pregnant or he became a dad at 13!!!!!! It is so crazy here.

The guy I'm talking about with the kids, his name is Matt and he is such a sweet guy. He came to church yesterday and loved it! He didn't know anything about God 3 weeks ago so we taught him and he wants to be baptized and go to the temple so he will be baptized this Sunday. It will be my first baptism. The weeks pass by with no baptisms and I feel like a slacker or that I 'm not being a good missionary and I don't like it. I'm working my best but nothing seems to happen. I had a total melt down Saturday night after one of our investigators that we were working with for a long time screamed at us and told us never to come back and slammed the door in our face while I was still talking. She was supposed to be baptized on Sunday (yesterday). Her mother is really anti so she told us never to come over when her mother was home but yesterday we did because we needed to know if she was still planning on getting baptized. Her mom was there and wouldn't let us see her and so we came back later in the day and she exploded. I think she might be bipolar. I don't get her at all but one thing I have learned is that people don't keep their commitments to come to church, read, pray, be baptized or anything else you ask them to do, there either not ready or there not serious about the gospel. SO we dropped her and we move on to someone who really needs us. Like Matt.

Everyone here is sick, or on medication, or something is wrong with their body. I don't understand it but I think people just need to get out and exercise, Breathe the somewhat clean air and get out of their homes. I've never seen so many lazy people in my entire life. People's homes are a mess. Mom would have a cow! I look at others home and it makes me want to clean mine more. Maybe even dump some bleach everywhere! It's just so wrong. It's even trashy in nice homes. I don't understand, but oh well. Nothing I can do because most people don't want your help to clean. I try to ask them if they want me to clean anything without offending them. It's a hard thing to do. It's hard to teach in their homes when you can't find a (clean) place to sit. We wash our clothes every week and sometimes our skirts twice a week, Depending on where we tract. But I come home smelling like cigarettes, beer and dog breathe everywhere I go. It's so gross! I only smell good for the first hour of my day and then no more.

Secretly, I do love it here and I feel more comfortable in trailer parks then nice homes. It's weird to think that but people who are set in life and have everything going for them don't have open minds or hearts for us to teach them what we need to, and they say, "I'm comfortable where I'm at." Someone once told me that if you're comfortable you're not doing what you need to be doing to learn, stretch yourself, and to become closer to God. Instead you're becoming comfortable with what the world has to offer you and you're not progressing like you should. People in the slums seem to always want to be better and do better for themselves and they believe God will always get them there because they know him first hand from their downfalls. I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out how to tell them they need this more than they think without making people angry, but then again I'm not afraid of what the world can do but what God will do if I don't do His work.

I love the gospel with all my heart, and although I'm really struggling at the moment, I know that it is all for my good. God is preparing me for something great. I know that it might just be for my learning and it may not mean that i will receive baptisms for it but I'm learning. This is harder than I thought it would be. I want to do and be my best in everything I do. I think I'm doing that but I know I can be so much more. I can be a power house filled with the spirit at every door if I will just get out of the way and let the spirit take over. This learning process is a hard one but I think it's one that I'll never forget.

I love you and am so thankful for your love and support. I feel your prayers. I look up to you so much and i always wondered if I could be a missionary as great as you would have been and still are. I remember hearing your discussions with mom that you had about the gospel and the insights you had from your classes at school. You couldn't get enough of what you were learning and I could even start to understand what I was supposed to study. That was always your strength, so much so that you found your husband over late night discussions of it. I hope you never lose sight of how wonderful you are to me, to the family, to Adam, and to everyone that has met you or that will meet you. You're amazing! Never forget how much I love you~

I love you with all my heart!
Your sister missionary~

March 16, 2010

March 15, 2010

I love you my family! I don't have time to write a long letter but I'll try~
Yes mom I wear all of your skirts all week long and I love them. There are no stores here, is fact there are no sidewalks, about 5 (lights in town) and no lamp lights at night.

No, I have not yet to see an alligator, but yes, everything is mud here cause it rains a lot every few days. It rains so hard we have to scream in order to teach at the door. It's fun and i love the rain but kind of hard in heels. lol

Nope no temples in my district but we are leaving on the 28 to go to the temple about 3 hours away for a temple trip with that boy I was telling you about that got baptized. Dantae, he was the one that was homeless for awhile. I'm so excited! And he received the priesthood! SO awesome!

Transfers are the week of General Conference. I'll meet my new comp on Wednesday and then watch conference on the weekend. It will be so good. I think I might be staying here but with a new comp. But we'll see.

Kenny I love you with all my heart and am so proud of you. I have a couple of chapters you should read. (2 Nephi 1,2,&4) There way good. I love the scriptures. Learn to love them and find in them what you know God is trying to tell you. That goes for the whole family! I love you all so much!

Christopher!!! I'm so excited for you!!!! I'm guessing massatuchess. I can't spell that. But I love being in the states so i don't know. Brazil would be great but I'm not sure. Anywhere is the best because you make it the best. The church is still true no matter who rejects it. Remember that. Stay strong and you will be great! I hope to get a hand written letter from you where you're going. I love you. You're amazing!!!!!!

Dad I love you so much! I'm sorry i couldn't write back to you but I'm so thankful for a father like you that has shown me what a true priesthood holder should be like. I love you so much and I continue to learn from you and Mom everyday!

Kellin, Daniel, McKenna ~ I want letters from you. I love you and am so proud of your grades! I knew you could do it! My family is so smart! Continue to work hard and do your best! I kiss that butterfly and cuddle with it every night and think of my loving family! I love you so much with all my heart and I can't explain to you how much your prayers have helped me in this stressful time for me but God works in mysterious ways! I love you again! Can't say it enough!!

Love you,
Your sister missionary!

March 11, 2010

Mommy! (March 8, 2010)

I love you!!! I hope you are doing so much better than the letter that i just received. That is such a bummer. You know what is funny I just wrote Shanna and told her that no matter how much pain you were in you would try to write me or start a project anyway. I do know you. It's way too funny. So when I saw your letter I almost wrote Shanna back saying I told you so. 
This week was not that good at all. We found some people to teach but still no baptisms! I hate it. Everyone has had a baptism except us. I really don't know what we are doing wrong but I think Satan is working very hard on me and sister Johnson. One thing that has changed is that I love her. We have so much fun and we really do the work. We talked in a British accent all day yesterday and today, and we sing in the car all the time. Sometimes she can get frustrated but I think it's because the district, zone leaders, and assistants call all the time to harass us about our no baptisms in one month!!!!! This is really sad but they say they call because they see potential. They say they don't bother with missionaries that don't try, or want to become better. I really get frustrated sometimes but I'm trying to be patient with myself. 

Oh tell the Coffman's that I love them like crazy and I'm so happy to get letters from them. The Zone leader harassed me saying that I'm just making up that the Coffman's are my family but that it must just be a boy that is stalking me, So i proved it to them by printing out a picture of them. It is now on my wall. Tell them I miss them and everyone for that matter, But my eye is still single to the glory of God. (it's really funny, cause anytime we come to a cute guy at a door or see a cute guy we say "is your eye single?" and we laugh and get on track. It's easy not to look at guys down here because most of them are missing there front teeth. lol ( and mom you know I'm a teeth person but apparently these people aren't.) Really people will makes their car payment and buy hair before they would ever pay for their light, water, home or dentist. people love their cars down here.. They have a fancy car and a broken down trailer. Weird. Well this letter is short because there isn't much to write but the pictures are on their way. I put them on a cd for you today.
I hope you know how much I love you and the entire family. You guys are such a support to me! I love hearing from you. And everyone needs to step up and take care of mom. That means no fighting! Clean like nobodies business cause you know mom will try to do it if you don't and we can't have that, so just do it. Work together and be the best family i know you are. I love you all!!!!
Kisses and hugs!
Your sister missionary

March 2, 2010

Chanelle's first letter from mission home

To my loving family, (There is nothing better than this!!)

Hey! I love you!

        It's amazing here. You talk about good solid missionaries? they are here in Florida. I'm going to have to be so much more than I am.  People here are crazy bold!! I can be bold if I need to, so I'm guessing the time has come to do so.
        We are here in the Presidents home with his beautiful wife who is so sweet! Oh, and the President is amazing! I feel like i"m close to him already. His two assistants are amazing stalwart men here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ! I have never seen strength and power like this before.

        I'm suppose to be here. This is right!! We were going through the door approach and the assistants were giving us advice and sharing with us what it is like here and I felt like I did in Nauvoo, for a moment I wanted to cry. I can do this, I'm supposed to do this, and now I have to choose to do this and be the best Sister missionary they have ever seen.

        I need to love the people in a way I never thought before by bringing them through baptism. It's the only way!
I'm going to make the Pedersen family proud! (I'm safe here. This is where the Lord wants me to be.)

                                                           I love you all,

                                                        ~Your Sister Pedersen

Mission President Letter (February 19, 2010)

Dear Family,
    Your wonderful daughter, Sister Pedersen, has arrived safely and happily in the mission field. Despite a long day of travel, she arrives in great spirits.
    She is a terrific young lady and will be a blessing to everyone with whom she serves and those she finds and teaches. Both Sister Newman and I were most impressed by your daughters pleasing combination of faith, charm and humility.
    Sister Pedersen has been assigned to serve in the Kingston Ward in Southeast Georgia, with a determined and obedient companion, Sister Johnson.  They will be great!
    Thanks for sharing your precious daughter with us and the Lord.
                                President Newman

P.S.   I grew up outside Portland.  Go Oregon!

Mommy! Holy cow is right!! (March 1, 2010)

I love you~

lol~ So to clarify, yes they mean for the whole mission. It is more like a sacrifice i could give up or spend less time and worries about but i don't have to. It's more of an option. But this month is called Miracle March Madness so we have special sacrifices for this month. No eating out at all, we work from 10am to 9pm with no going home. (so that means packing a lunch) Then there is no music in the apartment but you can in the car but me a my comp. don't because it's harder to be directed by the spirit if there is music playing.(but we sing in the car all the time) and no writing or e-mailing friends, just family. I told you, it's crazy down here. I can still receive e-mails and letters from friends I just won't be able to write back to them till April. ;) 

 This work is amazing and miracles still happen today and will happen this month. This week has been hard but it has only strengthened my testimony in what i believe. "Nothing will stop the work from progressing..." This means nothing, so if I have to give up everything to know and follow Christ like Job did than I will for i will receive a hundred fold in return. "I am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what i say, ye have no promise." When I am obedient God has to keep his promise to me. I need those blessings and i cannot afford for one person to miss out on this gospel because I decided not to obey. This is the hardest most stretching (and yes Tanner it is a stretch ;) ) thing I have ever done in my life. It is wonderful. I'm still expecting a letter from Shanna, BreAnne and Elicia.

My companion's name is sister Johnson.(or Lauren Johnson) she's from Utah and we both are working on the sarcasm but we have gotten along very well this week. I'm starting to get her little quirks so we are all good here. Plus we serve each other a lot so we have learned to love each other. Oh last night we had a girls sleep over with the other sisters and it was a blast!

I really have not gotten to know my bishop. We don't work very close with him except for our meetings on Thursday and Sunday for PEC. He seems like a really nice guy and me and my comp. are trying to find a way to serve him to become closer with him. But we are still working on that. Our members are really nice here. There is a guy here, Brother Adams who totally reminds me of the Coffman's dad with overalls and everything. He always asks us if he can bring us food or send us with something. He is a really big guy. He's like 7` tall and just big. but very sweet. We are not allowed to have dinner apt. here unless a non-member is present. So that weight I thought i would gain... won't be happening on this body, thank goodness!

I'm all good here. I could always use prayers. This week has been really hard. We had two baptism cancellations and no one showed up for church at all. It was so sad. I'm trying to make the best of it and know this month will be even harder, but i'm really up for the challenges and  miracles to start to take place. Our goal for this month is 200. so we have to work our butts off, pray like crazy and see the lords work and glory take place. it's wonderful. 

Oh and Mom nothing can stop ME from singing. I sing all the time. I just dont listen to music. Oh but talks are ok so if you have any great talks from anyone send me a CD of them because I-pods are not allowed here. I would love that. Oh and i'm not sure if you have heard this talk before but the kids would love it. I love it! It's called "The conversion of a catholic." I love it and it shares such great insights to missionary life.

I'm going to try to finish the CD today but i dont have a lot of time. We went bowling today with the entire zone. It was a blast. Our zone leaders are awesome. I think I talked about them before but the younger one is Elder Osborn and the older one that is leaving at the end of this transfer is Elder Hendrickson. they are so awesome together, like TNT. I was having a really hard day and the elders went on exchanges with us so you split off boy girl and go on opposite sides of the street and tract. I was with Elder Hendrickson. We talked for a bit and then he asked why I came on a mission. So i told him the long story and it started raining outside and it was so perfect. I felt like God really loved me. I was telling my story and I relized why i came out and what i'm doing here and it is all for God and then it rained and it was just lovely. Elder hendrickson always knows what questions to ask so that I fix problems myself. He's awesome and Elder osborn just makes me laugh. See there are TNT! I love them! (Dont worry Mom I'm not falling for anyone here. I'm on the Lords errand.) 
I'm so happy you sold the house! That is awsome! I'm also so happy the boy's are doing good. I love every single one of you! Mckenna, i need another picture. I love you all so much.

I do have a car and it is nice. I can't drive it cause i'm not senior comp. but thats ok. I love being co-pilot. We rode our bikes once and i didn't like it much I felt like an idiot so we wont be doing it again anytime soon. This gospel is true! I love it with all my heart and am giving up everything for it. Be obedient! I love you all and miss you like crazy!
your sister missionary~

P.S. The Coffman's are so cute. I got there package today and i hope the apples are still good, but it was a really sweet thought! I love them to death and the house looks amazing so tell them thanks for everything they have sent me. They are like family so i need to write them back. I'm so happy for them!

I love you like crazy and am trying hard to make the family and my father in Heaven proud. My name tag reminds me of that every day. I love you!

Your missionary!

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