July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

Ok Ok enough of that~ This week has not been super exciting. We have been working with members and doing a lot of less-active work. I'm still trying to figure out how to do that because our mission used to be anti-member work because the members thought we were going to fast so we left them out all together unless they were willing to go the speed that we were going. Now that we have a new President we are working ourselves back into the wards. This is going to be amazing and we will baptise a lot this way but I feel awkward. I have never once used members in our missionary work before where I have served, but we are starting now and this is the perfect ward  to do it in. This ward is amazing and we have strong members, not a lot seeing as how over half the ward is less active but the ones that have stayed are tuff as nails and they will be a great asset to this work. I'm excited for the challege and look forward to the time where it will be a natural flow to work with the members. I got a call from the assistants this morning and usually when they call you it is not a good thing or they want to go on a trade or see what is wrong with you, so I kind of freaked out, but on the other end was Elder Maxwell congratulating me and my comp. on baptizing. Orange Park has not seen baptisms since I think January or February. I was so shocked. Sister Waddups who has become one of my favorites and I sat on the bed with the silliest smiles on our faces. He asked me how I did it and honestly I don’t know because I didn’t do anything. I got up on time, we get out and stay out and work till it's time to come home. Elder Maxwell seemed shocked. I think he was expecting a better answer or a method that I used. I told him "prayer, faith and work." lol he said, “huh, well congrats keep doing good things.” lol. Oh man I love the Lord with all my heart and truly I had nothing to do with it, it was all in the lords timing, I just had a new outlook because I have never been here plus with faith in the Lord, anything and everything is possible. I love this work with all my heart and I'm sorry this is short but this week is the last week before we get transfer calls so we will see if I’m safe or not. We might have a baptism this weekend so pray for Marc so he'll get baptized; he needs it so badly. So next week’s letter will either be really exciting or really depressing lol. Either way it will be good. Love this work!!!!!

Love you so much!!!!!!

Love your sister missionary

July 19, 2010

Success!!! July 19, 2010

Mom I love you so much. You have no idea how much that has made my day. The baptisms went through and they were beautiful. Alice wasn't going to go through with it because her son was in bad health but through a lot of prayer and love she did. Vincent was so cute, he had to be dunked 4 times but he was laughing the whole time. I guess it takes four times to wash all those sins away. Lol, he is so cute. He put his hands on his head when they went to confirm him. lol he doesn't speak much English so that is how we would show him what receiving the holy ghost would be like and then when he sat in the chair he put his hands on his head and said, ok I'm ready. lol so cute!!! They explained to him and I recorded the blessing and it was amazing. Just beautiful and everything he needed to hear. He was promised a job if he continued to do what was right. The person giving the blessing didn't know he didn't have a job. It was so amazing! God truly knows his children.
Alice Cried through her entire baptism and she loved it. I love her so much. She said that she was so happy that she did it. They were both small baptisms but the spirit filled every empty seat. They were beautiful. I'm so blessed to be a missionary.

Kenny I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought about you a lot today; this morning actually. I can't wait till I come home and have time to spend with just you and me and teach you everything I have learned before you go out on your mission. You have no idea how proud I am of you. I love you more than life itself. You have been preparing for EFF and I know you will find amazing experiences there.

I had a horrible dream that my mission had ended and that the entire family came to pick me up here and we went out to eat at a restaurant. The waitress asked me what the special occasion was and i said, "well I'm a missionary from the...." and as I went to point at my name tag (like I usually do to explain the church, my name tag was not there.) Then I explained to her, "well I used to be a missionary." The worst feeling sunk into my soul and for a moment I felt what it will be like not to be a missionary anymore. In the dream I started to cry and Dad held me and you leaned on me and told the waitress to bring some waters. I did not like that dream at all!!!!! I love being a missionary and I cannot waste a moment of it! I don't ever want to stop being a missionary and I'm so glad that I have a year left but at the same time so few moments. I love it here! Tell everyone and there dog that I love them and hug and kiss the kids and Dad for me.
~love your sister missionary~

July 12, 2010

Dear Dad July 12, 2010

So mom didn't write this week but I'm thinking it's because she had a really hard time with Christopher being gone. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud in the library about you crying in toy story 3. I'm still laughing but that's probably because i know how much the family is going to miss him and how hard it will be without him, but I also know that he didn't die... lol. He will be the best missionary that I can think of. He is already ten thousand steps further than any of the other guys. He is so mature for his age and he truly wants to be there and serve God. I know that he is having a hard time and is staying positive and with that attitude he will accomplish so many things, and God will bless him for that. I love him so much. He will be just Fine and I'll be home in a year and before you know it Christopher will be home and Kenny will be off and the cycle continues. lol. It's a Good cycle. Now we just need to prepare Kenny.

So my comps name is Maren Waddoups and she is from Washington. She is opening up a lot. I found that the reason why she was super quiet at first is because she had a lot of comps that kind of pushed her over and never let her talk or be herself and they yelled at her! They were stupid. So we are getting a long great. She is so stinkin cute. We are working a lot on her talking louder so that people can hear her but as far as everything else.. She is an amazing teacher and knows what to say and how to teach. She just needs to have more confidence in that.

So usually when I don't write home about the people I'm teaching it's because were not teaching anyone. :(. But I'm happy to say that I do have people to talk about!! First of all his name is Vincent Dorcent and he is 58 and he is from Haiti and speaks Haitian, So we met him once and taught him a bit and then decided not to go back because he didn't seem interested but then when we were tracting an apt. complex when we ran into some young boys who said they wanted to change and be baptized but they didn't live there so we went to teach them at the address they gave us and what do you know, It was Vincent's home. The boys were his nephews but the man that answered their door was there grandpa who only speaks Haitian so he went and got the boy's father that lived there and we taught him but he wasn't interested so we told him that we would come later to talk to the boys. When we came back we met the oldest brother who then got Vincent for us to talk to. Oh man and then when we were talking to Vincent and another boy came out I hadn't met. It was like a zoo! I asked Vincent (who was the only one interested in the gospel at that point) who else lived there and he said that his dad, brother and his four nephews lived there. So it's just a house of men. So we teach Vincent outside...

Vincent has had all the lessons already and is getting baptized next Sunday on the 18! We wanted to drop him but God had other plans. Oh and the only reason why we talked to Vincent in the first place was because we were doing less active work and a LA lived next door but it looked like they had moved so we went next door to ask if the neighbors knew anything about it, and the neighbor happened to be Vincent. He came to church yesterday and he said over and over, "I feel good, this feels like home." It was so amazing! He is so cute. Oh and I forgot to tell you the best part. He speaks French really well and my comp knows pretty good French so he speaks in broken English with French mixed and he reads the book of Mormon in French while I follow along in English and my comp follows along in French. It is so sweet!!! I like him so much and he loves the gospel. He always says "I feel good." "I want to go straight, straight to Jesus." In his broken English.

We also have a woman in her late 60's early 70's that we are teaching named Alice Kort. Her husband died about a year and a half ago and her son is a member and lives with her. He's in his 30's and his name is Chris. They had been teaching her before I got here but the first time I met her I told her she needed to be baptized because she knew it was true, but they had already asked her before and she got scared because that meant she had to give up her church where she and her husband went and that was really hard for her. She prayed about it and she said that God told her that she needed to stay at her church. I explained to her that she needed to keep praying because God wouldn't give her such a good feeling when coming to church with us (she has come to church 4-5 times and loves it.) and feel like she needed to be baptized and then have God tell her that she needed to stay with her church. So she says she would pray but didn't want lessons anymore.
Well we had promised her a long time ago that we would do service for her and you know me, I'm not going to break my promise so we showed up at her door and told her "we are here for service, where do you want us?" her face was priceless, but she started to laugh and put us to work. She has a lot of health problems as well as her son so they need a lot of help. So we helped out and then they made us dinner. It was awesome. While I was helping her make dinner she looks at me and says, "you know what I've been thinking...., I've been thinking about being baptized." It was so sweet. God directs us all the time in everything we do. God does work mighty miracles. We gave her a large print Book of Mormon and she can't put it down and she set her own baptismal date and she will be getting baptized on the 18th too, well probably on Saturday the 17th because of building problems but it is amazing!

So many miracles! God truly does prepare people and if you just believe and do the work, God will guide you in everything that you should do, God is amazing and I can feel his love for his children every time that I or my comp teaches. I love the plan of salvation because that is the purpose to life and gives the Atonement so much meaning and understanding because without the atonement, nothing happens. I love this Gospel so much with my whole heart and I don't want to do anything else! I love it! Any place, comp, ward, bishop, anywhere works. It's not anything else but you and if you figure that out and put God first and just stop worrying, God will show you the way. God always comes first and everything else falls into place. It was hard for me to believe that for awhile without anything happening but once I stopped trying to fix things and just went and trusted, everything clicked into place.

The Berry's are here and they are amazing! President Berry is like bishop Shumway in Ashland, but a little less funny and crazy but just really fun and loving. Sister Berry said she has only seen him get mad once in all the time that they have been married. That is good because we can be really irritating sometimes. She is amazing! She taught us half the time and then president Berry taught us the other half. They are both such good teachers and so humble. I love them a lot. They just fit this mission. Love them!

So the bishopric in my ward is amazing and totally crazy! They are all loud and kinda out there. It would be like having you, Shumway, Bennion and Dunn. So much fun and they let us baptize and do waterside confirmations which are a huge blessing for missionaries. My ward is sweet! We have about 5 handicap children in our ward so everyone is so humble and nice and just loving. They are patient and giving. I just love them. Their hearts are soft and willing to serve. I kind of had a bad attitude when I first came out here and I take it all back. I love it here. I now see why God wanted me here and what he needs me to learn from these people and their amazing families!

Ok sorry for the book but a lot needed to be said and you and Mom needed a pick me up so there it is. I'm doing fantastic and love mission life! So amazing!
I love you both so much! I'll be praying for you.. lol ;)
Love, your sister Pedersen

July 7, 2010

Letter to Christopher July 7, 2010

Christopher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I Love and adore you!!!

Number 1 advice Stop worrying! Worry is fear; fear is not of God and will get you nowhere. When you worry you allow Satan to come into your decisions. Don't let him. Talk yourself out of it. Tell yourself your fine and you will be. You've been on a plane before, compare it to that instead of leaving your family behind. Think you're on vacation. The MTC is just EFY on drugs. It's so amazing! You will love it. Don't worry about the mission field. You'll figure it out when you get there and every mission field is different so you can never prepare for it. Just experience the MTC. Mission life is amazing and you will love every minute of it, even the hard parts because you look back and you can see the change that has happened because of that hard time. Change is good and it's about time.
Say your goodbyes ahead of time so you get like 5 in before you leave and the finale goodbye is not so bad. You will get home sick a bit. I really have not been home sick since I have left but that because you still get to e-mail and you're with people all the time. You're never alone. You don't have to do this by yourself. Talk to your comp. He feels the same way. Be a leader with a humble heart willing to learn from the most humble of missionaries. I'm learning that the quiet ones are the most God like. Learn to love your comp. You're with this one for a very long time so deal with him. Even if he is not your favorite and he's kind of a slacker or goober, learn to like him and learn from him. Never put yourself above your comp. That is when you lose all that God has in store for you to learn. There is no music in the MTC so listen to church music a lot before you leave, if not you will have to delete your songs in your head as soon as they come and then you have nothing, but if you have church music you can listen to it inside your head and even sing it and not feel bad. You'll understand when you get there. Ummm~ Take notes and look at them daily. Notes taken, re-read and applied is a lesson learned from your Father in heaven directly for you.
I love you so much! I can't tell you how happy I am for you. If you have time to stop and think of home enough to get home sick, you're not using your time wisely. Dive into the language. Stand out and volunteer first. I know that's normally not like you but that is what God expects of you. You will learn faster that way. God knows your heart and all of your worries. If you look for his little mercies, you will find them. I don't have enough time to write you AHHHHH! But I love you so much. I'll be right next to you all along the way. You're not alone. I'll write you all the time! I love you! I can't wait to hear from you. This is not Goodbye but until next week. Love you!
~Your sister missionary~
You're so amazing! Don't fear but have faith! Ether 12

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