August 30, 2010

My Dear family! August 30, 2010

My Dear family!

Can I say that I love Christopher!!!! He is a Stud!! All of my brothers are. I'm so happy that everyone is doing so well. Yes I got Daniels picture. It was amazing! It's up on my wall with McKenna's drawings. It was so good. I can't believe he can draw that well and he is in a musical!!! Oh my Gosh! So Stinkin Cute! Kellin in football? Holy Cow~ everyone is going to be so big when I get back!  Wow you only have four kids at home crazy. (oh, side note, I want to do EFY the summer that I come home. I was just thinking about that today. That would be so fun! But you have to have paper work turned in by the fall.. So I was wondering if you could look into that for me because I can't. Thank you! Maybe in Idaho or Utah)

I loved the package! OH my gosh I taped me opening that package. It was so amazing! My companions had made it an amazing day for me by decorating the entire apt., thanks to the Coffman's it was amazing! I love it so much and I got to listen to the family sing happy birthday! While I was eating crepes! Then the Elders surprised me and took me out to eat lunch while wearing hats and blowing on noise makers. Then the office called and sang me happy birthday. I just felt special all day long. It was just so amazing and you did not crash and burn on clothes last time. I wear them all the time. I just said they were a little long. Some of them are just too hot to wear right now so I'll have to wait but they are cute. I'm sorry if I made you feel like you failed in that department, you didn't.

But the package made me cry! I loved it so much. The book was probably the best present that you could have ever given me. It was so amazing! I loved it so much! Thank you!!!!! I loved all the other stuff too. I can't believe the work that must have taken for everyone to write in it.
I gave a talk on Sunday about testimonies so it was totally amazing to get that and then use it to empower me in my talk and in this work. I loved it!!!!!

Not much has gone on this week investigator wise. One of the guys in our district went home because it was too hard and it about killed me! I thought of Jason and I lost it. There was so many things that I wanted to say to him and all I could do was cry. He apologized for not being a good missionary and I told him he was a good missionary and that we needed him. Satan has really worked hard on him and he has only been out almost two transfers. I hated it and I hate Satan!!! If he can just help people to forget who they are, they lose this great battle that we are fighting. When he told us he was leaving it felt like someone died. I was so sorry for him and that he couldn't see how much God needs him here. I don't want any of the boys ever thinking that they can come out on a mission knowing if it gets too hard that they can come home. That is not ok. This work is not about them but it's much more than that and goes above and beyond anything that they can comprehend. He left on Tuesday and his comp was transferred out. Then he called us on Saturday to say goodbye before his plane took off. We all took turns pleading that he stay and baring our testimonies of how much God needs him personally and how no one can take his place. (mean while since he left we had to take over that area along with ours and it was stressful, but we were seeing so many miracles in their area. we wanted him to experience them. so that made us sad.) On Sunday morning however we were a little late getting to church because we had to drive clear to the end of our area to try and get a gator to church (He wasn't home :( ) When we pulled up to the church there stood the elders. He didn't go home!!!! He changed his mind at the very last min. after talking to his comp from the MTC. I don't know what his MTC comp said but I was thankful for the Inspiration God gave him to get him to stay. I was so excited I could have peed my pants!! He said he is still taking it a day at a time but i don't care, he made the decision to stay and that is a start. We'll work with that. I hope he sees how great this work is and catches a glimpse of why he is needed here. We listened to a talk called "conversion of a catholic" with him. (The family needs to hear it; it was a talk that changed the way I looked at my mission.) I hoped it helped.

If anything this experience taught me how much I Love my Heavenly Father for sending me here. This work is so important and when God calls an Elder or a Sister to serve in whatever mission, he doesn't call them just because they need missionaries in that part of the world. God matches up there personalities, talents and experiences to match those that they will teach and bring unto the fold of God. God calls you~ I cannot express how important missionaries our in this great work. If God calls you, go. I guess I found that out the hard way by not listening the first time I knew I needed to go but I will forever be grateful for listening to that sweet spirit and finally making that decision. It has forever changed my life. I don't know who I'm suppose to find but I know I have been sent here to this place right now at this time to find them. I love my Savior with everything that I have and will give it all to know him. It is because of my love for the Savior that I'm here and obedience to God that I have stayed and pushed through, and nothing and no one can take away from the experiences that I have had and learned from and the people that I have met that have changed me for the good. I know that they were all heaven sent. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to serve.

I love you all so very much and am so thankful to be a part of our family. I really believe we chose each other and as I have gone through many experiences I see why. My family is my rock and my best friends. I don't know what I can do without you. I love you all so much. till next week.

With so much love!
Your sister Pedersen

President Berry~

This week has been good all things considering. Sister Baker was sick a lot this week so it made it a little harder but I’m glad that she is doing better and got the rest that she needed. The member work is going good and our ward mission leader is helping a lot with getting the members going on the mission work.

This Sunday all three of us had the opportunity to give a talk on missionary work and how much the members play a role in this great effort to build up God's kingdom. Sister Curly talked about the first vision, restoration and why that makes this church so different. Then I gave a talk on finding your own testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and becoming a light that will motivate you in sharing the gospel. Then Sister Baker taught about how their homes can become gospel sharing homes and what they can do to share the gospel. It was so nice to be able to bare testimony to the members of the ward about how important they are to us and how great this work is.

The third hour consisted of Relief Society and Priesthood, both English and Spanish. Bishop Ross taught about the spirituality of our ward and how it has sort of diminished and what we can do to build it back up. I really think these helped members to share their feelings. I think this Sunday was a very good step for the ward in bringing them back. It was a very nice bonding experience for everyone.

Our teaching pool is still small and we are working to build it up as much as we can but people seemed to be very flaky and they don’t keep their commitments. We go through a lot of people every week in order to find the elect and we are still on a search. But I have faith that God will provide as long as I’m doing everything that I can and am listening to the spirit.

My studies this week have been mostly review from Preach my Gospel but I love it more and more each time I read. I love reading the scriptures and doing the activities, although it takes a lot longer than skimming I’m really enjoying it. It makes my testimony grow every time I read the Bible because it completely backs up the Book of Mormon. I don’t know how people can say that it doesn't. It just makes me realize that people don’t read there bible as much as they say they do or else they would realize that this is God church. There is no other church that comes close to what Jesus Christ has set up when he was on the earth and we  know that because of the Bible. It just amazes me. I love this Gospel so much and am thankful everyday that I get to share my testimony with everyone that I see because I know that what we teach is the truth. This is God's church and we do have a prophet, President Monson and he is called of God. The Book of Mormon is scripture and it blesses my life everyday that I read from it. I'm so thankful that God has called me here so that I could be a part of this wonderful work in sharing the gospel. I would have never chosen it for myself but I’m glad that God know best and is control of my life. I have truly been blessed by following the spirit and this mission is perhaps one of the greatest blessings of them all.

Until next week~
Sister Pedersen

August 23, 2010

Happy Happy Birthday!!! August 23, 2010

I adore Christopher!!!!!! Oh my Gosh it is so crazy! The time is flying. I'll hit my half way point on September 27. Wait, ya oh my gosh! That can't be right! This is way weird and I'm turning 22. ahhhhh!

Mom you always know just what to say to make my week. I love hearing from you! Christopher is so right, writing the family and getting letters from you and the family is really a highlight. It's so funny seeing it from an "Elders" perspective. How fun that you get to see it from both sides at the same time but at different stages. SO fun!

Thank you for the information about Jeremy. I was so worried but I'm so excited that there getting married in the temple!!!!!! That has really made my week, but if you talk to him tell him I want an invitation if he can spare one and a letter telling me how it happened and how he proposed and the whole shubang. I just hate missing out on things like this so, that would help.. lol
This is a letter that I wrote to the president this week and last week's letter hasn't come back yet but oh well.

President Berry~

This week has gone very well. Although our Sunday wasn't as fruitful as we would have hoped, our member work is going very well. We are finding that if we start out soft but spiritually strong we have a lot more members willing to work with us because they see that we are not going to pounce on them.

We have had two dinner appointments this week that really helped us get into their homes. We received one referral from a younger couple in our ward and they were super excited to help. Unfortunately the wife has to work so they couldn't make it but I felt that we gained a trust in going over and following up right away. This may be a slower start but what a blessing it has already been to work with the members.

Our ward mission leader is fantastic! He is doing all he can to help and he really is pushing everyone else to get moving and help in this work of building up the kingdom of God. When we start with helping their testimony to grow and bring them to Christ they can't help but bring everyone they love with them. I know that this is kind of a "Duh" moment but I guess it just clicked this week with me. I know that there is a lot of kinks to work out but I can feel that change already and am excited for the change in our ward and in our mission and definitely in me. I love this work!

My companions could not be any better for me. We have had a little more of a time crunch because there is three of us and because we are girls and talk quite a bit  we are working that through but wondering if maybe we could have a half hour more of companionship study in order for all of us to have a turn to share our ideas and concerns and what we have learned. If not that's ok, we'll figure something out.

Until next week~
Sister Pedersen~

Life is going good here in Jacksonville Florida and I'm loving every min. of it and trying to hold on to the time. Sister Baker has two months left, sister Curly has less than 8 months left and I have 11 months.

I have this picture in my head of our companionship. We are in this canoe going down this river and it is really calm and quiet and then we see the rapids coming up and were going down and having a blast when we see up ahead that there is this huge drop off coming up and I'm in the front rowing like crazy trying to get to it, sister curly is sitting in the middle uneasy holding on to the sides of the canoe trying to keep herself calm and sister Baker is faced the other direction screaming for her life trying to paddle with her arms and seeing that it's making no difference because it's all coming up way too fast. It's like that with your mission. In the beginning you start off by just getting use to the water (the mission) and the feel of your life jacket (skirt and tag) and your making your way through using your paddles to really start moving (scriptures PMG, Doctrine) then come the rapids and your getting the hang of it and having a blast and just plowing through it all (first 6 months) Then you come to a halt where you see that nothing is really ahead and you relax and you have time to take in the scenery and start to really see where you're at and what needs to be fixed or improved (next 6 months) then you see more rapids coming up and you ride them and have a fun cause now you know what you're doing and it's more fun now than ever before but all of the sudden you see a drop off and you realize your going way to fast to stop or turn around and then you find yourself screaming for your life, paddling backwards in hopes you can delay just a bit longer (last 6 months) but before you know it, you're dead. (Metaphorically speaking of course) lol It's so true! Thought you would enjoy that lol.

Well I love you all and thank you ahead of time for the package Shanna said you sent. I love it!!!! ;) I don't know what is in it, but I love it!

Love your Sister Pedersen!

August 18, 2010

I love my companions!! August 16, 2010

So are teaching pool is still really small but with the three of us working together I'm hoping it will triple. We have some investigators that will be potentially sweet. I'm hoping for a lot more. We are working a lot with members and although it is slower that I'm use to, I'm loving it. Our members are amazing and I'm so surprised about how many I didn't know and still don't know because they are in different classes. It makes it hard to get to know the members when the only chance you have to get to know them is through relief society, in sacrament meeting you don't get to know people because everyone come 20 min. late. no joke and then we teach gospel principles and only new members or our gators come to that so relief society is our saving grace but even then we only have about 1/4 of the woman there. Dinners are helping a lot with that and the elders are helping us to get to know the brethren in the ward, so it's a slow process that is going to take off and fly! I'm excited for when i get to see that day. We help out with ward activities like the pioneers activity last Saturday was a blast, A woman in our ward made us all costumes and I felt like I was in Nauvoo again. I loved it. We had a program that we did and me and another elder played/ read a part in someone's life story to explain what they went through. It was so neat. (I don't think I have ever said that word before. The mission is making me weird. lol)

I love my companions! We are working together really well and have come to find that the people who have a hard time in a three companionship is because they don't know how to let things go. One things that i am having a hard time with is giving both of them the attention and love and time that they deserve. I'm finding it hard not favoring one more than the other but i know once i do that is where the tension will start. I do love both of them; I just get along more with one than the other. We laugh all the time. That is the key to this companionship. Laugh, have fun, be a duck, set goals, and work as a team with everyone pulling each others and their own weight. This transfer is going to be so good. I'm so excited! I have so much to learn from both of them! They have both been out way long. Sister Baker has only one more transfer after this one before she goes home and sister curly (who we call curls) has been out a year. I can learn so much from them. I am already learning a lot. Sister Baker is always so positive and sister curly studies the scriptures more than any comp I have had. They are both so amazing. I'm going to try and send you pictures but they say they don't work here so sorry if it doesn't work.

Oh and where is Christopher's letter? I guess you'll have to send me two next week. Oh and guess who's birthday is coming up...... mine!! Crazy! Just think I'll be home for my next birthday_ that's weird but I'm going to be 22!!! That is strange... I'm getting lol I love you all so much!

Until next letter~ love you
Love your sister missionary

P.S. the quote was perfect you always know what to send me, thank you!

August 10, 2010

Crazy Week!!! August 9, 2010

So we are doing letters later today because we decided to take a nap. Talk about a crazy week and an emotional rollercoaster! My comp gets transferred, I get put into a three sum, one of my past zone leaders becomes AP! (Which I totally called by the way) I see MASON!, My Mission President comes to speak at our ward and comes to our missionary meeting and I have to teach last min. and president and his wife decide to join. All in one week~ so I'm kind of tired. Oh and all of our teaching pool has been dropped.. lol need I say… CRAZY!!~

Thank you so much for everyone's letters. I will write to Christopher and Angelina but I didn't get a letter from Nicole. I was going to ask you about her by the way.
Seeing Mason was insane!!!!! It took everything in me not to hug him and jump up and down screaming like a little girl. (I did that inside before he came to the door.. lol) I haven't had a super good week either and it put back into perspective for me that I don't want to be the same when I get home. It's so funny because God knows what I need and where most missionaries would get trunky (or depressed) from seeing a best friend from home, It fired me up to go out and do more work. It made me realize that I don't have much time left and that I'm not ready to go back home and further more when I do go back home, I will NOT be the same. (I also might be a little fatter now that people can feed us. Hope you still love me when I get back.. lol)

It was so funny because I was sitting on the couch at my ward mission leaders home (mark Harrington) and his wife who reminds me of Rachael, (makes me feel at home) was sitting and chatting with us mentioning that she met someone who knew me. We continued talking and I was introducing my new comps. Waiting for Brother Harrington to get home so that we could go over the people we are teaching. When Stephanie was like "crap, can I use your phone I have to call a guy that is suppose to come over and cancel our appt. now that your here" I said ok and then she's like wait your phone can't call long distance can it. I said no and then she was like "well we could wait for mark to get home so I can call him because I left my phone at my mom's" I said ok then she says " oh crap he's already here, then I see a BMW pull up and I was like, "wait, who knows me?" She said this guy selling living scriptures or something." Inside my head I'm thinking long distance phone call, BMW and he knows me? Then she says like a Mason or something? I was like WHAT!? I stood up freaking out to get his last name. She was like " his card says mason grow?" I was like "you have got to be kidding me and I screamed like a little girl jumping up and down. While everyone else is saying, "what is going on" I run outside and there is mason with his little duffle bag and his BMW with the biggest grin on his face. He was like "what are you doing here?" I told him he was in my area, "What are you doing here?" It took everything not to hug him but instead I shook his hand and said "I'm a missionary" lol~ that is all I could say. It was the weirdest thing. He was like I know! Weird!~ It was so cool to see him! I gave him a bunch of names of people in the wards with kids he could sell to. I hope it works. So that was one adventure.

Prior to this happening, the day before I was called to be the senior comp of a three sum. I was so worried because the last three sum sisters here crashed and burned. I had a feeling who my comps would be in the first place and I knew I would be in a three sum so I had three days to prepare my mind for it. It is actually awesome! It is like one big slumber party. My new comps are both from Utah and one is Sister Baker who came out with Sister Mitchell, so needless to say she will probably die here and she is awesome; Very friendly and outgoing, my next comp is Sister Curly. She is a little more reserved. She likes to keep to herself but once I get her talking we're good. Her family works on a bee farm so she is obsessed with honey. I actually knew and served with her before. She was in my 1st district in Kingsland. So I was nervous but it's going to be good.

This week again has been slow but we are going to pick up the pace with member work and get that going. It's been hard to battle that lion because I went from just all tracting to member work and that takes some readjusting. I love the members and we have to start slow but it will build. I think it is slow because we need to build back up the faith and trust in the members. We have to start with member as small as getting them to read in their home first before we can implement a plan of missionary work. I have a feeling that I'm going to be planting a lot a seeds the rest of my mission but I hope and pray to harvest a lot too. It's all in Gods timing and determinate on my work ethic, faith and prayers. I have a goal and I will accomplish it. I will baptize a family to the temple. I know that that can and will happen. I want to see all of my investigators go through the temple. That would be so amazing! I love this work. I echo what Christopher said; this work is a miracle, everything is. I love it!

Thank you so much for the letters mom and dad you have no idea how much the things you sent me just this week were an answer to my prayers. I love you both so much and I would not be here right now if it were not for your guidance to find who I needed to be. I love you both so much and the entire family! Tell the family and G-mas that I love them and give both grandparents a hug and a kiss from me, and tell grandma p that I got her letters and will write back soon~

With love and so many prayers~

Love your sister missionary
Sister Pedersen

August 2, 2010

A Dog!!! August 1, 2010

Oh man you can't let mom get rid of the dog! I was going to buy one when I got home and now I don’t have to! Dogs are everywhere here and I love it! It makes me want one more and more. Please mom let the dog stay!!!! The boys need a dog. I have been saying this for years have I not? And the next door neighbor killed mine so we have to have another one plus the boys will have the responsibility and give them something to do. Oh man and he is inside! I LOVE IT Mom we have to keep him! I love him already!

Ok so I’m staying in Orange Park but my companion is being transferred! I don’t know what I’m going to do. I still don’t know the area and I might be put into a three sum. The last three sum we had the girls killed each other seriously! It was really bad so I’m hoping everything will be just fine and it will end up being one big slumber party. My companion that I have now Is the one that was in a three sum so maybe I’ll get some advice from her. I have to do a lot of damage control with her because she has been torn from the last transfer and the ones before but she is all good now. Way more outgoing and talkative and all I did was love her. Love is really the key to everything!

This week has probably been one of my hardest weeks. It has been really crazy and we don’t have a teaching pool anymore because we had to drop them all because they are all lame. It makes me really sad because Marc was suppose to get baptized this Sunday and then dropped off the face of the earth. We can't get a hold of him ever. We stopped by 4 times on Sunday and called and left messages and nothing! Oh man. He is ready though so if anyone talks to him or if God wants us to go back we will because he needs this so much! It just makes me sad. Oh well. So last week was weird but this week will be so much better. I just know it and then I’ll write and tell you who my new companion or companions are. It is going to be so good.

We went to the beach today for our p-day and it was so amazing! I wanted to swim in it because it is so warm but I’m ok with just getting my feet wet. We watched the sun come up. We left really early in the morning to see it and don’t worry we got permission to go and a member to drive us so it was a blast. Then we went out to breakfast and Elder Izatt who leaves on Wednesday paid for all our districts breakfast because he has like $200 dollars on his pross card. He is really sweet. I'm going to miss him. Oh and everyone else is staying here with me, Oh but elder Carty who is one of my favorites (he's Spanish speaking) he just found out he was being transferred today, I guess they are still readjusting the Spanish. This next transfer will be interesting. We shall see.

I miss dancing a lot! I danced a little on the beach today with my comp. but it wasn't the same. When i get home I’m going to go crazy with dance. lol I can't believe they came to Medford! Oh man that would have been so amazing! I'm glad you took grandma. Then she can see what I do. It's weird the things you miss when you are out here. The smell of home, clean good fresh tasting water, hugs, dancing, music and my loud, crazy family. I love you all so much! Thank you for all you support and prayers. I'm still loving it here in Florida!

Your sister missionary~
Sister Pedersen

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