December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!! I love Skype! Dec. 27, 2010

It was so fun to be able to see and talk to the family. I could not stop smiling and giggling. I love my family so much. I know that I was sent into this family for a reason. There are so many things about my family that I have come to love and adore even more now that I’ve been on a mission, but number one is how much our home is centered on the gospel and the teachings of Jesus Christ. We were not perfect, but I do see our family striving to be the best, starting with the change of our nightly team chant when I was young, It went from don’t let the bed bugs bite to the Pedersen’s choose the right and I think in that moment we really set the tone on how our home was to be like. I'm grateful for countless Family home evenings, lessons, Sundays, family councils and father interviews, talks with Mom and Dad one on one. Date nights with Mom and Dad and the time spent with family on numerous family vacations away from the world and wrapped up in our own family. When I mean wrapped up, I think of the countless memories where we are crammed into a moterhome on our way to the next adventure with nothing to fill the time but conversations of life, relationships and God. I have so many memories to choose from and this Christmas was just one of them.
I truly missed the family this Christmas and felt a lot like Christopher, in feeling I was going to cry the whole time, but when It came down to it, I knew this is where I wanted to be. This is where my love has been. A missionary truly is a person who leaves there family for a time so that others can be together with there's for eternity. I love that plaque you sent me. We are creating bonds like the ones I have with the family. I truly have felt that as we have spent time with families in the ward. They are not all members here and mostly we have part member homes or less-active spouses so it is a lot of work on our hands, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have found such a great love for the families here. I just can't believe the love and compassion they have shown toward us.
I feel unworthy and weak sometimes in the things that I know and the things that I receive because I want to be so much more than I am and to give so much more than I have but I know I can accomplish it through Jesus Christ because as I look to him for my example I learn so much more and it pushes me to become more and give more. I know this Gospel teaches truth and there is nothing better than that. God is real and he knows me by name. He knows my life story and my life lessons and every once in awhile he reminds me of what I have learned by testing that knowledge because he loves me. I love him with all of my heart. When I talk with my Heavenly Father I feel he is listening. I talk with him and he listens with love because that is what I feel on the other end. It's something I cannot explain but I know everyone can feel if they just kneel and listen for the feeling.
Oh man I know I don’t have a whole lot of time left and sometimes I catch myself worrying about coming home and what I will do and then I think, who got me here? God, what has kept me here? God, who has provided my way? God. When I look at it, I know what life will hold for me; happiness, because I know I will never turn away from this gospel, and that brings lasting happiness and everything else I can worry about later. God knows and that is enough for me. A promise was made to us by our mission president, President Barry who I have come to love and admire more than I ever thought I would. He and his wife sister Barry are truly inspired of God and they have become like my parents. They have such a love about them that can't be explained but felt every moment of every day. He promised to us that the missionaries that serve obediently and give there all to God will never leave the church and that our converts will become strong members of the church. I live for that promise, not for me but for my future family and for the families of my converts. I love them all so much. I was praying for them individually the other night, because I worry about them and I want to know what is happening, but I felt a great love for them. It is the best feeling you will ever feel.
I love my mission! Not for the name tag, or the area, or the experiences I’ve gained which have changed my view and belief more than words can say, but it is the people that have changed my life. The people make all the difference. I LOVE the people here. Oh man. How great is my life right now? I just can't believe sometimes the blessing that lay before me every day. I have come to realize that I have always wanted to serve a mission, I just never knew it. What a blessing it has been.

Oh my goodness! Thank you for the pictures! Who's babies are all these? Just kidding I know who's they are, it's just crazy! They are all so old. Brandon is huge! The gifts that you made were awesome and what fun new ideas. The girls look amazing! So stinkin cute. Man, I just love Christmas! Tell everyone that I love them so much! I love you family!

Love you!
~your Sister Pedersen~

December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!!! Five days...Dec.19, 2010

Oh my goodness! I could pee my pants with excitement! Actually I think I just might cry the whole time I'm on the phone, so be prepared! Holy packages! I felt so spoiled! I opened the package but not the gifts. I'm enjoying my little goodies. I was looking forward to the meat and the holiday roll, My two favorite things about Christmas, along with egg nog. Oh my goodness I'm so jealous that Christopher got to watch it's a wonderful life! I have been craving to watch that movie. We did a service project and wrapped over 100 gifts for the primary and we sat in silence. I wanted to blare Christmas music and put on a Christmas movie. It reminded me of home. There Christmas party was sweet. They don't decorate but wow do they eat... I'm telling you, at the rate I'm going you won't recognize me when I get back. lol I'm trying to control portions but they don't stop feeding you, and everything is covered in butter and oil and if not pure sugar. They had this lemon something or other that is made of butter, sugar and vanilla and it was to die for but I only had a bit and thank heavens I did. I'm loving the sticks, it's hard to find people but since when has missionary work been easy..., but I love the people!

The Christmas devotional/mission conference was sweet. We were taught and inspired to go and teach. Then we had the talent show. I was so sick but I put on a happy face and sang with sister hafslund and we did great. Then Santa came out right after, so it was perfect. I was so nervous. I hate singing when I'm nervous but I got it on tape and it doesn't sound super good because my camera is slowly dying but oh well. I'm sending the family a package with the pictures. It should be going out today or else it won't get there in time, so we'll see.

Oh I'm so excited! This is going to be so fun. I'm writing my questions as they come. I hope you're doing the same. I'm working hard and focusing on the work even though I'm excited to talk to you all. I'll call maybe at 1. We'll see about the members. I'll probably call from the cell first then call back on member phone. Pray for the Dyess family. The parent's Sissy and Todd need to get married or need to move away from each other and then they all can be baptized. They have been taught all the lessons but things keep coming up that take them away from coming to church and being baptized. Pray that they will find strength to endure and know what is right and that they will be baptized this coming Sunday, if it be God's will. They need this gospel so bad. I know it will change their life and I know it has already made an impact. Pray for them please.

I love you all!!!!

Talk to you in five days~ Your forever favorite sister Missionary

December 13, 2010

Transferred to Hilliard December 13, 2010

Ok first Of all! Holy cow! I Feel like I haven't talk to you in weeks! My e-mail was flooded with e-mails. it was sweet! 14 e-mails! lol. Maybe less. lol

Anyways, If you haven't noticed, I have been transferred to Hilliard Florida. It is way north. We also cover parts of Georgia. It is so southern and the people are so sweet but very country. They all have thick southern accents and yesterday we got into a discussion of black and whites. Man you would have thought that would have gone away by now. It was weird. But the spirit fixed it and we shared our testimonies and it was dissolved. I felt kind of offended because black people are my favorite, lol but I just said what I feel and we moved on. This town is so small that it only has one stop light in the whole county. lol. Everyone gives directions from that light. lol it's totally like that Carrie Underwood song. I can't remember how it goes but she talks about her small town with one light. It's like that here. We have to drive about 30 to 45 min. to get to a grocery store. lol I'm talking real small home town. What is funny is that although it's small there are over a hundred church bases here and everyone is very religious and hard headed, so most of our baptisms will come from members. We have a small branch of about 30 or more that come, but it could be a ward if the 120 less actives came to church. We do a lot of less-active work here. The branch is amazing and I love them already! They are loud and family centered and everyone is related to everyone. lol They are just perfect. As soon as I knew I was being transferred I wanted to go to this county. As soon as I saw that sister Christensen was leaving home and her area was opening up and I met her trainee, I knew I was going there. So my new Companion is Sister Haflund and she is so cute! She is a red head from Utah~ YA I know I get another one, her and sister Mitchell are actually a lot alike in some ways. So I'm follow-up training her. This will be her second transfer. She is an only child and sings so well! It is amazing and she is an actress and has done theater all her life so we get along well, singing at the top of our lungs. We are actually going to sing together at the Christmas party. She wasn't invited to sing and I was and so I just called and asked if she could sings with me and they said yes. We really don't have time to put together that song you sent me mom and plus we would need background music so we just pick "Santa clause is coming to town." It is going to be super cute, and it totally fits because Santa will come out right after we sing. It's going to be a blast and we can have fun with it, without any stress of memorizing words and we are going to jazz it up and someone already had background music to it, so it was perfect. We might dress up as elves. lol we'll see. Let's see, there isn't really anything else to say. I'm still getting to know the area but this place is really spread out so we have to drive from house to house instead of walking, which I don't mind because it's freezing here! 20 degrees! What! I know we have been breaking records all over the place; SO I don't mind being in a warm car.

Daddy thank you so much for your letter that you sent me and Christopher. It really helped me. I cried and then laughed so hard when you talked about people dropping their shovels for fast food. lol I don't know If I could use that analogy here, lol but it works. In fact it was perfect for me. I guess I was a little sad but I do feel the blessings from heaven and I'm so excited for this new area. The members are so sweet so I know we can use them to progress the work even further. We will fill the chapel, instead of just the front row. lol I'm way excited!~ Thank you mom for always writing to me too. I love hearing from you and you always remind me of who I am. My parents and family are my strength and I love hearing from them.

We are always in short supply on numbers so that we can more easily rely on the lord and see his hand in everything he does for us; that I know to be true. I have felt it all my life and I also have felt his strength all my life. I would not be who I am today if God wouldn't have melted and molded me into what I need to be. I guess all of those things give way to other elements, where I think it would be appropriate for me to say God broke me to mold me because I would not give because of my stubbornness, until I was broken and then turned to him. Now I offer him my heart and there is no more breaking but now molding. I think that is what has been the difference in my mission. I hope that makes sense.

I can't believe all the changes the house is going through? I will have a room when I get home! I was just telling someone, I wouldn't have a room so I guess I'll have to go straight to school when I get home. lol Well I guess I can linger a bit now. lol How fun! So what will you do with dad music equipment now? Downstairs? Oh my goodness I laughed so hard when you said Griswold Christmas. That is so dad! I love it. Dad is always so optimistic and has so many great things inside his head to do, and then when it doesn't fit, he get's a little mad well not mad so much anymore, but then he fixes it and moves on to more improvements. lol so funny. I think the music with the light is a great Idea. How fun. Dad is really creative!

Happy Birthday Kellin my love!!! I'm sending a family Christmas gift and then one for Kellin. SO kids do not get jealous, it's for his birthday. Speaking of presents, I haven't got your second one yet, but I'm sure if it got to my old area, sister cutler will bring it to conference.

I'm so excited for Christmas! Where I'll be for Christmas doesn't get service so I have to call on their phone. So I guess if Christopher is calling at 9 so will I. We are on the same time zone. I can't give you our number but tell me what number you want me to call and I will. Just let me know how it will work. I wonder if I call one phone and Christopher another and put on speaker, we can still hear each other. I can only talk for 30-45 min. 1hour at the most. So write down questions so there is no wasted time. I'm so excited!!!!!! So what does it mean when Christopher said he is in charge of a sector? Like a district leader and is his companion new? Is he training? I'm missing info here. lol

Kenny is doing so awesome!!!!! I'm so proud of him and I can't wait to talk to him and everyone! lol I listen to the last tape you sent me and I loved it. It was so stinkin cute! So awesome with songs and Daniel being funny and dad is so funny, I forgot how funny. lol and mom singing. Oh I can listen to any music that is uplifting and that bring my thoughts to Christ, so I have been listening to mom sing and it makes me miss her. It's so fun to be able to listen to normal church music but it made me appreciate mo tab.

Well I love you all so much and I'll talk to you soon! Let me know on money anything you want me to answer or anything else. It will be the last letter before we talk!!!! ahhhhh!!! So happy!~ I love the family~

Your forever daughter
Your sister missionary~ Sister Pedersen~

December 6, 2010

No Letters? December 6, 2010

So sad, no letters today.... That's ok I guess. (She did end up getting them, we were just a couple minutes behind her) I know everyone is busy with Christmas and everything going on. I feel like that this week too. I think it's because of Transfers. We get calls tonight to see if I stay or if I go. This week has been a little harder. We have either dropped our investigators because they are not progressing or they have dropped us because they are no longer interested. It has been a little sad but I have full faith and trust in my Heavenly Father that everything will work out as long as I'm giving it my all and going forth in faith. God will provide.

This experience here has been so amazing. It's funny how we are called to teach others to come unto Christ and by doing so we are changed through teaching them. I have learned so much about myself and about the Gospel and how I can teach in simplicity to help my investigators see what they are missing. Many people search for the Gospel all their lives and never know what they are searching for, they just know that there is a void and they know not how to fill it because they know not where to find the filling. We are the filling. Lol makes me think of doughnuts, but it's true. A in my opinion a doughnut is not complete without raspberry filling. I love this work with all my heart. As I come up to my year mark it forces me to take a look back into my mission and see where I have changed but also see where there is much room for improvement. I'm constantly in the fire of change and truly I love it. It is hard but I wouldn't want it any other way. It' wouldn't be worth it if it wasn't hard. Plus nothing is impossible with God. I have come to know that very strongly these last three months. He is my strength in everything I do. Without him I can only accomplish so little, if not anything. I love my savior so much. I have only changed because he has made it possible for me to do so by his precious gift of the atonement. I know this church is true, with my whole heart! It fills me and my cup continues to run over with blessings that I feel I do not deserve but am truly grateful everyday for; our Family being one of the biggest ones on a very long list.

I love our family so much. Shanna sent me pictures of the family when you went to visit her in Idaho. The boys are huge and McKenna is getting so big. The family is so beautiful and Adam fit's in there as if he was always meant to be there. Shanna and Adam look so happy and man has Shanna and you lost weight. Holy thin cow! Well I know this letter is short but I'll get to talk to you all soon on the phone so prepare some questions. You said you forgot to write them all down last time so you all should do that .

Oh I got your package and it is so stinkin cute! I opened the Pringles today. I Love the little note that came with them. I stopped reading them because it gave the present away. lol I love the little tree; So cute. I also tried on the shoes and wore them for a half hour before they tore up the back of my heels and they were blistered and bleeding. Not pretty, so I know how much you love them so I think I'm going to send them back to you so you can have them. My feet have rejected them. lol. I'll have to find some shoes here with a low back on them. Thank you for sending them though.
I love you all so much and am excited to talk to you soon!
Love you~ your Sister Missionary

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