January 31, 2011

Preparing for a baptism.... January 31, 2011

Oh my gosh Arizona Seemed like a blast. I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to go to Arizona when I was older. I miss Tyler too. We have always got along and had so much fun together. I have written him three times and he is in trouble for only writing me twice. I'm still waiting on my third letter. Lol. I guess it will come when it comes.

That's funny that Brandon reminds you so much of Christopher. Shanna always thought that. I think that's why Shanna and Brandon got along so well.  I have no doubt in my mind that she will get pregnant soon. I heard a story the other day about this woman who tried to get pregnant for 5 years and finally at the end of the fifth year it happened. Thank heaven she is not like that yet. She needs to just de-stress and it will happen. It's like that old movie you and I watched with Doris Day. The older woman who finally got pregnant and she was so happy. The doctor's advice was to go on a cruise. relax and it happened. They will be just fine. I have all the faith in the world. They will be so cute when they do. That's crazy that Maren in pregnant. All my friends will be married and pregnant when I get home. Lol How fun!

I'm so excited for Nancy and Emma. Emma and McKenna's pictures were so cute! They are so cute together. They need to be together more. She needs a cousin on dad's side to play with. Maybe they can start writing letters to each other, like pen pals. What an amazing experience to be a part of. I love baptisms!

Oh, I'm sending a birthday gift home for Kellin and Kenny, nothing big. I will also try to send letters (Dad I sent a lot more picture than Christopher, he just sends them more frequent ;)

That Relief Society lesson sounded like it was perfect for Nancy.

Well things have been going really good here. We are just preparing for a baptism for the Toms this weekend. It is going to be great. Keep praying for them. Other than that nothing new is going on. Transfers aren't for another four weeks so we don't have to worry about that. We have a lot of work to do here before that happens. It's been really fun to be in this area. The ward is just fantastic! I love it! I truly believe as I commit myself to this work and give it all I got, I will see great miracles like I have seen but they will come tenfold. I will not have room enough to receive them. I know that, I feel it and I've prayed about it. This work is so exciting and I hope we can bring many more back to the fold, less-active or non-member.

I'm sorry this letter is so short but I hope everything is going great at home and I'm sending off the package today, I hope. It's hard when you have to travel so far to do anything. SO I hope I get it sent off. I love you all so much. Lot of kisses and hugs!

Your Sister Pedersen~

P.S. I'm not worried about EFY. It will work out. I hope. If not I'll do something else. I just really thought that would be something great to do.

January 24, 2011

Go out and offend Satan.... January 24, 2011

That is so exciting that she is getting baptized! She may have doubts now but all those will leave when she chooses what she wants and then doesn't turn back. I have complete faith that she will be fine and she'll go through with it. That is a great letter and set of examples of the lies that Satan has to try and drag us down. It's like Mom's lesson that she was talking to me about. Satan tries to trick people into thinking he has all the answers and the power and he is nothing. He makes me so mad sometimes! But I also have to realize that because of that, I know the feeling of the very best of what God has to offer. We must have Satan to fulfill Gods plan, he just drives me crazy sometimes. My companion is so cute she told me about a talk given in the MTC about a woman who said that we want to wake up every morning and have Satan be so worried knowing we are awake to ruin his day. She said we must wake up every morning and think. "What can I do to offend Satan today?" I thought that was so awesome. I could go out and work and be happy and share the truth and that would just make him so mad. She said we do this because we are a temple attending Satan offending people and we will not give up or let him have it. It puts a whole new perspective to my days. I just love that!

I'm so excited for Nancy and Emma! How exciting! This will be a day the family never forgets. Take lots of pictures! ~

Oh I wrote mark a 7 page letter of my testimony and asking him to do a couple things. I did it my third transfer and got nothing back. I don't know if he got offended by what I said because I can be blunt but I just explained to him the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and the blessing it would be to take his wife to the temple. It was a long time ago that I wrote him. Maybe ask him and see if it made it there. Tell him I'm sorry if it came off wrong, I really can't remember all that I said.

Thank you for your e-mails. I love getting them!

I love you so much!!!
Your forever sister Pedersen

I'm so excited for Nancy and Emma. How exciting! And Kenny and McKenna get to go? That is awesome. I bet Kenny is freaking out. How fun! You owe me a trip one day, unless I go there for my next internship than you can come and visit me. The last time I think I was In Arizona, I remember sleeping on a sleeping bag on the floor and I was like 7. All I can remember is vaulted ceilings, so it's about time to go back, I think. Lol we'll whenever I get back.... lol

I think for the baptism you should sing "I know my redeemer lives" by Hillary Weeks. I really like that song and it really brings the spirit. That's what I sang at the last baptism. It was cool. Even a primary song with harmony can be very powerful. We have come to find that out on my mission. It is simple to the point and full of spirit. I think whatever you two sing will be great.

Mom I'm sorry that your neck and arm freaked out at you. That is really strange but I think it's true, God loves broken things so that he can rebuild back to the way he wants them. He is the master carpenter and although sometimes we do a good job, God can do so much better.

This week has been good. Every week is good. I'm doing the Lords work. This week was extra special because Elder Oaks came to speak to us for about 4 hours and it was totally sweet. I was second row. Looking straight into his eyes. Man they all look old on T.V. but they move around like there in their 20's. He is so funny and crazy! He is a great man and apostle of God. He truly is. I have never felt so blessed and privileged. I have met two apostles now. Elder Nelson and now Elder Oaks. He talked a lot about how to gain personal revelation. We have everything else in line in this mission, but what the mission needs now is personal revelation to go out and apply it to the people in the individual areas. Dad was talking about stake presidents and quorum of the 70 coming and going on tradeoffs to challenge people to come back to church or be baptized. They are doing it here too and we really are starting to see a change. I really feel the preparation in the lords coming. I can feel it now more than ever and I want to be ready for it and more importantly to be a part of it, even when I get home. I never want this to go away and it won't as long as I remain true. Elder oaks said that they may take my calling away from me but they cannot take my covenants that I have made. The work it still the same no matter the calling. The calling is just the keys to be over the work but the real calling comes with the covenants we make at baptism and in the temples. I thought that was amazing. It really helped me to see the connection to make when I do go home. I talk of home I guess because I was so scared to go home. I still am a little and I know most of you say not to worry. But every missionary does because the best thing that they have ever done in their life is over and now they don't know what to do next. Elder Oaks answered my question. It is still the same. The keys are different. I can still be the best servant of the Lord as a primary teacher as I can as a missionary. It was so wonderful. I love my mission with my whole heart and although I love you family, I'm not eager to come home to you yet. I truly have left my family and everything else behind so that another family can be together forever with theirs. I'm so excited for the Toms! This will change their life forever and I am so blessed to be a part of it! I love you family so much!

Go out and offend Satan today!

Love you're Forever Sister

(Excerpt from letter to Pres. Barry)

....We have had a member lesson every week with them and I really can see a difference between Eddie and them. Converts need to have friends already set before they are members so that they are not so attached to their missionaries. They have fit really well. I can see just how blessed we are to be teaching them because God has been teaching them and preparing them long before we ever got to them and I can see it. It’s just so amazing.

I love sister Hafslund so much. We work well together but I know she still has a lot of insecurities about how she teaches. We practice and talk about how I can help her and I see so much improvement in her and even when I tell her she doesn’t see it. I don’t know how to make her see what a great teacher she is and give her the confidence to take the lead in lessons. I look back on how I was when I first came out and I had the same apprehensions but I guess it just comes through study and learning for herself. She is just so amazing and so happy and positive all the time. It really is inspiring to me and she motivates me by how positive she is about the work.

We have talked to our members about member lessons and getting rides to appointments and the response has been about half and half. I feel we use the same woman every time and it's the same women that are being stretched thin in this branch with two to four callings. How do we ask for help without being a burden to the branch? They are the only ones that will help.

I love this branch so much and they do so much for us. I have been truly humbled by the way the branch continues to give to those around us, regardless of how the people perceive us to be.

Till next week,

Lots of love,
~Sister Pedersen

January 18, 2011

I LOVE this WORK!! January 17, 2011

Random thoughts are first. ;)

I love you all so much. I feel like my heart is going to burst with all the gratitude I feel! Oh my gosh everything is amazing!!!! Ok Ok I need to settle down so I can write.

Oh my Gosh Dad I cried and laughed so hard about your letter you sent to me. As a kid, those were my favorite days as a family, when we would go over all of our memories. It was the best. Because we saw how happy we are and none of the contention matters. Oh I just have an over powering love for my family that just can't be put out. Man!!!! Ok. But I almost peed my pants when you made reference to the Christmas vacation. That movie is totally you. You would go through all the memories all day and with a tear in your eye watch old movies of the family. It is just so funny. I'm still laughing. lol! Thank you dad for always writing me and Mom too. It really means a lot to me. I always come back from e-mails with a smile and a fire to my testimony. It so awesome!

Wait Heidi is engaged!? Isn’t she like 18? She can't be older than that. I know she like 20. Oh my gosh I’m old. Crazy? Well I guess if he is nice and they love each other.

Christopher and Kenny wrote me and that was so nice. I loved it. Oh Mom president said that I could continue to go through with the EFY thing as long as I do it on P-days. So I don’t know where to go now with it but he said it's ok. Just let me know what I need to do.

Ok so this week has been so sweet. We had two baptisms. The two little boys that I told you about last week. They got baptized and their families are now back in church! Not only did we have baptisms but we had three people with a date at church and they stayed to watch the baptism. One was the Toms that I told you about. The Sweet couple that owns a goat farm. We found them by by total miracle. We decided to go back to look at referrals and there they were never updated. So we went to see them to see if they were interested and they were. So awesome. They are just soaking it up and loving the lessons and they love church and the ward just loves them. It really is so wonderful. Then we found another man who we drove past one day and he was on a bike and we were going fast and went past him and the spirit told me to go back and I kind of grunted and my companion said well just turn around. She had felt it too. We turned around and he had turned down two different streets. He biked fast. It probably looked like we were stalking him, which in fact we were. But we shared our message and he was interested. We went back and taught him and he loved it. We set a date and he came to church. He is a little slower but just a sweet guy. His name is Eddie. Then we ran into a woman while tracting that had met with missionaries and was very interested but they elders never came back so we set an apt for her too. Things like that have been happening all week! I know this is God's work and it is perfect. If we just listen to the spirit and open our mouths, it will happen. I love this work so much. I love the WORK. There is nothing like it and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing peoples lives changed because you listened to what God wanted you to do. It is never me but always God. This is HIS work and HIS glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. So we will do it HIS way. I love my Father in heaven so much for sending His son, Our Savior Jesus Christ. Without Him, none of this is possible. I owe my whole life to God! 18 months is just a part of it.

The baptism was sweet. One of the boys Taylor, who is a little crazy at times go into the font and was messing around until they started and everything got silent and the spirit was there. Then his father raised his hand and said, "Taylor Alex Griffin...” and Taylor said "what?" really loud. Everyone was laughing and we had to start all over again. We had never gone over with him what his dad was going to say so he thought his dad was calling his name cause he was messing around. It was just perfect. Taylor is unique and that baptism was definitely him. Jacob was sweet and prepared and ready. He knew what to do; he just wanted it to happen. It was just fantastic and almost the whole ward was there. This ward is just fantastic!

I love you all so much and I hope this week is amazing for you all. XOXOXOXO!~ I pray for you always and I feel your prayers every day as I go out and work my buns off. I love it!

~Your Sister Missionary

January 10, 2011

Focused and doing the work!! January 10, 2010

Dad, thank you for the pictures. They were great. There were so many people at our house and Ethan is huge. He can't go on a mission. He is still too young. So weird. I feel so old.

Mom, don't worry. I'm just fine. Yes I think about home and what I'm going to do when that happens but I'm focused. It's hard not to think about it when that's all people ask you about, when are you going home? How much time do you have left? What are you going to do when you get home? Plus the fact that I have dreamed of coming home every night this transfer and wake up depressed to go home. I know Satan is working really hard on me but I'm kicking just as hard if not harder back. I won't allow him to take over my thoughts and the way that I work the rest of my mission. We have been working like crazy! This mission has a new focus of 900 baptisms and 80% retention. I know we can do it and it is going to be amazing. I may not be here the full year but I'm going to be here at least half of it and I will work like crazy and baptize a lot to account for that number and then help them on their way to the temple. I'm so excited!

Speaking about baptizing to the temple, we have two baptisms this weekend of two little boys from two different less-active families that are now coming back! It is so amazing. They are working toward being sealed in the temple with their families. It is so sweet. I like teaching kids. They are so close to the spirit. It's been an amazing experience! So pray that they go through. I know it's all in God's hands.

The EFY things kind of stinks but I know God put that thought into my head for a reason. I wasn't even thinking about home when it came into my head. I was actually singing a EFY Song in my head and I was thinking about Kenny and all the amazing experiences he has had and Shanna and I and then the thought came into my mind, you should do that when you go home and I realized it fit into my schedule so I thought I would see if that was possible. I'll definitely have to talk to my mission president. I know the Lord will provide if it doesn't work or even if it does. We will see, I'm not worried, just thought it would be cool.

The weather here is so cold! It's been in the 20's for the last two days. Then it will get up to 80 and drop to 20 again. People here are getting really sick and can't seem to get better because the weather won't stay the same. I have been really blessed not to get too sick, there have only been a couple times I have had really bad migraines but I've tried to drink lots of water and it's helped.

I am so excited about these baptisms. I love it when a Less active father that has come back to church is going to baptize his son. So amazing!

I love you all so much! Thank you for all the support!

With so much love! \
Your Sister Pedersen

January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!! January 3, 2011

Sooo how are the papers for EFY coming? I hope that you are doing them cause if they don't get done and turned in now I can't go and I feel like I should, so I'm leaving it all in your hands. It's still a little cold here but I'm ok with scarfs, I have three. Thank you for the thought though. I loved the picture book you sent me. It was amazing. Seeing that picture of Christopher and I when we were young makes me want to cry. I don't know why. I think it's because when we would talk about Christopher going on a mission, I never thought I would be included in that. It's funny how God knows best. He was preparing me all along, I just had no idea.

Honestly, I have felt a little melancholy myself. I know you could probably tell through my letter without me saying anything. I don't know. This season is just so big in our family and so to have it without family seems a little empty, but I did feel like I was a part of it all when I was on Skype. I felt like I had never left. I don't know what it is about being on a mission that makes you feel so home sick sometimes and yet one Skype chat and everything is back to normal. I just guess when you are going through certain things you just need your family. Nothing else seems to help, and yet that is what the Savior is for. I have come to more effectively rely on the Savior because I have no one else to lean on.

I'm sorry if this is a waste of a letter. I just miss my family a bit. I was praying throughout the holidays to know how to not be so home sick, being as how this is now the longest I've ever been away from the family. Then in district meeting we talked about how we can use our Christmas, family experiences, etc. to propel us forward into this next year. It was so awesome! Answer to my prayers. I'm am trying to become the missionary God has intended for me to be and by doing so I hope that you see a change and the fire that comes from living the Gospel. Satan seems to like to wiggle his way through my thoughts and make me feel like I miss my family so much, I should just go home , but I would never go home. I love my family so much that I will never come home until I have given my all. My family is who I represent along with God and the church and I cannot quit until I drop and when I drop I will crawl and when that seems to wear me out I will drag myself and when my body is out of strength, I'll yell. I cannot stop. I was made to keep moving, everything is possible with God. I love him so much. He is my best friend. I have spent many nights in the arms of my Savior as I wet my pillow with my tears and I wake up grateful for his comfort. When I turn to him, I'm turning to my family. Through him I feel your love and your prayers. I cannot be a missionary without him. My heart and my mouth will forever praise him.

Thank you for your letter and I hope these pictures come through. I'll send them in another email. Oh we went to an island today for p-day so that's why this letter is so late. It's an all day trip. It was sweet! Oh and I got my hair cut. Hope you like it!

Love you all lots! I'll keep you in my prayers!

Love your sister Missionary~


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