June 27, 2011

I'm Trunky.....For My MISSION!!! June 27, 2011

Ok Ok I finally admit it, I'm trunky...... but for my mission. If you ever go to the Atlanta airport and there is fingernail marks at terminal 8, you will know who they are from. Oh my goodness I was a mess this morning. I think it is slowly hitting me that I'm going home. Sure I'm excited to see the family and to start in this new journey of life but really I think Christopher has it better. A year left and so many amazing experiences to go. Life is life, but mission life is not like anything you can ever prep for or try to understand until you are here. And every mission is different. People keep asking me how I feel and I really don't know how to respond. How do you explain the best decision you have made in your life and all the blessings that have gone with it, not to mention all the people you have met and lives you've been able to help change and be a part of? How do you explain what has happened on your sacred mission, where sometimes it was just you and the Lord? How do you leave it? Well I don't know how. I can tell you that there will be nothing like it ever, for the rest of my life. I want to soak it in and drink every last drop and yet there still would be a pool left to drink from.

I explained it to someone this way. A mission is like going to Disney World for your first time but you only have 18 hours to experience the whole thing. You could watch movies and see pictures and you can try to prep for it but you know once you get there it's a whole different story. Where do you begin? Now before I know it I'm at the last minutes of my trip and I'm on this magical ride, only it's as real as anything I have ever dreamed of and far better than any vacation spot you could go to. I've been here only 18 months which has gone by as fast as 18 hours. I am grateful for the experience. I've seen a lot and done a lot but if only you had one more day, one more hour, yet at the same time you know you must go back to work and start your life. It's the feeling you know you need to go back home but you want to stay and keep drinking in the magic of this work. I hope that makes sense. It makes sense in my head; but who knows I might have been in the sun too long.

Anyway I can't believe Natasha got married, I didn't know that. I knew about Heidi though. That's exciting. And weird. Makes me feel old. Oh and I can't give you a zip drive because you have both of mine. My red and black one. So I'll have to send it to you through e-mail. Sorry~

So God answers prayers; Even if they are small. I don't know if I told you this. One day I thought to myself, "Heavenly Father it sure would be nice to be in a thunder storm before I leave, I really like the rain as you know and it doesn't rain anywhere else like it rains here. One thing I'm going to miss for sure, So if you could make it rain, that would be great. Thank you." and guess what! It happened two days in a row. Oh I was a happy Sister Missionary. My companion thought I was crazy but I didn't care. God be thanked for thunderstorms to calm the troubled heart of a Sister Missionary going home. God answers prayers, even the small ones we say when we may think no one is listening.

So I don't know if I told you this but Elder Holland is coming to speak here the beginning of August. This is part of the water I wish to drink from before I go home but I guess God has other plans. That would have been amazing to be at. How cool huh?

So this week was awesome! Colby got baptized and confirmed on Sunday, and then Kylie got baptized! It was really cool. They both were small baptisms for just their families but it is amazing to see the change that Colby has made in preparing for his baptism in a matter of a week. He went from being so closed down to completely changed, smiling and excited to change and be baptized. He kept praying about an answer but did not get one. He kept praying and still nothing. Every time we would come over he would have an attitude and not take anything seriously. Then as he was praying he got the impression that he needed to start taking things seriously and that he needed to really change. It was that prompting that lead to his answer and then to his baptism. Sometimes our answers are not what we expect. His answer was shape up and then you'll just know. Kylies answer came as her Father set the example of change, coming back to church after years of inactivity. He was able to baptize her on Sunday. It was a very special moment for them both. I love the Gospel and the Joy that it brings into people's lives! It was a really great weekend. Will and Aliyah moved back to Jacksonville so we are not working with them anymore but I have faith that as we work hard this week and as I push myself to the very end. Blessings will come. I know it. I'm so grateful for my mission. It has been one of the best gifts I have been given by my Father in Heaven.

I love you all and will see you soon!

xoxoxoxoxox~~~ I'm joyfully enduring to the End and will come home with honor with God's name and the name of my family!

Your forever Sister Missionary

June 20, 2011

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ... June 20, 2011

Hello my beautiful wonderful family!

Happy birthday Shanna and Happy Fathers day daddy! I hope you both got my cards.

I'm sorry that these e-mails are getting shorter and shorter as I'm preparing to not freak out when I come home. I think it's because it's more and more real every time I write the family.

I saw the apartments and I am excited to move there. It will be fun. It looks just like colonial but I'm sure the ward is amazing! I'm excited. I trust the Lord knows what He is doing. And I know he works through you mommy cause I just can't focus enough to get it done out here. I truly believe that all good things start in the home and all eternity starts their too and never ends. Everything I do here on my mission is because I have first learned them in the home. I was thinking, why am I so positive. I wasn't always like this at home, in fact the opposite. (Sorry mom and dad) But it’s because I was taught too look at the bright side and never give up and try with all my heart and leave it up to the Lord. If I have had any success on my mission it is first because Of the Lord and then because of my parents, I just applied the things I have learned. I love my family!!! Sooooooo excited to hug and kiss you! But I am focused in making sure I go out with a bang! I refuse to let up. Five baptisms will happen before I go home. Please pray for me and them. (Kylie, Will, Alia, Colby, Roxanne and Eddie if his parents will let him)

I can't believe Danielle is getting married to someone that old! But I guess dad is right, what is age in eternity. But Italy! Really!!! Talk about perfection! Weird!

Oh So I'm hoping that the guy I have to talk to from BYU is because of school... Right Mom??? I know I can do school. It will be hard but If God wants this to be my major he will help me out. I know it! The week I come home is crazy! Good!! keep me busy so I don’t break down. Busy with family, not dates.. Ok mom and Shanna??? Don’t laugh, it's true and don’t even act like you don’t have anyone in mind either. Just family for a bit. I love you!!!!

Letter to President Barry~

I loved what you said about being obedient. I need to become! I know that I have not been stretching myself as much as I could. I do see a difference in myself and how I work but I know I can be better. Someone said something that I think will probably stick with me for life. a young man who is really struggling in our ward with his family problems and military issues said this, "It would be so easy just to stop and give up, but it is us who chooses to go through the temple and after that, we as latter-day saints don’t have the luxury of giving up, no matter how hard it gets, because we know." It is so true. I do not have the luxury to be disobedient and live below my potential and not give all that I have to give. I know to who I am committed and I cannot give up and I will not give up until my time is called at the very end of not just this mission life but life itself. "I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and when he comes to claim his own, he'll have no problem recognizing me." I love this gospel with all my heart. I have learned that to give my love and my heart I must give it to God first. Then it is he who expands it to fit all.

This week we are working on being positive, I'm working on being on time and together we will help the Lord in bringing his children to baptism. All five of them!

Till next week, Lots of love~

~Sister Pedersen~

I love you all~
Love your forever Sister Pedersen~

June 13, 2011

This mission is on Fire!!! June 13, 2011

Hello my beautiful family~

The work this week has been amazing! We have been working hard and praying harder. I have really tried to focus on praying as if everything depends on God and then working as if everything depends on me, because it does. We have a lot of people that we are working with and I'm so grateful for that. I have truly seen Gods hand in this work this week. I have seen a huge difference in this work when I have centered the work on the Savior and follow every prompting that I get. We went to having one baptism date and no investigators, to four baptism dates (Colby, Kylie, & Will and Ailauna) and seven new investigators. Isn't that amazing! We are seeing miracles everywhere, here in our area, in our district and in our zone. The mission is on fire and I know that we can and will achieve our goal of 900 baptisms with 80% retention. It is so awesome! Most of our dates have come from Part member families and recent converts. I know that it is and will be through the members that we will reach our goal.

It was so amazing on Sunday to have that many people attend church. It was full. I think that is more people that I have had in one Sunday than I have had my whole mission. I know, sad. But the mission has come and grown so far and I feel as if I have done the same right along with it. We had the chance to teach Relief Society on Sunday about missionary work. It was so amazing. I really hoped it pumped up the sisters to help us out on trade offs and getting their own family missionary plan started. We showed a video about how the little things change lives and it showed testimonies of recent converts testimonies and how they got introduced to the church. Then after the video we has our recent convert of two weeks, sister Davis, bare her testimony on the simple invitation to have missionaries answer her questions that concluded with her whole family getting baptized. Then it turned to a testimony of converts to the church. We have so many converts in this ward and I know if they just open there mouth the work here will double and triple. I just feel it. This ward has so much fire and passion with no direction. This ward is going through a lot of changes in order to find that direction and a lot of people are meeting with us, but I know we can do better. I love this ward. It's amazing to be a part of the growth. The bishop here is just amazing. He is very young with a young family but willing and ready to serve. He's amazing and so is his wife. They help us so much and we do what we can to return the favor by working hard and serving them.

So I looked at my schedule for school and I think it will be good. Thank you so much for doing it. I got on line probably fifteen min. late and you were done and off. You’re quick. It seemed like a long day but I remember that dance classes were always late. Are they all the classes I need to take? I have worked with most of the teachers before so I think that it will be good. Good job mom. Thank you again.  Honestly when it comes to living quarters, it would be nice to be close, unless I had a car ;) but since I know that's not happening, anything but colonial. I'm not too fond of them and I've lived there for three years. Time for a change. But my request would be somewhere close, nice in room and closet size and somewhere with air conditioning and heat. Other than that. We are good. Just do your best. I know it's slim pickins. But God will provide.
I'm sad I’m missing youth conference and girls camp. I would have loved to help out. I'll be praying that everything goes well and that the weather is nice and that people are healthy. I'm sorry the weather is so crazy. It is definitely summer here and all the glory of the humidity with it. I guess it's not that bad. August and September is worse. I'm glad I'm not here for two summers. I don’t know if I could do it. But I'm actually starting to love a little humidity. It reminds me of camping a bit.

So Skyler left? He is already doing so well. He is going to be an amazing missionary! I'm so excited for him! I bet Heidi is thrilled to know he is doing so well.

I don’t know how you two are going without sugar but I'm going to try to do it with you when I get home. I hope to get back to normal, size and eating habits. It's going to be good.

I love you all so much. Go out and share the gospel. Keep praying for opportunities to share the gospel and keep praying for people on your list that the missionaries made with you before. Those names are inspired. I love you!

Your forever sister Missionary!~

June 10, 2011


Letter from her mission Pres.,                          June 9, 2011
                                                                                                                                                                       Sister Pedersen has been a delightful missionary. She has served in Kingsland, Whitehouse, Jacksonville, Orange Park, Gainesville, Hilliard and St. Mary's. She has won the hearts of many members and investigators who have been changed for the better because of her service. She returns to you with the wonderful skills of teaching the gospel. She will be a blessing to you and all of her family. She has become a disciple of Jesus Christ now and plans to remain that way forever.
Sister Barry and I deeply appreciate the loving sacrifice you have extended to prepare this choice young missionary for her exemplary service here.


James W. Barry
Mission President

June 7, 2011

Love of God.... June 6, 2011

It seems that your weeks have been jammed packed with so much spiritual knowledge. How amazing to have an apostle of the Lord there with all of you. It is just so amazing! I love the quotes that you gave me. I have been focusing a lot on love lately. It seems that Christopher has too. It really is the key to all that we do. Without it, we are nothing, and we will do nothing, because we love God we will keep his commandments and we will obey and love others. I have been centered on loving everyone around me and helping them to come to Christ because without judging, I see them and love them as God loves them. It's really does change the outcome. I find myself being a little more patient and understanding than before. And you know me, those are not some my best qualities, but I'm working on them.

I and my comp. were both sick this week so not a whole lot happened but we still have seen the progress of the ward go forward. I don't like being home but we did what we could. Our ward is seeing a lot of changes. New bishopric and all new auxiliaries, totally changed, No one is the same calling. God is prepping the ward for great things. It's amazing to see in how in 16 months what God can do to a ward. I feel that things will start to go up from here on out. I'm excited to be a part of it.

Good luck~ I'm kind of freaking out cause I want to make sure that everything is set before the deadlines and when I come home. Please let me know If you are working on that. I love you so much. Thank you!

I love you!!!! 
Your Sister Pedersen

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