Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8/26/13 Letter

It is a party up in here this week!!!!!!!!!!! So many things have been going on. First off so many people are getting married!!?  and Happy Birthday to my little pretty princess Jamie!!! And to Happy 63rd Wedding Anniversary to my  Grandparents!!!!

This week starting on Friday and lasting 10 days there is a huge festiveble in Varždin all Sponširfest people come from all over and sell things things and over fill the center and walk around. there are outside concerts, fireworks by the castle, people walking on stilts,  movies playing, outside plays and everything u can imagine! Tracking now is not a good idea so we made posters about English class and with all the questions of the soul.  Like the 10 different languages! Then we are pass out water saying drink of the "living waters of Christ" scripture verse of John 4:14; with Mormon. org on it! But some person got mad at us even though the people said it was ok as long as we didn't have a table up- cause we didn't pay to have a table. I think they still called the cops on us even though we moved spots cause right as we turned the corner to go home we walked into cops who looked like they were looking for some people. hahaha.

Well we have this family in čakovets who always takes care of us and we have become best friends with her daughter but we have not really brought up the gospel- so when we went to there house this week. We prayed for her to ask lots of questions and for us to give her a book of Mormon, cause last time i tried to by saying "For your kindness here is a gift cause that all i have right now." She said "No don't even worry about it," My smart plan failed!  But this time our prayers were answered and she asked lots of questions and she thought we were Jehovah Witnesses! Anyways we talked about our prophet and how we got our mission call, and i don't think she knows anything about religion so next time we are going to ask of we can teach them more about our church! I have a really good feeling about this family with 2 kids! 
We met another family who's mom was baptized but inactive, so we went to her house to try to get her active again and to our surprise we met Santa Clause who looks like he lived in Texas instead of the north pole! He was so tan but has  this long white hair, He swims everyday, and collects cactus plants!  They have had missionaries before and love Americans cause all the missionaries are Americans! The mom has a super strong testimony but i think she is ashamed cause she likes to smoke so she has not got to church. They were so welcoming and made us palačinke  in there small dirty house as their shower is outside and while we were trying to teach a lesson Santa walks over to the shower, in his swimming suit, and just rinses off ha. We taught
them yesterday and the mom said she wants to come back to church and will come to Aktivnost and cook for everyone and the daughter she will come too! I was really touched when the mother and the daughter both started talking about how when we taught them the last time the felt so happy and full of joy! They said that even their friends came about an after we life. They commented on how their place felt different and they started to act different! Natasha, the daughter, was feeling is the Holy Ghost!  We asked her to be baptized and she said she WANTS TO! But she wants to learn more first before she pics a date cause she knows baptism is important for us to return to the Father! Then we are going to teach her sister when we help her move and see her at English class!
Then Stephinia a less active we went to go see who has a very hard life. Everyone has died around her, she lives by herself, her brother is in a coma and she has major heart problems. She says she can't come to church cause like like a 20 min walk and its bad for her heart to really get out, but man does she sure have a strong testimony!!! She said, "I can see u have a lot of faith as you both just glow!"  We just had such a good talk with her and then she said she would come to church with us one Sunday! Sunday we had the most members at church i have seen - 15 people!  I was so shocked to see that many people cause with the rain no one leaves their house, Croats are very very weird about the weather. We meet in a small church building with about 3 rooms its' a very nice building.   Its so humbling to see there people walk or bike in the rain 20 mins to come to church. Our goal is to try to activate all the members cause there are 40!  We need to get people excited to come to church for growth! Speaking about getting people excited- we had a record breaking for English class sign up as we got 27 people to sign up!  It's mostly cause i stood outside waving to every car and pointed to the church building saying sign up her free English classes!  i think people standing at corners holding English signs is new for Croatians, haha but that's what got their attention to come! The people are great with helping me learn the language cause its one of the hardest to learn with all there cases but its a very slow process!  well im am about to buy everything at Sponširfest  cause its like once in a life time to get things now so ray for my wallet hahaa! 

love u love family 
thanks for the support!

8/19/13 Letter

Dobro Dan,

Oh family and friends its so good to hear from all of u! This week was full of exciting things as i went to Slovenia for 2 days, had zone conference, and gave Sister Mortensen a birthday party! 

So were should we start off! First off, I'm so happy Travis is home and wish so badly i could be home to see him! Whats is email so i can finally write him? 

So Tuesday was Sister Mortensen's birthday and i woke up at 5:30 and made her brownies and decorated the house! Then later i invited 2 non members to come to her surprise birthday party! They are so amazing and we are like best friends, and they always do stuff with us but its just hard to bring up the gospel around them! They look at us like best friends and not missionaries and i feel like i have been having a problem a lot with that. So I'm trying to figure how to not be awkward but bring up the gospel. But we had a blast for her birthday! 

Then on Wednesday we had zone conference! It was so good to see sister marks my Texas best friend! She ran up to me and started crying because she has been having a really hard time with her companion. It was just great to see my MTC family but i didn't get to see Sister Frampton. Besides that i wanted to fall asleep in zone conference cause president wasn't here so we were just doing lots of roll plays -not fun haha. But i had a interview with president later and im not going to lie, he is going to be an apostle one day! He is all about getting to work and doing what ever you have to do to build up the kingdom!  Apparently he talks to the apostles all the time.. nbd haha!  It was good that he just said to me, " Keep up the hard work." He also told me me he's really glad to have me here! 

After zone conference i went on splits with sloven sisters and i loved it! Let me just tell u Slovenia is so beautiful! Its all mountains with green trees and castles all around. I think it might be more beautiful then Croatia! It reminded me a little of Costa Rica with everything so green and tall. It was so great because we taught a lady who was so depressed. Apparently, she believed it but said she was looking at life through a fog glass. Then the Sloven elders gave her a blessing and guess who the elder was! Elder Benson! Blair and Cami know him from Austin ward! Mom we met him once and for some reason i do remember him! When we talked to him i think he was inactive but now he is in my mission! After the blessing we had my only 2nd lesson here and it was great! Even though i cant speak Sloven they could understand my Croatian. (Even though my Croatian was so bad.) It was a blessing as we talked about the plan of salvation and that helped her find peace and why we are here in life!  It gets better but i have to go so i will email u another letter later like in two hours or so! 
love u 
sestra peterson 

Hey family its me again! I just got done with pday stuff so now I can finish writing. After the blessing we taught her the plan of salvation how we are here to be tested and that if we endure to the end we will have eternal happiness! so as the sloven sister was teaching I was looking through my scriptures and i came across a scripture in Alma saying how we with out repentance we feel pain and not happiness but after we repent our joy will far exceed our pain! Then at that moment Sister Legro turned to me out of the clear blue  and said.... what does repentance feel like to u!  and wow i perfect and i could tell she really connected with that scripture!  Then after the lesson she said, "OK I WILL GET BAPTIZED!" MY FIRST BABPTZIM COMMITMENT!  i think they got my call wrong as my first book of Mormon was in Slovenia and my first baptism commitment was in Slovenia! Now its time for me to make it happen in Varzdin!  

I have to go- sorry so short but i love u all and Cami thanks for the card! 

8/12/13 Letter

Well i am writing this letter at a members house  in Bijelovard as i just had one of the best meals of my life, all the while looking over the green fields watching people are playing monopoly!  Wow, family i have no clue where to start!  Elyse I have to tell you this the best cause i have lived in those shoes i got for my birthday!

 Many funny stories happen this week like I accidentally offended this lady who can't go to church cause she she has bad hips and can't walk to the train and people have kind of forgotten about her. i said to her "Oh my dad has bad hips," trying to relate to her, and she was like how old is he and i said oh like 64  and she said oh well i am 66! well ok then i didn't understand what she was saying and so i said SUPER and she said, "No not supper!!!!!!!!!!!!!" apparently  she just said her brother or her friend died.... great well i failed! Then on our way coming back from her city me and my comp had to run to the train and i decided not to wear my good train running shoes so my shoes where falling off and i looked like a penguin. So i took them off and ran through glass and we just made it- but then the elders called us and said, "You're on the wrong train!!!!" So we watched the right train with the elders drive past us and laughed! Then because i broke the bed the people were fine getting it fixed but when the guy fixed it he said  this bed is only meant for one and i just laughed cause at the time i didn't understand what he was saying in Croatian -but he was implying that i was doing something else in the bed other than trying to kill a spider! yikes oh my!!!!!  Then this morning we had to run to the train cause my comp made us last and we got lost and then i lost her but we found each other after all and made it!  

 Sadly i don't have a lot of time but in church more people came today-there were 9!!!! And a miracle happened! We were tracking and i said to this lady that she has beautiful flowers- then she was going to tell us to go away when i saw the deer skulls in her house. They reminded me of my home and how Justin like to hunt and next thing u know we were in her house and she made us dinner and fed us so much and brought out her kids! Her daughter was 18 and we talked about things. We are going back soon to have a lesson cause we didn't really bring up the church but the family loved us so we are going to go back to teach them a lesson next time cause they are so ready to hear the gospel! The quote you gave me was perfect cause i felt bad for not going into a lesson but we talked about prophets!  i know they are getting baptized! 

Then i found this singer from one of the members who are now bff and we have a another girl that 16! So we have about 4 new investigators!  i sang in the center of the town opera and it worked really well! We told the people, "If you want to hear me more come to church!" So lets hope!  

Have to run but love u lots!
sestra peterson   

PS There is a web cam in the center of Varzđin so look at it and maybe you can see me track there at 7 to 9 my time. I will say hi every day!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

1st Letter From Croatia!

Hello Family!!! 

I'm at the library which I have not been to sense I was like 5 haha! 

We got to President's house we had a big dinner with my group and the next morning I was in heaven cause our mission house has a pool in the house, a tennis  court and a punching bag! So i woke up and punched on the bag! Then we helped make breakfast. Don't worry mom I was the last one to stay up to help sister Row with everything like cleaning up and with making dinner! I love their family so much and they have twin girls that as so adorable! I want them! Then the time came where I was walking up the stairs to found out where I was headed to serve. I was so excited and and like shaking cause I couldn't handle it anymore! shoot if this was to much for me I cant even imagine what its going to be like when we meet the real big guy aka God! He said, "Sister Peterson the Lord has a special calling in mind for you and desires you to open a small, but very European town called Varazin." My heart was racing and I couldn't stop smiling!!!! This place I have never heard of gave me so much joy! My comp is Sister Mortenson. I talked to her mother every Friday in the temple telling her I hoped I was with her daughter-and well surprise I am!  He continued on and said THAT WE WILL BE THE ONLY SISTERS SERVING IN CROATIA SERVING IN THE SLOVENIA ZONE!  I DON'T KNOW SLOVEN! THE LANGUAGE IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT! I'm am going to Slovenia to do splits soon and well its all going to be all on the Holy Ghost!  Mom u thought I would not go to Slovenia and here I am on the border of Croatia!  President said that he doesn't know the last time they had sisters and are dying for some fun sisters cause its dead right now!  He told us to really build the branch cause their are only 6 members!  Anyways, after that we had a meeting with our trainers and then went contacting random people on the streets! So we were off to make the hour and 1 and a half drive on the bus to Varažin. We talked to this guy Tone about the church for like 20 min! It was so fun cause he spoke English haha! We talked about how the Bible and the Book of Mormon go hand in hand as they both talk about prophets and Christ! We talked about how the book of Mormon can answer questions of the soul and any answer he has he can find it in this book! He has not textted back but we gave him a book of Mormon! 

Well Varazin is so beautiful like I'm living in a dream!
I live next to a CASTLE- and ton of the buildings are pink- could it get any better?  Because we are opening an new area we have planned like 3 days getting an area book together dividing it with the elders who are great! So its me my comp and a set of Elders in the place! My Croatian as gone all out the window like it feel like I was never in the MTC!!! It doesn't really bother me cause my comp is amazing with the language even though she has been out only 4  months in the field!  She just translates everything for me! I try and then she totally changes my sentence to what it should be haha! Sister Mortenson is amazing and we get along great! She is a huge football fan and our families would be bff! We are called the blond bombshells cause we getting ready to rock this place! She is more shy but other than that we are allot a like!  I didn't realize how much we see the Elders in the field cause we see them everyday. 

Mom, you would be proud to know that one of the first things we did when we got here was go to a seminary cause it like one of the biggest and most beautiful!! Our first day we when tracking was on Saturday and we gave a Book of Mormon to this one lady who owns a bakery! I told her her garden looks beautiful and what kind of flowers she planted to spark a conversion!  Then a guy opened his door in this underwear and and changed to come to talked to us haha! I't's 101 here and I feel like in in Texas but then I see clothes hanging on wires to dry. Tracking is fun as we just walk and walking knocking door to good but the people are so nice here and they always as where i am from when i try to speak cause i cant at all hahah  Blair don't worry i don't stand out here just when i speak English  as i have seen many people with blond hair!  the hardest thing about tracking  or being a missionary in general is looking for the elect. my comp is like what door and u feeling and i have no clue! i just try to talk to everyone cause i don't who i really need to be talking to!  and everywhere is dead around 1 to 4 cause its so hot they think it bad for your health so thy stay inside and even will cancel activities cause its to hot to walk.  

On Sunday their is this amazing 66 year old woman member who has a glass eye! her name is maria and this Sunday she came to church cause she told God she would go to meet the new sisters even when the doctor told her not to cause of her eye! their faith and love for this gospel is so humbling!  then on Sunday it was only the bishop his daughter who is so funny and cute, maria who is so funny and such a strong member, stanko who is a shy guy that doesn't talk much but just likes being around us and then this lady who is not a member but found out about church through English classes and goes but doesn't want to get baptized an then the elders! that was everyone at church! then our senior couple just left to Serbia and the night before gave us the job to teach the lesson in RS as it felt like a member was just sitting in on a lesson! church is only two hours here cause we have to switch off with priesthood with Sunday school cause there is not enough people!  the senior couple doesn't really care about us and are leaving soon and then we are not getting a nother couple in so its just us 4 missionaries! but church was great at it amazed me that in our church we have these long pause for an hour and here  3 members spoke and me and an elder and it took the whole time! we may be small but their hearts are so big!  Even though i cant talk i just smile and try to love everyone cause thats what they do to me as Maria gave me a kiss on both my cheeks the first time i meet her!  then this one other member who is out of town, when she found out that sister were now in Varažin she screamed and said I'm coming back as soon as i can!  have friends in the church really does make a hug difference!
so i feel so loved and try my best to communicate!  

Yesterday everything is closed in Europe on Mondays so  we when to this place out  15 miles outside to the center of the world so i stood in the center of the world! the we went to see this church where apparently this priest said wine didn't turn into water and then when the water turned into wine!  Then on the bus i was talking to this lady and my Croatian was so bad she said, "Lets talk in English!" Well I tried and gave her a Mormon.org card! Then we after that we headed to Maria where she cooked us hot dogs ha and we got to know her more!                    

Then the other day we were getting rid of all the spiders in our place cause no one has lived there in a long time. (Preston you would make a KILLING OF of Pest control  here!) Anyways, I went to get down cause the vacuum would not reach and one of the boards to my bed broke as I stepped on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhh are u kidding me just my luck??? The bored was so thin anyone could have broken it-as i think it was a bed for kids! So I'm on the look out for a wooden board to replace it cause I can't tell Prez Row or he will sent me home! I haven't even been out a week and i am breaking things!!!!???!  Mom the wood is like the wood u use to make your crafts out of! But it gets better. So I decide to drown the spider on top on the ceiling with window cleaner an some of the paint starts coming off cause its like water paint! Yep not in America! That was fun but I prayed and the wall looks fine!  We don't have a microwave so we melted our butter in the sun and our meat thaws in the sun. Mom thought of u cause it works really well!  Then  yesterday we made cookie to give to this less active member and she called us and said she is having a really hard time but would love to meet so we are going to visit her soon!  

I am sorry to say but its been a way easy transition and I feel bad cause i feel like things are more relaxed then the MTC cause we don't leave our house at 7. The MTC was crammed with so many things and such a tight scheduled! I almost feel bad cause we still have not really felt like we have hit it hard. a I want to but we just have no one to teach cause every thing is new and I really just want to get out in teach! But starting tonight and tomorrow we are going to do chalk drawings of Lehi coming to America  after Jeremiah said Jerusalem was going to get destroyed  (look at the Book of Mormon story: Mormon message), in the center of town where people will sit and drink coffee for hours and hours. I will be singing in town another day and then on Friday's we hold activities for members and non members to come and play games so this week will be looking fun!  I'm just excited to hit it hard and meet with people but contacting is so hard as i don't speak! and then I walk away hitting my head as a person walks past me, but today I though it better to talk to a random person and they think I'm weird the god getting mad and saying you walked pass so many people! to tonight I am going to try to be better!  I do love it here and I know this is the place I need to be right  now! 

I cant imagine my life night not if i was not here cause this is the best with the best chocolate milk is sooo good!  Oh and mom guess what came back to haunt me! beets!!! Everyone here eats red pickled beets-u would love it and u knew u was going here on my mission! I'm going to go but i love u all and thank u for all of your support cause it has really made my time here amazing!  By prepping me in your letters  it has not been a shock to me!  Lets get this show on the road and make this branch a fun ward! 
love u all 123,
sestra peterson
PS Kat is in Bosnia and Frampton is 3 hours away from me!And pizza and ice cram is the best here!


You will never believe what I'm doing and what zone I am in! Its a holiday today so I will email you tomorrow! I'm great and the language is out the window- like I  never went to the MTC.

(Here's a pic of me and my comp leaving the MTC)

But its cool, no big deal!  The ward was a shock because what  I'm doing is crazy! Sorry to leave you on a cliff hanger but you will find all about my great life next email.

love, sestra peterson

Monday, August 5, 2013

How to send Packages and Snail Mail

From the Mission Office:
Due to the regular and fairly constant transfer of missionaries within the mission, we advise that you send all missionary mail and packages directly to the Mission Office.  We distribute their mail personally at zone conferences, interviews, district meetings, etc. Please use the following format exactly when sending mail and packages.  This will avoid undue customs and fees delays. 

Sister Brianne Peterson
Adriatic North Mission
Svačićev Trg 3/1
10000 Zagreb, Croatia