Monday, December 16, 2013

12/16/13 Letter


Winter weather is coming... so i guess they knew the Texan can’t handle the cold so i am getting transferred to the sea. I am moving to Rijeka on Thursday.
It is about 2 hours away but has 20 members and the missionaries are really quiet so i think i am going lighten up the party!  i am excited to be going to the sea, but my heart will always stay in varaždin. Thought my companion, sister Mortensen, was leaving 100% so before the transfer call we planned in our  weekly planning schedule all the things she wanted to do before she left... well my mouth dropped when i found out i was leaving! #shocked #neželim
#volimvaraždin#somanygoodthingsareabouttohappenhere!!! I even asked the AP (Assistants to our mission President) if they were joking with me.. #realtalk!  So now i have to pack all my stuff and i think i have like 80 pounds in each of my bags cause i bought a lot here...YIKES! So for Christmas i will be in a new place, with a new companion, and new members! So im really happy that i get to skype and talk to someone i know at Christmas!  

It was so hard my last Sunday and the branch president was not going to let me speak!!! We always have extra time in church but this Sunday the Branch President just keeps on talking and talking to fill time, but i said OH, NOT TODAY!  right before we sang the closing song i just got up from my seat and went to the stand and said sorry about it... and then said my goodbye!  Then tears started flowing ...oh boy, because i just love the people in this branch so much!  I read Matt 19:26 (mom your fave) saying with God all things are possible! I said we must never never forget that! Then we took pictures and this week i have a ton of people to see and before u know it, it will be Christmas!  I just don’t want to go cause, I opened this area and now we have like 8 progressing investigators and i could really see them getting baptized! I thought i was going to be here for that and now i am not!  With these people i have seen many miracles happen! 

One awesome story is about a woman who has two kids we are teaching English to!  She was very anti about even coming to English class because she knew nothing about us and then her friend just said come, it is free! So as we started teaching her she said "no i will NOT join your church, just to let u know “but now she is starting to ask us questions about our church and a week ago i gave her a first lesson and she was like wow you’re not that crazy of a religion! #surprise! Then on Saturday she just invited us to her house for her son’s birthday party where we had cake and sang together!!!!! (It was amazing.  the boy just turned 8!!! =)  and after that  I was bold and gave her the "come and join us talk." I was a little nervous, but yolo! So she said she would read it and we can talk about it on Tuesday Then i am going to give her a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and write her a note on the back of it!  We have found everyone through our English class! Then one of our new students who is the best said," ok well if u give me free English then u can teach me about your church.. i don’t believe in God, but maybe you can change that!!! You know that right! He is an awesome 30 year old!  Then The English teacher who we had a lesson with in the car said she wants to meet and talk more about the book of Mormon!!!! I can’t leave! I have too much stuff going on for me here!!!! 

Well, Then on Tuesday i went on my first exchange in Croatia to karlovac! We sang Christmas songs and then we taught at the high school about America.. Good thing i have my power point presentation from the last one i did!  cause the church is so new here we want to do anything to get our name out!   So that was way fun!

Well we have just had a blessed week with lots of lessons to teach as we don’t get home till 9:30 like everynight#webeworkingwomen!
Well hope all is well and everyone is having a great Christmas!

xoxox sestra Peterson

Friday, December 13, 2013

12/9/13 Letter

Where the heck did this week go? We were booked to the max!!!! Well, this week we talked at the college again and had a great turn out and after, the teacher who lives in varaždin drove us home and we gave her a first lesson in the car!!!!  She agreed with everything that we said as we talked about the differences between our church and the catholic church!  At the end we gave her a book of Mormon and she said ok i will call u if i have any questions! Then we did service for a less active member named lidija who has the cutest girl ever!  

She knows the gospel is true as she was one of the first members in Varaždin  but she fell in love with a boy whose family was so against the church that they had to go into hiding, and after a while she just stopped going cause it was too hard¨! it was so sad to hear her story as there is so many others like hers! there are so many less actives here because of family problems. 

The thought crossed my mind today as i  reflected on the words our mission president-pres. Rowe said at district conference about  how " 2 apostles have blessed this land that it will bloom and how after all they have been through here,  there will be great peace and happiness here, and how this will be a promised land." Today i though about how these people are like the pioneers! Look at all the pioneers went through as they had so many hardships  but because of their efforts and their enduring to the end,  we have so many Mormons in Utah and a beautiful temple!  THESE PLACES ARE SO MUCH ALIKE AND THIS LAND HAS BEEN PROMISED A TEMPLE!   These hardships will only last a season, but we have to keep our perspective on the bigger picture, the eternities and enduring to the end, knowing that because of our good works others will be blessed! I am so grateful to be here and part of this work here in the Adriatic mission!  

I feel like the pioneers story is being modernized right before my eyes as this week we had district conference and my branch took a 3 hour train ride, then walked an hour and a half in the cold 35 degree weather to get to the train to get to the church!  We truly don't know how blessed we are in America! There were 108 members at district conference from all over Croatia plus about 70 missionaries! Shoot i woke up at 4:30am,  took a bus at 6 and got to the church at 8am.... me and my team of 6 were proud to say we were the first ones there hahaha! My comp and i did a musical number as she played the piano and i sang i feel my savior love and i know my redeemer lives! we combined them into one and it was way cool!  Apparently president Rowe started crying.. i love making tough guys cry haha! I was so grateful and humbled  for the opportunity to share my testimony through the talent i have been given!  Well, then on Thursday we had Zone conference with the missionaries! so again i woke up at 5:30! who needs sleep right ... I’m wendy petersons daughter! like #realtalk i have the best and smartest mission prez ever! The Croatian Book of Mormon doesn't have an introduction so instead it uses Moroni 10: 3-4!  President Rowe talked about how it never says ponder in your head if these things are true, but in your heart! what does that mean.... to ponder in your heart?... That when a person reads the Book of Mormon, they need to pay attention to the way they feel, then everything will make sense in your brain!  if we look at the book of Mormon like just another book then is it, but if we ask and pray  and ponder with our hearts, then our eyes will be opened to the truth and power it speaks!  
This was at conference where Brianne sang her song and was reunited with her MTC companion Sister Frampton

On Friday our friend from osijek came down and it was way fun to have him here!  For aktivnost(Which is usually on Friday nights) we had a music party as one of the members was a professional singer  and we sang like a rock Christmas song with him. haha it was really fun,--shoot, black gospel choir here i come! then we sang "rollen in the river"as i had to make up my own words to the song... well im not the best song writer let’s just say, but i was pulling people of out of their chairs and just having such a fun time!  then we met with 3 students who wanted to meet us from the English presentation we did!  It was so sad though, because we met with them for 2 hours and in that time they had to leave and smoke 3 times!  Then one of the girls said  it was nice going to coffee for once and not coming home smelling like smoke! I count my blessing everyday that i don't smoke. it has such a depressing sad effect on people !  One student we taught took ping pong lessons for 8 years so i will be playing here and getting my butt whipped by her!  ping pong and hand ball are huge here! 

Then on Saturday we saw lidija  preform at this event with her Croatian instrument (i forgot what it was called) and after that, we watched Saturday session of district conference  through skype! Well i will skype everyone soon as božić dolazi!  hope all is well and remember nothing is too hard for the lord!

sestra peterson xoxox