I'M GETTING A WHITE PEOPLE COMPLEX
White people are so scary. We try to talk to them and they never want to listen! Obviously this is an exaggeration, some white people talk to us, but those numbers are few. So I'm getting a white people complex, but then I remember that I'm white and I'm the same way- someone comes up to me and I don't know them, it's likely I won't talk to them. It's rough. Because then I go to Church on Sunday and I am so spoiled. Sisters from the ward make us lunch every Sunday and we eat it and it is so delicious. They tell us that since we are away from our mothers they need to make sure we have lots of mothers in the ward. (So don't worry mama, I'm still getting plenty of mother-love.) :) And then take yesterday, for example. We were walking down the street, looking for an address, when we pass by a family having a Memorial Day barbeque. And oh my, was it a barbeque. She had hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, chicken, you name it. Hna Williams said, "Hello, how are you? Wow, it smells good!" and the next thing you know we're sitting down being served a full Mexican meal. You just don't get that with white people very often. So yeah, I love the people here. There is so much love.
That doesn't mean everyone we talk to wants to hear what we have to say, but people are truly kind. We didn't get fake numbers or addresses that we know of this week, so that is always comforting. Actually, this past week almost every appointment fell through. But we improved a lot of things and we are so ready to go this week! We are practicing testisfying with power. It's a vulnerable thing to do. It hurts more when someone rejects your message after you've just born your soul than it does if you give a true but rehearsed statement. We're working on it and the results are great. We are able to have more powerful lessons, where the Spirit is felt and hearts change.
Also, members are they key. We went out with a member last night and we hardly had to do a thing- people are so much more willing to talk to us if we have a member with us. So all you members out there, help the missionaries. You bring miracles to God's work, literally. Having a member in a lesson is powerful.
Oh family. So much to write and so little time. By the way, my next Preparation Day is June 7 because we are going to a baseball game! Fun. Guess what else is happening on June 7? A baptism! She is eight, and her mom hasn't been coming to church for a very long time. Her mom is from Argentina! I love listening to her talk, even though I can't understand the accent super well. But her mom died recently and she wants to live with her forever so she decided to come back to church and help her daughter get baptized. So we've been teaching her the lessons and she'll be baptized on the 7th. We're excited. They have a very close and special mother-daughter relationship and I like it. Hopefully you can sort out all those "she"s and "her"s I just used.
We met a man who has been put through the wringer yesterday. We were meeting people in the park since it was a holiday and he walked past us with music blaring through his headphones. Hna Willaims stopped him (I'm still pretty terrible at the initial contact so it's usually Hna Williams. I'm so grateful for her. Don't know what I'd do if she wasn't so good at talking to people.). We talked for a few minutes and he seemed interested in what we were sharing, so we sat down on a bench and had a full lesson with him. Impromptu lessons are usually awesome. So it was with this one. He might not even be twenty and yet he has lived just about every horrible thing you can think of. He doesn't feel things anymore, he told us. He has searched and searched, going to many churches and he's read "seven bibles" as he put it, including parts of the Koran. So we gave him another book, and he's excited to read it. I know that for him to have a new life that is lasting it will require miracle after miracle for quite some time. He has so much going against him. But as we were talking to him and teaching him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I could clearly see him as he can become. And I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is powerful enough to have that be a possibility for him. His name is Tommy. He needs all the power and blessings from God he can get. We will likely have to refer him to the English Elders because he prefers English over Spanish, but we'll meet with him on Thursday and see what he says.
Our District Leader gave us the challenge of talking to 100 people this week about the Gospel. So far we are doing well. I am always worrying about being a nuisance and annoying people by talking to them, but I'm slowly learning that more often than not, God is putting specific, prepared people in our path, and by not opening my mouth and talking to everyone I can, I am missing those that are ready to listen. We are repeatedly surprised by the people that do call us back, that do want to hear more, that do come to an appointment we made in the park, that do make changes to their lives. We are always amazed and in awe of how much Heavenly Father's hand is directing our day. Trust in Him.
I love you. Thanks for all the letters this week, from everyone! Thanks for the prayers.
Oh! The address. All mail just goes to the Mission Address:
Hermana Jamie Peterson
Illinois Chicago Mission
1319 Butterfield Rd Suite 522
Downers Grove, IL 60515-5621