Monday, December 30, 2013

Ciudad Evita 2B

Nueva Área!!!  I look across the train tracks and wave to Rocío. :)  Not really, but it is super close.

We went to the new ward yesterday and I felt like I was back in Bella Vista.  The bishop is like the bishop there- muy capo, full of love, tall, skinny, and rubio.  He even makes the same kinds of jokes.  And he has high hopes for his little flock.  We were greeted warmly by everyone.  They are excited to have sisters because it is the first time ever.  S we felt loved and felt a lot of love for all of them as well.  It is incredible how quickly you can love somebody.  I already feel at home here in my new home.

We knocked a lot of doors this week.  We started with nothing on Tuesday so we are visiting all the members and they are all incredible and many are willing to go out and work with us.  But after all that there is still plenty of time for knocking doors.  We found a few people that let us talk with them, and for that we are grateful.  We ask for water at almost every house because it is stifling hot.  People get really sweet and eager to help us when we ask for water.  People are the best.

Hermana Passos is suffering slightly from culture shock but she is, as all of my companions have been, a real trooper.  She is eager to learn and change.  That part is so important.  She has been helping me a lot in this week to remember all the things we need to get done and helping us see what more we can do.  We are developing a ward mission plan that involves brownies and I think it will function quite well. :)  Everyone needs to feel the joy that comes from inviting and teaching and testifying to the people we love.  If we need a brownie to get us rolling, I see nothing wrong with that!  It will be fun.

Christmas was wonderful and I hope it was splendid for all of you!  I loved seeing your faces.  So beautiful.  I thought and studied a lot about the birth of the Savior this Christamas season and I think it was the best Christmas Ive had so far.  In the few chapters of the Bible where it talks about Jesus´ birth it talks a lot about prophets, revelation, following the guidance we receive, submitting to the will of the Father, humility, obedience, and walking with faith.  Such a perfect beginning to such a perfect life.  Although the day of Christmas has passed, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas throughout all the year of 2014.  It is going to be a good one.  I can feel it in my bones. :)

I just love you all a lot.  Be well.

Hermana Peterson

Monday, December 16, 2013

Felices Fiestas

We had a lovely Christmas Dinner in the ward this week and we were pleased to have four investigators there!  We ate the most delicious chicken.  The fiestas are quite grand.  It is the season of food and family and love and laughter!  It is all happy.
We are finding more people to teach all the time.  The Lord is preparing people everywhere to receive the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This week we had a great experience with a woman named Alejandra.  She is a single mom that has recently passed through some unfortunate events.  Her sister was recently baptized in another province and she was curious about what made her change.  She had to stop smoking and change her life around.  Alejandra is very receptive to the Spirit.  She needs a lot of peace.  She is nervous a lot of the time, feels anxious.  Her son is twelve and she has raised him so well.  She is looking for a new apartment and we are trying to help her find one close to the chapel. :)  The day we found her she told us she had just asked her boss if she could change her schedule to have Sundays free, and this week she told us that starting in January it will be so!  Blessings.  She wants to have a new life and she wants all the blessings the Lord has to offer.  New year, new life. ¿Por qué no?
I love Justa so much.  We will be together in el reino celestial.  She has the most wonderful sense of humor and we laugh and laugh.  She accompanies us for hours each weeks making visits and we walk from one end of Tablada to the next.  What a trooper.  I love her.
It is getting incredibly hot here. We sweat a lot. jaja.  Apparently this is just the beginning, so buckle down and get comfy.  The summer is coming.
I am so excited to talk to you and tell you I love you.  I hope all are well.  We had a powerful zone conference this week and learned more about light and darkness and the work of salvation.  Hermana Carter showed us an awesome video of a photographer that takes pictures of two strangers in the street in poses that show love and we compared it to how we can help the members and investigators work together.  Its awesome, you should look it up.  The project is called Touching Strangers, maybe you've seen it already.  We can love people in an instant, but we might have to do something out of our comfort zone to get there.  I love you!!
Hermana Peterson

President told me recently that on Wednesday I will be leaving Aldo Bonzi and opening a new area in Ciudad Evita, and training a new Brazilian sister straight from the CCM!! Whooweeee.  So, what this means is that when I talk with you on Christmas all will be new!  I also couldnt set a time with a member to use their computer, so Im just going to set the time with you and figure it out with the member later. :)  There shouldn't be any problem. Its one of the wealthiest areas of the mission so I think there will be plenty of houses with internet and the members love it when sisters come to their wards.  jaja. 
 President told me that this ward has only had one baptism in the whole year of 2013.  There are two elders there so we will be four missionaries.  He said the bishop is determined to turn his ward into a missionary ward through the missionaries.  If you have any suggestions, Ill take them. :)  I am excited and sad to leave Aldo Bonzi. ITs been good to me.  My tummy feels all nervous inside but at the same time I have peace. I'm excited to talk to all of in a few short days!! Thanks for everything. I love you!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Luz y Oscuridad

It is what has been on my mind as of late.  I read a talk by Presidente Uchtdorf this morning where he shared a story of a girl who grew up being abused and she learned how to stop feeling because the darkness was so great.  When she turned 18 she found the Restored Gospel, was baptized, and began a life of light.  As time went by she battled with her past.  Eventually she learned that she had to accept that darkness exists, but not to dwell there.  She chose to dwell in the light.  

Where did she find the strength to leave the darkness?  How did she change her future to be so drastically different from the lives of her parents?  How did her spirit fight to be heard, to melt her wounded heart, and let the light in?  Her spirit is obviously quite valiant.  And once our spirits know what it feels like to live in the light, miracles ensue.  Light is so powerful! It is infinitely more powerful than darkness.  It is the power of Jesus Christ.  And we have to hold that light up high, for all to see and feel and enjoy!  I think of Heidi´s face as she sits in the sun on a lovely summer day.  She LOVES it. It is what gives her life.  And so it is with our spirits and the light of Christ.  The darkness doesnt hold a candle to the Light. ;)

Vimos muchos milagros esta semana.  Mucha luz en lugares de oscuridad.  

Dad, your letter this week was right on the button.  And you asked to know more of the struggle, so I will share some with you.  God leads us to many of His prepared children.  They are discouraged and lonely and confused and broken.  They are also incredibley wise and strong and intelligent and full of love for family.  They let us in and our hearts are so full of gratitude and love and light.  We see them as beautiful, important children of a loving Heavenly Father.  We do everything in our power to help them understand the magnitude of what we are sharing.  We leave, praying that they will find the strength within themselves to leave the darkness and step into the light.  To leave the sadness, sin, substance-abuse, confusion, bitterness, guilt, fear- and receive the best gift that our Father has to offer us- eternal life.  We pray and pray, but so many times people choose to stay where they are.  It is heart-breaking every time.  But we never lose hope because Jesus Christ lives, and He is our Savior.  People need to hear the truth a good number of times before they are willing to accept it and act upon it, in most instances.  And every day there is more and more light in this beautiful world that God created. 

We are all needed in the work of salvation.  What a wonderful season to be talking about Christ with everyone.  Diciembre es un mes de milagros!  Tenemos una cena navideña en el barrio este viernes y estamos muy animados.  Oh, la Navidad. *carita feliz*

I love you all so very much!! Un besito!

Hermana Peterson

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Diciembre ya?

Mother, I received your card!  I loved reading your wise thoughts and it made me very happy. Thanks.

We had another week of miracles.  

We were knocking doors on Tuesday night and a woman opened the window. We told her we were representatives of Jesus Christ and had something important to give her and her family.  She quickly said no, that she was taking care of her paralyzed brother and didnt have time, but we promised her this was what she needed and she shut the window.  We didnt know if that meant she was coming to the door or no, so we waited a moment and we heard the key in the door.  She opened and told us to enter.  We stepped into her house to see two teenage girls sitting on the stairs .  She told us to enter the kitchen, so we did and there were four boys, all on laptops.  We asked how many kids she had and she told us- eight.  I was trying to think how we could invite everyone to listen when everyone shut their laptops and came into the kitchen and sat around the table, attentive and quiet.  Well that worked out nicely!!  The youngest is 12, then there are twin boys, 14, and the others are 18, 19, 21,23, 25, and one more whose age I dont know.  We asked what their favorite thing about their family is and they said, the love.  We shared some of the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited them to be baptized and everyone said yes.  As we were leaving the mom told uis we arrived in the perfect moment for her family.  We left their home with tears of gratitud for how wonderful is our God.

But the story doesnt end there!  We went back every day and guess what? They were never home or never answered the door.  Major disappointment.  But we knew this family was prepared by the Lord and that we had to exercise faith.  We left a note explaining how to get to the church and prayed and fasted.  Halfway through the first hour of church someone called us out into the hall and told us we had two investigators that were sitting in the sacrament meeting of the other ward that was about to start!  There sat Micaela (19) with her boyfriend.  We were so happy to see them.  They stayed all three hours and felt great.  We have high hopes for this family.

The Lord led us to other prepared people this week and blessed us abundantly.  We feel a lot of love.  It doesnt come without trial, but that is why we are here, living on this beautiful earth.  To be tried.  And alone we fail, but with Christ we succeed. De diez!  

I love you all and pray for your progress.  Thanks for all you do and are.

Can you believe it is already December?  Christmas!!

Hermana Peterson