Monday, September 22, 2014

And so it begins

As I thought about what I want to say to you today, I remembered one of the best letters I've ever read.  It is from my dear brother, Paul.  He may not even remember, but it was his last email of his mission, and it had a great impact on me.  I printed it out and have reread it several times since he arrived at home.  I read it again last night, and realized that he expresses what I feel much better than I could do myself.  So with a deep breath and a smile on my face, I say:

"This has been an awesome [year and a half], definitely the most influential of my life... so far.  But I promise you that this next year of my life will be even better than this past year on my mission.  I love this work with all my heart.  I am going to miss really badly a lot of things. Don´t doubt that.  But now I will continue life in the way the Lord wants me to.  When we live the gospel, we feel the Spirit and are happy.  God wants us to keep going up and up and never stop growing.  That is why I intend to stay happy long after my mission and have spiritual experiences every day, week, month...

"I´ve tasted some way delicious joy in the service of the Lord. I don´t intend to stop the feast.

"I will be released as a full-time missionary [in Argentina] in a few days, but I don´t think I will ever be able to stop being a full-time missionary.  I SIMPLY LOVE IT!  Everything I have learned these past [18 months] applies directly to the rest of my life, and I intend to live it to the fullest."

My heart is full and my joy... there aren´t words.  I know this is the true church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet called of God to restore the church in its beautiful fullness once again upon the earth.  I know families can be eternal.  I know sins can be forgiven.  I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows us.  I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer.  And I love being His missionary.

"I can´t wait to hug you and look you in the eyes. There will be love."

Un beso grande,

Hermana Peterson
Abril se bautizo!

una noche de hogar

Monday, September 15, 2014

estamos conectados en una manera celestial

we love the bici

Agus's birthday

Mis Queridos Amigos

Are you ready to hear the greatest thing ever?

On Friday we packed our backpacks and got on the bus, heading for Buenos Aires.  We arrived at night and stayed with our two great companions, Hna Millet and Hna Rohm.  That was fun, because "we are connected in a heavenly way."  We woke up on Saturday morning Hna Millet made us pancakes and then we read the Book of Mormon.  Then Hna Cuevas and I headed to Morón.

I walked into the chapel and was greeted by Nataila, Maite, Melanie, and Thiago, hugs all around.  Then I saw Marcela and we hugged and cried and hugged some more. Best hug of my life.  I shook Cristian´s hand and said, Congratulations.

So let me fill you in.  The day I left Morón the Hermanas went and did the pre-interviews of familia Guiñazú, remember them?  And when they asked what day they got married they looked back and said, "What do you mean?"....
They told us they were married but they actually weren´t!!  So now, months later, after paper work and waiting time, they were able to get married and.. BE BAPTIZED!  And I got to go.  And it was the best day ever.

They each picked someone different to baptize them, except the twins that were baptized by the same man.  As each one came out of the water I felt the Spirit so strongly.  This family is starting a new life.  They are clean and pure and now they have the help from the Holy Ghost each day.

We hopped back on the bus and raced back to Bragado to prepare for Alejandro´s baptism.  What a perfect day!!  And Alejandro´s baptism was divine.  The whole family went to support him and everyone felt the peace of the Spirit.  One of Alejandro´s childhood friends is the daughter of the Relief Society president and came to town for the special occasion.  Gabriela and Josefina are preparing well for their own baptisms in Octubre.

So now I´ll send lots of beautiful pictures.

I love being a missionary! I love Argentina and the people in it!  The Church is true.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and He changes lives every day as God´s children choose to follow Him.  This is the road to happiness.
Hermana Peterson

mi corazon
familia Guinazu

familia Sosa:)
familia Sosa

I just love you
Divisions with Hna. Hale! This is a smock Cecilia wears to teach preschool.

Toda la Vida

familia Alldredge:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This Air is So Good

So many miracles.  The Sosa family brings joy to our lives each day.  Their baptismal date was set for the 11th of October because the mom is leaving town next weekend for the operation of her niece and wanted some time after that to return and prepare.  This Sunday only the dad, Alejandro, went to church, for his third Sunday in a row!  He is solid.  He is reading the Book of Mormon, praying personally and with his family each day, and attending church each week.  He is excited about everything he learns.  So we started meditating the situation after church yesterday and it just so happened that we had lunch with familia Sosa.  We decided to see if Alejandro desired to be baptized earlier than planned.  Because he is so ready.  

We started talking, asking about how they felt towards their baptisms.  Gabriela said she needs a lot more preparation.  She hasnt smoked a single cigarette since the day we taught Palabra de Sabiduria, and is making excellent progress, but wants to increase her faith in God.  Alejandro said he felt like he still lacked some knowledge.  We decided to do the pre-interview right then and there to help them see what the requirements are for baptism and if they are prepared.  Alejandro answered perfectly.  He believes everything we have taught him is the truth and he wants to keep all the commandments forever.  Then we explained more about the priesthood and how Alejandro will be able to prepare to receive the priesthood and bless his family.  We then asked if he would lke to be baptized this Saturday.  And he said yes!!  And his wife is excited.  He has it as a goal to be worthy of the priesthood and maybe even be able to baptize the rest of his family when they are ready in October.  It was a beautiful miracle.  Ive never seen the father of a family progress so much more quickly than the rest.  His transformation has been incredible.  The Lord has been preparing him to receive the restored gospel,and when it came knocking, he joyfully let it in.

Abril and Marina are progressing well and attended church again yesterday.  One day when we went for our lesson Abril was playing in the park in front of her house and we went to join her.  I still love swinging. :)  Abril is nine years old and is adorable and painfully shy.  Just recently she has started talking comfortably with us, after a month of teaching her!  She is a strong soul.

We had a special meet with Elder Walter Gonzalez and his wife and it was awesome.  We learned so much just from being with them.  When a person masters the attributes of Christ it is impossible for them to not be teaching. They dont even have to open their mouths and we can observe and learn.  The Spirit works through righteous examples that help bring us closer to Christ.  And the Spirit is powerful.

I promised a picture of familia Sosa and  still dont have it.  Next week. ;)  But Ill send some other lovely pictures.

Hermana Cuevas continues being wonderful.  She is a light to us all.

This week is packed full with divisions, special trainings, baptisms. There is a surprise next week that I am extremely excited about... :)  the suspense.

I love you all with all my little heart.  Serve the Lord and find joy.  It is the only way!

LOVES y besos,

Hermana Peterson
                                                             Hermana Lopez Jr
Jazmin loves being a missionary and she also loves make-up:))  She jumped up and down for literally five minutes when we gave her this plaquita.

La basilica of Lugan.  It is famous.

This is what greets me everytime I return to beloved Bragado

I love this horse (notice the chunk out of the side--it's in all the pictures and everything)

la gira misional

Remember her?! Hermanita Henao

Gauchos in training

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Oh Bragado, I love You

Yesterday was a beautiful Sabbath Day.  Not only because the sun was shining and the temperatures rose, but also because Alejandro, Gabriela, Josefina, and Gaston Sosa we seated next to me in the chapel!!  They all woke up early and made themselves pretty and went to church and loved it!!  Josefina even brought her friend, Guadalupe.  It was lovely.  And Marina and Abril went as well.  Heavenly Father is helping them make the changes they so want in their lives.  I love to be here to see it happen.

I will have pictures of them to send you next week, promise.

Hermana Adams came to Bragado with me on Tuesday and on Wednesday it just so happened to our cumple-mes together!  We completed 17 months on the mission.  So, naturally, we went all out and ate the most delicious breakfast of my life- french toast with ice cream on top.  and my dear companion, Hermana Cuevas, left me a cute paper sign. :)  Then we went back to 25 de Mayo to change companions again and Hermana Passos, who loves more than anything to try and make people feel trunky, made us a sign, with balloons and everything.  I love her.  It was a great day.

We taught the Word of Wisdom to familia Sosa this week and Gabriela is quitting smoking and they are all giving up coffee.  We brought them some malta and mansanilla and they gave us their coffee and tea and cigarettes to dispose of.  They have great faith.  They want to be an eternal family, and they are willing to show their love through obedience to the commandments of the Lord.  They were having a hard time praying as a family because they were all embarrassed to actually say the prayer.  It was like, "Okay, who wants to say the prayer?" and everyone just looked at each other, and nobody wanted to say it, so nobody did.  Well my companion is intelligent so she said, "Hermana Peterson and I are going into the next room and we´re not coming back in until you have said a family prayer." And we got up and left.  And they prayed!!  And then the prayed all together the next day and next and the next.  And then they went to church all together.  Christ taught that as we pray in our families, we will be blessed, and it is true.

Josefina is an artist and she gave me one of her paintings this week! So cute.  I love her.

It was a great week.  We are so grateful.  Heavenly Father is orchestrating this work, and we have the privilege to be instruments in His hands.  I love it so much.

I love you all and am so happy for the beautiful souls you are. Just trust in Him.

Hermana Peterson
Hermana Adams y yo

Breakfast of champions

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bendiciones, Cuenta y Veras (3)

Hermana Cuevas made a little grateful jar when we started here together in Bragado.  Each day we write why we are grateful and then on Sunday night we read the notes and laugh and smile and remember all the beautiful blessings that the Lord gave us during the week. It is a great way to build unity.  Each day I am grateful that God gave me such a cute companion who helps me be my best self.  Can´t ask for more than that.

We taught like crazy this week!  Our district leader always says, "Work hard! Work smart! Teach like crazy!"  And that is what we did this week.  It was a blast.  I feel so full of gratitude, I cant express it.  Heavenly Father leads us to wonderful people.  And the best part is that familia Sosa is progressing well!!  Yesterday Alejandro and Josefina, 11, went to church!  Gabriela couldn´t go, but next week, sí.  We are passing by tonight and we are going to eat brownies and have a lovely little Noche de Hogar.  We always leave their home smiling ear to ear because they are so wonderful.

Each Saturday Hna Larralde gives us lunch.  I love eating with her and her two daughters, Erika y Sofia.  They are 22 and 17 years-old.  We are trying to help Sofia attend church and each week she is closer and closer.  She is now praying every day and reading the scriptures almost every day, and just these two little thngs gives me a great amount of joy.  

We had a Relief Society meeting this week about Visiting Teaching and it was so inspired.  That program is essential in the care of the sisters.  I love it.

I am happy.  I am excited for divisions this week, staying in Bragado with Hna Adams! It should be good.

It makes me so happy to hear the good news from home.  Thanks for the endless apoyo.  I love you all with my wholentire heart!!


Hermana Peterson
con los caballos

la Sociedad de Socorro


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Hermana Cuevas is my new companion here in Bragado!! And I feel privileged to have such a wonderful soul as my companion.  We are both 22, happy, easy-going, and excited to work.  I am tall, she is short, Im from the United States and she´s from Honduras.  We go well together.

Hermana Cuevas learned to ride a bike this week and it was an extra challenge because the bike is much too big for her!  But she´s a sport and every time I look back to see if she´s still alive she has a giant smile on her lovely face.  Hasta ahora, todo bien.

And I have good news-  Mariana went to church!!!!  We have been having the hardest time getting people to church these past few weeks, and yesterday when we went to Mariana´s house before church she was ready and waiting!  It made me so happy.  She is eighteen and was a referral from a member.  Her mom passed away four years ago and she lives with her dad.  Her siblings are all older.  She loved church and was singing every song and participating in the classes.  She left content.  She said she feels good about her baptism the 6th of September.  I love Mariana.

And Cecilia gave the Relief Society lesson yesterday! Can you believe it? Three weeks as a member and already teaching Relief Society.  She is a rock.  She taught so naturally and shared experiences about Jaz and we were all touched.  It was a beautiful domingo.

We are teaching lots of great families, and helping some return to church that havent been in a while.  The weather is stupendous and the work is marching forward.

Have a great week!!! I love you all with all my heart!!

Hermana Peterson
Hermana Cuevas y yo esperando el colectivo

!la bici!

oooooh. :)

amo el campo

con Hna Millet

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Daniela and Abel went to church yesterday!!!  Let me tell you about them.  Abel is un abuelo that was baptized several months ago.  He lives alone and is very kind and cooks well.  Daniela lives a few blocks away from him and they are friends.  Daniela is 20ish.  They met together with the Hermanas for months and after five months Daniela decided to be baptized.  She loves Hermana Cleveland and Hermana Morales with all her heart and it was hard for her when they were transferred.  Abel has had some health problems and hasn't been attending and little by little Daniela stopped going.  She is part of a service group and they started working a lot of Sundays.  We have been trying these past two months to gain more confidence with her and help her come back.  Last Monday we went to the chapel and played basketball (yeah, it was a joke, but I tried), and on Friday we had a lovely lunch with Daniela, Abel, and his brother, Oscar.  It appeared to be the perfect moment, and they all agreed to go on Sunday.  And they all kept their word!!  It was a beautiful sight to see them all seated there, letting their souls be strengthened and healed by the power of Jesus Christ.  Our souls need that nourishment each Sunday.  There isn't any other peace like the peace of the sacrament.

Heavenly Father is leading us to some of His lost sheep.  This week we found so many people that were baptized years ago.  As we went to referrals, looked for people in the ward list, just talking to people on the street.  It was incredible! God really puts people in our paths.  That´s why opening our mouths and inviting people is so important.  So we are excited to start working with more members.

We had a super fun Noche de Hogar with the brother of David and his family.  I may have written about them a while ago, they have four kids and are married.  We had a lesson with them weeks ago but then they told us they weren't interested.  We organized this noche de hogar and they accepted and it was a blast.  We hope that in the future they can have more desire to have the same blessings David and Cecilia are enjoying.  Poco a poquito.

We are teaching lots of wonderful people right now.  It's just a matter of getting them to church.  Everything is super tranquilo in campo and sometimes it makes it harder to have firm committents.  We have an amazing lesson and they want to read, pray, go to church, accepting everything, and then we can never find them home again.  But we are praying and planning and the Lord really leads us to more and more and more of His children in need.  The work moves forward.

I started my last missionary agenda today.  It makes me feel weird when I look at it.  Time flies so fast!!  We have transfers this week, so we´ll see what happens!  Dun Dun Dun.

It is a gorgeous day in Bragado.  The sun is so happy to shine down on us.

I love you all so much and I ope you have an uplifting week full of miracles.  God love you, don't forget it!!

LOVES y besos,

Hermana Peterson

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I loved this week:)

I went to 9 de Julio this week with Hna Morales and Hna Redford and we had a great time. They are in a trio right now so their other companion, Hna Hale, was with my compañera in Bragado.  9 de Julio is an adorable town and the people are delightful.  We taught families and learned more about how to teach to the needs of the people and got to know one another, and I loved it.

God blessed us with amazing people this week.  We were looking for a reference from a member and the direction was strange, so we strated knocking doors and asking people.  We finally found what we though was it, knocked, and a woman answered.  She told us that it wasnt the house of the referral but that she was his sister. He was in the hospital because their other sister suffers from depression and had taken a bad turn.  We invited her to church and she was receptive.  We ended up entering and having a wonderful lesson with her.  Her name is Soledad and she is lovely.  She has a son who is eighteen and her pareja that she's been with for several years. She is also taking care of the children of her sister while she is in the hospital.  We went back the next day with Hermana Larralde, an angel of a woman.  They were able to understand one another and take strength from one another´s faith.  Soledad accepted a baptismal date and has a lot of hope in the new life she can have as she begins to attend church and invite God´s power into her life.

We also saw a miracle with familia Carrano, a family that was baptized in December.  They had been offended by something that happened and didn't want to go to church anymore.  The members and Branch President have been praying for months to try and help them.  We were finally able to have a lesson with them that we have been planing for weeks.  We talked about the example of Nefi when his brothers tried to kill him and tied with up with strong cords.  Even though it hurt and they were in the wrong, Nefi frankly forgives them all that they had done.  The family was prepared, and after months and months of visits and prayers and phone calls from members and missionaries alike, they all went to church yesterday.  It was a very happy miracle.

I love you all and I am happy for the good choices you are making.  We must always be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many great things of our own free will.  We are agents unto ourselves! We are free!  Let us choose to do as Christ would do. It is the happiest choice we can choose.

"Smile! You are a child of God!"

Hermana Peterson
It just happened to be Hna Passos birthday the day of divisiones!

happy 20!

a little bit of campo travelling.

noche de hogar

the zone

Burritos!! Thank you, Hermana Alldredge.

!Hna Morales Hna Redford!

A beautiful activity in the branch.

To give us all a laugh

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Marriage and Baptism

or the week of many pictures!
This week was wonderful.

As almost always, the week before baptism is full of challenges, and such was the case this week.  We taught about the priesthood in more detail to help prepare David.  He got all quiet and then angry and said that if anyone gave him a calling he wouldn't go to church anymore because he just wanted peace and just wanted to keep being like they are.  When we entered their house that day David was singing and listening to music, and when we left he was almost crying.  That is not how you want to leave a lesson!  So we prayed a lot and had another lesson the next day and he was normal again and said, "I don't know what happened to me yesterday."  Well, okay.  

Cecilia is super excited to learn everything there is to know and is reading everything she can get her hands on.  So we called on Thursday to see how she was doing and she was crying.  "I don't know if we´re getting married tomorrow," she told us.  We rushed over with her member friend, Romina, and she was crying in her bedroom.  We asked David what happened and he said, "I don't know, ask her.  I'm getting married tomorrow.  What's the big deal?"  Oh my goodness.  So Cecilia was excited and wanted David to be as excited, so it hurt her feelings and then David was all, "I just want to be an eternal family, but that can't happen for another year. That´s what I'm excited for."  Oh my goodness.  jaja.  

And then Friday came... And everything was perfect!!  David and Cecilia were so happy, all smiles.  Their families came and then we had a lovely lunch in the chapel.  It was so happy.

And then Saturday came...  And it was all perfect again!  They are SO HAPPY!  And we love them so much.  We sang and it was evident I hadn't sung in front of people for a while because I was shaking the whole time.  But they liked the song, so that was good.

And then Sunday came, and they were still so happy.  Feliz Dís del Amigo!  They gave us adorable friend mugs and a letter and chocolate.  They are perfect.  

They always talk about how Hna Morales came to get them married, then Hna Millet showed up to get them baptized, and then I showed up.  David was trying to figure out what my mission was and then he found it-  to add to the family. jaja!  One day I said that Jazmín needed a little brother and then it became a joke.  And the day they got married David said, "Hermana Peterson, I think your mission will be in process before you go home." jaja!!  so we´re thinking of names.... :)

I want to send more pictures, so that´s all for this week.  The Church is true! I love you all!!

Hermana Peterson
Setting the scene

David y Cecilia

they are so CUTE! en el registro civil


jazmin putting on the rings


con las misionaras

los anillos

Sole y Maxi (David's sister and nephew)

cute party favors

David wrote this...

I loved this moment

flia Lopez y flia Martinez

happy friend day