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