Tuesday, April 30, 2013

30 April 2013

No email from Kori today :(

This is her travel day- so she is officially on her way to Germany.
She left the MTC today at about 8:00 a.m.
She got to call from the airport, but unfortunately everyone
else was either at work or at school, so she only got to chat with
me (and Kai for a few minutes).

She sounded so good, so happy and so ready and nervous for
her new adventure. Her travel plans included a 2 hour layover in
Detroit and a 3 hour layover in Amsterdam. She will arrive in
Germany at the Mission home late tomorrow afternoon.

Even as I write it, I can't believe she is on her way. She is so
excited, but found out that because of Visa regulations in the
country of Switzerland, she won't be allowed to be in that area.
The only way she can go there is as a visitor (which missionaries
are not). I guess that is one more reason to travel to the Alps to
pick her up from her mission.

We have had the privilege of hearing from several people
that have seen Kori in the MTC. It is nice to know she is
happy, healthy and doing well.

She talked today of what a blessing her companion has been
to her. As we said our prayers tonight, I realized that the two
of them were together for a reason in the MTC and it definitely
was not by chance that they were in the MTC together. I know
that in two days they will go there separate ways, but I do
hope that they find their way back to each other again sometime
during their 18 months in Germany.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

23 April 2013- Week #5

*** Note from Mom: Kori flies out on Delta flight 619 from SLC Airport on April 30
Family is allowed to see her off at the airport if you are interested:

Dear Family & Friends,

So much happened last week, I can't remember what I included in the last email and what is new!  The curse of the missionary time...

First off, we got our travel plans on Friday!  It's been so hard to focus, we're just all so excited that we're so close, and in 7 days I'll be on a plane to Deutschland!  It's hard to envision my mission past the MTC, it feels like I've been here forever! (and at the same time, it feels like it went by so fast.)  On the other hand, it's also been extrememly stressful.  We realize that our German is anything but fluent, we can communicate great but our grammar makes us sound like 2-year olds, and we're going to be living in Germany in a week.  We have 10-12 hours to study a day, but only 6 of those hours are in the classroom with a teacher, and at most 2 of those hours are spent with a teacher learning German.  So most of it we learn ourselves.  And lately, our teachers have been giving such great gospel lessons and 'how to be a better missionary' type of lessons that we don't have time to learn German.  Which is great, I love gospel lessons and all, but TEACH ME DEUTSCH!

Richard G. Scott's talk was pretty darn cool.  I think it's amazing how most of the things that we learn in devotionals are things that we've learned previously at some point in our life, but the Spirit can help apply the principles to our life and circumstances NOW.  Even though everyone had told me a million times that serving a mission would bless my future family, and that missionaries are promised all the power of heaven to accomplish what we need to do, it was just so cool to recieve an Apostolic blessing that promised us those things.  Psh, I love the church.

The BYU men's chorus came for our Sunday devotional.  I'm pretty sure that one of the most beloved songs here at the MTC (well, at least among the German districts!) is Komm du Quelle jeden Segnen (Come thou fount of every blessing.)  It's not in the English hymn book anymore for some bizarre reason, so I only know the words auf Deutsch.  But the men's chorus sang it in English, which was super cool!  (It's still prettier auf Deutsch though, sorry English!)  I got to see a few of my old friends afterwards who sang in Men's chorus, which was nice to have some sort of contact with the outside world!  

Man, after I got the email about the Boston bomb last week, I realized how much of a bubble I live in right now!  Texas could break away from the United States, California could sink into the ocean, and I would never know lol even when I leave the MTC I'll be in another country, so that won't be much help either lol Whoever thinks that BYU is a little happy mormon bubble never went to the MTC!

So the first day that we arrived at the MTC, there was a demonstration on 'How to Teach.'  They had us move from room to room, with 3 different "investigators", and they had a pair of missionaries come in, get aquainted with the investigator, begin a lesson, and then they would stop the demonstration and have all the new missionaries practice teaching the lesson as a giant companionship.  It was super fun to do, and Sister Regnier and I were really bummed that we only get to do it once in the MTC.  But we were asked to be the missionaries for that activity this week for all the new missionaries!  That'll be so fun!  We were so excited, and then we realized that we're supposed to talk in English...we've never given a lesson in English!  It's all been in German!  I'm sure we'll do fine, it'll just be weird.  I'll have to really catch myself to make sure I don't say any German words, I wouldn't want to confuse the poor new missionaries coming in!

So the MTC has been at a rough 60/40 for Elders/Sister ratio.  But this last Wednesday, there was more Sisters that arrived than Elders!  We're almost at 50/50 right now!  All of the speakers that come to talk always mention how the MTC looks more colorful than it ever has! 

We got our first "investigator" to commit to baptism last week!  It was so cool!  If I was able to get that excited over a rollplay baptism, how rewarding will it be in the field to know that I actually gave a person that much joy and happiness?  I'm so excited!  But our other 'investigator' is really tough; he's a Catholic Priest and only meets with us because he thinks that we are interesting.  I get SO FRUSTRATED whenever we teach him!  I have to resist the urge to Bible bash, and remember that he has his agency to reject our message, and he has the freedom to have a testimony for another church.  It's just frustrating because we want him to have all the joy and blessings that we have as members of the church, but he doesn't understand that our church is the only one that can offer certain blessings and promises.  And I'm sure that the majority of the people that I'm going to teach are going to be like him, having no interest in what we're saying, only thinking that it's interesting.  So it's been a really good thing for me to practice my patience, practice having love for everyone I teach, and practice teaching the gospel in all of it's simplicity.  That's one of the greatest things about having a language barrier-we can't go in depth about the gospel like we would be able to if we were speaking English.  So we have to slow down and teach the Gospel simply, clearly, as if we would be teaching a child.  Which really, that's what we should be doing.  The investigators don't need to know everything about all of the degrees of glory, and how to shake an angel's hand to tell if it's a messenger from God or from the devil, or exactly how many stripling warriors there were.  They need to know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, that he has a plan for us in this life to have joy, and he has a plan for us to return to him in the next life and life with God and our families forever.  That's what the language is forcing us to do; slow down and speak simply.  Which is a huge blessing.  I'm so grateful that I'm able to learn German, and to go to such an amazing mission! 

Tschüss Brudern und Schwestern!
-Sister Peterson

Thursday, April 18, 2013

16 April 2013- Week 4

Dear Family,

I've been pretty sick all week, but I'm finally starting to get back to normal!  There's a Sister in my district who's been sick pretty much the whole time, but she was claiming it was just allergies.  But after everyone she hangs out with got sick this week with the EXACT same symptoms she had, I'm pretty sure she realized that she needs to quarantine for any future missionaries, getting sick at the MTC is unavoidable!  You live in such tight quarters (especially now!), you spend all day in a small classroom, really don't get that much sleep, don't eat super healthy, and you are always surrounded by people.  And being a sick missionary is NOT fun.  My companion and I were giving a lesson the other day, and we weren't really getting anywhere, we were actually just getting really frustrated with our "investigator" and I pretty much stopped breathing and started having a coughing attack.  So we had to run out of the room so I could get water!  It was embarrassing, but it might've been a blessing in disguise, because we were able to compose ourselves and make a quick plan before going back in.  Our lesson went pretty good after that, the Spirit was there and all and we bore our testimonies of what we were saying.  This particular investigator is just really hard to teach because he plays the role of a 61 year old Catholic Priest who really just wants to learn about the Church.  It's hard to have people from two different faiths, both having a firm testimony of their religion, and trying to convert each other!  It's so hard not to just want to go in and Bible Bash!  But we're not the teachers, the Spirit is, so we're just hoping that he opens up his heart enough to realize that what he feels during the lessons is the Spirit testifying that we say is true.  But I'm super grateful for this practice, because most of the investigators out in the field are probably going to be a lot like this one!
So this week was finals week at BYU, and I'm guessing a lot of other colleges are going to be finishing up their semester soon as well.  So guess what that means?  The summer missionaries are starting to arrive!  This week has been SO CROWDED!  Ugh, I'm so glad that I'm leaving in two weeks, I do NOT want to be here when all of the summer missionaries arrive!  The lines in the cafeteria and for showers and for laundry have been awful.  Gotta love all the missionaries who are sacrificing their lives for 18 months-2years, but I'd love them a lot more if they weren't all in the MTC at the same time lol
Relief Society this Sunday was SO GOOD!  I don't know if y'all have ever heard of Mary Edmunds, she does Time out for Women a lot, and speaks at a lot of Relief Society type things, but she was our speaker.  She was hilarious, she was spiritual, and she made me so excited for missionary work!  She served 4 missions-isn't that crazy?  And that was back when Sisters served for 2 years.  I can't even imagine serving for 8 years out of my life.  A few of the spiritual things she said: -The trouble with most teachers is they think that THEY are the teacher.  Not true.  The Spirit is. -Nobody was foreordained to fail or be wicked.  We were all sent to Earth because we chose to be righteous.  Help people remember that. -All you can do is the best you can do.  Angels will move heaven to help us accomplish the things that we can't do.  Some of the funny things she said: -don't touch the Elders!  Under any circumstances, they are not to be touched!...but keep track of the ones you do want to touch for AFTER you get home teehee
So I was in the bathroom the other day, washing my face and brushing teeth and getting ready for bed and all, and talking to a bunch of other girls on the floor.  One of them said they I reminded them of someone from Miss Congeniality, and literally everyone in the bathroom turned and was like "She does!  She is so like her!"  I've never seen Miss Congeniality, and I won't get to for another 18 months, so I guess I won't know if that's a good or bad thing for a while.  They said I reminded them Miss Rhode Island or something, whoever won the pageant.  So if someone could tell me if that's a compliment or embarrassing that would be great lol
The German is slowly coming :/  I'm sure to me it seems really slow, when in reality I'm learning way faster than humanly possible!  It's just getting harder because we're getting more into grammar and logistics now.  We're also learning cases-which I guess we don't have in English-but German has 3 or 4 cases, so it's really hard.  Caveman German just isn't acceptable anymore, we're actually expected to be It's coming, and I can translate sentences just fine on paper, It's just not second nature to me as I'm writing yet.
I finally memorized "Our Purpose" and all of D&C (L&B auf Deutsch) in German!  But now I have to start memorizing the First Vision auf Deutsch...yikes.  My companion and I are trying to memorize hymn 74 (Come thou Fount of every blessing) just for fun.  We sing that hymn at least 3 times a day!
So just real fast before I log off, I thought I'd share a few scriptures, cause I am a missionary and all..
- 2 Nephi 32:9.  Pray for everything!  The Lord has promised us that if we pray, he will help us and give us strength, so why do we often hesitate before offering a prayer?
-D&C 80:3 There are things that just don't matter!  There isn't ONE right path for every choice.  But if we do start to go wayward and down a path we shouldn't, the Holy Ghost will always be there to move us back on track.
-D&C 11:12-14  What more can I say?  I love this scripture.  Seek to have the Spirit with you always, and how can you doubt that what you're doing is right if the Spirit is with you?

Thanks for your support!
-Sister Peterson

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


More Pictures from the MTC- I hope you enjoy them:

Pic 1: So, I love defending how German really isn't an ugly language, but I can't argue with my textbook...Dad will love this pic.  Read the first sentence:

Pic 2:  Our nametags!  We get to go to the temple on Sundays just to walk around the temple grounds.  It's pretty neat!

Pic #3: Schweiss und Osterich represent!  Die schon Alpen

 Pic #4: Meine Mitarbeiterin und ich am das Provo Tempel!

Pic #5: Our Elders photobombing our picture. IDK if you can read their nametags,
 it's the British Elder and the Aussie

Pic #6: Elder Huttanen (the Finnish elder) is always forgetting his nametag.  

 Pic #'s 7 & 8: Two more of meine Mitarbeiterin und ich, so putzig!! 

I really feel so blessed to have a companion that I get along with!
Love you all
Sister Peterson

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

9 April 2013- Half way and Funny Story

I can't believe that tomorrow is the halfway mark already!  Time goes by so fast here!  Well, sort of.  The missionary-time is slow days, quick weeks.  How true that is!  It seems like every day is another Sunday or P-day.  In three weeks I'll be in Munich, and then who knows where they will send me next!
The Honeymoon period of the MTC is over.  I find myself constantly praying for patience and love for others ,and for myself!  It's so easy to get impatient with yourself here!  It's a constant reminder, but I guess that's why they give us so much personal study time each day, so that we're always being spiritually rejuvinated!
So this week my district starting something called the TRC.  It's once a week, and we go and teach lessons to volunteers who come to the MTC.  It is mostly RM's who are just so excited to speak to someone in their mission language, and they mostly just help us out (or so I've heard.) So this week my companion and I headed into the TRC, thinking that it would be super easy.  We'd get to speak our mix of German-English, the volunteer would forgive our poor grammar, and all would be well!  Oh, how wrong we were!  Our first volunteer was an older lady who grew up in Germany, moved to Italy, got converted in Italy, and was just in Provo for the weekend to see General Conference.  She had the missionary who baptized her with her, but he didn't speak German, she doesn't speak English, and since she was baptized in Italy, she doesn't know any of the gospel words in German.  And we had to teach her!  There would be moments where I would say something in German, she would look confused, I'd say the English word to the RM, he would say the Italian word to her, and she would finally understand.  It was sehr schwer!  But the cool part was that we taught a native German speaker, we were able to have a decent conversation with her and teach her a lesson in German, without the safety net of speaking English.  So that was a huge confidence builder.
I'm getting to the point in my German that my English spelling is going down the drain at an increasing rate!  It's bizarre to me to hear a prayer in English, I can't remember the English words to the hymns anymore, and I find myself accidentally including German words in my letters and emails.  Sorry!  You have the luxury of Google translate, I don't lol. 
General Conference was very good!  Although I have to say that I am so glad that the Lord has the timing that he does!  If this conference had happened before the October one, I would have spent all of my time freshman year looking for a husband!  Seriously, it seemed like the main focus of this Conference was on the importance of the home, the sanctity of marriage, and the power of the priesthood.  I just feel bad for those poor Sister Missionaries who have been called but haven't reported to the MTC yet, they must be at war with themselves right now...

Speaking of Priesthood, I have a really great story!  So there is a Finnish Elder in my district, and he speaks pretty good English, but there are some words and phrases that he still doesn't understand. (Like one time he tried to call his companion humble, and instead he said his companion was so 'down in the Earth.')  So he was telling us what he liked about the Priesthood session of conference, and he was sharing something from Uchtdorf's talk.  He said "and Elder Uchtdorf kept talking about this creature that would fall down a lot...I think this creature must be like a sloth or a turtle or something, and it would fall down all the time.  I kept thinking throughout his talk, that poor animal!"  and we were all desperately trying to think of what creature he could possibly be talking about; what clumsy and stupid animal falls down all the time, when his companion chimed in and said, "uuh, you mean a toddler?"  We could not stop laughing!  Oh, that poor creature...

Tell people to write me letters!  Keine Post fur mir!  I think that lots of my friends expect me to write to them first, but they forget that I don't have anyone's address and mine is freely posted on facebook...if it's not too much trouble, do you think you could log on my fb or something and get some addresses for me?  I think the main ones are the Tiemann's and the Ries's.  and maybe post that if people want to hear from me, they either need to write to me or tell you my address, cause I don't have the luxury of Google or Facebook!

It is snowing again here! It has been snowing on and off since we got here :(

 I love you all and thanks for all of your support!

-Sister Peterson