Tuesday, June 18, 2013

17 June 2013 Exciting Times

Hey there family & friends,

     I just want to start off by saying, never let anyone tell you what is impossible!  My three requirements for coming on a mission when I was younger was:
1) That I wanted to -go when I was 19, not 21 (check) 
2) Learn German (check) -and 
3) Go to a mission that covered muliple countries in Europe (check!)  

     All of which people told me were either impossible and I had no control over, but they all happened!  
     AND I was praying like crazy that I would be able to serve in Switzerland, which everyone said would be impossible, and I was blessed to serve in Freiburg, which even if it was only a few times I was able to travel to Zürich, I was still able to go.  
     AND I was praying like crazy for the opportunity to be able to serve in the northern Italy area of the mission, which everyone was telling me was impossible because that area wasn't open to Sister missionaries. WELLLL..... THEY OPENED IT UP TO SISTERS!  Now everyone is saying Americans won't get to go because the church doesn't want to deal with Americans buying visas (whereas Europeans under the EU can work anywhere) but there is an American Sister there right now.  Take that, world!  Power of prayer:3   Skepticism: 0

     Exciting news number 2:  
     I actually have no idea what this news is, but I'm hoping that someone else will be able to tell me!  Apparently there is 'exciting mission changing news' that will be broadcasted next Sunday.  But, due to the time difference and lack of TV or internet in our apartment, we probably won't find out this news until afterwards.  So Mother dearest, thank you for all that you do for me, would you please let me know what this is?  
     Sister Jenson and I are placing our bets that they are extending the Sister's serving time for 2 years.  Which, mom remember you thought that might happen? I still haven't decided if I would extend to 2 years or stay for the normal 18 months.  I guess it would have to change first before I have to decide, but I've been thinking about it!

     It is summer and it is HOT!  I am getting the weirdest tan lines on my feet and neck, and my water bottle is my best friend.  I get increasingly more depressed that I am lactose intolerant, because the Eis Cafes here look so tempting in summer...And the people here still give us hot tea to drink when we come over, not iced.  I guess that they have this theory that drinking hot tea during summer is like breaking a fever, so we get super hot inside so when we go outside again it doesn't feel so hot.  Still not sure if I'm completely on board with that idea, but I'll go with it lol

     We met with "P" again this week, and it is so great to see how excited she is about her baptism!  We will have to push it back a few weeks, because she has to be able to come to church a few times before she can be baptized.  But she absorbs everything so fast, it's always so refreshing to come out of a lesson with her!  All of our other investigators are doing great as well.  Weekly planning always takes so long (sometimes the whole day) because we have so many investigators, which is a great thing and it keeps us BUSY!
     We got another new new missionary, fresh off the MTC boat this week.  His name is Elder Sumsion.  I don't think Elder Sumsion knows what jet lag is, he is just a big ball of excitement and full of "Greenie" fire.  Sometimes I feel bad for Sister Jenson for not being as Green and Golden as other newbies are. His German is pretty good, and his pronunciation is way more German sounding than mine!  I am having a really hard time with my accent.  Everyone keeps telling me that I have a really thick Texas accent when I speak German (which is super weird, because I don't sound Texan when I speak English) so I'm trying super hard to get rid of it! 

     I am yet to dream in German, but I do admit I occasionally think in German.  There are definitely still days where I get super depressed because I'm not learning as fast as I'd like to, or my grammar is still terrible, or irgendwas (something), but I have to keep reminding myself that I am learning SUPER FAST and it is truly a wonder what I am already able to do.  One of the hard parts of being busy is that lots of times we have to cut language study out of the schedule, which is also another frustrating thing for me.  But really, when I speak the language as much as I can, use the time that I DO have to study and practice, and have 100% faith in God that he will help me learn and master German, those are the days that I see the most success in my language.  I'm finally able to sit through a full 3 hours of church and understand what people are talking about.  Still not word for word, but I get the jist of it.  

     So obviously, Germany doesn't celebrate 4th of Juli or Thanksiving.  But they do celebrate New Years, Christmas, Mutters Tag, Halloween (although someone on the street told me they adopted that from America, but I'm not sure.)  and then A LOT of other random Christian holidays!  There was a lot of holidays in May, which is frustrating because then public transportation doesn't come so often so we normally have really slow days because we walk everywhere.  And I guess Germany has a little Marti Gras type of a thing that sounds really fun.  Oh, and I heard that our mission president gives us the a-ok to stay out until 1am on New Years.  He says that building a relationship with members is really important!  So that'll be fun for next year. 

    When I hear y'all talk about Kam coming home I honestly just get super excited for him!  and I think how fast time goes by!  Before my mission, the time couldn't have gone by any slower until Kam came home, now it seems like the days and weeks and months go by so fast!  Crazy!  My last jaunt into Switzerland was fun, ein bisschen sad, but I am just grateful I was able to go at all!

    And man oh man, I am actually more jealous that you get to go to the temple twice a week than I am jealous that Kam is coming home this week!  We have a Neubekehrt (sorry, recently converted?  Is that what they are called in English?) that is going through the temple for the first time in a few weeks, and we are going to beg President Miles to let us go with her!!  But it is highly unlikely...sigh...

     Thanks again everyone for all of your emails and letters (I got a lot this week! Danke sehr!) and for your prayers and support.  I hope all is well and viel Glück!
-Sister Peterson

Schaffhausen Sisters- Gonna miss them!
My district together in Switzerland!

Last time seeing my Zurich zone leader :(

Zurich Bahnhof for the last time :(

Swiss Farmers Market- mom would love this!

Balloons in Bahnhof

Swiss Cookie and the Book of Mormon... these are a few of my favorite things

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