Tuesday, July 30, 2013

29 July 2013- Still in Freiburg & Loving It

Hello Family & Friends

The first part of this week was busy busy busy!  
The Beauty of Where I am Serving

Traditional Missionary Picture

The Countryside

Everyone in the ward and their mothers wanted to invite us over to say goodbye to Sister Jenson.  So it was a lot of eating appointments, traveling, and packing.  We did visit this member in Titisee, which was an AMAZING appointment.  Not only do they live in probably the most beautiful area of Freiburg, but they had some of the most amazing food I have eaten so far on my mission.  She studied food and nutrition at school, and so she put together a bunch of really interesting flavors of food, and a lot of really good herbs.  She made a kräuter(herb) butter, which we put on EVERYTHING (the bread, the rice, even the meat!)  But they fed us soooo much...we had no desire to eat anything else for probably another 18 hours. 

We also went to an investigator's house. They come from Ghana. Sister Jenson has been trying to get an eating appointment with Africans her whole mission because she wanted to try an African food called Fufu (not quite sure how to spell it...) But anyways, it is an African dish that is basically just a blob of dough with sauce and sometimes shredded meat on  top.  But you eat it by grabbing a bit of dough with your fingers, dipping it in the sauce, and then simply swallowing it whole!  No chewing, just swallowing the slimy delicious thing.  We finally got to eat it at this lady's house, and it probably made Sister Jenson's life.  It was an interesting experience!

I have to admit, probably the scariest part of my mission was when I was in Stuttgart, waving goodbye to Sister Jenson as she gets on a train to Munich, and thinking in 4 hours I am going to have a Golden and be a trainer....GAAAAH!' 
Taking Time for some silliness

Parting Shot before Transfers
Thursday was not easy on my nerves but luckily, I have a great new companion that helps take away the nerves completely!  Whew, President gave me a good Golden.  Her name is Sister Henry, and she is probably the most excited, enthusiastic, and cheerful person I have ever met.  Everyone thinks we are twin Sisters, which is especially confusing to people on the streets because we wear name tags that say 'Sister' on it.  
Shhhh... she hasn't slept in a veryyyyyy long time
But she is super great, I can tell that she is going to be good for this ward, this area, and for me!  

I kinda feel bad for her though, for her very first Sunday in Germany we gave a lesson in Relief Society. Surprise!  It was actually a really good lesson, we talked about having peace at home and using our talents to invite others to 'Come and See' how we live.  I think it was a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to the ward as a companionship, and to help them trust us and be comfortable with asking us to help out with ward things.  So it went well!  

Quick fun story:  So I have no idea why, but we got home one night, we were exhausted, we had been traveling all day, we just wanted to go to bed. When we got into our bedroom there are bees EVERYWHERE!!!  I have no idea how so many bees got into the room!  

Sister Henry locked me in the bedroom saying 'You're the trainer, you kill the bees!'  and I was yelling 'you are a month older, you kill the bees!'  We were screaming every time we heard a buzz close to our head.  
I put on my big, long, winter parka- because I did not want ANY skin showing for those bees to sting me!- and my tennis shoes and tried to step on all the bees on the floor and aimlessly swatting in the air.  
Heehee it was a fun night.  I don't think we were able to get to bed until 11 that night because of the bees.  
Poor Sister Henry, I'm not doing a very good job at helping her overcome jet lag lol.

It's been a good week, and I am super excited to work with Sister Henry for these next 2 transfers. Thanks again to everyone who writes me letters, and to everyone who reads this blog.  I can feel your support and it helps me so much!  Danke schön!

-Sister Peterson

Germany is Beautiful

Shopping District

Walking to an Appointment

Beautiful double Rainbow seen from our Window

This is a sign of good luck and friendship

Monday, July 22, 2013

22 July 2013: Transfers!!

Dear Family-

     The week before transfer calls normally go super slow because everyone is so excited to hear where they will be going and who they will be working with for the next 6 weeks.  But this week was again SUPER BUSY.  

     We did another exchange this week with the Sister Training Leaders, which was super fun.  It was Tuesday-Thursday, and I'm pretty sure we spend at least 12 hours on a train within those three days.  Man, I can't wait for more Sisters to get to this mission so Freiburg Zone can finally have Sister Training Leaders of it's own!  But good news, this next transfer there will be another set of Sisters in Singen, so us Freiburg Sisters won't be the only ones!

     Back to the exchange...

     So the STLs are actually working in a companionship of three in Stuttgart.  The STLs are Sister Jencks and Stewart, and they are both training a new Golden.  Sister Jenson went to Stuttgart with the Golden and both STLs came here to Freiburg to work with me.  Eep!  How scary!  It was my first time taking over the area, but luckily we didn't get lost, and we had a lot of lessons, which was good.  But man, contacting in a drit is so hard!  The poor people on the street, we practically surround them...I have so much respect for drits now, it would be so hard to work in one!  But it was fun to do for a day :P

     So last week in interviews with the President, we somehow got into the topic of training.  He had mentioned how there are actually some missionaries who are training after two transfers (so right after they get done with training themselves, which is actually what Sister Jenson did.)  But anyways, he asked if I was excited to train, and I told him I would love to eventually train, but I felt nowhere near ready to train right now!  He assured me that I probably wouldn't be training this next transfer.  There are 14 Sisters coming in, 9 of which are European, and he said he wants to put as many Sisters as he can into Switzerland.  Which left 5 American Sister left, 28 Sisters who were available to train, and the likelihood that I would be training would be very very low.  But then little miss Sister Jenson, during her interview with President, got the prompting to tell him that I am doing great, my German skills are great (doch!) and that all I lack in confidence.  So when transfers calls came on Friday morning, the last thing I was expecting was to be told I was training.

      But guess who is getting a brand new Golden on Thursday? THIS SISTER!  oh man, the feelings of inadequacy and confusiong that I am feeling right now!  Die arme Missionarin that I will be training!  President doesn't match up Goldens with their trainers until after he has met them (which is the day before they leave to their area) sooo the first time I will know who my companion is will be when she is stepping off the train at whatever Bahnhof I go to pick her up.  YIKES.  So scared...

     In other transfer news, Sister Jenson will be working in Munich in the same ward as the APs and President and Sister Miles.  I will be staying here in Freiburg for another 12 weeks (woohoo to having a third of my mission in one of the prettiest places in Germany!)  and Elder Young is going to Austria.  Fun times.  Wish me luck! 

-Sister Peterson

15 July 2013

Dear Family,

     I thank the Lord every night for being able to serve in such a great and beautiful area as Freiburg.  Sister Jenson and I are super blessed to be so busy and have so many people that the Lord has trusted us to take care of.  But we are SO BUSY, it's crazy!  

     This week we are Zone Training in Singen (our first Zone Training with the new Freiburg Zone!)  and it was super inspiring. The Zone leaders mentioned how we are the only zone in the mission that is not a stake, and how this area is about the EXPLODE with success, and that's a new Zone was created.  This area has everything it needs to be a Zone (priesthood holders, church buildings, tithing funds, etc) EXCEPT members.  So this area is stressing missionary work a lot-both with the full time missionaries and member missionaries.  It's just cool to know that we were put in this area for a reason, so that we could help work miracles that this area has the potential of seeing.  And they kept talking about how cool it would be to have an Apostle come to make this area a Zone...pretty much my motivation to work even harder!

     We also had interviews with the President this week, and it was my first time having a one on one interview with the President since I started my mission.  I was super nervous at first, but during the interview I could tell that he is a man who is called of God to lead the missionary work in this part of the world.  Super grateful for him and his work.  And President and Sister Miles joined us for a district meeting, which was cool.  

     Sister Miles talked about this new announcement regarding missionary work and technology, and she said we won't know for sure what's going on and how it's going to effect our mission until September.  She kept referring to Russel M. Nelson as 'Daddy' (she's his daughter-crazy, right?)  which was kinda funny.  How intimidating would it be to have an Apostle as a father in law?  

     The work is going great here in Freiburg!  We keep finding more potentials and getting new investigators, and Sister Jenson and I are wondering how in the world we are supposed to take care of all of these people!  (I guess we have no choice to baptize all of them, so that we have time to teach all of these new investigators!)  But seriously, we are the brink of so much success here, which is such a blessing.  But whenever the Saints rejoice, Satan gets furious.  We have also been tempted and tried so much this week, and there are days that are just really hard to work for no particular reason.  But those are the days that we see the most miracles happen.  It's scary to know how many forces are working against us to prevent us from seeing this success, but it is even more empowering to know that the forces of heaven are moving mountains for us every day to help us in every aspect of our life.  I'm glad that I have learned to rely on the Lord during my mission, because I am way too weak to do this work alone!  It is a great experience, and I continue to love my mission more and more.  
Thanks for your prayers and letters and support!  

-Sister Peterson
Sister Jenson & I climbed to the top of Munster last P-Day

These are pictures of Hauptfriedhof (the cemetery by our apartment.)  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

8 July 2013

Hello Again,

I have to bring my journal with me to write emails, because I can never remember what happens during the week!  Ah, life is all a blur.  A wonderful, messy blur that makes my feet and neck ache and my heart sing.  Oh, das Leben einer Missionarin..
We actually did get to celebrate the 4th of July, which was pretty fun.  A few of the districts in our zone traveled to Freiburg, and we had a BBQ and mini little American party at the church.  It was funny to try to pull off a traditional American Independence Day meal, but it was still pretty tasty.  My goal for next year is to be a Sister Training Leader in July next year, because all of the Zone Leaders/Sister Training Leaders get to go to München on the 4th for a 'Training Meeting', but they get a fun little party (or whatever you call missionary shindigs) at the end. 

Sister Jenson and I decided to tell each other 3 good things about each other (either a compliment or something we were grateful for or something that we did good that day) and 1 suggestion at the end of planning every day.  It has really helped to build our relationship and stay positive and grateful for each other.  Which is a huge blessing, because after almost 12 weeks of being together 24/7, patience is not all that easy!  Oh, the wonderful life skills you learn on your mission.

We got to watch the Work of Salvation broadcast with the members yesterday, and I am so grateful that the members were able to watch it!  A few of the members came up to us afterwards and promised that they would be better member missionaries, which made me so excited!  If a ward really know what their role in missionary work is and how to help the full time missionaries, then the work goes SO MUCH BETTER.  We should have no time to go knocking on doors because of all the referals we recieve! Whew, sorry about that rant, I'm just really excited to how missionary work is going to continue to change over the next few years.

We met with "P" again this week, and when we started reading a scripture in Alma she got all excited and started clapping her hands.  She told us that we have made her fall in love with the Book of Mormon and that Alma is her favorite chapter.  (False, the Spirit makes her fall in love with scriptures, and the scriptures are just great in general.)  But anyways, it's always exciting as a missionary to see your investigators not just accepting to live the gospel, but actually enjoying it as well!

Before I go, it is my duty as a missionary to build everyone up and make them feel all warm and spiritual inside.  I have been studying charity and love this month, and I really enjoy what 1 Corinthians 13:1 says about charity.  Sounding brass is really loud, but it fades away quickly as well.  We can still be really effective without charity, but we will not have a lasting effect on the people we come into contact with.  But if we serve and act with charity, then the people who's lives we touch will be blessed, and will have long-lasting effects.  

Thanks again for all of your prayers and support!  
-Sister Peterson