Monday, November 4, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

Dear Friends & Family,

     There have been some moments off and on throughout my mission where I have thought 
"Oh my gosh, I live in Europe!  This is soooo cool!" 
But there haven't really been any moments where I have realized that I am not in America...
I guess I have just always assumed that America is still only a hop, skip, and a jump away! 

We were at a members house for lunch and she was showing us some pictures from her trip to America, and it was the weirdest thing!  
She went to Provo, Salt Lake, Vegas, and Idaho. 
It was so weird to see pictures of places I have been, 
places I have LIVED! 
The "A" Family is so wonderful

"E" And I
And than to have her and Sister Wunderli sigh at how amazing all of the places were!
It just boggled my mind to realize how something I had lived with my whole life,
was completely new and foreign to these women. 
Yet what they have always had is so new and wonderful to me!!
It just makes you realize how much we take what we have for granted. 

I used to think that America was so boring compared to the other countries- 
especially when considering all the history in the European countries!  
After this little conversation time, my heart ached for a little bit. 
America really is a pretty place. 
But, Austria is also very pretty, so that makes it a bit easier to be away from home :)

One of the Young Single Adults here, "I", is leaving for her mission to Salt Lake City, Utah in two weeks, which is weird to think that in two weeks she will be in my home country and I will be in hers!  
We were talking a little bit about what she is excited for and what she is nervous for, and she said that she is not packing any make-up because she wants to be able to buy all the 'cool American makeup'.  I laughed and told her that she will be the hot stuff when she gets to America, because we all want to go to Europe to buy the cool European stuff!
Oh, I did finally get a haircut, GAAAH!  
It feels SOOOOO Short!!
"M" cuts hair and so she offered to cut all of our hair for free.  
As much as I love finally having long hair again, it was so unhealthy.  
The Elders and the Wels Sisters were also getting their hair cut, and the Elders kept laughing at how much Sister "H" and I were freaking out about having to say goodbye to our long hair.  Men, they just don't understand the special relationship between a woman and her hair :P

Alright, on to actual missionary business now. 
Hmm, well, this week has probably been one of the most trying weeks on my mission.  
As often as we would have hard days in Freiburg, this has just been a hard WEEK.  
The only thing that kept me going is knowing that whenever people go through the refiners fire, they always come out stronger.  
I have learned a lot this week about diligence, prayer, humility, and really just relying on my companion.  I have also spent a lot of time reading old conference talks in personal study, and a lot of the talks this week have been about CHOOSING to be happy.  
As stubborn as I am, I finally resolved to make more positive choices.  
To choose to be happy, 
to choose to be faithful, 
to choose to be positive,
and to choose to look outwards.  

One of our investigators surprised Sis. Wunderli with chocolate milk
As many things in life are out of our control, 
one of the things that we always have control over is our attitude.  
Attitude of gratitude, that is the key :)

Funny story, so Sister Wunderli and I were on the bus the other day on our way to an appointment, and she started talking to a lady and I could tell she was talking about the Gospel. 
I started to move towards them to help her out, and I started listening and could NOT understand anything!  I was starting to get frustrated, thinking 
"I know German!  Why can I NOT understand anything, Austrian German can't be that different!" 

And then I remembered that Sister Wunderli kind of speaks fluent Hungarian!
So we have an appointment with a Hungarian woman on Wednesday!  
Yay!  Yikes...wish me luck!  
I might just have to bear my testimony in caveman Hungarian.
The only things I know how to say in Hungarian are "how are you" and "clothespins." Not much to build bearing a testimony off of I'm afraid. 
In Hungarian, this means "What's Up?"
My goal is to be able to hold a pathetic conversation in Hungarian by the end of the transfer :)
So I don't have too much time tonight, but I would like to share a really cool quote that I came across the other day.  Lots of our investigators tend to get frustrated when they pray and pray and pray, but receive NO answer as to what they are supposed to do.  I know there are lots of times where I get impatient with The Lord, expecting an answer NOW.  
Richard G. Scott says "What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited for a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer?  You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is evidence of His trust...when you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision." 
Richard G. Scott talked a lot about this topic as well when he came to the MTC in April, and I remember thinking how cool of a perspective that was.  How wonderful it is that we have a Father in Heaven who not only loves us enough to counsel us when we need help, but who also trusts us enough to let us exercise our free agency and make decisions ourselves. 
   ** If you want to read Richard G. Scott's entire message, click here

I hope I have left a mushy-gushy feel good enough spiritual thought to end my weekly post on a good note :)  I love you all, and have a great Thanksgiving season now that Halloween is gone! Until next week :)

Love You All,
Love the Letters and 
I especially LOVE your prayers,

Sister Peterson

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