Monday, February 17, 2014

It's Hard to Say Goodbye


      Transfer calls.  Normally the most exciting day of the transfer.  Last week, it was the most dreaded day of my mission :(

     I don't like changes. At the beginning of my mission, I thought that I would want to get a new companion every transfer (6 weeks) and that I would want to change areas every 3 months. To me, at the beginning, change was exciting; new faces, new areas, new wards, it is a fun thing. Man, how short time 6 weeks really is.

     Sister Erdenetsogt and I were really really praying to stay together. Especially after last Sunday and the feelings I got there, I was sure we were staying. I was calm, we continued on our merry little way throughout the week.  

     We called the office on Wednesday to order some supplies, and since I was on the phone with them, I asked what the situation on Sister Erdenetsogt's visa was, and if they wanted us to order tickets to Germany so we could apply for an extension. The office Sister took a little pause, as if she wasn't sure what she was allowed to say, and then said "Well, Sister Peterson, I am going to ask you to hold on until Saturday. You will find out more then." At that moment, it was painfully clear to me what was going on. Sister Erdenetsogt was getting transferred. The decision was made, there was nothing more to do. We had already both sent letters to the President, begging to stay. I just remember looking at Sister Erdenetsogt, who was still totally unaware, and just wanting to give her the biggest hug and never let go.

     Saturday morning rolled around, and when the Zone Leaders didn't call us by 8, we knew. Finally, Elder Orchards (one of the APs) called, full of excitement as normal. He told Sister Erdenetsogt to pack her bags, she is coming to Munich!!  ...Silence. I feel bad for the guy, normally people answer back with excitement as well, but we just sat there. After some awkward silence, I said "I promise we will be excited, but can we have a few minutes to be sad first?" Confused, he answered back "uh, ok.  Well, have a good day!!" 
9 weeks went by so fast, and the ward wasn't happy to hear that Sister Erdenetsogt was leaving so fast either! Well, she is needed in Munich. They are gaining a great missionary there!

     The silver lining-I am getting an AWESOME new companion. Her name is Sister Ackermann, I went on an exchange with her before, and it was one of the funnest exchanges I have ever had. The weird thing is that she only has one more transfer left on her mission, so she will also only be here for 6 weeks. Which means that I am probably going to stay for at least one transfer after her as well with another companion, and then leave. 7 months in Linz, not bad at all!! If I had to pick anywhere to be in for 5 transfers, it would be right here!  

     This week was one of those weeks where you have to learn to count your blessings. We had a lot of appointments fall out and a lot of investigators drop off the face of the Earth,which means there wasn't a whole lot of lessons taught this week. But a lot of time on streets, buses, and Strassenbahns finding people. And did we find people!! Our Zone Leaders challenged us to set a goal of how many potentials we wanted to find in the 2 weeks leading up to the end of the transfer, and Sister Erdenetsogt and I set the goal of 30 potentials, which at the time seemed impossible. It was so humbling to get on our knees and pray to know what number we should set, ask for the Lords help, and then do everything in our power to accomplish that goal. And we did it :) Opportunities to share the gospel were opened up to us in the coolest of ways.  

Sister Erdenetsogt made us Mongolian food for dinner
(***Mom's note here: this is a coincidental message because I had sent her a message asking about how she felt about making goals like this and if she felt like it added to her success. I was struggling making some missionary goals of my own, and struggling to make some specific goals. I have noticed that I am pretty timid in making my own goals for missionary work, but now I know I need to be bold and 'go big or go home')
Another pair of shoes bites the dust!!
     Sister Erdenetsogt was asked to cook Mongolian food for the Young Single Adult activity on Saturday. We actually used it as a finding method-asking people if they have ever eaten real Mongolian food before (the answer usually being no) and then inviting them to the dinner :) Hey, there are many honorable ways to find people to teach, Preach My Gospel somewhere!!  We actually had a few potentials from Afghanistan show up, and they met one of the recent converts here who speaks their same language, and they hit it off right away! They came to church the next day and loved it :)  Man, aren't members the best?  
We had the Didenhover's over for dinner
     I was super afraid that I was going to get really relationship homesick on Valentines day. It's already super hard to go over to someones house that is a big happy family with young kids, because it makes me so excited to have a family someday!! Luckily, Valentines day is not quite as big of a deal here as it is in America :) Whew, dodged that bullet!  
We made Elder Szvoboda a super-missionary cake for his birthday

     Thanks everyone for your love and support!  Have a great week!

Sister Peterson

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