In honor of Kori's one year anniversary in the mission field, I have compiled several emails and messages that Sister Kori Peterson has shared with her family and pictures of her with each of her companions.
As I was pondering a situation that my friend is in, I realized that these messages are powerful and I don't want them archived in my email list. Rather, I want her testimony of the priesthood and the blessings of missionary work- really her testimony in general, to be shared with those she loves the most...
"I think that is always the biggest witness that God lives-not the absence of trials, but the presence of angels when the trials come. God loves us. Jesus Christ atoned for our sins so that we can ALL return to our Heavenly Home. Life may not be easy, but with our Savior by our side, we can and WILL conquer everything our journey brings us through"
"After all the waiting and praying and wondering about why our family was taken to Texas- I knew as soon as you told me about this wonderful family you are getting to know, that they are the reason why our family was moved, not only to TX, but to that neighborhood, that ward! Though we know that God always has a plan, it is such a blessing when you get to see and understand that plan.
I am so grateful that you were worthy and PREPARED to be the friend-shippers that they needed at the time they needed it. The missionaries would not have been able to do it without you for sure. Please, please, please know that with all my heart I believe that being a friend, loving our neighbors and simply serving those who are down or alone is the MOST important thing we can do to show Heavenly Father our love for Him. But just like everything else in this life that He has prepared for us, as soon as we start to obey the principle of missionary work and loving our neighbors we are instantly blessed with this increase in capacity to love and enjoy our friends. We are always more blessed than what we are asked to expend.
I am so proud of you all, really, I have prayed for you and this family every night. It really is the most rewarding feeling to see people you love and care for take the steps of repentance and change."
"I love that the love we feel for people is in no way ours, but GOD'S love that He allows us to feel. It really is amazing. I never knew that love could be so unconditional, unchanging, a love the brings about patience, brings about understanding and knowledge, and a love that brings about service and change. It truly is amazing. Even the moments where I am wanting to smack a heavy German hard-cover Book of Mormon against someones face because they aren't keeping their commitments, it is the love that keeps me listening, keeps me patient, and then prompts me to bear testimony of something that will help them."
"It's funny to hear you talk about pride and humility. I have really come to learn what humility means on my mission. The more miracles we see, the more I come to understand that these are the LORDS children, this is HIS vineyard, and just like you said, He is ALLOWING us imperfect and mortal beings to take part in His work. We cannot do it without Him! Even with successes and miracles, I don't think that I have ever ended a day without being on my knees in humility and gratitude. It's an amazing thing to be a missionary, I am glad you and the family get to experience it on the member side of missionary work"
"I wasn't sure whether or not to include this in my blog email home because it is kind of a long story and didn't happen to me but to some Elders in our mission, but it is an amazing story so I wanted to share it anyways with y'all:
Before I start, I want y'all to imagine two goofy Elders, Elder Orchards and Elder Jones. Elder Orchards is the goofiest, funniest kid ever and kinda tall, and Elder Jones is way short, has super big glasses, and looks like a friendly little cuddly mouse. He is also very goofy. I cannot take this companionship seriously sometimes. Well, they were walking down the streets one day in Munich contacting people, and they stopped a man and said ''Excuse me, we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are sharing an important message to the world about Jesus Christ.'' Immediately the man burst into tears. The man started to explain 'I don't know what to do. My son in the verge of death, the doctors said there is nothing else that can be done for him.'
Elder Jones, being the boss that he is, without knowing the full situation, boldly says, 'Well, in our church, we believe in the healing of the sick. We have the same priesthood that Christ and his apostles had. Could we come over and give your son a priesthood blessing?'
The man agreed, and they came over a few days later. It turns out that the mans son actually had a tumor in his brain, and it was growing so fast that he would either die of brain damage or die of the cancer, and that it was too fast and too big to remove. He was literally dying. Elder Jones and Elder Orchards placed their hands on the boys head, gave him a priesthood blessing, and left.
A few days later, the man called them again, and said 'We went into the hospital a few days ago to get the tumor checked out. The doctors could find no trace of the cancer, no damage done, nothing. The tumor is completely gone. My son is completely healed!'
Two, goofy, 21 year old young men healed a boy of cancer. Of CANCER! Well, I mean, God healed the boy, and his faith helped as well, but STILL!! I have heard stories like that before, but never involving people that I personally knew, and definitely not people my age! Isn't it amazing how the Lord is able to work through imperfect little beings like us in order to bring about his divine and amazing work? Isn't the priesthood the coolest? Sister Ackerman and I stayed up so late that night telling all the miracles stories of the priesthood that we have read in General conference and Liahona's and stuff. One thing we realized is that the faith begins in the person who says, 'Would you like a blessing?' Can you imagine the faith of Elder Jones to have so much confidence, not in himself, but in the priesthood that he honors and holds? He knows whose priesthood it is and by what authority he is privileged to bear that priesthood.
Never doubt the priesthood and those wonderful men who get to hold it and bless our lives by it. We may see a young and silly boy, but I assure you that when his eyes close and he begins a blessing or a prayer, that silly young man turns into a representative of God and there is nothing that cannot be done with God on our side."