Tuesday, March 4, 2014

You Know You've Been A Missionay a Long Time When...

Hi All--

     The title of this email pretty much explains Sister Ackerman and my companionship. I have always been companions with new missionaries, so I have always gotten that little bit of taste of regular life (they talk about recent movies, sing new songs, have new clothes, etc etc.)
     Well, with Sister Ackerman (she's been out 17 months) and I (I've been out 11 months) serving together have started to notice just how much serving a mission changes the way you see the world and the way you live day to day! In true Jeff Foxworthy fashion, here is a list of "You Know Your a Mormon Missionary When"...

 * when that annoying song that you always have stuck in your head is actually a church hymn or primary song
* you get a text from a man asking to meet you at a cafe and you assume that he wants to talk about Jesus
* your idea of exciting and cool music is Vocal Points and Alex Boye
* you get excited that you have enough time to go to bed early tonight
* you realize that you only take pictures of pretty things and not of people
* Sunday is your most social day of the week
* you borrow each others scarves and cardigans in order to be more creative with your wardrobe
* when someone tells you that you can meet with them next week you are devastated because it is ''so long away!!'' und so weiter :)

First companionship picture
I just have to say, I love being with Sister Ackerman! 

Funniest companion ever!
     She is definitely so easy to have fun with, be around, and even make mistakes in front of her (which is good, because I make a lot!)
      Every Friday morning we are supposed to hold a weekly planning session in which we plan our activities for the coming week and set goals. It is supposed to take between 2-3 hours according to Preach My Gospel, but the average planning session with me is around 4-5. Last Friday, Sister Ackerman and I were really struggling to muster energy in the morning, and after sitting at a desk and studying for 2 hours, the LAST thing we thought we could do was sit in the same desk and plan for another 4. So to help us work more effectively, we decided to turn on some ''crazy'' music and dance around in our apartment for 5 minutes. I don't really know if it helped us get any energy at all, but it helped us from hitting our heads against the wall for the next 4 hours!
     It is really hard for me to remember sometimes that M is still an investigator because she is just SO COOL! 

She fits right in, but her heels would not last long
     We were at her apartment Tuesday morning and decided to teach her about missionary work. We also had our weekly district meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning. Normally before our district meeting, we eat lunch together to help build district unity. In order to make it on time to lunch, we would have had to rush the lesson with M, so we had invited her to have lunch with a bunch of missionaries, which she agreed to. 

Strict orders not to post this on my blog (oops, mom didn't mind)
She even decided to bake a cake for all of us. At the end of lunch, I started to get a bit nervous, knowing that we were supposed to start district meeting in a couple of minutes, but I didn't want to all of a sudden shake M's hand and say, 'well, thanks for coming with us and thanks for the cake, but Tschüß!!''  

      So we kind of invited her to district meeting. And she stayed! It was way cool, she participated in the role play and helped give input as well. Man, she is definitely the most amazing investigator I have ever taught on my mission. At first I was afraid she would think district meeting was really weird, and that she would get freaked out that we practice how to stop people on the street and that we talk about our investigators. But she thought that it was totally normal. Hey, Preach My Gospel DOES encourage us to invite investigators to district and zone meetings. Whoda thunk? ;)

     I just have to geek out for a little bit about how much I love the priesthood. I have always thought that it is the coolest thing how young men, starting at 12, get to hold some sort of priesthood. Another thing I have loved watching is 18 year old boys giving priesthood blessings, and just seeing how a goofy young kid can turn into a spiritual, humble, serious representative of God during a blessing.  

I always love seeing Elder's in Aprons
     Sister Ackerman had wanted a blessing of comfort and counsel last week, but was having a hard time deciding which Elder to ask to give her the blessing. I told her since she actually wanted an answer, she could get a blessing from Elder Chapman, who is probably a bit more experienced, and that I could get one from Elder Croft, who had never given a priesthood blessing before, because I didn't have any questions or concerns. But after I got the blessing, I was instantly humbled as I realized that it doesn't matter who gives the blessing, each and every word comes directly from God. Concerns I didn't think that I had, questions I hadn't decided whether or not to ask yet, were addressed and answered. Man, I am so proud of all the young men 18 years old and above who live worthy enough to have the power of the priesthood at all times. Its a cool thing. Never hesitate to ask a priesthood holder for a blessing, it is one of their responsibilities as a priesthood holder!  
     Why on Earth would we ever try to do something alone, no matter how strong we think we are, when we are promised to have the Lord's help in everything we do? Don't be embarrassed to ask the help of a parent, a friend, a Relief Society president, a priesthood holder, anyone, for anything, that is why they there!  
     The church is organized in such a way that everyone has a support system, and everyone has people who will drop everything on call to administer to someone in need. That is something I have witnessed on my mission, especially as a part of the relief squad. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I can bear testimony that God loves each and every one of His children, and He is always looking out for us. He is mindful of our struggles, but He also knows what is best. You are never forgotten, you are never left alone.  I love you all so much!  Have a great week :)

     Sister Ackerman has three P-days left of her mission, so we are filling these days with every opportunity to see and do and shop all over Linz. I have felt a little cold coming on- the first time I've felt sick since coming on my mission- but there is NO WAY I'm going to take any extra minutes to rest! I have a companion who is anxious to squeeze as much as she can in her final few weeks- and I'm up to the task! I can't even begin to think of how I will feel when I'm down to those final days- I'm going to want to find a way to wrap everyone and everything up in a package and fit them in some magic Mary Poppins bag so they can all come home with me! I love this place...

Shopping in Linz

Old City Hall
Site seeing and shopping- we are girls on a mission :)
I love you all very much and can't say how much I appreciate all your support. I feel it every single day-
Sister Peterson


  1. I won't tell Sister Henry that Sister Peterson thinks Sister Ackerman is funnier than she is ;o) that would be BAD. haha
    I'm so glad she has another awesome companion! Linz is so gorgeous. What a fantastic investigator she is teaching, what a joyful experience for her!--Lisa

  2. Can I just say, "I loved this post?" Her "You know you're a missionary when" was hilarious! What a great sense of humor! I love how she incorporates it with the work and how well it comes out in her letters! What a powerhouse! I hope that your family can meet my sister sometime in TX. You all sound awesome!