Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life Size Chutes & Ladders

Guten Morgen, 

Yesterday was a Catholic holiday so we took our p-day/email time today instead. Transfer calls come on Friday and normally I would think there is no way I will be transferred because I just got to Munich, but I have a lot of feelings that SOMETHING is coming with this upcoming transfer and I need to be ready to accept whatever the AP's say when they call. I have had a couple of dreams about this as well, so I am a little curious to see what happens- it could be nothing or it could be something really cool. 
Our sweet little friend

Sending a little peace and love...
One of my favorite games when I was a little kid was a fun little board game called 'Chutes and Ladders.'  There was nothing more exciting than landing on a ladder that took you all the way to the very top, and yet there was nothing more frustrating than being at the very top, and slipping on a chute that took you all the way back to square 1.  
The cool thing about that game was that it didn't matter how slow or fast you climbed the ladder, because there was always the possibility of slipping on a chute or stumbling on a long, long ladder. As long as you kept rolling the dice and playing the game, progress was always being made, no matter how slowly. 
I feel like my mission is just one big game of Chutes and Ladders. There are times where all that my companion and I are doing are knocking on doors, dying of heat, and making cookies to bring by to people.  There are times where we are busy, teaching, and seeing miracles around every corner, even preparing for a baptism. But just like in the game, we never know when a chute is going to come our way, or how deep the chute is going to go.
We were doing companionship study one morning and were trying to organize everything for the 'A' family's baptism (which was scheduled for this upcoming Saturday.) It had been kind of hard to get in contact with them for the past week, because F's mom is really sick, they have been having a lot of family stress, and they have just been busy. We went by with a card to let them know that we were thinking of them, rang their bell, and got no answer. F answered her phone though, and said she was home, but didn't want to let us inside.  My heart sunk as I heard Sister Erdenetsogt talking with her on the phone, trying her best to console F, offer our help, and bear testimony of every truth that we so cherish. 
I didn't need Sister Erdenetsogt to explain it to me- I knew that we had just been dropped. They don't want us coming by anymore. It really is heartbreaking, especially to see them experience a total 180 change, and then decide that they are too stressed to meet with the missionaries. It was kind of a challenging day and a very challenging experience.  
But the thing about sliding down chutes, is that there are always stairs that lead right back to the top again. 
We moved the furniture so we could have room to exercise
Overall, we kind of struggled this week as we tried searching for the stairs that the Lord wanted us to take.  We had put almost everything on hold to give all of our time to this family. And then to just be dropped out of nowhere-all of a sudden we had nothing. We searched in our area book, mustered up more of an effort to talk to as many people as we could, and prayed for guidance to know where to look to find people to teach.
A little time for silliness
It was pretty amazing how the miracles started to fall into place, one by one. It was a slow process for sure, and we had to work really hard this week.
It wasn't until after we had pulled up our bootstraps and had determined to prove to the Lord through our diligence and patience and faith, that we finally started to receive answers to our prayers. 
We got fresh milk straight from the dairy cows

That's a lot of cows- and a lot of cow smells
A member came up to us after church last Sunday, saying that she was struggling with her testimony and wanted to be strong in the church again. She requested to meet with us frequently and go through all of the Preach My Gospel lessons again.  
And not only have we been able to practice the lessons and teaching them to her, but we have been able to feel a love for her and serve her in a very unique way. We have felt the spirit of conversion, even though it will not end in a baptism. And we have received an incredible amount of strength from our lessons with her, strength that we so desperately needed after some very long and hard days.  
We also swung by on a part member family to deliver some cupcakes to a young woman who just had a birthday. They invited us into their home, and their 8 year old brother who is not yet baptized, wanted us to play a little bit with him and his toy cars. He whispered to us ''I love it when you both come. The Sisters are always so kind to me, and I wish you would come more often!''  
We asked him if he had thought at all about his baptism, which he has always answered back with 'I am too shy to get baptized, I don't think I want to quite yet, can I wait a little bit?'  but this time, after thinking a little bit about it, he said 'sure, I think I am ready.' His sister walked into the room and he exclaimed ''Hey, did you hear I am going to get baptized this Sunday?'' Sister Erdenetsogt and I started cracking up, and then tried to tell him that he would have to wait a few weeks so we can teach him all the lessons first! He seemed pretty determined to get baptized this Sunday, but we luckily we were able to convince him to wait a bit.
A little glimpse of Munich
It has just been crazy to me to see how the Lord works. He works in miracles, He works through tender mercies, and He works by answering our prayers in unexpected ways. 
It has been a pretty rough week, but then again, I have felt the Lord so strongly on my side, guiding my every word and step. Though I do not much care for the hard times, I do know that it is through our struggles that we can truly feel our Heavenly Father's love for us if we are looking for it! That is the key- we have to keep our chins up and look for His hand. We will see it, I know, for Heavenly Father never leaves us alone. 

Remember, transfer calls are this week-eep!!  Pray for me 
Have an awesome week!  It's summer!  Woohoo!
Love to you all,
Sister Peterson

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