Monday, January 27, 2014

11 Months, a Kitten, It Pays to Listen, and the Avengers

"Today is my 11th month mark. ew. I turn 20 this week. ERMERGERSH. I'm so old!! ):

"So this week was a lot of fun! Lots of different adventures, for sure. Thursday this week was our LA (less active) friend N's birthday. She turned 73. She's so darling. She's also very lonely, and a couple of weeks ago, we found a lady that has like, 30 cats she's trying to get rid of. We asked her if she would like a kitten, and we got one for her for free from this lady and we took it to her for her birthday. It is the cutest thing! It's this little black and white kitten, and since we don't know if its a girl or a boy (we think it's a girl) we named it Nemo, like Captain Nemo and like Nemo the fish (: She is madly in LOVE with this cute little thing, it just loves on you. It is a way cute kitty and she loves it so much. She's a lot less lonely now, and she's definitely happier."

"Sunday, oh geez, so funny. So we had branch conference, and a counselor in the Stake Presidency came and spoke to us. He talked in sacrament meeting, and in the middle of his talk, he randomly calls me up to talk about some of the things that Elder Nielson talked about. He was talking about the trip to Charleston, and that he got to go. It was SO FUNNY. I was making faces at the baby in the row in front of me, and all of a sudden I hear him say "I would now like to call Sister Peck up to the stand to talk a little about the conference they just had in Charleston". I was mortified. I felt everyone's eyes turn to me, so I slowly walked up to the stand and gave like, a 3 minute schpeel about what happened in Charleston. It was hilarious. I couldn't think of what to say. I learned that I should pay more attention to what the stake leader is talking about in sacrament meeting. I didn't see that one coming at all!"

"Our investigators are doing well. H is very pregnant, and we probably won't get to meet with her until after she has her baby, but we at least made contact with her, so she'll remember us when she is back to normal. But we found a new investigator this week, and she is totally awesome! Her name is L, and she lives under N (I'm tellin' ya, we are going to CONVERT all of building L!!) She was a referral from N. L goes up and visits with her a lot. Yesterday before we went to our dinner appointment we knocked on her door, and she very excitedly took the Book of Mormon and was like, "you should come back and teach me about this! maybe all of us can meet in N's apartment". GOOOLLDEEEN!! She basically set herself up for a member present lesson, which is one of THE best key indicators you can hit during a week."

"Piano lessons are going great! There's a cute little Spanish family that comes, and the other sisters just picked them up as investigators!! So this piano class is totally working. I'm so happy!! Sister H is an amazing artist, and she usually draws during the class. She sketched the Bedford four as Avengers this week! It was so cool- I am Ironman, Sister M is Thor, Sister B is Captain America, and Sister H is the Hulk. We play this game- whenever we are talking about groups of four out of the scriptures, movies, books, whatever, we all tag each other as those characters. So the Avengers came up and we all chose who would be who, based on personality or looks or whatever. It is SO much fun! haha (:"

"I love you all, and I am so grateful that I am out here doing what I am doing."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What a Good Week!

"What a good week! The weather is so weird here. I don't even understand. Yesterday was almost 60 degrees. Then today it was colder and snowed for about 30 minutes. Didn't stick, just light flaky pretty stuff. I did get my voice back finally, which is such a tender mercy. I am grateful for a companion that can sing. We sing all the time (:"

"Miracle for this week- we got 2 new investigators, by way of miracle! One is the son of a returning less active member, and the other is his next door neighbor. There's a cool thing we use called the "Zion around Zion" principle. Generally people who live by or around members of the church can feel that there is something different, so they change, or just the realm of the spirit is sweeter. I'm not sure how to explain it. The Spirit spreads ha ha (: so knocking on doors around member's houses are some of the best finding tactics. One lives across the apartment breezeway from his mom, and the other lives next door to her. The Spirit is on the 3rd floor of building L (: Our other investigator is doing well- we are slowly but surely making progress with her. Baptism is hopefully in the near future. No solid date commitments yet."

"We've designated Monday evenings for an hour with the sweetest lady in our ward. Sister H helps her with her cross stitching projects (they both love to sew), and she is helping me with family history. So I am starting our family history work (: SO excited!!! She's teaching me so much, and I am learning a ton about family history."

"Music classes are growing slowly, but growing nevertheless. We have a whole non-member family attending these classes which is really fun. They are in the other sisters' area, but we are hoping that the Spirit in our building will get them asking questions. We have several ward members taking, and then these cute kids. Lots of fun- totally helping, I love it."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wacky weather, Elder Gifford Nielsen and a chemical spill

"What a week. so much to say, not sure where to begin."

"So the weather this week was insane, super bipolar. Pretty sure if the weather here were a person, we'd be in trouble. The thermometer on my dashboard said it was 10 degrees when we came home Tuesday night. Wednesday morning it was 11. It stayed under 20 degrees all day. We had to let faucets drip, prepare for the electricity going out, it was totally crazy. We actually tracted for part of the day. I was so cold, the wind here bites you so bad. The rest of the week warmed up a little, but not much, maybe the 30's. It was almost 50 degrees one day this week, and today it's about 40ish."

"So, Elder S Gifford Nielsen came to our mission this week. We had to drive from Bedford to Charleston, which is about 4 1/2 hours. It was like pulling teeth to get a member to take us, cause the drive is so far. Finally this sister in our ward who was preparing to go on a mission took us. She had the feeling she needed to be at that meeting. So in the dark, at 2:30 AM, this almost brand new driver drove all four of us Bedford sisters to Charleston, and then on the way back, the car broke down 20 minutes from home. We got help from a passerby and his passenger, and eventually this sweet sister's father came in his pickup and drove us home. It was dark, rainy, and muddy. Oh the adventures. We got back at 9:30, so we hit 2nd curfew ok haha..."

"The meeting itself was INCREDIBLE. I learned so much during this meeting. The chapel was PACKED. I saw tons of the elders and sisters I hadn't seen forever. I got lots of good news about past areas. I even got to see a couple of members from the Bridgeport ward, which was a lot of fun. I saw Aunt Lilith and Uncle Gerald of course (: "

(There was a chemical spill that affected the water supply in West Virginia on Thursday of last week. It affected about 300,000 people in 8 counties, including Charleston.) "The water hasn't affected us, so I am the most grateful sister right now that I don't have to wash my hair with a water bottle. It is the most tender mercy that I am in Virginia, but we are praying for those who are not, haha...that really stinks. They just had us bring bottled water for the meeting."

"The work is going ok- still looking for people to teach. Our investigator is back in town, and we had two very powerful lessons with her this week. We're still trying to resolve baptismal concerns with her, but she is getting closer and closer to being baptized. We have been focusing a lot of our efforts on saves and retention of converts. Overall, the work is kind of slow, but its good hard work, and that's what we need right now."

"Sister H is amazing. She is from a tiny town in Arizona, on the border of Mexico. She is the most incredible artist I have ever met (Seems I keep getting put with artists). She sketches a lot, and the other day she sketched the Bedford 4. It was so much fun! She is so knowledgable about the Gospel- she has this beautiful strong testimony that always brings the Spirit into a room. She talked in Sacrament meeting on Sunday about agency and accountability. It was such a good talk! She is a lot of fun. She just hit nine months on Friday."

Monday, January 6, 2014

What? Staying in Bedford?! YAY!!!

"The transfer news- I DID NOT get transferred. I am staying in Bedford, which is what I was hoping would happen, so YAY! (: My new companion is Sister H. She is so much fun. We have such a fun time together. Sister M and I were hoping to serve together, but we both stayed and are helping our new companions learn about the area to help it grow. The day of transfers, Sister M and I got to serve together. We both got here and had basically the same ideas and dreams for Bedford, but couldn't really put them into action because our companions weren't as all for it, or couldn't handle the awesomeness of our vision haha...we sat in the bathroom and wrote on their giant mirror with Expo marker all the ideas we had. We came up with a vision for the area, based off of the branch mission plan which hasn't really changed over the past four years. The vision is that the Branch will be a Ward by the end of 2014. Our goal is to have 100 people actively at sacrament by the end of the transfer (which right now we're at about 85ish.) We both love our new companions and the four of us are looking forward to working together a ton this transfer."

"We still have the same investigators, but because of our vision and goals and plans for this area, our focus has changed a little bit. We have placed our focus on part member families and the less actives of our branch. The transfer so far has just been finding those families. We have one sweet girl, who is a member, the niece of a less active family. She wants to serve a mission in 4 years, so we have permission to take her out with us. We're trying to get this family to come back. They've been in and out of the church for years. We visited them this week, and we fell in love with this family."

"I hope y'all are having a great week! I miss you and love you. Keep praying for the missionary efforts."