Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pictures from TDM Transfer Day Facebook Page - March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Email Received 3/36/12
Re:  The final week of Transfer 1

Hey Y'all

So the big news of the week is that ... I got transferred! I am going to be going to the Dallas 4th Ward in the Richardson Stake. I will be living in a home with the Hale Family and Sister Hale is awesome to the Sister Missionaries (I actually slept in her home the first night in TX before getting a companion). The home I'll live in is super close to the Mission Office, the Mission President's home, and the Meandering Way Chapel where we have all the big meetings together. President Durrant is is my ward, and apparently the ward is so great at missionary work!  My new companion is Sister Walker (she took me out tracting on my first night in TX).  My current trainer, Sister Heaton, served in Dallas 4th for 9 months, and she says the area is awesome and so I am super excited. 

I am both sad and happy to be getting transferred. I am glad for the opportunity to have a fresh start and commit myself to working harder and becoming a better and more dedicated missionary. These last few weeks have been a tad bit rough in a trio especially when two of us (with very different personalities) are being trained. I am excited to be in a regular companionship and get more time to speak in lessons and have to take over more often instead of relying on my trainer.  At the same time, I am really going to miss my current companions. It is going to be weird because I have been companions with Sister Cole since the first day in the MTC, so I really can't imagine being apart from her and being a missionary, but things will work out. I am also so grateful for the things Sister Heaton has taught me in the last few weeks about being a missionary. The exciting thing is I will still get to see them at zone conferences and specialized training. Plus, we will hopefully have some baptisms soon in Grand Prairie that I helped teach so I should get to come back for them! That will be super exciting. It will just be a new experience starting tomorrow morning with my new companion in a new area. So Exciting!!

One of the funniest experiences this week was yesterday morning as we went to get an investigator to come to church. Ashley Walker had promised to be at church with her kids yesterday and we even had permission to break into her home if necessary to get her there. We called her in the morning mutiple times and she wouldn't answer. We finally decided to drive to her home and get her. We knew that someone was home, but they never answered the door, which was super frustrating. We thought about what to do for a bit when Sister Heaton said, "Sister Peck, you have to break in!" Apparently I had to be the one so that in case we offended Ashley then it wouldn't really matter because I would be leaving the area in a couple of days anyways. So I hiked up my skirt a bit and hopped over the back porch railing. I knocked on her back porch door and announced it was the missionaries and then I tried the door and it slid right open. I said I was coming in, went in, unlocked the front door so Sister Heaton and Cole could come in too, then we searched for the Walker family. Ashely was still asleep on her bed and the kids were hiding in the closet. Sadly, we didn't get them to come to church, but it was quite the experience to "break-in" to their house with previous permission .  It was so funny and exciting.

Something cool that I found out- Sister Cole is the granddaughter of Steven R. Covey, the author of the book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and a bunch of other inspirational self-help books. So she is pretty much famous! Plus her mom went to school with President Durrant. Gotta Love Sister Cole!!

So yep. That has been the exciting things in my week. We will probably spend much of today saying goodbye to my friends in Grand Prairie and then I will be transferred tomorrow morning. It is sad but will be a great new experience. 
My new address is going to be:
   6217 Stonehill Dr.
   Dallas, TX 75254
or you can still write me at the mission office address since I will be so close to there and can pick up letters more often. Thanks everyone!

Love the best red-headed sister in the entire Texas Dallas Mission (or currently the only one, haha)
-Sister Peck

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Email received March 19, 2012

Dearest Everyone that reads these letters!!!

This week has been a pretty good week overall. We taught a bunch of lessons, which is always good.  Transfer calls are going to be coming this Saturday, so I will know next Monday if I am going to be transferred or not. I am really enjoying Grand Prairie and love the people, so I don't really want to be transferred but I will do whatever the Lord wants me to do.

I have realized in the last week that Dallas isn't really what a person would picture Texas to be like. There are no cowboys and it is not really southern. I have only had Tex Mex twice and BBQ twice since being out, which seems strange. Sister Heaton says that North Dallas is a little more TX than Grand Prairie. But overall it is really just another city with a lot of different races. I still love it though.

We had a specialized training/zone conference this last week for just the English missionaries around the Dallas Area. It was pretty good and I got to see all my friends from the MTC again! I am also meeting so many new elders and some new sisters which is great because then I get to hear about the missionary work all over the TDM.  About 2 days before the conference the Assistants to the Presidents called to speak to me. They asked if I could prepare a special musical number. I said I would love to, thinking that I could just play the piano. They then said that they heard that I could sing well and wanted me to sing and maybe have my companions sing too if they wanted. It took a little bit of time, but we got a something prepared in our comp study that day.  We sang "Lord, I Would Follow Thee" a capella. I was pretty amazing and everyone loved it. We started in unison then slowly split into parts with Sister Heaton keeping Soprano, Sister Cole singing Alto, and then I sang the Tenor part an octave higher almost as a descant. It was pretty cool and many people said it was the best part of the meeting. I was happy that it turned out okay, especially since we took a big chance in singing without accompaniment. Awesome!

At one of the members house this week I got to hold a blue/gold Macaw (big, giant parrot like bird). That was pretty cool. And then the member gave us free adjustments because the member is a chiropractor. That was pretty cool too, and felt so good afterward.

I don't have time to write much more, but I do love yall. Thanks for the letters.  I got ones this week from Jamee Jones, Kora and Janelle (with a super cute St. Patrick's day pkg too), Sharon and the Pierce Family, and Mom and Dad. Thanks Everybody!!!! I am slowly getting around to writing people back, so the letters will come eventually.

I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. Never be afraid to share your testimony!!! Yall will never know whose life you can bless! Thanks for all the love and support.

I love yall !!!

-Sister Peck

First Baptism

At the Zoo

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Email received March 12, 2012

Subject:  Miracle Member Referral

This week has been pretty good. On Wednesday we had a follow-up training for the new missionaries to make sure that everything was going okay. The training was awesome and very helpful because it lifted my attitude about missionary work and gave me so many new ideas to try out. The training was also great because I got to see my Elders from the MTC again. I love them so much and miss seeing them everyday, but they all seem to be doing great (especially Elder Azure shom was struggling in the MTC). Another person that I got to see was Elder Cooper Feild that I took most of my Ed-net classes with back in high school. He is a traveling Zone Leader for the Spanish-speakers, so he comes to most of the trainings. I talked to him about Elder BakBak, and he can't believe that he is in the Marshall Islands doing a great job as a missionary. Elder Feild thinks that it is awesome that Connor is being such a great missionary and working so hard, and he thinks that Connor will also do amazing with the language because he was so good in the Spanish class that we all took together!

Monday I made Oatmeal Scotchies for our District Leaders because they helped one of our recent converts move. Everyone got a taste of them at our District meeting- so now they of course want me to make treats all the time. Funny!

The work is going pretty well in the Grand Prairie area. One of the best miracles this last week happened by accepting the challenge from Elder Duncan about always asking for referrals especially from the members and then having the lesson at the member's home with the referral that they gave. Elder Duncan promised this would create the "perfect" lesson and also that our teaching pool would double by always asking for referrals.... We were at a dinner Sunday night and asked the member family for a referral. They turned to their son whom happened to have a friend over and asked if the friend wanted to hear the missionary lessons. We had no idea that the friend, Marco Ferrera, was a non-member. He immediately accepted the invitation and we taught him a lesson on Thursday night at the member's home. The lesson went great and he even accepted the baptismal invitation and date without hesitation. Marco has been prepared by the Lord for the missionaries to teach him, and the member family has also been a great example in letting him know a little bit about the church just by the way that they act. Marco has already spent time reading the BOM and praying with the member family because they do those things every night as a family no matter that a friend is over at their home. We will be teaching Marco again tonight because the member family invited back to their home to do a FHE with them and teach Marco in conjunction. I am so excited to see how much he has progressed and to continue teaching him the truthfulness of the restored gospel. This is just one example of asking everyone for a referral and then teaching that referral in the member's home. It is so exciting to see the current results of asking for referrals and I truly believe Elder Duncan was inspired to promise that our teaching pools will double if we always ask for referrals.

The first part of the week was a little rough for me personally because I was just feeling discouraged about the work and the disappointments as a missionary. But my attitude completely changed after the training! I know that there are disappointments with our investigators and the smallness of our teaching pool/ results in finding people, but these numbers are not the way to measure the success of a missionary. I just need to keep working my hardest and doing what the Lord would have me do. I need to constantly strive to have the spirit with me because it is then that I can accomplish all things that the Lord expects of me and knows that I can do. I am so grateful for companions that support me as a missionary and constantly strive to make me stronger and better.  Sister Cole is so amazing at keeping the pace upbeat and happy. She is an inspiration to me of talking to everyone that we see, even if we are scared or nervous for how the situation may turn out. Sister Heaton is a great trainer with so much knowledge that benefits our companionship and the people we come in contact with. I am thankful for their love and support. They turn the hard times into times of learning and truly turned my week around to help me see the joy and fulfillment in missionary work.

Thanks for everything that everyone is doing to support me on a mission. I got a bunch of letters this week from Grandma and Grandpa Riches, Nana and Papa Peck, Mom and Dad (as usual) and Chantel Asper. I got one from Libbie too!! My comps always joke that I will get letters most of the days (which is really not quite true, but I do get a lot). Thanks for the letters because I love to get them and read about what's happening back at home.

I love yall and pray that everything is going okay!!!

-Sister Peck
Email received March 5, 2012

Subject:  Investigators totally prepared by the Lord

Hey yall!

First of all thank you everybody for the letters that I received this week! I received letters from the Bowers, Kelsey Davis, Jaclyn Burgess, Sister Parks, and mom and dad of course. I will try and write back when I get some time eventually.  I love hearing about what is happening with everyone back at home. I would also love to hear from my two younger siblings whom seem to have already forgotten me :) That would be great!

This week has been a very interesting week for me. We started out last preparation day going to the Dallas Zoo with a bunch of the Elders from our Zone. That was actually a lot of fun and cool. Sadly, there are no type of bears at the zoo, not even pandas... i guess because of the climate.

The rest of the week was full of ups and downs, but overall kinda discouraging. I have learned more fully how to look over these discouragments though and I know that dissapointments will only increase the joys I feel with each soul that is saved (though I definitely had to word at bettering my outlook at the beginning of the week). Right now we are doing quite a bit of tracting to try and increase our teaching pool, but it never seems too sucessful especially if we go late at night. Sometimes it is hard to have a good attitude while tracting, but my companions are good at making up little games to play along the way. the other day we played follow the leader and tried to all walk a funny different way in between houses. I'm sure we looked ridiculuous but it kept us happy even though we kept getting doors slammed in our faces. Gotta love it!!

We have met a lot of people this week that are totally prepared by the Lord. One new investigator is Adah.  We talked to her getting out of her car and she had actually heard about the Mormons from her baptist minister because her friend needed help getting through a hard time with cancer. She started talking to us and said she was super interested in family history work and knows that our church has many resources to help her. She has totally been influenced by the spirit of Elijah and our first lesson with her was awesome becuase of that, although definitely wasn't the best lesson that I had ever taught! I am so excited to meet with her again and show her more about the church.  This week we had a couple of other investigators that were totally like that: they let us in and are letting us come back because they have been prepared by the Lord for His gospel and through his love.  
On the other hand, this has been one of the worst weeks for our current investigators. It seems like they are all just stuck and we can't move anywhere with them until they get some sort of confirmation that what we teach is true. We still tried to help them a bunch, but as a companionship we started to do a lot of less active work. We have been visiting many less active members, and many of them were super willing to let us talk to them. We have even set up some appts to go back and take their families through the missionary lessons to help strenghten and rekindle their testimonies. Although it can be hard to do less active work because the results don't appear as easily (especially in the numbers) I know that it is important to strenghten all areas of the church and these people can bring us even more referrals of others to teach. the less actives are some of the most interesting people to talk to and I am excited to start helping them, especially a few specific families that seem ready and willing to come back to church.

The week has also been rough in regards to the companionship. It is more difficult to get along with three of us all of the time. When one of us is upset or struggling we can just hide in the background and let the other 2 focus on the work. This is not the best, so we have really been trying to work on unity as a companionship. I have been tying to be more discerning about my companions, but it can be very difficult, so I jsut keep praying for love and charity.  Similarily, I am not always the best missionary, and may have contributed to many of the issues in the comapnionships, but I am trying to be better. I am learning that if I focus on being a representative of the Lord and a missionary, then I am less likely to notice the faults of others. Working with and being loving to a companion 100% of the time is something I definitely need to work on, so I guess that it is a good thing that I have 17 more months to do so! As we slowly get over our issues, our companionship becomes stronger and able to teach with more unity. I love both of my companions and am so grateful for their support and encouragment. I hope we can continue to grow together by the spirit and become even better missionaries like unto Alma and Amulek. As Sister Heaton always says, WE are going to become the greatest missionaries ever!!

I love yall! and I hope and pray that everything is going well! Thanks!!
Sister Peck