Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Few Pictures Received from Sister Mc on April 27, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Email received April 23, 2012

Good afternoon-

Marco was baptized this week!!!  The baptism was so amazing!!! The spirit was strong and uplifting, and the confirmation was beautiful. I loved every second of it and was so glad to be able to attend. At the last minute the ward mission leader decided he wanted a musical number. Sister Heaton offered for me to sing a solo, which I was in no way going to do. Instead, I finally convinced her and Sister Cole to sing our trio of "Lord, I Would Follow Thee" that we sang a coulple of weeks ago at zone conference. It went pretty well considering that we really didn't get to practice.  The rest of the program was so amazing!
When the baptism and confirmation was over, Marco said he felt so light on his feet. You could physically see how happy he was and I know that he felt the power in the baptism and the Holy Ghost. I will always love that kid forever! I had such a great time teaching him and feel like we have become good friends with him and the Brown Family (basically his adoptive family. They are all so amazing.
Other things have been going well this week. We went to another baptism on Saturday afternoon for our Zone Leaders.  One of them, Elder Weatherford, was singing "Come Thou Fount" for the special musical number and he had asked me a few weeks ago to accompany him. It wasn't the best performance on my part, but the song was gorgeous. The version is from the Reflections of Christ soundtrack if you ever want to hear it (so pretty).  

We also had a cool experience while tracting when a girl chased us down because she wanted to learn more. We had just talked to her sister at the door a few moments earlier and she overheard us.  Sadly, we have not been able to get back ahold of her yet - no phone and she just arrived in the USA from Kenya- but hopefully we will get to see her again this week. It was a cool experience to tell her more about the truth. One day more people will chase us down on the street to hear our message instead of slam doors at us ...maybe...
Hope everything is going well. 
Love y'all!!
-Sister Peck

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Email Received April 16, 2012

Hello y'all!

   I am not really sure what to say about this last week.  The best news is that our numbers and goals have increased! We set 2 baptismal dates this past week, which is pretty exciting because that means that we actually have some people that we are teaching.  Hopefully each of these baptisms will go through and be prepared to actually be baptized.  More good baptism news: Marco is scheduled to be baptized this Saturday!!!!! I'm am not exactly sure what is happening since I am no longer in Grand Prairie, but I should hopefully be able to call them later today to find out more details.  Potentially, I should get to go to Marco's baptism, but we will have to see how that all works out in the rest of the week.  I am just so excited that he is actually getting baptized because he has been so prepared by the Lord. I loved teaching Marco and I can't wait for him to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost to help him throughout this rest of his life.
Here's something strange... Often there is a "theme" to the types of investigators that we have in our teaching pool. Right now the theme is Death. One of our new investigators that we found on Friday night was planning on committing suicide.  Everything is okay now, so don't worry. Another person we taught last night is suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. So apparently right now, we are bringing hope to people and showing them why life is important and why death is okay. These are both strange and interesting situations, but we are helping where we can as missionaries.
The work is picking up in the Dallas 4th Ward, and I am so excited for that because I want so badly to be bringing people unto Christ and His restored gospel.  I know that the Lord loves each and every one of us.  He also knows us each personally.  Here is a cool example of the love and care that Heavenly Father has for every single person...  Friday night we had a doorstep lesson while tracting. We talked to this man forever because he had so, so many questions.  By the end we were setting up a time that we could come back to teach him more. Sister Walker asked if his name was James.  He replied that it was his name.  I had also been thinking for some time in the lesson that James was the man's name, but I know for a fact that he never told us James was his name before Sister Walker asked at the end of the lesson.  This just proves to me that Heavenly Father really does love each of us and He really does know us.  There is no other way that we could have known James' name.  We knew it only because the Spirit of the Lord was working through us to try and help comfort this son of Heavenly Father. It is so amazing and incomprehensible how much He truly does love each of us, His children. Do we return that love? Do we show that same love to others?  Experiences like this confirm to me the truth that we all lived with Heavenly Father before this life, that we can live with Him again after this life, and that He wants to help us during this life through everything that we experience so that we can become better, more righteous children. God loves each of us and Christ knows us all personally and intimately.  If you don't know this for yourself, pray to know!

I love y'all. Thanks for the letter that I received this week from Grandma and Grandpa Riches.  Thanks for all the love and support that everyone gives me though I am so far from home for an extended period of time. I miss y'all, but I know that the work that I am doing is so, so important. There is nothing that would be more rewarding to me at this point in my life than being a missionary and bringing souls to the gospel. Even though it is difficult and there are many downfalls, I love being a missionary. I love all of you and I know that God loves each of you too.

With love and prayers
-Sister Peck

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Email received April 9, 2012

So I'm am sure that y'all are wondering about the tornadoes that happened in Dallas this last Tuesday.... so let me tell y'all what I experienced.
   Sister Walker and I were in a lesson with a less-active member. She was getting calls on her phone like crazy, and so were we, but we just kept teaching the lesson and didn't think anything of it.  As we were leaving the house we passed a neighbor on the sidewalk. She started interrogating us where we were headed and told us that a tornado warning was out and that we probably needed to take shelter. It was then that we heard the tornado sirens.  That was a pretty crazy experience because I have never heard them before. It is kinda like a super eerie ambulance that just keeps going off. The sound is even worse when the sky outside is getting blacker by the minute.  We jumped in our car to head home even though we were the furthest away that we could possibly be from our home in our area.  While I was driving home, Sister Walker checked the phone and we had missed calls and texts from everyone including our district leader (a couple of times) and Sister Hale (the member we live with). We called Sister Hale back and she told us to hurry home as fast as we could because the weather station had 3 bad areas of the storm and our area was just between 2 of the major storms. The district leader had instructions that all missionaries needed to stay inside until the storms cleared up for the day.

   We finally made it home and talked about what we would do and where we would go if a tornado did actually start coming our way. Sister Walker and I tried to finish up our companion study from that morning, but we were just way too distracted and nervous about being upstairs in our room.  We spent the next few hours downstairs talking and watching the storm outside with Sister Hale and Grandpa Bud.  We eventually were able to leave the home again and finish up our missionary work for the day. The tornadoes never touched down in our area. Although it was storming really badly, were we lived stayed right between 2 of the bad storm areas, so we ended up being just fine. It was all a very interesting experience especially for never having been in an area with possible tornadoes before. the feeling that a tornado could be coming at any moment is kinda scary, but I know that the Lord will protect His missionaries and keep them out of harms way if that is his will. I am glad that no one was hurt too badly or killed though.

  We talked to the mission office a few days later, and Sister Penniston said so many parents had called and emailed the mission because they were worried about their children. All of the missionaries are alright with no injuries. Many of the Elders in areas closer to where the tornadoes did touch down have been helping with the clean-up efforts.  Here's a funny story about the tornadoes though... when I was in my last area of Grand Prairie with Sister Cole and Sister Heaton, Sister Cole said that she wanted to see a tornado (not super close though) and so for a couple days in a row Sister Heaton prayed that Sister cole would be able to see a tornado.  Well Grand Prairie did have a tornado touch down. It didn't ruin very much, but it did get close by to where my last companions were taking shelter in a bathroom.  I don't know if Sister Cole got to "see" the tornado, but she did get to experience one as she wished for. I guess it just goes to show that God really does answer prayers.

   I would apologize for the scare that this caused everyone that I could possibly have been in danger of a tornado, but I can't really do that since it wasn't my choice. Maybe y'all should ask for an apology from Sister Heaton since she prayed to get one here, haha.  I am safe. No tornadoes touched down near-by me. All is well!

The rest of the week has been pretty uneventful considering the tornado scare. We just keep doing a lot of tracting lately to try and increase our investigator pool. Easter was pretty good yesterday. One of the members feed us a delicious dinner for Easter. She is the best cook and although most of it was healthly, she jsut made us keep eating and eating. She even sent us home with little Easter packages of cookies after feeding us pie and ice cream for dessert.  We were SO full!!  Nothing else too excting has happened this week. Just working as a missionary and planting seeds to bring people to the gospel.
Thanks for the letters that everyone has been sending me. I appreciate the kind thoughts and the words of encouragement. I also love hearing about what is happening back at home. This week I got letters from Nana and Papa, Aunt Karen, Ean and Tom.  Thank y'all so, so much!!!

I know that this church is true! It is only through Christ's Atonement that we can each be saved from physical death and from spiritual death. Even though Easter has passed, don't let a day go by without thinking of what our Savior has done for you in His infinite and eternal mercy.  Christ has given us the best present that any of us could ever receive and we should continually be grateful for that.  Even though missionary work can be difficult, I know that what I am doing is right. I know that I need to share the message of Christ and His restored gospel with everyone that will listen.  This message is so important!

I love y'all! I hope and pray that everything is going okay for everyone and that you are being blessed.
Love Sister Peck  

PS- the picture is of me and Sister Walker tracting yesterday in the pouring rain on Easter. Happy Holiday!