Monday, June 25, 2012

Email from Sister McKie received June 25, 2012:

Hello Y'all!

  So in case you missed it last week, I have been transferred again. I spent much of Sunday and Monday saying goodbye to members and investigators in Dallas 4th, then on Tuesday I headed off to my new area of Rowlett. I am actually really enjoying Rowlett so far. My new companion is Sister Elena Pierce and she claims Orem, UT as her hometown.  Rowlett is a town about 30 minutes from my previous area in Dallas. I actually cover all of Rowlett, part of Garland, a tiny portion of Wiley, and the majority of my area is actually a lake named Lake Hubbard (maybe we'll get to baptize some fish while I am here). The only thing that I dislike so far about Rowlett is the giant bugs. I have seen so many giant spiders and my legs are peppered with mosquito bites.  They say that everyting is bigger here in Texas, and that is definitely true of the bugs.  It is really gross, but we deal with it and move on to knock on another house.  
   The area we cover is over the the Rowlett 1st and Rowlett 2nd wards.  I live in the nothern portion of Rowlett in a member's home. They are the Heuers (hoy-yer) and their home is a mansion! We don't see them too often because they are always out serving other people and taking care of their family, but the are super nice and have great personalities.  
   Sister Pierce is also great! We have had so much fun being companions this last week, which is awesome because both of us were worried about being companions with each other. She has glasses and curly brown hair. She is very bold and go-get-em in the way she acts. She loves the people that she serves around, and she has already been doing some great work here in Rowlett. Sadly, she goes home in 8 weeks (a transfer and a half) so once again I won't get to be her companion for too long. I already love being with her so much. We are always laughing and laughing. We're "fixin' to bust a gut" as Sister Pierce puts it.  I also love teaching with her.  We already have a great unity in our companionship, which is awesome because then we can work on becoming even better missionaries and moving on to greater and bigger oportunities with the help of the spirit.
   We have a baptism coming up this Saturday. Their nicknames are Van and Khek. They are a couple from Laos and have a cute little 2-yr-old boy named Anouxay.  I taught them yesterday and they both have very strong testimonies.  They love the church and especially the ward that they go to.  The were originally Buddist and spoke very little English when the missionaries found them. Much has changed because they spirit has taught them and it has changed their lives.  It is very amazing to see this end result because I have heard so much about their journey (Sister Squarcia taught them before she was my companion in D4). They have progressed and truly want to do as Christ would do.
   The work is going great here in Rowlett.  We also have another couple of baptismal dates in our area. I am excited to keep working with these people and also to find new people to teach. More exciting news is my investigator "T" Asoau back in D4 actually went to church yesterday for the first time since the missionaries started teaching him back in February. Pretty amazing miracle since when I first met him he had to crawl around the house on his knees because of problems with his feet. T still has those problems, but he has decided that he needs to do what he can on his own if he truly wants to be baptized. So amazing to see how much he grew and progressed. This all comes from the gospel and the spirit changing people and increasing their desire to become more like the Savior. Nothing else could do it! 
   One funny experiece this week... our waterbottles get really hot from sitting out in the sun here in TX. We try to bring extra water with us to keep us from being dehydrated, but the water just ends up boiling in our car.  I hate drinking the hot water because it doesn't feel like it hydrates you at all. So I came up with a crazy plan. The other day I brought some hot chocolate packets with me in the car. By the afternoon, the water was hot and so I mixed in a hot chocolate packet. It worked... the water was hot enough for hot chocolate so it mixed in well. I drank it and it actually tasted pretty good. Sister Pierce was so disgusted and yet amazed at what I was doing. She still thinks that I am crazy and that my idea is very, very strange.. but it works. Indeed it is kinda weird and I may never ever do it again, but I definitely had fun trying to make hot chocolate out of my boiling water that I left in the car.
   Hopefully there will be many more fun experiences to come here in Rowlett. The work is progressing nicely, but there is still a lot more people to share the gospel with. We have lots of people to find and baptize. The first thing Sister Pierce said to me at transfers was "Sister, we are going to translate all of Rowlett." We are deifintely going to try and have some great fun doing so.
 I love y'all. Don't forget to always read the Book of Mormon daily, pray daily, and attend church. It will bless your life and make your burdens become light.  The gospel is true! Missionary work is the greatest!

Love Always- Sister Peck

PS- today is my 5 month anniversary since I entered the MTC. Pretty crazy! I can't believe how fast the time is going by. So much work that I have left to do!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pictures from the Texas Dallas Mission Transfer Day Facebook Page - June 19, 2012:

Sister Mc and her MTC Companion Sister Cole

Sister Mc and her new companion Sister Pearce

Monday, June 18, 2012

Email received June 18, 2012  (Transferred Again!)

Howdy y'all-

  This weekend ended with sad news... I am getting transferred once again.  Saturday night was transfer calls, and I really did not think that I was going to be transferred.  In fact, we always ask the missionaries what the "predictions" are, and everyone guessed that Sister Squarcia and I would be staying together for another couple of transfers. Both of us are pretty new in the area and we have only been together for one transfer (6 weeks).  So, when the phone rang on Saturday night with the Assistants calling us, I didn't really believe. Sister Squarcia is going to be staying in Dallas 4th and her new companion is going to be Sister Cole (my MTC companion) so they are going to have all sorts of fun.
   I am going to Rowlett. My companion is going to be Sister Elena Pierce. She has curly hair and is from Idaho.  She has a transfer and a half left on her mission, so I will for sure have another companion by the middle of August. I have had a new companion every transfer of my mission, and it doesn't look like that trend is going to be ending any time soon.  I am excited for Rowlett because I have heard many great things and I am really grateful for the opportunity that I am going to have to serve with Sister Pierce. I am just sad to leave D4 because I love it so much. I am really also torn that I am leaving my little Italian companion, Sister Squarcia, because we have had so much fun together and I really enjoyed serving with her.  I told many of the members at church yesterday that I was being transferred. It was pretty funny because a few of them even talked to President Durrant (he is in our ward) and told him that they were upet that I was going to be leaving. He just kept telling them that "Sister Peck is going to have a great new adventrue where the Lord wants her." I know that this is true, although it doesn't make things any less sad. I am grateful for the time that I have been here in D4. I love the Hales (the members that I live with) and all that they have done for me. I love the members and really feel like part of their families. I love being so close to the mission office and the senior couples in there have become some of my substitute parents. I love, love Sister Squarcia. And I love my investigators. Much of the time that I was here the work was progressing really slowly, but now things are really starting to pick up and we will hopefully have some baptisms soon. I guess the good news is that I am close enough to get to come back for the baptisms in the future. I will miss everything and everybody, but I am needed in Rowlett.
   Things are really going to be great and I am excited for more new opportunities. Sister Squarcia served in Rowlett for 7 months, so I have heard all sorts of amazing things. The members that I am going to be living with are amazing. I have already met a few of the members, and they are so sweet. I hear the work is going great. Things are going to be awesome! And I will have a great new companion to teach me more and to help me grow. Exciting stuff!
   More good news is that they have realigned the mission districts, so I will be able to still see Sister Sqaurcia and Cole at District meeting each week. I really hate packing and leaving all the memories, but I am also really excited for this great new adventure. things are going to be great and I am sure my letter next week will be awesome.

I love y'all. Thanks for the letters. My new address will be:   100 Peninsula Dr., Rowlett, TX 75089.

Love, Sister Peck!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Email from Sister Mc received June 11, 2012:

Hello Y'all!

We have a new couple that we started teaching this week, and it is super exciting.  Their names are Brian and Icy.  Brian started being taught the discussions about a year ago. He quickly accepted the teaching and lives all of the standards except for the Law of Chastity.  He has lived with Icy for over 3 years now, and they will not get married and they do not want to move apart. Not sure why.  Icy has never really been interested in the church, so the missionaries stopped teaching Brian a couple of months ago because he was not progressing at all.  Brian does come to church every Sunday though, and recently he has been bringing Icy with him. We always ask Icy if she is interested in learning more or if she has any questions from church, but she always says "no". About a week ago we were out with a member and ran into Brian and Icy. The member (a little, older but very spunky and pushy lady) gave Brian and Icy some of her delicious homemade cookies if in return they would pray every time they ate a cookie to know if the missionaries should come over.  Brian and Icy accepted the cookies and even let us come over that afternoon for a quick visit. A couple days later, we finally got a text from Brian saying that Icy had requested for us to come and teach her! Sister Squarcia and I were so excited!  Brian and Icy have been taught 2 lessons now, plus they already come to church on their own, and they even came with us to a baptism this last Saturday back in Sister Squarcia's old area.  It is pretty amazing! They are progressing wonderfully right now and we hope that Icy will keep having a desire to know more about the gospel. Maybe we will eventually have a wedding and 2 baptisms!

 Everything else has been going pretty well. The work is slow and we don't talk to many people when we knock doors, but the Lord will lead us to the people that are ready if we keep working hard. I can't believe that I have already been out for 1/4 of my mission. The time is so strange because the days seem to last like weeks, but by the end of a transfer (6 weeks) it feels like it has only been a month. In fact, transfer calls come this Saturday. Sister Squarcia and I are really hoping and praying that we stay together here in Dallas 4th for a couple of more transfers. We have a lot of fun together and I love introducing her to new "American" things. We bought Sister Squarcia her first ICEE from 7-11 the other day, and I think she really enjoyed it. This morning for preparation day we made chocolate chip cookie dough. She had her first taste of cookie dough! And we also decided to make it into one large cookie- she was so excited!! I love being around Sister Squarcia so much because she has a great personality and is alwasy so enthusiastic. It is always fun to educate her about new things.

The members are so amazing here and the food is just as great. One of them took us to a super, super nice restaurant this week called "III Forks". I think it is the most expensive meal that I have ever eaten! The Filet Mignon was delicious, and I even ate it medium-rare (those of you who know me know that I like my meat well-done with no signs of pink). It was amazing! Dessert was the most delicious Crème Brule that I have ever eaten!  I am definitely becoming more accustomed to the Texan way to eat meat. I think I have eaten more meat off of the bone here than I have in my entire life. The Texans really like their BBQs.

Another cool thing that happened this week was I got to hold a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon. It is one of the original 5,000 that were printed, of which only 500 are still in existence (mostly under glass cases in safe places) They have a little LDS bookstore in our area, and someone that works there has an original copy.  It was so amazing!!!  He even let me get a picture with it!

I love being a missionary so much! This is the Lord's work and he continues to bless us everyday.

Love- Sister Peck

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Email received June 4, 2012:

Howdy Y'all!

Greatest experience of this last week: Last Monday night, Sister Squarcia and I were out tracting a neighborhood. The third door we knocked on we got yelled at that there was no soliciting. We kindly thanked the gentleman and kept knocking doors. About 10 houses later another lady yelled at us that there was no soliciting. We thanked her and kept knocking doors. This is pretty normal for us, so we didn't think anything of it until we were just coming out of a doorway and we saw that a police car had just passed driving very slowly. Sister Sqaurcia and I turned to each other because we both had the feeling that the police were looking for us. but we kept tracting anyway. Two more times we saw the same police car pass, but somehow he never saw us (we weren't even trying to hide from him). We knocked on the very last door in the neighborhood and we finally found a lady that was interested in our message. 
   As we left the house the police passed again. This time he saw us and flagged us down. The officer's name was Mike. He told us that he had received 2 calls that we were knocking on doors in the neighborhood. He told us that it was a non-soliciting neighborhood. He did acknowledge that we were not soliciting, but proselyting... but he said it would make his job a lot easier if we could knock doors at another neighborhood. Officer Mike then proceeded to tell us where he thought some good neighborhoods were that we could knock doors in. He also asked us if anyone had been rude to us, but we said we had had worse. We talked to him for a minute longer and told him what we do, but sadly he wouldn't accept a card. He did offer us a ride back to our car though, but it wasn't too far away. We thanked him for his time, told him to check our, and then walked back to our car. Lucky for us, Officer Mike was very, very nice!
   So now I have been officially kicked out of an area by a police officer. I guess I am even more a true missionary now! It was a pretty funny experience and also very enlightening. I am sure the lady at the last house was the reason that we were tracting that neighborhood and the Lord protected us until we contacted her. There is no way that the police could have missed seeing us before, but he did and we were able to do His will and the work is accomplished.
   The rest of the week has been pretty good. I can barely believe that I have already been on a mission for 4 months! That is almost one-fourth of my mission. The days are so long and the weeks are not much shorter, but looking back the time has disappeared so rapidly. Some days are trials, but I love being a missionary. It is the most rewarding work! The weather is so hot, but I am kinda enjoying it. It is near 100 degrees everyday, and it will only get worse. Not too bad of sunburns yet. Hopefully the Lord will continue to bless me so I can survive the summer!
   Thank you for the letters this past week. I heard from the Bowers (thank you Lucas- the picture is hanging above my bed!), Janelle Hardy, Grandma and Grandpa Riches, Nana and Papa Peck, and Katie. Thank y'all so much. It always makes the day much better to have a letter waiting to be read!
   I love y'all! Don't forget to read your Book of Mormon and say your prayers everyday. That is when the Lord will bless you!

Love Sister Peck!!!!