Monday, July 30, 2012

Howdy Y'all!
     This week was a pretty awesome week on the mission. The first good news is that I didn't receive a transfer call. Sister Pierce and I will still be companions here in Rowlett- but sadly, this will only be for three weeks since Sister Pierce is leaving to go home. I should be receiving a transfer call mid-transfer to find out my new companion(s) and possibly a new area. This is exciting though because Sister Pierce and I have the great opportunity to work hard together for the next three weeks. It is going to be awesome!
    I also had 2 baptisms this past weekend! Our investigator Taylor was baptized on Saturday morning at the Singles Ward. It was great because she had support of members from over 3 wards that she attended just during, and prior to, the month she was taught. The best part of the baptism was Taylor sharing her testimony. Taylor said she could physically and spiritually feel the change after she was baptized and she knows that the LDS Church is true! It has been such an amazing pleasure and treat to teach Taylor and become a good friend with her. I am still amazed by Taylor because she is trying to dedicate herself fully to her new faith. She has already decided that when their lease is up in a couple of months, she is going to move away from her mom and family. She loves them so much, but she knows that they don't live the same standards and so she wants to be around people that can help her uphold the covenants she has made. Taylor is so amazing and I wish y'all could meet her and see why Sister Pierce and I love her so much.
     My other baptism was "T" who I taught back in Dallas 4th. I loved his baptism. Because T is a much larger Samoan man, they couldn't do the baptism in the church font. So we had the baptism outside in a member's pool!  Even though we were all sitting in over 100 degree weather, this baptism was so spiritual and touching. I think this is partly because I had to work so hard with T to get him to come to church as I was helping to teach him. The journey has been so long, but he is finally baptized!  It was sad because T still has a very difficult time standing and walking, so getting him in and out of the pool was very difficult and took many helpers, even standing in the pool waiting to be baptized was difficult for T, but he sacrificed and was baptized. What an amazing experience and change. I can't even describe how great and joyful it feels to see someone change their life and even go through painful and trying times just to become a member of the Church. I love seeing this! This is one of the great joys to being a missionary! I love both "T" and Taylor so much. I am very proud of the decisions they have made to come unto Christ.
     What a great week it has been!!! I am so excited for this new transfer- it is always a great time to reevaulate my focus and goals as a missionary and strive to work harder and better. Being a missionary is so amazing because I get to be immersed in the gospel all day, every day. What an amazing experience!!  I can't wait to go and find more people to teach and baptize!  This gospel is so true. It wouldn't make sense to find so much joy and happiness in something that is false or made-up. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly the Lord's church once again restored to the earth. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much!
    Thanks y'all for your support back home. I got letters this week from Grandma and Grandpa and also from the Pierces (any relation to Lee and Kay Pierce from the Blackfoot area of Idaho? those are my companions parents)... Thank y'all for everything and most especially for all the prayers! Hope all is well with everyone.
Love- Sister Peck!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Email from Sister Mc received July 23, 2012:

Howdy y'all!

    Things are getting hot here in Texas (though I think we have actually had many more "cool" days this year than Utah has).  I can't believe it is already the sixth week of the transfer and that we will be getting transfer calls this Saturday night. We'll see what happens- Sister Pierce and I are hoping to stay together in Rowlett until she leaves to go home in a month.

    This upcoming week is going to be great. We have Taylor's baptism on Saturday- she is so, so excited.  She had her baptismal interview on Friday, which went great.  Sister Pierce and I also taught her about Tithing and Fasting before the interview. Taylor is so amazing that she had already learned about Tithing from her friend Randi (who originally introduced her to the church). Before we even taught the law of tithing, Taylor had already put money aside from her last paycheck and she just needed to know who she to give it to. Amazing!! Taylor also already has a great testimony of fasting. Her Dad got Leukemia when she was 13, and Taylor fasted along with her family almost every Sunday for a couple of months. I asked her how that made her feel about fasting and she said, "Well, it works... my Dad is still here!"  It is such a privilege to have taught Taylor and I am very excited for her baptism.

    I also got news from the D4 Sisters that "T" (the large Samoan investigator that I taught) is also going to be baptized on Saturday. I am so excited and proud of him! I can barely believe that he has finally made it to church a couple of times even with all of the physical limitations of his feet. It took many months, but I can tell that he is finally prepared to be baptized and change his life by coming closer to Jesus Christ. Hopefully both of the baptisms go alright this upcoming Saturday!

  The work is going great! Thanks for all of the support and letters from home that y'all send me. Grandma Riches expressed in her last letter that she hoped that I still have a piano to play at the member's home where I live. Grandma- I do have a piano. In fact, I have three. Their daughters are very musically talented, so they have some amazing pianos that have been restored. The most beautiful one is a black, grand piano from 1880. All of its pieces are original and still in great shape to be played. It is gorgeous!

    I love y'all!! Thanks for everything! The gospel of Christ is so important not only to understand, but also to live. When we keep the commandments and do the will of our Heavenly Father then we can truly find joy and happiness in this life. This gospel changes people's lives when they are willing to follow Christ.

Love always- Sister Peck

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Email from Sister Mc Received on July 16, 2012

Hello Y'all!

Things have been going well in the TDM. I am still loving the Rowlett area and the members are great!  This last week Sister Pierce and I did an exchange with the D4 Sisters- Sister Cole and Sister Squarcia. It was pretty awesome because I got to go back to my old area D4 and be with my old companion, Sister Squarcia. It was pretty great because I got to see some of the people that I used to teach. It is sad though because some of them decided to not meet with the missionaries anymore after I got transferred.  On the other hand, I did get to see how well some of my previous investigators are doing and also see how much work is starting to happen in the D4 area.  I even was lucky enough to have dinner with one of my favorite members in D4, the Armstrongs! I will always love the members, the people, and the area of Dallas 4th. It was also great to spend the day with Sister Squarcia this week. I love that little Italian- her enthusiasm and love of sharing the gospel with everybody is so contagious! I came home to Rowlett so excited to get the work moving even better. The exchanges were great.

Sister Pierce and I had another fun experience on Saturday. Sadly, we had nothing scheduled for the day- even our dinner appointment cancelled!  So we decided that we were going to be "real" missionaries and walk all day.  Maybe not the smartest idea, but we sure had some fun. We left the Heuer's home in the morning and walked over 6 miles in about 4 hours, talking to everyone that we saw along the way. We ended up walking home early because we found out a new family needed help moving into the ward, and we definitely needed to wash up before we went to help. Gotta love the hot Texas sun and humidity.  Sister Pierce and I did have quite a bit of fun despite her sunburn (mom- you'll be proud because I actually put on sunscreen and avoided a burn). Maybe next time we will avoid carrying so many copies of the Book of Mormon. Those scriptures are heavy stuff!

This next week should be pretty exciting. Our super sold investigator, Taylor, is being interviewed for baptism this Friday. We are so excited because she has been so prepared to become a part of the gospel.  It is pretty amazing because she transformed into a new person before even meeting with the missionaries. About a month before her first lesson, Taylor decided that she needed to stop smoking and take out her tongue ring. After taking the first lesson, Taylor decided to quit drinking coffee and tea and also make her clothing more modest- we hadn't even talked about any other those things yet. Taylor is amazing! We were worried because she enjoys the family ward, but she is 22 and single so we knew she should go to the singles ward. She has been there twice now and is loving it. With the Singles Ward, Taylor went to Institute on Tuesday, country dancing on Wednesday, and she even switched her schedule at work to be off on Mondays and Tuesdays for FHE and more Institute. I am so excited for Taylor because she really feels like she belongs now and is so excited to keep learning. I know that she will be an awesome member of the church once she gets baptized in 2 weeks. It is so amazing when the Lord has truly prepared people and the members follow through on that and bring their prepared friends to church.

The Lord loves His missionaries! Our Heavenly Father is so concerned with each one of His children. All He wants us to do is keep his commandments (MSH 2:22) and turn to our Savior for help in our lives.  The gospel is so simple and easy- just live it!  I know everyone is blessed even for keeping the smallest commandment.

Thank y'all for all of the support! I got so many letters these last few weeks from Nana and Papa, Grandma and Grandpa, Ilauna Parks, and a few others that I know I am forgetting.  Thanks for everything! I love each of you and pray that all is going well.

By-the-way, the spiders can be huge in Texas. The other morning there were over 15 spiders the size of my fist on the Heuer's garage alone. So gross!  Apparently they are just garden spiders. The members told me they are harmless, but they are huge nonetheless.  They do make pretty cool webs though that have a line of scribbles down them that they use to roll up whatever gets caught in their webs.  Huge Spiders! Just thought y'all might like to know that.

Love- Sister Peck

Monday, July 2, 2012

Email received July 2, 2012:


Exciting news for the week: this past Saturday we had 2 baptisms of a married couple from Laos, Van and Khek. They were both confirmed yesterday in sacrament meeting.  Both the baptism and the confirmation were amazing and very filled with the spirit!  Van was so sweet when she came out of the water. She exclaimed in her broken English, "Oh, it's good. This is good!"  Khek was so happy after the baptismal service that he was walking around with his little son Anouxay on his feet, and Khek was singing, "I'm a new man" over and over.  Van and Khek were both so happy especially after some of the great promises they were blessed with in their confirmations. I am so grateful to have been a part of getting them baptized. It has been a long and hard road for Khek especially with all the Word of Wisdom addictions to overcome. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit can change people and this is definitely manifest in the baptism of Van and Khek.  They are such sweet spirits and I pray that they will continue to grow and progress as a family in the gospel.

Things are going well in the Rowlett area. Members treat us great and are so willing to help out with the missionary work. Sister Pierce and I have many other investigators that we are teaching right now that should hopefully keep progressing toward baptism and becoming members of the church. One of our amazing investigators is Taylor. She was a referral from the Rockwall Elders because she showed up at the church there with a friend from her work. She wants to be baptized and even asked when we could baptize her the first time that we met her.  Taylor is super sweet and knows without a doubt that the church is true even though we have barely taught her.  She even went to her old Methodist church a couple of weeks ago and said goodbye to all of her friends there and told them that she is being baptized a Mormon. Taylor is very amazing and I hope that she continues to have  strong faith and keep moving steadfastly towards her baptism. It is such a miracle for a person like her to fall into our teaching pool.  I am so excited to keep teaching her and sharing more of the gospel! She is so excited to learn it all!

I love the members and the people of Texas. I love being a missionary thrugh all the difficult times because the end makes it worth it. It was worth it to see Van and Khek baptized and confirmed this last week. I love what I am doing. Being a missionary is such a blessing! I love y'all! Thanks for the letters especially from Kinzey Parks and my dad this last week.

Love -Sister Peck

100 Peninsula Dr.
Rowlett, TX 75089