Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello Y'all!

This week has been a new experience for me as a missionary. My new companion, Sister Brown, and I moved to our new area Plano 6th Ward on Tuesday. We are living with the Moon Family. The dad is the bishop of the Plano 8th Ward, so they don't live in our area but it is very sweet of them to allow us to live there. Their home is very nice and they have a piano! Life is good.

All week we have been walking, and walking, and walking... The mission office had said they had bikes that we could use, but the bikes turned out to be made for boys, which kind of doesn't work when you are wearing a skirt all of the time. So we have been walking. We found that it takes us 35 minutes to walk to our church building. And it takes us 45 minutes to walk to our proselyting area (since we don't live in our area). It is a little bit of a bummer because we don't get as much time to work in our area to find and visit people, but walking does give us the chance to talk to a few more people on the streets. We have walked over 50 miles this last week! My feet and legs aren't very happy with me, and blisters don't really feel good, but I am still happy to be a missionary and to be serving in Plano 6th. I can't complain either because I have been blessed to have a car for the rest of my mission. I am trying hard to have the attitude of Alma in Alma 31. In the last verse he speaks of their afflictions being swallowed up in the joy of Christ. I am happy to serve my Savior, and if I have to walk all day and get blisters to find someone that is prepared to have the gospel, then I am more than willing to suffer that affliction.

This area is very residential (so it will be safe if we ever get bikes) and it is a pretty old area, so most- if not all- or it has been tracted multiple times. That is alright because the Lord will lead us to those who are prepared to be baptized. Sister Brown and I are trying to come up with lots of cool new ideas to find people that we can teach. We are hoping to build up our teaching pool quickly. Right now our one investigator is named Sister Garcia. She has been investigating the church for over 6 years... Sister Garcia knows that the church is true, but she is afraid of having to make a covenant that will last forever. Luckily she is very open with us, so Sister Brown and I hope to be able to overcome her concerns.

The Plano 6th ward is really excited to be getting Sister Missionaries in their area. It has been over 12 years since anyone can remember having sisters around here. The ward is worried at this point though because they have never had their own set of missionaries and they are used to working with Elders. The leaders in the ward also don't want us to be out walking or riding, so they are trying to set it up that we will always have a member with us every night. This is a little more difficult with sister missionaries because we need to take the women in the ward and many of them have kids and activities, but I know that the ward will be blessed for their extra effort to help us. I hope the members like tracting!!

On Tuesday night, Bishop Shill invited to come meet with him. It was also mutual night, so he wanted us to meet some of the youth and their leaders. They had us introduce ourselves and I told them, "We are pleased to be working with all y'all in the Plano 6th ward". It was pretty funny because all of them then said that I was a true Texan because I used "all y'all". I often say y'all in the singular, but rarely use all y'all. I try to be more professional when talking in large groups, but the Texan just kinda slipped right on out. It is still the talk of all of the YW leaders there about how cute I sounded with my little "all y'all". I think I finally might be almost fluent in my mission language :)

I want to thank my mom and the Brandons for my little surprise this week. I think I was in shock for the rest of the night. Thanks Aunt Karen for the easter baskets- my companion really enjoyed hers too.

I hope that y'all have a blessed week! I love all y'all and hope that everyone is well and happy.

If my mom hasn't already told y'all, my new address is: 7913 Cap Rock Drive, Plano, TX 75025

Love Always- Sister Peck

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

EMAIL: Mon, February 18, 2013        12:06 PM
Subject:  Transfer Calls

Howdy Y'all!

This last week was transfer calls, and I am being transferred. Sister Overy is going to stay in Wylie First Ward. Elders are going to be taking over the Sachse Ward (the members are really sad to be losing sisters after having us for only 2 transfers...) I am going to be opening another new sister area in Plano 6th Ward. My companion is going to be Sister Catherine Brown. She was trained by Sister Overy and has been a missionary for 6 months now. Sister Brown is from somewhere in Northern California and she is super sweet. I am excited to change another ward to sisters! And the most surprising part about this transfer is.... I am going to be riding a bike! Yup, a BIKE. Sister Brown and I are going to be the one and only English sister biking companionship. This transfer is going to be an adventure since we don't know the area and we are going to be biking in skirts. But I am looking forward to figuring it all out.

I am a little bit sad to be leaving the Wylie and Sachse area. I was really looking forward to Amie and Alexandre's baptism, but I know I am leaving them in capable hands. They should hopefully be baptized in the middle of March and I definitely am planning on coming back to Wylie for it. I have grown to love Wylie/Sachse, and I really love the people that I have met, but I know that the Lord needs me in Plano.

I don't really know anything about Plano or what type of area it is, but it will be great. No one seems to know where Sister Brown and I are living, but the rumor is that it might be at the Bishop's home. I will have to let all y'all know my address and information next week or you can always send things to the mission office.

This last week we had a very exciting visit to the TDM by Elder Marcus Aidukaitis from the First Quorum of the Seventy. It was such a great zone conference. Elder Aidukaitis is from Brazil, and so he has a lot of inflection in his voice and a great accent. It was so much fun to meet him and be taught by him. He talked a lot about diligence and faith. He also talked about a way that we can increase baptisms in the TDM so that we will be baptizing people weekly. It seems pretty unbelievable, but I know that it is possible and likely that the TDM can baptize more souls because that really is our calling as missionaries. Baptizing more people is really not about the numbers, but it is about bringing happiness and truth to all of God's children. We especially want to baptize those that are elect that they may help to strengthen the church in the areas where they serve. As we bring souls to Christ through baptism we are also helping the Lord fulfill His purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. What a great calling to be a missionary and help people find the one and true path back to live with our Heavenly Father! Elder Aidukaitis was so inspiring and uplifting, and I am ready to take his words and go to work. I am planning, with the help of my new companion, to make the Plano 6th Ward a high baptizing ward.

Thank all y'all for your love and support. Thanks for the letters! Thank you especially for the prayers!! I might be needing some more to make sure I can ride a bike in a skirt!

I love y'all!!!

Love always- Sister Peck

Thursday, February 14, 2013

EMAIL: Mon, February 11, 2013         11:59 PM
Subject:  Measurable Good

Hello Y'all!

Hope that all y'all have had a great week. Sister Overy and I moved this last Monday, so it was a pretty crazy week. The place we moved up in Wylie is really great. They will probably have both Sister Overy and I stay there for another transfer. Next week is transfers, but I don't feel yet like I am going to be moved anywhere. There is a lot of work to be done up in the Wylie Ward before the new church building opens in the summer. I will let all y'all know next week where I will be.

Sister Overy and I have been doing tons of service now with the new JustServe program that the TDM is piloting. We served at the Senior Center in Sachse and helped them take down tables and chairs and set them up in other rooms. The seniors are so funny because there is always a group of women playing some sort of card game in the gym, and there are a bunch of men in the "mancave" playing pool and doing who knows what else. Then every Friday we have been doing service at the Sachse Library. They have us check-in books and shelf them. Most of the time we are just trying to organize everything in its proper place. The library has one old lady that works there named Pat. She is so funny because she tries to be all rough and tough on the outside, but she really is just so sweet and especially loves to talk with the men. I love all of the people at the Sachse Library and I love serving there- it makes me want to be a librarian when I grow up.

Y'all would be pretty proud of me for the other service Sister Overy and I did this week. Every few weeks one of the less-active members from the Sachse Ward calls us up to help him build things in his back yard. He has all of the wood and tools and we build it all from scratch. A couple of weeks ago we helped him build a wall to retain his dogs. This time we were helping him build benches to put on his deck around his outdoor fire pit. It is way fun to help him. He doesn't ever let us use the electric saws and cutters, but he did let me use the electric drill. I am always the helper that measures all of the lengths of the boards and the angles and do the math (haha). I will have the email y'all some pictures when the benches are all finished. All y'all will be pretty impressed at what Sister Overy and I helped build. I love being able to do more service because it breaks up the long days of tracting. I love also seeing "measurable" good that we are doing to help other people in need. Service is great!!

In the Sachse Ward we have an investigator named Kelly. She really didn't like the "guy" missionaries, but she loves being around us. We have taught her quite a bit, but she is still struggling to see the difference that becoming a member of the LDS church can make in her life. Kelly has a lot of girl friends in the ward and loves the social aspect. She also really just wants Sister Overy and I to have fun like "normal" people do (doesn't quite understand the reasons for being a missionary yet). So this week Kelly planned a pajama, movie, pizza, party. She really wanted us not to wear our missionary clothes, so the deal was that Sister Overy and I would also wear our pajamas if we could bring the movie that we would watch. Kelly provided the pizza, invited a bunch of her church friends, so we came in our pajamas and brought "The Testaments" to watch. The party ended up being really fun because a couple of the members hadn't seen the Testaments either. We were able to teach Kelly more about the Book of Mormon and she definitely was able to feel the spirit testify of Christ's miracles and His coming to the ancient Americas. It was a cute idea for Kelly to want to just hang out, but it ended up being one of the best lessons that we have had for her.

Sadly we weren't able to meet with most of our investigators this past week, but we hope to see them this week. We haven't seen Amie and Alexandre in a while and they didn't come to church yesterday because Alexandre was sick. Sister Overy and I are planning on seeing them tonight. They still seem excited to be baptized, but we are going to take a few extra weeks to give them a more solid foundation.

This week is going to be exciting because we have a member from the quorum of the Seventy coming to speak to the TDM. Pretty exciting!

I love all y'all so much! Thanks for all of the love and support. May the Lord bless.

Love- Sister Peck

Thursday, February 7, 2013

EMAIL: Mon, February 4, 2013           11:48 PM
Subject:  Moving

Howdy Y'all!

Things are going well in the TDM. Sister Overy and I are still working to teach the gospel to Amie and her daughter Alexandre. Amie was sick, so she couldn't attend church yesterday, but Alexandre is so pumped about what she is learning that she called her YW's leader and asked for a ride to church. The leader had to be there over an hour early, so Alexandre was an hour early to church but she was totally fine with that because she loves it so much. She is a very mature 14 year old and loves to learn. When we teach her, she takes notes! We still have a lot to teach Amie and Alexandre this week before their baptismal interview, but the Lord will help us if it is His will. We are looking forward with excitement to Amie and Alexandre's baptism in 2 or so weeks.

The biggest news of the week is that Sister Overy and I are moving. It is not the end of a transfer, but instead the Wylie First Ward is so excited to have Sisters that they wanted us to be living in their ward boundaries instead of in Sachse. So, one of the families in Wylie is having us move into their home today. We found this out pretty recently so it has been super busy today with trying to pack and clean and get things arranged like getting beds to sleep on. Sister Overy and I are very excited to move though. The family that we will be living with is the Morales'. They have a very nice house and yard that overlooks a lake. They have a second garage separate from their home and we will be living in an apartment above that. We stopped by last night, and the apartment is super nice! The feel is almost like living in a cabin (apparently we will even hear coyotes and bobcats at night sometimes). Sister Overy and I will be living at the Morales' for at least 2 weeks, and then who knows what will happen at transfers. I don't want to brag too much about the amazing place we are moving into, but I feel so blessed by the Lord to have lived in so many great places on my mission. I am grateful for the members allowing missionaries into their homes and lives and being willing to help us out in whatever way. I have been very blessed as a missionary in my living circumstances.

Sister Overy and I will still have access to our Sachse apt for a little while, so it is alright if y'all have sent me mail in the last week.

My new address starting today is: 955 Meadowbrook Apt B., Wylie, TX 75098 . Or y'all can always still send me letters to the mission office.

I hope that y'all have a blessed week. Sister Overy and I will keep working hard here in Wylie and Sachse. The Lord has prepared people for us to find, so we will just keep working diligently to find them.

I love y'all so much!!

-Love Sister Peck