Tuesday, May 28, 2013

EMAIL:   Mon, May 20, 2013     4:34PM
Subject:  New Companion

Hello Y'all!

I hope that everyone has had a great week. I know that I have had a happy week. There is not too much to report, but the work is progressing and things are improving.

On Tuesday, I met my new companion. Her name is Sister Horne from Sandy, Utah. She is 20 years old and 5'2" with shoulder length brown hair. Before coming on a mission she was attending BYU for 2 years and applying to get into the accounting program. Sister Horne has a very sweet temperament. Right now, she is still very timid to do missionary work. The Texas heat, humidity, and bike riding is also difficult for a new missionary. I feel so bad for her and I try to slow down a bit especially when she is struggling. It is hard because I just want to work so hard and fast, but I guess there is a difference between working so hard that you may faint or instead living the attribute of diligence. I love Sister Horne a lot already, and she's really helping me to develop the Christlike attribute of patience. I know that Sister Horne is going to be a really great teacher of the gospel. As we practice, I can tell she has a great understanding of the gospel and already a great grasp on teaching the concepts in the lessons. I hope that we can teach many lessons together because I believe this is where we will be very powerful and have the spirit strongly as a companionship.

I think one of the hardest things on a mission is keeping track of your investigators. We try to see or talk to them every day, but there are always distractions that keep them from learning more about the gospel. One of our investigators was offended, two had family in town, and one was completely drunk over the weekend. I pray that we will be able to get back in contact with all of them and see them this week. I feel bad for Sister Horne because she hasn't even met most of our investigators even though we are constantly trying to see them.

Missionary work is great. I love talking to people about the gospel. It is so hard to believe that I only have two transfers left on my mission (3 months). I love being a missionary!! I am grateful to have the best mission president ever. I know that he is inspired of God and knows where we are supposed to be and who is supposed to be our companion. I love Plano! I love Sister Horne.

Y'all have a good week. May the Lord bless you!

love, Sister Peck

P.S. My companion's name is pronounced "horn". The E is silent. I feel bad though because sometimes when the little kids try to read her name they don't understand that the E is silent. Hopefully she learns to get over the embarrassment quickly.

New Companion - Sister Horne from Sandy, UT

Saturday, May 18, 2013

EMAIL:   Mon, May 13, 2013     10:38 AM
Subject:  Hello!

How are all y'all doing this week?

It has been a wonderful week here in Plano 6th Ward. Sister Brown and I have been very blessed to see many miracles the past 2 weeks. The first exciting news is that our investigator Patty came to church this Sunday!!!!! There are so many things that I believed helped her make the commitment to come to church, starting with the dinner at the Solanos last week and the Bishop showing up as an answer to her prayers. Sister Brown and I also taught her two great lessons this week. To the first lesson we took our recently activated Sister Burns with us. Immediately, Sister Burns and Patty were friends and laughing with each other and talking about the gospel. It was fantastic! Sister Burns (even though she has been inactive for the last 10 years) is a great teacher of the gospel. She is a returned sister missionary and a convert, so she had some really great perspectives that she shared with Patty.

Patty is progressing so much! Another thing that helped Patty was an experience she had with the Book of Mormon last Monday. She decided to just open to a random place in the scriptures. Of course the verse she opened to was "do not procrastinate the day of your repentance...". Sister Brown and I soon received a worried text from Patty saying she had read that verse, was scared, so she shut her scriptures. Sister Brown and I were busily searching for another more reassuring scripture to share with Patty when we got another text from her. Patty said she had decided to have faith and open the BOM randomly again. This time she read "fear not". What great experiences Patty is having with the BOM! It was when Patty read these scriptures that she committed to herself and God that she would be at church this week, and we are so excited that she did come.

More exciting news of the week is that Sister Brown and I set two baptismal dates on Saturday. I can't even explain how happy this made us because our ward hasn't had a baptismal date since last October. On Friday we met Brother Davis. He didn't have time to talk, but invited us to come back on Saturday. So Sister Brown and I came back on Saturday. Brother Davis and his 9 year old son Taylor were home and waiting for us to teach them about Jesus. We still don't know much about the Davis family, but we taught them the Restoration and committed them to be baptized. Brother Davis was a little bit hesitant, but Taylor really wanted to be baptized, so Brother Davis said he would be too, if he finds out our message is true. Their baptismal dates are set for June 15th, and I am looking forward to teaching them more and having the gospel bless their family.

This week is transfers... Sister Brown is leaving and heading to Grand Prairie. I keep telling her that I am so jealous because I loved the few weeks that I spent in that area. I will be staying in Plano 6th- I love Plano 6th too. I don't know who my companion is yet because she is going to be a brand new missionary just coming from the MTC. I am really humbled but excited to be training again. There are so many good things finally happening in the Plano 6th Ward, but also still a lot of work to find and do, so it will be great training grounds for a new sister missionary. I am looking forward to meeting my companion tomorrow and getting to work (we will have to get her a bike first though...). I love Sister Brown and I am grateful for the 3 months we spent together. She is a diligent worker and very charitable and she loves riding the bikes (which definitely kept me going). Sister Brown will be great in Grand Prairie. I am looking forward to my new sister and all of the fun we are going to have and all of the people that we are going to baptize and share the gospel with.

I love being a missionary! I love representing my Savior! I love all of the companions that I have had for all of the different strengths that they have had. I love teaching the gospel! I love helping people to change their lives.

I love all y'all so much! May the Lord bless each of you this week.

Love Sister Peck!

Waiting for mail from anyone!

The Bluebells of Texas

With her companion Sister Brown

Sister Mc's original MTC group reunion

Transfer Day - May 13

Monday, May 13, 2013

EMAIL:   Mon, May 6, 2013     11:15 AM
Subject:  Hello!


How are all y'all doing this week? This weekend was probably one of the most amazing weekends on my mission!! On Saturday we had a special mission conference where we were taught and edified from special, guests speakers. Our guests were Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy, Elders Funk and Vinzon from the Seventies, and Elder Hansen our Area Seventy. The meeting was marvelous!!!! I wish y'all could feel the strong spirit that was present with all of the missionaries and 5 general authorities. Wow!! I felt like I was in a mini general conference just for the TDM. All of the general authorities were in Dallas for a priesthood leadership training, but I felt so blessed and privileged that they would take time to also visit the missionaries. Each of these men took the chance to shake all of the missionaries hands. I was playing the piano prelude during this time (luckily another missionary took my place for a few moments so I could also shake an Apostle's hand). How wonderful to shake the hand of one of the 12 living apostles of Christ on the earth today and to also shake the hands of those in the organization of the 70.

Then on Sunday Elder Christofferson and Elder Vinzon also visited the Plano Stake for a special stake conference (I did not attend the stake center because my ward was invited to watch by broadcast, but it was still amazing because they were speaking to the Plano Stake specifically). I was so overjoyed that Sister Burns that we have been working with a lot and also our investigator Sandra both came to the special stake conference. The meeting was fantastic! Possibly the most touching part to me was Elder Christofferson at the end. He decided to end the meeting 15 minutes early so that he could take the extra time and shake all of the children and youth's hands. I wasn't there in person to see all of the little kids rush up to shake an apostle's hand right after the meeting, but I am sure it was a powerful experience. Elder Christofferson asking to shake all of the kid's hands reminded me so much of Christ suffering the little children to come unto Him. Even though I had shaken his hand the day before, my testimony was strengthened so much at that moment that Elder Christofferson truly is a representative of Jesus Christ on the earth today with all of the Priesthood keys that are bestowed upon the apostles of Christ since the beginning of time.

By the end of the Stake Conference on Sunday, y'all can probably imagine that I was on a spiritual high. Sunday night though, I had one of the most miraculous experiences on my mission thus far. There is a lot of mini miracles that go into this story, but hopefully I can summarize a few and help y'all feel how much the Lord loves each of us:

Sister Brown and I hadn't heard from our investigator Patty in almost 3 weeks. We have been trying to contact her without any luck. Sister Brown felt super inspired to stop by Sunday afternoon. By much more than luck, Patty was home and let us come in. We found out that she is losing her job and has been really depressed with her life lately. Because she felt so miserable and stuck in depression, Patty really opened up to us. We talked with her about 3 main things: the Atonement, church, and faith leading to "doing". We talked of the strength and the enabling power of the Atonement- how it can help her get through her moments of temptation -how it can help her get to church. Patty then told us that she doesn't feel worthy to go to church. She feels like a hypocrite. I didn't yell at her at this point, but I did exclaim pretty passionately that if all of us had to be perfect to go to church then our churches would be completely empty. We also talked about how faith is an action. Patty also expressed a desire to meet the Bishop of our ward, so we reemphasized that she needed to come to church. By this point, it was a really good lesson with Patty. She had really opened up, and I had felt the spirit testify to her through my words.

Patty was about to let us leave when I randomly decided to invite her to our dinner appointment. Now this was a miracle in and of itself. As of that morning, we were supposed to have lunch with a family but they got sick, so our dinner had been cancelled. On the way out of church, Sister Solano (just baptized in October) asked if we had a dinner. I admitted that we didn't, so she invited us over for a Cinco de Mayo cook out. So I invited Patty to come with us to the Solano's home (before I had even checked with the Solanos). Astoundingly, Patty said yes she would come to the dinner with us. Not by luck, the Solanos were totally okay with Patty coming. We were really hoping Patty and them would be good friends because they are both Mexican. The Solanos had also invited over 2 other couples from the ward. We all had a really good time. The Mexican food was very, very delicious. Patty was enjoying the friendship of all of the members there. This was great because Patty was able to feel comfortable around members and this will hopefully help her feel more comfortable coming to church. They were all just chatting for a while and I was playing with the Solanos' kids, when out-of-the-blue (and most definitely by inspiration!) Bishop Shill happened to come over. He and his daughter were just dropping by some brownies for the Solanos. Remember, Patty had only a few hours previous expressed a desire to meet with the Bishop! Inspiration! Everyone just chatted for a while, but then the topic turned to the marvelous stake conference from Elder Christofferson that morning. Realizing that Patty wasn't a member, Bishop Shill started directing the conversation of religion toward her. Guess what Bishop Shill felt to talk about? The three things that Sister Brown and I had taught Patty earlier: the Atonement, church being a place for sinners, and faith leading to action!! It was so great because Patty kept saying: the sisters just taught me that before dinner. The Bishop and the members testifying were so great for Patty!!! We invited Patty to be baptized. She said yes! Patty also says that she already know that this church is true and she knows that the Book of Mormon is true.

I know that this experience was an answer to Patty's prayers, but I also learned so much at the same time. Sometimes as a missionary I have felt that it is just me teaching. Occasionally I feel the spirit prompt me very strongly to say something, but most often I am just teaching the principles of the doctrine as I know them. As the Bishop and members talked to Patty and taught her the exact same thing that I had just a few hours previous (sometimes with the exact same words that I used earlier), I realized how constantly and continually I am inspired by the spirit and I teach through the spirit. I knew in my mind before this that the spirit is always with the missionaries as they are obedient and the spirit will teach through the missionaries to help people. I am promised that all of the time in the scriptures, but I don't think I had ever fully realized this in my heart until this moment. It is by no coincidence that the Bishop taught Patty the exact same things that I had taught her earlier. What we taught is obviously exactly what Patty needed to hear. Only the spirit would have know that Patty needed those words. Only a Loving Heavenly Father would send so many witnesses to one of His beautiful daughters that is struggling. What a miracle!!!!

I am so grateful that the Solanos thought to invite us for dinner. I am so grateful that Sister Brown was inspired to stop by and visit Patty at that specific time. I am so grateful that Patty was home. I am so grateful for the power of the spirit to help me teach my investigators according to their concerns. I am so grateful that the Lord inspires his bishops. I am so grateful for a bishop that cares about all of the members and nonmembers of their ward. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that answers prayers. I know that all of this experience was answer to all of Patty's prayers. I know that she was being taught and guided by the spirit. There is so much more that I could tell you about this experience but I have run out of time. I am just so grateful that the Lord loves His children and now we have the chance to teach and help Patty once again.

I love y'all so much!!! I know that this church is the one and only true church and that it is led by a prophet and living apostles today. I wish I could have told y'all what Elder Christofferson taught but I don't have time.

I hope that y'all have a wonderful week!!

Love -Sister Peck