Monday, December 29, 2014

Tis the Season

Hello everyone!
And Merry Christmas -

This week has been wonderful! I love Christmas! I love the Savior! I love being a missionary!! :) My Christmas was incredible and so funny so I really want to just share with you all what happened.

Our first visit of the day was to a less active recent convert named Sister Burras. She bought us this gingerbread train and had been telling us for most of the month how excited she was to make it with us. She had family coming over so we had to make it considerably fast and then she insisted on us taking it home with us. A lot of the houses in this part of town have gates outside the front door since they don't want anyone to break in and when we got outside we realized that we didn't have the keys. We couldn't find them anywhere. We decided to say a prayer and like 3 minutes later we found them -MIRACLE. We were no longer trapped inside this woman's house. Hahaha. So we were hugging her goodbye and as we stepped away the gingerbread train fell out of our hands and shattered. We dropped her present all over the streets of Philly. Merry Christmas to the ground! And she saw the whole thing! We felt so bad! It was awful.

Next we went and visited two African ward members, Sister Padmore and Howa. We asked them to play their instruments while we sing a Christmas song and it actually was super cool. Sister Padmore insisted on dressing us in some of her African clothes, so Sister Ririe and I agreed and she dressed us up. After singing the song and reading Luke 2 to them there was a knock on the door and this man who I had never met came in. He looked at us and said "OH! Who are these beautiful African ladies?? Looks like there's going to be a double African wedding!!" And he totally sat on our laps and put his arms around us. We both sort of gently pushed him off of us but it was so awkward. A couple minutes later there was another knock on the door and our Zone Leaders who serve in our ward walked in! They looked at us for a minute like they had no idea what to say. Then the man who sat on us said "Don't they look so cute?" Sister Ririe and I just told them not t answer and went and changed. At District Meeting the next day we were telling the rest of the district this story since the ZLs were at a different meeting and right as I said "And then the zone leaders walked in" the zone leaders walked into the meeting. It was too much and too funny.

We then got to Skype home. I got to see my entire family, including Becca who skyped in because she's in China right now and it was really so great. :) There were tears. It was a different way to spend Christmas, that's for sure. Our Bishop and his family fed us for dinner and then we visited a few less actives, but it was an amazing holiday. I'm so grateful that I've been able to serve at this time of year. It's amazing to see how open everyone is to letting Christ into their hearts around the Christmas season. But it's also so important that we keep him right in our mind the entire year. Every day should be Christmas! We should always be celebrating the birth and the Atonement of our Savior because it truly made everything possible. To end the tale of my Christmas, I want to leave you with this thought: Do you want to be part of the inn crowd or part of the stable few?

With this being the last week of 2014 I've been thinking back on all that has happened this last year and I have just felt so much gratitude and love. I can say with full sincerity that this has been the best year of my life. Its been hard, I have never been so stressed, but I have also never been as happy. Even just looking at the names of all of the people I'm sending this email to makes my heart so happy. There are so many people who I either didn't know or didn't talk to on a regular basis who I can now say that I've grown to love. I could go through and mention how each and every one of you have blessed my life. I won't because that would make this email far too long, but I do want to express how grateful I am to have each and every one of you as a part of my life. I'm very blessed.

I'm so grateful that I chose to serve a mission. I've already grown to love my Savior more than I ever could have imagined. I know that this is his true and full gospel that has been restored to the earth. How lucky am I? I'm set apart as someone who is called to share of Christ's message and love every single day. But everyone can share the gospel! Everyone can take part in hastening His work. Share your testimonies with others, lend a helping hand, share a scripture with someone you see n the street. It's an incredible work and I'm so grateful to be part of it. :)

I love you all!
Sister Petrick

Sister Rachel Petrick
700 Darby Road #201
Havertown, PA 19083

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone!

We said goodbye to Sister Cox this week, it was very sad. She got her new companion. And yet another reason my mission is the best ever is the way that our transfers happen. It's so great. So transfers calls come in the Friday night and they tell you if you're staying or going. Then on Tuesday the companionships that are changing all meet at the mission office building. Those staying are on one side of the gym and those leaving are on the other. It's like a game show, they do it by locations and use a PowerPoint to announce the new companionships. they meet in the middle and hug and get their picture taken and it's just wonderful. Hahahahah, I love the PPM!

Sister Ririe and I are working on a pretty great transfer goal. By the end of this transfer we're going to teach 40 lessons in a single week! I'm super pumped about it. We're building up to it and decided this week would would do 20, 8 of them being member present lessons. It's so amazing how Heavenly Father rewards us as we make and work toward our goals. We taught 23 lessons, 7 were member presents, and we got 2 new investigators! It was incredible because the two new investigators came on the days that we were struggling to meet our goals. Heavenly Father knew we were working hard and He provided us with new people to teach! He is so good. :)

Today I got to use my PDay to do some really great service. A woman who is the Primary President in Provo has been in contact with our Primary President and she put together boxes of toys, art supplies, coats, clothes, books, basically everything you could imagine and sent it to us to give to the families in our ward who are in need. Today we were able to sort through the boxes and look through what we think each family would need. Tomorrow they're coming to the church and they'll be able to look through the HUNDREDS of items that were sent to us and pick out presents for their children. It's so amazing how giving people are, especially this time of year. It was so humbling to see how a lot of these toys were hand picked by the children and sent with notes about how much they love the toys. We were also given around $2000 in gift cards to either give people or buy what they specifically need. Christmas is a time for giving and this primary so incredibly showed us what it means to selflessly give.

I did want to tell you all a story about a particularly crazy lesson that we had this week. We had been fasting with a woman in the ward and went over to end the fast with her and also teach her kids about fasting. We got there and there were neighbor kids and everyone was yelling and the mom wasn't home. Once the mom got there we started teaching and we finally started to calm the kids down by singing I Am a Child of God with them. As soon as we started praying the fire alarm went off which made all of the kids start jumping around and screaming and the girl saying the prayer started doing some weird chant thing and was telling the demons to leave their house. We shared with them the story of Esther, but it didn't seem to make too much impact. We ended our fast and went our way. After the mom came down to see us as we were getting in the car and she hugged us. She said she really needed our support to make it through the fasting and she was so grateful we did it with her. It's so hard when lessons don't go our way, but this really taught me that it's not really about what I take out of the lesson, it's about what they do. And it was exactly what she had needed, even if it wasn't the best for her kids.

I hope that everyone thinks of Christ often this week. Remember that it's because of Him that we have this Christmas season. Think of Him in all you do and the season will be more meaningful that you could possibly imagine. :)

Much love,
Sister Petrick
Sister Rachel Petrick
700 Darby Road #201
Havertown, PA 19083

Monday, December 15, 2014

More pictures

Christmas Party
Sister Cox's District

Sister Petrick, Santa, Sister Ririe

Missionaries find weird ways to entertain themselves
Sister Ririe, Sister Petrick, Sister Cox

No idea
Missionary Service

More service, smashing strawberries, I believe

That time I serenaded all of McDonalds

Hello everyone!!

This week has been pretty fantastic. Like I mentioned in my email last week, we have had a third sister with us, Sister Cox. We've been working both in our area and in hers, so we've been jam packed with lessons. With how organized we had to be, Sister Ririe and I actually doubled what our goal was for lessons. We thought it was going to be a slow week but since we focused in our planning we were able to go above and beyond all that we thought we would. Heavenly Father made it possible for us to get everything done that we needed to this week. Miracles definitely happen when you stop and listen to what the spirit is telling you to do. :)

The first story I want to tell is about Mark. Mark is the son Shirley, one of Sister Cox's investigators. We went to teach Shirley and Mark came downstairs, satdown next to us and just started crying. He told us that he had just found out that he had brain tumors because of past choices and asked us to pray for him. As we talked he said that he felt like God didn't love him anymore because of his choices and he just wanted to know what God's plan was for him. Miracle - we had planned on teaching the Plan of Salvation that day! And we wanted to visually teach it in a way that actually spells out LOVE. We taught him and he just soaked everything in that we told him. At the end of the lesson we invited him to be baptized. He said he didn't know and walked into the next room. A minute later he came back and said that he would. He said that he didn't know why, but he knew that it was what he needed to do. We came back later in the week and taught him about the Restoration. Again, he just took everything in and loved every second of it. We gave him the Book of Mormon and he agreed to read. A couple of ward members came with us and gave Mark a blessing. He said that the whole time he felt warm and knew that the men blessing him held God's power. Since then he's been reading and he loves it!! He's incredible and being baptized in January.

The next story I want to share is about McDonalds. We go to McDonalds sometimes to use their WiFi. When we went this week we ran into 4 teenage boys and started talking to them. They had never met missionaries before and knew nothing about the church. We told them about the temple and the Book of Mormon and about what missionaries do. They honestly seemed really interested. We gave them the phone number for our Elders and they gave us their numbers so we can contact them. And then I sang a Polar Express song with one of them. In the middle of McDonalds. Hahahahah. You all know me, my voice isn't exactly quiet, and this guy had a beautiful voice. The whole restaurant listened in. And that is the story about how I serenaded everyone in McDonalds.

The last thing I want to share is about Alice. Alice, my amazing, wonderful investigator, was baptized yesterday!! It was so amazing. Sister Ririe and I were running around the entire day at church with filling the font, making sure the programs were printed, getting the right sized jump suits, everything was crazy. So many things fell through and were improvised, but luckily my District is incredible and they helped us out with EVERYTHING. But we were still pretty frazzled. And then as I stood on the side of the font watching Alice walk down into the water I felt such a calm, happy feeling. She was so beautiful and so happy. When she came out she smiled at us and said "I'm clean." It made everything worth it. This is what it's all about. This is the missionary purpose. Alice and her boys will be forever blessed because of the covenants she made and the ones she'll work toward making. She prayed and she said "Thank you for sending me the missionaries to save my life" and my eyes completely teared up. Even with the chaotic mess that we were originally seeing, Alice was baptized. The spirit was there. It was beautiful.

Here's some fun pictures from this week. The baptism. Then me and Jane with the best hat in the world. Jane called me a Ding-a-Ling while I was in it. And then Sister Boyoue taught me how to tie the African headdresses. :)

I love you all!
Sister Petrick

Sister Rachel Petrick
700 Darby Road #201
Havertown, PA 19083

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Birthday Party

Temple Site

Sister Missionaries

Love Park

Elder Castro and Thanksgiving Breakfast

Monday, December 8, 2014

I Got a Fairy Godmother

Hello all!

So this has been a pretty exciting week. First I want to tell everyone about my investigator, Alice. I'm not sure what I've told everyone so I'm just going to tell a couple of my favorite stories really quick. She's basically a golden investigator. So so ready for everything. She's getting baptized THIS SUNDAY!! As soon as we told her she jumped up and was so happy! She's been so ready, she just needed to get to a place where she could continually get work off to come to church, and now she has! She's the best. When we taught her about the Word of Wisdom she went and took tea out of her cupboard and asked if it was one that was okay. We looked at it and told her no and she, without hesitation, picked it up and shoved it into the garbage. Sister Ririe and I just stood there staring at her. It was like she was slapping Satan in the face. It was amazing. Another example of how great she is when SHE asked US if she could pay tithing. We hadn't even brought it up yet and she asked because she honestly wanted to pay. Heavenly Father has been preparing her and now she can finally be baptized!! I have honestly never met someone with such a great faith. She can't read so her two sons, who will hopefully have a date soon, read the Book of Mormon to her every night. They're such a great example to me. I just love them so much.

I got to go to Center City a couple of times this week, once on exchanges and today again for PDay. On exchanges I was with Sister Manson (who was in Brett's MTC district - surprise!). She's hilarious. She'll pick up garbage from the ground and send it to other people. We were able to do what's called CookieWednesday. We passed out cookies to all of the people who are working on building the temple. And in return they gave me some of the stone that the temple is being built out of. How cool is that?? On my desk I have temple rock. Holy temple rock. It's beautiful and makes me so happy. I am so beyond lucky that I've been able to spend so much time in the city. Philadelphia is honestly so beautiful. After I received my call I remembered hoping that I could just see the city around Christmas time and that wish was granted. Seeing those buildings and the boathouse row lit up with Christmas lights is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Philadelphia also has this street right in the middle of the city that's lined with flags from every single country in the world. I have been so blessed to be serving in such an amazing place. Heavenly Father is truly looking after me.

So we've had an interesting couple of days. I'm currently in a trio. We have welcomed Sister Cox (who was also in Brett's MTC district) into our companionship. Sister Cox's companion went home this week and since she has her own area that's maybe 40 minutes away and transfers are in about a week and a half we've been working in both areas. So our schedules have been jam packed. I know that Heavenly Father put us together so that Sister Ririe and I could become more organized and better at scheduling for sure appointments. Sister Cox has been a great blessing to us. So I have two trainers! And I'm learning lots!

The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. It's amazing. I'm starting to really see how Heavenly Father uses His missionaries. As I teach these people I know that there's no way that I'd be able to know what they need to hear without the spirit. I know that I'm being guided to what they need. Heavenly Father could do this work on His own, but He's trusted me with the call to share His gospel and while that's a lot of responsibility, I'm so grateful for the chance.

I hope everyone has a good week! :)
Sister Petrick 
P.S. Those pictures are from earlier today but I'm totally going to send another email with some more because I've been slacking! :)
The first is me with Sister Manson and Sister Cox, the second is us with Eddie the Dinosaur. :)
Sister Rachel Petrick
700 Darby Road #201
Havertown, PA 19083

Monday, December 1, 2014

A couple of Pictures

In front of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Temple

District Thanksgiving Breakfast

Weaves, Leaves, and Turkey

Dearest friends and family,

I've been a missionary for a month!! How exciting is that?? I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father. I know these 18 months are going to fly by so I'm doing my best to make the most of them.

Last Monday Sister Ririe and I were able to meet with some of the other sisters and sort of get a tour of Philadelphia! We started the afternoon at the Philadelphia Temple site and volunteered for a bit in the Visiter's Center. The temple is being built right in the center of Philadelphia!  I'll add a picture or two, but the temple is coming along nicely and it's already so beautiful! I got to see portraits of what the inside will look like and it's being built in an older style to match the history of the city. We walked around the city for a little bit. I didn't get to see the Liberty Bell because it's out of the sisters' area, but I got to see Love Park, The Reading Terminal Market, their mini Chinatown, Ben Franklin's grave, the church where all the founding fathers went, Betsy Ross's house, and this cool park with giant game piece statues. This city is AMAZING! I also met Philly Jesus. He said to call him Brother PJ. Brother PJ is this guy who went to jail for heroin use. He discovered Christ while he was in jail and completely turned his life around. He dresses up like the way Jesus Christ is depicted in pictures complete with a sort of staff and the long hair and beard and says that this is how he shares his testimony and his conversion story. Sister Ririe and I told him a little bit about the Book of Mormon and he said he'd try reading it again. It was a very interesting experience. 

This week was also Thanksgiving. We were told not to proselyte and to spend the day in as many member homes as we could, so we did just that. My District started the day with a big breakfast for the 12 of us. I sure do love my District a whole lot and I'm so grateful that I was placed with so many incredible people. We all shared what we were grateful for and set the tone  for our days. Next was the TurkeyBowl. The two sets of Sisters in my District were the only Sisters to show up so the Elders didn't actually let us play. But we got a football and played our own little game, so it was fine. We also played nurse when the elders started bleeding. Hahahah, good times. And then our meals started! Sister Ririe and I had four full meals and probably gained 10 pounds each. We had two traditional thanksgivings, one African, and one Haitian. And let me just say, I don't think I've ever tasted a better turkey than the Haitian turkey. I don't know what they did, but it was delicious. Spending the day with so many different families was really such a great experience. The members in my ward are so strong. There's such a dynamic difference between the ward members who can't read or understand a lot of what's said and those who lead the auxiliaries of this ward. These are some of the strongest church members that Ive ever met. When you see how this ward has been put together you can honestly so clearly see Heavenly Father's hand.

There weren't too many exciting, ground breaking events that happened this week but I do have a couple funny stories to share!
1. At my African Thanksgiving meal I took out a girl's weave. Hahahahahah.
2. We taught Davidson, our 9year old with a baptismal date, the Word of Wisdom. He had the best questions. First he was really concerned and said "What if I don't like broccoli?" After we explained completely all the guidelines he looked at us and said "So basically you're saying that I don't have to change ANYTHING." He gets it. Hes a good kid.
3. In the English class we teach we asked the Africans if they had anything that they really want to learn. They all want to learn how to text. Hahahah. We've been teaching Africans in their 50's- 60's how to text. Hahahahah, life is so good. 

I love being a missionary. I know without a doubt that this is Christ's gospel and that it's our responsibility to share it. Even if you don't wear the missionary name tag you still have the privilege and duty to share Christ's message. This gospel brings happiness, it's the good news! Share that good news with everyone around you. :) 

If it's not too much trouble, I would really love to be added to everyone's Christmas card list. :)

Thank you for all of your support! I love and miss you all. :)

Sister Petrick
Sister Rachel Petrick
700 Darby Road #201
Havertown, PA 19083

Monday, November 24, 2014

I am bad with subject lines

Salutations comrades,

In my last email I neglected to say much about my beautiful companion, so I'll start by answering some questions that I was asked about her. Sister Allyson Ririe grew up in eastern Washington on an asparagus farm which is now an alfalfa farm. She's the last of six kids and we celebrated her 21st birthday my first Sunday in the field. She's great and seriously loves all of the people here so much. She went to BYUI before her mission and is going to be an elementary school teacher but really wants to be a white girl rapper. She's in the Mormon Message "Teaching the Gospel in the Saviors Way." She's the girl who looks like she's wiping a tear from her eye like halfway through.  And that is Sister Ririe in a nutshell. :) 

Tons of people also have asked me if I've been okay with how cold it is up here. Surprise! Utah is like a bajillion times colder than Philadelphia right now. But that won't last for long. We had a conference call with the entire mission this week and the man speaking said "Get ready for the cold. Especially in downtown Philly." Jokes on me because that's my area.  

I feel like in my last email I didn't do downtown Philly justice. It's awesome and so ghetto. The stores have been one of my favorite parts. Two of the best stores that I've seen are, I kid you not, Live Poultry and Human Hair. That is what they're called. I can only assume that that is what they sell. Hahahahah one of the elders was in the bathroom of an investigator's house and a rat ran from out of the bathroom mirror into the garbage can. Hahahahahahah it's so wonderful! I really do love it. Like I said, it's very humbling to see these people who are in hard situations give everything they have to serving Christ. And luckily only the elders live in Downtown Philly. We live in Havertown which is more upper middle class. So no worries. 

It's so incredible to see all of the miracles that Heavenly Father provides. First, we were talking with Grandma Boyoue and found out that she doesn't have a coat because she made sure all the kids in her house (not all of them are hers) had one and she can't afford another one. We came home and cleaned out a closet where missionaries have left just random things and we found a coat! Sister Boyoue was so happy! My second story was super awkward for us. So onFriday all of our appointments fell through. And our back ups fell through. Since we had a while before our next scheduled thing we decided to go try the door of a new investigator our ZLs transferred to us. We were knocking, no answer. But one of the sets of Elders in our Ward showed up saying that they had an appointment at that house. Super awkward for us because it was their area. But no one was home. We decided to try the door of a less active single sister before we went back to our area. No answer. We pulled over to tell the elders that we were really leaving their area and they said that they also had an appointment with the house we knocked. WE WENT TO THE SAME HOUSE AS THE ELDERS TWICE IN A ROW. That doesn't happen. We felt bad and told them to go talk to an older man we saw on a porch. Later they called us and said our encroaching on their territory wasn't in vain because they never would have thought to talk to this man and it turns out he really needed a message. They set up an appointment!! So cool. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways but with Him everything does work out. 

One really cool thing that I get to do is teach an English class. It's for the Africans who don't know how to read and write. We teach two nights a week and our part is basically helping them know key words. We teach the alphabet and the sounds the letters make and them help them sound out words they'll see on a regular basis. Then another man comes and teaches them about writing. It's again been so humbling for me. Being in this area I've had to completely change how I taught from when I was in the MTC. We so often have to teach so simply and so direct. The language barrier has been tough, but I'm learning every day. And I truly a, learning that I'm not the teacher. There's no way that these people understand all that I'm saying. With the language barrier and how fast I talk it would be impossible without the spirit. I know that these people are learning and I know that it's not me. It's beautiful. 

With Thanksgiving coming up this week I hope that everyone takes note of all of the good that Heavenly Father has given us. I've decided that this week to help me notice more of the good Im going to slightly change my prayers. All week I'm just going to give prayers of thanks and asking for blessings for others. I'm not going to focus on what I may want. This week it's all about blessing others and giving thanks and I encourage everyone to do the same. I know that it's going to be a pretty eye opening experience.

I love you all and I love the work!
Sister Petrick

"Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not."

Monday, November 17, 2014


I am assuming this is still at the MTC

I know this is the MTC

Sister Ririe and Sister Petrick

Her Apartment

Philly is Golden

NOTE FROM LESLEE:  I am going to title the blog posts the same that Rachel titles her letters.  I got a personal letter from her as well.  Her companion is from Washington.  They just celebrated her 21 birthday.  She also said they get fed almost every night and have been given bags of food twice. The Elders, not so much.

So, here is the letter

Hello Everyone!

I'm going to apologize for how scatterbrained this is probably going to be - there's just so much to mention!

The last couple tidbits from the MTC: I was kind of sad to say goodbye to the MTC, I learned so much there and loved it, but I left on a good note. On the last day my investigator Sam agreed to be baptized! He almost didn't but as we were leaving he shook our hands and said "I'll do it" and I was soooooo happy! :) Even though he was a fake investigator I seriously love Sam so much and it was amazing to see him grow. My teacher actually asked me to send him a message about my experience with Sam because no one can usually get through to him but my companion and I did! That means we were doing something right! My teacher wants future missionaries to see that it can be done. We also met with Lead one more time, and that's actually a really cool story, but long, so ask me if you want to hear it. My district and I ended our last night with getting called to the front desk. Long story short, (again, ask me sometime because it's a great story) my entire district ended up outside in our pajamas at 10pm outside the girl's residence hall with a box of brownies. I think it's safe to say that that's not something that usually happens, but we're not your average district. We used that as our goodbye, we sang God Be with You til we Meet Again, said a prayer, and said goodnight. The next morning our Elders actually got up at 3:15 in the morning to see us off!

And now I'm in Pennsylvania!! It's been crazy. First, I love being a missionary. It's honestly the best. I feel so happy all the time. Even when I'm exhausted. Anyway. The first night was spent in the mission home with the president and his wife and we learned all the rules and about the area and the history and everything. And my mission is honestly the best mission on earth. Everyone else's mission and the restoration of the gospel came to pass because of that which happened in my mission, and that's pretty amazing. The president and his wife say hello to George and Ruth and congratulations to their daughter on her sealing as well. :) yes, I'm an iPad missionary. Yes, I have a car. Yes, I'm pretty spoiled. And since I'm sure everyone has a letter that they're dying to send me, here's my new address:

Sister Rachel Petrick
700 Darby Road #201
Havertown, PA. 19803

So my area is called Havertown. It's right on the edge of Philadelphia. I live in a split apartment building. It's no mansion - ;) - but it's really nice. I'll try to send some pictures.  It's just the two of us and it's open and cute and decorated. You can totally tell that it's Sisters who live here. Downstairs is Bob. Bob is great. He's made sure that we know that he loves having us upstairs, that he feels safe having us as neighbors, and that both apartments make it a home.  He's not a member but he'll come to church and stuff. His older son says that he wants to be a missionary.  We give him BOM passages to read and he draws them out for us. We just gave him Ammon. :)  We're also going to have him teach us the Restoration soon.

My companion, Sister Ririe, and I actually cover three areas so we're so busy every day. We're serving in the Philly 1st ward with two sets of Elders.  There are 700 less active members in the ward so since they can't always have a man present, we spend a lot of time in the Elders' areas teaching the women who they can't teach.  Downtown Philly is actually super sketchy. Our church is gated and you need a special key to get inside. It's been a really humbling experience. The majority of the people downtown are African refugees who have multiple families living in one small home. they don't have a lot and it makes me so grateful for all of the blessings that I've always had. A lot of these people can't even read. It's amazing and so inspiring how they strive to know of the Savior. I love these people so much already. I just love the Africans! They refer to everything as "John." Too funny.

I feel like I have so many great stories, but I want to just quickly mention a few fun things. First is my African Grandma. Her name is Sister Boyoue and she's incredible. She comes and teaches lessons with us all the time and always tell us how much she loves us. Next, I have an African name! A woman in the ward says my name is Kwetta, which means "coming to America." I've been able to try different kinds of African food and it's really so good! I quickly learned not to ask what I was eating though. Apparently pig intestines are more common than you'd expect.

One lesson was particularly interesting. We were teaching a 17 year old girl, Diane. She asked me my name and I said "Sister Petrick." She looked up at me and said "Oh. that's weird." So my name's weird I guess. As we were leaving, the Jehovah's Witness missionaries were teaching her mom. So we totally taught a lesson with the JWs downstairs!!

I also already have a baptism! The sisters before me taught Davidson a couple of times before, but last night I got to invite him to be baptized. It was incredible. He was so happy and excited and so was I. This little boy is so ready. We had to plan it for January 14th because his mom needs that much notice to get work off, but it's all going to work out. She's also working toward baptism.

Philly Phun Phacts: I'm not a greenie here. The PPM uses the word Golden instead. Pennsylvania is gorgeous. I got here just in time to finish the fall and the trees are breathtaking. And I'm actually in Delaware County. It's super weird. I don't know. The other day we actually found some Book of Mormon graffiti. Someone tagged a wall with Alma 13. It's so funny. I also saw my first real YMCA. It was exciting.

Being out here is just incredible. I love it all so much. It's made me really appreciate all that I know. It's been cool teaching because we use words and phrases like "The Gospel of Jesus Christ" all the time. I always thought I knew exactly what the gospel was, but being out here has truly taught me. I challenge everyone to think about that this week. Learn about what The Gospel of Jesus Christ really means and apply that to your life. I know it'll be an amazing experience.

I love you all so much!!
Sister Petrick

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Phone call

Rachel left the MTC EARLY Tuesday morning and headed to the airport for a 7:30 flight to Detroit and then on to Philadelphia.  We didn't know if we would hear from her, but I got a call about 11:00 AM.  Someone in the Detroit airport let her use their cellphone so she could call.  She was emotional but happy.  Chris and Emmalee were jealous that I got to talk to her, and Ellie was just mad!  I was hoping we would get an email from the mission president or her saying she arrived safely, but I guess we have to wait until P-Day.  Thanks for all the love and support from everyone, she needs it, and can feel it.  Hopefully I will have a picture of her cute smile in Philly soon.

Friday, November 7, 2014

MTC Week #2


So mini update right up front: I'm great. So so great. The MTC is great. The gospel is great. Life is just great. The Church is so true!

My District: I mentioned last week that I love my district. And guess what?? I LOVE MY DISTRICT. We might just love each other a little bit too much. We took free time out of our schedules so that we could talk about how to focus on having the spirit with us more since we've been having too much fun. I think it was really good for us to talk about those boundaries a little bit. Things have actually changed a little bit and I have another companion! Her name is Sister Gearheart. She's going to the St. George visitor's center for her mission so she's not actually in our classes with us, but we're still a trio. It's been fun. She doesn't seem too freaked out by the rest of us, so that's definitely a good thing! But we've been having a lot of fun. We all love to just talk in these random accents. Elder Baker does this amazing Batman voice. Hahahahah, he's the DL and has read us rules and announcements in the Batman voice. One of the other Elders, Elder Furan, is writing a short story about our district. Hahahah, I'm the bard in it. Elder Smith says that basically I'm a glorified Jigglypuff and I sing and everyone is memorized and under my control. So clearly he has me pegged. Hahahah. Just kidding though. But really. We also, no matter what, end our days with a district prayer. It's been really helpful. We, as well our teachers, dubbed ourselves The One True District. As I think about my district I can truly testify that Heavenly Father doesn't leave anything up to coincidence. I know without a doubt that I was placed with these people for a reason. Each one of them has strengthened me so much, each one has strengthened my testimony. The MTC would have been so hard if I didn't have this district that I love so I really am so so grateful.

Sunday at the MTC: Sunday at the MTC was absolutely incredible from our first activity. It was Fast Sunday and we had a zone testimony meeting. We were basically all crying and loving each other. Then we had a district conference where the MTC presidency and their wives all spoke to us. Later that night we had another devotional where we heard from Elder Nelson's wife, Wendy. She had us sing A Child's Prayer to open the meeting. It was beautiful. The sisters sang the first verse and the Elders sang the second and I just started bawling. It was as if Heavenly Father was answering our prayer right then and there. She was incredible. She told us to think of a question we wanted answered and that she promised we would receive an answer. I got my answer. I loved it so much. We also all got to choose a video to watch. My District chose The Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. If you can, I seriously suggest finding some way to watch/read/listen. It's absolutely amazing and life changing and you will not regret it. I promise you that. 

Investigators: I currently have three investigators that I'm working with. First is Sam. Sam is a bit hesitant about everything, he basically just wants to figure out if Heavenly Father is really there. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and working on praying. In our last lesson Sister Kartchner and I invited to be baptized! He said it was definitely something that he wants to work toward! Second is Christina, she basically just wants to figure out what she believes. We introduce doctrine to her and she understands and accepts almost immediately. She's really so incredible. She committed to baptism on our first lesson and since then we've just been working on her faith. Lastly is Leah. Leah is hard. The first time we met with her she basically challenged all of our beliefs and didn't let us say a word. For the first time since being here, I felt the spirit being sucked away. We've met with her once since then and I feel like we did make an impact. She told us about her having PTSD because of an experience with other missionaries and that she only comes back because she knows that it's helping her therapeutically. She said she prayed to Heavenly Father and he told her "Mormons are what hurt you, so by Mormons you'll be healed." I took the slight pause in her talking to bare my testimony to her. I shared with her John 14:18, 17 and told her of my knowledge of prayer. I told her that I know that Heavenly Father loves her and that as she shared her story I could feel of that love and that as long as she couldn't feel it, I would feel it for her. I told her that as she prayed she would be able to feel it. I know that wasn't me. That was all the spirit. She changed completely after that and asked us to come back and speak with her outside of the time we were scheduled so that she can get a picture with us. 

I've grown so much since being here, and I'm by no means a great teacher, but I've been able to improve greatly. The MTC is special. I can't fully describe it, but it's powerful. One of my favorite things about being here is singing hymns. The spirit just swells inside of me as we all sing together. For anyone that's coming to the MTC soon, really take it in every single time you sing Called to Serve. I can't describe the power that I feel as we all sing that together. I love it so much. Everyone sings with so much love and with so much testimony and that's when most of my tears have been shed. I can't tell you how beautiful it is. 

Just to finish up with some random little things. First, everyone told me not to try the orange juice. I tried it. Cause YOLO. It was probably the best night's sleep that I've had the entire time here. So if it's drugged and messes you up like people have said, I'm okay with that. Second, the singing, like I said, is great, but we stand up and all of a sudden I can't see everything because of the thick wall of elders around me. Hahahahahahah.

I love you all so much!!
Sister Petrick

"The One True District"

Friday, October 31, 2014

First Letter!!

Hello friends and family!!!

I cannot wait to share all of the new things for me this week! First, surprise! My PDay while in the MTC is Friday! Since I've only been here since Wednesday they've only given my District half of a PDay, which is kind of sad. We basically get to do everything we normally would but we don't get to go to the temple, which is a bummer. It makes me even more excited to go next week!

I absolutely love my companion!! Her name is Sister Kartchner and she's from St. David, Arizona. She's 22 and graduated from ASU with a Geography major, so that's pretty cool. She loves musicals and Brian Regan so we're constantly quoting something. 

My District is also amazing. There's four sisters and four elders, but the companionships have been kind of weird. For the first day one of the sisters and one of the elders weren't here, so we had three trios. The other sister who was in a trio with Sister  Kartchner and I is Sister Cost. Sister Cost has the most amazing testimony and she's so open about sharing it. She's a convert and has only been a member for two years. She came from a horrible home and her parents are both in and out of jail and are drug addicts and she said that she started down that path as well. She was lost and had no purpose when a friend of hers finally broke through and she agreed to meet with the missionaries. Her testimony has already taught me a lot. She said that missionaries came to her door multiple times before she accepted the gospel and even though she was awful to them, with each one her heart softened a little bit. She's incredible. And all three of us are serving in Philadelphia. Sister Laxton showed up later than night. She's from South Korea and is serving in New York City. She's not with us again today because all of the international missionaries were taken to Temple Square to attend the temple. The Elders are all so great as well. They're Elders Smith, Baker, Furan, and Elam. Elder Elam just showed up today, I think we scared him a little bit, but that's okay. They're all going to St. George. Elder Baker has named us "The One True District." There was so much love and support in my District right from the start, and we could all feel that. I mean, our first conversation was about Disneyland and we talk about musicals every day! It feels like I've known these people for a lot longer than three days. 

The classes are so spiritual. I've had a good number of teachers but my main two are Elder Blair and Sister Peterson. The spirit is so special here, it's kind of hard to explain it. it's definitely always present. If it leaves you notice immediately. Everyone knows that I'm the biggest cry baby when the spirit hits me personally, so my District has seen me cry a few times. It's just an incredible atmosphere and while I am so glad that I'm only staying for two weeks I completely understand why everyone loves it so much. One of the best classes so far for me was today's main District lesson. We roll played inviting investigators to be baptized. With uneven numbers I paired up with today's teacher, Brother Jones. We did tons of different scenarios with the roll playing and the one that hit me was when Brother Jones' answer was no because he didn't feel like he was worthy. I immediately felt this horrible sadness come over me and I was able to teach about how through baptism we're able to be cleansed and that through repentance we can all be forgiven and he did agree to be baptized. It was an amazing feeling, Brother Jones said that he wished I wasn't a Sister for a minute because he wanted to give me a hug. It was just so powerful for me and I'm so grateful for it. The spirit really is such an incredible gift. I don't think I ever fully appreciated it until I came here. Not only have I been comforted, but I'm able to remember scriptures and doctrine more vividly than I'm used to. Sister Kartchner and I are currently discussing our second lesson that we're teaching to our investigator, Sam, and through prayer we completely changed what we thought he originally needed. In our first lesson we focused on God being our Heavenly Father and taught him of Ammon teaching King Lamoni. He committed to pray for that confirmation and we get to meet with him tomorrow about how that went.

I guess I was definitely just rambling on up there. Hahahah, sorry about that. I love you all and I'm so grateful for all of the examples that I've had in my life. I know I wouldn't be here in the MTC without them. I love you all!

Sister Petrick - (HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!) 

Sister Rachel Petrick
2009 N 900 E Unit 174
Provo UT 84602

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Journey Begins...

This Post is all about Pictures!  She was ready and excited to go!

Lunch at Pizza Pie Cafe

Some Pictures at the Provo Temple...


Monday, October 27, 2014

Here we Go!

Rachel is getting ready to enter the MTC in preparation to serve in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mission.  We are so excited for the adventures she is going to have, and the testimony that she (and we) will gain over the next 18 months!  So, follow along if you would like.  It's going to be a fun ride!