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