Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I sure did! It was 70
degrees here in New Jersey and I was able to spend the day with many
people who I've come to really love. :) The highlight was spending
Christmas Eve with the members who we live with, the Terasevichs. They
had three of their kids and their families over as well and they made
me feel like I was at home. This couple served a mission in Poland and
they've implemented a lot of polish customs and traditions to their
celebrations to make sure that everyone's thoughts are centered on the
Savior. I'm so grateful for the Christmas season because of the
special spirit that just fills the air. I know that as we all make
more of an effort to focus on the savior throughout this next year we
will be able to have that spirit with us all year!

Other than the Christmas festivities this week has been spent with us
meeting lots of new people! We received a lot of referrals this week,
meaning that a lot of people requested a Book of Mormon or bible or
missionary visit, and we've been trying to meet them all! I don't know
if I've ever explained my area, but it's HUGE.  I'll include a picture
of the ward so you can get a general idea, but we had people to meet
in all parts of our area! I've been really impressed by the faith of
those we've met this week. One referral was a woman named Ephesia,
named after the book of Ephesians in the bible, and when we asked if
we could come teach her she got a big grin on her face and said "If
it's about the Lord, I'll do anything!" That is just such an admirable
attitude to have! I've been really trying harder to apply that mindset
this week. One of "if it's from or for the Lord, I'll do it!" Another
we met was a man named Sam. Sam is such a sweetheart. As we gave him
the books he requested his face lit up and he told us that he was
looking for a church to join. The next day he walked in and sat next
to me during sacrament meeting and said that he'd come back! These
things might be seemingly small, but as it says in Alma 37 "by small
and simple things are great things brought to pass." One step at a
time these people are changing their lives and I'm so grateful to be a
part of it!

With the new year coming I want to encourage everyone to read or
listen to the talk "Put Your Trust in the Lord" by Elder Ballard and
do as he counsels and pray about ways that you and your family can
bring someone into the fold of God.

I love being a missionary! I know that this is his work and I am just
so grateful for all of the things that I'm learning and experiencing.
:) I love you all!

---------------------------------
Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!!

I just LOVE the Christmas season! It is by far the best time to be a
missionary. It's really incredible and humbling to be able to see the
way that people's hearts change this time of year. It seems a little
odd at first, but it happens because everyone tends to think a little
bit more about Jesus Christ and, as we hear every week at church, when
we "always remember him we will have his spirit to be with us." As we
think of Jesus Christ we can't help but be happier! We can't help but
feel joy! :) These lives, and ESPECIALLY the Christmas season, are
meant for us to have joy. :) So the moral of the story is, use your
free moments to think of the Savior and you'll be happier! :)

We were able to see a lot of Christmas miracles this week. Because of
the #ASaviorIsBorn initiative we've been receiving a lot of referrals,
meaning people have seen the video or the website and have requested
items or visits from the missionaries, and us going to see one is the
first miracle I want to share. We set up an appointment with a man who
asked for a bible. When we came he wasn't there. At first I was a
little bit sad but the thought came to mind to ask them if they wanted
to watch our video, and they invited us in! Both women there had met
missionaries before but they had never met sisters before, which made
them excited! It was also an African American family so it was like I
was back in Philly right in my element. The words came easy as we
talked with them. Soon they called all of their kids downstairs and we
had about ten kids sitting at our feet as we shared the video. They
loved it and invited us back! As I talked with these women I couldn't
help but smile just because of the honest love I already was feeling
for them. As I was giving them a Book of Mormon and telling them about
what we do as missionaries one of the women stopped me and said
"you're doing Christ's work. You have a light , I can see it in your
face." She accepted the Book of Mormon and asked us to come back! It
was one of the sweetest moments I've had in a while and it really
taught me that I have every reason in the world to be happy! I'm
standing in the place of Jesus Christ, spreading his gospel to those
who haven't heard it yet. And we don't need a name tag to have that
light with us. Matthew 5:16 says "Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify you Father which is in
heaven." We all have a light that we can share with those around us!

Basically this entire year I've had a theme of studying light. And
I've really learned a lot and was so thrilled when that was the focus
of Elder Bednar's Christmas address, he really helped me click some
pieces together of things which I've been learning. Jesus Christ truly
is the light of the world. In Helaman and 3 Nephi 1 we learn that the
signs of his birth were "a day and a night and a day, as if it were
one day and there were no light" and "a new star shall arise." As I
studied it really hit me that these signs are both different forms of
light because Jesus Christ literally brought light into the world.
Likewise, in 3 Nephi 8:20-23, when Christ died there were three days
and three nights of complete and utter darkness. Between the time of
Christ's death and the resurrection light was missing because Christ
was gone. Jesus Christ literally brings light into our lives. He is
the light.

This week I got to go to Gospel Doctrine and it went right along with
this light theme. We were learning about the first part of the book of
Revelations. In the first chapter John writes about candlesticks. Our
discussion led to the finalized thought that Jesus Christ is that
light. He is the Light and the Life of the world. We, as his
followers, are the candlestick. We bring the light of Christ to those
who are struggling to find it themselves. Last night we were able to
witness this ourselves. The youth had a caroling activity and they let
us tag along for part of it and we visited some of the people we work
with. I have never seen so many hearts touched in such a short period
of time. Each time we went to a door and sang I thought about the
challenges that these people were going through. Their heartaches,
their feelings of inadequacy or the feelings of being forgotten. And I
watched as tears came to their eyes because this group of youth was
standing in the Savior's place. They were showing these lost sheep
that they are not forgotten. We have so many opportunities to serve
those around us. And as these youth taught me last night, it doesn't
have to be fancy, it doesn't have to take a lot of time, you don't
even have to sing on key! It's the simple acts of kindness that just
show that we are thinking of our fellow men that mean the most.

Sorry this was a little bit longer this week. My heart has just been
so full of the Christmas spirit that's been in the air! I hope you are
all having a wonderful holiday and that Heavenly Father is leading you
to those whose hearts you can touch this year.

I love you all! Merry Christmas!!

---------------------------------
Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, December 14, 2015

"We are made alive in Christ, because of our faith."

This week has been a good one in Vineland! It was a little bit slower
teaching wise but we were able to make some great contact with people
who we haven't been able to see much lately. That didn't produce many
stories, but it was so good to be able to see everyone. :)

We also had such a miracle with the Christmas initiative! Maybe
miracle is the wrong word, but I think it was pretty neat. I'm sure
most of you have heard about or seen the Christmas video/ website, but
if not, check out Christmas.mormon.org. There are a few videos and
some fun features that help make Christmas more about the Savior and
it makes it so easy to share the website with friends!

Anyway, We had talked to our ward mission leader about the Christmas
initiative and showed him the videos in our correlation meeting and he
loved it. During our ward council meeting he brought it up to the
other members, showed them the card, and asked if we could come and
share it and explain the website in all of the auxiliaries! So on
Sunday we were able to take a fair amount of time going from class to
class talking about the initiative and going through the websites with
the ENTIRE Ward! Everyone was so excited and so many, especially the
primary kids, were so excited about getting their own card to hand out
to a friend. I love this Christmas initiative and I just KNOW that
it's what our Heavenly Father wants his children to know right now. I
have loved sharing this with those around me. It's so incredible to
think about how this video and this website took months of prayer and
preparation to make. I know that the leaders of the church made sure
to follow the message that Heavenly Father picked.

I also had one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission. There's an
investigator here who's an older man, his parents joined the church
when he was a young adult, and he's been investigating for a long long
time, but he's never accepted a baptismal date or anything like that.
He's even on his third time reading the Book of Mormon and he comes to
church every week! As we were there this week he was talking about how
he always prays to be led to the truth. Now, I've always disliked that
particular prayer just because they say that and the missionaries do
come, but it's not recognized very often that that's the answer to the
prayer. Before this lesson I had committed myself to being bold and to
the point with him. So I asked him if he's prayed and asked
specifically if this church is true. He told us he had, so then I
asked what he felt his answer was. He said "I feel strongly that it
is." And I asked the same thing about the Book of Mormon and he gave
the same answer. In that moment I just felt the spirit so strongly and
I could tell that my companion and a I both knew that this was a VERY
important moment. As my companion bore testimony of her beliefs and
the things he's been learning I turned to Mosiah 18. We read 8-9,
commenting on how these are the desires of his hearts. He then noticed
that he had previously highlighted verse 10 where it says that baptism
is his next step, and I told him that he was giving himself his
answer. And he agreed with me!! My companion then invited him to be
baptized and while he originally told us that he wouldn't agree to a
date, I promised that if he set a date as his goal then he would be
ready by then and we set the date of January 3rd! I'm so grateful for
the spirit and how when we listen to that spirit we can know EXACTLY
what these people need to hear.

I can't explain how much I love being a missionary. :) I am so
eternally grateful for this gospel and for a Heavenly Father who
trusts me enough to let me share with his children. I know that this
is Christ's work that I'm apart of and I know that it's through him
and because of him that we can find peace and happiness.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of the thoughts and
prayers. :) I love you all!
---------------------------------
Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015

Hello!
I'm running short on emailing time, so this probably won't be too
long, but I have a couple of miracle stories that I want to share with
everyone!
The first is about Karen and Dvyne. We knocked on their door this week
and they let us right in! Dvyne is an 8 year old boy who wants to
learn about Jesus and Karen is his aunt. We taught them about the
restoration of the gospel and I have never seen anyone get so excited
before! As we talked about the first vision Karen literally gasped and
asked "So. Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?" We
testified that he did and that through Joseph Christ was able to
restore his gospel. Karen got so excited as she told us about how she
was looking for a church and how every church she visited was corrupt.
She believed all that we said and agreed to read and pray about the
Book of Mormon! She taught me a good lesson. Members of the church,
and especially missionaries, know the restoration and the story of
Joseph Smith like the back of our hands. But we meet these people
every day who have never heard this, people who never knew that
Christ's gospel was lost. We need to be as excited as Karen when we
share this message because it is exciting! It's the good news!
We stopped by a woman named Wakeisha. She had met the elders at the
hospital when they were giving someone a blessing and they told us
about her. We came to her home and were again welcomed in warmly. She
told us that she had met with missionaries before and that she knew
that running into the elders that week was not a coincidence. She knew
that it was God's hands. She told us about her desire to change and
even told us that while she wasn't ready yet she wanted to work toward
being baptized!! I loved Wakeisha because she was so genuinely looking
for help. She had the desire to allow Jesus Christ into her life. We
talked about him and about how through the Atonement we can be
cleansed and freed and that we can change.
I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that it truly is
through him that we can change and be freed from any pains and sadness
we might be faced with. And I know that if we do our part by turning
to him that he will be there every step of the way. I love being his
missionary and I'm so grateful to be sharing his gospel with the
people here in southern jersey!
I love you all!
---------------------------------
Sister Rachel Petrick
Here's some pictures! First, I got to go on exchanges with Sister
Boehm, and we had a mini Christmas celebration with the Nodolskis, and
we had zone training!
The Zone
The District

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015

Hello everyone!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! I for one loved
reflecting on all of the incredible blessings that I have been given.
This week my gratitude for the gospel seemed to be magnified ten
fold!! My companion and I were constantly making the comment "I'm so
grateful that we have the gospel." I know that as we have faith,
repent, make and renew our baptismal covenants, follow the promptings
and live worthy of the Holy Ghost and as we continue down the path
that leads us to the celestial kingdom we will be so happy. We will be
more than happy, we will find so much joy! :) I'm so grateful to be a
member of Christ's fully restored church and to have parents who
raised me according to the standards and doctrine.

Some of my very favorite moments this week came from the service we
were able to offer to those around us. Along with receiving other hard
news, a member of our ward, Kelly, heard short notice that she had to
move out of her house. She didn't have much warning and she didn't
have anywhere to go or much help to get everything out. We were able
to help take some of that weight off of her shoulders by helping her
move and pack and her gratitude just warmed my heart. Another act of
service we were able to take part in was helping a recent convert,
Vaughnie, with her house. She recently had basically her whole home
thrown into disarray without her knowing what was happening and it's
been hard on her. Things have finally settled down and this week we
helped her with moving furniture, doing housework, and we set up her
Christmas decorations! I just love these two women so much and can
testify that serving others is the fastest way to love them!

As many of you probably know, the new Christmas initiate was released
yesterday!! We have already been running around showing it to everyone
we can! We had a fun experience yesterday as I noticed a group of men
about my age standing off the side to the road. I parked the car and
jumped out before my companion knew what I was doing and asked them if
they wanted to watch the video. At the end of the video all four of
them expressed how nice it was and they all invited us back to share
the gospel with them! I love the Christmas season. It's the best time
to be a missionary because everyone's heart is soften as they think of
the Savior. It is the best time of year. As President Monson so
beautiful declares "True love is a reflection of the Savior's love. In
December of each year we call it the Christmas spirit. You can hear
it. You can see it. You can feel." I want to invite everyone to
reflect on how you can better make Christ the center of your Christmas
season and act on the promptings you receive! I promise that it will
bring so much peace of heart and utter joy.

I wanted to share a portion of a testimony that really touched me in
our meeting yesterday. A woman who just went to the temple for the
first time bore her testimony. She said "I have a testimony that I am
amazing. I am amazing because I have a Heavenly Father who loves me
and thinks I'm wonderful and significant and worthy of his love. I so
often feel like I am none of those things, but Heavenly Father reminds
me time and time again of His love. And I know that I'm amazing. And I
know that you're amazing too."  I, too, know that you are all amazing!
And I love you all!

And I have a request!! Please add me to the list for who you send your
Christmas cards to. :)

2424 Shamrock Ln
Millville, NJ 08332

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

Hello everyone!

It's been a good week here in south jersey. I forgot to mention last week, but this week is transfers. My companion and I are staying together six weeks! She will be going home at the end of the six weeks so lots of exciting things will be happening this transfer. :) 

If you didn't get my address last time, here it is:

2424 Shamrock Lane

Millville, NJ. 08332.

Feel free to send me as many letters as you want. :)

This week went by super quickly so I feel like I don't have too many stories to share, but I do have one really exciting one! We taught our investigator Claudia, I wrote a little bit about her last week. In our lesson we started by talking about the Book of Mormon, she's had in a couple of weeks and she's made it to 2 Nephi! She told us that she feels like God is wanting her to read it and so she studies a little bit every day. She even searched for it on her phone and downloaded it on to her iBooks because she said she always wanted it with her, just in case. We then taught her the Plan of Salvation by reading scriptures from the Book of Mormon with her. We testified that Heavenly Father wants her to be with her family forever and that it's by living the things taught in the Book of Mormon that will make that possible. She accepted the invitation to be baptized and we set the date of January 10th, so keep Claudia in your prayers. :) She was also able to come to church this Sunday and she brought her whole family with her! They filled a whole row! It was so exciting! 

Ive been thinking a lot this week about what someone might think their first time attending our church and it's been an interesting experience. I thought about talks I had given and whether or not I went out of my way to talk to new people at church and I really reflected on whether someone would know what we believe by what I do and say. We are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jesus Christ is the head. We teach His doctrine. Everything needs to connect back to Him and the Restoration of His gospel. I'm grateful for the good examples 

of those who are in the Vineland Ward because I know that some talks I've given have lacked the focus that it should have had on the Savior. I know that this is His church and I, as well as all the members of the church, are a part of His great work. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that we can all become clean and renewed and strengthened by His atonement. I know that the fullness of His gospel and the Priesthood power was restored to the earth though Joseph Smith. I'm grateful for this time of year when I'm able to reflect on all that I have to be grateful for and for all the blessings that I have been given. 

Thank you all for all the love and support! I am so so grateful for each one of you! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven't written in a couple of weeks. We've been pressed for time the last couple of pdays, but I'm still here! The last couple of weeks have been pretty eventful. I've been able to go on a couple of exchanges, I trained at a big missionary meeting, and we have been seeing so many miracles! 

The first thing I want to mention is the exchange I went on with Sister Warnock. Sister Warnock is an incredible missionary! And she's from Taylorsville! She taught me so much about humility and diligence while we were together. The area that she is in hasn't been very busy for a few years. So we had finding planned for the whole day. I'm not a huge fan of tracting, but I put on a happy face and immediately Heavenly Father chastised me. The first door we knocked on was the house of a sweet older man who had just decided that he wanted to get back into church and reading the bible! We told him about the Book of Mormon and invited him to church and he agreed and was so excited to visit and have the missionaries back! As we went throughout the day we had multiple people invite us in to hear messages and I know that it is because of Sister Warnock's faith and diligence. 

Another miracle came as my companion and I were contacting a referral in our area, her name is Claudia. She has requested a bible which we delivered a few weeks ago with a Book of Mormon and we went back to follow up and see if she read. She first apologized because she hadn't read any of the bible, but then showed us that she had been reading pretty far into the Book of Mormon! She had questions about Joseph Smith and by the end of her lesson her sister had also come in and we left her with a Book of Mormon as well and they committed to come to church! I really enjoyed this lesson because I could see the wheels turning in both of their minds. They easily accepted all that happened with Joseph Smith and they both had the desire to have us back to learn more. We had a member with us and as we left the appointment this member said "they've been searching. And now they've found it." I am so excited to continue teaching these two. :) 

I've focused a lot this week on the role of the prophet and on being fully converted. In his conference address President Nelson warned us that "Attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase." We've all seen that just this last week. More than ever before we have to strengthen ourselves and our families and make sure we are firmly rooted in the gospel. These are trying times, but we have been given a prophet hand picked by our Heavenly Father and all of the other apostles to make sure we know what Heavenly Father expects of us. Their role is to warn us. And guide us in righteousness so that we will be worthy to return into our Father's presence once more. They can be compared to soldiers standing in a watchtower overlooking the battlefield. We don't see or understand everything. In fact, we understand very little. But we have these leaders, standing on opt he watch towers, who give us direction of what our Father needs us to do. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the chosen prophet today and that he and  his counsellors and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are called to be prophets, seers, and revelators for this day. I know that as we follow their guidance and counsel we will be protected. And I take comfort in the promise written in James 1:5 "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him as of a God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be left in the dark. As we turn to him in prayer he will guide us where we need to go, and as we as him to confirm the callings of these great men chosen to be our leaders I know that he will do so. I would like to encourage and invite you all to pray or pray again and ask Heavenly Father if Thomas S Monson is a prophet! I know that that truth will be confirmed.

I honestly love this work so much! I'm so grateful to be a missionary and I'm grateful to be spreading the good news that we do have a prophet on the earth today! I know that the Savior loves each of us so much and that He lives and guides us today!

I love you all! I pray for you often! Let me know of any exciting news that has happened in the last few weeks since I've been bad with emailing. :)

Love,

---------------------------------

Sister Rachel Petrick

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3, 2015

She didn't send a big email this week. They spent their P-Day cleaning up the leaves in the yard of the family they live with. She said she has never experienced a fall like this one; huge trees and lots of them. We might hear from her on Saturday. They are having a P-Day again then, because they get to go to the temple on Monday. She said she might have time to write. I think being a Sister Trainer Leader makes her a lot busier.

Fyi- The mission has asked that Christmas packages be sent to the  mission office by December 2. They want  to make sure every missionary gets something. The mission home address is on the side bar <-. I can get you get direct address as well, I just decided posting that here is probably not the best idea!

Thanks for supporting our cute girl. She hit the one year mark on October 29! :-)

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great week!
I didn't explain much about what happened transfer wise last week but
I am in southern New Jersey in the Vineland Ward. I serve in the
cities of Millville and Bridgeton. It's a lot of fun, there are so
many more people to talk to than in Delaware and it's a pretty good
combination of my first two areas. My new companion is Sister Hoofman.
She's from Las Vegas and is wonderful. We live in the basement of a
members home and they take very good care of us. :) I'll include the
address at the end of my email so you can send all of the many letters
that I'm sure you have waiting to get out to me.
This week has been so great! We saw a lot of miracles. The first is
concerning a woman named Vaughnie. She is the sweetest thing you'll
ever see. She was baptized about three months ago, but has a really
bad memory so she doesn't remember a lot and we keep frequent contact
with her to make sure everything is going okay. This week she had her
interview for her temple recommend. We were really nervous for her
just because she gets flustered with a lot of questions but she did
such a good job and was given her recommend! She is so excited to go
and seeing her excitement has really made me think about the amazing
experiences I've had at the temple.
I also went on exchanges this week with Sister Abana. She is such a
great missionary! She's only been here for about three months and is
from the Philippines. We got to spend the day together in Bridgeton.
Every Wednesday we go to Bridgeton and volunteer at a soup kitchen.
It's something I've never done before but I love it so much! I've
gained such a great love for service on my mission because I've
learned that there's no better way to feel love for someone than to
serve them. My job at the soup kitchen so far has been to pass out
drinks with a 93 year old, legally blind man named Willie. He tells me
all about how he served in WWII and about the places that he lives and
you can tell he just so appreciates having someone there to listen.
Later that day we went contacting and I was able to meet a less active
woman who the Ward didn't even know about. She's really sick and can't
leave her house and hasn't been to church in years. We went and shared
the Book of Mormon with her and she expressed how much she missed that
spiritual feeling that the Book of Mormon had once brought her. We
left her with a book and we'll hopefully keep going to help rekindle
her testimony of the restoration of the gospel. :)
My first week here we had a hard time when in came to meeting our
goals. So this week we both prayed for opportunities to hit those
goals. Through the opportunities that Heavenly a father placed in our
paths we were about to hit all but one of our goals this week! I know
that he heard and answered our prayers and that he does the same for
each one of us.
Sorry this was so scattered. That's how my week has been!
I love you all! And I love being a missionary. :)
---------------------------------
Sister Rachel Petrick
The picture is Sister Abana and me.
--
Sister Rachel Petrick
2424 Shamrock Lane
Milllville, NJ 08332 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My heart is in Susquehanna

Hello everybody!

I didn't send out an email yesterday on my normal Pday due to an incredible opportunity that I was able to take part in today. So we switched our pdays. But, before I get into that, transfers happened! I am now serving in Vineland, New Jersey! It's as far south as jersey sisters can go. My new companion is Sister Hoofman. She has been out a few transfers longer than me and is from Las Vegas. I'm loving the Vineland Ward and have already been very fortunate to have felt confirmation of some reasons why I need to be here. :) But more about the area next week, I have exciting stories to tell!

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to take a trip up to the tippy top of our mission and experience the Priesthood Restoration Site in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. The church has been working on the renovation of this site for quite some time and about a month ago
President Russell M. Nelson came to our mission and dedicated the site to the Lord. Upon our arrival today,  my mission president promised us that we could have spiritual experiences to change our lives, if we allowed that to happen.

As I walked through the trees and the homes of Joseph and Emma and the
Hales I was struck by many different things, and I'll mention a few. First, at the beginning of the tours they show a short video called Harmony, it's about Joseph's time here and, just what the site is about, how the restoration of the priesthood and the translation of the Book of Mormon came to pass. I kept noticing that whenever there was a moment of upset, confusion, or discouragement Joseph's first instinct was to to turn to the Lord in prayer. And I asked myself "is that my first instinct? Do I immediately begin counseling with my Heavenly Father? Or do I try to go about His work on my own
knowledge?" I was definitely slightly chastised with this realization and have committed to do better. As it says in Alma 37:37 "counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and he will direct the for good" and
Joseph truly is a perfect example of this.

Another thing that hit me once again was how perfectly planned out Joseph's experiences were here. And countless times in the Book of Mormon it is stated that this record was being prepared for a later day. Many accounts wrote that they didn't know why they were writing
except for the Lord commanded it. But Heavenly Father knew. He knew
exactly when and where the Book of Mormon would come about in these
latter days. And the course of the Smith and Hales families shows this
organization as well. The Hales' prosperity and status placed them on
large amounts of land and kept them in one place, the Smith's we poor and through many hardships ended up near the Hill Cumorah where the plates were hidden. Their situations may not have seemed significant at the time but when you step back and look at things from a bigger pictures their stories were truly guided by the Lord as they made their way to where they needed to be.

To finish our tour we were all able to walk along the banks of the Susquehanna River, the very place where the baptism of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry, the first baptisms of this dispensation, took place. I was so amazed by the beauty and the reverence of the river and so grateful for the examples of these two great men. Their simple prayer changed the entire world, and I know that simple prayers can
change our lives.

I am again so grateful for this opportunity that I had to gain a greater witness of the restoration of the gospel. I know that this
message that we share it true and I know, without a doubt, that Heavenly Father wants us to all receive the blessings of this restored gospel by gaining and acting on faith, repenting, being baptized and
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and continually progressing and renewing our covenants with him. He knows and loves us all, and this "marvelous work and a wonder" is to help us all return to live with
him in a state of never ending happiness. And I know that the priesthood is absolutely essential for that plan to be possible.

---------------------------------
Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Hello everyone!! 

This week we had zone training and talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. Normally I don't mention much about the missionary meeting that we have, but this particular one really hit home with me. We started by thinking and pondering on our own personal purposes. Each morning and at all of our meetings we all recite the missionary purpose which is "To invite other to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End." That statement is drilled into our minds and we know it backward and forwards, but this particular training was all about our individual purposes. As I prayed and pondered about the things that I hope to be accomplishing while on my mission it was really an incredible and eye opening experience and it really made me realize that while we are all called to this great work of helping the gospel spread throughout the world, we all have our own individual callings to fulfill. We all have our own talents and weaknesses that qualify us for different positions on Heavenly Father's team.  

And, like I said, we talked A LOT about the Book of Mormon. My mission president has decided that since we've been working so hard with becoming a Preach My Gospel mission that while we continue those efforts, we are now going to be a Book of Mormon mission. I have already seen miracles come from this shift in the mission's mindset and I've come to truly know that the Book of Mormon is powerful. Opening this book and sharing what's inside softens the hearts of those around us and invites the spirit like nothing else can. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that it's the records and dealings that ancient prophets had with the Savior and that by reading in its pages we WILL gain a greater understanding of the Savior's calling and love for us. The Book of Mormon was saved for us, there's something for us to learn and apply on every single page. If you haven't been, I want to invite you all to set aside 10-15 minutes of your time each day to study and ponder the Book of Mormon. I know and promise that it will change your life and add the spirit into your day.

I also am getting transferred this week! It's been hard to say goodbye to a lot of the people who I've come to love here in Camden, but I know, thanks to a lot of prayer, that Heavenly Father has had this change planned out for me and that He needs me called at this time. :)  I'm grateful and excited for this new adventure and I'll let everyone know where I end up next week!

I love you all! Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

Love,

Sister Rachel Petrick

#Ponderize

D&C 4:5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Hello everyone!

His week I am so grateful for the Prophet and apostles that we have on
the earth today! I so greatly enjoyed hearing them speak and it was so
wonderful to watch as the three new apostles were called. Now I'm just
excited for them to come out on gospel library so I can hear them all
again! :)

This week was full of meetings and conferences for us. We had both
days of general conference, a day long zone conference, and a couple
of other meetings throughout the week so I'm basically full to the
brim with spiritual excitement and ready for a week full of teaching!!

I do have a couple of miracle stories to share from the time between
the Saturday sessions of conference. We had some referrals to contact
and decided we were going to spend the whole time walking outside
talking to people. We first knocked on a door that we've had on our
list for a long time. We've tried a bunch and no ones ever answered,
but this was the day! A man came to the door and we started talking
with him, he did know us by "the Mormons" and so i asked him if he
knew where that nickname came from. He didn't and as I explained the
Book of Mormon to him his entire countenance changed. He stepped out
from around his door and listened. Afterward he invited us back and
thanked us for adding some sunshine to his gloomy day.

The second miracle comes from contacting a referral. This is the story
of Nathaniel. We received this referral from salt lake, which means
someone specifically requested for us to go over and he had zero
information or background story. We just had the name and the address.
So off we went! And, buckle your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen,
because NATHANIEL IS FROM LIBERIA!! I don't know if anyone of you got
excited, but I've basically been dancing ever since we met him. (This
is what happens when Sister Petrick leaves Philly. She finds the
Liberians in her new area. I'm up to 4.) So anyway. Nathaniel sent his
name to Salt Lake himself! He was meeting with missionaries and
attending church back in Liberia and lost contact when he came into
the country. He has some things he has to work through before he can
meet with us, but he said he wanted us to know he was there and he
wants to be baptized!

Heavenly Father gives us miracles each and every day. I know that's
true. He's just on the edge of his seat waiting for us to find them.
He's always there to give us ways that we can serve those around us.
And on that note, I want to invite you all to take part in a challenge
going on in the Dover Delaware Stake. That challenge is to pray every
morning and ask to have service opportunities throughout the day. I
promise that Heavenly Father will place you all where you're needed to
make a difference.

Also! This week is transfer calls, and I could very well be leaving.
So if you were planning on sending me anything send it before Thursday
or I might not get it for a while. :)

I love you all!
Sister Petrick

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

Heavenly Father taught me a couple of great lessons this week. We've been struggling with our investigators not only not keeping commitments but they haven't even been keeping lesson appointments. We've been working hard so I really honestly had no idea why our righteous desires to help these people weren't being as successful as we had anticipated. Then I remembered back to something that I learned in the MTC. One of my teachers told my district that sometimes Satan uses people as a distraction. He distracts us with people who we come to love, those who we honestly want to help, but it's just not their time yet. He distracts us with those who aren't yet ready to change their lives to keep us from finding those who have been prepared for this time right now. So as a companionship we talked and went through each investigator and ended up dropping a few. It was sad, but we all felt like it was the right thing for us to do. The very next day we met Evan. First off, this Evan came from us contacting an inactive member whose name we received from a meeting with a ward council member, which is something that our mission has been pushing lately. The inactive no longer lives at the address, but Evan does. We introduced ourselves, gave him a Restoration pamphlet, and he invited us back. We went back on Saturday, planning to talk about the Restoration. As we got to know him better all of his concerns so specifically could be addressed by the Plan of Salvation. So I led into it, my companions understood exactly what I was doing, and we were able to teach together to help him see that the core of his beliefs are found in the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation! We invited him to church and he came the next day! It was fast and testimony meeting and he was hanging on every word that the ward members were saying. He stayed for all three hours and at the end asked us for a Book of Mormon and promised us that he'd be back!

This experience with Evan taught me so many different things. First, Heavenly Father needs us to be responsible with our teaching pool. It's not about how many people we have listed there, it's about finding the ones He's prepared for this time. Second, meeting with the ward council and what we've been given truly does bring miracles! We met Evan and also a few other inactive members who were so excited to invite us back! One of them was at church yesterday and the other works Sundays but is planning on going to the Priesthood session of conference this week. Third, the elect will keep commitments. Heavenly Father has prepared people for this message. It's not our job to prepare them. It's our job to find them. And fourth, the members are so important. When Evan came to church a little late and he was standing outside too nervous to come in at first. Through a spirit directed series of events the member who we took to our lesson with him ended up in the foyer and noticed him and went and brought him in. And after Gospel Principles multiple members welcomed him and told him that he was in the right place and the Elders Quorum President came and walked with him to Priesthood. I definitely wanted to play mommy and sort of take Evan by the hand and make sure he was where he needed to be, but I really realized at church this week that if I was to do that then Evan would not have made these connections or progressed as he did. The Camden ward is truly incredible in their desires to bring others into the gospel. I have never seen a friendlier, more welcoming bunch
 of people and I am so eternally grateful to be serving here.

I also had the BEST birthday of all time! Thank you all for the emails and letters. I loved each and every one. :)  I got to spend the day with lots of different members. I'll make sure and send a few pictures because they took very good care of me. I love this ward, I love being a missionary, I love this work, and I love my Savior!!

Love you all!
Sister Petrick
Sister Petrick and Olivia

Brother Evins, Sister Petrick, Olivia

Sister Van Arsdale, Sister Bluemel, Sister Petrick

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I created the selfie

Hello everyone!!

This week was a bit difficult as, for the second week in a row, most of our appointments cancelled on us, so we put our nose to the grindstone and made it a goal to be constantly walking around trying to find new people to teach! And I testify to you that as we come to those hard times if we "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ" then the reward will be great! One piece of this reward came as we were talking with a member of the ward who has just always LOVED the missionaries. His nickname is Pops because he's constantly taking care of us. He told us that these hard time are going to come even when we're doing everything right. Our faith needs to be tested so we can prove to Heavenly Father that we're going to be faithful to him. I've definitely come to know that this is true. Life is full of tests and hard days, but it's the hard times that teach us the most. Heavenly Father never gives us something that isn't for our benefit. 2 Nephi 20:10 says "I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Every hard time, every sorrow, even all of the annoyances that come are way are all to teach us a lesson and refine us into the person that Heavenly Father knows that we can be come.

The second huge reward came from how many amazing people that we were able to meet this week! Not all of them invited us back, but we were able to find 6 new investigators to teach! I've learned that areas go through different stages and we sometimes have to adjust. We had many of our progressing investigators just be baptized and didn't fully process that that meant we needed to put more focus on finding these new people, but as we readjusted our thinking and prayed to follow Heavenly Father's will we were led to many people who I believe have been prepared by the Lord to hear our message.

We also had some really fun things happen this week that I will absolutely send pictures of. There's a couple in this ward who I love dearly who I basically view as a third set of grandparents and since they're going to be across the country on my birthday they threw me an early birthday party and they treated me like royalty(I even had a golden plate). We also were taken to a sushi buffet I tried fish eggs and squid for the first time. So we've had our adventures this week. 

I want to end by sharing a scripture that I found during my studies this week. It's D&C 71:3 "verily this is a mission for a season, which I give unto you." As I thought about this verse it really hit me that this doesn't just apply for the full time missionaries. These "missions" can come in all shapes and forms. It could be referring to a church calling, or a trial, but whatever your current mission may be, know that it's only for a season. Later the scripture goes on with a promise saying that if we receive this word of advice "no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper." I know that the Lord gives us all kinds of callings, assignments, and challenges. I know that He's always there to strengthen us through these things and I know that He loves us all more than we could ever know. 

I love you all! Thank you for all that you've all taught me. 
In her words, the clowns she serves with in Dover

Week early Birthday party


Sister Petrick, Sister Bluemel, Sister Van Arsdale

Squid

Nicole, Sister Van Arsdale, Sister Petrick

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015

Hello everyone!
I don't have much time to write this week due to not being able to use the computers but I do have a couple of miracle stories that I want to share. 
First is Kisma. We've been teaching Kisma for a few weeks now. She doesn't hear very well and she has some learning disabilities, but we've just fallen in love with her! She's been coming to our YSA volleyball nights and we've been meeting with her fairly regularly and this week she was finally able to come to church! The member who picked her up said that when she drove up Kisma came right out, dressed modestly in a nice dress holding her Book of Mormon in her hand!   I was able to sit with her during sacrament meeting. We were originally pretty worried that she wouldn't be able to sit still that long but we did such an incredible job! Three were a couple of times that she leaned over to me to ask how much longer we had but ultimately she sat and just loved it all! As she left she told us all that she wants to come back next week! She also told us that her mom finally has agreed to meet us this week so keep them both in your prayers.
And the for the next miracle story: Last week we found a man named Pierre and shared a message with him. His roommate told us to try back when we didn't find him home and so we went with a member to visit him. unfortunately he wasn't home again, but another mane came to the door. This man's name is Jerome. We asked Jerome if we could share a message with him. He agreed and came outside and we shared Because He Lives. At the end of the video he turned to me and said "that was really nice. I like it. It almost made me cry." As he said that I could see the tears beginning in his eyes. We testified of the Savior and his love for Jerome and as we finished he couldn't hold back his tears. He thanked us and asked us to come back! I know that we were led to that home that night so that we could meet Jerome. I'm grateful for my calling and how I'm able to feel the Savior's love for so many of his brothers and sisters. There truly is no greater calling!!
Thank you all for your prayers and your support! And for the early birthday cards I've gotten! :) I love you all! 
---------------------------------
Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, September 7, 2015

"For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion"

It has been quite the week. Transfers came and went and I'm still here in Camden and I'm still in a trio! Sister Van Arsdale and I picked up our new companion Sister Bluemel on Wednesday. Sister Bluemel and I actually came out together! We didn't really know each other but it's been fun to reminisce a little bit about things that have happened in the mission. I've honestly really come to love trios, which is a good thing since I've been in so many.Having a trio makes a lot of parts of missionary work a little bit awkward, but you also learn so much about yourself. I have learned how to compromise and adjust, how to lead, how to be open with what I think(which is pretty miraculous), and most importantly, I'm beginning to recognize more of my strengths and talents and where my testimony is the strongest because of how we plan our lessons so everyone has their part. It's incredible to see the circumstances that Heavenly Father gives us so that we can grow.

The most exciting news from this week is that we found 3 Liberians and 2 Haitians to teach! That's not really the most exciting thing, but I cannot even begin to explain the joy that I felt talking with these beautiful souls. I had a flashback to my days in P1. Finding these new investigators did teach me a great lesson. I learned how important it is to immediately testify as we're sharing our message with the world. Testifying brings a spirit that nothing else can and the spirit is essential in this work. My companions and I have made it a goal to focus on testifying and it really truly has made a difference.

Now the real 'most exciting news' is that this week we were able to bury some weapons of rebellion!! Literally. We dug a hole in the ground. We had erad about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies with one of our investigators and he expressed the need to bury some of his weapons of rebellion. So in our next lesson we brought a shovel! While the action itself was a little bit silly, it did bring a special. powerful spirit. We all were able to write down some of our weapons of rebellion and bury them. There was a definite feeling of triumph and we filled the hole and as we talked together we all felt so motivation and united in our desires to become better. I'll include some pictures as well. :) 

That's really all I have for the week, sorry this email was rushed! I love you all! I love being a missionary! I love my Savior and I'm so grateful that I have this chance to serve him.

Happy Labor Day!
video

a

Monday, August 24, 2015

We've got to keep those spiritual nuggets high

Hello everyone!

I'm super excited to be emailing you all this week because I have some
incredible stories to share!

The first is of Mrs. Lynn Deakins. We have been meeting with Lynn
since I got to this area. She begrudgingly let Elders in her home back
in April and she's been learning about the church and the Book of
Mormon ever since. Lynn is 85 years old and she is a hoot! She sure
keeps us on our toes. This last Saturday, the 22nd, I was able to be
there and watch Lynn be baptized!! Her baptismal service was so
special and the spirit was so strong. Lynn told everyone that would
listen about how we asked her about baptism multiple times and about
how she always said no, but one day she just changed her mind and ever
since she's been changing her life. There are bits of practically
every commandment that she had to change and she did it and hasn't
looked back even once! She told us one day "I don't have any reason
not to believe these things" and to me, that is just the perfect
mindset. We don't need signs and visions in order to know what is good
and true. We just need to believe and act on that belief. We just need
to have faith, which is to "hope for things which are not seen, which
are true. Lynn holds such a special place in my heart. She has taught
me by how she lives just how much the gospel can change your life. I
look back to when I first met her 2 1/2 months ago when she told us
that she DID NOT want sister missionaries and DID NOT want us there,
and now she's baptized and part of Gods Kingdom. Lynn has also taught
me that it's never to late to change. She's 85 years old and she still
had the courage to get into that baptismal font! She's making huge
changes in her life and I would encourage everyone to take a page out
of her book and make the changes necessary to be centered on the path
that Christ has paved for us all.

I also have an incredible miracle story to share! After church yesterday we felt like we needed to stop by the house of a potential investigator named Norma. We had contacted Norma about 8 weeks ago, so it's been a while. We pulled up to her house and she was out sitting on the porch so we ran over to see how she was doing. She poured out her heart to us about how she was diagnosed with cancer and how she just feels so alone. I had a scripture pop into my mind so I pulled out my Book of Mormon and she immediately grabbed my arm and stared up at me. "I need that book." is all she said at first. I didn't know what to say. So I asked her what she said and she again said "I need that book. I don't have that book and I need it." This was my personal copy of the book and was all marked up and used, I showed her and she did ask us to come back with one just for her. We all kind of looked at each other uncomfortably because we all knew that we had just recently cleared out our entire trunk of the car because we had to move things and we had taken out all of our pamphlets and every copy of the Book of Mormon. So again, we didn't know what to do. Then the thought came to my mind to go and look in the trunk of the car. We excused ourselves and I expressed my thought to my companions and we decided to take a look. Sure enough, sitting in the back of our car was two copies of the Book of Mormon!! I know for a fact that they were not in there and that Heavenly Father provided a miracle for his daughter who so desperately wanted his truth. As we gave the book to Norma and talked to her for a few more moments we learned that she had read one of the pamphlets we left with her and once she came upon the Book of Mormon her curiosity was peaked and she knew God wanted her to have it. She invited us to come back and share with her more from the book and as we left she was still sitting on her porch reading from its pages. I am truly so grateful for all of the incredible miracles that I'm able to witness as a missionary! I know that His miracles are present every single day and that as we listen to promptings He will guide us were we need to be to be that answer to someone's prayers!

I'm so grateful for you all! I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Sister Petrick

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

Hello everyone!

First to answer a couple of questions, no, we DID NOT swim at the beach! Hahaha, it was actually a little awkward because we all really wanted to go to the water so we were standing there with our feet in, the Bishop's wife took our picture and then we got off really really quickly because we realized how silly must have looked being fully clothed in Sunday dress standing on the beach. But it was a lot of fun! We were able to walk the boardwalk and got to know Sister Webster, the Bishop's wife, so much better. And that woman is just an angel! If you ever worry about whether or not I'm okay, just know that Stacey Webster takes care of us like we're her own daughters so there's never any reason to worry. :)

This week we have had a couple of great miracles and I picked one that I want to share with you all. We've been teaching a woman named Kelly and Kelly has truly been prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel at this time. She has been so receptive and so willing to change and put her faith to the test since day one. This week she was going through a lot of trials. She found out that the father of her daughter lost his job and he wouldn't be able to send a child support check that month and didn't know when he'd be able to again. She's a single, working mom and really needed to find a way to get some extra money. A mini miracle in itself, as we were planning for her lesson I just did not feel like the plan we had originally made for her was right. So we completely changed our plan before going in. We instead taught her about fasting. She was slightly hesitant about fasting because it does sound hard, but she did agree. And the member with us agreed to fast for her as well. So Saturday to Sunday we all fasted together. At church she came running up to us and said that she had a story for us. After she had begun her fast she got a phone call from her mom. She had an aunt that passed away back in November and her mom was calling to tell her that Kelly was getting inheritance money! $1000! There's no reason why it should have taken that long for the money to come, but it came just when she needed it and she knows that it's because she fasted. She knows that Heavenly Father provided that for her when he knew she and her daughter would need it and she knows that this gospel is true! She's so excited for all that the gospel brings as well! At dinner she was talking to us about her dating life and she said "If he doesn't want it to be for eternity, then I'm not even going to play that game." Kelly is such a wonderful woman and she has strengthened my testimony of the gospel so much! 

I've also been doing a lot of studying from my patriarchal blessing. My companions and I have instituted "Patriarchal PDay" so we study our blessings on Monday mornings and talk about them and ask questions as part of our companion study. It's been such an amazing experience first, because the unity that I've been building in my companion ship is incredibly special. We better understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. And second, I feel like I have such a greater understanding of what my overall purpose is here on this earth. I'm sure there's much more in store than what I'm expecting, but I know with so much certainty that Heavenly Father has a very specific plan and role for each of his children. He knows us all individually and knows what we need to learn and grow. And I promise that if we trust him, as it says in Proverbs 3:5-6 "he shall direct thy paths."

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Sister Rachel Petrick

--

Sister Rachel Petrick

16 Park Lane

Dover, DE. 19904

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

Hello everyone!

I wanted to make sure I sent a quick little email. I don't have long because we'll be going with a member to spend our PDay at the beach. I'll take lots of pictures for next week. :)

We had a great week and were able to helped a lot of people take incredible steps closer to baptism. I'm so grateful to be here in Camden serving these people and I'm so grateful that I'm able to see just how much God's hand is in all of their lives.

I promise I'll write more next week. I love you all!

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

Mom note- the trial she is referring to is bed bugs. Apparently, they all had bites all over their legs that they thought were just from all the bugs in Delaware. Some sweet ward members noticed and told them what it was. They got it all taken care of, but it messed up their week!  The picture is the Victorys that she talks about.
Dear friends and family,
This week has taught me a lot. Like a lot. I think I was the lucky recipient of a bathtub full of lessons this week. And I would love to tell you all about some of these lessons.
1. Charity never faileth. In Moroni 7:47 is says "Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever." I've read this verse probably a good hundred times throughout my life and have studied charity multiple times throughout my mission as an attempt to try to gain more of this Christlike attribute in my own life. This week I experienced true charity from the members of the Camden Ward. My companions and I were given a great trial this week and many ward members, out of the selflessness of their beings. jumped in and were our saving graces. One couple in particular, Brother and Sister Sanstrom, and Sister Goodman are three individuals who really came to our aide. They stopped by one night with dinner for us and we shared with them what we were going through. Later that night as we were planning for out next day they all came back with care packages, big hugs, and prayers for us and it meant the world. I have come to know with a far greater knowledge that as President Eyring shares in his conference address The Comforter, Heavenly Father will use his saints here on the earth to comfort those in times of distress. I've been lucky enough to be on the serving side of that equation, but it wasn't until this week that I felt how powerful it is to be on the receiving end of this promise.
2. When we work hard and do our part, Heavenly Father ALWAYS provides miracles. As I said, this week was hard. We had almost two full days that we unexpectedly didn't get to go out for normal proselyting and we had to cancel a lot of plans. And that stressed us out a lot. But as the week went on, and as we constantly turned to the goals which we had set for the week we were able to accomplish and outreach the majority of these goals! Sunday proved to be a day of miracles as we saw our investigator Lynn come to church for the first time, our investigator Samantha shared with us her great desire to be baptized and agreed to pray about when it should happen, our investigator Kelly told us about how comfortable she feels in the ward and that she received a confirmation about being baptized on September 20th, and our investigator Eugene committed to being baptized on October 11th! I promise you that when we do our best, He makes up the rest. I know that Heavenly Father is so aware of all of our individual needs and circumstances and all He wants to do is help us through them. I know and promise that as we do all we can to follow his commandments and be diligent in doing all that He asks, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be there to strengthen and support us through all of our doings and provide miracles when we need them.
3. Family does not have to be by blood. There are just SO MANY incredible members in the Camden Ward who have done all they can to make us feel welcome and just like part of the family!! One family in particular sticks out far above the rest and that is the Victory family. We eat with the Victorys every single Sunday night and it is a circus each and every time! The family is huge! There are the grandparents and they have four kids. The oldest has 5 kids, the next has one, the next has 4, and the youngest has 3. And then our investigator Kelly is always there with her daughter as well. And they're all in the ward! This family has taught me A LOT about the missionary, the mom, the wife, and the person who I want to become. I am eternally so grateful for them and so many other incredible member who I have had the privilege to meet in my 9 months of serving.
That's about it for me this week. I am so grateful to be out here serving my Savior. I know that this work is His and that as we align our will with our Heavenly Father's great things will happen. I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!
So much love,
Sister Rachel Petrick
--
Sister Rachel Petrick
16 Park Lane
Dover, DE. 19904

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hello

Hello!

I have so many fun things to share with everyone this week! First, I'm in a trio again! That was kind of a shock, but we got Sister Van Arsdale on Wednesday. :) She's from Bountiful and she's awesome, we've been having a ton of fun and getting work done.

One part of missionary work that I have come to love is working with the members of the ward. In the Camden Ward we have so many people who are willing and excited to come out teaching with us, and it is such a blessing! Members add so much to our lessons. The hard thing is that as missionaries we move around. We're not here to stay. It's so important that the new members and those investigating have a friendly, constant face at church. This Ward goes above and beyond with their fellow- shipping efforts and we've been able to see miracles.

I was lucky enough to go out with a Sister in our Ward named Cindy Goodman. Sister Goodman was baptized almost a year and a half ago and she's going to the temple next Saturday to take out her endowments and she's basically the sweetest thing you'll ever see. When she got in the car with me she told me how nervous she was but she said "this is
the Lord's work and you're the Lord's servant, so I know that I'm in good hands." That simple testimony set the feeling for the whole day.

We were able to share the message of the Restoration with a man and Sister Goodman's testimony really solidified his understanding. I could see his understanding of the priesthood pop into place and I know that it's because this sweet woman went out of her way, went out of her comfort zone, to share what she knows to be true. Members bring
miracles! Every time, and I'd like to encourage all of you, if you're able, to go out teaching with the missionaries. I can promise that they will so greatly appreciate the offer.

We also had a powerful experience as we were doing stop bys last night. We have an investigator named Eugene who we've only briefly met. He's hard to catch and we haven't actually taught him just yet,
but we found him home and set up an appointment! Eugene works at the
car wash that we go to and the Elders started talking to him one day and gave him a Book of Mormon. He started reading and he LOVES it! He is obsessed with Mosiah. As we were talking I just kept having the thought to invite him to be baptized, and with how their comments were going, I could tell my companions had the same thought. We worked so
well together as we invited him to be baptized and explained more about the priesthood power he said "My baptism wasn't valid, I need to be baptized again!" It was incredible! He understood exactly why the priesthood is so vital and asked us to come back next week.

I love this gospel with every fiber of my being. I'm so grateful for this chance that I have to serve my Savior and learn how to follow him. Every day I realize how far from perfect I am, I realize a new
inadequacy or weakness, but I can say that I know that I can be strengthened by the infinite atonement that Christ suffered for each one of us individually. He knows us and how to help us perfectly. All
we have to do is ask and seek His help, but He's always there.

--

Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, July 20, 2015

Another Transfer in Camden

Hi everybody!

I didn't mention it last week but Friday we received our transfer calls. I didn't mention it because since I'm training and in a brand new area I didn't expect to get told I was leaving. And I was right, both Sister Ashcraft and I will be staying in Camden for another 6 weeks! But there are going to be some changes. We had two extra beds delivered to our apartment. No one has said anything about them, but it looks like we will be getting a couple more roommates! So whatever happens is going to be really exciting.

This week worked us hard. We came home happy and completely and utterly exhausted each and every night. It's getting hot here. And not just hot, humid. Basically you walk outside and it's like you hit a wall and you feel sticky and wet from head to toe. But we go out and walk and knock and preach and teach because we have the gospel and everyone needs it!! And we have been blessed! One night we picked a neighborhood and decided we were going to talk to everyone. We picked a message to use and went out. We probably watched the Because He Lives video about 20 times, but it was completely worth it. No
immediate success there, but lots of planted seeds and we were led where we needed to be. As we were walking around we came to the door of a former investigator, Zach, and decided to try him. He answered the door and I kid you not, he was glowing. He had the light of Christ in him and he was just a breath of fresh air!! I love the people here, but in general the east coast is not happy and friendly like Utah. But Zach was so happy to see us! We asked to share our message with him and as we started the video, we don't know how and didn't realize it until after we started it, but the video changed to Because of Him. Zach immediately commented on something he saw and said he already loved the video after seeing about two seconds. We testified of Christ and he invited us back for this upcoming week! As we walked away we both had no idea how the video was switched on our iPads but there was no doubt in our minds that it was completely the Spirit's doing.

We also have an incredible new investigator, Kenzie. She's the cousin of our investigator Madeline. They're both granddaughters of a less active member of the ward. We went to teach Madeline and Kenzie was there and LOVED it. She showed up to church with them (the first time we had seen them at church this transfer) and told us she asked her
mom if she could be baptized! Her mom isn't quite on board yet, but with Kenzie's faith I just know that it will all work out. Kenzie was also able to receive a blessing at church for a surgery that she's going to have this week. That was an incredible experience. Both men involved are men who I have come to love and respect so much. They asked me if I would say a prayer to invite the spirit for them. As I said the prayer I felt an overwhelming feeling that Kenzie would be okay, with the surgery and baptism. As the blessing was given I again just felt so overwhelmed with how much my testimony of the priesthood
has grown. Nothing would be possible without the priesthood power and I am so grateful to have so many men in my life who are worthy to hold such an incredible responsibility.

Other exciting things this week include me losing (and thankfully finding) my scriptures, me losing(and again, thankfully finding) all of our church and house keys, a run in with the cops(we were 100% safe), we set a couple of baptismal dates, and we got a little too curious with a couple of the HUGE bugs here(probably more dangerous than when we're were with the cops).

I just want you all to know that being a missionary is the greatest experience I've ever had! It is the best choice anyone could make. The memories and friendships I'm making will last for eternity and my love and testimony of my Savior and His gospel is growing each and every day. I'm so grateful for the truthfulness of this gospel and for the was that I know lives are changed as we follow these principles. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for all the love and prayers.

-- 
Sister Rachel Petrick
16 Park Lane
Dover, DE. 19904