Monday, April 27, 2015

This Week I Made Worm Friends

Mom addition: 
1 Once again she didn't refer to her title in her post.  Her companion, Sister Shaffer, got some balloons from her mom.  Since they are shaped like worms, they named them all and Rachel loves them dearly. There is a picture at the bottom of this post.
2. For those of you who only read her updates here on the blog, I corrected her encouraging us all to smoke last week and the end of her letter.  So, you missed out on that one. I am pretty sure it was just a spell check thing.

Hello everyone!

Before anything else I would like to put into place a retraction from my last email. I would like to DISCOURAGE any smoking. Do not plan to smoke. All smiles no smoking! Replaces those smokes with smiles. That's officially my advice for this and last week, because smiles are good. Smoking is not. Thank you to everyone who expressed concern. :)

This has been quite the week, yet again.  We've been preparing for Sister Reed to go home, and just dropped her off today. We've spent a lot more time inside and packing than I would have liked, but we were able to get Sister agreed all packed and comfortable so it's all okay. :) We were also able to put aside a lot of time this week to do tracting. Besides planning tracting as a back up here and there I haven't really done any, so it was great getting the extra practice and we were able to meet a lot of really great people! We stopped by one potential, his name is Wes, and we talked to him for almost an hour in his front yard. As we left he said he had one final piece of marriage advice for us. And he then told us about his boys that he has in Trenton and his trailer of baseball bats and said that if any boy gives us trouble to call him and he'll take care of it. Hahahah, too good. :) We also today met a woman in the grocery store and I started talking to her and was able to give her a Book of Mormon! There are people everywhere that are waiting to receive the gospel! I promise and testify that when we open our mouths and are friendly then Heavenly Father will put words in our mouths that can touch these people! 

This upcoming week also marks my six months in the mission and boy, the time has flown by! I have loved every second of being out here. So in honor of my hitting six months and Sister Reed hitting 18 months, we had a fire and burnt our clothes. At six months Sisters burn tights, at a year it's a shirt, and at 18 months it's an outfit. Enjoy the pictures. :)

My mission president has also asked about miracles happening after 8:30. And since we're out of our area so much that time is typically just used for driving home. So I made it a goal to get into our area sooner so that we could end the day here. Friday night we had skipped dinner time so we were planning on just going in a little bit earlier and eating at home but I really felt like we needed to stay out until nine even though I didn't know what for, so I insisted and Sister Shaffer suggested we try a media referral who wasn't home the first time we tried him. We showed up with the requested Book of Mormon and I felt like we needed to add more to it, so I wrote a quick note, promising that it would bless his life, and placed it inside before heading to the door. He was home! And as we talked to him he told us that he was atheist but that he wanted to read and see what he thought about the Book of Mormon. He said he was curious and he gave us his email address and we should be teaching him really soon! It was such a testimony builder in the fact that first, miracles come after 8:30, and second, as we have the desire to be where He needs us, Heavenly Father will lead us to where we can do the most good. 

This upcoming week is also transfers! I am once again staying in the promised land of Philly 1st Ward. Five transfers here and I'm grateful for each one of them. :) It's actually super funny, I've been to every single transfer meeting (since the PPM is awesome and our transfers are a game show), but I haven't gone anywhere. I know that I'll be moving soon, but for now there must be a reason Heavenly Father needs me here so I'm going to do everything I can to make Him proud. :) 

I love you all! The Church is true! He Lives! And now it's time to share it!
Sister Petrick
Sister Reed and Sister Petrick burning their clothes

Sister Petrick, Sister Reed, Sister Shaffer tracting selfie

She didn't tell me about this one, but I like it still

Sister Petrick loving her "worm" friends, Sister Reed a little concerned

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015

I don't even know how to describe this week. We started with spending the day in Center City Philadelphia last Monday. We saw all the cool historical sites like the liberty bell and we ate Amish pretzels and donuts(basically the best things you will EVER eat) at Reading Terminal Market and we of course we're able to visit the Philadelphia temple site. I cannot express how blessed I have been to be serving so close to the temple site! I've been able to see the work being done and even meet some of the workers. They have all told us about how this is the best job site they've ever worked on and that's because of the special spirit that comes along with the importance of the work that they're doing! The temple is so beautiful and I'm so grateful that I'm here and seeing the excitement that comes along with the temple. It truly is the House of the Lord. :) 
We also had the highest of highs and lowest of lows with our investigators, Martha and Presider.  The first was a lesson where the Spirit was completely gone. None of us felt anything and we were desperately trying to invite the Spirit because we weren't going to teach without it. Presider was called out of the room and we huddled and talked about what promptings were coming and we were all lead to the verse 1 Corinthians 10:13. We shared the verse and immediately the Spirit flooded into the room. Both girls opened up about their deep concerns and we were able to testify that this gospel is the only way to be truly happy and find solutions to our problems and concerns. We were all in tears and we saw the first sparks of true conversion in them. And the next lesson we had with them it was like nothing happened. They didn't feel anything and they both took two huge steps backwards. We left feeling confused and just heart broken. We've talked about them nonstop since then and have felt such a strange confirmation about the next lessons we are planning on teaching, so please keep them in your prayers. 
And one more cool story - I mentioned this a long time ago, but I teach an English class to some of the African women in the ward. Lately we've been trying to think of ways that they can be more incorporated into the ward. So we've been teaching them to sing There is a Green Hill Far Away. At church this week we performed the song in Sacrament meeting with the four cutest African women in the world! It was such a heart warming experience. People were crying and the bishop was at a loss for words and the spirit was so strong! Everybody loved it! I was so proud of them. :) 
All is well here. It's warm and sunny, I love my companions, the church is true, and I love my savior so much. :) I want to invite everyone to pay attention this week and just smile! I made this a goal the last couple weeks and it's done wonders. Specifically I made it a goal to smile when I drive and when I do I'm just automatically so much happier and it's so much easier to wave and say hi to people as I drive and even if you don't want to, smiling just puts you in a great mood. So everyone plan to smile this week. :)
I love you all!
Sister Petrick

Monday, April 13, 2015


Her companion sent her mom some really cute pictures that I wanted to share.


I have to first apologize for not sending an email last week. There wasn't a good reason, I just didn't have a ton to share but I'll give a mini summary of what would have been included:  Tuesday we were in urgent care for a couple hours, we're all good, Sister Reed had just been sick for a while so we wanted to make sure she was okay. Wednesday we were who knows where getting our car fixed for five hours, Friday was zone conference, and then both days of general conference. General conference was INCREDIBLE. When you're a missionary it's basically the best thing. And I feel like there were TONS of shout outs to me. Elder Eyring talking about the woman escaping from the war in Africa(I have heard TONS of those stories), someone mentioned a government leader of Philadelphia, sunflowers are my favorite flower, a general authority who visited my mission and called my mission president like the day before he spoke was on conference, and the temple announced in the Ivory Coast! I cannot even describe the amazing spirit that came over our chapel when the members of my ward heard that announcement. Most of my African members are from Liberia, but a temple in the Ivory Coast will be such a huge blessing to their family members! I am so grateful for conference and the gospel! :) 

This week wasn't the most exciting week, we had so many appointments fall through. That's always a bit discouraging as a missionary, but it just means that we're needed elsewhere! Like Saturday night for example. We showed up for our appointment and no one was home. So we rescheduled and decided to go stop by one of our investigators just to see how she's been. As we were talking with her another one of our investigators who we haven't seen in weeks walked through the door. We were able to set up a time for us to go see both of them! Such a tender mercy! I know that, as long as we're doing our part, Heavenly Father places us and leads us where we need to be at every second of every day. As we strive to do His will we can't fail! He will give us the Spirit to be there constantly as our companion. We're on the Lord's team and that means we're going to be victorious. :) 

I want to end this email by strongly encouraging everyone to go and see the new movie Freetown. I haven't seen it, and I probably won't until I'm back home, but this movie holds a very special place in my heart. It negates the image of missionary work in Africa that The Book of Mormon Musical has so wrongly portrayed. Freetown is an independent film about missionaries who are escaping the civil war in Africa. This movie shares stories just like the ones that I hear every day. We were told that the stories aren't entirely accurate because it is told more from the missionaries' point of view, but it will still provide so much insight. Because of the great Liberian representation in my ward many of our ward members have been invited to a Q&A session with the director of the film at one of the screenings of the movie. Freetown shares of the strength and the faith and the courage of these people who I have come to love so dearly. And I would love nothing more than for you to experience that as well. I ask anyone who can to go and see this movie and please let me know what you think. I promise that it will testify to all who watch just how powerful and life changing the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is and of how aware the Savior is of us all.

I love you all! 
Sister Rachel Petrick