Monday, June 29, 2015

I Drove Through a Tornado


This week I have a couple of really fun stories to tell right off the bat.
We had a mission conference this week in which Elder Kacher of the Quorum of the 70 came a spoke with us. The conference I attended was the last of the ones for this mission and the last of the tours he is doing in the United States. He's heading to Russia next! Elder Kacher was incredible! He told us that we were among the best missions that he has ever visited and he attributed the good characteristics that we have to President and Sister Anderson. I could not agree with him more. I am so blessed to have such an amazing mission president and wife! I know that they are meant to lead us. They have taught and blessed me so much in the 8 months I've been out here and I cannot be more grateful. 

 Next is Dadrien. Dadrien is a 16 year old boy that we found contacting potential investigators. He's awesome. That's all there is to it. We left him with a Book of Mormon. Things happened and we weren't able to meet with him, but when we stopped by to set up another appointment he told us that he read the whole introduction and then started looking things up online. That can either be really good or really bad, so I got a little bit nervous. I pulled out a card so I could give him the church produced websites for if he had more questions and it turns out he had read on and loved it! This teenage boy went out of his way on his summer vacation and researched our beliefs and we now have a time set up to go and see him and I am so excited!

My next story is about the couple, Matt and Stacy, that I mentioned last week. We were able to go back and visit them and boy, that lesson was one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission. We focused on the gifts that Heavenly Father has given us to bless us and our families. We talked about the gospel and the Atonement and then really focused on the Book of Mormon. Matt told us that he had the book, that his friend Ben, who was there with us as the member present, gave him one years ago. Our conversation was able to lead to Ben sharing such a powerful testimony of him sharing something precious with his friend. Matt also told us about when he had briefly met with the missionaries before, he said that he had felt something that he had never felt before and it scared him. We testified of the power of the spirit and how the Holy Ghost had been speaking to him that night. It was such a special lesson and I know that Matt and Stacy both felt the spirit touch them as we all learned together. Every day it becomes more and more clear that I'm not the teacher. These people aren't being changed because of me. I'm lucky enough to be a part of this great process, but I'm merely an instrument in the Lord's hands. We all are! And that takes work and patience and great listening skills, all of which I'm working on, but the reward is far greater than the sacrifice because when we're really listening the spirit will work through us, and that is a feeling unlike any other.

That's all I have for today, but enjoy the pictures! The first 2 were at a pizza night that we had with members of the ward. They used to own a pizza shop and have a real pizza oven and everything!
And the next is a picture from after we went shopping today. We are close enough to Amish country that people have specified places where they can tie up a horse and buggy when they go to the store. It's an entirely different world here!
Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

Hello everyone!

I am just so grateful that I have this chance to share with everyone some of the wonderful things happening here in Camden! First, a little backstory. When Sister Ashcraft and I doubled in two Elders came up to us right after transfer meeting and were basically just spitting out tons of information that we would need to know about the area. I definitely got like 3% of all they told us, but I do remember that they specifically called this area the "Celestial Kingdom." Coming from the area nicknamed the "Promised Land," I was very excited. And those Elders were not kidding! We have seen miracles every single day and I know without a doubt that it's because Heavenly Father has prepared this area for greatness.

I do have a couple of stories I do want to share. The first came from contacting a less active woman. I was getting SO FRUSTRATED trying to find this woman's house. We first accidentally put in the wrong address and woke up a very angry older man from a nap, and then when we had the right address we somehow ended up missing the right street and the GPS took us a crazy way, and then when we had prayed and were ready to go inside people kept calling us and we sat in her driveway for a good 20 minutes before we were FINALLY ready to go up to the door. And when she opened the door she looked so surprised. She told us that we had knocked just as she had come upstairs and that if we would have when she was downstairs than there's no way she could have heard the door. Heavenly Father, through all of His miraculous means, got us up to that door in the exact moment that we needed to be there. As we talked with this woman I had the prompting to show her the Mormon Message "Hope of God's Light." If you haven't seen it, I highly encourage it. By the end of the video she was in tears and saying that she needed us to help her. Heavenly Father truly knows each one of His children. He knows WHAT they need and exactly WHEN they need it. 

The other story comes from a contacting experience. We made a long list of potentials to stop by and one stuck out to me and I suggested we start there. The man, Matt, answered the door and we asked if we could share Because He Lives with his family. He said yes and invited us in. We walked in and there was a couple from our ward there! We showed the video and testified of the Savior and asked them if they'd like for us to come back to teach them more about His gospel. And again, with tears in his eyes, Matt told us that he'd really like that and that he has questions that he thought we could answer. We go back later this week.

I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be sharing Christ's gospel with the people of Camden. This is truly and incredible, prepared area. We are so busy each and every day and I'm pretty sure that the Ward's goal is to have each of us gain 50 pounds before we leave. They're taking really good care of us. :)  I'm so grateful for the love and support from each of you and I want you to know that I love you all so much! And that is NOTHING compared to how much the Savior loves you all! I hope you all have an incredible week.


Sister Rachel Petrick

Monday, June 15, 2015

Transferres Happened!"I

"I didn't expect to end up here!"
Hello everyone!!

I'm sure you're all just so excited to hear about this transfer! The last couple of days have been an adventure, to say the very least, but so incredible. First off, I'm training another new missionary! And she's just so incredible! Her name is Sister Ashcroft from Springville, Ut. and she's already talking to people who we pass on the street and offering to serve people in the grocery store. She's got it. To make a funny but very long story short, I didn't know I would be training until 10:40 pm the night before transfer meeting. But it was a pretty nice surprise! And when President was talking to me he promised that I'd be going to a really great area. And here I am, in Camden, DE! And I'm loving every second.

So we doubled in to an Elders' area. The Zone Leaders' area. And so we didn't know a single person here. So most of our efforts the last few days have been spent trying to contact those who the Elders have been teaching and I've been learning a whole lot and meeting a lot of incredible missionaries. First, this experience is helping me become so much more comfortable with talking to everyone because we literally came to this area knowing NO ONE. But we've been very blessed. The Bishop of the Camden Ward and his wife took us out to dinner our first night here and we were able to talk about all of the people who we'd be working with and we found out that this ward hasn't had Sisters in 20 years, so everyone is either really excited or still a little bit hesitant.

We've been very blessed to meet a lot of incredible people. First on that list is a woman named Sister Webb. She had us for dinner our 2nd day here and was so shocked to have Sisters show up at her door! Her husband actually opened the door yelled "AAAHHH, SISTER MISSIONARIES." And shut the door. Hahahah, they opened it right back up, but that's probably an accurate description of how everyone else has felt too. But she told us that she feels like we're her daughters and it made me feel so warm and happy. And that's the overall feeling of this entire ward. Everyone just loves. So much.

We've also had a TON of service opportunities. I've worn pants three times this week. I haven't worn pants in 4 months. That's how much quality service we got in. We happened to show up at the church at the same time as a member of the ward who was unloading furniture for a ward yard sale and so we were able to help her out then and the next day with organizing. And then we were able to help a non member in the area pack up her house to move. She used to meet with missionaries, and she's not too interested right now, but we were able to teach and testify about how Heavenly Father has been speaking to her through the Holy Ghost. It was an amazing experience. 

Sorry for the long update, I'm just super excited about the new area and the new adventures and everything! I'm going to add some pictures so everyone can see how different my new area really is. Hahahah, enjoy! My new address is also below, so feel free to send me all of the letters you've been saving.

I love you all!
Sister Petrick

Her new home


Sister Rachel Petrick
16 Park Lane
Dover, DE. 19904

Monday, June 8, 2015


She sent a lot of pictures, so I am doing a second post today.  I don't know for sure, but it looks to me like she is having a great time!

Rachel and Sister Burras

Esther and Madison

Making African Doughnuts

Sister Burnet and Rachel

Rachel and the Culligans "the sweetest, extremely devoted Catholic couple"

Davidson, one of her baptisms early birthday before she leaves

Sister Kiah and Rachel

Precious, Grace, Courage and Rachel (she said she is getting a lot of new name ideas for babies

Esther and Madison


Hello everybody!!

So I have LOTS of news this week. First off, I am being transferred. After seven months I am finally leaving the Promised Land of the Philadelphia 1st Ward. I really am so sad to be leaving so many people who now feel like family to me. Saying goodbye yesterday at church was hard, but I am also looking forward to the transfer. I don't know where I'm going, my mission is awesome and does things differently, but I'll find out on Wednesday. While I am sad, it's also been incredible because I feel completely at peace with leaving. I know
that Heavenly Father knows me and all of His children better than I do and I will be placed exactly where I need to be and exactly where other people need me. This is His work and He calls the shots. And now I get to make more friends!! :) In a recent email my mission president counseled me and practically told me I was leaving. He ended his email by saying "Sister Petrick - big things are in store!" I am very grateful for him and his wonderful guidance. I just know that President Anderson counsels with the Lord so deeply about these
changes and I'm excited for this adventure!

And more big news - ESTHER AND MADISON GOT BAPTIZED!! Yesterday the Philadelphia 1st got a little bit greater as this incredible couple was baptized! Funny story - so Sister Shaffer and I filled up the font during church and we even filled it a little higher than normal. As the service began I was watching the water a little bit and by the end of the first talk I noticed that the water level was definitely going down. By the time I caught the attention of our ward mission leader the water level had dropped almost a whole foot! So the baptism ended up running super long because we had to take an extra 20 minutes or so
to refill the font. But Esther and Madison were both so happy! The smiles on their faces were so bright and warm and everyone was congratulating them and it was just such an incredible day!

I am again so grateful that I've been able to serve here in the Philadelphia 1st Ward. I'll miss my Africans, my African food, the sketchy electric gate around the church, the bars on the church window, the cockroaches in the bathroom, and all of the other little things. :) I had the opportunity to sit in at a meeting with the Stake President and I'll never forget a comment that he made. He said "the work going on in this ward is nothing short of miraculous." This ward has taught me so much about me, about the gospel, and about missionary work. Most importantly serving here has taught me just how vital charity is in this great work. This is a gospel of love! President Monson said "Actually, love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar. His life was a legacy of love." If we are striving to become more like our beloved Savior then we need to be
developing love. Not just for our family members, not just for our friends, but love for all those around us. I love this ward, I love this work, and I love the Savior. Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world and I'm eternally grateful for the time I have to serve. Thank you for all of the prayers that I know were coming my way this week. I definitely felt them and it was an incredible thing to experience. I love you all and I can't wait to let you know what happens next week! :)

Sister Rachel Petrick

The Zone Selfie on Navy day

And me and my girls, Julie and Naomi Bowah. :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

This was another week of miracles for your friendly neighborhood Philly 1st Sisters. This week I took part in an entirely different side of missionary work. All seven months I've been out on my mission I've been in this one area. And our problem, and it's definitely one
of the best problems to have, is that we have A LOT of people to teach. A lot. Basically all we do is teach lessons. I know, I know, you're probably all just laughing in disgust at me right now because that is NEVER something to complain about. It's the dream. I have 
certainly been so extremely blessed to be serving in the Promised Land that is the P1 Ward. But with so many miles being taken away from us and with it being the last week of the month Sister Shaffer and I decided to only drive out of Havertown when we really needed to and focus all our efforts right here. That meant a lot of walking and a lot of tracting, and I learned a lot a very good lessons.

1) If they're ready, they'll talk to you. As missionaries we should be persistent when it comes to sharing our message. After all, ITS TRUE AND THE ONE THING THAT WILL BRING EVERLASTING HAPPINESS, but the fact of the matter is that some people just aren't ready. It's not their time. YET. It's our job to make sure they know their options. If someone has been prepared, then they won't shut the door in your face and they will want to hear about what you have to say.

2) "Open your mouths and they shall be filled" -D&C 33:8. This may shock you, but most of the time talking to new people absolutely terrifies me. I worry a lot about saying the wrong thing and being awkward, but Heavenly Father has promised us all that when we simply
open our mouths He will give us the words to say. I'm still trying to apply this, I'm learning each day, but I testify that this is true! Something as simple as sharing with a woman that sunflowers are my favorite flower and sharing with her a thought that popped into my mind about the garden we had back home really helped her open up to us. She ended up sharing very personal things with us because the spirit prompted me with something seemingly insignificant and it helped us connect with her. MORE??.

3) It's impossible to fail, this is the Lord's work! I know I definitely psych myself out when it comes to talking to people, but we win every time we open our mouths and invite someone to learn about the restored gospel! No, people aren't going to accept every single
time, but just because someone says no doesn't mean you've failed. That's a planted seed! It takes about 7 interactions with the church before people join. We are placed every where we are for a reason. Whether it's that final seed, or just the first one, we win each and
every time we talk about the church.

So otherwise we didn't do a whole lot this week. Hahahah, but we have a lot of different great things set up for this upcoming week! I am so excited! I am so grateful to be serving here in Havertown! I know that this gospel is truly what will bring us all the most happiness in this life and I'm grateful to say that I gain a stronger witness of that
eternal truth each and every day. Thank you for all of the prayers and support from you all. I can't tell you how much it means to me to know I have so many people praying for me. :)

I should also let you know that Friday we will be getting transfer calls. I've been here for 7 months, so I will most likely be moving to a new area. So any letters you want to send please send it to the address I added below. Thank you and I'll let you know what happens next Monday! :)

Lots of love,
Sister Rachel Petrick

Sister Rachel Petrick
721 Paxon Hollow Road Ste B
Broomall, PA. 19008