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


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!