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!


Sister Rachel Petrick


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