Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 22, 2010

Grant, Cool the guy offered you a job. That´s something to remember when you return next year even though you don´t want to. Don´t feel bad, it happens a lot. Or you can work in Juneau. The second year´s a little better. Sorry about your bad luck with people coming over for pizza.

I´m sad I couldn´t be in Alaska with you. We could´ve had a rocking summer, the two of us, eating pizza and bonding and we could´ve netted normal people to hang out with together. Hah, what a joke, normal people in Alaska.

The great thing, is now you can return to Utah and be content to be popular again. Yay!!!!!! I sent your letter to our parents with my zip full of pictures and a letter titled Happy Birthday Dad and Happy Birthday Grant. I don´t know if you´ll get it anytime soon, but know I sent it last week so it should be journeying toward you as I type.

We knock doors every day. Plus, we stand about 15 feet from the door, b-c that´s where the bell is, everyone has little entrances. It´s pretty funny at first, but I´m used to it now. But yeah, if we didn´t knock doors, we´d never meet anyone. That´s how we contact here. Love you! Miss you! Good luck buying books! Love, Hna Peterson

Ps. How crappy is it to be allergic to peanuts? Really crappy.

Editor's note: This is Grant's letter to Merilee about knocking doors on your mission:

Canute mentioned that knocking doors is useless- I disagree. It has it's uses, but mostly when prompted by the Spirit. One of my best experiences was looking around for somewhere to proselyte, and being prompted to knock doors on a certain street. My companion was less than enthused, so I was ringing the buildings. On the third or fourth building, the very top room opened up the door. Quick note: In Europe they have what we call 'quem e' boxes, which means the doorbells for all of the apartments is at the bottom of the stairs behind a security door. When someone opens the security door, you can go in and actually talk to them at their door, or start knocking the remainder of the doors in the building. Sometimes, no one opens the security door, and you just have to try and talk to people through the little speaker(hence the 'quem e? Quem e? when they want to know who's at the door...). Anyways, we hadn't had much luck and in this building, the very first bell I rang opened up the door. I was kind of ticked, because it was the top floor of a building without an elevator, and sometimes people will just open up the door, look at you, and shut it. It was a long walk up stairs. But after a moment, I realized that it was a blessing to be let in either way so that I could actually knock and interact instead of just talking through a speaker. I thanked Heavenly Father silently for the chance to be let in, and we made our way to the top of the stairs. Behind the door was Jose Antonio. He invited us right in. He was an elect. He started living the word of wisdom before we even asked him, 'cause he 'felt it was what he needed to do'. He was one of the only men in the ward to help us move in a particular family that weekend, and he wasn't even a member. He took off work to help us move them in. He was later baptized, as well as his wife and one of his sons. He actually wasn't baptized until after I left for the Azores, but when I came back from the Azores one of my first stops was through that area. I saw his wife, and she told me the news about them being members. His wife hadn't been hardly interested at all when we stopped by, but now she had a glow to her face, and she recognized me even after being gone for 6 months. It was one of the best days of my life.

Sooooo... Long story short, I have a testimony of good ol' knockin doors, even though references are certainly the Lord's most effective way to proselyte. But yea. Have fun in Guacamole!
Oo. Seminary. I think Nutella should be ok. Anyway, I´m glad you´re doing well and have tons of new things to do.

My scripture I put on the envelope of my letter I sent last week. You should get it in about a week, but it doesn´t really matter what scripture it is, right? B-c the scriptures are full of truths. So yeah, my preferred scripture is Alma...I can´t remember right now, but yeah, maybe Alma 28 about how if all men were like Moroni, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

I think basketball shorts would also be nice in a package sometime. I didn´t bring any shorts and I exercise in pajama pants, which is kind of a pain, but doable. Yeah, hopefully my peanut allergy will go away. I hope. Love and kisses! Hna Peterson

I don´t know if I can get my peanut allergy fixed, but I´d be willing to make a go of it if there were some chance. I have learned here 1. everything is better with peanut butter. 2. Breathing is more important than peanut butter.

But it´s hard sometimes, b-c I love peanut things and I never realized how much until just now. I know right, sweet to be still getting paid. Mom said I just got paid $700 this week. How rockin´ awesome is that? Working for the Lord and getting paid meanwhile.

Also, I realized again while telling my comp about my missionary paperwork adventure how much the Lord blessed me before my mission. I had work in Alaska, right after in MO with Fedex, and right after with Vancouver and the Olympics. The Lord watches out for us that is for definite sure!

Everyone is always ready to leave Alaska. Every year, every person. I´m glad Marcia loves me and remembers me. I try to make a great impression on people. It helps with tips, it helps your future, and it makes for a great life of friendly memories with friendly people.

I hope the zip makes it there for you to view it. I´d hate for you to miss it if you can´t wait to see it. Two weeks right? Yeah, it should be there while you´re there. I hope.

I´m glad your last week in Alaska blew by, you´re going home, maybe to see Courtney, is she still dating that youngun´? And a fake tour video with you as the star, how cool is that?

I remember praying not to the end of every month actually, but yes, especially at the end of the summer. Amazing how your confidence picks up every year though. And maybe we could drive buses together in England for the Olympics there. How cool would that be? No, en serio.

Hauling stuff on flights in a backpack is...crappy and I´ve done it. Bonnie wants to travel Europe. You two should go together. Or the three of us. Yes! Yes for options. Isn´t it nice to have money? Did you make as much money as you hoped this summer? I didn´t my first summer, and you only had one job in Alaska, but 8000 is way more than you´d get in UT. That´s all I made my first summer. The second summer I made about $12000. What a blessing it is to have two jobs in Alaska, and way more fun, because you don´t have that many friends, but hey, you´re rich...Or richer, than other people...

Love to hang out. Have fun in MO without me. Happy Birthday son!!!! Love, Hna Peterson


Hah, one time Cookie thumbed a ride with one of her friend´s moms and I wouldn´t get in the car b-c she was a stranger, but finally Cookie made we wouldn´t have to walk. Also, I´m sorry you´re having trouble getting Megan adjusted to school. I don´t remember that, but that´s probably because I was so young. Hah.

I´m with Megan and Dad. Chocolate cake and rubarb pie sounds supreme. Supreme. Sorry I picked a crappy paying major. If it helps, I still don´t know what I want to do with my life. Maybe in a year. Pray for me to figure it out.

Prayers are always nice to get right? Tell Megan Auntie Merilee loves her too.

Also, I´m doing great here in Los Olivos with Hna Gonzalez, another time around. What a blessing. Thanks for all the news. I read a twix wrapper which said they may contain particles of nut. What a crock. Love, Hna Peterson

August 16, 2010

I don´t know if I sent you an email last week. Maybe I didn´t b-c you sent me two of the same one as the week before? Or maybe because I didn´t have much time b-c I checked my hotmail and mom found out I was I had like 3 seconds to check my hotmail and I didn´t even get to talk to anyone b-c my time was gone. (Editor's defense...I was trying to hook Merilee up to Sarah on "instant messaging" online...and this is the thanks I get?)

Thanks for the news... I miss those awesome snowcones of yester years. I love pirate day. I hope he talked like a pirate for you. I got a haircut this week. Now I have bangs and it´s a little shorter, but not short..but I´m starting to realize long hair is hot and heavy. So maybe this won´t last for long.

We have lots of roaches here. I think we´ve been doing well about killing them, but really, they´re still all over when we come home..but the great thing is, they´re usually little. Which is great, b-c I usually scream about the huge ones and Hna G just rolls her eyes.

Changing from my trainer was awesome! She was a great trainer, but she didn´t like talking to new people, which is our proposito and I didn´t know Spanish very well. And she had crazy mood swings. You know what I´m talking about. So yeah, now I have two comps, but Hna C is leaving and Hna G has crazy mood swings too. So boo for that. I´m a little nervous about being in a comp with just Hna G, but so is the mission..

And I think I have a peanut allergy. B-c this week I had a chocolate and peanut covered banana and had a hard time breathing after. Later I had a peanut, just to test it and the same happened. So I´m nixing peanuts, which is crappy b-c I love peanut things.

I had just bought peanut butter, peanuts in salt and lime, coated peanuts, peanut butter bon bons and mr. goodbars were waiting in the mixed chocolates I had bought...for the Mr. Goodbars. Lastima. So my comps bought most of the stuff off me and have been eating peanut butter bon bons all over the place in front of me. Boo. So no more snickers for me. What a crock. And no more nutter butters. Double crock.

So that allergy news is all I´ve got really for the week. And I´ve been thinking about getting an allergy test when I get home from my mission. Oh, and a ward member told us a great face treatment for wrinkles is to wash it with urine. I wonder which is worse, to wash your face with urine every 15 days or to have wrinkles.. I think I´ll maybe stick with the wrinkles. Love you so much. The church is true! Love, Hna Peterson

It´s really hot here. This week was hot, last week, and it´s rainy. Here, really rainy. We´re emailing a little earlier this week, and I wrote most of the news in my other email. About having a peanut allergy. How horrible. I tried a peanut one day this week just to see and I´m pretty positive it´s that. Inconvenient, b-c now I have a jar of peanut butter burning a hole in my suitcase I bought last week, to go with the cocoa for those nobake cookies.

And we get snickers for our birthdays from the mission president´s maybe I´ll include something about that in my letter to the president this week. B-c I don´t think I could handle the temptation.

So I´m staying away from peanuts and I´m going to have an allergy test when I get home. I don´t know if it´s really expensive..probably is. I don´t know if I need insurance, or if it would just be the same to get it without insurance, but know I´m planning to get one when I get home and maybe ask around for tips or places I can get one. I know, a year is a long time from now, but keep it in mind.

My hair´s looking good, but it´s hot and it´s heavy in a pony tail. So I don´t know if my long hair will last. We have lots of new investigators and not many old investigators. All our investigators know they need to change and don´t have any desire to do it. Boo. We saw a video about forever families for a lesson yesterday and my comps and I cried. Thanks again for the package.

I tried making brownie pancakes again and it just doesn´t work. But I had a sugar overload when eating the load of half cooked batter I ate afterwards. Even with banana. Banana pancakes are delicious however. Just put banana in the batter with your pancake mix. Always a good idea. And french toast is excellent. Glad you had fun at Yellowstone!

My comps are working at feminizing me.
They made me start lining the bottoms of my eyes with liner and they paint my nails weekly...they do theirs once a day. Not kidding. But my nails look awesome! Not long, just look great. Also, my hair´s getting really long and I think I want to cut it. It´s frizzy here and looks terrible. I feel like Rapunzel. Any tips? I know, I´m not here to impress people, but I don´t know what to do with it and I don´t trust anyone here to cut it.

Also, I miss the blueberries of Alaska. There´s tons of fruit here, but my comps never want it and they always say it´s too expensive when I try to buy it at the I buy it when I can. Also, we picked tons in AK b-c we didn´t have many origional ideas about what to do with our time and we loved making blueberry crumb cake. Mmm. Maybe you could make it. Remember the sour creme coffee cake in the orange book at home? just put blueberries in with it. Delicious. Maybe you could call home and get the recipe. Mmmm

I was going to tell you to read Orson Scott Card, but if you´re reading the Wheel of time you´ve got plenty to read. I read OSC lots in Alaska b-c I love his books. I just started reading Jesus the Christ. Also a very cool book. I heard it´s hard to read...but so far, in chapter 2 I´m doing ok. I guess we´ve read a lot in our family and the books are necessarily easy reads. Maybe it´s pride. I´ll let you know when I´m deeper into the reading.
Sending love from the "deep" south, Merilee

August 9, 2010

I haven´t seen either of those two movies....Muppet Wizard of Oz, or Inception..but I´d like to. Grant, put it on my list of movies to see when I get home. I will also need a detailed summary of how the Inception movie works. Please type it up for me and I´ll read it before I see it. Jim, it´s been a while. Glad to know you´re all still alive.

Wow, if you´re going light this year you truly are a genius. I don´t know if you will have any free time.

Christian, with Calculus, Physics and Pre-AP Chemistry, Seriously though, you think you´re going light or you´re kidding me...You´re kidding me right?รง

I ate at pollo campero today and thought of´s like a Guat. Wendy´s. Or McD´s. Hola. How are things going with you and the parent projects? I hope you don´t have excessively much to do. I was going to attach some pictures today, but I don´t have time again. Oops.

Also, Mom, thanks for the package. I got it! Woot! Thanks for the cocoa. Unfortunately I got a lot of stuff covered in cocoa. Oops. So I have the zip and the other stuff, but I don´t know if it will work with all the cocoa. I also don´t know what the thing...looks like a band of stuff with stuff in it.. Is it a face mask for headaches? I don´t know. I had to wash it b-c it had cocoa all over it and now I don´t know if it´s still ok

The exciting things that happened this week are- my comp stepped in a huge pile of dog doo...hah! And my other comp opened her hair conditioner in the store bathroom today and it exploded. Not even kidding. Everywhere, all over her dress and the floor. Oops.

Yesterday it was a torrential downpour. Not cool. Plus, there were oceans of water in the streets and we had to walk through it to our ward meeting- which we weren´t needed at because they didn´t ask about the work, they just talked about stake conference and the youth conference next year. I did get a sweet umbrella though, it´s heavy duty and double reinforced for 50 Q. Very cool.

Hope your August is turning out to be as great as mine. The church is true.
Love, Hna Peterson

August 2, 2010

Grant, Do you have canute´s address? my comp wants to write him. She´s like 5 ft and from nicaragua, but she´s amazing, so i think i´d like his address to give to her. i would love her to be my sister in law. Plus any excitement we can get, right?

i decided last year i would choose to like doing dishes. Because nobody likes doing dishes and they´re so much easier if you clean them as you go. So I´ve decided that and it makes life so much better for everyone. Remember growing up, there were always dishes and mom always got mad about it? People always get mad about dishes. So you could maybe try that. B-c if you are the one who likes to do dishes, it´s not a big deal, b-c you like doing dishes.

i think the flight of the conchords are hilarious and yes, you would have a similar style if you and Canute made some movies together. Please do.

Pioneer day was cool. We had lots of tug of war, water balloons, rain, raw hamburgers, and good times. Oh, and I won the donut on a string eating contest. Also, I realized again how cool some elders are .. and those elders, well, maybe one day. Maybe when I get off my mission I won´t be terrified of making a bad decision about boys for eternity. now though, now I´m trying to talk to people. Sometimes it´s hard. But i banter with the spirit and then eventually talk. I know, we´re supposed to be easily entreated, especially by the spirit, but sometimes, and now it´s more frequent, I just don´t want to talk to anyone.

Wow, sounds like the house is changing for the best. Way to serve others and keep the work moving along.

I´m glad Josh Clarke is helping out so much, but why again... And wow, I saw Christian´s schedule and was shocked out of my mind at all the genius classes he had. AP English with Dr. Carter was great. Why didn´t he want it? Oh, english last year? Right, or was that history? I don´t remember.

This week has been good, but yes, ordinary. I had a dream I was going home from my mission and then I wasn´t and I was really sad. Weird, b-c I don´t want to go home. Also, I had another dream in which I was killing orks. I was using a machete but it wasn´t very sharp. I have a very vivid memory of chopping at the neck of an ork and nothing was really happening.

I guess that´s what happens when you don´t have much excitement during the day, you dream about excitement. Mommy, thanks for the package..again, I wouldn´t have drunk the water without those drink mixes. Also, my comp had a visitor at church b-c she´s from the capital and the visitor brought her a suitcase, new shoes, and a chocolate cake. Thank goodness for mothers.

I heard someone new here is the primary president and I thought of you. Also, I thought maybe if you get the chance to send some basketball shorts that would be awesome. I haven´t seen any here and usually I exercise in my Christmas pants, but I roll them I think shorts would be more useful. I haven´t seen any here. And I didn´t bring any. But just something to put on the list.

Thanks for the love and the prayers. Have fun at Yellowstone and tell everyone hi for me! Love, Hna Peterson

July 26, 2010

Thank you so much for the package. I got it this week. I will love the brownies and the drink mix. I enjoyed the pictures. we didn´t have water for two days, so we had to boil it and the only reason I could drink it was because I had those drink mixes. Bad memories of weird tasting boiled water in russia. Thanks mom!

I don´t need any more stamps b-c I think I forgot to tell you the office elders said pouch changed and we have a different system. so I can´t use USA stamps like I thought. So I´ll probabaly send them to Grant so he´ll write me.

also, thanks for your testimony and all the news. we´ve taken some pictures, but I don´t have time today to send them.

My comps told me they think I´m tired all the time b-c I take a multivitamin and sometimes a vitamin c. Especially right now b-c everyone has a cold here. La grippe. I don´t know. Do you take a multivitamin every day too? B-c our dad always sleeps and he loves vitamins. They said the extra vitamins make you really tired. I don´t know, but I know I need to be healthy somehow and I don´t eat balanced enough meals to make it on my own. I don´t think. I don´t know.

Yesterday everyone was watching soccer and the streets were silent except for the cheering coming from houses filled with people. So yes, I knew the cup was happening, but it didn´t really effect our work..b-c it was Sunday and we had some appointments.

thanks for the summary. sorry, the caps on this keyboard is sticky, so the caps in my email will be out. sorry. anyway, i´m glad to be receiving regular updates from my family. Thanks.

it´s good to know the garage and neal´s house are getting worked on and emptied. I´m sure after a year of that I will be pleasantly surprised to enter it. I´m glad you got rid of those 4 boxes of paint clothes. i´m sure they hadn´t been used in years.

i´m glad to know also the garden is looking healthy. Woot. Way to go family. Also, way to go Dad for inviting your fellow teacher to church. You´re doing your missionaries and the lord proud.

Today was pioneer day and we had a capital city activity with Pres Torres. we had a lot of fun and a lot of rain, so we tried to make do. i took like 4 pictures. Sorry I´m a picture slacker. to be attached at another time. this week we had a seminary for a couple of us. there were 8 sisters and about 20 elders. We didn´t do much other work during the week, but the seminary was a good reminder of what we should be doing during our lessons. like kneeling when praying and inviting people to be baptized after every lesson.

I will try and remember everything we´re supposed to be doing. We also need to talk more. I´m getting into a rut of not wanting to talk to people. it´s a bad rut, b-c that´s our whole purpose. I love my companions. we get along well most of the time and we have a lot of fun.

Love you! Hna Peterson

July 19, 2010

I know our family has a grand appreciation for good music. It´s nice to have some tone, b-c people here usually lack it. So even though I don´t play the piano, I can usually help our investigators and companionships with the tunes of most hymns.

I have a greater appreciation for fish after Alaska. Kudos. And spinach. I think I actually got the great appreciation for spinach in Germany. Gracias Danielle. Hope their family is doing well. They are in my prayers.

I am glad you are having Christian practice the lessons in Preach my Gospel. It´s always good to have some practice under your belt with those lessons. Most important is listening to the Spirit, but if you don´t have any practice or knowledge, it´s harder to listen to the Spirit.

Mom,You threw away barn shoes? Is that possible? Wow, I´m glad you´re having so much fun with the family. I´m jealous. I´m glad to hear about it anyway. It´s rainy here, but warm rain. We get hot hot sun when it´s not cloudy. It´s usually cloudy. We´re in winter now..that means January, Feb, and March are summer and the rest of the year is winter.

I´m really having lots of fun with my companions. They´re wonderful and I am really lucky to have them as my comps. Hna Calderon and Hna Gonzalez. We have a lot of fun and it´s really nice to be in a trio again.
This week was awesome. I love them. They are little. I am big. They don´t eat much...and so I am always hungry. Probably because I am huge and we walk all the time. Whatever, I´ll eat when I´m home in a year. It´s July. I didn´t see any fireworks this year. Oh well. I guess Independence does have grand fireworks, b-c I also noted the sad fireworks in Alaska.

Our investigators have doubts, but that´s good. That means when they get testimonies, they´ll be strong and never stray. Right?

We have a richer group this time around.. People here actually have floors and tvs. We hug and kiss here in Los Olivos and we wake up at 6 instead of 6´30 to read with investigators in the morning. And I haven´t had language study b-c of appointments. I know the Lord will bless me in Spanish. He already has. Step by step. Thanks for the news and the love!

Being on a mission has really changed my perspective about life. And I´m finding out how much more particular I am becoming every day. Everyone here is so chill and I´m kind of a crazy. But I´m trying to chill out and tone down. I guess it´s part of being 26 and crazy. Anyway, Grant, thank´s for being a fantastic brother and writing me. Sorry you hate Alaska. Didn´t I tell you it kind of sucks there sometimes? Can I say sucks?

The Gospel is true...write your missionaries! Love to all, Hna Peterson