email 22 Feb 2016
This last week was one of the most humbling weeks of my mission. I was able to go on exchanges in inner-city Ogden. I've been in rural areas almost my entire mission. The city is sooooo different. We went to this apartment building to find people to teach. It turns out it was an apartment building for mothers that went through an abusive relationship and it's transitional housing between being homeless and finding a place to stay. Well the night before we had gone to a funeral and they had a TON of extra food. Like pans on pans of casseroles and rolls. So we offered to take it, not knowing what we would do with it. Fast forwarding back to the apartment building. We talked to everyone there and no one was interested in being taught. But the spirit brought to our remembrance all the food we had in the back of our car. We asked the big group of women and children if any of them needed food. You would not believe the reaction all these people had. They were overwhelmed with joy and emotion. It honestly made me feel as though we were right there with Christ when he fed the five thousand with the loaves and the fishes. (The Utah version is rolls and funeral potatoes.) It was really cool to see how afterwards, some of the people actually wanted to be taught. I believe it's because they felt Christ's love for them. I don't know exactly what it was. But I know we all felt love for each other. Love is the essence of missionary work.
I'm not sure what to say in this letter, as it is my last one as a full-time missionary. I think I'll start it off with a count down of my time here in my mission. :)
58 wards (8 stakes)
5 tubes of mascara
4 kills (companions who completed their mission and went home)
4 musical firesides
2 mission presidents and their wives
Unlimited and eternal amounts of blessings, friends, and experiences.
There's no way I would be able to sum up my mission in any amount of statistics, numbers, or even words. As my time is getting short, people ask a lot of questions. "What will you miss the most?" "What's been the best part of your mission?" Two of the HARDEST questions.
What's been the best part? There have been countless of bests in my mission. But by far the best thing is seeing people change. I've seen myself change. I've seen my companions change. And I've seen the people I've met, taught, and served change. I've come to know Jesus Christ so well. He is my best friend. And that's why Jesus Christ is my best friend. Because He loves every single one of us so much that He changes us. His gospel changes us.
What will I miss the most? I will miss testifying. I will miss promising people blessings in the name of Christ. I will miss all the doors slamming in our faces. I will miss the ones that were opened wide. I will miss saying prayer after prayer after prayer for miracles. I will miss having someone by my side every second of every day. I will miss putting on broken shoes, tattered skirts, and worn shirts just to go out and find those who are broken, tattered, and worn. But most of all, I will miss being a representative of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I will miss His name on my chest.
So what I want to leave you with is my testimony. I know this gospel is true. I know it makes us happy beyond belief. Because I've felt it for the last 18 months. I've felt Heavenly Father's overwhelming love for each of His children. He knows us perfectly. Inside and out. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It's my favorite book. It has brought me closer to Christ and His love than anything else this world can offer. Please read it and pray about it. I know that families are meant to be and can be eternal. I know that there are no lost causes. The atonement is real and it heals. Please use it! Please come unto Him! I feel like Alma in chapter 26:16 "Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." If nothing else, please know that I love this gospel with all my heart and all my soul and all that I am. And I love being a missionary in the Utah Ogden Mission.
With all my missionary love,
(Friend Sister Sarlls on FaceBook here. - Ed.)
(A few links for those interested in learning more. - Ed. Get your free copy of The Book of Mormon here. Read about Jesus Christ here. Read about the Plan of Salvation here. Read about Family Values here.)