Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New-Year!!!

email 30 December 2012

I had the best Christmas ever! My mom's prayer was answered and they got to Skype with me for 2 1/2 hours. My whole family told me that I have a Canadian accent??  I don't know what that's all about. After that we went over to the old folks home and sang some carols to everyone. It was super fun:)

Then we went to a family's home for the rest of the night. They have 5 daughters who are all super fun! We had dinner and then we went HOOKY BOBBING!!! They attached 3 sleds to the back of a 4 wheeler and drove us around a huge field. It was SO FUN!!! And I stayed on the longest! You get COVERED in snow! I had ice chunks in my hair at the end. But it was so worth it! We ended with playing "ticket to ride". Which is a super fun game, btw! I was so grateful that we were able to spend Christmas with a loving family. 




  


Last week we only had 15 lessons because everyone was sick. :( Sister Hadden is also sick but she won't rest! She's a hard worker and I love her for that. But sometimes you need to relax and get better! I keep telling everyone that it's fine because I don't get sick. But I'm knocking on a lot of wood now! 

We had to give some talks this past Sunday. One of them was on "Our Savior's Love". So of course I thought of the hymn! Because it's my absolute favorite next to "More Holiness Give Me".  It says, "Our Savior's love shines like the sun with perfect light. As from above, it breaks through clouds of strife. Lighting the way, it leads us back into His sight. Where we may stay to share eternal life." While studying the words of this hymn, I realized that His love really is like the sun. It's always there. And it's the same amount of sunlight everyday. But also like the hymn says, there are clouds in the way. Sometimes those clouds can be trials placed in our life. Or sometimes we can put those clouds there ourselves by not following Christ's example.  But His love breaks through those clouds. Even on the cloudiest of days, there is still light outside. We can still see what's in front of us. It doesn't matter who we are, what we've been through, or how many times we mess up. His love is still there. There is still the same amount of sunlight behind those clouds. It's just up to us to move the clouds out of the way of us feeling His love. Because it's there waiting for us.

I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us unconditionally and perfectly. I know that there is hope for each and everyone of us. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I love the peace and hope it brings to my heart every single day. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New-Year! 



Love, Sister Sarlls

Our Savior's Love
Text: Edward L. Hart, b. 1916. (c) 1977 IRI

Music: Crawford Gates, b. 1921. (c) 1977 IRI

Our Savior's love
Shines like the sun with perfect light,
As from above
It breaks thru clouds of strife.
Lighting our way,
It leads us back into his sight,
Where we may stay
To share eternal life.

The Spirit, voice
Of goodness, whispers to our hearts
A better choice
Than evil's anguished cries.
Loud may the sound
Of hope ring till all doubt departs,
And we are bound
To him by loving ties.

Our Father, God
Of all creation, hear us pray
In rev'rence, awed
By thy Son's sacrifice.
Praises we sing.
We love thy law; we will obey.
Our heav'nly King,
In thee our hearts rejoice.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I've been dreaming of a white Christmas long enough!

email 23 Dec 2014
2 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS AND IT'S SNOWING!!! 

Christmas miracle - it's FINALLY started snowing again! We are going to have a white Christmas!!! 

This week went by really fast. Probably because Christmas is almost here! We've been going caroling and giving people cookies! It's been really fun to share our testimonies through music and singing. I'm so grateful I've been able to sing on my mission! I've learned a lot this week through my studies and at church. 

I was in Sunday school and the teacher was teaching about the Christmas story. She asked all of us if we knew the difference between a Shepherd and a Sheep Herder. (Of course no one knew that) She goes on to explain that a Sheep Herder follows from behind. But a Shepherd leads the flock from the front. It made me think about myself. I am called and set apart as a representative of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am a shepherd as He is ours. I am not here to "herd" people. But I am here to lead people to Jesus Christ. Our purpose as missionaries is to "invite others to come unto Christ". By inviting them, I am leading them. But it is their choice wether they follow or not. I think that's why the scriptures tell us the Lord is our shepherd instead of saying sheep herder. We all have our agency to choose to follow Him or not. 

I was just reading the story in Luke 5. Jesus was teaching the people in the shallow part of the water. And Jesus told Peter to go to the deep part of the water and cast his nets in. And he's like "I already did this!" But when he did it that time, he got all the fish. I was thinking about this compared to my life. When Jesus tells me "okay it's time to go into the deep now." Meaning going to face another trial. And sometimes I think "I've already been through this trial! I'm sick of it!"  But just like Peter, sometimes the time that's the most hopeless to put out our nets...is the time that all the blessings come. Both sides of the boat were the "deep" but the side that we cast our nets (our faith) is the side that comes with blessings. If we turn to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and do as they direct, they will strengthen us and we will receive more blessings than we thought possible. 

I love Christmas and I love my savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the gift that He has given each and every one of us! I hope all of you have a beautiful, magical, and very Merry Christmas!!!:) 






Best Christmas wishes, 
Sister Sarlls 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Helped Steal Santa. Whoopsies!

email 16 Dec 2014
HAPPY 9 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!!! 

So Sister Hadden and I went on exchanges (when we trade companions for a day). Usually I stay in Huntsville and she goes to the other area. But this time I got to visit someone else's area! We were going around doing visits and we needed a potty break so we dropped by this family's house to use their restroom. While we were there, they told us about this contest that they were doing. There's a porch decoration going around within a few families in the neighborhood and you try and steal it off of the other family's porch without being caught! The family who has it at midnight on December 23rd wins! (i'll attach the flyer explaining it). So the family just came back from trying to steal it but they got caught. Soooo, I said, "I think a Christmas message from the sister missionaries is a perfect distraction!" So we went to the house and had a lesson with them and showed them the "He is the Gift" video while the other family stole the Santa! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! haha It was an awesome opportunity to #sharethegift. Even if it was a little sneaky;)

Later that night we went to dinner where they were feeding us tacos. We were sitting there eating when all of a sudden the 7 year old girl sitting next to me starts stroking her tortilla and says "Dad, this tortilla feels like your back!" We were DYING laughing! hahaha She kept going on and on about how "his back is so soft!". The dad the whole time was like "OKAY! that's enough!" It was hilarious.

Then even LATER that night we went to a Christmas party where a whole bunch of kids with Down Syndrome put on a show for us! IT WAS SO CUTE! They lip-synced and danced to probably 10 Christmas songs. It was great! It was a fun day for me! 

Our guys we taught at the Valley Camp (AA camp) finished the program there so they left us. :( BUT, We are teaching 3 new fellas there! They are AWESOME!!! The people there are all so great and sincere! All 3 came to church this past week and LOVED it! I can't wait to teach them!

Last Tuesday night I went to a lesson with a Sister who is having some hard times. She got really emotional and started talking about her troubles with her daughter and their relationship. We talked about when people we love don't do what's right or don't listen to our guidance and how it makes us sad. But that's how Heavenly Father sees all of us! He has given us everything we need to be happy in this life and in the next. But we don't always do it. And it makes Him just as sad. But I shared with her my testimony of the importance of showing love to people despite their imperfections. When I said this to her I got a HUGE confirmation in my heart that what I had just said was true. I can't explain the feeling very well, but it's like my heart was filled with too much happiness and joy to fit inside of me. But I know it was the Holy Ghost telling me that it was true and right. I can't stress the importance of loving people. I know that Heavenly Father loves and knows us individually. As we show our love to others, we're allowing them to feel God and Jesus Christ's love for them as well. The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses EVERY aspect of our life. As we focus on Him daily, we will see miracles happen in our life, our home, and our family. A good example is Christmas. The reason people love Christmas so much is because they're focusing on Jesus Christ! Even if they don't realize they are. People's hearts are warmed, they serve and give, they sing songs praising Christ, they go to church. And that's why people are so happy at Christmas! Because they are focusing on The Savior!  Christmas time gives us a little glimpse of what the world would be like if we all were striving to be more Christlike. 

I love Christmas so much! I've had so many moments this season of feeling Christ's love for all of us! Remember to #sharethegift of His love every chance you get! 

Love, 
Sister Sarlls







Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's a Christmas Miracle!!!

email 09 Dec 2014
SO many miracles this week! 

Sister Hadden and I have discovered that every time we go on exchanges, miracles happen in our area. So here we go...

Christmas Miracle #1 We have been PRAYING and PRAYING to find more people and *TA-DA* we found the physical area-book! (not our ipad ones) There were SO many names on there we've never heard of that the missionaries worked with a while back! 

Christmas Miracle #2 We were at a gas station getting some motivational Dr. Pepper and we struck up a conversation with the girl checking us out and asked her if we could come over and share a Christmas video with her. And guess what? SHE SAID YES! And she's from the Houston area and says y'all! 

Christmas Miracle #3 We are singing the Pentatonix version of Mary Did You Know and it doesn't sound completely awful! 

Christmas Miracle #4 We went to a Christmas party and saw one of the people we visited and haven't been able to get a hold of since! We sat by her and set up a next appointment!:)

Christmas Miracle #5 We sang What Child is This in a Relief Society meeting and didn't hear the piano part or practice singing our harmony before hand...and it was beautiful. 

Christmas Miracle #6 We challenged someone who had been excommunicated to work towards baptism and they said YES! 

Christmas Miracle #7 One of the 9 year old boys we're working with is getting baptized on Christmas! Talk about a "White Christmas"! (get it? baptism clothes are white...)

It's been a grand week! If you haven't seen the "He is the Gift" video, PLEASE watch it and #sharethegift!
[After watching, go to http://Christmas.mormon.org
to
Ed Sarlls.]


Merry 16 Days Til Christmas!!!

Sister Sarlls

P.S. Some Elders decided to write a Utah Ogden mission rap and create a music video also...have fun! http://vimeo.com/54869650

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving is just Christmas Kick-off

email 02 December 2014
HELLO

Thanksgiving was lots of fun! On Wednesday we had Thanksgiving with an awesome family! She's Filipino and made us delicious egg rolls! They had Thanksgiving on Wednesday because they were going to do black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. Isn't it crazy that black Friday is actually on Thanksgiving now? On actual Thanksgiving we went down to Ogden and played some football with other missionaries! Well...Sister Hadden did. I played some cards with some missionaries and Sister Hadden's old companion taught me a new game called "Unggoy Unggoy". It's a game from the Philippines. It means "Monkey Monkey!". But you know I love new games! I had a blast! Everyone was asking me how many Thanksgiving dinners we were having. I said "one?". Apparently other missionaries go to 4-5 dinners! CRAZY! The most I've heard of is 8. The family we ate with had a 7 year old boy and he wanted us to race him on the sled. I wanted to sooo bad! But we told him we couldn't because of our skirts. He looked at us and said "Just take them off!" haha I love kid logic. They also had their own zip line!!! It was great. We spent the rest of our thanksgiving visiting people that have been on our minds and singing "For the Beauty of the Earth" [YouTube link below - Ed Sarlls] with my ukulele to them and giving a little Thanksgiving message. It was so fun and it really brightened our day!

We are teaching this 9 year old boy named Crash. He's awesome and a really deep thinker! We were teaching him the plan of salvation and about the Atonement and how we will all be resurrected. It went great and at the end of our lesson he said "I don't want to be resurrected!" we asked why and he told us "It's going to hurt!". We were confused at what we said to make him think it would hurt. He then explained that "I don't want to be nailed to a cross!" OOOH. so we said "That's crucifixion not resurrection!". haha It was a great lesson and I don't think he'll forget the difference again.

We've kind of hit a road block in our area. I feel like we're just on a wild goose chase every day trying to find these people that are never home. I felt like I didn't have faith in our work and in our progress. I felt hopeless about our area and about my abilities. I was talking to Sister Hadden about everything i felt and she told me to read the "patience" section in Preach my Gospel. I was thinking "I don't feel impatient, I just feel hopeless!" well, I did what she said and this is the sentence that stuck out to me..."Patience is related to hope and faith - you must wait for the Lord's promised blessings to be fulfilled." It was definitely a humbling experience. I know that this is His work and it is in His timing. As long as I'm being obedient and doing what I need to do, I know that what needs to happen will happen. Even if that means going on wild goose chases every day. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful to be here on a mission. I wouldn't have been able to say that a month ago. But I am SO grateful that Heavenly Father put this opportunity in my path to love and serve others. I'm grateful that He loves me enough to give me these hard experiences so that I may grow and become closer to Him. I'm grateful that I am able to pray and receive answers to my prayers. I'm grateful for my family and the love we have in our home and in our relationships. I'm grateful that I have an AMAZING companion who works hard and is obedient. I'm grateful that she laughs, sings, and puts up with me. I'm grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for my Savior who gives me the strength every single day to keep going and to do His will. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Love, 
Sister Sarlls

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm dreaming of a Huntsville Christmas

email 25 November 2014
Hello hello one and all! 30 days till Christmas!!! 

SISTER HADDEN AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER IN HUNTSVILLE!!!!!! So happy! I love being able to sing together everywhere we go!:) it's been such a blessing. 

This past week was a regional stake conference. So it was held at the event center where the cultural celebration for the Ogden temple was held. 10 stakes were there in the events center and then they broadcasted it to 30 other stakes! STAKES! There are 40 stakes in the Ogden temple district! It was an amazing conference. Sister Hadden and I sang at the adult Saturday night session. We sang a really pretty arrangement of "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy". It turned out really well and the spirit was so strong:) I wish I had a recording to send to you. [Here is one by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Ed Sarlls]

3 out of the 4 speakers talked about temples. They shared a story about this girl who was on a date and the guy she was on a date with asked her, "So, how Mormon are you?" And she told him, "I wasn't aware there were different levels." and he asked her, "Do you follow the rules or do you have fun?" And she responded by saying, "I follow the rules. And it's fun!" This really struck me. I think all of us are guilty at one time or another of being the one asking the question, "How Mormon are you?"  I definitely have been there. Even asking myself, "How Mormon am I?". But really we are either standing with Christ or we aren't.

I was studying a lot about repentance this week. I looked at the bible dictionary definition of Prayer [link]. It says "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other." That's why prayer is such a big part of repentance. Because repentance is change. And when we pray, our desires change. We start desiring what our Heavenly Father desires for us. Elder L. Tom Perry spoke at the stake conference and he talked about the importance of studying the first 3 lessons we teach as a family.

The restoration, the plan of salvation, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. [See short videos of Elder L. Tom Perry explaining the Restoration above and the Plan of Salvation at right. - Ed Sarlls] I think this is so important. It's those basic principles. There are a lot of people we teach who have been members their whole life but they never understood these basics. They started learning in depth concepts without a foundation. As we teach them these basics, we have been able to see them learn and grow. And we can see their faith and testimony grow and strengthen. We are working with so many amazing people. Studying these things as a family will strengthen all of your relationships. And you will be able to see miracles happen in your family and in your home. 

We found a place in Huntsville that does sleigh rides with hot chocolate and they take you to go pick out a Christmas tree. WHAT?! HOW DID THEY KNOW THAT'S ALL MY DREAMS ROLLED INTO ONE?!?! So excited!!! We're booked to sing at all of the Christmas parties. There's 8 so far. Haha we're going to have turkey and potatoes for the rest of the year.

We went to a service project and they had soup there for everyone. ONE OF THEM WAS GUMBO. there's a lady in the stake from Louisiana. Tender mercy for me. It tasted like home:) and we make turkey and sausage gumbo every Thanksgiving. So I still got a homey thanksgiving!!! 


We live next to these baby cows and sometimes we just stop and talk to them. 

Well I'm doing great! I love Huntsville and it's a magical place:) I love you! 

Merry 30 days till Christmas, 

Sister Sarlls 
Elder Daggs (flawless) is like my best friend haha he's so awesome.
Elder Andrus was my district leader. And of course sister Hadden.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Utah is cold and snow is wet.

email 18 November 2014

IT SNOOOOOOOWED!!!!! 

I look every morning outside for snow and on Thursday IT WAS THERE!!! I ran out there in my pj's and socks! But snow is cold. And wet. So I ran back in. But I was very very very excited:)

Utah is very cold! It was 2 degrees outside this morning! Yikes! I didn't realize how cold skirts were. And how cold Houston winter clothes are. So after I send this email, I will be buying some winter clothes:) the snow is super cold and it's like powdered sugar. I have slipped countless times. But I haven't fallen yet! 

This past week, 2 of our investigators dropped us:( it makes us so sad. They think they have to have all of their ducks in a row in their life before they can think about going to church or meeting with us. But going to church and meeting with us can only help! Their lives would be blessed and miracles would happen. I know they would. It just makes us sad because we loved them so much. But they have their agency. And maybe the right time for them wasn't while I was here. 

On a brighter note, our first week here, Whitney (15 year old) was baptized. This past Saturday we went with her to do baptisms for the dead in the temple for the first time. It was so amazing! The Ogden temple is new so we were all a little confused on how to do everything and where to go haha but it was still a great experience. She was glowing the whole time! 

Transfers are a week from today. And my mission president likes to move people around a lot. So honestly I'm probably going to be the one to be moved and Sister Hadden will stay here. I'm already sad about it and I don't even know if that's what's happening yet haha. This next transfer includes Thanksgiving AND Christmas!!! I should have taken pictures of Huntsville in the snow. It's so magical and looks like the old movies! We'll see what happens about transfers. I know my mission president is inspired so if I need to move, I need to move. 

We've been super busy lately. Which is good! It keeps my mind off of transfers haha they've asked us to sing in stake conference this upcoming week. So we're trying to figure out a song to sing for that. 

Anyways, I'm doing swell! I'm working hard and learning and growing everyday. 

Love ya!

Sister Sarlls 

 




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My first AA meeting

email 11 November 2014
Hello hello family and friends! 

I check every single morning for snow outside. There's still no snow. Yesterday we had some little flurries! But they didn't stay on the ground. If you're feeding the missionaries, don't give them lasagna. Maybe they don't get a lot of it there. But we get it about 3 times a week here. Haha it's kinda crazy. 

So this week I went to my first AA meeting! I think I told you a little bit about the Valley Camp. It's just a camp that all these people sign themselves into to help them overcome their addictions. We're teaching two guys there. Their names are Greg and Austin. They're the best! They're both members. One was baptized at 8 and the other was a convert when he was 12. So we're teaching them the lessons to help them reach their goals. The AA meeting was super fun haha it's like a different version of a testimony meeting. They focus on their "higher power" whatever that may be and how it's helping them. All of these people are so humble and are all ready to change. I loved hearing what everyone is going through and how Heavenly Father is helping them and how they are submitting their will to His. We're hoping to get more and more people at our lessons over there. We love it though! Greg and Austin come to church and someone gave them suits to wear and they looked so good yesterday! It makes my heart smile to see them progressing more and more every day. I love those guys. 

We're working with this couple. They. Are. So. Cute. The wife has been active for about a year after 30 years or inactivity and the husband has never been active. What I love about them is that they're working on it together as a couple. So he came to church for the first time since he was 8! (They're probably in their 60's). The wife always cries when she says prayers and it's so cute. And we challenged them to have companionship prayer every night. And they've been doing it! We just love them so much. In our lesson yesterday, the husband gave the prayer and he was so nervous. It was the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. And of course the wife was crying the whole time so I started crying. After the prayer he goes "now how am I supposed to pray with you blubbering over there?!" Hahaha he's one of those old guys that likes to tease. They also make my heart smile. You can just see that they are equal partners in their relationship. Even though she's been active for a year, she's right there with him learning and each commitment we extend, they both do it. It's awesome. 

So we went to this lesson last week and we brought along a member with us. The lesson was going swell and the member we brought said "my husband does this and this..." And the guy we were teaching going "you're married? Well that sucks! I was going to hit on you!" SO AWKWARD. hahaha and it didn't stop there! The whole time during the lesson he would just randomly say "does your husband tell you you're pretty every day?" And "you should come out boating with me!" We got back in the car and just started cracking up hahaha pretty sure her husband isn't going to let her come out with us anymore haha 

We've joined this work out class held at the stake center. It's so much fun! Haha it's like a work out video and it's all cute old lady's. You'd be surprised at how active these ladies are! Wow. And on Saturdays at the library they hold a Zumba class! So excited to do it! So those are our new ideas on how to find people to teach. 

So we only have 2 weeks of this transfer left. It went by fast! I'm praying I stay here another transfer. Then I'll get to have Thanksgiving and Christmas in Huntsville:) which will be magical. Sister Hadden is a smarty. She always is very logical about how we should go about doing things and what would be most efficient. She has a very organized brain. She's a great teacher though. She's really lights up when she teaches people. It's interesting to see our different strengths when we teach together. And how each lesson goes differently. She's been a great companion and we've had fun singing together:) 

Well I guess that's all for this week. It's been going great and Huntsville is still amazing. 

Love you all! 

Love, Sister Sarlls 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

51 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

email 04 November 2014
This is the time of year where I miss all of my Christmas sweaters.

Soooo We aren't allowed to go out on Halloween because a lot of people dress up as missionaries and do crazy stuff hahaha they do this so if the Mission President gets a call about a missionary doing something wrong he can just say that all of us were inside a church building so it wasn't us. Because of that, we had a mandatory zone Halloween party!!! It was super fun! We played volleyball and watched The Saratov Approach. It's weird because I first watched it when I was deciding whether or not to go on a mission (bad movie to watch for that), then when I was about to leave on my mission, and now while I'm on my mission. I loved hearing everyone's reaction watching it for the first time. Haha We were all shouting things at the movie to help those missionaries. Haha

One of the things I loved learning this week: there are only 2 emotions, Love and Fear. Love is of Heavenly Father and fear isn't. I'm a very fearful person. But I love my Heavenly Father and so that love that I have for Him replaces my fear. So I've been trying to recognize when I'm acting in fear and how I can change it to love. It's harder sometimes to get past that fear and negativity and to change it. But I know as I show my love for Heavenly Father, then I will feel His love for me.

Our zone theme this transfer is "forget yourself and go to work". Yesterday we were all asked what that means to us personally. Because of things I've been dealing with...it's been hard for me to try and think about myself and make sure I'm healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically, but also forget myself. But as I was thinking about this, I came to a conclusion that this is what it means to me to forget yourself and go to work: it means doing all you can at that time. Whether it's 20% or 120%. It's not forgetting yourself. It's forgetting your imperfections and insecurities and trusting fully in The Lord and His Work.

Whenever it tells you in the scriptures that the Holy Ghost can bring things to memory, I've always just thought of situations where you're taking a test and remember the answers. But I had an experience this week that thought me another way that works. We were teaching this couple about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. They were having some trouble feeling and believing this for themselves and I remembered an experience I had in 6th grade and I was prompted to share it. I had a bad day and asked Dad for a blessing. I only remember one line from that blessing. I remember when he told me "Heavenly Father loves you". It stuck with me through all this time. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't know that. I remember breaking down crying when that statement was said. I had totally forgotten about this experience until that moment and I was able to listen to the promptings of the spirit and testify that Heavenly Father knows our hearts and our needs and that he loves us.

I've been able to find more opportunities to sing! We were able to be a part of the missionary musical fireside in Logan and we're doing the one in Ogden on the 16th:) it's been such a blessing and a stress relief. Missions are hard, y'all! But you definitely learn a lot about managing stress and what helps you. For me, I NEED MUSIC. So whenever I need a break, we've started going to members homes and letting me sing while they play the piano. I've loved it :)

I'm doing swell and can wait for Christmas and for snow!!! We should be getting snow any day now! I love you!

Love, Sister Sarlls

 






Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I love pumpkins. A lot.

email 28 Oct 2014

Hola!

This week we went to a zone training and it was awesome. I got a lot of answers to a lot of prayers. But then afterwards, they told us we had to get a flu shot before we left......I was the last one to go and I sat there for like 10 minutes freaking out and crying and laughing from being nervous. Finally they convinced me to just get it over with so I closed my eyes and the lady puts the shot in and goes "oh my! That's never happened before!" WHAT?! So I start freaking out and apparently the needle was bent so they had to twist it out and then give me another one. Just my luck! I'm sure I looked crazy. But I made it out alive with only a little bruise!

So sister Hadden and I have been praying very specifically for all of our people which makes out for a very long prayer, but also very powerful. And the miracle that came from those prayers, it that 4 investigators came to church on Sunday:) yay!!! We haven't been able to have anyone come to church! The power of prayer is amazing.

We found a sign that said free pumpkins! So of course I grabbed one! I can't pass up a pumpkin!

A sister in our zone told us we should make a folk band called the wagons. Haha so we've been trying to find someone who plays the banjo. We're still on the hunt!

We're planning on doing reverse trick-or-treating where we hold up a door for them to knock on and hand them a piece of candy that says "ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you..." Haha I think it'll be fun! It's supposed to snow by Halloween. I finally got some boots!

We still don't have very many updates on investigators. We're trying to get creative with our finding. So we're joining this yoga class and we're having a "meet the missionaries" fireside where you can ask us anything. So it'll be fun. :)

Remember to pray for missionary opportunities! Heavenly Father will give you the courage to open your mouth when the time comes!



- Sister Sarlls

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Tender Mercies of The Lord

email 21 October 2014
First of all, I don't know why that one paragraph about me feeding the horse last week didn't send. So here it is...
The lady let us feed her horses and we were supposed to just feed it half of the carrot and let them break it off and then feed them the other half later. Well my horse just kept chomping away! I was freaking out and scared that he would just bite off my fingers while he was at it! But he didn't. I made it out with all 10:)

So this past week we had one lesson. 1. Uno. One. Everyone canceled on us. So we had a lot of free time. Which is hard because we don't go knock doors and Huntsville is huge so we can't really go walking around finding people. So we had all this time to go find people. From 1-5 is like TERRIBLE because no one is home. So usually the best time to find people is at night but that's also when we have appointments because people are home.  We have a list of people to find and catch at home. We've been trying these people for the past 6 weeks and they're never home. Well we go out this week and we were able to find 6 people that we can never catch at home! The Lord gave us that time to find these people. So when we sent in our numbers, some people were unimpressed by the amount of lessons we had. But the amount of blessings was overwhelming:)

This past Sunday was fun. So we had someone come to church! YAY! This stake does sacrament meeting last. So we let them go to elder's quorum and then we go to gospel essentials and sacrament with them. Well we get out of the first hour and we can't find him! We ask around and apparently he left right before the end of our class. He lives right next to the church building so we were just going to walk right on over there and see what happened. Well we're almost to his house when I trip and fall on the side of the road. I twisted my ankle really bad and it blew up HUGE. so we send the bishop over to his house and he said he had an anxiety attack. :( so I'm sitting in the kitchen with ice on my ankle when we remember that we are speaking and singing in a ward starting in 30 minutes. AHHHHH. so we quickly try and write our talks and figure out what song to sing. Honestly my talk looked like it would be about 25 minutes. We get there and they already have 2 musical numbers and then our song. I'm the first speaker. My talk takes 4 minutes. FOUR! Sister Hadden tried to make hers last a little longer. It was really a stretch. with both of our talks and two musical numbers, we still left them 20 minutes at the end. So we get to our song (families can be together forever) and the lady starts playing it and it's SO SLOW. so we were singing it and we had to take a breath like twice per word. It was really slow and we didn't rehearse so my harmony was like higher then lower and we just sounded super awkward. Hahah I felt soooo bad that everyone had to hear that. But it's all the fun of missionary life right? :)

So let's be real - all missionaries miss home at some point. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I just wanted to curl up on my couch at home and sleep. So we went to dinner last night and the people there had the same exact furniture that we have at home! I know it sounds dumb but it was such a tender mercy. I sat in "my" spot on the couch and curled up. I really needed it. And Heavenly Father knew that. He truly does love and care for us all.

In our mission, the mission president has us take a "strengths quiz" put out by the LDS business college. There are 32 strengths. You get 5 top strengths and mine are: Ideation (coming up with new ideas and visions), Relator (relating to people and others being able to open up to me about personal things), Includer (accepting people as they are and making sure everyone is included and no one is left out), Empathy (sensing what people feel, not judging them, listening, and cheering them up), Developer (helping others develop and helping them see their potential and highlight their improvements). Sister Hadden got Analytical, Strategic, Responsibility, Learner, and Restorative. It's cool because afterwards it gives you a page for each strength talking in depth about it. So we've been trying to keep those in the car and then after each lesson we try and focus on how we used our strengths in that lesson. And we all brought our strengths to our district meeting and not one person in our district had the same #1 strength. It just shows you that there's a spot for every single type of person and missionary. And The Lord needs all of them to hasten the work! He needs those people who have lived righteously their whole life, but he also needs those who have seriously messed up, but have used the atonement and have taken the road of repentance back to their Savior, Jesus Christ.

A common theme this week in our lessons has been prayer. And specifically praying out loud. I've noticed lately that when I pray out loud, my prayers are less self centered. I am able to focus more on the important things. They are less about asking for things. They are filled more with gratitude. And I find myself asking for other's specific needs. I believe that miracles happen from prayers that are said out loud. Some of the most special moments on my mission are when we get to hear people pray and talk to their Heavenly Father for the first time. They give a lot more thanks in their prayers than I do...someone who has been praying their whole life. It's really been eye opening. So for the next week I've given myself a challenge to only thank my Heavenly Father in my prayers. He's given me so much and I don't thank Him enough for all my blessings.

Also I liked this: my conversion today will not be enough for tomorrow. It's a lifelong process that we have to keep working on. Like Uchtdorf said at conference: The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime.

I love you all!

Love, Sister Sarlls

P.S. 65 days till Christmas (Angel, Mary, baby Jesus, 3 wisemen)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WE FOUND THE UKRAINIANS!!!

Email 14 October 2014
Hey hey hey! Today was transfers and I'M SAFE IN HUNTSVILLE!

Yes, you read it right! We found the Ukrainians! After 6 long weeks, we found them! The mom has a huge accent and the dad is American. They are both beautiful. The daughter wasn't there so we went to go find her at the library. We met her there and she seemed kinda hesitant/freaked out. But we talked to her and I showed her on the computer a picture of a shaved bear which made her laugh so now she's cool with us. So if you ever want someone to open up to you, a picture of a shaved bear is the trick.

So we got a referral for twin teenage boys and we went to their house twice at night to try and meet them but each time their house was BLACK. so we knocked but of course no one came to the door. And then this huge black horse started running up ... [The rest of this is missing from the email.]

There was a youth standards fireside that night and it was almost over so we were deciding on whether or not to go. But there was going to be hot chocolate so we went. So we saw the last 5 minutes of it. But we talked to people afterwards and we got 2 new investigators! Both of them were youth that their friends brought to the fireside! So cool! We were meant to be there! I know that this sounds dumb. But I know that Heavenly Father gave me that craving for hot chocolate so that we would go there and meet those people!

That morning we sang in church! Sister Hadden and I sang "I'm trying to be like Jesus" and I harmonized and we sounded really good! And it was amazing because there were non-members there and they were crying and they said they could feel something when we sang. And it gave us an opportunity to testify that what they felt was the spirit! It was amazing.

So there's a recently returned missionary and he offered to give us some good missionary music. So we got our iPod back from him and we were going through the songs and they are all awesome! Then this one song comes on and I'm thinking to myself "I think I know this one....." It turns out to be Dust In the Wind by Kansas! WHAT?! Hahaha It was kind of hilarious. I guess there are all those scriptures about "dust of the earth". So maybe the song isn't TOO apostate haha

We always walk into our kitchen to plan when we get home. And last night we walked in and there's this HUGE piece of cake sitting there! Like the size of my head. It was HUGE. We are given so much food. Almost everyday someone gives us food to take home.

We were looking for this old man's house and it was like up in the mountains and really sketchy. And we get there and he has this house with a tiny door that's all metal with metal bolts in it. It looks like a creepy factory haha it's weird looking. But he wasn't there so I'm looking forward to talking to him about it.

Eden is praying about a baptismal date right now:) she's so cute. None of our other investigators are coming along very much. We're really trying to get some of them clothes to wear to church. So that they feel comfortable coming to church.

We were watching a John Bytheway talk and he was saying how in Ephesians 6:14-17 all of the armor is defensive but the only offensive thing is the sword. And how in movies they always say "drop your weapon" and that's exactly what satan wants us to do. So we need to say close to the spirit and the word of God (scriptures) so that we are able to fight back against the adversary.

I've been studying a lot of the Christlike attributes. Right now I'm focusing on diligence. So if you have any thoughts on diligence or anything you've studied about it, email me:) I would love to hear!

I love you all and pray for you daily!??

Love ya bunches,
Sister Sarlls

We were able to do some service for an old man. We chopped up and stacked his wood. It was super fun but REALLY messy. Haha they also had a Scotty dog farm. So we got to play with all of the puppies:)







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