Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Email, September 23, 2014

It's been a month since I left on my mission! We had one random candle in our apartment so I lit it and blew it out. :)

So this past week......hmm... Sometimes it's hard to remember to write everything that's happened in the past week. So I've realized the importance of exact obedience. There were some nights we went to bed at 10:40 instead of 10:30 and we were SO TIRED the next morning! That never happens when we go to bed on time. The Lord knows what's right.

Anyways.....so first story, "the bugs". So we were going to bed and I scratched my back and felt something on there so I grabbed it and it popped in my fingers! Ew! So we turn on the lights and I see that it's a box elder bug. I HATE THEM SO MUCH. they're almost as annoying as love bugs. So at this point I'm like freaking out and crying. So I was wondering if they got in through our window so I lift up the curtain and find this ginormous spider instead! JUST WHAT I NEEDED AT BED TIME! So It's in a corner on the window and so I smush it and it didn't die and fell on the ground! So me and Sister Hadden  ran out of the room SO fast and I was screaming and crying and jumping around and I was scared it fell on me! So we got a broom so we wouldn't have to touch anything looking for it in the blankets and it came crawling out of her blanket. So I go in for the kill round 2. I was so scared it was going to like super jump into my face or something. Sister Hadden decided to take a video for your enjoyment.  But i defeated it! I couldn't sleep that night at all though. So I just stayed up watching Mormon messages:)

So there's this lady names Sherry. The Elders said she is busy and can never have a lesson. So we try not making an appointment and just going over. It turns out she lives in the Ukrainian's old apartment! Weird! Anyways so we ring the doorbell and she comes out dressed in her underwear! Haha She kept saying "we're all girls here! It's nothing you haven't seen before" And I was like "yeah it's just like gym class!" Even though I felt super awkward just chatting to her in her underwear. So she has a 4 year old daughter and every night they snuggle and sing Katy Perry songs haha she's going through a CRAZY divorce. So as we sit down (btw she put some pants on) she's telling us about her background with the church. She said she had this LDS friend who gave her a Book of Mormon that she was reading and when her mom found it, she threw it away. So she moved to Huntsville and started her crazy divorce and the bishop and the ward helped her a lot through moving and everything. What impressed her most is that she wasn't even a member and they were willing to help her with so much.

Anyways so we start teaching the restoration and it's already like 9 pm because she's a huge talker. Our curfew is 9-9:30. We taught the restoration to her in like 7 minutes haha but EVERYTHING that we told her she responded with "that makes sense. I've always had questions about that. And that makes perfect sense." SHE WAS GOLD. So since she lives in Utah she's looked up a lot of stuff about Mormonism and knew about a lot of it. But when we recited the first vision to her, she started crying and said "I haven't heard that before. I don't know why I'm crying. That's just beautiful." And of course I start crying. We tell her it's the spirit witnessing to her that what we were saying was true. And she just kept saying "I know it is". The spirit was SO strong. We gave her another Book of Mormon to replace the one she had when she was younger and she started to cry. She was SO grateful to have her own Book of Mormon. She still has a cheapo CTR ring that her friend gave her. She told us it was one of her treasures and that she keeps it safe in a box. She is so ready. The Lord has been preparing her. If we don't end up teaching anyone else in Huntsville, I would say that we were sent here just for Sherry. We are meeting again with her on Wednesday. We're planning to invite her to be baptized:) so we'll see how it goes!

We went to drop by and see this one family and we forgot to pray before we went in. The whole visit was just a debate and Sister Hadden and I just came out so discouraged. I felt sick to my stomach by how that visit went. It was a huge learning experience. Prayer. is. everything. The spirit. Is. Everything. I've been worried about recognizing if I'm teaching by the spirit. I've been trying really hard to notice when I felt a prompting to say something. I think the spirit was still with us, but I feel like our minds and hearts were too clogged up from the debate to hear it speaking to us. It was definitely a humbling experience.

We haven't met with Bee again yet. Tomorrow night we are and we're inviting her to be baptized:)

The stake gave us tickets to general conference to take some of our investigators! So cool!

So much has happened this past week. We have 14 investigators and this week we are planning on inviting 11 to be baptized in October. I hope all goes well!

So the temple dedication was so beautiful! We watched it at the stake center so we weren't at the actual thing. The cultural celebration was so much fun! We were told we were just watching it. But we got to be in it too! I was crying during the whole thing! Especially the first song. It's just so exciting! So we got to walk out when they were singing Army of Helaman and Called to Serve. It was so awesome!!! I cheered so loud for our Huntsville people! Imagine if all of that youth went on missions. The world would never be the same! And guess what? All the youth there was only 1/3!!! They had 3 different casts!!! It's amazing.

Huntsville is like a pot of gold no one knows about! It's the best! I'm loving every minute of my mission. So when Holland was here, he was talking about how we are the shepherds for the sheep. He was like "we can't be worried about the shepherds if we're already worried about the sheep! We don't have time for that! Once you're done with your mission, you're still a missionary! Once a shepherd, always a shepherd!" It was soooo powerful. I think about it everyday. There are so many amazing things happening that I want to talk about! But this is already long haha

I love you all! Keep up your CPR certification! Church, prayer, and reading! (Scriptures)

Love ya,
        Sister Sarlls

My watch broke so I bought a frozen watch (plus digital is easier)


So I made it to the top! Phew! I was following one of the sisters and I thought she said to go a certain way so I went that way and it was a little cliff and I fell and a branch tore open my pants a lot haha but it's not an adventure until someone rips their pants! And it just happened to be me! It was super fun and gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Week dos!!!

Sister Sarlls with President and Sister Hiers, leaders of the Utah Ogden Mission

email 2014-09-16
Hello hello family and friends!

So this past week was still a lot of meeting with ward mission leaders and seeing who we can find in their ward. There are 12 wards and it takes about 45 minutes to get from one side of the valley to the other. We kind of have to plan our days according to where people live. BUT some interesting things still took place...

So we were looking through our list of people in our area book and this name pops out to me. Svetlana and Anastasia Rollo. They're a mother and daughter from Ukraine. So we read that they were about to be baptized but they felt a lot of pressure from whoever was before us. So we looked up their address to go say hello and it said "Ogden Canyon". Huh?? We have a ton of people who live up in the mountains but not in the canyon! So we drove through the canyon at like 8:45 at night. We COULD NOT find this house! We used our GPS and it said we were there and we were in the middle of the highway with forest all around us. So we just went home and decided to look for it during the day. So the next day we met up with one of the ward mission leaders and he said they moved into his ward! YAY! So we go to find their new house......WE CANNOT FIND IT. Again it was like 8:45 at night and none of the roads have street lamps so it's super dark and it's freezing and super windy. So we see this house and think it's hers so we get out to go see. There's a wire gate around the house and we opened it and it made the creepiest creaking noise. I was freaking. Out. Then as we walk through the yard I saw this black figure moving and it looked liked those things on Harry Potter that suck out your soul. I WAS SO SCARED. It turned out to be a Christmas tree though. So we walk up to the porch and we're standing there knocking and waiting for someone to answer the door and then their swing set starts swinging and creaking!!!!! I just wanted to leave! So FINALLY we go back to the car and since Sister Hadden is the driver, I have to stay out and back her out of the driveway to she doesn't hit anything. My heart was racing so fast as I was standing out in the middle of this creepy road alone. Then as I'm standing out there alone, this bear comes out of nowhere!!! so I'm like running to the car and I get in there and sister Hadden is cracking up. Apparently it was just a ginormous dog. So back to finding Svetlana and Anastasia. So we go to the house next door and ask that family if they knew about them. Apparently they moved......again. SO we tracked down their house and we were sitting in front of it in the car and someone looked through the window and we freaked out and drive away. Haha so that was our adventure in trying to find the Ukraine family! We are still looking for them so I'll keep you posted.

So we have an investigator named Josh. He is sooooo ready. He has had some serious problems with alcohol and drug addictions and checked himself into this rehab camp in the valley. So we met him there. He told us how much he's changed and how much prayer helps him. He prays all the time and has so much faith in what prayer can do. He said that since he's been meeting with us and going to church and praying every morning and every night, he's been feeling so amazing. He said it's better than any drug or alcohol could make him feel. I wish I could quote to you more things he's said. He's really amazing. So he's getting baptized on the 27th!!! But sad news....he's 23 so the missionaries over all of the northern singles wards get to finish teaching him and get to have him baptized in their area. It's good for him to be fellowshipped into a singles ward. But we are going to miss teaching him.

So I've been getting a little sick. Just a cold. So we were in relief society on Sunday and I couldn't talk very much. So this lady leans over to me and she's like "take this oil. You just put a little drop on your hand and lick it off. It makes the stuffiness and sore throat go away. It doesn't taste bad either! It taste like wassail!" I was like oh yum okay it couldn't hurt!........it did NOT taste like wassail. It was like orange and cinnamon and old people. First my tongue was burning and then I swallowed and my throat was burning! I was sitting there in relief society hacking up this stuff and it was making my eyes water and making me drool. Finally I ran out to get some water. But it was SO BAD. my throat is still burned from it haha plus it was pretty embarrassing.

So we just met this lady named Bee. She is so cute! She's like 45 and from the Philippines. We went over to teach her and she was telling us how she prays every day and knows she has a purpose in life and she knows that God sent us to her. It was the best lesson we had had yet. We were really teaching by the spirit. So we're meeting with her again next week. She is just so cool.

A lot of families here have adopted kids! It's so cool. There was this one family who had 5 adopted kids. Their house was a wreck with toys everywhere and The dishes weren't done. But I felt the spirit more in that home than anywhere I have been so far. Their family is so loving. Only the mom was there but she is just amazing. So patient and she knows how to get her kids involved in spiritual conversations. All of the siblings love each other and are
all buddies. It reminded me of our home:) it's great to have a clean home but when you take the time to teach your children the gospel and how to love one another, your home is always lovely. It's so amazing.

ELDER HOLLAND CAME TO SPEAK TO US. I can't explain to you how powerful he is. Wow. His hair is a lot more grey in person. Since it was a missionary thing we aren't supposed to talk about what is said. But it was life changing. I will never view my mission the same ever again.

One thing that's been an amazing comfort to me has been my name tag. It says my name right there next to Jesus Christ's name. Sometimes I take a deep breath and just look at my name tag. It reminds me that He is always with me. And that this is His work. I know that He is sending angels down to help me. When I worry about my teaching abilities, I just remember that I'm just the messenger and that The Spirit it teaching them. People may forget what you say, they may forget what you do, but they will never forget the way you made them feel. And they will feel The Spirit as I teach the true gospel of Jesus Christ...no matter how much I stumble.

I love you all so so much and I'm praying for you!

Hugs and kisses!
Sister Sarlls

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1st week in da field WUT UP OGDEN?!

email, 09 Sep 2014
HELLO HELLO! so much to tell y'all!!! so when we got to the field we met the mission president and his wife. THEY'RE AWESOME!
New Arrivals in the Utah Ogden Mission
we had to stay with some member families that night because the next day we met our companions and went to our areas. so i stayed with some old people with Sister Sudo. (canadian) it was like 10:30 and they came in and said "do you want some peaches and icecream?" hahaha we were like "no thanks!" and the next morning we woke up and outside our door was two bowls of peaches and icecream!!! hahaha we flushed it down the toilet because we didn't want any haha.
Sister Sarlls and Sister Hadden
So my companion's name is Sister Hadden. SHE SINGS YAY! there's a musical fireside coming up that we're singing at. she's super sweet. she's been out for 10 months! so the first four days of my mission we worked at the temple open house! which was AWESOME! so fun! and they took a video of me talking to people on my first day there and said they were going to use it for a church video about temples. GREAT! i probably look so confused. (because i was) but the Ogden Temple is GORGEOUS! and it has underground parking which is fancy. so i'm serving in a place called huntsville....what to say. We live on a dirt road with an old lady in her basement apartment (basements are so cool btw). huntsville is like in a mountain bowl. its a valley and allllllllll around you are mountains. it's beautiful. but pretty much everyone in the valley owns land and owns horses and sheep and goats. but our neighbors OWN BUFFALO AND TURKEYS!!!!! WHAT?!?! haha it's crazy!
it's a huge area and all the houses are spread out across the valley so we have a car. we are over a stake. 12 wards. and we are the only missionaries here. but everyone here is super missionary minded. It's an awesome place to live. it's hard getting around because when we ask for directions everyone says "around the east bush and then down to the Ferguson farm and a left at the sheep" and i'm like......."what?" haha it's fun though!!! Rachel would be in a dream down here! it's beautiful. and there's this GIANT lake that freezes and everyone skates on. SO COOL! Someone was talking about snow in the valley and they were like "we're expecting 8 this year" and i said "INCHES?!" and they said "no.......feet". so you could say i'm going to die here. haha i'm already freezing! 

so we are an ipad and facebook mission. but i have to get rid of all my pictures and all my statuses on facebook which is taking forever. so today we start teaching because we've been working at the temple and the elders who were here before us didn't leave us anything about who they were teaching. they just left us notes about food haha oh elders.... so we're meeting all the ward mission leaders and bishops and trying to find out what's going on. our first day here though we had 2 baptisms that we were thrown into. and one this Saturday. it's a little crazy haha they're amazing people though. this Saturday is a little 8 and 9 year old brother and sister. we were asking them the baptism questions yesterday and their understanding of the gospel is just incredible. especially the 8 year old Aurora. She just loves the church. you can already tell. Sunday was testimony meeting in church and a lot of little kids bore their testimony and it's AMAZING. all of the little kids know so much. the wards here are just so strong! so funny story....on our first day here me and Sister Hadden saw the buffalo next door and i joked with her and said "we're probably going to eat him for dinner tonight" and she didn't think it was funny and gave me a talk on God's creatures. BUT that night we had our first member meal and we ate BUFFALO TACOS! hahaha I'm sorry this letter isn't as spiritual. we haven't been teaching much so next week i'll have a lot of stuff to share:) ALSO they have a food storage isle at the grocery store haha it's awesome!!! And I'm sure you already saw on facebook...but me and my companion run in the morning and we were going along and she was ahead of me and all of a sudden a TURKEY flies out in front of me! I WAS FREAKING OUT! i ran back to the house and Sister Hadden came back and she was like "Hey i lost you back there! i couldn't find you!" and i was like "yeahhh......." haha anyways. Sister Froerer is the cutest old lady. Her house has three stories. She comes down and makes our beds and stuff haha she couldn't be cuter. sorry this is kinda a weird letter. I'm doing great! just still trying to find out what's going on here in Huntsville. I LOVE YOU ALL! You're in my prayers!

-Sister Sarlls


My mission president challenged us to memorize the definition of Christ in the bible dictionary. I've gotten the first paragraph down. It's a really cool and spiritual experience. If you want to do it too, that would be cool. :) My companion is really spiritual and amazing. I know she is going to teach me so much. I hope to be an amazing teacher like her when i'm out for 10 months. The Lord has been helping me so much. He lifts me daily and gives me the strength and the confidence to do so many things i would never be able to do. Example: i'm in charge of our cell phone and making all the phone calls. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be serving a mission. I know i am going to help so many people Come unto Christ and i can't wait for when we start teaching. I love all of you so much! i'm sorry these letters are super scattered this time. 

-Sister Sarlls XOXOXO

Bible Dictionary: Christ


Stinky Buffalo!

Monday, September 1, 2014

MTC almost over!

Sent by email, September 1st, 2014

So I leave for the field tomorrow!!!! I can't believe my time here at the MTC is almost done! It's been a BLAST! Me and all the sisters are SO close. We make jokes all the time and it's like the four of us are all companions. We got some new sisters and trained them. They're really fun! There's one companionship in there that seems a little rough, but they're working through it. My whole district is going to Ogden and Houston - and Katy is in their mission! So look out for Sister 'Ita'Aehau and Elder Visser and Elder Lee! The new district is going to Little Rock, Arkansas! I told them to look for Sister McBride. One of the new sisters is from Utah and her name is Sister Jones. She looks like Utah, its crazy! Also one of the Elders in our Zone is a SUPER nerdy gamer and computer hacker and he calls himself the computer goblin haha whatever that means. But just looking at him you can tell that he does it. So when I send you all pictures I'll have you guess who it is haha.

So our new investigator's name is Chae! She's super cool and we're really close to her and she has two little girls ages 3 and 7. So the way investigators work in the MTC is some are real, some are converts and they pretend like it's their conversion story and some are members pretending to be someone they knew on their mission. So Tracey was my teacher pretending. BTW, he committed to baptism! Yay! So we found out that Chae is a REAL investigator! YIKES! So on our first visit, she asked me to sing and told me a sounded like a Disney Princess haha (BTW, everyone calls me Sister Princess) so naturally we hit it off and then she said that she plays the ukulele!!!

Anyways, so the first three lessons with Chae were good but we didn't feel like she was progressing. She's been an investigator for 4 weeks at the MTC and gets the same lessons all the time. So for our 4th and final lesson, Me and Sister Kah sang to her "Love is Spoken Here" out of the Children's Song Book. I can't tell you how strong the Spirit was. Chae started crying and told us that she wants her daughters to grow up to be like us. So in this lesson it was the first time I had recited the first vision in a lesson. You would not believe how powerful it is! So we talked about her testimony because she's been there for so long. She told us that she knows everything is true and that she believes it all. And we were like, "Sooo, why aren't you baptized?", and she said, "I know I will be one day but in like ... 2 years." Also she lives with her boyfriend of 5 years and she said she knows that she can't get baptized with that, so we were like, "Sooo, why aren't you married?", you know what she said? "I just don't want to. I don't see the point." So of course we talked to her about eternal families. So pretty much she didn't believe in sealings and eternal families. She doesn't think any of it matters. It's the biggest concern she has with the church. This lesson was HARD. What can you say? My companion and I planned for the Restoration [lesson], not Eternal Families! But I bore her my testimony of eternal families and how that's one of the things that brought [my grandparents] Mimi and Da and the family into the church. I have NEVER bore my testimony so strongly before. I know it was the Holy Ghost helping me along. The Spirit was so thick in the room you could cut it like butter. So in the end she committed to get married to her boyfriend AND to start preparing for baptism!!! After so long being in the MTC we were the ones she needed to get past that and to be baptized!!! It's AWESOME!

So a little about the MTC ... the food is pretty good! On Sundays and Wednesdays they have BYU Creamery ice cream and it's so good! I've tasted the Graham Canyon and Raspberry Cream Cheese. They have a different soup every day so that's what I get. The best has been the tortilla soup. It tastes like Mom's! Their potato soup was as good as Panera's so it's alright.

I've had lots of opportunities to sing! I sang in the choir AND I got to sing "The Painter's Hand" for the whole MTC!!! SO COOL! I didn't cry this time though haha. I sing everywhere I go and I lead the hymns for our district and our zone. So my companion comes with me to choir and I go with her to the gym haha. She's been my personal trainer!

In the classrooms they have [one-way glass] where you can watch people on the other side teach but it just looks like a mirror to them haha. There are some AMAZING teachers here. It's so cool! My companion and I were doing role-playing and we started saying everything like Siri would say it and we were CRACKING UP! Our jokes have gotten so lame but we think they're so funny. It's sad. haha

My branch president is SO COOL! He's super down to earth and lived in Alief for a while! His name is President Brown! He has a fake leg from having polio as a child. He makes jokes and makes fun of people all the time haha. My teacher challenged us to study just one chapter out of the Book of Mormon for a whole week. It's been a really cool experience to see how much more you can find when you take the time to - and using a regular dictionary as a tool is awesome!

The Lord is helping me SOOO much! I love this Gospel and i love missionary work! and I LOVE YOU!!!!!! 

   Sister Sarlls (Princess)


  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings Love is Spoken Here (YouTube)
  • Feature film Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, cued to the story of The First Vision (YouTube)
  • The Painter's Hand by Sally DeFord Music. Solo performed by Sister Emily Sarlls at her farewell talk. (FaceBook Video [audio only])
The Painter’s hand is firm and never falters
As He shapes the living portrait of my soul
There is wisdom in each line He smooths and alters
Where I see unfinished canvas, there the Painter sees the whole
He knows the strength that grows in shadow
When I’m reaching for the light
He sees the majesty and glory
beyond my mortal sight
And though I may not understand
The artistry of heaven’s plan
I will trust the Painter’s hand unceasingly
He will make a masterpiece of me

The Painter’s hand is gentle as He renders
Every stroke of living color patiently
In shades of darkest night or brightest splendor
He reveals His grand design, and shows me what I’m meant to be

(Repeat chorus)

And when I come before Him, kneeling at His feet
I marvel at His love for one so small and incomplete
Then His spirit whispers peace to me
Restores my soul and teaches me
The wonder of my provenance and worth

(Repeat chorus)