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
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