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:)







video

 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chickens-n-stuff

Email 07 October 2014
Good day!
So we we're at a house and we were looking at all of the chickens they had and Sister Hadden held one and it flew out of her hands and into my face! I was freaking out and they asked me if I wanted to hold one.....I told them "No I'm okay. I don't have the best past with birds. Plus have you seen the movie The Birds???" And they have never seen it. So I told them to watch it then they would understand.

I hardly remember this past week. It went by super fast! Only one person, Eden, accepted our tickets to general conference so she went with her grandma, who is a member. I'm so glad she got to go! Everyone else said no and gave us an excuse. Especially since every single talk we looked at each other and said "I WISH SO-AND-SO WAS HEARING THIS!!!" So it's a little disappointing when the thing that can clear up all their concerns and doubts is going on...and they don't watch it. So we'll just have to watch it with them!

We got a special showing of Meet the Mormons. It's seriously so good. I was crying through the whole thing. EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT. and take people to see it! It just shows that you can be yourself and be Mormon. And you can have a different lifestyle but still live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's awesome. And I met some of the people on the movie! So we literally met the Mormons. Sooo yeah.

So we have some people (Sherry) who live in the canyon but it's super far so we only really go down there when we have an appointment. But our dinner was down there so afterwards we were driving home and we decided to drop by to see how Sherry was doing. We passed her house and had to turn around and when we got there, she was JUST getting out of her car and she was crying. So we went inside and talked to her. So much crazy stuff is happening in her life but we shared with her my favorite scripture, D&C 121:7-9. And she started crying even more. If we hadn't had to turn around to go back to her house, we would've missed the opportunity to comfort those who stand in need to comfort. And it was a testimony builder to us and to Sherry that Heavenly Father knows each of us and he puts people in our path for a reason. I'm so grateful that I'm able to be a part of all of these people's amazing spiritual journeys in knowing for themselves that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today.

We got 2 new investigators. Grant is 12 and he's just the cutest thing. He has already decided he wants to be baptized so we just need to prepare him! Haha Sylvia is probably in her 40-50's. She is meeting with us because she felt bad for us hahaha (I don't know why) but that's what she said. She's still awesome and loves the lessons though. I see her testimony and faith growing already!

Transfers are in a week and Sister Hadden and I are PRAYING we don't get transferred out! We love Huntsville and want to spend our whole missions here haha

I ate some elk jerky...It's super good! We ate it in like 1 night. Whoopsies.

I love you all and pray for you all! We have a place called Wolf Creek but everyone in Utah says Wolf Crick hahaha it cracks me up. It's like an old hick man. Anyways, that's the big stuff from this week.

Love you!
Sister Sarlls

D&C 121:7-9
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. 

Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week.....something. I've lost track.

Email 30 September 2014
Hello hello!

This past week has been hard! Good! but hard. Our mission challenges us to get 20 lessons a week. And we got 21!!! Yay! It's funny how everyone tells us how much more organized we are than the Elders before us haha So some fun moments this week- I saw a baby moose! HE WAS SO CUTE! Plus I kind of look like a moose so I was going to take a picture with him but he ran away.

So far I haven't had any super gross food. It's very northern. But not gross. But last night we ate dinner at a members home and I saw this bowl and stuff and it looked like just kind of weird potato salad so I was like "okay I'll try it".......so I took one bite.....it wasn't potato salad. It was celery and apple chunks mixed around with mayonnaise. I started gagging a little bit and so I acted like I was reaching for my bag on the ground and I spit it out into a napkin. IT WAS THE GROSSEST THING OF MY LIFE.

I was calling this family to confirm our dinner appointment for the next night. And they didn't answer so I was leaving a message and in the middle of my talking, Sister Hadden lets out this HUGE BURP. It was like 3 seconds long. So I start cracking up and I tried to delete the message and start it over so and I'm like pressing all these buttons and I'm like "how do you delete it?!?!?!" And I accidentally sent the message instead....they called back and they were like "....we got your message" it was so embarrassing! It doesn't sound as bad when I type it out. But it was BAD.

So I have some new people to tell you about! Yay!

The Rowe family! She's a single mom with a 12 year old boy and twin 10 year old girls. We went to visit her to introduce ourselves and she told us that she knows it's true and has a testimony but she doesn't know if she wants to get baptized. So 4 days later we visit again and only the kids are there so we talk to them and they said "yeah we've been reading the Book of Mormon together! And we go over to our neighbors house and read every morning for 25 minutes!" These kids are soooo amazing. Wow. So then about a week later their neighbors daughter got baptized and so the Rowe kids went to it. And they came up to us and told us they wanted to get baptized! Seriously these kids are amazing!!! They told us that they felt the spirit there and they started crying at the baptism. I can just imagine him passing the sacrament and them all going on missions and telling people about when they were 10 and 12 and read the Book of Mormon for the first time. It gives me goosebumps! So the kids are all so ready...but the mom isn't. She's so busy as a real estate agent and a single mom. So we haven't gotten to teach her much. But we are inviting her to go to General Conference with us on Sunday! So I hope she says yes!

Next is Nancy. Oh Nancy. She has been meeting with missionaries forever. Like 7-8 years. She lives with members. She's in her 70's. She is a debater. She's very intellectual and loves discussion. She is stuck in her ways and kind of takes pride in it haha but the only thing keeping her from baptism is "the keys". She said she doesn't believe that our baptism is any different from other people's baptism. And then she went on to say that she doesn't believe that Mother Teresa won't go to heaven because she hasn't been baptized in the Mormon church. And we were like...."wait. Have you heard the plan of salvation?" She said " I must have been absent for class that day" we found out that all the missionaries she's met with have just had religious discussions with her. She's NEVER heard ANY of the actual lessons! So we're going to start  teaching her the real deal lessons! Religious discussions are great. But we're here to teach so that's what we're going to do! Our next lesson is tonight.

Okay last is Eden. She's 12 and as cute as can be! Her parents are less active and grandparents are fully active. She came with us to the women's conference with her grandma and little sister who's 9. And she told us she wants to go to general conference! So we're giving them tickets. She did some genealogy and was upset she couldn't go with the youth to do baptisms. So that's what she is really looking forward to! And both her parents came to church on Sunday! MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING IN HUNTSVILLE! They haven't been in 7 years. They came for all 3 hours. It made my heart smile:)

We were running everywhere this week! It was amazing! It feels good to work hard and to have no free time haha I love having every hour planned of every day. I know that Heavenly Father has prepared all of these people for us to teach. One of our ward mission leaders made this thing where we go around to all the families and give them a lesson on missionary work. Its called the "it will happen tour". D&C 82:10 "I The Lord am bound when ye do what I say....." So when we do what he says and then you WILL receive blessings. You WILL get those missionary opportunities. And you WILL have the courage to open your mouth. So we made these leather bracelets as a reminder for everyone and it's a huge hit! Everyone is wearing our bracelets! Haha

I'm doing just swell and Huntsville is awesome. We have a yak friend who we call Curly. Because he has curly hair.

I love all of you!

Love, Sister Sarlls