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)

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