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


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


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