Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Obedience bring blessings. Exact obedience bring exhaustion......oh yeah and miracles.

email 26 May 2015

Wow this week has been EXHAUSSSSSSTING. In a good way! It means we're working hard:). We've been trying our hardest to be EXACTLY obedient. I'm loving it! It brings so much joy into my life and I feel so much more successful in my efforts. 

I always like to start off with my funny experiences of the week. So this week we were going to dinner and we park in the driveway. And as we are walking up to the door, we notice that there are Barbie shoes EVERYWHERE. hahaha soooo interesting. We never found out why there were so many assortments of Barbie shoes scattered all over their driveway. But it was so funny! 

Another one. We get to church on Sunday and there's a guy dressed in this coat with gold trim. We started talking to him a little bit and apparently he got church and comicon mixed up. Again, he got CHURCH and COMICON mixed up. Hahahaha it was soooo funny!!! I don't really understand how you could get the two mixed up. But it happens to the best of us. 

One more funny story. We were again, going to dinner. And we get to the door and realized that it's the wrong house. And my first thought was "RUN!!!" I have no clue why. So we started running away and then the guy came out of the house and it was soooo awkward. Hahahah. We had to explain to him that we had the wrong house for dinner and that we didn't know why we ran. So funny hahaha. 

I went on my first exchange as an STL [Sister Training Leader - Ed] :) it was so much fun!!! I love being able to get to know these sisters better and see how they do missionary work. I learned so much that I could apply in my own ministry! The sisters that I'm over are seriously SUPERSTAR missionaries. I don't know why I'm their STL. Haha but I'm loving it:) 

So Sister Magsayo has to do language study and we've been playing Apples to Apples haha. It's been so fun and it's been helping her a lot! It's just embarrassing when I don't know the words she asks me about. But usually while she studies English, I practice my singing which has been feeling SOOO good! And for exercises we've been jumping on our trampoline outside every morning. We've been finding a lot of fun ways to get work done! 

Sister Betzold wrote me a song that is SO HEARTWARMING! We still keep in touch even after being separated. So much love for that girl. 

We are teaching this guy named Zack. He's 18 and he gives the most sincere and amazing prayers ever!!! He's been at a rehab camp and he's getting ready to go home. And as he's waiting to go home to Indiana, we've been teaching him. He wants to be baptized....but not till he goes back home. It's kind of a bummer for me not being able to see him be baptized. But I know there are missionaries in Indiana that are probably fasting and praying to find someone prepared. And for miracles. And I know he's going to be a tender mercy in their lives. And who knows! Maybe his family is supposed to receive the gospel, too. 

We were in Sunday school when this little boy raises his hand and, totally unrelated to the lesson, says "I know what bible means!" So his teacher was like "uhh...okay? What does it mean?" And he said "Basic Information Before Leaving Earth." He was probably 6-7. Wow! Kids are so smart. I love that part of it is Basic Information. Because we learned all of this before we came to earth! It's basic information we already know. We're just being reminded of it while we're here on earth. 

Another thing that I loved this week that someone said was that, "A scab becomes whole as you stop picking at it." Sometimes we pick at ourselves and our imperfections. Which keeps it as an imperfection, or a scab. But when we stop picking at it, it becomes whole. It heals. And it's through the atonement that our scabs are able to be healed. But the biggest part is to stop picking at it. 

Love ya lots! 
-Sister Sarlls 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

9 months and counting!

email 19 May 2015

Howdy y'all! 

This week was so good! Just an awesome week of working hard! 

First of all.....my 9 month mark is tomorrow. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!?! So Elders burn a shirt at their one year mark. But for Sisters, our halfway is 9 months. So we take a pregnancy picture! Haha I don't know why. Kind of weird! But I took mine this week:) I can honestly say that I've loved every single second of my mission thus far. Maybe I didn't in the moment......but looking back now, I'm so grateful for the moments that have brought me to change myself! Not just a temporary change, but a change for life:) 

Sister Magsayo cracks me up!!!!! She's from the Philippines and she only eats rice. Every. Single. Meal. I love rice so it's fine! But it's so funny! She carries a rice cooker with her to every area haha! She's an awesome missionary too! She's such a hard worker and has already taught me so much! 

This past week we've had a ton of success and have gotten 2 investigators on date for baptism!!! One is a boy named Cody and he's really scared of water. So we suggested to him to practice going underwater in the bathtub. But it just breaks my heart how scared he is of water! We've also been receiving a lot of referrals and we've been having a lot of lessons!

So I'm super excited to be an STL. [Sister Training Leader - Ed] :) I love all the sisters in our mission. I made these little gifts for them. I went to the gas station by our house and bought random but useful things and added a scripture to it haha it's been fun:) also our gas station sells $3 Chick-fil-a on Mondays!!! QUE GANGA!!!!! 

So I had an appointment in Salt Lake and guess what's in Salt Lake??? CHIPOTLE!!!! So I was able to go with Sister Checketts to my appointment and afterwards go to Chipotle. The bag that Chipotle gave us though, had a very inspirational story on it! I'll attach a picture of it. But I loved the message it shared about turning our weaknesses into strengths! (Ether 12:27) And making our imperfections into something beautiful! 

Our stake president shared a scripture with me the other day that I absolutely LOOOOVE. It's Alma 31:5
"And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."
I think sometimes we get stuck on the 'or anything else'. But the word of God is better than ANYTHING else we can use. An example is a home or visiting teacher who drops off a plate of cookies. Don't get me wrong, I love thoughtful gifts! But it can sometimes be an 'anything else'. If we replace sharing the word of God with treats. Or in my ministry, I've seen that it's easy to rely on my own knowledge of the gospel and it's easy to just talk at them. But that can easily be an 'anything else'. I loved this message and my goal is to get rid of all of my "anything else's" and rely fully on the spirit and the word of God! 

Last night all 45 sisters in the Utah Ogden mission came together and had a training and sleepover at the mission home!!!! SO FUN!!!!!!! We got to watch "The Errand of Angels". It's a movie about sister missionaries and it's very accurate!

Errand of Angels (2008), Trailer

Errand of Angels - The True Story

We had an awesome training from Sister Hiers about our motivation. Whether that's motivation to come on a mission, be obedient, anything. The steps up the ladder of motivation are force, fear, reward and punishment, duty, faith, love and charity. I think this can apply to anything in life. I think when I came on my mission, I kind of felt like I was motivated by duty. I knew that I needed to go because I had prayed about it and had received an answer that I needed to be here. Then once I got out here, I wanted to go home. But I was motivated first by fear to stay out. Fear of what people would say if I came home early. Then it moved to reward and punishment. I wanted to stay out because I wanted to be changed for the better and I wanted my family to receive the blessings. Then it was faith. I was out here because I knew I had something I needed to do here. I was meant to be here. I don't think I'm perfectly following God because of love and charity yet. I'm definitely getting there! I love my Heavenly Father and my savior Jesus Christ. But that's what life is all about. It's all about climbing up that ladder until we can obey all of Gods commandments because we love Him. And using Christ's atonement because we love Him. 

I'm doing great and I'm loving every second of my time here:) 

Love, Sister Sarlls 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Obscure 80's talks are actually really good

email 12 May 2015

Man this week was awesome. (As most of them are.) But this one was especially awesome because WE GOT TO SKYPE HOME!!! It was so good to see all my family and baby Madelyn??

So First things first, TRANSFERS!!! So I'm staying here in West Weber and my companion is Sister Magsayo!!! She's from the Philippines and she's just the cutest thing! She sang "Come Unto Christ" in the musical fireside. And we're both STL's this transfer. I'm super excited:) Sister Betzold is just moving right next door to Hooper (pronounced hupper). We'll be in the same zone so I'll still get to see her:) Another exciting tidbit is that Sister Smith is on a special assignment to pink wash (replace Elders with Sisters - Ed) Omicron. Which is the most ghetto area in the mission and is also the highest baptizing. They've never had sisters there. So she's been sent there to try it out! It'll be really interesting to hear from her how it's going down! 

I had one of the funniest dinners this past week!!! We were walking up to the house and we saw that there was a little boy looking out the window for us coming. He was probably 5-6. Once we came in though, he was really upset. Almost crying! And his mom later told us that he was upset because he thought LORENZO SNOW (Church President, 1898-1901, Ed.) was coming to dinner. HAHAHAHAH I was cracking up!!! Then his mom asked him who his favorite missionary was and he said "Lorenzo Snow". Hahaha how does he even know who that is at that age?! And the fact that he really wanted Lorenzo Snow to come to dinner just cracked me up. So cute! 

This last p-day our zone got to get together at the Hier's and had Family Home Evening! It was so fun to hang out and have a spiritual night with my mission family! At the end, Sister Hiers made us all pazookies!!! You put cookie dough in a little bowl and half bake it in the oven and then when it comes out you put ice cream on top. Soooo good!

So we had a MIRACLE this week!!!!! I talked this last week about a 10 year old named Destri who was getting baptized. Well it turns out that it was her dad's weekend to have her. So he was being a little stubborn with letting her come be baptized. But he finally allowed her! BUT then he didn't want her to be there on Sunday. And on Sunday is when converts are confirmed a member and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. And we couldn't get permission to do it on Saturday with her baptism. So we were just PRAYING and PRAYING that this sweet girl would be able to be confirmed on Sunday. Well 2 days passed and the dad was still saying no to letting her come Sunday. Finally it was the day of the baptism. We kept praying that things would work out according to God's will. We needed to know some information so we called Destri's mom and right when we called she said, "I was about to call you and let you know that her dad is letting her be confirmed tomorrow!" OH MY GOSH!!!!!! We just knelt down and said a prayer of thanks right then and there. Heavenly Father is so aware of his children. He will always provide a way for us to keep the commandments and to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I had a confirmation yesterday of the Holy Ghost being able to bring things to your memory. Yesterday we were teaching an 8 year old girl the Restoration and we were talking about prophets. Right when I started talking about prophets, I got a thought in my mind of how I needed to teach it. It was a little object lesson to explain prophets that I hadn't used since the very very beginning of my mission!!! I completely forgot about it!!! But the Holy Ghost knew that she needed to hear it that way to understand the role of prophets. It was such a cool and special experience! 

When I went to MLT (Mission Leadership Training), President and Sister Hiers gave us a training on pride that was sooooo good! They shared a quote from C.S. Lewis:
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”
THIS QUOTE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!! Every sin or mistake or character default we have is from pride. And pride is all about making ourselves better than others. Afterwards they sent us the talk "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson from the April 1989 conference. There are so many good things in here. One of them that I loved is that it says: "Pride says, 'If you succeed; I'm a failure.'" Wow, do I have this problem. It's so easy to put ourselves down because of others success or to feel bitter toward them because they're successful! Which is so dumb!!!!!! But the promise given right after this sentence Benson says, "If we love God, do His will, and fear His judgment more than men’s, we will have self-esteem." WOW! What a promise! But it makes so much sense. Because since I've been on my mission, my will has been more aligned with God's than ever before. And I've become more confident! Before my mission I used to be known as having low self-esteem and being un-confident. But as I've been turning my will to His, I've become more confident in my abilities and who I am as a daughter of God. I still have a lot of work to do on pride. But I know I can do it! 

I read another obscure 80's talk this week, haha, this one was by President Monson in 1988 titled "You Make a Difference". He shared a story about how ships get barnacles on them as they ship things back and forth. To get the barnacles off is a super long and hard and costly process. Unless they go to a port in freshwater. Barnacles can't live in freshwater so they die and eventually fall off. Relating this to the gospel, we each have barnacles on our ship. And it's a lot harder to get rid of our habits and sins and imperfections while we're still in saltwater, while we're still surrounding ourselves with things that keep them stuck to us. But when we go to freshwater and we are going to church, reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, and getting that spiritual help and nourishment, our imperfections and habits will die. They will fall off. We all have our favorite barnacle - our favorite sin that maybe we don't want to give up. But Jesus Christ is our freshwater to help us overcome that. He not only provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins, but he provided a way for us to have the strength to scrape those barnacles off. To make them die, so that they can never return. I want to invite all of you to find a "barnacle" in your life that you can get rid of. I'm so grateful for the strength that I receive from my Savior to change and become more like him. :) 

I love you all!!! 
Sister like-Charles-with-an-S

(Missionaries can call, Skype, or Face Time with their family twice a year, on Christmas Day and Mother's Day. Here are some pictures from the mission and from home of Sister Sarlls' Mother's Day call. - Ed

Sister Sarlls using the Mac Book camera to
see her niece, baby Madelyn, on the iPad - Ed.

Sister Sarlls & Sister Betzold shared a song with us. Here is a short clip. Sorry it's sideways :). - Ed.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Whoop! Thus it is!

email 05 May 2015

Hello hello!!!! This week has been SO GOOOOD!!!!! Ah!!! Have I mentioned how much I love being a missionary?! I'll say it again! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!! 

Something cool I found out this week: In the Ogden temple, the baptistry is painted to where it looks like you're standing in the Jordan river (like Christ was when He was baptized). It turned out that the painting they did in the baptistry was done from a photograph taken in my area! So neat! And it's beautiful!!! Everyone here is so homey and nice. I love all my farmers:) 

Sister Betzold and I have started fasting once a week for work in our area. We've already been able to see the miracles piling up! But the other day we were reading in Preach My Gospel together about diligence. It says,
"Diligence in missionary work is an expression of your love for the Lord and His work. When you are diligent, you find joy and satisfaction in your work."
I can't even begin to explain how true this is!!!!! This past week has been SO AMAZING!!! We've been having more fun than ever before! We've been having more lessons, more contacts, more joy! It's not like we weren't working hard before, but making that little effort to be extra diligent has made us so very happy in our ministry!!!
Lately, I've been having really really good personal studies in the morning. The scriptures are really funny sometimes! I just finished reading in 1 Nephi last week and the last thing he says is "And thus it is. Amen." and when I read it, I kinda thought of it as "Whoop! There it is!" Nephi is probably up there shaking his head and saying, "That's not what I meant at all, Sister Sarlls..." Haha but I love the Book of Mormon so so much! It's amazing how much it enlightens my mind and soul every single day. I love getting a full hour of studies every day. I have the chance to study Preach my Gospel, General Conference (modern day scripture), and the Book of Mormon. I love reading it all...but the days I spend studying things other than the Book of Mormon don't feel as fulfilling to me. I love the Book of Mormon so much. I've gained my own personal witness of the truthfulness of this book. I know that it is truly the word of God. It tells us in the introduction to the Book of Mormon,
"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. 
Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world..."
I testify of this promise. I have done it myself. I've seen other people do it. I know it's true and that Heavenly Father will witness to us that it's true through the feelings of the Holy Ghost. Not only once, but every time we read it. 

Sister Betzold and I have a baptism coming up this weekend. It's a 10 year old girl named Destri:) (Utah names....) She's AMAZING. I've never seen so many valiant youth than in this stake. There are multiple kids ages 8-16 that are the only people that come to church in their family. They all ride their bikes to church by themselves. Some even wake up at 4 in he morning to go do baptisms for the dead in the temple before school. Wow. That's all I can say. I am in awe of the amazing and powerful testimonies these youth are sharing every single day of their lives. They are truly living up to their baptismal covenants and standing as a witness of Christ. 

Sister Betzold is so amazing. She's such a Christlike person and I look up to her so much. She's been having some struggles lately with the possibility of moving to the Logan mission for the last 2 transfers of her mission. We were in a leadership training together yesterday and we were all talking about things we can do to help with when the mission split happens. So the end of the meeting comes and she tells me she needs to go talk to President Hiers. I go with her to talk to him and as she shakes his hand, with tears in her eyes, she said "President Hiers, I know what I want. And God knows what I want. But I want you to know, that I will go wherever He needs me to go." I saw Sister Betzold in that moment completely submit her will to God's. I have so much love for her and she's one of the most genuine people I've ever had the chance to know and love. 

I want to end my email with a poem that has touched my heart this week. 

The Touch of the Masters Hand
by Myra 'Brooks' Welch 
’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
I love this poem and the eternal perspective that it shows. It shows the love that Heavenly Father has for us to perfect us. And in return, it shows our love to Him to make that change. To take our imperfections and "tune" them into becoming more like Christ. 

Love you lots!!!
Sister Sarlls

Elder Boyd K Packer discusses "The Touch of the Master's Hand"