Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Great Divide

email 23 June 2015

Golly gee. This week has been sooo much fun! But first the announcement on transfers is (drumroll)............WE ARE BOTH STAYING!!!!! I'm soooo excited! Finally I have a companion other than Sister Hadden for longer than a transfer!!! Also I adore Sister Magsayo. She cracks me up daily. Sister Betzold is training for her last 2 transfers. She's super excited and I know she'll do great!

Okay. Fun facts about West Warren. They have a day devoted to mosquitos. MOSQUITOS. It's a huge deal, too! They have a "Mosquito Queen" and they have a 5K and a rodeo and a parade and games. We went to the dinner and we were honored to take a picture with the queen! But the Saturday part was soooo much fun! We ran a 5K (my first one ever) in 40 minutes! It was super tiring and we took a break to feed some goats. But it was worth it! There was a breakfast after. We went home to go change and as we were driving back we accidentally got put in the parade. Someone motioned for me to drive in front of them. Little did I know that I was in the parade line!!! So we just drove around waving and I heard someone say, "It's not a parade without the missionaries!" Hahahaha. Only in Utah!!! Then we were helping with face painting. It was really interesting haha all these little kids came up and said, "I want a red, pink, and turquoise dolphin with sparkles." huh??? I'm just a missionary! But Heavenly Father guided my hands because I was able to paint everything I was asked to do! Haha. Tender mercy!

 



















Another funny moment. We were in church on Sunday and this little girl came up to us and pointing at herself said, "I have vanilla ice cream skin," and pointing at Sister Magsayo, "You have chocolate ice cream skin," and pointing at me, "You're cookies and cream." I was really confused. Because I'm unmistakably white. Hahaha. But then she pointed at all my cookies (freckles). I love the minds of little children. Haha.

This past week we had 3 testimony meetings for the mission to go to as the mission is getting ready to split next week. (One meeting for the northern half, then one for the southern half, then one for all of the departing missionaries.) The whole mission presidency shared their testimonies and it was so amazing. It
was really emotional. But I love them all so much and I feel so blessed to know them. Sister Betzold, Sister Smith, and I were able to sing a trio of "Savior, Redeemer Of My Soul" for these three meetings. [video link here - Ed] I'm obsessed with this song and it bring the spirit so strongly. We did good on the first two performances! But on Sunday was the real departure for the Hiers. We all lost it. We were all crying and could hardly sing. But I felt the spirit stronger in that performance than any other time before that. As we sang, "Never can I repay thee, Lord," that's when I started crying. I was singing up there with my two best friends. For the most Christlike people I've ever met. In the happiest moment of my life. I can never repay my Heavenly Father for the amazing moments I've had on my mission.



We received a book called, "A Heart Like His". It's a book about these women's experience with trying to have a heart more like Jesus Christ. They conducted an experiment where they are always thinking of the condition of their heart. Whether it's warm, open, and forward. Or if it's cold, shriveled, and hidden away. And as they do that, try to take opportunities to open up our hearts. It's not supposed to take any more time than needed. So no deliveries of gifts. No extra visits to people. But opportunities that come up in your regular day. We were challenged to try it as well.

I had a really special experience with this on Sunday. After the departing testimony meeting, everyone was mingling. And I saw a sister that I knew who was still in the mission...but I was exhausted, I just went to sit behind the piano. But then I had a thought pop into my mind saying, "Where is your heart?" I knew where it was. It was cold and shriveled and hidden away. I felt guilty. But I knew that was an opportunity to open my heart. So I got up and went to go talk to this sister. It turns out she actually had to go home a couple of weeks earlier for anxiety and I had no idea. She was having a really hard time being home. It was a really humbling experience. Because it's so much easier to be selfish and to keep to myself. But I know she needed to talk to someone about the struggles she was having. And I'm grateful Heavenly Father gave me the opportunity to practice opening up my heart just a little bit wider. It's hard to notice and take these opportunities! But I know it blesses our lives and the lives around us as we take them. As we take a little step to become more like our Savior.

Lastly, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!! There's a quote that says, "It should have great meaning that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that could be given him, God himself, he who is the highest of all, chose to be addressed simply as Father." That alone tells us how sacred of a calling being a father is. I'm grateful for my earthly father and my Heavenly Father. And I'm grateful for all that they both provide for me. Happy Father's Day!

Love,
Sister Sarlls















We had a contest for the Best Companionship Unity video and we won with this one!!!!!!
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Our other video also won an award.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fainting, Falling, Slipping, and Sliding

email 16 June 2015

WOOOOO! 

I told you miracles were coming and GUESS WHAT? They came! This week has been awesome and so exhausting! I've had a lot of spiritual insights and I just want to tell the world about them! So I guess this is a start. :) 

First I want to start with the fun moments of this week! Well something ALWAYS happens right after I send my email. We went to a lesson and they weren't answering the door so we went to the back (it's not creepy here) and they were tending their farm animals. They have the CUTEST baby goats I've ever seen in my life!!! They're so little and fuzzy. And then they said "wanna see something cool?" Uhhh sure. So they proceed to yell at them and THE GOATS JUST FALL OVER!!! Just like that! They get scared and fall over! It was cracking me up!!! 
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Then the next day we went to district meeting and if we back out, our companions have to stand outside the car and back me. And I hated doing it so I just park sideways even if it takes up 3 spots because no ones using it. It's called missionary parking. Anyways, apparently that was one of the Elders' spots. So they got me back pretty good...you'll see in the picture.
















Sister Magsayo and I have been trying to write random songs about random things on the spot. I wrote one about my bouncy ball with the 5 chords I know on the guitar. It's not half bad!












Our landlords came back from their vacation and brought us these hilarious hats!!! Mine is a moose and sister magsayo has a raccoon. It's funny because we actually look like the hats we got. 

Today's p-day was SO much fun!!! We woke up at 5 to go on a hike in South Ogden and it was GORGEOUS!!! It felt amazing outside and there was a river all the way down the trail and we got to climb rocks and it was just the best adventure ever! Along the way we found these spiders they have in the Philippines that are called fighting spiders. They don't bite humans at all but if you put them together then they bite each other and fight to the death!!! It's so interesting but really cool to watch....from afar. I fell on a lot of the rocks in the river because they're wet. And can I just say my zone has the most Christlike Elders in the world? They helped all of us across and a lot of Elders would feel awkward since we're sisters but I'm so glad that they saw an opportunity to help us and took it! Later today we had a slip n' slide! That was even MORE fun!!! We bought a tarp and put it from the top of a hill to the bottom and put soap on it and sprayed a hose and sliiiiiiiid on down. Boy, was it fun!!! 
 


 













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I saw this painting the other day that I absolutely love. It's a painting of Christ's feet in water. And the title of the painting is "Come Follow Me". The cool part about this painting is that it could be two different things. It could be when Christ is walking on the water and He's telling Peter to come and follow Him out on the water. Or it could be Christ walking into the waters of baptism and we're supposed to follow His example of being baptized. I've been studying a lot about how one of Christ's names is the Living Water. There's a lot of interaction between Christ and water. And it's cool to think about how Christ is water. When we are baptized we literally take Him upon ourselves. When we take the sacrament. We are internalizing Christ and His loving sacrifice. Even when you think of how humans are made of 80% water. I don't think that's a coincidence. I think Heavenly Father made us in such a way that we can see physically, as well as spiritually, that we are all born with the light of Christ within us. 

I've been looking at all these families around me lately. And I've been seeing a connection to our homes and the creation of the earth. When people first get married there's a lot of matter unorganized. There's wedding presents, stuff from college, all your stuff from your old room. And you have to figure out a way to organize both of your things and create your "world". Then you bring people into your world! They grow up in the home and have good and bad experiences. But the most important part, is to make sure our "world" has Jesus Christ as our savior. This is the most important part of Heavenly Father's plan for us. So that we may be able to change. That we may be able to become better. We need to make sure that He is the center of our plan of happiness in our own little "world" as well. 

I know this letter is super late. But I'm kind of glad because tonight we had ANOTHER MIRACLE!!! Last week we found 2 solid investigators and tonight we found 1! I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father is patient with me. I think he counts on my stubborn though. He knows I'm going to be stubborn about some things so He plans around it. The work is really picking up here and it's exciting to see people who have truly been prepared by God to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ! There's nothing happier in this world! 

There's going to be a lot of pictures! Love ya lots! 
-Sister Sarlls

Bonus: Video of Sisters Sarlls, Smith, and Betzold singing at the farewell to President and Sister Hiers. Harmony arrangement by Sister Sarlls!






 








Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blessings are coming...I promise!

email 09 June 2015

Goodness gracious. This past week was just really exhausting. There were a lot of prayers said. And with that, a lot of answers to my prayers! God is good. There was a lot of time spent on my knees. For family. For friends. For my companion. For the music fireside. For my area. For myself. A lot of time has been spent looking up music for the musical fireside coming up!!! But I'm getting soooo excited!!! Sister Betzold and I have been praying about what the theme should be for the fireside. We had a theme in mind and we both prayed about it and asked for a confirmation that it was the right theme. I went on exchanges and the sister I was with shared a video that was EXACTLY what we had chosen as a theme. That was a direct answer to our prayers that we were on track with what Heavenly Father wants! It was really cool during the last one seeing all these miracles happen. And now I'm experiencing it myself as we're working on putting it together. It's really amazing to see God lead us to every single little detail of the musical fireside that is being put together. It really is HIS work that we're doing. 

I received a priesthood blessing this week from President Bailey and it was amazing. It was very needed. I just want to say how grateful I am for the Priesthood in my life. 


This week we went with Zack and a group of missionaries to sing and bring food to people at a homeless shelter. It was amazing!!! I love all those people there. They're really genuine and full of love. It was so much fun bringing the spirit to the people there through music. They asked a lot of questions about the church we were with. Not EVERYONE in Utah knows about the LDS church!!! I bet that's how it is for other missions. I have to admit, it's kind of nice!!! They get to create their own opinions and views instead of just going off the people around them. It was amazing to see the kindness these people have. We took some pictures but EVERY SINGLE PICTURE is like terrrrrrrible hahaha so many bad pictures. But still good memories:) 

Today we had a water balloon fight with 500 water balloons. It was a blast! But 500 water balloons goes a lot faster than you would think haha 

This past week we had a wonderful training about giving our all to Heavenly Father. They mentioned how Heavenly Father has everything. He owns it all. The only thing He doesn't own is our heart and our mind...unless we give it to Him. That was a really interesting concept for me to think about. It really hard to give those to Him. But that's the ultimate test of this life! I'm determined to more fully give Him my heart and my mind for the rest of my life. The reason why missionaries are so happy and why everyone loves their mission is because we're so close to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! I want this feeling for the rest of my life.

It's interesting to think about what life would be like without the atonement. No progression. No change. We don't really realize how much we actually use the atonement. I think of all the times when I was little and would get mad and knock over a chair. And then when I got older and I didn't do that anymore. I didn't get angry much. And I stopped being so cr

azy with knocking over chairs. It's odd to think about but that was the atonement!!! That was me changing to become more like Jesus Christ. There's always ways that people change to become less like Jesus Christ, though. But I still think, in a way, that's using the atonement. Because we all have our weaknesses. But we need those weaknesses to become strong. To become more like Jesus Christ. There are so many things I have to improve on. We all have our faults. But as we understand more of our worth, then it becomes easier.

Speaking of worth, I read a conference talk from 1989 about being worthy. We all feel unworthy. But part of the word worthy is worth. What is our worth? Who are we? We are all children of God. Think about that. We are literal spirit children of Heavenly Father. We are destined to be like Him. How great is our worth! I know none of us are exempt from feeling unworthy at some point. But I know that we are worthy for every single blessing that Heavenly Father has in store for us. 

  





We're still working on finding more people to teach. No takers at the moment. But there will be!!! Because we're doing everything we need to be.  And that's all we can do. That's all He asks of us! So blessings are on their way. 

Love you lots! 
Sister Sarlls 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Firsts and Lasts

email 02 June 2015

This week has had a lot of ups and downs! 

This week started off with one of our investigators named Zack. He's AWESOME. He's from Indiana and he's amazing at guitar. So every time we have a lesson I bring my hymn book and I play my ukulele while he plays his guitar and we all sing together for the opening and closing hymn! It's so fun:) Well, we went with him to a rest home to sing to the residents there! It was so much fun but we had a crazy experience there! All the ladies were getting their nails done so they asked if we could go to the memory unit. We were like "Sure! They'll love it!" And I sing a lot of older jazz music so I was thinking maybe they'll enjoy that and remember it! Not so. We walk in and all the ladies have dementia. This one lady comes in and starts asking us, "Who authorized this and how long is it going to take?" We told her God authorized it. She didn't like that answer. Hahaha. Then this OTHER lady comes out starts yelling at us to get out of her house. The nurses were trying to calm her down and get her back to her room. But she wouldn't have it! She kept clapping her hands in our face to, "Get a move on"! And Sister Magsayo tried convincing her that we're all patients there. hahahah. She didn't like that either. So the nurses said, "Let's go get you ready for bed." So the lady said, "Okay", AND STARTED TAKING OFF HER SHIRT!!!!! Zack was just like looking around and freaking out and we were all nervously laughing. Hahaha. We had NO clue what to do! Finally they had us leave so she could go to bed. Then we went back in to sing. So we were singing and in the middle of the song she comes back out and starts yelling at the nurses! I was scared but then she went back in her room. But then she came out again.....WITH. HER. CANE!!! She was going after the nurse!!! So we all ran out of the room with the nurse. And the doors lock so they can't go out of the unit. So the lady pulled up a chair next to the door and sat there with her cane waiting for the nurse to come back in. It was soooo crazy. hahaha. Those are very patient people who work there. This was a first for me and I'm hoping it's a last, too!

As crazy as it was, that experience was an up to the week, haha. We've been trying so so so hard to find people this week. Finding isn't the most fun. But it can either be a huge Up or a huge Down. This week had a lot of both. We started off by getting a referral for some Elders in our mission. This teenager told them he wants to be baptized and he lives in our area!!! That is a GINORMOUS miracle!!! So we go and try to find his house and it literally does not exist!!! We spent 2 hours trying to find it. Nothing. We were thinking maybe it was just a phony referral. Sometimes people don't want to say no to the missionaries so they just give false information. The next day we went on splits with a sister from that ward and told her about it and SHE KNEW WHO HE WAS AND WHERE HE LIVED!!! Miraaaaacccllllleeeee. Well we get there and it turns out that he goes to church with his grandma who lives there. But he actually lives in inner-city Ogden. So we have to turn the referral over to the Elders where he lives. Even if he goes to church in our stake. So we are kinda bummed that we can't teach him. And we had just prayed for someone to teach in our area. It's taking a lot of faith for us to still see this as a miracle. Even if we don't reap the fruits of this miracle. We know the elders that will teach him are praying just as much as we are and are working just as hard to find people to teach. We know blessings and miracles are coming our way! But it's definitely been trying my faith. 

We've had a lot of leadership training this past week. It's been amazing and very needed! I love my calling as a STL (Sister Training Leader) but we're supposed to have our area as an example for them. And sometimes I ask myself, "How can I help them when my area isn't succeeding a lot?" But we had a training that really struck my heart. We were reading the story in Mark 6 when it talks about Christ feeding the 5,000 with the loaves and the fishes. We talked about how the apostles first asked if they should go buy something. Kind of sarcastically. Like, "Well, what do you want us to do? Go buy a million dollars worth of bread?" And Christ asked them how much they had. And then He took all they had and provided the rest. And that really struck me a lot. That all Christ is asking of me is to give it my all. To work my hardest. To provide what I have available. And then He will provide the miracle. When they shared that I really needed to hear it. It was right after we had found out that the boy wasn't in our area. I was feeling discouraged. And that was a direct answer to my prayers that I was doing what I needed to do. But Christ needs my efforts (or my loaves and fishes) to make the miracle happen. He couldn't have done it if they hadn't provided all that they had. And that's what I'm here to do! 

We also had our last interview with President Hiers this past week. It was a very very good interview!!! We had talked about how much I've changed on my mission. We were looking over the past 9 months together and he told me that I'm not the same person that came into the mission. I'm forever grateful to President Hiers for not letting me go home. Even at the times that I wanted to. It was a really spiritual experience having him tell me what he sees in me. And we talked about my future a little bit. In the near future, Sister Betzold and I are in charge of the next musical fireside! Boy, am I excited! We're already starting to throw around ideas for a theme. I don't know if we can beat the last one. But we'll try! 

Like I said, this past week has been a roller coaster. But I'm so grateful for this opportunity to lean even more on my Savior. My chin is up! And miracles are in the near future! I can feel it in my bones! ;) 

Love y'all! 
Sister Sarlls