Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The West Weber Chicken Massacre

email 29 July 2015

I feel like almost every email I write lately starts off with us being in a parade. Well guess what? Our whole MISSION was in a parade this time! It's fun to see Pioneer Day in Utah. Because outside of Utah, it's not a thing. But it's a huge thing here and it's so much fun! So many people dressed up! There were some really intense floats, too. Later that day, we went to dinner with one of our Ward mission leaders and they asked us to make them the food we grew up with. So they bought us ingredients and I made jambalaya and Sister Magsayo made her Filipino food. I don't really know what it was haha but it was delicious! 

We were having a rough day this past week. No one was home and the people that were home weren't the nicest to us. So we went to our lesson we had at the end of the night and Heavenly Father placed a full rainbow in our path!!! It was a beautiful tender mercy. I love how Heavenly Father is so aware of us that he sends us the little things like a rainbow. 

We had a training on Wednesday about pooping on our companions. Point Out Others Positives. Hahaha it was hilarious!!!! But it was a great training and it's helped us a lot to see each other through Heavenly Father's eyes. Not only with our companions but with those around us! Sometimes I get lazy to give people compliments. A lot of times I'll think to myself "oh they look cute today!" But I won't tell them! But after that training I've decided to take every opportunity to compliment people.

I'm sorry that my email is late. It was kind of intentional though because I wanted to wait until I could tell you about the chicken killing yesterday! So people here grow everything they eat. Even the chickens! They'll get the eggs from them for a while and then they'll kill them to eat. It was kind of inhuman looking. But it was pretty cool to see the process of it! They had this little machine that you put the dead chickens in and it plucks it for you! It was so neat! The pictures are the best though. Afterwards we all had a ping pong tournament. I've never played ping pong before but I wasn't all that bad! 

There was a funny dinner this past week. Little kids are the best! As they were preparing the food, I was talking to their 4 year old granddaughter. She was a TALKER. She was telling me about everything and then all of a sudden he started whispering and said, "Can I tell you something? I haven't told anyone before. And you can't tell your friend." (Meaning sister Magsayo.) So I assured her I wouldn't say anything. And she said "I'm actually a cheetah. I just say the word cheetah and I turn into one. But no one believes me. Can I show you?" I was cracking up. Not what I was expecting. But she showed me! And she was growling and crawling all over the table. The creepy part was that she actually looked like one. It was kind of scary. And no one else saw her! I think it's because I had a believing heart so I could see her cheetah-ness. But no one else believed. That's my theory of the cheetah girl. 

Yesterday was Sister Magsayo's last Pday. Sister Magsayo has the biggest heart out of anyone I've ever met. She has such a pure soul and she's such an amazing person. She's taught me so much about missionary work and about life. I love hearing her testimony. She cries almost every single time she shares her testimony. I love hearing her share her spiritual insights with me. Lately at night we've been doing this thing where we pick a random scripture verse and we try to say where it is in the scriptures and then after we study that verse and see what we get out of it. It's actually a lot of fun! And I love seeing the difference between my insights and hers. It's so cool how personally Heavenly Father knows us and how he sends revelation to each of us at the same exact time with different insights for what we specifically need. Sister Magsayo has taught me humility. Every time she talks about one of our teaching appointments she always says WE did this. And I admire her so much for that. Whenever I do something good or right I want to be recognized for it! But she doesn't. She says it was both of us even when it was just her. She's working on coming back to the U.S. so she can go to school at BYUI. I pray that she will return home safely and that she will have a wonderful life in the Philippines. 

I leave you with her favorite scripture, and the one that kept me here on my mission when I was thinking of going home. Alma 26:27:
27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
I've been studying a lot about patience and one of my favorite quotes that I found says,
"Patience is not the ability to wait but how you act while you're waiting".
If we bear our afflictions with patience, then we will receive success. That's hard to keep in perspective. Because a lot of times what we receive as success isn't what we consider success. But it's the success that Heavenly Father wants and needs us to have. I love this scripture and I came across it at one of the hardest times in my mission. I was thinking and praying about if I should go home. I went to the temple to help me decide and I opened up to a random scripture and this was the one I turned to. I was ready to turn back. But because of this scripture I knew there was more I needed to do here. And more I needed to learn. I'm so grateful that I stayed on my mission. And I'm grateful that Heavenly Father gave me Sister Magsayo to be one of my companions. And that he trusted me enough to be her last companion. I love her to death. I know this gospel blesses lives. I know it brings to pass miracles in every circumstance. 

Have a beautiful week! 
Sister Sarlls


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Extra Terrestrial

email 21 July 2015

This last week went super fast! Wow! It was great though. We had a zone conference and it was so spiritual and very needed. For zone conference they had us make posters to help President and Sister Jaggi get to know us a little better. Kind of like a class project, which you know I love! haha And Sister Magsayo is super artistic as well so we had fun! They asked us to make a poster about who we are, how we are a Preach My Gospel missionary, and what our vision is for the rest of our mission. In the zone conference they had all of us choose a parable to study by ourselves and as a companionship. I chose to read Luke 17:11-19. And it was about the lepers and in verse 14 they were all cleansed. And in verse 19 the one that went back was made whole by his faith. And when I read that I though about how all of them were cleansed. When we repent all of us are forgiven like the ones who were cleansed. But the one with enough faith was made whole. And I want to be made whole. I think being made whole is when we have enough faith to forgive ourselves and everyone involved as well. And I don't have quite that faith yet. I've decided to work on that. Work on becoming whole and not only cleansed. 

I went on exchanges this last week and I went to A BIKING AREA!!!!!! OH. MY. GOSH. IT. WAS. SO. HARD. But it was actually a lot of fun! And I survived! You feel really successful while you're doing it. But we had the FUNNIEST lesson!!! We were teaching an old man and we were talking about doing his wife's work in the temple. And he told us, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to the extra terrestrial kingdom." We just looked at each other and we were trying SO HARD not to crack up. We tried explaining to him that it was the TERRESTRIAL kingdom and not EXTRA TERRESTRIAL. But he wouldn't believe us! He said it's where all the aliens go because they're creatures of God but not the best creatures like us humans so they go there. It was so interesting. He was pretty much telling us he was an alien. I have too many lessons about the plan of salvation and aliens. 

As I've been thinking about using the atonement to become whole, I've realized that it's something we're going to learn for our entire life. We aren't meant to understand it completely. It's like when we learned addition and subtraction. When we're older, we already understand it so we don't have to keep learning about it. But that's the whole purpose of our life is to learn. So we aren't supposed to understand the atonement fully, otherwise we wouldn't want to learn and change. I believe Heavenly Father keeps us in the dark about a lot of things so we will learn to rely on him more fully. 

I've been working on making the sabbath day more important to me. In North Ogden they have a church that has "drive through prayer". And when I think of drive through, it makes me think of something fast and not really lasting. Just for the moment. Thinking of that compared to Thanksgiving is completely opposite! Thanksgiving is an all day event where we go back for seconds and thirds all day long. I asked myself, "Is my sabbath day observance like a drive through and just for those 3 hours? Or is it like Thanksgiving where I make it last all day and go back for more?"  It's helped me be more aware of my spirituality on Sunday. 

As a lot of my friends are getting ready to leave the mission, I've realized that we aren't called to serve in a certain place. We're called to serve in place of our savior Jesus Christ. Even when we go home, we can all still be his example. We can help people around us feel His love. We can ALWAYS be His hands. I'm loving my time being a Full-Time representative of The Lord. All 11 months so far. 

Love you all! 
Sister Sarlls

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What's a Missionary's favorite car? A CONVERTIBLE!!!

email 14 July 2015

Wow this week was AMAZING!!! So many fun moments, spiritual moments, and changing moments. 

This week we were able to sing at a baptism! This 8 year old girl we taught got baptized and she asked us to sing. We didn't have an accompanist and it was the day of and an hour before and we just got back together after exchanges so we were scrambling. But guess who came to the rescue? HEAVENLY FATHER!!!!! He guided me to write an arrangement of a Baptism medley with my ukulele. We meshed the primary songs Baptism and When I Am Baptized. And it turned out really great and brought the Spirit in the baptism! 

This past Sunday we spoke and sang in a ward, sang in another, and taught primary in the last. It was an eventful day! Sister Magsayo and I tried not preparing our talks too much to see if we could go fully by the Spirit. We each came prepared with 3 scriptures and that was all. We each had to speak for 20 minutes. So we get up there and it was the most powerful talks I've ever heard come from each of us. It was an amazing feeling to have the Spirit work through us! I love Sister Magsayo's testimony. She testifies so strongly and she knows who she is and her identity as a daughter of God. It was just an amazing experience. 

Sister Jaggi gave an amazing training on the Hymns and Primary songs. It was so fun to study the power of spiritual music! We read the introduction to the hymn book. If you haven't read it, I would invite you to! It talks about what we can use hymns for and the impact it can have on us and not only in a church setting, but in our homes, too! We've made it a point to sing at every lesson and to use music to contact people.

During my interview with President Jaggi, he told me that I would be training soon. Either this transfer or next transfer. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think it would be good for me to go back to the basics, especially after sending Sister Magsayo home. We shall see what lies ahead for me! 

We had another Sister sleepover with all the sisters in our mission including the Layton sisters that got moved into our mission from the Salt Lake Mission. It was a blast! We got to play a 'get to know you' game where we picked a skittle and depending on the flavor of the skittle, we had to answer a question about ourselves coordinating with that skittle. It was awesome to hear so many embarrassing stories about everyone! Haha. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Then this morning we all went on a beautiful hike and spent time up in the mountains to do our personal studies and shared what we learned. It was very spiritual being in nature with all these beautiful Sisters and Sister Jaggi. 

One thing that the Spirit confirmed to me during a personal study this week was the importance of acting on the promptings we get from the Holy Ghost. We receive commandments from the prophet given to him through revelation. The same revelation that we receive every time the Holy Ghost speaks to us and prompts us to do something! It's like a personal commandment from God. These things aren't optional. But Heavenly Father is commanding us to act on these things. I've been trying harder to act on ALL the promptings that I get. Even if they seem insignificant or dumb. 

Okay. The last thing I want to share this week is probably the most spiritual lesson I've had on my mission. Remember when I said we found this potential investigator when I had to change my mind and decide it was going to be a good contact? Okay it's the same lady. OKAY so here's what happened. So we went to this lady's house that we met last week. She is a potential investigator and her son and husband are less active Church members. But she said she wants to respect her parents, who are Catholic, and not get baptized until they're gone. So we weren't planning on inviting her to be baptized because of that. We felt like we should talk about the Book of Mormon and Moroni's promise. So we were talking about the Spirit and we asked her what experiences she's had with feeling the Spirit. She said when her son got baptized and married in the temple and when she received a priesthood blessing. And she said, "I have these feelings, but I can't seem to make the Spirit last all the time." And the Spirit was just like, "TALK ABOUT BAPTISM!!!" So we did. We talked about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and we invited her to be baptized on August 1st. She said she really wanted to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and go to church to know for herself first. And we told her that the Spirit was so strong in the room and the less active husband was like, "Yeah. It's really strong right now I can feel it." And we were all crying it was amazing! And I've never really been good at promising specific blessings. But this time one just popped into my head!!! It was crazy! And so we promised her that as she prepared for baptism and read the Book of Mormon that her parents would be fully supportive of her decision. And so we're fasting tomorrow for it. And then her less active son came in he was like, " need to go to the temple so you can be baptized for your sister." And it was SO powerful when he said that. And the whole thing was just like AHHHHHHHH! I wish the whole world could've been there to feel what we all felt. Maybe we'll be able to watch it in heaven. But it was so good. My words can't even describe how amazing this experience was. 

The spirit has been guiding us every single step to where we should go and what we should say. I'm grateful to have a companion worthy of that spirit as well. I love this work. I love you all!

Sister Sarlls

Bonus link to Sister Sarlls singing Come Unto Christ

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Happy fourth!

email 07 July 2015

Hello family and friends! I'm starting my email early today so I can send it on time! 

Well last week I talked about our new mission president. We had a big meeting last Thursday where everyone got to meet him. It was crazy because our WHOLE MISSION could fit in a chapel with no overflow! It sure has shrunk a lot. But I love everyone who's in our mission:). They made an announcement that our whole mission will be taking a temple trip together once every quarter! I'M SO EXCITED!!! It's super different having a family attached to your mission president. They have set aside a P-Day for their family so they can all spend some time together. President Jaggi is just so jolly and he lights up the room wherever he goes. 

So on Fourth of July, guess what we did? That's right! We were in yet ANOTHER parade! This one was pretty fun because we were with all the family members of missionaries serving from the stake and we all got to carry a flag representing our state/country. They didn't have Texas so they gave me Chile. Besides, it almost looks the same. hahaha. After that we went to go do service and we sold tickets for one of the community Fourth of July parties. We hung out and played some games with some other missionaries and then we had to be in our house by 8:30. We were planning on watching fireworks from our balcony but it turned out our trees were in the way. So no fireworks this year but it's okay! It was still a very memorable Fourth of July on my mission:) 

We've been asked a lot lately what some miracles are that we've found in our days or weeks. It's actually been kind of hard. A lot of times we think of miracles as something huge. Like someone calling us on the phone begging to be baptized. But as we've been looking for these miracles, I've been able to realize them throughout the day. Little reminders that Heavenly Father cares about me. Even the little things. This past week we met a lady who is a catholic and she introduced us to the magic of DoTerra. She gave me lavender to put on the bottom of my feet before I go to bed and GUESS WHAT. I've slept so good since I've been doing that! Another is I was craving pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Kind of weird because they aren't in season at all. But I love pumpkin at any time. We went to dinner and guess what they had?! PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!!!!!! It was amazing! Then we went out knocking doors and no one was interested but the three doors we knocked we had a really good contact with them. We were able to share our testimonies. We were able to teach them. We were able to invite them to act on what we have taught. And we were able to say a prayer with them all. Even though it didn't result in anyone wanting to meet with us, we were able to help these people feel the spirit and it was a miracle for us that we had some good door contacts. It really was a miracle. 

Something I learned in our leadership training is that kindness is wanting the best for someone, but love is pushing people to become better. It was interesting to think about. A lot of times growing up I thought my parents were "pushy" or "controlling". But really they loved me. If they were kind, they would have just told me what they think I should do. But because they love me, they continue to push me to be better. So I can reach my full potential. I'm here to show people Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for them. They want us to keep progressing and to keep becoming better. There's no growth in a comfort zone. So it's time for all of us to feel a little push. A little love tap. And to grow! Allow ourselves to become who Heavenly Father needs us to be! Because we are here to be angels in people's lives, if we allow ourselves to do so. 

I'm still loving my mission! Every second of it! 
Love, Sister Sarlls 

[video gift to Sister Sarlls' baby niece, Madelyn! - Ed]

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Be Thou Humble

email 01 July 2015

So so sorry that this email is late like all my recent ones have been! I feel like they get just a little bit later every time. And finally it's on a different day. Haha

So AGAIN we were part of a parade. Hahaha. Utah is so funny about their small community parades and how they want the missionaries to be in all of them. This week we also found out that our landlady has 2 boxes of puppets! And for anyone who knows me well, they know that puppets are my weakness. They make me DIE laughing. I was laughing so hard that my abs STILL hurt. It ended up being a friendly reminder from Heavenly Father that I need to be better at working out in the mornings. 

Wow this week has been a little crazy! It's been interesting going through the mission split. I've lost a few mission buddies to the Logan mission. But it's weird because my best friends in the mission are all dying soon. Sister Magsayo goes home at the end of this transfer. And Sister Smith and Sister Betzold both go home at the end of next transfer. Then I'll be a lone wolf. But the leadership all had a dinner tonight with the Jaggi's and their family! (Pronounced yaggy). They are AWESOME!!! They're young and spunky and have an awesome family of 4 kids. Their oldest is 17. Once we got there it started to settle in that the Hiers were gone. But as they shared their testimonies with us, I had the spirit touch my heart and tell me that they are MY mission parents. Just as the Hiers were for my first 10 months. It's amazing how Heavenly Father doesn't call the qualified. But He qualifies the called. I know this transition is different for EVERYONE. But we're all working together for the same cause. To bring souls unto Jesus Christ. And it's so cool to see how all of us are just regular people. But because we are called to do this sacred work, we are all transformed into someone who is qualified. 

This week was rough but humbling. (That's how it works most of the time). We have received a lot of rejection lately. And we had a training from our district leaders about how we decide before we go somewhere whether they are going to be receptive or not. Well we were out knocking doors and we had just driven to this house. We said a prayer and were walking up to the door and I realized that I had no hope and that I had already decided that they didn't want to hear from us. And I felt soooo bad! I'm so dumb!!! So right then and there I said a prayer in my heart and repented. I told Heavenly Father how sorry I was for not having hope. I told him that I KNOW these people would be receptive. And as we opened the door, this lady let us right in. We had an amazing lesson with her and are going back next week for another one! OH MY GOSH!!! It was so amazing! When we left I told Sister Magsayo what happened. And she told me that she did the same exact thing! It was a really humbling experience to see how just changing our mindset will bring to pass miracles. We definitely gave some prayers of thanks after that experience. 

A cool insight that I had this week is about ourselves and who we are. As missionaries a lot of people ask us to tell them about ourselves. And I always say, "I sing and play the ukulele." But I realized that those are things I like to do. They're a huge part of my life. But that's not ME. That's my hobby. If I put who I am completely on singing, my whole identity could be taken away in an instant. Maybe one day I won't have a voice. Or maybe it won't be as good as it once was. When I take away my singing, will I still know who I am? What defines me? So I've been trying to think this week about some things that define me personally and not just what I like to do. As I've been doing this, I've found a sense of self worth. I've been able to see what Heavenly Father sees in me. Not that he doesn't appreciate my singing. But there's more than that. We all have so many spiritual gifts and talents that are easily missed because they can't be displayed on a stage. I want to invite all of you to ask Heavenly Father in your prayers to help you notice your spiritual gifts and talents. 

Boy, do I love missionary work and cherish every second I'm here. I love you all! 
Sister Sarlls