My oh my this last week has gone by crazy fast!!! I bet you all thought the parade phase was over. I did, too. But yesterday we got to be a part of Hooper Tomato Days parade!!! This one was probably one of the most fun because we got to hang off the side of an old fire truck the whole time!!! It was a blast! Part of me was scared that I would just fall off as we were going but I made it through the whole parade! Hooper Tomato Days is a big deal here in the Ogden area! It's one of those small community parades and rodeos but EVERYONE goes to it. It was packed. After the parade we got to walk around and proselyte to the people at the carnival. We tried on some cool hats and we met some people that were very interested and receptive. It was a fun day:)
So one of my dreams in life is to learn the banjo. And we have a bishop who bought a whole bunch of instruments for his kids hoping they will pick one up. Well, no one has picked up the banjo. So he let me borrow it and practice it!!!! It's been a blast! It's hard but I love it so much. Sister Smith and I have started making banjo noises whenever we see something super hick or country or we'll add our own banjo part to songs we listen to. It's been fun! Deedle ling ding ding ding ding.
[Emily practicing the banjo. - Ed.]
In our district meeting this past Thursday we were receiving a training when one of the elders dropped his iPad and it shattered the screen. It was a terrible event. But not as terrible as the picture an Elder took of me and Sister Smith's reaction to the fall. I don't know why he was taking pictures of us. But he just happened to capture our priceless faces. This pictures has now reached half the mission. Haha it's really a hilarious picture. Sniff and Snarls at it again.
The musical fireside stuff is going swell! It really has God's hand in it. There's no way you could take a random group of teenagers and make beautiful music. Watching the rehearsals and hearing the choir numbers strengthens my testimony that:
1. Every single missionary here has been called to the Utah Ogden mission for a reason and by inspiration, and
2. There are angels among us. I know there are angels lifting our voices so we can help the people in Ogden feel the spirit.I'm SO EXCITED for this fireside. I feel as though it's my baby that I have the responsibility to take care of it and he joy of watching it grow into its full potential. Kind of a weird thought haha but I'm loving it!
This last Saturday Sister Smith and I were able to take part in 3 baptisms. The first was Marge. She's an old lady in her 80's that I worked with in Hooper. She's lived in Utah her whole life. She's had the lessons many times. But now was her time to accept it. She tells us that when she's 90 she wants to serve a mission! She's so spunky and just the neatest lady. Her baptism was beautiful. When she came up out of the water she smiled and looked at all of us. And then she let out a big "WOOO!!!" Hahah I love her spirit and her love of baptism and of the gospel. The second baptism we got to attend was someone Sister Smith worked with in inner-city Ogden. She has had a ROUGH life. I don't know if I could be in that area. Is makes my heart weep knowing some of the things these people have to go through. But what a joyous day when they make the decision to follow the example of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! And then the last one we went to was another area's baptism that they asked us to sing "savior, redeemer of my soul" at. It was a really neat day to see all of those people be baptized. It the first step to being more like Jesus Christ.
I'm getting a little sad sending another beloved companion home. She's a hard worker though. I'm so blessed to be able to have hard working companions. Sister Smith has taught me a lot. She really has taught me how to love the Book of Mormon. Not that I didn't like it before. But her example of how she loves the Book of Mormon inspired me to feast upon it. I love the Book of Mormon. It is truly my favorite book. Whenever I would hear people say that, I thought it was cheesy. But it has changed my life. I understand my savior so much more. I have the spirit more abundantly in my life when I read it. I can't explain the joy, comfort, understanding, peace, and excitement this book brings me. And honestly, I can say all of this because of Sister Smith's example to me when we were first companions. She is very humble. She is always willing to change. She's constantly looking for how she can improve. I look up to this beautiful daughter of God so much. Her testimony strengthens mine every single day.
I'm loving every second of it here in the Utah Ogden mission.
Love, Sister Sarlls