email 22 September 2015
Honestly this week has just been a roller coaster! It's been rough. But I've found that the roughest times are the times that you can draw closer to your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
My new area is very opposite of what I've had in the past! Geographically, it's TINY. And all suburbs! And we're on bikes!!! I was honestly terrified, but I love it! Fall is starting here so it feels GREAT outside and we get to ride around on our cute little beach cruisers. Our bikes are pretty adorable. The first time we rode our bikes, we put on our helmets and looked at each other and went, "WE ARE SISTER MISSIONARIES!!!" It didn't feel official till now, haha. Now that I have an awkward tan line, biking shorts, and a dorky helmet, I feel initiated into the Sister Missionary club. As we were riding home the other night, I realized that everyone's sprinkler systems come on at 9 o'clock at night. I guess that gives me a little more motivation to get home exactly on time. So I'm not soaking wet, haha.
So my new companion, trainee, baby, daughter, whatever you want to call her, is Sister Brittany Manley. She's from Spring, Texas (Super cool, right?!) Shes actually called to the Brasilia, Brazil mission and she's waiting for her visa. So I'm TRYING to help her keep up her Portuguese while she's here in Utah. She's a STUD missionary. Seriously, she talks to everyone, she's comfortable teaching, she's testifies powerfully. I feel like she's pre-trained. And sometimes I feel like she's training me! She's really an amazing missionary already. I'm a proud momma. :)
We were at a dinner and they decided to take us out to a pizza place. They had a four year old boy who LOVED it there and he was cracking us up. At the end of the dinner we were joking around with him and said he could live there and eat all the pizza all the time. He goes, "No I want to eat you." And we were just thinking to ourselves, "Oh, that's creepy." And we told him, "I don't think we would taste very good." And he says, "Yes you would! Because you're so sweet!" Wow. Only a four year old could turn cannibalism into a compliment. It was hilarious! We were all cracking up and he had no clue why.
The musical fireside is THIS WEEKEND AHHHHHHH I'm kind of freaking out but I'm SO excited!!! I hope we can fill the tabernacle twice! This musical fireside feels like my baby. We had the first full dress rehearsal last Friday. Yikes. It was pretty good but I hope everything just falls into place this Saturday! The Jaggi's had the whole mission fast this last Sunday that it would all be good. I have faith that it will be. Like I've said earlier, this is God's fireside. So I know the spirit will be there no matter how it ends up going. Lives will be touched. Miracles will happen.
(Fireside promotion video. Note they all use iPads for music folders. - Ed.)
This past week, as I said, has been full of ups and downs. There were a few days where I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and done. Especially on Sunday I was feeling those things. I was sitting during the passing of the sacrament and praying. I was praying for a change. I didn't like these feelings. I didn't want to be feeling the way I was. As I was sitting there and I partook of the bread and water, I felt a literal and physical change in my heart. I can't explain it. I felt it soften. I felt it come forward. I felt my stress, my impatience, and my bitterness melt away. I will never forget this experience. I felt all of those things turn into charity. Charity for my companion, the members, missionary work, and even myself. The sacrament and the atonement heals. It changes. It transforms. This was a miracle that I needed throughout the week. I don't know what qualified me for this miracle. But I'm grateful that Heavenly Father gave it to me.
Yesterday as Sister Manley was doing her language study, I was deciding on a Mormon Message to show a family at a family home evening that night. I know all of them pretty much but I came across one that I didn't recognize the name to. It was called "The Will of God". As I was watching it, I finally recognized it. I had seen it my third week in my mission at a district meeting. I remember watching it and crying knowing that I was meant to be here on my mission. And that I shouldn't go home. Right as I was watching this video, I got an email from my sister Rachel asking if I had seen that Mormon message. I knew that that was a confirmation that we should show that message to the family that night. But as we were watching it in their home, I realized that I needed this message. Lately I've been feeling a lot like I did at the beginning of my mission. A little bit of a desire to go home and a little bit of hopelessness. As I was watching this video, I realized that I needed to be cut down. I'm being cut down at this time. But I'm becoming what Heavenly Father wants me to be. When I got home I realized that it was on the same exact day last year that my heart was changed by this video. This was a tender mercy to me. I realized how far I had come since then. I realized how much I really had already changed. Heavenly Father has been giving me so much strength lately. And it feels like undeserved strength. I don't understand why He loves me so much. But He does. I'm SO grateful.
I wanted to end this email with a scripture I have rediscovered and absolutely love.
D&C 68:6 "Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come."I read this yesterday and I gained comfort and motivation. Comfort that Jesus Christ is with me on this journey. And then when it says, "and ye shall bear record of me." That is like Him saying, "You're gonna do this! Let's do this thing!!!" Probably not what He meant, haha. But I love it! This is my favorite scripture at the moment. Let's do it! I love this gospel. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I will testify of Them whenever I can. They are real. They know us. They are aware of everything. And I have felt that abundantly this week.
I love you all!
Love, Sister Sarlls