email 17 Nov 2015
I really don't know where the time goes anymore. The weeks are going by faster and faster. I'm trying to make it go by slow and suck it all in while I can. This week marks my 15 month mark. Luckily, because Sister West has been out longer than I have, people usually focus on her. But when people ask how long we've been out, usually we both respond with, "About a year." I don't know If that's considered lying or just being optimistic. Haha
Well in other news, they made me an STL (Sister Training Leader) again, haha. Kind of random. Half-way through the transfer. But it's fun! I like being an STL. I like sharing my thoughts and opinions about things and I like coming up with ideas. They are thinking of trying me out as a "traveling STL". I wouldn't have a set companion and I would travel the mission going on exchanges with sisters and helping them with their companionship and their area. It's still just a thought but it's an interesting concept and idea! I don't exactly know how it would work. But I'll give you an update if it happens!
WE HAD SOME MIRACLES THIS WEEK! Sister West and I decided to give up one thing to help us be just a little more consecrated as missionaries. And I know that these miracles came from doing that. God is good.
So we have an investigator named Alex who has a girlfriend on a mission. He's never come to church and he keeps canceling lessons. Well on our lesson this last Wednesday, we read 2 Nephi 31 with him. In that chapter it talks about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Or the things that we need to do in this life to return back to Him. Well we asked Alex what some things were that stood out to him and he responded with, "I need to go to church." Sister West literally yelled "HALLELUJAH!" in the lesson, haha. So Sunday rolls around and Alex worked a 16 hour shift and got off work at 5 in the morning. AND STILL CAME TO CHURCH. To say we were excited is an understatement. I'm so grateful Alex was able to come to church and experience the joy that it brings.
The other miracle has to do with the musical fireside, of course. So we were counting on school being out on the 21st of December, which is a Monday, for Christmas break. Well.....apparently it's not. And now that the mission no longer has Facebook and is now half the size it was, we were all freaking out about how we're going to get people there. We feel lost and don't know where to go or where to start. We thought of posters and stuff but missionaries are poor. Here's the miracle part. There's a man in our area who works for a printing company. And he offered to provide 150 posters and 10,000 pass-along cards for the entire mission. FOR FREE. I just about cried. And then he proceeded to tell us that he had connections to get an ad in the local newspaper and possibly on the radio! AHHHHH WHAT! I could literally feel the burden being lifted from my shoulders. Again, this is God's fireside. When we do things that honor and praise Him, He will ALWAYS help it work out. ALWAYS.
Sister West and I sing everywhere we go. Every dinner appointment. Every lesson. Every door contact. It's a blast! And we sound pretty good. (If I do say so myself).
This last week I got to go on exchanges with my beloved Sister Richins. If you don't remember, she's the very Christlike one that I was in a trio with in Hooper with Sister Betzold. I'm her STL so I got to spend the day with her. I always learn a lot when I'm with her and this time I was reminded of a lesson I was taught at the very beginning of my mission. We were in a lesson with a teenage girl and we were teaching the restoration when it was Sister Richin's turn to share the First Vision (see link for short description - Ed). She messed up quite a bit on it...she said things backwards that didn't make sense at all. But as she was saying it, the girl we were teaching started crying. Then I started crying. Then Sister Richins started crying. The spirit was so thick in the room. And it testified that what Sister Richins had just shared was true. In this moment I remembered when I first came out and how I would always say, "I'm not a perfect teacher. But the spirit is." I've honestly forgotten that over time. I think because I'm older in the mission, I pressure myself into thinking that that doesn't apply to me anymore. That it's all up to me now. Like I've taken the training wheels off. It was a nice reminder that I wouldn't be able to teach at all without the spirit. No one would listen to me. But because the spirit teaches them, they listen. And they want to know more.
Feature Film depicting the First Vision experience of Joseph Smith - Ed.
I have definitely felt strengthened lately. To sum up how I feel, I feel like Alma in Alma 26:12:
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.Love you all!
- Sister Sarlls
P.S. 38 days till Christmas