Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm already dreaming of a white Christmas

email 24 Nov 2015

Hello hello! All is well over here in the Utah Ogden Mission! It's getting FREEZING here. I forgot how cold it could get. I keep my Benadryl in the car in case I need it but now it doesn't even matter because it's frozen. It never thaws out, haha. You know it's cold when your nose hairs freeze and when you're door is frozen shut. Even with all this frost, there is still no snow! My rule is it shouldn't be this cold without snow.

Okay time for the embarrassing moments of the week. The musical fireside is coming up so we've been advertising EVERYWHERE. So we were in a Ward Council meeting and I was really excited talking about it and I was like, "It's non-congregational! Everyone is welcome!" They all looked really confused and said, "So how does that work? Do you just walk around listening?" Well ... I meant to say non-denominational. So they imagined there not being a congregation and just walking around listening to the music, haha. I just meant that all faiths and religions are welcome! So now that ward thinks I'm a little wonky.

Another embarrassing moment. Sister West and I go to a community center gym every morning to exercise. Sister West has been acting like my personal trainer. She's teaching me how to do all these fancy work out things. Well she was teaching me how to do squats with weights. I was facing away from everyone else in the gym so I couldn't see people looking at me. All of a sudden, while doing squats, I hear this popping sound. I didn't think much of it till my pants felt a little looser. I realized I had just RIPPED MY PANTS RIGHT OPEN. And like I said, I was facing the other way. And I'm pretty sure the noise echoed, hahaha. One of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Let's just say I'm buying new pants today.

We've had some exciting things happen this last week! We got to go to the Temple with our recent convert, Luis. Then right after we went to the family history center so he could find some family names!


This last week we get a call from a girl named Dani. She called us and said, "I want to go to church with you this Sunday." WHAAAAAAAT. So we set up someone to give her a ride to church and we met her on Sunday. She is so prepared by Heavenly Father to hear and accept the gospel at this time. As she was talking to us and as we were teaching her, I could literally feel in my heart how much love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for her. The next day she went to a job interview and we asked her how it went. She said, "Well if I accepted the job then I wouldn't have any time to meet with you. So I turned it down because I really want to learn." OH MY GOSH. Seriously. When the scriptures talk about the elect, Dani is it. She's going to be baptized in December. It's going to be a white Christmas! (Like baptism clothes. Get it?)

This week we've talked to a lot of the people we're working with about the feelings of the Spirit. A realization that I made this week is that the most important feeling of the Spirit is peace. The Spirit can come in lots of different forms and feelings. But Satan can replicate excitement. He can replicate happiness. He can replicate laughter. He can replicate a lot of things. But he will never ever be able to replicate the feeling of peace and comfort. Whenever I feel peace and comfort, I know without a doubt that it's from my Heavenly Father. And I get those feelings in this gospel. When I go to church. When I read the Book of Mormon. The peace that comes into my heart is overwhelming. Look for those moments of peace and comfort in your life. Of course the other feelings can still be from God. We can still get answers through other feelings. But I know that peace and comfort is always 100% from our Heavenly Father.

Sister West and I were able to give a training to our zone the other day. We started off by showing the Mormon Message "Look Not Behind Thee":

New Year's: Look Not behind Thee

We then read the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's in Alma 23. They were a blood-thirsty people until they learned about God and wanted to become righteous. So in Alma 23:7 it says:
"For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren."
I know there are things that we all do that fight against God or our Brethren. Maybe not in big ways. But we all do it. So as a zone, we made cardboard swords and wrote down some things we wanted to give up and bury. Then we all went into the backyard and dug a hole and literally buried our "weapons of rebellion." It was super fun! And it was a really spiritual experience to commit together to be even more obedient and even more consecrated. It brought our zone close together and we're all trying our best to not dig up our swords but to keep hem buried. I want to take this practice with me when I go home, too. I want to continually bury my swords little by little.

Well I'm doing great here! The gospel is true. Heavenly Father is real and listens to us and our hearts, our thoughts, our desires, and our needs. He is aware of each one of us individually. And I know Jesus Christ is there for us to strengthen us and heal us through everything. Big and small things. I love you!

(Bonus video to prepare for Christmas! - Ed.)

Love, Sister Sarlls (31 days till Christmas!)

P.S. Y'all, I made gumbo for the first time by my self and it tastes EXACTLY LIKE IT! I DIDN'T EVEN BURN THINGS!

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