Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Blessings!

Dearest Pratt Family,

The Christmas Season is over for the world, but in my life it still continues on! I just love talking about Christ and how wonderfully He blesses us! So the few days before Christmas it was just so much fun making visits and giving little spiritual thoughts and such to members and less active peeps in the Stake and of course handing out cute homemade Buckeyes!!! Shoot, I love being an Ohioan with Sister Howell! On Christmas Eve we went to a nursing home to sing carols and what joy that was to sing to the older class of the world! Their spirits are just so tender at the close of their lives! There are some that I just want to cuddle and hold in my arms forever! But we had to leave and continue our visits! We ate out for dinner with a family which I thought was a bit different but I know Heavenly Father had a hand in it because I was able to see Grandma and Grandpa Lingard! I couldn't believe it! It was just a year ago Sister Yates and I were at the Lingard’s making my first phone call home on my mission!!! Tear. They mean so very much to me. After dinner, Sister Howell and I stopped by this home that has their Christmas lights go off to music... yep, I was like heck, turn on the radio and watch the cute little lights all over! It's my last Christmas and so I was going to enjoy myself, plus I know Sister Hanson would allow it... I think?! Haha. Then when we got home I wanted to cry but I just kept it all in and got into my cute polka dot leggings, put on our happy David Archuleta MoTab CD and made Buckeyes and then helped Grandma Powell wrap her Christmas gifts to her grandchildren!!! It was the best thing ever!

Christmas Day was totes packed and so much fun there was like no time to think! We had an 8 am Breakfast with the Clark Family and their neighborhood! 9 am we had another Breakfast with our Zone! and then at 10:30 am we ate the best French toast at Mama and Papa Z's with homemade syrup! You know my feelings about French toast... MY FAV! ;) Then I just couldn't wait any longer to open my Christmas gifts that were sent and placed on our door step prior to this happy, joyful, sweet, tender, merry day! I just felt so loved by all of you! Then we went to our lunch at1 pm with the Bennett Fam in the RT ward! They were wonderful and my plate was so not even filled with the yummy food! Haha. I couldn't eat another bite! Haha. They had given us presents too and they were adorbs! Then we went home to sing to Grandma and Grandpa Powell and their family upstairs and watched them open their gifts! We then went to our 4pm dinner! No more food! I'm so totes fat! But we ate the dinner anyhow! They didn't have it ready until after we were at their home so that is why we were late seeing you! But I was just so happy to see all your bright smiling faces! And the gorgeous diamond ring with my new brother-in-law!!! I'm so happy for Anna-Marie and Drew! <3 I just love you all! and it seems so unreal that the next time I see all of you will be in April! I was able to meet Sister Howell's parents and I guess I'm the first to do that but what can we say... we’re Ohio sisters! After I cried my eyes out on Sister Bair I was able to go back out and share a few more Christmas messages! So we went to Mama and Papa Adams and shared a super cute message with their family and grandchildren! It was so wonderful! But we locked our keys in the car so we had to get a ride to our next appointment! No big deal! Haha. We couldn't stay long at the Warner fam but it was so super sweet! I love their family! I just know that Heavenly Father is looking out for me.

The day after Christmas I felt like a burnt marshmallow! Haha. Fat and totes burnout! But we managed to go out and about which was super fun! On Friday we had our district meeting and the spirit was just so strong. One of the elders had said something that touched my heart and I just cried. I had to go to the bathroom and clean up... He said something about, 'our heart is willing but our body is weak.' That is where I am right now as a servant of the Lord. I know I have made it so far and have understood the Atonement a lot more but I want to be in the big fluffy cloud and the few steps that I have to do to get there seem so far out of reach... I just can barely get to one of the steps. I'm so thankful for our Savior and our Heavenly Father who provides me with understanding that where I am right now is just fine. I can always do better but I'm doing okay with the circumstances that are in front of me right now.

On Saturday for some reason we stopped by Rex and Jennifer's. I felt bad they had friends over but it was perfect and just what I needed! Rex was just talking to Sister Howell and I and Jennifer was at the dinner table with their friends who are not members who live in Sandy. When we were about ready to go I felt like I need to say goodbye to the friends but to go over to them and give them a handshake and a hug... I was like ummm, okay! As I did that the mother looked at her little girl and said, 'Show her what Santa got you!' So this little girl Olivia shows me her doll and I asked her if she had a name. She said she did and it was Kit. Oh?! I then remembered that it was an American Girl Doll! I said that she should write Santa a thank you card and told her how wonderful she was and how Kit looks just like her, blond hair and pretty freckles on her face! ;) I'm so grateful for the sweet Christmas Blessings that have come to me!

During lunch on Sunday I had opened the Ensign to read and it was just wonderful! The Good News of Repentance. I can't tell you enough but Heavenly Father loves each of us! He knows us! Tears just fill my eyes as I am able to understand a little more about our Heavenly Fathers plan for me! In Matthew 11:28 it reads, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' The song, Each Life that Touches ours for Good is so very true! My Heavenly Father has truly blessed mine and so many others! At dinner the Brother just asked us so many questions and I really had to think about them but I know that every single day I have a warm fuzzy and this family helped me laugh so very much! They said I helped them have an 'Internal woop, woop!' Hahahaha. How funny is that?!!?!

I just love you all so much and know that all will work out with the family... soon school, a wedding and baby Jones! Oh the blessings He has given to our family! Mom and Dad, just take lots of deep breaths and smile lots! Ha. Loves!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

1. We were at Rex and Jennifer's and took cute pics!
2. The FX ward we made cute Gingerbread Houses!
3. Future Sister Kathrine will be going home to CA to go to the Temple and finish preparing for her mission to the West Indies! It will be so different not having comp study with her anymore!
4. We made cookies at Rex and Jennifer's with her family! I have never seen a sugar cookie with so many fun sprinkles on it before! It was the cutest thing ever!

1. Christmas Eve, watching the lights dance to the music!
2. Opening our one Christmas present on Christmas Eve night from Grandma and Grandpa Powell!
3. Christmas day opening my presents all over the floor! Haha.
4. First Breakfast with the Clark Fam.

1. Second Christmas Breakfast with the Bountiful Zone!
2. Third Christmas Breakfast with Mama and Papa Z!
3. Lunch with the Bennett Fam!

1. Present all over! ;)
2. Christmas Dinner!
3. Best Family Ever!!!
4. Mama Bair.

1. Mama and Papa Adams! I love them!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Make a joyful sound, Merry Christmas!

Dearest Pratt Family,

I just want to let you know how very blessed I am to be serving a mission at this time in my life. I know that as I have prayed for each of you back home I have felt our Heavenly Fathers love for you! He is totes mindful of all that we are doing right now! This holiday season has been one of the most memorable for me so far, it's my last Christmas on my mission and I don't know quite how to feel. I have been so very blessed by families in our Stake that have given us opportunities to serve and bake, oh and eat the cookies too! Haha.

It has all built up to Christmas day so I won't waste time and just tell you all the fun that has been happening! On Monday Sister Z was so sweet and took us shopping and I almost cried as I hugged her! Then the sweet Cowles family who aren't members fed us for dinner and it was just a tender mercy. I have been wanting to serve and use my talents for someone and shoot I was able to! Oh so I have developed a new talent of painting nails from Sister Yates, Ash! And for Sister Cowles she Homeschools her children and needs some pampering so I said that I would love to do her nails!!! It was like we answered her prayers! It was the cutest thing ever! Then we went to Noah's lesson and taught about the Plan of Salvation... the first time I have really cried in a lesson about that because I told him and his family about Justin passing away... it is still really hard for me to think about it but I know that Justin is so very happy and  I am coping a lot better with it. Noah is so ready to be baptized and I know that he will be baptized in like January for sure!

Tuesday was a slow day but okay with visits! Wednesday was just grand! You know me and older people; I just love them so very much! We went to a nursing home in Bountiful and Sister Howell and I sang songs... I thought of Grandma Pratt, Dorothy and May, Grandma Iliff and so many others that have changed my life as a women of love and deep faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ! I wanted to cry every time we went into a room of a woman or man and I just loved them to death! I didn't want to leave... So it all had worked out, our appointment with Ashley fell so we were able to stay till dinner. We went to another part of the building and this woman was like Grandma Pratt, her memory was gone but was so excited to know that we were missionaries! She told us she was from Lehi and how she was Mormon too! It was the cutest thing ever! She repeated my name I want to say like 50 times but it didn't bother me at all! Every time I just smiled and gave her the biggest hug ever! Then her daughter and son came in and my heart just broke... she didn't know who they were. My mind went back to when Grandma Pratt came to stay with us that one Christmas when she was slipping away and I didn't want the sweet tender spirit to leave. As Sister Howell and I left we both cried not knowing if we would see those sweethearts again.

But we continued to serve that night. We went to the Giles home and oh how fun it was to tie blankets for the Children’s Hospital and I just loved being with their children! Their little boy is the cutest! When we finished the blankets Mama Giles said okay ready to make some sugar cookies?! Oh how I wanted to cry! Of course they were nothing like moms but I just love cutting them out, and eating them too! Then she said, okay let’s get the Buckeyes going! SHUT UP!!!! She is the cutest thing ever! She wanted this to be special for us and to have us feel at home! So us Ohio Sisters made some tasty Buckeyes in the great state of Utah!!!

Thursday was a bit hard but I'm dealing with myself not being able to sleep at night. But we had a Zone lunch and it was Elder Wentworth’s year mark so Sister Howell and I game him funny little gifts! He just loved it!

Friday we had our District meeting. Sister Howell and I gave a training on the importance of Personal Study and being Diligent. It was just what I needed and I felt so much of the spirit as we had studied for it throughout the week. I had been reading some of the General Conference talks and I thought back to my baptism day, August 1, 1999! Do you remember on my cake it said,’ Hold to the Rod Sarah Jane Pratt' Well I read all about it. 'Continually holding fast to the rod means that we strive to keep all of God's commandments, to have daily personal and family prayer and to study the scriptures daily... Nephi taught, we press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ until the very end of our lives.' It has really been a trial of my faith to do that. Is there any way to slow down time? The weeks are going way too fast and I still tell people I've been out for a year because I don't want to think about going home. I have so many weaknesses but I know that they have become better and I have come to know and love my Savior, Jesus Christ even more. Please pray that I can finish my mission off strong. To continue have joy despite of difficulties.

Saturday we made gingerbread houses and it's the funniest thing ever! Ha. But It was so wonderful singing with Sister Howell is the best! We then make cookies with Rex and Jennifer and I just loved being with her family and the little girls, helping them cut out the cookies and then frost and sprinkle them... I don't think I have ever seen a brightly frosted star full of sprinkles in my life! Haha.

Sunday was just so tender seeing the Christmas programs, the children singing and the choirs! I just love the joyful sound, just like in Anna-Marie and Andrews Christmas play for elementary school that one year...! I had that song memorized and sang it all the time like I was the Little Bell! Tear. So all day I was thinking of the family being home for Christmas and I felt so blessed and happy to be on my mission and feel and share this joy! The savior came to close the empty gap that is in our lives. As the choir was singing I thought to myself, 'They are like angels!' then I thought back to how many times investigators and members have told me that I'm like an angel to them. WOW, if this is what I think an angel feels and sounds like I'm so grateful for the love that my Heavenly Father has for me and others have for me to call me an Angel. I will forever sing praises to Him! I know that my Savior lives! And Sunday evening Sister Howell were able to perform at a cute little piano recital a member puts on every year for her students. Oh how I love sing and share my Saviors love to others!

I'm so very excited to see each of you on Christmas day at 5pm Utah time! My heart is full of Joy! I love you lots! Hugs and Kisses are being blown your way today from the snow covered mountains of Utah to the rainy slush flat lands of Ohio! Ha.

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Ps. For some reason this computer is not uploading my pics... sad day.

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's the most Wonderful time of the year.

Dearest Pratt Family,

I'm so very busy and there is like no time at all on Mondays to email or to write anyone but I want you to know that I love you all so very much. This week has been one of the most humbling and reassuring weeks that Heavenly Father is mindful of me and all that is going on back home with friends and family and here on my mission with each of our investigators! Can I just say that Heavenly Father loves Sister Howell and myself?!!?! All of our lessons were just perfect and meant to be not just for those we are teaching but for me. I have been getting up every morning and I'm doing better but still super weak. The snow is just cold but I know I could be colder, so I just count my blessings. So the day that stood out to me the very most was one of an answer to my prayers!

We had our mission Christmas party on Wednesday! It was the sweetest thing ever! Oh Sister Howell, myself, Sister Hansen, and Sister Lazano sang Be still my soul and Silent Night at the party!!!! It was just so wonderful! I just love seeing the missionaries and knowing how much work they are doing and having fun while doing it!

I know it may sound all messed together so I hope you can understand this email... sorry! Haha. On Friday it was the hardest finding out about Justin passing away and not knowing what to do.... but to know that I really want to let his family know of the gospel! That is my goal; their family needs it at this time of year too.

Now here is where the Lord comes into my life, well more like I recognize His hands. Being so very stressed about the work and such (we have so many to teach and I'm like on overload!) Mamma Adams was so sweet as she invited us to the Christmas concert!!! We just needed to have a LA or investigator come with us... bummer. Sister Howell loves music and all and I needed time to do nothing, my eyes were puffy and all! Well, Rex and Jennifer were going with the Ballard’s and so we could go! But we didn't have tickets so we were going to wait in the standby line.... we were about to cross the street when a man was like who needs two tickets?! Shut up! So we didn't have to sit in the standby, we were able to walk around Temple square and see all the adorb lights and I just felt so much peace in my heart! I know that our Heavenly Father loves me! It's hard to recognize it but at times I'm able to see it and I'm so very happy about that! I will write a more detailed letter today... I was able to get cleaning done this morning so we can have time today to relax and I can get my thoughts together about our lessons for this week! Sometimes we get so busy and can't find the joy that comes with this cute holiday season and cold fluffy snow and lights all a glow on the roof tops with the blessing of our Saviors birth giving us this life. We feel we have to go, go, go and really we need to just relax. Take in the joy and love of our Savior every single day and understand that He knows us! He loves us! I know that as we are able to listen to the sweet spirit we can help others feel of this warm fuzzy that we feel. We can touch their hearts with understanding of our Savior, Jesus Christ and become more like him! Just one day at a time we can accomplish this! So this week will just be the very best! Loves!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Ps. Dad, I forgot to tell you that I just loved the letter you sent to me a few weeks back with moms! You are so amazing and I'm so happy to have a fun, loving, Christlike father like you who is so tender and willing to help me/ give me the encouragement that I need! I look at my sticky note often that I have about you comparing the gospel to a diamond on your mission! I'm so very blessed and thankful for you and mom and the fam! Loves!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Email from a member

Dear Howell and Pratt families,

I would like to take just a moment to tell you about the beautiful sister missionaries we have been blessed with here in North Salt Lake, Utah.

Sister Howell and Sister Pratt have been absolute rays of sunshine since they first set foot in our home and we are so happy to have known them!

They have been teaching my son Aidan the discussions for the last couple of months and he was finally baptized tonight. It was a grand occasion.

Attached are a couple of pictures you might enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing these fine young women with us - they are wonderful!

Oh happy day... with lots of snow!

Dearest Pratt Family,

I just absolutely totes love the Christmas season filled with too much snow, happy faces, and peppy songs in my mind and complete love in my heart for my family, friends back home and in other area’s I've served here in Utah!!! I just don't want any of these feelings to go away!

Monday we were able to go on a hike in our area and I just loved it so very much! I just love looking out over the valley and seeing for miles and thinking of our Heavenly Fathers love! Also the deer are just so close and they don't run/ prance like they do back home! Haha. We were able to have our lesson with Juan and we talked about baptism and confirmation. Church is just so very important to go, to renew our promises with Heavenly Father! I know Juan will make it back to church one day and receive all the blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for him!

Tuesday was totes crae and I was so not ready for all the snow to come! We shoveled our drive and I was like, what?!!?! But it was so much fun with Gram and Gramps watching us throw snow balls! Haha. Sister Howell and I went up to SLC to practice singing with another set of Sisters for the Mission Christmas Party which is this week! Silent Night and Be Still My Soul! Totes adorbs! Then we came back and had Aiden’s lesson and it was just awesome! He was so excited to be baptized! We had 'story hour' on Baptism! When we got back home we had to shovel again.... Sister Bennett called us, we have a new investigator, Noah!!!

Wednesday we practiced again in SLC for our song again then we had a lesson with our second new investigator, Nattie! She is 15 and is a dry Mormon!!! Please pray her dad’s heart may be softened to allow her to be baptized! Did I say the snow is like crae up here in the mountains?!!?! Dinner was crazy to find but it all worked out... we had our last lesson with cute little Aiden and he totes passed his interview! Of course!

Thursday was slow but it was all good. Kathrine was able to come over for our 10 am companion study and we met with Sarah later that afternoon for our scripture study! It was like super awesome, 3 Nephi 14.

Friday was just amazing, planning and such then we made these cute visual aids for Aiden’s talk! He loves how we joint teach so we are doing the talk on baptism! The spirit was so strong and when Aiden came up out of the water, he just hugged his brother! It was so super tender! I can just see his family one day going to the temple!!!

I'll write you the rest of my stormy week of snow and tender mercies of the holiday season today and send it out tomorrow! But I have been so very much blessed and have felt your prayers!!! I just love decorating Christmas trees and if I do say so myself they all look like totes super adorbs! Really, I just feel so blessed that the other night I went upstairs and talked to Sister Powell and I just cried.... I know it's super silly but I was just filled with so much love and haven't felt that way in a while. Happy tears are the best ones! ;) Loves!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Ps. Here are some pics, The hike, Aiden's Baptism and then Sister Howell and I in the snow!

Ps. I have totes mastered the skill of French braiding!!!! I know I was totes excited!!! :D
Our little Christmas tree!
Aiden's Baptism

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Totes Thankful.

 Dearest Pratt Family,

This week has been a bit slow but just so happy filled with the holiday spirit! Monday was not our pday because of the holiday so we were just out and about. Tuesday was just wonderful! Sister Howell and I made breakfast for our district leader’s and it was just so much fun! Then we had a lesson with Sarah and her friends came over to join our scripture study so there were four young women! Oh one of them was Bishop Anderson’s daughter from WX!!! I was so happy! We had a lesson with Aiden and he is just so happy to be baptized! Then we went over to Rex and Jennifer’s home and decorated one of their Christmas trees! Oh it was the cutest thing ever! I just love decorating!

Wednesday was a wonderful day outside and so we walked down our road and visited a few homes! It was so much fun to look at the beauty of the earth and feel our Heavenly Fathers love! We had another lesson with Aiden and he is just full of cute adorbsness and knowledge! Did I say he is so happy to be baptized?!!?! Ha.

Thanksgiving was like totes amazing! Being our Pday it was great! I was doing my laundry upstairs and when I was coming down the stairs I fell... wahbam! It totes hurt and I just put ice on it and thought I would be fine.... I couldn't miss the most amazing dinners on my mission! So we went! We had two dinners. The first one was at 1:30 pm with the Vincent Family, they were past mission presidents in Australia and their family was all there and it was like a party! We then ate another dinner at 2:45 pm with President and Sister Bennet! They are just the cutest things ever! Love their family! We were able to help put a puzzle together and I so got into it! Also he makes like the best pumpkin pie ever!!! (President Bennet is the 2 counselor in the mission presidency!) We were able to go home and sit for like 5 secs. and we then went to this laser tag place and I of course went crae in the dark!!! It is just so much fun but odd! Haha. And we went go-carting too! It was completely not what I had expected to do on thanksgiving, but heck being with our zone was so much fun!!! Sister Howell was so super home sick, it's her first holiday being out and so I just hugged her as she cried and when we went back home I just cuddled her and we talked about her bf who is in Germany on his mission. I guess I don't have that issue of being home sick but I have others! Ha.

Friday was our District meeting and it was just wonderful, all about planning and Elder Bickley was led by the spirit for that meeting! Time is Love, we need to emulate the Love our Savior has for others. We then went to the Temple during lunch time because one of the sisters in our district, her friend was getting married! And we got pictures and shoot, I saw Alexis Eckel!!!! She is totes adorbs and it was such a happy day! We went to Rose's home to say hello and we were able to have some dessert! We had such a fun girls night with her mom and family that was over for a thanksgiving dinner! Rose's sister is planning on going on a mission so it was great talking to her! I just know that our family spirit is just so connected as I was able to feel of all your love on my closet door in my room that night!!!! I'm so grateful for the spirit that is able to help me continue on!

Saturday I was so not feeling well at all so Sister Hansen told me to go to Insta Care! NO!!!! It was such an eventful day.... Sister Powell took us and I felt so bad she had to wait... Sister Howell and I were going crazy.... for true, there were three people on cell phones, and one eating a sucker! Haha. I just let loose and had fun!!! haha. Just look at the pictures! Ha. So I now have like high power pain meds and I'm totes fine! ;) I think?! Ha.

Sunday was just a wonderful day of fasting and I could feel the spirit so strongly! All of the meetings were just so sweet and I know that we were to be in each of them. Sweet Brother and Sister Powell had us for a light dinner and we just had so much fun with them! Jason’s lesson was just so inspired as we knew Jason needs to know really who Jesus Christ is! He is doing CPR and is exercising his faith! We just need to be patient! We had dinner at 6pm with the Smiths.... I don't know why but at the end of our dinner we sang 'How great Thou Art' and the spirit was just so quiet and still! I felt so happy and tears just came to my eyes. I held them back but I could just feel Heavenly Fathers love. As we left their home the sunset was just amazing and I know I am being watched over here in North Salt Lake. Sister Uchtdorf gave us a hug when we saw them and then Elder Nelson was able to talk to us outside his home and thanked Sister Howell and I for our service! Tender mercies!

Just for fun Sister Howell and I had these cute Santa hats and did Christmas pictures for our Holiday cards, so here is a sneak peck! I just love you all and am so happy that you all had a super totes wonderful Thanksgiving Day! I'm so grateful for all y’all!!!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt