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.