Monday, January 27, 2014

Eyes and Ears of Faith are needed.

Dearest Pratt Family,

This week has been one of the most eye opening weeks of my mission. We have had lots of lessons and contacts this week and I feel like I'm just following Sister Howells lead and I have been just observing and learning from her and others around me as I am trying to hold myself together, with this week I have been given some kind of added strength and determination beyond my own and I know that our Heavenly Fathers hands have lifted me this week to see all of these miracles!

So let me just start with our dinner Monday night with President Eyring! He is totes adorbs and normal! His son is in our stake and lives right down the road. His wife has wanted to feed us and finally things were able to work out and when we got to their home she told us that her husband’s parents will be coming to dinner.... Shut up! My mouth dropped and I was freaking out inside. Haha. I'm sure you could imagine what that was like! Well... (my camera broke this past week, the lens will not open anymore.) Sister Howell left her camera at home so we were like forget the car, and just ran down the road and got her camera and ran back up. By the time we got to the door I could see President Eyring in the window! He is just so full of love and sweetness, he was so very happy to be with his family. The little grandchildren were running all over and we were helping with the table and food. Sister Howell and I just sat and ate our dinner as the family caught up on life and what not! Just seeing them together brought me joy and I just smiled like really big the whole time! We then had FHE with them and he gave us some advice from the Lord for one of our investigators, Dana. I know that this is the Lords work and when we put our faith and trust in Him, He will lead us the way we need to go! I will never forget that evening and seeing him love his wife so very much and feeling so very calm like being in the temple. All of my worries and stresses went away for a brief moment while he shook my hand and told me that he loves me and thanked me for serving a mission!

The week has already gone by so very quickly and I wanted it to slow down for a bit but Tuesday we were on the go and we were able to stop by the Thomas family and visit with them. One day they will be baptized! Ha. We had our lesson with Noah and he is doing so very well!

Wednesday was just as busy as the day before! It is really amazing to go to Linda's who is less active and just had a knee replacement and is working on getting it back into shape. She taught me that short hour we were with her! Two of her grandchildren are on their missions and she is doing so very well coming back. She told me something that just hit me really hard, 'The world is so filled with bad things that you are not aware of right now with not watching the news and such. You (Howell and I) have come out here to do the Lords work. Your focus right now is to gain a strong testimony. You have got to be strong enough to concur the world when you go home.' I just haven't thought how my eyes have blinders on and I can't see everything that is going on right now. But I know the Lord is preparing me to come home with a strong testimony! We were able to make some visits and our dinner was great as always! We had a lesson with Triston and I just want to take him home with me, out of his dirty home and tv watching not so good shows... he is only eight and we are reading the BOM stories with him and he loves it! Then we taught Dana and she is still super excited to be baptized!!!

Thursday we had interviews with President Hansen and it was so good to talk to him. I just love him! Ps. I have only 1 1/2 transfers left..... my heart fell as Presz told me about what I need to do before I go home... it hurts a bit to think about it, it's too soon. So he told me that I need to tell myself that I don't go home til May 1st and I need to sprint the whole way! That is what I am going to have to do. I need to pick it up and work extra hard, I was so very overwhelmed and after lunch at Nielson's with the other Sisters in our district, I had to lay down for a bit but when I got up I felt like we needed to leave super soon. So we did and we saw future Sister Heart (Her family came from New Jersey and are not members) outside and Howell drove up to their home... She asked us if we needed any H2O and I was like sure what the heck! And then she said that she was sorry for not getting back with us and if we could just set up an appointment?!!?! Shut up!!!!! We went inside her home and chatted for a bit and have a return appointment!!!!! YEAH!!! New investigator!!!! ;) We were late to our scripture reading with Miss Sarah, but it all worked out super well! Then we were able to visit the McKinlay family and set up a return appointment with them to help their daughter get ready for baptism later in the year! Then we went to Rex and Jennifer's! They just make my evenings and will for true come to church one of these days!!! We stopped by Bro. Beesley's and I just love him and his wife and family! He is just helping us so very much with hastening the work in our Stake! He said something that hit me, 'Proactive is taking responsibility of our actions' I need to do this a bit more so we are working with the ward mission leader's more and I'm working harder to find the ONE!

Friday our distract meeting went well. I just really need to remember to stay on top of it, sorry for rambling but I'm working on it! Saturday was just heaven sent and I know that I am so very loved by all of you my family and friends, where ever they may be! So I had received mom's letter Friday after our meeting and package of the card! But it was so very tender and mom you just know what to say to make me smile and cry! I'm so very grateful you and dad were in tuned to the spirit this past week to send me that little card, 'Close your eyes and imagine my arms around you. Just a note to tell you I Love You!' Tears came down my face that night as I read that and realized who made that card... me, in 2003 for dad. Who would have thought I would need that in my life right now but our loving Heavenly Father. I feel so very blessed with all of these experiences and to know that on Saturday we went to the Stake Relief Society Fireside with some of the women in the FX ward and Linda came too! As it started I knew right then and there why we came! Everything, like I mean totes word for word what mom wrote in my letter Friday was said again at the fireside! Oh how He loves us and wants the very best for us!

Sunday came and the week just went way too fast. Sister Howell and I met with the Stake Prez and that was again another tender moment that I needed to hear. He is just so very inspired, just like Prez. Hill in WC!!! I feel my days lessening and I still tell members and everyone that I've been out for a year! Haha. As we went to the ward meetings I felt so inspired to go to those wards and the spirit was so very strong! In one of the Relief Society classes we talked about Elder Bednar's talk at conference. I got so much more out of it then tithing! 'Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, He may increase our resolve and resilience.' This is my life. I have asked for things and have received so very different but now, my eyes have been opened and I have been blessed and guided by the Lord more than I can express in words. I don't know why I haven't noticed all of this beforehand but I know I'm at a new level now of being a missionary. I have been observing way more and have been adding so very much to my brain that I want to remember it all but I know that when the time comes I will remember and feel at peace knowing I am doing my best to serve Him. I really hope this all makes sense. I LOVE YOU!!!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Monday, January 20, 2014

Miracle number 5,670!

Dearest Pratt Family,

I just want you to know that this week has been so very difficult but I have seen so many blessings that they overlook the dark gray cloud that seem to never go away in my mind. I have been so blessed to be a servant of our Lord, Jesus Christ here in North Salt Lake, UT!

On Monday it was quite amazing to know that Sister Howell and I will be together for another six weeks in the area and to continue to work with all of our wonderful people! Our whole district has a new comp but us! Pretty fun, huh?!!?! We taught Noah that evening about the Ten Commandments and I just love doing it! He is so super cute!

Tuesday was quite the learning day for me. Sister Howell and I have different viewpoints on some things and I tried to talk them out but it was like totes no bueno.... I'm just grateful for inspired Elders that came by to drop off some dish soap! Yep that's right we needed some and they had it for a few weeks and now just brought it by. It was meant to be. I didn't have the spirit with me and I just was so very lost and felt like a fool! The Elders were able to leave with a prayer and then I went up to ask Grandpa Powell for a blessing (also for Howell too. She needed one real bad!) So it was a tender moment and I'm just so very grateful for our Heavenly Fathers guidance. We had dinner that night and the sweet sister told us that she could feel the spirit and she knew that we were united. I'm so very grateful that it was shown to her and her family!

So with transfers we had like a district lunch at Joy Luck and it was so very good! We have super wonderful missionaries in our area!!! After that I had to go home and take a nap... I have been feeling so very tired and just exhausted. We went to dinner that night and I just felt our Heavenly Fathers love for me and our family. There was something about this family and for some reason tears were just filling my eyes. They started to talk about James E. Faust and I was like hold up you're related to him? Me too! They shared stories from Oak City Days and pictures of him! Oh how I just love our family and felt them nearby! We left and I just cried in the car on the way to our next appointment with Dana which was just awesome! We taught Lesson 2 and the spirit was so very strong. I had found new scriptures to share from that morning’s personal study and I felt so very successful along with Howell! Dana wants this and really wants it for her family too but going to the U and her family not very supportive will be a bit hard but she is so very strong!!!

Thursday was another down day so we just planned. Dinner was with the Smart Family and they are just super wonderful! We were able to help their little daughter to share the gospel. She said she is shy and so it's hard but we got her excited and I could just feel the spirit so strongly! Can I say I just love teaching young children! Their spirits are just so very close to our Fathers and they are so willing to learn and improve! The song, I'm trying to be like Jesus, we start when we are young and then we never stop. It is this continuous process that at times may be hard because of our Pride and yet so very Humbling because of our willingness to let go of ourselves and do what He has asked of us!

Friday, we had our Zone meeting and we just have so many wonderful new missionaries in it that have like only been out for 3-5months. I'm totes the old grandma! Haha. They call me Mama Pratt! Haha. Sister Howell and I just packed our lunch and then went to our lesson with Dana. We taught Lesson 3 and again it was just amazing!!! I love her so very much and she is progressing like totes super fast we don't know what to think! Feb. 15 will come sooner than I think! When we were about to end the lessons I had asked her if she would say the prayer... she did it for the first time!!! Yeah!!!! it was so sweet and tender! We had planning and that went really well for this coming week! Then we had our first lesson with Sister Cowle! It is so very amazing to see a less active willing to come back to church and learn the gospel again!

Saturday, I wanted to fast so very badly because I felt like that is what I needed to do for some of our investigators and for some reason it was just not right! I tried and I don't know if I'm getting something or what but my stomach was like not feeling well at all. Plus I have not been able to sleep at all and I have asked some RM's in the area what I need to do... I really hate it so if you could please pray that I can sleep well at night?! But, it was so good to cuddle with Sister Howell. It's hard to be sick and help your compion feel happy too so I had to put myself aside and just love Sister Howell as I read her happy scriptures. I'm so happy for sweet Sisters that gave me some advice and I received a blessing from my DL and I know that the atonement is real! Our Savior Jesus Christ knows what we are each going through. He knows how we feel. I need to just be very patient with this trial that I have.

Sunday came so very fast and the blessings just came our way to see people we needed to and to have lessons! So many are praying for us and I can totes feel them and know that my Savior loves and knows me! I just need to remember that I need to seek Him for help and knowing the choices I need to make/ do! Everything seems to be working out for my and Sister Howells good! I may have a bad bark cloud over me but to know that the Atonement is so very real. The Holy Ghost has come into my heart and told me that all is going to be okay for these next few months! Miracles happen every single day and I know that my eyes have been opened even more to recognize them in my life! I love you all so very much and miss you lots! Continue to have a smile on your face and know that He Loves You!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Monday, January 13, 2014

Learn. Grow. Transfer. Stay!

Dearest Pratt Family,

This week has been a week of learning and growing! For some reason I wasn't feeling the best so I had been home for a few days. But it was so very needed and I had a great talk with the big guy up high!

So I'm so sorry about Monday's email. But the temple was just amazing and I'm so very blessed to be able to go every now and then! The spirit was so sweet and I was able to learn so very much! When went shopping and what not and I was able to see Heather and Grandma P!!!! What a happy time that was to sit where Ash and I would have studies and feel of her sweet spirit! Tear. Then we were just go go after that we went blowing with the Zone and that was fun but I'm not going to lie... I have to just stay away from the 'worldly things' it got me so out of it and I didn't like the feeling at all. We had dinner with the Warner family and it was so very good. Too bad we could stay afterwards and chat for a bit but we had our lesson with Juan. We talked about the 10 commandments and Pres. Clark was so wonderful at using PMG and we were able to find a concern Juan has, tithing. For some reason I told him how I am able to be here on a mission which I have never shared before and he knows he needs to do it but financially it won't work out but I know that with faith the Lord will provide a way for him to make ends meet! Noah is totes progressing and we had Lesson 3 and he is just so stinkn' cute! He is on date to be baptized in April! It's a bit far out but I'm sure it will all work out with his family not being members and all.

On Tuesday was Zone Conference! Can I just say that President Hansen is such an amazing wonderful inspired man! I just knew that all would be okay with transfers... I'm here in NSL for a reason and I really do love the people so very much! It's all about becoming Better. This is what I have been trying my very hardest to do every single day. I'm so blessed to have a friend who has told me this like every week and I know I need to study a bit more in the morning but I'm so excited about the new SOE goals we have for the mission, it's so very true, we need to be happy every day so why have goals that we can't reach?! Start small and then improve every day, week, month, transfer. -President Hansen

Faith to act is so very hard but when you do it you see all the blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for us! And they are so very special and wonderful and totes adorbs, all tied up in a little bow! Ha. ;) Oh how very blessed I am to have this sweet mission experience to learn and grow! I want to stay here forever!

On Wednesday I was not feeling well and so I stayed home. Sister Howell was able to go out and Sister Holbrook wasn't feeling great either so we just cuddled all day! Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you and be hugged! Is that a bad feeling? Well little did I know Sister Holbrook needed me more than I needed her. I'm so grateful our Heavenly Father cares so very much about us to send us wonderful people to cuddle with! Ha. The spirit is just so wonderful to know that as we ask inspired questions we can find the real problem/and answer to help others around us!

Thursday I still wasn't feeling well but I got up anyhow and went out for the day. Sister Howell practiced singing for Sunday with Sister Hawlks! It sounds just amazing.. so super tender! Then lunch with Sister Moffat and her girls was just so wonderful! She is the sweetest thing ever. Then I was so happy to stop by the Cowel Fam. For true, she is totes going to come back to church, I just know it! Her son even told her not to have a cup of coffee in front of us! It was so sweet! Three times in white! Then to have our scripture study with Miss Sarah was so wonderful! The spirit just touched my heart. I had read 3 Nephi 17 before but that day was totes different. In verse 10 I thought, How would that be to have that much gratitude toward someone to bathe a person’s feet in your tears? Then in verse 15, to hear our Saviors voice. I know that if we live our lives in a righteousness way we can too hear Him! PTL! Dinner with the Davis Fam was wonderful. I just love having dinner with members who have missionaries out, they are so happy about doing the work and know what it means to love the work! Then we visited Rex and Jennifer... it was like having an FHE with them. We played 'primary songs charades', it was just the best! I'm so very happy that they have come this far to let us share a few things about the gospel to them. Their hearts are being opened little by little!

Friday, Sister Howell practiced her song again for Sunday and it was wonderful to assist her in singing it better! Oh how I just love music so very much! I'm so grateful for our fams talent of the ear of music! We had weekly planning and it was so super good! We have like our days full so I just am praying that this week will be better than last and I can keep smiling and my chin up! Dinner with the sweet Bennett fam in the RT ward is just so cute! She made us these little bracelets and one of the boys told me that he wants to be my friend! Haha. It was totes cute! It was like when I was back home Anna-Marie and I would have so many friends, little boys under the age of seven! Haha. I just loved my job being a nanny!

Saturday was a day of visiting referrals! It was so super fun to have an RM, Bro. Brown, come out with us. He just got home on Monday and shoot he is so great! I totes want to be like that when I get home! I just love this work! It was a bit sad and funny to have a man shut the door in our face! Haha. Sad for him but for us, our testimony is still super strong! I felt so happy and successful to update the area book and make cute little reminders in the binder... I didn't know how was getting transferred so I was just being prepared, plus it was a healthy way to help me relive my stress... you know me and craft projects! ;)

Sunday was so perfect! I was so happy to get up and get everything ready for the day and our lessons! Stake Correlation was really good and I know the work is moving forward in this Stake! We went to the FX ward and Sister Beesley and her daughter sang, Where can I turn for Peace? and I thought about that... I have so many places, in a warm hug, in our home, in the scriptures, in a member’s home teaching a lesson about our Savior, Jesus Christ. It hit me that I need to focus on those places more and in my life! When Sister Howell sang, Abide with Me, I thought what an amazing experience it is to know that so many of the members if not all the people that were in that sacrament meeting have had the feeling of our Heavenly Father abiding with them at one point in their life. Totes warm fuzzy! Then we were in the HL ward and the spirit of two missionaries going out into the field in ten days was so exciting. I have learned so very much! It was just amazing to know that Sister Cowles was at church!!!! It was so sweet siting by her in the Sunday School class and in RS! She is coming along! Then by the time we ended church and talked to the bishops it was dinner time... It was really fun! Then we had a lesson with Dana, our new investigator in the Clark's home! It was like I wasn't even talking and lesson just flowed as Sister Howell and I took turns teaching and bearing testimony and having the Clark's share their thoughts... it felt just so good. Then Sister Howell invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She then asked her if she would prepare herself to be baptized on February 15th, she said yes! There was a pause and then Dana and her friend Mackenzie cried and they were embarrassed! It was a tender moment like, 'oh my word I'm doing this' and 'oh my word my best friend is accepting the gospel!!!' Heavenly Father has trusted me to teach Dana and I fell so very blessed!

So I guess Heavenly Father still trust me to be in North Salt Lake and I'm just so happy to serve the Lord!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Ps. Mom, I got my flu shoot... hope that's okay?! Haha. Oh and stay like super warm!