Monday, March 31, 2014

Blessings don't just pass by.

Dearest Pratt Family,

To start off I have the letter I wrote from last week in the mail today. This week has been one of the most tired weeks ever. Sister T and I had so very many meetings before this next transfer and it drained me but I'm still sprinting forward! I'm not going to have this just pass on by. My mission has meant everything to me! I'm so grateful for all that our Heavenly Father has blessed me with!

On Monday I was oh so very happy to have gotten a nap in even if it was in the car with the seat leaned back! Haha. It was such a big deal for me! Sister T played Vball with District A at a park as I just slept in the car! We got cleaning done and I was so very happy and we had a great night of lessons!

Tuesday was a somewhat normal day as far as a missionary! We made lots of visits to those in our wards. Dinner was just fun with this cute family. The ages are 17-2 years old! The mother didn't have dinner ready when we arrived so I offered to help because I just love to help put things together... that's what I did back home! Just don't ask me to make it by myself! JK The mother said she got it so I didn't just want to do nothing so Sister T and I had just so much fun with the two youngest children! It was so sweet playing cars with the little boy who is 5 and his little sister who is 2! We made a car ramp and it was super awesome seeing which one went the furthest! The little girl just came up to me and gave me the cars to put down the ramp! I was singing my cute little children songs that I sang with AJ before the mission! Oh how I love preschool and Kindergarten age! As we had dinner it was so wonderful to help them get their food and talk to them about the gospel in simple terms! That evening we had a lesson with The Calls! They are just oh so very good! I'm so very blessed to know them and to help them get to the temple. Bro. Call is still doing awesome with no tobacco! Happy and then they told us that during the week they were already in bed and asleep, then they both were thinking they didn’t read their scriptures… they thought we can do it tomorrow but they both felt they needed to do it right then and there so they got up and told each other what they were thinking and they knew they needed to read their scriptures! They didn’t want to get out of that habit and so they were obedient despite of their natural man weakness of sleep. What an example they are to me in my life!

Wednesday we had exchanges so we switched companions on Tuesday evening. It just amazes me at how the spirit works with each of us. I was with Sister Hornburger. I know that we were to go to each of the homes that day at the times that I had put them into my planner. I love having the spirit guide me in this super awesome work of the Lord! We stopped by Sister Jensen’s home and it was wonderful to talk to her and her mother. To see the light in someone’s eyes that have been a bit dark for a while was so very tender to me. I could relate to her mother. We had stopped by Sabrina’s and just chatted with her. It is sad to see her drift away just after being baptized but I know that she will come back it is so very hard to have a past of abuse and it is so very hard to overcome. I’m so very grateful for the atonement that we really can be made whole. We stopped by lots of others that we hadn’t been able to get a hold of so I just felt so great! That evening we were able to attend young women’s! Super totes fun! I just love it! Of course they were doing scrapbooking such stuff and I was just in heaven! ;) There is just no time for that on the mission! It was super to meet the girls and to chat with them about all that is going on in their life and to see them smile and be so bright and cute! We were able to end exchanges and I was super happy to be back with Sister T! She is just one of a kind and I just love her with all my heart! I just want to pinch her checks! Haha.

On Thursday it was another early morning we had my last Zone Conference and I’m was able to learn oh so very much as the spirit guided President Hansen and the AP’s! AP Olsen is just so super great! He really has been like a brother to me and teaches to the needs of those around him. He knows what it means to serve with love! I just loved role playing with Sister T and I know that what the mission is doing now making the lessons shorter and more compact is a blessing! I love using the pictures and reading from the BOM! It’s the best book ever and if anyone hasn’t read it they totes should! The blessings will come and the spirit will fill your heart with a warm fuzzy feeling that is just the best thing ever!

Friday was a day of go, go yet again and with weekly planning it was crae! We had a lesson with Mackenzie and Patricia which were just super with members! Then that evening we went on exchanges because Sister T is not doing so well with the change of weather… she went to lay down and I was like maybe you should check your temp… she had a fever and I just wanted to cuddle with her and give her all my love. So I did what I know best and gave her some Advil to lower it and a cold washcloth and had her sleep. I went to the lesson we had with the Hamptons and went over their baptismal program! That was just super! When I got back home I had checked Sister T’s temp and it was down a bit all I could do was just say a prayer and sing sweet peaceful happy songs to her! Oh how I love her so very much! I don’t know why but it is so tender to kiss your companion on the forehead. I want so very much for her to be better.

The early mornings didn’t stop and the go, goodness! We had gotten up early to go over to North Salt Lake to get our hair trimmed. I was just going crae and couldn’t stand it flipping out! So sweet Meredith cut it and then Sister Beesley drove us over to Ashley’s baptism! Yep, that’s right! Ashley got baptized and oh how sweet it was to see her and her fam again! I miss her cute little smile and I just told her how much I love her! Sister Howell, Sister Cross and I did a musical number… I keep telling these people I can’t sing and yet they still want me to sing with them! Ha. So we sang How Great Thou Art I had this sweet overwhelming feeling of love and knowledge come over me knowing that He Lives! I’m so blessed to have the gospel in my life. Then to go to the General Women’s Meeting was just so very touching! Can I just say that Diana is just an amazing sister and a wonderful mother?! I love everything about her and know that cute little Caleb will be just as cute as Little Liam!

To know that as I have been here on a mission I have learned even more how to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ. I am going to be ready to go home and know who I am and know that the temple is what I want for everyone I come in contact with to have the blessing of! When President Eyring was speaking to know I have personally felt of his love and testimony. Then the thought came to me how President Hansen has always told us missionaries, there are No Empty Chairs. Oh how I love that man!

Sunday didn't stop with the go either! Haha. We had almost attended all of the wards only two missed us out of the seven! It was so very good though. One of the Bishops asked me to bare my testimony in their ward… it was so very different. Simple but with all my love! I really don’t want to leave and I know it’s going to happen but I want to stay here forever! Sister T bore hers and wow! I have one amazing companion and I’m so very blessed for her strong spirit and love! This is a song she sang…
‘I have a testimony no one can take from me. I know that if I nurture it, It will grow. I believe through study and prayer more truth will unfold. I have a testimony to share.’

I know that my life is a gift. I have been so very blessed to serve a mission here in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. May we always strengthen our testimony through study and prayer. He will answer our prayers and with General Conference I know that our Heavenly Father will answer your questions! He loves you! You are His child! I love you all and know that this week is going to be so very wonderful and happy! Blessings are just flowing over, I can see and feel them every day!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Ps. I will be having my departing interview on the 4th of April. I’m excited to go to the temple on Monday the 7th for the last time as a missionary with the eight Elders that are going home too on Wednesday! Loves!

Pic 1 Elder Clark, Kroug, Marying. I'm their grandma and I just love these little Elders!
Pic 2 Oh how lovely was the morning!

Pic 1 Ashley's baptism. With Sister Howell and Sister Cross
Pic 2 Diana came to watch the General Women's meeting with Sister T and I!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hold on and Don't give up.

Dearest Pratt Family,

I'm oh so very happy to know that all is going well with the wedding plans and all. I know it's going to be hard with the Jones family not being there but Baby Caleb knows that his mother can't fly in a plane close to his due date! I just got AP's postcard today! Love it so very much!

So this email won't be very long. We have had a super long week and Sister T and I have laughed way too much and are super tired so we are going home and taking a super long nap! Haha. This morning we were able to go to the Salt Lake City Temple! I really just love it and feel so at home there! It's not just how it looks, the colors, the chairs and how they are upholstered or the floral design or the paintings and where they are placed but the feel. I think my smile is different! Bigger maybe?! But really! Every time I go I know I'm to be there and know that we have a loving Heavenly Father to guide us. I'm so grateful for the spirit this week to help me stay focused and feeling wonderful! Sister T is just heaven sent to be my companion! Oh how I love her! She is my best friend right now and her hugs are just so sweet! She is doing her best and I am so happy to be helping her with her language and becoming the missionary and women her Father in Heaven wants her to be!

This whole week I have been holding on and it has been so very hard and yet so much fun! Teaching our Heavenly Fathers children in Centerville is where I am to be right now! No matter where we are we need to 'Hearken unto the word of God, and hold fast.' What a blessing the atonement is in our life. To know that we can press forward with a happy smile and put our faith and trust in Him! I am so very excited for these next few weeks to help others Come unto Christ! Watch this wonderful clip and feel of His love!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Monday, March 17, 2014

Another week on a mission. Blessing!

Dearest Pratt Family,

I have so many things to tell you that have happened this week about Sister T and I and our wonderful Centerville peeps! They are just so very wonderful!

I'm so very happy for the wonderful news of Anna-Marie and Drew setting their date on April 26!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is going to be just so exciting and I'm so happy for the two of them and getting all of their things moved... home won't be the same when I get home. But then I won't be either, so it will all work out!

Mom, in response to one of your letters you wrote this week, you can let President Smith know that Thursday will be just fine to meet with him when I get back. I have like 5-7 boxes that I will be mailing out between now and when I get home so just put them upstairs and I will deal with them when I get home.

Knowing that Nick is coming home this week.... I don't know what to think. I remember it was so hard seeing him and Evan leave and knowing that we are now coming home just months apart from each other. Time is just a special gift that we have and I want to put it into my hands and put it into my pocket and keep it forever but I have to move on. I don't want to leave and yet I want to see you all so very much.

Monday was a tender day of just cleaning our home and having lessons that evening. It is such a blessing to have wonderful members feeding us and feeling of their love. We are helping Brandon get back to church and his brothers are just super awesome! He is in the Young Single Adult but living at home and we are just doing Family Home Evening with his family. We talk about the atonement and the spirit and it was just perfect for him. Then we had a lesson with another family and it was so very good to teach younger children. One of the boys was looking up all the scriptures and it was so cute to know how much he wanted to listen to what we were saying.

On Tuesday we were able to do our morning exercise and such. I'm not even kidding, Sister T is just the very best and I love her for pushing me! Haha. I told her I wanted to leave and she just ignored me! Haha. It was the best! :) With all of the Relief Society Birthdays we have been having two dinners and I have been on over load with food! Haha. Sister T and I just love going and talking to the Sisters in the wards! They are just great and so very sweet! We then had our lesson with the Call Family. They just amaze me every week! What a joy it is to teach them. He has gone a week without tobacco and I'm sure it's hard but he is pushing through. He so wants to feel the spirit and we are helping him get to that point! It really is a blessing to see these families change and Come unto Christ. I feel so blessed to see them change and become what our Heavenly Father knows they can be.

Wednesday was a pleasant day. The sun was out and Sister T and I walked to our service to help paint the Huan’s home inside! It was just super great to see them work as a family and then to see Bro. Huan come home from work and work on his resume for a better job. Their goal is to get sealed in the temple in June with their children! I'm just so happy to help them get there. Then by the time we walked back home and got cleaned up it was about time for dinner. We ate with this cute older women... we call her now Grandma V! She is just the cutest thing ever and was so happy to feed us, she couldn't stop smiling! She was happy to have us tell about our family and she just made Sister T and my day. We just laughed with her so much! She told us to keep eating and it was like what?!!?! NO!!! But she was so cute that we couldn't say no! Then we went to another Relief Society Birthday dinner and it was super cute! I don't know if you remember but I think we have seen the movie before, Butterfly Circus. We just had our heads down and tried to not watch it but it is just amazing to know that we can become something so marvelous and wonderful if only we put our trust and faith in HIM that can help us! It was just perfect!

We now have Weekly Planning and District meetings on Thursday now and we are doing the lessons a bit different now. We are having them be to the point, we have to do the main lesson in 7 mins and then be done with the whole lesson in 30 mins and out the door. It is a challenge to change right at the end of my mission but I know this is what we need to do so I am helping Sister T the best that I can! She is doing super on her language and all! She is the best! We had fun at another Relief Society Birthday and then had a super lesson with the Turner Family. They are missionary minded and we know good things will come to this stake as they keep up the great work.

Friday we had a super awesome day filled with awesome blessings and such! We were able to get lots done and go out contacting. Sabrina is having some issues with some friends that are a bad influence on her. It is sad to see it but the Young Women are getting better at helping and reaching out to her right now. It is super just going out and about to visit Less Active's in the area and I know that we are making a difference in this area. We had a lesson with the Hampton Family and it was just such a joy to see the hand of the Lord provide a way to quickly stop by some other people we needed to see and they were home and we left our number and they will, we hope, call us back! The Hampton’s are just on target to be baptized and it is just amazing to see them grow as a family and share the gospel with their friends back in Wisconsin! Happy Day!

Saturday we were able to work on our Area book and look at formers and see what we can do in this area to build it up. We were able to make progress on seeing some peeps and contacting, it was a super day so we went out contacting near a bus stop and it was the best!

Sunday just came and went. It is too fun to hear mom talk about all of the Relief Society things she is doing with the Stake and to know we are having Ward Conferences too! They are just wonderful to hear of the guidance and love that our Heavenly Father has given us through our Stake Leaders. We went into the combined youth class and it was such a blessing. I sat by this young man who told me that it was his first time coming back to church in five years!!!!!!! I looked at him in his suit pants and tie and thought what got him to come back?! He said that his brother and some of the young men in his ward came by a few weeks ago and sat down with him and talked about coming back to church. So he thought why not. The lesson was perfect for him and the other youth in the room. We are planning on going to their combined bowling activity this week and hope to see him there! It is just amazing to see what our Heavenly Father can do to help us feel the spirit and come closer unto Him! Then to know that we made time to go into Primary to hear the Hampton boy give his very first talk and he's not even a member!!! He did so very well and it was all about Easter and being able to live with our Heavenly Father again! Bro Hampton wrote it with him! How amazing is that?! We had an eventful Stake correlation meeting with our Ward Mission Leader’s and it is just funny to see the men ask all of these questions and my response… we do it to be obedient! Simple as that! Ha. Dinner with the Brown's made me ask so is this what it is like for my parents to eat alone with the missionaries back home?! Haha. Different being so quiet but Bro Brown is just so wonderful and I really love the two of them! We had a super lesson with Moses and he has great friends in the apartment area! Oh how things just work out so very well! I love it!

Well this email is a bit mixed up and I hope you can still get something out of it! I am really happy for the Hampton's and she had just texted us today and said that she talked about the baptismal date and are moving it up to April the 12! What a blessing. Also Grandma P will be receiving her endowments on that same day and Hermana West just told me that she hit her 8 month mark today!!! Totes crae! To think I trained her during my 8-9 months being out!!! Time just flies by! So much happy news and I will be home with the family but I know they will be so very strong and already are. They are so blessed! Oh and one more thing just to get you excited and me even more nervous... Sister Tucker called from the mission office and told me that my departing interview will be on April 4th...... I'm so very happy and really don't want to leave this special place. But I know I will come back and keep in touch with all of these wonderful people I call my family too!

I love you lots and will pray mom will do well with all of this wedding and me coming home stress.... don't stress about me things will all work out! I know they will. Also for mom to get through the general women’s meeting and for dad to just enjoy the sweet love that is in the air and to keep mom under control! Haha. I will keep praying that Diana's health will be okay for her and baby Caleb! I hope all is well with Andrew and Carrie. I haven't had a letter from AP in a bit but I know he is busy with graduating in May and all so please let him know I love him and I hope Carrie and her students are loving it coming to a close for the school year. Oh, tell Grandma I love her and give her a sweet hug and kiss for me! I love you all!

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I know He lives!

Dearest Pratt Family,

This week has been oh so very nice and I'm happy to say that yes I am staying focused and all is well! I just love Sister T and am so very grateful that she is my companion for my last transfer! I really love Centerville and the people here even more so this week and I don't want to leave... The mountains, the Utah Mormons, the pleasant weather, the tender love that our Heavenly Father has given to me. I want to keep it forever and know that I will be able to. I was able to have so many of my prayers be answered this week and I have tried not to miss a moment of this amazing spirit that I have on my mission!

Monday was just super chill and it was great playing some volleyball with our Zone and writing some letters! I just love our Zone and all the missionaries in our mission. They are so very talented and I am in the middle of it all! I feel so very blessed.

Tuesday was a day to never forget. We were able to have a mission wide meeting with Elder M. Russell Ballard! I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to be in the second row and right in front of him! Wow, he is a powerful man, all about hard work and just have fun! He talked of a few things.
1. We are missionaries and need to know Chapter 3 in Preach My Gospel. We need to immerse ourselves in the lessons. If we have confidence in teaching the lessons then we are going to teach, find and talk to members. It needs to go from your head to your heart.
2. We need two faithful missionaries to teach. You will become fearless when you have confidence. Elder Ballard knows the doctrine so well that he is happy to share it! Treasure it up in your Heart!
3. You have to teach with understanding. Be direct and find questions. He said, 'It's no small thing to take a man out of the world into the gospel. Elder Ballard left us with a blessing and it was so sweet. At the end he said, 'You have a power within so relax. Be warm and share the great news of Jesus Christ.'

Elder Ballard brought with him Elder Marriott and he spoke to us as well! It is so wonderful and talked about what we as missionaries can do to be successful in our mission, in our job and in life. WORK & PRAY at times we have to look for opportunities to be successful. The members need to fall in love with the work!

When we had left I felt so strengthened by Elder Ballard’s spirit and loving words. He talked about those going home... when you get depressed look at a picture of Jesus Christ and then gain strength and work. How powerful that was just for me and I know that I can overcome all things. He loves us to give us what we need to continue on.

We had then left the meeting ready to do the work and change! I knew this week would not be like the rest and it wasn't. All week our day was full of people to see and lessons to teach. I knew that I wanted to do something different so we get up at 6am every morning and walk to the Stake Building down the street from us and just work out and have fun!!! Sister T and I laugh and made some crazy fun work out moves that are just the best to our Primary Mix and EFY Mix CD's

We send out a spiritual thought/ scripture every morning to Less Actives, Investigators and members we are working with. When I found the scripture I gave it to Sister T to send it off. The day went by and we had four lessons and then after dinner we had a lesson with Bro. Call and his wife who are wanting to have the lessons to get back into the swing of things with church activity. So we had our lesson and it was just how to begin teaching and letting him and his wife set some goals and getting to know him better. He told us that when he was at his counseling for his PDS that morning he went out with the rest of the guys to take a smoke and he popped in some tobacco... then his phone went off and he checked it and said it was a text from the sisters and as he read it he thought shoot, I can't have this and spit it out!!!!! I LOVE THE SPIRIT!!!! Sister T was so inspired to send that text off to him! He is just so very amazing and told us that he wants to read the Book Of Mormon again with his wife and told us that he is a return missionary. Yes he went off the path, BUT yes there is a way back! It is only through the atonement of Jesus Christ! I love Him a lot!

The rest of the week went on and I felt the love of our Heavenly Father confirm to me that what I am doing is right. I just need to continue to be patient with Him and my struggles. I can't believe I have made it all 17 months! I know I have changed and feel so very grateful to have these trials in my life that are now a super totes awesome gift that I have taken into my heart forever! The lives I've changed and the lives that have changed mine... oh how blessed I feel right now! We took a little visit to the State Capital... I didn't know when Sister T would ever be here again so we talked about how like in the Book Of Mormon the government went bad the people sinned. We need to have a strong foundation on right principles. She didn't know how we do our government so we had a history lesson! It was cute!

On Saturday we were able to go to Temple Square with the Hamptin Family that are still on date for April 26! They asked so very many questions and it was like the spirit was talking through me to help them understand the temple and families. It was the cutest thing ever when the little boy was talking about age and said, 'I'll be 17 and then I'll have one more year to go on a mission!' He's not even baptized and knows he's going to go on a mission!!! Teach them while they are young and they will be so very strong when they are older! Bearing testimony in front of the Christus was just a sweet joy to me!

I know that in the time we need His love or want to feel someone’s love he sends it in an unexpected way. Sunday evening we had our usual Stake Correlation with the Ward Mission Leader's and then dinner which was so wonderful with the Young Men's president in one of the wards. I can't remember it but we went to our lesson we had with this Samoan family and Sister T was able to talk to the dad! It was pretty awesome. Then out of nowhere he gets his guitar and plays this song. His family is Less Active so he said he can't remember it very well but started to play 'My Redeemer Lives' oh how I miss the Sunday evenings at home and dad would play his guitar and we would all sing and just enjoy our time together! I loved that tender moment Heavenly Father gave to me last night. We visited another family who is Less Active, Holly Jo. She and her daughters sing amazingly and again it was a tender moment for me to know that I love this gospel of Jesus Christ! I know that our Savior lives and guides us every day of our life. The scriptures really do help us repent so then we can feel of His peace, joy and love.

How blessed I am to be with Sister T and go to the General Women’s Meeting coming up and to go to Conference for my last time on my mission here soon! I can't wait!!! I pray for each of you every day and know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of all of our needs! Just look at the sunset tonight and know that He created it all for you and me! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Monday, March 3, 2014

Words to Ponder.

Dearest Pratt Family,

My first week in the Centerville Stake and I'm so very happy to be here! I never want it to end and yet I know it will. I have just loved serving a mission and have learned so very much I can't really explain it all! But I know when I get home things will be different and I'm just grateful for our Heavenly Fathers love and sweet feeling he gives to me and the power of prayer that we can reach out and have Him help us!

Leaving North Salt Lake was a bit hard for me but I know that each of the families I met were to be in my life at that time and forever! It was a tender joy to feel of the peace that our Heavenly Father can bring into our lives and help us be happy! Grandma and Grandpa Powell are like forever in my heart! I love and miss talking to them every night before nightly planning and in between the day!

Sister T is just the very best! She is the third of 10 and from Samoa! I am learning a new language and having language study every day now!!! Super cool! She is just what I need right now and I'm so grateful for President Hansen being so very inspired to send me to this area with Sister T! I was happy to know that Sister Cross is now in North Salt Lake and will do so very well with Sister Howell!

I will have to write you a letter today because time is very short, but it was amazing to see Sabrina be baptized on Saturday and to have taught her the last two lessons! We just put the Hampton Family on date for April 26th and we are going to put Patricia on date this week for March 22!!! I'm so very happy for all the lessons we are able to have here!

I'm jumping around and am totes super sorry but I want to get this to you now, I just found out that Joy Fabella just got baptized!!!!!!!!!! and I found out that Jacob from Woods Cross is now passing the sacrament!!!!!!!!! The family is totes super active and I almost cried in the library!!!! What a happy joy it is to see all of these miracles in my life!!! I know that each of you are being watched over and I am so very excited to let you know how the rest of this week goes! Freak, I love this work and know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth today! Loves!

Your daughter and little sister,
Sister Sarah Jane Pratt

Pic 1 my amazing District B family
Pic 2 Bountiful Zone Leader's!
Pic 3 Sister Togaga's. Best poly comp ever!!!!