Monday, January 27, 2014

Email 1/27/14

We had an amazing interviews and a Q&A with President Packard. It was truly inspiring and exactly what I needed. :)  I wanted to share with you an experience that I had that night after we got home and the next morning. 
As Sister Roy and I finished our daily planning with a prayer, we once again knelt in the same worn out places across from each other with the the look of...we're going to turn a new leaf. I paused and said, "You know what? Interviews really gives you a new love and appreciation for your companion doesn't it?" She looked at me an shook her head in agreement. :)

I started to look over the training that Elder Fish asked me to do for District meeting the next day and it was on- Weekly Planning, Daily Planning and Accountability.... How was I going to do a training on something that we all have heard about so many times- it's leaking out our ears. Ok.... then I took a moment to ponder the things my mission president had shared with us about the way to pray.  I started praying specifically for each of the members by name and words can't describe but I felt. A flood of ideas came to my mind faster then I could write down! :D I was so filled with excitement. I looked at the clock with only a minute left to get ready for bed!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Time fly's when your having fun. ;)
The spirit was so strong at the meeting and I don't think it was exactly what everyone was expecting but I feel like I gave a fresh view. Which I feel everyone plus myself needed. It was the best feeling! I love teaching and getting people excited :)

I am still working to make all my prayers as good as that one. :)

                                              Me in front of Luisa May Alcott's home!

The door we went through to start the tour that led to the kitchen.... no cameras past this point! ><

They don't allow pictures of the inside but 
I bought the post cards with some pictures that I will send home :)

Gift shop

Some cool button necklaces that I want to try making when I get home :) 
(Erin) don't show this to the other Aaron from your band or he might pass out! haha! 
Yeah, I remember the random stuff ;P

Afterwards we went to a museum 

Where we found this...haha! ^^

One of the Lamps that Paul Revere saw! 

Then this way cool picture that was drawn with super awesomeness... 3D looking ;)  

Me with this super pretty amazing craftsman made mini jewelry box!
 Try saying that 10 times over really fast! haha! ;P

OH NO I TOUCHED IT! haha! ^^

Me by the Museum sign :)

and that's all she wrote :)

Love you all a million cool artifacts! 
Sister Patterson
Sarah <3

Monday, January 20, 2014

Email 1/20/14

Our area is booming and our Sacrament meeting yesterday was just chocked full of less active's and none members! It brought me to tears to think of how Sister Roy and I have been working so hard and to see those you have spent so much time thinking and praying about finally partaking of the blessings of worship and separating themselves from their worldly stresses "that so easily beset them".
I felt tears of joy come to my eyes as we sang a hymn. I can't remember which one it was but the words spoke so tenderly to my heart.
I want to thank the Lord for this blessed opportunity to serve him with every ounce of my being and even though there are times when my heart may ache, He is always there to hold me in his warm arms and tell me that everything is going to be ok and reminds me of the many Joys I have felt and will feel from bringing others to him so that they may partake of the Love I have been able to feel in my life.

Presidents Letter I wanted to share with you

Dear Elders and Sisters,

During interviews and in private conversations we have had with you, some of you have expressed that the stress you feel makes it harder for you to enjoy the work or to feel good about what you are doing. Some of the hardest working and most obedient missionaries feel this way. This is heartbreaking for us. We want you to be busy, to be pushing as hard as you can to get as much done as possible and to be exhausted when you get home, but we do not want you to feel pressured or to be stressed out. Missionary work is hard, but it should be joyful.

It seems to us that the stress is not caused by the work, but by us and the way we see ourselves. We all desperately want the Lord to be pleased with our offerings. Moreover, none of us want to wait until judgment day to find out whether or not God was pleased with our efforts. So, we look for ways to learn whether we are “good missionaries.” If we are concerned that we are not “good” or at least, not “good enough,” then we feel stress. This feeling is compounded by the reality that we can always do better. All of us can think of a number of important ways in which we can improve, and as our imperfections nag at us, we feel stress that perhaps we are not living up to God’s expectations of us, or at least to the expectations we have of ourselves.

To relieve this stress, we look for ways to determine that we are, in fact, acceptable missionaries. Unfortunately, we sometimes evaluate whether our service is acceptable to the Lord by using worldly measures of success. It is really hard to avoid doing this, and some of the best people who have ever lived have fallen into this trap. Consider the case of Moroni, who was feeling considerable anxiety about his calling to finalize the Plates of Mormon. In this fascinating dialogue between Moroni and the Savior, we can feel Moroni’s anguish as well as the source of some of his concerns:

“And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them. Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words. (Ether 12: 23-25).

In this passage, Moroni was trying to do two things to determine whether his work would be acceptable to the Lord. First, he was measuring what others (the Gentiles) would think, and he seemed to be determining his own success by what these people thought of him. He seemed to be asking, “If the Gentiles do not appreciate my words, then how can my work be acceptable to the Lord? After all, I am writing to the Gentiles.” Second, Moroni was comparing himself to another servant of God – the brother of Jared. Moroni seemed to be concerned (dare we say stressed out) because someone else was more talented than he was at doing his assignment. Moroni seemed to be asking, “If the Brother of Jared’s writing is so much better than mine, then how can my efforts be acceptable?”

Interestingly, the Lord did not engage in Moroni’s invitation to base His approval on what others thought or on how Moroni compared to others. Rather, He answered what Moroni should have been asking – whether the Lord was happy with Moroni’s work. The Lord responded:

“And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness. And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted…” (Ether 12: 26-29).

In essence, the Lord was saying that He required Moroni’s heart. God was going to magnify Moroni if he approached the work with humility and meekness. Moroni needed to be reminded that he was not really doing his own work, but that it was the Lord’s work and that the Lord was going to do the heavy lifting. So, it did not really matter whether the Gentiles mocked or whether the Brother Jared was naturally more gifted; God was pleased with Moroni as long as Moroni acknowledged his own weaknesses and relied on Christ’s grace, which will always be sufficient for the meek.

The same is true for us. As we avoid comparing ourselves to others, becoming preoccupied with what others think of us, or using any other worldly measure of success, we will free ourselves from much of the stress that can accompany this work. Once we truly internalize that Christ’s grace is sufficient for the meek, then we can become as comforted and as confident as Moroni ultimately became. When that happens, we will not be stressed out by the work, for we will know that we are the Lord’s and He is more than capable of doing His work even with – especially with – his young, humble missionaries serving as His collective mouthpiece.



These are from Sister Roy's Camera :)

Sister Roy :)

What I had to drive in on Sat! but it was very pretty :)


We are about to head over to Concord near Belmont Temple we are going to see some museum  and hopefully Luisa May Alcott's home (Little Woman author). I will take lots of pictures! :)
Love you all so much and I will send some cold weather over your way to cool you off ;) haha! ^^

Love you a Million Pictures ^^

Sister Patterson

Monday, January 13, 2014

Email 1/13/14

Sister Roy and I are doing so well and feel so blessed to be so busy :) Even though we have days where we look at each other in silence as we kneel down to pray, our hair in shambles, eyes red from tears and laughter (looking like two burnt holes in a blanket). We look at each other, smile with a sigh of relief for another day that we know was truly God guided.
I heard a part of a conference talk in the car as we were driving that really hit me, it said something about how this is truly a divine calling and that we don't truly understand/comprehend the things/talents that are enhanced for this time that we need it on our Mission. So we need to take a step back and appreciate them now and have thankfulness in your heart for a loving and merciful God that gives you every opportunity to help build up his kingdom.

President Packard's letter to us :

Dear Elders and Sisters,

When I served as a bishop in Texas, I issued a call to a woman to serve as the new Relief Society president. We will call her Susan. She was quite insecure about leading an organization where so many of the women were mothers and grandmothers because she had never been a wife or a mother. After assuring her that the Lord and I both had confidence in her, I asked her to submit recommendations for counselors. After almost two weeks, Susan came to my office in tears saying something like this:

“Bishop, I am no good at this revelation thing. I simply do not receive the type of spiritual feelings and promptings that I hear you and others testify about during fast and testimony meeting. When people talk about their own spiritual experiences, I believe them, but I do not have these kinds of experiences myself. I never have. If I can’t even discover who the Lord wants as my counselors, how can I ever do this calling? Maybe I am not worthy of those kinds of spiritual experiences. I am not even sure if God loves me.”

My heart broke for Susan. I reminded her that she was one of the finest, most compassionate people I knew. She had always expected that she would find a spouse and have children, but rather than feel sorry for herself because the Lord had a different timetable for her, she had happily busied herself obtaining a PhD and spent her life quietly serving everyone around her. In our long visit, I tried to share two concepts with her:

First, our standing before the Lord is not based on the number of powerful spiritual experiences we have had in our lives. Spiritual experiences are important because they give us instruction and fill us with desire, but ultimately, our standing before God depends on our choices and the desires of our heart. After all, the devils believe and tremble. I told Susan that the best way to determine whether she had genuine faith in Christ was to examine her life. Our faith is sufficient if it motivates us to make and keep sacred covenants and to continue progressing in our spiritual journeys. On that standard, Susan clearly had great faith.

Second, and this was really important to Susan, the Lord does not speak to all of us in the same way, and he has not given us the same spiritual gifts. In fact, Paul teaches us that, just as the body has eyes, hands, feet and a brain, the Church will be filled with people who have very different spiritual gifts. I told Susan that the Lord has given her a customized bag of tools – spiritual gifts and attributes – that are designed to give her all she needs to have a full life and return to her heavenly father. However, he has not given anyone else the same bag of tools. I told Susan, who had a brilliant, analytical mind, that spiritual impressions may come differently to her than they do to someone who thinks more intuitively. Moreover, some people will have great faith because of direct experiences with God while others will be given the faith to believe on the testimony of others. Indeed, the Savior said that those who believe because of the testimony of others are more blessed than those who have encountered God directly. I told Susan that, rather than constantly comparing her spiritual gifts to the gifts of others, and feeling inferior because she did not have the same gifts given to someone else, it is far better to focus on the gifts God did give to her and magnify those. I promised Susan that if she did this, she would find that God has given her more than enough to find joy in this life and eternal life in the world to come.

Buoyed up by these two thoughts, Susan suggested that we select counselors together, which we did, and I am happy to report that Susan was an exceptional relief society president who touched women and men in ways that nobody else could.

That was more than fifteen years ago, and if I had known what I know now, I would have added at least one more thought: The quality and quantity of our spiritual endowment is not stagnant. We all have the opportunity and obligation to seek and develop new spiritual gifts. For example, if we are not sufficiently charitable, we are to pray with all the energy of heart to be filled with this love. (Moroni 7:48). Today, we may not be able to have the types of spiritual promptings President Monson talks about in conference, but we can work towards learning the language of the Spirit, and we can practice developing the capacity to feel the Spirit in new and different ways. In that regard, I know of no activity that is likely to generate the guidance and confirmation of the Spirit more than sharing the Gospel.

I pray that each one of you will seek to have your own, unique spiritual gifts magnified in a way that glorifies God.


President Packard

My response to President's letter:

I really enjoyed your story of the woman (Susan). It is so true that you can believe in something and in the experiences of others but struggle to have them yourself. This was one of my struggles but through much tender guidance from my Mom and Dad, they helped me to know that God doesn't want to tell us all the answers straight out but wants us to use our agency to chose. I have had many a times where the spirit has been so soft that I felt as though it was as light as a feather and if I was to breath it would blow away. And other times the Spirit would feel like a ton of bricks were pounding in my heart. Then one experience I had with an investigator explained it beautifully when she had felt the spirit for the first time, "I feel so heavy and yet like I can float away." I love her. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Email 1/6/13

We have had such a great month! We got 10 new investigators for the month of Dec. and when we looked at the passed months the numbers were, 1, 3, 4, 4.....and then 10! so cool!

We are doing ok thankfully. :) We did get a snow day! The mission grounded us on Thursday for the big storm. Thankfully it was a weekly planning day so we just had some very thorough planning done and our phone was so dead by the end! haha!

We got two new Elders and we have been going crazy trying to help them get settled.

Here is Elder Wilhelmsen on top of the Missionary party van 
and then the new AP Elder Bloomfield helping him down. haha!

Well, I'm heading out now. I had a fun time with our district playing in the gym at the church :) I love you loads of swetty Missionaries...eeeeeewwww! haha!

Driving... well we were parked of course ;)

 Driving in the FREEZING!

Eating healthy food with Sister Roy! :)

I'm Dead!!!!?????? Why didn't anyone tell me? haha!

We went to a grave sight and I found my first companions 
and my grave right next to each other! haha!

Then a cute owl rock

I love you a million empty candy rappers ;)

Sister Sarah Patterson