Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 21, 2015

Sorry it's gonna be short today - but I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! It's been beautiful preparing for this wonderful holiday, with ward programs, community projects, decorations, anonymous gifts, caroling, and best of all, teaching about the Savior. I love sharing the message of his gospel, teaching people about the joyous news of its Restoration and how we can experience it's promised blessings here and now. We went tracting last night, inviting people to the annual Calgary Christmas pageant produced by the church. At one door we had invited this family, and gotten a return appointment. As we left, I casually said "Merry Christmas!" And I will never forget the look on this man's face as he paused and said how he would much rather hear Merry Christmas, then the typical happy holidays. He thanked us for simply saying "Merry Christmas." I think we sometimes take for granted the tiny opportunities throughout our day to stand for our beliefs in a world that is turning farther and farther away from Christ. How blessed we are to know the reason for the season, to know the significance of his birth and subsequent life. All because a Father loved us enough to give His Son as an enabling sacrifice for sin. We have great reasons to declare with the angels, "Hosanna! Glory to God in the Highest, and peace on earth, good will to men!"
"Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets. Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son ... And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given."    (3 Nephi 1:13-14)
I would like to leave you with my testimony that I know my Savior lives! I know Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that he has shown us the way to find the greatest peace and purpose in this life and eternal joy in the next. I know he experienced all our pains, sorrows, struggles, temptations - He knows how to help us become better. It is through using his atonement that we can become clean from the burden of sin. I am so grateful for him, and I love him with all my heart.

Merry Christmas!!

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December 14, 2015

Hey everyone!

So guess what?! Transfer calls came out and neither Sister Page nor I are moving!!! SO happy. :)

We have been trying to keep busy - turns out the holiday season is both good and bad for missionary work. Good because we can go around sharing "Christmas messages," but bad because more people are out of town, or just "busy." Oh well. :) Our zone had a fun finding idea, where every few days we meet up together and go caroling in someone's area. We use the church's pass along cards for "A Savior is Born" and look for opportunities to come back and share a Christmas message. So far it's been really fun, and people seem to be more open to that approach. :)

This past Sunday there was a homecoming talk for a sister in one of the wards we cover. She served in the New York, New York mission. She spent half her mission in Harlem. As she spoke, you could tell she had a really rough time, that the mission was a fiery furnace. She described the unkind words and actions directed towards her, and how in a city of millions, she had never felt so alone. And yet, she has also never felt so close to the Savior as during that time. So when people spit upon and mock and persecute us missionaries, whether figuratively or literally, we are experiencing a small portion of what Jesus Christ went through, and unlike His own experience, He will never leave us to bear it alone. And I can testify that that is all true.

We had a stake carol festival, with a couple hours of just musical performances by various groups. It was a fantastic experience! So many people came, even a lot of nonmembers from the community. It's always beautiful to see how the Christmas season brings people together from all walks of life, Christ is always a unifying influence for good. One of the songs sung was called "what if the cradle was empty." The song gave a beautiful reminder that if he hadn't been born, there would have been an empty cross. How grateful I am for this season of remembrance and celebration of our Savior Jesus Christ, knowing that because he was born, we can all be born again.

I hope you all have a good week and are enjoying the season!

Lots of love and prayers,
Sister Sarah Patterson

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 2, 2015

Greetings from the snowy north! Today we woke up to the first real snowfall of the season!! Time to break out winter stuff - again.

Hope you all had a fun Halloween!! We ended up having clear weather for it. So, for missionaries we have an early curfew that night at 6pm. We spent the day walking to contact people, and ended up misjudging the amount of time it would take to get home. It was getting late, and we really needed to get in, but were on the complete opposite side of our area. My companion and I prayed really hard (mostly because we were exhausted) and bam! answer to prayer came in the form of a member sister as she came around the corner with her group of trick-or-treaters! She offered to give us a ride home - which was a huge tender mercy for our sore feet and allowed us to make it home in time. Members - be aware sometimes you are an answer to a missionary's prayers when you give them a ride, come to a lesson, or just feed them a last minute meal. :) We ended up spending the rest of the evening hanging out (too bad movies aren't allowed!) My companion accidentally ate a super spicy pepper at supper, and we proceeded to spend an hour laughing at her painful experience. We just moved to a new apartment, and hadn't gone grocery shopping yet, so that meant NO bread or milk to stop the burning. It ended up being pretty funny. :)

Happy Halloween!
Oh, and happy Daylight Savings! Happy because it felt like we got that much-needed extra hour of sleep - a rare and tender mercy as a missionary. :)

SO, this past week was another transfer week. I got to say goodbye to Prairie winds after our long summer together, and got moved to Calgary South Stake. But with the added surprise of whitewashing (or as we call it, purging) into the new area! That means both my companion Sister Page and I are brand new, so we don't know anything or anyone! PLUS we cover 2 huge wards! So yeah, huge new challenge for both of us, a little scary, very stressful. Prayers please. :)

Me and Sister Page

I love you all!!

Sister Patterson

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015

I hope you all have a fun and happy Halloween!!!

Sister Tolbert and I at the Temple

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 19, 2015

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving :)

So we had a cool little miracle the other day! We were at our Bishop's house for supper, when they Young Men's group came in for an activity. With them was one of our teenage investigators, whom we have had a hard time getting a hold of and meeting with lately. He ended up sitting with us to eat, and for our dinner message we got to share the message of the Restoration. The Spirit was really strong, and having the Bishop there to testify was perfect! The young man was really touched by what he heard and want's to keep learning. It was exactly what he needed.

So, when my companion first came out to the east, she suffered a bit of culture shock - with so many different immigrants in the area it was definitely not what she was expecting. And as expected, we have been fed some strange foods. We have joked back and forth about her being a picky eater, and then in my studies I found the best scripture (and here's a shout-out to all those countless missionaries who have had far stranger experiences!) It's in Luke 10:7-8 . It's talking about missionaries going out:

"And in the ... house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give ... And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you..."
It's hard to argue with the scriptures :)

Anyway, on October 12th we got to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving!! We were invited to a dinner, and discovered a nontraditional Latino twist - but it was a fun experience. Felt super strange to be having Thanksgiving before  Halloween though!!!

On a final note, I just wanted to share some thoughts from a talk by President Uchtdorf, "On Being Genuine." He talks about how the gospel and church is a place of growth and healing, and no matter what level our testimony is at, that we can always building on whatever strength we do have as we apply gospel principles daily.
"With patience and persistence, even the smallest act of discipleship or the tiniest ember of belief can become a blazing bonfire of a consecrated life. In fact, that’s how most bonfires begin—as a simple spark.... So if you feel small and weak, please simply come unto Christ, who makes weak things strong. The weakest among us, through God’s grace, can become spiritually strong, because God “is no respecter of persons. He is our “faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments. "

To this I add my own testimony, that the minute we turn towards  the Lord again, acknowledging shortcomings but with the determination to press forward anyway, He will lift and strengthen our hearts in enabling our desire to become a reality.

I love you all!

Sister Patterson

Sunday, October 18, 2015

And... We're Back!

For those who don't know, Sarah's sister Angela has been in charge of posting her emails to this blog. I apologize for the missing posts- we had our baby! But, I'm back and will be posting her emails in a semi-timely manner again. I have caught up on the ones I missed and adjusted them to say they were posted on the dates they were sent.


Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Hey everyone! I hope you've all had a wonderful week! It's been crazy here in Calgary. We got a little snow this weekend, so I was especially grateful for Conference as an excuse to stay inside longer and avoid the cold. But we did have some investigators show up - a cute little family from Southern Sudan - and they really enjoyed it! On a side note, we as missionaries acknowledged one of the great mysteries of the church - why chapels area always freezing cold for sisters and too warm for brothers! Seems like Canada is not immune to this phenomenon :)

Anyway - I forgot to share a mini miracle we had last Sunday. We had our fast and testimony meeting a week early for conference. Near the end, Sister Tolbert and I spotted a man walk into the foyer, obviously not a member. So we got up and ended up standing in the parking lot for a couple minutes talking with him. He had just wandered in to see what we were all about, and commented how he had felt really good listening to a couple of the testimonies born. He couldn't stay for the whole meeting, so after our exchange he left and we went back into the building - super excited at a potential investigator. Now here's where it get's weird. As soon as we walked back into the lobby (it had been maybe 5 minutes), we noticed a discernible difference - the spirit had flown out the window and there was an air of uneasiness as we walked into the chapel to see half the congregation missing. Something had obviously happened. We came to find out that in those few minutes, a man had taken the opportunity to get up at the pulpit and express his "anti-Mormon" feelings. Luckily the Bishop intervened and dismissed all the kids and leaders, and had a counselor close the meeting with a powerful testimony while the Bishop and said individual left for a chat. Now you're probably wondering why this was a mini miracle: that gentleman who walked in off the street stayed just long enough to hear and feel the power of the Holy Ghost manifest in that meeting, testifying of gospel truth to his heart. But he walked out just in time to miss the Spirit leave in response to negativity and disrespect. We were so grateful, for one that he was able to experience the truth and recognize it, and second, that we were able to recognize a real difference in the lack of the Spirit. It reminded me that truth is truth, regardless of people's opinions. And wherever truth is, there the Spirit will be, and that is what helps us recognize and understand.

And that is what brings me back to the subject of General Conference. I hope you all were able to feel the Spirit in those meetings as prophets and apostles testified of Truths. I especially loved what one said, that the future of our faith is not determined by chance, but by choice! We are created to be agents for ourselves, to think and act, not just to be acted upon. I discovered this in the decision to come out on the mission in the first place! For a long while I just prayed, wanting to be shown which direction to take with my life, thinking I would do whatever He wanted, but not making a decision or taking action either way. I was immobilized by fear of being wrong. But over time I learned that Heavenly Father has given us the gift of agency for a reason, and expects us to use it! We can choose to be happy, we can choose to take a leap of faith. We can choose to follow promptings from the Spirit, or not.  Moving forward with hope and desire and trust is the definition of acting in faith, and according to what we decide and the diligence we apply, our faith grows or diminishes. And "without a firm foundation of faith, our power to endure will crumble." (Elder Henry B. Eyring)

I'm sorry for the rant, but this is something we have been really trying to help our investigators and less actives understand - that our daily decisions determine our eternal destiny

"There is something we can take home to God, in achieving which we find true happiness, and that, is Character - what you have made of yourself during this mortal existence. Character - it may be weak, it may be strong. You must decide. But whatever you make it during the 20, 30, 50, 70, 80, 100 years that you spend here will be what you take back there. Character, and the service you have rendered will determine your position and place in the next world." (David O. Mackay)

I love and pray for you all

Sister Patterson

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

Greetings from Calgary

Hey! Hope you're having a great week! We had transfers this week, but luckily it didn't affect me this time. Still in the East for a while yet. Our mission was able to reach a goal of having at least 50 investigator's on date for the month of September, which is awesome! The work is rolling forward more than ever. :) My favorite thing about this area is how often people just walk into church off the street and we get to teach them. We had two this past Sunday! :)

We got to watch the Women's Conference, which was great. :) But I am super excited for General Conference this weekend!! I hope you will take the time to enjoy it and find the direction and inspiration you are looking for. Listen for the message the Lord has for you.  As you listen with a prayer in your heart the Lord will tell you what you need to hear. Then, have the courage and faith to act on your feelings! The voice will be still and small; He will speak to your mind and heart and tell you ‘all things which you should do’. What a blessing and privilege to be living on the earth with the Lord’s prophets and apostles to lead and guide us. I know that they are men called by God, given priesthood authority to direct the people. I know that the Lord operates in inspired patterns, including that of calling new men to the apostleship. Please know that his weekend is a manifestation of God’s love for us by allowing us to hear his prophet's voices.

I love you all!
Sister Patterson

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 22, 2015

Tuesday Missionary Message

Hello! Sorry it's been a while... How is it already almost the end of September?! 

It's been a crazy few weeks. We had a huge mission wide conference because a member of the quorum of the 70 came to visit and give a training. It was incredible the power and spirit he carried, and the instruction he relayed from headquarters. We worked on ways to be more effective missionaries, and the thing they are really emphasizing is working more with the members. Truly this is meant to be a combined effort, not just in giving the missionaries names to visit, but to go with them, to pray for them, to open your homes to them and offer support in whatever way we can. When we as members volunteer to help, the work doubles, and miracles happen :)

We've also been getting to do a lot of service. This past weekend there was a city wide food drive held as a combined effort between the church and the Calgary food bank. All the missionaries spent a day loading trucks with the donations collected - and it was amazing to see the generosity in how much people gave. In our stake boundaries alone we collected about two semi trucks full of food!!! And there were five stakes participating... That is one of my favorite things to do as a missionary, to serve, because it brings a unique kind of joy. :)

On another note, Sister Tolbert and I are working on building trust with the ward. Any ideas on how you all have come to gain that with your own ward missionaries over the years? Thanks!!

Anyway, Canada is beautiful, the fall colors are in full swing, and it has definitely gotten chilly! I am expecting to stay in this area for a third transfer, and then probably move somewhere new at the end of October. But in the meantime, we're trying to rock the east and baptize nations! Our biggest setback is that a lot of people here speak Punjabi, so it's hard to contact. But we finally found someone who can translate!!!! We are super duper excited in hoping to finally teach some of these people who've shown interest in learning.

I love you all and keep praying for you! Remember, life by the yard is hard, but life by the inch is a cinch!!! ;)

Sister Patterson

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015

No Missionary Message today from Sarah, but she did get some exciting news today...

Here nephew was born yesterday morning! She's been checking in every week lately to see of he had come yet, and it was driving her crazy during the week knowing that he could come any time and she wouldn't know until the following Monday! I had decided that if he was born too early in the week, I would just call her mission president and ask him to let her know. But he helped out and came on a Sunday, so Sarah got to know while I was still in the hospital. She replied today with a congratulations, said he was handsome, and asked us to keep her posted on how his big sister handled her new brother.

Monday, September 7, 2015

September 7, 2015

Monday Missionary Message


So, it has been a wonderful week in Calgary. Last Monday evening we were able to put another investigator on date to be baptized!!! AND we were out walking to an appointment when a car pulled over and a former investigator introduced himself and asked to start meeting with the missionaries again!! Random crazy miracles...

Anyway, short on time today, but have a good week!!

Sister Patterson

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 24, 2015

So, it's been a long week.  The stomach flu has been getting passed around, and it turns out we aren't immune, so we had to take it easy for a few days. But we are feeling much better now.

We had a fantastic Zone Conference on Wednesday, and I'm liking our new President and his wife more and more. Things seem to be picking up for the mission, especially because of walk-and-talk August. Miracles have come rolling in as people see us on the streets and stop to talk to us. We picked up two new investigators this week from it! Hooray for street contacting! For one of them, we were walking to an appointment and saw a lady sitting on a front step. We went up and talked to her, and were surprised when she responded that yeah, she would like to introduce her grandchildren to a church and wanted to come to ours. I was blown away because that kind of response almost never happens, but when it does, I can't help but look heavenward and thank Heavenly Father for yet another tender mercy and miracle.

Oh, and guess what?! As of tomorrow I will have officially been in Canada for 6 months!!!!!! 1/3 of the way there!!! I have no idea how that happened, it's totally flown by. Still feels like it's only been a couple of months... Strange to think I come home in one year. It seems like not that long, but at the same time, an eternity.

My greenie and I were talking about how every missionary has a "light switch," something that gets us excited to talk/teach/work. As she is working to figure out her own, I've been thinking a lot about mine. It's hard to put it into words, but I'd say my own spark has become the reason why I am still out here -- it's when you're talking to people and you can see it on their face when it finally clicks, when they finally see how the big picture works together and they recognize through the Spirit that it's all true, it's real. Their countenance changes, a light creeps in their eyes, and a smile of excitement fills their face. They are filled with hope and joy in finally knowing for themselves.

I love it out here, meeting new people and planting or harvesting gospel seeds. It's not until I've gotten a new sister's perspective to contrast my own that I've realized how much has changed in the last six months, and how much I love being a servant of the Lord. It is so ridiculously hard, and there are days that drag by, but it is totally 100% worth it.

As always, I love you all!!

Sister Patterson

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 17, 2015

Hello again!

I hope you are all doing well, and enjoying the end of summer!

So, life totally threw me a curve ball. Guess who got a call to be a trainer?! Yup, yours truly is now training her own little greenie missionary... Or, as we say up here, I officially have a "daughter" in the mission! *shiver* It's sooo weird! I still feel too new and way under qualified! So, a big warm welcome to the greatest mission on earth to ..... Sister Tolbert!!!

(Literally though, it was super warm this week, we hit 36! mosquito's everywhere...) I was super sad to say goodbye to my old companion Sister Creech, but am excited to start a new adventure. Sister Tolbert is from Spanish Fork, Utah, and is one of 27 missionaries that just came out to the field! So now I will be in Prairie Winds until early November (most likely). I pray we see a lot of success between now and then...

The theme for this week seems to be trusting in and relying on the Lord.

Often, we seem to forget what the Lord promises us when we are trying to do the best we can to do what's right and keep our commitments to follow the Savior. I take great comfort in the scripture that says, " ... I will go before your face, I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88) I know that that is true; we have His support and love, the Lord is at our side. And He is bound to bless us when we obey. I know our Father in Heaven loves each one of us and that he is mindful of our every desire and effort. I know that one of the greatest gifts he has given us is the gift of the Holy Ghost, as it comforts, guides, and testifies according to our needs. We are not left to walk through life alone; He is there, and countless loved ones on the other side cheer us on. Stay strong, and press forward exercising faith enough to act. I promise that as you do, you will witness blessings pour down from heaven.

Lots of Love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 3, 2015

Hey ya'll!

It's gonna be short today - and sorry for the inconsistency of emails. 
SO, life is crazy, but awesome! Thank you all for the birthday wishes!!! To celebrate we ended up going for sushi with some other missionaries and members. The best birthday present, though, came that evening when we were tracting and found a new investigator! :)

And I'm sure you heard about the "tornado" we had. We could see the spiral cloud forming, but luckily nothing really happened...

Our mission has an annual tradition of something called "Walk-And-Talk August," which is when we have to park our cars for the month (except for emergencies) and just walk, bike, bus, or hitchhike everywhere. :)  Great fun. we should change the words to the primary song to "missionaries sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked..." ;) Anyway, as the mission pulls together to increase street contacting and increase our numbers, we have seen miracles happen! Just the other day, another set of missionaries ran into someone downtown, passed them off to us, and in the first lesson that person not only agreed to be baptized, but referred us to some friends who were interested as well! Hooray!

To close, I just want to share something another missionary told me: "Obedience brings blessings, but strict obedience brings miracles." I can testify that that is very true; when we try to do good from day to day, we are able to receive those many blessings Heavenly Father rains down on us. But when we make a conscious dedicated effort to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and keeping those covenants we have made, we will see miracles come! He is aware of our every need and desire, he applauds even our small successes from day to  day, and He stands waiting to step in and help us.

According to President Uchtdorf: 
"Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us.
"He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you.
"He loves you not only for who you are this very day, but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become." 
(General Women's Meeting September 2014)
I know that this is true, that He knows and loves each individual perfectly, and that we find greater hope and joy as we come closer to him.

I love you all!

Sister Patterson

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 13, 2015

Hey, hope you all had a good week!

Yesterday we had a huge freak thunderstorm all day, and the lightning got super duper close, with deafening thunder and pounding rain. There were power-outages all over the city, and unfortunately, flooding. Luckily, our place is on a second floor, but some other missionaries were not so fortunate, and got pretty wet. So now it's a matter of clean up ... 

This week I got to try a bunch of new experiences: I learned how to build a trampoline, how to make homemade tortillas, how to change a flat tire, and best of all, got to try some new foods! There's a Philipino family who fed us dinner this week, and made a whole bunch of authentic dishes for us to try. Panzit, Halo Halo, and ........ BALUTE! That's right, we got to try fertilized duck eggs! They weren't too old, but mine did have a hint of feathers. Turns out if you put a LOT of salt on it, and try not to look, it's not too bad. Just kidding - to be honest it was pretty gross. I would rate the experience a 10! and the texture a 1 . Needless to say, the family got a kick out of watching us missionaries squirm :)

Yay Balute! The elder in the background expressed the sentiment perfectly :)

Anyway, not much else to report. We are just working with a lot of less actives and our investigators are slowly but surely progressing! It super fun to proselyte in this area, especially tracting, because it is so international we have to be prepared with materials in a variety of languages. My companion has a natural ear for language, and so she is really good at getting by with a handful of phrases in a dozen different languages.

"For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding' for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding." (2 Nephi 31:3)

Anyway, I love you all! Next time you hear from me I will officially be 21 years old - HOORAY! Have a wonderful week :)

Lots of Love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 6, 2015 - Pictures

My new companion, Sister Creech, and me at the Sikh Temple! (you have to cover your head upon entering out of respect)

Sikh Temple

Canada Day!

July 6, 2015

Happy Independence / Canada Day !!!

I am so grateful to celebrate my freedom!  As we celebrate the freedoms of whatever country we live in, I suggest that we remember our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ, who provided the ultimate blessing of FREEDOM from sin!

For July 1st everyone rocked the red and white for Canada, but I gotta say, celebration is nothing like what we pull in the states. (It was weird singing "O Canada" in Sacrament instead of our own national anthem) Rather, everyone here gets super pumped for STAMPEDE (which begins on the 3rd and goes for 10 days). Cowboy hats and boots come out in abundance, and it kinda takes over everything. Unfortunately, we as missionaries are forbidden from going downtown during this time, so no stampede for us. We are however on equal grounds when it comes to the weather: in one day we experienced all 4 seasons. That's right, temperature dropped from the sunny 20's to thunderstorms to snow... FUN :)

For stampede, the big tradition is to do a pancake breakfast, and there are dozens all over the city. Calgarians love and make the most of it. Our ward threw its own, and we got to help out with game stations for the kids. (it was Saturday, so that was our 4th fun. But you will be happy to know I did rock a red white and blue outfit in recognition of home :) The best part though was that we ended up having 20+ investigators, less actives and other nonmembers show up! This area is the BEST - I love being a missionary!!!

Oh, this past Monday we also got a bunch of missionaries together to go to the Sikh Temple nearby. Anyone can walk in (although we definitely stood out), and we got to see and learn about their worship and beliefs. It was actually SUPER interesting, I loved it! Turns out they have a lot of practices and beliefs very similar to ours. And the most interesting thing happened, as we listened to the tour guide explain, I felt a strong reminder from the Spirit that God loves ALL His children, and that pieces of eternal truth and light can be found all over the world. Whenever a Truth was spoken (for example, that there is a path of righteousness we all must follow) I felt the Spirit testify of that specific Truth. It was remarkable. Going there and learning more has really helped as we have conversations with people of that faith. And I have discovered a great respect for their best efforts to come closer to God.

This past week we also got to meet our new mission president, President Miles! They are from Utah, and super young (early 50's), full of energy and enthusiasm, though when we met you could tell they were still a little shell shocked at being here. They took the time to shake each missionary's hand and say a personal hello - twice!! I am excited to see what kind of leadership they provide, and I know their call comes from God - it is what this mission needs here and now. It's going to be fun!
So long 'til next week!

Sister Patterson

Thursday, July 9, 2015

June 29, 2015


So, crazy week, but it seems that is always the case...

First of all, temperatures have been in the low 30's (that's upper 80's for all us Fahrenheit folks) all week, and you can feel the city slowing down as everyone tries to cope with the heat wave. Such temperatures (with humidity) are unusual for Calgary, despite it being the sunniest city in Canada. And I quickly discovered that practically NO ONE has A/C!!! So, we have been doing all we can to not roast... I know that's nothing compared to weather back home, but it's different when you're accustomed to milder weather and then BAM heat wave! Hopefully it cools off by the end of the week...

I had to say goodbye to my north area after only 5 weeks, which is super sad.. I've really grown to love the ward and my companion :( But I am also super excited for her to train a new missionary! As for myself, I've been transferred to Calgary East, Prairie Winds Ward! So far I'm loving it here. I am super excited to be in the east, because it is the most unique part of the mission! It's the poorer part of the city, and the area is heavily populated with east Indians and Philippinos. I feel like I stand out like a sore thumb. Our chapel is right next to a Sikh Temple. Instead of English and French, everything is in English and Punjabi or Philippino. Even the breeze smells of curry spices, no joke!!
But the best part of this area is the work - there is more to do here than in my previous two areas combined. My first day in I discovered we have 14 active investigators we are working with, in addition to lots of less actives and part member families. Whether it be lessons on a doorstep or helping someone move, we always have something interesting to do!

Also, within the next couple of days we will be getting our new mission president!! There is definitely an undercurrent of anticipation amongst the missionaries,  so it will be interesting what changes occur. I know President Nicholas will be missed, and am so grateful for the sacrifices he has made over the last 3 years to serve. They have given so much to be out here, and there are so many that love them for it. I would like to share his final email to us:
This will be our last message as Mission President and Companion.  We are saddened by the prospect of not being able to be part of the work in this mission on one hand, yet anxious to return to family and see the growth that has occurred in grandchildren and even in our children’s lives as well.  We will always have fond memories of the time we spent in the Great Canada Calgary Mission.
President Spencer W. Kimball says that the most important word in the scriptures is “Remember”  In Helaman Chapter 5, we are to “…remember…the words which King Benjamin spoke…that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ…” and “…remember the…words which Amulek spoke…that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people…And he has power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance…”  Finally, we are to “…remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that you must build your foundation…” 
We are to “…always remember Him…” as we covenant each week to “…keep His commandments…” so that we might “…always have His spirit…” to be with us. 
Paul says in 1 Cor. 9: 24-25, that “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain…Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 
We all are running a race called full-time missionary service
As you run this race we call a mission you run against no one but yourself.  This mission is not a competition with other missionaries and you only have to prove yourself worthy of the incorruptible crown to one person; the Savior Jesus Christ. 
Activities, temptations, distractions may pull you away from your goal of finishing this race.  Though you may have to struggle against these things, never let them distract you from the importance of serving faithfully and finishing honorably. 
There is one who doesn’t want you to finish.  He will do all that he can to keep you from finishing.  He still believes that he can thwart the great plan of happiness that our Father in Heaven has laid out for each of you.  He would lead you to believe that you can’t grow in the gospel and that you are hopeless and hapless, unworthy, unfruitful creatures that are forsaken and left to your own devices to fend for ourselves as you serve.  Nothing is further from the truth. 
Listen and heed the counsel of those who love you.  President and Sister Miles will be your greatest coaches and cheerleaders as you move through this race of a mission.  Heed their counsel just as athletes heed the words of their coaches and trainers.  Listen in order that as a runner you may finish this race. 
Always remember as you run, that you can rely on one who has finished a great work and led the way to the finish line.  “I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world.  I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me—having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself— Retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works…” (D&C 19: 1-3)  
The Savior and Redeemer of the world stands as our great example, our defender, and finally as our advocate when we have all finished our mortal race. 
May you so run is our final prayer for each of you. 
President and Sister Nicholas
I would like reiterate his message, that the same applies to each of you; though you may not be currently serving  as a fulltime missionary, you do have a full time mission as disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ, to follow and serve Him to the best of your abilities. I know He will help us in our individual races, so that we all may finish well.

I love you all!

Sister Patterson

P.S. Have a happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

June 23, 2015 - Pictures

Me and Sister Widgren (at the start of the transfer)

Calgary Zoo - found a moose!!!

At the Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo - found some new investi-gators! ;)

(My companion loves practicing her photography skills)

(More photography practice...)

Lori's BAPTISM!!!
Randomly found this downtown

One of many beautiful sunsets...

A reverse of the other sunset picture, 2 different ways

Another sky picture...

and another sky picture... I'd bet half the missionaries up here go home with a ton of them- the sky is always so beautiful!!!

Calgary Temple


June 23, 2015

 Hello everyone!

Sorry it's been so long between emails, just don't have a lot of time lately. Here are a few highlights from the last few weeks:

First of all, HAPPY FATHER's DAY!!! (I know it was Sunday, but hey, better late then never!) Just wanted to express how grateful I am for my own wonderful dad; what a privilege to be the daughter of such a hard-working, loving and generous man. I love you!!!!

For a P-day activity our zone went downtown to the Calgary Zoo! It was a really nice park, with plenty to see, even a dinosaur exhibit - hooray ;) We had a ton of fun exploring though ...

Additionally, you should know that this has been a 5 week transfer, so this week is transfer week!! It just flew by, and I can hardly believe its about to be over... My companion got a training call, so tomorrow (Wednesday) we pick up her greenie, and Thursday I go who knows where for the next 7 weeks. I'm excited to see what happens...

At a recent zone training meeting we had a wonderful discussion on the principle of God being our loving Heavenly Father. I realized that knowledge is a huge part of why I decided to serve a mission; I know that His love is real - I have felt it for myself and experienced the peace and comfort that comes from feeling a father's deep and genuine love for their child. I have evidence of His love from knowing He answers prayers, and having experienced the enabling and redeeming powers of the atonement of His Son Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) What a priceless gift! I want to share that with others so that they too can feel the joy that comes turning to our loving Heavenly Father. I would invite you to ask yourselves: How do you KNOW that He loves YOU?

We went on exchanges, and I got to go to central Calgary, downtown area. Interesting place to be, variety of people to meet. There's definitely a different feel to try and street contact such a busy area. Re-emphasized to me that people really do notice the missionaries, that we stand out as representatives of Jesus Christ. Got to teach some awesome lessons though!

My companion and I also had the privilege of going to the Calgary Temple! What a beautiful place, not only for it's architectural and designed beauty, but for the Spirit that's there, the peace within it's walls, and most importantly, for the work that it done within. I was able to take another family name, and felt an added sense of gratitude in doing so. I know that the temple is the house of God, that it is a place where we can be strengthened to endure the storms of life. I know that we have a great privilege and duty to do work for those who have passed on, and that because of it, families truly can be together forever!

Our mission had a goal for them month of May to have 50 investigators on date to be baptized, and it was amazing to watch as we all worked to achieve that number. In a month we managed to nearly double our number of people on date! Having that unified goal really helped us all keep our focus on our missionary purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Not only did we meet our goal, but we were able to see miracles in the process. In my new area alone there were 2 baptisms in the month of May. I wanted to tell you about one in particular. Her name is Lori, and she is a single woman in her 50's. Her dad and brother are long time members of the Church, and they have hoped and prayed for years that she would join. At a move, her brother asked us to visit her and see if she would be interested, and turned out she finally was! After knowing her for only 3 weeks she was baptized and confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I couldn't be happier then to know that this wonderful daughter of God has been prepared for years for this time, and that it doesn't matter if we are 8 or 80, we can all receive the same blessings of discipleship when we choose to follow our Savior and keep His commandments. It's been a miracle to watch her progress in her testimony and faith, to know that she is making and keeping commitments that will bring her peace in this life and the greatest joy in the next. I know what the scriptures promise to be true, that those who keep the commandments are truly blessed and happy, "for behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual, and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness." (Mosiah 2:41)

I love you all!
Sister Patterson

Monday, June 22, 2015

May 25, 2015

Hey everyone! So apparently I need to wish you all a happy Memorial Day! To be honest, I was completely oblivious to that fact until someone clued me in.... Hopefully you all have nice weather for celebrating!

Also, I realized my email list wasn't sending to everyone, so hopefully now it will be more consistent :) (Hopefully you've been able to see stuff on the blog though)

Where do I even begin for this week.....

This past week half of my zone (4 companionships) got purge calls, or in other words, we were told BOTH companions were being transferred out. Not only that, but they also told everyone to close out their apartments as well! So, Calgary West zone was in upheaval all weak trying to pack, clean and be ready to go who knows where! For those of you who haven't served missions, this is super crazy and rare, because normally at the end of a transfer one companion leaves, one stays to transition. But for 4 areas  to be cleared out completely - that is something else! We later found out that by the end of summer we will be losing about 30% of the missionaries out, so everything is downsizing. This is also the last transfer before we get our new Mission President.

Anyway, we showed up at the transfer station, and I ended up going to the Calgary North Zone, in the Coventry Ward. (It's right near the Airport, and the zone covers the northern most part of our mission boundaries). My new companion is Sister Widgren from Kansas, and she has been out about 6 months. So far she has enjoyed "greenie-busting" me. :)

Oh, and one other thing: at transfers we were informed that they are cracking down on mileage. So basically, everyone has an allotted number of clicks for the month, and if we go over, then our keys get taken and we walk for the remainder of the month!! So, half our north zone started out transfers getting parked, and now everyone's kinda freaking out a little. Sister Widgren and I are safe, but being frugal with clicks, so we have walked a LOT. Sadly, this area is much more hilly then my last one. But it will all work out.:)

It's been crazy trying to transition from one area to another (this being my first time). Part of my brain is still worrying about what we had going in the west, and now I'm trying to figure out the north. But as a super awesome way to start off the transfer we got an investigator on date to be baptized next month!

Missionary work is awesome, and finding people ready to receive the gospel is incredible. I can hardly believe it's already been 3 months! The days go by slowly, but the weeks go by fast- not sure why.

"Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen."
(Doctrine & Covenants 4)

Sister Patterson

May 19, 2015 - Pictures

Zone P-day activity at the park - Zorb Balls!!!

Goodbye to the Zone (end of transfer).
The one in front with the hat is an Elder going home, and he is a bit of a cowboy. That is his custom flag in front. ;)

Found a "maze" garden.


May 19, 2015

Hey ya'll, sorry it's been a while, it's been crazy busy.

The transfer is coming to a close, and I can't believe how quickly its gone by! My 12 weeks as a greenie are just about done, but to be honest, I still feel like there's a ton left to learn.

We have been keeping busy in a variety of ways. For one, spring has finally come (although this past weekend was stormy/snowy/icy), so it's been a great opportunity to help both members and non-members with service (yard work, moving, etc). Our zone pulled together to help move an elderly lady (not a member) to a new apartment, and it proved to be a LOT of hard work. But it was totally worth it to build that relationship of a positive view of the church. Hopefully in months to come missionaries will be able to go back and teach her the gospel. :)

We've been able to make a lot of progress with getting in to teach less actives in the ward, and it's been amazing to watch as we teach and extend invitations, and as they follow through on their commitments, that there is an immediate change in their lives; the spirit is stronger and the blessings seem to pour from heaven as they start making those changes necessary to be more aligned with the gospel. Heavenly Father truly does bless us the very moment we start to change and turn to Him. As we are patient with ourselves and persistent in our efforts, we will notice our lives filling with light and clarity, with strength and peace to continue on. Our bishop has extended to the ward an invitation of one way in which we can experience these blessings: begin daily scripture study with prayer, and read with a question in mind. I would like to invite you all to do the same. I can promise as you make a consistent effort, you will be blessed with the answers you seek. Starting with prayer is like opening a window for revelation to more easily enter, and lets our Father in Heaven know that we are ready and willing to listen and learn. As we pray we talk to him, but it is as we search the scriptures, that He talks to us. I can promise that this invitation is a simple but effective way to find greater spiritual guidance for our lives, and that when we make our best effort to search, ponder and pray, we will be blessed with answers.

I love you all,
Sister Patterson

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 4, 2015

Hey ya'll!

Sorry it's been a little while, busy busy. This week has really begun to feel like Spring, and so people have been asking for help with all kinds of service opportunities, mostly yard work related. Gotta admit, one of my favorite parts of service opps is the fact that we get to wear pants. :) Seriously though, it's wonderful to help people out when it's beyond their own abilities to accomplish the work by themselves. This past Thursday thru Saturday we were practically booked solid with service, and never have I been so sore in my life. On Saturday all the missionaries in our zone got recruited for a highway cleanup project, only that day turned into a blizzard. Gotta love Canada! :)

Oh, we got a new ward mission leader and ward missionary. Both have returned from their missions within the last 3 weeks, so the ward is gonna get a strong does of RM fire! It should be interesting...

SO, last week I got an email from the sheffer's, asking me a few questions about missionary life. I figured the responses were worth sharing, so enjoy!

How many ties do you own?

Sadly, I don't own any ties. :) However, I asked some elders and the average is anywhere from 10 to 30 !!!

What is your favorite Canadian food so far?

So far, the food has been pretty normal. They do love their beef up here, though! I'd have to say one  of my favorite normal foods so far has been the local favorite of beef on a bun (similar concept to pulled pork sandwiches, but different. It's hard to explain...) I have yet to try the infamous poutin (fries with cheese and gravy).  One of the most unique things I've had (and loved!) was a Jamaican curry and dumplings dish - SO GOOD! Super unique though, not sure how to describe it. :)

What is the most important spiritual lesson that you have learned on your mission so far?

The most important spiritual lesson so far has been that if you don't have the spirit with you, you CANNOT teach. Try as I might, my own abilities are not enough to convert people. It is ONLY through the Holy Ghost that hearts and minds are changed and that people feel the power and authority of our message and calling as representatives of Jesus Christ.

What is the most important temporal lesson?

The most important temporal lesson so far has been how to thoroughly wash and detail a car. We had car inspections this past week, and they are INTENSE. We spent almost a total of 4 hours working on ours! Random tip for the day: apparently using newspaper to dry windows does wonders. Who knew?! But it was worth the effort; we won 2nd cleanest car out of two Zones!

How do you speak Canadian? 

Most of the time people sound pretty normal to me. But there are a TON of immigrants from other countries (especially India and China). Everything has both English and French writing, and depending on what province people are from, they could either sound like they're from France, England, India, China, Utah, or Minnesota. People DO say "eh" or "hey". I think the proper usage would be to use it at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question. For example: "It's super cold out, (h)eh?!" People also swap their vowels, hard vs soft sounds. Beg for bag, pasta as in fast, etc. Just imagine an American Midwest accent. :) There are also quite a few things they call differently, like "washroom" for restroom.

How long have you been in Canada now?

As of April 25th, I have been in Canada exactly 2 months! Crazy, eh!? ;)

Does everybody there love MAPLE syrup?

I don't know about the maple syrup. So far, I have had it exactly twice at random breakfast meals. But there does seem to be an abundance of maple flavored things when I go grocery shopping.  Local favorites are the maple flavored cookies and milkshakes. I think it depends on the province, but from what I've heard the maple-mania is more in the east... Although, some of the money smells of maple- does that count? ;)

What are the names of your companions? What do you do to get along with them?

My companion's name is Sister Lark Milius, and she is fantastic! It's turned out to be strange how many things we have in common, and so we get along really well. But there are definitely times when one of us needs her space. We have an understanding that each evening has a little quiet time before bed to do journaling or whatever to have some "alone time." But in general, to get along we share stories, jokes, awkward moments (which there are a TON of as a missionary- comes with the territory), we laugh together, sing along with music on car rides, and respect each other's opinion and space.  You find whatever works for your personalities so you can communicate and work together well. Part of a weekly planning session we have includes a companionship inventory when we sit down and talk about our individual strengths and weaknesses and how to strengthen our companionship in the coming week. It's a time to resolve any issues and concerns and to make goals on how to help one another improve. I guess in the end, it comes to whether you really do feel like "sister" goes deeper than the nametag, that you share a bond of friendship and trust for one another.

What time do you wake up in the morning?

We are required to wake up by 6:30am every day, but my companion and I are discovering that our day actually seems to work out better if we get up by 6:00am. That half hour is HARD to give up, but means we are less rushed to get to our studies, and so we get more out of them, which is critical to having a truly productive day.

How does it feel to be a missionary?

How does it feel to be a missionary? Now that is a BIG question... To be honest, before coming out I kind of imagined putting on the tag would magically turn me into this perfect little missionary who is immune from personal issues and can automatically connect well with everyone. FALSE. Being a missionary means being even more acutely aware of weaknesses and the urgency to improve. And yet at the same time, it is so fulfilling knowing exactly who you are and what you are supposed to be doing and to know you are doing your assigned part to build the kingdom. It means you feel the Spirit differently; you can tell whether the Spirit is in the room or not and you can tell if an investigator is feeling that witness of truth. It means you have the power and authority to make promises as a representative of the Lord, and you treat that privilege sacredly.

I love you all, have a wonderful week!!

Sister Patterson

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

Sarah didn't send a email this week for the blog. I'm sure we will hear from her next week!

In the mean time, she did send a short reply to my personal email to her, and I thought I'd share part of it:

Turns out my companion has a sister with a birthday the same day, so to celebrate you both, we made brownies! (In our little toaster oven by the way - great fun not having an oven/stove.)
Wish I could be there to tell you in person.

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Sarah! Hope you enjoyed your brownies!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 20, 2015

Hope everyone's week went well, and that you all had some form of fun. I've heard some news about a few hard things, and I just wanted to say to those individuals that my prayers and thoughts are with you.

I guess it's been a bit of a long week for everyone, myself included. Long story short, in the process of working with certain investigators I have felt some of the greatest joy, and sorrow, yet since coming out. These people are so amazing because they are children of our loving Heavenly Father, and we have the privilege of sharing that message of love with them. Sometimes, fear gets in the way of feeling the power of that message. And then other times, you find that one humble person who has been waiting to hear that good news their whole life and who is ready. The joy that comes from seeing the Spirit work on that person is beyond words. I am so grateful for the privilege and blessing of being able to experience a tiny portion of His love for them and to have my capacity to love grow more than it ever has before. What's even better is knowing that we can all feel that.

Sorry for being so brief, more to come next week.

Love you all,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 13, 2015 - Pictures

Hockey- you know you're in Canada when a lot of driveways look like this! :)

Trip to Cochrane

Trip to Cochrane

Ruins- it's not often you see artificial ruins in the middle of a neighborhood :)

April 13, 2015

Greetings :)

I hope life is going well for you all, though I'm sure it's super busy. I had an interesting week, partly because it was transfers. Luckily, because I'm still being trained, my companion and I weren't affected. :) But we did say goodbye to some awesome missionaries....

Honestly though, since I wrote last a ton has happened. We had a productive zone finding activity out in Cochrane, a beautiful though more rural area. It's amazing what can happen when we all pitch in to help each other out.

Additionally, a couple of investigators dropped us, which is difficult when you know they were starting to understand and feel the truth. But Heavenly Father made up for that loss in some wonderful ways - we picked up two new investigators in a matter of just a few days!

It's interesting though. Because we had those cancellations, we were left to fill time with some frustrating tracting, and yet it was only once we got up and moving- in spite of the disappointment- that we received this referral. I was reminded that we are meant to be up and doing, not just waiting to be acted upon.

And if that wasn't miraculous enough, we experienced something truly remarkable at church yesterday. We walked into sacrament, and there was a lady literally waiting for us to come tell her more about the church! We had a powerful meeting because there was a missionary homecoming talk, and his sermon brought the spirit very strongly. This sister was crying, and later described how when she sat down and felt the quiet and peace, she just felt at home, like this is where she belonged. We were able to help her understand that she was feeling the Spirit testifying to her that she is indeed home, and that this is the path the Lord wants for her. The miracle grew as we went to gospel essentials, and then relief society, both of which had lessons on the restoration, which is generally the first lesson we as missionaries teach. I had the privilege of sitting in the most powerful RS lesson I have ever experienced, not because the teacher was a skilled orator (in fact, it was rather simple), but because there was a spirit of unification among the sisters coming together to teach this dear investigator, to help her feel loved and understood. So many powerful testimonies were given, and there wasn't a dry eye.

One of the most important commitments we extend as missionaries is for our investigators to come to church - because no matter how much praying or reading they do, they won't feel the full strength of the gospel until they come and join in worship, in learning, and in being strengthened by the saints. I think we often take for granted how powerful the ward family can be. At baptism we covenant to be disciples of Jesus Christ, and that means extending comfort, strength, charity, and love. It means building one another's testimony of truth, and reaching out to those in need, whether that need is temporal or spiritual. That is why it's so important to get these brothers and sisters to attend, because it is there that they will come to understand that they are not alone.

I would invite you all to not only attend your meetings at church, but to go with eyes and hearts open to those around you and to take action when you see someone in need, even if that is just a warm smile or a quick helping hand. Go not only to be uplifted, but in turn to lift another. I promise that as you do this, your hearts will expand with the capacity to love your fellow brothers and sisters, no matter who they are, and that you will feel in greater measure the depth of Heavenly Father's deep love for you.

Sister Patterson

Friday, April 10, 2015

April 7, 2015

Just a note from Angela. Sarah clarified in a private email that on transfer weeks p-day is moved to Tuesday. That's why we didn't hear from her on Monday!

Hello again!

First of all, I made it through my first transfer - hooray! :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I just wanted to send out a big thank you to those who sent me mail. It means a lot to know you are thinking of me and the mission!

Also, I assume you all had lovely spring weather for the holiday - because guess who woke up to a winter wonderland on Sunday?! Lots of fun :)

Backtracking a little: last Monday our zone used P-day to go on a hike up in the mountains near a place called "Dead Man's Flatts" (near Banff). To be honest, it turned out to be a little more like rock climbing, but we got to explore an awesome cave of wonders. (Unfortunately, no magic lamp of wonder.)

Also, we are still working on family history to help both members and less actives, and it has been AWESOME to see whole branches of info sprout from just a couple names. The Elijah bug is slowly catching on in the ward....

Honestly though, this week has been pretty slow, so we have done a ton of tracting. Here's the thing about tracting: sometimes there is absolutely nothing productive, and then other times you will find a solid handful of potentials in a very short distance. But the most amazing thing is, it's all about attitude. If we go in looking for a miracle, we usually find one! The Lord really does prepare people, and places them in our path; we just have to be receptive to the spirit to recognize those opportunities when they come.

The highlight of the week was, of course, General Conference. The missionaries all gathered to watch it at the Stake Center, and it was remarkable to feel the spirit there. Personally, I got a great deal out of the Saturday sessions, and received answers to questions I didn't even know I had... I hope you all got to watch, and that you were able to feel that same strength that comes from listening to a prophet of the Lord speak. What a sacred privilege and reminder that this is His church, organized after His original structure, and that it is led by men of God. We are truly blessed beyond measure. I encourage you all to re-read those talks whenever you get the chance here and there, and seriously ponder how those messages can change our lives now and today. I can promise as you do, you will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in telling us what our Father in Heaven would have us do to further the kingdom and more fully live up to our divine potential.

I love and pray for you all!

Sister Patterson

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

I only have a little while today to write, so it's gonna be short. So, remember how we got a golden referral? It's this cute little family that basically walked into the temple lobby asking to know more - Hallelujah!!! I will keep you posted on how it goes :)

Also, I have discovered there is a whole new level of "clean" in the mission field when it comes to housing inspections. Long story short, we scrubbed our place, because President suggested a good solution for dirty homes is a tent on the boulevard. ;) Luckily, we passed with flying colors!

We were able to attend the Women's Broadcast, which was lovely. If you didn't get the chance to watch, I highly recommend it! I would like to highlight their theme, that the family is not only essential, but that it is essential for families to stand up for righteousness, to live, defend and share the gospel. I know that that is true, and we are so incredibly blessed when we strive to follow that counsel.

Now, I have something to say about Easter this weekend. I wish I could be there for the fun (especially combined with General Conference), and the treats, but I would remind us all to look forward to the purpose, to remember our Savior's atoning sacrifice and consequent resurrection. If you haven't heard, the church is commencing an initiative to spread this message through a short video entitled, "Because He Lives." It is stunningly beautiful, and I invite each one of you to watch it, and then share it with someone else who needs that message. I can promise as you do that not only will you have your thoughts and heart turned more towards the Savior, but that you will be blessed for responding to the call to share the light of Christ with all the world. So many people want it, but have no idea where to turn. We can be the instruments to bring them to it, so that they too may be partakers of that heavenly gift. I know that Christ not only died for us, but that He also lives for us, so that we too may live again.

I love you all, and my prayers are with you.

Sister Patterson

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 23, 2015

Hello again! I hope you all had a good St. Patrick's holiday, and a wonderful week.

My week was, um, eventful. So last weekend my comp and I both got the stomach flu, so we took it a little easy for a few days. BUT in spite of that setback, we managed to have a lot of great experiences!

You'll be glad to know that the mission office finally swapped us the truck for two little cars, so no more sharing! The downside is we have only 25 clicks a day, so yeah, we will still be doing some walking to conserve :) But it's been such a blessing, and came right in time too, because the weather is back to being crazy and cold. I don't know what it is, but Calgary has the strangest weather, and it varies dramatically from day to day. On Friday and Saturday we got this super dense fog, and even the locals were amazed. I, of course, thought it was super novel, :) and there also comes something called hoar frost (spikey ice coating everything), which is super pretty.

Our zone has been doing finding activities to help out each area, and my comp and I found a golden investigator (so exciting!) Too bad we had to pass it off, but we are excited to hear what happens :)
We also had a training conference, and it was wonderful to reunite with my MTC district. I am so grateful for that friendship we built during our time together. Even better was hearing from President, and getting training on how to be more effective missionaries. Something we discussed was the fact that we as missionaries are not alone! We have the Spirit as the third member of our companionship, to guide and to witness, and we have the ability to go where angels fear to tread.

Sister Milius and I realized that we have loads of room for improvement, and so we have tried extra hard to be exactly obedient, and it's been amazing to see the blessings that have come from it. Heavenly Father blesses us immediately for even the smallest effort, and if we are looking, we will notice it. In our case, within 24 hours we got a referral for a golden family to teach.

My comp has given me some wonderful advice, and this week's was especially good:  you know how in movies people say "it cant possibly get worse" and then it begins pouring? It's like you can almost speak something into existence. Well, in her family they instead say, "How can this day possibly get better?" and they see the wonderful results. I invite you to try it sometime, and see what happens. :)

This week we also got to start teaching some ward members how to do family history online. I got to work with this sweet old lady, who I'm convinced knows nothing about computers :) SO, after a long process of setting up accounts, I was able to show her how to look at and build her family tree. It was the sweetest experience to see her cry in joy for finding family members, and by the end, we had a name for her to take to the temple. I would re-extend the invitation to look at and look for a name to take to the temple. In our tree, you may have to go sideways or far back, but they are there, and they are waiting for us to find them!

I would like to conclude with some thoughts from my mission President:

"If we want to become the kind of missionaries that the Lord would have us be, then we must have the courage to hearken to His words, accept His will, exercise our agency, discipline ourselves, and apply the enabling power of the Atonement to change our lives for the better.
We ask our investigators and less actives to do this every day as we teach them about the doctrine of Christ, and many of them bring about marvelous changes in their lives. Do we have the individual and collective courage as a mission to do as we ask others to do?
Each one of us has been given the power to change his or her life. As part of the Lord's great plan of happiness we have the marvelous gift of agency, that we might choose the Savior and follow His will. As a result of His Atonement we have the power to do better and to be better. "

I can testify that these things are true, and I know that they apply to us all no matter the circumstance.

I love you all, and keep you continually in my prayers!

Sister Patterson

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 16, 2015 - Pictures

(Banff trip)

(Lego rendition of Calgary Temple)

March 16, 2015

So, I definitely spoke too soon about the nice weather - it's back to being a winter wonderland. But for a few days we were enjoying some really nice sunny days, and we were super excited to see it had gotten up to 15 degrees C. :)

This week has been miraculous in so many ways. I got to go on exchanges to the lovely area of Banff, and my goodness was it beautiful!!! I loved how scenic it is, with the majestic mountains. We had a really good view of a particular mountain called the "Three Sisters," right outside our apartment window! The town is a little tourist attraction, but I would love to someday explore the hiking trails and old buildings. Oh, and fun fact, every street is an animal name, so you could live on the corner of "squirrel" and "moose". :)

During exchanges I got to teach a few lessons, and it was amazing to see the little mental lightbulbs go off as they understood.

This week was also the Relief Society anniversary dinner, and we got to not only do service for it, but heard some amazing talks. The theme was "Be as Ruth". We truly have an amazing ward.

So one of the miracles of this week was our success in tracting - we passed out 33 Books of Mormon!!! We also picked up a new investigator, and she is showing a lot of promise. The challenge is however that she has only ok English (native mandarin). In Calgary there are a ton of Asians, and so we have some Mandarin elders that are kept very busy by our referrals. So it's rare for us to pick one up, but she insisted on wanting English instruction. I have learned the importance of having a member present for lessons, because they can provide a different perspective that will help them understand.  Hopefully she will continue to progress towards baptism.

The highlight of the week, however, was getting to go to the Calgary Temple. It is such a beautiful building, both inside and out. Sister Milius and I had both prepared family names to take, and it was such an incredible experience to do their work. I would encourage you all to make the effort to find a name - it is totally worth it. Every time I go back to the temple my testimony increases, my gratitude for the gospel expands, and my desire to do all He asks grows. His plan truly is simply beautiful, and beautifully simple.

I am grateful for you all, and keep you in my prayers. Please keep me updated on what's going on back home, even if it's just the silly small things...

Sister Patterson