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