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