Friday, August 26, 2016

August 22, 2016

Hey hey everyone!!

I hope you're all having a beautiful Monday morning! We've had a few sunny days, and hoping the continue. Maybe the heat will kill off all the mosquito's we've had from the wet summer. But it's also great for contacting people on the streets, because everyone is out and about trying to get their last fill of summer. 

This past week has been a little slower, but we've had some cool things happen. We've been helping our investigator Page prepare for her baptism in September, and she is so excited, it's contagious! We've also been able to visit some new people, individuals and families that the Lord is preparing. One woman named Fallon heard missionaries teach her mother years ago, and now during a difficult time in her life, has remembered how good she felt around the missionaries, and invited us into her home to share the message of the gospel.

Our members have been so so good to us! I love walking down the street and having a member drive by honking their horn :) They've also been generous inviting us into their homes for suppers, or service, or to teach short messages to their kids. It's harvest season in British Columbia, so all the members are stalking up on delicious fruit from out there. A couple times this week they've been super awesome in sharing peaches or cherries or apples from out there - and boy they are delicious!!

Me and my companion have had some adventures traveling into Calgary too for meetings and such. We just recently had a Zone Conference with President, which was super good. I love seeing mission friends, it's the one chance to get together. So I saw a couple of old companions, Sister Page and Sister Tolbert! So cool to see how much they've grown into great, powerful missionaries.The mission changes ya, that's for sure...

We also had a wonderful Stake Conference this weekend! Elder Scott of the 70 came to preside, and it was a fantastic event! One cool thing is the fact that stake boundaries have been rearranged in recent months, so my first area, Arbour Lake, is now in the stake I'm currently serving in, which meant I was able to see and catch up with members from the beginning of the mission!! Talk about coming full-circle! But I ended up learning a lot at the meeting; the Spirit was there teaching me what I can be doing to better follow the Savior. One of my favorite lessons learned though was that sometimes in life we have things going on that don't matter in the grand scheme of things, but they matter to you; If something I'm trying to accomplish really matters to me, I should remember that it matters to the Lord. He cares about and is in the details of our lives...

For example, we were walking to an appointment, and could see some clouds rolling in, but just walked fast and prayed hard to beat the rain, since we didn't have any jackets or umbrellas. We arrived without seeing any rain, but the minute we got indoors, it began to pour. It stayed steady, until we went to put on our shoes to go back out, and then the rain stopped suddenly, the sun came out, and didn't rain a drop the rest of the afternoon. In His mercy the Lord timed it perfectly in answer to our prayers to stay dry...

Anyway, enough of my ramblings! I guess it's time to finally address the fact that this is my last email from Canada; in 4 days I will be landing in sunny Las Vegas, and probably die of heat... I've totally acclimated to the cooler weather up here, because our high is your low for summer :)

Still doesn't feel real yet to know in a week I will no longer be a missionary, and the thought just breaks my heart. I wish it would never end, that I could stay a missionary forever and never have to take off the tag. This has been both the happiest, and hardest time of my life. This is where I feel like I can make a difference in the world, where I've felt useful and capable in the Lord's hands. These 18 months have been so good because each and every day I've known exactly what I should be doing to build the Lord's kingdom, to care about the big picture rather then get caught up in the distracting details of life. I've been happy because of the privilege to play a part in the Lord's great and marvelous work, by inviting other's to come unto Christ. I have seen miracles; lives changed, hearts softened, families strengthened. I feel to exclaim as Ammon did in scripture,
"And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work... Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord, yea we will rejoice, for our joy is full, yea we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel..."  (Alma 26:16)

I know that we have a loving Father in Heaven, who knows us and our circumstances, and wants to help us be happy. The Savior lives, and loves us; His Atonement is there as the ultimate source of happiness, by healing our hearts and helping us become better each day. I know that we are led my modern prophets today, that this is the Lord's church and gospel, meant to help us return home to live with God. I have learned for myself that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God, and will help us draw closer to Christ as we make it apart of our daily lives. I am so grateful for this chance to serve the Lord for 18 months, in sharing this message with others. Thank you all for your love, support and prayers, I have felt them sustain me. I love you guys with all my heart!!

Until we meet again, lots of love,
Sister Patterson

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 8, 2016

Well, this week has been full of high's and low's. To be honest, the start of the week kinda felt like all of the missionaries in Airdrie were in a kind of slump, what with canceled appointments and poor weather. As a missionary, when day's are slow, it's hard to feel like you're doing anyone any good. But gradually it's improved, and boy did we see miracles! Member's are opening more and more to us, and actively thinking about people they can share the gospel with.
We had exchanges with our sister training leaders this week too, always an adventure. I ended up staying in my area with the other sister for the day, and it finally got warm and sunny again, so we spent the day pounding the pavement talking with as many people as we saw. The coolest though, was in one day we got to give away multiple Books of Mormon, and share many lessons just on the street. The Lord was putting people in our path. But sometimes, he also puts us in other's paths. At one point, we accidentally thought we were running late, and so walked in a particular direction much sooner then expected, only to find a man who was not only receptive, but invited us back to teach more! Or at another point, we had planned to contact some certain individuals downtown, only to find no one was home. So, again, we started walking back the way we came sooner then expected. But finally we prayed to be led to someone who would listen. We turned down an alley and saw a young lady get into her car, curl up in the seat, and bawl. We approached to ask what was wrong, and found her obviously upset with something. As we stood in the open doorway of the car we felt impressed to share with her the New Testament story of Peter walking on water. We testified that the Savior not only knew her individually, but loved her and is there with her. By the end she was visibly calmer and had felt the Spirit, and accepted the invitation to learn more. So looking back, for once it was a tender mercy that no one answered their doors, because it meant we were in the right place at the right time to let this girl know she was loved and not forgotten in a moment when she needed it most.

It occurred to me though how that story of Peter applies to us all; there are times when we feel like we're doing great, walking on water, going strong, until we take our eyes and focus off Jesus Christ, and start seeing all the storms around us, until we feel overwhelmed and begin to sink into our own doubts/fears. But the Savior is right there at our side, we just have to reach out to him in faith, and he will lift us to safety...

Anyway, it's been an interesting week. We've just had to laugh at some of the ridiculous situations we find ourselves in, at all the awkward moments we experience day to day - seriously though, they should warn us about the awkward when we get our call letters :) In the mean time, we keep pressing forward :)

lots of love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, August 7, 2016

August 3, 2016

Hey ya'll!

Well, not sure where to even begin! This last week has been crazy busy - like all you have time for is to catch your breath and keep going. But I always love being busy, whether that's with lessons, service, finding, etc.

We've really been trying to teach more lessons to our members, because a) good opportunity to practice, and b) good to be reminded of the joy the gospel brings our lives and how we can share it with others. And it's been great seeing the Spirit work on people in inspiring them on what they can be doing for their friends.

For one family we visited, we shared a brief version of the message of the Restoration, and asked "Who do you know who would be interested in and benefit from hearing this message?" And someone particular came to mind. The woman is a young mom with 3 little kids, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. We decided to go over & offer service cleaning around the house. She was super friendly to us, and as we cleaned, she talked to us about this trial, and how her faith has been an anchor of strength. As I listened, I was astounded at the amount of faith this woman had, at her love for the Savior and submission to "thy will be done." Not only did that experience open the door for us to come back and continue with future visits, but it helped me appreciate how much good is out there, how the Lord is mindful of all of His children.

SO on a different note,  Alberta is known for it's crazy weather, but I gotta say, Airdrie takes the cake. I think we've had maybe 5 days the whole month of July that it didn't rain. This last week had a couple of those days, with scorching heat, so it was a golden time to do some service :) At one house we were helping to paint a fence, which unfortunately, was covered with spider webs - blech! As we're clearing them away, we find a giant web, with a spider to match! Canada doesn't really get big bugs, so no idea where this one came from, but the body was about the size of a loonie. The dad came over, and instead of freaking out with us, got it on a stick and started playing with it... *shiver* I of course kept my distance from probably 4 meters away :) Anyway, icky experience, and a laugh for you to picture me freaking out - I DON'T do spiders, and I'm thoroughly convinced that's why I wasn't sent to serve somewhere exotic. Yay for Canada :)

Of course, the nice weather didn't last too long. This week we've also had some crazy storms, and Airdrie is infamous for it's summer hailstorms. No joke - hail the size of golf balls, and lots of it!

Anyway - this transfer our Zone is working on building faith to find people to teach, and we know there is power in unity, in fasting and prayer. So each day a different companionship in the zone takes a turn fasting, while everyone prays of course, as we all go out and work. It's been amazing to see miracles come because of it!

But personally, my companion and I have experienced something additional: We've been working on appreciating every day to it's fullest - we come in each night to do our planning, and after saying prayer, the first thing we do is recall as many miracles as we can from the day. At first it was super hard, because all we could see were the negatives, the slammed doors, sneers, rejection, cancellations, sore feet, etc. But as the days pass, it's become so much easier to recognize miracles and tender mercies, not because daily situations have changed, but because we're making more of an effort to recognize the Lord's hand, and that joy tends to outweigh any sorrow we may have experienced. I am so so so grateful to be here as a missionary, to be serving the Lord and be His hands. I wouldn't give up this experience for anything in the world :)

I love you all, and appreciate your love and support! Have a wonderful week! And remember, you are loved!!

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 25, 2016

Hey everyone!!

I hope you've all had a good week!

Well, transfers have come and gone again! I'm still with Sister Jones in Airdrie, but the rest of our zone got pretty mixed up. It's a really young group of missionaries, average mission age is probably 6 months! But there is a good mix of people to work with, so it'll be an exciting transfer. We are trying to more effectively utilize the power of both fasting and prayer in a unified effort to move the work forward, so we are expecting miracles! Last week we had a surprise visit from President and Sister Miles, as they randomly showed up to our weekly district training meeting. But it's always wonderful to see them. They are the best, you can just feel their love and concern for individuals.

We've been kept super busy doing lots of community service lately, which I love doing! It's a great way to build relationships and to show we are more then just words, we latter-day saints like to act! And service always softens hearts, which is a miracle in and of itself. We've also finally been able to do more street contacting again, now that the weather has gotten nicer, at least for now. We've been contacting out potential investigators and referrals, and actually had a cool experience last night in doing so. A member told us of a friend who has been going through some serious health struggles, and so we went over to introduce ourselves and offer service and/or a message of hope about Jesus Christ. Instead of the typical skeptic response, she was super open and friendly and invited us back! It's one of those moments when you've barely met someone, but you can already feel an outpouring of heavenly father's love for this person :)

Anyway, it's been fun. Oh, and thankyou for all the Birthday wishes!! It was a wonderful day, with lots of friends to celebrate with. It was one of those days where as you go out and work, you just feel good. Although, my fellow missionaries didn't fail to point out that I am now "old." Since when is 22 old? Just saying... :)

Guys, I just gotta say, being a missionary is the best!! Totally the hardest thing I've ever done, and sometimes days drag, but it is definitely the most fulfilling thing I've had the privilege of doing, and I love it! I love representing our savior, and sharing the hope and joy of his gospel with my brothers and sisters. I love you guys, and am so grateful for your support.

Have a wonderful week, and remember, there are good things to come!!

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson :)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 11, 2016

Good Morning!!

I hope you've all had a wonderful week!!

Sorry for the rushed email last week - it was crazy busy between the holidays and working..
Our ward has been growing with new members moving in - so that's been fun! This past Saturday was a big annual tri-ward Pancake Breakfast (in honor of Stampede)! They wanted it to be well promoted within the community, so our ward mission leader provided 800 invitations to be passed out! So, between us and the other missionaries in Airdrie, we passed out all of them in 2 weeks!! We've done LOTS of street contacting! But a huge chunk happened at the Airdrie Canada Day Parade - we all volunteered on sidelines as barricade monitors, and got to hand out invites there. It was fun to see the national pride, red and white everywhere! Happy Canada Day, eh?!

But the pancake breakfast ended up being a huge success, over half in attendance were non-members! It was so good to meet more people from the community and let them know what we're about. Lots of food, games for kids, everyone decked out in western attire. Even the local Batman showed up! :) We had some investigators come, and they loved it! One young woman we've been working with has been trying to decide about baptism, and after attending Girls Camp felt her testimony strengthened, so now she is on date for baptism in September!

We've seen so many miracles lately, big and small. One day we were walking to an appointment when I suddenly had the feeling to stop and check for our phone. Well, imagine the surprise when it was missing! As we stood there trying to figure out what to do, a man came up the path behind us, and turns out he had found it and was trying to find the owner! What a miraculous way to meet with someone and talk about the gospel, but what a tender mercy for us to be reminded of the fact that the Lord's hand is in the details of our lives. Another miracle came as our zone fasted and prayed together for a day - and as we were out in the neighborhoods we saw a couple of women in a front yard talking. As we walked up one said "oh girls we were just talking about you!!" :0 Apparently she has had contact in the past where Sister's did service for her, and she was just telling her friend about how mormon missionaries do service for people just for the sake of helping! So cool to have a door opened because of service. Seriously though, service softens hearts in amazing ways :) Anyway - it's been good! Mission life keeps you busy, that's for sure. With summer especially, as we've been out walking and contacting a ton, unless of course the weather's bad. Just as a side note, Airdrie officially has the weirdest weather ever - one hour it'll be pouring cats and dogs, or having one of it's infamous hailstorms, and then the next it'll be burning hot and sunny... Literally have to be prepared to dress for all seasons :)

Just wanted to end with a thought I had from my studies. In Deuteronomy 8:2 it reads (talking about the Israelites):
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 

As I read that it occurred to me that through life, we all at times find ourselves in our own "wilderness" of trial, which can feel like it lasts for "40 years," or like it never ends. But it's important to remember that the Lord leads us and provides for us during such times especially, just as he did those people, providing direction, nourishment, protection, etc from day to day. But he often allows such times of trial as an opportunity to humble us, to prove our characters and what is in our hearts as we choose to keep his commandments, even when it's difficult. Such times require patient, focused effort and perseverance, knowing He is in control, and as long as we are staying loyal to Him and His commands, we will be blessed, and someday, delivered to our own promised land. (Mosiah 2:41)

Lots of love,
Sister Sarah Patterson

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 4, 2016

Hey ya'll!

Sorry, only have time for a quick note today, but just wanted to wish everyone a belated Happy Canada Day! and of course, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†

On Friday we had a Big Airdrie Parade! Super fun, and all us missionaries got to volunteer along the sidelines. This coming week we are all going to have a traditional pancake breakfast too (big deal up here!).

Hopefully you all have a wonderful 4th of July - do something fun! I will fill you in on more details next week!!

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 20, 2016

Just have time for a quick thought today - Hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day! What a great opportunity to reflect on the many father figures in our lives, and the impact they have made. I am grateful for my father, and for all the other men that have helped shape who I am. I am especially grateful for my Father in Heaven, who has given us a way to find success and happiness both now and forever, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Truly we are all blessed to have such a loving Heavenly Father, who cares about us as individuals, cares about our ups and downs, and is there willing to bless us.

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 13, 2016

Ok, so it's been a whirlwind the last few weeks! I honestly feel like so much has happened, I have no idea what to say....

Transfers have come and gone again - I sent another companion home after an awesome 7 weeks together :) Transfers were a little chaotic; I was supposed to leave but ended up staying with a new companion Sister Jones here in Airdrie!

So on the last fast Sunday, one of our investigators decided she wanted to get up and bear her testimony!! It was such a sweet experience to hear her testify of pure and simple truths she has come to know through the witness of the spirit - totally a highlight of the week. :)

This past Saturday we all had the privilege of gathering as a mission in Lethbridge for a conference with President Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles! It was so great, lots of good insights. There was a stunningly beautiful arrangement of "I Stand All Amazed" which left everyone in tears and in awe. One of those moments that leaves a profound silence in the room afterwards where nobody breathes. President Nelson was very impressed... truly a beautiful song. He talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, how it testifies of truths the world ignores, and dispels myths that the world embraces. He said to consider the question of what our personal lives would be missing if the Book of Mormon had never come into it? We learned that having a deeply rooted testimony of the Savior and His Atonement should be the core/center of our lives. They talked about how repentance and change and progression is an ongoing process we should be experiencing each day. He said that to stay on the Lords "winning team" we need to keep our covenants with increasing precision. And to live every day to it's fullest!! There were lots of laughs too; later he was really focused on how the object of our existence is happiness. "The gospel is the good news! ... it's a happy message we share.. shouldn't we look happy about it?! ... Men are that they might have joy, and if you have joy, please notify your face!!" :D

So remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!

 It was such a wonderful experience, to feel the Spirit there and have our testimonies strengthened. I am so grateful for the joy that this gospel brings, and that we have the opportunity to share it with others. :)

Sister Patterson

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 9, 2016

Okay, how on earth is it May?! Still feels like it should be March.... Maybe I'm just weird. :)
The weather is totally bipolar lately - and keeps going back and forth between scorching hot and freezing cold. I think my brain and body are struggling to keep up.

On a different note, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!! Yesterday at church we had a really good program, and in one of the talks the speaker said that "A righteous mother is the embodiment of success." I really liked that idea. And I know that my own mother is one of the most righteous women I know :)

Well, in the long space since I last emailed, transfers have come and gone again. My last companion finished her mission with great excitement. And President decided to transfer me to a new area. That means he had to put two new missionaries in our place, and it turned out to be Elders of all things! That was a surprise! I absolutely loved serving in that area though. 6 months is a long while, but it's definitely been a highlight of the mission. So many great people I have come to respect and love, made me sad to leave what I felt was home. Goodbyes were hard. :(

So now I am serving in a city just north of Calgary, called Airdrie! Technically the first time I've served outside the city my whole mission... I have a great new companion, Sister Merkley! This is her last transfer in the mission, and so we are trying to make it a good one so she can finish strong. Coming in we have a few investigators, including this cute little family that have been meeting with missionaries for a few months. We are working with the ward to try and help them progress towards baptism. It's a small ward though. Honestly took some adjusting since I'd grown accustomed to covering 2 large, active wards! Here it's much more quiet, and apparently 53 of the 93 households are considered less-active. So we have our work cut out! But it's a beautiful area, with a lot of potential.

Here are a few points of interest:
- We just got a new Bishop, which means new energy!
- There's a member we were visiting whose BBQ unexpectedly caught fire, and miraculously caused only minor damage to the property and injury to the dad. Fire trucks came and took care of it, but it was a crazy night!
- Cinco de Mayo happened, and apparently nobody seemed to have heard of it before! I just assumed it was common knowledge growing up in the southwest..
- We went street contacting in downtown Calgary the other day - always an interesting experience. You meet so many unique people. But there always seems to be at least one who is prepared to hear about the gospel. We also got to finally go up the Calgary Tower!! Very tall, and at the top there are glass floors - yikes! The restaurant spins too. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful week, full of miracles!!

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 4, 2016

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had a great week!

I had exchanges with our sister training leaders this week - which is always an adventure. It's funny the kind of people you meet out on the street or just knocking on doors. Truly there are situations that seem sketchy or questionable that turn out to be a great and/or memorable experience.... For example, spontaneously getting to teach the Word of Wisdom to a group of individuals with evident substance addiction, and being surprised by positive responses.

Things have been a little slow - it seems like all of Calgary has been taken with a killer cold, even missionaries. I think the Lord is teaching us patience and humility. ;)

There's a baptism coming up for this investigator Atoye and her son. They are from Ethiopia, and have been meeting with the missionaries for a couple of years. But with immigration logistics it's taken this long to get it all worked out so they can be baptized! Super excited for them :)

Can I just say how much I love President and Sister Miles - they are so so so wonderful!! We got to see them this weekend for a zone lunch; it's always fun to see them. :)

Actually, this zone's been a bit different. For one, I'm the second oldest missionary, with my companion being the oldest (and she goes home in 2 1/2 weeks). We keep feeling like everyone is so "young". :)

The highlight of the week was definitely General Conference; there was such an outpouring of the Spirit. For me, the dominant theme seemed to be to draw nearer to Christ and to just keep trying. I loved Elder Holland's comment about how the Lord will bless us when we even try. To never give up is one of the Savior’s greatest characteristics.  In His hour of greatest need Heavenly Father withdrew His Spirit from Him and He was left to ‘tread the wine press alone’.  How easy would it have been to quit?  Because of His love for all mankind he pressed forward, completing the Father’s will.

I hope you each know how much the Lord loves you, and that he loves you just the way you are. His greatest desire is for all of His children to become like Him and to inherit all that He has.  He will never leave your side but will stretch your faith, courage, and determination to follow Him.  Don’t ever give up on anything that is truly worthwhile. He will never, ever, give up on you.

As always, I love you all!

Lots of Love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, March 27, 2016

March 21, 2016

Hey everyone!

It's been a beautiful week in Calgary - the sun is shining and things are looking up! Transfers are good, because they usually bring an boost of energy and enthusiasm to an area. We've been doing a LOT of finding lately, trying to build up our teaching pool. This area is not the most effective to tract in, but there's a time and a place.... It's always funny how nerve-wracking it can be, door after door, literally facing the unknown response. You run into all sorts of people and opinions that way, people telling you all the many ways you're "wrong." But I am grateful for the testimony that I have of the Restored Gospel, and the peace that it brings in facing such opposition. An area authority a while back was talking about how on average, it takes 7 positive interactions with the church for someone to accept the gospel. Since then my perspective of street contacting has changed; instead of fear, there comes a sense of excitement in thinking 'oh good, I get the chance to be this persons next contact!' Funny I know, but it helps....

This past week we had a WONDERFUL Zone Conference!! I always love attending those, because they bring the spirit in such a powerful way! We get to build relationships and strengthen each other's faith and enthusiasm for the work. President took it upon himself to consolidate and print a booklet of about 20 talks by apostles over the years, all about the Atonement! Beginning on Easter we will be reading and studying these talks as a mission - super stoked! We are all really trying to focus on finding families to teach. In Alma 6:6 the Lord said, 'Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God.' On Friday the 25th we will be holding a special mission fast, specifically praying for hearts to be softened in this area, that the Lord may prepare families and individuals to hear and accept the message of the restored gospel. I am super excited to see what miracles come ...

Anyway, on an entirely different note, we've had some adventure lately. For one, our apartment building had a flood from a burst pipe, so about a dozen apartments were affected. Some were ruined! Our's is in a spot where is should have suffered substantial damage, but miraculously we were spared! The clean up crew was floored by the lack of damage to our place - quote "Well, you must be doing something right!" We got a good laugh out of that one. :)

At the zone conference we also got the chance to have some fun bonding moments - like playing missionary pictionary, using themes from our specific mission - you'd think it was the superbowl or something with all the excitement over chalkboard drawings! Even President and Sister Miles got into it! Tis' the life though - finding joy in the simple and even silly things. :) My companion and I are having a pretty good time - we were talking about how excited we are for General Conference, so we made a paper chain countdown in our apartment. :) Again, silly things....

Sister Perrero has a family she baptized that she stays in touch with - and I got to meet them! Apparently they are looking to move to this area. But this family is going down to Utah for conference - and are staying with her family! She is super excited. :) And I recently heard from Lori (who was baptized last June) that she has been going to the temple for baptisms - and she is coming up on one year to go through for herself!!! :)

Anyway - with it being Easter this coming Sunday, I wanted to share one of my favorite scriptures about the Saviour, found in Alma 7:11-13
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people,  that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverence; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."

I want you to know that 'this is the testimony which is in me.' Easter is not only a memorial of his death, it is a celebration of his bringing new life - both physical and spiritual. I know as we use the enabling and cleansing power of the Atonement in our daily lives that we will find new life, that in living the gospel we will find the strength to abandon our sins and overcome weakness. I know this, because I have felt it. May we prepare for this sacred celebration by looking for His hand in our daily lives, and by remembering to use his precious sacrifice to it's fullest every day, thereby expressing our gratitude for Him.


Lots of Love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 7, 2016

Alright, so just a quick update for today. Transfers came again!! My wonderful companion Sister Page got moved down to the city of Lethbridge! We spent 3 transfers together, which is abnormally long, but I am super grateful for our time together, for the things she's taught me and for the friendship we've shared. In the mean time, new transfers mean new opportunities and adventures. For me that means getting to know a new companion, Sister Pererro. She is older than me in the mission, about 16 months. And she just came from serving in one of my old areas, Coventry ward. Small world. Anyway, I'll send more next week.

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson
Matthew 11: 28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy , and my burden is light."

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 16, 2016

.....and she's back!

Ok, where to even begin....

Transfers have come and gone once again, and Sister Page and I are still together - so that will be the third transfer with each other in the same area - pretty surprising! But fortunately we have a great friendship and work well together. Still, every once in a while you itch for change, and ours came in the form of moving apartments! This is the first time in my mission I have my own apartment (instead of living in a basement) and it's wonderful! :)

Since we've been together for a while now, we have gotten to celebrate our "mission birthdays!" January was her 7 month mark, and my 11 month mark - so to celebrate we picked up some 7/11 Slurpees! :)

Celebrating our 7 and 11 month marks with slurpees :)

But as of February 11th, I have been a missionary for 1 YEAR!!!! Crazy, eh?!  I can hardly believe it. It feels like it's been more like 6 months... But that's all I've got left, and for the first time I'm feeling this thought creep in that I don't want to go home, and even though it's months ahead, I don't feel ready to wrap up being a missionary.... it's taken time, but I can truly say I love being a missionary, I love wearing this name tag and knowing my purpose each day. I love seeing the light of the gospel illuminate peoples lives with peace and joy and understanding. It's the greatest, hardest most life changing experience anyone could have, and I am so glad to have not passed up the opportunity. :)

I know this is way delayed, but way back when for New Year's eve our zone got a special invitation to have dinner with President Miles and his family. The mission home is within our zone boundaries, so it was just us and them. Some of his married children came up for the holidays to visit, and it was so sweet to see the Miles' act as loving grandparents. It was a fun evening - but we had early curfew at 6pm - so not the typical "celebration." :) I am so grateful for their positive influence, and we all love them dearly.

Actually, a couple Sunday's ago they surprised us by showing up to one of our Sacrament meetings! We were elated to have them, and the Bishop invited them to get up and share their testimonies. I was filled with appreciation as President Miles got up and bore his humble witness of the Savior and of His work, and asked the members to let us into their homes and find people for us to teach (something we've been struggling with lately). We can tract all day, and walk the streets talking to people, but in reality, the most success comes from member referrals. So we were extremely grateful for his comments in our behalf.

No idea if you heard, but there was an "historic" worldwide missionary broadcast held a few weeks back. All the missionaries around the world tuned in, whether it was 7am, all the way through 7pm (all but a few missions were able to watch live). It was a broadcast from Salt Lake, during which members of the quorum of the 12 apostles and other presiding leaders gave a 2 hour training on how to be a more effective missionary. The program was titled, "Preach Repentance and Baptize Converts." My favorite part was a little classroom seminar Elder Bednar taught, about how we often approach lessons as if we are the teachers and the Spirit is like a tool we can pull out when needed. But in reality, when we go into a lesson, the Spirit should be the teacher, and we are the tool that creates the environment needed to learn. All we can do is bring the word to the investigators, but the Spirit is the only one who can take the word into their hearts and ultimately bring them to conversion. It was a powerful experience to listen and be given direct counsel on how to move the work forward.

Since we've been in the area  a while, we have started up a mission prep for the youth in our wards. Some are getting ready to leave, and are really good about going out with us to lessons or whatever. It's been fun to see the nervousness and hesitation grow into testimony and confidence. It makes me think about how far I've come... I wish I had taken the chance to prepare more before my mission though... reaching out to the missionaries for insight on what to expect- what a surprisingly logical resource. :)

A few weeks back we had the opportunity to help our ward go clean the temple one morning - it was a beautiful experience; I got to be apart of the group assigned to clean the entire upper floor. It was a unique privilege to help do a small part in taking care of that sacred beautiful building.

Most recently, the highlight has been that of baptisms. This past weekend we had the privilege of holding baptisms for some wonderful children, all of whom we have been teaching and preparing for a few weeks. In one case, it was an 8 year old boy who's parents are active and just wanted us to teach him basics in preparation. Others, like this girl Madison, have parents that are either not members or have been less active, and so we have been working with the family unit itself. It was powerful to hear her experience of wanting to know for herself if the church is true, if she should be baptized, and through study and prayer, coming to the conclusion for herself. That is part of what it means to be converted: to have a personal witness. It has been a privilege to be apart of her and other's journeys toward baptism...

Sorry for the long ramblings, I feel like so much has happened and I have no idea where to begin to describe 2016 thus far. There has been lots of laughs, and lots of tears. But I can testify to the reality of Miracles, and I am so grateful for the knowledge that the Lord carries out His work through small and simple means, even if that means me.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and thank you for your prayers in my behalf - they have carried me through this year, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Lots of love,
Sister Patterson

P Day at the park.

Calgary sky with geese.

Winter wonderland.
Calgary sky.

Calgary city skyline.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

December 28, 2015

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are gearing up for a Happy New Year!!!

I made a discovery - Christmas as a missionary rocks!!! We have some great members, who made sure we were well taken care of. One of our Bishops let us Skype from his home - which is really what we were most looking forward to. It was wonderful to see and talk with the family - and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone, family and friends, who expressed love and Christmas wishes - it means the world to know your were thinking of me. Please know I thought of each of you individually, and I thank Heavenly Father to have you in my life.

So on Christmas Eve a member was kind enough to take us to the annual Calgary City Nativity Pageant put on by the Church.  It was pretty typical of what you would expect (minus the freezing cold), but towards the end as the people kneeled before the manger to worship the Savior of the world, I was overcome with a sense of awe and joy, that His birth, life, death, and resurrection was all for us. I am so grateful for His example and sacrifice, and that the Christmas season doesn't need to end; it can continue as we remember the rest of his story throughout the year.

I have such a sweet companion, and I am so grateful to have spent this Christmas with her. We were able to get up early and unwrap the parcel's sent from home, to reminisce and laugh and cry together as we thought of loved ones and felt of  your support and love.

Christmas morning

 I honestly had gone into the week of Christmas feeling like it was going to be a goneshow, that it would be a bit of a drag. But it ended up being one of the better weeks of late! We have been able to proselyte with a Christmas twist, and from it we miraculously found a new family to teach! So as "hard" as it was to not be home for Christmas - that was nothing compared to the unique joy I've been privileged to experience this year as a missionary - and that is truly a wonderful gift.

I love you all so much!

Sister Sarah Patterson

Apartment dΓ©cor.