Saturday, November 23, 2013

Good-bye Warsaw

It is a very sad day :( My time in Warsaw is up.) My very most favorite
area thus far has been swept out from underneath my feet. I must say
my goodbyes to all of those whom I love so dearly. It has been fun
Warsaw..... until we meet again.

Oh wow... cheese fest!! Anyways, I am super disappointed that I have
to leave. Sister Cutler gets to stay, so she will be the baptizing
queen and keep all of our investigators (we have 4 who have dates!!!)
on the straight and narrow path. I am pretty sure that saying goodbye
to her will be one of the hardest things that I have yet to do on my
mission. I loved Sister Cutler for a lot of reasons, but I think that
one of the biggest ones is how we were able to grow together in the
gospel. We were able to find, teach, and baptize together--the whole
purpose of missionary work. Not going to lie, it wasn't all peachy. We
had some hard days and shocker, we sometimes even disagreed. But, I
know that without a doubt I am a better person because of her. We were
able to grow in this gospel, become better teachers, more effective
missionaries, and more like Christ... together. At least I don't have
to say goodbye officially until Wednesday after transfers.

So I do not know yet where I am going, but I was called as a Sister
Trainer Leader. So let the new adventure begin!! Hello to lots of
exchanges and getting to know sooo many more sisters!!! I am really
excited (a little nervous. not gonna lie). I will let you know next
week where my new area is and what my address is as well :)

I have loved hearing from all of you that are going to do the 40 Days
challenge!! Sister Navarro is putting together a video explaining it
all.. which we got to be a big part of!! She has a facebook page for
it called "40 Days and 40 Nights" or something like that. She was able
to share it with "sugardoodle" on facebook (a big mormon blogger site
lady for those of you who don't know) and with in 24 hours the post
had over 100,000 hits!!! To think all of this came from a happy dance
gone wrong and a sprained ankle!! Sister Cutler and I have been
reading together. It is amazing-- the spirit that came as we sat on the
couch and just read. The change in the room was immediate. Then I
started to wonder why I hadn't been doing this with my companion for
my whole mission.... This experience also allowed me to reflect on the
times that we read scriptures together as a family. I know without a
doubt that this was key in my coming on a mission and my conversion to
the gospel. Though some nights I rolled my eyes and read my few verses
out loud like I was bored out of my mind, reading the scriptures
together made my home a Christ centered place and I developed a love
for them. Though this is far from my mind now, I can not wait to do
this with my future family. I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father
has revealed the gospel in this dispensation, that he has provided a
way for us to learn about our Savior. The spirit that comes when we
read the Book of Mormon is so strong because we are feeling our
Heavenly Father's love. It is pure and simple, it is our Savior.

Oh fun fact-- a tornado came through Warsaw yesterday. We spent a few
hours in the afternoon cooped up in our Ward Mission Leader's basement
(The Haas' are fantastic!!)

I also tried riding a bike in my boot and was very unsuccessful.

I can't wait to hear from all of you again!! (I sure hope you feel the
same about me ;)

All of my Love from Warsaw,
<3 Sarah

If you would still like to join Sarah's challenge you can find the details on Facebook 
at The 40 days and 40 Nights Challenge.  If you like the page you will get a reminder daily of the reading passages for the day.  

Most of all if you join, drop Sarah a note and let her know what experiences you are having.  I have been hearing some of them and the Lord is truly hastening his work.

I will have a new snail mail address for her Monday.  Send me an email if you'd like to send her a letter.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Forty Days and Forty Nights

Well surprise, surprise, Sister Cutler and I had another amazing week here in Warsaw!! Gloria was baptized this week, we were able to teach quite a few more lessons and we started to share our awesome "challenge" (hold your horses, I promise to tell you all about it too :)!!

Gloria's baptism was amazing!! It was so tender (wow cheesy word choice) to see her be baptized. She was grinning ear to ear the entire time!! She shared with us the day before she was baptized how excited she was. To see the pure joy on her face was priceless. She even invited her best friend Megan to her baptism!! Go Gloria, what an awesome example of a member missionary (she is only 10!!!)!!!!!!!!! (Just a few more !!! will be needed to try to express how exciting this day was!!!!!!!!!! yayyyyy baptisms!!!!!!!!!!!!)

It was amazing to see the hand of the Lord in our week. We were able to see almost all of our investigators and we were able to give one a baptismal date.  This was awesome because I am not even back to missionary work full time (stupid foot). I hobble very nicely in my boot. And everyone seems to know the embarrassing story of how this all happened in the first place……. hahahahah. And now EVERYONE quotes my mother to me… "No dancing in the kitchen!" To say the least, this ward will remember me :) oh and Sister Cutler and I leave random pictures of our faces on member’s fridges. It is kind of fun! 

So let me tell you a little bit more about J.  Black. She is a hoot, well to say the least. She is in her 70s…. 0r 80s (not sure, we tend not to ask people their ages until we need it). The very first thing that she said when she met us was "I sure don't like Indiana. Everyone here is fat, bald and toothless. I didn't want to more here. And what do you know! Now that I moved here I am fat, bald and toothless. You girls better watch out!" So yikes!! Hopefully I don't come home fat, bald or toothless. Well she was very closed off to the church at first. She is best friends with a member though, and that member just had to share the gospel with her. She kept inviting her to go out to Pizza Hut with us. At first we didn't talk much about gospel subjects. She was eventually invited to participate in the empty nester’s Family Home Evening group. She loved it!! She got to know the members involved with that. And what would you know, her curiosity got the best of her when she started to ask questions about why the members are so good and what makes them the way the are. So a few lessons and a few questions answered later she now is committed to baptism!!!! It is amazing to see the hand of the Lord in this work, especially when members and missionaries work so closely together!!

So now for the "challenge." As Sister Cutler and I do with all of our investigators, I would LOVE to commit you all to this challenge. And I am going to do it with you.  I promise it will change your life ;D 
First things first, I have to explain how all of this came about. Sister Navarro has been so kind to let me put my foot up at her house, so a couple of weeks later and a lot of hours we have this awesome challenge, a way that I could still do missionary work while I am not ready to hit the ground running again. 

This challenge is called 40 Day and 40 Nights. It is to read the Book of Mormon in 40 day and 40 Nights. The program outlines exactly which chapters to read in the morning and which chapters to read at night! Each day has a specific scripture that we already found for you, which testifies of Christ. The whole point of this is not just to read but to come closer to Christ. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Christ and what better way to come closer to Christ then by reading it!! By reading it in this short time period, it is not so much to dig really deep in the doctrine, but to come to a better understanding of Christ and build your personal relationship with him!! 
So the program is not just reading. I am sure you can read it for yourself, but it also involves praying, sharing, reflecting and writing!! One of the most important parts of this challenge is to testify of Christ everyday!! And to pray for service opportunities. 
OH AND if you start on November 16th (Just like me and Sister Cutler and all of the Warsaw Ward and some of our investigators too :) you will finish on CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!!!

I would really love if all of you would do this! I am going to do it too, so you will not be alone ;) As a missionary, when we commit our investigators or members to do something, we always promise blessings. As I commit all of you to do this (that is if you are up to the challenge) I would like to promise you blessings and leave you with my testimony. 

I promise that as you read the Book of Mormon and take this challenge you will grow closer to Christ. You will understand and feel our Heavenly Father's love for you more strongly in your life. You will have the ability to recognize opportunities to serve more readily and the capacity which to serve more fully. As you take this challenge and complete it to the very best of your ability, as you come to know Christ better, you will become more like Christ. As we come to know our Savior more through reading the Book of Mormon we better understand the Atonement of Christ, which means that we are able to more fully apply the power of the Atonement in our lives. I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Without him, I would be nothing. With out him, there is no way to overcome our sins, no way to return to our Father in Heaven. But through him, we are able to find happiness and pure joy in this life. The power of the atonement is real. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return to live with Him again. I know that reading the Book of Mormon will help you come closer to Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all so much!! Oh and for my Birthday ;) I would LOVE to hear about the experiences that come from taking this challenge!! 

All my love from the Hoosier State,


If you want to participate in the challenge and would like an easier to read copy of the Schedule/ Challenge  email me and I will send you one.
Heidi (Sarah's mom)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cotton Eye Joe Gone Wrong

This week Adam was baptized!!! YAYY! It was so exciting! It was cool, because Adam seemed really excited about it all too. His baptism was pretty small and simple, but it was so perfect! Adam and his fiancĂ© set a date to go to the temple together! The wonderful thing about the gospel is that Adam not only changed his life, but he also changed his future family’s life! Oh and Sister Cutler and I thought that we would be funny and did our best to match at the baptism and then everyone else also showed up in purple hahah

This week we also had interviews with President Cleveland. It was cool, because we actually spent most of our time together as companions in the interview and we talked about what our goals are for the last quarter of the year for our area. It was neat because he said that Sister Cutler and I might get another, yes another, transfer together!! Which would be like the best thing ever!!!!!!!!! 

So for the real excitement this week. I sprained my ankle…. really bad. And now I am sure that all of you are just dying to hear about how I would have done such a thing. So here goes the story, it is quite embarrassing. 
So Monday evening Sister Cutler and I had a lot of energy left after we finished our nightly planning and we decided that we needed to get it out. And what better way then cheesy dance moves in our bedroom. So we were just getting our wiggles out when we decided to do the cotton eye joe. We were doing the knee high cow jumpy move thing (the yee haww) I sure hope you know what I am talking about! Well my knees were up to my waist and then I fell. I landed crazy hard and there was a giant snap that came from my ankle. YIKES! It swelled up to the size of a baseball in about 2 minutes. I was able to get a priesthood blessing that night, did not sleep much, but was able to go to the doctor later the next day. One x-ray later we found out that is just a really bad sprain and that something is quite possibly torn. Thankfully a family in the ward had an extra set of crutches and members of the ward have been very willing to let me sit on their couch-- and then another member takes Sister Cutler out on an exchange. So I am going a little bit stir crazy!! But hopefully I will be able to walk soon. For now my ankle is still swollen and purple. YIKES! So yes, that is all of the excitement here.

I hope that all of you have an amazing and wonderful week! I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. He loves us so much that he sent his son to die for us. Jesus Christ is our Savor and our Redeemer. With out him there would be no way back to our Father in Heaven. I love that every morning I get to wake up and put on a name tag that declares to the world that for this period of time I have been set apart as His representative!! 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

We Stalk the Mailman

It is pretty embarrassing... we know ALL of the mailman’s habits now. We know what he wears, when he comes, and how long he takes. The only thing that we don't know is his name. Everyday we pray there is mail. Between the four of us that live together we normally get at least something. Days without mail are a big disappointment.  So now you know.. missionaries stalk mailmen. (no shame)

This week was so exciting!! and it went so fast. Sister Cutler and I had more lessons than I have had my entire mission. And  in so many of them we had the opportunity to take members of our ward with us to the lesson. It was awesome. We did go tracting in 32 degree weather with flurries. It was quite the adventure. I thought all of you might enjoy a rather embarrassing story. So here it is. It was chilly, so I put on tights. They seemed to fit just fine, or so I thought. When we left our apartment to go tracting and try to see a few of our investigators (it was about 40 degrees and really windy), I noticed that the tights began to slip. I had on a dress, so there wasn't much I could do about fixing it. I stopped at a tree and tried to re-adjust (note much laughter was involved.) I finally concluded that in order to successfully keep my tights where they belonged that I need to hold them up. So looking like a dork I walked on. Before I knew it the tights were at my knees (yes at my knees. It was NUTS). Finally I gave in to cold breezes up my legs and gave up and just took them off. To say the least it was freezing, embarrassing and hilarious.

Adam is going to baptized on this Saturday!!!!! Ahhhhhh I am soooooo excited (if you couldn't tell :)! We were able to meet with him about every other day this past week. In our lesson last night at the Haas' (the Ward Mission Leader's house) Adam and Shelby set a date to be sealed together next year!!!! Sister Cutler and I are so excited for them. Adam who started out really quiet, now is very comfortable asking us all sorts of questions and has gotten pretty good at answering ours. I think the most amazing thing about all of this is to see the change that his taken  place in his countenance. It is kind of hard to describe, but I am sure lots of you know what I mean- he is so much happier, he is so much lighter. He understands how the spirit works and he is preparing not only for his baptism, but to receive the priesthood and for a temple marriage. It is amazing. Boy oh boy I just LOVE being a missionary!!!

Gloria (one of our other investigators- sorry I don't remember if I wrote about her last week or not!) is going to be baptized on November 9th. Her mom has helped her to make church a priority. One of the things that I love most about Gloria is that she seems to understand how simple the gospel is. I also love how every time she prays in a lesson to prays to understand all that she needs to in order to be baptized. She is awesome and super fun to teach!

Brain and Stephanie are also going to be baptized before November ends (whoot whoot yayyy!!!!) Brian was able to come to church this Sunday with his mom! He seemed to fit in perfectly. He even wore a white shirt and tie. When his mom stood up and introduced herself in gospel principles class it was so cute, her English is not very good, but it went something like this "I am from Mexico, I have been Mormon long time but I have been inactive. I love being back at church and two of my children will be baptized in November's end and I cannot be happier!" While she does not remember much of the gospel she knows without a doubt how much it will bless her family and the joy that it brings to her life. I am pretty sure that she grinned ear to ear almost all of church.

So on a less-spiritual note-- Sister Cutler and I had Blu Bell Coconut- Fudge Ice cream at a members house and it was divine!!
Our ward mission leader and wife both got I Phones which means that they can text now!!!! (Best day ever!!) And Sister Cutler and I enjoy taking pictures of ourselves and leaving them on membe’rs fridges (photobombing).

I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be a missionary!


Real time photo-- taken about 20 minutes ago in the backseat of the car on the way to the library... we LOVE preparation day

Sometimes we have opportunities to garden in 30 degree weather.... but we only own dress coats, so puffy vests we found in the apartment it is!!!!

Time Flies When You are Having Fun

This week was AWESOME!! Actually it flew by. I kind of can't believe that I am at the computer again typing to all of you! I guess time flies when you are having fun? or something like that......

Anyways--first things first, I have to tell you about Adam. So Adam is 19 years old- he just graduated this spring from High School, he is working at Arby's and he just got engaged to a girl in our ward (who is 18), named Shelby. As soon as they were engaged, he started coming to church with Shelby- and who did Sister Cutler and I get to start teaching? ADAM!! He didn't have much religious background and at first he didn't even really seem like he wanted to be taking the lessons. All of his answers were along the lines of "maybe, probably, sometimes, or decently.”  Not helpful. But, something changed in Adam. He started to read the Book of Mormon, he would tell us what he learned in priesthood at church and he was praying everyday. By applying the basic principles of the gospel in his life he began to have a desire, he wanted to learn more. So we asked him last week if he would like to be baptized and he said YES!!! We had him pray about when he thought he would be ready to be baptized. Turns out he thought he would be ready a whole lot sooner then we did! His baptism will be on November 2nd!!!!! So Sister Cutler and I are teaching him LOTS to make sure that he is prepared to enter into the covenant. It is awesome!!!

I also wanted to tell you about Gloria. She is 10 years old- her Mom is a convert of only 3 years and has been less active for almost 2 now. Since we started teaching her, she has been coming to church with her Mom. And Gloria is going to baptized on November 9th!! YAYY!!!! At first she was really scared about learning everything and being able to remember it all- but not any more :) Part of what makes the gospel so amazing is how simple it is. Sometimes it is hard-- but the principles are simple and they are all for our happiness.

Sister Cutler and I have been disappointed at how lots of our investigators are not attending church. It is frustrating that they don't understand the importance of renewing--or preparing-- for their baptismal covenants. I love the sacrament. It is an opportunity that we have every week to be as clean as we were when we were baptized. Through the sacrament, we can renew ALL of our covenants. I am so grateful that I can do this every Sunday. That I can take the opportunity to repent nightly and then be squeaky clean again on Sundays. Let's be real here... you can't get that far away from God in 7 days ;)

I love this gospel, I love Warsaw, I love teaching and I love being a missionary!!


The pictures---
we milked goats by flashlight this week!

Indiana has HUGE leafs :)

And I love Sister Cutler :)))

Service and Pants and Bikes

Service and Pants and Bikes

This week had so many awesome service opportunities!! We helped a member can a bunch of her pears.  We helped a non-member (who is now and investigator.. whoot whoot) move in.  We helped a member and a potential investigator mulch a community garden and we helped a less active member fold a mountain (a literal mountain) of laundry. It was super fun to help and we even found 3 new investigators this week!! Plus I mean I can't complain too much about having to ride a bike in service clothes (pants on bikes rock!).

So we got another car!! yayy :) well it was short lived. We had a full time car for about 3 days.. then we had to give away our older car to a set of Elders who were biking 45 minutes into their area everyday. Turns out they needed it more. My hair is not happy in a helmet, but my thighs sure thank me for only a part time car :) Sister Cutler and I were very disappointed when we found out that we would be sharing a car again. Then I realized how selfish I was. Of course I can share a car, I mean come on, I already did it for 6 weeks. Yes it might be harder to coordinate and biking in a skirt is not always the most fun, but the weather has been beautiful and helmet hair isn’t too bad :)

The other sisters who are serving the Warsaw ward had a baptism this weekend. I just can't wait to see what this transfer brings for Sister Cutler and I (right now we have 4 investigators with a baptismal dates.. yayyy!!!) but then again, it is all in the Lord's time :)

I love you all! Thank you for your support :)