Ariel shares her testimony!

"We are really in America!" - Sister V

I'm excited for Shane to turn in his mission papers! It's like getting called all over again! haha. What if he comes to Salt Lake??! ahahah.

My testimony of the Savior increases each day. I have found so much strength in Him that I could not have without Him. I am finding that people can always look for faults with some doctrine or another, but as I study the life of Christ, I am better able to recognize this as HIS church. This church is different from every other because we have the restored Priesthood authority; to me, that means that this is the only church in which Jesus Christ is actively leading and guiding the people. He isn't crying out from the dust like the prophets of old; he is literally speaking to us through a modern prophet. I am getting tired of being told that I am "indoctrinated" into my beliefs. The way that I feel, even in the moment that I am writing this, is enlightened. It is enlightenment from a Spirit that can only testify of truths. I know that this is the only church with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I am SO grateful to be able to wear His name beneath mine every single day. 

Pillow cases from Sister Thorum!
Tuesday, Sister Thorum gave Sister V and I pillowcases that she made us! They are so cute. We found out about transfers that day, too. I am in the same area with the same companion. This transfer is only 4 weeks long though. The next one is 8 weeks!

Pillow cases applied
We did service three times this week! Monday, we did FHE and helped a family pack. Tuesday, we did yard work. Wednesday, we had dinner with the sisters from Park City East and did some cleaning and "organizing" with them. You know how I clean!!! The lady was kind of a hoarder and had SO much paper. Well every time she went out of the room or turned her back, I would whisper to Sister Willis to give me more stuff to throw away! It was honestly junk and she wouldn't miss it, so I was taking handfuls and handfuls away! hahah. Anytime Sister Willis was unsure about something, I'd throw it away. Ahah. 
Wednesday was my 9 month mark!! Oo-Oooh! (ask Shane to do the Baby Mama thing)
Sister V studying multiple scriptures, haha.

Pretty uneventful week! Love you!!!

The perfect weekend!.. (and lots of pictures!)

What a wild week leading to a perfect weekend! 
Our district 
Last Pday, we went hiking in Kamas with the district. We were all out of breath in the first five minutes.. haha. It was a beautiful day and it felt good to be outside in nature. We walked for about 45 minutes and then everyone decided that it was time for icecream. 

Tuesday, Sister V and I did service for a non-member. She has arthritis and hasn't been able to do yardwork for a few years. Sister Villoso and I were tough! We worked for 2 hours pulling stubborn bushes from the side yard. All of the yardwork tools ended up breaking... Not sure if we are too tough or they are too weak!
Pulling roots with Sister Villoso
That night, we were able to have a lesson with Morgan, the 16-year-old girl I told you about last week. Ahhhh. It was so good. We had it at the Peters' house and Morgan's parents were there!! The Spirit was so strong as we taught them about the Restoration. Her mom asked really good questions and we were able to resolve her concerns. I asked Morgan when she thought that she would be prepared to be baptized. She said Saturday, (as in, 4 days later). Eventually, her parents agreed to let her be baptized on that Saturday evening!
Elder Simon, Sister Marlow, Sister Villoso, me, Morgan, Brett Peters, Elder Darquea at the Family Tree for Morgan's baptismal interview
Wednesday, we had a Training in Sandy for the new missionaries and their trainers. Sister V and I rode down with 2 other sisters. That night we had dinner with the Thorums.. Sister Thorum is so so great! She has this studio space where she has a giant loom and a quilt stitcher machine (I don't know the official name!)... They are so cool though. She professionally makes quilts for people. She said that if Sister V and I don't get transferred that we can come over every Pday and make our own quilts!! 
Sister Thorum!
Thursday, we drove to Sandy again for a Zone Conference. It was kind of a crazy one... It might be because President Miller is getting trunky! There was a "Price is Right" game to teach us how to use our missionary allowance cards. There was also a pinata to teach us about what lack of Vision can do to our missionary work.. haha. It was an interesting day. Our Stake President, President Palmer, and our Relief Society President (who has written to you), Sister Livingston, both were able to attend. Sister Livingston made a comment about me in one of the meetings. She said that she was able to gain trust in the missionaries from going out and teaching with them. She said that when she went out with me, she could see that I was bold and what a good teacher I am... She was so so sweet. 

Friday, Sister V and I had a lesson with 6 teenagers! 4 members, 2 non-members. The member kids had gotten together and given their non-member friend a Book of Mormon and invited her to meet with the missionaries. Ahhh. It was absolutely wild at first. We walked up the driveway and heard the piano being played and lots of people talking and laughing. We ate dinner with them and they were having a lot of fun. It was amazing to see the change that happened though, as soon as we started teaching. Everyone was reverent and relaxed. 
Friday was also Brother Peters' birthday, "Papa Peters"... haha

Saturday... Possibly my favorite day in my whole mission so far. We went to the Johnsons in the morning and rode to the Salt Lake Temple with them!! We were able to go inside & do a live endowment session with them. As soon as the session started, I felt the Spirit so strongly. I loved sitting next to Sister Johnson and looking across the aisle at Brother Johnson... What a beautiful experience! 
Salt Lake Temple with Brother & Sister Johnson!
Afterwards, we took a few pictures in front of the temple, and then went to lunch with them & their daughter who lives in Salt Lake. We ate at Chuck-O-Rama, the exact same place that our family went after going to Temple Square. 
When we got back to Park City, Sister V and I stopped by Sister Thorum's. She got me a MUCH NEEDED case for my scriptures. Ahhh, there are so many people here that I have grown to love. 
Saturday evening was Morgan's baptismal service!! There were easily 150 people there... We filled up the entire chapel! I have never seen so many people at a baptism before. It was amazing! Her parents sat in the front row for the talks and when we moved to the baptismal font, they sat in the front row there, too. Her mom was crying the entire time. It was such a perfect service. The Spirit was so strong! I am so proud of Morgan and everyone is so happy for her! What a miracle.
Brett, Morgan, me, Sister Villoso
Sunday was Morgan's confirmation. Her mom attended sacrament meeting to watch. Brother Peters gave her a very nice blessing. We had dinner with the Peters and Morgan after church. Sister V and I taught them how to play the Plan of Salvation Charades. We had a lot of fun. They are a wonderful bunch!
The Peters family!
I just read my One Line a Day Journal entry for last year. Exactly one year ago today, you, Russ, and I went to New York City. We saw the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and 5th Avenue. We had Chinese food in New Jersey. 

Today is Elder Jerman's birthday, so I have decorated his office in the Family Tree. I love that man!! 

It was a crazy week trying to get everything ready for the weekend, but it was so so wonderful. I LOVE the temple. When I was in the Celestial room, I wanted to stay all day long. Before Saturday, I hadn't been allowed to go to the temple since October. (When you are serving in Park City, you don't get to go to the temple every transfer... So annoying). Well anyway. It was much needed. I can't wait until the day when I can go to the temple whenever I want!!

How was your birthday, by the way? 

I love you! Hope all is well! 

Miracles... and Elder Jeffrey R Holland

What a spiritually rejuvenating week. The past few weeks have been rough. Being a trainer is more difficult than you'd think! The sit-down, formal companion-study training is easy... It's the real-life application that gets difficult. The new missionary is still adjusting and learning (which is hard to forget!). I have been learning so much about missionary work and about myself that I couldn't have learned if I had not been a trainer. 

This wonderful less-active couple that I have been working with since February, got their temple recommends this week! The husband hasn't been to the temple in almost 20 years and is very excited to go back this weekend. I am so so happy for them. I love them with all my heart and I cannot wait for you to meet them when you come pick me up in 9 months (picking me up, wink wink). The couple has asked that we go with them for support and to "hold Sister Johnson's hand". I am waiting to hear back from the district leader if Sister Villoso and I can go. They are planning on attending the Salt Lake Temple with the bishop this Saturday evening. I am praying praying praying that we can go with them, but I don't know if it will happen!

Wednesday was the b-e-s-t day (besides Sunday, when I got to see you!) In the morning, we had birthday celebrations at the Tree --two cheesecakes, icecream, etc etc! And in the evening, we had a mission conference... I absolutely LOVED seeing and hearing from Elder Holland! What a complete miracle to hear an apostle speak. Especially Elder Holland! I found so much strength in his counsel and I know that the Lord provided many of those words for my benefit. He talked about the difficulties associated with serving a mission and acknowledged that it is SO HARD! He said that it has to be this hard because we need to walk the path that Christ walked. Serving a mission is hard, but it gives me the opportunity to suffer for this gospel that the Savior so willingly suffered for. Salvation is not easy! 

We dropped FIVE investigators this week! Or they dropped us. (Dropped, meaning that we won't be teaching them because they're not ready right now). We had a member come with us who is preparing for her mission.. What a wonderful way to immerse her in missionary work! haha.

We had an AMAZING miracle just last night. This wonderful 16-year-old girl who has been coming to church for many years, but has not been a member, called us. I am very close to her and I know her well; she has been facing opposition from her parents and they haven't allowed her to be baptized. Through her struggle, she has actively attended church and young womens; she has gone to youth temple trips and spent the day in the waiting room. She has been a great example to all those around her. Well, in her phone call last night, she told us that her parents have given her permission to be baptized! I called her father this morning and he said that we are allowed to prepare her for baptism! The Lord is truly softening hearts and working miracles! 

I have definitely seen the pattern that Heavenly Father has set for my mission... I work very hard, finding and teaching. I am excited. Whoever I am putting effort towards ends up dropping us. I am sad. And then, the Lord puts someone in our path who has been prepared to receive the gospel. I am humbled. Over & over again. 

I love you so much! It was so wonderful and lovely and exciting to see you!! & Russ & Matthew & to talk to Adam! I love you all!! 


Sis Wall and Sis Villoso's fun week!

Sister V, me, Bro Livingston, & Bro Lewis
Today, after grocery shopping, I asked Sister V if there was anything she had in mind to do today. She didn't have any ideas so I asked her if she's ever been to Michael's. She hasn't, of course, because she's from the Philippines. Well I decided to take her and it was so fun! I think the only words out of our mouths for half an hour were, "Oh my gosh," "Cute!" and "I love this so much"... I got 4 sets of cards and Sister V bought a couple of journals & note paper. We were in Heaven.

This week hasn't been too eventful. Just a few things here & there.
On Tuesday, we had a lesson with this great woman we've been working with for a while. I think I told you about her a few weeks ago. She read through 2 Nephi in just a few days and came to the knowledge that it is true. So at the lesson Tuesday, we taught her about the Word of Wisdom & Tithing to prepare her for baptism. Afterwards, she was very concerned because she loves green tea. I decided to make a trade off... No ice cream for me, and no green tea for her! You will not be surprised to find that ice cream was the treat for every dinner afterwards!
Well just a few days after our agreement, she texted us to let us know that she would continue to read & pray, but that she isn't ready for the commitment yet. I really think that she's hung up on the green tea thing, which is so sad. We tried to talk to her about alternatives, and reaffirm her testimony about the Book of Mormon, but she says that she needs time. Sad!

On Wednesday, the 24th was Ellie's birthday... Happy birthday, Ellie!! 
Wednesday, 4 of the sisters from the Family Tree drove down to Sandy, UT for a training conference. We got to Sandy just fine, but had trouble getting to the mission office. We got lost, which was an adventure, but finally found our way there. The training meeting was very good. The assistant's to the president talked about Extending Commitments & Following Up, and then we did some role plays to practice. After observing the role plays of other missionaries, we would make comments about what they did well & what they could improve on. After one of the role plays, I made the comment that the elders hadn't mentioned Jesus Christ's name once, and that was the entire reason that I am on my mission. One of the elders pretended to take off his name tag out of shame. haha. I knew him from my previous district & we are good friends, so he knew that I wasn't trying to embarrass him, but that I was just making a point. 

On Saturday, Sister Villoso and I were visiting some Less Active people that we had heard about from the bishop. On the way through the neighborhood, we saw Brother Johnson working on his truck in his garage. We drove by but then I felt bad we hadn't stopped to say hello, so I turned around. I yelled out the window & he was so excited to talk to us for a minute. His wife, bless her heart, came running out the front door, so happy, saying, "Bring the sister missionaries in! I have a surprise for them!" We got out of the car and went inside & their son had come home to surprise them! They always tell us about him & were excited for us to meet him. He lives in Philly but was driving through Utah, so he wanted to surprise his parents. It worked so well because Sister Johnson was BAWLING and hugging him & wouldn't let go! She is so adorable. She said, "This is how your moms are going to be when you go home from your missions!" and Brother Johnson was like, "They don't want to talk about that!" haha. Ahhh. I just love them. 

On Sunday, we were passing out programs before sacrament meeting. I looked out in the foyer and sitting on one of the couches was this ex-communicated man that Sister Zeiner & I met a couple of months ago. I was surprised to see him and went over to talk to him. He said that he's been reading the copy of the Book of Mormon that we left him & also our testimonies that we had written on the inside cover. We had just OYMed him (Open Your Mouth, or in other words, talk to everyone you see) a couple of months ago and he didn't seem very receptive, but it was really nice to see him coming to church & making that effort. 

We are looking for new people to teach because Scratch (Satan, remember?) got a hold of all of our investigators! We have no non-members to teach, but we are really focusing on contacting names that we've gotten from the bishops & ward mission leaders. We had 15 lessons with Less Actives this week, which I think is the most I've ever had on my mission! I really enjoy working with the Less Actives and bringing them back to church & helping them read their scriptures & pray again. It's just so nice to see them REMEMBER. I want to see them in the celestial kingdom just as much as anybody else! 

So that is my week! 
I can't wait for Mother's Day! I love you so much. Always thinking of you. Always missing you!

All my love, 
Sister Wall