Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Time is HERE!

  • Christmas time is here!‏

       And with that, no one wants to make appointments with us... kind of counter intuitive, I know, but that's the way people are!  It snowed again a whole bunch, and our car got stuck. It was extremely frustrating. It took us over half an hour to get out--lots of digging and pushing.  We finally called the Dallings to come help us. They drove up, and immediately Sister Dalling asked, "Where is your coat?!"  I responded, "My anger is keeping me warm."  It was one of my more witty moments this week. 
       As punishment for getting our car stuck, I made us walk in the snow for 3 hours. It was the worst idea I've ever had because we forgot the map... we basically walked in circles the whole time.  Also, Sister Chen didn't wear socks. Bad idea. Neither of us could feel our feet at all.  The silver lining might be that we gained more respect for the pioneers and the Elders.

       In other news, we got 2 new investigators this past week! They are both so ready to accept Christ more fully in their lives. We are excited to get to know them better and teach them more.  We also got to go to the mission office for a Missionary Christmas Devotional. It was great! We watched a movie called "Ephraim's Rescue," which was amazing; I totally recommend it.  After that, we had a talent show that I didn't participate in. I missed the boat on that one.  To wrap it all up, we had a devotional with our Mission President. He's such a great guy, and everything he says seems like it's tailored for my needs.
       Merry Christmas!! I'm so excited to open all of my gifts from the family and friends. THANK YOU!

    Sister Pratt

    Someone stole Mom's idea
     Eating a mouse
    Sister Chen

    Sister Chen???

    I decided to sleep on the floor this week!  Awesome!

    All day  E'ry day!

    Monday, December 16, 2013

    Socks that Stay UP!

             I now understand Dad's plight. Socks that stay up are really hard to come by. I never appreciated that until now. I wear boots everyday, and my socks are always sliding! Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there.
          In other superficial news, the sunsets here are the most beautiful that I have ever seen! It seems like every evening my breath is taken away.  Every time I look at the sky, I can't believe it!  I've tried to capture it in pictures, but it hasn't worked so far. 
       There was another exciting thing. Sister Chen and I were looking through our car, trying to clean it out, and we found a Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas special with David Archuleta cd. It's a gem. We listen to it a lot! My favorite song on there is Silent Night.  I don't know if you'd be able to find it, but you should try to look it up anyway. 
       Other than that, we've just been trying to get the ball rolling in this new area! Both of our wards had Christmas Parties (the best), and it was a great time to meet Less-Active and Part-Member Families.  We had fun, and we made Banana Bread for one of the parties that was potluck. It was pretty successful, if you ask me.
       Another thing that we've been doing is going on splits with the Relief Society Presidency every week. It's so fun to go with them and get to know more sisters in the ward.  It's the best. Right now we're focusing a lot on finding people to teach and serve... because we don't have any progressing investigators. We know that with more diligence, though, we will find those prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    I love you all, and can't wait to talk to you on Christmas!
    Sister Pratt
    Trying to catch one of those sunsets--didn't work

    Beautiful portrait of the sister missionaries.  I'm the big one!

    Our dinner appointment, had OUR COUCH!  Felt right at home.

    Frost on the Trees

    Favorite movie!

    Ward Christmas Party--Polar Express

    Monday, December 9, 2013

    Well, It's Freezing!

       Literally. Freezing. Right now, it's a whopping 8 degrees, and the high today should be 13!  Woo!! I don't think I've ever been as grateful for anything as I am for our car right now.  4 of the Elders in our district still have to walk everywhere. It's so sad! We wanted to be empathetic, so I made Sister Chen proselyte in the snow for a couple hours the other day. It was brutal.  After that, I made sure all the Elders had good wool socks!  Everyone says Boise hasn't had a winter this bad in like 15 years. I think the weather just knew I was going to be here and wanted to give me a hard time.  The gloves Mom sent me have saved my skin!! Again, literally. Sis Chen went without gloves for a day or so and her hands kept bleeding whenever she knocked on a door.  I gave her an old pair of mine. It sounds like the Texans got a pretty crazy storm this week, too!
       Other news, we got a new ward in the transfer! It's a really nice ward, but we're trying to get the members to be more missionary minded. For now, the Relief Society President is really the only one keeping us busy!  There's always work to do, though.  We're hoping to get the ball rolling pretty soon.  Our other ward doesn't even have a ward mission leader... or ward missionaries... so we're working on that, too.
       A really funny story happened a couple days ago. We were walking around a neighborhood getting to know some people in the new ward.  We approached this man who was getting into his car.  He was a member and said if we go knock on his door, his wife would let us in.  We went up to the door and knocked, but she wasn't answering for a while, so the man called her on the phone (we heard the phone ringing).  Then the door opened, and she looked at us and said, "Sorry, I have to answer the phone.." and closed the door on us.  We were SUPER confused.  Apparently, she thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses, so she didn't bother to invite us in (she's had some negative encounters with them).  When she went and got the phone, it was her husband saying, "Aren't you going to let the Sisters in?" To which she replied, "What Sisters?"  We were cracking up laughing, and she came back really apologetic that she shut the door in our faces!  I don't know if I properly illustrated the situation, but believe me. It was hilarious.
       Yesterday was awesome! Besides going to 5 hrs of church, eating ribs for dinner, and watching the Christmas Devotional with a Less-Active family, Sis Chen and I were able to visit this really special lady.  We got her name from a lady in our ward, and we knew nothing about her.  She is in her early 30s and has just finished very intensive Chemo-therapy.  We stopped by, and she told us she was a member, but stopped going to church when her dad died.  We didn't even get the chance to invite her back--she asked us when the services were! She also has 3 young boys and almost no money for Christmas.  It's really sad, but we were able to lift her spirits with a Holiday message that Grandma sent me in the mail.  She really appreciated it, and we were so excited to help her out. 
       I love this Gospel and the hope that it can bring to all people.
    Sister Pratt
     I'm struggling!
     A balloon we got from the Elders
     grits and eggs
     A beautiful sunset!
     snow in the mountains
     Elder Frosty
     snow angels
     Got to break out the awesome hat!
     Cheese Toast with Chopsticks
     What's the white cloth for?  Oh yeah, a dish rag
    This is what you get to eat when you're companion is from the other side of the world

    Monday, December 2, 2013

    Transfers already!!!

       Yeah... transfers happened ALREADY!!  I can't believe I've already been here for 6 weeks... What?  It's going by so quickly.  Sister Thompson is leaving us, but Sister Chen and I are staying in the same area.  It's very bitter sweet!  It's sad losing Sis T, but I know that it's what the Lord has in store for us, and we have a lot to learn.  
       I know you are all on pins and needles to know what the December Challenge is (see Julia Pratt for details).. so here we go!! Eat at least one meal a day with chopsticks! Sister Chen is rubbing off on me more than I thought she would, and I have an overwhelming desire to learn once and for all how to eat with chopsticks! so... there you go! Have fun with it :)
       As far as this past week goes, I got a monster sinus infection and lost my voice! I couldn't talk for about 3 days, so missionary work was interesting. My other companions handled it very well, though.  
       Thanksgiving was AMAZING!! We got to eat 3 Thanksgiving meals! I was stuffed! Totally worth it, though. It was the best.
       We had a couple of really neat experiences, and a lot of people are progressing! I'm short on time, though, so I can't give a whole lot of detail. 
       Love you all!!
          Sister Pratt

    Couldn't be doing better!

    Mom and Dad,
         Things are great!  I didn't really have anything particular to say in this letter, but I know that you love hearing from me.  I love hearing from you too!  Thank you so much for your letters and packages.  They mean SO much. 
         I seriously don't think I could be doing better.  There are a few times here and there.  but as you pray for the Spirit, the sadness is (almost) immediately taken away!  One such time happened yesterday.
    We went to this lady's house who has been on/off investigating the church.  She's been having a hard time lately, so we thought it would be nice to rake her leaves.  We thought wrong.  After about 10 mins.  her husband came out and basically told us to get off his property.  (He had never been too friendly with the church.)  I was just super sad and embarrassed.  I just felt awful, and one of my comps started talking about how rude he was.  That just made everything worse.  It was hard, but I said a prayer and started to focus again on others.  It works!  I think all the time about the analogy that Dad shared with me before I came out.  You just need to keep going and working, but as soon as you stop and start looking around at all the hard things, you don't think you can continue.  It's probably the best advice I've had.
        One of my new favorite quotes is, "Satan doesn't care if you think too much of yourself or too little--as long as you're thinking of yourself."  That was a paraphrase.
         Everything about Christ is selfless, and everything about the adversary is selfish.  We need to pick who we want to represent.  Anyway, these are my thoughts.  I love you dearly!  Sister Pratt

    P.S.  There is one thing I need--a slip.  I don't know how it "slipped" my mind but I don't think I've ever owned one.  Now that I'm basically wearing tights everyday, I really need one to combat static!  If you have any other suggestions, let me know.
    PPS  I don't know what your Christmas plans are, but if you love me, you will send me Christmas CDs- specifically the Forgotten Carols--but I'm not picky.  I love you.  Let me know what I can do for the family!

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013


     This week has been pretty good!! And by that, I mean that it's been amazing! Every week/day is so wonderful when spent in the service of our Lord.  I've found that I get a little burned out with writing between emails, letters, and journal, so I'm sorry if the detail goes down.... 
       The main thing that happened this week, was ZONE CONFERENCE!! WooHoo! It was pretty amazing, especially because our district performed a musical number!! Sister Chen played the piano, and we all sang "Hope of Israel!!" We killed it. Also, Sister Thompson gave a talk that was amazing.  One of the other talks was given by and Elder Schrenk who just came in with me.  As he spoke, we literally sat with our mouths open. He spoke with so much power! It was bizarre how awesome his talk was! Seriously, 2 and 3 days later we were still in awe and would break the silence with, "Wow. Elder Schrenk's talk was SO good." We all think that he'll be called as a General Authority within the next decade.
       Overall, Zone Conference was probably the highlight of the week! I was so uplifted and edified by the messages shared, and I got to bear my own testimony, which always strengthens me.  Our companionship also won the clean car award! $25 to Subway!! WOOHOO!
       A lot of our investigators were out of town this week, but we've been working hard to find more people who want to be taught! I know they're out there, but sometimes it's just hard to talk to everyone.... I'm workin on it! I love you all, and I love the Lord.
       God Speed,
               Sister Pratt
    Sister Chen's first time to see/use an ice scraper
    studying hard 

    Monday, November 11, 2013


     I think I'm gonna choose a "word of the week" to use as the subject line. This one is just a funny thing that Sis Thompson says all the time. It's my favorite.
      Wow. Let's see. What happened this week?
       We got to do some family history work! It was awesome. I fell in love with it. Among other things, I found a picture of Grandpa Edwards singing in a choir! Wow. One of our investigators, Yvonne, is going to come get started on her genealogy this week! We're happy for her :)
       I absolutely LOVE everyone in my District.  We are actually practicing for a musical number for Zone Conference, so we get to see each other more than usual. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to spend time with others who are dedicating their lives to the same principles as I am!! Also, I heard something in the MTC about your sense of humor changing when you're a missionary... it's really true. My companions and I will just crack up for like half an hour about the weirdest things, but I love it.
       One family that we spend a lot of time with is the Carey's.  The mom has diebetes, and the inlaws are living with them along with an adopted sister and her 3 year old child.  Sometimes we go over there to help her clean and straighten when everything gets too overwhelming.  Anyway, guess what Sister Carey's favorite movie is.  The Man from Snowy River. I was so happy.  I almost consider it a tender mercy.  We get to quote it all the time together, and she actually named her daughter Jessica after the main girl!  She doesn't have horses right now, but they have land, and she's hoping they'll be able to afford some horses in a year or two.  She invited us to come back after the missions and go riding with her--amazing!! My companions and I actually are starting to compile a list of activities we need to do when we come back for the Meridian Temple dedication in a couple years. Right now the list includes horseback riding, attending the temple (obviously), going to the water park, going to see a movie, etc.  It grows every week!
       Another crazy thing that happened this week was Conjunctivitis (pick eye). Sister Thompson was plagued by it for a lot of the week.  It was obnoxious because we could still work, but people don't want to visit with us when we have a contagious infection, so we had to stay home a little anyway. Frustrating. Between that and training meetings, we got to do almost no teaching! Oh well, it was still a pretty good week.
       Saturday, we did a TON of service, there were people moving, getting married, doing yard work, raking leaves.. so we had a lot to help with! The good thing was, it was super warm! I was in a t-shirt pulling weeds when the mail came, bringing gloves from mom. I'm sure I will need them very soon, but it was just ironic because the weather was so nice.
       FUNNY STORY: On Sunday, an investigator came to church, and she really wanted to go to the marriage and family class. We didn't want her to be alone, so we decided to go with her. Worst decision. Ever. Basically, the lesson was all about "rekindling the flame" with your spouse. Awk.  It was pretty bad. 
       Anyway, that's my week. I'm sure there will be more spiritual experiences next time! The church is true, and it has the power to change lives!
       Sister Pratt


    Thursday, November 7, 2013


    Mom and Dad,
         I MISS YOU!!  But I know that our lives and the lives of countless others will be blessed by my service here.  Sometimes it is frustrating to see someone turn down something that will make them so happy...really frustrating.  I can only imagine how our Heavenly Father must feel when we do something we know is wrong or forfeit blessings for worldly pleasures and comforts.
         We actually had a pretty discouraging lesson the other night.  This man was too stubborn/lazy to even find out if it was true.  We have been teaching him lessons, and he isn't progressing at all because he won't read the Book of Mormon.  I actually was rather blunt with him, saying, "We can't shove this down your throat...if you EVER want to know if the things we have taught are true, you have to read the evidence of our words!  it's all hanging on the Book of Mormon."  I testified my heart didn't do anything.  The most obnoxious part is we aren't even asking him to join the church!  We are just asking that he find out for himself whether or not it is true.  I don't understand why people won't even do that.
         I'm beginning to understand how important agency is to our Father in Heaven.  He watches some of His children do evil and terrible things every day because He wants them to be able to choose their own path.  Wow.  I don't know if I would have that strength.
         Not all the people we teach reject our message, though.  There are many who are earnestly seeking truth and have been prepared to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
       By the way, thank you so much for the package!!  My companions felt so loved.  I think the candy will last us a while because we're all trying really hard not to gain weight...easier said than done when you have a feast every night!  The members here feed us SO WELL!
         Also, I learned some Mandarin Chinese!  I LOVE YOU

    I also learned "Merry Christmas" but that's a lot more complicated...
         Anyway, I love you!  Your support and prayers are so appreciated!
    EPED  Sister Elizabeth Pratt

    Monday, November 4, 2013


      I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!! This week has been kind of slow, but the Church is still true, and it can still change lives!! Not only do I see it in my own life and those of my companions,  but I see it in the lives of members and everyone we talk to.  I know that we are all so different, and God gives us all different challenges... but the Gospel can help all of us!  No matter what we have going on, we can utilize the Atonement to become stronger.
      Anyway, this past week, like I said, was slow with teaching, but we got to do a lot of service.  Actually, the lady we live with, asked if we would help her go pick grapes, so she could make grape juice.   Best decision of our lives.  It was so fun, and it smelled so good!! 
      Sister Chen got me back for the chair stunt this week, too.  She took a lint roller and rolled it over my hair. OUCH! Also, it was in church, so I couldn't do anything to get her back. Well, played, Sister Chen... well played.
      I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! But the time was cut short today.. so this is all I have.  Hopefully I will have time this week to write you all.  To those who I asked for addresses, Mom gave them to me... so no worries.  Except Foster... you aren't off the hook.  I still need yours.
    Sister Elizabeth Pratt

    Monday, October 28, 2013

    My First Week!

    Wow. I'll tell you what--WOW! (What movie?)
       This week has been AWESOME! I love Sister Thompson and Sister Chen.  At first, I was a little skeptical... not gonna lie.  When we went door contacting the very first day, they didn't say much, and I was a little worried.  When we got to our area, however, I realized why.  We don't ever tract. Ever.  There is so much work to be done here! The members are so enthusiastic about sharing the gospel.  It amazes me all the time. 
       So to all of you at home---Get on it! Help your missionaries out! Let them know that they can come to you for referrals or service! Seriously. Get the missionaries' phone number and CALL THEM.  Ask them to rake your lawn or SOMETHING.  Keep them busy.  Think of anyone you know that wouldn't slam the door in their face, and have their address handy. Missionaries are so ready to teach people, but we don't know every non-member in the area, and we definitely can't tell which ones will reject us.
       Ok. I'll step down from my soap box now.  This week was awesome.  Sister Chen is still learning English, so we have a blast teaching her. Language study might be my favorite hour of the day!  Sister Thompson and I have started by teaching her all the words in like children's songs (In a little cottage by the wood.. a little old man by the window stood).  Also, throughout the day, we have a sheet of paper that we write and define all the words she doesn't understand.  She is getting so much better!
       Sister Chen and I also get along so well! Sometimes we feel like Sister Thompson is our mom because she has to keep us settled down and focused.  Last night, I was going to braid Sis Chen's hair, but right as she was sitting down, I pulled the chair out from under her, and she went sprawling!! She tried to chase me down, but we were laughing so hard we couldn't move.  Sister Thompson had the District Leader on speaker phone, and she just rolled her eyes at us.  She's a saint for putting up with all our shenanigans.  She's super funny, too.  We're always laughing and having a good time.
       This past week we had SUCH a neat experience.  We were going around visiting some members, and Sis Thompson decided we should walk a couple streets over to visit a part member family (pmf).  Well... about 15 minutes later, we couldn't find the street they lived on! It had just about disappeared! I was exasperated because I thought we had wasted all this time and energy.  I basically told Sis Thompson that we needed to find someone to talk to, so this trip would be worthwhile.  She remembered that a member lived just a block away, so we went to visit her.  We ended up being an answer to this Sister's prayer! Her dad had died recently, and her house/property was a mess.  One of her neighbors actually called the cops about it! She was so embarrassed and had no idea how she was going to get everything done and organized.  She was praying for help, and then, we showed up!!  She was SO HAPPY! So were we! We are going over to her house this week to help clean up.  I was definitely put in my place by the Lord.  He is in charge, and he is going to put us where we need to be if we are obedient!
       Those were the highlights... and our car died. That was kind of exciting.  It's running now, but we still have to take it to a shop sometime this week.  I love you all so much!!!! Can't wait to hear all about your missionary experiences!
    SEND PICTURES OF YOURSELVES!! Whenever someone finds out that I have 10 siblings, they all want to see pictures, but I don't have any!!
    Parklin: I totally found Elder Methvin at the airport on our way here! He's pretty cool.
    Sister Pratt
    Made it!

    Hot Pockets volleyball team

    Our Study Desk

    Her name is Posche.  She lives in our house

    Sister C

    Sister T