Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

   I'm so excited to be able to talk to many of you in just a few days! It will be a special time.  I feel like so much has happened this past week, so I will try to get through it all. If I don't, hopefully I'll be able to tell you about it over Skype!
   First of all, let me tell you about the area that I am in.  We cover one family ward (Hobble Creek) and one ysa ward (Boise 3rd). They obviously are very different, and because Sister Gummow has only been in the area for one transfer, we are still trying to work out the kinks and adjust to the differences. Let me just tell you, though, that I love it already! And I love serving with Sister Gummow! She has taught me so much, and we laugh together all the time. I wish I had a picture to send you, but we forgot. Maybe next week.
   One cool thing that is happening in our area is that we have someone getting baptized this coming Saturday! It's kind of an interesting situation, though, because we didn't really teach him. He lives in Hobble Creek, and has been taking the missionary lessons for probably more than 4 years. He just wasn't ready.  However, when he graduated and went to basic training for the Army, he grew so much spiritually and felt ready to take that leap of faith.  He was taught by the missionaries on base, but wanted to be baptized here in his home ward where everyone he knows will be there to support him.  It's going to be a really cool experience. We're excited to be there.
   There was one funny story this week that happened in our missionary District Meeting. We were all just standing around doing a skill check, when a random lady walks into the room. She just said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to know about your church."  It was crazy. You could see all the Elders eyes light up. It was a really cool experience, too, because we were able to take her on a tour of the church building, and she really just felt the Spirit.  The Zone Leaders set up an appointment to go teach her. I'll let you know what happens if we get any updates.
   Also, we've had mice in our house. It's kind of a long story that I've told too many times this week. Maybe I'll tell you about it later. It's just been funny to see my companion freak out any time she sees something move on the floor. Always a party!
Well, I love you!
See you soon!
Sister Pratt
I only have one picture this week...... but it's a pretty cool one! It's been good to catch up with Sister Rogers--we are in the same zone!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Star!

  Well, I don't have a lot of time today because I got transferred! It's kinda crazy. I've spent the past couple days packing my brains out and trying to say goodbye to as many people as possible. Now, I finally have stopped long enough to breathe, and I don't even know what to say! 
   I will now be serving in the Meridian North Stake with Sister Gummow (she's awesome.) It was sad leaving Sister Venable and all the great memories that I've made in Star, but I know that I will have fun in my new area, too. I've also been called to serve as a Sister Training Leader.  I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm sure Sister Gummow will be able to show me the ropes. As far as I can tell, the only difference is that we go on exchanges more often. I will let you all know how it goes! 
   Well, to make up for the lack of email, I will try to send lots of pictures. :)
Sister Pratt
We went to the Wood family's home for dinner and decorated Christmas cookies!

Their daughter loved my name tag.

Matching glasses

Saying goodbye to the Robbins Family.  I'm going to miss them.

This lady's name is "Monday." It's great :) Anyway, she wanted a picture with us, so she just took a selfie in Relief Society!

The Old Star Zone

Share the Gift!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I made a chameleon mad this week...

  Yeah, there isn't much to that story, but I did think it was something to write home about.  We were visiting this family when they mentioned that they had a pet chameleon! I told them that I wanted to be a chameleon when I was little, and the boy immediately went to get him, so we could be introduced.  Turns out, this particular pet and I didn't mesh too well, and he started swelling up with his mouth open wide (the way that creepy dinosaur does in Jurassic Park before he spits).  It was actually a little scary.
   Another bit of news is that transfers are coming up this week! On Saturday we get the call. Everyone says that I will be leaving Star because I've been here for 4 transfers now, but I'm trying to prepare myself for whatever happens.
   We taught a lot of people this week that gave me some mixed emotions. We are teaching some people that are just super prepared and that soak everything up! We are teaching others that just can't seem to believe anything we say.  I was thinking about that a lot, and someone's testimony yesterday in Sacrament Meeting basically summed up my thoughts.  Brother King stood up and just bore a powerful witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He also bore his testimony of the prophet, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  Then, he said this: "I choose to believe." Those words hit me so hard.  It's a choice.  If someone chooses to believe, there is nothing anyone can say to deter them from that. Likewise, if someone chooses not to believe, there is nothing anyone can say to help them.  All we can do is try to bring the Spirit into their lives. 
   Anyway, that just really stood out to me. I want all of you to know that I choose to believe in Jesus Christ. I made that choice a long time ago, and I'm sticking to it!  I love Him, and I'm grateful for this time of year when we can celebrate everything that He has done for us.
Sister Pratt

DECEMBER CHALLENGE-  I did OK on the challenge last week! I only missed one day of using my word. 
This next week, my word will be fruition.... I kinda like it. It's fun to say! What has everyone else been using?
We saw a gorgeous rainbow this week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas is here!

 This week, I need your prayers on behalf of an Elder Hughes in this mission.  He was hit by a drunk driver and is now in the hospital with some severe injuries, including several broken ribs and 3 cracked vertebrae. It is a miracle that he wasn't killed or paralyzed. He is recovering well from surgery, but could still use all the blessings he can get!
   On a considerably lighter note, the church has come out with a new Christmas video!  From the sound of your emails, a lot of you have probably already seen it! It's called He is the Gift, and it can be found at christmas.mormon.org. It's amazing! You should all go watch it right now if you haven't already. I love it so much. It talks about how Jesus Christ was the first gift given to us and how we can discover, embrace, and share the gift!  It's interesting because I never really thought that our Savior was something we could necessarily "give" to others, but He is! As we share our testimonies and help others see His light, we can truly give them the best gift that we have ever received. 
   I know that this is one of the best times of the year to spread the gospel! So many people talk about the "Spirit of Christmas."  Really, that is the Holy Spirit that guides us to learn more of Jesus Christ. As missionaries, we just try to help people feel that Spirit, so they can be led and directed. We are at a time of the year where people are already feeling it! It's amazing, and we have seen so many doors open that were previously closed to us.  It's been a week of miracles in that regard. 
   I hope you all have a wonderful week with many opportunities to "Share the Gift!"
Sister Pratt

P.S. We bought sparkling cider at Walmart the other day, and the cashier tried to card us. :) Good times.
Our District at the temple

Thanksgiving Dinner

Sister V with her pie!

Felt like home!

December Challenge!

OK!! Listen up! 
So for the December challenge, I really wanted to try to pick something that people of all ages could participate in.  
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick one word that you don't know at the beginning of each week (aka: today).  You need to learn the word, it's definition, etc., and use that word once a day in your normal conversations.
In case you're curious, the word that I chose this week is susurrant. It means whispering or murmuring. 
Good luck! Have fun! Make up your own rules :)

Sister Pratt

Sunday, November 30, 2014


 It will be a little short today. As I had informed Mom and Dad (and as I'm sure they relayed to most of you), we had our P-day delayed this week because today we got to go to the temple! It was amazing. As always. I just had the Spirit confirm to me that the Temple is a very sacred place and that by attending, we can grow closer to our Father in Heaven.  I love it. I hope each of us that can attend will do so as much as possible. Never take it for granted! 
   Anyway, how was everyone's Thanksgiving? Ours was amazing. We are so blessed to have wonderful and caring ward members that want to make sure we are taken care of.  We actually lost count, but I think we had at least 8 families invite us over to share their meal/evening with them.  We only got to 3.... the Henrie family, the Moomey family and the Wambolt family.
   I think the most special visit was with the Moomey's.  They have a son on a mission right now, so they wanted us to feel as much "at home" as possible. They asked us about our family traditions, and when I mentioned Mom's famous Lemon Meringue Pie, she went so far as to request Mom's specific recipe!  It meant so much to me. It was a great day. I have so much to be grateful for! I can't even begin.
   I love you all so much!
Sister Pratt

A painting service project!

   That's basically the biggest part of this week. It snowed. Not just a little bit, but it was snowing for about 36 hours without stopping. Civilization here basically shut down. It was intense. Sister Venable and I almost died twice on the first day because I never learned how to drive in the snow, but we went to a parking lot to practice, so now I'm better. 
   On the 2nd day of the snow, we got together as a district for lunch/a huge snowball fight. Somehow it ended up being Sister against Elders, which never works out well, especially when none of the Sisters can throw very well. It turned out to be target practice, with the Elders just pelting us over and over again. Fun times.
   Also, this week, I got to go on exchanges with Sister Clegg in Eagle. It was super fun, and I loved meeting some of the people she was working with. We went to visit a crazy lady (I've met her before on exchanges) & she answered in her pajama pants. So naturally, my companion says, "I like your pajamas." She responds, "Thanks, I just peed my pants..."  It was all I could take not to just bust up laughing.  It was pretty hysterical!
   Well, we don't have a whole lot of time today to email, so I'll just send you some of the pictures of the snow.... They should be able to give you a glimpse of what this week has been like. Also, it started snowing again this morning. Dang.
   Have a great (warm) week!
Sister Pratt


Monday, November 10, 2014

Welcome to November!

 I never know what to say on these emails/blog posts! If I tried to even touch all the things that happened in the week...... well, I wouldn't have time. Let's just put it that way.  Sometimes, I wonder what would be the most important thing to share.  What should I talk about? What significance does my missionary service even have in your lives? Does it have any at all? Do I share teaching experiences? Information about investigators? Funny stories with my companion and members of the ward? Should I share thoughts and impressions that I've had or revelation I've received? Or do I just bear my testimony every week?
   I will try to be more prayerful as I think about how I should include you all as much as I can in this mission and the effect that it is having on my life. It is truly changing me, and I want to share that with you all.... I just don't know how. I don't know how to express the transforming power of the Atonement in my life that I experience in greater measure each day.  
   Lately, I have been reflecting upon repentance. As missionaries, we ask people to repent.  We teach them of Jesus Christ and the way by which we can truly tap into the power of His sacrifice for us. That way is through sincere, consistent repentance--not just saying "sorry" when we mess up one time, but having an overwhelming desire to change forever. It's selecting ways in your life where you can continue to improve and progress. It's not becoming complacent when we think we are doing well. It is being painfully aware of our need for the Atonement and pleading with the Lord: "Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day?" (Alma 22:15).  I know that our Savior is waiting, standing there for us to turn to Him.
   I remember as a little kid, Mom trying to teach me Sign-Language. One of the only things that stuck with me was that the words "change" and "repent" are signed the same exact way, with the letter R replacing a fist.  To repent, simply, means to change.  Just because it's simple, though, doesn't mean it's easy.  It was never meant to be easy.  To quote Elder Holland, "Salvation is not a cheap experience." Jesus Christ came to make it possible. That through His grace we might be able to change.  Change doesn't come without growth, and growth doesn't come with out some degree of pain or discomfort.  The miracle of the Atonement is that we can do it! All we need to do is turn to Him and enlist His divine help. He will know the path we should take. He will know where our next step will be. He will even carry us when we feel that all of our strength is gone.
   I hope to grow. I want to change. I don't want to be the same old me, but a transformed, renewed me.  I know that I can do it only in and through our Savior, and I am excited for the journey! :)
 God bless you all!
Sister Pratt

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Transfer #10

Thankfully, Sister V and I haven't been transferred! Yay!! I am so happy to be staying in Star. I love the people here, and I know that I can still learn a lot from them.  We're about the only ones that didn't get changed, though. We lost 5 members of the zone, including a Zone Leader and a District Leader and Sister Molbek! I'm going to miss her a lot.
   This week has been pretty wonderful. I have just been loving every bit of missionary work--the finding, the teaching, the randomly walking around and talking to people in their front yards.  We did a lot of that last one because of dropped appointments and people not being home, etc. It was actually really good, though! We found a couple people to teach that way, and taught some lessons.  It was a fun time. 
   Our investigators are doing pretty well, and a lot of them are continuing to progress! One man we were teaching is actually in jail right now... so our lessons with him have been put on hold.... but other than that, things are going great!
   For Halloween, we had to be in our house by 6 pm, so Sister V and I decided to bake! We made onion soup for dinner, cookies, fudge, pie, etc. We went ALL out. It was so much fun! Then we watched the church movie Together Forever--you know, the super cheesy one with all the 80s music? Yeah, it was a good time! Then we went to bed an hour early. That's what I call a party!
   The most wonderful thing that happened this week, though, was our Zone Conference! Elder Godoy of the Seventy came to our mission and gave us some amazing instruction. He taught us about developing Christlike attributes and about "becoming." Something that stood out to me was when he asked us, "Are you having challenges? I hope so!"  Trials are those things that help us grow the most. So often, we think that struggling is a sign that we aren't as strong as we should be, but without the struggle, we wouldn't be strong at all! 
   The one thing that I got most out of his training was just his animation and love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Simply being around him made you excited about missionary work and sharing the gospel. He really just radiated love for our Savior. I have a lot of respect and admiration for him.  
Well, I hope your week is amazing and full of miracles!
Sister Pratt
We carved pumpkins!! Sister Venable did a scary one, and I experimented with "CTR"

We switched name tags for Halloween!

Cutting onions makes me really sad, apparently...

Our Open House at the church--we had a bounce house!! It was so cool and weird at the same time.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Seed Planter For Life

   So after last week's tremendous outpouring of blessings and Spirit, Sister V and I almost expected a small decline in the area's general progression.  I know that patterns happen, and rises/falls are characteristic of any work--especially missionary work! Naturally, I was bracing myself for the hard times to return. I was totally wrong.
   This week kept going up, up, up! Our investigators have started to keep their commitments.  Other members are inviting us over to teach their friends.  Our less-active members are actually making appointments with us! It has been simply amazing to finally see this area begin to blossom and achieve the potential that I have always seen in it.
   As I was reflecting on my mission, I realized that I have always been sort of the seed planter. In my first area in Meridian, I didn't see a single baptism or even a progressing investigator.  Some transfers after I left, I heard that the area then had over 12 investigators, and I knew that my hard work contributed to that, even though I was not able to see the benefits first hand.  In Boise, I was finding a lot.  One of the wards hadn't had an investigator in over a year, and the work was rather slow.  A few weeks after I was transferred, one of our investigators got baptized. It was the first baptism that ward has seen for over 3 years. The members are catching the "missionary bug," and the whole area is just booming.  Again, though, I didn't see all the results of my hard work until I had gone.
   This area is different, though. When I got here, we had no investigators, but I saw all the hard work and effort that previous missionaries had put into the wards.  It had so much potential, and I have just been trying to tap into it! I feel like I am having the privilege of caring for other missionaries seeds--not quite harvesting, yet. That will come eventually--but helping the area grow to the potential that Elders and Sisters have seen in it for months and years. I am SO grateful for their hard work when they didn't see the results. 
   I know I will probably always be a seed planter when it comes to service and missionary work, probably for the rest of my life! But I have now begun to see that eventually, if you plant enough seeds, you will get the opportunity to care for seeds that other people have planted along their path. Then, after the planting, nurturing and growing, the harvest comes. However, just because you haven't harvested as much as the next person--or haven't harvested at all--doesn't mean you haven't been instrumental in the process. So don't be afraid to plant those seeds!
   I love you so much! Hope you have a blessed week :)
Sister Pratt

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Struggle is Real!

   That has totally been the theme of this week for Sis Venable and I! We've been saying it constantly.  At the beginning of the week, we had a promising few days ahead of us, filled with solid appointments and potential investigators.  One by one they dropped us flat on our faces. During our weekly planning session, we didn't even know what to do! We had set all these goals and made these plans in faith, and then we had virtually no one to fulfill them.  It was a pretty rough time. Thus, the theme of the week: The struggle is real!
   In the middle of all of this, I made an off-handed comment to Sister Venable that we must have been on the verge of some pretty great blessings for all this opposition we were getting.  The week took a turn about half-way through, and because of our diligence and our persistence and a whole heap of help from the Lord, we ended up having more non-member lessons than I have seen in this area! It was truly a miracle. Then, to top it all off, one of our investigators that we've been working with made a huge step to come to church on Sunday. 
   I can't even describe the love that I feel right now--for my companion, for my investigators, for you and your support, and ESPECIALLY for my Savior and my Father in Heaven, who lift me and carry me when I need it the most.
   I wanted to send this quote to you all from President Joseph Fielding Smith.  It is from a letter that he sent to his family while he was serving a mission in England. I think it expresses my feelings at this point in my service.
   "I know that the work I have been called to do is the work of God or I would not stay here one minute, no, I would not have left home. But I know that our happiness is dependent upon my faithfulness while I am here. I should be willing to do this much for the love of mankind when our Savior could suffer as He did for us. … I am in the hands of our Heavenly Father and he will watch over me and protect me if I do his will. And he will be with you while I am away and watch over you and protect you in all things."
I love you so much!
Sister Pratt

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


  Alright. I don't have a whole lot of time, but the highlight of this week was TOTALLY getting to see a screening of the movie Meet the Mormons. It was So good, and I was laughing or crying for most of it. GO SEE IT! 
  Because of Columbus Day, yesterday, we don't have any time to share much about the week. I just want you all to know that I love this gospel and I love this work!
   One thing that happened that was kind of a big deal was my year mark in the mission. Honestly, it was kind of a hard day for me--so many emotions! I didn't know how to cope with the fact that I only have 6 months left of this phase of my life. I was also finding myself frustrated by the number of people that have used their agency to turn away from the light of our Savior. I kept thinking to myself that I was here to serve the people of Star, but they didn't want me. Why was I spending so much effort trying to help them when they didn't appreciate or even acknowledge my help? 
   I had a change of heart during our Gospel Principles class on Sunday. It was about obedience, and the teacher made a point about the "Good, Better, Best" concept of obedience. 
Good= You obey because you fear God. You feel a sense of duty or obligation
Better= You obey to receive the promised blessings. You look for a reward from your service
Best= You obey simply because you love God and want to serve Him forever.
   I realized that I was at the "better" stage for my motivation. I was looking for the tangible reward (i.e. baptisms, lessons, etc.) I didn't necessarily want them for myself; I wanted them for others. However, it was still a focus in my mission.  I'm still trying to work toward the "best" reason for serving, but I know that when I get there, it won't just be for my mission. It will be for my life. I know that as I struggle with my motivation to do anything else in the church, or if I feel that my other reasons for helping have become irrelevant, that I will be able to continue on with nothing more than a love for my Father in Heaven.
   Thank you all again for your love, support, and prayers.
Sister Pratt 

Zone picture--I guess Elder Sessions decided to not be in the picture...... good job.

I got to have dinner with Aunt Sylvia again! It was so much fun, and she made red beans and rice for me :)
 I loved it, and Sister Venable was also appreciating the southern cuisine 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Well, hello there!

  Well, this week has been amazing! Instead of having our district meeting in a regular church building, our district decided to take a hike! It was pretty crazy. I have no idea how they got it approved (maybe they didn't ask). Anyway, it turned out to be a wonderful experience! The training was on prayer and personal revelation, so the District Leader told us all to come with a question that we wanted to receive revelation about. During the meeting, we all split off in this clearing and just had personal prayers. It was so wonderful to feel the peace of nature and the Spirit. I learned a lot and was inspired by the testimonies that were shared afterward.
   Well, the other amazing thing that happened this week was General Conference (obviously)!!  I decided to take the Conference challenge and pray for a question to be answered. Well, I didn't really have a question, but there was something I wanted to hear.  I was praying all last week to have someone testify of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I just wanted to feel the Spirit and power of their testimony. Well.... then Elder Anderson started speaking.  It was a whole talk dedicated just to that! I was almost laughing because it was exactly what I had prayed for. It was almost ridiculous. I know that God hears my prayers, and that the Prophets and Apostles of our day receive their inspiration from Him. 
   That's all for this week! Hope you're lovin life as much as I am!
Sister Pratt
The promised picture of the dress Mom sent me!

Happy Halloween!  This little girl was really fond of this terrifying mask.
September 29, 2014
"Not Much To Say"
I know you're all probably waiting to hear the news about my new companion! Her name is Sister V, and she is from Hammond, LA. She has the greatest accent, and I wish she would just talk all the time. I love her voice! The other crazy thing about her is that she isn't actually new.... I mean, she's new to Idaho, but she has already served in the Baton Rouge mission for 8 months as a service missionary. So... I'm not really training her at all. Haha, talk about pre-trained! She is such a hard worker, and we totally killed it this week.
   We are both SO tired right now because this morning we played nerf wars with our zone for like 2 hours. I'll just tell you about one funny thing that happened this week. Elder C ate a ghost pepper. You might not think that is funny... but it was HILARIOUS. A member in our ward grows them in his garden, and the Elder asked for one. When we gave it to him, his companion joked with him, "You should just eat it right now." He declined the first time, but without much pressure (seriously, we didn't even make him do it) he just popped it in his mouth. The effect was pretty bad, as you can imagine, but we were all laughing so hard! He was like sweating and crying and looking like he was gonna die. His companion texted us later, "Best. Day. Ever." It was a pretty memorable experience.
   Well, I finally got all the pictures from the zoo trip! Enjoy.
Sister Pratt
Saying Goodbye to Sister Chen

Dart Zone, it was so much fun, but I am going to sleep well tonight!
I found my street!

Now for the zoo pictures!

Aren't we all so cute!

CONDORMAN!  bababababududududubabbuhdada CONDORMAN!

Chillin' with the zebras

I love all of my hermanas!

I'm finally in my element- SAND

Check out these Pratt ears!
Dinosaurs?  At the Zoo?

My new companion and I!

Me falling asleep on my way home from Dart Warz.  I was pooped!

Monday, September 22, 2014

You'll never guess...

   I'm training again! I don't have any idea why..... but I apparently need to learn something else that I didn't get the first time. Also, Sister R_____ is going to my last area in Boise East! It was such a crazy transfer call; we were screaming and jumping.  I am going to miss her a lot, but I can't even be sad because she's going to the best area in the mission.  I'm a little bit jealous actually.
   Earlier this week we had a Sister's Training Meeting, which basically means that all of the sister missionaries in the mission get together for a conference at the Mission Office. It was SO good, and I learned so much. The theme was Priesthood, and we were trained by President and Sister Winder as well as Sister Christiansen (first counselor's wife--basically Mom's job).  It was truly amazing, and my hand was flying down the page, trying to take notes on everything they were saying. My favorite thing was a parable by President Packer about the Keys of the Priesthood. I'll probably just attach it or put it at the end of this email.
   Well, a lot else happened this week, but I'll just tell a really quick story involving a member of our ward.  After a couple empty doors, Sister R_____ and I decided to stop by Sister T's house quickly to let her know about transfers before we headed off to a baptism that evening. Right when we were walking up to the house, though, she came flying out of the front door with tears in her eyes saying, "How did you know to come?" We held her for a few minutes before going inside. Apparently, she was just having the worst day of her life and was just about to start her pity party, when she looked out the window and saw us driving up! After talking for a while, Sister R_____ and I had the same thought.
  "Do you want to have a really spiritually uplifting experience? I know it's last minute, but we're on our way to a baptism right now, and if you're feeling spontaneous, we'll just hop in your car." She immediately agreed that it was exactly what she needed.  Anyway, that was just a little miracle we had.
   I love you all so much! I will let you know next week who my companion is!
Sister Pratt

P.S. This is the parable I was talking about. It's pretty long but SO worth it!

   Once a man received as his inheritance two keys. The first key, he was told, would open a vault which he must protect at all cost. The second key was to a safe within the vault which contained a priceless treasure. He was to open this safe and freely use the precious things which were stored therein. He was warned that many would seek to rob him of his inheritance. He was promised that if he used the treasure worthily, it would be replenished and never be diminished, not in all eternity. He would be tested. If he used it to benefit others, his own blessings and joy would increase.
   The man went alone to the vault. His first key opened the door. He tried to unlock the treasure with the other key, but he could not, for there were two locks on the safe. His key alone would not open it. No matter how he tried, he could not open it. He was puzzled. He had been given the keys. He knew the treasure was rightfully his. He had obeyed instructions, but he could not open the safe.
In due time, there came a woman into the vault. She, too, held a key. It was noticeably different from the key he held. Her key fit the other lock. It humbled him to learn that he could not obtain his rightful inheritance without her.
   They made a covenant that together they would open the treasure and, as instructed, he would watch over the vault and protect it; she would watch over the treasure. She was not concerned that, as guardian of the vault, he held two keys, for his full purpose was to see that she was safe as she watched over that which was most precious to them both. Together they opened the safe and partook of their inheritance. They rejoiced for, as promised, it replenished itself.
   With great joy they found that they could pass the treasure on to their children; each could receive a full measure, undiminished to the last generation.
   Perhaps some few of their posterity would not find a companion who possessed the complementary key, or one worthy and willing to keep the covenants relating to the treasure. Nevertheless, if they kept the commandments, they would not be denied even the smallest blessing.
   Because some tempted them to misuse their treasure, they were careful to teach their children about keys and covenants.
   There came, in due time, among their posterity some few who were deceived or jealous or selfish because one was given two keys and another only one. “Why,” the selfish ones reasoned, “cannot the treasure be mine alone to use as I desire?”
   Some tried to reshape the key they had been given to resemble the other key. Perhaps, they thought, it would then fit both locks. And so it was that the safe was closed to them. Their reshaped keys were useless, and their inheritance was lost.
   Those who received the treasure with gratitude and obeyed the laws concerning it knew joy without bounds through time and all eternity.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

No Time

   I seriously don't have any time this week to email--sorry! We got to go to the temple today which was so amazing. It's my favorite thing to do! I'm just gonna send some pictures of that p-day activity we had a few weeks ago, and call it good. Love you all!!
Sister Pratt
Our zone at a correlation meeting

Our district at the temple today

Now for the fun ones.  This was the tug of war I was trying to describe.

Hermana Cole being dragged against her will.

I learned how to play lacrosse! (sort of) Notice what shirt I am wearing.....

It was so fun!

They had a bunch of puppies!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September? Really?

   Wow. Time is going WAY too fast. It's not allowed to be September, yet. Sister Roundy and I decided. So everyone has permission to just go back to August. Today is officially August 39th, so enjoy it :)
   For my email this week, I just wanted to share one experience that just sums up why missionary work is so amazing.  I know that if you persevere through the test, blessings will come. I know that Sister Roundy and I have been up against some opposition in this area, but we have continued to press forward, and the blessings are coming!
   This week was actually really slow in the beginning. No one really "had time" for us.  We couldn't find many people to teach, but we kept going.  Saturday was a miracle day.  We contacted this part-member family that we had met before but never had been able to teach.  The mother, Kim, is a less-active member, but she still has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She just doesn't want to choose church over her family. Her husband isn't a member, and neither of the children have been baptized because the mom hasn't really encouraged them at all. Anyway, when we went to the house, the only ones there were Kim and Preston, the 16 year-old son.  We basically just started right in asking questions about the church. They explained that the dad of the family won't join just because he doesn't believe it, but they have confidence that he will eventually get the answer he is seeking. Preston casually mentioned that he has already read the Book of Mormon. The rest of the lesson went something like this, with Sister Roundy and I switching off basically every question and significant pauses in between.
  "What did you think of the Book of Mormon when you read it?"
  "Well, I basically looked at it as a history book."
  "What do you mean by that?"
  "Well, I just knew it was true. There wasn't even a question in my mind."
  "That's amazing. We know that testimony will truly help you in your life as you face trials and opposition.  The Book of Mormon contains so much truth and strengthens our relationships with our Heavenly Father." We read the last two paragraphs in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and talked more about how having that testimony can also lead us to develop faith in Jesus Christ and His established church on the earth. After a long pause we said, "I know you might not feel ready now, but will you prepare yourself to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?"
  "I think I can say yes to that."
  By this time, the Spirit was so strong in the room, I couldn't believe it.  "What do you think you need to do in order to achieve that preparation?" 
  "Probably go to church..... and also, I want to talk to my family about it and get their support."
  "Yes. Those are things that you need to do."  There was another long pause.  "Preston, how do you feel right now?"
  "Calm." He smiled. "Right when I said 'yes' this wave of calm just came over me."
  "We want to testify to you that this feeling of peace is the Spirit of the Lord.  He is telling you that this is the path you need to be on.  We want you to remember this feeling and look for it often as you go down this path because that is how you will know that you are doing the right thing." 
  He agreed with us.
   Sister Roundy and I left that lesson star-struck. Nothing we said or brought up were even things we talked about before we went in.  It was given to us by the Spirit because we really just tried to listen to what he was saying.  I can probably count on one hand the number of lessons that I have had on my mission when the Spirit was so strong, and the person was so prepared.  These experiences are what make up for the hard times. They are the experiences that confirm your testimony and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  
   I just love my mission so much! Everything about it--the growth, the people, the trials, the testimony, the Spirit.  All of it!!
Sister Pratt

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwing Giant Metal Coconuts of Mean Words!

 That's a quote from a little girl, Halley K___, describing what happens when the Spirit isn't in your home. We had FHE with her family last night. She's so cute.
   Right now, the only thing at the forefront of my mind is how incredibly sore I am. Yesterday was Pday and we went to the Brunson's home as a zone to play games. It was SO much fun. We did double dutch and volleyball, as well as lacrosse, botchie and football.  We also played board games like Madgab and Trivial Pursuit: Lord of the Rings.  The best part by far, though, was the tug-o-war.  Imagine the anchors that they have at the end of the ropes that people can stand in and use their whole body weight to pull. Yeah ok. Imagine 4 of those made from deflated innertubes (one person in each) and they're all pulling in 4 opposite directions. It was so fun. We did it probably 7 times. I loved it so much, but I am SO sore... I noticed this morning that I have patches of popped blood vessels on my hips from where the band was sitting.  There are some STRONG sisters in our zone.. but I'm happy to announce that I won a couple times! At one point, the 3 other girls teamed up against me to keep me from winning... so basically the 3 of them were pulling in my opposite direction. It was insane. Hopefully we will have more pictures next week!
   Another exciting thing that happened this week was I got to go on exchanges with Sister Haas. A lot of you probably don't know this, but she was in my ward at BYU before the mission!  It was so much fun to be together for a day.  We met this lady named Olga. I was pretty excited to tell her I was almost named that--almost being a relative term because we all know Mom never even considered it--and she basically told me that I was lucky and she hated her name. I didn't really know what to say to that honestly. It was pretty funny.   
   Sister Roundy and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting 2 days ago. The only odd thing about it was that we were the only speakers assigned for the whole meeting. I was the second speaker, and I was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to fill the time, but I know that the Spirit was with me because I did fine! I actually even went over a couple minutes. I'm so grateful for the help from our Heavenly Father with things like that. 
Anyway, I know that recently I have been talking about how nothing would be able to shake my testimony of the Book of Mormon... well, I guess I had to walk the walk! If there was ever a week when I would have doubted, this probably would have been the one. Just a little background: there is a church here that really doesn't like our church (for whatever reason) and they actually fund the production of their own line of Anti-Mormon videos and pamphlets, etc.  Anyway, to make a long story, short, we were spiritually attacked and hounded by multiple people this week. It was really hard. I began to be fearful because I have known and worked with so many people that have fallen away from the church because of experiences like that. I finally realized that I don't have to be like them. I don't have to give in to the adversary, nor do I have to deny the sure witness that I have received from the Spirit of God. Despite what others may say about our church or about Joseph Smith, I know that this church contains the fullness of the gospel and that Jesus Christ is at its head.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I truly cannot deny that, I cannot.
Love you all!!
Sister Pratt

(This is a reply to a conversation we had about this email....
I agree with you whole-heartedly about the reason for the anti-mormon hype over here. The building of the temple is having a HUGE impact on the members of the church and everyone in the area.  This stake is so special and so blessed, but blessings don't come without opposition! 
This is Elder and Sister Gibbons. They were the office staff that just got released from their mission! So sad to see them go.

We were going to visit someone in this house... then we saw the sign.... then we decided not to chance it.......