Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Email from September 16, 2013

I got the best surprise for a missionary mom on Tuesday, the 10th of September. I received a text with pictures attached of Sarah and her companion! So I asked in an email if it was an investigator who sent them, because I forgot to ask that evening.
No, an investigator didn't send that picture. It was a lady in the ward. We go and visit her a couple of times a week. She's active but her husband and kids aren't. However, we're the first set of missionaries her husband has let in the house and has sat and listened to us talking. So hopefully we can get a little further with them. She's a really really sweet lady and she just loves us!

Also, the name Elder Zerilli sounds super familiar but I can't put a face to the name. Hahaha.

I haven't gotten the stuff you sent yet, but it'll probably arrive today. Mail doesn't show up until around 2 or 3. Oh, and since transfers are next Tuesday you might want to mail stuff to the mission office if you send it later in the week. Because who knows if I'll be here or off somewhere else!

Hmm, so this week. We finally got to teach the two children of the inactive woman again! But she canceled our second appointment. Typical haha. The bishop gave us permission to set them on date for baptism though! Because the mom is consistently bringing the kids to church and is trying to change. So we'll see how the lessons go this week, if they happen at all haha. We had set appointments on Wednesday with potential investigators but they both canceled. Sigh. BUT they both rescheduled! One, a young woman named Shannon, we saw on Saturday. We had a good long discussion/lesson with her, just standing outside her door. At one point she asked us when and where we meet for church! She was pretty interested in coming, and we were about to give her a Book of Mormon when her husband comes up behind her and is like "I don't mean to be rude, but we're Catholic. I've met plenty of Mormons and they're just not good people, blah blah blah, I don't want my family to become like that, have a nice day bye." So we left. And it was really sad because she was genuinely interested! And Sister Jensen and I found it interesting that HE was like "We're Catholic bye" while SHE said she was raised Catholic but doesn't practice and is just generally Christian now. We're going to keep praying for her and see if we feel inspired to stop by, and hope her husband isn't home. We also started teaching a 12 year old girl. Her 14 year old brother got baptized about a month and a half ago and she wants to be baptized but she wasn't taught. She's very sweet and eager to learn. Also, we had a less active at church yesterday who I hadn't seen at church before! Her 6 year old daughter sat next to me and I let her draw in my little notebook and she gave me a fruit snack and 2 hugs and I melted inside. Hahahaha.

Yesterday, Sister Jensen and I were up in the northernmost part of our area, Paradise Hills. It's a little development that like 1/2 the ward lives in haha. We were up there for dinner and after dinner we decided to try and see Brother Keller, a member of the bishopric who we don't know very well at all, but his wife sits by us in church sometimes and she just ADORES us. I love it. Anyways, they weren't home but their 18 year old son was. He told us he had a friend living down the street who might be interested, so we decided to tract it. Found said friend, wasn't interested, but kept going. We knock on this one house. WAIT before I go further: it's been raining a TON here lately, and there's a ditch up above Paradise that flooded on Friday night. The streets were filled with water and there was a LOT of mud in a bunch of people's driveways and it got into some people's garages. So anyways. We knock on this one house and a 12ish year old boy answers. He looks SO FAMILIAR, and as I start introducing us I'm trying to think "Which member family is he from?". He stops me halfway through my offer to pray with them by saying "I've seen you before!" I hear his mom say "Come in!" We step inside and as soon as I see the mom I know where I've seen them. When I was on exchanges with Hermana Encarnacion we tracted into them in a completely different part of town and prayed with them! The mom (let's call her Laura), was AMAZED that I was brought into her life again, completely by chance, and wanted to pray with us again. So we did and we offered to help them out because their garage was flooded and I prayed for that and yeah. They said they weren't interested in being taught because they have their own church but that they would love to pray with us again so sometime when we're up in Paradise we're going to drop by and start secretly teaching them. Hahaha. But COME ON. There's NO WAY that's a coincidence. NONE. The Lord knows what he's doing. So yeah. We'll work on that.

That's all I can think of for now! I LOVE YOU!!!! I can't wait to get your letters and stuff! Email me back muy rapidamente, por favor!

I LOVE YOU!!! <3

Sister Sarah Noakes :) :)

Sister Sarah Noakes, 09/10/2013

Sister Noakes and Sister Jensen

Monday, September 9, 2013

Email update, September 9, 2013

Okay so about my week! On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the sister trainer leaders. They're kind of like zone leaders but specifically for sisters, and there's a set out west and one in metro. So I was with Hermana Encarnacion. She's from Spain and she's AWESOME!!! We spent the whole day tracting because we have like, 3 investigators hahahahaha. BUT we found a lot of potentials and we just had a lot of fun. Oh and... she taught me Spanish. And apparently the promise in my patriarchal blessing is true... I have "the ability to learn languages".... because she taught me Spanish and she said I did so well, picked it up so fast and had such a minimal accent that she would recommend to President Murdock that I have the potential to become a Hermana. Well, this weekend President and Sister Murdock came out to GJ to take a tour, etc. Sister Jensen needed to talk to Sister Murdock about some health things, and so when we met up with them, President Murdock turned to me and was like "Sister Noakes, I hear you want to become a Hermana." HAHAHAHA. So yeah. I might be a Hermana. They want to open new areas but all of them are Spanish areas, and they don't have enough Spanish missionaries. Oh dear! Anyways, Sister Murdock said that you called her! hahaha. And she said that you found her on facebook too. She says you sound very sweet and like a good missionary mom :) ALSO when the mission office called me to tell me you had called about that package, I about had a heart attack. I thought Grandma had died or something. So yeah. Hahaha. BUT I GOT THE PACKAGES. Boots, coat, Hawaii picture book, all that fun stuff.  (Mom disclaimer: I *thought* the number I had was for the mission office, but no. It was for Sister Murdock. But she gave me the mission office number so now I won't make that mistake again! And Sister Murdock sounds very nice and just the sort of mission mom you'd want for your daughter!)
I'm trying to think if anything else happened this week. well, when we were with Sister Murdock, she told me that Hermana Encarnacion spoke very highly of me and that she is impressed with how I've been doing. So that was nice to hear :) Um right now I can't think of much else, BUT i'm going to send you some pictures. I LOVE YOU!!!!!! Hey this Wednesday will actually be 17 months until reunification. YAY!!! Love you bunches and bunches!! Oh also. If you got pics from the mission office of me and Pres./Sister Murdock and then my whole transfer, I got them too, so don't worry about sending those. If you don't have them... you'll get them one day hahaha.
Okay so first picture is Sis. Duprey, me, Sis. Turner, Sis. Gregerson, and Sis. Beck, at the MTC pointing to Denver (well, that was the goal haha) Second is my whole MTC district. hahahaha. Back row is Brother Evans (teacher), then Elder Oldham (Emily's boyfriend's cousin (small world)), Elder Campbell, Elder Austin, Elder Rosequist and Elder Matson. Next row is Sis. Beck, Sis. Gregerson, me, Sis. Turner, and Elder Welck, with Sister Duprey in the front. None of the smiling ones had everyone's face in it, so you get a weird one. Hahaha. also what was the name of that CO mission moms thing? Sister Jensen wants to tell her mom about it. Oh and in answer to your "what should I do?" question - keep up what you're doing!!!! I love getting little letters during the week and having an email or two as well :) LOVE YOU!!!!

First is me and Sister Warner in the DENVER AIRPORT!!!! (Sister Warner is a missionary that Sister Noakes "met" on Facebook originally and saw a few times in the MTC as well.)

2nd is a nice picture of my MTC district sisters :)
3rd is a goofy one :)

WARNING: SNAKE PICTURE AHEAD!!!!! We found one outside a member's house. (It's file #1483, hahaha. I'm trying to NOT SCARE YOU)
Me and Sister Jensen! And I'm wearing makeup?? Yep! hahaha. (Confession: I've never been a makeup wearer, so I utterly failed to teach Sarah how to wear it. So her mission companion has done it for me. ;D -- And she looks fabulous, doesn't she?!)
And then a deer! I thought dad would appreciate that one. It was outside a member's house when we left from dinner.
Me and Sister Jensen again~
And look, I hung up all the stuff you sent me :) (I send her random things I find on the internet, LDS quotes, scriptures, things that I think she'll like or be inspired by. And a few pictures to round things out.)

Also, no idea if we have a mission scripture. Hahaha. We have a bunch of stuff we have to recite every day! Those are our purpose (in PMG), D&C 4, D&C 20:37, the Standard of Truth (a quote from Joseph Smith) and Work Ethic, a quote from... Kimball I think. It starts with "One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work!" Etc. Oh, also, homesickness update: I'm doing way better!! I still miss you guys, obviously, but I feel a whole lot better about everything. I pray for you guys every night!!! I love you bunches and bunches, forever :) LOVE YOU!!!

(That quote is actually from Ezra Taft Benson, "I have often said that one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work." September 1990 Ensign)

SPIRITUAL MESSAGE TIME! John 16:33 :) the singles ward sisters gave us brownies with that scripture on it, and I LOVE IT! "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." IT'S SO TRUE! And I just love that scripture. Christ overcame it all, so we can too! Heavenly Father is never going to give us a trial we can't handle. I love knowing that.

Oh we've been getting a TON of rain here again. It just started yesterday and it's been dumping buckets on us. I am enjoying it because it's cooled off and i don't feel like I'm turned into a pile of sweat the second I step outside. hahaha.

SORRY ABOUT THE SNAKE. but I thought it was cool and that maybe dad/Spencer would like it. Oh and I got dad's story and cried and yeah. I'll write him about it. you should pester Spencer to email me back!! Short is good. maybe through some espanol in there. Also sister Jensen is a fake redhead ;)

hey have you seen the church's new "intro to mormons" video series? I've been watching them while i'm waiting for emails/for sister Jensen to finish up. they're cool! i found them on

have to get off now! talk to you next week!
Sister Noakes :)
Also, I've sent her a few pictures of our new kitten, Angus. Our older cat, Apollo, isn't sure what to think of the new little guy, but so far they're tolerating each other. Sarah's disappointed she's not seeing the kitten stage, but I'm trying to document it for her with pictures like this one, of a totally exhausted Angus sleeping in a very awkward position on my knees.



Friday, September 6, 2013

Email from August ... oops, September 2, 2013!

MOM!!! This is my weekly email for this week :) a reply :) and yeah, emailing on Monday instead. My companion and I have exchanges tomorrow, so normally we would just email tomorrow but we can't since we'll be with a different companion tomorrow haha. SO right now I'm at a member's home, doing laundry, and emailing. 
I don't actually HATE Fast Sunday. Just sometimes it makes me really emotional and this past week was one of those kind of days. So I vented to Sarah a bit!
You're not an awful person for hating fast Sunday! It's a toughie hahaha. I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday. And just thinking about dad writing down his story/bearing his testimony is making me cry. Haha I'm a wimp. Anyways, we were in sacrament and the bishop (Bishop Moses, hahaha. Sound familiar? :)) finished up his testimony and I FELT from across the chapel Elder Austin (MTC district, now in my ward) turn and stare at me, because a missionary's first fast Sunday in a ward... you're kind of expected to bear your testimony. So he's gesturing to me "hey, you, go up there!" and I was already thinking about it and I HATE IT when people tell me I should. Because then I feel like I have NO EXCUSE hahahaha. So anyways, every time there was a break he would be making faces at me to go up there. Finally I stood up and he did too. So I went first and called him out for forcing me to go up there hahaha. It was great. So that was my fast Sunday.
Alright, so news about the rest of the week. On Wednesday I might have accidentally locked the keys in our car... Oops. So we had to walk to our next appointment and then home from there... Then we got a ride to dinner, then to our lesson with the Beckers, then Sister Becker took us down to a corner and we walked to visit a lady in the ward then walked home. Fun times. But on Thursday we got a locksmith to come down and open it up and we rejoiced. And the church paid for it, so don't worry about that hahaha. But anyways.
Taught a few lessons this week. We have 2 new investigators! They're the children of an inactive woman in our ward. They're 9 and 11 and very sweet. We also taught two lessons to this "eternigator"... catch my drift? Hahaha. On Tuesday we had a very good, spiritual lesson with her, she was praying and feeling the spirit, it was GREAT! And then.... we went over on Wednesday.... and she had done a 180. She still wants to see us and have us read the Bible with her, but she doesn't see why baptism needs to have proper authority. And she doesn't want to follow any man besides Christ. GAH. SO that was interesting.
So we'll be trying to find more people to teach. And teaching the ward mission leader's family has been a TON of fun. They're adorable.
I have been feeling better about being away from home, but it's still hits me hard every now and then. I'm probably going to suck it up and ask for a blessing soon. Hahahaha. But I was feeling really good for a couple of days, and then it  just hit me hard again. So we'll see. Grandma Noakes wrote me a letter and it got to me last Monday and I BAWLED, because she said she missed me. And she doesn't really say that.... I got your card! And I loved it! I hung up the pictures :) ... (Mom note, some really private things followed that I'm not going to include on this blog!)
Anyways, doing better! I love you guys! Tons tons tons tons :) :) I'll be sending you a letter, as per usual. Oh, and Kourtney sent me pictures she had printed out of Samantha's wedding, so don't worry about sending me, if you haven't already. I love you guys!!!! OH hey, since yesterday was fast Sunday, only 17 more until I'm home!!