Editor’s note: Many are familiar with my daughter, Sara Arkell, also known as The Piano Gal. Sara has been called to serve in the New York Syracuse Mission and reported to the Provo Missionary Training Center on September 15, 2021. This is the first in a series of her weekly letters that we will be posting on the site for those who wish to follow along with her mission.
Hello, hello from the Provo MTC! Wow this week has been an adventure and an emotional rollercoaster all at the same time! The joy I have felt is indescribable!! BEING A MISSIONARY IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST.
Saying goodbye to my family on Wednesday afternoon was really hard. It’s crazy to think that I won’t be able to see them in person or hug them or anything for 18 months – that’s a long time! Leaving my little sister, Callie, was especially hard. Hopefully she remembers me when I get back!
But I do have to say, the second I walked into the MTC building, I felt so much peace and immediately knew I was in the right place. It was amazing!
Meeting my district was the best thing ever!! I was blessed with the BEST. I know everyone says that and now I get why. We are each other’s families while we are here so you get really close really fast!
Friday was probably the most spiritual day of the week for me. We had a lesson about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that was AMAZING. My testimony grew so much of the fact that Jesus Christ suffered for me individually. It brings me so much peace and I know He is there for me. It also stuck out to me that since Christ is my older brother, that means that I’m his little sister. That was really tender and close to my heart this week.
Then that night, Sister Mathews (my companion) and I taught 2 lessons and that was one of the best experiences ever! It was the first time I really felt the Spirit telling me what to say and guiding me through a lesson. And the scripture that says how joyful it will be even if you bring just one soul to Christ…yeah, I felt that and it was so cool. I cannot wait to get to New York and experience that even more!!!
We played spike ball one night and that was fun, too! There’s a field a little below the Provo temple that is reserved just for missionaries so we go there a lot! Then this morning we went to the temple as a district! It was awesome to be in the temple again and with all of them.
Shoutout to my family for sending me Smartfood popcorn! God is in the details because I got it yesterday when I was struggling a little and it brightened my mood!
A ton happened but I’ll spare you the crazy long email, those are the highlights!! I attached LOTS of pictures – it’s been the best week ever. But also I can’t wait to get out into the field and not be trapped on the same campus all day, every day. The food here isn’t the best so it’ll be nice to buy my own groceries, too, haha
I have my flight itinerary already for New York! I fly out a week from today at 9:25 AM so pray for me at that time!!! I’m gonna need it! Love you all so so much! – SISTER ARKELL
Wednesday 22nd of September 2021
This was an inspiring article/letter which I enjoyed immensely. I'm happy and excited for these young people who are on the brink of such an adventure! Special mention and Academy Award for the sister with the scissors in the popcorn picture, waiting to cut open the bag: You have great dramatic timing and a wonderfully clever sense of humor!
Thursday 23rd of September 2021
Funny you mention the "Academy Award" because my daughter's companion, Sister Matthews, is big into theater. :)
Wednesday 22nd of September 2021
What a sweet letter. This brings back memories of when my sons left on their missions. Back in those days parents attended a devotional in the MTC and then the statement, "parents you go this way, missionaries you go this way." A final hug and they disappeared. Since my wife and I were converts this was a pretty traumatic experience for us, bitter-sweet I'd say. Sara is such a talented musician that I know she'll be used in that way while on her mission as well. I look forward to her musical missionary videos.