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Zone Conference in the Sacred Grove

Zone Conference in the Sacred Grove
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. This is a series on her weekly letters that we will be posting on the site for those who wish to follow along with her mission. You can read her previous emails here.
My oh my this week was wonderful!!! Where do I even start?!
So many amazing things happened! First of all, one of our friends, Jim, is on date for baptism in June!!!  Yay! He absolutely loved General Conference and could tell those men and women really do have authority from God. The phone call we had with him was probably one of my favorites on my mission! He was getting so excited and so ready to work towards baptism. It is going to change his life. I’m so excited for him! 
I got to go on exchanges with Sister Rowley this week! We were roommates in my first area in Auburn and I’ve missed her! We had a fun time catching up.
On the drive there, we drove through Auburn & it was a deja vu moment. It’s crazy to think that if I didn’t come out here on my mission, I don’t think I would even know Auburn, New York was a place but now it has a special place in my heart!
Now to the Sacred Grove – it was such a special experience, wow. I’ve been there once before and there is just something about that grove. It is so peaceful. And knowing that is where Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ makes it so much more incredible.
My testimony of the First Vision and the Church of Jesus Christ being restored through Joseph Smith was solidified that day. We were able to go off in the grove alone and take some time to ponder. As I sat there, I felt the Spirit over and over again, such warm comforting feelings. It was so amazing.
I had a really special experience sitting on that bench and I won’t ever forget it. I sat on the bench for a while and then got up to take a walk around. The Grove is pretty dead still but as I was walking, I looked to my left and saw a small patch of yellow flowers. It was a special reminder that God loves me.
I also got to see the Palmyra temple from a distance but it was the first temple I’ve seen in 7 months! I really really miss the temple & can’t wait to go back. 
I invite you to gain or strengthen a testimony of Joseph Smith for yourself. I know he was a prophet and that Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ really did appear to him back in 1820. I know he did restore Christ’s Church back on the earth and that we have the fullness of the gospel. What an incredible blessing!!! We are SO BLESSED.
If you’re reading this and you’re not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please open your heart and listen. You will find more peace and joy in your life than anywhere else. I know that personally!! I’d be happy to help you learn or you can reach out to local missionaries in your area! 
We also got to film a video with the social media team that night, always such a fun time. I’m so grateful for all the talented missionaries I’m surrounded by! The video shoot took a lot longer than expected but it’s going to be so good! I got to practice my acting skills and talk on camera, woot woot! We all got pizza afterwards & it was so fun! It was a Friday night & I felt like a normal teenager hanging out with my best friends. It was much needed.
We had SIX FRIENDS at church on Sunday!!! God is so good! I had to give a last minute talk which was a little nerve-wracking. It was my first time giving a talk without having it written out word for word & just following the Spirit. But it went pretty well I think! 
Life is so good!! I am truly so happy out here.