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 son, Evan, also recently began his missionary service in the Argentina Bahia Blanca Mission and his email is below Sara’s.
This week we had Zone Conference! It was my last one which is honestly so sad.. I’m going to miss those inspiring meetings so much! We talked a lot about being consecrated & it was cool to apply everything the Spirit taught me to how I’m gonna use it when I’m home. The law of consecration is a gospel topic I would highly recommend studying! It’s amazing.
After Zone Conference we recorded the audio for a music video. It’s the same song we recorded a few weeks ago but it didn’t turn out quite right so we re-did it. It was fun!! I’m grateful for mission leaders who let us do projects like this and for missionaries who have the skills to make it happen.
We had exchanges too!! I went with Sister Bustamante. We found some people who are interested in us coming back! Yay, miracle! It’s amazing to see how God can help. He helped me see people through His eyes and feel so much love for them even if it wasn’t always given in return. That is a blessing!
We had quite a few lessons with members this week! We’re trying to go over to a majority of them so I can say goodbye and so Sis Aston can get to know them better. We had ward conference on Sunday and that was POWERFUL The closing song was The Spirit of God. We all stood & sang and wow the Spirit was SO STRONG. It was an incredible feeling to sing with members of the Church all around me. It felt like angels were singing with us, too. I don’t ever want to forget the feeling I had in that moment!! I know this is God’s kingdom on earth!
Some discouraging things happened this week. I think one of the hardest things you experience on your mission is when friends who were so elect and seemed so ready for the gospel ghost you or do a complete 180 and say they don’t want anything to do with you or the church anymore. It’s been a struggle for me to be honest. It’s easy for me to get down on myself in times like these so I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon a lot more and trying to keep the faith! In Preach My Gospel (page 11-12), there is a section about what it means to be a successful missionary. It tells me that the way to measure my success as a missionary is by my commitment to this work.
People have their agency and it really saddens us when they don’t want to accept the gospel for whatever reason but that’s not our fault. But oh boy it’s HARD and it really hurts!! It feels like a real breakup all over again. I’ve had enough of that lol. But I know that right before something amazing is about to happen, that’s when Satan throws all the opposition so I can’t wait to see what happens next! Good life lessons being learned out here.
Any prayers for me, my companion and this Lockport area would be welcomed! Thanks for all your support!
Elder Arkell in Argentina
Hola everyone! How is life? Mine is pretty good. Apologies in advance that this email won’t be as detailed. I usually use my journal to remind me of stuff that happened but I am currently in a bus terminal so I don’t have my journal…
Monday: P-day we basically rode in buses all day and then we ate hamburgers and played soccer. This other missionary, Elder Curtis, and I got kind of heated with each other. Full-on trash talking, insulting, and all that good stuff. But we forgave each other afterward so its all good I am a way too competitive person.
Tuesday: I was on splits with Elder Dawson. It was my first time in my mission being a senior companion. It was pretty fun. I was surprised with myself and my Spanish. God is good. The gift of tongues is Real! Oh, I also got hit by a car. No kidding. I’m being 100% serious. But I’m just gonna leave it at that. We had a really good lesson with a incomplete family. The spirit with really strong and they were all crying, except for the non-member dad who went off on me how he doesn’t think churches are necessary but he believes in God. Honestly I didn’t understand all the details of what he told me I just got the idea. So I just looked in his eyes and told him that this church is the only true church and that a church is necessary. Planting seeds baby
Wednesday: Literally did almost nothing. We rode a lot of busses to go do some baptismal interviews in a different area. My comp is the DL so he got to to the interviews. It was a family that he interviewed. The dad has a great testimony which was dope to see. His testimony of President Nelson was awesome. When we got home from the interviews Elder Bardales went straight to bed because he wasn’t feeling good. I got to study for 2 more hours.
Thursday: I woke up feeling sick too so we went to the clinic as the Mission President’s wife suggested. We waited there for 2 1/2 hours for the nurse to tell us to take ibuprofen. Wow, genius. Chilled inside all day. Terrible. I respect all the missionaries that served during Covid. I would’ve died.
Friday: We had Zone Conference today. My Mission President is awesome. He told us a story of a dream he had when he was 18 how he went out one night to hunt a wolf man but it turned out people starting hunting him cause he was the wolf man. Weird. He turned it all back to something spiritual so don’t worry.
Saturday: I’ll be completely honest with you, I don’t remember anything that happened this day. We walked and knocked doors I guess. Taught the gospel.
Sunday: One of our friends that we have been teaching for ages and who would never come to church, finally came! It was a true miracle. She has been struggling these past two months because her best friend passed away. But apparently on Saturday night, her friend appeared to her in a dream and told her she needed to go to church. She said she woke up happy, so she came! The other side is real y’alls!
Mosiah 2:21 “I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.”
God has done so much for us that we owe him everything! But even after everything we can do it is nothing! God has given us too much. I invite you guys to pray to God to see what He wants you to do to start serving Him better.
I love you all! Feel free to email me! I don’t have time to answer all of them, but I love to read them! Have a good week!