28 September 2015

Umm Hello Yes God Wants You Back!

HAPPY 8 MONTHS TO ME........ Today is my 8th month mark. I cannot believe I have been here for that long already..... Time is flying but at the same time I feel like I have been here for 3 years. It doesn't make any sense!

We had a cool experience on Tuesday.... we had an appointment with a less active that we meet the previous week... so how it happened was we were going to stop by a less active that is on the ward list, so we get there and ask for her, but her step dad answers and says "Oh she's not a member, but my wife is!" Yeah so this less actives mom is also a member but we just don't have her on the records yet. So we met with the mom, Anne, and her husband last week, and it went really well!!! This girl is amazing. She has such a strong testimony and the reason she hasn't been coming out to church is because she had fallen back into some old habits and doesn't feel right coming back. 

Well here is the cool part, so after we saw them for the first time a few weeks ago, Anne told her daughter Gemma that we had been around asking for her, and Anne said to her daughter, "It looks like God wants you back..." Then the daughter said to the mom... "No mom, God wants you back. They are going to be seeing you next week not me.." Then Anne said.... "Maybe he wants us both back..." (Did that even make any sense?) But UMM HELLO YES GOD WANTS YOU BACK! Anne really is amazing. We are going to be teaching the husband as well so we will see how this goes!

Sister Epicoco and Sister Ranck
On Friday I had exchanges with Sister Epicoco from Italy and she is 27! ha crazy, but she doesn't look or act like it! But it went really well:) We went and saw Scott and Vikki that day (the two recent converts in the ward) and Sister Epicoco wanted them to tell her about their conversion. It was so nice hearing them tell about how they came into the church and how their lives have been blessed since...... Vikki is so funny. She was talking about how after she came into the church, she then met Sara and Lisa... Ha huh?? Who is that?? AKA Sister Ranck and Sister Haynie. Yeah she calls us by our first names! It always throws me off.... I love this girl though so much! And she loves us.. she cried when Sister Haynie left! And she will probably cry when I leave too! Ha well she better... ;)

We had Interviews with President Stevens this week and that went super well!!!!! So as you know I am in a struggling ward right now... and as I was telling president all about the ward and what is going on here, he started getting really emotional and said that he just feels so strongly that I am in this ward for a reason.... He has so much confidence in me. It is humbling.... I feel very inadequate for the task ahead of me. Thank goodness this is not my work, it's the Lord's. I just pray that I can have enough faith so he can work this miracle through me! 

Mara and Elizabeth
After interviews we had a dinner appointment with the Thorpe family... love them. But we were talking about the ward and were asking them what they think it needs... and she was saying that they haven't had a ward activity for a long time. And we just need something to happen in the ward that people can look forward to, invite their friends and family too, and also that we can invite all of the 90 Less Active families too... so we came up with an idea to do a Halloween Carnival! But we I think they are going to call it an Autumn Festival because A) Halloween has only been a thing here for the past like 5 years and most people don't like it. and B) They don't say Fall here.. It is Autumn! 

Anywho... the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader and all of the Auxiliary leaders are all on board and excited, so we are really looking forward to getting things going here! Hopefully I stay one more transfer so I can actually see this unfold... There is only 2 more weeks left. Crazy huh! I am really excited to see God work his miracles in this ward. He wants it to succeed! He doesn't like seeing it struggle so badly..... The next few months are going to be EPIC. 

Zone Conference
OKAY WHO IS EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE??? THIS GIRL IS. Oh my days.... We are getting 3 new apostles. This is crazy!!! I wish we could all understand what an opportunity it is for us to listen to our living prophet and apostles speak to us twice a year, and then have their words so easily accessible to us at the tip of our fingers. When the prophet speaks, it is as if God is speaking to us. "Whether by my voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same."

I would just encourage you all to prepare yourself spiritually this week to hear the word of God directly for you. I love this quote by Elder Holland....

"If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you." 

I know that is true. Really take the time to think this week about what it is you want to find out from God. Pray about it and ask God for an answer. Then get your notebooks out and listen. As an apostle of the Lord has promised.... The Lord will answer your prayer personally for you by the power of the Holy Ghost.


This is His work. I know it, I live it, I love it! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.



Sister Sara Ranck

Click here for a fun video of the UVU GIRLS! (and make sure to watch to the end :)


21 September 2015

For crying out loud, what could be better?

It has been a great week:) I have an amazing companion and am a missionary for crying out loud, what could be better???!

On Monday we went to the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER for p day and oh my it was so much fun! Absolutely beautiful and so windy... Brushing through my hair after was slightly painful. At one point it was sunny but at the same time raining/hailing it felt like and so windy. To use a quote from Elder Ramsay to describe it, it felt like being hugged by a swarm of wasps. Haha You know the 101 Dalmatians Disney movie where they are trudging through the snow trying to save all of the puppies from Cruela De Vil? That is basically what we looked like on the hike back from the light house because of the wind. Ha it was insane! We went with Elder Haysman from Australia, Davis from Idaho, Ramsay from Utah and Isaksen from Norway! It sure was a great day:)

I had a really bizarre experience on Friday with a former investigator who turned out to be a gypsy.... Yeah no joke there are loads of them in Sittingbourne ha. So we had some service planned that day and it got canceled...... Service never gets canceled......., so we decided to go stop by this former investigator that the Elders had taught before and I have met once. So we got there and she let us in, then like 4 minutes later her 15 year old son came in as well and before we know it we started teaching them about prayer and the purpose of life!!!

We were really excited because it was going really well! Then at the end we invited them to church and the son said he would like to come, but the mom said no. She then asked us a question along the lines of.... "Do you ever have moments when you see things and then a few weeks later it happens?" We were like uhhh..... And we didn't quite understand her question. So then she starts explaining that that was happening right now to her and she kept saying... "I don't know how to describe it to you but I am seeing things...." Again, we were
like uhhh....... So I asked her what it was, and she said "I can't say, I am just trying to figure out if it is from God or some other spirit." Well at this point a really weird feeling came into the room and we didn't know what the heck to do. I think one of us said something like, "well every thing that is good comes from God."

She then thought for a second and said, "what the heck I will just tell you." I don't remember exactly what she said but basically she began to prophecy about the future.... She was prophesying about her and her son and how their experience was going to go with the church..... And it wasn't anything good either. You guys, a gypsy began to prophecy to us. Like legit..... Seriously the Spirit that came into the room when that happened was not from God. 

Wow it makes me cringe thinking about it.... It was so bizarre and I just felt uncomfortable and wanted to get the heck out of there! 

When she stopped for a second Sister Mathews quickly jumped in and said, "Sister Ranck can you
say the prayer before we leave?" So I prayed and we quickly left.

Seriously it was the strangest experience I have had and we had a great conversation after to recover from it....... Crazy stuff. 

On Saturday morning we did a ward service project and went to this park that was by the sea and picked up rubbish! So we of course volunteered to go out on the little island:) Who knew that picking up rubbish would be so fun. It was especially fun wearing jeans for a change and serving:) and the sun was shining which was refreshing after a week of pretty much straight rain! We split off into groups and Sister Mathews and I went with the Bartling family.... Love this family. The two little boys.., Noah (Sammys look alike) and Theo are so cute and just remind me of my little bros so that was nice:) we sure had a grand old time picking up beer cans. Ha.... 

Not gonna lie, this week was pretty spiritually and emotionally draining! We are lucky if we speak to
just two or three nice people a day who actually listen and talk to us. It is just exhausting being surrounded by so much disbelief. I have been thinking a lot about the Prophets and people we read about in the scriptures, and what it must have been like for them. These stories are coming to life so much more as I experience first hand some of the things that they experience! I feel a small portion of what the sons of Mosiah felt at the beginning of their mission when they said that their hearts were depressed. We are so blessed to be in Utah surrounded by believers. I can't even tell you how refreshing it is to just speak to someone who has a belief in God!

If you do not have your OWN testimony, if you have not received a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon for yourself, will you just do the thing necessary to get one already? Read the Book of Mormon! Go to your Father in Heaven in prayer! There is no room for lukewarm conversion..... That will not sustain you in today's world. 

Sorry this email is real long but emailing is like a weekly journal for me! 

Okay so this week I had a very humbling experience where I really felt how much the Lord is in this work. So not gonna lie, the work has been tough here in Gillingham. We haven't seen much fruits at all and as I was saying, it has been exhausting. Attempting to find through our own efforts has not been successful. And this is a really struggling ward as well! It's full of first generation converts.... Literally almost everyone had missionaries knock on their door or some thing. But also at the moment, they are last generation converts as almost all of their children have fallen away due to a lack of true personal conversion. It's also a dying ward, meaning that the bulk of the members have grandchildren and are just simply getting old. Just 20 years ago or so there were like 170 active members, and currently we are lucky if we get 50 or 60 people out to church.

So again after quite a long Sunday, I was just feeling very stuck, and was running out of ideas! How
do we find these people? I know the Lord loves them and wants us to find them but where the heck are they? How can we strengthen the ward? What am I doing wrong? What do we need to do differently?

Well God sure answered all of those questions last night. Long story short, with a series of events we realised that we are trying to do this work in our own way.......... Well no wonder we haven't seen any kind of results! God kindly rebuked us and said, "Okay sisters, I appreciate your hard work, but now it's time to listen to me and start doing this work the way I need you to......... which is to start with the members." 

................Yes sir..............

So last night Sister Mathews and I really felt the Lord inspire us as we made plans and set goals for the next few weeks and we are really excited! President Stevens specifically told us that he felt very inspired to have us together this transfer and we are about to find out why. 

Sister Mathews is amazing and I love her to pieces! With all of the walking around we did this week we really did become so much closer, so that was a blessing in disguise and now we are ready to go "baptise nations" as Elder Ramsay says! Ha.. 

But on the real though we both have such a great desire to build up and strengthen this ward! I am really looking forward to the weeks to come:)

Love you all and this is the greatest work in the world. 

God is real, Christ is our Savior, and the Gospel is a plan for how we can have REAL happiness. Don't try to go through life your own way because it simply doesn't work. His way is always best <3

Click Here to see Sara and Her Companion at the White Cliffs of Dover.



Sister Ranck

14 September 2015

Don't Question, Just Do!

It has been a good week:) A crazy week! The sun was shining and that just makes everything so much better!

You know it has been a good day when you come home laughing about just how crazy your day was.... Well Thursday was one of those days. It started great at district meeting... We started by making pancakes for breakfast!


This one is by my friend Elder Ramsay..... He had just gotten has pancakes and sat down on the stage at the chapel, looked down at his pancakes for a minute, then said, "You know it's times like these that I wonder..... How do people not believe in a God?"

....... I legit died. 

So after a great district meeting we went to lunch at a less actives house and no joke she talked to us for 2 hours straight. It was hilarious because when we got there and knocked on the door, she started hitting the door with something from the inside, and we had no idea what was going on, finally she opened the door a little crack and said, "hurry and get in here!" We did as we were told, and she shut the door behind us and said, "okay now where is that fly." And went on a search for 5 minutes. Well, long story short, she didn't find the fly and then during dinner every time she heard or saw the fly, she paused her story, went to grab some fly killer spray, and went searching. Well she finally got the fly and as she was spraying it she said, "YOU HAVE TO DIE NOW MY SON!" Oh my I was dying. Oh and she also got mad at us for not getting seconds right away and accused us of not liking her food. haha legit the funniest appointment I have ever been in.

Before we went there, I warned Sister Mathews about her, then afterwords she was like, "Wow I was not prepared for that."

We were dying.
My District

I have a new favourite type of food.... FILIPINO FOOD. Oh my it is the greatest ever. There is a Filipino less active family in the  ward that we see every week and that is always the highlight. I just LOVE them! They have a girl named Mara and she is 16 and oh my she is one of my best friends here! We are really helping her to gain a testimony because she was baptised a few years ago, but has never really been super active, and she is doing so well now that I have been working with her! She has been reading the Book of Mormon and LOVES it. Ahh I just love her to death! She is amazing:) 

On Saturday I was very thankful for the sunshine and for a great companion and for laughter. Because that made what could have been such a long day a great one. On Friday night we went to look at our plans for Saturday and what do we see? Primary activity in the morning (note to self: never let a group of 12 primary aged children loose in Tesco..... ) and then........... Nothing............... Yup. You know what that means...... FINDING!!!! My favourite:) ha.... So we had a list of like 15 potential investigators (people who have been in contact with missionaries in the past) that we were going to stop by as well as some less actives....... Yup for 5 hours as we stopped by these people and

talked to people along the way and knocked some doors as well, literally one person listened. No joke, and of course this one person was the very last place we tried.... God sure is a funny guy and LOVES to test our faith! I have never appreciated kind people in my life more than I did this day and there weren't even very many. Seriously you wouldn't believe the amount of just unbelief here in England. It makes me so sad:(   

The gospel is true even if no one listens or believes.

I have faith that God CAN do anything, but my faith is not dependant on if he does. I have faith IN God. It is like the story in Daniel 3... Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego....... They were about to get thrown into the fiery furnace by the king because they would not worship the golden image that he has set up. 

The king asks them.... "who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?" (Daniel 3:15)

Their answer is this.... 

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 BUT IF NOT, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

I love this story. They knew that God had the power to save them, but even if He didn't... BUT IF NOT..... They would still serve God. Their faith was not dependent on if God saved them.. Their faith was IN God.

That is the kind of faith I am trying to develop. The faith NOT to be healed and the faith NOT to have
a certain prayer answered the way that I want it to be answered. The faith when everything is going wrong. 

My faith is IN God and nothing can change that. 

This reminds me of a scripture.....

1 Nephi 7:12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

Never forget the Lord is able to do ALL things according to HIS will. So if He doesn't do a certain thing or answer a certain prayer in the way YOU want, there probably is a pretty good reason.

Okay enough of my rant! TRUST GOD. That is all I have to say:)


On Tuesday night we had a dinner appointment that got canceled.... boo:( ha (we get fed every single night here... sometimes we have lunch and dinner appointments... good thing Sister Mathews likes to run.) 

Anywho... When looking at our options, we decided to go stop by a less active and then a former investigator. So we did that and that went fine, and then as we were walking back to the bus, we
The Entire Mission in Hyde Park Chapel
passed this one street and as I looked down the street I saw this lady walking up, clearly out of our way. Well after like a 5 second battle in my head debating if we should go talk to her, I thought to myself, "okay if you are having this battle then obviously the Spirit is telling you to go down there and talk to her.... " So I obeyed.

AND UM MIRACLE! We had a great conversation with her and she is basically GOLDEN. She said right before we left that she was having a really rough past few days and she felt like we were meant to run into each other. Yes mam you are correct:) 

Then yesterday we saw her with a member and oh my it was thee GREATEST lesson everrrrr. She is soo prepared! She said that she hates how kids are brought up these days and are not taught high morals and values. She wants to start a family soon but wants a good environment to raise them in. UMM HELLO WE CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT!!! So yes!!! She is amazing and so excited to read the Book of Mormon:) She accepted a baptismal date too so PRAY FOR HER! Her name is Jennifer. Oh goodness I just love her and I love being a missionary! Imagine what would have happened if I never followed that subtle prompting.......
The England London Missionaries

DON'T QUESTION JUST DO!  <<<<< One of the things I have especially learned on my mission when it comes to following the Spirit.

Love you all!!!

Click here to see Fairytale Avenue video.

Click here to see a Walk Through London to the LDS Visitor's Center Video.



Sister Sara Ranck

08 September 2015

I have been blessed with amazing companions who are my best friends out here.

Wow the beginning of a new transfer already! I cannot believe how fast time is flying. I love my
new companion already! And I am really excited to be staying in this ward:)

My new companion.  Sister Mathews from Nevada
MEET SISTER MATHEWS AKA MY STEP DAUGHTER: Welp she is amazing! And super quiet and sweet and innocent and basically the exact opposite of me in that sense.... poor girl haha. No but really we get along very well and I love her already:) She is a legit cowgirl from Nevada. She plays the piano really well and sings! Here is a Sister Mathews quote of the week: "Every night it's like I just die and then in the morning I am resurrected again...." Love this girl. I am very excited to be working with her! I have been blessed with amazing companions who are my best friends out here. Thank goodness for that!

I have learned this week that it is official... I bear my testimony, say prayers, teach lessons, and extend commitments while I sleep. 

I'm now a mother of three (my trainees) HaHa
We had zone meeting which is always fantastic:) There is one hilarious Elder in my zone... Elder Ramsay and he always will call me by my first name when he walks by me and I just never know how to respond.... haha seriously. Then when we were traveling on the tubes in London, it always gets so hot in there, so he says.... "I'm sweating more than two snuggling raccoons...." Oh elders. What the random. haha I love it!

Also, after zone meeting we all went to get a Kebab because there are Kebab shops everywhere in England. And I guess when you have a Kebab for the first time you get "Kebabtised..." So I guess I got kebabtised this week. ha yeah I don't know.

Posterity Picture
Sister Hernes is the grandmother
 and sister McFarland is my step sister!!!
Click here for a video of Sara getting "Kebabtised"

On Thursday morning we had weekly planning and were really trying to see what the Lord wanted us to accomplish in this area. As we were praying and trying to figure it out, we were really thinking about the huge number of less actives in the ward. However, we weren't sure what direction we should take.... Well that night we met with the relief society presidency and that was an answer to prayers. We went through all of the less active sisters on the ward list. There are only 60 to 70 active members in the ward... it is kind of a struggling ward. But the ward counsel as well as us are making a big push with all of the less actives in the ward... There are over 150 less active members in the ward.... that is crazy. And like 30 semi active members. Insane huh! We have a lot of work to do here. So yes on Thursday we identified like 20 or so that we can focus on! I am excited to see where this will go:)

On Saturday... we had a really long day of all appointments falling through, surprise surprise:) Literally no one was interested and that was a long day of God testing our patience. Well that night as we were walking back to our flat, we stopped to talk to one last person. AND UM MIRACLE. She was our age, AND plays football... So I told her we will have to play sometime. But she said that her grandfather is a member, but she lives in Ashford at the moment. We were a little bummed because that wasn't our area, but then she was like, "but my granddad wants me to go to the church in Rainham because I come here every weekend...." UMM YES WE CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT!!!! WOO. So stoked about that:) God is too good.

Saying good bye to Sister Mclchova
from the Czech Republic
She is has had a huge impact on my mission.
She is the only member in her family and
she was baptized when she was 16.
Now for the best part of the week... the reason why we are emailing on Tuesday is because yesterday we had an ALL MISSION CONFERENCE!!!!! Goodness I love those things. I loved seeing all of my girls again!!! I got asked to say the prayer at the conference as well. Just a side note... ha. 

The conference was AMAZING. It was with Clayton and Christine Christensen. So Clayton Christensen is the author of the book.... The Power of the Everyday Missionary. He did some training on member missionary work and man this guy is a living example of the greatest member missionary. I am so excited to start implementing the things that we learned. Especially in England...... the only way to truly hasten the work here is to change the culture of the wards.... what I mean by that is to train the ward on how to be member missionaries. Because as members, we want to share the gospel but just simply do not know how! Anywho... I will let you know how things go. 

Well sorry, not many cool stories this week! 

But this week I have started studying the gospels...... OH MY GOODNESS I AM IN LOVE. Is that weird? I LOVE THE BIBLE SO MUCH. I love studying about Christ. Ahh I seriously cannot get enough of study time. It is so amazing and the gospel is just so true I love it!!!!!! If you haven't before, I would highly suggest reading the New Testament. So amazing.

Welp, life is good and I am one blessed missionary. And I am loving every second:) 

Click here for a video showing the chaos of taking a mission picture.
Click here for a video of missionaries walking through Canterbury.
Click here for a video of missionaries walking through London.
Click here for a video of the entire mission walking down Exhibition Row.
Click here for the Armies of Helaman video.



Sister Sara Ranck

P.S. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a really big deal here in England as Queen Elizabeth is breaking the record as the longest reigning monarch in history.

01 September 2015

Life is Good and I am Happy

Welp it is transfer week and the last thing we thought would happen happened. We both thought for sure we were staying, but NOPE. I am staying in Gillingham and Sister Haynie is going to Enfield! And get this..... Sister Haynie is just swapping places with Sister Mathews who also just came out on her mission so I will be follow up training Sister Matthews this transfer (so will be doing the second half of her training....)! Ha I will just be forever training and doing the 12 week program my whole mission I guess:) Sister Matthews is from Nevada! I am super sad to be leaving Sister Haynie. I love this girl! But I am glad I am staying. You get so close to these people!!!

In Gillingham... Well technically Chatham which is the ghetto of Gillingham..... There is this 1 pound bowling place so we went bowling last p day with the whole zone and this p day with my district! Oh man so much fun. I am very blessed to be serving around so many great missionaries!!!

This week was interesting.... Not gonna lie it wasn't the best week. All of our investigators have kind of fallen off the face of the earth.... We kind of struggled with motivation but then on Sunday we
were like.... Okay enough of this and we re-motivated ourselves and had a great day:) We also did a
lot of running in the rain this week and got soaked. Ha I have discovered that my umbrella is terrible and water seeps through it. Super fun I'm tellin yah:)

But the week ended with a bang and we met this super awesome kid on Saturday! His name is Abbas and he is 16 and from Iran! We had a super great lesson on the restoration on Sunday and he is very interested about the Book of Mormon! PRAY FOR HIM. We are so excited for him! He is a Jehovah's Witness... Well kind of. He says there are some things he doesn't agree with about it though...... So we will see! He is so sweet!

So there are two recent converts in the ward.... Scott and Vikki and they are both crazy but so awesome. Scott calls me Pest 1 and Sister Haynie Pest 2. Ha..... And Vikki calls us by our first names. Haha On Thursday when we were with them both they were talking about how much their life has changed since they joined the church and they both became really emotional as they looked back. They said that the person they were before is just so different than now. They are so much happier and just feel so much love for others rather than
being angry all of the time. Gosh I just love this gospel so much! Even if it wasn't true.... (Which it obviously is), it sure is the best way to live and have a happy life that is for sure.

There is the cutest couple in the ward from Jamaica..... The Gilberts.... Holy goodness I just love them. Brother Gilberts health is getting very poor and he has dementia as well but he is the funniest and sweetest man ever. He used to be a Pentecostal pastor and ha he is so funny! He said the prayer in sacrament meeting and that was possibly the best prayer I have ever heard in my entire life. And every time we see him he comes up to us and quotes this scripture to us with the most serious look on his face and he grabs our hand, looks us in the eye, and says.....

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)

Goodness I just love him!

Life is good and I am happy. The church is true and the only way to REAL happiness and REAL peace.


Sister Sara Ranck


UVU Team Says Hello to Sara

PSS If you need a good talk to study this week........ study "The Way" by Lawrence Corbridge.