Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Apr 28...the things we do for missionary work

This week was slow at the beginning and then just got faster and faster. Monday-Wednesday we got to stay at home because my companion was sick. She had an infection in her gums that made her lip really swollen. It did not look fun and so I let her sleep a lot. While she was sleeping I read the scriptures and Jesus the Christ and when I needed a break I decided to color. I thought of quotes I like and drew pictures to go along with them. I will send a picture of them. Also this week me and my companion decided to start doing a miracle a night, so we write a miracle or two that happened that day on a post-it note and we hang it on our door. It's been really awesome to see all the miracles that God puts into our life everyday. We also wanted to unify our companionship more and so everyday we decided to coordinate our outfits so we matched. It was so fun and lots of people asked if we meant to do it.

Tuesday we were able to go and teach one lesson. We taught the less-active named Jessica who has a goal of going to the temple with her husband. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I was talking about repentance I felt prompted to talk about the importance of forgiving our self. She said that was exactly what she needed to hear. Then we went to the dentist right after that because the swelling in my companions lip went all the way up to her eyes. The dentist said he didn't know why it happened but said that she needed to sleep with her head elevated. So we sent a mass text to our district asking for extra pillows. The Zone leaders brought us some pillows and also some ice cream and a chocolate bunny.

Wednesday we went and saw the recent convert who is 94. Teaching her is so much fun. Every time we go there she asks us who we are but she always remembers what we taught the time before. When we teach her we start with a song that relates to what we will talk about and then we teach the principle and close with a prayer. Usually the lesson only lasts 20-30 minutes. After that we went to the chapel to do Facebook and I was able to Skype with Corbin who was struggling with reading his scriptures and wanted some advice. I am so grateful for modern technology that allows me to do that. We also went and taught the Petersens. We talked about tithing and fasting. We also brought up family history and they want to do theirs so they can take the names to the temple. We are taking them to the family history center this week and hopefully we will be able to print off at least 5 names they can take to the temple. That night the sister training leaders called us to see if we needed anything because they were driving through Provo on their way back from Lehi. They were able to pick us up and take us home so we didn't have to walk 30 minutes home.

Thursday night was super busy. We went and taught a 9 year old girl who was baptized last year but doesn't come to church anymore because she has no support from home. She is interesting to teach because she is full of energy and very talkative. Then we went and taught Malachi who is our new investigator. He is 9 and has been wanting to get baptized for a long time but he said they haven't let him because his mom is not active. But he lives with grandma and grandpa who go to church every Sunday, so we are hoping we can get him prepared to be baptized next month. Our dinner couldn't feed us until 6:30 so we did as much teaching as we could before dinner because after dinner we had to go to our stake coordination meeting. Only one out of five ward mission leaders showed up which was kind of disappointing because we are finally getting work in the stake and we have no one to update. After dinner we had the couple that fed us run us home because the pollen in the air was burning my eyes so I went and put my glasses on. Then we head off to coordination

Friday I got to get out of my comfort zone a little but it was so much fun. In DTM we talked about the Holy Ghost and how we can have it more in our lives as missionaries. Our district leader told us we were going to implement it. So we said a prayer as a district and then he gave us 15 minutes to go out where ever we felt prompted to go and do missionary work. Me and my companion head down a street where we saw a lady sitting in the grass with her baby. We talked to her for awhile and she told us she has a friend on Facebook she wants us to start teaching and also her next door neighbor might be less active or a non-member because she has never seen her at church. We then crossed the street and talked to some "Google Fiber" guys. One grew up in Utah and doesn't go to church because he doesn't have a testimony for himself and the other guy was from Georgia and is baptist and he said that he has some questions he would love to ask us sometime. So we gave him our Mormon.org card and Sister Lani shared a scripture with them about Christ. Afterwards we all came back together as a district and shared the wonderful experience we just had. Then us and the other sisters went to Joe's, it is a hamburger place that feeds us for free. It was super yummy and probably not healthy at all. It's a good thing I walk all day. Then after that we went and did our weekly planning and then we were able to teach C***. We taught how our bodies are temples, so we combined the law of chastity with the word of wisdom. It was a quick lesson like usual with her. There was a crazy wind storm that night and it was BYU graduation so our dinner brought us Chick-fil-A. I have never eaten there before, and it was pretty good. We also decided to go meet our neighbors next door who just moved in because they just got married. We also were able to ask them for their wifi password so that we can do all our planning and stuff at home. It will be a lot easier than going to a chapel every day.

Saturday was so crazy. We almost got rained out. We walked through lakes of water to get to appointments and luckily we were able to get a ride to the farthest appointment. We started our day early since we were both healthy and ready to go work hard. We had a referral that we hadn't contacted since February because we were only given her name and what apartment complex she lived in. So since we had learned all about faith and the Holy Ghost on Friday I decided we would go and see if we can find her. I told my companion once we got to the complex that we should pray that we will be able to find her. As soon as we said amen the door on the second floor opened and we talked to the people and they showed us where the referral lived! It was such an amazing testimony to me that God answers prayers. Sometimes faster than we expect. We then went and ate lunch and headed back out. In the morning it was only sprinkling and by the afternoon it was down pouring. I have never seen so much rain, nor have I ever had to walk in that much rain. When my pictures send I will show you what I mean. We did a lot more contacting referrals that afternoon and it was probably the most success I have ever had with contacting referrals given to us. There was a less-active couple that referred themselves online through Mormon.org. They are wanting to get more active so they can go to the temple. We then got a call from the AP's saying that they had a referral of a less-active family who also wanted to get more active so they could one day soon go to the temple. We then went and contacted this less-active guy whose daughter is not a member and she is 18. He said he really wants her to be baptized and so we are going to be teaching them and hopefully the dad will be the one to baptize his daughter. Then we went to dinner and ate with one of the Relief Society Presidents and she was able to give us about 5 names of less-actives we should go contact. After dinner we decided to take a short break from the freezing cold rain and we went to a chapel to do some follow up on Facebook. While we were there my companion and I were looking at a map on the wall and I didn't notice that my companion had leaned her chair forward and I had my hand on the top of my chair and when we were done looking at the map my companion leaned her chair back and my fingers got smashed hard. Almost like getting them smashed in a door. So we ran to a members house to see if she knew what to do. She taped them up and so they will be staying taped for a few more days because they hurt really bad if I try to use them. That night we had a some what less-active that wanted to feed us and so we went and ate a second dinner with her and her girls wanted to color and play a matching game. So we did that and then we taught them a few gospel principles and then headed home. We got a call from our district leader asking us if we were planning on going to Gloria's for free ice cream, and who can pass up free ice cream! NOT ME:)

Sunday morning we had to wake up super early because we were invited to a ward council at 7:00 and it takes almost 20 minutes just to walk there. That was super crazy! Then we went to the Pioneer 4th ward and we were able to teach Young Women's. The young women's had a visitor, it was a sister from the General YW board. We got to talk about missionary work. Big surprise, but it was cool because one of the girls there was not a member and there was one who was a convert. Sunday evening we didn't have a whole lot of success finding people at home. But I guess we have a busy week coming up so its all good.

There are miracles in our every day life. We need to look for them and thank our Heavenly Father for all that he does for us and all he has given us. So be sure to look out for yours this week.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Apr 21...13 months

So this week was transfers and Sister Wang was transferred to American Fork and so for PDay we went bowling at BYU then for dinner some awesome members took us out for Chinese food. And then the rest of the night and all of Tuesday was spent saying good byes and packing.
Wednesday morning we went to the transfer chapel and I got my new companion. Her name is Sister Lani, she is from Vanuatu, which is a small country near the islands of Fiji. She is the oldest of 6 kids and their family is the only members in their whole village, minus her dad who is not a member yet. She is so tall, about 5 foot 11 inches. I finally have a companion who is taller than me! She is awesome and full of energy and she speaks 6 languages. I can tell this transfer is going to be wonderful because of her and also my district is amazing! We had a member come pick us up for transfers and she came out of her car to help us load stuff and her car got locked behind her with the keys in the ignition and her phone was in their too. So she tried calling her husband but he works night shifts so he was sleeping so we called her neighbor to go wake up her husband and her boys were getting out of school and needed picked up but we were stuck for about 30 minutes. Then we finally were able to get in because her husband came and we went and picked up her boys.  We had a little while for Sister Lani to start unpacking and we also went and got her some grocery's.
Then we decided to get to work and we went and contacted one of the media referrals that we got a few weeks ago. It was in this building that you had to call up to the person for them to let you in. So they let us up and then we got to the door and they only spoke Spanish. Sometimes I wish I even knew a little Spanish so I could understand what they are saying to me. Then we went and taught one of our investigators about the law of tithing. She is struggling to know whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet or not. Then we went and read the Book of Mormon stories with our recent converts. For our lesson with the Petersens that night we were talking about the law of chastity and we decided to use For The Strength of Youth. I am so grateful that we have a book full of the standards we should be living in life.
Thursday was super crazy. For some reason a lot of our appointments were not put in the calendar from last week and so we were running around crazy because I would all of a sudden remember an appointment we had, so we would have to hurry to get there. Since Sunday was Easter we went around to less-actives and showed them the new "Because of Him" video. I think it was a good reminder to them that He has done everything for us, so we need to show Him that we love him by doing the best we can. We also got a new investigator, he is 9 and his grandparents take him to church every week. He said he has been trying to be baptized for awhile but since his mom is not active they haven't been letting him. So we are teaching him the lessons and I hope we can get his mom to join us so she can become active again. But I think he has really great support from his grandparents. The missionary coordination meeting that night was pretty sad. Only two of the five ward mission leaders showed up. So I guess it was nice that it ended up being pretty short.
Friday was a great day. Our district training meeting was fun, we did introductions since there is one new person per companionship. We also talked about how to recognize and follow the spirit. Then after DTM we went and had a district lunch at Sammy's. They have amazing burgers and shakes and the great thing is that it is half off for missionaries. My district has decided they are going to try and teach me Spanish since me and Sister Lani are the only ones who are English speaking missionaries. I am excited to learn!  Usually every Friday we do our weekly planning but we had no time. We had temple booth at 2:00 and then a lesson at 3:30, which she was a no show. Then Sister Lani wanted a blessing so the Elders came to the chapel. Dinner was an interesting story. I had called them earlier to remind them and the voice mail said to text because it was faster, so I did and never got a response. So we went to their house and we rang the door bell a few times and knocked and no one answered. After waiting for almost ten minutes and then we decided to call some one else and see if they could feed us. We ended up calling the Petersen's because they said to call if anyone ever cancels. They couldn't feed us until 6:30 so we decided to go and see how Sunny and Avery (our recent converts) were doing with reading the Book of Mormon. They hadn't been reading so we read with them again. Dinner with the Petersen's so so good! Brother Petersen is a cook for a restaurant or something and so the food he makes is amazing!
 Saturday went by so fast. In the morning we had temple booth and then we had to do weekly planning since we didn't do it on Friday. Then we had dinner at 3:45 instead of 5 because we all had stake conference at 6:00 and wanted good seats. There was some families in the ward that were having an Easter BBQ and so we joined them. The new bishop of the ward was there and it is so cool, he is the guy on the cover of the February ensign of this year. And now he is one of the bishops I get to work with. We got to stake conference early and the youth choir was practicing and it was a small group and they asked us and he elders to join them. I am so grateful that the stakes around here are focusing their Saturday session on hastening the work. The stake presidency gave some really good advice to the members.
Sunday was an interesting day. My companion's four front teeth had been hurting since Wednesday and when she woke up her whole upper lip was swollen. So I told her to take some medicine, drink lots of fluids and go try and sleep more. I called Sister McCune to ask what I should do, and also the mission nurse. The nurse came over and brought some antibiotics. The members were so nice to us. We had two dinners delivered to us and also the sister training leaders and zone leaders came over so she could get another blessing. All day we watched church movies. Like Joseph Smith and the Restoration, Legacy, Mountain of The Lord, and so on. I guess you could say it was a relaxing way to spend Easter! And it was my 13 month mark! I can't believe I am at that point. Everyone keeps telling me that my flight plans are going to be coming this transfer which scares me now. If you would have asked a few months ago if I was excited to go home I would have said yes. But I am at the point now where it is bitter sweet. I really love serving a mission but holy cow I miss my family! I guess I will just keep working hard.
This week was so wonderful being able to tell people about the true reason we celebrate
Easter. It's not for the eggs and candy, it is because of Him. Jesus Christ's atonement makes so many wonderful things possible. It makes it so that when we die, we will see our families again. It makes it so that we can have chances over and over again to become better. I know that the atonement is so real and it is important to use it every day in our lives. I am grateful for everything that Christ has done for me and because of Him I am serving a wonderful full time mission for His church.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Apr 14...Sunshine in my soul

The weather this week was wonderful, so wonderful that on Wednesday I got a nice sunburn. It was Spring Break here this week and so a lot of people were out of town and those who were home were at the park or playing outside. This made contacting and having lessons this week a little harder. But we got to walk around and enjoy the weather while talking to people on the streets.
Tuesday we were surprised by the other Sisters in our district with lunch. It was so delicious and one of the sisters gave me advice on how to relieve stress. It was amazing because she pointed out that our stress all starts with our thoughts and turns into feelings and then to actions. Then we had appointments for the rest of the night. We ate dinner at one of the Relief Society's houses and her family reminds me of our family, especially the food. Mom I miss your cooking! The weather Tuesday night was so great that I didn't even need a jacket or anything! I am so excited for the summer.
Wednesday was a different kind of fun. We didn't have any appointments until later that night and so we decided to try and find new investigators. I think the temperature was 75 all day! We got a list of unbaptized kids over the age of 8 from a primary president so we went and knocked on all their doors. Our result... No one was home! But because of that we were walking around that day for about 4 hours and I got sunburnt. Why do I have to be so white? After dinner we got to help fill Easter eggs for the stake activity that was this weekend. That night our lessons went really well. We taught the Petersen's who are a recent convert family and we love them and they love us so much that we loose track of time really easily when teaching them. But they have progressed so fast in the short time they have been baptized.
Thursday we did more knocking on doors out in the beautiful sun. And we had no success once again. That night we were able to teach a good lesson about the word of wisdom and then go to a coordination meeting.
Friday we had a lot of lessons planned and they ALL cancelled! how does that happen!
Saturday we got to go help out with a stake's 5K and Easter Egg hunt and then we got to go to the family history center and learn about how to help our investigators with family history work. Then we went with the other sisters and did yard work for a lady with cancer. So our day was full of service which is fun!
Sunday was sooo cold again. We spent a lot of our day in the chapel for meetings. And we also had a lesson with one of our wonderful investigators.
This week was pretty simple and some what uneventful besides the wonderful sun!:)
Love, Sister Harrison

Monday, April 7, 2014

Apr 7...ups and downs

Well this week had a lot of ups and downs. We weren't able to work as hard as we normally do for a few reasons. We had a lot of different missionary things and meetings, like going to the temple, zone training meeting, general conference, and temple booth. Also this week my companion was sick for almost all week and so we spent a lot of time at home letting her rest.
*Tuesday was the day we took out temple trip and I probably say this every time but I LOVE THE TEMPLE! The spirit is always so strong and I feel so much at peace. After the temple we got to go work at the temple booth. There was quite a few people that came in and these two girls came in with their grandpa and they were asking where us missionaries are from I told them Richland WA and they said they were too, so I asked them what ward and they said the Candy Mountain ward! I asked their last name and found out that I know their family! It is such a small world. Also on Tuesday it decided to be every season possible, one minute it was cloudy and rainy, the next it was snowing, then hailing and then sunny. I am not quite sure how I feel about the instantly changing weather here. For dinner we ate with this family and there little boy has growing disorders so he is a lot older than he looks. As we were eating ice cream for desert he started freaking out because his ice cream was stuck to his spoon. It was the cutest thing, and his mom could not figure out why he was crying.
UP= temple. DOWN= cold weather.
*Wednesday was a pretty full day.
We were able to teach 4 lessons even with people canceling.  But everything worked out just great. Dinner couldn't feed us until 5:30 and so we were able to get in a lesson with our recent converts that just live down the street and then our next appointment after dinner wasn't until 6:30. After that we went contacting with Brother Whiting , a ward mission leader, and he was really wanting to meet one of the ladies we work with who has been hard to get a hold of and so we went over to her house and we knocked and she has a big window that we can see into her house and we watched her walk out the back door. So we ran around back and couldn't find her so we went and knocked again. This time we saw her husband go out the back door, so we went around back and finally found them and we were able to have a good conversation with her and we were able to get her excited for conference.
UP= teaching people. DOWN= people canceling.
*Thursday was full of many tender mercies. In the morning we had temple booth and then we decided to go out and eat for lunch. There is a cool sandwich place on center street that feeds missionaries for free. The food was delicious! On our way home we were walking down center street and I saw a dancing panda, so me and Sister Wang got pictures with him. He was handing out eggs with candy which made me happy, because I love sweets. When we got home my companion started feeling sick and so she slept almost all day because she has been sick for awhile and I just want her to get better so that we can work hard again. I went and woke her up for dinner and she said she didn't know if she could go. So I called dinner and they sounded so disappointed that we would need to cancel so I told my companion we should probably go. We were lucky enough and we were able to find a ride there. After dinner we had a lesson and we had gone planning on teaching the word of wisdom and after talking for awhile we figured she needed a message of hope. Then we got to go and help stuff Easter eggs for the stake activity coming up which was super fun. Then we had coordination meeting with one of the stakes. When we got dropped off at home that night I walked up to the door and saw a dollar sitting by our front door and when I picked it up my dad's business card was wrapped inside. This put me in shock and totally made my day!
UP= random dollar on my porch, seeing kungfu panda on the street, free sandwich.
DOWN= staying at home all afternoon.
*Friday morning we had zone training meeting, for the past few months I have struggled with wanting to go and hear from leaders that are my same age, but I decided I would go and try to focus more on the spirit than what they were saying. The first part was really good and then it got to policies and they announced a policy change for the temple. We are no longer allowed to go twice a month, we can only go once ever three months! It made me so sad because this is how I receive peace, guidance and relieve stress. So I only get to go one or two more times while I am on my mission. But luckily at home the temple is not to far. After zone training meeting we were on our way to lunch and I got a call saying my family had dropped something off for me. So we went and picked it up and then went to lunch. For lunch we went to brick oven pizza as a district and we were able to discuss the things we learned and talked about how excited we were for conference. After lunch we had a few minutes before we had to go to teach lessons and then after that it was a night full of lessons and finding and a wonderful dinner!
UP= Easter basket from family. DOWN= hearing about the new temple policy.
*Saturday and Sunday were very similar. For the morning session of General Conference we went to the stake center and for the afternoon we watched it with the Petersen's who are a recent convert family. They are so awesome!
UP= General conference with the Petersen's. Down= sitting on hard church pews for the morning sessions.

That is my week and I am excited for this week when we have less meetings and we can focus on investigators.

Mar 31...out of the ordinary

So this week we had a lot happen out of the ordinary.
Tuesday we had president interviews and those were amazing like always. The funny thing is president was running super behind schedule and so a lot of the missionaries had to cancel some of their appointments. Sister McCune's birthday was on Monday and so I made a cake for president interviews since she usually comes. It was fun to just sit and talk with her. It was such a beautiful day on Tuesday, it probably got up to almost 70 degrees. We got a text that night saying we disappointed a family, which we were super confused about. We found out the person in charge of dinners was texting the wrong number and so we were never told we had a dinner appointment. We found out who the family was and went over to their house and apologized. The dad looked at me and pointed at his daughter and said "do you know her?" I looked over and it was a girl that did a mini mission last summer and she had come with me and my companion for 3 days. It was so crazy thinking that it was almost a year ago, because it felt like 3 months ago.
Wednesday we had exchanges with the sister training leaders and the weather was a lot different from the day before. It decided to snow and hail and rain all day long. Luckily I got to go to Springville and be in a car area for the day. When I got back to my area that night my companion and the other sister training leader were soaked!
Thursday my companion woke up with a cold due to the crazy weather she was in the day before and so she did a lot of sleeping. Luckily we didn't have too many appointments during the day. The lesson we had that night was awesome. It was with this awesome family who 3 of the family members, the mom and 2 boys, just got baptized and dad got re-activated to baptize them. The way we are doing the new member lesson is trying to have them teach us. We taught the plan of salvation and it was amazing to see how much they remember and how much they have learned from going to church and reading their scriptures.
Friday we finally got the elders who have a car to let us borrow their bikes and so it was fun trying to ride a bike in a skirt. The first 5 minutes of riding Sister Wang got her skirt stuck in between the tire and the break. We had a lot of appointments set to keep us busy all day and all but one cancelled and the one that didn't cancel decided not to show up for his appointment so we decided we would go contact a less-active family. We had stopped at a chapel to go use the bathroom and when we came out there was this guy that rode up on his bike and asked if there was a bishop inside. After talking to him for awhile we found out he is from out of state and he is here working and hasn't been paid yet and so he is homeless at the moment and was looking for a place to stay. We finally got ahold of someone from one of the bishoprics to come help us. As we were waiting with him we started talking about Jesus Christ and he has a very strong belief in him. We started reading some scriptures from the Book of Mormon and he loved them, he started tearing up and told us how grateful he is for the Savior.
Saturday we went to go teach this one family and they were not home and so luckily we found some of our recent converts outside and asked if we could teach them instead and they were so excited that we had come. They are 8 and 9 year old boys. When we went in to teach them about the restoration they were awesome because they were able to tell us the story of Joseph Smith. Saturday night was the Women's Broadcast and it was AMAZING! I have never felt so loved by my Heavenly Father! It also made me miss mom, Jessalyn and Summer a lot! But I know that next Women's Broadcast we can be together for it! It made me really excited for General Conference coming up next week!
I am loving every minute of my mission and I love being able to help others come closer to Christ!
Love you all!