Monday, August 26, 2013

Ah, life is so grand! And I'm loving the work here.

Hey Mom!

This week has been so good as always!  Highlights from this week: Zone Conference, R, and lots of rain!  All of the sudden, Fall hit this week and it's been a bit chilly with lots of rain. I love love love the rain! (Not a new thing, I know!)  I'm glad things are going well!  

Sorry again that this email is loads later.  We flipped our P-day around so that we could go to Wiener Neustadt to spend time with our district! Especially our senior couple, the Thurns. This is their last P-day in the field and ohmygoodness! I'm going to miss them so much!  There's nothing quite like an Ehe paars home! They are so sweet and funny and will most definitely be missed! Also, I will totally buy a dirndl! They are so stinking cute but, they're rather expensive so I'll have to shop around to find the perfect one!  It cracks me up because I see people all the time just wearing them out and about.  But, especially at weddings, special events and, even just to work sometimes! Oh! And I bought the CUTEST Austrian soccer sweats ever. I'm in love.  That is enough about babylonisch things though! 

Back to missionary work. We were able to meet with our investigators a TON this week.  (like 18 lessons, which is great).  R is pretty much entirely ready for Baptism.  The only thing him holding him back is the Law of Chastity.  He understands how important it is and how it makes a huge difference in his Spirituality but, yet isn't ready to break the news to his girlfriend. She's not interested in the gospel right now which makes this last big step, rather difficult!  That being said, he's getting so excited for his Baptism and is preparing to get everything worked out.  He is calling us now to meet whenever he is free. (I remember when we were trying really hard to get appointments with him and now he just calls ALL THE TIME! I love it!) It's crazy how when someone starts to really understand the Gospel and how much it blesses them. They really do hunger for more.  I mean really, who wouldn't want more light and knowledge from God?! It's incredible really truly to see the drastic changes, R has made in his life already! He hasn't had alcohol in almost 4 weeks!  The work is going incredibly here!  We are so busy with appointments, have 5 new investigators this week and are really making progress with all of them.  I'm so excited for R's Baptism and to see all the great things he will do when he is baptized.  He's been coming to church and loves it so much and has said already that he would like to serve a mission. That's probably my favorite part about missionary work.  Watching people change and behave as our Heavenly Father wants them to!  They are so much happier and are so excited to share this knowledge with others. When we are truly converted to the Lord, we cannot stand the idea of someone else perishing in unbelief.  The idea of each person being left without this knowledge, should motivate us to share with EVERY SINGLE PERSON that we meet!

My first Zone Conference was absolutely incredible and I loved being able to learn so much from President and Sister Miles and the Assistants: Elders Hemsley and Gubler.  There's no better way to recharge your spiritual batteries than to meet with a bunch of missionaries and hear the good word of God!  We really focused on being Preach My Gospel missionaries and finding through our ward members. It is SO much easier to teach when we are given people through the ward. The ward members can answer their friends' questions when we aren't around and put a friendly (normal) face on what is so new to them!  I can't wait for the day when we get to teach more referrals from members!  We're teaching Sister Bright's family and man.  She is able to liken our teachings to each member of her family so that they can understand and really feel the spirit bearing witness that what we're saying is the word of God. 
Otherwise, we have to hope that we're good enough teachers to help our investigators understand on their own.

All in all, this week has been busy busy busy but, so wonderful! Sister Woods and I have become the best of friends and we aren't looking forward to transfer calls this week.  She'll probably be leaving and neither of us want her to go!  I can't believe this transfer has come and gone already.  Each day just flies by and I love every second of it!  Doing the Lord's work with a best friend by your side is EASY!  Not to mention, ridiculously enjoyable!

I'm so glad all is good on the home front!

Love you!
Sister Harman

Monday, August 19, 2013

The field is white

This week has been AWESOME! as always.  We've had like 18 lessons (which is a record high for us) and oh man! So many miracles!  To start off the week, we had a super amazing lesson with Raymond.  He easily accepted the Word of Wisdom and said he'll quit drinking.  He doesn't drink alot but, here in Europe EVERYONE drinks. It's just what you do, so for him to just agree and say that he would stop, was a huge miracle.  AND EVEN MORE MIRACULOUS! HE CAME TO CHURCH! I literally died with joy! Really. Oh and guess what! HE LOVED IT!  I knew he would! Ah, we've been trying everything we could think of to get him to church but, something just really clicked this week and when we went to his house to pick him up, he answered the first ring, and bam! Church.  Sorry there are a lot of capitals this week, but shoot! It was incredible!  He loved seeing so many different cultures in our congregation and ah! Said he couldn't wait till next week to come again! Also, another wonder, Charlie, a guy Sister Woods and Sister Winters (we had exchanges this week again) gave a card to, came to church and said he wanted to join.  Pretty great Sunday!

Caitlin Logan, one of the best people on the entire Earth, (a thriving member of the Wien 4 Gemeinde) traveled back to Canada für immer.  It was so sad to see her go because A. She's the best joint teach ever! B. Because I love her to death C. It'll be at least 15 months until I can see her again. We did some service this week for her, to help her get everything packed up and cleaned up.  It was lovely but, way sad.  She also made delicious chocolate chip cookies and gave us a ton of super cute clothes!   Cait's been a fantastic help for us whenever we wanted/needed to do splits and it's going to be hard without her!  She really understands what it means to be a member missionary and I learned so much from her example. When you get time, tell the Sisters you'd like to have a lesson at our home with one of their investigators. I'm sure they'd die and go to heaven! (I know I would!) 

                                                          Sister Harman, C and Z

Last story, I went on a tausch with Sister Scoggin this week.  It was so cool! We worked in her area (Wiener Neustatt) and ohmygoodness. I loved working in a small town! The people are all so friendly and they've literally been there forever.  Sister Scoggin is training Sister Winters right now and they just opened Wiener Neustatt for Sisters.  There has been Elders serving there for a long time and now WN has both Sisters and Elders! (The field is ripe eh?)  Sister Scoggin is so great and we just really hit it off.  It's interesting to see how other missionaries work and with her perfect German, it was so easy to talk with everyone and see how both she and I could really improve the way, we run our areas (no matter how different they may be.. aka Wien is MASSIVE and WN is tiny). 

To answer your other questions: Since we don't get referrals, we have to find all investigators on our own.  So we literally talk with people everywhere we go! It's really nice though because the other missionaries in Wien, if they find anyone who speaks English better than German... they give that person's information to us!  So that's another way that we find people to teach. :)

All in all, I'm glad all is well and that life is just chugging along! Does school start next week?  Weird! 

Sister Harman

Monday, August 12, 2013

Object lessons, teaching appointments...This week has been incredible as always!


Oh man! Sounds like an exciting week in good ole America!  I'm glad the boys had fun (even if Josh did give you grief) and that Katie got to spend some time in Idaho. I know she was way excited for that.  Way to go on the buying the three pair of shoes. I know that I probably will never want to wear flat church shoes when I get back! haha Diversity is great! Oh shoot, poor Elder Naegle.  I hope they can get that all sorted out. I know his future companion (the one he is supposed to be with now) Elder Bodily, can't wait until he gets a companion. Right now he's in a drit (3 missionaries) with the Elders from my ward.  

OHMYGOODNESS! I got the box! The box actually came while I was in Graz on an exchange with Sister Armstrong.  So I had to wait until Friday to open it. I died with joy! The skirt is so cute and fits perfectly. And the Sisters have loved eating American candy! SO thank you, thank you, thank you! 

This week has been incredible as always! We had Zone Training this week in Wien. It was sooo wonderful! The Zone Leaders, Elder Riser and Robins, and Sister Woods and I got to plan the whole thing and whew! It went off great!  We talked all about the importance of study time and really filling ourselves with the power that comes from God!  Alma 26:13 was the central point.  Sister Woods and I started out the meeting with an object lesson. Sister Woods like to tell everyone how much I love to bake and how great I am at baking so we made muffins for everyone!  We wanted to show that if we put the right ingredients into our personal and companionship study how it can be amazing! That being said... if we don't put in the right ingredients... it can be really nasty.  But, we wanted to be sneaky about the point so we first had Sister Woods eat a good muffin and tell everyone how amazing it was.  Then she said because it tasted so wonderful, she wanted to share.  So we gave an Elder a good muffin, he ate it and loved it! Then we gave a different Elder a bad muffin.  Instead of reacting, he swallowed it and said it was good.  (Kay, I was trying so hard not to laugh because the poor kid looked like he was going to be sick)  Luckily, we had 3 more gross muffins. We had three other Elders volunteer and all were too nice to say it tasted vile.  WHAT THE HECK! They were ruining our object lesson! At this point, I'm crying I'm laughing so hard because they all look like they're going to be sick.  So I explained that those muffins were supposed to be gross and that we had put fish (the meat and everything) with curry powder, WAY too much salt) and some other random spices into those muffins. One of the Elders, Elder Jimenez, finally acknowledging the fact he hates fish and that the muffins were nasty, jumped up and chugged some water.  Safe to say, our lesson went great!

Sounds like you've had a busy but, successful week!  That's so cool that our ward has had a Baptism this last week!  R is supposed to get baptized the 24th as well! So shoot, should be a great day haha

We're having a lot of success teaching people.  I feel like the more personable I am to other people and really open my heart to them, the more open they are to really listening, keeping commitments and coming unto to Christ.  Our ward is a little bit difficult in that we never get referrals. All those we are teaching, we have found by our own efforts, which is great! But, also hard to help them really feel welcome into the ward.  We've been working with our less active members alot this past week and have seen great progress with them.  Sister Bt is just one example. She's from Nigeria and was Baptized about thirty years ago. She fell away from the church when she became divorced and we've been working with her alot to help her come back.  Our first couple visits with her, were really just chatting and sharing a short thought.  We could tell she wasn't really ready to open up to us and so we just kept meeting with her, and waiting until we could share the messages we really wanted to share.  Our patience has paid off! This week she invited her whole family, (Sons, their wives and their children) to listen to 'her Sisters'. We got to teach the whole first lesson and oh man! The lesson went so well! They were so interested and ready to listen because we already had that foundation of friendship!  That's one of the biggest reasons why member missionary work is so much more effective! People are more open to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ from a friend and not a random stranger.  AH! It was simply incredible... oh and did I mention we're teaching them all again next week?!   SO nice!

I love being a Sister Training Leader! We were in charge of zone training with our zone leaders, which went incredible! I went to Graz on an exchange with Sister Armstrong, which was also great.  Sister Armstrong has been out for about 9 months and speaks excellent German, funny, a little bit quieter, but, just a joy to be around!  Graz is considerably smaller than Wien and has about I don't know around 300,000 people.  I loved it! We taught all in German and I have really fallen in love with the German language. It was great to able to practice with an expert like Sister Armstrong and really learn from her experiences.  One funny story, we (Sister Armstrong and I) went to go visit a recent convert, Charles.  We taught the lesson about peace and repentance (he's been struggling with the Word of Wisdom) and at the very end, he whispered something to Sis. Armstrong.  She said, 'Oh, no she doesn't.' And he looked very relieved.  I felt super awkward but, was going to let it go when he said something like I don't keep secrets from my Sisters so I'll just tell you. I asked if you ate meat. I told him that I did eat meat and he jumped up out of his chair and started yelling something in some langauge... I don't even know what.  I jumped back, because he scared the heck out of me and he started saying about how he should get the Elders to reprimend me because I was breaking the Word of Wisdom.  Sister Armstrong was laughing like crazy and I'm just standing there, not knowing what to do.  She explained that I only eat meat sparingly and he settled right down.  So funny. Nice to know that he is really committed to helping others keep God's commandments, eh?

You asked about what a normal missionary day looks like: 6:30 wake up and exercise till 7, 7-8 we get ready for the day, 8-9 Personal Study, 9-11 Companionship study/Training (I'm still a golden haha), Appointments all day, an hour of language study fit in whenever, and then home by 9 or 9:30 if we have a lesson. Sometimes we have to move our studies around a little bit, if we have people who can only meet in the mornings but, generally that's how our days work! 

One cool story, I got really sick Saturday night/Sunday morning. I started throwing up at like 11:30 and, then like clockwork, would throw up every thirty minutes until like 4. Slept for two hours and then started throwing up again at 6.  So a grand total of like 3 hours of sleep. Safe to say, I was feeling awful.  But, I have never missed church before and I didn't plan on missing so Sister Woods and I went to church, and said that afterwards, I'd go home to sleep.  I was pretty much dying all through church and started to get a little nervous because it's been hot here and I couldn't keep down any water.  Feeling dizzy, weak, and terribly dehydrated - I thought geez, you dummy! You have Elders serving right here in your ward and you haven't asked for a blessing! Come on! So I asked the Elders, they gave me a fantastic blessing and literally, right after that I started feeling better. I was still crazy tired but, I could drink water! The wonderful Jones family offered to give us a ride home because I looked so bad and, I went right to bed, when we got home! Woke up later and felt alive! God really does give us the strength to do whatever we need!  

Anyways, I love you all and hope your week goes oh so well!

Sister Harman

Monday, August 5, 2013

Munich was INCREDIBLE!

Heya Fam!

Munich was INCREDIBLE! Oh my goodness. I wish everyone would have the chance to go.  Sister Woods and I traveled with our Zone Leaders (Elder Riser and Robins) and got to know them better which was nice.  Then I went out tracting with Sister Lohmann (we split up companionships, just for fun), she's from Germany and speaks sehr gut Englisch auch.  So I had her speak only in German to me and I spoke only English to her. It was really good for both of us!  

Thursday night, all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders had a big meeting in the Mission Home.  Sister Miles taught all about knowledge and President Miles taught about Chapter 2 in Preach My Gospel and really the importance of daily studies.  I loved loved loved it!  With such diverse backgrounds, serving in different areas, at all stages in their missions, the discussion was incredibly profound!  The Spirit was so strong and it was wonderful just to hear everyones' testimonies.  Knowledge really is the key to being a missionary.  Now don't get too excited.  We don't have to be supremely intelligent or anything like that. All we need is a solid testimony, a knowledge, that what we are teaching is from God and really know the basics of the Gospel.  That kind of knowledge changes lives!  And I LOVE IT! I love when the church bells ring at 8 telling me my personal study is done and I can't believe the time has already gone.  I'm so glad that God has given me a thirst for his word and Mensch! That desire makes missionary work so easy!

Oh and one funny story from Munich, we got up early Friday morning to play soccer with all the Elders.  Sister Woods and I ran to the park (where we were going to be playing) and all the Elders rode in the van (pfft.. Elders!).  haha but, anyways, we divided up into three teams. The Americans, the Germans, and the Finericans. Sister Woods and I played for Finerica!  (All Finnish Elders and us).  We were having a great time and tearing it up.... when the police came! We had been shouting and playing too loud and it was still only 6:45 in the morning.  They made us quiet down and it was so funny to see the poor AP's face when he saw the Police pull up.  Definitely a first for Mission Leadership Council! haha

That's so cool about Tony!! Tell him how excited I am for him!!!  I'm glad all is going well and while that sounds crazy hard with Jo, I know all will be well!! I pray for ya'll everyday so I hope you're feeling the love! 

About the emailing at night, haha there's no mission rule against it! Sister Linford's Mom did it every week her whole mission and she said it was awesome! If you are wanting to do it, I'd love it!  That also being said, I don't want you to mess up your sleep schedule staying up until all hours of the night, just to hear from me. :) I'm glad you're feeling good though! I've been praying for ya and I know that you're the BEST MOM EVER! So you should know that too! 

My clothes are doing pretty well.  I have only bought like 1 skirt and 1 shirt haha maybe I just send pictures of me in those too much! I have ripped two skirts already (I know, I know I'm too rough and tumble) but, I'm going to sew them up when I have time... (probably never haha).  All in all, they work just fine!  

Z, our 17 year old investigator, and her Mother came to the Baptism yesterday!  We invited them to watch a baptism for Wien 2 G and Z loved it!  The Spirit was there (naturally, I mean.. it is a BAPTISM! :))  and Z could really feel it.  She's learned so much and says that someday, when her Mother is okay with her decision, she would like to be baptized.  While that's so 
exciting and so sad, it makes me so excited for her to see the great strides she is making to come closer to Christ.

All in all, life is grand and I am absolutely loving my time here.  Send everyone my best and if ya'll have time, read Mosiah 4.  It's great!

Love you!
Sister Harman