Monday, September 30, 2013

This week has been a blur and it's General Conference time!


This week has been a blur.  I think I blinked and it was gone haha We had two exchanges this week so it was very very busy.  No, we haven't been able to watch the Relief Society General Conference but, they're playing it here on Saturday at 4.  We get to watch the Saturday morning session live... It's at 6 pm here and then we watch the Sunday morning live.  The rest are recorded and we get to watch them later.  To say I'm excited for General Conference would be a GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT!

General Conference, for those who don't know, is a chance for the world to watch and hear via television or online broadcast, from prophets of God.  I'm really excited to hear what great words of wisdom they'll be telling us. You're so right, I can't believe it has been a year since the age change. I never would have imagined that I would be here one year afterwards but, man! I'm so glad that I am!  Becoming a missionary is quite literally the best decision I have ever made.  I have been able to really study the gospel of Jesus Christ like I never have before, teach people the sincere truths from my heart and watch as the Spirit of God helps them really come unto Christ. I guess I always thought I would be a big part in someone else's conversion to the gospel.  The longer I am here, the more I realize, it has absolutely nothing to do with me.  I just open my mouth, and the Lord speaks. We will come out of lessons or even just finish conversations with people on the street and I'll think: what did we even talk about.  I love love love just watching as the Lord helps his children find faith and hope in his gospel!

Cool stories from this week!  Sister Woods and I (my previous companion)  had been calling this less active family since the week I got here.  Every week I would talk to this sweet woman on the phone and every week she would tell me she and her family were too busy to visit us or come to church.  We eventually created a relationship over the phone.  Every Friday around 12pm I would call and we would chat about the business of her week. Two weeks ago, I spaced calling.  The first time in 3 months.  I called her on Saturday when I remembered and she chastised me for forgetting haha.  She then called us on Sunday and said that she and her family had time on Wednesday to meet.  I was thrilled out of my mind and so shocked it took me a minute to tell her that, of course, we would be there!  We were walking to her house when we passed a flower shop.  I felt really strongly that we should buy some flowers. So Sister Clark and I did!  We then went to her house and I was starting to get a little nervous. Is it weird to give someone a plant on your first meeting?  What if they didn't want it? We walk in to their home and guess what she absolutely loves'?! Flowers/plants/shubbery. They have the cutest apartment ever and it is full of green.  She got so excited and made a spot in the center for our little pot of flowers. The lesson went great and the Spirit was so strong! And guess who we saw at church on Sunday! This family! MIRACLE!

Also, I went on exchange with both Sister Scoggin and Sister Judd and it was great! They're both super Sister Missionaries :)

Oh! And about Saturday, we had a Young Single Adult activity where we split companionships and went out contacting people with a member of the YSA (JAE). I was able to go out with a girl named C. She's cute as a button and wants to serve a mission! She turns 19 in two weeks and is preparing herself to go.  She was a natural and I got to speak SO much German. It was really good for me to only speak German to someone.  I'm kind of hoping that I get a native German speaker for a companion someday. That'd be really cool!  AND then on Sunday! Bishop Jshowed the Daily Bread videos by Elder. D. Todd Christopherson and those are incredible! Everyone should watch them... Mom you should put a link here!  Daily Bread Videos Watch it! It's SO GOOD!  Another cool thing, a young man from the 1st ward just returned from his mission in England and the Stake asked him to go to other wards as well as his own, and relate his mission experience.  It was way cool! I hope that when I get home I can talk in several wards in our stake and inspire more people to go on missions because they're the BEST.  

Anyways, I'm glad life is still chugging along and I wish you all a super week!  By the way, think of a question for General Conference! It'll help you get so much more out of conference!

Sister Harman

Monday, September 23, 2013

We were able to hit this week hard :D

Hey Ya'll!
This week has been a bit chillier and oh so rainy!  Sister Clark is feeling loads better so we were able to hit this week hard :D  Aka a super awesome busy week!  To answer your questions: it's not that chilly so we totally still go running in the mornings!  There's no good excuse not to do the best thing ever! I miss running so much sometimes.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited to go running by myself when I get home.
Great story for this week:  we were going to an appointment with T. She's a former investigator, who has decided she's ready to make some changes in her life so BAM! We're teaching her again.  She has so much faith and has read the Book of Mormon through already.  She actually had a baptismal date before but, due to some struggles the date was dropped and she dropped the missionaries.  Anyways, things have changed so we were heading over for an appointment when we realized we were going to get there about 15 minutes early.  We figured we could walk around and talk to some people around her neighborhood until it was time for the appointment.  Just as we start walking around, the heavens opened up and I swear! It rained buckets and buckets and guess who forgot their umbrellas!  We did!  I just started laughing so hard!  Sister Clark just gave me the most intense look and said, 'This isn't funny!'  After that remark, I just started laughing even harder, all the while the rain is pouring down.  There is absolutely no one on the streets and we're just walking around looking for some place away from the rain. All the while, I'm laughing.   Finally, it's time for the appointment and what happens? The rain stops, the sun comes out and people are everywhere.  Oh and did I mention that T had to work late so she wasn't home yet.  haha Basically, I just kept laughing thinking... man! Now this is a missionary experience! Don't fear! We called up R and had a super appointment about the Law of Chastity instead!  Spirit hit like a freight train and everyone was smiles!
One cool story this week:  We went to a member's home today for lunch and while, it didn't apear like she was struggling at church. She really needed someone to come and just tell her that she was doing a good job! I forget sometimes, because we are so busy with Less active members and investigators, that we are here to help the members come unto Christ as well.  We really do get to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and lift the hands of those that have fallen.  It's incredible to see the difference a friendly greeting or warm hug can really do to brighten someone's day!  I love it!
We had tausch this week with the Graz Sisters.  Sister Armstrong came up to Wien to work with me and we had a ball!  We taught lots of super great lessons to the coolest investigators in the world and were able to be in charge of a mutual activity.  We did a relay race through a missionary day.  6:30 wake up! Fruh Sport! (Exercise!) Run get dressed! (I brought some really ugly clothes I found in our apartment. Thank you, past Sister Missionaries! haha)  Eat breakfast! (Elders brought bread and water..) Scripture chase! Contacting someone and invite them to church! Take off the missionary clothes and BAM! Tag the next person in line!  It was really super fun and I've never laughed so hard.  Sister Armstrong is a champion. She ate the piece of bread in like .2 second and then Elder Abbott slipped and fell and man! We just had a really great time! Plus, there were two non-members there and now they know us! (The Elders got their numbers!) Woo. Solid day! Oh! And Sister Armstrong got to celebrate her year mark while in Wien! She's been out for a whole year. What a stud muffin!
Other than that, life is just chugging along.  Oh! and one more funny thing! I've decided I would be a terrible pioneer.  Our washing machine broke about two weeks ago and we've had to hand wash our clothes for the past two weeks. Man. I am so grateful for modern technology. It would be the worst not to have it and I firmly believe that I was put on Earth at this time so I wouldn't have to suffer haha  If you have free time, check out this awesome scripture that helped me this week! Romans 8:35, 38-39. So good! I'm glad everyone is doing super well at home.. Random fact! We had an Earthquake this week. It was small but cool none the less.  I'm excited to see how the missionary work goes forth with Elders and Sisters serving in Meeker. I'm sure it's going to be so awesome!  Give everyone hugs for me and know that I love you oh so much! :)
Sister Harman
P.S. I have two exchanges this week! It's going to be crazy! Wish me luck! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Another week bites the dust!


Another week bites the dust!  This week has absolutely flown by, I feel like I say that alot but, seriously it's true!  I blink and then it's P-day again!  I keep thinking oh my goodness. Did I give my everything last week? Did I really consecrate myself to this work?  And then I recommit to make this next week even better!  I mean if my whole mission is going to go this fast, it better have been the most productive, efficient, meaningful, 18 months of my life!  

Cool things that happened this week! Flash back! Sister Woods and I started teaching a former investigator a couple of weeks ago.  We went by for an appointment and T (the former.. now investigator) had forgotten we had scheduled an appointment so she had friends over.  Luckily, she still invited us and then proceeded to invite us to share a message to her and her friends.  One of the friends, D, seemed really interested. We gave him a Book of Mormon and got his number in hopes that we could start teaching him too!  Flash forward to this last week,  I called up D and he answered (he hadn't answered weeks previously) and we scheduled an appointment.  We met and taught him all about the Restoration of our church.  Especially about Joseph Smith and how God answered his humble prayer. (A couple months ago, I decided if I was teaching in English I better have the 1st Vision memorized in English) So I then related to him the First Vision and the Spirit just hit like a wall.  No one spoke for nearly a minute.  Then D looked up and said that he knew God answered Joseph Smith's prayer. I felt like I should ask him about Baptism even though we had only just met.  He then related how he had been searching for the 'true baptism of God' and how he felt this was the answer to his prayers.  There is so much power in relating the words of the Prophets directly to those we teach.  That is one of the reasons, I'm already getting excited for General Conference!  It's a chance for all of us to hear really the word of God directly for us in modern day!

Another cool thing,  we're going to start teaching Mission Prep. to all the young men in the ward!  We have a bunch 17/18/19 and all are getting ready for missions so we figured we should help them out!  We'll have super awesome joint teaches and they'll be more prepared for their missions! Three birds, one really large stone! haha (Now you're probably counting what the third bird will be right?)  It'll be fun! I love missions and I'm excited to help others get as excited for their missions as I am for mine!

Last cool story, P.  We've invited him to church loads of times but, he plays football on Sundays and says he never has time.  But, when we met with him this week, you could tell he really felt the Spirit and something clicked! He committed to coming to church! So Sunday rolls around and P doesn't show.   I called him up to see where he was and he had gotten lost.  I gave him directions and he walked into church riiiight as Sacrament meeting ended. Bummer right?  But! We took him around and introduced him to all the members who then invited him (and us!) over to lunch at their house.  He LOVED it! and Having the lesson inside the Banbans' home was SO great.  Sometimes the Spirit the members bring is something that can't be replicated!  They're so great!

Funny story.... hmm I've decided if any woman ever has self-esteem issues, she should definitely come to Europe.  I have never in my entire life (grand total) had so many people tell me how attractive/beautiful I am.  The culture here in Europe is just different!  It's totally normal for guys to start conversations this way;I imagine that they find great success with this method.  We also find great success as missionaries responding to their method haha  They start conversations talking with 'Du bist sehr schön!' and we answer with the 'Danke! Es ist das Licht Jesu Christi! Glauben Sie on Jesus Christus?'  aka Thanks! It's the light of Jesus Christ! Do you believe in Jesus Christ?.  So funny. Their reactions are always priceless and I suppose they don't usually get that response when they hit on girls.  Sometimes they're interested in hearing more and sometimes not! Either way, I figure someday it'll make a really great story over the pulpit when one of our admirers gets baptized! (Don't worry, we always refer these guys for the Elders to teach!)

Life is going well, and despite, Sister Clark being sick this week, we've had a great week as always! I'm glad life is chugging along in Colorado and that the work is going well in Meeker! Tell the Sisters hello for me! and Remind them that Sister Missionaries are the best! haha (Mostly kidding! I'm not one of those Sister Missionaries... yet ;))

Sister Harman

P.S. I had a daydream about your lasagne the other day.. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Transfer week has come and gone!

Transfer week has come and gone!  The beginning of the week was full of packing and helping Sister Woods get ready to leave Wien (and Austria) and the end of the week was busy with helping Sister Clark adjust to Wien!  
For the details you all have been waiting for... Sister Clark is 21, from American Fork, UT, is blonde and beautiful, a little bit more shy, speaks really good German, has been out for 7 months (She was Sister Woods' MTC companion) and has only served in Göppingen, Germany before here! (Ironically, where Sister Woods is now). I probably have already commented on weird that is but, STILL! WEIRD! haha She played volleyball in high school and worked at an office before coming out on her mission. She's the youngest of 5 kids.

That being said, it's really interesting taking over an area.  Sister Clark has only worked in a small town so I get to train her on how to do big city missionary work. It's alot the same except.... we have appointments all the time and are running from appointment to appointment and well.. everything is just faster pace. We finally got to meet R's girlfriend this week and I'm excited to say we'll be teaching them BOTH this next week.  Hopefully, if we can teach from both sides, they'll be more willing to accept the Law of Chastity.  I cannot tell you how many times I have taught this lesson and yet everytime I teach this lesson I learn more!  Our bodies are sacred gifts from God and when we don't respect and use them appropriately, we really are spitting in God's face. (Scary imagery, right?) We need to appreciate the gifts we have been given before we should dare ask for more.  I mean really!  Why would God want to give someone eternal life (and be stuck with them forever) if we cannot obey some of the simplest commandments? Simple answer: he wouldn't and he couldn't.  God is a being of justice and his infinite mercy cannot rob his infinite justice.   Just some food for thought!
I'm excited to get to work this next week and yes, we usually do three hours of service a week! We mix it up every week, basically, doing whatever we can find! Last week, we cleaned someone's house (they're getting ready to move in), we've helped people move, etc.  This week, we're doing garden work for some members in our ward (and non-member relatives will be there... two birds! One stone! haha :)
We also had Zone Training this week, which was super! I was asked to explain our Zone Vision.. which if I have talked about already.. please forgive me!  haha I was studying the other day and I found this scripture in Proverbs 16:9 that really stood out.  (Proverbs 16:9  "A  man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.)   We devise our ways according to what we know. Our experiences, our trainers, our families, etc but, then we must turn our work over to the Lord.  The Lord has set our paths for us, we devise how we are going to do it, and then he leads us every step of the way!  It's really cool how when we prayerfully set goals, and then move all Heaven and Hell to make them happen, God works hundreds of miracles.  We count our miracles everyday and in our zone alone we had 69 just yesterday!  Can you imagine if everyone counted their miracles everyday, the attitude of gratitude that would cover the world?  It is only when we begin to appreciate and thank God for our small miracles, only then will God bless us with great miracles!  So work hard and be counting your miracles! And I expect you to send me feedback on how it goes!

All in all, it's been a fantastically strange week but, as always, I love every second of it! I'm glad we've seen a miracle in Jordan's life and I know that as the school year continues we'll see even more! I'm so excited to hear about it :)
Sisters Woods and Harman 

Love you all!

Monday, September 2, 2013

This week has been exciting as always!

Guten Tag!

haha the ultimate Deutsch thing to say, eh? This week has been exciting as always! We had the opportunity as STLs to go to Munich for Mission Leadership Conference again! Oh my goodness. I love Munich. Also, I love missionaries. Also, missions. President and Sister Miles. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so ridiculously true it blows my mind sometimes.  For example, I've been studying the Old Testament alot this past week and have made it my goal to study (extensively) all the standard works (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) before I finish my mission. I don't want to use my personal study time for this though (because I like to study whatever we're teaching our investigators that day) so my extra time has been rather consumed by this but, it's totally worth it! Anyways, the more I study the Old Testament, the more I come to see all these principles from Preach My Gospel/that we have been taught forever, are found exactly in the Old Testament as well. People say our religion is new and different but, if they really knew the Bible they would NEVER say that.  Really. Accountability, Baptism, Salvation. All these things are the same in the Bible as in the newer revelations. Blows my mind.

Sorry. Rant done haha.  MLC was super.  I love being able to learn from the example of missionaries coming from a million different backgrounds and all serving in different areas all over the mission.  We get together and are taught training by President and Sister Miles and the Assistants.  They all did a fantastic job and some of the main points I liked were that of planning, developing Christ-like attributes and just being yourself.  Sometimes it's really easy to just go with the flow and not really have an end goal in sight.  But, when we set goals and then make plans to actually reach our goals. That's when we can experience real growth.  This last transfer I've been working alot on humility.  (A toughie for me.. I know!)  At first, I didn't even know where to begin because really. How do you become humble? You can be compelled to be humble or magically become humble, right?  So I started by defining it, listing characteristics of a humble person. Searched for scriptures about humility and picked out a couple of aspects that I wanted to work on.  I wrote my goals down, told Sister Woods about them and began working towards them.  Not that I've actually gotten much better, but, I am more aware of where I struggle with it.  I feel like being aware is half the problem so it's good to know where to start.  But yeah, I'm going to do a Christ-like attribute from PMG every month (plus three more attributes I choose) and work on them each for the next year, one each month! Hopefully as I set smaller goals, I'll be able to be more Christ-like within the next year. 

Other than that, the most exciting things were transfer calls!  Sister Woods and I found out at MLC that we would be separated. Sister Woods is headed to Göppingen, Germany (German speaking ward) and I'll be staying in the beautiful Wien!  I'm really excited for her and Sister Motto (who was in the MTC with me). I know they'll do great! Ironically, Sister Clark was just serving in Göppingen, Germany with Sister Motto, is getting transferred here!  Sister Clark is 21, beautiful, and blonde. haha that's all I know about her and I'm excited to work with her!  (Another random thing, Sister Clark and Sister Woods were companions in the MTC).  Sister Clark and I will be the Sister Training Leaders for Wien. So that means at least one more MLC for me! Aw yeah! :) 

And a funny story to make life better!

Last Mission Leadership Conference, (so beginning of August) we all went outside and played soccer.  Elder Escher from the Salzburg Zone fell and hurt his arm. He shook it off and when the conference was over everyone headed back to our own areas.  His arm kept hurting so he and his companion went to the hospital that day. Only to find out that his arm was broken!  Fast forward to this week, we meet up at the train station and Elder Escher's arm is in a cast.  Bummer, right!  That being said, we all got up Thursday morning (at MLC) anyways to play soccer again!  This time, Elder Horlacher broke his nose, running into Elder Orchard. My guess is soccer won't be allowed at the next MLC! Sometimes Elders have to spoil the fun for everyone :P  

Anyways, I'm glad everyone is doing well and I can't believe that school is starting.  Really.  Where has the Summer gone?? I can't believe we have baby fishies! That makes me so happy! (About a year ago we put 20 goldfish in our pond, by the end of last summer we had 5 left.  In the spring we were stunned to find two had survived the harsh Colorado winter.  We are down to one huge goldfish but spotted at least 12 little fishies on Saturday! - Leslie)  I hope we can have a whole school of them when I get back! I know it can be hard sometimes to have someone gone from the family but, know that all is going FANTASTIC here and that I am absolutely loving it. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a missionary and I can't wait to see what great things come out of this next transfer.

LOVE and miss you all!