Monday, November 25, 2013

I am headed to DEUTSCHLAND!

Liebe Familie!

Another crazy week has gone by, bed rest. Transfer Calls. Zone Conference.  The big news is finally here! I'm headed to my second area!  Where am I headed?  DEUTSCHLAND!  I'll be serving in Ludwigsburg, Germany with Sister Brinck. She's a transfer younger than me on the mission and was trained (born and raised) in Ludwigsburg.  So she's been in there for 3 transfers.  I'm really excited and really terrified to go to my first German ward!!  I know it's going to be an adventure :)

About my head, I'm slowly feeling better. As in all things, recovery just takes time. So much to my chagrin, I have had the blessed opportunity to take time and rest.  (Thank you for your prayers in Krissie's behalf! Her headaches come at the end of the day when she is tired and not all day now.) This week was good despite this, and our investigators are doing great! D is SO excited for his baptism and has his baptismal interview TOMORROW!  To say I'm excited for him, may or may not be an understatement. We were able to have three lessons with him this week and he just gets it!  We've gotten his Baptismal program all lined up and ready!  Now you might be looking at that first paragraph and thinking what?! She leaves right before he gets baptized. The answer is yep! I'm going to be in Germany for the 5 baptisms, we have set in December!  Sister Packer, who will be working with Sister Clark, will have the privilege of being here with all these INCREDIBLE people! One thing our mission has been doing, I'll be able to Skype our investigators, after their baptism and congratulate them!  That way, I can sort of be there (even though I can't actually be there to witness it!). (Also, not skyping during the actual baptism.. that'd be weird! but, afterwards haha!) The most important thing is that these people feel supported and loved on their big day!  

Zone Conference was great!  We really focused on working with our members.  Everyone always talks about how it is SO much more effective to work through members and it is SO true. People are willing to ask their friends their questions of the soul, that they may not want to ask a random stranger from America.   I mean really.  Imagine someone stopped you on the street and tried to talk to you about religion.  What do you do? Now I'm not saying it doesn't work sometimes. Because  it totally does.  But it is so much MORE effective, to be able to share the gospel with people we already know.

Also, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I'm so grateful that I've been able to serve here in Wien and meet some of the best people in the whole wide world; that I've had three rock solid companions (Sister Young, Woods and Clark) and that I'm going to have another great one with Sister Brinck!  But most of all, I'm grateful for my family! That you all are so supportive and encouraging! God (for some strange reason, I haven't yet figured out) allowed me to be with you glorious people, and I'm so glad! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This work is so great and I can't imagine a better place to be doing the BEST WORK EVER! :) Seeing people come unto Christ, begin to understand the Atonement and how it effects them is the most wonderful thing and I feel privileged to witness it! God is good! 

Have a great week and know that I love you!

Sister Harman
Vienna Zone with President and Sister Miles

Monday, November 18, 2013

A trip to the doctor, exchanges, zone training and resting when I can!


So to answer the many questions about my head.  1. I'm not dying or coming home or anything  like that. 2.  It's a minor concussion, so with pain medicine and some rest; I should be fit as a fiddle in a week or two :)  3. I really love you all for your concern!  (Thank you for your prayers and concern!  She is feeling better and a big thank you to her wonderful companion, Sister Clark.)

This week has been incredible as always. We had an exchange with Sister Kervinen and Sister Regnier.  They serve in Graz, a medium sized town about 2 and a half hours South of Wien.  I had the opportunity to go to Graz to work with Sister Kervinen. It was great!! She's from Finland and is incredibly hilarious.  I love hearing her great stories and her German is beautiful.  Since Graz is so far away, we usually meet in a really small town (Murzzuschlag, say that one three times fast :D) in the middle and then switch companions there.  Anyways, as soon as Sis. Kervinen and I got to Graz, we threw on some work clothes and did service! Can I just tell you how wonderful it was to wear pants?  It was really really nice haha We were cleaning out this man's apartment.  He has recently had a terrible fire and so we had to pretty much take out the entire room so that construction people could put everything new in again.  When we first got there, he was in tears looking at the remnants of his apartment, and by the end of our visit, he was singing! It's so incredible to watch hope literally grow within someone else! Also, helping out with the service project were the Graz Elders: Christensen and Byers! It was cool to see Elder Christensen as a missionary!  (Elder Christensen is a friend from when we lived in Burley, ID)

We had our Zone Training meeting on Wednesday and it was great to get to know all the missionaries in our zone a bit better. Sister Clark and I taught about hope, and family mission plans! We were able to talk about the difference between hope and despair and how we can be more hopeful in our missionary work.  Sister Clark and I were a little worried that it wasn't going to be a smooth transition because we hadn't been with each other for two days but, we just opened our mouths and the Lord did the rest!   It's so interesting! Remember how absolutely terrified I was to get up and talk in front of people?  Now it's like nothing! I LOVE IT.  (I love not getting nervous.. still not super in love with talking in front of everyone buuuut, baby steps!)

We had two baptism this weekend in Wien and they were so great! We had lots of their non-member friends come and it was a great introduction to the church!  There is always a really special feeling that accompanies a baptismal service! This Thursday we have transfer calls!  It'll be interesting to see what happens.  Everyone tells me that I'll be headed to Germany but we'll see! I have been here for four transfers so anything could happen! haha 

Friday! On Friday, we have ZONE CONFERENCE! I'm sooo very excited to see what President and Sister Miles and the Assistants have planned for us.  Should be really really good! :) Other than that, I'm just looking forward to a week full of appointments and resting my head when we have time :)

Love you all!
Sister Harman

Monday, November 11, 2013

A week of fall outs, a concussion, and mission leadership council

Liebe Familie!

It's finally starting to feel like Fall here! Cold, wet weather, and the cold that starts to bite! Geez. It's going to be a crazy Winter! (Safe to say, I'm really glad I'm only going to be here for one Winter!) This week has been.... an adventure! haha Still a great week as always but, it's been filled with well! Adventure!

Monday was the start of week of fall outs.  11 appointments in a row.  Someone no showing or calling last minute to cancel. Kind of a bummer but, we were able to do less active work.  In our ward, we have lots of records for members that no one knows.  Either they are less active or no longer live in our ward boundary, either way - Bishop Jovero has asked us to be super sleuths all over the city and to find out what has happened to all these people. We've been working on it bit by bit since we're usually so busy with appointments.  But, since this week we were particularly free.... we got loads done on the list!  

Second great adventure,  on our way home last Monday night, there was quite the large group of drunk people on our straßenbahn.   Sister Clark and I were sitting and talking to this lady, when these two guys (speaking ... I think Persian)  start reaching over the top of us to smack this sign and have a really loud conversation about directions (I assume.. no clue what they were saying). One of them had this big backpack half open and it was absolutely full of beer cans (again.. not unusual)  but, he also had an open can in his hand.  I was watching the can as he was hitting the sign and thought Dang it! He's going to spill that all over Sister Clark.  Five seconds later, bam! All over Sister Clark.  I'm helping her wipe it all off when BAM! The sign they've been hitting... falls off the side wall and you guessed it! Right on to my head.  One concussion later!  Everyone stops talking and they start to try and touch my head.  I firmly told them I was fine, and not to touch me and then they ran away.  But, never fear! The Lord blesses his servants and I'm feeling alright :)  (Sister Harman has a  history of  concussions, prayers in her behalf would be greatly appreciated.)

Third great adventure,  Mission Leadership Council.  Always the highlight of my month!  We get to come together with the missionary leaders of our mission and discuss how we are running, what we can do better and just resolve problems that come up!  We had a really great discussion about hope that really made me think. Sister Miles shared something from a talk her Dad gave, and he said 'Insufficient hope often means insufficient repentance'. (A More Excellent Hope, January 1995)  This really made me think.  When I'm lacking in hope, it's probably because I'm not using the Atonement of Jesus Christ as I should be.  Have I really put my heart into becoming better and exercising my faith in my Savior Jesus Christ? I'm going to work every day to be a little bit better! I want to become the kind of person who glows with hope!  We all know people like that and I kept thinking man! Why can't I be that way too?  So from today on, hopefully I'll start glowing a little bit more :D

Also, the song, Brightly Beam Our Father's Mercy ( Brightly Beam Our Father's Mercy video) has really been in my head this week and I really love it!  Give it a listen!

I love you all!
Sister Harman

Monday, November 4, 2013

I feel so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve as a full time missionary

My week was AWESOME!  Sister Clark and I didn't have any exchanges to do this week so we got to work together all week! It was strange to have a normal week but, really nice.  Sister Clark and I are doing great.  Just having lots of appointments, meeting loads of new people and trying to get our ward really excited to do missionary work.  Mission Leadership Counsel is this week on Thursday and Friday and transfer day is November 28.  Transfer calls will be the week before and so that'll be when we find out what's happening to us. So we've got quite some time till then!

I'm glad we have some good hardworking missionaries in our ward back home! Meeker is a field ready to harvest and I'm sure it's been so interesting to have 5 full time missionaries mingling in with the ward!  That's too bad some of the youth in the ward haven`t been coming.  Tell those missionaries and Katie to get on it! It really makes such a huge difference when the youth are active.  I know it really has in our ward!
Super cool experience this week: D has decided to be baptized on December 1st!!!  He has been praying about a baptismal date for quite some time and he really felt his answer this week!  We sat down for a usual lesson (we teach him every Tuesday and Thursday) and right before the opening prayer, I asked him if he knew what day it was.  (He had told us last week that he had prayed and knew what day the Lord wanted him to be baptized, BUT he wanted to wait until Ian was there to tell us all together! Ian (super awesome joint teach) has come to nearly every lesson, we have taught D and they're really good friends now)  It was Tuesday. The AMAZINGLY great day that he had promised to tell us when he would be getting baptized. I was... ahem.. a little excited as you can probably imagine.  So right after the amen, he said 'December 1st.  I will be baptized on December 1st.'  He then proceeded to ask when we could schedule the interview for his baptism.  He is so ridiculously prepared and excited! Yesterday at church, he started to invite the members to his Baptism :)  He has changed so much since I first met him (he had a beer in his hand, when I first met him haha) and is so ready to make these changes not just for today, but for the rest of his life! 
Speaking of change...Ian, a young man in my ward, just left for the Provo MTC today.  I can't believe it!  I was here in June when he received his call and he invited us (Elder Smith, Martin, Sister Woods, and I) to his house for the big opening! When he read off that he was going to Poland, I just died with excitement. He then said that he would be leaving in November and I thought WOW! That is so far away, he has loads of time to prepare.  Many mission prep classes, joint teaches, and millions of answered questions later, he's a full time missionary!  The time has flown by. It was crazy watching him say goodbye to the ward, giving his final talk for two years and, then last night, his setting apart.  He invited the missionaries again, this time it was Elders Reading and Abbott, and Sister Clark and I.  (Weird that I'm the only one still here...)  It was so great to see his whole family there and watching him literally GLOW after being set apart as a missionary.  I feel so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve as a full time missionary and I know that I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.  For those of you considering serving missions, DO IT. You will never regret your decision. For those of you who have served a mission, REMEMBER IT. When was the last time you were a joint teach? Or when did you last read your mission journal? Or shared some of your faith with someone who doesn't know? The reason why missions are so fantastic, is because you give your time, efforts, sweat and tears into a cause that`s so much bigger and better than yourself.  You jump with joy when someone comes to church, cry with them in their trials and do everything you can to help THEM decide to be better.  This has been the best six months of my life and I cannot wait to see what this next year will bring!

 I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! And hope you have a great week!  

 Sister Harman