Monday, April 28, 2014

One Year!

Liebe Familie, Freunde, Bekannte, und wer auch immer diese Email lesen werden :)

This week was CRAZY as always. Running to and from appointments, having people bear their souls to us, and doing our best to show people where they can find the peace they're looking for.  (The answer here: Christ!)

Random cool things from this week:
1. Saw a random guy, he looked familiar soo I waved like crazy until he walked over and began to pretend like he knew me. Much to our embarrassment, we actually didn't know each other buuut, he is also from America (Chicago!) and would like to come closer to Christ.
2. I literally can out eat Elders (Young men). (Zum Beispiel Lasagne at Maria's house)
3.It is physically possible to talk with everyone if you live in a place long enough
4. Sister Powell makes really delicious spaghetti pizza.
5. Everyone, literally, everyone has a question that the gospel can answer.  People just need to talk to each other long enough to find out what the question/concern/problem is.

Friday - we had a super awesome lesson with Ines and Alain.  We had asked them to read 2nd Nephi 31 (one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, you can read it here).  We read part of the chapter together and then knelt together to ask God if baptism was something they needed in their life.  I think this is the most important step of missionary work.  No one can convince anyone about anything.  I could say that the moon is a piece of cheese until I'm blue in the face, but it still wouldn't make it true.  I figure the only way to really find out if something is true or not, is to ask someone who knows it all.  God, our Heavenly Father. We prayed all together and Ines and Alain chose out baptismal dates for themselves.  It's such an exciting process to see people grow in their faith and get ready to make special covenants with God!  

In other news, we had a finding day in Heilbronn (ridiculously beautiful town)  and Sister Powell and I had the opportunity to go contacting by the river.  Contacting: we walk around and talk to people and see if they have interest in learning more about the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Christ, Baptism, etc. It's always a little crazy to me when people want to talk to us.  I don't know if I would have given time to foreigners stopping me on the street - especially when they're talking about God. But, when the Spirit is there, you know that what they have to say could actually make a difference in your life.  I'm so grateful to have the Holy Ghost to help us to know how to help people!

Finding day story Sister Harman shared with her dad:

During our Finding day in Heilbronn, we were about to head back to meet up with the Elders and head back to Ludwigsburg, when I saw this really sad looking man sitting on a bench.  This bench was facing a beautiful river and the weather was perfect! Basically, sitting in such a place.. nobody should look really depressed. I went up to him and introduced myself (and asked if I could sit down by him) He explained that he couldn't really speak German, he's from Poland and could only speak Polish and English.  We start talking and he related seriously one of the saddest stories I have ever heard.  Broken family. Abuse. Turned to drugs. Addiction. Rehab. Addiction. Depression. My heart literally broke for this young man and he just looked at me and asked, 'Now you see my life is terrible, what do you want from me?'  I explained what we do as missionaries and about how faith in Jesus Christ can help us overcome EVERY trial and weakness in our life.  He started tearing up as I pulled out the Book of Mormon and told me he knew God had sent Sister Powell and I to him (by now, Sister Powell was by us as well) . It's sometimes the smallest glimmer of hope in dark circumstances that can make the biggest difference.  I heard from the Elders in Heilbronn that he came to church yesterday and they're going to start teaching him!

All in all! A super week! I've had a glorious (I think of Sister Abenroth) year serving the Lord as a missionary!  I'm thrilled that I still have six months to teach and to learn and I'm grateful for all the support and encouragement I receive from you all! Thank you!!

Love you!
Sister Harman

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy, Happy, Happy Easter!

Liebe Familie,

Happy, Happy, Happy Easter! I hope everyone enjoyed Easter and really remembered why we celebrated it!  I had a wonderful week this past week!  

To start off the week, we had a super district meeting in Pforzheim (love that place!) and then Sister Powell and I headed out to Herrenberg (our meeting place to begin our exchange).  We arrived about an hour before the  Tübingen Sisters Motto and Wunderli, due to train times so we thought we'd grab a bite to eat.  Insert Sister Harman being incredibly graceful and falling down a flight of stairs.. twice.  Safe to say, I was a little embarrassed but, luckily, Herrenberg is in Tübingen's area so I'll probably never see those people again.  (Not sure why I included this story? Well, I'm a bit tired and typing what comes to mind :D)

I had the privilge to be working with.... SISTER WUNDERLI! Third times the charm, right? I think there's something really special I needed to learn from Sister Wunderli as this was our third tauch together in a row (3 exchanges in 3 transfers).  That being said, I learned loads.  Sister Wunderli is an incredibly bold missionary, who loves literally everyone she talks to.  She joined the church a little bit later in life and is such a good example to me of dedication and love.  We had a great time together in Tübingen and were able to find loads of people!

Easter things!  Friday, we helped the Family Zimmer make maultaschen. This DELICIOUS Schwabenland tradition. You can google the really cute story of how it came to be (key words: monks, meat, secret, God won't know)   It was quite a bit of work, but definitely worth our efforts. 

Sunday at church, Sister Powell gave an inspiring talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can turn in Him in our times of need. It really is so true, egal whatever problem we have in our life - Jesus Christ and faith in Him WILL help us.  I've never known this to be more true than here on this mission.  People can have depression, marital problems, health issues, childrens making poor decisions, or diabilitating mental conditions, but, all these real life problems, have an eternal and spiritual solution.  Jesus Christ.  The Atonement.  Only He knows exactly how we feel, and when we turn to our Father in Heaven in prayer, we will feel the peace we long for, and the strength that we need in order to conquer whatever life challenges that come our way.

On Monday, we were able to had interviews with President Miles and it was a little bittersweet because he'll be heading home before our next interview cycle.  He reminded me to love every day of my mission and to make them all count.  After this district meeting, we went with the Stein and Köhler families up to a waterfall, where we played games, ate delicious food, and then had a super fun game of Füßball!  (Don't worry, Mom. I didn't play too hard :)) It made me so appreciative for the beauty of the world and for the wonderful people the Lord puts into our lives.   I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to be on a mission. Meeting so many new people and making lasting friendships. I love teaching people about how they can have lasting joy through religion and Yep. I'm just happy to be alive!

I'm glad all is going well at home and Congrats Jeff for making it through finals! You're a college graduate! Hip Hip Hooray!

Love you all!
Sister Harman

P.P.S. On Sunday, we also had the chance to spend time with the Lust family. I love them! Delicous food, Easter Egg hunts, and feeling the love of a family! Gemeinde Ludwigsburg = love

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ludwigsburg is ridiculously green, everything is blooming and I am fit as a fiddle.

Liebe Familie!

Well shoot! This week was ridiculously AMAZING! Basically, every week is amazing.  Ludwigsburg is ridiculously green, everything is blooming and I am fit as a fiddle.  This week included: continual spiritual high from General Conference, incredible district meeting and district finding day in Ludwigsburg, service, lessons, BBQ, and so so so much love.

Cool Miracle story this week!  (Weird font and color means that I just copied and pasted it from my letter to President Miles haha)

Sister Powell and I had just finished up a lesson with an investigator and were walking to the Bahnhof to take a train to our next appointment. A man walked up to us and asked us if we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He went on to explain how he had seen Sister Brinck and I all over Ludwigsburg always happy and talking with people. He had wanted to ask us what we were all about, but he never felt like interrupting. He read our name tags and googled the church. He read on and then he finally found us before we started talking with anyone else. He took a Book of Mormon, and came to church yesterday!

One member in the Stuttgart ward called us up this week to tell us that a friend of her's was moving to Ludwigsburg! She said she could use a little help with the move but, more than that could use some support as this friend had been going through a really hard time. We went over and were able to help her sort through her belongings, get things cleaned up and ready to be put into place.  Ame was crying and super stressed at the beginning but, by the end was singing, laughing and feeling less overwhelmed. It seems kind of silly but, just scrubbing out someone's refridgerator or putting some clean clothes away in the closet, can mean so much to someone else and hey! As President Monson said at General Conference, we are here to brighten the world and if that means, I'm scrubbing out nasty things to do it! BRING IT ON! :) 

Exciting news, next week will be Easter.  So Easter is a huge deal here in Germany, aka Friday (Good Friday) and Monday (Easter Monday) everything will be closed! So you will all have to live an extra day without an email from your one and only Sister Harman!  Sorry! (Blame Germany!)

To sum up this week, Sister Powell and I are happy, healthy, and loving the work.  Finding and teaching more people than ever before annd those that we are teaching are making solid progress!  Our ward members are as lovely and vibrant as ever and we'll be spending Easter Monday (P-Day) with the Stein and Köhler families! We're going on a hike! (Insert me jumping up and down with joy!)

I love you all! And wish you the happiest of Easters! Let's all remember why we celebrate!

(If you thought of candy and bunnies.... you should watch this video.  

If you thought of Jesus Christ, you should still watch this video. It's incredible!)

Love you all!
Sister Harman

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wasn't conference wonderful?

Liebe Familie und Freunde,

This week was amazing. I can't believe April is already in full swing with General Conference this last weekend.  Can I just rant for a second? General Conference was incredible! I loved loved loved loved loved it.  An opportunity to sit down for a couple hours and hear from the leaders of the church, is a priceless gift and, definitely, made for a wonderful weekend!  If you didn't catch the chance to watch, never fear! It's online too! 

This talk was one of my favorites:

Basically, we are all Children of a loving Heavenly Father and we have the opportunity here on Earth to be His disciples.  The chance to be lead and guided by, not only prophets and apostles of the Lord, but also by the simple, small voice of the Holy Ghost, is an incredible blessing we can all enjoy!

I read this quote today and loved it:

'The sweetest experience I know in life is to feel a prompting and act upon it and later find out that it was the fulfillment of someone's prayer or someone's need. And I always want the Lord to know that if He needs an errand run, Tom Monson will run that errand for Him.'  

When I read this quote, I really wanted to be able to put my name in there.  Does the Lord look at me as someone who will drop whatever I'm doing to follow a prompting (or a feeling to act)?  I hope so!  After hearing the words of our leaders this week, it really just helped me set some goals for how I'm going to become the Lord's go-to help!  A person, He knows He can always count on to do what is right. To lift up the hands that fall down, comfort the weary, and do it all with a smile on my face :) 

In other news, we taught some great lessons, cooked some delicious food, and just served others!  It was a great, fulfilling week! The people we are teaching are making lots of progress and we were able to have two of them at General Conference with us (we watched it broadcasted at the Stake Center in Stuttgart!)  

I hope you making some plans to put what you are learning into use! Can't make progress until we set some goals and make some plans :)

Love you!
Sister Harman

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Liebe Familie,

To answer your questions: Good, No, Great, Wonderful, Happy, nope (We'll see it Saturday), sounds like a perfect idea, not too bad, and YES!

Sister Harman

Editor's note:  Yes this was the complete email I received Monday morning.  Very funny, Sister Harman, very funny!

Luckily for me, she sent the following a little while later.  :)

Liebe Familie,

Round 2!  To start the email out with the big news, I'M STAYING! I was so nervous Friday night that I could hardly sleep.  I wanted to stay here in Ludwigsburg more than anything but, everyone has been telling me that it was probably my time to go.  Flash forward to the morning, Sister Powell and I are sitting, staring at the phone, wondering what would happen, when we decided that I had to stay.  INSERT THE ZONE LEADERS CALLING.  I started screaming, and jumping up and down and poor Elder Jerman couldn't understand a word I was saying. But, the message was clear. Ludwigsburg is stuck with Sister Harman and Sister Powell for another five weeks! :D

Lessons this week, we were able to have alot of lessons with members present this week and I feel like these lessons always go SO much better. The members are able to show these investigators, that the one can live the gospel without putting on a name tag,  and they can really demonstrate how the gospel simply brings us happiness. I love it!  (If you haven't been a joint teach in a while (or ever), try it out! You'll be happier, the investigators will be happier, and the missionaries will be really happy :))  Weiter, one of these lesson was with the Grimes family.  The daughters are still praying about baptismal dates and they just aren't sure they've received an answer yet.  One of our great young women and her Mother came with us and Ann Sophie just bore the sweetest testimony about receiving answers to prayers.  The girls really were able to relate to her and it just gave them hope that Hey! An answer will come, sometimes we just have to change our expectations on what an answer will feel like, or even just wait a little longer.

 The Finding Day to end all finding days. It was a great success! We (all the missionaries in Freiburg Zone and in Stuttgart Zone (That's me!)) got together with the young people from all the congregations in the area. We had our flash mob (as described in last email).  Sister Powell and I had several people come and ask about all the blue books, these great Stuttgartians were seeing.  It was a simple way to explain, Oh. This is the Book of Mormon. It's a really great book!  And so fort
h! After our fifteen minute reading session, we gathered together, sang some songs and went out to go find some people who would like to know more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was an interesting experience. The past couple of weeks, finding people has been really simple and I feel like everyone we talked to wanted to know more. But, in our two our time block, Sister Powell and I talked to alot of really great people who weren't really interested. Bummer! We had fifteen more minutes before the whole group would gather together and we had found no one! We'd given out Books of Mormon, balloons that say I'm a Child of God, cards, but, no one was interested in being taught more.
NEVER FEAR! Sister Powell and I were both a little shocked that we had had no success. We're experienced, happy and were ready to work but, nichts.  So we looked at each other and said LET'S DO THIS THING. And then we started tking to some super great... you guessed it Americans! They are living here in Germany and working and had heard of the church before. They have a friend back in the States, who always set a really good example of how a Christian should live and they said, they would love to know more about such a church! All in all, 71 people found who would like to be taught in 2 hours. Not bad! :)
Basically, set a good example, speak from the heart, and just love everyone whether they are LDS, Catholic, Hindu, or Martians.  We're all just people (minus the Martians) doing our best to choose the right.

Love you!
Sister Harman

P.S. I saw Sister Drury, Brinck and Woods! (It was great fun!)
P.P.S. Sister Powell and I went to Gummibärenland with the Dornhausens (Awesome member family!)
P.P.P.S. This week is General Conference. Watch it! It's going to be AMAZING!