Monday, July 28, 2014

Yep. I'm getting transferred. Sister Harman is Munich bound!


Well, to answer the question we've all been waiting for... Yep. I'm getting transferred. Sister McEwen and I saw it coming. This past transfer has been a missionary holiday. What do I mean when I say that? From day 1, we've been able to really teach in unity and just do work.  We've been able to see incredible miracles through progressing investigators, new people learning about the church, and helping the less active members come back and man, I'm so just grateful that we've been able to have these 6 weeks together. By the way, Mom, Sister McEwen would LOVE for you to be her American Mom. She says you'll get to make her American cookies when she comes to visit me.  It's a bummer leaving Linz so quickly, but I can already see why the Lord needed me to come here, even if it was for only for 12 weeks.

On a happier more excited note, I'm headed to (drumroll please!) München 3!  I'll be whitewashing with a golden! (That's mission talk for you!) That means the two Sisters that have been serving there are both getting transferred away and I'll be coming in with a fresh sister missionary.  I've heard really great things about serving in München and I've always wanted to serve there.  There are Elders serving in the ward as well and that's all I know about it. My poor new companion will have to be a bit patient with me because I won't know any where things are or who people are haha, but, the Lord definitely qualifies whom he calls! (Do you sense my positive attitude? :))  But, learning a new area will keep me sprinting to the end.

In other news, I've finished the Standard Works! DONE! I have absolutely loved studying in the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.  It was a little funny, as I finished up Doctrine and Covenants, it just made me so sad! To know that I was finishing up this goal I've been working on since... November.  But, then I just decided to set new goals and we're back and running!

This week has been crazy. We've been teaching so many lessons. We've got P, M1, M2, and M3 progressing towards baptism and ah. Now we've been running around trying to get everything ready for me to leave and Sister McEwen to train. It's been absolutely crazy, a bit sad, really fun, and well, just like missionary work! I love it!  I'm definitely sad to be leaving Linz after only 12 weeks but, I've really seen the Lord's hand in my work here. I can't complain! Well, I'm working on not complaining haha Just trying to be grateful that I got to come here at all!

Fun adventures:  Running through the rain, knocking on doors (we were going by some people in our area books) and laughing until we're both crying. I'm going to miss my crazy Scott but, I'm glad we've had the chance to work together!

Full steam ahead for M1 and her baptism! She'll be getting baptized on the 9th of August and her baptismal interview will be this Saturday. It was hard breaking her the news that I would be getting transferred and that I couldn't come to her baptism but, we'll Skype probably the next day and she'll get to tell me all about it. I feel so blessed to have been able to see her from the beginning. First interaction with the church, the missionary lessons, baptismal interview, and then I'll get to hear all about her baptism. This path toward Christ is never easy but it is always worth it! The song, I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, really comes to mind. Christ really does want us to follow Him. To take the steps we need to, to align ourselves to his will. I'm SO grateful that I have the opportunity to serve and to KEEP serving.  Linz has been a really special place for me and I know I really did all I could to help this ward make progress. I can't wait to hear from my Linzers how the work progresses here! 

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I think it's safe to say, I'm CRAZY thankful that you two found each other and put a ring on it ;) But, in all seriousness, I'm grateful for you two. The great example you have given me - helps me know what kind of person I'll need to find (in the far, far away future) and how I want to raise a family (an even further away future). I love you both!

To everyone else, you're fine and dandy as well! 

Sister Harman

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Almost 15 months out and I FINALLY got to try riding a bike.

Liebe Familie,

Well shoot. Another crazy, crazy, week has passed us by! We had Zone training on Tuesday. We always have Zone meetings in Salzburg, so after the meeting I just stayed to work with Sister Holman on an exchange and Sister Clark headed back to Linz with Sister McEwen. Almost 15 months out and I FINALLY got to try riding a bike. I felt like I was finally graduating and becoming a REAL missionary. 
 (Granted  I always had seen Elders on the bikes and it's incredibly easier with pants than with a skirt but, none the less.. it was great fun!) Quick little funny story, Sister Clark is a bit taller than me and the first Sisters that had the bikes, Sister Henry and Sister Garrett, are far taller than me. My lovely bike for the day was already on the shortest settings that it could go on and I just had to do my best not to slow down. (When you slow down - that's when you tip over!)  Safe to say, I earned lots of respect for those Sister Missionaries out there pedaling for all they are worth!  Sister Holman and I saw lots of miracles - despite all their appointments falling out.  She's a great Sister Missionary from Texas and will be heading home this next week.  (Editor's note:  I freaked out when she saw a picture of my  missionary with a bike helmet on.  Due to concussion history she was advised to NEVER ride a bike again.  It is a really good thing I heard about this afterward or I would have been a mess all week!)

For those who may not know, Linz is a straßenbahn and bus area, Ludwigsburg was a bus and S-bahn area, and Wien was U-Bahns and Straßenbahns :)  Simply so that ya'll know!

Miracle Stories:
1.Exciting news! M has completely given up smoking. Just like that. We followed up with him during our first lesson this week, and, to be honest, I was expecting a little progress but, nothing too crazy. But, then he just smiled and said that he was done. He hasn't smoked in over a week already and said that everytime the craving comes, he just says a prayer and thinks about his wife and he has the strength to abstain. Sister McEwen and I were so excited/surprised/amazed that we almost didn't know what to say. We just kept saying wow, and looking between the 6 of us. (M, M, the Didenhover's (our Ehepaar), and us!) He seemed just about as amazed as we were, he's been smoking for over 15 years and has been trying to quit for ages. He said he realized he'd be trying to quit without the best help that one can receive - yep! The help from our Father in Heaven. With his help, really everything we need to be can be done!  What a great example he is to me about faith and I just feel ridiculously blessed to be a part of his coming unto Christ. 

2.I also had the opportunity to give a talk in Sacrament meeting.  I was a little resigned to my fate when Bruder Merl pulled me aside and asked me to give a talk.  It's been ages since I gave my talk in Ludwigsburg and I knew it was bound to happen again - surprise! 10 minutes about The Holy Ghost!  In particular, he asked me to talk about how the Holy Ghost is the second part of our becoming clean, of our sanctification after baptism!  Here's a quote that I really liked from President Joseph Fielding Smith,

believe in the doctrine of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, by which we are brought into communion with our Father in heaven and learn of His ways, that we may walk in His paths.10 

The Sacrament meeting was so quiet as I was speaking that I started to get nervous that people weren't understanding me. I could just feel the Spirit so strong and just knew that these people needed to hear that the Lord had ways prepared for each and everyone of them. I kept just praying in my heart that they would get something out of the talk. After I finished, Benjamin Mielacher (an Elder friend of mine, who just got home from his mission!) gave a talk and the meeting was silent. The congregation was just riveted as he shared stories from his missions and I just felt so grateful to be a member from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and are asked to share our testimonies with others!) Bishop came up afterwards teary eyed and said, that the meeting had never been so quiet and still before. Everyone had been able to feel the Spirit. 

3.Another Friday in Zion! We went to visit our lovely Old Folks home this week, this week with a flute in tow! Sister McEwen played the flute, as I sang along and we even ventured out to sing some English songs. We thought it might be getting a bit dull for them only to hear the German songs. They just smiled and laughed at the crazy 'Americans'.  (Much to Sister McEwen's chagrin, they still think she's from America haha) We brought roses with us and gave them all each one rose so that they could remember until next week how much we love them and how much God loves them.  I slipped one of the roses into Larry's shirt pocket and he just looked up and said, 'Ich bin die Schönste Mann auf Erde!'  I am the handsomest man on Earth!  It was so adorable and we just laughed until we cried. Sometimes we get so busy, teaching and focusing on the big things that we forget the simple joys that come from flowers, smiles and hugs!  

Basically, this week was amazing. We saw so many miracles from investigators, members and less actives and I just feel super blessed to be a part of His work.  It really is the most rewarding work I've ever done!

Love you all!
Sister Harman

Monday, July 14, 2014

Basically, being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the BEST.

Liebe Familie,

First off, what a week!  Seriously. We had a Zone Conference, loads of lessons, Institute, service projects, buckets and buckets of rain and just having a BLAST.  Basically, being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the BEST. 

To start off, we had our get to know you Zone Conference with our lovely new Mission President and his family, The Kohlers! They're young, spunky, honest, and ready to work.  I was really impressed by their humility and their ready to add what they can to the work of the Lord.  They have two teenage children still at home and I can't even imagine how tough that would be to uproot the kids and come here. But, just like any calling (job) that we receive from the Lord, He really does fill us and giving us everything we need for what He's asked us to do.  They're going to do great here!

We taught the Word of Wisdom twice this week. I'm always so amazed to see what real faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can do. Both M and M agreed to live this law of health and we've been hearing from them already, even just this week - the INCREDIBLE blessings that they are seeing in their life as they've stopped drinking coffee, alcohol, and smoking.  It's been a bit easier for M because she already abstains from drinking and smoking but, Mhas been so brave!  He was a little scared to make the big step off of smoking but, with the Stop Smoking Program, determination, support from friends and family, and, most importantly, support from our Heavenly Father. I know (and he knows!) that he can overcome all the obstacles that are standing in his way!  

Funny story, last Sunday I woke up to hives all over my arms. (We had an appointment the night before with a family with LOADS of cats -.-) so my dear sweet nurse of a companion, pulls out these pills and tells me to take them.  I take them without a pause and we head to church. I start feeling really spacey at church and found myself having a really hard time staying awake. (Really not like me!)  I was asked to translate for someone throughout all the meetings and it was taking all my concentration to do it because I just wanted to slump over and sleep.  We get down with the meetings and I'm so tired I can hardly stand up.  I realized, she probably had given me loads of Benedryl.  I asked her and Sister McEwen just handed me some allergy pills - not reading the label. We had an eating appointment with a member family after church, and it was just laughable. I'm trying so hard to sit up straight and have a conversation but, my brain was just DONE. Never fear, I made it through our appointments for the day, but, it was definitely an adventure!  Note to self, 1. Read labels before taking pills 2. Don't take pills. haha 

We had four less actives we've been working with come to church and five investigators at church! It was such a powerful sacrament meeting and I was just so grateful for the ward and their willingness to take part in the work of Salvation!

On a world cup note, DEUTSCHLAND FÜR IMMER! :)  

To answer others questions, totally healthy (the pills did the trick with the hives!). Happy and really enjoying the work here in Linz.  I feel really blessed to be able to serve here in Linz with Sister McEwen and am excited to see what the future holds for Linz and those we are working with. 

Vail is super pretty! It's cool - alot of people,even here in Austria know about Vail and Aspen and will ask me (when they hear that I am from Colorado), if I have been to Aspen and Vail. It's so pretty there!

Spiritual experiences, well I mentioned a little bit already that every Friday we go to an Old Folks home.  We visit a sweet elderly sister, talk to her for a while and then sing with her (usually to her, she can't read anymore). I started this right when I got to Linz because.. well, I love old people and I knew she could really use a visit.  So we've been doing this every Friday since then.  It started out with us just visiting P, but then in the following weeks, Galways comes, and then H, and now L, and M. It's been so fun getting our little band of heroes together and singing Hymns together. They really enjoy the spirit that comes through the music that we sing and, of course, the hugs before we go!  Success story with H this past Friday, he tends to be a little quiet. Listening to our conversations but, not really taking part and just looking a little sad. But, this past week, he asked us to see 'Wie groß bist Du?' aka How Great Thou Art.  As we sang the song all together, tears just ran down his face and when we left that day- he grabbed my hands and just kept saying Alles Liebe, Alles Liebe! It was such a sweet experience! Fridays are always incredible!

Fun experiences, Sister McEwen and I tried to be really good little Sister Missionaries and bake cookies to take by someone.. but, we failed miserably and they tasted terrible. The Funny part, we took some cookies to some members BEFORE WE TRIED THEM. We gave them out and then ate 1 each, only to realize they taste awful! We just looked at each other and started laughing SO HARD.  At that point, what do you do? You can't go all the way back to their houses and take back the cookies. Do you call and tell them you're sorry? Or do you just wait till Sunday to apologize and hope they don't hate you?  haha So we just waited till Sunday and apologized and they are either really good liars or God blessed the cookies because everyone said they tasted amazing.  So yep, my cooking abilities are definitely improving :) (As the Elders would say, wife points.)

Love you all and, really, thanks so much for the love and support. No idea what I'd do without you all! 
Sister Harman

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lessons, finding days, hot weather, rainy days, service projects!

I'm not sure how to start this email. HELLO ONE AND ALL!

This last week has been crazy, crazy, crazy. Lessons, finding days, hot weather, rainy days, service projects, and just preaching the good word of the Lord.

Funny story number: I haven't played volleyball in quite some time.. AKA I'm alot worse than I was before haha but! We're hoping that with some practice - we'll improve! We played volleyball on P-day and invited all the young people.  We played sand volleyball and oh my heck, it was SO much fun! Brought me back to the summer in Glenwood (cough Glenhood) We then planned a JAE activity for Friday night and had a great turn out. Less active members, investigators, and members all came out and we played volleyball, frisbee, ate delicious BBQ and, in proper American tradition, ate SMORES! It was a glorious 4th of July!

Spiritual side!
We taught another lesson to M this week. She's a student at University Linz, studying English and ah. She's just so amazing.  She had had some questions about Baptism and what it meant for us and after explaining about the covenant and what it meant to us personally. She was quiet just for a second and then said, 'Sisters, how long will it take for me to prepare for my baptism?' We all got down on our knees and said a prayer. Asking God when she should be baptized, after the prayer, M got a little teary eyed and said she knew she needed to be baptized! She picked August 9th and we made a plan to make sure she'd be ready by then!  The Spirit was just so strong and you could really just feel love. The love that God has for one of his precious daughters.  We had a young man, D, as a joint teach and he just bore sweet testimony! He's getting ready to go on his own mission and it was so cool to see him share his faith with M.

Sunday was also great! We were able to have five investigators at church. Since it was the first Sunday of the month, it was Fast Sunday (where members have the opportunity to go to the front and share a brief testimony of Christ). It was so great to see people just open their hearts and share their hearts! 

Watch this: Super video!  Thou Art the Christ

I love that we have the opportunity as missionaries, heck just as people, to share the truths that we find and to grow all together as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. How great is our calling! (see if anyone catches that quote) We can all learn and grow so much from each other - it just starts with opening our mouths and hearts to what others have to say.

Love you all!
Sister Harman

Editor's note:  I am still waiting for pictures from Sister Harman, feel free to nag her for me.  ;)