Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 4: When Life Gets You Down, Just Eat a Fluffernutter!

Hello everyone!
Hope you're all doing well! So one thing from the MTC that I forgot to tell you is that Sister Dastrup and I were Sister Training Leaders. It's basically like being a Zone Leader and helping out your district and the new districts that come in a week after you. So yeah that was fun. 

This week was pretty good at the beginning and then kinda crummy but then really good again! We had Panera for lunch last Monday and Panera is seriously so good! Then Tuesday we taught a less active couple about tithing. The wife didn't want to pay, because she didn't think she had enough faith to pay. But we talked about how we have to exercise our faith and then The Lord will bless us. So now they're on board with paying tithing! We also taught one of our recent converts, Maria. She is just the cutest ever! We talked about having faith and enduring with patience. We showed her this Mormon Message ( It's so cute and you all should watch it!

Wednesday and Thursday we did service at the Haven (the food shelf) and that was super fun! On Thursday we went tracting in Hanover by Dartmouth and it was raining so that wasn't super fun, but I gave away my first Book of Momon! I was so excited! We gave it to this cute little Asian family and they said they would read it. We hope they'll call us soon with questions, but we're gonna go back in a couple weeks and check up on them!

Then Thursday-Saturday pretty much all of our appointments cancelled on us. And one of our potential investigators dumped us! She texted a few hours before we were going to meet with her and she said that she didn't want to meet with us and didn't want to be Mormon anymore. So heartbreaking! She doesn't even know what she's missing out on! The past couple days have been so frustrating! Satan is working so hard on the people in our area and I don't like it! But Sis. Turley and I are determined to find new investigators this week! We can do it!

So yesterday I had an amazing personal study! It helped me so much, especially after a couple discouraging days. I just turned to where I had left off the day before in The Book of Mormon and started reading. I read in 3 Nephi 21-22. Chapter 21 talks about the Restoration and Joseph Smith. And then I read verse 10 and it spoke to me to strongly! Its says, "But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil." Wow! Heavenly Father looks out for his missionaries so much! I love the part about His wisdom being great than Satan's. Like I said, Satan has been working hard on this area, but Heavenly Father has a much greater plan for us. 

Then I read chapter 22:4 which says, "Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame..." So powerful! And then verse 7 says, "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee." And verses 10-11 say, "For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay the foundations with sapphires." These scriptures were exactly what I needed! It helped me so much and has lifted my spirits! Yes missionary work is super hard! But it's so rewarding! And yes Sis. Turley and I are serving in a difficult area, but I know that Heavenly Father will help us in finding those that are ready for the gospel.

So New England has a really weird accent. They add r's to words that don't need them (arear, idear, Utahr, Almer=Alma) and they drop r's from words that need them (cah=car, Concud=Concord). So in my very first lesson last week the lady was asking me my name and I said Sis. Harper, and she said, "Oh Sis. Hahpuh!" So yeah that's fun. And then everyone says "all set" all the time. Instead of saying I'm good, they say I'm all set. And I started saying all set like day 2 in the mission! Crazy! Also New England has this great sandwich called a Fluffernutter. It's peanut butter and marshmallow fluff and it's oh so good! And if you want to make it even better, you do peanut butter, fluff, and nutella! (I mean nuteller haha!) Oh my lanta! So good!

Well that's about it for this week! I hope all of you are doing well and loving life! Good luck to everyone going back to school! Watch the Mormon Message and read 3 Nephi! It's awesome! I love you all!

Love, Sister Harper

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week 1: The MTC (otherwise known as the new Disneyland)

Hello everyone!

Wow! Where to even begin? First of I love the MTC so much! Everyone is so nice and helpful and it's just so great! Whoever said that Disneyland was the happiest place on Earth lied. It's really the MTC! I don't think I've ever smiled as much as I do here. There is such an amazing spirit here and it totally changes you. I love being a missionary!

Ok so I'll tell you a little about my district. They're the ones we spend all day everyday with in the classroom. First is my amazing companion, Sis. Dastrup. She's from Provo and she's also going to NH-MAN. She is just so amazing! We compliment each other so well! Heavenly Father knew what He was doing when He put us together. I learn so much from her everyday. The other sisters in our district are also going to NH-MAN. They are Sis. Eddington (from Broken Arrow, OK) and Sis. Tucker (from Snowflake, AZ). We have four Elders in our district and they are Elder Craig (from Gilbert, AZ), Elder Taylor (from British Columbia, Canada), Elder King (from Murray, UT) and Elder O'Brien (from Alberta, Canada). I'm so sad, because the Elders are all going to the Canada Halifax Mission, so I won't see them after the MTC. :(  But I love my district so much! We have some amazing discussions in class, and we are super close! It's such a blessings to have a district that gets along so well, and I'm so grateful for them and the amazing examples they are to me!

At the MTC I thought that I would be learning how to be a better teacher and teaching techniques, but that is not why we're here. As a missionary, my purpose is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." Right from the very first day at the MTC we learned that our purpose it to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them. Everyone has specific needs that need to be met, and everyone needs to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. But it's up to us as missionaries to find that need and tailor the lessons to fit their personal needs.

Here we do lots of role playing to practice teaching. Right now Sis. Dastrup and I are teaching Paul (he's really our teacher, Bro. Barton, but he takes on the role of Paul (someone he met on his mission, as we teach him. Hope that makes sense!). We first visited with Paul on Thursday to get to know him and we taught our first lesson on Friday. We felt strongly to teach him the message of The Restoration (the first discussion) and it went really well. Then yesterday we taught him and we had a "member" present (just another on of the teachers, Bro. Christensen). Bro. Christensen asked so many great questions to figure out exactly what Paul needs. Sis. Dastrup and I planned on teaching The Gospel of Jesus Christ. But as we asked him more questions we found that he's trying to quit smoking and the message he really needed to hear was the Atonement. We testified that Christ can help us with whatever we're going through and He wants us to ask Him for help. The spirit was so strong and it was such an amazing lesson! That's the tricky part about missionary work is finding that need and then letting the spirit be the teacher.

Sis. Dastrup and I have another investigator at the TRC (teaching resource center). Her name is Devon and we tried to get to know her last night to figure out what message she needed to hear. Only problem is Sis. Dastrup and I forgot to pray as a companionship before the lesson and we forgot to say an opening prayer! So we didn't have the spirit at all with us in the lesson and it was not good. We just lectured rather than taught. Bro. Christensen told us earlier yesterday that if we keep asking the investigator questions, they will tell us what they need to be taught. It's so true! And the spirit is the one who helps so much with that! So we learned a valuable lesson last night that 1) pray always! You'd think we'd remember since we say like 20 prayers every day! D&C 42:14 says, "And the spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the spirit ye shall not teach." 2) Don't just find someting you think you can teach and run with it. If you plow right through a lesson, all you do is push the investigator to the side. As missionaries we are called to be representatives of Christ and to be their friend. But we have to rely on the spirit when we teach. 

We had an amazing devotional on Sunday night from Pres. and Sis. Worthen (the new BYU president and his wife). Pres. Worthen talked about being a missionary with power and authority. We get our authority because we are called of God, and we get power when we keep our covenants, are faithful, and obedient. Heavenly Father did not call us to be successful and he will not let us fail. As long as we are faithful and obedient we will be blessed. 

Another great thing we've done as a district is read from The Book of Mormon together. One of the fundamentals of teaching is being able to receive revelation from The Book of Mormon. We started at the very beginning (a very good place to start!) and read as a district. I have learned so much from the few chapters that we have read. It's amazing the things you can learn when you really "feast upon the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3). I challenge all of you to apply this to your study of the scriptures, especially The Book of Mormon. Take time to really ponder the things you read and apply them to your own life (1 Nephi 19:23). I can promise you that there is a certain spirit you will feel when you study The Book of Mormon. It is life changing and it's the greatest feeling ever!

This afternoon we have the opportunity to go to the Provo temple, and Elder Taylor is receiving his endowments! (I don't think there's a temple close to him in Canada, so he's going here!) Our district is so excited to be there with him! I love going to the temple! Please go to the temple as often as you can. It will bless your life so much!

Ok well sorry for writing like the great American novel, but the MTC is just so amazing! I have learned so much and I wish I could tell you everything! I love all of you and pray for you every day! I feel so blessed to be here. I love being a missionary! This is The Lord's work and it is the greatest work there is. I love you and hope you have an amazing week!

Love, Sister Harper