Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 8: One Transfer Down!

Oh my goodness! I can't believe I've already been out for a whole transfer! In case you didn't know, a transfer is 6 weeks and after each 6 week period is when you may or may not move to a new area or get a new companion. I am staying in Hanover with Sis. Turley! I'm really sad, because this is her last transfer before she goes home. :( But it's gonna be an awesome transfer!

So cool thing. On Tuesday we had some time before an appointment so we decided to go street contacting for a bit. We didn't have much success so we went back to the car. There were some construction workers in the parking lot and one of them called out to us, "Hey do you have any extra Bibles?" Sis. Turley said, "We have the Book of Mormon!" "The Mormon Bible?" "Yes!" "That'll work! Can I have one of those?" How cool is that? This guy's name is John and he said that he's read the Book of Mormon before and he really liked it. We're gonna try and find him this week so we can teach him more about the Book of Mormon!

Wednesday was Zone Conference! All of the missionaries in Vermont and northern New Hampshire were there and it was at the JSM. This Zone Conference we had Elder Larry Wilson of the Seventy and his wife there. They taught us about the Book of Mormon and how we need to use it more in finding and teaching. The Book of Mormon is so important. It is the keystone of our religion, because it is a witness of Christ, it has the fullness of Christ's gospel, and it is the foundation of our testimony. Elder and Sister Wilson talked about how we as missionaries need to read the Book of Mormon more with those that we teach, so that they can understand it and apply it to themselves. They also said that the more pages of the Book of Mormon you read with the people you teach, the more successful you will be as a missionary. Sis. Turley and I are definitely going to use the Book of Mormon a lot more! 

Another cool thing from Zone Conference was Sis. Wilson showed us that 1 Nephi 1 has all of the points we teach in the Restoration lesson. This chapter is also really similar to Joseph Smith and The First Vision. So when you read 1 Nephi 1, look for the similarities it has to the Restoration and First Vision! 

On Friday we went and visited a less active family. Normally lessons don't go well there, because the 4 boys (all under age 9) are all really rowdy and it feels like no one pays any attention. But we decided to have a quick visit and show them a Mormon Message. We got there and just the mom was there, so we talked to her for a bit. Then it took a while to pull up the Mormon Message on their iPad, and right after it started, two of the boys and the dad came home. Sis. Turley and I were so worried that the lesson would be ruined and the spirit would go away! But the boys came in, and they huddled around the iPad and watched the Mormon Message! And they were quiet! And then one of the boys was in the other room when we started to say the prayer, and when he came back in he joined us in the prayer and was quiet! Huge miracle for this family! Normally it takes them like 5 minutes to settle down before we can say a prayer. So we will be showing more Mormon Messages to this family! The one we showed the was Wrong Roads ( and it's super good and all of you should watch it!

This week in my Book of Mormon study I was in the book of Jacob, which is like my favorite book! I especially love chapters 5 and 7. Chapter 5 is the parable of the vineyard and it's so good! The master of the vineyard is Heavenly Father and the parable tells how he works hard to help his plants grow. The plants are each of Heavenly Father's children, so us. And my favorite verse is 47 which says, "But what could I have done more for my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?" I love this verse and this chapter, because it shows how much Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, His children. His hand is constantly stretched out to us and He is doing all He can to love and care for all of us. I know that He is our Heavenly Father, we are His children and He loves us with an infinite love. 

Chapter 7 is about this guy, Sherem, who is an anti-Christ. Sherem tried really hard to lead people away from the gospel and he even tried to lead Jacob, the prophet, away. Then Jacob talks to Sherem about Christ and the scriptures and this is what he said.

8 But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words. 9 And I said unto him: Deniest thou the Christ who shall come? And he said: If there should be a Christ, I would not deny him; but I know that there is no Christ, neither has been, nor ever will be. 10 And I said unto him: Believest thou the scriptures? And he said, Yea. 11 And I said unto him: Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ. 12 And this is not all—it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.
This is the scripture that helped me to know that the Book of Mormon is true. I think I was like 12 or 13 when I first read this. Growing up in the church I heard everyone say that Christ lives and that the Book of Mormon was true, but I didn't know it for myself. And when I read these verses it hit me so hard. I knew that the reason I didn't have that knowledge for myself was because I didn't understand the scriptures and I didn't read and pray about them. But I have read the Book of Mormon many times. I have prayed about it and I know that it is true. It truly is another witness of Jesus Christ. This book is so powerful and life changing! Please read and study it everyday! I know that it will bless your life so much and you will be so much happier because of it! 
Oh super cool thing! For those of you that don't know, Jessica Craig (my best friend from high school) was called to this mission and she is on an airplane right now flying out to New Hampshire! I don't know when I'll get to see her but I'm so excited that she's coming to the greatest mission on earth! Hopefully we'll get to be companions at some point!
So a member gave us two big bags of potatoes and we don't want them to go to waste, so Sis. Turley and I are eating potatoes like almost every meal! Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, hash browns, fries, you name it! I never ate this many potatoes when I lived in Idaho haha!
Well that's it for this week! Thank you for all the emails! Love you all!
Love, Sister Harper

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 5: One Month Down!

Hello everybody!
Hope everyone had a great week and is enjoying their holiday weekend! 

So this week was really crazy but it was so great!

Monday: We went to the Holy KFC for lunch. So the Holy KFC is is Lebanon, NH and it's location is where Joseph Smith had his leg surgery when he was little. So that's pretty neat! Then we drove down to Manchester for New Missionary Training. I got to see all of the sisters from the MTC and that was so much fun!

Tuesday: New Missionary Training. Most of the things they taught us were things that Sis. Turley had already trained me on. Way to go, Sis. Turley! Sis. Stoker (mission president's wife) gave a really great talk and talked about Abinidi. So Abinidi was a missionary and he preached the gospel to King Noah's court. No one listened and his investigators killed him! But Alma listened. And it says in the scriptures that Alma shared the gospel with 450 people. And then his son Alma the younger was a great missionary and brought even more people to the gospel. I really love this story, because a lot of times we may feel like Abinidi, that no one cares and no one is listening. But we really don't know the effect we have on others. Because of Abinidi, thousands of people were converted! It's truly amazing the effect that one person can have. 

Wednesday: Zone Interviews. We went to Plymouth, NH for meetings with our Zone and then for interviews with Pres. Stoker. Pres. Stoker is so great and I love having interviews with him! Then in zone meeting we talked about Christ-like attributes and obedience. It was such a good meeting! Then we went on exchanges and I was with Sis. Jensen. Exchanges are when we switch companionships for a day. 

Thursday: Exchanges. Sis. Jensen is awesome! I learned so much from her! During our companion study we read this talk ( lang=eng&query=teaching+with+the+power+and+authority+of+God) and it was super good and you all should read it! That morning we went and taught a less active about the priesthood and encouraged her to get her patriarchal blessing. Then we went to the Haven and that was awesome! Sis. Jensen loved the Haven! Then we went and taught a recent convert. She's going through a hard time right now, so we listened and did the best we could to comfort her. Then we exchanged back and Sis. Turley and I went to dinner at a member's house. For dessert we had vanilla ice cream with pure maple syrup! It was so good! I kinda felt like Buddy the Elf and how he puts syrup on everything! That's kinda how New Englanders are. They put syrup on almost everything!

Friday: Planning Day. So on Fridays we take about 4 hours or so to plan for the next week. We plan our schedule, plan lessons, set goals. It sounds really long and really boring but it's super helpful and we have a lot of fun during our planning sessions! Then we went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch with a recent convert and that was yummy! 

Saturday: I hit my one month mark! It's so weird to think that I've been on my mission for a month! It feels like I went into the MTC yesterday and also that I've been here forever! On Saturday we tried to contact some less actives, but we only talked to one of them. Everyone else wasn't home. :( But the one we talked to said he was "all set" and that's the New England was of saying, "Go away, missionaries!" Super annoying! But then we went to see a referral we got a couple weeks ago. Her name is Brandy and she's a media referral, which means that she went onto and requested a visit from the missionaries. We called her a bunch and stopped by her place a couple times after we got her information, but she didn't answer and was never home. But then we on Thursday we stopped by her house and she was outside with her kids! She said that we could come back on Saturday so that is what we did. And when we saw her she was outside with her kids again! We were hoping to get to know her more and to teach her, but she wasn't feeling too well, so we left her with The Book of Mormon and said we'd come back another day. And then as we were leaving we turned around and saw that she was reading The Book of Mormon! I'm so excited to go back and teach her! 

Sunday: I love Sundays! We had church in the morning and that was really good. Then we went to a member's house for lunch and we had lobster! I mean lobstah haha! That was mine and Sis. Turley's first time having lobster. I'll be honest, it's not my favorite seafood, but it was still really good! Then we went to institute, and it's kinda like seminary, but for the college age kids. There's a couple that lives on Dartmouth campus and they have institute at their house every Sunday night. We watched a talk by Elder Bednar called "That Thou Might Not Shrink." It was so good! He talked about how even though life can be really difficult and frustrating at times, Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. It may not be what we had in mind, but it is what's best for us. He's our Father and He knows us personally. And He will be there to lead and guide us along the way. Here's the link if you would like to read it.

Monday (today): We went the Dartmouth to do emails there, but the library was closed, so now we're at the church doing emails in the family history center. While we were at Dartmouth we went into this really cute store and while we were looking around, we heard the song "As Sisters in Zion" start playing. It was a medley so it also had "We'll Bring the World His Truth" in it. Sis. Turley and I looked at each other and were like oh my gosh this is so cool! Then Sis. Turley asked the lady that worked there about the music and she said that she heard it and really liked it, so she put it on the playlist to play at work. We started talking and she didn't seem super interested, but she said that we could come back. And she said that she knew the Grampp's in our ward (the same couple who does institute) so that's awesome! So we're definitely going to see her again, but that was such a blessing to be able to talk to her! 

So here's an analogy that I heard this week that I thought was really cool. Heavenly Father has all of these blessings that He wants to give us and these blessings are like the gumballs in a gumball machine. He's not going to give us all of them at once. We have to do a little bit of work before we can receive the promised blessing. Like we have to pay tithing to receive those blessings. We have to put the quarter in, and turn the handle and then Heavenly Father gives us the blessings. Anyways, I thought that was a really cool analogy.

Okay here are a couple more New England quirks. People here have front doors but they never use them. They have a door in the back or the side of the house that they use. I thought that was super weird. And everyone says wicked all the time! Like that was wicked good haha! 

Oh so cool thing! This next Friday (12th) we're going to the Boston Temple! A lady that Sis. Turley taught in her last area is going to the temple for her endowments and we get to go with her! I'm so excited! So Friday the 12th will be our Pday next week. If we have time to email, you'll get an email from me on Friday, not Monday of next week. But then it'll be back to normal the next Monday, so in 2 weeks. 

Well I think that's about it for this week! Hope you're all doing great! Love you all!

Love, Sister Harper