Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 13: The Ghost Pepper Challenge

Hi everybody!
Nothing super exciting happened this past week. We had some really great lessons though! 

Thursday we had exchanges and I was in my area in Sis. Jensen again. We met with Maria and talked about General Conference and how we can apply it to our lives. I hope all of you will go back and watch or read the conference talks because they were so good! Also I got to drive on exchanges! It was super weird to drive after not driving for 3 months.

Friday was awesome! We met with the Cambers, who are a less active couple. We originally planned to teach them eternal marriage, but that morning during my studies I felt very strongly that we should share Moroni 10:3-5 with them. So that's what we did and we talked about how to gain a testimony. It was such a good lesson! The spirit was so strong! 

Then we had a meeting with the Elders in our ward and our Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Knowlton. While we were eating dinner, Bro. Knowlton got this bottle of hot sauce from the fridge and told us that we should try it. So this sauce is ghost pepper hot sauce and on the warning label it says "use one drop at a time." So yeah. It's really hot! All of us tried it. I had half of a drop and it burned my whole mouth! But it was super funny to see everyone's reactions to it! I have a video of us doing the ghost pepper challenge, but it won't let me attach it to the email. :(  

On Saturday we went to our ward Halloween party and that was super fun! They made fresh apple cider (so good!), had a chili cook off and did a Trunk-or-Treat. 

So remember a while ago when my mission president (Pres. Stoker) challenged us to read 12 pages of the Book of Mormon everyday and I extended that challenge to you? Well I finished the Book of Mormon on Friday! It was so awesome! The last few chapters are probably my favorite! And in the last chapter is Moroni's promise (Moroni 10:3-5) and it says, "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

I love these verses! Moroni gives us this formula for how we can know truth. He says that we need to ponder our question, then pray to Heavenly Father with a sincere heart and with real intent if these things are not true. We also need to have faith that our questions will be answered. But as long as we follow these steps, the truth will be revealed to us. Heavenly Father wants to answer our questions and wants to help us gain a testimony. And if we do this simple formula, we can know the truth of all things. 

Pres. Stoker challenged all of us to do Moroni's promise when we finished reading. So that's what I did! I already have that testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, but I wanted that reassurance. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was not true, and after my prayer I heard this little voice that said, "It's true." Part of me wanted a bigger, more dramatic spiritual witness, but that's not how it works. The Lord speaks to us with a still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12). And that little voice was all I needed to have that reassurance. I invite all of you to do Moroni's promise and I know that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers because He loves you!

We had a really good lesson in Relief Society yesterday on the talk "Your Four Minutes" by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson. ( He talks about how we do so much to prepare and to do our best, but sometimes we fall short. And that's where the Atonement comes in. The highlight quote from this talk is "The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance." Heavenly Father knows that we won't be perfect and that's why He provided the Atonement for us. He doesn't ask us to be perfect, He just asks us to do our best.

I'm really excited for this next week, because tomorrow we have Zone Conference at the JSM and we're watching "Meet the Mormons!" It's going to be awesome! But I'm also super sad, because this is my last week with Sis. Turley before she goes home. :(  So we'll get transfer calls on Saturday. I will most likely be staying in Hanover, and I'll find out next Tuesday who my new companion is going to be! But Sis. Turley and I are going to have an awesome last week together, because we're going to find a new investigator! 

Well I think that's about it for this week! We're off to go carve pumpkins with our district and we're going to make them do the ghost pepper challenge haha! It'll be fun! I hope you're all doing great and you have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Love, Sister Harper

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hello everyone!
Wow what a week it has been! The leaves are changing here and it's so beautiful! We'll be getting a lot of tourists soon to come see the leaves. They're called "leaf peepers" haha!
So on Friday we finally got to have a lesson with Ken! We taught the Restoration. He said that he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet and he really likes the Book of Mormon, but doesn't know it it's true yet. But guess what? He committed to baptism! He was a little hesitant at first, but then he was like yeah that sounds like fun haha! But seriously he's so ready! He said that he's searching for truth and he can tell the Heavenly Father is preparing him for a new path in his life. This is it! We didn't commit him to a date, but we will this week when we teach him.

Then after Ken's lesson we walked back to the Park and Ride. We were talking with the member who came to Ken's lesson and then John came up to us! John works at a construction site by the Park and Ride and we gave him a Book of Mormon a couple weeks ago. He asked if we wanted the book back, because it had markings in it (we mark important verses in the Book of Mormons we hand out). We said no and that it was all his! He said that he really likes reading it, but it having a hard time understanding it. So we're going to see him tomorrow and read the Book of Mormon with him! Yay!

A new Mormon Message came out this week! I love Mormon Messages! Here's the link to the newest one.  This video reminds me a lot of Abinadi from the Book of Mormon. Abinadi was a prophet and missionary and he was teaching wicked King Noah and his court. But no one was interested. They didn't listen to Abinadi. Abinadi's investigator's killed him! I'm sure that Abinadi thought that he had failed and that he hadn't done enough. I know we all feel like that sometimes. But there was one person who listened to Abinadi. Alma. And Alma taught his friends and family what he had learned and all of the were converted and baptized! They were so converted that they left their city so that they could establish the church! And in the scriptures it says that 450 people went with Alma. And then think of how many people Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah influenced? That's a lot of people! And it all happened because of one person. Abinadi. He had a stronger effect on the people that he thought he did. And it is the same with us. I probably won't convert 450 people on my mission. But just talking to people and sharing the gospel with them can have a powerful effect. 

Saturday night was the General Women's Meeting and it was awesome! Sisters, if you weren't able to watch it, please find time to watch it! It was so good! I felt the spirit so strongly! President Uchtdorf gave a great talk! He talked about how we are all children of God. It's not a title that we earned or that will ever go away. We will always and forever be His sons and daughters. He also said that Heavenly Father is always pouring down blessings upon us. But sometimes we have an umbrella of guilt, sin, and sorrow that keep us from feeling those blessings. Another great quote was we need to place our selfish desires on the altar of service. Seriously I love service so much! And he also said that Heavenly Father loves you for the person you are today and the person you have the potential and desire to become. I love that! 

So something that Sis. Turley does is she says her nightly personal prayers vocally. When we first became companions I thought it was kinda weird, but whatever. Then this week she said Sis. Harper, I really want you to say vocal prayers for a week and see how you like it. I told her I'd give it a try and oh my goodness it's amazing! Praying vocally adds so much more meaning! When I do it, I can feel Heavenly Father so much closer to me! If you're looking for a way to increase your relationship with Heavenly Father or to make your prayers more meaningful, say vocal personal prayers! Yeah it's gonna feel weird at first, but then you're gonna feel awesome! 

This weekend is General Conference! I'm so excited! Everyone, please make conference a priority! Watch as many sessions as you can! And write down some spiritual questions that you have. Then pray and ask Heavenly Father those questions. Then watch conference and take notes! And I can promise you that your questions will be answered! Conference is so powerful! Two years ago, I knelt down and asked Heavenly Father what I should do in my life. My answer came with the age change for missionary service. I am serving a mission because of an answer I received during conference!  Conference is life changing! 

I think that's about it for this week. I hope you're all doing well! Please look for service and missionary opportunities! And keep studying the Book of Mormon! You will be so blessed! Love you all!

Love, Sister Harper