Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 70: Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving! We didn't have a white Thanksgiving this year! Yay! It's been cold here but hasn't snowed yet, know on wood haha. We had 2 meal appointments, one with the Houston's and one with the Hall's. Great people and food at both! We also visited the Norris' and Sis. Cayia. We shared something from Pres. Monson's talk "The Divine Gift of Gratitude" with members. It's Matthew 15:32-38. In the section, Christ is feeding the 4000 and this is right after He feeds the 5000. Christ asks his disciples how much food they have and the disciples said that they only had 7 loaves and a few fishes. They focused on what they didn't have. But Christ gave thanks for what they did have and a miracles was able to occur! They even had 7 full baskets leftover! I feel like we focus a lot on what we don't have. But I know that miracles can happen as we follow Christ's example and give thanks for what the Lord has already blessed us with.
This week we went on exchanges with the South Royalton sisters. I stayed in Montpelier with Sis. Innes and we had a great exchange! She served in Montpelier about 6 months ago so she helped me a lot with ward members and investigators, so that was very helpful!
On Friday evening we went to the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial for the live Nativity! It was so good! And the Christmas lights are so beautiful!
So last week we went to contact a less active, Bro. Piko. We buzzed his apartment, but there was no answer so we turned around and started walking. Then there was this guy walking towards us and he stopped us and asked if we were from the Mormon church. Turns out it was Bro. Piko! Hand of the Lord! He said that he wants to come back to church! And we gave him a Book of Mormon! So on Saturday we stopped by to see him and we were able to have a lesson with him! He's been reading the Book of Mormon and he loves it! Then this morning we got a call from another less active, Bro. Prevost. He left a message and said that he's friends with Bro. Piko and he wants us to meet with him! Yay more less actives we can help bring back to church!
Yesterday morning after I finished my morning prayers I walked over to the bathroom and I saw Sis. Harward just standing there looking at an upside down garbage can. She looked at me and said, "I just trapped a mouse!" Sis. Harward did all the dirty work, I was too chicken haha! She put some gloves on, got some cardboard to slide under the trashcan and we let him run away outside. Hopefully we don't see any more mice!
This week our zone is studying diligence! We're reading "Your Four Minutes" Bishop Gary E. Stephenson, April 2014 General Conference; "Finishers Wanted" President Thomas S. Monson, April 1972 General Conference; Hymn #252 "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel"; and 1 Nephi 4. I learned a great lesson on humility last week. I learned that when we are humble enough to do God's will then he can guide us by the Holy Ghost. I'm excited to study diligence and become a more diligent missionary!
I'm sure you've all seen the new Christmas video that the church put out, but if you haven't definitely check it out! It's awesome! And make sure to share it on social media!
I hope you all are doing well and have a great week! Love you!
Love, Sister Harper
Sis. Harward and I at the JSM
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The JSM! There are a lot more lights too, just couldn't get them all in one picture!
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 69: Companion #10 is Sister Harward!

Hello everyone!
I have my new companion, Sis. Harward! She is from Spanish Fork, UT and has been out for 13 months. She has so much charity and is such a great example to me! I'm grateful that we can serve as companions now!

So Tuesday I was on exchange with Sis. Lescarbeau while we waited for our new companions to meet us. We stopped by some less actives, the Maxhams, and had a great visit with them! A couple weeks ago at our zone conference with Elder Nielsen, he invited us to share the First Vision with less actives. So that's what we did and oh my goodness I love the First Vision so much! It brings the spirit like no other! Bro. and Sis. Maxham both felt the spirit very strongly and they wants us to come back and they want to come back to church! Yay!

Ok super funny/awkward story! Tuesday night on our way home, Sis. Harward and I stopped to get gas. We pulled up to a pump and the buttons didn't work, so we backed up to the pump behind us. Then one of the employees came out and told us that that pump's card reader wasn't working. Sis. Harward complimented the employee on his haircut (he had this cool looking pompadour haircut) and then we went to another gas pump. While we were filling up our car, this same employee walked over and handed a piece of paper to Sis. Harward and he said,"This is a total gamble, but give me a call sometime!" After he walked away Sis. Harward turned to me and said, "Sis. Harper, I think I just got hit on..." Oh my goodness so awkward! We thought about calling and inviting him to learn about the gospel. But yeah, I don't think we're going to call him haha!

Here's another crazy story! We were driving to our dinner appointment and we saw something weird on the car in front of us. Turns out is was a dead deer strapped to the trunk of the car! And there was blood dripping down the back of the car! Real classy, Vermont.

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This transfer our zone is doing this sweet Christlike attribute study and I invite you all to join with us! Each week we're studying and developing a different Christlike attribute and this week's is humility. We're studying "The Divine Gift of Gratitude" Pres. Thomas S. Monson, October 2010 General Conference; "To Walk Humbly with Thy God" Elder Marlin K. Jensen, April 2001 General Conference; Alma 29; and Hymn #196 "Jesus, Once of Humble Birth." I'm also going to be saying all gratitude prayers this week! I read "To Walk Humbly with Thy God" this morning and I really liked it! He said, "Our submissiveness will be reflected in our reverence, gratitude, and willingness to accept callings, counsel, and correction." I think those are really great ways to measure and examine our humility. 

There's a great promise given in 2 Peter 1:5-8 about developing Christlike attributes. "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." I know that we will come to know the Savior more as we become more like Him (Moroni 7:48).

I am so grateful for our loving Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ. I know they live and love us eternally. I am grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity I have to share it with others. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon and how it's helped me come closer to the Savior. I know that it's the word of God and that it was translated by the prophet Joseph Smith. I am so grateful for my wonderful family and friends. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers as I've been on my mission. I hope you all have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving! Love you all!
Love, Sister Harper

Sis. Harward and me!
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 68: Get to Know a New Area in a Week: Check!

Wow it's been a crazy week! We've been busy contacting a lot of people
and helping me get to know the area quickly. I've met a lot of great
people and there are some awesome members here!

We met with our investigators this week. We have Moe, Lisa, and
Robert. They're all great! We had a really good lesson with Robert on
Friday. He wants to be baptized but is a little hesitant to get
baptized soon. We invited him to pray about a date in 2017. And then
our member, Sis. Norris (she's awesome!), challenged him to be
baptized by Easter!

Sis. Tyler and I had a crazy off roading experience this week haha! We
were driving to a members house for lunch and our gps took us on this
dirt road out in the woods. Sis. Tyler was driving and she really
doesn't like dirt roads. After a few miles she asked me to drive. I
felt pretty confident we could make it in our little Subaru, but then
the road got a lot narrower and bumpier and muddier. We decided to
turn around and backing up uphill on a bumpy and muddy road was quite
the adventure! But we eventually turned around and got back on the
main road! Yay!

This past weekend we had a social media split. We visited members and
they posted pictures of us on social media. So look up
#socialmediasplit, #lds and #iammormon and you maybe you can find
pictures of us!

This week I've pondered a little bit about Christlike attributes. In
Preach My Gospel there's a whole chapter about developing Christlike
attributes. I think that word developing is very interesting. We're
all children of God and He's already blessed us with divine qualities.
It's our responsibility to develop or magnify those qualities so that
we can become more and more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I love 2
Peter 1:5-8 which says, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to
your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge
temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And
to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall
neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ." What a great promise! As we develop Christlike attributes we
will come to know the Savior more!

Ooh exciting news! Last Sunday Nick and Crystal were confirmed! And
yesterday Nick received the priesthood! I am so happy for them!

Well tomorrow I'll receive my new companion! I'm 99% sure it's Sis.
Harward and she's awesome! I hope you all have a great week! Love you!
Love, Sister Harper

My new address is
1084 S. Main St. #2
Northfield, VT 05663

Week 67: Welcome Back to Vermont, Sis Harper!

Wow! It's been a good week, but a crazy one!

We had super awesome lessons with Nick and Crystal this week! At one
of their lessons, their friend Dan was there. Nick have him and
Articles of Faith pass along card! Dan stayed for and participated in
the lesson! He said that he wants to get back into church and he's
interested in our church. We gave him and Book of Mormon too! Nick and
Crystal are already super awesome member missionaries! They both
testified of how the gospel and blessed them and helped them! Oh my
goodness they are so great!

Thursday we had exchanges with the Concord sisters. I was in Concord
with Sis. Lewis and we had a such a great exchange! We did a lot of
service! We raked leaves for this cute little lady, Sis. Spaulding!
And we had a good lesson with their investigator Katherine!

We exchanged back that night at the Concord sisters apartment and then
drove home. We got back to our apartment and realized that we left our
apartment keys at the Concord sisters apartment! So we went back and
got our keys and got home around 9:45pm.

Then at 10:15pm we got a call from Pres. Stoker. We thought he was
calling because we were out late (the little boxes in our car that
yell at us when we speed also let President know if we're out past
curfew). He didn't say anything about that (whew!), but I think I
would've rather had him call about that than what he really called us
about. He called to tell us that on Saturday I was going to be
emergency transferred to Montpelier, VT. My heart sank! Normal
transfer calls weren't for another week, so I thought I still had at
least a week in Canterbury. So I had about a day to pack. Luckily we
had a lesson with Nick and Crystal and the MacAllen's the day before I
left so I got to say goodbye to them, but most of my goodbyes to the
ward members were over the phone. It was so sad to leave on such short
notice! I was especially bummed because I missed Nick and Crystal's
confirmation on Sunday. At least I got to be there for the baptism!
Nick and Crystal are doing great and I know that they're in good

So Sis. Tyler and Sis. Peterson were the sisters in Montpelier. Sis.
Tyler goes home next week and Sis. Peterson is needed in a different
area. So instead of pulling both of them out at the same time and
putting two new sisters in, Pres. Stoker ETed (emergency transferred)
me to Montpelier to make the transition smoother. So I'm here with
Sis. Tyler for a week and Sis. Peterson is in Canterbury with Sis.
Davis for a week. Then Sis. Tyler will go home, Sis. Peterson will go
to her new area, Sis. Davis will stay in Canterbury and get a new
companion and I'll stay in Montpelier and get a new companion. I know,
it's all sorts of consuming. But I have a week to get to know
Montpelier before I get a new companion! Things are going well so far,
hopefully it's not too stressful haha!

Saturday was a great day, bittersweet too, because I got transferred
that evening We had an all day zone conference with Elder Brent H.
Nielsen of the seventy. He's the head of the missionary department.
And last April conference he gave a talk called "Waiting For the
Prodigal." Super good! It was such an awesome zone conference! He
taught about the enabling power of the Atonement. I learned a lot and
really felt the spirit. There's two parts of the Atonement: the
redeeming power and the enabling power. We access the redeeming power
by living the gospel (exercising faith, reopening, being baptized and
renewing our covenants each week by partaking of the sacrament,
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). Elder
Nielsen taught that one way we access the enabling power is by putting
of the natural man by being humble and becoming a saint (Mosiah 3:19).
I really liked how he taught that, but I was still a little confused.
Then Sunday morning during my studies a found a scripture that
answered my question! D&C 44:4-5 "And many shall be converted,
insomuch that he shall obtain power to organize yourselves according
to the laws of man; That your enemies may not have power over you;
that you may be preserved in all things; that you may be enabled to
keep my laws; that every bond may be broken wherewith the enemy
seekers to destroy my people." So what I learned from that is that we
can obtain and access the enabling power of the Atonement by being
converted! How neat is that?

Well, I'm in Vermont now! Last week in Canterbury it was in the
60-70's and now in Vermont it's in the 40's! So cold! Even though it
was sad to leave Canterbury, I'm excited to be here in Montpelier! I
know that the Lord has a plan for all of us, sometimes we don't always
understand it, but His plan is always better for us. I love you all
and hope you have a great week!
Love, Sister Harper

Week 66: Baptism!!!!!!!

Hi Everyone!
Yesterday was probably the greatest day of my whole mission! Nick and Crystal got baptized!!!!! It was such a great baptism! The spirit was so strong and there was just so much love! Such a happy day! It's been so amazing and humbling to be with Nick and Crystal as they've prepared for baptism. Their faith has grown so much! The Lord prepared them so much to receive the restored gospel! The gospel truly is for everyone! It changes hearts and it changes lives! I love Nick and Crystal so much and am so happy for them! 

I don't know if I've shared this, but it's a pretty cool story of how we found Nick and Crystal. I was with Sis. McVey and she had a broken ankle, so we didn't tract for the first month that we were companions. Then after about 5 weeks she felt like she had healed enough to go tracting, so we prayed and picked a street and went tracting the next day! That first day that we went tracting was when we met Nick and Crystal! I know that the Lord had a hand in us meeting them and I am so grateful that we were lead to them! It has been such a blessing and privilege to share my love for the Savior and His gospel with them! And thank you all for your prayers for Nick and Crystal! 

Tuesday night was our ward Trunk or Treat. It was super fun! We and the Elders dressed up... well, kinda haha. The Elder were the Men in Black and Sis. Davis and I were superheros in disguise!

On Wednesday to Thursday we had exchanges with the Lebanon sisters! I stayed in Canterbury with Sis. Hair! She's a brand new missionary and she has so much greenie fire! I love it! Wednesday night we had dinner with the Favorite's and they are seriously my favorite! They're this super funny older couple and they make the best food ever! Sis. Favorite is so funny! She told us that she needs to fatten us up so that we won't get kidnapped, because only the skinny people get kidnapped! Haha they're so great! 

Sis. Davis was in Lebanon with Sis. Evans on exchange and Sis. Davis found a Melinda road! How neat is that? I've never seen a street with my name so that was super cool!

We had a super awesome Halloween! We went to contact a less active member, and right across the street was a grandma (Marie) and her 2 granddaughters (Grace and Abigail) raking leaves. We asked them if they would like some help and Marie said, "Well, we wouldn't say no!" Normally when we offer service people say no, so it was awesome that we got to help them! And they know a family that's in our ward! They really appreciated our help and then they invited us to go out to lunch with them! So nice! I love doing service! 

We had to be in early on Halloween night to deep clean the apartment. We got almost the whole apartment done! Now it's nice and clean! Yay! I hope you all had a great Halloween! The Lord lives and He loves you! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love, Sister Harper

Week 65: Happy Halloween!

Well it has been a great week! Quite eventful! We had a great lesson
with Nick and Crystal on temples and family history. They're excited
about going to the temple someday! That night we went out to dinner
with the Duncan's. They're a senior missionary couple in our ward and
they're so awesome! We went to this Indian restaurant in Concord and
it was so good!

Week 64: Nick and Crystal are Getting Baptized!!

Hello everyone!
Alrighty, well, Nick and Crystal had their baptismal interviews yesterday and they are all set to get baptized on November 1!!! We finished teaching them the commandments this week and those lessons went super well! They are so excited for their baptism! On Saturday we went over the baptismal interview questions with them and the first questions is, "Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?" Nick grew up atheist, so he didn't have a solid belief in God and Jesus Christ when we were first teaching them. But he answered that first question with, "If I didn't believe that (in God and Jesus Christ) I wouldn't be doing this (getting baptized)." His faith has grown so much and it's been so cool to see that happen! Crystal told us that in her interview President Stoker asked her why she decided to start coming to church and she said it was because of the church tour we did with them a while ago. She was hesitant to come to church before that, but being in the church helped her feel the spirit and want to come back. Ah they're so awesome!

On Tuesday we had MLC! I love MLC! President Stoker gave a great training on D&C 52:14-19. It teaches a pattern for us to follow to avoid being deceived (prayer, humility, and obedience). The promise if we follow this pattern is that we will develop spiritual gifts. President talked about how on our missions we develop habits and patterns of gospel living and we can't forget them when we go home. It's through these patterns that we become disciples of Jesus Christ and can endure to the end. 

In the Missionary Handbook it talks about how we endure to the end by keeping an eye single to the glory of God. I've pondered that phrase a lot this week. As a missionary it's so important to keep an eye single to the glory of God, to stay focused on our calling and purpose. Then the other day I read in D&C 24:7-9 and it talks about how we're blessed with strength when we devote ourselves to the Lord's work and our callings. "For thou shalt devote all they service in Zion; and in this thou shalt have strength. Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of they days. And in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not they calling. Attend to they calling and thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thine office..." I love that! If anyone else has some insights on keeping an eye single to the glory of God, please send them to me!

Wednesday-Thursday we had exchanges with the Manchester sisters and I got to go to Manchester with Sis. Bee! It was so much fun to be companions with her again! We had such a great exchange together! I love her so much! And I got to see some members from Manchester, so that was super fun!

We also saw Bro. MacAllen this week! We haven't seen him and his family in forever! We read 1 Nephi 8 (Lehi's vision) with them and it was so good! I love that chapter a lot! 

Oh my goodness it's been getting so cold this week! I'm not ready for winter haha! The fall colors are still so beautiful! I'm so thankful to be serving the Lord and the people of New England! I love this work and I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! Have a great week! Love you all!
Love, Sister Harper

MLC! Back row L to R: Sis. Holm, Sis. Innes, Sis. Eddington, Sis. Keown, Sis. Boyce, Sis. Pettingil. Front row L to R: me, Sis. Davis, Sis. Gillies, Sis. Danner.

Week 63: JSM!

I hope you all are doing well and enjoying fall! Oh my goodness the
colors here are so beautiful! I love fall in New England!

So this week was transfers. Sis. Davis and I got to go to transfer
meeting, even though we weren't getting transferred, because we're now
in a car share with the Elders. The Elders dropped their car off and
we gave them a ride home. This whole car share thing is going to be
interesting, because we cover 9 towns! But it'll all work out!
Transfer meeting was so awesome! At every transfer meeting the
missionaries going home give their "golden truth," or what they
learned on their mission that will change who they are forever. I love
hearing the golden truths! One elder said something I really liked,
"obedience is being an instrument in the Lord's hands, but being
consecrated is being the Lord's hands." So powerful and so true!

We had great lessons with Nick and Crystal this week! They're doing so
good and are so excited for their baptism! In one of their lessons
they were taking notes and writing down the scriptures we taught from!
Then the day after we taught the Word of Wisdom they texted us and
said, "Day one of no coffee. May we have something to read?" It's so
awesome how much they love the Book of Mormon!

Okay cool experience. Sis. Davis and I shared 1 Nephi 3:7 (And it came
to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the
things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth
no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way
for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.)
with Nick and Crystal when we taught the WOW and talked about how the
Lord will provide a way for them to live this commandment and how
prayer and scripture study will help them too. We brought our ward's
Relief Society president, Sis. Weech, with us to the lesson. Towards
the end of the lesson Sis. Davis asked Sis. Weech how the scriptures
and prayer have helped her. Sis. Weech started crying and said (now
this is all paraphrasing), "Just now when you sisters shared 1 Nephi
3:7. I've been stressed out lately with my church responsibilities. On
the way here I prayed that the Lord would give me comfort and
guidance, and that scripture provided just what I needed." It was so
cool to here that and made me feel so good! A lot of times it's
difficult to recognize spiritual prompting. A lot of times we don't
realize they're prompting until later. But it's so cool to see the
blessings that come from following the spirit! This experience
reminded me of a quote from Pres. Monson, "In the performance of our
responsibilities, I have learned that when we heed a silent prompting
and act upon it without delay, our Heavenly Father will guide our
footsteps and bless our lives and the lives of others. I know of no
experience more sweet or feeling more precious than to heed a
prompting only to discover that the Lord has answered another person’s
prayer through you."

Yesterday after church we went to the JSM with Nick and Crystal! It
was so awesome and they loved it! I love the JSM! The spirit is so
strong there and it's so beautiful! Every time I go my testimony of
Joseph Smith is strengthened. I know that he is a prophet of God, that
the gospel was restored through him, and that he translated Book of
Mormon by the power of God.

Elder Neal L. Anderson gave a great talk at the priesthood session
about faith and he talked a little about Joseph Smith. "Questions
concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith are not new. They have been hurled
by his critics since this work began. To those of faith who, looking
through the colored glasses of the 21st century, honestly question
events or statements of the Prophet Joseph from nearly 200 years ago,
may I share some friendly advice: For now, give Brother Joseph a
break! In a future day, you will have 100 times more information than
from all of today’s search engines combined, and it will come from our
all-knowing Father in Heaven. Consider the totality of Joseph’s
life--born in poverty and given little formal education, he translated
the Book of Mormon in less than 90 days. Tens of thousands of honest,
devoted men and women embraced the cause of the Restoration. At age
38, Joseph sealed his witness with his blood. I testify that Joseph
Smith was a prophet of God. Settle this in your mind, and move
forward!" Preach!

Well, that's all for this week. I love the Lord and I love this work!
I hope you all have a great week and I love you all!
Love, Sister Harper

Week 62: Conference, Baptism, No Transfer Call!!!

Wow what a great week it has been! And what a wonderful Conference we
had! I love General Conference, but oh my goodness I was so exhausted
afterwards! I loved the central theme of discipleship and repentance.
And we have 3 new apostles! They are going to be wonderful and I loved
their testimonies! I felt the spirit so strong when they were walking
down to take their place with the quorum. I know that they, and all
the others leaders of the church, and called of God and they will help
to lead and guide us in righteousness.

Okay so I've got some pretty exciting things to tell you about! First
is Nick and Crystal are getting baptized on November
1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They're super excited and we' re excited for them!
Their faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has grown so much!
They have such a sincere desire to change and to be baptized! I love
them so much! We asked Crystal about her testimony of the Book of
Mormon and she said that it brings so much joy into her life! It was
so cool to hear that! The Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus
Christ truly being so much joy! It is the only way to true and lasting

Another cool thing! We had exchanges with the Bedford sisters and I
was in Canterbury with Sis. Lee. We were together all day Thursday and
none of our appointments fell through! It was so awesome! We met with
a lot of less active members and had really good lessons with them! We
taught the stop smoking program to one sister and she's so excited! We
saw Sis. Brignano and Sis. Ryder! They're both so great and Sis. Ryder
is the sassiest lady ever! I love her!