Wow can you believe Christmas is on Friday? I sure can't! It's going to be a great Christmas! I'm super excited, especially to talk to my family! It's my last Skype before I go home, crazy!
We've had a great week! We've been so busy! My voice was gone at the beginning of this week so that was super sad! But it's back now, yay! We had zone conference on Tuesday and it was awesome! President Stoker gave a great training on the differences between sin and weakness.
Sin--willful disobedience, encouraged by Satan, knowingly breaking God's commandments, leads us away from God, choice to trust Satan over God, Christ didn't have sin, overcome through repentance and forgiveness, we are cleansed and redeemed
Weakness--human limitations, mortal nature, fatigue, physical or mental illness, death, leads us closer to God, Christ had weakness, God will accept us with our weakness, overcome through humility and faith in Christ and the grace of God, we are strengthened and enabled
How to Access the Enabling Power of the Atonement
1) Pray--distinguish sin from weakness, ask for help
2) Ponder--scripture study and listen to the spirit
3) Plan--set goals, more than desire and discipline
4) Prioritize--decide what is most important now
5) Patterns--establish holy habits, righteous routines
6) Patience--keep trying, don't give up, be humble
President Stoker also announced the new mission vision for 2016 which is to have every member or family have an individual or family (nonmember or less active) in their home to be taught by the missionaries. We're going to start teaching the members the missionary lessons so that they'll be prepared to help us teach when their friends come over. We're super excited for this new vision! I know we'll see a lot of success from it!
At the end of zone conference we had a Christmas talent show and it was so good! I was really glad I didn't sign up to sing because my voice was totally gone that day! But I did get to play the piano for some interlude songs we had, so that was fun! After zone conference we had exchanges with the Lyndon sisters and I went to Lyndon with Sis. Hamilton. We had a good exchange! We did some service, saw an investigator and a less active.
Sis. Harward and I have had a lot of success with less actives this week! We had 11 less active lessons! And a few of them are progressing! Yay!
Crazy story! We knocked on a less actives door and we heard someone calming the dogs down and coming towards the door, but no one opened the door. Then all of a sudden these lights came on and weird Christmas music started playing! Okay, I just read through this paragraph and it doesn't sound that weird, but seriously it was so creepy! We felt like we were in a horror movie haha! So yeah, we got out of there real quick like!
On Saturday morning we went out tracting and we showed "A Savior is Born" to this cute little family. After the video we asked the kids if they knew why we celebrate Christmas. They said no, then we asked if they knew who Jesus Christ was, and they didn't. That was so sad! This experience made me so grateful for my parents and primary teachers for teaching me that I am a child of God and Jesus Christ is my Savior.
Saturday evening we were going around contacting more less actives and then we got a call from the South Royalton sisters. They had so many people at the Joseph Smith Memorial that night and needed extra help and asked us if we would come, so we did! We got to be visitor's center missionaries for the night! Visitor center missionaries don't have to be with their companion as long as they're with a group of visitors. It was super weird not being with Sis. Harward! I played some Christmas songs on the piano for a bit there, and some people came up behind me and started singing along! That was super fun! There were a lot of people there and most of them were nonmembers! Towards the end of the night there was a family there walking around and looking at the different picture and stuff. They started looking at the big timeline of Joseph Smith's life and the dad, John, said, "Wow, Joseph Smith saw God?!" Yeah he did! I got to teach them the restoration and it was such a great experience! The spirit was so strong as I quoted the first vision! John said he was feeling goosebumps! That's the spirit! He said that he's worked at the JSM before on various projects and he felt a very peaceful feeling while he was here. That's the spirit! They accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and agreed to have missionaries come over. They live in the South Royalton sisters area, so hopefully they have success with this family! It was so great to be at the JSM that night! I love the spirit that's there! I hope all of you have the opportunity to go there someday!
I'm so grateful for this beautiful Christmas season we have to remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior! I wish you all a very merry Christmas! Love you all!
Love, Sister Harper
at zone conference, back row l to r: Sis. Lewis, Sis. O'Bryant, Sis. Dastrup; front row l to r: Sis. Hallam, Sis. Bee, me, Sis. Harward, Sis. Bishop
lights at the JSM!
Sis. Harward and I at the JSM
singing and playing at the JSM