Monday, December 30, 2013

Book of Mormon Challenge!


I honestly don't even know how to start this. I kind of stole this idea from another Sister who is serving here. I thought that it was brilliant, so I'm extending the challenge to all of you!
Ok. Here it is, plain and simple: The Book of Mormon has changed my life. I can't even tell you how much I have grown to love it over the course of my mission. I wanted to invite everyone who reads this to read the whole Book of Mormon by May. If you start in January it averages to about 3-4 pages a day. I know that it can change your life too!
I wanted to echo a promise made by President Ezra Taft Benson about reading the Book of Mormon:
"The moment you begin a serious study of [the Book of Mormon, you] will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. … When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance”
I know that this is all true! The reason? The Book of Mormon will help everyone to come closer to the Savior. It will help us all to more fully access the Atonement, which allows each of us to do the hard things that we are called to do!
I know that anyone who takes this challenge will come closer to the Savior and have the increased ability to do hard things!

Oh! And will you all tell me what you are learning from your studies? I would love to hear each of your insights!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Time

Merry Christmas!  First I want to tell everyone who sent testimony stories thank you!  I LOVE them!! They are so fun to read! I love reading stories of how others have gained their testimonies. I bet that it was really fun to put together! 
 
I'm not totally sure about Christmas plans...we got invited somewhere for Christmas eve, so that'll be good!! And then after dinner we are having a party at the TC. And we are sleeping over at the TC that night, too!! (Which has basically been the dream of my mission, so that's awesome!) Then we're all opening presents together and having a big breakfast with everyone... And they have assigned times going all day so that everyone can be able to skype with their families. Some people are doing it at members houses I think.
 
I'm glad that you saw the zone conference picture! It was a fun day!
 
 
 
I'm good! I LOVE Sister Jensen. I was excited when I found out that we were going to be companions! But the first day that we were together it became obvious how different we were. We are SOO opposite in pretty much everything. I prayed that night and told Heavenly Father that I knew that He had a plan for me and for her, but I just wasn't sure what He was thinking putting us together! haha But we really have become so unified over these past few weeks!  Sister Jensen is helping me to become the missionary that Heavenly Father needs me to be, and I hope that I am doing the same for her! I just love her so much. She is becoming one of my best friends! I have learned so much about loving people and learning to work with people that are super different from me. 
 
Our area is good too. It's been a pretty tough week, though. Mostly because our whole ward is out of town for the break! We haven't been able to see the girl I told you about last week.  :( I have really learned on my mission that faith produces miracles and that miracles don't produce faith. Experiences like that are SO cool to have! But so much of the time they are only testimony building experiences for me and my companion, and not for the person that we see. Strong testimonies are built on the little things that we do daily (which is probably why they are the hardest things to do!)
 
So we are having a hard time figuring out what to do with ourselves, but it's been good for us. We have really been able to help each other. I have realized that having hard times help us to fulfill our covenants. I have been able to both comfort others when they are having a tough time and to be comforted when I am having a tough time. It's been a time of learning and growing for sure!
 
Love to everybody, and Merry Christmas!


 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cool Experience

Ok a cool experience that we had this week!

So we had some extra time one day and we decided that we'd go and try some former investigators in this apartment complex. We went and were trying people and most of them had moved out and young families had moved in. But we talked to some awesome people and gave out a Book of Mormon, so that was good! 

We went to the last door that we had to try, and we knocked on it. A dog inside started barking like CRAZY! So we waited for a minute, and I started to leave. (Ususally when a dog barks, you assume that either people aren't home, or they are home, they hear you, and just don't want to talk to you) Sister Jensen said, "Wait! Let's knock again!" So we knocked again and waited a minute. No one came to the door, so we headed down the stairs to leave. Then the door opened! We ran up to see who answered. It happened to be a young single adult (which is so crazy because a lot of the time when we find people they're married so we have to turn them over to the family ward missionaries) 
She said, "This is the weirdest thing because I was just praying for people to come!" She invited us in and we taught a lesson. She's awesome and invited us back! It was SO cool! 
It's such a testimony to me that Heavenly Father hears each of our individual prayers and answers them! He knows us all so personally and he answers our prayers in exactly the way that we need them to be answered. Sometimes the answer is missionaries knocking on your door when you were just praying for someone to come. Sometimes the answer is knocking on someone's door at exactly the right time and finding someone who is SO prepared to hear the gospel. And sometimes the answers don't come at all in the way that you want them to. But I know that the answers come! I have seen that so much in my life and especially on my mission!
Sister Jensen and Sister Harris

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

#lovemycalling

This week has been awesome!! 
Jake got baptized, which was the best thing ever! And he now has the priesthood :) yay! It's been so cool to see him change over the past few months. He really is a completely different person. Sister Farnsworth didn't get to attend as we had hoped.  :( She was sad about it, but we took pictures!


 Our recent convert Chris got called as a ward missionary! He taught the gospel principles class and it was awesome! And then our Southern Utah friend came to church again and we're seeing him this week! I'm SO excited! It's hard to catch him because it's finals, so everyone is busy. He's also going home for Christmas, so we won't be able to see him for a while. Dang it!

 It really is so amazing to see the gospel help people and to see people change. I think that's been the highlight of my mission. No matter who you are or what you're going through, the gospel can help you! The atonement covers us all, no matter what. It's the solution to every problem and the answer to every question. I'm so thankful for the gift of the atonement!

It's been a fantastic week! We're really just working a lot with the ward and trying to get to know everyone. That's the nice part about having a smaller ward. It makes it pretty easy to get around to everyone! 

I'm so thankful to be a missionary and I'm SO thankful that I get to serve in Nebraska and Iowa!! Seriously, best mission ever!!
 Sister Harris


Monday, December 2, 2013

December Already

I'm doing great!! Thanksgiving was awesome! We were at the Trail Center. I got to take all of the new missionaries on tour, and then we just had a giant party there. The pie I made was great! I wish that I had taken a picture of it. It was beautiful though :)

After dinner we watched Ephriam's Rescue. It was so fun! It was kind of funny because all of the new missionaries were upstairs having a testimony meeting and we were downstairs watching a movie... Good times!

I got a new coat last week! THANK YOU SO MUCH! It's super warm and nice :)
I also got a new companion! I'm still in Loess Hills and my companion is Sister Jensen! She's awesome! She's been out about 9 months, so she came out at the same time as Sister Bowles. 

We're still teaching Jacob! He has his baptismal interview today and is getting baptized on Saturday!! SO excited for him! He is so prepared.

We've found some new investigators and there are some members of our ward who have friends who are ready to learn!!
 
So there's this community college in our area and a bunch of the members of our ward are from Utah and they come to Iowa to play soccer at the college. (They actually just won nationals! Yay!) But they are all awesome and SO fun! They are all so willing to have us come over and visit them and to introduce us to their friends. There are two friends in particular that we have been trying to get to know and who are totally ready to be taught. One is a kid from St. George, Utah. We'd met him a few times, but for some reason we never really wanted to push anything with him, we just wanted to be there and to be his friend.

So yesterday we were sitting there during sacrament meeting and he gets up to the pulpit. He said something like, "I'm not a member of your church, but I just felt like getting up and speaking. I've been around Mormons my whole life and I've always felt pushed to learn about your religion. I never really wanted to. I just wanted to thank you all for being my friends and for being there for me. Now I really want to know for myself if this is true. I'm ready to find out." What the heck? Our Bishop's face was priceless...I'm sure that mine was too! Anyways, we're hopefully going to be meeting with him this week!


It's so cool how the Spirit works with people to help to prepare them for the gospel. I'm thankful that we didn't push anything and that we just let the Spirit work!

Singing at Thanksgiving 

Since we are in a singles ward we usually cook dinner on our own.  Occasionally someone takes us out to dinner, and there is a member of our bishopric that is always buying us gift cards to places,  but usually we are at home.  
If anyone has ideas for cheap/easy/healthy dinners, we could use them! 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

We did a small little concert for the opening of Gingerbread. FUN!
This week was awesome!
Gingerbread opened this week!! It was so great! And super busy. For the opening we had a ribbon cutting ceremony and the Mayor of Omaha came and cut the ribbon, so that was cool! 


There are SO many amazing houses there!


 
The exhibit our ward did is over at the Kanesville Tabernacle. I will have to get a picture of it. It was actually the race track from Wreck it Ralph! And funnily enough, that's been the theme of my dreams for the past few nights. Kind of scary, actually.  haha
 
 
Gingerbread is such a great missionary tool for us.  We have Joy to the World playing in the theater on a loop and cards that people can fill out to learn more. It's awesome! It brings so many people in every year!
 


 
We also went on exchanges! I was with Sister Brough (pronounced Bruff) in Loess Hills. It was SO fun! It was kind of cool because I was talking to her about following the Spirit and learning to follow the spirit more. We had like an hour of time and we were trying to figure out what to do and I felt like we should go to this apartment complex. So we drove there, and I felt like it was wrong. Then another name popped into my mind, and we went and tried him. Nobody was home. So then, we prayed. Another apartment complex came to my mind, so we went there. It was kind of funny because we had planned to go there a little bit later in the day, but for some reason I wanted to go right then, so we went. 
 
We tried some potentials in the complex, and I just felt to go and walk around the building. As we were walking we saw this guy going out to his car. He was awesome and totally interested! He took a Book of Mormon and said that he would read it and that we could come back any time. 
video
It reminded me so much of the "Wrong Roads" Mormon Message.
 



 It's so amazing to me how Heavenly Father helps us to know not only where we need to be, but he helps us to be sure that we're supposed to be there. That's definitely how I felt that day!

For Thanksgiving this week we are either going to a member of our old bishoprics house or eating at the TC. And yep! I'm bringing a Swedish Apple pie!! I'm seriously so excited to make a pie!!! It's going to be awesome!
 
Also, I want to go and buy a coat today. One that's more wind resistant. It might be kind of expensive. Maybe that could be an early Christmas present. 
 
Anyway,I am so grateful for my mission and for everyone who has been so supportive! Tell everyone I love them and Happy Thanksgiving! 
 
 
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Almost time for Gingerbread!

Hey everyone!

This has been a crazy and awesome week!! Some awesome things that happened this week:



It’s time for gingerbread!! Basically everyone in surrounding areas submits gingerbread houses to be displayed in the basement of the Trail Center. It gets pretty intense…. But I guess it’s a GREAT missionary opportunity. Last year 25,000 people came to the TC to see the gingerbread! I’m so excited! We’re decorating today and we’ve already gotten some gingerbread houses. 


We got in contact this week with this less active who is awesome! After we met with him, he sent us a text that thanked us for reaching out and he promised that he would come to church. He came! It was so good and I think that he really liked being there. There are so many people that just need someone to reach out to them and to love them. It was cool to see that first hand!
Another awesome part was our investigator making us pinky promise that we would be friends forever! Love that kid so much!

We also met someone named Shamar. Sweet! He's super funny and had lots of questions about Joseph Smith, so we're meeting later this week.


Another super funny thing, the other day, there was this cute sister just walking around and innocently singing a song under her breath. It was definitely not a church song, so we pointed it out to her and she was like, "Nu uh! That's a church song!" Sister Farnsworth said, "No. That's Usher." We died laughing! It's so funny how things kind of blend together like that. (It was Confessions, for those of you who were wondering)


Oh! And thank you so much for your testimonies! I loved getting to read all of them and getting to feel the strength that comes from bearing testimony. Because you were all so nice and sent me your testimony, I wanted to share mine with you!

I kind of don’t even know where to start with it... There is so much to say! 

The decision that I made to go on a mission has been the best decision of my life. I have truly been changed and I will never be the same person again. I have had the opportunity to watch people change through of the atonement of Jesus Christ. That’s the only way that true change is possible! Our Savior’s sacrifice for us makes us possible to overcome all. We can overcome sin, death, and every hard thing that confronts us. I know that He knows each of us personally and loves us more than we could ever know. I am so thankful for the chance that I have to share this with everyone!

Love you all!
Sister Harris

PS I'm still in the process of replying to all of my birthday letters! Sorry if it's taking a while. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you!




Lots and lots of service opportunities!



Monday, November 11, 2013

Sharing the Love


Hello!
This week has been great!! I am SO thankful that I get to be a missionary!!! 
This week we heard a story about our recent convert Chris from some of the sisters that serve with us at the Trail Center. 

They were teaching an investigator in the hallway of an apartment complex and Chris happened to walk past. He looked at them, gasped, and ran away. The sisters were super confused.(because who wouldn't be, right?)  But a few minutes later, he came back with his quad, his baptismal certificate, his Aaronic priesthood certificate, and a Book of Mormon. He shared his favorite scripture with them and gave their investigator the Book of Mormon. Probably the best story ever! He's kind of my favorite person on this planet. I felt like a proud parent when I heard that story! haha Love that kid. 


 
That's Jacob, our investigator's snake!
  


Just thought that I'd share that with you!! SO great! Sister Farns is good. Still really sick. But what can you do?
Love you! Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Best Birthday Ever!

Ok. So I think for every single email of my mission I've promised to send a super long one the next week...so here's the long email that I promised!!!


I'll start with some of the highlights of the week:

-First off, it was my birthday!! It was a great day. I got a ton of letters, and a couple of packages, which were amazing! It was so fun. The best part I think was that our zone got to go to the temple! Best. Birthday. Ever!! haha It was wonderful to go and feel the spirit so strong! Sister Farnsworth was SO sweet and bought me breakfast and dinner. And she got me a super cute scarf! (I kind of have the best companion! haha) 
goofing around
Our neighbor Ashley decorated our apartment while we were gone with signs and balloons.   She's so sweet!
"22 things I love about Sister Harris"
"#1 I love your beautiful, million-dollar smile!"


We also had some lessons with Chris, our recent convert, and with Jacob our investigator. I think that the best part of the birthday was not focusing on myself all day. It was so fun for me to just go and help other people!
Chris with his priesthood certificate
Jacob in his new suit

-Another highlight: Zone conference was this week! We drove to Sioux City and had our conference with the Sioux City Zone. It was awesome!! We had this really great training about the "Loser List" again. (What Elder Robbins talked about when he was here.) Basically it was all about being accountable for ourselves. When we are on the "Loser List" we do things to put off responsibility like blame, have self-pity, run, hide, procrastinate, etc. Instead we need to take 100% responsibility so that we can have 100% control over our lives. Here's a quote from Elder Robbins that I LOVED,

"We are not free because we can choose. We are free because we have chosen wisely".

It was a great zone conference!


-The Plattsmouth Sisters (Sister Huss and Sister Wagher) told me this story about someone that we met while I was serving in Plattsmouth. 
So there was this gas station that Sister Huss and I would stop at all the time so that we could go to the bathroom. We eventually started being friends with a lady that worked there. We would have lots of conversations and she was always super nice. So this week I asked the Sisters about her and they just looked at each other and busted up laughing. They told me that the past week they were there and they started talking to her. She mentioned that she would like to learn more about our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. So they, of course, were really excited! The Sisters went out to the car and grabbed a mormon.org card and a Book of Mormon to give to her. They went back in and gave her the card and tried to give her the Book of Mormon, but when she saw it she looked around the store and got really quiet (as if she didn't want to offend anyone) and said, "Oh, I don't want to be mean, but I don't really like Mormons." 
hahaha SO funny!

We had a party  here for Halloween! It was so FUN! We watched 17 miracles and people dressed up! I ended up being a Christmas tree and wrapping myself in Christmas lights and putting a star on top of my head.

Here are a few more pictures just for fun:

I call this one "broken cookies".

Helping at the church
really?  Come on Nebraska!
Tell everyone I love them and thank you for all the amazing birthday wishes, packages, and testimonies!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Birthday Picture!

Thanks to Lucy's ward member and neighbor Ashley, I got treated to a real-time birthday picture today! Ashley says Lucy is having a great day, and even gets to go to the temple this afternoon. 

 Sure do love this birthday girl.



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Patch!

This week was GREAT!! We have an awesome investigator who set himself for baptism last night. We haven't really taught the WOW to him, but he's already started living it. He loves the Book of Mormon and reads everyday. Hes awesome and super solid!!I think the best part was finding out that he gave up chocolate because he wasn't sure if it was allowed because of the caffeine in it. I think that he's more dedicated than I am! We set it all straight though. haha

Working at the Trail Center with Sister Bowles


 The visitors center is awesome! I took an awesome tour this week! It was with two men from California, but they were originally from Korea. One was a life long member and the other was a convert. He is getting ready to be sealed to his family next month! It was so cool to get to testify about temples and temple blessings. I asked them towards the end of the tour how the Book of Mormon influences their lives and one said something that I will never forget. He got really quiet and then said with so much reverence in his voice, "I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon. It has changed me." It was so cool and the spirit was so strong! I will never forget it.




Going out to dinner with a ward member








You asked about my birthday. Ummmm...I dont know...This is kind of cheezy, but I want everyone to write down their testimony and to send it to me :)









Today we went to Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, Nebraska. It was pretty legit!  It's about 30-40 minutes away, so we got some senior couples to drive us out :)








Since you asked about where I live, I live in a house in Council Bluffs! Council Bluffs is the WEIRDEST place ever. But I love it! The other day we were driving home and I saw a bathtub in someone's front yard. And it was normal. That about sums Council Bluffs up. haha it's way goofy and we meet the craziest people. It's SO fun! I'll take some pictures of places around Council Bluffs and send them next week!


(Note from Randi - I received this surprise "video" and thought blog visitors might enjoy hearing it:)

video

Monday, October 7, 2013

Miracles and Dominos


Sister Harris and Sister Farnsworth

Conference was AWESOME!!! Oh my gosh, best thing ever! We didn't get to watch priesthood :( But I'll get to read the talks in the Ensign, so that's good! I LOOVED Elder Hollands talk! So perfect! I was seriously freaking out during it. I also really loved Elder Nelson's talk during the Sunday afternoon session (I think?) I love that he talked about how the Spirit is an eternal entity, and how we were chosen to be here now because of the spiritual attributes that we displayed before the earth life. Pretty cool. I also loved that he said, "Sin is always sin to God, even if it is legalized by man". That's not the exact quote, but I love it! God is unchanging and of course His standards would never change either, even if ours as human beings do!


We got a little bit of snow last week, but not enough to stick to the ground. It was mostly rainy for a day or two.  My coat would be awesome! It's starting to get a little bit chilly here. 

I thought of something that I need! Do we have an extra GPS somewhere? If not it's totally fine. I was just wondering :)

So a cool miracle of this week:
I can't remember if I told you about Susan ever, but she was someone that I found and taught a little bit in Bellevue First! Then I got transferred to Plattsmouth and the Sisters in Bellevue kept teaching her. She moved away to North Carolina a little bit ago and I found out that she got baptized!! Super exciting! But this week, I walked into the Trail Center to watch conference and there was Susan, sitting there! She moved back to Nebraska because she felt like she needed to be here. It was so cool to see her and talk to her a little bit! It turns out that her kids living at home got baptized too! And one of the boys that wasn't living at home met with the missionaries, got baptized, and is getting ready to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood! SO cool! It's so cool to get to see the domino effect of one person's decision. The decisions that we make, whether good or bad truly effect everyone else around us! I hope that we all choose to make good decisions!

I LOOVE the pictures of Estes Park! And I love the video of Mary and Yogi playing the piano. Hows Mary doing anyways? And Hannah and Andrew going to the temple?

I heard from Brandon this week! That was the BEST!! I don't hear from Hannah though... and it's been a few weeks since I've heard from Mary...
At least you didn't forget about me! haha

I pray for you every day too! And prayer roll too, when I get the chance. 

I really am feeling a ton better, which is good.  My headaches are SOOO much better.  Switching meds was HARD, but I really am doing better.
It was so fun to talk to you!! Have a great week! Love you so much!!
Sister Harris

The 2 Sister Harris' working in the NOM right now!

Training meeting musical number  --The Olive Tree with Sister Hanks and Sister Peterson.
 I also sang a Kenneth Cope song by myself.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back to the Trail Center!

Sooo update on transferrs!
I got transferred out of Plattsmouth! :( It's very bittersweet, because I get to go back to the Trail Center (YAY!!) But I also have to leave Plattsmouth (NO!!). Anyway, it's been good so far!

I'm serving in the Loess Hills YSA Ward, and my comp is Sister Farnsworth! She's been out about a year and I love her to pieces! It's been weird to have her as a companion though, because we have literally both trained new missionaries our whole missions, so we kind of don't know what to do with each other because neither of us are new!



I was definitely shocked to be going to a singles ward, because I had just been telling Sister Huss like two weeks ago that the one place that I would never in a million years want to serve was a singles ward...haha jokes on me! Heavenly Father has the best sense of humor ever!

It's also been a shock because I moved from Louisville, Nebraksa, where you have to drive through 15 minutes of corn fields to get anywhere and the nearest walmart is 30 minutes away, to Council Bluffs, Iowa. People. Are. EVERYWHERE! There are so many people and buildings and people. It's crazy! Did I mention all of the people? I don't think that I've seen a single corn field in days!

But I LOVE it so far! It's super crazy because we cover the whole Council Bluffs Stake, which is huge!! It's really hard to know where to go and what to do because there is just SO MUCH! But it's been great so far :) AND it's cool because we cover both Bellevue 1st and Plattsmouth, so I can spend some time in both of my old areas if we have people to teach there :)

We are teaching a man named Chris who is partially deaf. S. Farns speaks some sign language and I'm picking up bits here and there, so it's fun! We decided that we are going to start signing in our apartment so that I can learn more and more. Oh, and also Chris is getting baptized on Saturday! We're SUPER excited, because he's amazing and really prepared. Yay!


Ummm I don't know what else. Our apartment was built for really tall people, because I can't reach anything in it! Seriously. I can't even see in the bathroom mirror. It's pathetic. I'll send pictures next week.

Sister Farnsworth blogs too.  Here is the first paragraph from her blog last week:
"I am still a little in shock from transfers. My cute Sister Jones got transferred out of the area and is opening a new area for full proselyting sisters and is training a new misisonary named Sister Mccauley. She is darling! Sister Harris got transferred in which was a SHOCK for both of us because we have both trained every transfer that we weren't being trained. She has been out 9 months and is from Littleton, Colorado, and we still just keep looking at each other like IS THIS REAL!? We are such good friends, and we have seen incredible miracles already. She is an incredible missionary and has so much faith. She is already loving the area and the ward, and is even having me teach her some sign language to help her teach Chris. I LOVE HER."




It was actually really funny, the other day I walked into the TC and this cute new Sister sees me and says, "I followed two blogs of missionaries in Nebraska, and now you're companions! How crazy is that?!" It made me so happy that someone was looking at my blog :)

Sister Farns, Sister Harris, and Sister Jasper

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Half Way Already?

It's hard to believe that I will hit the half way point of my mission in only two days! Did I really enter the MTC 9 months ago? 
I can't even believe how much I have changed on my mission. I have really learned more about the power of the Atonement to change people. I have talked to so many people and wondered how best to help them in their difficult circumstances. I have seen and heard so many heart breaking things that have happened to people that I have grown to love. 

.

When I think about sad things, a line from Preach My Gospel comes to mind. It says, "All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ". 
.
 
I know that this is true! The Savior truly paid for everything that we will ever go through. He knows and understands everything. It's amazing to me that all that He ever asks for is for us to do our best to become like Him and our Heavenly Father. 





I have definitely seen this in my life and in the lives of people that we get to teach as well!