Monday, May 5, 2014

Miracle of the Week

Awesome miracle of the week:

For some background: Our phone went caput a few weeks ago, and we had to get another one, so all of out contacts were lost. As a result, we get a lot of phone calls from numbers that we don't know. 


Fast forward to this week:


We were out in our area and stopped at a gas station to go to the bathroom (any guesses about who asked to stop? haha)


Sister Peterson and I were waiting for Sister Rogers, and I heard this music. For some reason it didn't register that it was our phone, and I missed the call.
I usually don't call or text people back...especially when I don't know the phone number. I'm awful, I know. haha.  But for some reason, I immediately called the phone number back to find out who it was.
This lady answered the phone and started saying that she called the wrong number and that she was trying to reach someone else, and that she was sorry for calling. So I told her that she was just fine and that it totally happens. Somehow, we ended up striking up a conversation. She asked what we did as missionaries, and a little bit about the church. 



We ended up teaching a whole lesson over the phone, complete with scriptures from the Book of Mormon.The timing of it was so perfect because we were able to talk about things that were happening in her life, and how the gospel can help her to have peace through trials. 


As it turns out, her neighbor is LDS, and has the missionaries over all the time. She said that usually when the missionaries knock on her door, she ignores it.
I asked her if she would want missionaries to come and talk to her and tell her more. She said yes!
We happened to know the Sisters that are in her area, so we called them up and they went and visited her. 


It was such a miracle! Everything had just lined up perfectly for that phone call. We probably wouldn't have had a conversation if I had just answered the phone the time that she called. Heavenly Father always has a plan!


We also had our exchanges this week! I went with Sister Jensen (my old companion from Loess Hills!) and Sister Rogers to the Ralston Area, and Sister Peterson stayed with Sister Seguin in Rockbrook.
Exchanges were SO fun! It honestly felt like I was just hanging out with my friends, but we were also doing missionary work, which makes it 10 times better!
On exchanges, we did service, talked to a LOT of people, and taught their awesome investigator that is getting baptized this weekend. It was SO great!

Those were the highlights of the week!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Easter!

Spring at Winter Quarters

Happy Easter!
I hope everyone had a great day.  We worked at the Trail Center, had church, and then had dinner at a member's house. He got us each Easter baskets filled with chocolate, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, zoo passes, a huge box of fruit, and gave us the leftovers from dinner. It was crazy! haha Then we just went out to try and visit some people.
I took a cool tour at the TC yesterday. Sister Hamilton and I took two architects on tour that work on temples for the church. That was sweet! I guess the church has like 7 or 8 firms that they hire to build temples. It was cool to hear a little bit about that and to compare it to building the Nauvoo temple (which took 5 years) and the Salt Lake City temple (which took 40 years). 


And here's a conversation from another dinner:
We were trying to share a thought and calm everyone down... One kid was running around in a cape.
Sister Peterson: "Hey, who's your favorite superhero?"
Kid: "Superman!!"
Sister Peterson: "Can I tell you about another superhero?"
Kid: "The Green Lantern?"
Sister Peterson: "Well, I was going to talk about your Dad"
Kid: "Dad's the Green Lantern??"

There was no getting it back from that point. From then on, Dad was the Green Lantern. Awesome.


Is everybody finishing up the Book of Mormon with me?  Let me know where you are!!

Here are a few pictures:
Our apartment the day I moved in.

Awesome member family

adorable little boy.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Things I Wish I'd Done Before I Got Here


Ok, so here are the things that I wish that I had done to prepare for my mission:
  • Study the Book of Mormon daily and gain a testimony of it
  • Go out with the missionaries
  • Study Preach My Gospel

Probably the first and biggest thing that I wish that I had done was read the Book of Mormon daily! I read it, but not consistently. I had a testimony of it, but it could have been so much stronger!
I have learned on my mission that no other amount of gospel study can replace studying the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth and it is a direct and powerful way to invite the Spirit into our lives. If we want to gain a testimony of any Gopsel principle, we need to read the Book of Mormon. If we want to stay converted to the Gospel, we need to read the Book of Mormon. It's kind of my go-to answer for pretty much every problem. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!

The next is go out with the missionaries! This can definitely seem scary.

What if you say the wrong thing? What if you can't say anything at all?

Don't worry about it!! We are all promised that we will be given the words to say exactly when we need it. Have faith in that promise! I have seen it fulfilled so many times. I can't even count all of the times on my mission when I have opened my mouth to talk and words came out that weren't mine at all.

I can't even say how important members are to the work. There is no point in missionaries being there if the members aren't going to participate. We as missionaries are here to help the members to do their missionary work, not the other way around.

The third thing that I wish that I had done was study Preach My Gospel. I think it was Elder Holland who said that Preach My Gospel was planned on one side of the veil and assembled on the other. (Something like that. Even if he didn't, it's still a cool thought and I wouldn't doubt it!)
It is SUCH an inspired manual. For anyone preparing to go on a mission, make it a habit to study! Especially the first three lessons that are in chapter 3.

I definitely recommend all of these for all members, not just ones preparing for a mission!!
"The decision to serve a mission will shape the spiritual destiny of the missionary, his or her spouse, and their posterity forgenerations to come. A desire to serve is a natural outcome of one’s conversion, worthiness, and preparation" Elder Russell M. Nelson

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lesson From a Four Year Old

I took an awesome tour this week! It was this cute little family. The parents were switching off watching the kids while the other one was in the temple. Sister Samuels and I went and walked around with them for a little bit.
They had this little boy that was SO cute!! He was almost 4, I think.
But we were walking around, and this cute kid knew a TON about the pioneers and the gallery.
He would push the buttons and start the program things, and tell us "Shhhhh! Be quiet while he's talking!" SO cute!

At one point in the tour, the Dad asked the little boy, "What do the pioneers do?"
I was expecting him to say something like, "They walk a lot" or "They have handcarts", but instead he said something pretty profound. He said, "They build temples! Kirtland, Nauvoo, and Salt Lake City."
Besides it being pretty much the cutest thing EVER, it was just so profound! And so true!

We focus a lot on the pioneers getting away from persecution, which definitely was a huge part of their exodus, but I think that we sometimes forget the reason why they did all that they did. 
They know that a prophet had been called again on the earth and that the original Gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored through him! 

As a direct result of that, they were able to make covenants, or promises with God, both through baptism and through partaking of the ordinances in the temple. They pioneers knew how much the temple would bless their lives. They knew without a doubt that they could be together forever with their families and that they could find peace and strength through their temple covenants.

I am SO thankful for the temple and for the peace that comes into my life because of it! I love to share this quote from President Thomas S. Monson on tour:
"Some degree of sacrifice has ever been associated with temple building and with temple attendance. Countless are those who have labored and struggled in order to obtain for themselves and for their families the blessings which are found in the temples of God.
Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple?

Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure. They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort."


I definitely know that this is true! Getting to the temple is worth every sacrifice that we could make to get there, and in turn we are blessed with more than we could have ever given up.

I am so thankful to serve here and I am thankful for the wonderful examples of the pioneers. They truly testify with us as we tell their stories!

PS I PROMISE that I am writing a "What I wish that I would have known/done before my mission" post! It's coming soon! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Typical Day!

Hello!
I got a letter this week that asked me all about my typical day as a missionary, and what are some things that I had done/wish that I would had done to prepare for my mission.
So, in response to that, I'm writing a blog post! :)

My typical day is a little bit weird in comparison to a regular missionary day because I get to serve at a Visitor's Center, but I'll definitely tell you all about a day in the life of Sister Harris!

A regular morning, when we aren't serving at the Trail Center looks like this:
6:30 Wake up, exercise
7:00 Get ready, eat breakfast
8:00 Personal Study
9:00 Companion Study
10:00 Book of Mormon study
10:30 Go out to the area!
If we serve at the Trail Center for the morning shift, we have to be there by 8:45 and we stay until 3. Then we do a shortened version of our studies afterwards. If we serve the afternoon shift, we go at 3:00 and stay until 9:00.

When we go out to the area, we usually try to have appointments instead of dropping in on people (because nobody likes that!) But we're basically up and going all day long, until we get home at 9:00 at night. We get an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner, but we try to have meal appointments with members as often as we can.
At 9:00 we plan our next day. We have a plan for every 1/2 hour with a back up plan for every time slot just in case something doesn't work out.
Then we have some time to unwind and get ready for bed. We are in bed by 10:30. Then it starts over again the next day!

Here are somethings that we do when we are in our area:

  • Go to appointments
  • Street Contact (Talk to everyone who is outside)
  • Try and meet everyone on our ward list (There are SO many who we don't know!)
  • Have member meals
  • See miracles!
  • Service
  • Tract (Knock on doors. We try to avoid this as much as possible...) 

At the Trail Center we give a lot of tours! It's finally starting to pick up, which is awesome! During the summer it gets super crazy. You're basically running around for 6 hours with no breaks. There were days when I didn't get a chance to sit down or eat, but didn't even realize it because we were so busy.

I LOVE giving tours! It can definitely be challenging because we don't give the same tour to everyone that comes in. It's totally up to us what we want to share with them, so we really have to pay attention to the Spirit so that we can know what to share with people. You have to get to know people and know their needs really fast. Anyone that says that Visitor's Center missionaries aren't "real missionaries" obviously hasn't had a school tour of 50 kids, 5 other tours, and an unexpected tour bus pull up in the parking lot before. And you have to teach a mix of the history and the gospel to each of their needs.

There are SO many ways to fulfill our purpose as missionaries!

Being a missionary is exhausting, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. There are days and weeks when it seems like absolutely EVERYTHING is going wrong! I have been pushed to my limit many times and have wondered if I could keep going.

And the truth is, I can't keep going by myself. I can't do anything without the Savior.

During all of my trials and hard times, I have learned to rely on Him. He has become my best friend. My relationship with Him and with Heavenly Father has grown SO much and has become more than I ever thought that it could be. The best part is that it can still keep growing!

Being a missionary is the best thing ever!! I can't think of anything else that I would rather be doing right now.

Wow. This turned out long. I'll do part 2 of what I wish that I had known/done to prepare for my mission next week!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Street Contacting May Not Be The most Effective Method Ever

 We had a baptism this week! It wasTristan, who committed to be baptized the night before I was transferred. I didn't know if I would be able to go, and it was super stressful getting there because we have to have a less active member or an investigator with us to be able to attend, but it all came together at the last second, so that was good.




But the baptism was incredible. The change that has happened in Tristan is unbelievable. He was already awesome, but he just glows now! I'm so thankful that I got to teach him.   It was a great day!

Things here are good! I love TP with Sister Samuels! We are mostly working on finding new investigators to teach...but when are we NOT working on that...  ( really? haha...)

Yesterday the weather was AWESOME (75 degrees!) so we walked a lot and did a ton of street contacting. Absolutely no one wanted to listen to our message, but we did get told that we were "some fiiiiiine ladies" a few times...haha awkward. What do you even say to that??

We found a new investigator named Byron, who as it turns out was more interested in us than in learning about the gospel. We actually got some semi-creepy texts, and when we tried to turn him over to the Elders it didn't go over so well. They are still going to try to teach him, though, so we'll see how it goes.
We also met this guy that was pretty anti, but he did tell us that he was 1/32 Lamb-anite. (I'm trying to spell that how he pronounced it)

And we have some less actives that we are working with who are progressing so much! After a lesson with one of them she called us and left the sweetest message on our phone about how much she wanted to come back and how she felt the Spirit when we were there. So that was pretty cool!

Have a great week!!



Friday, March 7, 2014

Tranquility Park Adventures

This week has been weird and crazy, but so good! Sister Samuels and I are both loving Tranquility Park! It's been an adventure every day!

Sister Bowles and Sister Harris
We had a super funny/depressing experience on Thursday. We were trying to find a less active, so we went and knocked on her door. She didn't answer, so we decided to try the neighbors and see if they knew her. We went across the street, and a man answered the door and started talking to us. During the whole conversation, he was going back and forth between laughing and being super angry at his wife who left him for the neighbor. It was super sad...and super awkward. But he kind of knew enough to tell us that the less active had moved out. He thought that his wife next door might know more, and he told us to go and ask her.
So we went next door, and ended up talking to his wife's boyfriend for a bit, but while we were talking their dog got out and started chasing the husband's cat around the yard and into the other neighbor's backyard. Pretty soon the whole family comes out and starts looking for the dog.

So, of course S. Samuels and I end up running around in people's yards calling for Marley...eventually we found her and brought her back to the house.
It turns out they didn't have any information for us and they weren't at all interested in the gospel. We got in the car and didn't know whether to laugh or cry...but at least it's a good story.

We did see some cool miracles, though!

Last Monday night we got in contact with two less actives who want to come back to church! The timing of it all was just amazing. We happened to walk up to one as she was getting home, so we got in and talked to her for a bit and she said that she would come to church this week! It's really cool because when missionaries had contacted them before, they didn't really want anything to do with it. It's cool to know that it took white washing the area and having missionaries that have no idea what's going on to have those kinds of miracles.
And, we had a super slow day at the TC the other day. You kind of start to go crazy on those days, because you can only study for so long, right?

So we were just messing around with one of the wheelchairs, and we wondered how long it would take me to get around the gallery in the wheelchair. This, of course, led to an epic tournament of wheelchair racing. Sister Barton won with 42.77 seconds.
It was sweet.

Hope everyone is doing well.  Have a great week - and read your Book of Mormon!
Here are pictures from the last Zone Conference:



Add caption


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello New Adventures!

Hey!
So as you may have heard, I got transferred!
I'm SO sad to leave Loess Hills! I really love it there and I just love those people so much. I grew a ton while I was serving there and I am so thankful for that time! Sister Jensen is training a new sister there, and I know that they will both be great!


I'm now serving in the Tranquility Park Ward! It's kind of weird, because I have been in the Council Bluffs Zone for my whole mission, and now I am in the Omaha West Zone! So it's definitely a change, but I am excited that I get to serve in Omaha!

My companion is Sister Samuels and I LOVE her! We are white washing, which means that we are both new to the area and therefore have absolutely no idea what's going on...but it's been so much fun so far! We had a ward party on Friday night, so that was a great way to meet a lot of people. And we've mostly just been going down the ward list trying to meet everyone on it...so far so good!

We are teaching active members as if they are investigators, if that makes sense. Like we are picking focus families to teach every week and just going through the discussions with them.

Yesterday, we were trying to meet a less active member, and we pulled up to the house at the same time that the delivery guy got there...awkwardness! But we decided that following the delivery guy around would be a good finding tool/good way to meet people, because who doesn't want to see the delivery guy? Haha. Anyway, I don't know if I can fully capture the awkwardness of the exchange over email.


Sister Samuels is hilarious!! She's just a super funny person, which makes everything fun. She really likes adventures and trying new things, especially if it's food related! I'm sure that we're going to find some hole in the wall food places and try them this transfer.



I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Transferred!

Wow! 2 posts in one week! This one comes via a friend in Lucy's ward, Ashley. She writes:


Just FYI, Sister Harris is being transferred! She is assigned to the Tranquility Park ward in West Omaha! This is her old area....We had a couple of lessons tonight & saw some of her favorite people. She will officially be in her new area tomorrow morning! Sister Jensen is training a brand new sister & Sister Harris is going to Sister Jensen's last area. Kinda cool! So, she has been filling her in on things! I am so sad to see her go! Love that girl so much!

Ashley and Sister Harris
Sister Harris wanted me to send these pictures to you & ask that you post them to her blog. She set a date tonight for Tristan to be baptized on March 8th! 

Sister Harris and Tristan

Also - Don't forget to comment in and tell how you are doing in your Book of Mormon Reading.  She is wondering if people are going to finish strong with her in May!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cross My Heart, Yes I Will



This week was great!!

We had a 7 course meal! It was crazy and SO good! There's this med student at the clinic that the sisters serve at and I guess he used to be a chef, and he made us a 7 course meal. It was only a few companionships of sisters, but it was way fun. I'll have to get some pictures to send next week. Sister Hamilton took a picture of every course.

We went to try teaching this less active member, and we walked up to his house and knocked on the door. It was kind of dark, so the person came to the door, turned on the light, looked through the peep hole on the door and turned the light back off and walked away...it was pretty awkward and funny. We knocked again, and walked down the driveway and turned around to see the curtains shutting. Eek! I guess they weren't ready yet.


We asked our investigator, Tristan to bear his testimony and it was AWESOME. He started off saying, "I believe that this is true", then at the end he paused and said, "I know this is true". The Spirit was so strong. He's getting baptized in March! I'm SO excited for him.


We also met a girl from Cameroon (However you spell that!) She said that we could come back this week and talk to her!
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This video is of us with Aaron, who just got baptized. This is what he would say when we asked him to do anything:

video

It's been a great week! I'm so thankful to be here.

I want to hear how everyone's Book of Mormon reading is going!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How's Your Book of Mormon Challenge Going??

Hey! How's everyone doing?? I hope that everything is going well! I hope that people are still reading the Book of Mormon and are on target to finish by May! It is seriously the best book ever. I know that everyone can come closer to God by reading it. I have definitely felt that as I have studied it more seriously!

So I just wanted to challenge everyone that is doing the Book of Mormon challenge to watch a talk.

It's Elder Holland's talk (so you know it's good...) from October 2009 General Conference called "Safety for the Soul". It's an amazing talk all about the Book of Mormon.



I definitely can't testify as powerfully as Elder Holland can, but I want to add my testimony to his, that the Book of Mormon is true! I know that it is without a doubt in my mind. I have felt the power of the Book of Mormon in my life as I have studied it. I know that anyone who sincerely reads it and prays about it can know that it is true! This book has changed my life. I KNOW that it can change yours.

There is a great promise at the end of the book that says:

"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."
Please put this promise to the test! I know that everyone will get an answer that asks. Our answers might not all be the same, there might not be huge displays of fireworks, angels probably won't be singing the hosanna chorus, and chances are you probably won't faint out of pure joy, but you will get an answer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Darkest Week of the Mission (but in a good way)

Sister Harris with Sister Jensen and Hermana Cline 
we got to do some training, and it was great!
Hope everyone is doing well and staying warm!

 Some things about our week:
-On Monday night for our FHE we learned self defense! It was super funny....and I was really really bad at it! But it was still good.
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-On Tuesday we were at the TC all day. We were on chat in the morning. It was ok. We had a TON of trollers from Romania, of all places. And we talked to a guy from India, and another one from England. Most of our chats weren't so great, and we were almost ready to get off, but then we got a person who was really sincere! He started off kind of rude, but as the conversation progressed and especially as we bore testimony to him he got more and more kind and sincere. Our testimonies are the coolest things ever!!
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-Thursday was the CRAZIEST day ever! We somehow overbooked ourselves on appointments, so we went on splits. Sister Jensen went with Ashley, and I went with a cute girl that goes to Iowa Western named Nicole. It was way fun and we got a lot done! Ashley and Sister Jensen saw Aaron and taught him, and Nicole and I taught a new investigator, who also goes to Iowa Western. Then we met up at the end and had another lesson with another investigator. It was AWESOME!! haha
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-I can't remember if I wrote about her before, but we met this woman that had just lost her husband to a long battle with cancer. The first time we met her was on the street and we just started talking to her. We gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and she said that we could stop by again sometime, so we stopped by this week. It was really cool to watch her open up to us again. She was super hesitant when we first saw her, and slowly got more and more open the longer we talked with her. Our lesson ended with her telling us that she really liked talking to us and that she wanted us to come back again soon. We also gave her a Book of Mormon and she said that she would read it. I love watching the Spirit work on people and soften their hearts!
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-Aaron got baptized on Saturday!! It was so fun! S. Jensen and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. While we were talking he kept saying, "Cross my heart yes!" every time we said something that he was excited about. Cute kid! It took him forever to get in the water because he kept talking to Chris (the guy that was baptizing him). The whole room could hear everything that he was saying. It was hilarious! Something like, "And then I'm going to my mom's house tonight and I'm going to church tomorrow, where I'll get the Holy Ghost! I have to put my earplugs in before I get baptized, or else I won't be able to hear!" But it went on forever. It was SO funny!

-Just FYI during the Superbowl isn't the greatest to be knocking on doors...We had a few spare minutes, so we knocked on a potential's door and he answered and said, "Uhhh, you guys know it's the Superbowl...right?" It was actually pretty funny, so that's good.
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-The lights in the gallery of the Trail Center stopped working for like two days, and I ended up giving some tours in the dark. This week will forever be known as the darkest of my mission. haha!
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I hope everyone is doing well.  Tell everyone I love them!