Friday, August 30, 2013

Ola!  So I hope you all got the letter I sent.  This first week, especially the first few days was crazy trying to figure things out, like where the classroom was. haha  but I have the sweetest companion, and now two companions.  Sister Skousen in our District got her visa already and was sent to the Brazil MTC on Tuesday, so Sister Briggs, Sister Jackson and I are a threesome :)  It's pretty fun and they're really awesome.  We've been having fun getting to know each other.  They are super supportive.  They are so talkative and hilarious it's almost hard to keep up! baha but the Lord definitely had me in mind when he set this companionship up.  They're helping me to loosen up and really enjoy being here.  Technically I'm the Senior Companion, but it doesn't feel like it because we're all at the same level.  I'll figure it out eventually. I mean it's only been a week!  We're all learning how to plan, because seriously, I've never done this in my whole life (obviously) so planning specifically what to study and when is challenging, but I can already see how much more effective study time becomes when we think it through before hand.

We've already had the awesome experience of teaching an "investigator" (really an MTC teacher just dressed normal) three lessons which had to be completely in Portuguese.  Crazy right?  Spanish has been helping me so much! but kinda tricking me too because Portuguese is definitely pronounced a little differently. After the first lesson we did, we came back to our classroom laughing because we stumbled the whole way through, I introduced myself as Sister Jackson....It was great.  hahaha  But Larissa is her fake name, and we invited her to be baptized during the second lesson and committed her to baptism in the third lesson for two weeks away! it was exciting, so i can't wait to fee the excitement of getting to that point with a real investigator :) At first we made a complete script and basically just read it, but the second lesson was better and we brought the Spirit with an opening prayer and spoken (not read) testimonies.  Progress!!

Pretty much every Missionary here says "just make it to sunday" which was pretty much the best Sunday ever.  The sisters watch the Spoken Word, then go to Relief society, we have class, then Sacrament.  So weird order because they're spaced out with lunch and everything, but seriously. I loved it!!  I'm amazed by how much I thought I knew and how much I really have to learn still.  I guess I had more of a surface understanding, and I'm excited to see how much deeper it becomes throughout my mission as I learn to turn to the Lord and put this work in His hands.

One of the Elders in my District has a quote book going with like two pages filled already.  And our teacher, Irmao Rodriguez, he was actually born in Brazil, and let's just be honest, he's a really good looking fella, and all the sisters and Elders have a crush on him.  Haha  A lot of funny things have been said about him in this quote book so Elder Rogers and Sister Jackson mostly try to keep it from him.  goofy. Our District gets distracted pretty easy because we're all good friends now, but we've been getting better.  Next week we'll have to teach 2 investigators!  And, fun fact, the sister we were teaching is now our second teacher, so she really knows what we need help with (like pronunciation) and gave us good feedback about how we did teaching her. Sooo nice. 

Also!  I got to see Sister Mangelson!  We've got to chat a couple times now and we made sure we got a picture together too.  I've also seen Elder Preciado, Sister Larrabee, And Elder Ditlevson :)  He delivered a Portuguese hymnbook to me with my name engraven on it from the Lambeths with a sweet note from them inside. So thoughtful! especially since she already gave me a pocket size english hymnal at my missionary shower.  Ooh, and we get to have a missionary devotional every Tuesday which Elder Neil L Anderson was at with his wife.  So cool.  He taught us to "First Love, then Sacrifice" because we sacrifice for those we love.  And I'm learning how important it is to learn to love people right away and let them see that you care about them because that helps them to relax around you so there's an environment where the Spirit can dwell.  I'm definitely gaining deeper understanding of charity.  Cause you know me, I kinda make a thick bubble sometimes, and that's kinda illegal to have as a missionary.  haha But anyways, after the devotional we were told to stay in our seats and we sang hymns for a while because it was lightning and raining like crazy.  This gave Elder Anderson some time to walk around an shake many hands.  His love for all of us was so palpable.  What a selfless act to shake so many hands and help buoy up our Spirits. Missionaries were so eager to see him so close.  It was fun to watch :) Then we started singing Israel Israel God is Calling, and I was feeling the happiness only the Spirit brings, and the song reminded me of home and I finally cried for the first time since being here. sister Jackson's reaction was pretty funny though because she was stunned.  haha 

Oh, funny yet painful story, Sister Jackson likes her 'treats' with pretty much every meal, so got an orange creamsicle yesterday.  She ripped it open and went to take a ginormous bite, and her lips froze to it.  Her eyes got super wide and she started making funny noises, kinda like KC makes when there's a bug in the area.....bahaha  and she poured water on it, which kinda made it worse, so she just had to rip it off and  owee!!  she was bleeding a bit and stuff, but none of us could stop laughing, including her. haha  My District is so great!!!  I'm so fortunate to be able to work alongside them for 6 whole weeks (technically 4 and a half now cause the first week is technically just the wed I got here to Sat)  
another funny story, there's an elder in my district, Elder Copenhaver, who is so funny, awkward kinda, but hilarious. His laugh get's every one laughing because we all love him so much.  He has apparently written a novel called Bergenstoff and it's sci fi, and he's telling it chapter by chapter to his companion and other elders in our district, who come to class, going "Ah, he left us at a cliff hanger!" and going on and on.  In class one time, we were saying what are fears are and I said praying mantis's, because it's true they're cool from a distance,let's just say that, which made people laugh, and Elder Copenhaver said, "They can spit acid", and I was like "Exactly!"   ah, so funny.  

As you probably already noticed, my P-day is Friday.  And we get to go to the temple today!!!! I finally get to go do a session which I haven't done in like 3 weeks or more. sheesh! haha  but Gym time here has been super nice.  When I first got here, my sister training leaders were Sister Hirschi and Sister Bos, which was recently changed, and....I don't remember the new sister's names....but! the first two sisters do this yoga time during Personal PE on Tuesday mornings and it was the hardest yoga I've ever done! my goodness, we were all so sore the next day.  Bird on a wire, and sitting eagle or something like that... you should look it up if you need some really good balance/strength exercises.  

But honestly life is so good here.  I think I might need a package in the near future though containing maybe a couple pairs of garments? also some fruit snacks or chocolate would be lovely. hahaha just kidding.  But pictures and an update would be great!  There's a great website called where you can write me something and they print it out here and give it to me the day of or after.   Great system, hint hint. hahaha Also I think I left my camera cord at home, so pictures might be a little hard to send at this point.  AND, I don't have Greg, or Adam's e-mails so you might have to forward this on to a few people.  I hope you can see who I sent it to at the top.  

Well,(Testimony time, except I haven't figured out how to do the fun special characters on the keyboard) Eu sei que Jesus Cristo é o Filho de Deus e por meio sua Expiacao, podemos voltar para nosso Pai Celestial.  Em nome de Jesus Criso Amém.  :) Just wait til you can hear it all of it! haha I know that as we do the work, and turn to the Lord to lead the way, He guides our direction, our studies, and our prayers. Well I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!!!

-- love always and forever
Sister Harston
Meg's first letter:
¡Ola meu familia! So first day of the MTC, pretty crazy. There were many spiritually high moments and moments taht are like, "Woah, this is different and definitely going to be a challenge." My companion is Sister Jackson and she's really sweet. I know we will be able to help each other grow and gain confidence. So you know whow I was so confident that I would be Irmä Harston? Aooarently not! We call sisters Irmä when they're women in the church, but since that is our title, I am Sister Harston. My district sisters are all really wonderful and we're all willing to be there for each other. I realized something today. As we were group teaching "investigators", I had this great desire to say what they needed to hear, that would help them where all of a sudden they would see and understand. Now I know many need time, and love, and encouragement, but it was cool to see as people talked that the Lord is already guiding us as what to say and do. I've already been told, just make it to Sunday. Haha. But studying Portuguese is going to be so fun! I've already seen Hannah Mangelson which was awesome. I haven't seen Spencer Preciado since the plane ride. I also saw Mandi, a previous visiting teacher from freshman year. I'm so blessed! It was cool to be welcomed by so many because I had the newbie sticker on. Haha. I can also see excitement in the missionary's eyes who have been here a couple weeks where the initial overwhelming part has eased. We all have so much potential and will become so much better so quickly as it is the Lords work and preparation we are doing 24/7. I love you all!!! And already can't wait to hear from you ☺
   ♥ always
Sister Harston

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

 She's officially in the MTC!!!!

August 21, 2013 Megan reports to the MTC

I am Katrina Harston. Megan's sister. :) I've never done a blog before, so hopefully I'll be able to make this work. I'm going to be posting Megan's letters and updates here for friends and family. Megan was set apart last night as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Megan's flight left the Sacramento Airport this morning at 6:30 AM. There were about 3 other missionaries, all on the same flight, all also going to brazil. She was very excited! Hopefully we'll be receiving some letters here soon. And I'll be getting them posted up here soon.
Megan's MTC (missionary training center) address:

Sister Megan Janelle Harston
2011 N 900 E Unit 271
Provo, UT 84602

Feel free to write her anytime!