Friday, September 13, 2013

Hey there!!!  Wow weeks are going by so fast! already half way through the MTC, it's so crazy!  Nichole I can't believe Madison has already started Kindergarten.  She should play school with Ashlynn and maybe she'll learn like I did when KC taught me! haha So As you all know, there are no little kids ever in sight here at the MTC except for this one time on Sunday.  This young family was visiting and had the cutest little 3 year old daughter.  Her parents were like, " look over there, there's some missionaries"  So they all came over and the little girl came up to me shyly (?) and so I told her how pretty her dress was, and then she started telling me all about the little green acorn she was holding.  So precious!! Totally made my day :) Also, A few days ago I saw Mackenzie Gregorson!  My room roommate from Regency. It totally caught me by surprise because I didn't think she was getting here til later in the month.  But yeah! she'll only be here for 10 or so days because she's going to an English speaking mission in San Jose, California.  I also saw Brooke, a girl who was in my ballroom dance class with me at college.  So fun to see familiar faces.  Mackenzie and I got a picture, and I also got a picture with Elder Ditlevson.  Also, did you get the e-mail of photos that Sister Jackson sent?  She sent like 5 or something, I don't even know.  And Mom, I did get a hand written letter from you, the one that talked about Marissa? If there was a different one then I haven't gotten it yet anyways.

So I love to sing in the choir here.  It's huge!  there's like 400 people or something.  Our Choir director (totally forgot his name:/) but he's hilarious and wonderful.  He explains the background of each song we sing, the situation that the writer was in when he wrote it, and then has us apply it to us personally.  The last song we sang was Sweet Hour of Prayer.   There all special for the MTC I think, but he had us think of a time when we prayed the hardest we have ever prayed to our Heavenly Father, when there was no where else to turn.  We all definitely sang our testimonies that day.  There's a part where the men sing a line, the women sing the next line, then we all joined together to sing "He understands me"  Such a powerful spirit!!! :)

Also I have a bit of a nickname in my district, Miss Dictionary. hahah not exactly flattering, but they were complementing me on my random word knowledge.  Elder Rogers said to Elder Copenhaver, " um you're in my bubble" and I was like, "do you want to know how to say bubble in Portuguese? it's bolha." everyone looked at me like how do you know that?  let's just say it's my goal to memorize the dictionary.  Not! haha I just like to look up words people say in English, that i think, hmmm I don't know how to translate that to Portuguese. So yeah, learning lots!!!  

A little reminder of God's love and help He gives me and my companion I notice when we are preparing for a lesson and we both think of the same scripture to share.  I feel like we're both in tune and unified :) it's a great feeling.

Also last Friday at the temple, I finally was able to let my stresses go, and just sit and listen as we went through a session.  I learned so much and shared with Sister Briggs who in turn shared her insights with me as we sat in the Celestial room.  The Spirit was so strong! I honestly have never felt the Spirit this strong this often ever before.  The MTC is definitely a dedicated place and I am so grateful for the Lord's hand in all of it!  My companion and I share a thankful thought with each other at the end of each day which has been wonderful.

Also, another sister Sister Verhoef got her visa on Tuesday and got sent to the Brazil MTC.  Sister Brigg's family did her visa themselves so she'll have it in the next day or so.  So crazy!!! sister Jackson, Sister Anderson and I will be a threesome.  It's funny because Sister Jackson and I know that we'll probably serve stateside for a time before getting sent straight to the field in Brazil.  But it's sad because we miss all these sisters that we grow to love so quickly!  

Oh, Jon sent me a package a few days ago filled with all kinds of chocolate so I'm pretty sure I've gained like 20 pounds. hahaha I shared it with my whole District which made them happy, I still have some Dove dark chocolate left, oh so good. haha

And Nichole! Thanks so much for the e-mail!   I love hearing all the details about everyone's lives!!!  That's a cool challenge that your ward issued.  I'm truly starting to understand the importance with using members when we teach.  The story of Alma and Amulek in the scriptures, totally explains it!  Alma's the missionary, Amulek's the member.  He's lived in the area his whole life and can help relate to the people there.  So perfect.  All the answers are truly in the scriptures :)

Sister Jackson and I have also had a wonderful time teaching our investigators Jose and Edson this week.  In the lesson with Edson,  We both got the impression he needed to hear about the Atonement, but got caught up in teaching what we had prepared, and I (and my annoying perfectionist personality haha) had to make sure he understood the definition of every word we said.  ok not that bad.... but I forgot that he doesn't need to completely understand everything all at once.  Sister Jackson, fortunately abruptly pulled out a scripture about the Atonement and testified.  In that moment we had Edson's attention and the Spirit was totally there.  I testified as well.  We learned so much from that lesson.  If all lesson's went perfectly (which perfect doesn't exist of course) we would learn nothing.  The next lesson we prepared for Jose, we prayed to know if the lesson we made was right.  Pondered over it during personal study time, then went over it again together.  We felt no need to change it.  So we went in a taught and oh man was it good.  The lesson wasn't the focus but Jose was, and helping him to be happy, and bring happiness to his family.  He could tell that we truly believe that our message will bless his life and we promised him specific blessings about the things he had opened up about and shared with us.   I felt the need to invite him to be baptized and as I realized and accepted that.  I felt that burning in my bosom like the scriptures say. This strong desire to invite and be a missionary.  A greater understanding of what missionary work is and what my purpose is.  A greater testimony of how it truly blesses our lives in so many ways.  He didn't agree to be baptized, but I know it planted a seed :)  We invited him to offer the prayer at the end and we all knelt down.  That was the first time, we felt he really wanted to know the truth as he asked Heavenly Father.  our investigators need to know that our message is not our own.  It's not just a mormon message, but it is the Word of God.  He loves us so much!  And I know He has been helping me every step of the way.  I know this church is so true!   And I'm so excited to share it :)  And for these spiritually high moments of learning that bring me such hope, and joy, and comfort :)

Dad has that sister said anything about the Book of Mormon since you gave it to her?  Also, any more fires in California that they'll call you to? 
Also, Nichole! that's so cool that you are looking for opportunities to share the gospel, you are a great example to me :)  Does Madison come home and tell you all about school?  Also is Ryden just as big? haha you need to let me know all the funny little things your kids say :)  
Mom, so work is good?  Is the new teacher still figuring things out or does she have a pretty good handle on things?  I'm sure all the kids were happy to have you back this year :)  How is it teaching the Kindergartners?  THanks for sending things on to Grandma and Grandpa Davenport :)
Katrina!  Have you started packing yet? haha What have you been up to? How's Lauren doing? Have you been partying it up everynight?  
Grandma Harston!  How're you?  How's your health? How's Joselyn?  I love and miss you!!!!!  
Adam and Katelyn, How's work been?  Is Ethan walking yet?  haha totally kidding!!!  

Also, anyone feel free to write me about new insights they get :)  Thank you so much for the packages! I can't wait to get them.  Hope they didn't cost too much.  I love you all so much!!!!  Estou aprendendo muito sobre o evangelho e tambem a lingua!  Vos amo tao muito!!!!!! (sorry not completely right cause I don't know how to do the funky little letters on an english keyboard haha)

-- Love always and forever
Sister Harston

1 comment:

  1. So wonderful to read her letters. What a great missionary!