Monday, October 21, 2013

Kansas is a crazy weather place.  haha Confusing kind of like Utah.  Since the wind is always blowing it blows the storms away and the heat in, or the heat away and the storms in...not sure which. haha  Well we got our first snow here and it was just a little bit, like 2 inches, but it took a couple days for it to melt anyways.  the next day was super warm outside. weird. haha  Sister Mortensen and I got some nice warm tights at Wal-Mart last week so we should be good to go there.  It's been a little chillier, but not too bad at all yet. 
I love my District so much.  We have a lot of fun, especially playing with Bay Blades and having competitions on P-day when our laundry and everything is done. haha you'll have to look up what those are and imagine how young we must be to play with those. let's just say it was one of the elder's idea...haha  They also have great stories from their weeks that I love to hear about.  Elder Bennett and Elder Sweeten just committed someone to baptism yesterday!!! Best news ever :)
Thursday we had exchanges for the first time.  The Williams (who actually have a blog that you can look at that they tell stories and put district photos up on should be it) they gave us a ride up to Meade so we could do the little switcheroo.  Sister Mckay came back with me, and Sister Nash took Sister Mortensen with her up to Liberal.  I was super nervous cause Sister Mckay has been out for 9 months, everyone loves her, and basically says she's perfect cause she's a pro. haha Anyways, I loved it! I seriously learned so much from her.  She's Spanish speaking so when we went out tracting, she was super helpful and spoke really well to the Spanish people we came in contact with.  My bike currently has a flat tire, so we decided to go out and walk.  She  gave new meaning to the concept of talking to everybody.  We talked to 16 people 6 of which we actually got to teach a lesson.  We handed out one book of Mormon.  Our goal of  7 other lessons this week we outdid by a lot, getting in 18 total for this week!! We're learning quickly :)  I feel like I'm becoming more of a missionary now because we're working harder, trying to plan better so we can use all of our time effectively.  Sister Mckay encouraged us to look through all of the former investigators and plan out which ones we want to go see this week.  Often times, people aren't ready to hear the gospel the first time they are contacted by the missionaries.  After a little, time, they are.  I'm excited to find those people :)  We've decided also that when we go to a door to find a former investigator and they're not home, that we should also knock on the doors next door.  We found a man named Jose that way.  We gave him a book of Mormon and talked a little bit about it, asked if we can come back to talk to him a little more and he agreed.  Sweet!!!
Zone Conference was the day after exchanges so we drove all the way down to Liberal Friday morning.  It was a great/fantastic learning experience.  We did a lot of role plays and got some awesome feedback to work with, which I wrote all of it down so I can refer back.  It's amazing because the zone leader leads it, and there were a couple senior couples there.  This is definitely the Lords work because where else would you be able to get a group of 20 year old people together to learn, teach eachother, role play, and strive to be better at teaching the gospel?  No where!!! This is truly amazing to see every missionary being so converted and determined to serve the Lord as best we can.  It was really motivating. 
Still trying to speak Spanish as best I can, but it's horrible.  haha  I still need to find out when I can study it, It's cool though at church an older lady named sister Fletcher and her husband both speak Spanish, She is learning a little bit of English and is doing wonderfully.  I try to talk to her and we can communicate it a little. She told me a bit about her family which seems really big.  her daughter has 10 kids for example. haha But she is super patient and loving which is always nice :)  Love her. 
Dad thank you so much for the story! that is perfect! And truly amazing.  I wonder if they still have your suit.  That is truly a sweet experience :)
Mom, Grandpa would LOVE, the Boot Hill Museum, guaranteed.  We were able to see Angie in passing, but haven't had the opportunity to actually talk to her about the Book of Mormon.  Her work schedule is crazy and we haven't figured out really when she's home yet.  I'll remember to ask her next time we see her.  Linda is progressing.  We followed-up with her a couple times and she's still reading the Book of Mormon and believes it!!! We were talking with her and Daniel and Kim (recent converts) on Sunday and bringing by a triple combination for Daniel, and we were talking about a scripture in Jacob and answering the question we posed of what we would give up to know God and Jesus Christ.  Daniel was bearing testimony of what we do give up, and the change that the gospel makes in our lives, and how it's not the easiest, but it's the best.  Linda was nodding the whole time!!!! Seriously, she's totally been prepared by the Lord. So exciting, we have a real appointment set up with her for this Thursday which I am utterly stoked for.  I wanted to invite her to be baptized on Sunday, but couldn't with Daniel talking the whole time. hahah He and Kim are chatterboxes. but I love them to death.  We've been trying to see Caroline and Mike, their neighbors, as well but they haven't been home.  Daniel and Kim told us the times they should be home, so we're going to try and see them tonight :)  I have extremely high hopes for them too :)
Another interesting experience from this week happened when we were beginning our walk home from area 4.  We stopped to talk to a man who was outside by his truck.  We talked with him and found out he has a wife and two kids, so we talked about how the gospel can bless families.  He was pleasant and had heard of the Book of Mormon but didn't know much past that.  We could tell that he had questions, and so we asked him what he heard.  He didn't want to offend us, but we assured him that he could feel free to speak what was on his mind.  He said, "The Bible says that we don't need anymore and the Book of Mormon is more.  So it can't be right."  He also said something about Joseph Smith being high. So we basically got to talk about the whole first lesson as we were standing there!!!  This was the best that Sister Mortensen and I have ever worked together, and it truly was help from the Lord.  We talked about the Savior's earthly ministry and Atonement, the Apostasy, The Restoration, and praying to know the truth.  He told us we should question the church, and so I whipped out the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and said, we ask all men to question it. and read the last two paragraphs of the Introduction with him.  Because we do want people to question it, to pray about it, but to not deny the knowledge they receive when they get an answer, but to act on that knowledge in faith.  He agreed to let us come back to talk with him.  He doesn't want to be converted, but wants to know more about he church.  We're going to see him Tuesday night.  We prayed yesterday to receive some inspiration of how to talk to him during church, which we did :D and Also we talked to our District about it too at our meeting last night.  Elder and Sister Williams had some fantastic input and offered to come with us, which we might do :)
Also, I'm realizing all sorts of answers that I'm receiving in the Book of Mormon.  When we talked to a lady who was really not interested and very judgmental.  She did not like the idea that we had been raised in the church and was a bit overbearing.  She said, do me a favor and venture out because there's a lot more out there to learn.  We said thank you for your advice, have a nice day and walked away.  THis experience was weighing heavily on my mind.  Was there something else we should have said? Should we have been more bold? I was thinking this as I was having personal study.  As I read, I realized there was nothing more we could have said.  She was set in her way and definitely not open to feeling the Spirit.  I read in Jacob 4:18 "Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you  if I don not, by any means, get shaken from my firmness in the Spirit, and stumble because of my over anxiety for you"  Whoa! man is that what I needed to hear.  I was being over anxious which was causing me to stumble and doubt.  So I repented.  I know that the Lord knows our concerns. He knows the questions that run through our minds.  He knows the worries we have.  And He answers our prayers.  I know it.  It is proved to me time and time again as I study the scriptures and open with a prayer.  The scriptures are powerful tools when used correctly and read with a purpose.  What a glorious gift we have from our Father in Heaven. 
Well I am super duper excited for Greg and Ashley and cannot wait to see a picture of their new little one!!!  What's her name gonna be? Also I got an e-mail from Brynne, or Hermana Capps!! Her e-mail actually is  Fun fact. haha    The Preciados also sent a Halloween card to Sister Mortensen and I cause they know both of us. Fun!  Also, can I get Laura Wilde the redhead's address? I gotta send her something :)  Way to go mom with visiting teaching!!!  I never realized how important it really is til we got out here.  Yesterday Sister Baker came with us to see a referral, Karla, and A less active, Rebecca.  It's amazing what the members can do, and the way they can connect that we can't.  The work is so much more effective together.  You have normal things happening everyday that you can relate with, families, husband, and kids, like they do!   You can make the atmosphere more comfortable.  Members are so important in this work :) I love you all and can't wait to hear another story from you DAD! and to get the ancestor stories:) Thanks again for doing that for me :)  I know this church is true and every part of it is essential and important.  God truly is over this His work.  

-- love always and forever!!
Sister Harston

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