Tuesday, November 5, 2013

So you might be wondering why this e-mail's coming on Tuesday, well yesterday we had a mission conference here in Dodge and Elder Nash and his wife of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy came!!! What a cool experience.  So P-day was moved to today, but it will be on Monday again next week.  Thanks so much for the letter and package!  Brynnlee is so precious! Ashley also sent me an e-mail with a few more pictures which is soooo nice :) I can't believe they're officially parents and I'm so excited for them!!!!! They will be wonderful :) The stories you sent are amazing.  What cool and strong people we are descended from.  They are wonderful examples and help to put our own trials in perspective. Like with Christina Young and being a Relief Society President for 25 years, whoowee.  haha  Sister Mortensen and I requested some Family History pass-along card to use as we contact people in-between appointments so that'll be fun :)
Happy Birthday GREG!!!! I know this is late but I have an excuse, I'm on a mission. hahaha Hope it was wonderful!!! What did you do for it?
I am so happy for Marissa.  And yes! I want to know where she ends up.  Also, where did Justin Ditlevson end up?  I don't think I have his e-mail right because it came back in an error message.  Also, Sister Jackson officially got her visa and is headed out to Brazil on the 11th of this month. so 6 days.  I wonder how she's feeling but we don't have much time to e-mail each other.  I'm really excited for her though.  And Sister Mortensen is known by many in the stake so it shouldn't be too hard to find more people who know her. haha 
That's cool that you're reading Jesus the Christ, Mom.  I have yet to read it even though I have it.  What a great hope that is that our Heavenly Father's judgments are just.  He is so forgiving as long as our hearts are in the right place, and we act to make things right.  I've needed that gift every day. 
I got the letter from Grandpa Davenport and will write him and Grandma back today.  It was a fun letter about how he and grandma met and also about the background music he is recording for a CD someone in the family is putting together about the history of some place.  Real specific I know, but I forgot to bring the letter with  me to the library and I'm definitely gonna work on him in a loving and caring way, because he and grandma could be helped and blessed so much!!!! I'm hoping also that the Christmas season will soften hearts :) 
Thanks dad for the mission story!!!!!! That's amazing.  I wonder if that man is now a member because it's totally possible.  It's amazing that the Lord has given us the Holy Ghost to testify of truth so we don't just have to assume that what they say is right, but we can know for ourselves.  It's ok to question it, but once we get that confirmation, we should hold fast to the ground we gain and never lose it, but act on that new knowledge.  What a blessing! I've been studying a bit about the Holy Ghost so I can trust more in the Lord, and it's confirmed to me again and again by him that this church is true!!!!
So now that I gave you a teaser about yesterday, I'll go into a bit more depth.  Elder Nash was here!! you can look up his face in the Ensign :) I was amazed at the spirit that was present and the things I learned from the open ended questions he asked.  He had us missionaries teach the first half of his talk by having us answer. He also called up several different missionaries to bear their testimonies and talk about teaching with power and how to be a successful missionary.  He patterned his whole talk as an example of how to teach a lesson.  It was amazing!   One question he asked was, "What would the Savior do if he were here in Kansas?"  And I thought, He would call us missionaries to serve with Him!  He would be out there with us, serving, lifting, inviting, loving, in patience with diligence and charity.  His perfect example is written for us to learn by in the scriptures.  He would address the members and ask them to invite people to their homes to feel the spirit that they invite to be there.  He would tell us to do what He has already told us!  Also they told us to not be discouraged when someone does not accept the gospel or your invitation the first time.  They have their agency.  The success is that you invited. (Alma 8:15) Also, Elder Nash called Sister Mortensen and I up in a role play.  He had asked for Sister volunteers and it was really funny to see how some of the sisters were talking to their companions.  I asked Sister Mortensen if she wanted to and she was  like no!  Then Elder Nash came over, pointed at us and invited us up. haha It was really cool though and we got good feedback afterwards of what we did right and what we could have worked on. The situation was a husband and wife in their drive way, he was headed to work and had to leave, so we stopped and talked to the wife and offered service.  Many time as we talk to people and offer to help they don't accept, but we're thinking of ways that maybe members can ask their friends if they need help with raking leaves because there's a couple of young people who are looking for service opportunities :)  I'll give you an update on how that goes this week, next week. 
We have a couple new investigators this week, Regina and Brent, who are actually married!  they were a referral from Elder Cannon and Carlson.  We gave them a couple of Book of Mormons and they said they would read it and we could meet with them this Friday. So excited!!!  They are open to book from all religions and said they wanted to read the Book of Mormon together from start to finish.  Cool!  We hadn't even suggested anything all we did was hand them the book! and what a powerful book it is.  It answers prayers, it softens hearts, it teaches doctrine, etc!
Linda is continuing to progress and said she'll come to church this Sunday when we called her to check up.  We've mentioned church previously, but we hadn't even brought it up yet in that conversation!  She's still reading the Book of Mormon and knows it's true. She also said that the Plan of Salvation just makes sense and has a familiar ring to it. Ahh! so cool :) She said she'll be baptized once she receives that confirmation to her prayers.  Hopefully well get a baptismal date for her soon so she can have an even better experience reading the Book of Mormon with the Holy Ghost as her guide.
Lynnsi and James Green haven't come to church yet and weren't home at the time we had set up for an appointment with them :/  Hopefully we'll be able to contact them this week.  We're also talking to the Chamberlains in our ward to invite them over so we can have a real lesson with them in a good clean, spirit filled setting :)  We're very hopeful, because they are such good kind people.
We have a sort of investigator named Betty.  She and her husband have kind of a funky relationship, but she is wonderful to talk to and I think likes talking to us.  We gave her a couple of Ensigns the last time we saw her because she says she like to read.  She hasn't read the Book of Mormon yet, but she agreed to meet with us again so we can answer questions that she might have about what she has read.  Her husband even said he'd sit in and listen to the discussion so that's exciting too.  It's a wonderful start :)  On our walk over to her house, I had a new experience. It was super duper windy and Sister Mortensen and I were leaning against it when all of a sudden we were both hit from behind by a tumbleweed!! Sheesh! haha yep, those things are all over the place right now.
Another investigator we have is Yolanda.  She runs her own daycare center and we taught the whole first lesson with her.  She has a hard time reading so the Book of Mormon will be a bit challenging, but she highlighted the chapter we invited her to read and said she would read it.  So excited to see how it went this week.  She has good questions like, how is your church different from all the other ones?  What a question!!!  That's when we started the first discussion because that explains the basics like the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It was cool. She hopefully will come to church with us this Sunday as well :) 
So a lot of hope for a lot of people.  This work is so amazing.  Transfers are next week and we won't know 'til Monday who's going and who's staying. but I was thinking, I can't go yet!!!!  There's too much to do here and so many people to work with!  I'm realizing it's going to be hard to go to Brazil.  I'm truly learning to love these people and sincerely want to help them.  Think of what the Gospel does for you and what your life might be without it.  It's sometimes hard to see where these people are coming from, but I know the Lord knows and can help me and you gain some measure of understanding.  I LOVE missionary work!!! I'd say the hardest part is people rejecting it.  They have no idea what they are missing, but they're still good people.  I know the Lord knows their names and He is watching over them and will lead people to them, but hopefully a seed was planted. 
I don't know how you find time to read all this each week hahah.   I love you all!!!!!!  This Gospel makes our lives so complete.  I know that as we realize what the Atonement and the Gospel does for us, that our desires to share it will increase.  Invite people out of love, letting them know you love them.  The Holy Ghost can be with us to lead us, to guide us, to comfort us, to warn us, and to help cleanse us as we repent.

Hugs and Kisses!
-- Love always and forever
Sister Harston

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