Sunday, August 3, 2014

How's it going?! This week was crazy with transfers and everything. The new missionaries came in on the hottest day of the year so far, and I met Sister Seymour who is awesome!  She's from Portland, Oregon and is a Cello major at BYU, Provo.  Went there for 3 years so she's 21.  I asked and it was her great uncle that died in that car accident, and she has other family in California too I think.  She is ready to work and is very perceptive and wants to work according to the people's needs.  Good stuff!  She's training herself, let's be honest. haha

Elder Black from Alpine Utah, it IS such a small world, especially in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it seems.  Good to see a picture of Spencer and Katrina together, so cute.  hahah don't know what to think ;) It's true that when they feel that Spirit again, they want it!  I know I cherish feeling the Spirit everyday. I've been trying to pay more attention to that, and He really can be with us always if we are repentant and humble and full of faith.  And yes, as missionaries we definitely like to keep things fun!!! ahahahhahahaha  How old are Uncle Jim and Aunt Laralee's kids? They're so big!  Good sibling photo though.  Sealed for time and all eternity!!  And I guess Ashley didn't want her picture taken? haha

KC where are you moving to? How is campus handling the whole flood situation? Spencer's from Provo and served in Africa...what language did he learn?

OH and we'll be moving to the Robertson's so our address will be different

So this week was pretty awesome.  We took the new missionaries out tracting on Tuesday right after their flight landed in Kansas.  So fun!  Miracles happened and a few of the companionships worked in College Hill area and gave us a few referrals of people to go visit, and more members who want to come back.  Amazingly inspired missionaries here in Kansas! And Sister Gunderson is now officially in Hiawatha and I'm sure she's loving it. Transfer day was cool because there are so many reunions where we get to see all these awesome people we have learned to love so much!  Sister Heger, Sister Hartung, Sister Mckay, Sister Mortensen, etc.  We had a training meeting Wednesday morning and now I know better than before that it's a sacred trust from the Lord to train a new missionary.  You help to set the tone for the rest of their mission.  I loved what the APs said about how you are the example and you want them to be better than you are now sooner than you got there (if that makes sense)  It's nice to go over the basics again and re-focus.  Sister Seymour has a lot of good insights :)

We're now teaching a young girl, Tessa, who's on house arrest but really wants to change her life around and is planning on being baptized on September 20th.  We went over with Dayna Rawson (a return missionary who served in Santa Rosa California Spanish Speaking) to see the Gonzalez family who are less active and who missionaries found on Tuesday.  The mom only speaks spanish but her kids speak english. she wants to come to the english ward to learn english. pretty cool :) It was definitely inspired she came with us so we could communicate!

Tiyana (age 13), Alexus (age 10), and Vivica (age 15) came to church on Sunday!!!  It was so fun to see them all there on the pew.  Sister Hawkins was kind enough to give them a ride.  They seemed to enjoy it, but I know they'll like it even more when they come again because they'll really know what to expect.  Beth, their mom had to work that morning, but wants to come next Sunday. Such an awesome family!

Sister SEYMOUR!!!!!

This is Griz and Lynda Racobs :)

We've definitely been blessed this week.  I know the Lord is with us.  I know He'll guide us as we do all we can, rely on the Spirit, and account to Him every day.  Kansas is a sacred place for me.  A place where the Savior walks and there's evidence of Him everywhere.  The Atonement is the center of all we do.  It's all Because of Him that we're out here to spread the word.  Forgiveness and happiness and peace are available through the fullness of His gospel, we just got to let all His kids know :)

-- Love always and forever!
Sister Harston
There are a lot of adjustments that will be happening across the mission!  Sister Gunderson is going to Hiwatha which is in the Topeka zone and is practically to Nebraska. It's north of Holton about 45 min.  So crazy  we were asked to sing 3 different times this week, at church, at zone conference, and at a baptism. haha I'll miss her!!!! Sister Hartung is coming to the Andover Zone to be a Sister Training Leader!!!!! I'm so happy I'll get to see her again :D Funny, we all told her she would be a STL and lookie here, she is. haha  I'll be in College Hill training Sister Seymour and we have a trainers meeting on Wednesday morning to prep us. So glad the Lord sends His Spirit to help us!!  Also the Derby zone was split into 2, the Andover and Derby zones now.  So much smaller! 

So glad the Reunion was a big hit with lots to do!! Sounds like a pretty good turnout too :D  Aunt Julie would have the perfect home for that.  So nice!  I can hardly picture 700 people for one sacrament meeting.  Those missionaries must know a LOT of people.  Hopefully a few of them weren't members :)  And Otter Creek is breaking down! How old is it? Glad everything's getting fixed because that could have been so much worse!  

That's cool that Sister Christiana Renner is willing to talk about that stuff.  I say hi too! I think it's mostly because she's friends with you now Dad haha.  I didn't know her super well, but I'm glad she's doing good :D I asked other missionaries what suggestions they had for how to train, and just like you just said Dad, it's to be the example.  To be everything you expect them to be, to be ok with being imperfect, but to go forth with faith and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and enjoy the journey and doing the Lord's work :)  I'll try to get some pictures with some of our investigators soon.  Maybe Cathy will let us take one on Tuesday :)  That's super neat that you got to meet President Clark. Sounds like a very good man.  Cathy asked us the other day who we were referring to when we said President, "because it's not the president I know" (thinking of Obama of course haha) so we explained how the Prophet is President Monson, and Stake presidents, and Mission president.....There were more than we had realized. haha

Katrina, that's a crazy flood! I kind of heard about it, but didn't realize it got that deep! Eek.  Glad you were at work! Yay for seeing Amy!!  That'll be a sweet reunion :D

Well this week was a good one :)  We saw the Raya family a couple times this week.  On Tuesday it was just Alexus and Tiyana because Vivica had a concussion and their mom was beat from a hard day's work.  So we taught them the plan of salvation.  I couldn't believe how much was going in.  They were participating and when we asked them to talk to the rest of their family about it, Alexus ran inside to get a pen and paper to write it down.  So cute!  They knelt down with us on their porch outside and Tiyana said the prayer and asked specifically if the Plan of Salvation was true. so amazing! When we went back on Thursday, we took Sister Green with us (a lady in our ward with 6 kids)  She related with Beth (the mom) in ways we could not.  She provided solutions of finding times to read the Book of Mormon despite work and being a single parent.  The spirit was so strong and the Alexus and Tiyana shared all that they remembered about the Plan and did an EXCELLENT job.  They agreed to prepare to be baptized on August 9th. Vivica is still a little skeptical, but she has good questions and is open :)

A miracle from the week was definitely on Wednesday.  We had less time to tract than originally planned so we couldn't go to the area we had previously decided on.  As we were biking, sister Gunderson in frustration pulled off the sidewalk onto a street and said, I just want to talk to people!  Maybe this is where we need to be since this is where we stopped. As we walked down the road, I asked what she was looking for.  She said, "I don't know, just trying to rely on the Spirit"  We both looked at a certain house and she said this one?" "Yes"  We met a man there named Landon.  He lives there with his fiance, and he's a member who has not attended church in 20 years.  He has concerns about some things he's read, but the spirit was there as Sister Gunderson was able to relate with her own experiences and we both testified and invited him to church.  He said he'll come, but not to be shocked if he isn't there for the first couple sundays because sometimes he has to work.  WOW!!!!  Lead by the Lord, that's for sure! Sister Gunderson is such a strong and wonderful example to me :)

We saw Steffanie and Hannah again too.  Hannah is 11 and wants to be baptized but need's her dad's permission still, which he has witheld thus far.  Steff also needs to have the desire to be baptized so Hannah can have parental support.  Steff hasn't wanted to (we just found out) because a missionary told her her baptism didn't count. "But my baptism does count!"  We explained about the priesthood (which her son holds because he's an active member of the church in Utah) and her baptism did count as a step to following Jesus Christ, but that baptism by the proper priesthood authority is the next step and will allow her to receive the Holy Ghost. "Ok, you just knew exactly what to say" hahah She's sweet, but it's the spirit that knows her better than we do. Maybe they'll both be baptized soon after all!

Kim and Derrick have a lot of challenges that have unfolded in our visits with them this week.  They're still shooting to be baptized on the30th of August, but it's going to take a lot of faith, and patience for them.  

This Saturday was a baptism for Season (the Bel Air ward Sister's investigator).  She faced a lot of opposition from family, but through the continual acts of faith on her part and all of us there waiting for her at the baptism, she was able to go through with it 2 hrs after the previously scheduled time.  She is truly an amazing person :)

Thanks for the pigtails! haha

Got a name-tag in English so people can actually tell who we are, and so I can remember Kansas even better :)

Elders Jones and Hughes left this on our car. Edna? Right?! haha

Well I love love love you all!!  I know the Lord is guiding us in His work even in moments where it may not seem like it.  I know that this is Christ's church once again established on the earth.  I know that there is still so much to learn.  I know that Jesus is my Savior and He uses my strengths and weaknesses.  As we do our best, He truly makes up the difference. I know the gospel is simple, but it is true.  We MUST have faith, repent daily, be baptized by one holding the proper authority (as Jesus Christ was), be worthy of the Spirit we receive after baptism, and refuse to quit, to settle for any less than doing our Best and submitting our will to the Lord's as we endure to the end.  I know the Lord loves us, He tells us everyday if we're listening :)

-- Love always and forever!
Sister Harston