Oh hey, wait, what? I’m a Missionary??

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Um, but really it still kind of shocks me sometimes. I’ll be sitting there thinking about what I’m supposed to be doing next, and I’ll rotate through, “Go take a nap in your room, go do homework for tomorrow–oh wait no, you’re on a mission, you don’t do those things anymore”. Honestly, it’s so weird.

Also, time is CRAZY. I feel like a lifetime has happened since I last got to email you, and yet it also feels like yesterday. What is this??

Don’t worry though, I brought my journal with me so I can tell you EVERY DETAIL. (Hope you don’t fall asleep).

So last Sunday/Monday morning was really just rough, so I apologize if my last email was a bit negative or anything. Sis Hart and I were still a bit sick and were just overthinking–you know how that goes. Luckily, after EM we did ‘Sports’ with our whole zone (we even played some ‘Quidditch’) and it felt SO good to be around people again and feel like a normal person. People is always the best medicine for me, so that got me in a MUCH better mood. AND THEN I got home and got Mom’s PACKAGE!!! Ah, seriously made me DAY! I sent you a letter about it Mom, but I don’t know if you got it yet, so THANK YOUUU!! I was wondering if I was gonna be able to make it till next Monday to hear from you guys, and then your perfect package showed up and gave me hope. And the Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch? Um, saved my bacon. SO good. Along with all the other treats. πŸ™‚ Ah, thank you so so much.

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I was in a MUCH better mood after all that, so FHE that night was great. Our new investigator William came and we kind of helped him get roped into going to the activity instead of having us teach him, so he had fun while we got to talk to the second ward elders about how to find people for YSA, and that was great. Then after FHE when we were actually teaching William (we’re teaching him with the Elders for now since they’re the ones who found him), one of the members came in and said that he had backed into our Jeep. Haha, awesome. It was actually just kind of funny, but I felt bad for the guy who hit us. Luckily the Elders WERE there so they could teach while we went and took care of everything. And it wasn’t to bad–I’ll send some pics.

Tuesday was AWESOME!! I would love it if everyday were like Tuesday. πŸ™‚ Let’s see, we had district meeting and I just love all our little mission buddies, and then we got to go teach Sharon and it went SOOO MUCH BETTER! The Elders came with us this time since she’s not technically in our ward, but we’ve been teaching her, so it was great having them. She totally connected with one of them, and he’s a convert so he has a TON of awesome things to add that I feel help her out a lot. So that was really cool and just the overall feeling was much better. Also, I kept feeling like I should ask her a particular question about how she felt about having ONE true church, but I was so so scared. Like heart pounding sort of thing, and it’s hard to get a word in when there’s four teaching instead of two. BUT, I told myself that if I want to know what God wants me to tell people, I better show him I’ll say what he wants me to say, so I DID. And it went great. It totally got her thinking and she said she’d have to think about it, but I felt like we made some progress from it.

Then we got to teach William, with the Elders again. We didn’t get to prep too much, so we taught more of a lesson than teaching William, but it felt good to just realize I CAN teach! πŸ™‚

Wednesday was pretty average, you know taught some English and Gospel, and went to Institute. But there was Merezek! Pronounced Mer- ZICK, like Sick with a Z. If you can’t tell already from just his name, he’s a pretty cool kid. He was referred to us by a ward member. We had to go to an auto shop for our car, and then had some extra time so we decided to try finding him. We put his address into Sis. Hart’s GPS and he was .5 miles away. Coincidence? I think NOT! So we went and parked outside his house and tried to decide how to approach it and said two prayers and still weren’t sure what to do until finally I decided we needed to just to go for it. So we did, and it was great! He was the one who opened the door and he was super friendly and invited us inside where they had like twenty people running around in this little apartment. But Dad, I used your approach you taught me with the whole, “Hey, we’re wondering if you can help us! We’re looking for people who feel like they could use a little more in their life..yadda-yadda, all that good stuff.” And you could tell he seemed interested, but with all the people there he didn’t really want to admit it, so we mentioned institute and the friday night activities, and he perked up about that because that’s a little ‘cooler’ to say you’d be interested in. So he hasn’t come yet, but we gave him our card and everything, and we just love him and are super excited to see what happens with him.

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Anyway, Thursday, we had training so we basically use Skype to connect everyone from the whole mission for it. It was so fun seeing people, even though we didn’t get to talk to them or anything. During training Sis Beesley mentioned picking a scripture to use to fight off any bad thoughts you might get, and I immediatly had the scripture, “Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not.” pop into my head. It was a little crazy, but I picked it. I’ve already used it several times (don’t worry I’m not having TERRIBLE thoughts, but the scriptures pretty handy with anything), including in one of Dad’s LETTERS! But we’ll get there in a minute. πŸ™‚ After training we went to Denny’s with a lot of the Elders and that was fun, especially since we don’t’ usually get to see the ones in North Pole so we don’t know them as well. Once again, it’s fun to get to just be myself around people. I’m hoping I can work on blending missionary Ali with regular Ali a bit better.

We got to teach William again–he seems to just have a lot of things weighing on his little soul, so while everyone was teaching him, I was just too distracted by that. It’s so weird feeling people’s emotions like that, but I’ve been able to do it even more on my mission. Well, all two weeks of it haha. πŸ™‚ Anyway, everyone finished teaching him, and then I just put in my two cents about how I could tell he was feeling troubled, and talked about the scripture “After the tribulation comes the blessings” and how whatever was in his past, he’s reaching the blessing part and that having us teach him the gospel is part of that. I don’t know if that made any difference, but I said what I felt I should, and we’ll see if anything comes of it!

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The rest of that night wasn’t to interesting, but we did have dinner with two people in our ward–one of them is a programmer and reminds me SO much of James it’s ridiculous, and his girlfriend works at a home for troubled teens, so we had a lot of fun stories from that! They’re both kind of shy and quiet, but it was so fun to get to be interested in their lives and get them to open up. I love finding what matters to people and the perspective it gives me of them. πŸ™‚

So Friday and Saturday has to be done in two parts–first, we taught Sharon, and had dinner with a lady who’s been having missionaries over every other Friday since the 80’s, so she has this little chart you feel out and stamp it every time you come. So that’s kind of the ‘stuff’ that happened.

Part two is MUCH more interesting. So my little soul just wasn’t doing too red hot, and I was just trying to push forward and it wasn’t really going great. Well, luckily Sister Fraiser got sick. Not that I’m happy she was sick of course, but because she was sick, she was on bed rest for two days, which meant we had to go on exchanges. Or more specifically, Sis Hart went with Sis Lind, while I got to stay at the apartment all day. I had no idea how much I needed it.

I pretty much just sat there and got to do some ‘soul healing’. Cheesy, but yeah, I needed it. First of all, I took some naps. Yep, maybe that’s not allowed, but I was just exhausted and even though I tried to stay awake, I just couldn’t help it, and I needed it. Then I got Dad’s letters. Dad, seriously, I don’t know how you manage it, but you always know EXACTLY what to say to speak to my soul. After I finished my naps, I was able to read through your letters a bunch and that talk from Uchtdorf, and it helped put so many things in perspective for me.

The most ironic thing is that this whole time I was working on my talk for Sunday where I was talking about mission work, but how you need to cleanse the inner vessel before you can cleanse the outer vessel. AKA, you gotta make sure YOU’RE doing okay, before you can help other people. Well, it was humbling to realize that, yep Ali, you’re not the exception.

I came on my mission just wanting to help OTHER people SO bad! But I did that thinking that I would become some superhuman being with a never-ending supply of energy and always able to be in touch with the spirit and be happy and bubbly all the time…..and that’s just not gonna happen. I’m a little human being. Yeah, I can trust in the Lord for most things, but I have to do MY part too and take care of ME. I’m really grateful that Heavenly Father kind of forced me to have to sit around an apartment all day so I COULD work on cleaning my inner vessel. He gave me time to sit and be still and reconnect with Him. Not with the little rules and guidelines of being a missionary, but with HIM and his love and his gospel.

I think I’d gotten too caught up in the mission side of things that I was forgetting that Gospel side of things. Funny how that works, huh? And Dad, can you see how perfect your letters were in helping address that? It was great.

Also, I did go out with Sister Lind for a little bit–that’s right, they let the two two-week old trainees out on the world for a couple hours. And it was SO FUN. I hadn’t realized how caught up I’d gotten in the work and rules that I forgot how to have FUN! But Sister Lind is perfect for that. She had me drive a bit, we played the piano and sang while we waited for our appointment, we danced in the car and goofed off. It felt so good to REALLY laugh and not hold up all my anxiety and stress inside.

(P.S. I hope this doesn’t make it sound like I was in the pit of depression–don’t get the wrong idea, I was mostly fine, but there was definitely some stress and anxiety–I mean come on, I’m on a mission!)

Anyway, it was just some very quality time for my soul and cleansing my inner vessel. Dad, really thank you for the letters and talks. I’ll send you a letter later today with more details about it, but you really saved my bacon. Sometimes I get too caught up in my own thoughts that I kind of shut out what Heavenly Father is trying to tell me. I’m grateful that even when I’m being stubborn like that, Heavenly Father loves me enough to send me answers through my earthly father that are a little more direct and easier for me to listen to. So thanks dad, and keep up the letters. πŸ™‚

Yesterday was pretty good as well. We got to church, gave our talks, and met a really cool potential investigator Jimmy. Then we got home and I had a super bad headache so we stayed inside the rest of the day to do comp study and weekly planning, and I’m so grateful we did. Now that my inner vessel was feeling a bit better, I was able to work a lot more on my relationship with my companion. We had a great time connecting a bit more and it was a great blessing.

Well, there you have it. This is a little weird to me to put so much stuff about myself and who I am on here, so I hope everyone appreciates it. πŸ™‚ And hopefully things didn’t go too deep or cheesy, but that really was my journey for this week. So go take time to clean your inner vessels! πŸ™‚

Well, I’m gonna send some pics now, but here’s your fun fact for the day–Sister Hart and I are pretty sure we are the FIRST 19-year old companionship in Alaska, and probably the first this far north in the world as well!! I don’t think I told you that she just finished her training and then started training me, which means we’re both little baby missionaries, but hey, we’ve got a lot of potential! πŸ™‚

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Love ya lots, and keep sending letters! πŸ™‚ So far Dad is winning the most letters contest with a whole TWO from him. Haha, I think more of you have them coming though, so I’ll be patient waiting up here in the boonies of America. πŸ™‚

Oh hey, I heard there was flooding in Colorado–hope you guys are all okay!

LOVE YOU!!!

Sister Harrison

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One thought on “Oh hey, wait, what? I’m a Missionary??

  1. Love your letter and love you. Enjoyed the “inner vessel” experience. Sunday’s lesson talked about “seeing our weakness” being requisite to changing that weakness into a strength. Your wonderful letter is full of examples of this fundamental principle. I’m so glad to get your letter; do you get mine? If you do, do the photos come through? Love, Bompar.

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