Conference Week!

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(Pics from Dad’s Trip to Fairbanks & Anchorage)

Well, I’m really tempted to talk about how sad, depressed, and how terribly wrong everything is going, because apparently that’s the way to get letters. This week, Sister Hart and I got a whoppin’ ZERO letters! Okay, actually we got two altogether, but it sounds more dramatic saying zero. Wah-wah. Of course I know I’ll go home and check the mail and there will be the 50 letters and 10 packages you’ve sent, so I won’t chastise you too much, but here’s some baby chastisement. 

But, the reason I said I’m TEMPTED to talk about how sad, depressed etc, is because that’s actually a big fat lie. Everything is going great, and I love it here. I love it, I love it, I love it. I’ve never felt so satisfied, full and happy before, and it’s BEAUTIFUL to feel. 

As a side note, I think I’m mostly physically adjusted. Like caught up on sleep and everything. Or I’m just ignoring how tired I am. Either way it’s great. And I’m not as freezing most of the time, except my poor little toes. No matter how many layers of socks I’m wearing, how much a try wiggling them, they’re just cold. Sister Beesley told us that if they turn white that means they’re frostbitten. Luckily we’re only at a light pink for now, but I’ll let you know if it looks like I won’t be coming home with a full set of toes.

SO, on that happy note, let me tell you about my week! AH, it’s been SO good! Honestly, nothing crazy and huge, just the feeling of being so full makes it all seem great. Probably because it is, because it’s GOD that’s directing us and guiding us in everything we do and this is HIS great work. 

Alrighty, Tuesday was cool because we got to help out with Denali Manning. She lives in one of the Bush area’s up here (the really far away from civilization areas in Alaska), but she was leaving on her mission to England! So we got to pick her up from the airport from her Bush village, and then take to get set apart and took her on a few visits, and then drop her off at the other airport for her to go to the MTC! It was fun getting to help out one of our sisters and buddies, and it was also funny to look at how I’ve grown. She was a bit nervous about the MTC and had a bunch of questions–all of which we could answer and reassure her and give her tips. Since when did I become such an experienced missionary? Oh wait, I’m not yet, but we have the spirit with us to help people out. So cool.

Wednesday was really cool because I had such an awesome personal study. We choose what we want to study the night before during planning, and I had this little thought to study Faith in Christ. Well, those little thoughts bring to pass even bigger things, because as I started studying, I decided that I needed to start the book of Mormon over, studying Faith, along with a specific question. I’ve heard from so many people that this is a good idea, and Elder Bedner talks about it all the time, but I’ve always had the attitude, that, No thank you, I’d rather use my study time MY way. Well, I’m glad that I finally reached the point where I was ready to give it a try, because it’s been incredible. Reading through the BofM with one thing in mind has helped me find SO many things I’ve never seen before. And is my question being answered? You bet! It’s seriously the coolest thing ever. And THEN the next day, someone brought up Jesus the Christ, which I’ve never really wanted to read because, well, look at it, it’s a bit of a monster. But I started it, and I LOVE it! Look at what God’s doing in and for me. I keep finding all these ways that God is taking talents and desires I already have and giving them more depth. It’s so cool.

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Anyway, Wednesday was also great because of Nettie. Oh Nettie! Man, I wish you could meet her and Frank! Coolest people ever! Nettie’s Tahitian/Polynesian/Chinese or something like that, and Frank’s Hawaiian. Neither of them are member’s or even have an interest in the gospel, but they respect what missionaries do so much that they’ve been having them over for dinner for years. I really don’t know how to describe them. Nettie is pretty stubborn, and what she thinks, she’s gonna make you think it too. She doesn’t hold back and is very loud and outspoken in what she thinks. She swears probably every other word, and makes fun of you all the time, and yet you can’t help but feel her love for you when she gives you homemade jam and feeds you delicious food including homemade cheesecake and then makes you fudge to take home. Frank is like the exact opposite. haha, he’s super chill, and plays the ukulele. When I mentioned I play they brought one out and I got to play and sing a bit, and then Frank took over and played like a BOSS. I seriously love them to death, and there was such a good spirit there. Even though they might not have the fullness of the Gospel, they sure have a lot of crucial parts. They both work so well together, and even with Nettie being as strong willed as she is, she doesn’t fight with her husband, and they’ve learned how to work together. What can be more important than a happy marriage?? There was such a cozy feeling there and I felt more at home than I have with a group of people since starting my mission. Mmm, love it.

Thursday was pretty great as well. We went and served at the food bank for a few hours (turns out we might not actually be allowed to go there) and we met a cool girl named Lacee that we’re seeing some potential for. That night was awesome–One of the members took us out to Geraldo’s–Ah, it was so good! The little hopeless romantic inside of me broke out a little bit, and they all made fun of me for it. It’s okay though, because I make fun of myself. Geraldo’s is kind of like Olive Garden but more cozy and expensive. Seriously, the members spoil us. There was a little fireplace in there and everything, and the members couldn’t believe I was that excited just to be at a restaurant. Haha.  And really, I loved it.

Friday was really full, but some highlights–we had zone meeting and it’s one of our last before some of our zone leaves. Sad day. 😦 We got to meet with a less-active who is really dedicated to coming back and we are SO excited for him. We invited him to come to ALL the general conference sessions–and he DID! Even though it meant he had to cram in all his studying at other times, he made the effort and put it first. We told him to come up with questions and when we talked to him afterwards he said he got some good answers and was grateful we told him about it. Ah, so adorable.

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Then we went to dinner and got taken out AGAIN! This time we went to Shogun, which is one of those restaurants where they cook it right in front of you–first time going to one! Seriously, who knew I had to come on a mission to finally go to cool restaurants? haha, it was really delicious though, especially the fried ice cream.

GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! Ah, I can’t even say how I felt about it! I don’t know if it’s because I’m on a mission or what, but this one was SO good. Every single talk had some nugget of goodness in it. Beforehand, President Beesley told us to pray that we would be able to see the vision God has given to his Apostles concerning his work of salvation–and I saw it! You probably did too–can you say MEMBER missionary work? But really, it was the coolest experience, because not only did I see the overall picture, but I had super specific ideas come to me about what to specifically do in our branch–the goal to set, the lesson where we initiate the goal, what questions to ask in that lesson, what to do in the weeks after the lesson, even down to one member in particular that God needs to help out in it all. It was SO cool. I also received answers to my questions. I only had two, but they were both answered to the point that I felt satisfied with them. Not only where my questions answered though, but I saw how to help out some of our investigators! Overall, it was just an incredible experience and I felt so great about it. 

 As a side note, it was so cool to hear each conference prayer be so short first of all, but that almost each one of them prayed for the missionaries. Like, as in ME, because I’m a missionary!

ALSO, that night we got to meet with William again and he’s totally transformed! He’s head over heels for one of the members, so she talked to him a bit and he ended up shaving, cutting his afro off, taking out his earrings and throwing away all his alcohol! She actually broke into his house and stole the alcohol to throw it away, but he threw away the stuff she hadn’t found. Getting to see him was incredible. There was a whole new happiness and light to him that hadn’t been there before. He’s devoting himself to getting his answer. He’s stopping everything until he gets it. Even though he hasn’t gotten his ‘answer’ yet, once he does, he’s going to realize just how much the Gospel has already changed and blessed his life. This is one of the first experiences I’ve had seeing how the gospel can make such a big transformation in someone’s life, at least physically. I hope you’re feeling the ways the gospel is working in your lives to transform you at home, and giving you more light and happiness than before, because that’s what the gospel does–fills you up with happiness!

Also, it was fun because William just wants us to read the Bof M with him, and it was fun to have kind of a family scripture study. I sure miss our fam scripture studies, but God’s making up for it, and I love hearing how God’s blessing you all! I LOVE YOU!!!!

 Love, Sister Harrison

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