Monday, July 28, 2014

Chuggin' along

Hello everybody!

It's crazy to think that this transfer is almost through...why do missions go by so quickly?  This past week my friend Carolyn went into the MTC to go to Taiwan, and it was weird to know that because I knew before I left that she couldn't go until I was over a year.  And then it came!'s crazy.

It's also funny how all the days just seem to blend together being a missionary, because I do the same thing practically every day, we just talk with different people throughout the day.  I think that's why the day-to-day activities seem to go by really slowly, but the weeks and months go by quickly.  It's pretty weird how it all works out.

SO, this week, we were able to meet with Lily twice.  The first time, we finished teaching her the Restoration, as well as a few Commandments, such as the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, and keeping the Sabbath day holy.  She told us that she doesn't smoke, use drugs, drink alcohol or coffee, but she does drink tea.  We talked about how certain teas were fine, such as herbal tea, and she told us that that was mostly what she had, but she drank other teas too.  We committed her to live the Word of Wisdom and she said she would.  Lily also has a copy of Preach My Gospel that she has been reading, and we assigned her to read the lesson about the Plan of Salvation.  The second time we met with her, we asked about how the Word of Wisdom was going, and she said that she hasn't drunk a tea ever since, and she doesn't even have a desire to.  We were super happy for her, and she said she was much happier too.  That's what happens when we follow the Lord's commandments!  She read the Plan of Salvation lesson, and she explained the whole Plan of Salvation to us!  We saw little need to actually teach the lesson, but we did, however, because it's a requirement. :)  She had a few "what if" questions about her family and what would happen if they don't accept the Gospel in their lifetimes.  We answered those questions for her, and she felt comforted.  Her mom is completely OK with her meeting with us, but Lily apparently told her about her desire to serve a mission, and her mom isn't very happy with that.  She doesn't want Lily to go, and we kinda laughed on the inside, because we just need to focus on baptism first!  Her mom took her somewhere else yesterday, so she wasn't able to go to church, so we are trying to get in contact with her...everything should be fine.  She is super happy for August 10th.

As for finding, nothing too solid has happened.  Finding is one of my least favorite things to do as a missionary.  I'm a much more solid and comfortable teacher.  However, nothing happens in missionary work until we find somebody to teach.  That's the hard part, at least in California.  We continue to have little "one and only" finding miracles, but when we offer to come back, they say no.  We were walking down the street a few weeks ago and we met a man named Joshua.  He talked to us about how the world is so crazy and he feels overwhelmed with everything.  We talked about how God was in control of everything and that there was no need to fear.  I bore solemn testimony to him about how God has helped me in my life through the scriptures, and he started to cry!  When we asked if we could come back, he said no, and that everybody needs to have their own path to God.  We explained that we are just guides along that path, but he said that we was still OK.  

This past Tuesday, we were riding our bikes back to our apartment because it was late, and we ran into a lady named Fanolupe, and she told us that she was a member, but wasn't active in the church anymore.  She talked about how her sister just went through chemotherapy and that she only has 2 more months to live.  We bore testimony about how families can be together forever, and that trials in our lives bring families closer together, and closer to God.  We said a prayer for her, her sister, and the rest of her family, and she started to cry too!  Again, when we asked if we could see her sometime, she said she would be fine.  

All we can do as missionaries is to invite.  Seed planting is a lot of what we do on a regular basis.  The Lord is preparing people's hearts to receive the Gospel, but they need to act on those feelings and accept the invitation.  I still feel good at the end of the day knowing that I made somebody's day better.  My favorite thing about being a missionary is to see someone express a need or a concern that they are having in their lives, such as these, and then to be able to bear my testimony from the heart, and to see the Spirit influence them.  No matter the outcome, the Spirit was present, and that's all that matters.

I love you all!  Thanks for the love and kindness.  I love being a missionary!  As hard as it is, it's the best calling in the church.  Well, maybe besides an Apostle...but still!  Love you all!

Elder Harper

1 comment:

  1. Great letter! Love his enthusiasm and confidence to teach. Love his attitude about making someone's day better instead of being discouraged about rejection. He is definitely planting the seeds for future harvests. Great missionary.

    Dave did such a great job yesterday. I was especially touched by his reminder that missionaries never walk alone.

    Hope you wonderful Harpers have a fabulous week. Thanks for sharing.

    Tracy $