Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Merrry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas season! Here in Honduras everyone is preparing for... dun dun dun... tamales! We are going to go over to some investigators to learn how to make them. Also, the other day we were helping an investigator machete off the leaves for the tamales. It was super exciting. No... I did not use the machete but I did gather all the leaves and make them into a nice pile. Everyone is also in the process (or has already finished) killing their pigs for the tamales. The other day one of our investigators was explaining how it was done and how he was going to kill his pig that night. I did not understand all of the conversation, and after I looked at my companeras in shock and asked ¨wait he was shot when he was younger¨ They both started laughing. The next day we passed by his house to teach him (sadly he was not there) but his dead pig was! Nice and skinned. Anyways, enough about tamales.

So sad sad news is that one of my companeras is gone. I want to do a frowney face but these buttons are really bizzare on this computer. They had an hermana who broke her leg so she has to go home, so they had an emergency transfer. So today she left us for San Pedro... so sad. I decided that this is one of the hardest parts of the mission, having to leave people you learn to love. So now we have two areas in Campana that we are going to try to cover without having Hermana Gardner to help us cover her area. Craziness!

For this week since it is the week before Christmas I have been focusing on an attribute of Christ. In Preach my Gospel, in Chapter 5, they have a list of Christlike attributes. I decided to focus on caridad, or charity.As we have been going around teaching this week I have been trying to think of them how Christ would, and try to love them like he would. It has been amazing, and slightly exhausting. 

 Yesterday we visited three different people who were struggling with illnesses in some way or another. Maria is an elderely member who we happened to cross paths with the other day and offered to help her carry her bag. As we started talking we found out she was a member, so we went to visit her and invite her back to church. She started talking about how she had cancer and how her granddaughter was really sick. We talked a little about prayer, and then she looked at me and said she has been praying, and nothing changes. At that moment my heart was definitely crying for her, because how many of us have tried to have faith and pray, and nothing seems to come from it¿ She looked right at me and asked why. This was kind of strange since there was three missionaries and two other members in the room. I hope she understood what I said. I tried to talk about the Savior and how he was the perfect example, and how he always complied with the voluntad of the father even when he did not understand or want to, and we too have to do so. We also visited two others, and we were super blessed because we had our two members accompanying us for the day, two 17 year old Priests, that were able to give one a blessing. The whole thing seemed to be happen chance, but I know the Lord needed us to find him that night, and to have our two Priests with us to give him a blessing. 

I also had a golden missionary moment. We are teaching this amazing family right now. We had just taught the Ley de Castidad (my first time teaching it) and at the end we were talking about the blessings. I talked about how we can have the Spirit with us to comfort us and fill our hearts with joy. Then the dad looked at us and said that he has always felt an emptiness in his heart, like a hole. We were all just like say whaaaat that is where this gospel comes to fill your heart with happiness and joy. It was awesome. 

Well I hope that you are all remembering Christ this Christmas. We have gotten to teach a bunch of little lessons about Christ, and it has reminded me how much he has done for us. In Mosiah 14 it says 

 Surely he has aborne our bgriefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 But he was awounded for our btransgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are chealed.
Well I love you all and I hope you have an amazing Christmas!! Cuidense. 

 
--
Love,
 
Hermana Harmon

Cambios! ... Say whaaaat?

So.... like the title said I had cambios! This is really kind of crazy because I only had four weeks in Santa Rosa, and usually your first area you are there for three to six months. So I was super surprised! The District Leader called and said another Hermana in our house had changes, which we were expecting, and then two hours later at like9:30 he calls and asks to talk to me and tells me I have changes. I was like no I don't Elder, I am not sure what you are saying. This is a bad joke. But alas, it was true, so I packed my malettas and here I am in (dun dun dun) Compana! Compana is about an hour out of San Pedro Sula near the coast. We are about 30 minutes from the ocean! And we are going to visit it soon (at least that is what they promised me :) Sometimes when we are outside I think I can smell the ocean and it makes me really happy. I might be imagining it all but I still love it. There are also cool things outside, like yesterday we saw a bunch of ants with leaves going somewhere and a huge frog in the road.One of my companeras is good about bringing me back to missionary life and not letting me get sucked into I am five again and want to find out where the ants are going! It is a lot warmer and more humid here (hallelujah!) and we actually have a ward. Craziness. The people here are also a lot more rich (not rich like America) but they have like houses and comfortable couches. We also have running water in our apartment!! I feel like I am living like a queen with running water.
I am in a trio again with all gringas! It is rare to have one gringa companera... let alone two! So far it has been going well. We have not had very many lessons with all three of us though because for four days one hermana was sick, and then my other companera got bit really badly by a dog, so it is hard for her to walk the whole day. So pretty much depending on the day depends on who I go out with to teach. Also, before I came they each had an area and a companion. Now, we are one companionship with one area. This keeps us super busy since we have the investigators of both areas to teach. I love it! I think they are a little stressed out but I like it since we are also running somewhere. 

Last night we visited someone who is ready to get baptized but he has just been having problems with smoking. His wife got baptized about a month ago. Our other Hermana who was sick told us that we should promise him that if he reads the Book of Mormon everyday he will be able to quit. We promised him this, and then he took his box of cigarretes and put them in water then threw them out the door. It was pretty awesome. We also visited another family yesterday of our hermana who was sick. I had visited them once before with her. The two sons got baptized a month ago, but we are teaching the mom and sister. We knew the mom had been having problems with the idea that she needed to get baptized again since she felt like her baptism in the Catholic church was valid. We read the second part of 3 Nefi 11 about authority, but then all of the sudden I felt like I needed to talk about the Holy Ghost. So I asked her to read verse 3, which is super powerful about the Holy Ghost. I love this verse because everytime someone reads it, the Holy Ghost always comes in super powerfully and sweet to testify about his power :) Then we talked a little about the Holy Ghost and about what a gift it is, and how we can have him to comfort us all the time after baptism. They commited to get baptized on January 4th, so hopefully it happens!
Also this week I was reading in True to the Faith about the Plan of Salvation. It was talking about premortal life, and how we grew spiritually, developed characteristics, and prepared to come to Earth. I never really realized that in the premortal life we were also at different levels and also were working very hard to prepare to come to this Earth. Then the next day I read Alma 13, which is about the Priesthood and foreordination. It talks about how they were chosen because of their exceedingly good works and faith. I never thought in the premortal life we would have to have faith-- because we could see God and we knew he was there. But that is not so, we had to have faith premortally as well, and we had good works as well. I was thinking about when the veil is lifted, and when we remember our premortal life. When we remember everything about our premortal selves, will we be happy with what we did in this life? Will we think, oh I developed the same characteristics I had premortally on Earth and I also followed Christ, or will we be disappointed with ourselves? All of the sudden I wanted to work really hard and learn a lot so I can be at the same level I once was.
Well family and friends, I hope you are all having a lovely Christmas and aren't too stressed out for finals!
I love you all :)



--
Love,
 
Hermana Harmon

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pictures!!

Dearest Family and Friends :)
I hope you have all had a great week! This week has probably been my best week so far in Santa Rosa. We had an investigator come to church yesterday! We also had a family and two other menos activos come to church. We were also super close this week to our goal of having 20 lessons with members... sadly we only made it to 17 but still we were happy since usually we have around 11 or 12.
Another one of our menos activos has started reading the Book of Mormon! We challenged her to read, and when we went back yesterday she was in 1 Nefi chapter 4. I was so happy! We read a chapter with her, and then at the end I asked her son if he would give the closing prayer. He was not too interested so I said it is okay! I will help you. I will say something and you just repeat it. So he gave his prayer, and then afterward he came up to me and gave me a big hug and said "Hermana thank you so much for teaching me how to pray!" My heart basically melted.
This week we had a lesson with Ilda, who is probably around 50 and has strong faith and belief in her religion, but she likes us to teach her because she likes to hear the word of God. We also teach her daughter Vanesah who is 16 and is super adorable. Ilda came in and we started talking and she started talking about her sister who had died. All of the sudden I got this feeling that I needed to talk about work for the dead. I was super freaked out though because I was pretty sure there was no way I could explain it well in Spanish, and I thought my companion would not be super happy if I started talking about a principal we do not teach until after baptism. But then I started listening to my companera, and realized that she was explaining about work for the dead. I was so shocked and surprised and happy. We both felt the Spirit super strongly that her sister was waiting for her to accept the gospel so that she could do her work.
After this experience I realized that these people we are teaching, it is not just us who are hoping that they accept it, but also all of their family in the Spirit World. There are a lot of people on the other side who are also hoping and praying that we will share the gospel with their family. The only way they can be saved and receive exaltation is if their work is done here, on this Earth. I also thought about how sad I will be if one day I make it to the Celestial kingdom and my family and friends are not there. Then it clicked to me why it is so important to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children! Because if we do not, then we won´t have all of our family and friends with us... and that alone is curse enough for me.
This week I also was reading in D&C 88 and verse 50 hit me super hard. It says  

50 Then shall ye know that ye have aseen me, that I am, and that I am the true blight that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound.
I thought this scripture was so awesome! Before in the section it talks about the Celestial Kingdom and Christ's light, and how his light is everywhere in everything. I absolutely loved this scripture though because when we see Christ, we will recognize him, and realize that our entire lives we have seen him. He is in the sunrise, he is in the breeze, he is literally everywhere- because everything has his light in it. In this life we are to walk by faith, but we have the light of Christ in us and everywhere around us to bless us. This life is a probationary time, a time to prepare to meet God, and a time where we are so far away from our true home. Yet we still have Christ with us, if we will only look for him, because he is truly everywhere.
For sad news three different of our families either moved last week or are moving this week, including Ilda and Vanesah and our investigator who came to church yesterday. So we are are definately searching for new families to teach. 

Well there is so much to tell but so little time. I love you all! I also hope you all got to watch the Christmas devotional last night. It was so beautiful. All my dear friends in Utah the people here crave to visit Salt Lake and see the lights and the conference center. Take the opportunity to go and enjoy it for them!
Love you all so much. Hugs and kisses :) 

This is me two weeks ago when it was really cold and rainy.

This picture is mi and mi companera in one of our areas 

This picture is Ilda and Vanesah their last day here in Santa Rosa :( 

This picture is me behind our house. Behind me is our pila for our water. This is where we get water to wash our dishes and clothes.

Two Months in the Mish!

My Dearest, Darlingest Family and Friends,

I hope all of you had a lovely Thanksgiving! To celebrate I decided throughout the day to simply say prayers of thanks. I think that this was definately inspired because I was definately not feeling very thankful!  But it was Thanksgiving, and I love President Monson because he always teaches about gratitude (It is a lot easier to listen when I am feeling grateful!). So I did, and it definately helped me feel better.

On Tuesday in the middle of P Day I started feeling really sick, and I came down with a super bad fever. So we were in our apartment Tuesday night, Wednesday, and Thursday. Not only was I sick, but here in Santa Rosa it became super cold! It was 14 degrees celsius at night, and in the day it was all overcast. I know many of you who are dying of cold right now in Utah are probably thinking that I am a super whimp, but the weather that is outside is also inside! If it is cold, there is no escaping it. We also did not have the blessing of our luke warm showers, because the hot water had stopped working. The first day I did not take a shower, then after having mud all up my shins from walking in the streets I decided it was time to take the plunge. It was pretty deathly. So I started showering it up Pionner style by heating up a pan of water and showering with that.
After that, I officially decided my life here in Santa Rosa is a lot like a long camping trip. My clothes always smell like outside since we wash and dry them outside by hand, I am showering out of a bucket, brushing my teeth out of a cup of water, and I use the bathroom by hauling in buckets of water. I have decided this is the Lord´s way of teaching me to appreciate camping because I am going to have to go on a bunch of girls camp trips in my later life or something :) lol. So needless to say my day of being grateful was definately needed :) Throughout my week a scripture kept coming back into my mind from Joseph Smith in D and C 127:2, where he says, 

.... But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in etribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.
I definately did not feel like rejoicing but I am glad I have super awesome examples like Joseph Smith to keep things in perspective :) And besides today... the glorious sun decided to come out again, and every person in Santa Rosa rejoiced! (literally!)
So sadly this week we only had a three day week. However, we visited Nulbia, our investigator who wants to get baptized! (yay!) She has a four year old and she is pregnant right now. We just taught her about the Book of Mormon, and we are going to try to teach her how to read. We also need to teach her about the law of chastity, and hopefully she and her esposo will get married so we can get her to baptism! Our other investigator, Rosita, had a date for December 21st but she has not come to church yet... so I do not really know what is going to happen. For a lot of people going to church seems like such a huge sacrifice! I have not quite figured out why, it is only a few hours a week, and your first time we tell them they only need to come for one hour. Plus, you receive so many blessings, yet so many people do not want to come! It is interesting.
A cute little eight year old named Andrea is getting baptized in two weeks though. She is super cute, and I went and taught her one day when we had divisions with another Hermana. Everyone in our rama is excited about it. Her Dad is a member, so I am not sure why we are teaching her, but it is still good. This Wednesday we have divisions with Hermana leaders and I am super nervous because our area is pretty big and for me it is really hard to remember how to get places. So I am praying when they come we do not end up in some sketch neighborhood as I get ourselves lost :) Hopefully the Lord will bless me.
Well I love you all so much!! Go visit Temple Square for me! 
Hugs and kisses.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Three Days in Prison! ... I mean, our apartment.

Buenas!

(That is what everyone says here :)
So I am not sure how many of you know this, but Honduras recently had elections. That is why I have my P Day on Tuesday instead of Monday, because for Saturday,Sunday, and Monday we had to be in the apartment. We got to leave for one hour for Sacrament. And sadly... of our goal for 100 assistencia, only 34 people came. Haha only in Honduras will they change the time of Sacrament and cancel all the other meetings for elections :) I am very impressed with the people who did come, they have so much faith and perseverance.
Luckily all is well here in Santa Rosa, and I do not know about the rest of Honduras, but they let us come out so I am assuming all is well.
A little more about Santa Rosa... it is so great, people use horses as transportation... and sometimes I am completely jealous of them! I know I am not supposed to covet... but there are so many hills!

This week we visited a less active, Cynthia, and her brother Nestor. Cynthia is less active and has three adorable girls (Here in Honduras, everyone has kids.. I think it is normal to have your first baby around 17 or 18, if not younger). Nestor is a atheist, and my companera decided we should read the chapter in Alma about Zoram. I was definately freaking out because that is not my route to help people, but I went with it. At the end, mi companera was a bit upset because Nestor had no idea how to change. So she turned to me and said "Hermana Harmon!" So I tried, with all my might, to explain in my terrible Spanish how I felt. 
I told them how I had had problems with believing as well. Nestor looked at me and said "Reaaaaally." I explained how I always wondered why such terrible things happen. When I said this, Cynthia looked up at me and said she felt the exact same way. I explained how I had seen so many miracles in my life when I exercised a small amount of faith, even when I really did not believe. I tried to explain about how we have to go through hard things in life to build faith in Christ. Jesus Christ was our perfect example, and he always submitted to the will of the father, even when he had no idea why. I do not know how much they understood, but later, during our three days in the house, I decided to study more about the savior and afflictions. 
I was reading in Mosiah 14,15, and 16 in Spanish about the Savior (this was completely happenstance). After figuring out what was going on, I decided I had to read it in English because it was an answer to my question.
My favorite parts were "There were no beauty that we should desire... he was despised and rejected... we esteemed him not, yet he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." Later, it says "It pleased the Lord to bruise him." Sometimes, the Lord bruises all of us. Hello mission! ... And life! But... "The will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father." Jesus Christ was not loved, and he had trials and temptations, yet he always submitted to the father even when he did not know why. At the end, it gives examples of people who are not saved, "having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires."
So... why do we have trials and afflictions? To learn to have FAITH (the basic principle of the gospel!) and submit the will to the Father, even when we have no idea why. To learn to trust in the Lord, because we cannot be molded and changed, and receive his image in our countenance, if we do not submit. This life is the refiners fire. Yes, we have moments of joy, but our happily ever after will not start here. What happens if we do not submit to the father? We cannot be saved, we cannot receive his image in our countenance. The first week I was here, was super rough. It still is difficult! Only running water in the morning, food that makes me sick, wanting to help people and having no idea how, wanting people to feel their Savior's love, trying to figure everything out... but I have learned that when we are alone, the Savior, and our Father, is right here with us. 

I feel like this is the universal question of the world... why do we have trials and tribulations, and why do we feel so alone. I hope I have helped someone understand. I loved Justin's letter this week because it was all about submitting ourselves-- even though it is the hardest thing we will ever do on this Earth.
Well... that is all from Santa Rosa :) On one of our days in we had a Dia de Gracias to celebrate Thanksgiving. I couldn´´t eat the food, but the orange juice was super great!

P.S... go to the temple! It is beautiful, and I miss it so much! The people here cannot afford it, and those who are in the church want it so badly.
Love you all!!

Love,
Hermana Harmon


Monday, November 25, 2013

I am in Honduras!

Hola!
So I am in Honduras! I am in a city called Santa Rosa, which is about three hours from San Pedro Sula in the mountains. We flew in last Tuesday and it was absolutely beautiful flying in. We slept at the Presidente's apartment, which was absolutely lovely and beautiful and the bed was soooo comfy. 
Let's just say I am so grateful for every single lick of Spanish I had before the mission, because mi companera is from Panama. I have been learning a lot of charades and how to figure out what someone is saying when I do not know any of the words they are saying. It definitely does not help when they have no teeth. Luckily though I know that I know a lot more than the other new missionaries. Usually I can figure out what is going on, so that is super good. My goal is after one month here to be super profficient :)
There is a lot of work to do here! There are a lot of inactives in our little rama (branch). We have visited quite a few of them and a lot just do not seem to have any desire to change. We also have a good amount of investigators, but it is very hard because many of them do not fulfill their compromisos (I can't remember what that is in English... like reading the Book of Mormon or going to church). Also many people work every Sunday. It is crazy. It is very hard. We have one investigator who wants to be baptized, but she never reads and you have to come to church three times before baptism, and she has not come yet. We also have another investigator who we invited to baptism, and she said yes, but she works every Sunday for the next month. There are definitely a lot of challenges here.
Anyways a little about life here in Santa Rosa. It is really poor, and a good amount of people cannot read. This makes things even harder. Also, for the next eighteen months, I have decided my hair is going in a ponytail with a braid. I get.... a lot of stares. One day I wore my hair down, and I think it was one of the worst decisions in my entire life. Mi companera is good about taking care of me though :)
I love being in lessons and teaching people though. Despite the hardships, there is still something magical about teaching the words of God. The other day we were in a lesson, and it was a bedroom (which is many peoples houses) and we had three people there, and then mi companera and I. We were teaching about the first vision, and the sweetest most powerful Spirit came into the room after I read Joseph Smith's experience. Another day we were in another house that is the size of a bedroom, and there were three people on one bed, another person and mi companera and I on another bed, and then three others. It was pretty intense. Every time I visit someone I am reminded of the countless blessings I have. On Sunday we went with a member to an area we are not allowed to go to unless we get a referrel. We went there, and I realized that the people I was suprised by before, are actually really rich compared to others. We have a lot.
This week the Lord has taught me so much. I have learned that the Lord is definitely going to be trying me and testing me the next 17 months. Every day I find myself with a new challenge and hardship, but I know the Lord is by me the whole time. The other day I was reading in 2 Nefi and it said you are the work of my hands. I realized that the Lord did make me, and he is still changing me, and he is making me into a new work. A lot of times it is really hard though. In one devotional we watched in the CCM, Elder Holland talked a lot about how the Lord wants our hearts as missionaries. He wants all of us, and how so many times we focus on the investigators (which is important) but we forget that the Lord is really shaping us. I have been thinking a lot about that this week, because in this first area I may not get a baptism, and I may not increase the attendance in our rama (although I hope to) but I will give my whole heart to the Lord. 

Well I love you all! Hugs and kisses. 
P.S. My P days are now on Mondays all the time! Except for next Monday, it will be on Tuesday, but then after that it will be back to being on Monday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Your Missionary Arrived!



Dear Missionary Families,

We just wanted you to know that your missionary is safe and sound with us tonight in our home.  We already love them and can't wait to get to know them better.  They will be going to a transfer meeting tomorrow where they will meet their new companion and then leave for their assigned area.  Thank you for all your prayers and love.  We are so grateful that you sent them to us.

With love,
President and Sister Dester

Estimadas Familias de los Misioneros,

Solamente quisiéramos hacerles saber que su misionero llegó sin novedad a Honduras y está aquí con nosotros para una cena en nuestra casa hoy por la noche.  Ya los amamos a todos, y esperamos ansiosamente conocerles aún más.  Tendremos una reunión  de "cambios" mañana donde conocerán a sus primeros compañeros, y saldrán de allí para sus primeras áreas.  Gracias por sus oraciones y amor.  Les agrademos muchísimo por haberlos mandado a nosotros.

Con mucho cariño,
Presidente y Hermana Dester



Hasta Luego Mexico!

Well familia y amigos, 

I will be in HONDURAS TOMORROW!!! I am pretty ecstatic. Yesterday and this morning our three children, I mean Elderes, left for Honduras and El Salvador. It was sad to see them go :( Tomorrow morning all of the Hermanas are out of here. It is sad to leave, because our district is definitely a family, but I know it is an amazing work that we are getting to do.
I do not have much time, so I do not think I will have a chance to write any of your personal emails back, but I love you all and I got to read all of them. They made me very happy :) So keep emailing me :)

So... a few things for this week I learned.
First of all, the Lord has taught me a lot more about faith. A few weeks back I learned a lot about faith and did a big study thing about it. This week, I was reading in Either 12, and the Lord taught me so much more. In Alma 32, it talks about what faith is, and how to gain it and how it grows. In Either 12, it talks about what we can do with faith. I counted ten examples of what people did because of their faith... because of how strongly they believed in God. Ammon converted all of the Lamanites people because of his faith, people saw Christ after he was risen because of their faith, and the brother of Jared saw Christ before he was born because of his faith. I started thinking about how much we can do, if we simply believe. Why do we not believe? Why do we not lean unto God? Because, simply put, with God ALL things are possible. So after that I said a nice ten minute prayer about learning Spanish :) So hopefully it will all kick in quickly, since in about 20 hours I will be completely immersed in Honduras! 
Also, today as our last goodbye, mi maestra shared a talk about the four types of missionaries. It blew me away... the third and fourth missionaries on the outside are completely the same. The difference is that the third type of missionary looks back and longs for his life and his goals and dreams, instead of completely submitting his heart to God. He fails to turn his heart to God. It really made me think about how many times I have thought about things before my mission and longed for them, and I long for things after my mission. God can never change your heart if you constantly are holding on to other things. You cannot submit your will to his if your desires are on other things. Ahhh... completely blew me away. I would encourage everyone to look at your hearts and analyze. I will try to find out the title and author so you can all go read it. It is completely and totally amazing.
Last cool thing. Mi Presidente de nuestro rama, Presidente Torres shared a story. Eight years ago he was a Mission President here in Mexico. He had a senior couple go and serve the menanites, and after their two years, they had not converted anyone. They left feeling like they had not accomplished anything. Eight years later, now, Presidente Torres finds out that they had a Book of Mormon and were reading it. Over 2,000 meet together to read the Book of Mormon, and they are ready to learn more. So awesome. The problem is though they speak like a special dialect of German, which very few people speak. Anyways cool awesome stories.

Well I for reals gotta go but love you all! I think I will get to send an email once I arrive, but I do not really know, since no one really ever tells us anything here! 

Hugs and kisses :) 






More pictures!

Here we are being lady bugs, and there is me pointing to Honduras, and me and two other Elders decided to all wear blue. Funsters stuff. 




Festivities de Ciudad de Mexico

Buenos dias mi familia y amigos!

Soooo this week has gone by really fast. I only have six days left before I leave! Craziness. So fun stuff this week.

#1 Halloween
Well we did not get Halloween here, so my district and I all wore orange and purple and bought candy from the Tienda (our little store here). Then we all took turns being the person at the "house" aka our classroom, and we all went trick or treating. It was super great. Mexico City though had quite the party though! So here we hear sirens, bombs, fireworks, pretty much all night every night. But for Halloween we got some nice cool strobe lights going on and some cool Halloween Mexican music. 
Also the P day before Halloween mi companeras and two other hermanas in my district were lady bugs, which meant that we dressed up in red and black. So we got our festivities on :) also, I would like to live precariously through you all, so send me pictures of your Halloween!!! 

#2 El Libro de Mormon
So today we got to go to the temple, which made me sad because it is the last time I will get to go before I go home. But it was super amazing, and dun dun dun I understood like 95% of it!! Whooowh at the end I was in amazement by how much I understood. Yah for Spanish! Anyways but yesterday my district leader decided that on our way there we should give away a Book of Mormon. The only socialization with the outside world we receive are our bus rides to the temple. So we got a Book of Mormon, and we all wrote our testimonies in it. On our way home we thought we had found the perfect person! So we were stopped in traffic (as always here in Mexico City) and Elder Ramirez called for the guy to come grab it. That guy was too cool and not interested, but there was this sweet guy in a wheelchair, and he got the other guy to go and grab it for him. Then Elder Ramirez said "leer lo!" (read it!) and the guy said he would. So we are all hoping in twenty years our story ends up in Conference because he reads it and loves it and tells all his friends and families about it. If not, well we tried :)

#3 Gatita!
So here there is no animals. But one night mi compeneras and I were walking home and we see a little cat. Ahhhhh it was sooo cute. We named her Sol and she was very sweet and purred for us. Then we saw the Presidente Pratt and asked him if she was his, and he said "no, and it is being disobedient." So we unilaterally decided we should have a little chit chat with the kitty about how obedience brings blessings. I had to ask though, so I did ask if we could keep it. Of course the answer was no :( But it still made me so happy :) We decided that we got to play with the Kitty because the Lord loves us.

#4 Leccion con Lugo
So Lugo is our "investigator" and he has finally stopped smoking and drinking for Baptism. Yay! Anyways we were in our lesson and we were teaching about La Palabra de Sabiduria (The Word of Wisdom). We had a scripture picked out in 1 Cor 6:19 about how our body is a temple. So we ask him if he will read, and of course he agrees because he loves us, and he starts reading about how we should not fornicate. We all look at each other panicked and confused, and he looks up and we all kinda start laughing. Apparently mi companera had said 1 Cor. 6:9 instead of 6;19. Oh the joys of Missionary work :)

#5 Sol y Sandra
So our first "investigator" was Sol. We finished teaching her, and we got a new investigator, Maria, but then we got a new one, Sandra. So cool story. They are all the same person (my teacher) being different investigators. Well Sol actually is a person who works outside of the CCM that my teacher has become friends with. My teacher gave her a Book of Mormon, and Sol never was interested really but then her mom Sandra was (which is why my teacher decided to be her, so that she could try to figure out a way to help her). So we have been teaching "Sandra" and the real Sandra went to church last week! We were all very excited. Also, while we were teaching Sandra about the restoration, the Spirit was so strong, and she got goosebumps. It was beautiful. 

Also for my spiritual part of the week, I read 3 Nefi 17 and it was beautiful. I noticed something that I had never noticed before, how Christ comes and heals the people. But then later, he prays for them. After he finishes praying for them, it talks about how his joy is full because of them, and then he starts crying. 
It made me realize how close our Savior truly is to us. He is filled with joy when we are happy, and he is sad when we are having a hard time. He cries for us. He prays for us. And, he heals us. It is so beautiful. Our Savior is nearer to us then we will ever truly now. 

Well I love you all!! Hopefully the next time I write you I will be in Honduras. Mucho amor :)


P.s. The one picture is a picture Elder Valentine drew of me. I pretty much love it. The next picture is one of me on my daily runs. There is like this secret area that no one ever runs on and it is gorgeous! So I thought I would share. Also my district family :) I will send more pictures in a minute. 






Monday, November 4, 2013

Yo se que JesuCristo es nuestro Salvador



Hola! Buenos tardes!
 
So this week has been awesomely long and fast as all weeks are. I am finally getting down the language a little better! I can kinda have a conversation with natives :) Mi companeras and I have been doing days where we have "English fasts" and we have to say everything in Spanish. It is realllly hard but we all learn a lot. Sometimes I do not actually know if anyone else would ever understand us, but it is all good. One of our teachers told us this inspirational story about this new missionary. So here at the CCM you start teaching people within like two days and it is all in Spanish. Anyways this missionary, since he did not know how to say anything, said "Yo soy Jose Smith" and then, later, to try to redeem himself, he said "Yo soy JesuCristo." So, in Spanish saber is to know, and the yo (or I form) is se. So when you bear your testimony you say, "Yo se JoseSmith fue un profeta" or "Yo se JesuCristo vive." Soy is like saying I am, in a permanent form. So the whole time this missionary was saying I am Joseph Smith and I am Jesus Christ instead of I know. Ahhhhh the joys of learning :) Luckily I do not think I have done anything like that... yet. I just butcher every tense haha.
 
This week I have learned a lot about the Holy Ghost, or the Espiritu Santo.We had an assignment to read all these scriptures and study about it, then my district leader asked if I would do our district class and teach about the Espiritu. It is a lot like Sunday School but just for your district. I was kinda nervous since the most teaching I have ever done is... nada. Visiting teaching and teaching our "investigators" here. But I accepted and I learned a ton more. So... if you all want to open up your scriptures to D&C 130;22 there is this awesome scripture that I always looked over. It talks about how Dios y JesuCristo have a body of flesh and bones, but how the Espiritu does not, because if he did, he could not dwell within us. I never thought of it like that. When we live worthy and live our lives in a good way, the Spirit can literally dwell within us and help us. We will never be alone as long as we have the Espiritu Santo. I was also reading in Preach my Gospel (If you do not have a copy, it is the best book in the world second to the scriptures) and it said when we pray we should listen for the Espiritu Santo to tell us what we should pray for. This helps it be more of a conversation with God, and not just a list (which I am so prone to doing). So, I started doing this and it has been pretty amazing. Last week I was saying my nightly prayers and I decided to take time at the end before I closed to listen and see if there was anything more I needed to pray about. I got this really strong impression to pray for my roommate to adjust well to her new mission and to be able to get settled in. So I did, and later I found out that that week she had just arrived and was just getting settled in. I also was really upset about something, so again I said my prayer and at the end waited, and I got this impression to start thinking about something. So I did, and it completely answered my question. Last night I once again waited, and I had this feeling that I needed to pray specifically for someone, and then today I found out that they had had a really hard week. The crazy thing is, is that this is just a few of the things. Some of the things I have prayed for I do not know what was going on, but I know the Lord knew and because I listened to the Espiritu hopefully they have been helped. I would commit  you all to try it! It is crazy awesome, and I know the Lord is waiting us to listen so that he can bless us and bless others in our lives.
 
Second awesome thing is that Elder Allen, who is in charge of the whole missionary department, came to the CCM this week and he talked to all of us and it was pretty amazing. He said something that struck me really hard. He said the Lord´s hands are outstreched, with nail marks in his hands as proof, that he has already paid the price for our sins and problems. He is waiting for us, and all we have to do is come to him. And yep, I started crying. He also talked to all of our maestros (teachers). Mi maestra said that he told them a story. One time he was talking to President Monson, and President Monson asked "How many missionaries do we have again?" Elder Allen responded 80,000 (or whatever the number is...) and President Monson got all teary eyed and said "that is a lot of missionaries, and the Lord knows each one of them." So beautiful. And I know the Lord knows each one of us. 
It seems like a lot of my family and friends have had a really hard week this week. I want you all to know that I love you, and that I know that the Lord has suffered for our pains and hard times already. He has nail marks in his hands and feet to prove it. Most of the time he does not take the hard times away, but he will comfort us and strengthen us. "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you." Also, never forget that Satan is as real as the Lord is, and he too is working on us. There is a reason that Satan came right before Joseph Smith´s first vision. If we pray though, the Lord will always protect us.
 
My prayers are with all of you!
 
And Happy Halloween!! The hermanas in my district and I are all dressing up as lady bugs, which means we are dressing up in red and black. Hopefully I will have pictures next week, or we might stop in the middle of emails to go take pictures so we can come back and send them. We will see :) I have also discovered the power of nutella. Yum yum. I am also into the Isaiah chapters of Second Nefi in Spanish. Wheeeewwww. I thought it was hard before... trying to read Isaiah in Spanish is beyond comprehension! But luckily I still have my English scriptures. So I am enduring :) And I am on my 13 day countdown!! Wheeeew.
 
Hugs and kisses to you all!!
 
PS... in the pictures with all the girls is my zone with the girls. Two of them just left this week :( the one with less girls are also our friends who left this week. The CCM is definitely getting small! But apparently this is a normal fluctuation.


Love,
Hermana Harmon





Monday, October 28, 2013

Tomorrow starts the fourth week!

Familia y amigos!
 
It is crazy that it has only been four weeks. It feels like it has been a year here, but at the same time it feels like two days. It is crazy!!
So awesome stories for the week. We started teaching three "investigators," Lugo, Maria y Renato. Lugo y Maria have committed to baptism! Lugo we had an awesome lesson with him about baptism. We had sked him to read 3 Nephi 11 and to pray about the restoration. He read but had not prayed. So we prayed there in the lesson. The Spírit was so crazy strong. We all felt it. It was awesome how the Spirit works even when this is not a real investigator. The Spirit always confirms the truth. At first my companions and I (I am in a trio) were having a harder time preparing lessons because there are three of us and we all have different ideas! We have started to have a general idea of what we want to say, pick out a few favorite scriptures, then pray really really hard. It has made all the difference! This week I have gained such a testimony of the Spirit, and all I do is tear up now a days :) Renato is pretty hard to teach. We have not figured out how to help him yet, but I know it will come.
I have also learned a lot about faith. So our teacher had us teach an "investigator" (someone in the class) and they had a certain problem. Our investigators seven year old son had just been diagnosed with cancer. We had five minutes to prepare to help her. I looked up the scripture in Mosiah that talked about the people of Alma being in bondage, and how the Lord strengthed them. However, this did not answer her question. We all came up wtih "comforting" scriptures, and after a few minutes of teaching, we were all discouraged. Our teacher had us take a break and taught us a very important lessons after asking us a lot of why questions. Why does the Lord have us go through hard times? So that we can learn and grow? There must be something more. It is so that we can learn to have faith in him. So that we can learn to trust him. So that through our faith we can have access to the atonement, which can heal everything. If we have faith, then we will be comforted. We can not be comforted without faith. After that lesson I decided my goal is going to be to work on my faith.
I have had a huge change in perspective since then. I have always thought, "what would I say to the Savior if he was here?" And I realized after making my goal of having more faith, that I talk to the savior every time I pray. Now, every time I pray I imagine the Savior there sitting by me, listening. My prayers have changed a lot. We heard a quote from Bruce R. McConkie when he spoke at conference soon before he died. He said that he knew he was going to die, but when he goes and sees his Savior and kisses his feet, he will not have any more of a surety then than he does now of his Savior. I want faith like that. I have also been re reading the Book of Mormon, and every single story of Nephi involves his faith. I have realized what miracles can truly come if we have faith on the Savior. So I have put it into practice. I do all my language studying and personal studying (which there is never enough time for!) And when we go into a lesson, I pray and say I will say whatever you put into my heart as long as you help me say it. Some glorious way I am always able to say what I need to say, which is truly a miracle.
 
Another good story. So every Sunday for Sacrament there are six speakers, all of us in our district. The kick is that none of us knows who will be speaking. We simply get a topic and we all prepare a five minute talk in Spanish. Our bishop (I think that is what he is?) announces the first three speakers, then we have a hymn, then he announces the next three speakers. Well my name got announced. Our district leader told us the topic was eternal marriage. Actually, the topic was anything from Chapter 3 of Preach my Gospel. The first person got up and talked about faith, and I was pretty confused. Someone from my district got up and talked, but she mainly talked about keeping commandments, faith, and a little about eternal marriage. Well, my entire five minute talk was about eternal marriage. So I go up there and talkrd about my own personal experiences, how when I was younger I thought it was more important to have a happy marriage than have an eternal unhappy marriage, but now my perspective has completely changes. Apparently all the Elder were super happy because they had a joke going on and bets to see if anyone would talk about eternal marriage, but then I made it all serious. So yep. Thanks district leader for making me the laughing stock;) But it was all good.
 
We also got to go to the temple today, and good news, I understood about 25% of it!! I was so happy. I was telling my companion this and she was like wow, that is not very impressive but I am happy for you.
 
Well love you all soo much!!!
 
Hugs and kisses.





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hero Training Center... the CCM :)

Hola familia y amigos!!
 
So this week has gone by pretty quickly! There is so much to learn and to do. I am becoming friend with a lot of the hermanas and it is really great! They are going everywhere all around the world and it is awesome! Being here has definately buily my testimony about how the work is hastening forth as we are being called to so many different places to help so many different people. The sad part is having to say goodbye :( The hardest are the cute Latina sisters, which are only here for two weeks. One of the pictures I am going to send is some of them who left yesterday! The greatest thing happened the other day. So I was talking to them in my terrible Spanish and they were trying to decipher my meaning. Then something happened and I was like "oh my goodness!!" Then they asked me "Que significa en espanol es ohhhmygoodness?" and I could not figure out that they were saying oh my goodness. Mi compenera had to assist me, and then I had no idea how to explain it in espanol. So then I just made an oh my goodness face, and that is the face that we always would give to each other.
 
Some of the other hermanas we have become really good friend with are leaving in another week. It is sad to see them leave but it is so happy to know they are going forth to do the work!
 
This week we got to watch a devotional by Elder Holland. Here we have a devotional every week, and it is usually an old broadcast of a devotional that happend at the Provo MTC. Elder Holland gave an AWESOME talk about how we are here to change ourselves, and how we should never look back. This is "real life" and we should not be thinking about our old life, or ever go back to who we were before the mission. That completely changed my perspective, because God has sent me here on my mission to become my best self. What I did before or who I knew before does not matter right now, it only matters what I will become and who I will get to know. My maestra (teacher) also showed us a mormon message clip video thing from Elder Christofferson (I believe?) about how we are cut down so that we can become a beautiful tree (that was the idea...). If we weren´¨t cut down then we would never have that opportunity. So that is how I have decided to see things for the next 18 months.
 
I am definately am starting to adjust to the work pray work pray work pray eat work pray work pray eat work pray work pray work sleep routine. It is nice knowing that everyone else is doing it with you.
 
I finished the Book of Mormon this week! I am now reading it in Spanish and I am on 1 Nephi 8. I feel like I am 10 years old again trying to read the Book of Mormon. It is slow going, but when I understand a verse I get super excited. We also had an awesome District testimony night on Sunday. It was so sweet to hear everyone open up about their lives and testimony. One of the Elders is struggling a lot. I feel like I was meant to have such a hard time when I first got here so I could help him. Haha but usually I just feel useless when I try to help him. I suppose that is just how life goes though. The title, here training center, is from one of the Elders testimonies. He said when he was little he also wanted to be one of the "heroes" and so he he has remained this the hero training center  because we are so awesome. Haha it made me very happy inside.
 
So our first ¨investigator", Hermana Sol commited to become baptized! Yay. Then two days later she walked into our classroom, and she is our new teacher! I am so excited, I love her so much. Her real name is Hermana Young and she went to her mission to Chili. Our other two teachers are Hermanos, so it is nice having one girl teacher :) We are now teaching three "investigators," Renato, Lugo, and Maria. It is hard because we teach them completely in Spanish, but it is so good because every lesson I learn so much. Sometimes though it is hard because I will have no idea what is going on, and then I will say something that has nothing to do with the topic. It is pretty funny actually. My class is nice because it is the intermediate class so everyone is pretty smart and we can help each other out. Sometimes though it is terrible because someone will whip out some intense Spanish and it is just like "que?!?!" But it is good. I am learning, slowly yet surely. In my District there are seven hermanasa (ahh!! that is so awesome) and three Elders. In all the other districts it is the complete opposite! I am the only hermana not going back to the States.
 
So on Sunday we had our first normal Sunday since last week was General Conference. So the zone leader gives you a topic during the week, then you are supposed to write a five minute talk in Spanish about it. Then during Sacrament they call up three people to give a talk. Then we have a rest hymn, and three more people are called up. It is pretty intense.

Well this week I have definately gained a testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost and prayer. Prayer is so real. Before my mission Heavenly Father was lucky if he got two prayers from me morning and night, and he was lucky if they were more than two minutes. Now, it has completely changed. All my prayers are in Spanish, and I find myself kneeling at 10:30 right before bed and getting to bed at 10:45 because I was praying. Yesterday Hermana Young had us go into this little grove of trees by the track and we all got ten minutes to pray, and she said to pray about anything and everything. As I prayed I asked for a re confirmation of everything because hey, I am testifying about it all day everyday, so it is nice to have recent testifications from God. As I was praying I looked up and saw the sun through the tress, and the wind through the grass, and that scripture entered my mind from the Book of Mormon that "even the sun rising and setting each day testifys of me..." And it made me so happy. So even if you know, repray to know, because it will definately strengthen your testimony.
I have also been thinking a lot about the Holy Ghost, because it is so important for us to have him with us at all times, especially when we are teaching. As I was studying about him, I realized some things. First, he is a person and a member of the Godhead that has been promised that he can be with us AT ALL TIMES. We just have to live worthy of him. Why wouldn´¨t we want a member of the Godhead with us helping us? In the Book of Mormon it talks about how that was the people´s greatest desires, to have the Holy Ghost. Second, he teaches, and he testifys of truth. That is why people will commit to be baptized on a first lesson, even though they still know barely anything about the gospel. That is also why it is okay if I am still struggling at Spanish (at least that is what my teacher told me, maybe just to make me feel better :).
 
I have also been thinking a lot about faith and miracles. I was reading the last chapters of the Book of Mormon and it talks so much about how miracles have not ceased. Miracles still exist, and we need to have faith in them. So that is my goal, to try to increase my faith and learn more about faith and miracles.
 
Well here is my novel for the week and I love you all so much!! I am sorry that it was so scatter brained. We have this big red clock looking at us while we write counting down the seconds so it keeps me trying to type extra fast!
 
 I am much happier this week and it has been going fast. You are all in my fifteen prayers a day :)
 
Hugs and kisses!!







Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Things I forgot to say

One more thing is that I have sent snail letters to some people and I think it takes about two weeks to send things. If you are planning on writing me back (which I would love :) just make sure it will get here before November 11th. I do not think that they forward the email once you leave. I can spend more time writing you if yo udo write me by hand because there is not an hour time limit per week :) Yay! My P days are on Tuesdays but my email seems to take a while to receive emails, so it may not be a good idea to email me the morning of, I may not get it? I just got Connors email this afternoon which I think he sent yesterday.
 
Well I love you all!!
 
And Daxton you need to write me to tell me all about your Shakespeare trip!
 
And Jesse or Typhena will you let my Dad know what I have been writing? I know he does not have email. I wrote him a normal letter but I know it takes forever to get there. I also thought I had Darens email but I do not think I do so that would also be helpful.
 
Love you all!!

During our darkest hour God shows us his most tender mercies

Hola familia y amigos!
 
I hope you all watched the little thing after conference about the Mexico CCM! It is exactly like the video. The food here is pretty good, and if you do not like it, there is always cereal or rice and beans. I am in a trio companionship with Hermana Hart (she is from Texas going to L.A.) and Hermana Lindford (she is from Spanish Fork going to Gilbert, Arizona). We got to watch conference is English and it was awesome!! If you did not get the hint, I think that the missionary work is being hastening forth. I know someone said to try to reach out to someone before December, so I challenge you all to do so! Invite someone to church, or another activity, or just talk about religion to someone. It is hard, I know.
 
Well a little about my week. It was crazy when we got here, and well it still is pretty crazy. It was good until Friday. Then I started feeling this sadness that I have never felt before and I started feeling so homesick. Which is strange because when I left I was so excited and I felt so ready. It was definately something that I have never felt before, and I hope to never feel again. It got worse watching Conference thinking about my family and everyone back home watching it. I was having a really hard time. One morning I got up and I went to take a shower. The showers here are strange, they have really hard water (is that how it is termed?) and they get hot REALLY fast. Anyways it was freezing so I turned it on, and it literally was burning me. I jumped out and then tried to turn the water off, which requires you to stick your entire arm back through the water, but it was really hot so I kept screaming. My hermana came and saved me though and turned it off for me. Afterwards I had red marks everywhere the water had touched. But during it a thought went through my mind, "that is how much I love you, as hot as this water is." So my red marks through the day was a reminder of Gods love for me. Ironic, I know. They eventually went away though. Later on I was listening to Elder Holland's talk about trials and he said "if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it." And of course I started crying because of what was happening. Then Elder Monson gave his talk and I cried more hearing our dear prophet talk about his hard time missing his family. Later that night I read one of Elder Holland's older talkes, Cast not Away your Confidences, and it made me understand a little about what was going on. Before my mission I had so many things trying to bring me down, but I held strong. Now that I am here, it is peaceful and there are no temptations really. Elder Holland talked about how before we are going to do a good thing, Satan comes. He came before Joseph Smith was about to pray. He came right after Moses had his great vision with God, and he comes right before we are going to do something great. He does anything and everything he can to bring us down, and it hurts. Monday I was feeling a lot better, but it was still with me a little. I was also feeling like why am I here? Did I really make the right decision? Do I really know?
My teacher was taking us out to talk to us one by one. We have two teachers, one is American, and the other one is native. The one who is the native does not speak a lick of English. So he took me out, and asked me how I was doing, and I told him a little about what was going on with my broken Spanish. He asked me why I chose to serve a mission. I told him why, and then he asked me to give him my testimony. I gave him my very basic testimony in Spanish, and I just started tearing up, because I do know this work is true, and I do know I am supposed to be here, and I do know that I need to be here helping others. Later I also got a letter from my dear friend Marina, who is about to leave for Thailand on her mission and she wrote me about how the Lord had pre ordained us and given us this work. She wrote me this letter about two and a half weeks ago and I got it in my very time of need. I got the strength I needed. This week has been hard, but as I have been having such a hard time the Lord has also showen me his greatest miracles and his greatest tender mercies. He has been with me every step of the way.
 
We have also been teaching an investigator, Hermana Sol. We have given her two lessons, both in Spanish. It has been hard, but it has been good. We have been praying in Spanish since about the second day. Every day I pray that this language will come quickly. I love sitting by the Latina hermanas, and they are awesome and so sweet and helpful.
 
There are also a lot more rules here at the CCM then probably on the mission. No music, no photos except P day, and a handful of others. At first I was resentful, but then I though if the Lord can trust me to do these few small things, how much more can he trust me with harder things. So I have been completely obedient. We also got to go to the temple today which was so great! It was all in Spanish!
 
Well make sure to write me because we print out all of our letters before we take our hour to write back so we can read them all. They bring me so much joy!
 
I love you all so much. Persevere on!