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. 

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 :)

Hermana Harmon

Saturday, December 14, 2013


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.