I’m in Oregon! And boy is it Humid!

Hello Wonderful Family and Friends! It’s been so great here in Oregon so far, I’ve had a blast! But I do want to share some fun experiences with you before I left the MTC.

Jan 25:
Today was our last day teaching a volunteer in the MTC as if they were an investigator interested in the Church. And later that day we had our last class with our Tennessee Sisters since they were leaving on Monday morning. So we were able to get a couple pictures with them and our teachers.

Jan 26:
Today was our final Sunday at the MTC and so I was able to attend a Branch Council and Priesthood meeting with two new districts who just came in before we were about to leave. One whole district of elders and one of sisters. Pretty crazy. Apparently that happens very rarely. Then in Sacrament meeting our District, 44-A, sang Go Forth With Faith for the intermediate hymn. Then afterwards we went for our Sunday Walk around the Provo Temple, and it was great because there weren’t any protesters! So when we showed up we were all so happy to be there and take pictures together as a district and zone. It was amazing, I loved my zone so much. Then we had a departing dinner and devotional for just the missionaries who were leaving that week, and it was awesome because we were given extra courage and enthusiasm to go out into the world and proclaim the gospel! And I think my favorite moment at the MTC was the final Fireside we went to where Stephen B Allen, who played a large role in writing Preach My Gospel, spoke to us. He said he was strongly prompted by the Spirit that if every missionary would pray to hear the message they needed to, that he would do his best in answering that prayer. I thought for a few minutes and humbly prayed that whatever the message may be that it would touch my heart. So a few minutes into his message, he decided to have Sister Nally, the MTC Presidents wife play some hymns for us to sing too. The first one we sang was “Where Can I Turn For Peace”, and I need to to tell you, when we sang it so softly and quietly, the Spirit was so strong there that I literally could not contain my emotions and I just started crying. I can’t even describe how I felt, but I do know that our Savior Jesus Christ loves each one of us and knows us personally. After concluding his message, we went to a video presentation on a biography on President Thomas S. Monson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 27:
Today was our last class with Brother Stanley, who is awesome, and he was taking to us about the Plan of Salvation and how it can truly bring us happiness if we continually apply it to our lives.

 

 

Jan 28:
We did our final service project today, and guess what it was, cleaning 8 water fountains in the main admin building. It took less than a half hour! But hey, can’t complain. Then afterwards we went back to our residence hall and packed for a few hours and then had our last gym time with our zone and played volleyball. Then afterwards we had our last class with Brother Bettilyon, who is awesome, and he was helping us to really understand our investigator by asking questions and role playing how to do it. All of our teachers were awesome. So after our final devotional we took final pictures with our zone outside our class and it was a bittersweet moment when we said goodbye to the friend we felt we had only known for days when in reality it had been two weeks. Crazy huh?

 

 

Jan 29:
Going to Oregon! It was super exciting, but we had to wake up really early, but not as early as the Tennessee Sisters, to arrive at the travel office. Then we hoped on a bus, and btw, we saw a whole family of Deer! They were within 20 or so feet of me! It was crazy! We passed the Provo City Temple, which btw is also making a lot of progress on, I think they had stain glass windows in now. Then we quickly took all of our baggage and hopped onto a train to another train which took us to the airport. Then after checking on I had time to call family, so I called home and talked to Mom and Dale for a while, then I left a message for them on the answering machine for Bradley and Dad, and then I tried calling everyone else for a few minutes, but I was only able to call Jason and Mary, then the airport phone stopped accepting both my calling card and my credit cards. It was like, “What gives?!? I need to make a phone call!” So I do apologize for not being able to call everyone while I was at the Airport. But I hadn’t had any breakfast after I left the MTC so just after I hung up the phone I immediately saw a Jamba Juice! It just made my day! Then afterwards we boarded the plane and headed to Oregon! It was so great to meet my mission president and his wife! Heidi, “It’s So Humid!” I’ve been waiting forever to tell you that. Now I know what you mean. We had a wonderful welcoming reception with food and pictures. My companion/trainer Elder Thompson is amazing, it’s been so great getting to know him over the past couple of days.

 

 

 

 

Jan 30, 31:
Getting used to being out here in the mission field I think is really what I have to say about these days, it’s been such a busy adventure. Meeting new people, seeing new sights, and the smell of green moss growing on almost……everything….yep. We had dinner at members homes recently and it was awesome to see similar dishes made here that are made back home, like Green Bean Casserole and Hawaiian Haystacks!

Feb 1:
Haha, okay, so…before I continue, I just want to say I’m perfectly fine. I had my first bike accident the other day. It wasn’t bad at all, I missed the lip of the sidewalk and it shook my balance and I landed on my side and my shoulder bag took most of the fall. Pants are fine, bike is fine, physically I’m fine. Just a few scrapes. It was funny though. I haven’t been on a bike in like 5 years, so it was pretty funny. But I’m good.

Feb 2:
First Sunday here in the Mission! It was interesting being in family ward after being in the MTC for two weeks. But it was testimony meeting and I was amazed. There was literally no time in between waiting for someone to come and bear their testimony, it was one member after another! It was great, and my companion and I were the first ones to bear our testimonies.

Well, today being the first preparation day to write home and only being in the mission field for a few days, its been busy but good, I’ve been learning a lot while I’m in the MTC and while I’m in the mission field. Thank you so much for your kind emails and letters, it really means a lot, please continue to write me and I will do my best to write back, I just really need the encouragement from family.

I want to bear my testimony to you that I know that this Church and the Gospel is true, I know that the Book of Mormon is True and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet today. I know that Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, our Savior, suffered for our sins. He loves you! Remember that! I know that our Heavenly Father also loves us so much, He sent us here to experience life, to gain mortal bodies and to have joy! I am so happy that I am with you all as my dear family and friends forever and ever! These things I bear witness to in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Harper

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