Sister Jessalyn Harrison

Sister Jessalyn Harrison
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Aug 18...transfer to Selkirk

So this week wasn't quite as full as adventures as last week but it was still a lot of fun! 

    For FHE we played this winking game. The basis of the game is if you get winked at you wait five seconds and then die suddenly... it's a super fun game. Well i was picked and I HATE being it because i am a horrid liar but apparently i am getting better at it because i almost killed everyone. The only reason i didn't win was the last two girls who were standing were too afraid to look at me and I COULDN'T KILL THEM! it was frustrating but it was funny to see how creative people got with their secretive winks. Then we were done planning and i was on the phone with Elder Schmidt and when i went back to the bedroom i realized i had NO idea where my companion was... I was scared she ran away on me and realized the door was locked and i still had the keys so she couldn't have gone that far so i started calling out for her... you will never guess where she was. UNDER THE BED! She just wanted to see if she could fit and almost gave me a heart attack, one for making me feel alone (scariest thing you can do to a missionary) and two for creepily crawling out from under the bed... haha now that's the first place i look when i have no idea where she is. 
   District meeting on Tuesday was all about setting goals. It made me really excited to know what the goals are for the next six weeks of my life (thanks dad) Then i spent online time working on a goodbye letter to president and sister Thomas... that was weird to thank two of the most important people of my last year and a half for all they have done for me. I don't think words could ever fully thank them for everything they do! Then we forgot about a lesson we had with an investigator... ooopss... that hasn't happened in a while. We called as soon as we realized and she was asleep so she would have missed us anyways... so we set up another appointment and got to see her on a different day and she called us "awesome" and said she was glad to know us and her little girl is the CUTEST thing in the entire world! We also have been carrying around this wallet forever trying to make it a finding opportunity by returning it to the owner but it doesn't seem like he is ever home... so we ended up just leaving it in his mailbox. oh and we had lunch with the relief society president and that was fun and we even ended up getting a new couch out of it which was great for us but not so fun for the elders who had to carry it through a flight of stairs and six doorways haha yep it takes them six doors to get to our apartment. Then at sports night i got to play California speed for the first time on my mission... i remember playing that so much growing up it was fun to be able to play it again... even though i'm not very good at it! 
   We were in charge of young womens this week so we decided to talk about 'deep beauty' and show the girls the example they can make just by their spirit. It ended in a photo booth with fun props and it was a super fun night! We even had an investigator come and she loved it! We decided to pick the line 'I "moustache" you to remember you are a daughter of God'. The girls in this ward are so cute! Wednesday night i left my planner in the car so i planned on a piece of paper because i was too lazy to go down the stairs and get it haha. I've planned so much i can make my own planner with a piece of paper... that will be a fun quality to have when i get home, the ability to plan! Oh and one of our less actives disappeared. Her Facebook was shut down and NO one could tell us where she was so we were getting worried then we found out she was okay! thank goodness! 
   It has been so hot this week! its been 30 degrees Celsius with 60% humidity and some days  i swear I'm melting... like into a puddle... its hot! I think the winters here changed my internal thermometer haha. We also went to ward council this week and it was sad. The amount of missionaries in attendance (six) almost doubled the number of members who were there (3) two of the bishopric members and the primary president were the only ones there. It was kind of a disappointing ward council. But during ward council me and sister Hudson had to leave so we could practice our song we were singing in sacrament and we almost blew the microphone. it was so loud when it was first turned on. but practicing went well and then bishop took all the missionaries out for blizzards so we could support the local childrens hospital... i will eat ice cream... all in the name of service :)
    WE FINISHED WEEKLY PLANNING THE DAY WE STARTED IT!!! It was a Christmas miracle and its no where even close to Christmas. It was such a relief to just get it done! Then we taught our neighbors which is fun but always crazy and we get scared with how much to push because we are afraid of awkward encounters if they decide they don't want to learn anymore. Even missionaries have our fears of missionary work we have to get over each and every day! then we went downtown to pick up a fax that was sent from the mission office and in ten minutes of walking i got blisters and they hurt so much i ended up just taking off my shoes and walking barefoot which probably isn't the safest thing to do in prince albert, especially downtown. But its okay because Friday night we watched the saratov approach with some members and non members who came out. I think the scariest part of the whole movie was when the missionary was utterly alone... that must have been terrifying and watching that movie as a missionary... may not suggest doing that to anyone else haha. 
    This weekend we spent time doing demolition and renovation with a less active and it was fun! the elders got really into it too and it was crazy to see the difference that more hands made. Then we went to lunch for Elder Bee's birthday... he is 20 now the old fart hahahahhaha... and then the celebration didn't stop because we went to dinner at our ward mission leaders house and it was his birthday this week too. We bought him a gag present from the dollar store. It was a pirate costume (i painted his face pirate style on the first of july) so we made sure he wouldn't forget us (me more then anyone else because i am being transferred) Then Sunday came and because I'm leaving i got to give a farewell talk.. so did Elder Schmidt... and then elder bee just talked because he was asked to and then elder nilsson taught sunday school, i lead the music in sacrament, sister hudson played piano in relief society, and me and sister hudson did a musical number in sacrament... it was kind of a missionary day good thing they have lots of missionaries to choose from. I am really gonna miss PA. 
    Well I am being transferred to Selkirk, Manitoba. It is a small branch where there are only missionaries and its about forty minutes away from Winnipeg. I am excited to go back and learn the adventures heavenly father has for me. I am also super excited to hug people i haven't seen in a long time (sister menlove, and others) The change talk and attitude talks have been good for me. I have a very hopeful look of the future! Love you all! cant believe it but we are down to a six week countdown... CRAZY!!!!! LOVE YOU!!!

Aug 11...Bats, blood and missionaries

Okay so I have SOOO much to write about this week! I hope I have time to write it all! I dont know if I necessarily like the whole day to day thing so I am gonna try to make it flow without all the day choppiness. 

   For family home evening we played Kings Cup... apparently its a drinking game but we played Mormon style with just nasty juices. Tonic Water was the worst followed by Ginger Beer... thought i was gonna gag!!!! but the YSA kids LOVE IT! They also think its funny to see us missionaries taste weird stuff.. I never understood that... why does making missionaries eat things that are weird fascinate people so much.. don't know guess i will find out when i get home ;) Kennewick Washington missionaries look out you might have a touch of CWM at meal appointments from now on! On Monday night I tried to focus on the Adjusting To Missionary Life handbook to deal with my stress and it helped a little but i have decided they need to have one of those for old missionaries or missionaries who are going home! because we deal with stress too but its not exactly the same as new missionaries! either way that book as INCREDIBLE INSIGHTS! I think the insight that stood out to me the most this week was one of the scriptures it quotes. "And [Jesus] said unto [His disciples], Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat" I guess it didn't hit me tell this that Jesus and his disciples would know the feelings I go through as a missionary! When we are so busy we don't have time to eat, or when we worry about the salvation of the people we are teaching, or where we want to support those we have already taught who are falling away but we are too far to see them anymore... They understand what we have been through, we can relate to each other! I just thought that was so neat! 
   The SPCA this week brought the CUTEST puppies I have ever seen in my entire life. They were part pug puppies that were just to die for cute! So we got to hold them and play with them for a little bit and I picked one that I just stuck with! I named her Speckles! She was soooo cute! Then Sister Hudson named one Joey, not quite sure why... then the Elders got to pick the name for all the other puppies (five more puppies) and they named them all Tom haha.... good thing we wont forget their names or mess them up at all... super creative elders! Then me and Sister Hudson went through the white hand book and wrote down all the rules we needed to focus on to improve ourselves spiritually and physically. It was good to see how much we were doing right. It's really easy to focus on the things we get wrong all the time that going through the white hand book it was a relief to see what was already going right! Then we had sports night where at the end I became an evil twin because the little girls that come where playing a game... and so I chased them around and they just laughed and laughed then they started wanting to put me in jail so my good twin came back! yep i know have multiple personality disorder and my good twin is a lot easier to handle haha... so they let me stay out of jail until after closing prayer... then they were convinced that the evil twin had come back and required me to go to jail and see the judge. Luckily the jail was the car and the judge was God in my evening prayers, those girls let me off easy :) 
   We spent all of Wednesday in Saskatoon for ZTM and doctors appointments... The upside to our trip there was I got to see the Cooks! and Ricah! it was Ricah's and Jay's birthday so it was INCREDIBLE to still be able to share these special moments with these people I love so much! ZTM (haha Canadians say its zed.t.m because z is zed up here if its not in a word... its been a debate for a while) was really good! It had a lot to do with faith of reaching our baptismal goal of 225... since we are only at 60 something 225 is quite a distance still but we can do it! We had a mission wide fast for it on Sunday and we are all determined to get three baptisms before the end of the year... kind of had a realization that I wont be here at the end of the year so I did the math... I need to contribute on more baptism to help the CWM mission to reach its goal... so that is my goal.. one baptism before I get home! Keep that in your prayers please! Then we went home and we were planning for our next day when we could have sworn something was in the apartment. I was the one closest to the hallway and I saw a flash of black in the hallway and FLIPPED!!!!!! We still had no idea what it was until the STUPID BAT flew around the corner... yes there was a vampire, flesh-eating, horrible creature in our apartment. Really it was just a nice bat that eats mosquitoes and other bugs that I don't like but I don't appreciate it being in my apartment. So I screamed! Quite loudly actually, and you know what that did... absolutely nothing! In fact it made the bat freak out and start swooping towards us! So I ran with the phone into the bathroom and called the Elders knowing they couldn't help but thought it was worth a try and Sister Hudson went for a broom, opened the screen door, and then ended up just laying on the floor until the bat just left. We still have NO idea how it got into our apartment, we are thinking the chimney but really I am tired of creepy, crawly, and flying things getting into our apartment. I thought i would add in her version of it too so you got both sides of it... it makes it more entertaining "Then at the end of a long day we were planning in our apartment as we do every night. In the middle of planning, we heard a rustling sound coming from the bedroom. We had no idea what it was. Sister Harrison was like "Is there something in our apartment?" and from where she was sitting on the floor she could see into the hallway while I couldn't. So I watched her face turn to one of absolute HORROR and I started freaking out, thinking someone had broken into our apartment and was going to murder us. It was the most terrifying moment of my life. I had no idea what was going on because Sister Harrison wasn't saying anything. Then this bat comes flying out and we were screaming/laughing/crying/ducking (it kept swooping at us) until Sister Harrison hid in the bathroom and I closed all the doors and got a broom. I ended up just lying on the floor so it would stop swooping at me, and then it flew out of the porch door I had opened for it."
   While we were at the food bank this week Elder Schmidt said I was the senior companion of the district! WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS CALLING ME OLD! haha but I am old and they use that to their advantage and have me make decisions...haha poor elders! But even the old comment couldn't ruin my time at the food bank! I love it there!!!! it is one of my favorite service opportunities ever! Then Sister Hudson got sick. She got a nasty cold and we tried to tackle it day one by making her sleep but no luck... she still got it hard and coughs and sneezes all the time! Its her first time being sick on her mission and she said its worse then being sick at home! I would completely agree with her! So while she took a nap I called Sister Marx who is the CWM councilor for missionaries and worked with her on some relaxation techniques. I really liked them and I am gonna keep trying them on my own. My favorite was her imagery one where she took me to the lake! It was an amazing journey that really worked with the whole relaxation thing... now its just making the time to do it again haha! I have started sending messages to the random people who add me online! I realized that the only way I am gonna find is by being creative... so for friend requests for people I dont know, that dont have a thousand other missionaries as friends already, i sent this
... "Hello! I noticed you sent me a friend request. As a representative of Jesus Christ I am always excited to meet new people who want to get closer to their saviour. Since I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I love to invite all to come closer to Christ and listen to the unique message of the restoration that we share with the world. Would you be interested in hearing more about this message!?"
It may seem like a lame message but I got a response. I am now teaching a less active from California who is living in Calgary who was outreaching to anyone and will HOPEFULLY start meeting with missionaries in her own area soon! She is incredible and its been a really neat experience to get to meet her and teach her! We are still finding everywhere we go.. .online, at investigators homes, somehow we have been able to consistently find one to two investigators each week this transfer... even though TWO OF THEM DROPPED US IN ONE DAY! We cant have a perfect teaching pool its just hard when people you feel like could progress so much decide not to study with you anymore! But you keep them in your prayers and you know that one day they will get there, its just not today! 
   Weekly planning went sour this week when we hit a stump and didn't know how to help a family that I have been working with since I got in this area. They are super open to lessons and if we push they come to church but Sister Thomas reminded us this week that it wasnt our job to push them that our job as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ, whether they come or not is their decision... it makes planning and getting ready for this family to progress a little harder but we aren't ready to give up yet! Then I got to go the hospital to get some blood work done... and what did they do THEY ADMITTED ME TO THE HOSPITAL! The one thing Sister Thomas said to make sure they didnt do... yep I got a bracelet and everything... Luckily six vile of blood and 144 dollars later I escaped with Sister Hudson... really they just let us go... but we had a joke with the lady at the front that they were gonna keep us and so she was part of our escape. Then we got to see President Thomas and Sister Thomas... they came up to visit us in Prince Albert and to do interviews! It was sooo good to be able to talk to President Thomas and he is so incredible! He has so much love for each of us and worries about us so much! Then we had so many cancellations... this week has just been full of them... so one night I was singing 'err body hates us no one loves us why dont we eat cake' and you know what we did after that... haha we ate cake! and did companionship inventory! it was grand! oh and I spilled a milkshake all over because im clumsy and cant hold on to anything (I blame it on losing a lot of blood) but its okay a miracle happened... the milkshake missed my planner, thank goodness because i dont think that blueberry deliciousness would have come out haha. OH AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LIGHTNING STORM HAPPENED! I wish I had dad's nice camera so I could have taken pictures but HOLY it was GORGEOUS! Made me happy to be woken up in the middle of the night! 
   The weekend proved to be slower and less eventful which was a blessing. One of our less actives got up and moved to Melfort (which is like an hour away) just out of the blue.. in the middle of the night... so hes gone and its sad! Then we finished weekly planning for the first time EVER this transfer! that was a miracle! Then I got to talk to my family. As much as its unfortunate that things got to the point that I had to call my family I was truly grateful for the chance to talk to them. It really helped more then they will ever know! Our neighbor came to church with us.. then disappeared, we still arent sure if she was found but her daughter texted us asking where she was and she didnt know where she was that night either... luckily she is a grown woman and can take care of herself and her daughter is an adult too and can survive a day without her but its still weird. I dont know if I have told you about Sister Deschambeault at all either. She is an elderly lady in our ward that lives at the hospital and we go with the elders to give her the sacrament each week. I LOVE DOING THAT! She reminds me a lot of Corette and i love just feeling her spirit. Then we had a supper appointment with one of the Mission Presidents Councilors and it was good! the most annoying part was an elder kept distracting everyone during our lesson to try and get a picture of a hummingbird... and he moved so fast he scared it away every time! I really do love PA its hard but its great! And I have met people here I will keep in contact with forever... Well this week we get transfer calls... our last transfer call EVER on our mission.. its weird... But I am excited and hopefully for what heavenly father has in store for me. Thank you for all your support, and letters, and love! I LOVE YOU!

Aug 4...where is the time going?

So this week was stressful and crazy! but we made it through with only a few bumps and bruises and a lot more respect for prayer and a loving Heavenly Father. 
Monday we went and had a lesson with some less actives and HOLY COW no one ever told me as a missionary i would have to be a really good listener but its a skill I have DEFINITELY had to work on, haha especially as a sister because we see a lot of the old ladies now. Lessons are funny when for 50 minutes of them neither you nor your companion can get in a word and then you try to teach in five minutes what was suppose to be an hour long discussion haha. I am getting really good at being an effective teacher in five to ten minutes! 
Tuesday we had district meeting and the zone leaders were in town for that. It was all about what the restoration and what that means to us. It was fun to think of all the different ways the restoration has made a difference in our lives... A lot of us wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the church because it is very doubtful our parents would have met haha. Then we went and met with one of our investigators at her work. She has had such a hard life.. a lot of people i have taught have had a hard life, its incredible to see the ways that god prepares his children to be ready for the restored gospel. In this area it seems to be death and despair which means that's a lot of what we get to hear. It can be very heavy subjects sometimes but I find strength in knowing that I am a servant for a loving Heavenly Father who wants to show his children how much he loves them! We also met a new investigator this week that is the niece of one of the members or one of the wards i served in in Winnipeg haha did you catch all that. Well either way teaching her has shown me the example a righteous family can have on their family members. Because this ladies aunt is a convert she is interested in what she believes and because her cousin is on a mission she is willing to meet with sisters. She is incredible! We had dinner with a family that has like 7 foster daughters 14 and younger. They are all really great and they love the missionaries! The 11-year-old got to choose who said the opening prayer and couldn't decide whether she wanted me or Sister Hudson to say it. She wanted us both to do it! So we told her that one could do the closing prayer, so she ended up choosing me to say the opening prayer. It was funny and cute.  Then at sports night we played football. I got to be QB which i like because then i don't have to run very much! and I can apparently throw because we always seem to at least get one touch down. 
Wednesday we went and tried to help out at the food bank but it never seems like we get enough done there. But then we went and taught an eight year old girl about faith. i have never come to appreciate the analogy of faith is like a seed more than I did as we tried to teach her... for some reason using an analogy of something she knew really helped the whole faith thing click with her. Then we met with the D and he dropped his baptismal date. It was super sad and hard to hear but it all works out in the end. Just keep him in  your prayers. 
Thursday we had two dinner appointments and I thought I was gonna die. Not only that but we did like 100 kilometers because both of our dinner appointments were like 25 minutes out of town in opposite directions. PERFECT! our stomachs were so full and we were so tired of cars by the end of the night that we decided never to do that again. 
Friday and Saturday were kind of a blurr day but im sure miracles happened because we see them all the time! 
Sunday... got to love sunday! Miracle of the week: none of our people who normally come to church showed up, despite our efforts to wake them up and get rides for those who needed them. But Sister Hudson and I were holding the doors open for people coming in, when I saw this lady in jeans and a sweater who looked strangely familiar. It took me a minute to realize she was one of our investigators! The one we meet with at her work. I guess it was partly because we weren't expecting her to show up. We invite as many people as we can to come to church each week, and we never know who is going to accept the invitation. Its always like a grab bag of excitement. We also went to a dinner appointment on sunday where there were more than fourty people there i swear! It was a big dinner appointment! 
Love you all! cant wait to see you! eight more weeks!