Clarice Harrison, a native of Orem, Utah is answering a call to serve the Lord in the Yekaterinburg Russia Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the next 18 months. She will be inviting people in Russia to come unto Christ.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MTC 3rd Week

Guess what!!! Sis Whiting and I were able to commit 3 people to baptism this week!!!. Of course one had gotten back from her mission 2 months ago and the other 2 were just some of our classmates, but we'll take what we can get. I can't believe I have been here for a month. Ashley comes into the MTC tomorrow! I am so excited to see her. Some fun things I have been doing: singing in the MTC choir (we sang a John Rutter song called 'Look at the world' which is so pretty), singing Christmas hymns acapella 3 part harmony with some amazing sister missionaries on Sunday (one of the sisters I was singing with is named Sis Roberts. she is from my zone and was a opera singing major at Utah State she has a very nice voice), and finding out that 3 of the 4 sisters in our room worked at Cold Stone. This week about half of our zone is leaving to go into the mission field. I think we will have a week or two until we get the new missionaries to take their places. A random cultural fact about Russia: everyone drinks tea and alcohol. So much is it a part of their culture that when you go tracking or visiting you have to bring your own tea bags so as not to offend them when they offer you tea. You can just pull out the herbal tea that you have brought This becomes an issue when you teach them the word of wisdom because if they stop drinking alcohol they lose a bunch of their friends because its such a social norm. Last Tuesday another apostle came and spoke to us! Elder Bednar talked about separating the doctines of the gospel from the Principles and applications. Soooooooo good! Every thing we teach as missionaries need to be simplified and simplified more so that we are teaching the Doctrines of Christ. All a member really needs a testimony of the basic doctrines and to realize everything else is temporal. The more I study the more I realize how much I don't know about for example the creation or the afterlife, but I also realize that I don't have to know right now. Anyways life is great! Russian is still really hard, but I think its always going to be that way.

I would like to give a shout-out to my cousin Samuel for drawing the cutest picture of a turtle I ever saw for me. Its hanging by my desk and makes me happy everytime I look at it. Love you all!

Cectpa Harrison

MTC 2nd week

2010 Nov 9

It never slows down here. I mean never. Every day is very busy, but it is a good thing that I have Sis Whiting as a companion because she is really good at planning and staying on task. Plus she is so happy and fun to be around. We had another amazing Devotional last Tuesday night. Elder Ballard came and spoke to us about being master teachers. Let me tell you, he is a master teacher. It is very uncommon to have 2 of the twelve apostles come consecutively. Every Monday night we have what is called 'workshops' which is pretty much a replacement for family home evening. We sign up for a class and in the class we are told about some aspect of Russian culture and then taught about some aspect of missionary work. Here is some of what I have learned so far. Most Russians are either Russian Orthodox or Atheist. Usually they are only religious though because of tradition. You can buy everything you would eat here over there except peanut butter is hard to find. We won't be allowed to eat any seafood or fish because their water is very polluted. I was told by a teacher that every missionary apartment has a very good water purifier so you don't have to worry about drinking the water. I probably won't have to worry about eating anything too out of the ordinary because usually missionaries aren't aloud to eat at any one's house. Anyways it should be fun. It was so fun to hear from everyone this week! I am glad the ward is still doing well. I continue to chip away at Russian. We are suppose to start teaching Lesson 1 from Preach My Gospel in Russian in a couple of weeks. Crazy huh! One thing that is emphasized here over and over again is the converting power of the Book of Mormon. I don't think I ever realized before how amazing a book it really is. I love having an hour every day to study from it. Tell everyone I love them.

Mom's comments: What Clarice says is so true about the converting power of the Book of Mormon. Reading the Book of Mormon when I was younger and even today has had such a profound effect on my everyday life. It testifies of Christ and our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness for us. We feel their love for us as we read it and feel the spirit of the Lord in our lives. I feel that from all the scriptures, but more especially from the Book of Mormon. What a great gift it is!