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, December 21, 2010

2010 December 21 Twas the week before Christmas...

Lots of things going on here! They have about a million and a half packages at the post office for all the missionaries. They keep having to close it to sort through all the packages they get. They even said they won't be accepting any more packages past tomorrow. There is so much candy going around I think I might gain 5 pounds just this week. I hope that scared you Dad. :D Don't worry I haven't been drinking that much full fat chocolate milk. Plus lately I have been playing basketball during gym with some Sisters in my zone. There are so many of us who want to play we can usually get a game going. A couple of the sisters are very good too. One, Sis Brigham, played in college. All the Sisters in my zone are crazy fun. We live right next to each other in an corner of the building. We laugh a lot. Its good because it relieves stress. One Sister (Sis Roberts) got her travel plans this week. She is going to Saint Petersburg on the 27th with one of the Ukranian Elders. It was kind of a shock because she thought she was going to leave on the 4th. This week we started speaking 100% Russian all the time. Well really its most of the time. We try our best. We are suppose to do this until the time we leave. For most of the Elders and Sisters this is about 2 weeks. For Sister Whiting and I its 3 weeks because our date was pushed back. I hope to learn a lot of new vocab in the coming weeks. For Christmas day there is going to be an MTC wide talent show. Some members of our zone are singing and dancing to a well known Russian song, and the Native Elders are going to try to sing and dance to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. Well they changed all the lyrics to be more MTC appropriate. Christmas really is amazing here. We don't see any of the usually things that indicate Christmas like displays and store sales and so we turn to the scriptures to bring the Christmas spirit. Sis Whiting and I have been Focusing our Companionship study on the life of Christ the week. Something I want to do this week to honor Christ is find some one to serve. Love you all!


Cectpa Harrison

2010 December 14

It feels weird that Christmas is getting really close. Everyone is counting down the days until they leave rather than the days until Christmas. Sis Whiting and I found out that one of the Ukrainian Elders who came in last week is going with us to Yekaterinburg. That made us really happy because he can speak Russian to the customs agents for us. Speaking of the Christmas Devotional Sister Whiting gets to say the closing prayer for it. This is pretty big because it means that we get to sit up on the stand with 1 probably 2 of the twelve apostles and we get to shake their hands. How cool is that? I don't even have to do anything. We have been learning alot about the Russian culture since the natives have arrived. One of them was talking to Sis Haymond ( a sister in my district) about "Gary Potter". He had seen the new movie before he came and was very excited about it. We were sitting at lunch one time and a Ukrainian Elder asked a sister in my district why she carried around a water bottle all the time. He said if she took it to Russian everyone would think she was drinking vodka. In the Russian culture you are only suppose to say hello to them once a day otherwise they think you are weird if you say hello again. Several of the natives are very good at English. One Elder told me he had been studying English for 13 years, 5 at a university. This last Sunday the devotional was the BYU mens choir. So good! I wish they had devotionals like that more often. Some of the Sisters have been making a "You know that you have been at the MTC too long when...." list. I think most of the missionaries are itching to go. We learn so much here in the MTC, but there is nothing like being thrown into the situation and preaching the gospel to people who have never heard of it before. I love what I am doing.


Cectpa Harrison

2010 December 7

Another long and crazy week! Yesterday was our first day 100% speaking Russian. Or trying to. We did really pretty good. It was fun to try to be creative with communicating with our limited vocabulary. Its good everyone knows the same words else it wouldn't work all that well. By the end of the day I felt I had to keep speaking Russian even though we ended at 9pm. Speaking of Russian, late last night all the new missionaries from Eastern Europe arrived. This morning Sis Whiting and I helped two of the Elders get food at the cafeteria. One of the Elders asked why the drinks were cold, apparently they don't chill their drinks in Ukraine. One of the Elders also complimented us on how good our Russian was after 7 weeks. He said he had been studying English for about 11 years and he felt like he couldn't speak it very well. I haven't met any of the new sister missionaries yet but I am excited too. I put up all the pictures of Christ Mom sent in our class room because we spend so much time in there. Everyone in my district and our teachers really like the pictures. They really help create a more homey atmosphere. I get to see Sister Falcon, my roommate from BYU alot around here. I even got to sit next to her last Sunday during relief society. We got to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday night which was fun. This week in the TRC we get to teach Lesson 2 (the Plan of Salvation) for the first time all in Russian. Sis Whiting and I have been working really hard. Thanks so much for the fun Christmas package! I especially liked the mix of M&Ms. I am sure I will take a lot of fun Christmasy pictures with the antlers. Speaking of Christmas the other night our whole zone went outside by the Christmas lights they have put up for the missionaries and sang 'What Child is this?" in Russian. It’s in the Russian hymn book. It was soooo much fun. It really got me into the Christmas mood. Love you all. The church is amazingly true!!!


Sister Harrison

Thanksgiving in the MTC

2010 November 30,

Hello everyone! This last week was awesome! First off they shut everything down here the day before Thanksgiving because of the "emergency snow storm" that never came. When the snow finally came it wasn't too bad because there are overhangs between all the buildings we have to walk to. You don't even need boots. It did get cold though. Sis Whiting 'forgets' to wear a coat some days because she doesn't like them even though it is really cold. Apparently cross country skiing is really big in Russia because they have a lot of flat areas. I might get to go ice skating there. One of our teachers told us this crazy story of when he got hurt ice skating in Russia. He even had to go to the hospital. Good thing everyone gets free medical there. We get to go to the temple every week, which is so awesome. We always do service in the laundry room afterwards which is also so fun. We get to talk to all the old ladies that work there. Ok so I need to talk about Thanksgiving. First off we didn't have any class. We went to a devotional after breakfast were Elder Holland talked to us. He had brought all his grandkids with him and they sang us a song. They were so cute! Elder Holland told us we shouldn't be homesick and pointed out some things we should be grateful for. He is always such a good speaker. That day we also did a service project cutting out bags for school supplies. All the missionaries together cut out over 30,000 bags. We also listened to several other speakers. One was the Brother over the welfare services for the Church. He told an amazing story about a town in Africa. Anyways, Thanksgiving dinner was also very good. We had everything you would normally have on thanksgiving. One of the Sisters in my room got a real sized turkey from her mom made of Rice crispies. So all the sisters in our Zone sat in a circle and ate it as we told each other what we were grateful for. Its been pretty lonely her at the MTC because missionaries left last week but we didn't get any new one because of the holiday. Tomorrow we are suppose to get about 16 new missionaries for our zone and the next week 8 native Eastern Europeans are suppose to come in. The church is true! I love you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanksgiving preparations

2010 November 23

Thanksgiving should be pretty awesome here though. We have been told that usually one of the 12 apostles come. Plus we don't have class all day! We get to go to some devotionals and do a lot of service projects. I have been doing well. I am still working hard. My companion is still amazing. The older missionaries left this week. It’s crazy to think that when the new missionaries come next week we will be the older group. When I first came I thought the missionaries already here knew so much Russian. Now I realized that is not the case. I have been getting better at making my own sentences, but I still have a very, very far way to go. This week we have to teach lesson 1 in Russian. Lately I have been learning a lot about conversion. Sis Whiting and I got to teach a lesson on Sunday and we chose to talk about Alma 5:14. We had some great discussions about Ch4 of PMG. I am so grateful to be here in the MTC serving the Lord. I realize more and more that I am suppose to be here at this exact time. I am grateful for the Lord's time table. I am grateful for my wonderful companion Sis Whiting. She is so nice in understanding me and giving me hugs. I am grateful for the teachers I have. Everyone here who teaches us tries to teach with the spirit. I am grateful for the support of the Holy Ghost. I would not be able to do this mission without it. I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He is my savior and friend. I am grateful for prayer. There is nothing better in the world than talking to someone who knows and understands and loves you no matter what you do. I am grateful for the support I get from home. I have just got to say that I have a pretty awesome family. I love you all!