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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Banana Bread and love

This week I realized something. Sis Hakes and I are like an instant meal that you buy at the store. You don't have to do anything to it all you have to do is open it and eat it. Sis Hakes and I are instant best friends with everyone. No matter who we talk to we love them and wish the best for them. We are the kind of friends that don't judge if you say something mean to us or tell us not to call back. Usually we will just show up at your house the next day with banana bread or a Liahona and tell you we love you. Or we call you everyday until you promise you will show up to your meeting with us, and then we still forgive even if you don't show up for the second or third time. If everyone in the church had friends like this I think more people would still be active. Our area is still in the growing phase. We have found people who are interested, but as of yet are not progressing. Several people have told us they like talking to us, but aren't necessarily interested in our message. So that is a start. We keep trying and working. We have been trying to reactivate some young single adults and we have been thinking about doing a 'FHE' like activity for them to replace the Nehring's (the senior couple that went home) fireside. We hope that this will help them make friendships and support each other and hopefully come back to church. This week our miracle find happened on Sunday. We had a list of apartments without phone numbers that missionaries had contacted in 06 or 07 so we decided to drop by and see if anyone was interested now. The second door we knocked on the sweetest babushka opened it. We told her why we were there and we asked if we could come back when it was convenient for her and talk to her. She invited us in right then. Her husband died in December so I think that she is lonely. She was very nice to us and was so happy to have someone to talk to. I could tell because when I would smiled at her she would smile back and she gave us both a big hug when we left. She invited us to come back this week! It is so fun to find these Gems. These people that even though their culture tells them to be defensive and private open their doors to us. People don't tend to smile here. In fact they think it is really weird when you smile at them. They can tell we are American really easy because we smile and we show our nice teeth when we smile. They also tend to be able to tell that I don't speak Russian. Probably because I don't say anything. Sis Hakes is still doing well. This transfer we are trying to focus on following the spirit. If I have learned anything this transfer it is that every person we find that is prepared to receive the gospel is a miracle. There is no way we would be able to do anything here if the Lord wasn't behind us. I have also come to a greater realization of the Holy Ghost in conversion. We really can't say anything in particular that will convert a person if we have not invited the Holy Ghost to be with us. Words are just words. I love you all! Don't give up on church just because you don't understand one little thing in the scriptures or someone offends you! Because that is seriously just lame. :D If you do sooner or later two very nice Sister missionaries will show up on your doorstep with banana bread and try to remind you that God does love you, and then you will feel guilty.


Sis Harrison

Monday, February 7, 2011

They don't shovel the sidewalks very much...too much snow

Hello everyone! This week wasn't too cold again! Sis Hakes keeps saying we are so blessed because last winter was really, really cold. We still have the rest of February so it could take a turn for the worse. It snows so much here that they tend to not clear off the sidewalks very much. So we usually walk on a half a foot of ice/snow all the time. One time we walked on real cement and it felt really weird. Harder than we are used to. We had a pretty good week. We are still trying to find people to teach. We have one girl that has been really flaky that we found in the former investigators section of the area book. She has a hard time understanding why she would need to be baptized again. Like a really hard time, but she says she likes how she feels when she meets with us so we will continue to teach her and see if she progresses at all. We met with another potential investigator and his girlfriend. Sis Hakes called them from an old call list. They have met with the missionaries a couple times before. We taught them at the other branch building with the other Sisters (Whiting and Hansen) because we are not sure if they live in our area or the other Sister's area. The guy, Antone, talked a ton and really fast so I didn't understand hardly anything. I could tell that he had a lot of his own ideas that he was trying to convince everyone to believe. Afterwards Sis Hakes told me he kept asking how we could believe in our church and that he could feel that one of us had a huge question about our church. Finally Sis Hansen had to tell him that Sis Whiting and I weren't confused about the validity of our church. We just couldn't understand what he was saying and that is why we looked confused. Afterwards he gave us all business cards and wanted to take a picture with us. I don't know if he is going anywhere, but his girlfriend seemed really nice. About every week we visit a Babushka from the branch, she lives with her son (who isn't a member). Her husband is dead and every time we going she shows us her pictures of her family. This last time we went she fed us some soup. It was good the problem was it had fish in it and we aren't allowed to eat fish. So we just ate around the fish. Then she tried to offer us something with mushrooms in it and Sis Hakes had to tell her we weren't allowed to eat it. She has a really cool black skinny cat. The cats here seem to be smaller and have bigger eyes. Sis Hakes and I agreed that if it were allowed, we would have a cat. Although it would probably be really lonely at home alone all day. Here is a cool story. Yesterday was fast Sunday and one of the Elder's recent convert's Mom has been coming to church and she told them that she wanted to be baptized. She hasn't been meeting with missionaries or anything she has just come to church the last two times. She said that she has seen the positive changes in her son and wants to be a part of that. I love it when people finally understand! Too many people have read ridiculous things on the internet and don't even come and see for themselves what great things we have going on. We have seen that a lot here. The husband or wife doesn't like the church so the member goes inactive. Or parents don't see how much their son or daughter is trying to become a better person and they condemn them when they falter. We met with this awesome kid this week who has this struggle. He said that whatever his friends say doesn't really bother him. It’s his family’s that criticism hurts the most. It is a good thing we have a lot of teenagers/ early twenties in the branch. They are able to support each other a lot. Well that is about all from me. If you have any questions I would love to answer. Love you all!

Sis Harrison