Monday, September 3, 2012

EMAIL: Mon, September 3, 2012   1:10 PM
Subject:  The Harper Family

Hello Y'all!!

This last week was pretty crazy, but it was also really great. We had a Sister's Conference on Friday. It was great to be around and be trained with just the Sister missionaries.  I love each of them so much. They are all such an inspiration to me as a missionary. They all have amazing talents and abilities as missionaries, and I know that they truly bless the areas and investigators that they serve.

Another crazy thing happened this week. Everything was going just fine and dandy with Hnas Lopez, Spenner, and I in our tri-panionship, when we got a surprise call from the assistants. Hermana Spenner was emergency transferred! She had to pack her bags that night and be ready for her new area in the morning. She didn't even get to say goodbye to anyone! Another Spanish sister had to suddenly go home, and so they needed a companion for the Hermana left behind. Hermana Spenner was the lucky one. She was transferred to a great area with a great companion (Hermana Motuliki from Tonga!).  I am so glad for Hermana Spenner. It is sad that she was transferred (especially after we were companions after such a short time) but I know the transfer was helpful to her and is giving her more experience. She seemed so happy when I saw her at Sister's Conference.

I am glad for the opportunity right now to be with Hermana Lopez. Spanish work is much different than English work, but I love it.  It is difficult to try and split time between Spanish and English.  All is going great though! Hermana Lopez is amazing, and she is great at easily getting the members and everyone else to love her and trust her. She has some interesting cultural differences, but I think this is why people (especially Hispanics) feel so comfortable around her. We are having a great time together. Hermana Lopez is working on saying her prayers and testimony in English and I am working on doing the same in Spanish. I am so grateful for this new experience of doing Spanish work and I know it is helping me as a missionary!
One of the highlights of my week has been the Harper family. We met with Rene on Tuesday and taught about temples and information about families and parenting from the Family Proclamation. She loved it and loves that the church is so centered around families.  Rene is progressing so much more quickly towards baptism and her desire to learn about the gospel is increasing now that her family is involved. I can definitely see the importance of teaching families.  I know I have been saying this a lot lately, but the gospel truly does bless families and is a great place for families to learn and grow together. I can see this more than ever as I teach the Harper Family.

The son Quinlan is so smart for an 8-year-old and I love teaching him.  Hna Lopez and I taught the Word of Wisdom on Friday. We were discussing the 5 things that the WOW tells us to avoid. I asked Quinlan if he knew what tobacco was. He responded that "Tabasco" was like hot sauce, but he was confused why we couldn't eat that. It was pretty funny, but I think he now understands that he can eat hot sauce but he should avoid things like cigarettes.  Another amazing story with teaching the Harpers the WOW was with Rene. We gave her the pamphlet a week before we taught the lesson. All that week, Rene decided she also needed to give up caffeine and especially her Coke because that is something she knows is bad and addictive to her. I was so proud when she mentioned this as we were teaching the lesson. Rene felt so bad because she had given in one day and drank a Coke, but she told me she is going to try harder next week.  This family is so prepared!

I have always struggled with getting investigators to come to church, but the Harper family is entirely the opposite case. We met Tom and taught him his first lesson right before church one Sunday, he followed us to church, and he hasn't missed church since.  On Sunday, Rene had to leave just after Sacrament meeting because one of her close friends was having a bridal shower.  Even though Rene was leaving, Tom and Quinlan both stayed at church. Even Mormon families don't often do that!  We talked to Rene later in the evening and she was so upset that she had to miss Relief Society and Gospel Principles earlier. She was also very upset and disappointed that her friend would have scheduled an activity on Sunday that wasn't in-line with keeping the Sabbath Day holy and going to church. I was so happy that Rene saw the difference in how she felt because she missed church (even though she still went to sacrament meeting). Rene now has a great testimony of church!

I love this family so much!  I can't even describe in words how prepared they are!  I feel so privileged that the Lord would allow me to teach such elect people.  Hna Lopez and I challenged them to read the scriptures and pray together as a family every night. We knew this would be difficult especially because Tom is a trucker and is only home 3 night a week. We figured that Rene would just read with Quinlan on those nights. To our surprise, Rene has been calling Tom when it is time for scripture study and they have been doing it together as a family over the phone! Quinlan will read the verses and Rene and Tom will both help explain it to him. I also gave Quinlan an easy reader BOM a couple of days ago. He is so excited to get to know the stories in the BOM, but he also wants to keep reading in the other BOM. This family is amazing. They already seem like Mormons, and soon they will be after their baptism on September 22nd. Quinlan is excited because the next day is his birthday, so he is going to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost on his birthday.  I love this family!!  I hope that I will get the opportunity to keep teaching them (even though transfers are this next week) up until their baptism and also help out with the new member lessons after.

I am grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful to see lives changing.  I love sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ!  The Lord truly does love his missionaries. I know that I am not teaching the Harpers due to my own credit. It is all from the Lord that they were found and that I am led by the spirit to teach them. I love my Heavenly Father for this! And I love this gospel!
Thanks for everyone's love and support. I love y'all and pray all is well. Don't forget to read your scriptures everyday. It truly does make a difference! Please pray for the Harper family. Although everything is going well right now, I know that temptations and difficulties will arise. They always do! We need all the help we can get to get the Harpers baptized because they are going to be amazing members of the LDS church. I love them so much! And I love y'all too!

Love always,

-Sister Peck

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