Monday, October 16, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 10/16/2017) GLUTEN FREE, MEANS PAIN FREE

I am guessing you all want to know how my health is so I will get that out of the way first! I stopped eating all type of bread or gluten product, and my body is really improving. The past three to four days I have felt much more normal and did not feel any pain, nor any other effects that I have felt the last 8 months! WAHOOO!!!

Now, as for this week!

Tuesday, we had an appointment with Erandi and Elane again. If you remember the last week they had asked a lot of questions such as: Where do we come from? Where are we going after this life? and Why are we here? It was so cool to take this lesson to them to answer all of their doubts, and things we like to call ¨Questions of the soul¨. They were so interested and actually taking notes on what we were saying and writing down more questions. By the end of the lesson, we could tell we needed to invite them to baptism. We have their baptism set for 4th of Nov.! HOW AMAZING IS THAT????

Now, Ricardo canceled again but that is because he had special changes at work this last week. But we will meet with this family this Wednesday!!! We will also be inviting them to baptism!!!!!

A couple other really cool moments were the splits we had this week. On one of them, I went with Elder May and Elder Bolacio! We had a good time contacting, and going to lessons. We arrived at one house imparticular and it was a 17-year-old girl. We were actually looking for her siblings who are less active. We found out they weren´t there, but she invited us in. After talking for a small period, we found out she is a member. She hasn´t been to church for 8 years! So we got to invite her, and she agreed to come back. Then when we were about to leave we asked if she would be willing to end the meeting with a prayer. After a moment, she started crying, she said it had been so long since the last time she talked to our  Father in Heaven. It seemed that she did not feel worthy to offer a prayer so we helped her with that. After this visit, we realized something. There are so many less active members out there that we don´t even know about. They are waiting for us, as missionaries, but also as members to remind them that they are always welcome.

Then Saturday, we had a day as a zone to go help a missionary activity with a ward. We got split into companionships with the youth to teach them the ropes of being a missionary. I was given a 17-year-old named Aramis (yes like the three musketeers). I got to teach him to contact and to make appointments, and how to teach people. He learned real quick that it isn´t too easy to go up to someone randomly and to begin to start talking about the gospel. After a few attempts, he said Elder Harmon I need help. In the end, after getting two appointments set up, finding 5 future investigators and getting a total of 15 contacts, he had a different view on missionary work. He told us that he has a new reason to for why he wants to serve a mission. He said, "Wow, just in these short hours we blessed a lot of people, and I´m sure that for doing this God is blessing our families." So, it was just cool to help a youth for the day to gain a new perspective of the mission.

Now, the last thing I´d like to share! We got invited to a family home evening with the family Hernandez yesterday. They are a less active family, and they actually have two kids, age 9 and 10 who are actually now new investigators. We arrived and the Sister then said, "I didn´t plan anything, could you guys take over?" We had 12 people there and so I took the lesson and taught a small bit about Gods plan for us, and about faith and love that enable blessings and happiness beyond what we can imagine! Then Elder Macias started some games that are so fun and we got everyone laughing and playing! It felt like being with the family. We adjusted really quickly to them and it just felt... GOOD! I can´t explain it! We gained their confidence and they are actually going to have us go back to visit and teach their sons this Thursday! So....just some awesome blessings, plus we are going to invite them to baptism this next appointment!

Lots and lots happening! Thank you all for your love and prayers! We are doing well here!

Love, Elder Harmon!

Audio File

Monday, October 9, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 10/9/2017) LOOKING FOR ANGELS

I had a bit of time this last week to ponder about the mission, I also read a letter I had recireceivedile back from Dad. He had mentioned how much the mission life will guide and help me in this life. He also shared how it will help me view things in this life, and to pick out what really has lasting significance.

This week was pretty slow in terms of lessons. We had a lot of people cancel. However, it´s the lessons and opportunities that we did have this last week that really opened my eyes. I would like to share a few of these moments.

This week we found the family of five that we had been looking for, who still have two family members that are not baptized. They are Elane and Erandi! Those in the family who are members are less active less active. We had an appointment this last Sunday to meet with the whole family. Yesterday, we went over and just started to chat. Then I asked them all, "Hey, what is something you would all like to know about us?" This is when it got interesting. The daughter who is 17 years old and is a member asked, "Why are you guys here?" As in why did we choose to serve. I decided to let my companion go first and tell them why he is here. Then I took my time and bare testimony of the atonement and the plan of salvation, sharing a few my experiences to let them know what built up my testimony to come out on the mission. When I finished I asked them if they had any more questions. Then, all of them said, "Actually, from your testimony I have a lot of questions about this life and for the one to come." We agreed to give them a plan of salvation pamphlet and told them to write down all their questions and this Tuesday we will come back again and answer them all.

That was a tender moment because there are many people I have come into contact with and we always ask if they have ever had questions about where they come from, why they are here, and where they are going. Usually, they tell us no and it doesn´t interest them to know. But sometimes we find those people that give us a bit of time to share testimony and that´s when they start to realize that hey, I really have had this question before. It is these moments that I feel I am here for. To help others realize the greater, perfect plan that our Father in Heaven has for us all.

This last week we also stopped by Juan's barber shop and helped him fix a few things and to just chat. I feel so much love for this man. We are already so close with him and I consider him a great friend. Yesterday in church, I went and stopped and started chatting with he and Juanita. I set an appointment for today at 8pm. I think they are going to invite their granddaughters and sister-in-law. So maybe we can teach them as well!

Also, our appointment with Ricardo fell through; however, I sent him a message and called him about every day checking in on him. We finally got an appointment for tomorrow at 7pm with him! And, we are going to put a baptism date for the 28th!!!!! We are so excited!

Those were the highlights of this last week. We had a lot of moving we still had to do, and we actually helped a member with the baptism of his daughter, Denys. We also got invited to her birthday party, so that was a lot of fun, especially since it was just about all the members there!!

Now, there is one more thing. So we now know what it is with my health. We went to the hospital 4 times this last week and got some time with doctor Vazquez. It turns out that I have an allergy to gluten. That is why almost every day I feel bloating and pain and why I have basically lived in the bathroom. It's from all the tortillas and cereal and bread that I have been eating! So, looks like no more pizza or tortas or hamburgers and other things for me! hahah. So so so sad! But at least we now know! We are just running one more test to make sure that this is for sure what I have, so if you could, like I know you´re all doing, just keep me in your prayers. Also, I just want to thank you all for your fasting! I had so much to do this last week, and I know that your faith, prayers, and fasting is what got me through it!

I love you all!}

Now just a quote to end this!

Salvation is a personal thing, but the exaltation is in a family.- some guy I can´t remember haha

Audio File

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 10/3/2017) MIRACLES AND FAITH

What a fantastic week we had! So I know today isn´t P-day and that is because we have a short period today to write, so I´m just going to send my big email.

So we had a good week and a lot of last-minute tender blessings! This week we had an appointment to meet with Juan and Juanita and their family. The appointment was for Monday night at 8. Usually, that´s just fine, but we got hit with a huge storm and it was pitch black, and right as we were about to leave, Juan called to tell us not to come because he did not want us to get soaked on the long walk over. So he told us to come the next week. He is such a great man, so tender-hearted and always just wants to help us. I talked with him multiple times this week, along with him calling us a few times just seeing how we were doing. He called us yesterday just to say how he misses seeing us, so we are going to go drop by his barber shop to just talk. Not sure I´m ready for him to cut my hair again! :)

Then, we spent a lot of the week reaching out to investigators and contacting. We are teaching 15 people right now and they are all progressing. We just have to make sure we put down some appointments for this week.

On Wednesday, as I had told you all last Monday, we made an appointment with Ricardo. When we passed by, he welcomed us with open arms. He hasn´t been taught by the missionaries for 9 years, but he has been interested to learn for quite some time. He has visited Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. Wow, isn´t that great that I know all of those places so well already? It made for some great conversation. We took this night to get to know him and to gain trust. He and his family were there this night and would like for us to come back. He also wanted to go to conference, but wasn´t able to make it to the church. We are hoping and praying that he watched it on his TV or computer. We will find out tomorrow!

Now, conference! It was so so great! I gained so many insights and a deep sense of love. I got to watch it in English with about 10 other people which was really great. I just want to say how grateful I am to be able to hear words that are specifically for us from God, that are given to the leaders of this church. How many other churches in the world can say that??? THAT´S RIGHT, NONE! ONLY US!!

I noticed that many of the talks were about having Faith in Jesus Christ.

Here are a few things that really stood out to me and that I absolutely loved:

Dieter F Uchtdorf. - The sun and the moon, the light of day and the dark of night. Just like in the night we have light, and why? This is because light still makes its way through whatever heartache, trial, or problem. The light will always be there, sometimes we just have to realize what we have.

Donald L. Hallstrom - Miracles of faith, many ask if the days of miracles ceased. He comes to say no. Because for one, we are all living in a miracle. But God will not show miracles until after the trial of our faith.

John Pegree Jr. - We are instruments in the Lord's hands. We should not glory ourselves, but rather the one that has blessed us. Just like we do not glory the pencil that is used to write a book, but rather the writer of the book. Glory the Father for what he has given you because each of us is given spiritual gifts and talents. God needs you, be yourself, you´re unique.

Quentin L. Cook - He talks a lot about forgiveness and then he mentions something towards the end. If we do not forgive, we refuse Christ's atonement. How powerful is that? He mentions how we are all alike unto God, and all are called unto God and his work. So something I want to add to this is from another talk given by Jeffery R. Holland. It says to give your rope to anyone that is trying to make their way to God. Christ is refusing to let any of us go until we come back to him. If we want to become like him, we need to do as he has and throw our ropes. Nobody can drop deeper than Christ's atonement.

These are just a few things that I loved from this week, and this conference. Sorry I didn´t get on yesterday. Our day was full of plans to move houses. I will let you know more about it next week. I love you all! You´re all amazing and you are such a blessing in my life!

- Elder Harmon

p.s - going to the doctor again tomorrow, he is going to run some tests to know exactly what it is happening with my body and to fix the problem! It will all be good!

Monday, September 25, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 9/25/2017) LOOKIN OVER HOUSES TO FIND

HI HI HI! So WOW, I hit 8 months and I just feel like time is moving so fast! We had a good week. We got back to work to find some new investigators. So I will call this a week of finding. We received on Wednesday about 20 references, and wow, there are a lot of good ones!

Also, I don`t know if I told you about Randy, but I ran into him again. He is from Chicago, and he is here as a an English teacher. Really funny guy, but he loves to talk with me. Anyways, I have been keeping in touch with him and he has agreed to come to church this next week. He said, "no" the first time I asked, but now he is being a lot more receptive. Also, among those references, we received one person from UTAH! He speaks more Spanish than English so I have been communicating with him in both. We made two appointments with him this last week. Both fell through but I received a call from him this morning, and he would like to meet with us on Wednesday at 7! YAY!!!!

We had a tender moment having a family home evening with Juan and Juanita. It was so fun! We got to meet their granddaughters and sister, and they are now actually our investigators, and they also attended church yesterday! So very cool to see that they are such strong converts and what to share this gospel with their families!

Yesterday, we had 5 attend church and 3 were actually people we had never met before. They were invited by members so we had a great opportunity to meet and speak with them in church. Also, I gave one of them a blessing. She is suffering right now because she can`t find her son. I love these moments because it shows how much some people really do just trust in our Heavenly Father to ask him for help.

Now, I will tell you I am a lot better this week, but still not out of the
woods. I am feeling all of your prayers, so I thank you and I love you! I have faith that I will be all good, so don`t you guys worry!

Haha! Now, just to make you laugh. I was walking in the night and it was pretty dark and couldn`t see too well, and BAMM, I was smacked my face, and now I have just some swelling and cuts on my face, haha kind of really funny, but just thought you would like that. I ran into a sharp wire that I couldn't see that was just under the height of my eye.

I just feel so grateful for all these new people we have been blessed to find and to teach. I feel like God is letting us look into houses (hearts) to know who is ready to hear his message!

Anyways, a good week and we just had transfers. Elder Macias and I will be staying together! We want to share with you that our goal is to have 5 baptisms before next transfer! We are aiming high to work hard and have success!

Audio File with Testimony in English and Spanish

Can you share this talk with people? It´s something that has healed me in many ways. The talk is called "The Room"

Love you all,
Elder Harmon

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Hand Written Letter (Dated: 9/23/2017)

Hello, My Wonderful Family,

So my good buddy here, also assistant to the president is taking this letter home for me. Isn't that awesome? His name is Elder Bailey Marshall. He is a great guy. I thought it would be great to just get off a quick letter. So, just to catch Y'all up on what's going on. I am here in Cimatario, Queretaro Mexico!. My companion is Elder Macias. We just completed on change together and just heard that we will be having another. We are pretty excited. We have about 5 people we are planning to baptize. Their names are Ricardo, Yampol, Randi, and the twins. Three of them are referrals and 2 are people that we found. The funny thing is that two of them are from the states (Utah and Chicago, IL). It is kind of crazy how I am in a different country, but I still seem to find some gringos to teach! We are excited and I am happy to see their progression here. I am also happy with the wonderful members here and the people in general that I have met. I feel blessed. I often find myself looking back on my progress and my old area. I admit that I have received a lot of help from God. There were many days in the start of my mission where I wanted to give up or just lock myself in a room and yell! But now, I just feel peace and it is really cool. Dad told me something a while back. He said to remember that I don't always need to be the tough guy.

So, I will tell you exactly how I feel. My stomach for the last six months has been giving me a hoard of problems, and during this time I have had to put my body (my health), what it seems, before the Savior and God. It has been very difficult. It has limited how much I can eat and walk. I just want it to end. While it has not impacted my testimony negatively, it has affected my ability to give 100%, but I am trying, and honestly, I am good....just would like to be better.

We have had a great change. Three baptisms and four new investigators whoa re all progressing. Family, I love Mexico. I won't say it is because of the way of life and the way things are run down here, but rather, for the people and to be a missionary serving the people.

Today, I interviewed someone for baptism. She is a 17-year-old, pretty girl. I would normally look at her and say to myself, "No, she won't accept us." But No!! She was so ready! She already knew so much and bore a short but strong testimony. I had the chance to tell her how proud God is of her for making the choice to enter into his arm by coming to the covenant and promise of baptism. This experience helped me learn something new about how our Heavenly Father feels when he knows someone is ready to enter into his church.

Now, another very cool experience I'd like to share is one for a girl that came and asked if I could give her a blessing. She is 20 years old and was in need of counsel. My companion and I laid our hands upon her head and blessed her. I can't really recall what I said during the blessing, but rather what I felt...and it was the feeling of angels standing there helping me. This young girl needed answers this day and what I could see as I looked at her eyes filled with tears is that Father in Heaven answered her. This experience taught me a valuable lesson to listen to the spirit. Not for your self, but rather for the want to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, to serve someone who may be in need.

I want you all to read James 1:19. Watch your actions because you may think you aren't doing or having an effect on something where, in all reality, you actually could be making the difference.

Family, I love you! You're my eternal family, and I wear my nametag every day in respect to know that I am serving the Lord while bearing the name of our Family!

I don't have too much time to write, but please know how much I care and miss and think about you!

Love Elder Harmon

Monday, September 18, 2017

Perspective (9/18/2017)

Today I asked Brandon to share some of his perspective on the mission. This was his quick response:

I would say my perspective has changed a lot. I came out here with the thought of, "Well, I have waited for this time all my life and I want to be here, so I better give it everything." That's not a bad perspective to start but my perspective has become something a lot more personal and spiritual.

I have gotten to know people here. It is amazing to see how open people are when they don´t even know you. They share things with you, so that if you really listen, you can feel their sadness, their pain, and their need for the Savior.

I have learned through my own experience the true meaning of repentance and need for my older brother. Knowing that feeling of hopelessness is something I can´t bare for another person to feel, so if there is just some way I can help them feel less sorrow, less pain. Well...that is why I am here. I want people to find our Eldest Brother. I want them to find the infinite atonement of Christ. I want them to know of the wonderful, ever so loving plan of the Savior. So you ask me what my perspective is on serving.....It isn't a burden, but rather a way to help take away the burdens of another, one of our siblings, by showing them who is it that can truly relieve them of their pains.

E-mail (Dated: 9-18-2017) TRUST IN THE SAVIOR

It went pretty slow this week with missionary work as far as lessons go. I have had some time to think this last week.

We had splits twice this week, one of which was with Elder Ramierz from Kentucky, and another with an Elder May from Cash Valley Utah. It went really well with both of them. Especially my time with Elder Ramierz. He is half Mexican and actually spoke Spanish before the mission. He is kind of a funny kid and one thing he has going for him is his ability to talk with everybody. I have lost my fear of talking with people, but I still sometimes shy away from talking to people that I pass. But with him this day we literally talked with everyone that passed and it felt so good! I am grateful for that day that I had with him, for him to remind me not to shy away and to talk to all!

Then on Tuesday, we had a zone conference with President and it went really good. We talked a lot about why we are here, and what kind of person we want to be. Then we all received letters from one of our parents, based off of what President asked for. I want to say thank you Dad, and I am working to become that person.

We all have a goal as to what kind of person we want to return home as, at least I do, and I will just say that it is something that I am still working towards because I´m just human. We know we aren´t perfect, but there is this constant desire to want to be better. On Wednesday, we had interviews with President, and he helped me a lot with some tips with studying and some other insights on the mission. He said something to me, that I just want to share. He said, ¨Elder from the moment you came on the mission, I have noticed that you want to be the best missionary possible, not because you want to be better than others, but because you know exactly why you came here.¨ I have struggled knowing if that is true until he helped me realize it is. I am truly thankful for my President and the help he is and has given me.

Now, after the meeting with Pres. we went and passed by Costco and just looked around on the inside because we still don't have a Costco card, but we actually ate chicken bakes and hot dogs as well! So just a bit of home in that moment!

Now, as for the rest of the week, it was pretty rough. We only had about four days in my area, but I got hit pretty hard with pain in my stomach on Thursday. In fact, I called up the doctor to set up an appointment. The next day we went and I got about 4 different prescriptions. He said that if I´m not feeling better in 7 days I need to go have more tests done. Then the next morning I woke up with a high fevor, with chills and pain in my throat, and a headache and it was so awful. I called up the doctor to let him know that I feel even worse today, and turns out I got an infection as well in my stomach, so he put me on another prescription. So after three days in bed, it is now Monday and at least I was able to leave the house today. I am still hurting a lot, but a lot better than two days ago. I have received a blessing and medication, so now I am just in the Lord's hands and I trust that he will help me.

I read a good passage from the Liahona from this month, based on happiness. It is natural for us to all look for happiness and try to force it into our lives, but that´s not how it works. It is something that comes when we most likely don't expect it. It shares a message about a butterfly, if you chase that butterfly, it will just keep escaping your grasp, but if you leave it be, it is most likely to land right on your shoulder.

Something I am working on this week is to know that good things come from hardships. Maybe not exactly from that hard thing, but it is that trial that will help you see things that are better.

I love you family and friends, MWAH

Audio Recording