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

Monday, September 11, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 9/11/2017) THE SPIRIT WILL BE THE JUDGE

This week was pretty tuff in the way of missionary work, but we had a lot of good as well. As far as appointments and contacting, it was sad. We probably got rejected this last week in just about every way possible. But like I said, there was also a lot of good. Good always outweighs the bad, right? So, this week it rained super-duper hard. The streets were flooded but we decided to stay out and contact anyways for a bit. Sad thing is that I thought my backpack was fully water proof, but I found out the hard way that it isn´t. It’s okay, I got my things inside to dry. It´s been awesome having a camera that is water proof! (thank you, mom and dad)

We then visited a lot with other less actives and members this week. It was good to bond with a few more families. What is really cool is that they load us up with a ton of referrals. This week in fact we went and contacted a few of them. Some of which were at 9am in the morning. Truth be told, when we arrived, they didn´t answer. We will keep on trying to contact them.

We also opened up the Area Book this week to do some deep digging. It went really well. We called over 30 numbers and about half accepted our call. They also invited us to come to their homes this week. How awesome is that? One of them actually answered and said, “The Elders??? Awesome! Glad you guys called! When is the soonest you can come?” That made us feel really good! So, we will be going to those appointments this week!

Let’s see--we got haircuts this last week, ha-ha. It was done by a member that just opened a business and doesn´t know how to cut hair super well, ha-ha. He learned from his wife. I wanted to see how he would do, so we went and let’s just say the next day we went to another barber to fix some of the errors. I guess we learned a good lesson that day.

On Saturday, the assistants to the president had an interview that we needed to do for a baptism. On the way, they asked if we wanted to go to IHOP with them. I was like, YES!!! So we went there and it was really good. I never liked IHOP before my mission, but now it has a new significance being here.

On Sunday, we had the chance to go to the baptism of these new converts for the assistants because we have grown close to the two investigators there were being baptized.

Now, today I had a zone activity with the President and it was really fun! We played volleyball and basketball and a bit of frisbee and then had Costco pizza. I have grown a lot closer to a many of the Elders and Hermanas here, it has been a cool life experience.

After the activity, we left and got on a bus. We were standing next to two older ladies who were seated. Then one of them started shaking and passed out and the other people around couldn´t wake her. In that moment, the bus driver pulled over the bus and evacuated everyone, but Elder Macias and I decided to stay. We both had this overwhelming feeling that she needed a blessing. Elder Macias asked her friend if we could and at first, she said no. Then, I knelt down and said, “we are MISSIONARIES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS. We can give her a blessing if you let us, it won´t cost anything, but I promise it will help.” In that moment, she said yes. Elder Macias and I put our hands above her hand and gave her a blessing. It was short, but we could feel God using us as his instruments in that moment. A couple minutes after the ambulance arrived but the friend didn´t want to take her to the hospital but then in that moment, the lady that had passed out came to and was able to walk off the bus. She still probably needs to see a doctor, but in the moment, we were able to see the work of our Father in Heaven. We saw the miracle of his power.

It was a refresher to know that God will guide us, and we can be his hands here on this earth, but we need to learn to trust and act in the moment.

I love you family and friends, take care and remember to follow in the steps of our Savior!

Video1 - Working in the RAIN

Video 2 - Working in the RAIN

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 9/4/2017) THIS IS HOW WE DO IT!!

Wow, this week was a good one.

So on Tuesday, I went on splits with Elder Filmore who is like my step mom in the mission, because he is Elder Morales' trainer from the mission. I was in his area and I learned a lot. He has 6 months longer than me in the mission and I had a lot to learn. We got along pretty well, and together, I did my first hitch hike ever, haha. Fun experience.

On Wednesday I got back to work in my area and we were focused on finding new investigators and contacting our references. We found 5 new investigators this last week. They are a family.  Our lesson with them was 2.5 hours long because of all of their questions and stuff. We originally went there for a girl named Abigail who is 21 and we then got the attention of her family...her mom, grandma, and siblings. We really connected with her and she asked us if we could come back and teach her. So, we left her with commitments and with an appointment to go back this Thursday. We are excited.

Then on Saturday, we had the baptism of Juanita. Not for Daniela because of problems that were occurring with her husband. But we ended up having the baptism of Juanita. There was a lot to organize and figure out, but we made it happen. It was really cool because her husband Juan was able to do the ordinance. Very humble and nice couple. Juan was baptized about two months ago and it was just so good.

Then, later that night, I was pretty upset about Daniela not being able to have the opportunity because of her husband and the fact that our zone leader said she wouldn´t be able to be baptized. So, called up the president and told him the situation. He then gave us the permission to talk to her to let her know that if she wanted, she could be baptized without the consent of her husband. So we ran over on Saturday night and told them. Later that night, after they talked about it, she called and said, "I want to be baptized!" So, we planned the baptism that night and had it Sunday morning. When we arrived, and we had the same situation with the water that we had at Francisco's baptism, and on top of that some of the interviews weren´t going to go through; however, we had the assistants in our church building and with them, we were able to figure everything out. It was just so awesome!
On Sunday, we had the opportunity to watch Daniela be baptized by her Dad and then we were able to participate in the confirmation of both Daniela and Juanita.

So, just some tenders blessings. We have prayed for them to make this decision and it is an answer to our and their prayers to have had them enter the waters of baptism!

So just so happy!

I love you all! Have a great week!

P.S Starting contacting by baptismal invitation - trick from our assistants.

Monday, August 28, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 8/28/2017) MY FEET HURT!

Ha-ha, so I had two in grown toe nails this last week that I had taken out. What a great way to start off the week right? The doctor was like yup these are infected all right, and says I`m going to put them to sleep with some shots (4 per toe) and then said, “This is going to hurt!” I have some good videos of this for you all to see, so don`t worry. But yeah so on Tuesday we didn`t end up leaving the house, but I got back to work on Wednesday. 

This last week we had a lot of fun and spiritual moments. I would like to share some of them. 

We found a family of five this last week to teach, but in our appointment, we only had about 2 come to the lesson. Their names are Laura and Maria Juana and they are sisters-in-law. We decided to teach lesson one. I will admit it is probably the hardest one for me to teach and I get a little bit nervous teaching it. But not this time. If you all remember the last time I taught this lesson was with Anel in Silao. There was a similar spirit in this lesson. I started out and I no longer felt shaky, and the words I was looking for seemed to come to me easily and I was able to teach with power. Now when I say with power, it’s not the power of my own, but the power of our Eternal Father. His spirit entered the lesson and we were able to draw from it to teach these two about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Truly amazing, especially when we got to tell them about a young boy who at 14 years of age went exactly to where he knew he could find an answer, which is to our Heavenly Father. We will go back this next week to visit with them on Wednesday. I am getting excited. 

We then taught Daniela who is 26 and her parents are recent converts. She is married, but living with her parents because when she told her husband she wants to be baptized, since he is a strong Catholic, he told her that she had to make a choice to either be with him or be baptized. When we had the lesson with her, we had not known that about her husband. We taught L3 which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During the lesson we faced all sorts of distraction…dogs barking, alarms going off outside, phone calls, but just like with the baptism of Francisco, though Satan was trying to throw all things our way, we kept the spirit and taught a great lesson and invited her to baptism which she accepted and she will be baptized this Saturday. I just imagine what kind of faith it must take to be in the situation she is in to choose to follow the savior. 

Now, just a quick thing. This Saturday we will have the baptism of Juanita and Daniela. We are so excited and I ask that you can keep them in your prayers that they may be able to push through the week, as we know Satan will try to drive them away. 

I love you all and I am doing well. If you need anything let me know! 

With Love, 
Elder Harmon

Monday, August 21, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 8/21/2017) CIMATARO

So, wow, a great week here in my new area. It is very different from Silao but good! We spent the week contacting and getting to know the area and also in lessons and doing service.

We actually had a baptism this last Saturday for a 9-year-old named Gael and it was really cool. He is a funny kid and his parents are recent converts. Elder Macias baptized him, but I had the chance to confirm him and bestow the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was my first time and I will admit I was a little scared, but it went well and the spirit filled the room.

Also, this week I taught the class on Sunday all by myself. That was new for me but it was good. Tears were shed by many, hearts were softened and most importantly the spirit was the teacher and I learned a lot myself.

The members here are very helpful, welcoming and they give us a ton of referrals. We are out and about teaching and preaching every night until almost 10 PM. Actually, we were out until almost 11 PM two different nights doing service and our zone leaders had to get after us, ha-ha. It all worked out though. I love the new area. Also, my companion and I are doing good.

I miss the people of Silao, but I will see them again, right now it´s my time to help those that are here.

My companion is Elder Macias and he is from here in Mexico in the city Juarez Chihuahua. He can understand a lot of English, but can´t speak English ha-ha. He is my friend from another other zone and a good missionary. He is the district leader here in my area.

Let me know if there is more I can tell you guys!

Love, Elder Harmon

P.S. I lost my fear of contacting completely. We contact around 30 people daily and actually 50 in one day. We split it up evenly so I have been learning different forms on how to talk with people, very cool! I also contacted 3 people that lived in the states!

Monday, August 14, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 8/14/2017) The Walk To New Things, And A See You Soon Then To The Past

Wow, six months in Silao and now it´s over. I feel very blessed for the time that I have had here. My testimony grew and I made so many strong relationships in this wonderful city. Now, I´m moving on to another trial and another journey of the mission.

This last week I had the chance to find four new investigators and one from the past. One of these is Anel, and the others are a family named Family Nuñez. We passed by Anel on Thursday to talk and to teach her. We taught lesson 3, and can I just say that Morales and I have learned to teach really well with each other. We taught not only with the spirit but also with testimony and unity. We got to invite her again to think about baptism and to make that decision when she is ready. I also told her that it was my last lesson I would be able to have with her. They were pretty sad to hear that. They gave us cake and milk and just talked with us for a bit. I have been teaching her for six months, so it was pretty hard to say goodbye.

As for the family Nuñez, our lesson was more accidental. We got confused with phone calls and the lesson was supposed to be canceled. I explain more in my recording. We showed up and the mom that we had made the appointment with said she had to go to work, but she would like for us to stay and teach her kids and friend. So, we decided to stay and talk. After getting to know them we decided it´d be best to teach about God and how he is our Heavenly Father and with that teach point number two which is the family. It turns out that the friend actually doesn’t believe in God. However, after we taught with clarity, conviction, promise and the spirit, you could tell that it changed their way of thinking. They want us to come back aka Morales because I am no longer there and to hear more. That was awesome and I wish Morales all the luck in the world.

Now as for transfers. I received them. I got called to the Queretaro Cimartario area with Elder Macias, who is my past district leader. I will admit the new area is a really a huge city haha. Very different than what I am used to. I had the opportunity to come here today and I have a lot going through my mind. It really is so different and I feel a bit overwhelmed, but I will be good.

I had to say my goodbyes and such on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday however, I mostly spent it with the family Ibarra. I passed by and they wanted to take us out to eat so we went to a little restaurant and then went back to their house and took pictures. To say goodbye was hard. I will admit I had a bit of water works, but I have no shame because that´s why I´m here--to bring people to Christ and also to give my heart to the people. I´m already missing my area and man am I looking forward to the day I can go back and visit.

On Sunday, we passed by a lot of other members. It was really a difficult day. I explain about every one with my voice recording but as for writing I´m just going to tell about one more and that is Francisco. I was helping him fill out his tithing slip and then Morales took that time to tell him that I would be leaving. In that moment, he said, “you´re leaving me?” and I said, “yes, I have to go”. He then leaned over and just wrapped me in his arms and said, “thank you, thank you for everything.” I am grateful to him and to all of those that I got to know. It is beyond hard saying goodbye to those I have become family with, but I hope I can continue that kind of experience in all my areas.

Well, that is the gist of the week. I love you all and take care!

Elder Harmon

Audio File