Wednesday, February 22, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 2/22/2017)

Hello my beautiful and amazing family and friends!!!!

The past week has seemed really short! I have had some pretty amazing experiences though!

Let’s see, where do I start? Well first off, on Friday my district and I didn´t do too much, but that night we had a devotional that was pretty cool! It was about overcoming challenges and being strong and enduring to the end. I was in charge of it and I had invited another district to join us because I thought it would be a good experience with them.

Anyway, that´s all that really happened on Friday. However, on Saturday I had some pretty cool experiences as well. It was the last day for some of the other missionaries that we had become pretty great friends with. Towards the end of the day I was asked by one of the Hermanas in the other district if I could give her a blessing before she left, which I gladly accepted, but you have to know that I wasn´t super close with the Hermanas in this district. Anyway, after the blessing she had told me that before she came out here one of her close cousins had passed away and it was really hard on her to come out on the mission. She had been trying to figure out if being out on the mission was really what she needed, and she said through my blessing she received the answer that it was exactly what she needs to be doing. That night I decided to hold another devotional with this other district, because I had the impression to share my feelings about personal loss and my testimony on the resurrection. I just took about 5-10 minutes talking about the atonement and how it can help us receive comfort -- that we will be able to see our family and loved ones we have lost.

Sunday.... hmmm hahah! It was probably one of the longest days I´ve had here yet, not bad... but definitely long! In the morning, we had our district meeting with the other leaders and it actually went good this week because I had no bad activity to report. In fact, the presidency along with one of the CCM presidency members congratulated me for the changes they have seen in my district and they were really happy to hear about my idea to have a spiritual devotional before bed every night. They have actually decided to try implementing them into the schedule here, and then they took pictures of me and my companion.

Another good thing that happened was that I had Elder Thompson take charge of our district meeting on Sunday and he did really good. He shared a story called THE ROOM and it was fantastic. I suggest you all go and read it. Also, if you want to send me a copy of it that would be awesome!

Hmmm... Let’s see... OOOOOOO also on Sunday I had the chance to give another blessing for a girl in another district and then another one later with the Elders in my district and we let Elder Johnson help with that one and again I testify that the power and feelings that we had in that meeting were absolutely amazing!

Monday night, we didn´t do too much!

Tuesday was a real treat! The whole day went fantastic and me and Elder Wright did awesome in our lessons. Probably the two best we´ve had since being here. We taught with the spirit, we were direct, we got the message across and we committed one of our investigators to baptism. Um also... Here is the big BOOM, we got the chance to hear from PRESIDENT M. RUSSELL NELSON!!!!! He came to the CCM and when he first arrived the Elders in my district were among the first to see him. We didn´t get the chance to talk to him then, but when he passed I could literally just feel happiness. It was the coolest feeling, and once we got into the devotional I was able to join in the choir to sing for him. I wasn´t supposed to, but I was sitting in the choir seats, so I kind of just joined it last minute hahaha.

He has some amazing things to say, but one of my favorites was that he said ¨God choses the unlikely instruments, to perform the impossible. That was pretty dang cool, because often while being here I have felt like I can´t and that I won´t be able to learn Spanish, or that I won´t be able to make it two years or just stuff like that. But then, I heard that line and I just had this wonderful peace come over me and I just started having faith that I can do anything, especially with my Lord and my God. At the end of his message, he left us a blessing. A few things that he mentioned is that we would have a burning desire to want to know more and learn more about our Savior, which kind of reminded me of a line in my patriarchal blessing. Then he left us with the blessing that as we are obedient and endure to the end, our families and our friends and loved ones would all be blessed! So, I know for a fact that you are all being watched over and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father and President Nelson for that blessing.

Today! Wow, the day isn´t even over but I´ve already done so much and it has been fantastic. At 8am this morning we left to the temple and wow, it was absolutely extraordinary and the inside was so gorgeous. On the way there and back I had the chance to make friends with a bunch of Latinos and teach them English while they taught me and my district Spanish. It was really cool to get closer to them, even though I still can´t understand or answer what they are saying to me.

Back to the temple. It was truly amazing, and on the inside there are two escalators going up -- just to give you an idea. This was only my second time doing an endowment session and to it was interesting to be able to just listen this time. I definitely felt this amazing sense of peace. I think I have been carrying that peace with me since I left and I´m so grateful for it.

I love you all and hope you´re all doing great. Let me know how I can serve you!

Elder Harmon

Saturday, February 18, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 2/17/2017)

Hola Familia y Amigos

Well this past week and a half just flew by! I literally feel like I was just arriving her to the CCM like two days ago, and now I´m on my fourth.. almost fifth week!!

Where do I start??? Um lets go back to last week on Thursday. It was supposed to be my first TRC, but I actually got really sick with something that day, the whole CCM had some sort of virus going around and it took me out. However, that night my zone leaders came over and gave me a blessing and I was able to finish out the day. As for the rest of the week not much happened until this last Sunday. In our district counsel meeting with the branch president the Hermanas over all the girls brought up some issues that the girls in our district were having. Basically, they said that Hermana Johnson and Hermana Merrill (who are in my district) thought our Elders were not being obedient and that we being very disrespectful and were not acting like missionaries. I felt this pointed all the attention over to me... I was at this point very confused to hear all of this, because I knew that there were three Elders in my district that would get off topic and sometimes talk about more worldly things and that sometimes they struggled with going to bed on-time, but I would´t say they are being disrespectful. So, I told the president about what I´ve seen and how it can improve. I had talked with the Elders many times working on being exactly obedient but they were really showing improvement. So, the branch president went and had a talk with them. This really caused some contention between me and the other Elders.

I´ll be honest though, I think that we needed it. I think it was an eye opener for the Elders, to say ¨hey¨you have other people watching you and looking for your example. That night the Elders completely ignored me except for Elder Thompson and Elder Gundersen. So, I did what I always do when I´m lost on how to handle the situation, I prayed...and I prayed for probably a solid hour. The next day I woke up refreshed and ready to go and I had one of my best days here at the CCM. That night we had a talk with everyone about the issues going around and what the confusion was and also about what we can do to fix everything, and I think that brought us a lot closer together. On Tuesday I woke up and again it was another amazing day. It was devotional day and Valentines day and I memorized the rest of my basic core words! Plus, I was able to talk to the Hermanas about the contention that was going on with the Elders and why they were ignoring the Hermanas and that´s when we found out that none of what was brought up in our Sunday meeting was true, The Hermanas said that they´ve been really proud of the missionaries in our district. So that also brought us closer to the Hermanas in our district.

On Tuesday night the Hermanas in our district came to me and asked if I could give them a blessing.SO that night all of the Elders in our district came together and got in a circle and I was able to give Hermana Johnson a blessing, afterwards I asked Elder Thompson to give the blessing and he did really good, especially since it was only his second time, and the spirit was truly there.

The rest of the week not too much happened, but on Thursday I after gym I got really sick, but that was because of my hypoglycemia. I had no sugar in my body and I could barely think, let a lone stand. However, Hermana Johnson gave me some cookies and it helped me a little bit. Also, at gym Elder Gundersen sprang his ankle pretty bad and had to go to the enfermo for like two hours and that night us Elders gave him a blessing. It was really cool, during the middle of the blessing I literally felt angels hands come and it felt as if they were joining us in the blessing and we were all overcome with the spirit. It was a great way to end the night.

This morning was good, we got ready and went to get our visas. It was about a two hour drive and it was scary! They have no rules here for traffic and people are psycho! I would never want to own a car here! We finally made it and it took about a half hour to get everything figured out and I understood the lady helping me in Spanish pretty well. and now I´m on email!

I´ve noticed this past week and a half that God really does answer my prayers, and is constantly trying to send me personal revelation and I know that God has helped me a lot within the past few weeks with the gift of tongues. I´ve had a lot of peace this week and I´ve felt a lot happier than I have ever felt here. My district is getting closer and I am getting better with the language and have really immersed myself into the scriptures. Also, the letters you have all sent have meant so much. Mom and Dad thank you so much for the package that was really fun to get. I love you all and please if you have any questions send me and email or letter!

(p.s. I´ve gained 10 pounds this last week and a half)​

Audio File

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 2/8/2017)

This week has gone by pretty fast if I say so myself. It's crazy to think that it has been about two and a half weeks. Where do I start. Well last week after I got done writing you all I was hit pretty hard. I just felt really low and I just broke down. I was sitting in my room writing when I just thought to take a minute and to pray, I asked God if he could lend me his hand and help me. About ten seconds later I heard a knock at my door and it was Elder Thompson. He told me he got a feeling that he needed to come check up on me, and then I asked him to give me a blessing. It was just simple and sweet, however it was definitely what I needed. For the rest of the week I did really well.

Most of my past week has been spent just memorizing the mission objective, learning the language and going to classes. Its been pretty hard to go into every day with a big smile on my face, because literally everyday is a repeat of the last. However, I've started to appreciate the time that I've been given to ponder and to have personal study. I have found a new profound love for the scriptures, I'm starting to think that they were literally made for me. This past week I've also had the chance to finish reading Our Search For Happiness. I have received a lot of personal revelation through it over just the past week. I've been striving to find new ways to draw in the spirit over the past couple of days and to make our district closer to each other. On Sunday we had a leadership meeting for the district leaders and the zone leaders. I learned that as a district leader I have more responsibility than I thought, so I've been trying to do better with it.

The elders in my district have been talking about stuff lately and doing things that kind of draw the spirit out of the room. There are many times when I have sat there as the district leader just praying for God to help them get into the right mindset. I don´t feel happy here when I am constantly hearing things that I personally think are offensive to the Lord. I guess that some of the missionaries here need to still figure out why it is they´re here. Even my companion is struggling. He is doing better than before because I've talked to him.

Some cool experiences over the past little bit. I was reading in Our Search For Happiness and it tells a little story about a woman that was extremely sick and she was pregnant and the family didn't think that the baby would live. It goes on to say that M. Russel Nelson is inspired to go over to this house and to give this woman a blessing, within that blessing he tells her that she will be completely healed. It ends the story by saying that the child was born and the woman did become completely healed.

While reading this story the spirit hit me hard, and I was told and prompted by the Holy Ghost to tell Michael to give Brittany a blessing.. To say in that blessing, Brittany Allyse Hohen, by the authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, I lay my hands on you head and give you a blessing that you might be healed, and that if you take care of yourself and when you´re ready, that you will be able to bare a child within you and be able to give that baby life.

For the past two and a half weeks I've prayed that Brittany will be able to have a child and then I was testified by the spirit that the priesthood power can make this possible. I know how powerful this priesthood is and I've seen in work miracles for myself and I know that it healed me. and I know that God wanted me to share this with all of you.

There is a quote that says, ¨´The only thing that can limit Gods power is oneself¨´.

I truly have a testimony of God and the power of God and the Atonement that has been given to us. Along with the countless number of blessings that we receive through our faith.

I love you all. and I´m praying for you all and I thank you so much for all the letters and packages.

Here is his audio file. He bears a beautiful testimony.
Here is a video clip.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 2/01/2017)

Hola Family,

It´s weird to think that I've already been gone a week. This week has been really good. Most my questions that you all have been asking me I answered in a little voice recording thing that you sent me. I´ll see if I can figure out how to send that over. But just in case I guess I´ll tell you a little bit about my experience.

Mom, you asked me why it was taking me so long to get through security. The reason behind it was because the thing kept on beeping at me and so they wouldn´t let me through. Also they made me switch lines a few times because some guy went through trying to take drugs or something. Once through though I found a group of missionaries and I met up with Elder Gundersen, who I had gone all through school with. After a while I saw this tall guy in a suit coming and I went and greeted him and he actually turned into be my companion. The flight over was really tough and I couldn´t rest very easily. I arrived and met back up with Elder wright and we gathered everyone and went through this huge line to get our passports checked, it made the one at the Salt lake airport seem small. Once through we just kind of chilled, because nobody showed up for us for like an hour. It was hot and we had been on a long flight and were starving. Then we had a guy a the airport come and pick us up. He told us the drive to the CCM wasn't far but it actually took around an hour and a half. The streets are crazy here, they make Blake and I look like the safest drivers alive. Not to mention that people were in the middle of the streets selling bananas and apples and lots of tacos. Then we got to the CCM and were given packets with our name tags in them, our companion, and our room number and our daily planners. After we were told some rules we went out to send our parents just a quick email and then we went to our dorms. I took top bunk and Elder Wright took the bottom. We room with Elder Page from Lehi and Elder Mortensen from Herriman.

The rest of the night was pretty busy and we were constantly just going to meetings and that night we got pizza which made me really happy. That night I was asked if the next day I could give a prayer in Spanish.... that was one way to freak me out and another reason why it was hard for me to fall asleep. However, I actually slept well once I fell asleep. Dad I´ll tell you what that alarm clock you got me is hecka annoying and is really loud, but it does the job.

The next day we basically all orientation and meetings all day long, not to mention a lot of Spanish. That night we had a meeting with our Branch president and he asked me to be District leader. I´ll tell you the truth that I was a little scared, but I´ve realized that it´s a good thing for me. So yeah that was the big surprise of my week. The rest of the week kind of dragged on because every day is like ground hog day and just repeats, and not knowing too much Spanish makes it hard. However, I can actually understand quite a bit. On Friday, I noticed that one of the other district leaders wasn´t doing well and I offered to give him a blessing. It was a cool experience for one of my first nights out here and I knew that God gave me the words to say to him. I found out that it´s because his mom died for years ago right about this time, and in the blessing I knew God gave me those words to say to him, even though I had no idea previous to the blessing.

On Thursday last week we started giving lessons to our teacher also our investigator. Those have been really tough without knowing the words to say. However, I´ve been surprised to see how much I know now, especially since it has only been a week. Another thing, if my spelling sucks it´s because the computers keyboards here are a little different and also I´ve been listening to Spanish straight for over a week and so I´m forgetting how to spell things in Spanish.

My teachers are really cool. My favorite one is Hermana Valquez, and she is literally half my height which is hilarious. My other favorite is Hermana Perez. They mostly speak to us in Spanish, but in English when we need it.

I´ll tell you what I eat a lot of food and it´s muy bueno. I have already gained six pounds since being here, but that only means I´ve gained back some of what I lost before hand hahaha. I get gym time everyday so I´m working out and that gives me some breathing room.

I´ve had some pretty spiritual moments these past few days and some really close times with the Savior. I know why I´m here and I´m happy here. The love of the people here is real and yo se que mi salvador is watching over us and he is watching over me right now. I have felt is love, I have felt His hand and I have felt His spirit.

My district is all pretty cool, however, there are only seven of us, but I´m the only district leader, which is weird because I thought my companion would be too, but we just call me the dad and him the mom of the family. In my district we have Elder Harmon, Elder Wright, Elder Gunderson, Elder Thompson, Elder Johnson and Hermana Johnson, Hermana Merrill. Every one gets a long pretty well, but I´ve seen some struggles in all of them after being here and just watching. It´s hard for me to get them to do anything on time and to go to bed, but those are pretty much our only issues.

I love you all and I´ll try to respond as fast as possible.

(Here is an AUDIO FILE that Brandon sent us today. So great to hear his voice!)