Monday, July 31, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 7/31/2017) THE TRIAL OF FAITH

Well, I’m not going to lie…it was a rough and pretty heavy week. Let me give you some of the details and then share a bit of good.

So, we had many appointments setup for this last week and we were very excited. However, literally, all of them fell through. We tried diligently to setup new appointments, but it just didn´t end up happening.

In addition, my health just has been pretty bad. My stomach pain just won’t stop I got strep throat this week, at least I am showing all the symptoms for it. I finally called Sister Williamson because I need to go to the doctor to see what I can do to get me feeling better. So, I may be going to Queretaro to go to the doctor. I’ll have to see if that ends up happening this week.

That was not the toughest part of the week though. This week we went to go eat with some members that live is this colonial far away. We have been to this location many times and nothing has ever happened. But, after eating we left to go wait for the bus which is just next to this freeway and nothing in sight but a big warehouse. As we were talking, we saw two guys behind us but thought nothing of it. When we turned around, they had placed one machete at my companion’s stomach and his friend put a knife to my stomach and a machete at my rib cage. They told us to give them everything. If you want to hear more, I made a recording of what happened. I just don’t have much time today to write.

So, here is the good. We talked to Francisco and he is ready this weekend to have his baptism and he asked me to baptize him. It is so cool and I´m so excited for him. Also, Elder Paez and Elder Wright will be coming for the baptism. It will be so good to see them and to have all of my companions together. How cool, right?

We also were taken by members to eat Palmbasos and Gorditas. They were so good! We had some good visits with members also, but for two days this week, due to my health and being robbed, we couldn’t leave the house. We are blessed to come out of this week’s experiences.

If there is anything we have learned is that in these hard moments when we feel like the world is against us, it’s the Savior and our Heavenly Father that we need to draw ourselves closer to during this time.

Love you all!
Have a great week

Ether 12

Audio Recording

Just a small snippet that Brandon sent his mom about his health challenges: "Thank you and yeah they will find out what's wrong. I have angels round about protecting me! I love you so so much too mom!"

Monday, July 24, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 7/24/2017)

Wow, can you believe it all Fam??? I have 6 months into the mission. Those returned missionaries weren´t lying when they recommended grasping every moment because time is like nothing when you´re in the service of the Lord.

Well, this last week was great. I will admit that Tuesday was tough because I got really sick, but I received a blessing and now I feel so so much better and was able to work the whole week with no further issues.

On Wednesday we had a full schedule and things were going pretty good. A lot of time this week was spent trying to get our appointments follow through. Even though some did not, the ones that we did were great appointments.

We met with the Sanchez family I told you all about last week. They were really receptive and we taught the Restoration. They all were involved in the lesson and it was great. The spirit filled the air and we got to know them much better. It was just amazing. They have six people in the family,  five are above the age of 8, so that means we have five new investigators and they will progress. We have another appointment with them on Wednesday at 12:30 and it should be great. Their oldest son is very engaged and he always gives heart felt answers. Also, he is 6 feet tall!! So funny to see someone that is closer to my height haha.

We also passed by Beatriz and Jose. They had agreed to come to church and we actually passed by in the morning to get them, but they said they weren´t there. However, we know she was. All we can do is continue to show love and keep trying.

Francisco is still wanting the 5th, so just two more weeks. This week we will go by again on Thursday to check in, but all is good and we can see his faith growing and he is losing his fear of sharing the gospel and his testimony. It is so cool to see. He will be a strong convert.

Also, yesterday I gave a talk in church! Yeah, another one! I had my companion record it so that you guys could listen, he said it went well and it was about ten minutes and I think it was good as well.

Oh, last thing, we met with President and had interviews. I like how my relationship is with him, I can tell him exactly how I feel and my challenges and he gives me great advice, I also just met an older couple who are serving here. They are from Ogden Utah and I swear I know them but as I talked with them, we couldn´t find any immediate connection. Their names are Elder and Hermana Beus! Also, presidente says that I am going to have a big change this transfer so we will see where I go!

Anyways we are doing good and I love the mission! Thanks for all of your love and support!

Audio Letter

Sacrament Meeting Talk

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 7/17/2017) Rainy Week but the Sun is still shining!

Hey you all! Haha so I´m sad to say not a whole lot happened but I will describe this week my best!

So on Tuesday after our district meeting we went back to Silao and my comp got really sick, like he broke into high fever, and stomach pain and headache. So right away I gave him a blessing, in Spanish which was my first one for someone that is sick and doing both parts. Then I loaded him up on medications to help him, ha-ha, I played doctor a bit. but what is funny is that night he started hallucinating. He was seeing Chinese people in the room and was talking to them ha-ha, so funny. We woke up the next day and he was about the same. Then we come to Thursday and I started feeling sick so we had us both down in bed, but I was only stomach pain and the fun that comes with that.

Then thank goodness on the night of Thursday we left for an appointment with Francisco. He was so funny. He had chairs and a table set up for us in his garage and a drink there for us and this has never happened. We then just talked about his doubts and his questions which were all pretty basic. Like what music we can listen to, if we can go to parties and if we can sell coke, because these are his hobbies, and his work because he owns a little store for drinks ha-ha. He is prepared and ready for baptism. We will go back this week to visit with him. Also, on Sunday, I just got to talk to him for about an hour and just get to know him better and that was really cool.

Then we were going back home and were walking and we saw a ton of people in the streets and so we went to see what was going on and it was a parade and so I took a few pictures and will send those to you guys! There are some of these luchadores singing and I took a picture and you will see that he points at us and yells in the microphone [Elderes] and so that was funny.

We also went to our other appointments on Saturday and Sunday with those new families that we found but they weren´t able to meet those days, so we didn´t have much success that week, but we have a lot of appointments this week, so pray for our health!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to just teach solo two families while my comp sat listening. It was just about 10 to 15 minutes but it was cool just to be able to talk and get them involved and after which we had a great discussion. We hope to do that more often and to visit with less active families.

Now, today we are feeling good and we made some yummy breakfast burritos and then went and played soccer and it was just a good P-day. So, a good start off to the week and we hope to keep it that way.

Love you all! Les Amo y siempre según con fe

Monday, July 17, 2017

E-mail to Dad (Dated: 7/17/2017)

This week Brandon send me a personal letter and it was really heartwarming to hear. I wanted to share some of the things that he shared because I believe it can help others to hear his testimony.
Dad, I just thought I'd share with you my progress and just some my thoughts. First, I feel so much better now. Things have really come into view. I have six months in the mission now. I read back on some of my past journal entries and it is hilarious to see the change in myself.  I love how things seem hard in some moments but when I look back, I got through it because I pressed forward with faith, just like it says in Ether 12. It’s wonderful to be able to say that I did pass through those moments of difficulties even though at the time, I thought there was no way. I look back at those lines in my journal when I would write about the language and how hard it's been for me. But now, I'm coming to know how to hold a conversation and I can understand a lot of Spanish. I’m coming to know the scriptures a lot better and gaining a stronger testimony. I now have the lessons down in Spanish to the point that I can teach people rather than teach just lessons. I am able to trust more in the Savior and in Heavenly Father.

Along with this I've grown to trust that I can do anything and that I can receive strength beyond my own. In fact, this is the promise that we receive as missionaries. I will admit that I may not know a lot of answers or all of the scripture references, but I have a strong testimony and I know the truth of the things that I'm teaching. I know that I have a message to share that is perfect and I have a Savior that saved me personally as well as the rest of the world. Our Heavenly Father and the Savior created a perfect plan making it possible for us to overcome death and to receive a remission of our sins by His blood and by His sacrifice. That’s why I'm here. Faith is not to have perfect knowledge, but it is our duty as members to grow the church through sharing of our testimonies. It's a sacred privilege and it's our sacred privilege to know the gospel. Who are we if we don’t show others an example through our actions and help teach them. My patriarchal blessing emphasizes just like the scriptures that where much is given, much is required.

Now, Dad, can you believe I have six months in the mission this month??!!!??. Five months in Silao. It's mind blowing to me! I've grown with the families here. It's small but it's good. I'm excited about my next change to start anew and have people know more of the real me. I'm just excited to see what happens for the rest of the time that Elder Morales and I are together and also what is next.

Dad, I can't tell you I grateful I am. I receive your letters and your e-mails. There's a lot of Elders here that just don't have the kind of support from their dads. But I am beyond grateful to you for never making me feel scared to talk to you. Or feel like I'm going to be lectured. Many Elders receive letters from their dads where they say something like, “stay obedient” and “don't disappoint me”, so thank you for always picking me back up dad.

Know that I'm doing great and that I’m loving the mission and that I am so beyond grateful to be here. I'm striving to be better every day. I have felt an overwhelming load of blessings. I have learned so much and I am still learning. The mission is a lot different than I expected but it’s a good different. I have learned to enjoy the mission. I still feel like I am trying to understand my purpose for being sent to Mexico. Maybe it is something that I need to experience specifically or maybe it is someone that I am here for. I am learning to love the people in the country and I’d love any tips you can give me for that.

Know that I'm doing good dad and I'm striving to be better every day.

Monday, July 10, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 7/10/2017) God Puts People in your Path

Hey, Family!

So very good week, I´m just going to give some of the highlights!

So first off with Beatriz and Jose. We have been working with them for over a month now and they have been so good to receive us and to read and pray, but they have not been coming to church. But they did invite us to go to the graduation of Jose and to eat with them on the 18th of this month. We are hoping that before then and after, we can get them to attend church and to put their baptism dates for the 12th of the next month!

We have Silvia the cousin of a member as an investigator again! I don´t know if you remember her, but she was an investigator, and actually one of my first that had accepted the invitation to baptism, but things didn´t work out. . .but now she wants to be taught again!

A few other things. So this week we contacted a ton and got a lot of future investigators. We also got five new ones. Named Siliva, Richardo, Jesus, Carlos, and Porfilio so that is awesome! We hope to help them, they are all interested and looking to progress. Also, we have some futures for this week that want us to teach them and we should be able to work with them! We are excited for that!

We also got stopped by a bunch of drunk people with the name Morales, and quite literally that was the name of all of them. They were saying things like "you guys are our brothers, you guys are changing things here, much respect for you guys" and my favorite, "you guys are bringing things here that nobody else can." Hahaha, just kind of funny.

We also passed by a car show of Volkswagon which was in the Centro so I will send some of my quick pictures of that. The cars had a bit of a Mexican flavor and were pretty fun to see.

We also went to go pass by and buy ice cream and horchata one day with one of my contacts who speaks English and a man that works next door. I started talking to them and by the end he learned a bit about us and vice versa. He actually offered to pay for our ice cream haha. These are just some tender little moments.

Now, about our new investigators. One is actually Hombre Tortilla that I told you guys about awhile ago. We pass by once in a while and he just loves to talk to me in English and for awhile I had been trying to sneak little lessons and teachings in but it hasn´t worked. However, just the other day, he kind of just said he wanted to know some things about our church. So, I started teaching him what he wanted to know, haha I tell more in my voice recording.

As for Richardo, we were in the Centro one day and he called us over and asked us a few questions and we quickly learned that he is Christian and has been interested in talking and learning more from us. It was cool because we thought he was going to ridicule us or something. Instead, he talked about how important family is to him and the scriptures, so he asked if we could talk more.

Just a couple more things. So Francisco....................... he has a baptism date!!!!!! We went by this last week and talked with him and just talked about the priesthood and talked about wanting him to be able to receive that blessing and gift, but how first we would like to prepare him for baptism and we said we have two dates to put down as goals. In that moment he stopped us and said no, I want to be baptized in August, so we put the date 12th of August down. But then on Sunday, he pulled us aside and wanted to talk about his baptism. We thought he was going to say something like he was not feeling ready, but no....get this....he wants to change it to the 5th!  How cool is that????!!! I thought it was pretty amazing and so we are hoping and praying for that!

Just some cool moments and we have learned how we are all really just in God's time he will prepare people, but He will also put people in our path when they are ready!!!

I love you all and praying for you all always!



Monday, July 3, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 7/3/2017) WELL WOW ANOTHER TRANSFER!


Hello Family! So, we just had transfers and President wasn´t kidding when he said I would have another change here in Silao!

We had a good last week, though it was pouring rain and kind of refreshing, and other moments of heat that about killed us ha-ha.

So, this last week we visited a lot with less active members and with members and with some of our investigators.

This week we didn´t get the chance to teach many of our investigators just from not being able to find them and due to other circumstances, but we had a good week.

Some of the highlights I will share,

So on Saturday we had the baptism of Erick and that was a treat to be a part of. He is only 8 years old, but he was so excited to be baptized. We were there an hour before the baptism and he was just following me everywhere just so full of energy and excited to become a member. Then we got changed and had his baptism. I got into the water and helped him down into it and it was cold, not to mention it was raining on us too. And it all went well until I put him into the water and he had about a heart attack ha-ha, he was cold, and literally tried climbing up my arm, ha-ha so his whole body didn´t make it under so we had to do it again, but the second time the same thing happened, but also I guess my fingers weren´t all the way straight, so we did it a third time and so this time I decided to just push him a little deeper to make sure he would go under and then he popped up and smiling so big and then tried to run out of the water ha-ha. But after the service he gave me a big hug and then their family took us out to eat, its cool because we have grown close with this family.

Then on Sunday two things happened, one we got to confirm Erick a member and give him the holy ghost, and then in the third hour president was like now we are going to set Carlos our convert apart to be in the priests and to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Which then he said, Elder Harmon will you do it. Let me remind you I have not the greatest Spanish, and not only that but I don´t know how to do this ordinance, but I said Si no se preocupe, which is like yeah no worries ha-ha! And I will admit the first part was rough, but then I took a minute to breathe and then continued with the blessing and it went pretty good. Oh and also I gave another blessing to a member that morning who actually speaks English and Spanish so I gave it to him in English so that was cool!

Also, we met with Beatriz y Jose this week and that was good, I explain more in my voice recording about them, but Morales said he had a cool vision of us with them at their baptism and both of us in white, we are going to see if we can get them baptized this month.

We are doing good and we have a full week of appointments and we will finally be able to go see Francisco and some other people in Romita this week and we got a bunch of references so we are excited to see what happens. We are working well together and are excited to have another change together!

Love you all! My comp says HI!