Sunday, August 24, 2014

MTC Week 3

Me and Elder Banks

 Foto del Grupo de Hospedaje

A pic of my huge District! They're awesome!!!

Hola Everyone!!!

So I really can't believe that I'm half way done with the MTC!!! Time really does fly when all you do is work!! Sorry that we are writing at a different time this week. I think that this will be the same time next week :) It sounds like it was pretty hectic back home, so I am quite content to be 5,000 miles away in my stuctured schedule! Its too bad I couldnt go to San Diego with everyone, but I think we got some of that weather here! It was 80 on Sunday with sunshine!!!! Craziest winter they've had in a while apparently!! I love it here!

So a few notable experiences from the week....

We only have two new roommates, so we only have four in our room! It is sooo nice! They are pretty cool guys, and at least go to bed on time unlike some others next door haha.

We taught a real lesson on Thursday! We normal just teach our teachers, (who speak very little english mom) so when a man from the Administrative office came to our classroom and told us that there was a nurse waiting to give immunizations, My companion and I along with two hermanas volunteered to go teach her! It was so powerful! I was able to recite the First Vision perfectly in Spanish and she took everything very well. We got her contact information and she said she would like to hear more from the missionaries! We gave her info to the office. This made my week! It reminded me why I was really here!

Everyone in the MTC, including me, has been pretty sick this week. I had a nasty sore throat and cough. One of the hermanas had it much worse than me though. she could hardly get through the day and was constantly crying. I offered to give her a Priesthood blessing, after making sure it was ok with President Doll. We used his office, and made it a whole District Meeting. It was so powerful! She was super appreciative and is doing much better. I felt pure joy!

We got a new teacher this week! He is so amazing. He never really follows the schedule, but has taught us so much! Ive learned more from him in these past few days than all of the other teachers combined. He is very intense and serious, which is exactly what our district needs. Everyone loves him though too! I hope to be able to teach with such power and conviction as him one day! He is such an inspiration.

Shanel and Nathan(brother) both sent me poems, so I thought I would share one I wrote. Its not completely finished though :) I wrote it after watching a video on the life of our Prophet Thomas S. Monson

My Greatest Goal

Is the man whose day I aim to uplift
the one to my left or my right?
Do I find my most prized, most precious joy
In leading another to light?

Do I think of others before myself
And place their needs above my own?
Do give of my love, my time, and wealth
To make another feel at home?

Do I strive to help before being helped--
To love before being loved?
Do I give all those with whom I have dealt
The compassion they need from above?

Do I give all my heart, might, mind, and strength
To touch, to lift, to change a soul?
Do I do this and more to the greatest length?
Do I? It is my greatest goal!

I love you guys and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Harries

MTC Week 2

Hola everyone!!!

Soooooo, where do I begin?? It's crazy how all the days blur together. Apologies in advance for typos, these keyboards are weird haha. I am so glad to hear that the wedding went well!! I knew it would; how could it not with Mom in charge :)))) I am so happy for Shanel and Nathan!!! I was thinking of them all day. I'm pretty sure my companion was tired of me talking about it. I probably mentioned it to him 20 times that day. I just couldn't contain my excitement for Shanel.

Happy Birthday to Mom also!! I hope it was a good one!! I love you and miss you more than you can imagine, but wouldn't rather be anywhere else in the world!!

I guess I should fill you in a bit more about my companion, Elder Banks. He is from Cottonwood, Arizona. Which, he said it a small town directly in the middle of the state. He comes from a family of 11 kids!!!!! He was adopted by two white parents with his three other siblings when he was eight. His parents were drug addicts. He is an incredible guy. He has such a postive and grateful attitude the whole time. We get along really well. He is super energetic and is bouncing off the walls half the time. I don;t mind though, because his quirky remarks always brighten up my day.

We went to the temple this Tuesday. It was such a nice break from the daily work load. I loved it! My Spanish is coming along great! I am really working hard to get my accent to where it needs to be. We had the Santiago South Mission president come speak to us, and I was able to understand everything he said! After the hour long talk I was speechless. It was by far one of the most spiritual experiences I have had the whole time here. I felt like he was speaking directly to me! 

Every morning we jog to the local park and play soccer or basketball on the courts for our daily exercise. It is really fun! My soccer skills are definitely improving:) There are always a few dogs that are roaming around. They're pretty nice, but I stay away from them.  So, Saturday we all play a big game of kickball. So it was my turn to kick, and after I kicked it (homerun by the way) I started running around the bases. Everyone was yelling and screaming and I thought that is was because they were so impressed with my incredible kick (joking), but as I rounded second, I realized it was because there was a dog chasing me. It was trying to bite my legs! I ran so fast!!! I almost kicked it but then it just stopped. It was usually a pretty nice stray, but I guess he just wanted to join in the game too.

Sorry for the lack of decent pictures. We only get to use our cameras on Preparation Day. And were pretty much stuck in the MTC the whole time. There are six of us in a tiny room, but two just moved out to go to the field.  Hopefully we can stay with only four of us. The max capacity of the place is about 100 missionaries. Half of us stay on the Temple grounds (me), and the rest go to a huge house that used to be the Swiss Embasy, called Alcontra. The food here is pretty decent. They have rice, some weird kind of meat, and bread at every meal. I am staying fed, but definitely glad to have brought the Cliff bars. We can get seconds usually, but I don;t get them. I have been trying to cut back on the amount of bread I eat. I was eating two big pieces at every meal (because it is literally the best stuff in the world) but I realized that probably wasnt healthy. I have also been doing a bunch of pushups and situps every day to stay in shape. Sitting at a desk all day does things to ya haha.

We were reading The Book of Mormon as a district on Saturday, and after reading a chapter, I felt like we should go around the room and share why we decided to come on a mission. It was so powerful! It gave me such an immense respect for some of the people in my District. I was deeply humbled to realize the sacrifice and courage it took for some of these people to come out here. I felt so glad to have listened to that promping, and we have grown so close. I honestly believe we have the best district there is.

All in all, everything is great!! I hope that was enough details for you! Oh, and I also saw the Candlands again! They said to send Grandma and the Family their love!!

Elder Harries

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

MTC Week 1

my 15 by 15 foot room...with 6 of us and one shower:))))))

Hello everyone!!!
It was so good to hear from you!! Soooooo I guess Ill start from the beginning. There were 24 of us on the airplane on the way down to Santiago. There are 30 of us total who are going to the West mission. I met Bretts friend and also ran into a friend of Kevin Coltons named Elder Williams. He went to West Point with him and is a stud. He wants to work hard. Unfortuantely he is not in my District. We think a lot alike. I got about three hours of sleep on the flight, and itmmediately went to classes once we got here at the training center. The Andes Mountains here are incredible!!! So pretty! It is so cool to see the different culture here in Santiago! We were able to go out into the city for some shopping for preparation hours (3) today. It was really cool.

Oh and tell Grandma that Right as I arrived I had a bag of fresh cookies and a sweet note from Sister Candland. She was so nice. I havent been able to see her again, but maybe grandma could let her know how much i appreciated it!

I am sure that Grandma also knows our MTC President. President Doll. He is from Concord, California I think. He said that he knew Grandpa. I met and talked with Francisco far the warmest and nicest person in the entire MTC! He praised Grandpa and Grandma...he said he has been here for 24 years, but has yet to meet someone as good and full of love and Grandpa, and especially grandma. In broken english he said "I love Clo". It was so sweet. He taught us two far the most I have felt the Spirit since I have been here in the MTC. He is such a powerful teacher.

My Spanish is coming along pretty well. We have 16 hour days where pretty much all we do is have class and study time. My companion Elder Banks doesn´t speak too much Spanish, so it is hard to practice, but I understand pretty much everything said by the teachers....Chileans, however are a different story, They speak so fast haha. I was made District Leader of the 13 of us (5 sisters, 8 elders) in our district. I have had to learn a lot of patience haha. I am in the mindset of Elder Williams (The Elder I spoke of earlier). All I want to do is work and study, and a lot of my class likes to have a little more fun. It has been good though, because i would probably not relax and have fun if it werent for them. They are hilarious. One of them I swear is Jim Carey. Hahaha he cracks me up. No one spoke a lick of spanish before coming out here things are really basic and slow. However, I am working hard and studying a lot on my own.

I am sure things are crazy with the Wedding coming up!! I am so sad I can´t be there, but I will definitely be thinking of Shanel on her Special day! I am really loving to be here. I am almost completely immersed in Spanish all day. I am working hard, having fun, and putting everything in the Lord´s hands. I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else on the Earth! My first few days were kind of rough. I was tired and a little homesick. I wondered what on Earth I was doing 5,000 miles away from home. But I prayed very hard to find my purpose. I found a lot of peace in a Devotional by Elder Bednar. He said the way to overcome trials and recognize the blessings of the Lord is to turn outward, not inward. I have realized how self-centered I was before the mission. As I have taken his advice, I have felt more joy and happiness then I could imagine. I now understand why Hermano Escobar loved my grandfather and grandmother so much. They loved others. That is what I am trying very hard to do. Elder Bednar also said that sometimes the trial of our faith (Ether 12:6) is whether or not we do the little day to day things correctly. I am focusing a lot on doing the small things. As I have done so, my eyes have been opened to realize that the "big" problems really aren´t of any significance. Heavenly Father will provide a way. I love you guys so much! Thanks for your prayers and love! Have fun at the Wedding!!!!!

Elder Harries