Monday, October 13, 2014

Villa Sur II Week 5


What a week! I feel like things are really starting to get in a rhythm. I am really beginning to love the mission and it is becoming second nature to speak in Spanish! I love these people...even those that hate missionaries;) I really wish some people would just give us a chance sometimes though! We just want to help, but fortunately, everyone has agency, the ability to choose. I can´t imagine how the Lord feels when people reject Him.

I have loved hearing from Mom and Dad about teaching seminary on Doctrine and Covenants. I love those scriptures!! I studdied D&C 112 this week! What a powerful message to all of us! I love these verses:

 10 Be thou humbleand the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.

19 Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and willbe with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my namean effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word.

I have had such enriching personal studies this week! The pattern of morning studies is defintely something I could not go without!

Something pretty hilarious happened at Zone Conference! We were having an incredible conference! Presidente and Hermana Barreiros are so inspiring! So we had divided for smaller classes with the Assistents, and they were talking about Ward Councils. They had a powerpoint, and BOOM! Up popped a picture with mom and Ryan Smith in it! I about died!!!! It was so fun to see her beautiful face! I went up to the assitents and asked where they got the picture and they said it was from Google haha! Your famous mom! I am pretty sure it was the one from the Ensign!

I have been studying a lot about faith and prayer lately. I realized that faith is something that is always difficult. Before the mission I thought it would be a lot easier to have faith because I was a missionary. To the contrary! The more we use this muscle, the more the Lord trusts us to grow it! I have found that as we pray and act, we find more ways to use the faith we already have, thus growing it. We then recieve a witness of the faith (Ether 12:6). It is a sort of upward spiral!

I have also realized the importance of viewing people with Christlike love, Charity. As we look at others as they can become, not as who they are, we along with them begin to change and grow together! I love my companion Elder Kennedy! He is such an incredible example of hard work and courage! I learn from him every day! It will be a sad day when we separate.

I know that this work is true. Jesus Christ is leading this Church. The Book of Mormon is true. As we strive diligently to become more like Christ, we change. We then are in a position to help others change as well. This mission has taught me so much about my Savior. I am happier than I have ever been! I love you all!

Con Amor,
Elder Harries

Monday, October 6, 2014

Villa Sur II Week Four

General Conference in the Gringo room! Felt like America!

Crammed micro


What a week! We were able to watch all of the General Conference in English...besides the native Spanish speakers:) Wasn´t that incredible for the speakers to be able to speak in their native language?!? I learned so much!! I´ll get to that in a moment, but first the weekly review.

I forgot to mention a very special experience that we had last week! Omar and Coni, our investigators took the challenge to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Coni said that as she sat on her knees waiting for an answer, she had a vision/dream of Elder Kennedy and me. She saw our faces and they were shining very brightly. "illuminado" is the word she used in spanish. It was so powerful and they have been so faithful in reading the Book of Mormon together every night. They are such an inspiration to me!

I have noticed that genuine service is a very easy way to build confidence with people who don´t know you or your message. We have had great success with people by simply offering them service and helping with small things. Jesus Christ is our perfect example in this area!

It has surprised me how little members of the Church, recent converts and active members alike, understand about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is the center of our entire message, and yet it is hardly understood at all. Elder Kennedy and I have been working very hard to teach in a simple yet profound way the incredible Gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It makes me think back to the comment by Elder Callister in the autographed book I have of his. "I hope this book allows you to teach the Atonement with power and clarity on the mission!"

Ok! Now to General Conference! I had so many personal questions going in to the conference, and I was amazed as it felt like all of the speakers were speaking directly to me! All of my questions were answered within the first hour of the first session! I am so pumped to go out and put these answers to use! I realized that I had been slacking in my personal development, and was not taking enough intiative. We have this great gift from God, agency--the ability to act. We need to use it often and wisely! I absolutely loved the talk by Elder Robbins about who do you face? It was exactly what I needed! I also loved Elder Christofferson and Elder Uchtdorf´s talks!!! Every talk was awesome for that matter!!! 

In short I saw three major themes this conference:
1. Take personal responsibilty and act. Determine who you are going to be and who you are going to serve, and do it.
2. Use often the right to personal revelation.
3. Follow the Prophet.

I love you all and hope you are all doing well! You are in my prayers!!!

Elder Harries

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Villa Sur II Week Three


Time truly does fly when you are on the mission! Today marks two months since I left home! That blows my mind! It makes every moment so precious, and I don't want to waste a minute! This week has been so incredible! I learned so much about myself and others! The Lord has blessed us with many miracles!!

Elder Kenedy and I helped our first investigators decide to be baptized! Their names are Omar and Coni and they have so much faith! They already have plans to get married on the 24th, so we will be holding the baptismal service on the 1 of November! They came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it! I am so happy for the faith they are developing!

Members are so crucial to the work! Elder Kenedy and I were walking in a small pasaje when all of a sudden we hear "Elders!" It was a man who had just been baptized 16 months ago! He was with his work partner outside her house! He had been sharing with her all about the change in his life since he joined the church. She had us in and we taught her with her work partner. She is very interested, and now has a great support system. She has a large family that has a lot of faith!

I have learned so much about life in these short weeks. I thought that I knew everything and that the mission wouldn't be too challenging for me. How wrong I was. I have been deeply humbled as I have sought the Lord's guidance and counsel every minute of every day. I know that each mission is uniquely designed for every person. Every challenge and person I have met have taught me what I need to change in order to more fully follow Christ's example. The Lord sometimes brings us to our knew in order to lift us onto higher ground! I don't know everything, but I know that the Lord loves me and is with me in every step of the way!

Matthew 16:25 is so true! When we lose our life for the Lord, we find out who we are and what our potential is! I love you all! Thanks for all the prayers! You are in mine!

With Love,
Elder Harries

Villa Sur II Week 2

Our Chapel. The nicest building in town surrounded by a 20 foot high green fence and barbed wire:)

 Cueca (national dance)
 Ward activity with less active:)

What a week! Where do I begin?...

This week was a very festive one! Chile's National independence day is the 18th of September, so everyone had work off from Wednesday to Sunday. I thought this would be perfect to get into people's homes! However, it was a little harder than I thought. Chileans work super hard, and when they have their days off, which is hardly ever, they take full advantage of them....especially where I live:)

I would say that one in every five people on the street was either drunk, high, or both. It is so sad to see the poor decisions of some people! They have so much potential, but the environment, their choices, and the choices of others makes it so hard for some of these people to have success. It has made me realize that we have so many incredible opportunities to take advantage of at home in America!

We had a really fun Ward Activity on the 18th! We got to go and watch some national dances, listen to some songs and have a good time with the members. We have a moderately strong ward here in Villa Sur. We draw an average of 75 members to church each sunday. It is really frustrating because we could do so much more! President has started this thing where one companionship leaves church and goes to look for investigators and less actives. We left and knocked about 10 doors, but "no one was home"

We had an incredible miracle this week. The Zone leaders challenged us to find a family of five on Friday. We had worked all day without any success. at 8:30, right before heading in, I asked Elder Kennedy if we could offer a prayer to find a family. We did, and then no more than 10 minutes later we knocked on a door and I asked how many people were is his family. Cinco:) He let us in an we taught his wife and he. This work is real. The Lord lives and is directing it. When we lose ourselves in the work our live change. I love my Savior. He has carried me this week! Love and pray for you all at home!!

Con amor,
Elder Harries