Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Talagante Week 3


Hola!!!

Quote of the week: "El Señor no hace arreglos; nos hace nuevo"
The Lord doesn´t make changes, He makes us new." Presidente Barreiros

Well thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes!! I love you all and hope that we can catch up more when I get back! 

I had a great week!!! I am so grateful for all the Lord has done for us here! I can´t believe it...we´re going to baptize a 81 year-old! She is so great and humble. Yesterday was very scary, but also a miracle. We felt impressed to take a member with us to go visit her. She was waiting for us, and also her daughters were with her. We have never shared with them. We talked about the baptism and they started freaking out saying that she was already baptized Catholic and was took old and sick etc. We testfied of the importance of authority and then our member shared a scripture in Acts 19 when Paul baptized those who had already been baptized by John the baptist. The Spirit was so intense, and I said to them, "I think it really comes down to what Filomena wants. Filomena, do you want to be baptized?" and she said "I want to be baptized" and then the daughters had such a change of heart! I love the way the Lord works. I am so imporessed by Filomena and will send you all pictures:)

We had a Zone activity today and played soccer. Elder Brophy surprised me with a cake and yes, I had my face smashed into it again! It was a fun time today.

I want to let each and everyone of you know how much I appreciate and am thankful for you. Everyone of you has had a special and profound impact on who I am today and I thank you for that. I will definitely be one grateful boy this thursday!!! Have a great week and eat some pumpkin pie  and turkey for me:)

Love your lita tuh-key,
Elder Harries

Talagante Week 2










Hola!!

¿Cómo están todos? This was another great week. I love the campo. It  is so beautiful and for once I have some fresh air. It has been extremely hot these past few days and I I´m pretty burnt...but I have been applying sunscreen. Elder Brophy and I get along really well and it has been a great time together so far.

It is great to hear that you all are doing well and that are still busy. I doubt you will ever not be:) It is good to be active though. On a general level, the people who are active in the church are usually successful and active people, the opposite is the true with those who are less-active.

We are working hard here in our sector. We didn´t do whitewash, Elder Brophy had one change here before I arrived. The sector is starting to wake up a bit, and we have an investigator that is planning to get baptized on the 28th. She is is 81 years old!!!! Haha she loves church and is a witty old lady that is very kind. Her name is Filomena, and she has 12 children. Please say an extra prayer for her.

I have done a few divisions this week. One was with an Elder that has a few social problems. It was a very difficult time, but I learned to love and tried my best to help him. He is one of 13 children. We were originally going to finish the division after one day, but I decided to stay a bit longer with him, and in the end he thanked me saying that it meant a lot that I wanted to stay with him. I think he has been sort of bullied in the mission which breaks my heart. I learned so much from him, and am glad to have spent some extra time together.

I love you all and hope that this week is even better than the last for all of you! Have a great day!!!

Con amor,

Elder Harries

Friday, November 13, 2015

Talagante Week 1



Hola!

Quote of the week: "La obra es eterna; nunca termina."
"The work is eternal; it never ends." Hermana Barreiros

Well these changes really took me by surprise. I was feeling that I was finally getting a hang of things in Maipú. However, I am sure that is why it was time for me to go. I am glad to be able to learn something new here in Talagante. I finally left the city!!!! It is by far the biggest Zone geographically and as far as number of missionaries. We have 28. It was formerly a district, and with Presidente Barreiros it became a Stake. The stake has great leadership, but the zone has been struggling for a while, so it looks like we got our work cut out for us! I am excited and humbled by the asignment that the Lord has given us.

Speaking of us, I am companions with Elder Brophy. He is from Kaysville, Utah. He is also from my group. This last change was his first as a Zone Leader, and he is a great missionary. He is very humble and obediente. He also knows how to have fun, which is a great balance for me...because occasionally I take things too seriously:) We have been working hard, and with the Lord´s help managed to bring a few investigators to church. The ward has many members, and is excited to work. Our sector is the biggest I have had yet, but we don´t have bikes. It is about 40 minutes walking from side to side. 

The campo is very pretty and I feel at home! It is nice to see open fields and trees. I definitely don´t plan on living in a city when I grow up. The air is much fresher, except for the lingering odor of a nearby pig slaughterhouse. The people are much friendlier here and I am happy to be out of the city, although it makes traveling a bit more difficult.

Yesterday we had a Mision Council with the other Zone leaders in President´s house. It was fun to meet up there and we learned a lot and have great new ideas to put in practice with the zone. I know I have said it a hundred times, but I love President and Hermana Barreiros. They are so loving and humble. President told us that when he got here, our mission had the least baptisms in all of Chile´s 11 misions. Now we are the first. The attendance of the mission was around 4,500, and now it is around 6,750. He explained how he knew none of it was his doing but the Lord´s, and that when we trust in Him and are obedient and work hard, the Lord blesses us. 

Before I go, we had a great miracle yesterday. An appoinment at 6:30 fell through, and we had 30 minutes to do some tracting. We decided to say a prayer, and I prayed that we could find a family of three before our next appointment at 7:00. We had tons of rejections, but at 6:59 we tried one more door. A family of four let us in and the dad is a childhood friend of an active member in the ward. I know the Lord lives and loves us. This is His work! Have a great week!!!

Love,

Elder Harries

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monumento Week 18

Hola!!!

Well, what a surprise to me..I have transfers! I don´t know where I´ll be going, I´ll find out tomorrow. I wasn´t expecting to have changes so it is a bit sad to leave a bunch of these people who I have come to love. I will miss Elder Mertz, we were pretty close and he is a great missionary, a pleasure to work with. I wonder where I will be going.

We had a good week. A lady died in our ward suddenly, la hermana Maria Saavedra. Brother Bertagna knew her well, you might want to let him know. It was sad because she would always sing in the baptisms--she was in her 70´s but wasn´t too sick. 

We had the largest attendance in years in Monumento: 121. When I first got here the attendance was 70ish. The ward is very animated and is progressing very quickly so it will be sad to not see the progress. Rolando and Luisa are still working on their addictions, we have found some other investigators who are progressing as well.

The Familia Rojas (deaf family) is incredible. They come to church early and don´t even understand everything, but they are so humble and one of my favorite families that I have ever taught. They are so united--I think it is because the depend so much upon one another. The parents on the children to be able to comunicate, and the children on the parents to be able to live. I love them so much and cant wait to see them in the temple!

It sounds like Dad has his work cut out for him as a new bishop. I know that he will do great! I think of what the bishops do here and multiply that by 3 or 4 times the members attending...it must be daunting! I am grateful for your sacrifice and dedication. You´ll do great!

I am very happy here in the mission! I can´t believe how time flies. I love you all and pray for you daily!!! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Harries

Monumento Week 17

Hola!!!

During General conference I felt impressed to write a life mission statement. Here is what I have so far...I am sure it will change. I hope it doesnt come accross as prideful or that I actually embody all the characteristics, but rather it is a goal of who I want to be:)

My Decision is Final
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. My life is centered on Him and His teachings. His will is my will, his desires are my desires; His plans are my plans. I will not and cannot falter in the face of fear, sickness, pain, shame or popular opinion. I will boldly teach the truth, reject all unrighteousness, defend the defenseless, preach with patience and love as He loved. My mind will be mine; my faith will be focussed; my work will be worthwhile. I will not pander to people´s perception, dabble in the devil´s dealing or entertain the enemy´s enticings. I will invite all to walk with me, yet walk alone if it need be--my course is set on a Heavenly Home. There is no barrier too big, no distraction too desireable, no temptation to taunting that will keeping me from being who and where and what He wants me to be. I am His and he is mine. My decision is final: I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Sorry for the short email. I love you all and had a great week! The mission is awesome and I love losing myself in the work. I pray for you all!!!

Con amor,
Elder Harries  


Monday, October 19, 2015

Monumento Week 16




Hola!!!

Quote of the week: "Great women and men are always more anxious to serve than to have dominion" Spencer W. Kimball

Thanks as always for the very detailed and personal emails! I apologizes (as always) for my vague and impersonal letter. I will try to make this one better:)

We had a great week together filled with many divisions and lessons. I can´t believe that Elder Mertz and I are already 3 weeks (half-way) through the change! We get along very well and enjoy each other´s company. He is a very very good guy. He just does whats right and doesn´t make a lot of waves. I admire him a lot and am grateful to have him as a companion, I learn from him constantly. He and Shanel share the gift of pulling out very profound and hardly noticeable insights from the scriptures, Our companionship studies are always a revelatory experience.

Fortunatley we had a great attendance this past Sunday. I attached a photo of our Gospel Principles class. The Rojas family all went again, and the mom, and two daughter will be baptized this Saturday! It has truly been an unforgettable and divinely directed experience teaching them. The whole ward has gotten involved in helping them integrate into the ward. I am happy for the decision they are taking to unite themselves with the Restored Gospel.

We continue teaching and visiting many people. I am not sure if you remember Rolando and his Mother (the ones who invited us to their house for lunch on the 18th of Sept). They are progressing well and ¨Rolando is still struggling with the Word of Wisdom. Please include them in  your prayers so that we can help him overcome his addictions.

President and Hermana Barreiros decided to change things up for interviews. Many missionaries are having a hard time keeping their pensions clean, and some pensions are just really old and bad; they decided to do interviews in our pensions! It was so strange to have them come and visit us! We had the pension all clean for them with some brownies waiting to meet them:) It was a great experience and I had a wonderful interview with President. He is a great man!!!

We went to the temple this preparation day!!! Such an awesome day!!!! I love the temple!!!!!

I love you all. I know that God lives and is our Father. He loves us and wants us to obey His commandments. It is the only way to be truly happy!!!! Take care!!!!

Con amor,

Elder Harries

Monumento Week 15

Hola!!!

Quote of the week, "No venimos a la tierra para descansar y dormir."
We didn´t come to Earth to rest and sleep" -Presidente Barreiros

Well we had a great week!! I am so excited after hearing so many inspiring and uplifting talks. I know that these men are called of God, with imperfections sure, but they have His authority to direct the church. Unfortunately the 7 investigators who were going to attend had car problems, sicknesses, and an old lady that had to be taken care of for the weekend. I was really frustrated, but I know that it just means that they are so close to finding the truth! 

It will be hard to summarize my 15 pages of notes in a short email, so maybe I´ll just share one theme that I loved. I made a list of questions before the conference, all of which were thoroughly answered! My first question was "How can I better learn to recognize and heed the Spirit?" Well...my question was definitely answered! I cannot believe how well Presidente Eyring explained it! I loved his talk and how he explained that we have a right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, not just in spurts. I also loved Elder Christofferson´s talk as I felt it was directed to every Chilean I have ever met who refused to listen to us haha.

I realize now that I am incapable of drafting a coherent summary. Sorry. I want to bear my testimony that I know that this is the Lord´s church. I know that He directs it and that if we do not live the simple truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we will never be happy. I love you all and hope to have more time next week!

Love,

Elder Harries

Monumento Week 14

A double rainbow from the bus 

My companion Elder Mertz

Hola!!

Quote of the Week "Estamos aquí para compartir algo que no es de este mundo--el Evangelio" 
"We are here to share something that is not of this world--the Gospel"
-Elder Matthews

So nice to hear from you all again! I love my family and am so blessed to have you all in my life! I cannot wait for general conference this weekend and I know that we are going to have a spiritual feast! I love the talks and I study them all the time. It is incredible how simple their teachings are, yet how profound and deep when studied in greater detail. I know that there is a prophet of God on the Earth today, and we are striving to get as many people as possible to go hear him!

I used the pronoun we, I guess I should tell you about my new companion! He is Elder Mertz, from Springville, Utah. He is one group ahead of me, but this is his first time as a zone leader. Previously he worked it the mission office and is an incredible missionary! We were together in my first zone, and we became pretty good friends. I actually told him that he was going to come be my companion and it came true! He is very humble, obediente and a bit quiet, but when he teaches he holds nothing back. I have learned so much from him and I can´t wait to see what we do together.

We had a miracle this week. Well lots as usual, but one pretty big one. We have been teaching a partially deaf family for about two weeks. The parents are deaf, but their daughters translate. Well they came to church, and lo and behold one of the few members in our ward speaks sign language (we found out in ward council two nights before...ward council is so important)!! She is a special needs teacher! The dad and her had actually met before. Unfortunately the lady had to leave before the sacrament meeting, and we asked ourselves what to do...and then I remember Hermana Barreiros telling a story about deaf people in her ward who sat next to someone who typed what was said. They could read the message. Another miracle..the bishop decided to bring his laptop to church that day! I sat in between them both and typed what was said and they could recieve the message! I must admit, I might have added a few of my own words, but they loved it and want to come back to general conference next week!!!

God lives. He loves us and this is His church. His son Jesus Christ is our Savior. For these two short years I am His representative and I testify that He lives. Have a great week!!!

Love,
Elder Harries 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monumento Week 13

Hola!

Quote of the week:"No entiendo las otras personas--caminen solo para caminar. No entienden su propósito en la vida!" Ximena

"I don´t get other people--they just walk around to walk. They don´t understando their purpose in life."

This week was hard to say goodbye to Elder Rackham, but I am happy for him at the same time. We were so close and understood each other so well that it feels like a part of me just left. I love the guy, in a platonic not romantic sense obviously. However, it will be good to get to know another companion and learn new things. I am excited and tomorrow I will know who my companion is. I will fill you all in next week:)

So as you must have figured out, there was an earthquake here in Chile. Well actually theres been a lot lately, but apart from the big one on Wednesday, they have been quite minor. In the area I am in there has been no damage, but I heard that in the north there was quite a bit of destruction.

This Friday was the 18th, or national Independence day! It  was fun and we were able spend time with lots of great investigators. Two of them invited us to a cookout in their backyard. Her husband was a dentist and died about ten years ago. He aparently was loaded and bought the backyards of everyone of his neigbors. He had two pools, a gym, a real well, and a mini dentist office for when he was on vacation. It was really neat and they are so excited to come to church. They went last week, but couldn´t come this week because their cousin died.

I want to publicly thank Brad Bascom (through becky Erickson) for his genius idea of doing a survey instead of the traditional tracting aproach. Usually the 18th is a very hard day to have lessons and find people because no one wants to take time from their family or party and listen. Elder Rackham and I decided that we wanted to find ten new investigators (unheard of on a regular day, let alone the 18th) and we were talking about what we could do to reach the goal in companionship study, and I remembered the survey idea. We decided to give it a try with a notebook and pen( to make it look official)....It worked! We found 11 new investigators!!! Here are the questions we formed:
1. Do you believe in God?
2. What role does prayer play in your life?
3. What does the word repentance mean to you?
4. How can you protect your family from evil influences?
5. How can you know what God expects of you?
We would then offer to share a prayer and small message in their home

It was so powerful to see people who would normally not even talk to us, decide to take a two minute survey, and then feel the Spirit and let us in!
I know that this work is true and brings true happiness into our life! I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us! I love you all and you are in my prayers!!!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monumento Week 12.5

Hola!

I am writing to tell you that I am safe:) I´m not sure if you all heard, but there was an Earthquake here last night. We were in a house just about to leave a lesson and everything began to shake--it lasted about a minute or two. As far as I know there wasn´t any serious damage or deaths. President wanted us all to write to pacify the worried parents:) Hope you all are having a great week and I love you all! 

Love,
Elder Harries

Monumento Week 12


Hola!!!

Quote of the Week: "It´s weird. I know who I am, but I have no idea what I am doing" -Elder Rackham

Thanks again for your emails and the love and concern you show towards me! I love you all and pray for you daily! I have had a great week and hope to share some more details with you:) I´m trying mom:)

This will be the last week together with Elder Rackham. I would be lying if I didn´t say I will miss him. I have learned so much from his example, but more than anything he and I are so similar. It was fun to spend time together, and get to the point where we basically know whats going on inside the other´s head the whole time. He will be attending BYU as well, so I think we might end up rooming together. We´ll see. 

Unfortunately Paola who was planning on a baptism this week will not be able to. We haven´t given up completely on her, but she hasn´t shown great desires to go to church and keep other commitments. I have learned so much about the importance of a commitments here in the mission and being true to our word. Those who keep commitments are usually those who are the happiest and accomplish more. 

We had a Stake activity on Saturday to celebrate the National Independence Day, which will be the 18th. It was a huge success. We had about 8 investigators there, but unfortunately only 3 ended up going to church. I guess the activity lasted long at night and they were tired:) However, two of the investigators, Luisa and Rolando, came to all three hours on Sunday and loved it. We actually found them about a week ago. Rolando opened the door drunk, and told us to come in. Usually we never do, but I looked at Elder Rackham and we felt we should. They loved the activity and Luisa, who is about 68 and mother of Rolando, made tons of friends in the Relief Society. I feel that they will be our next baptism!

This week was a bit difficult in finding people to teach. We were recieving rejection after rejection and finally we talked to this man who was sweeping his patio. He told us to enter and just broke down. His wife had just been rushed off to the hospital. He said he was praying that he could recieve some help. He said he shared with the missionaries about 20 years ago, but lost contact with them, but that he wants to go to church and find out if this is the true church. 

I love this work. I know that it is true. Anyone who reads the Book of Mormon sincerely and asks God to know of its veracity will come to know by the Holy Ghost that it is of God. Ximena is already in 3 nephi!!! I love hearing new converts explain the feeling of the Holy Ghost. Each one has shared it in such a unique but unmistakable way as to give me complete confidence that God will respond. I know this is God´s Kingdom and no one will stop it. I love you all and miss you too!

Love,
Elder Harries

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Monumento Week 11






It rained a bit this week!





Hola!
Quote of the week: "Orgullo es la negación de Dios." Hermana Pacheco 
"Pride is the denial of God."

How great it is to hear from you all!! I love you so much and your emails always inspire me to be such a  better person. I have to say that I do have the world´s best family! I would love to thank you mom for asking if I had been sick in the last email, because until then, no I hadn´t:) But on Saturday night I woke up four times to vomit and diareah;) I think they call it the double headed dragon here ahaha. I am much better now though. 

As you probably inferred from the pictures, we had a one year lunch with all the missionaries from my group. It was so fun to go to Presidents house with them and catch up and see how far everyone has come. We are all pretty close and our group has many strong missionaries, which is good. In the lunch President revealed to us that we would be going home a few days before him, and that we would actually end up going home a few weeks early to make it easier on the new president...so I will get home on June 27th. Which is kind of lame, but thats how it goes:)

We had a Stake conference on Sunday. It was very good! President and Hermana Barreiros both spoke, and an Area Sevety and his wife as well. They all talked about the importance of the Family and faith. they were great talks, although I could barely focus due to my stomach and head. Unfortunately the family didn´t come this week. They said that they would but didn´t show up. They had a lot of doubts about the Word of Wisdom, and we are trying to help strenghten their testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as a prophet. They are such a great family and we aren´t giving up on them!

Yesterday it rained a ton! The most that I have seen here in Chile. I am safe and healthy though! I love you all and things are great here! I am praying for you all. Please pray for our investigators!!!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monumento Week 10

Hola!

Quote of the Week: "En la vida siempre hay dos puertas: la de reacción y la de acción. Reacción es del diablo. Acción es de Dios."
"In life there are always two doors: reaction and action. Reaction is the Devil´s and Accion is God´s." -A man we are teaching named Enrique.

We had a wonderful week! I will try to be more detailed in this email:) We went to the temple with Ximena this week! She was so excited to do baptisms for the dead and was baptized for her mother! She was crying and so happy. It is so important that the new members have a chance to go right after their baptisms. She is very strong and is already in Alma 5! In just two weeks of being a member! 

On Saturday Ruben got baptized! He had been investigating the church for over a year! His brother and cousin are members, but he stuggled so much to stop smoking. We were on the verge so many times of dropping him, but one day in a prayer we felt the sincerity of his desire to obey this commandment. Since he had already recieved all the teaching like three times, we decided to go and read from the Book of Mormon every day for a few minutes. It took about three weeks, but it worked!!! There is such power in that book!

We found an incredible family of four last Sunday night. They all came to church! They are named Jorge, Ximena, Belen and Valentina. Another Ximena!!! We took the recent convert Ximena to visit them and they talked so much and are now pretty good friends. Please pray for them. They are really nice and loving, but have doubts about the apostasy and priesthood power as they both grew up very Catholic. I know that they can know for themselves if they just pray with sincerity to know. Please pray that they will do that.

Yesterday I saw the gift of tongues! Elder Rackham and I found a family of 4! The parents are both deaf, and the dad was a member as a little kid, but left because no one knew sign language. His daughter of 11 translated for us. He also told us that he wants to teach us. We learned so much so quickly! It really is very simple and easy. They are very humble and an incredible family. 

I love you all and feel your prayers! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Harries

Monumento Week 9

Hola!

Quote of the week: "No importa lo que sea la cosa atractiva, no hay nada más importante que nuestra propia salvación"-Obispo Montalba
"No matter how appealing something is, there is nothing more important than our personal salvation"

I have decided that I will share a quote each week from the people with whom I talk. I have learned so much from these people and want to share some of their wisdom with you all. This was a quote from our ward´s bishop in the baptism of Ximena. 

Ruben wasn´t baptized this past week because he didn´t feel ready yet and hadn´t completely stopped smoking, but for sure he will be baptized this weekend!! Please continue to pray for him. He is a very great guy who has a lot of conflicting opinions at home. I know that he will be strong and endure to the end. 

I bet that it was awesome to have those two mission presidents share with all the youth! I love our mission president and his wife! They are incredible. They came to speak in our ward! They did a great job and as always taught exactly what our ward needed. The next day, we had a leadership council with them and the other zone-leaders. In these meetings we usually talk about tactics and how to help our missionaries be successful, but yesterday they wanted to teach about doctrine, as it is what changes us(Alma 31:5). We had a question and answer with them about the Plan of Salvation for about an hour and a half...we could ask anything, and I learned some incredible things that I don´t want to write in this email. Let it suffice to say that they have studdied the scriptures a lot....a lot...a lot.

I love you all and pray for you daily. Have a great week and be safe! 

Love,
Elder Harries

Monumento Week 8




Hola!!!

It sounds like Dad and Nathan are having fun in Spain! I loved the pictures!! I am definitely jealous! But I hope that they have a great time and get to practice their spanish with the Spanish flaire. They´re in Barcelona right? They use vosotros there..and also another language Catalan. There is a missionary who was in my district from Barcelona. He spoke so cool!!!

Well the baptism of Ximena went very well!!! She is so excited and has already started filling out her family history to go to the temple this month. She has read all the way through 2 Nephi in about three weeks. She was crying so much in her baptism and was so happy. She is all alone in her house now, so her friend gave her a puppy to keep her company. She will be a great member!!

Elder Rackham had to go to an employment workshop today, so I am with another Elder from the Zone. I am very happy and safe. We plan to have another baptism this Saturday with a young man named Ruben. He is trying to stop smoking and drinking tea..could you please pray for him!!! I apologize for how short this email is...I recieved a lot of emails today haha. I promise mom that the emails will get better! 

We were contacting late on Sunday night, because we hadn´t met our goal of 10 new investigators. We decided to knock one more door and found a family of 4!!! I know the Lord helps us as we strive to reach our righteous desires...we just have to knock one more door:) I love you all and am praying for you!!!

Con cariño,

Elder Harries

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Monumento Week 7

    
Hola!

First off, Happy Birthday Mom! I love you so much and hope that you enjoy your birthday present! You mean so much to me! I´m sure you all are wondering why I am writing on Tuesday. President changed our preparation days to tuesdays so that we will be able to attend the temple if we desire. I am very excited and hope to attend frequently. We can also go to the feria(there isnt feria on mondays) and get some fruit! We got about 6 pounds of oranges for 80 cents! 

This week is also the week of transfers. Elder Rackham and I will be staying together, so we are pretty excited. President decided to mix things up for his last year here. Normally we would have the whole mission transfer meeting together on Monday, but now it will be on Wednesday with the "greenies." It should be really fun. Elder Rackham and I will be doing divisions with some of them tonight. President is pretty creative and always like to keep us on our toes.

Elder Rackham and I decided to start contacting our neighbors in the apartment in which we live. We have found many incredibly prepared people. I feel so foolish for not searching there sooner. Everyone sees us leave everyday, so I think that we have some respect for us. I also have the theory that people are much less likely to reject you if they think that they have a chance of seeing you more frequently.

Ximena´s baptism will be this Saturday! She is so excited and can´t wait. She has some family who are members in a nearby part of the city. They have been a great influence on her. Our example is so powerful and affects so many people. Thank you mom and dad for your powerful examples to me.

We have a lot of investigators with potential. We are working to exercise our faith and show them love so that they may overcome the obstacles that prevent them from accepting the gospel entirely. I know that love is very powerful and that it speaks 100x more powerfully than our lips do. I love this country and the people who live here. Happy Birthday mom and have a great day and week!!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monumento Week 6

Hola!!!

Thank you all for the emails and love. I feel your preocupation and sincerity! I truly am grateful for the examples you all are in my life. I think and pray for you often. 

It was strange to complete a year in the mission. It doesn´t feel like I have been here that long. I think it is because we are so busy and focussed. The days and week all merge together like a stream of events, separated only by changes in companions or areas. I love the mission, I love the Chilean people, I love the Lord.

This week went quite well. We have an incredible investigator, named Ximena. She had previously taken lessons from the missionaries, but couldn´t get baptized because she was living with her boyfriend, but wasn´t married. Two years later, just as she decides to break up and start over so that she can have her kids back in her life, we show up on the door. She came to church this week in a skirt she made from pants that she cut up(she didn´t have money to buy one). It was so cool before Sunday, when she showed us. She had just read 1 Nefi 16, where Nefi breaks his bow and makes a new one out of a stick. We compared her to him and she loved it. She is going to get baptized on the 15th.

We had a special training meeting with President and Hermana Barreiros. They never cease to amaze and inspire me. I want to be a better and more diligent and dedicated person. I know that they were meant to be my mission president. 

I love you all and miss you! Thanks for keeping me updated...sorry these are all so short. But I really do love you!!!! Good luck in school and work Shanel, Nathan and Sydney!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monumento Week 5

Hola!

How great it is to hear from you!!! I love hearing about your stories and what is going on at home! I would lie if I said I miss normal life, because the mission is so rewarding!

Elder Rackham and I have grown even closer this week! I learn so much from him and he makes me want to be a better person. It is cool because he says he feels the same about me, so we are constantly progessing, instead of one dragging the other (or feeling like they are). He is very humble. 

We read a few talks during the week that explain how to exercise faith and another about consecration. Basically, we knew nothing about the two subjects. What we have learned and applied has changed us completely, and I hope we will continue being consistent.

To summarize things, faith has much to do with our mental work, not just our physical work. We esercise faith by setting a righteous goal and doing everything to acheive it. But for much of the time I was leaving our the mental work...that is constantly thinking about and visualizing and praying for our goals. We must do it constantly, not just frequently. We put alarms our watches and phone to remind us every hour to review our goals and visualize them coming to pass. 

Well lets just say it works. We had 6 investigators attending(an increase of 300%), 5 menos activos with assignment attending (an increase of 500%) and 91 people attending sacrament meeting(an increase of 150%). I know that God wants His children to recieve the blessings of the Gospel, but He requires our faith. As it says in Ether 12:12 "For if there be no faith among the children of men Godcan do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed nothimself until after their faith."
and Alma 32:40 "And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life."

I know that we deserve no credit for what happens. I feel bad for how much I stood in the way of Him doing miracles in the past, but I am so grateful that He allowed me to learn this powerful lesson now. I know He lives. He is our Father! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Harries

Monumento Week 4






Hola!

First off, Happy Birthday Nathan!!!! I cannot believe how old you are! Just playing;) 

This week went quite well, and we had a lot of fun together. Elder Rackham and I get along really well and are striving to improve. We did a few divisions this week with some elders who are having dificulties...obedience is so important. I love 1 John 2, where it talks about how our obedience is the manifiestation of how well we know the Savior. It is a powerful chapter.

I have been striving to improve my prayers, and make them more sincere and meaningful. I never realized how crucial prayer is in changing ourselves and making us more like the Savior. I have made some personal goals to improve my prayers and be more diligent. I love this article, it helped me very much! 

Last night I saw something pretty disturbing...as I have previously mentioned there are many dogs here...cats as well. We were walking and saw two dogs chasings a cat. One was a rotwiler(dont know how to spell it). He got the cat and killed it by shaking it viciously. It was one of those moments where I didn´t want to watch, but I couldn´t not...if that makes sense. He carried it away and then dropped it on someone´s lawn. Then they followed us for like a mile, acting like tamed, docile pets (My comp and I were freaking out haha). I was pretty disturbed, and it made me start thinking about the value of life, and how the earthly life we have is so fragile. We never know when our time is up. I also thought about spiritual death, and the consecuences of sin. Satan wants to do to us spiritually exactly what the dog did to the cat, shake us, kill us spiritually and leave us completely alone. Many times, Satan will feign a docile, peaceful or innocent face, while inside he is a vicious killer.

On a happier note, we had some really powerful lessons. We have been striving to work better with the members, and have seen some incredible results from using the members to help teaching. Their testimonies are so powerful and much more relatable than those of two Americans. I love the mission work! I know that Christ lives and is our Savior and Redeemer. God is our loving Heavenly Father. I am so pleased to be his servant, although whatever I do, I will be forever an indebted servant!(Mosiah 2:20-25) I love and miss you all! Pray and read the scriptures! They are the key to revelation and personal development!

Con amor,

Elder Harries

Monumento Week 3



Hola!!!

This week went really well! We had the baptism of Hugo! Elder Rackham baptized him. He is a really great guy and want to go to the temple. I think we will go soon with him in his taxi! I love seeing the change in people and being able to see them come out of the water so happily! I know that the Priesthood power of God is real and exists in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

I have learned much in this short time with Elder Rackham. He is a really great Elder with desires to improve. We both wake up early(before 6) to do exercises and have more time for personal study. I love it.

As Zone Leaders we meet regularly with the Stake President to coordinate the mission work. It was incredible! President Barreros and the Stake president and a counselor and two 19 year old boys. I learned so much from the meeting...which lasted until 11:00. President Barreiros drove us home in his car and told us to go to bed and sleep 8 hours, even though it would be past 6:30. We woke up at 7, but it felt so weird. We then were invited to present some ideas to all the bishops early on Sunday morning. It was pouring rain, and we walked 30 minutes to the stake center. Luckily we didnt get too soaked...but we were pretty soaked haha.

I love the Lord and His Gospel. I am striving to be better and improve daily. I am very happy and love you all very much!!!! Happy Birthday Grandma Dorothy!!!!


Love,
Elder Harries



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Monumento Week 2

Hola!!

Well this week was another great week! I am getting acostomed to the sector, and there is a lot of potential here! It is funny how dad mentioned he thought I would be similar to my companion...dead on! It is crazy how similar Elder Rackham and I are! By far I have grown closer to him in the first week than any other companion. We both think the same way. He is from Wisconsin, but his last year of high school he moved to Utah. He is one of 8 children, the third oldest! He will be attending BYU Provo, so I am sure we will be able to stay in contact after the mission.

Yesterday I experienced a miracle:) We have been in a pretty serious drought here in Santiago, and the lack of rain for the past few months has contributed to a lot of air pollution. The Area Presidency asked all the members to include a special petition for rain in their fast. Here in Chile, most people start their fast after lunch of Saturday and end it with lunch on Sunday. At 3:00, right after almost everyone had ended their fast, it started raining and didn´t stop for about 4 hours! I know the Lord answers prayers and blessed us according to our faith.

We are planning to have a baptism this Saturday for Hugo, a huge man who has been attending church for about a month. He is a really good guy.  He loves the way he feels in the church. He said he was a photographer for a wedding a few years ago, and couldn´t enter the temple. It bothered him, but made him curious. Now he understands why and has desired to go there some day!

Saturday Chile played in the finals of the Copa America against Argentina. We had a Zone Meeting that ended halfway through, and then we had to go directly to the pension for safety reasons. On the way to the pension, it was the weirdest thing ever...not a single person was in the street. Normally it is crowed everwhere. Lets just say they love soccer...They won and went crazy. I am glad we were in the apartment haha.

I know that the Lord lives and loves us. I have learned much from my new companion and I am excited to serve more with him. I love this work! Thanks for the love, letters and prayers!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monumento Week 1

    
                         Anibal 
    

Hola!!

Well I don´t really know where to begin...Today I left home exactly 11 months ago....and maybe by the subject you realized that I am in a new sector! I don´t know if I told you last week but this week was transfers. Everyone thought that Elder McDermott would leave, already having 4 transfers (6 months) in Las Naciones, but we were both shocked. I really enjoyed my time there with Elder McDermott! I learned much from him yet it will be fun to get a change of pace with Elder Rackham, from Wisconsin. 

We are Zone Leaders here in Maipu, I am about 5-10 minutes from my old sector by car. I am excited, and it appears that we have a good ward and sector with a lot of potential. Elder Rackham has 21 months in the mission and feels that he will finish his mission here. He is a great guy and very obedient. There are 8 children in his family, and he is a pretty confident, but humble missionary. I am excited to work and learn from him. I feel optomistic for the future.

Yesterday was possibly the best day of my mission! Anibal recieved the Aaronic Priesthood in church! He has accompanied us almost everyday the past week and set up a schedule for the other young men to get more involved. He is extremely excited to serve a mission! I am praying for him that he can continue with his enthusiasm and endure to the end!

To add to the excitement from Church and Anibal, we attended a musical presentation by the mission choir. We went with Anibal, his little brother and a friend of Anibal. It was incredible! The theme was The Living Christ. Let me just say that I felt the Spirit more powerfully than almost any other time in my life. There is so much talent in this mission. To add even more to the excitement, Omar and Cony were there with Lizardo my old mission leader!!!!!! I about fainted when I saw them! They are strong in the church and are attending every week and their little baby is healthy! I felt the strongest love and joy than ever before in my life. Cony wrote me a letter and expressed how she felt that if my mission were to end today, I had already accomplished my purpose because of the testimony that she has. I wept like a baby.

I know that this is the Lord´s work. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I am so excited to serve Him!

Love,
Elder Harries

Las Naciones Week 11

Hola!

Once again I want to express I happy Father´s Day to you dad! I thought about you and am so grateful for your example of love and service. 


Well this week was incredible! The baptism of Anibal went so well! We were able to visit him every day leading up to Saturday, and it is incredible how well he has progressed! He is very intelligent and after each reading assignment in the Book of Mormon he gives us an in-depth analysis and explication of what he read. He keeps on sharing with us his desires to serve a mission and share the word. After his confirmation he called us and asked to accompany us...he did so from 4 to 9 on Sunday and asked if he could again today from 6 to 9. We are so blessed to have met him. As a side note he also plays for the the Cadet team for "La U" one of the best soccer teams in the country. 

Needless to say it was a special week for Elder McDermott and me! I was so excited that Elder McDermott was able to baptize him! The first time he has baptized someone! It was a special day, but unfortunately few member came to the baptism. We called and invited many, and many said they would come, but I think they were all tired from the soccer game the night before...its Copa America time. Its crazy. we have to be in the pension at 8:30when they play the whole world shuts down!

I was studying in Preach My Gospel this morning and thinking about the reasons I am here serving a mission. It truly is because I have felt the Savior´s love in my own life. I realized that it is impossible to feel God´s love for us and not at the same time feel an increased love for all of His children. I know that He lives. He loves us! Have a great week and Happy Birthday Sydney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Love,
Elder Harries

Monday, June 15, 2015

Las Naciones Week 10

Hola!

Well it sounds like things are going well for all at home! What a crazy week! Sounds like things are finally begining to settle down! We had a great week here in Las Naciones. I am really starting to feel at home here and get to know the people better. I really am starting to feel myself have a true love and interest in the well-being of these people. I love Chile, but even more, I love being a missionary here. I love being able to testify of Christ and His miraculous Atonement. It is real and it can change us!

It was a great week for Anibal! He participated a lot in the youth activities and also in a "Noche de Hogar" for the single adults. He is very outgoing and friendly, and has progressed more rapidly than any investigator I have ever met! He is literally a miracle and will be baptized this Saturday! Please keep him in your prayers this week!!!! It was very powerful after our lesson on Friday when he told me, "I was talking to some of the kids in the church, and they mentioned the mission. I want to serve one." I love this work. The joy that comes from helping someone come unto Christ is so sweet. As Ammon, I know that I am nothing, but that if we strive our best, we can become instruments in the Lord´s hands (Alma 26:12).

We went to Cerro San Cristobal today as a Zone. It is a hill in the middle of the city. I took a bunch of pictures, but again, the computer won´t allow me to upload them. I hope to send some next week. It was a lot of fun!

I would be amis if I didn´t recognize you Dad! Have a great father´s day! I love you and truly admire your dedication to the Lord. You have been my example in everything since I was a little boy, and continue to be. I am so grateful for the love and lessons you have taught me. I cannot express how proud I am to be your son! Thanks for everything!

I studdied this talk a lot this week:

 I love how clear it is. When we truly understand these principles, our vision of life and decisions completely changes! I Invite you to study it along with Alma 42:22-25. I love you all and will miss you dearly this week!!!!


Love,

Elder Harries

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Las Naciones Week 9

Hola!

Time is flying here in Las Naciones! I love here. We had a change in bishops this week. It will be nice to have fresh blood and new ideas to help with the work here. Our last bishop was only 25 years old when he was called. He did a great job. The new bishop is more organized and I hope that we can have some success, and regular meetings with the ward council. It should be fun to see how things work out!

We had a great Sunday! Patricia and her friend who she lives with, Marisol, attended church! They enjoyed it and she has progressed very rapidly. She shared some pretty personal problems that are keeping her from being able to be baptized, but she has felt the Spirit very strongly and she has goals to overcome these difficulties.

We also had a young man named Anibal attend church this week! He turns 18 this Friday. After church he turned to my companion and said that he wants to be baptized. We have the service planned for the 20th. He is a reference from some members that we have been visiting. We have been working very hard to include the members and verify a lot with the assignment we have given them. It is working well and i have learned so much.

I had a division on Thursday with Elder Richey, my Zone Leader. He is Nathan Harries. He played basketball on the same high shool team as haws and all them...I think Lone peak. He taught me so much by example and is very humble and extremely focussed in the work. It was a joy to be with him and learn from his example. 

We had a Zone Conference on Saturday. It was very inspiring. I felt the Spirit strongly the entire conference, and at the end they showed this video about a footbal team, and basically never giving up and reaching our potential. I remember seeing it once before, it was really good. I will try to find it on lds.org and send it to you.

I love you all and know that the power of love is real. As we seek to truly understand and empathize with people, we know how to help them. I love this work! I love my Savior! I know He lives.

Love,
Elder Harries