Hola!!!HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANEL!!!!!Well we´re already into week 3 of the Transfer! I can´t believe how fast time is flying. I love the mission, and have never been so happy in my life. I truly know that the Lord lives and loves us. He is very aware of who we are and our potential to become like Him. He is very involved in every situation of our daily life.This week with Elder Rivera was a full one. We had a lot of work and a few conferences with President and Sister Barreiros. They are so powerful! Basically they started calling our mission to repentance because there has been a lot of disobedience and lazyness and pride. He taught about consecrating ourselves to the work and giving our all every minute of every day..especially when it is difficult.This week has been particularly difficult for me. I am striving to do all I can to be the message that I share, to improve my abilities and skill and to help others make and keep commitments. I know that I must rely on the Lord, and trust in His timing. It is just so difficult when people don´t use their agency correctly. All I want is for the people I am teaching is to be happy, and the Gospel is the only way. I just wish they could see it! I know that the Spirit is the teacher and I am trying to help others learn from Him. I can´t imagine how our Heavenly Father feels about us.Being a trainer is difficult but fun! I have a lot of responsibility for our companionship, and as such it adds a load to my shoulders. I am trying to give everything I have and put it all in the Lord´s hands, but it makes me wonder about my competence at times. I am trying not to doubt myself, but also be humble enough to follow the Lord´s will and trust in my companion. He knows best and will make the best of me if I let Him. I read the talk "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence" and it helped a lot!! Here is the link: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/approaching-the-throne-of-god-with-confidence?lang=engI hope that I do not sound depressed or beaten, because by no means am I. I am very happy and excited to continue in the work of the Lord! I feel the Lord´s love and know that He is in control. We must exercise faith and act to recieve the revelation and results we need.I know that God lives! This is His Church. The Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith was the Lord´s chosen prophet. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord´s children here in Chile!Love,Elder Harries
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Monday, January 19, 2015
Well I am training! This week flew by! For me at least! I am sure it felt like an eternity for Elder Rivera! He is fresh from Ecuador and turned 18 in October! He keeps up pace and has a lot of faith and we have seen many miracles. Elder Rivera is really kind and humble, and I am sure that as we put our confidence in the Lord we will have much success. He is the first to serve a mission from his family, and at times feels a lot of pressure to be perfect. I am trying to give him confidence and help him relax and let the Spirit guide. We (trainers) were able to go to the temple on Tuesday before recieving our new companions. This really fortified and has helped me this past week. I love the temple!
We saw many miracles this week! Principally was that we had a man attend church for the first time in over 30 years! He was a previous Elder´s Quorum President! We found him contacting, as he wasn´t in the records and he told us not to pressure him, but that he saw us as a second chance from the Lord. He has read close to 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon already (unheard of in Chile), and came to Sacrament meeting all on his own. He is really excited to change and I cannot wait to see him progress and take full advantage of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Please say a pray for Eustakio.
On Sunday, Bishop Yanez came up to me before Sacrament meeting and asked me to give a talk. I was so thrilled! It was funny because I had thought previously that week that it was strange that I hadnt given a talk yet. I didn´t know what to speak about, but then I felt the distinct prompting to speak about the Atonement. I started from the Pre-existence, the Creation, the Fall and necesisty for an Atonement. And then how we can use Grace to become better. I think I might have lost some people, but I have never in my life had such a powerful experience. I had no notes, only the Book of Mormon, and as I was speaking the words just came. I am positive that I learned more than anyone else.
We have some really great investigators, one name Cristobal and another named Mario. They both basically asked to be baptized! They both were firm in their commitment to come to church until the morning came and they both had some mishap and had to go to the doctor or help a family member. It was pretty sad. 3 other investigators also had a similar excuse. Elder Rivera and I have been fasting for success and for the Spiritual awareness to know how to help people progress! However we did have two attend! Marisol and Scarlett!
I know the Lord is a Lord of Miracles! I love you all!
Love, Elder Harries
Sunday, January 18, 2015
First off Happy Birthday Dad!!!! 51!!!!!!! Wow you are old..half way down the hill and with some momentum:) Just playing, I know you are still 20 years old at heart. Too bad that I could not be there to experience it with you, I love you and appreciate all you have taught me these past 19 years!!
Well for new this week...I don´t have transfers. Elder Palacios did. I will be staying in my sector and will be training! I am excited to recieve a fresh new companion from the MTC, which will be a really big responsibility. I just finished my training 6 weeks ago...Tomorrow we go to the temple before we recieve our new companions. I am so excited as I have truly missed attending the temple. Because I am training, I am basically gauranteed two changes with my new companion. That means I will have been here in Villa Sur for more than 7 months when I leave.
Elder Palacios and I experienced many miracles this week. We put a strong emaphsis on calling every possible ward member to accompany us and we had great results!!! We had 3 members attend church for the first time in years! We also had two investigators attending and progressing toward baptism. I know that when we work with the members we can do a lot more and strengthen the members as well!
This week we also had interviews with President Barreiros. He is an amazing man. We were not able to talk very long, but the short time we did I felt his love for me and the missionaries. He has a lot of responsibilities and handles everything with patience and love. He taught me a lot in the interview and helped me set some goals for the mission.
I apologize for writing so late and so little. We had a meeting with president and the elders who will be training. We don´t really have a preparation day now, and are short on time, a we have to start working at 6. I love you all and promise more details next week!!!
Monday, January 5, 2015
Dinner with the Bishop´s family.
Yessena, Who Dane knew. Sorry the picture is bad...
Street lined with Christmas lights..a tradition here
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! This week was incredible and filled with miracles! Elder Palacios and I are working hard and striving to be obedient with exactness in everything. We get along well and I have learned so much from him. This week in my studies I came across Alma 26:22-
This verse emphasized to me the importance of our role as missionaries (and followers of Christ) to be clean, pure and to use the Atonement of Christ to repent, excercise faith, do good works and pray consistently. These four things are the key to a humble and obedient heart. We then are ready and worthy to receive the revelation God is waiting to give us, which we can share with others and help them repent and do the same. The success of a missionary truly is derived from his personal integrity and commitment to live the things he teaches daily.
We had a last minute meeting as a mission on the 30th. President and Hermana Barreiros basically "tiraron palos" because of missionaries being disobedient and lazy. They emphasized the role of obedience and diligence in all things, and it was an incredible revelatory experience. I recently read President Uchtdorf´s talk "Lord, is it I?" and have determined there are many things that I need to change and improve. I love President and his wife and am constantly amazed at their commitment to serve the Lord!
We had to return early to the pension on the 31st because of how crazy it gets for new years here. I slept through all the fireworks...Elder Palacios was woken by them and said I was snoring quite contently...at least I was awake for the New Years at home:) I set some big goals for 2015 and I am excited to accomplish them!!!
I had two divisions back to back Friday and Saturday. One with an Elder from our district, and one with a Zone Leader. I learned a lot from both of the Elders and enjoyed seeing their perspectives. I love the mission and the opportunity we have to learn about life and see people change. We have found some wonderful people and are excited to see their progression!! I love you all and am happy that you are all safe!!!!
Painting with Lizardo
How great it was to talk with the family on Christmas! I forgot how amazing and wonderful you all are! I miss you all, but know that I am very happy and content where I am! It was such an incredible experience to hear your voices and feel of your love and support. Your advice and words of encouragement were exactly what I needes.Thanks for making serving a mission so easy! I wish we could have had a bit more time to respond to questions, but write me any that you have and I´ll be sure to respond...haha
This week was a bit less productive than I would have liked due to Christmas and all, but still we were able to get some progress in our sector. Friday we had to go to the dentist because Elder Palacios chipped a tiny bit of his tooth biting tape....he really wanted to get it checked out and fixed. It turned out that he has some pretty bad cavities so we will be going back the next two preparation days:) Needless to say Friday was not very productive or fun:)
However we had some miracles this week and strived to teach the doctrine of the Santa Cena, as all of you advized. Thanks to your great insights we were able to help 8 menos activos attend this Sunday! (two of which were to girls (16 and 12) of a menos active family that we teach who came on there own!) The most we´ve had yet! Thanks so much for the help and prayers!
So something crazy happened yesterday at Church! We were about to leave and one of the members comes up to me and asks, "Do you know Dane Baltich???" My heart jumped! It turns out He baptized her and her mom 14 years ago when they lived in the Barrio 4 Poniente, Olympo/Maipu stake! She saw a picture of me on his Facebook, and she recently moved to our ward. Her name is Yessena Agurto Rodriguez and is planning on serving a mission! She gave a great talk in our sacrament meeting this week! We have talked before, butI had no idea!!! It was so powerful and cool to see this miracle!! Please tell Dane!
I am thouroghly convinced in the power of having goals! I hope that as we roll into the next year that we can set our goals high and then make plans to be diligent in the little things that will be necesary to accomplish them. I know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. I am proud to represent Him and testify of His Gospel to all the world!
Romans 1:For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is thepower of God unto salvation to every one that believeth!
Happy New Year!
Our Zone Ochagavía
Myriam and Daphni...incredible recent converts!!!
The new scripture case that I got myself for Christmas:)
Merry Christmas from Chile!!! What a week! I don´t know where to start! Elder Palacios and I are having a lot of fun and are working hard together. I know that with time we will be able to see the fruits of our labors! We have been trying to have a little more fun to relieve the stress and have been waking up a little earlier so that we can go running and get a better work out! It has helped a lot.
This tuesday we had the weekly "Noche de Hogar" in the Capilla. It was really good! We had an activity in which we helped them practice sharing the El es la Dádiva or He is the Gift cards with their friends! It was incredible to see them take up the role of a member missionary! Our neighbor Hermana Soza shared about 30 of them with her friends! What an example to us!!! I hope that we can all catch this Spirit of love and sharing during this special season!
Thursday we had an activty as a mision and did a white elephant gift exchange! It was pretty fun and we were able to relax a little and have a nice lunch. The Barreiros really are incredible and do exverything very first class:) Yesterday we took some members less active to the mision musical production. It was soooo good! It is incredible how talented some of the missionaries are. It makes me regret a little bit not focusing more on music, but at the same time I really enjoyed sports and don´t think I could have given them up:)
We did a lot of walking this week, but also had some really spiritual moments! The miracles of obedience continue to flow! I am happier and more fulfilled than in any other time in my life!
I am very excited to talk to you all this Christmas. It will be weird comunicating face to face. I feel like we are in two separate worlds haha. We will be able to catch up on so many things! I love you guys and am happy for all the succes you are having! You all seem very busy! I hope you can get some time to relax and enjoy the moment!!! Love you all! Feliz Navidad de Chile!!!