Saturday, March 21, 2015

Villa Sur II Week 27


How is it going? This week was really great, and again I can´t really remember anything that happened. 7 months is a long time in a sector! I love it though! Thanks for the prayers for the bishop! He recovered well and is back to work. He is a good guy with good intentions, and does the best with what he has. I don´t know if I have mentioned this, but about 2 years ago when a 70 set apart our Stake President, he told him that Ochagavía was statistically the worst stake in the world. Makes me feel good about the progress we have made in the ward.

We had a conference with President this Friday. It was very enlightening and I recieved a lot of inspiration and made some goals to improve. President and Hermana Barreiros are great leaders and always make me want to be better! At the end of the conference, we watched the movie "Meet the Mormons." I really enjoyed it, and it about killed me when it started out in Atlanta, and then I saw Matt Taylor and Lindsey. Hahaha wasn´t homesick, it was just a bit weird haha.

So I went on divisions this week with Elder Bradley. They live really far from their sector in a big apartment building in the city. We arrived there and he forgot his key to get into the pension (remind you of someone??). Well we tried a few things to open the door and nothing worked, so I knocked next door and asked the man if I could use his balcony....haha it was 5 stories up and I climbed along the side to the balcony of their apartment. It made me feel like spiderman. They had left the balcony door open so I went in and opened the door for Elder Bradley. This companionship needs a bit of help and I have truly learned to love and serve them.

The mission is continuing as normal. I am really happy, but still looking to improve and search for personal revelation in what I can do to see more results. I know that revelation is essential to have success in life. In the reunion, President shared what he found was the key to success in life and in acheiving goals:

1. Planning
2. Communication
3. Follow Up

I think that one of my biggest weakness is the communication part. I need to communicate better my goals and expectations with my companion, ward leaders, investigators etc. I will defintely put an enphasis on this in the weeks to come. I am also striving to pray with more faith and make my prayers more meaningful. 

I love the mission because it requires us to constantly strive to improve, learn and overcome obstacles. Of course the reason behind the mission is to bring others to Christ, but I cant help but take joy in all the added benefits and skills it has taught me. I know, as did Paul when he said "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!" Philip. 4:13

Love you all,

Elder Harries

Villa Sur II Week 26


Thanks to all for their emails of encouragement and support! I really can feel the love and concern you all have for me! This week was really great! Mostly because I made the concious decision to not worry and just be happy! And it worked:)

I got the letter you sent me mom! Thanks so much for your words! I loved the talk by Elder Holland when he cited President Hinckley´s father, "Forget yourself and get to work." I am not sure if that was intentionally for me, but I really appreciated it, I realized that I should really just forget myself and serve. This week I didn´t worry about the things I couldn´t control and it was incredible the difference it made!

Our bishop is sick right now and can´t leave the house because of some infection in his leg. The whole leg is really swollen. Supposedly it is getting better, but please say a prayer for him. We really need him in our ward.

I did two divisions this week, one with the Zone Leaders and one with a missionary from our district. They both were really great and I learned a lot. Remind me to tell you the story of the bus ride to Republica when I get back from the mission...I dont think you would like to hear it right now...haha dont worry Mom, I am safe:) The division with Elder Dutra was pretty successful. He is a missionary in our district with 18 months, and I dont think he liked the fact that I was his district leader being so young, so I did a division with him and we were able to become pretty good friends...although my companion despises him now because he said he ate all his food and made the bed smell bad haha.

Omar and Cony´s baby got sick this week and they had to take him to the hospital. His skin started to turn yellow. All was resolved, but they didnt attend church this week, which made me really sad for them. We are going to visit them a lot this week to help strenghten their testimony of the Sacrament and the Sabbath Day.

I am really happy in the mission. I know that everything has its time and place and that the Lord is in control. We have to respect the decisions of others and patiently seek the Lord´s will. I love you all and pray for you daily!!!!


Elder Harries

Villa Sur II Week 25


This week was a really fun and eventful one. Unfortuantely I didn´t get a Preparation Day today because we had to go to the inner city and take care of y visa and get an identity. It was a crazy experience and felt like it was a scavenger hunt. Elder Rivera stayed in the sector with another missionary from the zone, and I went with Elder Clegg. It was a long day that started at 5:30..Hahaha I am so exhausted and sick of public transport:) It was so cool though, because in all the long lines we found some students from the united states who were taking a semester abroad. It felt so weird to talk to people in English and our age. For a moment it didn´t seem right. We were able to share some of what we do and believe and it was a really cool experience.

The culture here in Chile is really fun. We eat almost every day in a members house. It is a little crazy at times. They love to make really hot foods and soups in the summer. One of the most common is Casuela and Porotos grandados. They are both really good, but at times it feels like you are refilling the bowl with all the sweat dropping off your forehead. There is always a big bottle of soda, but I always just ask for water, or sometimes they make juice.

As far as photos I have some really good ones, but won´t be able to send them because I still havent been back to the pension since this morning. I have a great photo with Cristóbal, the newborn baby of Omar and Cony! Cony was in labor for like 12 hours and the basically had to push the baby out of her with pure force. He weighed almost 4 kilos (huge) and was born early. Cony is in a lot of pain and it is dificult for her to get to church. Omar attends regularly. but we hope that Cony doesn´t get out of the habit of attending.

I have been studdying much about having faith, hope and charity, and the relationship that exists between them all. I love the way in which Mormon describes them in Moroni 7. I have strived diligently to develope the attributes of Christ here in the mission and increase my faith. i know that faith without personal action is not faith. I am striving to exercise faith!!! We can do so and increase it in three fundamental ways. 1. Fervent, humble and heartfelt prayer. 2. Studying and listening to the Word of God (scriptures, church, temple) 3. Acting and obeying the commandments we have been given, and making and keeping covenants.

I know that Jesus Christ lives and directs this church. I know that we can always recieve His divine aid. I know that patience, faith and hope are principles of love. I love the Lord and I love the mission!

Elder Harries

Villa Sur II Week 24


I cannot believe that I am already in my 6th transfer as a missionary....5th here in Villa Sur II!!!! We had a great transfer meeting this morning with the whole mission! I can say with all my heart that I will miss the people here when I have to leave at the end of the transfer. 7+ months really allows you to become involved in the daily life of the people. I feel like family and want to finish this change the best missionary that I can be. I love this sector and am so grateful to get to stay and serve these people. I was called as a district leader...the lord always knows how to humble me..I think that I am too prideful, so he gives me more opportunities to rely on him. 

This week flew by...I know that you all want details about what is happening but when I sit down to write all I get is a blank I guess that I will describe my feelings toward the missionary work.

When I began the mission I had a very different idea of what it would be like. I expected to walk the streets and enter hundreds houses and to bring tons of people to church and work well wtih the members...all of which are very possible and are and should be our goal. But as I have gained more experience in the mission I have realized that whille all of these things are very important, the most important change that takes place is within our own hearts.

I have come to know my Savior more closely in these short 7 months than in my whole life. I know that He lives and is walking with me. I know that the mission is not easy, because salvation is not easy. We come to know the way our Heavenly Father feels towards us when we make mistakes or when we chose the right. We come to love and serve and forget who we are. We are humbled to our knees more times than we can count and lifted to our feet more times than we could ever hope for or deserve. I know that Jesus Christ lives. His Atonement is real and is accessed through covenants with HIm. (DyC 84:19-20). I love this work and wouldn´t have it any way else.

With love,

Elder Harries

Villa Sur II Week 23

Picture with our district anterior. Elder Ballard and Elder Barrero.

The Lady in the Wheelchair is Rosa. Her son looks just like Max Valz!!!!

The short man is a menos activo named Mario Quesada

¿Como están? This week went by incredibly fast! I have so much to say and so little time!! This weekend was a great opportunity for me to recieve a lot of personal revelation and inspiration for the work! I hope that I can share a few of the things that I learned with you!

Saturday we had Elder Gonzalez of the Seventy come to speak to our mission! He was incredble! He focused entirely on our purpose as missionaries here in Chile, or as they describe in Church Headquarters..."Full-purpose missionaries" He explained that although we have the added responsibility of retaining and reactivating, we cannot lose the vision of the work which is to baptize. It is only through the ordinance of baptism that people can begin to access the Atonement. It was very insightful and clarified a lot of doubts and questions that I had. He opened it up for questions at the end and man does he know the Scriptures..incredible!! It makes me want to be better and study harder.

Sunday the bishop asked me to give another last-minute talk on the Priesthood. I felt good about the message, and shared about the necessity of the Priesthood in performing ordinances and also the importance of maintaining ourselves pure as holders of the priesthood and members of the Church. (DyC 121:36-46) Funny as 3 of 4 of us siblings gave talks this Sunday!

Sorry I don´t have much time! The work is going well! We are seeing miracles everyday! We found an incredible investigator yesterday named Rosa who accpeted to be baptized on the 7th. We are going to help her progress. She is in a wheelchair so we will have to find our how to help her get to church. 

Sorry so short but know that I am happy and love you all!

Elder Harries

Villa Sur II Week 22


Wow another week down and I cannot believe it. Like Mom and Dad have said the mission flies by!! It will be sad to not have Elder Bertagna in in the mission office! Send him my love and tell him thanks for the ties! This week has been an incredible lesson from the Lord. I have learned so much and I am determined to become better and to use the talents that the Lord has given me!

We have had a full week, and as many people have been traveling fewer lessons and more opportunities to find and teach new people. After studying in Jacob 5 in a district meeting I had the impression that we need to drop some people (mainly menos activos) who haven´t progressed in the whole time that I have been here. We have seen some great results and are focusing on helping people have the vision of a temple sealing, and eventually Eternal Life. I know that the Lord lives and blesses us when we are obedient.

Elder Rivera and I are doing well and we get along great! He is very eager to learn, and since we are both quite new we have relying heavily on the Lord for things to work out. I know that we will have success together and I hope that we can align our will with the Lord´s in order to help more of His children recieve the Gospel.

I have learned a lot from Alma 32:40-43. If we exercise faith and diligence and patience, always with our goal to have fruit we will reap our rewards. I have been trying to focus a lot on patience. So many times I want immediate results and miracles (fruits) but am not patient enough. Conversion is a natural process, and like all natural processes takes time. I loved the quote from Elder Scott, "Forced obedience never produces enduring fruit." I am learning to love the mission in all ways. I know that difficult times precede the miracles that the Lord prepares for us. (Ether 12:6)

We are reading the New testament as preparation for a Conference con Elder Gonzalez of the Seventy this Saturday. I am very excited to hear him speak and will be praying to recieve much inspiration. I am trying to focus more on what I can do better and seek personal revelation from the Lord instead of worrying about things that are out of my control. I apologize for not sharing any great stories this week, but know that I am REALLY happy and cannot wait to get off the computer so I can go share the Gospel! Love you all and have a great week!!!


Elder Harries

Villa Sur II Week 21


Well another week down and gone! It is crazy how fast the time flies and how tailored the mission is to our abilities. This past week was probably one of the hardest of the mission. I know that the Lord knows what we can handle and that Elder Rivera will have success. There are people prepared to recieve the Gospel and I am confident that we will see many miracles this week. Thankyou for all the emails and support. I love you all.

I don´t really remember much this past week besides a great division with Elder Ballard, the grandson of Elder Ballard the Apostle. We have been in the same zone my whole mission. He arrived one change ahead of me, is traning as well and is my district leader. It was a super great division as we were able to share many of the same feelings and experiences. He opened up about how he feels pressure to be perfect being the grandson of an Apostle, when in reality nothing is different. He is a good missionary and I am sure we will continue as friends after the mission.

Eustaquio, the man who hasn´t attended church in 30 years attended with us this week again. He has desired to progress, but needs to marry his partner and I feel that she is interested as well. We are going to work to help her come to Church as well. We also helped a man named Mario Quesada attend church for the first time in years. It makes me so happy to see people re-enter the fold. I just wish at times members would be a bit more warm and loving.--it makes me realize how important members are to help people remain firm in the Gospel.

Coni and Omar are continuing faithful and attended church this Sunday. Coni´s belly is huge, and she can hardly walk haha. It is the biggest pregnancy I have ever seen. She will deliver early, and hopefully without complications. She expects this week or the next. 

The attendance to church has been quite low due to many people traveling on vacations, but we are expecting some turn around in the next few weeks. I love the Lord. I am striving to be a consecrated missionary and do the right things for the right reasons. I know that the Lord has a plan, and we must exercise faith and put everything in His hands. He will provide. I know that He lives and loves us. I would not trade His personal schooling for anything. Thank you for the prayers! We´re going to have a great week!


Elder Harries