Sunday, June 26, 2016

Peñaflor 2 Week 4





Hola!

Happy Birthday Sydney!!!!!

Muchas gracias por los correos! I love receiving your letters and appreciate the kind words you all wrote me! I love you all! I had a great week!!!

So the family of four that we are teaching all went to church and loved it! The ward was so excited to see them there!! Then last night, Diego Vidal (the great returned missionary I talked about) organized a "noche de hogar" with the whole ward and went over to their house to invite them. They came and loved it and then the 16 year old daughter stayed after with the Young Women for mutual! They are going to attend church and get baptized soon!!!

On Wednesday I went back to Talagante on divisions and saw Filomena, the 83 year old woman we baptized! She was pretty sick but very excited to see me! It was a very tender experience. I also saw Cony the single mother of three who I taught there. She got baptized just a few weeks after I left!! It was very special.

Then on Thursday we woke up early at 4.45 to go to the Temple with President and our group that goes home. It was an incredible experience. I learned so much and felt so much peace as I gave an accounting of my mission to the Lord. Then in the temple a member of the Temple Presidency came and spoke to us. He said some very powerful things:

-"It doesn`t matter how many time you enter into the temple, but rather how many times the temple enters into you."
-"I had success in life because applied the ordinances in my life, and I learned to value my wife."
-"People who are successful understand the ordinances, and apply them."

After the temple, I took the chance to go say goodbye to Hermano Escobar, the good friend of Grandpa and Grandma Barnes. He was so happy to see me and sent his love and appreciation to grandma! When I got to the security desk, I asked them to call him and say that I was President Barnes grandson. The man look at me and said, "You`re his grandson! He is a legend here!" He explained how loving he was and that he had invited him to a special dinner with he and grandma and it was the best food he had ever eaten. I`m not sure if grandma remebers him, but his name was Luis Ampuero. Following the temple, we had a lunch with President and Hermana in their home and had a small meeting.

I am excited for church tomorrow and can`t wait to see the family of four there again. Please pray for them to have a great experience tomorrow and to have a stronger testimony of the restoration. 

I love being a missionary and I know this is the Lord`s work. I`m not trunky at all. I`m not slowing down, but speeding up! I will use every second I have to wear the Lord`s name on my heart to preach His gospel and testify of His Atonement, Restored Church and glorious plan of Salvation. I know the Lord lives. I know His voice. I know that His gospel is true and brings peace and everlasting joy to our life. 

Have a great week!

With love,

Elder Harries

Peñaflor 2 Week 3





Happy Father´s day Dad!!! I am so grateful for all that you have done for me!!

This week has been very busy and again I am constrained to write small. I promise that I love you all! I did a great exchange this week with some missionaries. They are great Elders and we had an excellent day. We found so many receptive people! I slept on the hard floor with a blanket (for about the tenth time this month) and I think I got sick from it. We had Zone conferences the following day and my nose ran for at least 9 hours straight. I was pretty miserable but managed to give a class with a smile and laugh about it. I am better now:)

We are teaching a family Lopez Contreras. They didn´t come to church for some excuses, but committed to come again tomorrow! I hope that everything works out! We also are teaching a family with a 9-year old son. The parents are both members, and want him to be baptized. They came to church for the first time in almost 6 months, and as a family. Apparently it was a miracle according to the Elders Quorum President---speaking about him he is a stud!!

He is a returned missionary from Brasil of about two years. He is working, studying, but is so interested in the work that it is incredible. When we got there in whitewash, he called us asking if he could come out and do visits with us to a bunch of part member families. He had a map of all the old investigators and members in the ward. I was so impressed and made me want to be the same when I get back. I want to be consecrated to the Lord´s work in all that I do. 

I love the Lord. I know He lives. I know that through His Atonement all challenges in life may be overcome!!!

Take care and Happy Father´s day,

Elder Harries

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Peñaflor 2 Week 2




Hola!

Thanks for all the emails and help! It been a fun week and I had the chance to go to the coast and do exchanges with Elder Rivera (The missionary who I traineed), who is now training! It was a neat experience! I love serving the mission and I love helping others develop as missionaries.

We found a great family! They are going to come to church this week! The father was baptized when he was 15, but hasn´t been to church in a long time. His wife and 16 year old daughter and 8 year old son are very excited about getting to know the church. Please pray for the Lopez Contreras family! 

Thanks for all the love and prayers! 

Love,
Elder Harries

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Peñaflor 2 Week 1

Hola!!

Well I was completely caught off guard by the transfers! President changed my assignment to be a traveling assistant for the last month! And my new companion (also my old companion) Elder Brophy!!!! We were together in Talagante for a transfer. I am quite excited to get out of the office:) I still have to help Elder Peterson and the new assistant with administrative and computer things occasionally, but now I can be out much more on exchanges. We will be working very little in our sector, but in the small amount of time we have worked there, we have found some incredible people. I do however, miss the friendships I made in Esquina Blanca

On Thursday we went to our sector(we are in a whitewash) and were knocking doors. We were knocking one street and then I had the impression that we should knock another small street on the other side of the road. I told Elder Brophy and we decided we would go there after we finished the street we were on. We went there and the first door we knocked, a less active mom with three children (two 10 year old twin boys who aren´t baptized) answered. It just so happened that as we were talking to her in the door, her husband got home 3 hours early from work because it was raining. We went in and committed them to come to church and the two boys want to be baptized.  

Then we went to an old investigator of the former missionaries, and the first thing she said when we asked about her beliefs was, "I believe that God is my Heavenly Father and I want to be baptized in your church!!!" Now we just need to help her get to church!

I love this work. I know that God lives and answers prayers! I know that Jesus is the Christ and that through sincere obedience to the commandments we show our love to Him.

Con amor,

Elder Harries

Esquina Blanca Week 18

Sorry for the shortness of this letter. I am well and very happy I love the mission and I am so blessed to be a part of this wonderful work. I know that Christ lives and that this is his church. I have been humbled this week and have felt a desire to be better and have more love. I will miss Elder Ballard, as he goes home on Monday. It has been great to have him as a companion and I have learned so much from him. I think we will get another companion. I don´t love teaching in a trio, but I also don´t mind it:) The mission is so great!!! I love serving others!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 17



Hola!!

This week flew by! I went on exchanges with a bunch of missionaries and learned a lot. One of the missionaries with whom I served is from Concepcion, Chile. He is 23 years old and a convert of one year. He said that he read a Book of Mormon and then searched down the missionaries to baptize him. His family basically disowned him, but he is a very happy and positive missionary. I learned so much from him! 

We had a meeting for all the new missionaries yesterday. It is fun to see all their energy and faith. We prepared a class about companionship inventory and did a funny practice. I have begun to enjoy teaching groups, and feel that I am getting better. I think it will be a useful skill going into the future.

President and Hermana Barreiros are so great! I love hearing them teach and the their testimonies. I feel that they are very sincere whenever we have a conversation. It makes me want to develop more love for others. 

In my studies today I learned something powerful about how hope is maintained by faith (Alma 25:16). It is so true--when we have faith, we obey and act in accordance with Christ´s teachings. Thus, we have a surety of receiving Eternal Life, or in other words, hope in Christ. 

I love you all and appreciate your love and prayers! 

With Love,

Elder Harries

Esquina Blanca Week 16

Hola!!!!

¿Como están? Thanks for the emails and updates! It is always so fun to hear how you are all doing! I have had a great week and can´t believe how fast it has gone by! Thanks for being so supportive and loving over skype! That was so fun to see you all and it felt really natural speaking to you. After the call, I got really excited to get back to work and help those in my area! I love missionary work and know that there is nothing more important than sharing the gospel!

I love seeing the change that comes in others lives through obedience to the principles of the Gospel. Claudio and Mariela, our converts here are doing very well with their family history! Claudio loves it and was called as the family history consultant. He already has back to his great grandparents with pictures and stories. Mariela was called as the secretary to the Young Womens and the ward loves her and her treats! Osvaldo is the Sunday School class president and makes sure everyone get to class each week. If you don´t come...rojo!! haha. Luis loves participating with the High Priests on Thursday night and will soon get a calling/assignment in church. Vicente has lots of fun in the primary and is preparing to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. I know that the gift of the Holy Ghost is real and that when we truly receive it, it changes our life.

This week we had zone conferences! It was a lot of work, and I know that it was well spent. There are many great missionaries here!! The theme of the conferences was centered on improving our teaching, especially through the use of the Book of Mormon. I love hearing President´s testimony of the Book of Mormon. He said he was a young man who had just graduated from the top military school in Brazil, and was working in a successful job. He had an interview with his bishop, and expressed his lack of testimony. He had always participated in church since a young boy, but relied heavily on the testimony of his parents. Now older, and unable to do so, he was unsure of his desire to continue in the church. His bishop challenged him to read the book of mormon with the desire to know if it was true, and if it was to dedicate his whole life to the Gospel. He said that he got to Alma 14, and then knew for a certainty. 

I know that the Book of Mormon is true and changes lives. But we must read with real intent, or a desire to act. I know that we must continue studying to remain in the path toward Eternal Life. The more that I read it, I realize its not a book stories or history...it is a manual on how to receive the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our life! I know it is true!

I love you all and wish you a great week and Sunday tomorrow!!!

Love,

Elder Harries

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 15



Hola!!!!

How great to hear from you! Thanks for the uplifting letters and great job going to the temple with the whole ward! That is an incredible accomplishment and I know the ward will receive blessings for the work done there! I love the temple! As a missionary, I don´t have very many opportunities to attend, but I remember often the central role it plays in my life and plan to attend very frequently throughout my life. 

How interesting that you asked about the first couple that we baptized here in Chile, Omar and Coni! I was going to write you about them. I saw Coni this week. President wanted me to go on an exchange in Villa Sur, my first sector. I had the chance to stop by their home and Omar was working, but Cony was home with her mother and some other family members. We caught up on what has happened since I left over a year ago. They are still attending church and have the goal of going to the temple. They past through some rough times, but they are working to stay strong. Coni has a calling in the Primary. It was so powerful to see them and feel the love that they have for me and the impact the Gospel has made on their life. 

I also saw I woman who I taught there who was baptized the week after I left. It was a powerful experience. She also remains attending church. I am happy for the experience that the Lord has allowed me to have a small role in helping other recieve the restored Gospel. It makes every door slammed in the face or person who yells at us etc., worth it. I know that what we share is true, and I love sharing it. 

We are still looking for a complete family, however the Lord has blessed us incredibly by leading us to his children who need the Gospel. Our area is an area that is a bit more well off than my past areas, and it has been a bit harder to find people to teach here. It has stretched me and made me depend a lot upon the Lord to find people to teach. On Monday evening after praying to find a family, we had been knocking doors and talking to people for about 2 hours without any success. Then, a 14 year old boy came up to us really excited while we were talking to a lady in her door. After she rejected to listen to our message, the boy told us that he had been baptized in another town about a year ago. He took us to his house where his mother and little sister lived. They are very receptive and want to be baptized. I know that the Lord listens to, and answers prayers when we ask in faith.

Have a great week and Happy Mother´s Day!!!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monday, May 2, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 14



Hola!

Well we had a great week! We were blessed to have a baptism! Vicente, the 11 year old son of a recent convert, Jessica decide to be baptized! He is very excited and though quite timid, is a very bright child. I am happy for him and can´t wait to see him enter the mission field in a few more years!

I loved the 21 day challenge and hearing your experiences of sharing the Gospel with others. We have something similar in our mission to get the members involved. I attached it below. It is a card with some quotes from Elder Ballard that challenge the members to get involved. We then invite them to hold a Family Home Evening in their home with some friends our neighbors. We have had some success this past week. We had one with Claudio and Mariela and their neighbors (A young couple). They are going to attend church next week because this week they went out of town on vacations. We will have another family home evening tonight with a different family as well! 

I know that this email is short, sorry! I love you all. I know that God is a loving Heavenly Father. I know that we feel the power of the Holy Ghost when we act in accordance with God´s commandments. Obedience brings clarity to life´s purpose. There is no joy that can supersede that which comes from consecrating our lives to our Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that His Church and Gospel have been restored on earth today!

Love,
Elder Harries

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Equina Blanca Week 13







Hola!

This was a great week! A very busy one! Last Saturday we baptized Luis, in the middle of a downpour rain. Few were able to arrive for the service, but it was still a very spiritual and special meeting. He feels very happy to have made the decision to be baptized. We are working with a boy named Vicente, the son of a recent convert. He is being a tad bit stubborn, but wants to get baptized. I think he feels a bit of pressure from his grandparents, who are very Catholic. Please pray for him. We are searching for new investigators, especially families!

On Sunday the roads in all of Santiago overflowed! It rained more in two days than all of last year combined. Very few people were in church, but it made me happy to see all of our recent converts there. They are so faithful! I love their desire to keep the commandments and I have learned so much from them! I love the Gospel and want to live it to the fullest.

On Monday I got a new companion, but to my surprise, President did not make Elder Ballard a Traveling Assistant like we originally thought. I stay in a trio with Elder Peterson, my old companion from Talagante. The new Traveling APs are Elder Clegg(old companion) and Elder Brooks, with whom I shared my first ward. We then took all the old missionaries to the airport...I don´t like going there haha. It is very fun to all be together and I am excited to see how this transfer unfolds. I am happy to stay with Elder Ballard! He is very similar to Nathan in many ways:)

On Tuesday we picked up the new missionaries and took them to President´s house for lunch and interviews. They seem to be a strong group and I know some of them will be future leaders in the mission. Thursday was President´s birthday. I filmed the whole office singing happy birthday to him and send him the video. We made him a photo with one of his funny quotes on it. On Friday, when we had a mission meeting/training, we got all the missionaries to write one of his funny sayings (he has many) on a small piece of paper. We put them all in a protein bottle, because he had just told us how strange it was to hear that one missionary gave another missionary protein for his birthday. (I hope I make sense) Any way, he loved it. 

I love this work, and I love every moment I have to spend with people--be they missionaries or Chileans. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He directs this work. I am happy to represent him and want all to know of His infinite love! 

Con amor,
Elder Harries

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 12





Hola!

This week was wonderful! Well, we have a baptism today! It is Luis, the cousin of Osvaldo. He is such a great guy and will make a great member. It is so important that we share the gospel with others! The new converts are so good at it, because it is new for them and they are proud of who they are and the changes they are making. I ask myself if I feel the same way a disciple of Jesus Christ, or if I am ashamed to share it with others. I hope to be like Paul and declare, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16).

I am anxious to see what happens with the transfers this weekend. Elder Stephens will be going home and I´m pretty sure that Elder Ballard will become a traveling assistant. I have a pretty good idea of who will be my new companion, but president will not give us the official transfers until tonight or tomorrow. I will miss being with Elder Ballard, but it will be fun to get a new companion and learn new things. I love the mission and how we are constantly stretched and exposed to changes. It has helped me become much more flexible and patient...although I am still working on that last one haha.

I loved what President shared with us in his email this week: 
"En DyC 59:21 leemos:

"21 Y en nada ofende el hombre a Dios, ni contra ninguno está encendida su ira, sino contra aquellos que no confiesan su mano en todas las cosas y no obedecen sus mandamientos.

"En sus estudios haga una relación de que aprendió, de las bendiciones recibidas y que necesita mejorar. Muchas veces los cambios pasan y no vemos la mano de Dios en nuestras vidas. Nos quedamos tristes porque no logramos nuestras metas personales o no recibimos las bendiciones que queríamos. 

"Yo muchas veces paso por esto, estoy corriendo de una tarea a otra y muchas veces no miro mis bendiciones. Por esto esta semana haga un inventario de sus bendiciones. Hable con el Senor en oración y dedique su mision a El. Tenga un corazón lleno de gratitud y sed mas feliz en la mision" (Dad, Shanel or Nathan can translate this)

I want to be much more grateful for what the Lord has given me. I have so many weaknesses, yet He constantly pours out his blessings on me: health, great companions, protection from "patos malos y flaites"(bad people and gangsters), food every day, clothes, a testimony, a wonderful family, and so much more! I know that God lives and that He loves each and every one of His children.

I hope you are safe and protected this week. Thank you for all that you do and the love and patience you have with me. You are in my prayers:)

Love,

Esquina Blanca Week 11



Hola!!

This week flew by! It seems like yesterday I wrote you all! I am grateful for the blessing you are in my life and for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord and to serve a mission. I know that He lives and that He has restored His Gospel to the Earth! I love the peace and joy that comes from living the gospel. There is nothing that is more satisfying and that brings more self-confidence than living according to the teachings of Christ. 

I loved the talks from General Conference. I especially noted a current theme that had to do with the essential role of opposition and trials as part of the Plan of Salvation. Many people whom we teach ask this question, "If God loves us so much, why do good people suffer?" or something of the like. At the commencement of my mission, I tried to explain what I knew as the answer to this difficult question--but the answer I gave brought little comfort. Some time ago, I stopped answering this question with my own words, and instead responded with a question, "What are you willing to do to find out the answer?" Those who were willing to act and read the Book of Mormon and pray, received an answer from the Spirit that brought far more peace than my own words. As I watched the conference, I realized the importance of the Spirit in teaching us the truths of the Gospel, and want to apply this principle more often. 

Elder Stephens was gone on divisions again all this week, and Elder Ballard and I did quite a few exchanges as well. Fortunately, the Lord has blessed our sector with people who are progressing and making steps toward baptism. We are teaching Luis, the cousin of Osvaldo. He is a humble man and has desires to know what the Lord expects of him. He has desires to get baptized and will attend church for the third time this week. He is a very quiet person, but is very sensible to the Spirit and when he prays, it is sincere.

I always take time every six months (right after general conference) to set goals and to make plans for personal development. I felt strongly this general conference that I need to stop focusing on myself, and dedicate my life to the service of others. I have tried to apply it in small ways by serving my companions in small things like ironing shirts or making them breakfast and have definitely been the greatest recipient of blessings. I know that the Lord´s statement it true that He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt. 10:39)

I love you all and wish you all a happy week!

Love,
Elder Harries

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 10


Hola!

Well I have had another packed week! I love it and have been enjoying every minute with my companions. Elder Ballard and Elder Stephens are great and have helped me improve is so many ways. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve with them. Elder Stephens received a special assignment from President to go visit a zone, so he wasn't with us for the whole week. He got back late last night, just in time to watch general conference with us here in the chapel. 

We have been working hard to find some new investigators and have found some! We are using a lot of the recent converts to find their friends and family, and it helps the recent converts out a lot with their personal testimony, enthusiasm and knowledge of the gospel. We are teaching the neighbor of Claudio and Mariela, the son of a recent convert named Jessica and the cousin of Osvaldo. All of them have much potential, and we hope to spend General Conference with them! 

This week we had a special meeting with Brother Allen, the head of the missionary department. He came to Chile to inspect the MTC and as well meet with two missions. He met with President, us and the Zone Leaders. He asked a lot of very specific questions to see what we were doing and to better assess the needs of the missionaries in the world. He said he was not predicting anything, but asked if we needed more sleep, or a different schedule. It was interesting. He also asked what we were doing to have so much success as a mission. We shared some of the ideas. It was impressive how he basically did an X-ray of the entire mission in about an hour.

Can I just say that I am so pumped for General Conference! I have been pondering and praying for the past few weeks in preparation to hear the Lord's voice through His servants. I know that we have living prophets today. I know that this Church if guided by revelation and that those who obey the counsel of the Lord's prophets and the scriptures will be happier, have more peace and safety.  I know that God lives and that He loves his children. Have a great weekend and week!

Love,
Elder Harries

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 9

Hola!

Thanks for the emails! I love hearing from you all. You sound so happy and radiate God´s love in your emails. Thanks for being such great examples to me of faith and trust in the Lord. This week has been a blast and I have learned so much! 

On Tuesday, we had a "consejo de Misión" with all the leaders in the mission. It required much planning, and work to pull it off successfully, but in the end it was a very powerful meeting. We have some great missionaries who have the spirit of hard work and obedience. It is so powerful to see the difference a leader makes, for good or bad. The mission culture has changed so much from when I arrived in the mission. Thanks to President and the new missionaries, the missionaries a much more obedient and focused on their purpose. 

I did many divisions this week and it is so powerful to see the difference in all the missionaries. I was thinking a lot about what types of missionaries are successful. Each missionary has a different style--the style isn´t what brings success. Those who work hard, don´t make excuses, are obedient and depend on the Lord are successful. I have learned that we don´t have to try to be someone we are not, but rather be our best self and do everything in our ability to reach the expectations our Heavenly Father has for us.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. On this Easter weekend I am reflecting even more on what He means to me and my life. He is our Savior and Redeemer. I know it!

Love,

Elder Harries

Esquina Blanca Week 8







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 Hola!!!
What a great week! I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ every day! I know that He lives and that He is our Savior. I am so grateful for you all and the love you give me. I feel your prayers on my behalf. 

This week we found some great new investigators, and have seen progression in those from the past few weeks. We are teaching the cousin, Luis, of Osvaldo, who was baptized last month. He is very humble and sensitive to the Spirit. He attended church last week, which was a regional broadcast from Salt Lake City. President Russel M. Nelson spoke in Spanish! (Elder Ballard is in his ward and says that he speaks 13 languages) Luis loved the conference and felt the desire to continue attending church. He´s attend a few times now and will be baptized either this weekend or the next. 

We are also teaching the son of a recent convert named Jessica. He is ten years old, and wasn´t baptized with his mother because he was staying with his grandmother. He is a sweet and obedient kid and also will soon be baptized. We continue to teach and find many other people. I have found a great love for the Chilean people. I feel that they are part of my family. It is powerful to see the changes that take place in the lives of others. I know without a doubt that Christ lives and that the power of His Atonement is real. I know that the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion as we are obedient to the covenants we have made. 

I felt the Spirit very strongly yesterday as I accompanied Mariela, Claudio, Osvaldo and other recent converts to the temple to do baptisms! It was so powerful. Each of them brought names of their ancestors. I love the temple and enjoy spending time there. After the temple, President and Hermana invited us to lunch with them at a very tasty restaurant. I got a steak that was wrapped in bacon and it was probably the best meat I have had in my time here in Chile, if not my life haha. I guess at times there are perks to being assistant...but I have been trying to remember the importance of serving the missionaries and helping the work progress. Honestly, I know that I am no better nor more important than any other missionary. At times I wonder why me? I guess the Lord knew that I just had a lot more to learn than the others. I really depend on Him and my companions to get through every day, because it is impossible to magnify one´s calling while relying on one´s own abilities.

As you see in the photo, I was bitten by a Dog last week! More than 20 months without an occurrence....haha its all good. I was walking by some old cars to go knock a house and saw the dog, and it seemed tranquil. However, as I knocked (or as we do here in Chile, yelled "HALO"), the dog got me on the side of my knee. It was a pretty big dog, but it didn´t hurt too bad. I was a tad disappointed because it ripped my pants and I had to go back home to clean it out nad change, but besides that there weren´t any other complications. I went to the doctor to get the Rabies shot. My knee is pretty bruised and it looks gnarly and I hope it will leave a scar so I can remember the story haha.

Well I am sure you are glad mom, becuase this email include more details than normal:) I love you all and am so content as a missionary, yet I have such a desire to improve and overcome my weaknesses. I love the Lord and His Gospel. It is true!

Love,
Elder Harries

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 6

"The only thing that is truly ours, and that we can truly give to the Lord, is our will"
-Neil A. Maxwell

"Fall in love with the process and the results will come."
-Pte. Barreiros

Hola! 

I had another great week! I enjoy every part of the mission and I am so grateful to be here in Chile. I was getting my hair cut this morning, and while talking with the person who was cutting my hair, I realized what a blessing it is to be here serving a mission. I love these people and how despite of our differences, we are all children of the same loving Heavenly Father. He knows us perfectly and is willing to help those who are willing to be humble and come to Him.

The Zone Conferences just ended, and it was a great experience to get to know all the missionaries and learn from and teach them. We have excellent missionaries here and I am so impressed by how so many of them make great sacrifices to come on the mission. I feel so blessed in my life, and at times wonder why the Lord has given me such an easy life. So many people here are "burdened" by their circumstances, many of which did not make the choices which put them in their circumstances. I can only be grateful for you, Mom and Dad, and the wonderful decisions that you have made in life. Your decisions have blessed me immeasurably! 

This week I have had an increased desire to be better and do better. I do not want to be complacent in who I am or the progress I have made. I want to give all of who I am to serve others. I think that is why I am so happy here in the mission. Despite the challenges that I have faced, I am happy. I was pondering about this today in my personal study, and came to the conclusion that I am happy because all day I am thinking about and trying to help other people come to Christ. I don´t have time for myself. I remember something Mom said before I left about turning outward, and not inward in times of difficulty. It makes a huge difference.

This weekend will be a very busy and fun one! On Sunday evening, we will be accompanying President and Hermana to the MTC to speak to the missionaries as a fireside. Then Monday will be transfers, and Tuesday we will pick up half of the missionaries from the MTC in Chile and the other half from the airport(the attended the Mexico MTC). 

I love you all and hope all is well!!!

Love,

Elder Harries

Esquina Blanca Week 5

"Hay montones de excusas, pero siempre hay una razón para servir"
"There are loads of excuses, but there is always a reason to serve."

-Pte. Barreiros

Hola!

We had a great week! A whole lot of work going to and back from Presidents house. To answer Dad´s question, yes I got an international driver´s lisence and am driving. The mission has two cars, an automatic van and a manual truck. It is fun to learn driving manual and I am glad to have the skill for the future. The Chileans don´t really obey driving laws...at all so we pray a lot when we drive haha its a good excersize of faith.

We had Osvaldo´s baptism last Sunday! It was a great service and President and Hermana came to support. He is a great man and I admire his determination to follow the Savior. We are now in the search to help even more come to Christ.

We had the strangest experience last night. We were sleeping and at 2:00 AM. We heard this weird voice in broken english saying "You left the keys in the door, thats stupid man, you could get robbed." repeated serveral times very loudly. I sleep on the top bunk (there are two bunks and four of us). I looked up and saw a man in our apartment talking to us!!! It turns out it was the security guard of the apartment building, one of the elders in our apartment left the keys in the door??? but the crazy thing was that we just started laughing and went back to sleep and he left the keys on the table in the ktichen. and left. It was soooo weird. I guess the guy felt that he was on security,so he could enter our house. We can´t stop laughing haha.

Well we a great week and I love you all! 

Love,

Elder Harries

Esquina Blanca Week 4

Hola!!

I am doing well! Thanks for the emails! It was great to hear from you and get a sense of what is going on at home. I am very busy here in the mission and I love it! There is so much to do and I feel constantly that I am learning and being stretched. I am grateful for my great companion, Elder Ballard, who constantly supports me and helps me out.

This week started the Zone Conferences. President decided to do something different this time, and is bringing each zone to his home to have the conference. We had three conferences this week, and have six more to go. They are a lot of work, but I feel like I learn so much from the missionaries, and it has been nice to get to meet and familiarize myself with all the missionaries in our mission. We prepared some classes that we present to small groups in the zones. I really enjoy teaching and it amazes me how great some missionaries are! They have taught me much more than I know about the topics of my classes.

Elder Ballard and I get along really well. He is a great missionary and very focused and consistent. He played football growing up, and is a pretty smart guy as well. He will be attending the University of Utah and studying medicine. He is very humble and like to take advice. He depends a lot upon the Lord and tries to be his best in everything he does. I look up to him a lot and am so happy to be his companion. 

I am working hard to finish strong and keep my mind focused on the missionary purpose to invite all to come to Christ. I am excited for tomorrow, as we will have a baptism for a man named Osvaldo. He is a strong convert and has a testimony of the restoration. He wants to serve in the Church, along with his less active friend, Hugo, that has come back really strong. They both had interviews with the bishop and are excited to help in home teaching. 

This week we will have a broadcast from Elder Bednar who is currently in Uruguay. I cannot wait! I love you all and I love the Lord. I know He lives. Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Harries

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 3





This week was a great one! Each day is something new...and a lot of challenges to solve with missionaries who have problems. However, it is very rewarding working so closely with President and Hermana. They have so much love for the missionaries, and even though the mission is doing very well, they are so humble and recognize that it is all a blessing from the Lord. It is so powerful when he prays...one feels the Spirit so strongly.

We had the baptisms of Claudio and Mariela last Sunday. It was a very special service and much of the ward attended! It was great to have the members support. After the baptism, on Tuesday, Mariela told us that Claudio proposed to her to get sealed in the temple! It was a very special experience and i know that they are going to be strong members of the Church.

We have another investigator that is progressing well. We found him contacting. His name is Osvaldo. He lives with a man who has been less active, but when we showed up he decided he wants to come back. He is very excited and so is Osvaldo. Osvaldo will get baptized on the 21st.

We had a meeting with President yesterday in his house. We planned some Zone Conferences that we will be doing in the next few weeks. It will be fun to train a bunch of missionaries and learn from them all. I enjoy meetings and it is fun to plan and prepare. It is such an essential skill to success. I am so excited to continue learning and become a more effective instrument in the Lord´s hands. I love the mission and I know that God lives and is real. I am so happy to be here on the mission. I love you all and happy Valentine´s Day!

Love,
Elder Harries

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 2


Hola!

How great it was to hear from you all! Time seems to fly and it seem like yesterday that I just wrote you all! Elder Ballard and I are doing well and we really enjoy working together. The office is definitely a different environment, and I am trying to constantly share the Gospel in the street or in any way possible. We do many divisions, and the days when we are not on divisions, we leave the office always before 5:00 to go work in our sector. The Lord has blessed us a lot, and we have a married couple that will be baptized tomorrow. They are named Claudio and Mariela.

Elder Ballard found them with his previous companion, and we started teaching them when I arrived. They are very excited for their baptism and have invited many friends and family. We hope to work with them to find more people to teach! Please pray for them!

 I am unsure if last week I talked about the world-wide Missionary Broadcast. If I haven´t mentioned earlier, it was incredible. It was the first time in 10+ years that the Quorum of the twelve have done something like this. They titled the braodcast: "Teach Repentance and baptize converts" For two hours we listened to Elder Anderson, Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar and other general authorities. They focused a lot on the Doctrine of Christ(2 Nephi 31; 3 Nephi 27:13-22) and the importance of making covenants. It was a very refreshing experience to hear them teach so clearly. 
We are to help people to come unto Christ by:
1. Developing faith in Christ and His Atonement
2. Repenting of sins
3. Making a covenant of obedience through baptism 
4. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
5. Enduring to the end. (Attending temple and renewing covenants through the Sacrament)

It is so simple. No unclean thing can enter into the presence of God, and the way to be cleansed from sin is through these steps. They are the way to access the power of the Atonement--which heals us and changes us. 

Yesterday we had a lesson with a family from North Carolina! The father lived in Savannah, Georgia. They have been living here in Maipú for the past two years. They are missionaries for a baptist church and have 6 children here. They are very nice and have the southern charm, but it was hard for them accept much of what we taught. They invited us to come back and I think we will give them one more try. It was strange to teach in English; it was a first for me in the mission. 

I love you all and am saddened by the passing of Nancy. Send my love to the family and let them know that they are in my prayers. I have a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation. I know that the promise of the resurrection is real. I know that God lives and that His Son, Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that His Church is on the Earth today, and that it is guided by a living prophet. I know that those who have faith in Christ, repent, are baptized, and endure to the end by making covenants in the temple may live with their families forever in the Kingdom of God!

Have a great week!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 1

       




Hola!

Well its been a very hectic and busy week here in the office. I am definitely not accustomed to sitting around as much. My companion is Elder Ballard, the grandson of the Elder Ballard. He is a great missionary, and my friend from earlier in the mission when we were together in the same zone. He goes home one transfer earlier than I do, so we will be together for three changes. I am excited to learn from him.

Last weekend, while still in Talagante, we baptized Mauricio. He is a great convert of about 21. He loves the church and made many friends. He had to give up a lot of habits and friends to be baptized, but he expressed his love and happiness for having made the decision. I am so happy for him and was very sad to leave. My heart was torn when President called me on Sunday night, because I didn't want to leave all the great people who were progressing toward baptism. But, the Lord's will be done:)

To fill you in a little bit on what I did this week. Monday I got to the mission office and we organized the changes. Then in the evening we took all the missionaries to the airport with President and Hermana Barreiros. We didn't go to bed till late. Then early on Tuesday morning we drove to the MTC and picked up the new missionaries that will be arriving in the mission and took them to President's house for lunch. We then brought them to the mission office and assigned them to their new trainers. Wednesday we did divisions with the Zone Leaders in a nearby zone and Thursday we reviewed the Mission Numbers and prepared for a reunion of the mission which took place yesterday. I haven't gotten as much sleep as normal. but I am doing well and happy. It is really cool to have a much closer and more personal relationship with Presidente and Hermana Barreiros. They are incredible people, and have so much love for the missionaries. I hope to learn much from them.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that there is no other way to gain salvation but in and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary and I love the Lord. I love the Chilean people and I am happier than I have ever been in my life. Have a great week!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Shanel!!

Happy Birthday Shanel!! I hope you have a great one! I love you so much. And look up to you so much!!  Hope you have a great year!

I don`t have much time today. Last night President called. He asked me to finish my mission as his asistant. It was pretty crazy and I am both happy to learn from him, but sad because once you enter the office the whole mission changes...its not the same as being a regular missionary...at least thats what the asistants have told me. I`ll write more on Saturday, my new pday.

Love,
Elder Harries

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Talagante Week 11

Hola!

So this week flew by! I dont know where to begin. We have done many exchanges and I have gotten to know better the missionaries in the Zone. It is still going great being in a trio, as each companion´s personality and strengths help each other out. Elder Clegg and Elder Peterson are both very good people and we all get along well.

Mauricio is progressing very well! He made it too church and loved it. He is struggling a bit witht he Word of Wisdom, so please pray for him. We gave him a blessing and will be fasting for him. He is a very humble and good guy. Definitely a future missionary!

I am happier than ever here in the mission. Last night before going in for the night, I felt that we should knock one more door, of a man that I saw enter his house earlier that day. We knocked the door and he told us that he wanted to talk to us. He started bawling and shared with us an experience that has weighed on him for years. He wants to be baptized. I know that the Spirit is the most powerful tool in the work and that we must learn how to follow it to have success.

I learned some cool stuff about repentance, that I think could help dad in his calling. The word Repentance int the Old Testament originated from Hebrew, shube, which means to return to God. In the New Testanment written in greek it is metaneoreo, which means change the spirit, heart, thoughts. Only in Latin, where english gets the work it is peontonio(i think thats how it is spelled) which means punishment or pain. When we understand that repentance is not as much for punishment, but for change and to bring us back to God, It makes the process much easier. have a great week!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Monday, January 11, 2016

Talagante Week 10


Hola!

Surprise! We write Mondays now!!

Well we had surprise transfers this week! We recieved a new Zone leader to help us with divisions! He is Elder Clegg from Logan, Utah. He is an incredible missionary, and definitely knows how to have success. He is from my same group, and we were already pretty good friends before the changes. I really enjoy being in a trio--there is so much power in our teaching. I know that this was an inspired change, so that I could learn from another great missionary. Elder Peterson continues being his very diligent and consecrated self.

We had a great week, and found and have taught some great investigators. One is a 21 year old joven named Mauricio. He is a great kid who wants to find his way in life. He told us that when he was younger he read the Bible and a lot of religious books, and went to a bunch of churches. He tried to go share what he had learned with his friends, but they basically didn´t want anything to do with God. He stopped going to churches because he was pretty confused. When we knocked on the door, before we could talk he told us to come in. We explained that how he was similar to Joseph Smith, looking for the truth. He said, yes but more than searching, waiting for God to answer his prayers. He said we were an answer. He and his mom loved church and he really wants to get baptized. He will either this week or next. It is such a great reminder that "there are many yet on the earth among all sects,parties, and denominations...who are only kept from the truth because they know notwhere to find it." (D&C 123:12)

Another great investigator that we found is named Miguel. He is about 60 years old. He is the friend of a counselor in the Stake Presidency. It was powerful teaching him. We invited the counselor to accompany us and he bore such a powerful testimony of the changes that happened in his life when he accepted the gospel 12 years ago. He testified of the power of the Priesthood and Christ´s atonement. I learned so much from him, and it incredible how well he related the message of the Restoration to the specific blessings that Miguel will recieve. He accepted a baptismal date for the 23 and he came to church and was very intrigued.

We also have a few other investigators that are progressing well. A joven of 16 and some others who also came to church. I am constantly amazed at the greatness of my companions and all of God´s children. I know that He knows and loves each and every one of them. I love them too. My goal this year is to develop the pure love of Christ. After all is said and done, this is the very essence of the Gospel. In the presence of so many incredible people, I have come face to face with my weaknesses, however I know that through Christ´s grace He can "make weakthings become strong unto (me)". Have a great week and Happy Birthday dad!!!

Love,
Elder Harries

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Talagante Week 9



Hola!!!!

Thanks for the emails and love! This week we had a great time! Pia was baptized and her whole family came to support her. It was so powerful as her older sister, who is preparing to serve a mission bore her testimony about the importance of being true to the covenants we make and enduring to the end despite what happens. I feel safe that Pia will do so with such a great example as an older sister.

I passed the new year in the pension of 3 other elders as I was on divisions. We all went to be early, and then suddenly one of the Elders from Brazil came in the room and asked for a blessing. He had called President, telling him that he wants to go home. His mom is really sick and he was feeling home sick. It broke my heart. After the blessing we all talked, and another elder who was also from Brazil began to tell him all the reasons why he should stay etc. I was pretty silent. (The elder who wanted to go home didn´t really like me too much, because a few months ago we didn´t give him permission to buy shoes during the week, instead of P-day. Anyway, ever since then he´s been a bit cold toward me). Then, suddenly I felt myself begin to speak and ask him questions. I told him how much I loved and respected him for his service in the Zone. I got choked up. I don´t think i had ever felt the Spirit direct my words like that before. As I left the next morning, I left him a note and the talk by Elder Anderson about the faith of a young Brazilian. It was a very tender experience. That night he called me and told me he felt much better and wanted to stay. I am so grateful to have been there in divisions so that I could know what was happening. It was one of the most special experiences of the mission for me.

Elder Peterson and I are working very hard to help the Zone, and at the same time not forget about our own area. We have made many plans to improve the work between the missionaries and members and have met with the Stake president to share plans.

I feel very happy to be here in the mission. I have never been so stretched emotionally, physically, mentally...each time I climb one mountain, I realized theres one more behind it. I love it. I am learning how masterful of a teacher the Lord is. I know He lives. I know that this is His work. I am happy to be here. I don´t really want anything else but to help others come unto Him. Have a great week. You´re in my prayers. :)
Love,
Elder Harries