Saturday, April 23, 2016

Equina Blanca Week 13


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


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:)


Esquina Blanca Week 11


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!

Elder Harries

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Esquina Blanca Week 10


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!

Elder Harries