Monday, 1 May 2017

May 1, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st and 2nd Wards

#ReturnOfTheNurse

It's been a good week. Don't get me wrong. 

A very good week. I was able to read 20 chapters of the Book of Mormon on Saturday. It was fantastic.

And clean a lot of the house. 

Glad to hear everything has been going well! Nice to see a picture of you guys with the Bradley's. I realized that I didn't say happy birthday to Dad last week, so I wrote him a letter on Friday, because I had the time :) To answer Mom's question, Zone Meetings were discontinued because the Missionary Department felt that, since we are having Zone Conferences every transfer now, we don't need to meet as a Zone!

The week has been a good one. Nothing too crazy. Elder McLawhorn has been sick since Thursday. Constant motion sickness. Hasn't been very good. We tried to go out some, but it was just completely unproductive and so we were in for most of Thursday-Sunday. :)

But, we can go through what happened!

Monday. Played volleyball for our activity. That was fun. Oh, and I didn't tell you last week, but Sister Felix asked us to do a musical number for the Mission Conference on Saturday with Elder Christofferson... So we also practiced for that. When we left the practice, we had to drive some Elders to the car shop to pick up their car, and forgot our two phones on the car.... So, luckily one fell off in the parking lot, but the other one.... Fell off at 40 mph.... So it was toast. Which sucked, because we had NO contacts for AG2. But, we figured it all out. Had dinner with the Gonzales family that evening. Oh, and I also figured out on Monday that Noah (the YSA guy who called and wanted to get baptized) wants me to baptize him! So, that'll be happening Saturday night. :) Exciting! 

Tuesday. We gave Jeremy a blessing. He's a member of the ward, went in for surgery the next day. We then conned him into coming to a lesson with us right then and there with Margarita. Which, wasn't the best lesson. She asked a ton of random questions, so we were all over the place. But it's always fun when that happens. Had dinner with Sister Salerno and her son, and the rest of the day was spent getting our contacts ready for when we got a new phone on Wednesday

Wednesday. In the morning we got our new phone, and it was easy to transfer the contacts over! I've gotten really good at using these dinosaurs. I actually really like them! Anyways. Tried to see a bunch of people throughout the day, but nothing was really working, and Elder McLawhorn was starting to not feel well. Had correlation that night with Brother Leavitt, and that was that day! 

Thursday. We had our Weekly Planning session. That was okay, not super focused but yeah. Elder McLawhorn felt terrible, and he had a massage scheduled with a member, so we went to that, went out for Sushi with Brother Rust, and then went and taught Alex and Mireya with a young man, Zack Burkard, who has his papers in! It was a good lesson. Went over the Restoration for Mireya! :)

Friday was District Meeting. We learned about the importance of the commitments to pray, read, and attend church! We went to the Spanish District too, and that always reminds me of Elder Harvey! Other than that, we were in. Got a call that night from the Assistants, and learned that Elder Haslam was getting emergency transferred on Sunday. So that was fun. Another missionary got his visa to Puerto Rico. 

Saturday was Saturday.

Sunday was good. Both sacrament meetings went well, but we had to leave after our second one. Had a lesson with Cruz that afternoon about Church attendance, Praying, and Reading. It went well. 

And yeah! That's about it for this week. Like I said, nothing too amazing. Just plugging along! 

I read this this week from Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

"The divine attributes of love, mercy, patience, submissiveness, meekness, purity, and others are those attributes we have been directed to develop in each of us—and they cannot be developed in the abstract (see 3 Nephi 27:27, Mosiah 3:19). These require the clinical experiences—those things through which we are asked to pass. Nor can these attributes be developed in a hurry. Thus the scripture says, “All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good,” referring to the mix of mortal experiences, immortal individuals, and immortal principles (D&C 122:7). And when that interplay occurs, and we see things through the lens of the gospel, then we can see things more clearly and navigate the road of discipleship.

Another thing will happen: We will become much more aware of and alive to the many possibilities for doing good that are present in life’s daily situations. Even the moments that seem humdrum are full of possibilities. Nothing is really routine.

I speak tonight, therefore, not only of life’s large defining moments but also of the seemingly small moments. Even small acts and brief conversations count, if only incrementally, in this constant shaping of souls, in this strategic swirl of people and principles and tactical situations. What will we, for instance, bring to all of those moments small and large? Will we do what we can to make our presence count as a needed constant in such fleeting moments, even in micro ways? Do you and I not sometimes say appreciatively of individuals who have helped us, “They were there when we needed them”? Will we reciprocate?"

I really enjoyed this. It is something that I really needed to read. At the end of your mission, and I would venture to say even just throughout life, things may become menial in our eyes, we may become bored with those small and simple things that we've been asked to do. However, as we strive to constantly live our mortal life, knowing that we are immortal individuals, and strive to live immortal principles, and then see things through a gospel lens... Nothing will stop us! We will be "fixed in [our] minds with a determined resolution." Think of this:

"It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit." (C.S. Lewis)

And then, to cap off my thought, Doctrine and Covenants 58:2-4

"2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.

3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."

I sure do love all of you! Have an amazing week, and I hope things continue to go well! On, on to the victory! 

Love,

Elder Harvey


PS:

How did the musical number go - what did you sing?
Well, the Mission Conference is on Saturday. So we will see how it goes!  We are singing Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the tune of If You Could Hie to Kolob.

How exciting!  A baptism!!  Is this one of the contacts you had before you left this area a few months ago?
Kinda. This guy was a contact at the beginning of this transfer that we had to pass off to the YSA sisters. Him and I hit it off immediately. It was like I found a long lost friend.

April 24, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st and 2nd Wards

#IgniteTheFireWithin

Well....

I am so confused. There were a lot of emails today. One of them from a Sister who was in my District last transfer, and then went to the MTC, and is now in Elder Ursaki's District there. Small world, especially in the Church, and especially on missions!

It was great to get your emails! Sounds like a fun week. We had a great week as well, but really only had two days in our area! Exchanges in Oxnard, MLC in Oxnard... Just a lot of things going on. Crazy to think that Elder Bradley is already home... Agggghhhh. Somehow, I am under ten weeks. INSANE.

Anyways, I like your idea about buying a home in Lethbridge! If you do that, I would have to consider moving out there. I think that would be way fun! 

Well, we can go through the week...

Monday was nothing really special. Another P-Day. Had a great dinner with the Dalebout family. I think one of the best experiences for me being in this area for so long is the relationships I have been able to establish with so many people. I definitely love the wards I am in, and I can feel the love that the wards have for us! 

Tuesday. We drove down to Oxnard early in the morning for our MLC. It was the most spiritual one I have been to. I really loved being there. We talked about our new focus, "Ignite the Fire Within." We are to become more dedicated and consecrated servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, and with that comes an unquenchable fire. One that consumes everything it touches. We have felt that in our area, it just seems like everything is working right now, which is a VERY nice change. We also received an announcement that Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be holding a Mission Conference for our mission on May 6th! We don't know why we are getting so lucky- having Elder Ballard come in December and now Elder Christofferson- but we are super excited.

Wednesday. We met with a member named Sister Farrar. Talked about the Plan of Salvation! She was really fun to meet with, asks some hard-hitting questions and is just trying to learn everything she can. I don't know if I told you, but we were told by the Missionary Department to not hold Zone Meetings anymore, so on Wednesday we had to hold a Council with the District Leaders to give them information from the MLC we had, so that they could relay the information in their District Meetings that Friday. So, we did that, and everything went well! I think we lost some of the fire that was in the meeting, but that was expected. We had a lesson with Alex that day, and we talked about Following the Prophet. She said that Mireya wants to be baptized as soon as possible, so we are looking to have that happen on May 6th. We went out with our WML in 1st ward after that, and went and visited the Fairbairn. It was neat, talked with the 13 year old kid named Sammy. He was practicing his lacrosse shot, and so I was messing around with shooting too. Shared a bit about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The youth in the three wards here were having a Joint Activity, watching the Best 2 Years, and so our YM President asked us to share our thoughts on why our missions have been the best 2 years. That was fun. 

Thursday. We had our Weekly Planning Session in the morning, and then had a lesson fall through with Steve. He came to the door and didn't answer. Nothing more we can do, but he said he was reading the Book of Mormon before. Maybe one day he will be ready! Had a lesson with Margarita, and talked about the blueprint of Christ's Church. Elder McLawhorn is in love with that talk right now, and it went well when we used it! She loved it, and said she will pray over what we talked about. We had another lesson with Alex that night, and we talked about Tithing and Fasting. That went well, even had some oreos! Had correlation with our WML in 2nd Ward. Felt bad, we were so busy all week that we didn't have a lot of extra time to go out and make visits and such. Should be a different story this week though.

Friday. We had District Meeting in the morning. Before, with Zone Meetings, it was very easy to relay the information to everyone. What's funny is that we basically had a Zone Meeting. Our District Leader asked us to handle all of the information that was supposed to be given to the missionaries, and so that was fun. I talked about Ignite the Fire Within. Found some cool scriptures that went along with that. It was a very uplifting meeting. We saw Shane, a less-active man in the 2nd ward, and talked about his desire to go to the temple, and shared Moroni 9:6 with him. We then took the two hour drive to Oxnard again.... For our exchange with the Assistants!

Saturday was a fun day. I was with Elder Taufatofua. We came out together, but he's going home this transfer because he was a Spanish missionary, so he spent a transfer in the MTC. We had a lot of conversations about how crazy it was that we were at this point. Never crossed our minds while we were traveling together or in the Mission Home together that we would be on an exchange in Oxnard, him being an Assistant and me being a Zone Leader. We have both grown a ton, and it was very uplifting and refreshing to talk about our experiences together. He's a great friend. We saw a few people that day, and we also had to drive a spare phone down to Newbury Park. Had a very uplifting visit with the Kellerman's, and they pretty much ended up teaching us about Enduring to the End. It was great. Then had to drive all the way back to Nipomo. SO MUCH DRIVING. 

Sunday was hectic. It's annoying, having two wards that majorly overlap. We missed most of our first Sacrament Meeting, and then went to the rest of church. Had a Stake Meeting, which was really great. Talked a lot about how we as missionaries can be out more with the members of the Stake. Had a lesson with Cruz afterwards about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he really enjoyed it. We got a lot of participation out of him, and he wants to be baptized! He is praying about a date right now. 

Everything is awesome! I have a few scriptures in mind right now:

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." (Romans 13:12)

"And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 31:9)

Cast off the works of darkness. Ignite the Fire within! 

"With perfect understanding of the challenges of our day, the Lord promises, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”5 We are children of God. Receiving light, continuing in God, and receiving more light are what we are created to do. From the very beginning, we followed the light; we followed our Heavenly Father and His plan. Seeking the light is in our spiritual DNA." (Mark A. Bragg)

Part of our divine identities is that we are children of LIGHT. Like Elder Bragg said, we have that light inside of us, and we continue to receive light until the perfect day! In an increasingly darkening world, the light of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will be shining brighter and brighter and brighter, and "[The Adversary] shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign." Ignite that fire. Let it burn within us, and let us consume everything we touch with the fire of the Holy Ghost, with the fire of the Covenant People of the Lord. That is our duty. And that is what will change this world, and truly prepare it for the Lord's Second Coming. 

I sure love you all! Thanks for your prayers and continued devotion! Have an amazing week! 

Love,

Elder Harvey

Here is Elder McLawhorn, Elder Swenson, Elder Taufatofua, and I. :)

April 17, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st and 2nd Wards

#WhatEvenWasThisWeek

Phew....

I was really looking forward to Monday.

It has been such a hectic week! But, it's been such a good one. Not a ton of finding success, but we've been teaching a lot. Which is something I am not used to. I have gotten so used to dogging it out every day knocking doors that having two or three appointments every day is just weird to me. It doesn't feel like you're doing a ton of work, but you are! And we have some pretty awesome people that we are teaching right now. Just need to find the time to find! 

Congrats to Jameson on his first tooth coming out! So glad that the Tooth Fairy was able to come :) Whenever I think of the Tooth Fairy I think of The Santa Clause 2 Tooth Fairy. Glad to hear everything else is going well back at home! I got the itinerary for the YSA Conference. I think I would rather stay with you guys and do things with you! I don't know, just thinking about it is that I am going to be SUPER weird. And I think it'll be weird to see you all again for a few hours and then be gone for a weekend. Thanks anyways, I really do appreciate the thought :) 

So, the weeeeek!

Monday. Last day with Elder Davis. I FORGOT TO SAY THIS IN THE LAST EMAIL. Sunday night. Get a call from a kid named Noah. He said "I have read the Pearl of Great Price and the Book of Mormon, and I am interested in joining your church." So, we met with him on Monday morning, after we moved some beds around for the new TriPan in our Zone. Noah is amazingly prepared. HE TAUGHT US THE ENTIRE RESTORATION. It was something that I was sitting back and just thinking "This isn't happening right now." Basically, he told us he is gung-ho about joining and being baptized, and gave us a glimpse into his family situation and such. It was an awesome visit. We had dinner and a fire that night with the Hursts.

Easter basket from Alex
Tuesday. Transfer day! Always a fun time. We played some wall ball while we were waiting for the train to come. Got to see a few good friends of mine. Elder Alder, Elder 'Iongi. It was fun. Picked up Elder McLawhorn, and we went shopping and unpacked and such. Had dinner with Brother Rust, and we tried to figure out our new area a bit. It's interesting, being in two areas now, but it's fun! 

Wednesday. We went and tried to see some people in the AG2nd Ward. Not much luck, and then Noah called and wanted to meet. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he told us "I want to be baptized as soon as possible." 😑.....😐......🤔.....😯.....😮.....😨.....😯.....😐.....😑.....😀!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE WHAT. So, we set him with the date of May 6th, but he also said he wanted to attend the YSA Ward, so we made plans to do a pass-off lesson. Went out that evening with Matti, our AG1 WML, and then had dinner with the Fowlers and Elder McLawhorn met the Hursts! 

Thursday. Did some Weekly Planning, and then we saw Margarita. Good lesson, talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a lot about Priesthood Authority. She's a tough one, but she's starting to understand and she desires to know which church is true. Had dinner that night with the Kleve's, a part-member family who went to Conference! It was fun. I was meeting with them a little bit when I was here before. They are great, just not really interested in church. Don't know why they went to Conference then, but yeah. We had correlation with our AG2 WML, Brother Leavitt, at night and he seems to really like us. He is a really genuine guy, and has a genuine love for the people here and the Work that we do. I love it. We gained his trust 100%.

Friday. Had District Meeting in the morning, and President and Sister Felix decided to drop in on ours! It was fun, but President found out that I have been able to learn how to play piano, so it looks like I am playing for MLC tomorrow....ugh. But that's okay. Hopefully I know the songs they chose. Went and did the pass-off lesson with the YSA Sisters and Noah. That was funny. The Sisters were in awe at Noah. Truly a huge miracle, and he's going to do a lot of good. Went and helped out Sister Hulme with some gardening and such, and then had a lesson with Cruz. It was good, we talked about the Restoration and then Sister Sola made us orange chicken for dinner. Nothing much happened after that, just trying to help Elder McLawhorn figure out the new area. It's a bit overwhelming for him, but he'll get the hang of it! Just a LOT of area to figure out. I remember how I felt with Elder Snyder trying to learn our huge area. Not good. But, while I am on this side-note, Elder McLawhorn and I are like best friends. I love him to death. He is super hard working, and all he wants to do is find find find. Which is good, and we also have like everything in common. It makes it fun :) Truly a blessing to have at this time. 

Saturday. We went tracting for a couple of hours. Set up a return appointment for a guy named Steve that I had found a few weeks ago. Then, we caught wind that Brother Hurst was going to be doing yard work, and he doesn't have the best physical health right now. So, we dropped by and did it all for him. Hehehe. It was a good thing. Had dinner with Bishop Stasell in AG2, and it was really good. I have known him before, so we seem to have his trust. Him and his wife are fun, and I am really excited to work with him! Had a lesson with Alex and Mireya that night, James had a toothache. Taught about the Sabbath Day, and Alex loved it (like usual). She said she has fallen in love with the Church, and that they are working to be baptized next month! Just have to handle a few things first. 

Sunday. Two Wards. It was a great Easter Sunday actually, and I loved taking the Sacrament twice! Good programs in each ward, and yeah. Nothing too amazing happening. Alex, Mireya, and Cruz came to church! We need to find some investigators in AG2 to bring to church. Had dinner with the Hursts, and we got to dye some eggs and such. Great family, I really do love them a lot. 

And that's all! This week should be fun. MLC tomorrow, exchanges with the Assistants on Saturday. 

I love my Savior. I love this Gospel, and I love the Work that I am engaged in. I read this talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard this week entitled "How Is It with Us?" Here's a quote:

"While it is true that extraordinary strides are being made throughout the Church, the enormity of the task before us is overwhelming. Simply stated, we have a ministry to all of our Heavenly Father’s children on both sides of the veil. In that context, we have barely scratched the surface of our calling. True discipleship, therefore, precludes any complacency. The Lord expects us to continue moving the Church forward and even to accelerate our pace toward the literal fulfillment of Daniel’s prophetic vision of “a stone … cut out without hands … that … became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:34–35). To do this more effectively, each one of us needs to follow Nephi’s counsel to “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. [For] if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Ne. 31:20). The power of the Holy Ghost will fill our hearts and minds as we look to the Savior for answers to the many challenges of life.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, it is important that we each know for ourselves that Jesus is the Christ and that He has restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith the fulness of His everlasting gospel. As we press forward in His service, spiritual experiences will increase our faith, and we will find great joy. Our understanding of the essential doctrines and eternal truths that have been restored will become a firm foundation of our faith. And as we come to know and understand these true doctrines for ourselves, we will discover that there is also a great need for us to share our knowledge and beliefs with others while always maintaining their friendship and goodwill."

This is a very daunting work, but it is also a very rewarding work. As we endure to the end, clinging to the Holy Ghost and to our spiritual experiences like the iron rod, we will be able to have the Lord magnify our efforts. As long as we try and keep trying and keep improving and keep trying to deepen our discipleship, we shall be buoyed up by "Him who is mighty to save." There is nothing more sweet, nothing more powerful, and nothing more essential than Jesus Christ and the Redemptive and Enabling POWER which He brings into our lives. It is because of Him that we are even here, and what an amazing message of peace it is to know that NO MATTER WHAT, I have a Savior right behind me. 

I love you all! This is the true and restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love,

Elder California Harvey

Elder McLawhorn didn't know I was videoing....









April 10, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st and 2nd Wards



#WhatTheWhat #16/16

Dang Daniel. 

Heyooo.

This week has been nuts. Just a lot happening. Gah. This area is seriously on fire. I don't know what's going on, but it's amazing to see the hand of the Lord magnifying our efforts. 

First of all, I am getting transferred! Kinda. I am staying. Haha. Elder Davis is going down to Ventura. I am staying in the ward I am in right now, and also absorbing the Arroyo Grande 2nd Ward. Double duty, once again. Should be fun! I am also training a new Zone Leader again. His name is Elder McLawhorn. He is sweet. I am super excited! 

Anyways. The week has been crazy.

Monday. We had Zone Activity. Nothing too crazy. Just played some dodgeball with marshmallows. Nothing really happened that night either.

Tuesday. We saw Mark and Sally in the morning. They were interesting. But, we should be going back to help them with some weeds and hopefully they will start learning more! We had a lesson with Margarita too. All about praying and reading to find out truth. She committed to being serious about finding out if this is the truth or not. She is going to take some time, but it'll be worth it! We also saw Alex and James later that evening, and taught about the Word of Wisdom. They both said they would live it! They have a date for the 29th, but we aren't sure if they are going to make it. They are still living together.

Elder Harvey, Elder Davis & Dalebouts Family
Wednesday was a good day! We typed up our Stake Reports in the morning, but then the meeting got cancelled for that evening. Bummer. Went out to tried to see some people. No one really interested or home. Had some dinner, and then went out on some visits with Brother Smeda. Saw the Gavatos family, and gave brother Gavatos a blessing. He's in rough shape! 

Thursday was legit. We did some Weekly Planning for most of the day, but then we took Tui out with us in the evening. We saw Gary Conklin, who I was kinda teaching in 2015. He is interested, but his wife is getting in the way. And then we also saw Kelly Redstone, our investigator! Super good lesson with her. She is interested, just super busy all of the time. Great night with Tui, who is preparing to head on a mission soon. He gave us some lava-lavas. Will attach pictures. 

Friday we had District Meeting in the morning. It was a good meeting. That afternoon, we went to see Steve, a potential, who ignored us. It was weird, because we got in the car and I was feeling the Spirit super strong. I didn't know why! I literally just sat in the car. Nothing too amazing. Elder Davis suggested seeing this potential, so we went. His name is Michael. Well, he wasn't home. But we were talking with his mom, and then....OUT WALKS LARRY. Now, the reason this is significant is because Larry was someone I was teaching in Santa Barbara like a year ago, and he had moved into Nipomo with his son. Legit, right? We went by the next day though, and they weren't very interested. But it was a cool story! :) We also had a very touching lesson with Alex. She was crying half the time, telling us about how grateful she is that we came into her life, and that she met Sister Dalebout, and that this gospel is bringing her so much peace. It was incredible. Wasn't a dry eye in the room. Except for Brother Rust. He was on his iPad. Goofball. Had dinner that evening with the Merrill's. She sent you a picture of it I am pretty sure. Great family. 

Elder Davis, Bro. Rust, Elder Harvey
Saturday. Got transfer calls, went and tried to visit some people. Nothing too amazing. Had dinner with the Simkins, and then the baptism that was supposed to happen got cancelled. 

Sunday. A lot of visiting with members. That's about it. Had dinner with President Hulstine and his family. Had Ward Conference that day too. Great time. 

But. yeah! Everything is going great. I am super excited for the next transfer, and I am pretty sure this will be my last companion! 

Here's a quote from this past conference:

"The Holy Ghost binds us to the Lord. By divine assignment, He inspires, testifies, teaches, and prompts us to walk in the light of the Lord. We have the sacred responsibility to learn to recognize His influence in our lives and respond." -Ronald A. Rasband

Sure do love you!

Elder California Harvey

Me and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch..... #BishopMerrillRocks


Did he run with these torches or purchase them?
He bought all of the torches. He has the coolest things! He is one of the top ophthalmologists in the world. 
Rio Olympic Torch

Vancouver Olympic Torch


April 3, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st Ward

#PRINCEofPEACE

Hey!

Okay... Let me tell you, it was a WEEK. I was thinking about it all this morning and realized that a WHOLE lot has happened in the past week. So, it should make for a fun letter. 

Glad to hear you all had a great week. Conference was absolutely amazing, as always. Very grateful for the prophets and apostles we have. I really loved hearing President Monson talk about the Book of Mormon, and charity! I also really enjoyed Elder Rasband's talk about the Holy Ghost. Everything was just so spot on. 

Mom, I would love to go to Nauvoo! That would be sweet. As for school, I really don't know what is going to happen. There is way too many options going through my mind. Provo, Rexburg, Lethbridge, Kingston..... UGH. Honestly, it gives me a headache to think about it. BUT. I know I need to make some decisions in the near future. So, I've been praying about it and such. Brought the question to Conference. And, naturally, the answer I got was from Elder Clayton. Something along the lines of "If you trust and follow in the Lord, He will transform your life." Just like my Patriarchal Blessing, it's VERY general. Which is a good and "bad" thing. I guess no matter what I choose, I can't go wrong! So, we will see. I think going to Provo would be fun because I could work at the MTC. Lethbridge would be great because it's in Canada and there are a lot of members there. Kingston would be good because I could do online schooling for a little bit and save some money. And really, I don't know of any benefits for me in Rexburg... Other than a lot of people are going there from the mission. People are trying to pressure me into Rexburg, as if it's the be all end all choice and I HAVE to go there in September. So that's starting to really turn me off from there. Anyways, we will have to see. I'm even thinking about just applying to places and seeing if I can even get into Provo. I think I could! We will see....

Anyways. My week:

Monday. Nothing fun really happened at all. We just did our Zone Evaluations that night. 

Tuesday. We had Zone Conference in San Luis Obispo. It was a great meeting! We learned about the Book of Mormon, and were introduced to the new Easter initiative, #PRINCEofPEACE. Great video. It is all focusing on the Peace that the Savior brings into our lives, focusing on eight specific attributes that can help us do so. Amazing website, go to mormon.org to check it out some more! We also learned about our five areas of focus as the Great California Ventura Mission! They are:

1) We begin with the end in mind
2) We are consecrated servants of Jesus Christ
3) We strive to serve the Lord through our obedience
4) We are led by the Spirit as we find and teach
5) We desire the salvation of souls.

Elder Davis and I gave a presentation on the second one. It was fun! A lot of people got a lot of things from what we said, so I am glad the Spirit was there to testify to them of all of it :) After Conference, we went and taught Alex and James about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Law of Chastity. It went well. They are definitely giving it some thought though. We had dinner with the Hursts that night, went to Pho with John and Ida. It was good stuff. Then, that night we had exchanges with Elder Matthews and Elder DeGraw. But, it definitely wasn't without any problems.....

9:30 Tuesday Night- Elder Davis and I hear a beep go off. Sounded like our smoke/CO detector. But, it only went off once and then stopped. Weird. Ignored it, and then the Elders showed up.

10:30- Elder Matthews, Elder DeGraw, and I hear the beep again. Does the same thing. Just once. Opened up the windows in the apartment and went to bed...

12:30 Wednesday Morning- The alarm wakes me up. It's going off constantly now. I wake everyone up, and we get out of the apartment. Nothing on fire, and the other smoke detectors weren't going off. So, we decide to leave the apartment and go to Santa Maria to sleep. We call President Felix, left a message, and then drive 15 minutes at 1:00am... Definitely a mission first! 

Wednesday. We come back to the apartment at about 8:30. The Senior Missionary over the apartments asked us to call the fire department and have them come and check things out. So, we did! First time I had ever called 9-1-1. I told them it was a non-emergency... But the fire truck came with sirens blaring, AND THEY HAD THE AMBULANCE COME TOO. It was funny, the one firefighter started beaking the paramedic. "This is our turf! You shouldn't be here!" Anyways, they said that we were very smart in leaving the apartment, because there very well could have been some CO there, but we did so well at airing out the apartment and such that they weren't able to tell. They told us that they appreciated us letting them sleep too! After all that was over with, I was with Elder Matthews for half of the day, because Elder Davis was feeling sick. Elder Matthews is from Taber. We taught Margarita the Plan of Salvation, and it went over well. She understood it pretty well! Then, Elder Davis took a nap for the afternoon, and we had dinner with the Wyett's! I knew the family really well before, and so it was fun to reconnect with them. 

Thursday. Brother Rust took us out to New Cuyama! It was awesome. Went and saw Sister Salazar, a member that lives out there. New Cuyama is about an hour and 15 minutes from our church building, and she lives 20 minutes away from a different building... So she goes to the other ward, which is out of the mission. But it's better for her! We talked about faith, and she asked us to bless her home. It was a great experience. We got home around 3:30, and tried to see some people, and then had dinner with the Nally's. After that, we did our Weekly Planning.

Friday. Most of our appointments cancelled. We tried to go by some people in the morning, and then helped a member in the Pismo Beach ward move! And then we helped a member of our ward move too! Fun times, and nothing else really happened that day. 

Saturday and Sunday was Conference. Nothing too amazing happened. Except for Conference of course :)

But yeah! It's been a really great week. Elder Davis and I are fantastic, the ankle is getting worse, the grace is getting greater! Seriously, I was thinking about it the other day, and I've pretty much piggy-backed my whole mission on Christ. Here is the quote from Elder L. Whitney Clayton:

"When we decide to do “whatsoever [God] saith unto” us, we earnestly commit to align our everyday behavior with God’s will. Such simple acts of faith as studying the scriptures daily, fasting regularly, and praying with real intent deepen our well of spiritual capacity to meet the demands of mortality. Over time, simple habits of belief lead to miraculous results. They transform our faith from a seedling into a dynamic power for good in our lives. Then, when challenges come our way, our rootedness in Christ provides steadfastness for our souls." 

BE ALL IN. I love what Elder Maxwell says too:

"In pondering and pursuing consecration, understandably we tremble inwardly at what may be required. Yet the Lord has said consolingly, “My grace is sufficient for you” (D&C 17:8). Do we really believe Him? He has also promised to make weak things strong (see Ether 12:27). Are we really willing to submit to that process? Yet if we desire fulness, we cannot hold back part!"

Let's go to work!

Love you all! Transfers are next week! 

Love,

Elder California Harvey​

March 27, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st Ward

#DATES

Hey! 

Seriously, this whole concept of time thing is getting really annoying. I really never feel that a couple of hours has gone by, let alone an entire week. I was looking at a calendar of the next month, and seeing how fast it will probably go... Scary stuff. But, you just gotta square up and hit! 

SUPER WEIRD TO THINK YOU GOT MY FLIGHT PLANS. I knew I would be flying like all day. Airports freak me out right now. But it'll be chill. Cool to hear that Lachlyn got a call back! I do know the song, and I think it's great for her! Also, I saw that Elder Trump was in your Branch, and laughed about it. Also, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY HUDSON. Sorry I am terrible and forgot to say anything last week. My bad. I'll just school him at Madden when I get home anyways. 

Hmm... YSA Conference... When are we leaving for the west coast? 

My week has been pretty awesome. 

Monday. We went mini-golfing again. That was fun. Had dinner with Brother Rust, and then we had to decide on some changes we were going to make to our monthly report that we give to the Stake Presidency.

Tuesday. In the morning we had to actually make the changes to the report. We pretty much just scrapped the old one and made a new one! It looks way good. Went and tried to see some people in the afternoon, and had dinner with Bishop Merrill and his family! I love them. They just had a missionary leave for England, and Sister Merrill had gotten her first missionary email that day! She was ECSTATIC. It was funny. After that, we had a lesson with Alex and James. It was such a neat lesson! We taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation, and then they both accepted baptismal dates of April 29th! Alex is really gung-ho about it. Not sure with James, but he is gaining momentum! We just need to get him to church. 

Wednesday. We went and tried seeing some people in the morning. It was raining pretty good. But, still tried nonetheless. We were given an assignment for Zone Conference tomorrow, and we were trying to decide what to do for it. So we went to the family history center and tried to find some things that we could read and study in order to prepare. It's on becoming consecrated servants of Jesus Christ. That took up a good chunk of our day. Had dinner with the Herbaugh's that night!

Thursday. We did our Weekly Planning Session, and that went well. We were assigned to give a musical number in the District Meeting we were going to the next day, and we decided that I would play a piece on the piano. You may be surprised to see how much I have improved.... :) It took me about 45 minutes to basically memorize We'll Bring the World His Truth, and I smashed a bunch of songs together to make a 7 minute medley. Sounded pretty good actually. That was tons of fun! Had another appointment with Alex and James, and we taught the second half of the Plan of Salvation. They loved it! She started listening to the scriptures last week. On Tuesday she had read to 1 Nephi 4. By Thursday she had read to 1 Nephi 11. And, she also listens to each chapter 2 or 3 times, in order to understand them.... It's insanely amazing. She is the perfect investigator! Very in tune with the Spirit. Had a lesson that night with Patrick, and talked about forgiveness and strength through the Atonement and fasting. It was a beautiful lesson, and you could tell that he felt the Spirit very strongly. 

Friday. Had District Meeting in Santa Maria, and my song went well. Went tracting for a little bit, no real "success" there. Had a lesson with Cruz, and we taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation as best as we could! It could have been a little more of a focused teaching environment, but it was still a great lesson :) Had dinner with the Petrusky's, and they were awesome! And then went to a baptism in Santa Maria. That night, we had Elder Judkins and Elder Gardiner over for exchanges! 

Saturday. What a day. I was with Elder Gardiner, and we were covering half of our area. It was fun! We went and tried to see some former investigators, and then spent a loooong time tracting. We actually ended up giving six different people a copy of the Book of Mormon, and found seven people who have potential to become investigators! It was so sweet to experience the Lord putting us in the right place at the right time. Had dinner again with Brother Rust, and yeah. Good times!

Sunday. It was a good fast and testimony meeting. Nothing much really happened today, we had to get things figured out for our Zone Conference presentation! Had dinner with the Hursts, and then we were able to give a member a blessing!

I am beyond excited to watch General Conference this weekend! It's funny, my first Conference as a missionary was in Santa Maria, and so will my last one! I was reading this morning from last conference, the talk by Elder Nattress. He says this:

"One of the most incredible events in human history is the Savior’s ministering visit to the ancient inhabitants of America. Visualize in your mind what it would be like to have been there. As I have pondered His loving and tender care of that band of Saints gathered at the temple, I have reflected on individual children whom I love more than life itself. I have tried to conceive of how I would feel to behold our little ones, to personally witness the Savior inviting each child to come unto Him, to witness the Savior’s outstretched arms, to stand by as each child, one by one, gently feels the prints in His hands and in His feet, and then to see each of them stand and bear record that He lives! To have our children turn and say, “Mom, Dad, it’s Him!”

It touched my heart for some reason. I felt like I should share it. Included with me sharing this, I know without a shadow of a doubt that Christ truly is our Savior. He loves us. I have felt his cleansing and enabling power as I have gone through many trials and triumphs on my mission. I can truly say that I am, at the present moment, most likely not capable of serving. I shouldn't be able to walk as much as I do, work as much as I do. This is not me finding and teaching. I cannot merit any of this outward success to myself. Mom, Dad, it's Him! I know it. I cannot doubt it. It would be selfish and frankly condemning to do so. I would not be able to do this without Him, and I am so grateful for that. I couldn't imagine doing this alone. This is His work, and I am His.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I love you all!

Love,

Elder California Harvey

March 20, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st Ward

#Z10N

Hey! 

This week has been fantastic. Thanks for letting me hear about your week as well! Although nothing seems to ever happen, it's still nice to know you're alive :) Glad to hear a little bit from Emerson as well. I don't hear from many people anymore, except for you guys and some missionaries in the mission that I have served around and become good friends with. You'll have to tell Kyle to email me! I am SO excited he's engaged!

But, yes, the week has been a great one! We have really been aligning our will more fully with God's will, and we are seeing miracles because of it! We have found four new investigators this week, and two of them came to church yesterday!


Monday. Nothing really happened today. Apparently it was National Nap Day, but we weren't told that until after our 2 1/2 hour nap in the middle of the day...Whooo! We went mini-golfing too. Planning on going again today. Then, had dinner with the Bigelow's, and drove 2 hours to Oxnard for our exchange with the Assistants! When we got there, Elder Swenson was hacking up a lung.

Tuesday. I was with Elder Swenson! We went and got him some meds in the morning, which helped him feel a lot better! We then proceeded to walk around for 2 hours.....WITHOUT A SOUL IN SIGHT. No one wanted to talk with us, and no one was even really out at all. We were feeling preeettyyy discouraged, but decided to knock on one last door before we went for lunch. We met Danny! He came out to talk with us, and accepted a Book of Mormon! He was also interested in coming to church sometime, and wanted us to come by and talk more about the Book of Mormon! That was neat. Then, the rest of the day we were just machines! We were going around, finding tons of people who accepted copies of the Book of Mormon, and then set up some return appointments for those Elders to see them! Had dinner that night with their Bishop. Elder Davis served in the Assistants ward a couple of transfers ago, and the Bishop is like best friends with him. So, Elder Swenson and I sat there and ate our sushi. IT WAS SO GOOD. Elder Davis got to talk with his idol :) I love Elder Swenson so much! Hoping that him and I will be companions next transfer. He's been Assistant for six months.... time for him to come and be a Zonie with me!

Wednesday. We had interviews with President Felix to set-up for in the morning, and then we had our car taken into the shop. The airbag light was coming on and off at times, and so we had to get things checked out. We taught Alex and James the Restoration. Alex is the blind lady that Sister Dalebout brought to church a couple of weeks ago! Anyways, they loved it! It was a really interesting lesson too, because a lot of the object lessons and analogies that we use don't necessarily work when you're teaching someone who can't see. But, we managed. She really wants to investigate into the Church, and really wants to find out if it's true! Which was neat to see. We had our interview with President and Sister Felix. Before the interview, they had us teach a part of any lesson to them! We taught the Restoration using a Rubiks Cube! Had dinner that night with the Simonsen's, and then we went out with Matti Kilpelainen for a couple hours. He's our new Ward Mission Leader, and it was just awesome to spend some time with him! Real cool guy!

Thursday. Our car got kept overnight, and so we had some missionaries drive us to the dealership to pick it up. Then, one of the District Leaders needed us to go and get some things for him. He was having a real bad migraine. We then went and helped out Sister Salerno with prepping for a lesson she was teaching at her Pathway class. Had dinner with the Gonzales family, and Sister Gonzales gave us some All Dressed chips! Then, we had to try and get some Weekly Planning done, but we ended up talking a lot about baptizing monthly. Each month, the Zone Leaders set a goal of how many people the Zone will baptize in that month. So, we were talking about our April goal, which was 3. We have 10 companionships in the Zone, and we were talking about how it doesn't really make sense that we are SAYING that we expect missionaries to baptize monthly, but then we set goals that are contrary to that mandate. So, we talked with a lot of the companionships in our Zone, and we have aligned our will's with God's Will and decided to set the goal for 10. Elder Davis and I have been praying non-stop about this, because it seems like an ambitious move. But the Zone is committed to it for the most part, and we know that it isn't the number that matters, but our individual effort to helping souls come unto Christ. 

Friday. We had District Meeting with the Spanish District, and we talked with everyone about Z10N (In case you don't get it, it's Zion, but with a 10). We actually had to do our entire Weekly Planning session that day, because we spent all our time caring about the Zone the night before... Had dinner with the Osumi's, and that went well. Brother Osumi isn't a member, and is kinda stubborn about it. But that's okay, we all have our own timing! We went and saw Margarita that night too, a former investigator, and set up a time to go and teach her the next day! 

Saturday. We had that lesson with Margarita, and taught her about the Restoration! She understood the Priesthood really well. It takes a lot for her to understand some things. This was the fourth time she heard the Restoration, and she finally understood the Priesthood! But, that's okay. She'll take some time, but we are trying to work with her :) A couple of our appointments cancelled that day, and then we had dinner with the Sola's! Jayden had brought his friend to church the week prior, and he was at dinner! We shared the Book of Mormon with him, and asked him if he wanted to learn more about the Gospel, and he accepted! His name is Cruz, and we are pumped to be teaching him! 

Sunday. Ahhh Sunday. 9am Church. 12:15pm Ward Council. 2:00pm Stake Correlation Meeting. 6:30pm JustServe Committee Meeting. Let's just say, I had a massive headache by the end of the day! It was fun though. I am learning a ton about meetings, what's productive and what's not-so-productive. We also had a great dinner with the Dalebout's! And yeah, Alex and Margarita came to church!

Again, I am absolutely loving it out here. Nothing could ever beat what's been going on in this area! Stars are aligning, and we are ready to establish Zion like it's never been established before! I have been particularly fond of 1 Nephi 13:37 the past couple of days....

"And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb;"

Zion is of One Heart and One Mind! We can bring forth Zion everywhere we are. And if we seek to bring both members and non-members to be more unified, we have the promised presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives. 

As far as anything in a package goes... I can't think of anything. Dill Pickle/All Dressed chips? Idk.  I need some new jeans.... Could I buy a pair? 

Thanks for all of your love and prayers! 

Que Tenga Un Buen Dia! 

Love,

Elder California Harvey

Here's a really sweet text we got from Alex right after our lesson!