Monday, 28 December 2015

December 21, 2015 - Solvang Ward

Hey all!

So, this week has been a fuuuuuuun one! First off, make sure to send my thanks to a ton of people. Holy, yeah so on Monday we got home from emails and there was a few letters waiting for me, and say thank you to the Chilliwack 2nd Ward for that pillow case! Seriously, such an amazing gift, and one that I plan on keeping forever! And then to Grandpa and Grandma Shirley, and Tara and Erinn for their presents that I got this week! It was awesome, Friday we walked out to the mailbox, and I had six packages waiting for me! I didn't open the package that says not to open until Christmas, and yes, I got the Amazon letter. there was a tear in it, so naturally Elder Lamb looked into it and refuses to tell me what it is. Thank goodness! He taped it up and it won't be opened until Christmas Eve :)

So, Skyping.. basically, we are thinking that I will be calling at 4:00 our time, so 7:00 your time, just depending on the time that Elder Lamb is calling. I thought I would just plan around him, he is planning on doing a three way Skype with his brother who is serving in Spokane! So if it isn't 4, I guess I will just call you and let you know or something. But until then, plan for 4:00 :) Really excited to see all of you!!!!

This week has been a blast! We spent ten hours this week at the Catholic Mission doing a ton of service there! That explains the picture right? Haha! They have been putting on this thing for years in which they have people in the Santa Ynes Valley sponsor families, and they buy a bunch of gifts for those poorer and needier families in the area! So, we were asked by a member in our ward to actually go and help them out, wrapping, organizing, and handing boxes of presents out to the families! It was an amazing experience! Yes, it was great for missionary work, a lot of people had a ton of questions about us and what we do and why we are here, but mostly, it was an amazing way to help out those people in our area who need it most! 

We have been teaching Rick and Vanessa more and more, and they are progressing more and more towards baptism! They are really great, and are trying really hard to become the best they can be! Vanessa's baby is due in a month, and so she is wicked sick all the time almost! Should be an interesting month for us in teaching her! Our other investigators are awesome! We were supposed to meet a referral from a member here, but that got cancelled last minute on Wednesday, so that's too bad! Johnathan hasn't been able to meet with us as much, so we can't baptize him on Saturday... We taught the Word of Wisdom this past Saturday, and that has made it so we have to push his date back at least three weeks! Christie is doing awesome, still fighting through addictions and such, but is such a trooper and is doing her best!

Zone Conference was on Thursday, and that was an absolute blast!!! Elder Lamb and I ended up being 40 minutes late, because we got stuck in some nasty traffic! Solvang is so out of the way, we are basically on our own out here, and so it was nice to see so many other missionaries and to see a ton of friends on Thursday! We talked about the Doctrine of Christ, and my favorite part was when we were able to talk about Angels, and about having the ability to be angels, and to have angels attend us! We were given a soft cover of the Book of Mormon and some pencil crayons (or colored pencils in American lingo...) and were given the challenge to read it through by March Zone Conference, marking each aspect of the Doctrine of Christ in a certain color, throughout the Book! President also gave us the challenge to circle every time "angel(s)" is mentioned! I have read Alma 30-43 so far, and angels has been mentioned 9 times already! It is awesome to know that Angels really are in our midst, and that myself, as a missionary, can be someones angel in their darkest hours! 

Saturday was awesome. We had our Ward Christmas Party, and man was it great! Definitely highlighted by the primary's nativity scene, where a little girl (dressed as a donkey) went up to the manger during a song, and took baby Jesus out and ran off stage. Hahaha. It was absolutely hilarious. Then on Sunday, we were able to go out with our Bishop to a elderly member of the ward and give him and his wife the Sacrament and give both of them blessings! It was awesome, and then we went out with his family to carol to a bunch of people! 

Yeah, so this week has pretty much been awesome! I love every minute of being out here, and I wanted to share something that I read out of the Ensign this past week! 

"Some years ago I heard a radio interview featuring Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Anglican archbishop in South Africa. He had just published a book with his daughter about the reconciliation that had taken place in South Africa following apartheid. Basically, the book’s message is that there is good in all people.

During the interview the host asked a perceptive,inspired question of Bishop Tutu: “Have you found that your relationship to God has changed as you’ve grown older?”

Bishop Tutu paused and then said, “Yes. I am learning to shut up more in the presence of God.”

He recalled that when he prayed in his earlier years, he did so with a list of requests and solicitudes. He would approach heaven with what he called “a kind of shopping list.” But now, he said, “I think [I am] trying to grow in just being there. Like when you sit in front of afire in winter, you are just there in front of the fire, and you don’t have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.”

I think that is a lovely metaphor—just sit with the Lord and let Him warm you like a fire in winter. You don’t have to be perfect or the greatest person who ever graced the earth or the best of anything to be with Him."

That was in this month's edition, by Elder Christofferson :)

Anyways, that's all from me! Let the Spirit of Christmas warm you! Just sit and reflect this week, especially during the nativity scene, and think about that little manger. Ponder about what really is the meaning of Christmas, and think about the quietness and stillness of the Baby Jesus. 

Thanks for being so amazing! I sent you a little card last Monday, so you'll get it sometime soon I hope!! Love you all!


Elder Harvey!

Service work at the Catholic Mission

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