Tuesday, 29 March 2016

March 28, 2016 - Santa Barbara

Hey All! 

This week has been a fun one! There has been a lot of funny things that have been happening. Most of them being results from my Zone Leaders or the Assistants! I did get the package that you sent! Thanks a ton! I loved the peanut butter marshmallow things! Brought back a ton of memories, and they mailed very well! Thanks again. 

So, Transfer calls did happen this week. But I have to tell the week in order. It'll make it more funny. 

So, we have done a ton of service this past week. Tuesday was all that service stuff. We went back to this cranky old lady's house. She wants this stump removed, but there's a bee's nest in it. A few weeks ago, we went to remove it and I hit the bush around a tree and Elder Hunter and Elder Davis got stung. It was hilarious. But not really. So, she said that she had the nest removed. I was skeptical. So, typical Elder Harvey move here, I went HAM on the bush at the exact same spot that I hit last time, and Elder Campbell got stung a few times by the HOARD of bees which came out of the stump. THAT was hilarious. He deserved it. You'll know why later. 

Wednesday. We helped Don out with his house again. We had decided last week that we were going to extend a baptismal commitment and either commit him or drop him. Very common strategy, and we thought that this would be our last time helping him out. So, that was fun! We saw a few less-actives in the ward on Tuesday and Wednesday, and that was good. 

Thursday was fun too. We helped another old cranky lady move! It was funny. She was freaking out at everyone that came to help her from her church because they wanted her to throw a bunch of her useless items out. I have encountered WAY too many hoarders on my mission. So we dealt with that, watched an Easter video with Don, and then had dinner with the Stowells. 

Friday. I got to plan a District Meeting on Good Friday! It was a great meeting. I asked one of our Zone Leaders to lead us in a discussion on the Living Christ. That was amazing! Oh, I have learned how to read music enough for me to memorize songs from the Hymn Book. So far, I have Choose The Right, God Speed The Right, and God Be With You Til We Meet Again. We had a short testimony meeting, and then I played God Be With You Til We Meet Again. I am still learning how to play while people are singing, so I messed up a few times. All about practicing!! I am waaaaaaay better than when I was at home. That night, we had dinner with the Holguin's. It was awesome. Love that family, and Abby is doing really well! She really wants to be baptized and already has such a strong testimony! 

So, Friday nights of transfers are funny too. Those are when leadership calls happen. The Assistants or President call those who have a new leadership assignment. So, We got a call from Elder Boyce, the new assistant. We talked for a little bit, mostly about how we were the first call he had made. And then he asked to talk to me! We talked for a little bit, and then he said "Oh, well I am already making a mistake. I mixed up the Canadians! I meant to call Elder Bradley." ...... HE GAVE ME A FREAKING HEART ATTACK. I was pretty relieved after that. I twas funny!

Saturday. Transfer calls day. So, I am.... STAYING! Santa Barbara for six more weeks, with Elder Brown. Elder Hunter is being transferred to Thousand Oaks! I am really excited for this next transfer! I am still District Leader. So that's cool! But, we got pranked. Well, I did. So, we got another call on Saturday from a random number. Answered it, and this guy claimed to be from the Missionary Department, asking for me. He told me that numerous people had been reporting me for inappropriate actions, and gave me a warning. It was really confusing. But I figured it out. Before he hung up, I realized that it was a member of the Zone Leaders Ward. He closed by saying that he was going to inform my mission president soon, and I called the number right back. Haha. It was Christian, and Elder Campbell and Elder Wickern played a hilarious prank on me. It was awesome! 

Sunday was great. I loved it. Elder Hunter and I were able to pass the Sacrament, and I felt so honored to carry those sacred emblems on the day that we remember the Resurrection more fully. It was awesome. We met with Don, and we watched the Restoration video with him! Elder Hunter committed him to be baptized. Exactly what we had planned. We planned on a "soft-set" Which means we don't set him with a specific date, but we set him with the goal that when he comes to know that these things are true that he will be baptized. Elder Hunter extended the commitment, and he.... ACCEPTED!!!! It was awesome. He is progressing now! And starting to discover how much faith he really has. 

Well, I think that is it for me! I love my Savior, I love the Atonement, and I love the opportunity I have to preach His Gospel for these two years. The Easter initiative wasn't as huge as Christmas, but we tried our best! Thanks for your testimony Dad, and I hope you all love Conference!!!!!! It's just like CHRISTmas! :) 

Have an amazing week. I love you all!

Love,

Elder Harvey.

ps- The picture is of my District :) We held up the number of transfers we've been out. Elder Wickern is on his last! 17. 
pps- My memory card is nearly full.... :( Should I buy a new one? Also, can I buy stamps?



March 21, 2016 - Santa Barbara

Howdy.

This week has been the slowest of the transfer, but we finished off really strong! This week is Week 7 of our transfer. Usually we have six weeks in one transfer cycle, but we have to account for the MTC change-up in how long missionaries stay there. So, this is the last week of the transfer! We will be getting transfer calls on Friday and Saturday, so next Monday I should know where I am going! It'll be interesting. 

To start off, our baptism had to be re-scheduled for April 23rd! :( We had a complication come up. Abby's parents are recently divorced. Her mother is returning to activity, and her father is not a member. And so when he was approached to sign his consent for the baptism on March 26th, he declined and said it was too fast, and that he thinks we are pressuring her into doing this. So, to give it a little more time and to give the Mom more time to persuade the Dad, we decided to move the date back a bit. The time of the baptism doesn't matter, we just want everything to run smoothly and to allow Abby to decide to make those sacred covenants with her Heavenly Father. She really wants to enter into the waters of baptism, so I have no doubt in my mind that this won't affect a thing! It is kind of disappointing to see this happening to her and her family. But, they are holding strong to what they know to be true, and this also gives us a chance to teach her more about the church, without rushing things! It's been a really neat experience, because the Mom is trying to make her way to the temple to make those sacred covenants!

We had Zone Conference on Tuesday, and it was awesome! We learned a lot about planning and how we can prioritize all of the work we have to do, and President and Sister Felix gave us a new challenge! By Mid-May, they want us to have a family history story to share with others! I was thinking about talking about Ralph Cluff Harvey Sr. But I was also wondering if you could maybe find any more neat stories about our ancestors? We talked a lot about the Spirit of Elijah, and about how we can help people become closely acquainted with the Church through Family History Work, and it was awesome! They gave us one of the My Family booklets, and they want us to completely fill it out by Mid-May as well! It is going to be really fun, and I already have most of it done! I just need pictures of everyone on my four-gen pedigree chart, and I will be good to go! Oh, and like memories of everyone. Would that be possible to get? :) 

But, other than that, we really struggled to get into doors this week. Things have been slower this week, but we had a great Saturday and Sunday! Sunday, we talked with 30 different people on the streets. Including Jeremy, who is a homeless man. We offered him a #Hallelujah Card and he declined, telling us about his experiences in the Marines, and his past week experience with his Ex-Wife and two kids being hit by a drunk driver and killed. He said he wanted to punch God and Christ in the face. We decided it wasn't safe for us to declare ourselves as Representatives of Jesus Christ, assuming he would just decide that we deserved a shiner. Anyways, it was really sad to see the loss of hope in his eyes and in his voice. He feels God has abandoned him, and I really couldn't say much. I would like to think that I would stay strong in such a circumstance. And I told him that, but there wasn't really anything we could say to him. We admonished him to pray. Hopefully, that makes a difference. 

I am super excited for Easter this weekend! What a wonderful time of year for us to remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am super grateful for my Savior, and for everything He has done for me. I know that He lives, and I know that through Him, I can find new life! Especially through the hard weeks, He can lift us higher and higher, and He can make us better than we could ever imagine! 

I also went on exchanges with Elder Wickern this past week. He is one of our Zone Leaders, and he goes home next week! So here's a picture of me and him.

Super crazy to hear that Kaili Vermeeren is going to the France, Lyon Mission! She will be such a GREAT missionary! There is someone in our Ward who's son is serving there, and comes home in August! Maybe she will get to know him a little bit! 

Anyways. Nothing else really. #2weekstillconference <3

Really appreciated your words about Angels Dad, and it really is true! We need to offer this good news to people, and it is up to them to accept or deny this message! Also really appreciated the quotes you sent Mom. It is so true, especially in the world we live in now. We need to be more courageous than ever before! Also, let Caitlyn know that I say CONGRATS! I am super excited for her! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUDSON. 

Love,

Elder Harvey

#Hallelujah



March 14, 2016 - Santa Barbara

Hey All!

This week has been another fun week! Of course, missions are ALWAYS fun! Haha, but I think this week has gotten me very excited for the last two weeks of our transfer! I think it definitely was capped off with the new Easter Initiative being launched yesterday! Have you watched the video yet? It is insanely good. Here's a link to the new website: 


or just type in followhim.mormon.org

Anyways, we had a pretty decent week this week! Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Davis, and that was fun! We met with this man who had received the Melchizedek Priesthood last Sunday, and talked with him about his experience! He had been less active for 65 years, and he finally came back and now his goal is to enter the temple and be sealed to his deceased wife for time and all eternity! It was a really spiritual experience, and I really loved meeting him! 

So, I made my long awaited return to Solvang on Wednesday! I had my last physical therapy session out there, and it went well! He said that I could go without my brace for a little bit, and so I did. That night, I stepped off the sidewalk and rolled my ankle a little. So we went in and rested it the rest of the night. That was fun! It's all good though. Just gotta keep moving and keep doing my stretches.

We taught Abby a couple of times this week too! She is definitely on track to be baptized on March 26th! It is really cool to see how much she already knows, and to be able to answer her questions! It has been a huge testimony builder to me, thinking that the Gospel is to be understood not only by adults, but it can be understood by young children as well! The Gospel is so complex, but it is also so simple! 

Nothing else has really happened this week.... Oh, I gave a talk in our Zone Meeting this week on the Holy Ghost! It was neat. I learned something pretty cool that I didn't know before! The gift of the Holy Ghost wasn't available while Christ was on the Earth! So that was fun to study that out. 

So exciting that Easter is coming up soon. I am definitely excited for the next couple of weeks! Gonna spread #hallelujah to the masses. I would send you pictures today, but my computer sucks and can't send pictures. But, I did rediscover a song this past week. Most of you will probably remember it... I attached it. It's funny, listen to the words! We listened to this probably 10 years ago. Little did I know..... I would be in California! 

Anyways, I love all of you and hope you all have an amazing week! Emerson, the Lord will bless you for the sacrifice you have had to make with that job offer you had that you had to turn down. 1 Samuel chapter 15 says that it is better to obey than to sacrifice! You did that right thing, and now you just need to have that Faith and Hope that God will bless you for your obedience.

Have an amazing week! 

Love,

Elder Harvey

March 7, 2016 - Santa Barbara

Hey All!

So, basically this week was a really interesting one. But, it was a really great one, capped off with Stake Conference where a member of the first Quorum of Seventy visited, Elder Cristoffel (?) Golden! He is from South Africa, and basically blew the roof off of the Stake Center!

So, to start off the week, we saw our 9 year old investigator, Abby! She is awesome. We taught the Restoration with her and her two sisters and her mom, and it was a great lesson! And, guess what! She is getting baptized on March 26th! THE LAST SATURDAY OF THE TRANSFER! :) It is going to be awesome! And, she also asked that I baptize her, which is pretty cool! This area has been flourishing for the past four weeks! We went from having one progressing investigator to, as of yesterday, having four progressing! It is amazing to see what the Lord does for us as we try our hardest, even tough we spend a while wading through trials and tribulation! 

So, District Leader life hit hard this week. An Elder in the District (Actually, two of them. But the second one was only sick for a day) got really sick and had to stay in for a couple days, so we spent a couple days with him and a Zone Leader, while their companions went to their appointments! It was nice to go out and care for this missionary, and to be able to try and help him feel the love that his Heavenly Father has for him! But, that happened, and then on Friday we had District Meeting! Only the second one that I have planned, but it went really well! We learned about how finding people to teach improves our teaching skills! It was really spiritual, and I learned a lot! Afterwards, we went and did some service, and I started whacking a bush with a big knife thing, and all of a sudden, a whole bunch of bees swarmed out, and stung the same Elder who was sick, twice! So then we had to go home and be with him and his comp to make sure he didn't have any allergic reaction.. and yeah! Tons of fun!

Saturday, I went on an exchange with Elder Van. He is an awesome missionary, and it was a ton of fun being with him! He has only been out for about two months, and it was neat (and kinda weird) to think about how much has changed for me in six months! I have truly felt a lot of growth in both my testimony and in a lot of temporal skills as well! Mom and Dad will probably be happy to know that I listen a lot better now. And skills like that is something that I am truly grateful to be learning while I am out here!

Okay. So, Stake Conference was crazy awesome. Saturday's session was cool. Elder Golden had about an hour and fifteen minutes to speak, and he went up, opened up for questions, and then spoke about the parable of the ten virgins. Something that he said though really hit me! He gave us an equation about faith. and that is that "Personal Righteousness = Faith." If we want our faith to increase, we need to increase our personal righteousness. If our personal righteousness decreases, so will our faith! It was awesome, because then he talked about the oil in the parable of the ten virgins, and how it symbolizes the companionship of the Holy Ghost! We are all formally invited to the dinner, but it all hinges on how prepared we are, and the companionship of the Holy Ghost prepares us for that dinner! With the Holy Ghost, we are sanctified, that is one of his roles as the Holy Spirit of Promise, and every time we gain the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we are sanctified again and again. The difference between those five virgins who didn't have enough oil and the five who did is the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Elder Golden said that THAT is what is going to make the difference. The righteous members of the church who have the companionship of the Holy Ghost at the time of the Savior's Second Coming will be the ones who are accepted and brought into the dinner! He was an absolute powerhouse, and it was amazing to hear him speak of his experiences. It was also really neat on Sunday to see everyone from Solvang! I was able to say hi to a lot of old friends, and that was really nice! The Stake Patriarch, Bro Millet, who is from Solvang and would feed us every Monday, was released and a new one called! It was interesting to see that happen. I don't think I ever have seen a living Patriarch be released. It brought back a flood of memories about Brother Garside, and it was nice to go back last night and read the blessing he gave me! 

Speaking of last night, we were able to go and teach Don, and I think we had one of the best lessons I have ever had on my mission! Thanks so much Dad for what you said last week about finding Faith in Jesus Christ, and how that is what changes everything, because we decided to have three lessons this week, each one on a separate member of the Godhead. Don didn't know God was real or there, or that Jesus Christ is his Savior. So, last night we taught about the Holy Ghost and how he was going to come to know if God and Jesus Christ are real, and we watched the video "Finding Faith in Christ" (The one where Thomas is basically talking around his dinner table about his experience as an Apostle). We watched intently, and Elder Hunter and I both were praying like crazy that something would pierce Don's heart. After the video was over, we asked how he felt, and he said he had some impressions! So, I asked "Do you believe that God is your Heavenly Father" to which he replied "Yes, I feel so!" And then, through tears, I asked "Do you believe Jesus Christ is your Savior and the Son of God?" and he gave the SAME ANSWER!!! It was insane. We then asked "Having gained this new faith in your Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by one holding the proper priesthood authority?" 3 Minutes. THREE WHOLE MINUTES OF DEAD AIR. It was so awkward. I loved it. BUT. He said he didn't know, and promised to pray about it! It was amazing. After our prayer, everyone was crying and the Spirit was so so so so soooooo strong! I loved it.

Well, I think that's all for the week. Sad to hear Peyton retired. One of the greatest Quarterbacks to ever play, that's for sure! And Mom, my bag is good! I would get something smaller. There is a company who makes missionary bags called "Zion Bags," and they are way smaller and built for missions. I barely use my bag too, I haven't really used it while being out proselyting since my first six weeks, I just prefer to have cards in my shirt pocket and a Book of Mormon in my hand! 

Glad to hear life is going well. Also, Dad, I had a thought. How did you get by in your mission without Preach My Gospel? What did you have to use? I couldn't imagine not having Preach My Gospel to help me out. Just curious!

Hope you all have an amazing week!

Love,

Elder Harvey

PS- This is what happens when you get sick on the mission. Don't ask me why my neck looks weird. I don't know what it thinks it's doing. Elder Davis is the one with the dark shirt. Elder Wickern, one of my Zone Leaders, is the one that looks prego, and Elder Hunter is in the kitchen!




February 29, 2016 - Santa Barbara

Hey!

It isn't very common to receive a missionary email on leap day... is it? This is pretty interesting. What are the odds that February 29 fell on a Monday? This is cool. Anyways. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AYDAN! I am so sorry that I stink and didn't send you a card or anything. But I sang happy birthday in my head yesterday! I swear! Glad you had a great day. And also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMERSON! I hope you have a great day on Friday! 18 already... When are you planning on leaving?

Okay, to answer your questions:

1) GET DOC MARTENS. I have only worn these shoes, and they look like they are still brand new! Little wear on the bottom, but they are absolutely fantastic! I highly suggest them!
2) My shirts are doing well! I will try the baking soda and vinegar for sure! 
3) I did get your parcel! Thanks so much! Loved everything in it! 

We had a pretty amazing week, looking back on it! Everything didn't exactly go the way we planned it to, but we found four new people to teach! We are way excited about all of this, especially since we are planning to drop Dan tomorrow. He didn't show for two straight lessons, didn't come to church or call us or anything, and isn't progressing, so we are going to stop teaching him. But, the Lord has prepared this area tremendously for Elder Hunter and I!

So, two of these people are potential investigators that we contacted, and are super interested in the Gospel! But we re-found a man named Art. Art is a WWII, Vietnam, and Korean War Vet, and is super knowledgeable and awesome! He let us right in when we knocked on his door. Elder Du Plessis taught him in the past, but had to drop him. Anyways, he sat us down and said he only had one or two concerns left before he could join our church! He said that he resolved all other concerns he previously had, and only needs to understand the Word of Wisdom (typical.. right Dad?) He has never prayed about the Word of Wisdom, so we committed him to do just that! 

The other cool experience comes from dinner on Saturday night! It was with the Holguin family, a single mom and three young daughters! It was fun, we sat outside and ate some food and talked with eachother. The 9 year old, Abby, liked us a lot and she ended up telling us she had made the decision a little while ago to get baptized! And being 9, she falls under our stewardship! So we asked her if she wanted to take the discussions, and talked with her mom, and we are going back tonight for dinner (I have a feeling we are going to be eating there a lot now..) and she is going to be baptized sometime in April! It will be neat to experience that, and it's really great to see how the Lord trusts us with not only adults and knowledgeable people in this area, but with ALL of God's children. Way excited.

Friday, we had a cool activity with the Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo Zones, learning all about life skills and such! It was a great day, always great to be with so many other missionaries and to see old friends! 

Don is doing great! He is praying every night, he is reading, he fasted yesterday, and he is sincerely trying to gain and discover a faith in Christ. Thanks for what you said by the way Dad, it is going to help me be able to focus more about his Faith in Jesus Christ as we teach!

Not much more to tell ya. Don used to be an animator for Disney. So he drew me Hercules. And here's a picture of my Hercules. Haha. 

Dad, they do have a lot of YSA Wards down here! Not always associated with a University, but I believe there is one in every Stake! 

Mom, we aren't doing Fast Sunday on Easter either it seems! It'll be the week after General Conference... crazy to think that is already coming up... 2/4... Are they allowed to cancel a Fast Sunday?... I thought the same thing. I would love to fast on Easter Sunday! 

Anyways. I think that is it for this week! I hope you all are doing well, and know that I love and pray for you all! Thanks for the Conair cord... I thought I had thrown it out and didn't want to mention it, because then I would look stupid! But I am glad you found it!! Thanks again for the package!

Love you all!

Elder Harvey

#8months


February 22, 2016 - Santa Barbara

Hey All!

It has been a really fun week. I know that I just emailed everything on Thursday, but I can't remember exactly what I did and didn't say... But yeah! This past week was highlighted by a new challenge given from President Felix, my first exchange as a District Leader, and giving my first talk in Sacrament Meeting as a missionary!

So, we have been teaching this guy named Dan... Kinda. He's really awesome, super ready to get baptized, but smokes. And he has bailed out on two lessons since I have been here. So that's no bueno. He also doesn't come to church, so we are thinking about dropping him. He may need a little reflection period to figure out if he really wants this. We are going to counsel about it and come to a decision sometime this week. We have also been teaching Don a lot this week! He was progressing nicely. until we met with him last night and he told us that he does the things we commit him to do out of common courtesy to Elder Hunter and I, and only because he likes us. So we had a kind of "Our Purpose" lesson with him and talked about his concerns with the Book of Mormon and Bible. It is interesting. I have never taught somebody who doesn't have faith in Jesus Christ or God, and who doesn't like reading from the Book of Mormon or the Bible. He has been making a lot of progress, has been praying every day since Friday, which is a HUGE step, so we talked to him about receiving our answers from the scriptures. He's a really great guy,  worked for Disney animation for 17 years and knows all of these famous people! Really kind, and totally has the potential and the desire to know of these things to be true, we are just trying to kindle a desire other than that of pleasing us.

On Friday, we had Zone Meeting. It was awesome! Elder Hubbard is still in my zone, so I got to see him then! It was a nice reunion. Sounds like Solvang is still doing really well! During the Zone Meeting, we talked about our Zone Goal to find the souls that angels are preparing for us to find! It is awesome. I am super excited as we focus primarily on finding these next 5 weeks. President Felix has asked that we meet a goal he has set for the mission, and that is that each companionship talk to 50 different people during a week. Walking in between lessons, tracting, just contacting 50 people every week! I am super excited to step out of my comfort zone and reach this goal. We have been promised that we will find new people to teach, and that it will help our areas to flourish. Needless to say, I am freaking pumped! My District is going to absolutely kill this thing.

Then on Saturday, I went on exchanges with Elder Campbell, one of the Zone Leaders, and went to the YSA Ward! It was awesome. We walked around the university campus and talked with EVERYONE. We made 26 contacts in one day! It was super cool. Him and I probably had way too much fun, but we both absolutely loved it! I learned a lot about really putting myself out there and really stretching my capabilities. I am really going to have to do that in order to become a better and better missionary each day!

So, on Friday I was asked to give a last minute talk on anything I wanted from Preach My Gospel, and I chose to do it on.... The Sabbath Day. I think it was an awesome first impression for the Ward I am serving in, and I was able to get down on their level a bit, talking about how I wasn't the best at keeping the Sabbath Day holy while I was at home. Dad, I told them the story about the game that I went to play in Cowichan, and that Sunday you were giving a talk on The Sabbath Day. Everyone thought that was pretty funny! I learned a lot about my own Sabbath Day Observance, even as a missionary. Making sure that I am keeping my thoughts pointing to Christ and His Atonement, and making sure not to think of the day as a list of "Thou Shalt Not's." But actually thinking of it as everything I am able to set time aside for. THAT is what makes the Sabbath a delight. Then, we also were asked to teach a lesson on The Plan of Salvation in Priests Quorum, and that went well! We had them practice teaching it to a friend, and then gave them a challenge to hand out a pamphlet during the next week! We will see how that goes. It was a great first Sunday in the Ward though!

Sounds like you all had a eventful week... My teeth are doing well! They are the whitest I have ever seen them! Gotta brush every morning and every night :) And thinking about my contacts, I think maybe we could just go with the negative prescription. I can wear my glasses more once I get them, it's hard to right now because I have two different prescriptions. My eyes are used to my contact prescription, and then I go to the more powerful one and they don't like that. Neither does my head. So maybe I should just get used to the more powerful one? I don't know. Jameson is funny. We went into primary for a little bit yesterday, and they all sang us Scripture Power... gosh. I was SO close to losing it in front of everyone. Such power behind the words that these children sing and know. Sounds like Dad has had some fun too! Dad, I do know that song! I actually sang that first part right away instead of reading it normally. Too funny!

Well, everything else is going well! We have some life skills thing that President and Sister Felix is putting on for us this Friday, so that should be interesting! Also, I found a Canada Street in my area. <3 Haha. I am doing well, the work is going well, and I am growing closer and closer to my Savior. I finished my "Doctrine of Christ" Book of Mormon this past week, and it's still true! Fun fact, "angels" are referenced to 145 times in the Book of Mormon! Pretty amazing. Angels are real, and they are preparing people for us to find and bring into the fold of Zion! (Alma 13:24)

Well, I love you all and hope you all have an amazing week! I know I will! :) 

Enjoying the 17-20 degree weather of Santa Barbara ;)

Love,

Elder Harvey!



February 18, 2016 - Surprise!!

It was just after supper on February 18th and I got an email notification.  I was busy preparing my seminary lesson and didn't really pay much attention to it - until I got another one right away.  I checked my email and it was something from Jaxon!!  (he is only allowed to email on Monday's - for one hour)  The email system for the missionaries hadn't been working properly for the last few weeks and some parents were receiving emails really late - and some not at all.  Luckily we figured it out early that gmail was the problem and we used my Yahoo account to email him during this glitchy time so we weren't missing any emails BUT because some parents were - the Mission President allowed the missionaries to email home on a Thursday - once the glitches were figured out and the email was working properly.  We had fun emailing back and forth for a bit...here's some pieces of our conversation:

Jaxon:  Hey Mom! No idea if you're home right now.... But we have permission to email for an hour right now!

Mom:  Yes!!!!!  Just finishing supper. What a nice surprise!!!  Just mailed a parcel today and picked up yours. Thanks for the bag!!  What's going on?  Seems kinda random that you just get an extra hour to e-mail.  We got a letter from Pres. Felix telling us about your call as a District Leader.

J:  No problem! When should the package get here? How has your day been today?   Nothing really going on. Just got permission from President. The whole mission did because of the server thing. He said it was from this past Monday, but we think it is because of last weeks problem. But we get to email! 
That's cool that you got a letter! Didn't know that that happened. We are emailing at UCSB (University of California Santa Barbara.. probably the biggest party school I have ever seen) right now with the Zone Leaders and some Elders in my District!

M:  Take a picture while you're there...and no partying!!! :P  How is it being a district leader?  Is it stressful?

J:  It's tons of fun! I am absolutely loving it! It's not really more stressful, but it definitely is a new kind of stress! It is awesome, learning about how Heavenly Father truly loves his missionaries and those around him. It's been amazing, and I definitely have grown in my capacity to love!

M:  So glad you're learning and growing...

Just sent you a bunch of pictures.  We got dumped on this weekend...and a snow day on Tuesday :)  Jameson was sure happy to have a "stay home day".  He wakes up every morning and says "Is it a stay home day?"  ...he doesn't like school. 

J:  Yes! I got them! Looks like a ton of fun! I definitely miss the snow. It's been pretty hot here the past week and a half.

M:  Not sure how much longer you have - just know that we love you and are so proud of you and all your accomplishing and learning and doing.  Keep being good and serving the Lord with all your heart and mind and soul.  Love you son,

Love, Mom (and dad)

This was such a nice surprise!! :)

J:  Thanks! Honestly, I am not sure how much longer I have either.... lol... 
We had this killer lesson with Don last night. Basically, he has a lot of struggles with believing in God and in receiving an answer through the Holy Ghost to his prayers, but he felt the Spirit last night! It actually made him SHIVER! It was insane! Then we made him a super bold promise that he would get an answer again that night as he read Moroni 10 and prayed to know if it was true! Probably the most spiritual lesson I have had on my mission.

M:  So neat...I hope you are writing all of this down.  I'm so grateful that you are out there, learning and growing and strengthening your testimony.  Keep on doing what you're doing because it's doing some good.  Love, Mom

J:  Love you too! Excited for your package! :) Have a great week! And I haven't missed a day, writing in my journal!





February 15, 2016 - Santa Barbara

Heeeyo!

This week has been a fun one! That's for sure. Always fun to come into an area and organize things for the rest of the transfer! And this whole being responsible thing is a ton of fun too!

So, what a District Leader does is basically leads a group of missionaries. So the Mission has President Felix, his two assistants, and then 7 sets of Zone Leaders, and then a bunch of District Leaders! Basically, it's set up like the rest of the church is. Area Seventy's, Stake President, Bishop. Just people who lead others! So I am responsible for the missionary work in my District and for the missionaries well-being as well. It's been a ton of fun! Just basically having to serve more people. Which is perfect, because that's what I love to do! We did receive some training on Thursday from President and Sister Felix and the Assistants, and it was all very informative! I loved it. One of my old friends from a couple transfers ago, Elder Davis, is in the District, so I get to go on exchanges with him! Oh, that's another thing. I have to go on an exchange with every Elder in my District once every transfer. And I am also responsible for setting up a District Meeting every Friday! Making sure that we spiritually uplift and feed each other every week. My first one went really well! Got to know everyone, and got to learn about revelation through Church Attendance. 

So, Sunday was super awesome! We had a broadcast from Salt Lake. Elder Renlund presided, and Elder Grow, Elder Hamula, and Sister Oscarson also spoke to us! This was being broadcast to California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and..... British Columbia! Yup. I basically had a church meeting again with the Abbotsford Stake! It was awesome. I actually felt like I was home when Elder Hamula said that it was being broadcasted to British Columbia! It was a great meeting. Elder Grow gave an outstanding talk about Patterns of Faith. All about why praying, reading, and going to church is an important pattern in our lives! And Elder Hamula gave a great talk on having no fear with Christ by our side. And then Elder Renlund. Ah. He gave a great talk on bringing things back to the basics. Answering questions by bringing things back to the First Vision and to the Plan of Salvation. 'Twas a great Sunday!

So, getting to know the area this past week has been a ton of work, but it has been pretty fun! We have two investigators right now. Dan and Don! Dan is a talker. I met him about a half hour after we transferred, and he is definitely interesting! He has a baptismal date of March 12th, but needs to come to church before that happens. It was definitely interesting to teach him. We need to take more control of the lesson and actually teach! He is all for the Gospel, and is like an avid missionary already! He is ready to be baptized, but... Needs to quit smoking as well. Which he knows. Just another one of those situations! 

Don is quite the timid and shy guy. He is probably the most polite and nicest people I have ever met! Never married, and lives alone in a HUGE house, and we are trying to see how interested he is in the Gospel. It seems to us that he is just enjoying the company we bring. We had a great lesson with him yesterday about prayer, and found out his belief in God is growing! He committed to praying more frequently. It was really awkward when, on Tuesday night (THE DAY I ARRIVED) we went for it and taught the Law of Chastity. Super awkward. I cannot stress to you the amount of awkardness. GAH! But, he is progressing well, and we are meeting with him tonight and better explaining baptism and why it is significant! Should be someone that we are going to set with a date soon. 

Then, on Tuesday night we went and saw a Less-Active, and after Elder Hunter wanted to go and see a member who lived in the same trailer park, and we did. She houses people who are struggling, and helps them get their lives back on track! Anyways, we met this guy named Larry, and he had a ton of questions about our beliefs and such, asking us why we don't believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and we answered all of his questions, and he wants to meet with us to talk with us "man to man." He's a funny guy, but we are super excited to start teaching him! 

So, my new address is 3755 San Remo Drive #225, Santa Barbara, California, 93105. And I would LOVE my basketball shoes if that is possible :) 

Elder Hunter is cool. He's a great Elder, from Roy, Utah! He is more introverted than any other companion I have had, and has been out for about 4 months! Do you remember Elder Hillman? The one from Hamilton? He reminds me of him. A lot. 

Well, hope that you all have an amazing week! Did you get my parcel I sent to you? I sent it to the PO Box in Wellesly (?) Island. I love you all and hope you all are doing great! Almost 8 months down... Kinda crazy! 

Love,

Elder Harvey

Elder Hubbard and Elder Harvey