Thursday, 7 July 2016

July 4, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward - Thousand Oaks Zone

#WHOOOOOOOOAAAAA #LIVINGONAPRAYER

Hey!

Okay. I love the mission. Only one thing wrong with it. Time is just too fast! Feels like I was emailing home like 5 hours ago. Crazy.

My week has been AWESOME. I loved every minute of it.

Let's see. Okay, Mom, I got the parcel! I feel bad. I forgot to tell you about the shirts. But they were good. The only that was annoying was the sleeve was shorter and tighter. I did find pants.  :) Dad, I got a card from your Mom, from the Jestes, and from Aunt Virginia, and the Shirley's! It was great. 

Tuesday was so awesome. Ah. We had Zone Conference, and it was another super spiritual experience! We had some guy come and talk to us about car safety and stuff. It was a cool presentation. They fixed all of our Tiwi's, and yeah. Then President talked about being equally yoked with the members. The main theme was that we can't expect the members to be able to do missionary work if we aren't showing them how to. Then, SURPRISE! Elder Parkinson and I sang "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go" to open up the afternoon session. It was awesome. Wanna know something cool about that? Zone Conference was on the 28th of June. When was the last time I sang in front of a crowd? Probably at my Farewell. When was that? 28th of June. We killed it. And then, the three Stake Presidents from the three Zones that were represented came and spoke to us about the vision that they have for their stakes. It was great. And then we talked about faith and becoming a true believer of Jesus Christ. All-around, it was an amazing spiritual experience and I definitely want to become a more true believer of Christ. That night, we did a new missionary exchange with Elder Palmer and Elder Ruby. I was with Elder Palmer in his area.... and....

Wednesday. Probably the hardest day of my life. Just kidding, it was fun. Just really sweaty. Elder Palmer and I worked our butts off. And also my thighs. Ladies and gentlemen... Elder Harvey biked for the first time on his mission. Yup. And I nearly died. I am way outta shape. But, we had a couple great lessons. One of them was with a member that didn't want to stop talking. But the people we were teaching became new investigators!

Thursday was a lot of administrative stuff. So not much happened this day, except for a lesson with Allison. I am not surprised she found you on Facebook! She already found Elder Parkinson and I. Anyways, we talked about Obeying and Honoring the Law. And Elder Parkinson, in lieu of July the 4th, went full American. It was awesome. She will be finishing the new member lessons this week!

Ah. Friday. What day? HUUUUUMMMPPPPP DAAAAAAAAAAY! Gah. Great day. We went to gather Stake Reports from everyone for our meeting on Sunday, and then went to Moorpark to go to the college. No one was there, so we went walking. We walked down this street that I knew a Less Active lived near, and we talked to a lady and were walking back, because we planned to see Reggie later in the day. I told Elder Parkinson that we could go by Reggie right now, but later in the day is probably better because he is most likely sleeping, and who turns the corner in his car? Reggie. We went to his house and had a lesson with him about receiving answers from the scriptures. And then later that day, we saw Madisen and taught her about the same thing, just applying it in different ways to both of them! That night, we did another new missionary exchange. Only this time, the classic duo was re-united....

Elder Bronson. Do you remember him? I came out with him, and we were in the same District for our first two transfers, and this was my third exchange with him! It was great. We talked with a lot of people and walked around a lot. Tried this new idea I had, Park Contacting. It was good, met a Spanish lady and referred her to the Spanish Elders! So that was awesome. 

Sunday. We had our 6am meeting with the Stake Presidency about the missionary work in the Zone. The Zone has 5 people who should be getting baptized this month! Church was great too. A lot of the testimonies were about faith, and about having the faith necessary to get through trials. And we talked about work during Elders Quorum. How we need to take pride in our jobs and do them to the best of our ability. Saw Alex that night, a former investigator, and talked with him. His brother is the only member in their family, and he is on a mission in Africa! And Alex just won't sincerely search the Book of Mormon and pray about it. 

Today? We are doing a scavenger hunt with the Zone, and tonight is a tailgate FHE with the ward! Should be fun, but we have to be in by 8 :(

My testimony this week has grown in sacrifice. I have had the question this week, as I have reflected on my mission thus far, and I studied this morning about what it truly means to "forget yourself." I came to the conclusion that it's a choice we make. We choose to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice. But, it isn't just a one-time choice. Rather, it's a choice we make every conscious second of our day. I was reminded of an experience I had before my first Midget game. Suresh came into our locker room, with a speech prepared. He spoke to us about the ancient Greeks, how they were some of the most fearless men to ever fight. Their army was great. And he talked about how before every battle they entered, they would land their boats on the shore, and burn them. They would do this as a sign of no retreat. There wasn't anything for them to go back to, and so as soon as the stepped onto that field of battle, they were either going to defeat the enemy, or be defeated. Suresh told us that as soon as we stepped a foot on that football field, we needed to have no retreat. No excuses. Just play your guts out. My thoughts are that we need to do the same things as missionaries. As soon as we step into the field, we need to burn those boats. We need to make sure that we give our all. No retreat. No excuses. Just soul-saving. This is something I really want to apply. I am trying very hard to let go of myself. To make that conscious choice of becoming the consecrated missionary that God wants me to become.

" 18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.

22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?

27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee." (Luke 18)



I sure do love you guys. I am glad you are doing so well! I hope you all have a great week, and know that I love you and are praying for you! 

BURN THE BOAT!

Love,

Elder Harvey​

Hooligans :)


Canada Day Feast (he forgot to buy poutine supplies)

Canadian Pride


Puzzle we sent him in his birthday parcel.

June 27, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward - Thousand Oaks Zone

#GlorifiedMailMen #"OhShoot.We'reOuttaGasElder"

Hey!

It's me again. For the 52nd time I think? That's weird. It really is quite something. Time just absolutely flies by. Thanks for all of the birthday wishes! We had a great day. Elder Parkinson made me breakfast, and we went to Ward Council and I got slugged pretty good by Jayson Anderson. That was awesome! He said "your Dad told me to give you 20 good slugs." Loved it! We went to a members house for dinner, and had some AMAZING peanut butter cup ball things. They were awesome. Then, went to a general priesthood meeting with the Newbury Park Stake. It was incredible. Such an amazing meeting! The Stake President there is such a great speaker. Learned a lot about missionary work and I was able to apply what they were trying to teach the Young Men to what I need to do as a missionary! Needless to say, it was a fantastic day! 

So, Mom, it is kind of confusing. So, I am with Elder Parkinson in the Thousand Oaks Stake. Basically, our YSA Ward covers two stakes. Last transfer, Elder Snyder and I were covering two stakes. It was huge. But, with the influx of missionaries we are getting in August, President decided to split the two stakes in half again. So, Elder Snyder is down in Newbury Park Stake with Elder Davis (the one that was in my District while I was in Solvang and Santa Barbara) and I am in the Thousand Oaks Stake. Same Ward, but the areas are split in half now! So I had to move apartments, but I still live with two other Elders now. I will get to that story later though.....

Monday. P-day was great, as always. We went to FHE that night, and it was a talent show. I wish I will send a couple of videos maybe. Some are hilarious, others were jaw-dropping. Just a great night! After we got in, we had to deal with some more transfer details. There were two areas that were made into a "car-share." That's where the two areas share a car. So, one day one companionship will have the car, and the next day the other companionship will have it. Whoever doesn't have the car? Their on bikes! So, we had to flip cars around because the cars in those areas didn't have a hitch to put a bike rack on it. Then, no one has any bike racks. So they will be getting those tomorrow.

Transfer Tuesday. As per custom, our car died over night and so we had a member come and jump us. Luckily, we only lived about a football field away from the checkpoint, so we walked some stuff over there. Transfers are stressful! After we got our car started, we drove my stuff over to my new apartment and found it an ABSOLUTE MESS. I was SO TICKED. The Elders that used to be in that apartment whitewashed out, and I guess just decided to leave it an absolute disaster. I cannot tell you HOW ANNOYING IT WAS. But, Elder Snyder and I cleaned it up, and now it is absolutely spotless. I have gotten pretty good at that on my mission. You can thank Shay Leavitt for that one. I picked up Elder Parkinson, and then we drove missionaries around all day and got everyone in the Zone situated. We have two brand new missionaries in our Zone this transfer, and they are doing great! Elder Bronson is training one of them. I came out with Elder Bronson. And yeah. It was a busy day!

Wednesday wasn't anything super special. Went up to Moorpark College for the first time with Elders DuPlessis and Rosenlof and went contacting. Got some good contacts in there. We met with Allison too. She is almost done the new member lessons! Oh, and we went to institute! Learned a lot about the Book of Mormon. President Manwaring is such an awesome teacher. He is so full of the spirit. He screamed German at us. It was hilarious. I talked with him a little that morning about getting into that kind of business, and he gave me some tips and tricks! It was great. Talked about how much he loved it, not necessarily the highest paying job, but it was the most worthwhile thing he could do. 

Thursday we Weekly Planned. Elder Parkinson ate Balut. I will attach a video of it, it is really funny. We had dinner with Jared, a less-active in the ward. He wouldn't commit to reading his scriptures, but hopefully he can start coming to church more. He works on an ambulance in LA, and usually works nights. So it's no bueno. 

Friday was District Meeting. We had a great meeting on expectations and how we can teach the Restoration more simply! We are in Elder Ruby's District again. He is an amazing District Leader! Had coordination meeting that night with Jacob, our ward mission leader! It's weird serving in the same ward with your former companion. It's like a break up where you see them everyday. It's weird.

Saturday was great. Kinda. All of our appointments fell through pretty much. We met with Ryan and talked about having good friends, and then had dinner with Allison and talked about what it takes to become a better missionary! It was awesome. Worked the pavement! 

And yeah. That's about it! Sunday was great. Thanks again for the package! I didn't get the chance to make the cake, but I will!

So, today is quite a sacred day. Last night, one of the talks was on Joseph Smith. It was powerful as he quoted Doctrine and Covenants 135:

"1 To seal the testimony of this book and the Book of Mormon, we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o’clock p.m., by an armed mob—painted black—of from 150 to 200 persons. Hyrum was shot first and fell calmly,exclaiming: I am a dead man! Joseph leaped from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming: O Lord my God! They were both shot after they were dead, in a brutal manner, and both received four balls.


 2 John Taylor and Willard Richards, two of the Twelve,were the only persons in the room at the time; the former was wounded in a savage manner with four balls, but has since recovered; the latter, through the providence of God,escaped, without even a hole in his robe.

 3 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel,which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!

 4 When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God,and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood.”—The same morning, after Hyrum had made ready to go—shall it be said to the slaughter? yes, for so it was—he read the following paragraph, near the close of the twelfth chapter of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, and turned down the leaf upon it:

 5 And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity. And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful;wherefore thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness, thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father. And now I … bid farewell unto the Gentiles; yea,and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood. The testators are now dead, and their testament is in force.

 6 Hyrum Smith was forty-four years old in February,1844, and Joseph Smith was thirty-eight in December,1843; and hence forward their names will be classed among the martyrs of religion; and the reader in every nation will be reminded that the Book of Mormon, and this book of Doctrine and Covenants of the church, cost the best blood of the nineteenth century to bring them forth for the salvation of a ruined world; and that if the fire can scathe a green tree for the glory of God, how easy it will burn up the dry trees to purify the vineyard of corruption. They lived for glory; they died for glory; and glory is their eternal reward. From age to age shall their names go down to posterity as gems for the sanctified.

 7 They were innocent of any crime, as they had often been proved before, and were only confined in jail by the conspiracy of traitors and wicked men; and their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to“Mormonism” that cannot be rejected by any court on earth, and their innocent blood on the escutcheon of the State of Illinois, with the broken faith of the State as pledged by the governor, is a witness to the truth of the everlasting gospel that all the world cannot impeach; and their innocent blood on the banner of liberty, and on the magna charta of the United States, is an ambassador for the religion of Jesus Christ, that will touch the hearts of honest men among all nations; and their innocent blood, with the innocent blood of all the martyrs under the altar that John saw, will cry unto the Lord of Hosts till he avenges that blood on the earth. Amen."

Powerful words. The Prophet Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. He was the Prophet of the Restoration. And we have a prophet on the earth today. I know this. I preach this. And I love this gospel. Dad, the Gospel truly is about change. If we don't change our ways, we can never make it into the Kingdom of Heaven. We are all imperfect. We are all fallen. And the only way to return to Heavenly Father's presence is by changing through the Atonement! I'm all in. And honestly, I am just "glad to be here." 

I love you all. I will burn a shirt on hump day. Also, I am so thankful for the country we live in.
OH CAAAAANNNAAAADDDAAAAAA!

Thousand Oaks District

Not sure what they're doing...room mates...

June 20, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward - Thousand Oaks Zone

11/9... #MegaZoneHasFallen #HiHo!HiHo!It'sOffToTheTempleWeGo!

WHAAAAAT!

Hey Erryone.

This was a fuuuun week! 

So, before we start. Dad. Please stop almost dying on your bike. That would be great ;) Just kidding. Glad you're okay though! And congrats to Aydan on getting her license! I remember when I got mine. Now I am living it up in Cali! Gotta love it. Also, Dad, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! You probably think I forgot all about it, but we'll see about that..... :)

Also, I just heard about the fires in Santa Barbara! That place gets hit literally like every year with a bad fire. Oh, and I was going to send a package today. Would that be okay?

So, I am being transferred....Kinda. They split our ward. So, Elder Snyder and I will be staying in the same ward, but just two different areas. I will be Zone Leader in the Thousand Oaks Zone with Elder Parkinson! I am suuupppper excited! I love it here, and I am going to love it for another six weeks! It is getting way too hot for my liking though. We have hit record temperatures. Ugh. Yesterday it was 103. SHOOT ME. 

Monday night we had dinner with Tiffany, a recent convert in our ward. We also had to cut our P-Day short because we were going to the temple! So we went out to see people and yeah. That's about it. Stopped in on FHE and talked with some members! Tonight for FHE they are having a talent show. Should be awesome!

Tuesday we didn't do much other than trying to find! It was great. Wasn't too hot, and yeah. We saw Allison that night too, and probably had the best lesson of the transfer! Just really spiritually and we were really unified as we taught. We talked about Prayer and Studying the Scriptures. Great topic for her, and it seemed to have really helped her. She got her Patriarchal Blessing on Sunday! So, I shared the story about me falling asleep while Emerson got his. Oops!

Wednesday was the day of all days. We went down to the LA Temple! It was amazing. I loved the session, and I loved the people we went with. It's this couple in the Ward, Josh and Jade. Josh served in Edmonton! And yeah. It was weird to think though that the last time I drove past it, we were all together as a family! It was an amazing day. I had my goals confirmed to me by the Spirit as I sat in the Celestial Room. Just an all-around great experience! I took a lot of pictures!

Thursday we helped with Food Share and had Weekly Planning. That took up most of our day. Had dinner with Derek Batt and his family! It was awesome. They gave us some pocketknives that I am sending home in the package! 

Friday we went to Elder Haines' District Meeting. It went really well! We talked about Accepting Differences and how to extend commitments more effectively! After the meeting, we had 4 lessons! One with Jake Jordan, a Less-active member of our ward. Had a great lesson about Christ! He is the Newbury Park Stake President's son, and so we saw him too! Then we went and saw Ryan Davis. He is always interesting to meet with. Doesn't really understand a whole lot. We watched a Mormon Message with him! Then we met with Emma, our Recent Convert, and had a great lesson on Tithing with her! She is so solid. Basically teaches us! Then we met with Hyrum, Kailie, and Andrew! Some members who haven't really been coming to church. They are trying to get into the music industry, so they don't really make time for church! But Kailie came on Sunday!

Saturday was rough. We had no set appointments, and so we walked. A lot. And it was SO HOT. High 90's. Yeah, it was tooooonnnnns of fun! Took some pictures that Jameson would like. I will send them in a separate email. 

Sunday was great too. We had Church, then a linger-longer afterwards! Church was all about Fathers. I really liked it, because I really like Dad. Haha! Yeah, I am always appreciative of what Dad does for me! Kevin came too! It was great. Then had dinner with Allison, right after she got her Patriarchal Blessing! We talked about the Liahona and made the comparison to our Patriarchal Blessings. It was great. 

As for requests for my birthday, I don't think I really have anything else. A Shoe shining kit would be awesome. That's pretty much it though. I don't need much. I should have just bought garments at the distribution center in LA. My bad. 

Anyways, I love you! Thanks for everything you do, and all the prayers given in my behalf! June is almost over, and I am almost repeating days as a missionary! Ahhh!

Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Harvey

NEW ADDRESS:

133 W Avenida De Los Arboles #212
Thousand Oaks, CA  91360-2971

Elder Harvey and Elder Snyder

Jade, Josh and Elder Harvey



A wall of missionary tags!

View from the LA Temple

Elder Snyder and Elder Harvey at LA Temple






Preaching to the "Minions"



June 13, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward

Hola!

Another blur of a week. I am loving it here still. We have been busy, as usual, and we are constantly improving ourselves and also our area!

First off, Mom's questions. Mostly about what I want to look into doing. So, I am not exactly sure. I really do want to work for Seminary and Institutes. But I know that that probably won't be enough income for my family. Then again, I haven't really had the chance to look into it much. But, basically I would love to double major in Religious Studies and Math. That would be awesome. That way, I can just teach. Or do accounting. Or something else other than just seminary! I don't know why, but after reading through my Patriarchal Blessing, it's something I feel, at the moment, is the right path for me. Maybe I won't make the most money, but I feel that is what God wants me to do.

The week was great! We started off by playing Kickball for FHE on Monday night. That was a blast. I love our Ward! They are a ton of fun. A really diverse group of kids, but everyone gets along for the most part! 

On Tuesday we had MLC. It was another spiritual experience! We learned about how we can make our Companionship Studies more effective and how we can better find people to teach. I learned a lot about how I need to be more diligent and how much responsibility I really do have as a Zone Leader! It's amazing the trust he has in all of us. And I love every minute that He asks us to serve His children. That night we also played Ultimate Frisbee! 

Wednesday was great. We went to go and see a bunch of people. No one was really home, but we worked the areas that we were in and contacted some people on the street. One of the Elders in our apartment has been struggling, and so that night, we got permission to go on a blitz with their companionship, and let the struggling Elder go and teach three consecutive lessons! They did awesome, and got us a new investigator out of it! His name is Miguel, and we will be seeing him on Wednesday night. 

Thursday was weekly planning! We also got to go to lunch with Jayson Anderson. He is awesome! And.. my dream has finally come true. He took us out to a gourmet hot dog place! IT WAS SO GOOD. I loved every minute of it. Oh, just so you're not worried, I lost five pounds this week. And I am trying to run more and more :) Gonna get under 300 by the end of July hopefully! That night we also had a meeting with all of the Ward Mission Leaders in the Thousand Oaks Stake, and President Moffat also joined us, the first counselor in the Mission Presidency! It was great. Talked a lot about what members can do to further the work in the stake, and spoke a lot about prayer and fasting. So, all of the Ward Mission Leaders in the stake are going to be fasting next month on that same day as our next meeting, and we will come to the meeting ready spiritually to discuss the work of the Lord! It was great.

Friday was our Zone Meeting! We always do these after MLC, so that the missionaries are informed about what their leaders have been discussing and what changes are happening because of it. So that was great! It was my first Zone Meeting that I was conducting, and President and Sister Felix showed up! It was great. We learned a lot, and our Zone is ready to grow and become better and better. We did service too, at a pioneer museum. Just setting things up for a celebration they were having! 

Saturday I was on exchanges with Elder Ruby. He is an amazing Elder! He was an assistant for six months, and I learned a lot from him. I think the biggest thing I learned is that I need to be more light-hearted, and less light-minded. And so I have been studying up on that lately, and I have some plans to put what I have been learning into action! It's going to be great. I am becoming a more and more consecrated missionary by the day, and I love it. We saw Kevin that day! Taught the Plan of Salvation, and he really liked it! He has had some relatives pass away, including his father, so it was a great lesson for him! 

Sundayyyyyy. We had such an amazing Stake Conference with the Newbury Park Stake! It was fantastic! Highlight for sure was our intermediate hymn, The Spirit of God! We sang it loud and proud. I have been hearing a lot of talks lately about letting things go and leaving your nets behind. And so, like I said before, I am trying to apply that. It's been fun. Gotta put both feet in! 

Anyways, that's about it! We are going to the temple on Wednesday, and they have a visitor's center, so I might buy some things if that's okay! Also, if it isn't too late, I think I asked for some pants.... Yeah, I ripped a couple pairs in the past year. soooo, I could use one or two more pairs! If that's okay. I can sew one of them though. Maybe even both! We will see. 

Jameson, I have a video for you! Happy Birthday buddy. I think you look 5! :)

I love you all. Thanks so much for all of the prayers, I really do feel them pushing me on. Here's to an awesome Week 6! We will see if they transfer us or not :)

Love,

Elder Harvey





June 6, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward

#AnotherMonthBitesTheDust

Heyyyyyyoooooooo.

Okay. Fun week. I am sitting here thinking about what the heck even happened this past week. It's all a blur! I love hearing about your experiences at home! Maybe first I will answer all of the questions you asked...

So, the name of our Zone. We have a nickname for it. It's the "MegaZone." Why? Because it used to be two separate Zones, but they combined the Newbury Park Zone and Thousand Oaks Zone into one, because of dwindling numbers. We are getting another missionary today in our Zone, he went home in October for medical reasons, but is coming back out! So, basically, we cover two stakes. From the very South of the mission all the way up to Newbury. It's a blast. Our ward has been growing the past little while. We have people coming home from BYU and such, and it is always a hassle because we see people walk in and think "I don't know any of these people..." But it's good for the ward! I did get your package that you sent me, and I am very grateful for it! It was a fantastic package, and the contacts work! As for the other Elders we live with, we get along great with them! They are a joy to be around, and we were actually able to go on exchanges with them this past week! I was with Elder Shaw in the Family Ward. It was tons of fun! Elder Shaw has only been out for three months, but he is doing great! Really has a great desire to do the best he can do. We contacted a lot of Less-Actives that day, and it was great. Got yelled at a little bit, but it comes with the tag! Dad, it's great to hear about your weight loss! It's a lot harder to lose weight out here, but I have lost about five pounds this transfer. And, CONGRATS ON CATCHING A FISH! It's about time. ;) Oh, and the mission right now is focusing on Using Time Wisely (Chapter 8 of PMG). Tomorrow during MLC though we will be having a council on Finding People to teach and Companionship Study. Should be fun! 

So, on Wednesday, my 11 Month Mark, we saw two of our Recent Converts, Tiffany and Emma! It was really awesome. We watched this Mormon Message called Origin with Tiffany and talked about always receiving a witness that the Book of Mormon is true. And then talked about Learning and Serving in the church with Emma. They are both doing very well and it's great to see them progress in the gospel! We also saw Maddison, a less-active in the ward. We taught her the Restoration, and then invited her to our institute dinner that night, and she came! It was awesome to be at institute again. Our teacher, President Manwaring, reminds me of Brother Murley! But it was a good night.

On Thursday we saw Ryan again, he is a recent convert/less-active of ours, and has some mental capacity issues. It is always fun to try to keep things as simple as possible! We taught about the Word of Wisdom, and then went and tried by some people, finished our reports for the Stake Presidencies we were going to meet with on Sunday, and then... I lost my tag. We drove around everywhere trying to find it, and it turns out, it was on my bed.... Hahaha. 

On Friday we went to Elder Willis' District Meeting, and we talked about having a more effective Companion Study! Saw Allison that afternoon, and talked about Learning and Serving in the church, and then tried by some more people, and then exchanged with Elder Willis!

I was with Elder Willis on Saturday.. and the morning was interesting. We went to go and get some gas, and our gas card was declined... So, we called the Elder over the cars in our mission, and he didn't get back to us for three hours, so we went on foot. Oh yeah, it has also gotten crazy hot this past week, so that was no bueno. But, finally he called and told us that someone had tried to steal the information from our card, and so the bank cancelled it and is sending us a new one! But, I had to use some personal funds to put gas in our car. I'll get reimbursed though. We went and had a lesson with Alberto, and that was interesting. Taught about Tithing and figured out that he really doesn't know how the Spirit works, and so we will talk about that next time! We then went and had a lesson with Alec and his two friends. Elder Ruby and Elder Hunter met with Alec and prayed with him, and Alec invited us back! So we went and taught the Restoration in their backyard. It was sweet. One of his friends, Robert, seems to have the most potential. They all are really searching though. It was a great lesson, and I loved being with Elder Willis! 

Yesterday, we got up at 5 and met with both Stake Presidencies and reported on the missionary work going on in their stakes! One meeting was at 6am, the other one at 8:30. Then, we had our ward meeting at 11:30. Basically, we were in meetings all day Sunday. It was tons of fun!

Anyways, I think that is it from me! Sorry I didn't attach any pictures last time. The computer was being dumb! And Dad, I will send a list of Canadian Candy and stuff I really want! 

Love you all. I know this church is true. I am doing the right thing being out here. 

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you." (John 15:16)

I have been chosen as one who represents the Lord, Jesus Christ. And I am forever grateful for the trust he has put in me to do this amazing work.

Love,

Elder Harvey
#CanadianHumility #BecauseWeDon'tHavePride

I forgot, I have had some thoughts about schooling! So, BYU has this thing called the Pathway program, and basically I can go to University and so general things online, and then go to school. I was thinking of maybe doing that for a year, staying at home, and then maybe heading down to BYU? What do you think?

List:

I reeeeaaaallly want some Ketchup Chips. 
ANd some KitKats.
And KinderSurprises. 
AND Gift Cards
Smarties
And I am not sure what else. I can't remember what I like! :(


May 30, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward

.......11?......

Hey Everyone!

Man, this week has flown by! It feels like it was just yesterday that I was emailing. It's funny how quickly time passes out here. Especially since y'know... on Wednesday I will be out for 11 months! Crazy.

Boy. Our week started with an exchange with the Assistants! It was awesome! I was able to go to Ventura with Elder Boyce, who is going home this transfer! We hit Ventura College in the morning with a couple of members, split off, and got work DONE. It was awesome. I contacted about 27 people in an hour! Had some quality conversations, and got some phone numbers for the Elders! We had a few more appointments. One with Jonah, and we talked about Family History work. Speaking of that, did I tell you that I found a name to take to the temple next month? Did I even tell you I get to go next month? I am very excited to head down to LA and see that beautiful temple! But, that was my Tuesday! The fun part was, we had another exchange the next day.

Wednesday. I was with the infamous.... ELDER HUNTER! It was sweet. I got to be with my old companion! He's grown a lot the past few weeks! We basically just went around and tried to see all of their LA's... which was easy. Their Ward List is only 11 pages long. And over 75% of them attend sacrament meeting. So, we knocked on a lot of doors, but that's okay! It was nice to spend a day with him and just had a blast doing it! Elder Hunter and Elder Ruby got a new companion on Saturday too, Brother Beck, a mini missionary from inside the mission. Brings back memories of me with Elder Edge and Elder Hillman! :)

Thursday we had our Zone Activity with Simi Valley, and it was all about family history! We all had to do family history, pick out a story about one of our ancestors, and then present it! The trick was, we had to dress up in the era of the ancestor we chose! I chose Richard Coope Harvey, and his story about when he was called as Conference President in the Southern States Mission by President J. Golden Kimball! It was a great story to share, and we had a great time! I will attach a picture of what I wore, I tried my best!

Friday and Saturday were both pretty much the same day! We went around and tried to see a ton of Potentials and had a few set appointments. Friday we met with Ryan and talked about agency. And Saturday night we met with William, who the Moorpark Sisters has been teaching, and had a pass off lesson with them! We are meeting with him tonight, and so we are hoping to see some progress with him! Then we met with Alberto, one of our investigators who has been hard to catch lately! We re-set some expectations with him and he now fully understands our purpose. He doesn't necessarily see the necessity for baptism, but we are praying he will!

That's pretty much it from my side. I am really trying to find more effectively and to be able to follow the Spirit more as I am doing that. We are both trying to use our time way more effectively, and getting out of the car a lot more.

Our budget? We get 135$ a month. And it depends on the week, how much I spend. If I need a lot of toiletries, or cleaning stuff, it's usually a bit more. But I try to spend no more than $30 a week. We are only allowed shopping one day a week.

My password? I can't remember right now. But if I do, I can give it to you! It shouldn't be too big of a deal though. I'm sure no one thinks I am doing anything like that :) (we keep getting a notification from Jaxon's facebook that he's sharing his horiscope...just something that he signed up for before going on a mission - that is still activated)

Elder Snyder and I get along great. We are really good at talking openly with each other and coming together to get work done! I am enjoying my time with him, and I really am trying to learn all that I can from him, so that I can step up my game and learn to take the reins of this huge area. He goes home next transfer, and most of the Zone Leaders in the mission are going home in the next few months, and so I am really going to have to step up!

Hope everything else is going well back at home!

I love you all. Things are going great down here. I couldn't be happier, and I couldn't be having anymore fun than I am! Being a missionary is great, not only for the experience, but for the chance I have to be engaged in such an amazing work! Cherish every missionary opportunity you have. It truly is such a sacred work we are doing.

Love,

Elder Harvey

Dressed as Richard Coope Harvey

May 23, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward

#ChefGusteauatYourService

Hey Alllllll

So, awesome week that happened. A whole lot went on. We worked hard, and were blessed for it by finding four new people to teach! :)

Before I go into the week though, I just wanted to say that I understand the situation you are going through Emerson. It is hard, and it may not seem like it is fair, but the Lord needs you in His timing, and I know He is preparing people to be taught by you in the place you will be sent to at the time He will send you! And, just think about it. Maybe they don't want you to be waiting for six months with a mission call like I had to. They probably just want you to be able to get your call and head straight out, with no delays. I know I wish that that happened with me. But, I also wouldn't trade anything in the world for the experiences and knowledge I have gained in the past year and a half! Keep going buddy. Know that "all these things will give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all." (Emerson got word that he'd have to wait a little longer before getting his mission call)

So, let me start with Tuesday. We have been trying to work a lot with the members in our ward, and so we had a couple of member lessons. We have been going over the Restoration with everyone, and committing them to sharing a doctrine of the Restoration with someone each week! It's going well so far, and we have gotten a referral from it! We had a lesson with Kevin too. I forgot to tell you about him last week, but he came to church last Sunday. The Elders we are living with are teaching the family and told us about Kevin, who is YSA age! So, we invited him to church and he came, and then we had a Restoration lesson with him! We soft-set him for baptism, but haven't been able to see him since. The other Elders told us that his mom said that we spooked him by inviting him to be baptized. He didn't come to church, but we are still trying to stick with him! 

That night, we went through a new missionary training with the brand-new missionary in our Zone. It was fun, we talk about the Stripling Warriors and apply their story with us and our mission! There are a lot of similarities. But, after that, we go on an exchange with the companionship, and I got to go with Elder Peart (the trainer)! He came out a transfer after me, and it was cool to get to know him a little better. Right after the training, we went to their coordination meeting with his ward, and after the meeting, we got out to our car and it was dead. Of Course. So, we get it jumped and go home and all was fine..... until the next morning, when it was dead again. We took it into the shop and had Elder Haines and Shaw pick us up and we went to work in their area, after a lunch at Arby's. I messed up this time too. I accidentally used my Credit Card for the meal.... So there may be about 22 dollars on the card. Sorry! I won't make that mistake again. 

Thursday we went and did a service project at the institute called Food Share, and it was a ton of fun! Basically, we set out food and a bunch of less-fortunate people come and get some free food! We worked with the Zone Leader's in Simi too, Elder DuPlessis and Rosenlof! It has been fun getting to see Elder DuPlessis so much lately. Always a great thing to see old companions! That night, a Recent Convert took us out to eat, and we had a great lesson with him on families. 

Friday was our Zone Meeting, where we bring everything we learned from a six hour Mission Leadership Conference and condense it into a two hour meeting, and tell everyone about changes being made and training that needs to be done. This one was interesting though. We changed our Standard of Excellence, and we re-defined what an Other Lesson is and what a Member Present Lesson is, and what a New Investigator is. This was so we could eliminate the fluff that happens in our mission when everyone is counting Key Indicators differently. So, that was interesting. A lot of feedback from everyone, but everyone also seemed to understand! We had a lesson with Ryan after that. Ryan has some autism, but he is awesome! He gives all of the missionaries nicknames, and I finally got mine! He said I am the "big guy from the little mouse movie." Or, in other words, Chef Gusteau from Ratatouille! We talked with him about the Restoration, and it went really well! We also had dinner that night with Allison, another Recent Convert, and taught about our divine potential as sons and daughters of God! It was a great and spiritual lesson, and we got a referral from another member that was there with us! Score! 

Sunday we had a great meeting, talking a lot about temples and about living a Christ-centered life! I learned a lot, and I know how I can better improve. I have been in a huge slump lately, teaching-wise and just going through the motions, but I need to improve and really enhance my desires! So I am going to be doing just that! We also got to go out of the mission! Haha. Our Ward Mission Leader lives in....Malibu. And that is about 10 minutes outside of our mission, and we had dinner at his house! It was an awesome drive, and such a pretty town. Next time I will make sure to remember my camera! But, on our way home, we got three texts.  Two of them with referrals. Some Elders from a different Zone taught some YSA guy named James and soft-set him for baptism, and so we called him right away and are meeting with him on Friday. The Sisters in Moorpark are teaching a YSA guy too, and they are going to pass him off to us tonight! It was awesome to see that the Lord is blessing us for putting work in. That night, we tried by some potentials, and we got to the last one of the night. Allen. We went to his house, and his brother, Francisco, was home, and we had a good discussion with him! His sister has been going to church and apparently wants to be a Mormon, and he was really interested as well and told us to come by on Tuesday or Wednesday after 4! So there is some huge potential there as well. He said he wants to start going back to church and wants his mom to also start going back too. So a potential family for the other Elders to teach!

Other than that, everything is just going awesome! I love the Lord, and I know He loves me. Mom, have you ordered my contacts yet? Just wondering. I only have one extra pair left, and I have been wearing these ones for 4 months now. Probably should change! Dad, congrats on the weight loss! I am trying to do all I can with my ankle, and I have lost 5 pounds this past week! I love it. Hopefully I can lose more! 

I hope everything is going well. Keep being amazing, and know that I know that the work I am doing is the Work of the Lord. I am a representative of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know that He backs me in every righteous action I do. I love Him, and I know He loves every single on of us! Keep being strong, and keep fighting trials. That's what we are here to do! 

I love you all, and I thank you for everything you do for me. Have a great week! Good luck with the presentation on Sunday!

Love,

Elder Harvey

May 16, 2016 - Westlake YSA Ward

#whereami #bestdaysofmylife!

Hey All!

So, things have been very fun this week! It is always interesting to get used to a new area. Our are is huge, and very confusing. A lot of running around this week that will not be happening (hopefully) this next week! 

So, Monday night was my last night in Santa Babylon. And, naturally, we got into a bible bash. So, we went to teach Richie and his friends, and they invited this other guy named Alex, and in our heads, we were like "sweet! Someone else!" Turns out, he is a teacher from their church and invited himself to our lesson to show us what's up. He didn't really know what he was talking about, and just kept quoting the same scripture in John chapter 5. Something about obedience is the only way to please God or something. But, other than that, it was a good lesson. We didn't have much time to talk, so we asked if they had any questions! They all had great questions on faith and on the Restoration. Hopefully Elder Stewart can continue to do a good job with them!

Then, Transfer Tuesday hit. So, this was the first time I had been really transferred without a transfer meeting. I don't know if I told you, but what we do is we have a "Transfer Train." What happens is there is a truck and a trailer to put everyone's stuff into, and a bunch of cars following the trailer. One of the "trains" starts in Westlake and works their way North, and the other starts in Santa Maria and works their way South. It's really interesting to see happen! On the way, there are a few checkpoints, and so I got to see some people that I haven't seen in awhile. I got to Westlake\, dropped my stuff off at the apartment, and we went to work! Elder Snyder and I were in a tripan with ELDER HUNTER for a few hours, while he waited for his new companion to finish some things. So we went and taught a few lessons. Yeah, we got into another bash and basically bore testimony and left. People can be really annoying. It is really sad to see so many people hardening their hearts, and closing their minds. The rest of our day was spent running around and helping the missionaries settle in! So that was fun.

Wednesday was great. We had lunch with a member, and then went and tried to see a bunch of people. It didn't turn out too well, but we did talk with a lady named Tasha. She was going through a divorce, and we ran into her on the street, and just started talking with her about Christ and about the Restoration. Handed her off to the Sisters, and hopefully she will still be interested! 

Thursday was my first MLC! It was a load of fun, especially with the District Leader's there. Packed room. We talked a lot about Using Time Wisely (Chapter 8 PMG) and about how to set attainable goals and plan effectively. It was great to come together as the leadership of the mission and to discuss those things that will help elevate our mission! We also set new Standards of Excellence for the mission (shhh! Don't tell anyone! #secretcombinations) which are guidelines and goals that every missionary companionship should be able to attain in their respective areas! Hopefully it will help our mission to gain a higher vision and to start being more realistic! We also set our baptismal goal for our Zone for the month of May, and it is 4! 2 of them have already happened, and 1 of them passed her interview and is being baptized on Friday! Really exciting things are happening in our Zone. That night, we also set a Zone Goal, to help our missionaries baptize monthly.

Friday was District Meeting. We had a good meeting where we set goals for the transfer and set expectations.We taught a man named Ryan in the afternoon. He is mentally handicapped, and so we have to keep things really simple. We talked about Prophets and their role in our lives. Then, we met with Allison, a recent convert who is trucking it! She is awesome. We talked about Tithing and she has no problems with that. We had a District Leader council, talked about our Zone Goal, and then planned for this week! 

Saturday we taught Pedro, an investigator who was supposed to be baptized last transfer, but dropped out the day before. We read 3 Nephi 11 with him, and talked with him about his concerns. His mom is catholic, and he wants to spend time with her, and so he doesn't think he can join our church and still spend time with her. He really liked 3 Nephi though. We planned our Zone Meeting for the upcoming week, and then went to one of the baptisms we had on Saturday! It was great. Had a lesson on the Word of Wisdom with Emma, another one of our Recent Converts, and she is so awesome. She was really prepared, and is sharing the Gospel with her friends through her example. 

Church on Sunday was awesome. We have a great ward, and a fantastic Bishopric! They were very welcoming, and we had a linger-longer after church. I love YSA work, but I can already tell that it is going to involve taking care of some occasional drama. 

Anyways, that was my week! Anxious to hear about Emerson's call. I think if it isn't California, it will be Brazil. He'll be speaking Spanish no matter what though! Sorry Aydan didn't pass her test, it happens! I didn't pass my first time either. It's really interesting how much the mission changes you. I feel like a whole new person. This week, I have really set a goal for myself to get rid of my negative language. Follow-Up with me on that one!!!

I love the Elders we room with. They are a joy to be around. Thanks for all of your support! I love you all. Mom, we don't have very many dinners with YSA work, but that's okay. I am working on losing this belly again! Excited to see that the Raptor's made the semi's, and I am excited to hear that Brother Hardy is in the Stake Presidency! He will do awesome! Thanks for the package Dad, I loved reading those stories and I know what I am going to do for our activity in a few weeks. Press Forward, and always know I love you!

Love,

Elder Harvey

Elder Harvey and Elder Hubbard

Tri-Pan
Apartment - Westlake

Apartment - Westlake

Apartment - Westlake

Westlake District

Westlake District

Elder Snyder and Elder Harvey