Monday, 7 November 2016

September 19, 2016 - Erringer Ward - Simi Valley Zone



Elder Harvey here. Again. I never know how to open these dang emails. Except for saying that this week has been really really good. One of the best weeks I have had on my mission. This whole training thing is a blast, and I am just loving the area I am in! We have been teaching a lot this week, found my family of five (more on that in just a minute) and I absolutely love the ward I am serving in. Oh, and yes Dad, I am still a District Leader! I am loving it though. Makes the calling a lot more interesting :)

So, I am going to skip Monday. Not much happened, just a typical Monday before transfers. A lot of running around. We had dinner with the Huse family, my absolute favorite family here! The husband, Dan, served in Vancouver actually! And, even better than that, HE SERVED IN ABBOTSFORD. So cool. He knows Bob Murley! I found that out my first day here, but have always forgotten to mention it! He also knows the Irwins, and other older families. But, we had a great last night together, Elder Alder and I. He lives only a couple of blocks away, so I still see him pretty often, but he was definitey my favorite companion.

Tuesday morning was agonizing. I had to wait....and wait.... and wait... JUST TO LEAVE THE APARTMENT. We didn't have anything to do, so it was quite boring. But, we finally made our way up to the Mission Office in Oxnard, and had a lunch with all of the new missionaries, trainers, and even got to see some of the missionaries that were returning home! I got to say goodbye to Elder Dorius, one of my very good friends, and he was also my first Zone Leader. Anyways, lunch was good, and then we started our training meeting! It was good, reminded me a lot of the transfer meetings we used to have. Which was nice, I really miss those meetings. We got split off from the trainees at first, had some instruction from the Assistants, Elders Weiss and Summers, and President Felix, and then went in to get introduced to our companions! I was super excited, and I got the biggest missionary there! His name is Elder Campbell. Love him to death. He is from Blackfoot, Idaho, just like Elder Leavitt! Actually, Elder Campbell played football with Elder Leavitt's brother! Cool little connection. So, we met, got some more training, took pictures, and headed home! We had dinner that night with the Armstrong's, and went shopping and unpacked and all of that fun stuff. It was a good night. 

Wednesday though. That was a booked day. We introduced Elder Campbell to the Hull's, had a council with the Zone Leaders and the other District Leader about our Zone Goal for this transfer, and then went and helped Brother Huse paint his doors! Had dinner with some members. It was funny, we were waiting at this restaurant for the couple to show up, and another member from a different ward came and offered to buy our dinner for the four of us! Super sweet. It was with the Darley's, and the husband loves hockey and the wife actually just started doing LuLaRoe! Went out and tried to see some people, did some inspired knocking and such, and ended up talking with a guy named Steve for about 40 minutes. Not insanely interested in the Gospel, but loves being kind to the missionaries. That night during planning we were able to set up a lesson with Jesse for the next morning, and that morning with the Hull's, we got permission to teach a couple that we weren't allowed to teach in the past the next day as well! So we had a bomb Thursday planned out!

So, our lesson with Jesse went super well. We taught about the Plan of Salvation (he actually taught it himself. It was sweet. These lessons are super easy when someone has already taken them like four times!) and the Sabbath Day. The Sabbath is hard for Jesse to live right now. He is starting up a plumbing business, and it seems that when everything is going up and he is going to be able to come to church, something happens and just goes completely downhill. But, he has come to church many times before, and I think he knows how important it is to live the Sabbath Day as much as he can. It's a tough situation because he can't just drop the business and let his family suffer for it, and he has to work Sunday's in order to keep the business going! So, we have the go-ahead to baptize him. He understands the doctrine behind the Sabbath, so everything will be golden! We did our Weekly Planning, and then had our lesson with Marissa and Stanley! There's a complicated divorce situation going on there, and so we can't set them with a baptismal date until a divorce happens, and then they can't be baptized until Stanley and her get married, so it's kinda complicated. But it will work out! We were asked to teach the Law of Chastity, and so we did! It went well, and they became our two new investigators!

Friday we had our first District Meeting of the transfer, and it went really well! We learned about invitations, and then the Zone Leaders introduced our Zone Goal for this transfer! We are really focusing on the baptismal invitation, and so we are trying to invite someone to work towards baptism every day! And yesterday, as part of the goal, we all fasted to know how may people we could have set with a date in two weeks, and our goal is four! Exciting times. We had district lunch afterwards, and then tried by some more people to no avail, and then planned out a solid Saturday!

We got a call Saturday morning from Brother Huse, and he needed help putting up his greenhouse! So we were able to go over there and help him out. After that, we went out to work and saw the Vasquez family. It was cool, because I took a wrong turn, and then the thought came to my mind that a family on the ward list lived on the street I was now on, and so we just went by and saw them! We only got to talk with the husband, and shared about temples and eternal families, and invited him back to church! We will see how that one goes. Went by some more people, and then got a text around 5:30 from Jesse, and he wanted us to come by that night and teach him! So we got to go by and teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was fantastic! Then we went for a late dinner with Jayson Andersen (he was in the YSA ward I was in) and his girlfriend who lives in the ward! It is awesome to be able to see him so much. 

And finally Sunday. Church was pretty good, and I was able to conduct a baptismal interview for a 16 year old girl named Dani right after! She was awesome. Super prepared, and very excited to be baptized on Saturday! After that, we had another lesson with Marissa and Stanley, figured out that we were going to start teaching three of their kids as well, this time teaching the Restoration to just the two of them! And let me tell you, this was one of the most powerful and spiritual Restoration lessons I have ever been a part of. The Spirit was so strong. As I shared my conversion story to the Book of Mormon, and talked about how it helped me to know why I needed to go on a mission, I felt the spirit strongly testify to me that THIS was the family of five I had been praying for. That these were people I was sent to individually touch and bless. Stupid crying gene hit me hardcore too. But it was an amazing lesson! Then we had a very awesome General Priesthood Meeting for the Stake. I will attach a link to the video they shared. One of my favorite Mormon Messages about Canada :) 

And that's my week! The Lord is working wonders. He really is. I am in awe as He guides me to where I need to be exactly when I need to be there. I am not doing anything special, just following the Spirit when I feel it's guidance and opening my mouth! He is filling it. He is preparing the people to hear this glorious message of Restoration. And I am able to stand here and watch it unfold right before my eyes. This Church is true. The work truly is rolling forth. Nothing will stop it, nothing will hinder it, and Zion in her beauty will continue to rise!

I am glad to hear about Emerson's mission papers being submitted. And excited to hear that Zoe is serving in Winnipeg! 

Love you all!

Elder Harvey

Elder Campbell & Elder Harvey

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