Saturday, 18 February 2017

February 6, 2017 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone

#Moroni9:6

Hey,

This week has been good. Nothing too amazing happened. But, we are working and working and working and struggling to find people to teach. Which is fine, it's good for us. But we are definitely working our butts off! 

Monday was a good day. We played some frisbee with the District, and then we had dinner with the Gholdston's. Good time, and then the lesson we had planned for that night fell through, and we even had President Felix coming. The lady cancelled while we were in dinner, so President was already there when we let him know about the cancellation. So, we got to talk with him for a little while! 

Tuesday was a good day. We did service for an elderly lady in the ward. Bunch of yard work and stuff. So that was fun. We went out and tried talking with a lot of people, and then had dinner with the Smith's in our ward. After that, we went and taught Logan about the temple and the priesthood, and that was fun. He is a real good kid. Then we drove to Oxnard and had an exchange with the Assistants in their area!

Wednesday I was with Elder Taufotafua. We came out together, and have never served around each other, and so it was really fun to be with him. In the morning, we spent the first two hours in a twenty yard area. Two separate people wanted to bash with us, and then we were able to find Ben! He was going around looking for people to help his friend, Angela, find some people to come and do some free dental check-ups at the college. He then told us about some of his struggles he is going through, and we taught him about the Plan of Salvation! It was cool, and later that day we went and Elder Taufotafua got his teeth all checked and stuff. Then we went and taught their solid investigator, Mary. We taught her the Plan of Salvation as well, and she was golden. She is getting baptized at the end of the month. 

Thursday we had our Weekly Planning, and then we tried talking with a bunch of people, to no avail. Had dinner with the Francom's, which ended up making us really late to our meeting with Bro. Meru. But, we still got to meet with him! 

Friday we had a district meeting all about prayer. It was awesome! I love learning more and more about how essential prayer is and how we can come closer to our Heavenly Father through prayer. I was grateful for the comments Dad made in his email. It's sad to hear things like that. But, I know that life for me is always better when I am in a constant communication with my Father in Heaven. My thoughts are the same as Dad's. You need to always be in a spirit of gratitude. Nothing else really happened that day. More of the same. Taught Logan....well, he taught us the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Law of Chastity. He passed all of the baptismal interview questions when we went through them. Just didn't come to church....again. We will see if he can make his date. It's tempting, but he hasn't shown that he is converted. And, "We Preach Repentance and Baptize Converts." So, the will of the Lord will ultimately be what we submit to. 

Saturday was about the same as Friday. Nothing really working out for us, no one really interested. But, we kept trucking through. 

Sunday was the same haa. SuperBowl. Which is fine. Church was good. And yeah, nothing too exciting. Just a good, edifying Sabbath! 

Oh, and that SOUNDS LIKE SUCH AN AMAZING GAME. I will have to watch the highlights when I get home. Of course, one of the best games in history happen when I am on my mission.....

Answers to questions:

1) Schedule is going well. Nothing too amazingly different. Really loving the change in P-Day though. 
2) I can have EFY shirts and stuff. But, if it's a hassle to send out then don't worry about it. I only have 4 1/2 months anyways. But, if you want to, the Jaguars one would be fine. I just don't know what will fit me or not. 
3) And yes, Elder Hunter and I get along great. I love him a lot, you've gotta after 17 weeks! 

Well, let me share some thoughts with you about Hope:

So, with the struggles we have been having with finding, Elder Hunter and I have been feeling discouraged. I have been studying a lot about finding and how we can have more hope in the promised blessings of the Lord where He promises that if we do all we can, we shall be blessed. Elder Maxwell says:

"Significantly, those who look forward to a next and better world are usually 'anxiously engaged' in improving this one, for they 'always abound in good works.' Thus, real hope is much more than wishful musing. It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine."

Difficulties happen. Discouragement comes and goes. But we have no need to be discouraged! Things will always work out in the end. Whether in this mission, in this life, or in the life to come. We just need to keep working. Keep moving forward. Success is of the Lord! And if we do not receive it, we can sure as heck try our hardest. Moroni 9:6 also gave me comfort:

"And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God."

Now is the time! Let's go to work! 

Love you all. Thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers! Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as well. Did Mom and Emerson get my letter? And did you get my package a while back? The one with my shoes in it and mini scriptures? 

Love,

Elder Harvey

Riding in the car with Elder Harvey & Hunter



January 30, 2017 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone



#SleepingBeauty

Zzzzz.......

There have been some huge changes this past week in our daily schedule and the key indicators that we report into Salt Lake! We had the missionary broadcast on Wednesday, which was very enlightening and very spiritual, and basically meetings Thursday and Friday. 

Glad to hear everything is going well at home! Weird that this will be my last SuperBowl on my mission. Let's go Pats! My return date is June 28th. And haven't really noticed anything with any of the political matters going on! It's really died down a lot. 

So, Monday I was still sick. Went to District Activity, and just sat there and wrote some letters. Forgot to send them though so expect a letter sometime soon! One of the Sisters mentioned that I looked like death. Always good to hear that. Didn't really do anything else the rest of the night.

I thought I was going to feel better by Tuesday, but alas, I didn't feel any better. Which sucks, but it was a good day. Ended up going on a blitz that night with Elder McCurdy, because there was no way I was going to be able to go to dinner AND teach Logan. So we just hung out at our apartment. Got some different drugs, and things were better by Wednesday morning! 

On Wednesday we were able to sit in on a meeting of the Missionary Executive Council, broadcast live from Salt Lake. It was amazing. They went over the Doctrine of Christ, as they did last year, and expounded on some of the things they taught. I learned a lot about how I shouldn't treat the Gospel of Jesus Christ as five separate "steps." Rather, they are all one Gospel! Sometimes we think that we need to focus on one things at a time in order to become a better person, but you can't focus on just one thing! If you increase your faith, you are going to repent more, and you are going to desire making covenants. No matter any of the steps, they are inseparable. I loved learning from Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, and Elder Andersen. And then, it was announced that we have been given more flexibility in our daily schedule. Nothing too big with that, we are just able to choose where we put some things like Companion Study, and every mission in the world is able to adapt the schedule however they like in order to meet the needs of the mission. Also, our P-Day schedule was changed! So, we started P-Day this morning at 8! Got all of our cleaning and laundry done, and then went and played some basketball. Not doing anything too crazy, don't worry. Just running around really. I need to get some sweat in! Also, they reduced the number of key indicators that we report. We now only report people: Baptized and Confirmed, With a Date, Who have come to sacrament, and new investigators. It's a pretty big change, seeing as the previous schedule has been in place probably since Dad has been out (so about 10 years ago.......). That night, we went and saw Logan again and taught about the importance of church attendance. He seems like he is progressing, but things just are moving slow. He doesn't have a real desire to come to church, he would rather play video games. So, we will see what we will do. He has a testimony, and he knows that the church is true. Just hard because he has no parental support. 

Thursday we went to MLC to discuss the changes. It was a good meeting! Then, we planned Zone Meeting that was supposed to take place the next day. Oi Vei. Not a lot of planning at all. 

Zone Meeting went well on Friday. Spirit was there, no one really had any questions. After Zone Meeting we helped Sisters VanDerWatt and Barnum move into a new apartment with Elder and Sister Floyd. So that was fun! I love moving people. Then we had dinner with the Single Sisters in our Ward, and they are just a riot. So funny to be around. Then we had our Weekly Planning Session. AND WENT TO BED AT 9:30. I think I forgot to mention that. We plan in the morning now, and so it's being encouraged to go to bed anywhere in between 9:30-10:30. Awesome stuff. 

Saturday was a money day! We were able to meet with William and Anthony finally. Elder Peart and I taught them my first day, and haven't been able to meet with them since! We finally grabbed their attention, and they didn't know that there were more lessons. William is around 40 and Anthony is 8. Anyways, we taught them about the Plan of Salvation! William loves the Book of Mormon, says that he feels the spirit whenever he reads, and that the doctrines taught within it have helped him with many aspects of his life the past few months. It was amazing to hear someone so prepared by the Lord to accept this message. He agreed to praying, and to being baptized once he finds out for himself that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we hold the authority to baptize. However, he lives JUST outside of our area, so we are going to have to pass them off to another set of missionaries. Nothing else really happened that day. A lot of rejection. We went again to follow up with Sirkku, that Finnish lady that we gave the Book of Mormon to, and her husband answered the door again. He wasn't too happy. He got all up in my face and Elder Hunter was ready for me to get a black eye. It was interesting. He got so mad, and I just laughed. We are just knocking on a door, and he said we were interfering with his relationship. So, whatever. Not going back there again! Very hard hearted. 

Sunday was our Ward Conference, and President Jordan introduced the Plant, Nourish, Harvest focus areas for the Stake for 2017. I love it so much. Bishop LaBass spoke on repentance, and I learned a lot from his talk. I also studied about diligence and hard hearts in my studies. Just a spiritually intune day! Oh, so we got a random text from a guy. Couldn't open it, but long story short, ended up calling him and teaching him about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration! He was interested in missionaries coming over and talking with him, so we got his address and sent it over to Ventura! Just a neat little coincidence....not! 

But yes, it's been a great week! Nothing too exciting, but that's just the way we like it! Hopefully everything is going well, and that you all have an amazing week! Love you all! 

Love,

Elder Harvey

Elders Hunter, McCurdy, Emerson and Harvey



January 23, 2017 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone

#GoodbyeDrought #AndTwentyPounds....

Blech. 

I have been so sick the past three days. It hasn't been fun. Some stomach bug. It's starting to go away though! Haven't been able to keep any of the food I eat down at all. So, I haven't really eaten in the past three days either. It's fun! I have lost twenty pounds since. Well, more like 18. It's been okay though. 

This week, we actually saw a lot of miracles! We could have used some of our time more wisely, but you live and you learn! Nonetheless, Logan is SET on being baptized on the 18th! More on that later.

Yes Mom, my quilt is holding up. Some of the ironed on parts are falling off a bit, but that's only because of the amount of times I have folded it. I would suggest making the quilt a little longer though for Emerson. Did I mention that there is an Elder Emerson in our Zone now? He's from Spokane. 

So. Monday, we didn't do much. I took a nap for P-Day, and then we had an awesome dinner with the Woolley's. Really spiritual time with our dinner message as well, and both Brother and Sister Woolley used their scriptures in their talks yesterday! Then, we got some things settled for transfers the next day. 

Tuesday. Transfers went well. Nothing too exciting happened. Except for the fact that some Elders didn't leave information for the new Sister's coming into their ward. So we had to deal with that. And find them a new map. We had dinner with the Batty's that night too! 

Wednesday we got some things ready for the Zone Goal this transfer. Nothing is really changing with it, but we started making some planner inserts so that people could remember it more often. Got a call in the afternoon from Sister Mohlman, and she needed some help really quick. So, we went by to help her and she invited her neighbor to come and help too! His name is Jason, and he's a real good kid. We talked with him about the gospel a little bit, and he started reading the Book of Mormon a week or so ago. So, he agreed to having us stop by and talk with him about it a little more! Then, we went to the CVS to print some pictures, and Darren was there! We haven't been able to catch Darren home at all, and he got a new phone so we couldn't make any contact with him. But now we should be able to meet with him this week! Oh, that night I looked into UoL, and I have my application all ready to go. I just need my transcript sent to them. Any ideas? 

Thursday we did Weekly Planning, and then got a lot of things done for some planning that we needed to do. We also stopped by Logan, and had a lesson with him........AND HIS DAD. It was something else. Logan asked him to say the opening prayer, and then made the comment that he had never heard his dad pray before. Then, we had a half hour conversation with Brother Guthrie about his history with the church. It was awesome! And we also talked about Logan's baptism, and he said that him and his wife would get behind it if Logan wanted it. HUGE BLESSING. You have no idea how much we have been praying for something like this to happen. We also bore powerful testimony about the divinity of the Church and how his family needed to come and see for themselves. That they would not be an eternal family without the blessings of the temple. Very bold. But very loving. Anyone could have felt the Spirit there. We went tracting before dinner, and it was cold and rainy and just dismal. No one wanted to really talk with us, and we were ready to head in. Stopped at one last door, and there was AWESOME music going inside. I couldn't even hear myself think. But, we waited for a few minutes, break in the music, and knocked. We have been wanting to try this new finding approach, where we announce ourselves not as "missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," but, we say: "We are representatives of Jesus Christ, and He has a message for you. May we come in and share this message of peace and joy?" So. I decided to whip it out. I say the thing, with great power, and they invite us in, and we share with them the Restoration. It was AWESOME. They had jsut moved from Guatemala, and so we gave their information to the Spanish Elders. They were Luis, Tony, and Dylan. Very neat experience! We also were able to see Kathleen that night with Brother Meru, and give her a blessing. We will be seeing her tonight to teach her some more! She has so many health struggles.. It's so sad. 

Friday was District Meeting. IT WAS RAINING LIKE I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. I think I mentioned it last week, but the entire Zone is one district. So that makes things huge. President and Sister Felix even decided to come! It was a good meeting on working more effectively with the members. Huge thing that we need to get going, seeing that our Stake's goal is 96 baptisms on the year. Went tracting a bit, and yeah. 

Saturday morning. Sick to my stomach. I did not feel good, but I shrugged it off. Had great studies, and went out to work!  Had some lunch, and for some reason it killed me. I was done the rest of the day, throwing up and just not doing well. Went to a baptism for a child of record. Supposed to start at 4, and no one was there. I kid you not, we were looking at Brother Meru's watch, and at 3:59.30, about 30 people stormed the room and every seat was taken. It was something else. So, still not feeling well, and we had a dinner with a Part-Member Family. Ugh. Take one for the team. They made Pastrami sandwiches. Which isn't fair, because that's become one of my favorites. Got home, and it didn't stay down for very long. Saturday night was a rough one. Woke up every two hours or so, went to the bathroom, and went back to bed. Very uncomfortable. Oh, that day we also were graced with a visit from the Hurst's.... It was fun to see them. The Zone Leader Ward in Santa Maria is now Arroyo Grande 1st ward. So, I need to go back there! 

Sunday morning. Not feeling any better. Only went to sacrament meeting. Still had a dinner with a family that afternoon, I didn't eat very much. Half a sandwich and a bag of sunchips. And then it didn't stay down either. Tried eating a banana that night. Didn't stay down. I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME. But, Sunday was a HUGE storm. Bigger than the one on Friday. It just ended a couple of hours ago. 

Well, yeah. That was my week! Things have been going well. Like I said, miracle filled week. But, we are trekking along, and I am going to drink a bottle of Pepto Bismol today! 

Sure do love you all. I have been studying a lot this week about the Book of Mormon and finding out for myself why it is so important to my testimony. And, the fact of the matter is, the Book of Mormon has revealed truths that were lost with the Bible. And, if the Holy Ghost testifies of truth, and the Book of Mormon has those plain and precious truths restored within its pages, then I believe the Holy Ghost has an easier time testifying of truth while reading the Book of Mormon! I have also studied a little bit about Charity this morning, and I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes with you:

"In your relationships with family members and others, look to the Savior as your example. Strive to love as He loves, with unfailing compassion, patience, and mercy.
As you continue to receive the Savior’s perfect love and as you demonstrate Christlike love for others, you will find that your love increases. You will experience the joy of being in the Lord’s service. The Holy Ghost will be your constant companion, guiding you in your service and in your relationships with others. You will be prepared to meet the Lord at the Judgment, when He will reward you according to your dedication to His work. " (TTTF p. 28)

Charity. So important, yet ofttimes, so overlooked. 

Love you all! 


Elder Harvey

Oh, and this week will be a fun one. We have a worldwide training broadcast, and there is going to be some big changes in how we do missionary work supposedly. So, stay tuned for that one next week! Actually, you'll probably see it in church news before Monday. President keeps telling us to buckle up.

Newbury Park Zone










January 16, 2017 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone

#YouReapWhatYouSow #TheTrinamicDuo

Sorry for the late email! We went down to Malibu Lake this morning, to get a surprise from Dad. Might as well talk about it now. Well, Dad, I know one of your favorite TV Shows is M.A.S.H. And, it just so happens that the site where they filmed the show is in.....Malibu Lake. Just a short little mile hike into the place. So, attached are some pictures of what the place looked like. It was fun, maybe we can come and visit it if we come to the mission in the summer. 

This week has been fun! We set a goal to raise the bar this week, and we definitely did that! We have talked with a lot of people this week, and we were determined that, no matter what transfers bring, we were going to set our area up for success. So, we went to work! Our Zone somehow managed to talk with 535 people this week. Which is a lot. At the beginning of the transfer, we were talking with about 285 people per week. It's been really neat to see the progress in not only our area, but everyone else's! 

Monday we chilled at a members house for P-Day and played some ping pong, pool, and shuffleboard. It was actually so much fun. And then we had dinner at the Weinman's! They are so awesome. We did our little dinner message we have been doing with everyone, and they seemed excited to share their favorite scriptures! 

Tuesday was pretty good as well. We went tracting a bit, no one was terribly interested. Went back to go and see Sirkku, but her husband wouldn't let us talk with her, and told us to not waste our time! So, we just went and knocked and knocked and knocked. Had dinner with the Kimball's that night, and then had a lesson with Logan! We decided to go over the baptismal interview questions with him, and he nearly passed! The only things he didn't know were some things that we haven't been able to explain. He didn't show for his lesson on Saturday, and then didn't come to church. So, we will hopefully see him tomorrow night and get his rear in gear. His parents might be the only thing that could possibly hold him back. We really need to get his parents involved, because we really don't want to baptize a kid into less activity. Then we went to go and follow-up with Mark, and he was just about to leave, and so we rescheduled for the next day.

Wednesday was awesome! We went tracting a lot again. But somehow, there was different success! We talked with about 22 people, and found 4 people that said that we could come back another day. Definitely a nice change. We went by Mark again, and his Mom told him a lot of negative things about the Church, and it turned Mark off. So, that was fun. We boldly testified to him about the restored gospel and left it at that. Had dinner with the Meru's, and then Brother Meru came with us to go and see Kathleen. She is doing okay. Her father is still in rough shape. Should be able to start teaching her again this week!

Thursday was an okay day. We did Weekly Planning, and then for some reason after lunch, I got something in my eye and literally couldn't open it for two hours. It was insane. And then it just went away. It was something else. Went by some people, but no luck.

Friday was a really good district meeting all about the Restoration. It was a good one to be at. And then we tried by a lot of people, and tried to do some street contacting, but to no avail. Had dinner with the Gholdston's, and then struggled to find something to do. No one out. 

Saturday we got transfer calls at 1pm. Nothing happening with us. Elder Hunter and I will be staying and doing our 3rd transfer together! After this, we will have spent 19 weeks of our missions together. Crazy. That night we had Stake Conference. Elder Gaverette of the Seventy presided. He gave some bold counsel on missionary work and how we need to be better as a stake in bringing souls unto Christ to be baptized. It was awesome. He asked all the missionaries in the audience about PMG, and left it for anyone to answer, and so naturally I shouted out the answer from the back row. Classic. Then we gave everyone their transfer calls. Our Zone is undergoing a lot of changes, and the biggest one is that there is only going to be one district in our Zone. So, that means that every week for District Meeting, it will basically be a Zone Meeting. It's going to be fun! 

Sunday was more of Stake Conference, and getting some things together for transfers.

Life is good! Good to hear about everyone at home.

So, Mom, my plan seems to be to do Pathways when I get home. So, I would be able to do everything online. Now, there is an accelerated Pathways program that I can start when I am in the second semester of Pathways, and that would allow me to do BYU-I online. That would allow me to do all of my Generals online, without actually moving to Idaho. So, I was thinking about that. UofL could be a good idea though. I have permission to look into things here, so I will go and look into UofL. Might as well apply, right? Maybe G&G would allow me to room there. 

Well, I sure do love you all! Thanks for the prayers for Logan. We really appreciate it. We are excited to get that kid into the font! This is the Lord's errand, this is His Work, and I know that without a doubt. Here is the theme for this transfer:

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." (2 Corinthians 9:6)

You want more? Do more. Let's go to work. 

Love,

Elder Harvey

Oh, I did buy shoes.... Now, the only pair I could find were 96 bucks.... BUT. They are shoes I will wear at home. They can be polished.




Landing site

January 9, 2017 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone

#Whirlwind

Gosh dang-it.

MLC. Two Exchanges. Zone Meeting. Interviews. Meeting with Stake President.

The least I could say is that this week has been wild.

I like what Dad said about not having as many meetings on his mission. We have had so many things going on this transfer, we are lucky that our area is doing so well. But, still, it needs to be better! 

Well, Mom, I couldn't find any shoes because of my wonderful feet, and the terrible selection of shoes at Ross and Target. Annoooooyyyying. My shoes should work though. It's been raining all weekend though. So I slip like crazy. But maybe I will buy some shoes if I get transferred next week. My watch is doing well! It should last me the rest of the mission. Shirts are working wonderfully. 

So, Monday was the same old stuff. Nothing exciting happened. We went to dinner with the Batty's that night. He was just called as the new Elders Quorum President, and he's really excited to go and rescue the Less-Active. So we talked about that a little bit. We have also been going around and having the members share with us their favorite scriptures, and then committing them to sharing them with their friends! It's been so much fun. People have been really latching onto it. This is the week when we follow up and keep this thing going! Logan and his family didn't show up to the LaBass' for FHE. His Mom got strep throat again. But we had a good visit with Bishop and his wife! 

Tuesday was MLC. I always love those meetings. This one was interesting. We practiced facilitating a council and then had a council on obedience. But no one wanted to talk about specific things that we could be more obedient on. So nothing really came from it, but that's okay. We also got notification that the way the MLC does exchanges would be changing. In the past, we would have the companionships change and then go to their separate areas. However, now, Zone Leaders will be bringing both sets of missionaries into their ward to work there! It sounds confusing. But it makes sense in my head. It will be a fun change. We also talked about repentance, and that was awesome. Had dinner that night with the Francom's, and then had a lesson with Logan on the Word of Wisdom. He wanted it to be short, so we kept it short and he committed to living the Word of Wisdom!

Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder DeGraw again. It went okay. We had a good time. I ran a mile that morning on the elliptical in their gym. Went out to Malibu Lake. I am curious to know if Dad knows what is in Malibu Lake? I will send him pictures next week. :) Anyways. Not much happened. We exchanged back early so Elder Hunter and I could plan Zone Meeting, and then we had dinner with Brother Meru. Then off to exchange again! 

Thursday I was on exchanges with the Assistants! I was with Elder Swenson in Ventura. Him and I click real well. We talked a lot about obedience. Contacted a lot of people, walked around a lot, and yeah. Had a lesson with one of their Less-Actives that actually turned into her committing herself to reading two chapters of the Book of Mormon a day! And yeah. It was a great day. Much needed as well.

Friday was Zone Meeting. We had an awesome council on obedience. Got a lot done with that one and addressed some specific changes that needed to take place in the Zone. The Assistants came to that one too. It was a good one. Elder Hunter talked about raising the bar, and I talked about repentance. It was scary, the spirit that came into the room. You could really feel the love that Christ and Heavenly Father had for everyone in that room. We then went contacting at an apartment complex that Elder Peart tried last transfer and he didn't find success. Well, we talked with 11 people, and found a really solid potential named Mark! He is a Senior in High School, and was really interested in the Book of Mormon and coming to our church instead of his in San Jose! That night, we then went and did our Weekly Planning Session. 

Saturday morning we set up for our Zone's interviews with President and Sister Felix, and then greeted them. Did our studies. Oh, that morning I made the best eggs of my life. I crack the eggs in the bowl, put some salt and pepper in it, some cheese, and then....... honey and sriracha. They don't taste like eggs at all. It's incredible. I love it so much, I will make them when I get home. SO GOOD. Our interviews went well. Nothing too crazy happened. Then we had lunch with some Elders, and went to work! Nothing was really working our for the most part, and then we had to get together our report for the Stake. Had another short lesson with Logan. Read about Nephi and Laban. Fun times. Not sure how much he is progressing, he didn't come to church. We will see. 

Sunday morning. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetings. We met with the Stake at 8. That was fun. I love President Jordan. He is so funny and loving, but really bold at the same time. He has some high ambitions for the Stake this year. 96 baptisms. He put together a presentation to show the Stake, and in it he shows the Because He Lives video. It's unthinkable. Unfathomable. 96 baptisms in a year in a Stake? It's going to be hard. But holy, is it ever going to be worth it. I love the drive. Then we went to Ward Council, and had church. President and Sister Felix decided to come to our ward on Sunday too! So that was cool. They will be in town for Stake Conference this weekend too. Had dinner, and then watched the YSA Broadcast. It was neat, I got to see some old friends. Enrico, the EQP in the YSA Ward when I was there, expressed his appreciation to Elder Parkinson and I for sharing some scriptures with him when he needed it. And I also got to see Allison, one of the RC I taught! It was great.

Well, the weeks never seem to slow down, but this next one is one where we will be raising the bar, that's for sure. What we are going to do this week is something that hasn't been done in our Zone yet, and we are ready to set the example for these missionaries. Dad, thanks for the reminder about loving correction. I have been trying to do that, but sometimes, people look for the hate in even the most loving phrases. I have been hearing that people are feeling like we are focusing too much on their faults and improving what we are bad at, and that they have a problem with that. But, Elder Hunter and I are trying our best to be the most bold and loving that we can be. It's time to step up to the plate. I have been working harder and harder than I ever have before, and I am ready to hit a home run sometime soon. Even if I go out swinging, I will step off that plane knowing that I played a full 9 innings. 

Sure do love you all! I will see if I can find shoes today. We will see. Have fun freezing your butts off! 

Love,

Elder Harvey

PS: Elder Hunter says he is sohrry for making fun of your accents.

About to brave the rain...

January 2, 2017 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone

#YouGottaWantIt

Dang. 

I think I say this every week, but it feels like I JUST EMAILED. Just when I think that life couldn't move any faster, I now have less than six months on my mission.

Well, it hasn't been as crazy as a week. But, it still hasn't been terribly great for proselyting. We tried though, and we have set some goals and made some plans on how we can make these last two weeks of the transfer as effective as ever.

Well, Monday night, a member got us a gift card for dinner, so we had dinner at some BBQ place. And then Logan rescheduled our lesson for the following night, and then we exchanged with the Spanish Elders! I was with Elder Portillo again. 

Tuesday was decent as well. Elder Portillo hurt his ankle last Friday, so we didn't do much that day. In the morning, we had an appointment for their car to be getting fixed, and when we got to the dealership, it turns out that they didn't set an appointment. Made a few calls, and we got our car into some other place and it was done by the end of the day. So that was fun. That night we went in to teach Logan about the Restoration, but somehow we got onto the topic of the Word of Wisdom. He had some concerns about it, and we were able to boldly testify of the blessings of living the Word of Wisdom. Elder Portillo, being a convert, bore a powerful testimony about it as well. It has been really neat to see Logan change. In that lesson, he told us that he received a spiritual witness about the Book of Mormon and about Joseph Smith! And in his closing prayer, he prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for us being able to help him progress more than any other missionaries. It was powerful, and we have invited him and his family over to our Bishop's tonight for a FHE! Should be great. 

Wednesday was going to be a great day. Honestly, we weren't the most diligent in the morning. We could have been a lot more peppy and willing to work. But, we paid the price when we tried to do a U-Turn and mis-judged where the curb was. We ended up scraping, and so I went to reverse and it pulled the bumper guard off. No huge deal, but we had to file an incident report and figure out how to get it fixed. Then, all of our appointments cancelled or fell through. So, we decided to go and see some Less-Actives! We had no luck with the first one, and so we decided to knock on the doors around the house. Not interested, Lutheran Pastor's wife, and then the third house was a success! We talked with this lady named Sirkku. She is from Finland, and she had never really heard about the Book of Mormon before. So, we explained what it was all about, and we explained about how it can strengthen our faith in Christ and we also bore our testimony about prophets and how the true Church of Jesus Christ is one the earth today. She felt the Spirit hardcore. Before she closed the door, she told us that she was going to read the Book of Mormon, and have her 21 year-old son read it too. Oh, and she started proclaiming to us about how much she felt the Spirit. "LOOK AT THIS! I have goosebumps! AH! I cannot talk anymore. Happy New Year!" It was awesome. Definitely a tender mercy of the Lord.  

Thursday we did our weekly planning session, which was awesome. But, during studies that morning we got like a bazillion texts from the Assistants. One of them was saying that President Felix has called a MLC to happen on Tuesday (tomorrow) so that will be interesting! We ended up going on a mini exchange with the Spanish Elders again, because of Elder Portillo's ankle, and I stayed with Elder Portillo. So, nothing huge happened with me that day. But, the other Elders had an amazing lesson with a LA in the Spanish Unit. 

Friday's District Meeting went well. We went to the other District in our Zone, and the Assistants ended up going to the other meeting. We learned about patience, contacting on the street, and about how to use the Book of Mormon to respond to objections. Spirit-filled meeting, and I learned a lot from it. Then, we had lunch with the Assistants. It was awesome! I love those Elders. They are so much fun, and we were able to talk about how our Zone is doing. Oh, then I got approval to look into applying to school........GAH. Weird. So I did that. And our lesson with Kathleen fell through too.

Saturday we went tracting in the morning, and everyone was pretty much not interested. One person said that they wanted us to come back though! Our appointment with Kathleen also fell through that day, and so we started on our Zone Evaluations, and had dinner with the YSA Elders. Then it was New Years Eve! So, naturally, we went to bed around 10. Celebrated the evening with a nice early sleep. 

Our meeting time changed to 11am, so we had meetings at 9:30. Church was everything I needed to hear and more. I have been really pondering about desires and goals lately, and how I can enhance my desires more and more and truly desire the salvation of souls, and that's all sacrament meeting was about! It was fantastic! We had dinner with the Snow's again, and it was Sister Snow's Birthday, so that was fun. That family is one of my favorites. We then had a message with them where we invited them to share their favorite scriptures with us, and then committed them to sharing those with a friend! 

And yeah, that's about it. Want a suggestion for a New Year's Goal? Well, you know what my suggestion will be! You need a missionary minded goal. A great goal is to invite at least one person a month to hear the gospel message as presented by your full-time missionaries. It isn't terrible hard, and it doesn't have to be one of your close friends or anything! Share the gospel, step out of your comfort zone, meet new people and INVITE INVITE INVITE. Missionary work is the best way to not only increase the testimony and happiness of others, but also of yourself! 

Like I said before, I have been thinking a lot about desire and diligence. And I came across this one scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 123:12-17

"12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

 13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—

 14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.

 15 Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things.

 16 You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.

 17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

Verse 14 is a personal favorite. And 16. Be earnest. Waste and wear out your life in the service of God. When it comes down to it, NOTHING else matters. Not our jobs, not our favorite TV show, not our bank accounts, and not our sports teams. Only God is what will truly matter after this life, and so why not wear out our lives for Him who has truly given us life? Why not attend to these matters with great earnestness? And how shall we do this? Well, "a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm." It's no extravagant new doctrine, it's nothing earth-shattering at all. It's those little things we need to do. Study, Pray, Invite, Act, Ponder... When the storm comes and the wind and the waves hit, will the Jaguars help me with what I am going through? Will Flashpoint really make a huge difference in my life? NO. Because no matter what, God comes first. So, I have re-pledged my commitment to Him. I have given Him the only thing that I really can give, and that is my agency. I am His tool, I am His disciple. I am His. 

And why do I do this? Well, it's because I ADORE HIM. 

Sure do love all of you, and I hope you all have an amazing week! 

Quick question for ya Mom. My shoes broke again, and I think there is a place where I can get them repaired. Can I go do that? 

Have an amazing week! 

Love,

Elder Harvey

Oh, btw, it's like poured rain like 8/14 days. it's been crazy.

Dude, be nice..and raindrops in California!

Elders Harvey, Horman, Powell & Hunter

December 26, 2016 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone

#TheWeekSatanTookOurPlansAndThrewThemInATwelveFootIndustrialFan

Merry Festivus!

Well, this week has probably been one of the most hectic of my mission! It's been fun though. It's always a good thing to have such a supportive and close companion when you have to deal with so much going on! Perks of being with a companion for a second time. Despite everything that has been going on, we have been able to have a wonderful Christmas. Oh, it's also POURED RAIN ALL WEEK. I forgot to mention that yesterday. It's been amazing. 

Let's go through the week really quick:

Monday. We didn't do much. I was still a little sick, and Elder Hunter was starting to be sick. So that was no fun. We had dinner at the Chapple's house, and that turned out to be a tostada eating contest. If you don't know what that is, it's a fried tortilla, and you just stack salsa and sour cream and cheese and all that taco junk on top and eat it. I made it to 6. I was so full. Brother Chapple and his partner from work both ate 11. It was incredible. Was a fun night though! Love that family.

Tuesday was real simple. Elder Hunter was sick, so we stayed in all day with the Spanish Elders, who were also sick. 

Wednesday we had a Zone Conference and Christmas Devotional out in Simi Valley! It was awesome to see some good friends that I haven't been able to see in such a long time. But, it was pretty neat. We watched a little bit of the Polar Express, and tried to find analogies to the gospel from it. Then, we went into the gym before lunch and....surprise! Every missionary at the conference had a baby picture on the wall, and we were given a sheet to try and guess who was who. And, typically, as soon as I walked in the door, there I was. Number 1! It was fun. Then we had a talent show thing, and the Assistants had me drink 3 cups of syrup. Yummy.... Not. But it was hilarious. I had a temple recommend interview from President Felix right after, and that went well. It was so neat to hear those questions again and to think about how well I am doing and how I look in the sight of the Lord. We had dinner, and then we taught Logan about Spiritual Maturity, using an example of David and Goliath. It was a really neat lesson! He is doing well, although he didn't make it to church yesterday, which was sad. 

Thursday. All of our appointments fell through, and we basically didn't get to do much either. Weekly Planning, and trying to find time to actually go and talk with people, which we did. 2 people. Whoop! That evening, we went up to Camarillo and went to a baptism of someone who Elder Hunter used to teach! It was a really great service. Spirit was so strong! 

Friday. WE HAD SO MANY GREAT PLANS. But, alas, it went down the toilet. Elder Portillo was on exchanges in a bike area, and he ended up seriously spraining his ankle, and so we spent 3 hours with him at the doctors and then waited another hour for his prescription to be filled. By the time we were out, it was time for dinner and then we went to the Spanish Elders baptism! It was neat to feel the Spirit and almost understand everything that was being said! It was also so cool to hear the baptismal ordinance performed in Spanish. Spirit was definitely there! 

Saturday we decided to go and drop some goodies on the doorstep of everyone in the Zone, and that was fun. Then we had just a crazy turn of events when we found out some things and the Assistants came down and we did some sneaky detective shtuff. Fun night actually, the Assistants are some really good friends of mine. We then had dinner with the Turner's, and afterwards they took us to go give some food to a homeless man. It was a humbling experience, and I felt the love of the Savior emanating from the tiny group of disciples. Merry Christmas! 

Christmas Day. How fun. Our service was just full of music and the Spirit. It was so special to be able to partake of the sacrament on the day that we celebrate the birth of Him whom we adore. We called home, which was so much fun, and then we had dinner with the Chapple's again! Great family. 

The Spirit I have felt this week has been incredible. I love being so close to my Savior and being able to feel Him so near. Jesus Christ came, He truly did, in the most humble of circumstances. Yet, He grew to become the Savior of the World. I know that. Without a doubt in my mind. He atoned for my sins, for my sadness, for my broken heart, for my every fallen moment. He. Experienced. All. And what an incredible feeling to know this, through the Holy Ghost. 

New Year's is fast approaching, and so is the downhill stretch. Let's go give 'em heaven. It was so great to see all of your faces yesterday.

Love you guys! Have an amazing week!

Love,

Elder Harvey 

Christmas parcels waiting to be opened...

New Christmas PJ's

New Christmas Sweater

December 25, 2016...skype call home

We went to church on Sunday morning.  Church was only an hour long.  We came home and chowed down on the left over Chinese food.  The missionaries in our Branch (Elder Bybee and Elder Beddes) came over so they could use our computers to skype their families.  They came over just in time to enjoy the Chinese food as well.

And then we waited...and waited...and waited!  We had to wait until 6pm and it seemed like a week!

Finally - 6pm came and we saw Jaxon's face!  It was so nice to see him again - 7 months is a long time!  It was great to talk with him and meet his beloved companion - Elder Hunter!  He's doing great - loving every minute of his mission and loves California.  Our 40 minutes ran up quickly, but not before we had a family prayer, given by Jaxon.  It's wonderful to hear your children pray  :)

We are looking forward to our next skype call when we get two!  One from Emerson and one from Jaxon!


December 19, 2016 - Canejo Canyon Ward - Newbury Park Zone


#NOWIsTheTime #Sick

*cough*

*sniffle*

I swear. My body always picks the worst time to get sick.

But, we had a great week this week! Not the most proselyting time I would have liked, but we learned a lot and our Zone improved SO much with their key indicators! We are LOVING it!

Good to hear that Mom and Aydan had such a great trip. New York must have been so awesome. When I get home, one thing I really want to do is go on a church history tour. We are so close to it all! Gotta take the advantage! :) 

Yes, I got the packages. Thanks so much! I haven't opened anything I wasn't supposed to open, don't worry :) It's weird to think that it's already Christmas again. I have been thinking a lot about that this morning, and about how quickly time slips away. Speaking of Christmas, I loved seeing the #LightTheWorld sign in Times Square! Also, I was wanting to Skype with you guys at 6pm  your time, 3pm my time! Don't worry Mom, we have dinners everyday this week. :) This ward is so awesome. I am excited! 

Well, I wish I could say that so much happened on Monday, but we only did one thing really that night! We went to have dinner with the Tan's, AND THEN WENT CAROLING! YEEESSS. I love caroling. SO MUCH. We went over to the Guthrie's and sang, Logan is one of the investigators we have been teaching. More on him in a bit. And we also went and sang to Kathleen and Bishop LaBass! Good night. 

Tuesday was MLC, and oh man, it was a MLC. I loved it. We have been really called to change as a mission and to step up our game. We counseled about our CVM Target, which is "Now is the time to be bold and fearless because we adore Him!" We are really focusing on just that, being more bold and fearless in our missionary work. We got a few assignments to take back to our Zones, and so we were busy all week with figuring out a Zone Goal, and then also figuring out a way to have the missionaries organizing a three month plan for their areas. Gah. And on top of that, we had to plan a Zone Meeting. So, we did that on Tuesday night after our dinner with the Carvalho's, and then we went on an exchange with the Spanish Elders, and I was with Elder Herrera-Loya!

Wednesday wasn't the greatest day either. I don't know what the heck happened, but I was like a squirrel on cocaine. I was the most distracted I think I have ever been on my mission. We went and gave a hotel a dozen Book of Mormon's in the morning, and then went tracting. So many rude people. Gah. But that's okay! Agency right? All of our appointments that night fell through, and so we weren't able to do much other than walk around and try to find some people on the streets. But ITS SO DANG COLD THAT NO ONE WANTS TO WALK. Like seriously. Cold and windy. HATE IT! But it's chill. Get it? Anywho. Fun day. 

Thursday was planning. Planning. Planning. We had to figure out everything that day pretty much, because our Zone Meeting when we were to present everything was the next day. So, we figured out our Zone Goal, which will help the missionaries in our Zone to be more bold and fearless. We are focusing on the Book of Mormon, and internalizing the doctrines of the missionary lessons through the Book of Mormon. We challenged the missionaries to hand out a copy of the Book of Mormon everyday. And the response has been good. We also figured out that we wanted to focus on the area book and have that be our resource to help missionaries make a three month plan. We had dinner that night with the LaBass', have I ever mentioned that Sister LaBass is Canadian? She is a Leavitt. From Alberta. I am pretty sure we are related. I forgot the name of one of her uncles, but I think it was Don. Anyways. Love Bishop. He is great. They gave us a box of Aero Bars and Smarties. #Hallelujah. 

Friday morning. Woke up sick. FREAK. The day that I am calling people to repentance, and I can barely talk. Said a prayer in the morning, asking that the sickness wouldn't hit until after Zone Meeting, and it held off! The Zone took everything really well. Like I said, the response has been good. We increased our contacts with non-members by 130. Heck. Yeah. As soon as we walked out of the building, I was hit with a massive headache and I started to run a fever, so that was the end of my day... Maybe. Spanish Elders sink backed up, asked us to come and help them. hour later, nothing worked. They still haven't had anyone come and fix it, and they were supposed to on Saturday. There is so much moldy food in their sink now, and Elder Portillo started getting sick from it yesterday. The smell is rancid, so they've been staying at our apartment lately. Anywho. I needed to rest, as per our mission nurse, so I thought going on a quick little exchange would help. Got it approved, and I went with Elder Portillo for a little bit. Love that Elder. We went to a Spanish lesson that was supposed to be with a less-active in their unit but the LA brought her friend and they ended up bashing in Spanish while I had a huge headache and fever and couldn't focus at all. SO MUCH FUN. Then we went to their Christmas Party, kinda. Their investigator is getting baptize on the 23rd, and so he had his interview that night! The Assistants came down to do it, since they were the closest Spanish speaking leadership that could do it. Elder Taufatofua (Tawf-ah-tah-foo-ah) is a Spanish missionary. So, I got to hangout and talk with Elder Swenson for a little bit! He is awesome. Him and I are good friends, and we'll be going on an exchange together in January! I am trying to convince him to send me back to Santa Barbara. We will see. 

Saturday. I felt a little better, so we went to work! Went to this one street, and the first three doors we knocked we had like 20 minute conversations! One was a former, the other was a less-active, and the third is now a potential! It was fun. Went into the first ones house and helped move some mattresses and stuff for them! But, apparently I was still up in the clouds. We knocked on this one door, and a 17 year old girl answered. We couldn't really see her, it was dark in the house and the screen door wasn't helping at all. She was also being really awkward, so I was trying to strike up a conversation with her, and saw that she had a lanyard in her hand! So, I asked if she was planning on leaving anytime soon. She then said "One second," closed the door, and I WAS SO CONFUSED. But, she opened the door again, and said: "Sorry, I can't go anywhere right now." And then closed the door. We are pretty sure that she thought that I had asked her to come with us on a date or something. Even when I don't try, I still got game. Kinda. We saw Logan later that afternoon, and it was AWESOME. We set him with a Baptismal Date for February 18. In his opening prayer, he prayed that he would be able to be baptized soon! It was incredible. Night and day from our last lesson with him. He was serious, and it seemed like he really wanted it. Let's just hope I don't get transferred.

We had a great Sunday too. Still sick, and guess what? I was speaking. YAY. Like I said, my body picks the worst time. Anyways, I was also speaking for a missionary homecoming.... So that was weird. But I did well apparently. It was on missionary work, and I decided to focus more on the why of missionary work rather than on the how. Then, Elder Hunter and I had to throw together a lesson for Gospel Principles. Let's just say, by the end of church I was dead. Had dinner that night with the Snow's again. Love that family, and then our nurse told me to rest up some more. Elder Hunter is now sick! 

Don't have a lot going on today either. But, we are trucking through! Our area is picking up a little bit. Gotta love this Christmas season though. We can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the commercial Christmas, and forget to adore Him. We can forget, not only in our minds, but in our actions to remember the Savior. To be His hands. To #LightTheWorld. Look for ways to light someone's world this week. There is so much to be grateful for, and let's be the reason that someone is grateful today. 

Pues, see you at 3:00pm PST on Sunday!

Love,

Elder Harvey
Elder Portillo and Elder Harvey
video
Watch the videos...guess the song...

video


video


video

Answer:  If you like it - put a ring on it

Conversation after watching the videos...

Mom:  Aydan and Hudson watched your videos...they have no clue what's going on.  You're hitting a bag of cough             drops, popcorn and a nativity.  Is that a hint to the song you want them to figure out?

          Sorry you're not feeling well.  Get some rest!  

          Can't wait to see you on  Sunday at 3pm PST!!  

          Have a good week!  

          Love, MOm

Jaxon:  Haha. It's what I am throwing! It's from a vine. I haven't been in the real world for so long, it's like one of                 the vines I remember the most.

Mom:   Aydan said that Vine is done...it's no more...JSYK  (that's Just So You Know..btw...(that's By The Way) lol            (that's Laugh out Loud)

            Love, Mom

Jaxon:  Savage.