Friday, 17 March 2017

March 13, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st Ward


Howdy hey!

I loved the emails today! Sounds like it was an interesting time trying to get Emerson to the CCM! Glad he made it there though. I sent him an email last week, so I hope he gets it! It made me remember the day I left from Abbotsford. Meeting a member in Calgary, and getting picked up by Jessie in Salt Lake. Good times, and I am sure Elder Harvey is working wonders in the CCM. 

This week has been an interesting one. Nothing really huge happening. Just kidding, some big things happened, but we were planning a lot for some meetings and our Zone Goal this transfer. Mom, I do remember Sister Crapo asking for sand, and I will get it for you! Sorry that I forgot last time. I haven't done a good job at collecting any either... But I do really appreciate those little containers you sent, even if I have nothing in them :) It was a nice thought from a loving Mother! And I would have sent the package in the express box, but I couldn't get everything to fit! Hopefully I am not transferred until I come home, and then I will only have to send one more package! 

Monday. We pretty much chilled with the District at the Arroyo Grande Building. Elder Davis and I went for some lunch. But, when we were at the building, the Sisters came into the parking lot and hit a curb and both passenger side tires went flat. So, we helped them with that and they got it fixed. Went over to the Capanna's for dinner that night. They were my first dinner ever in the mission field! 

Tuesday. We started driving at 6am to make it to the Mission Home by 8:30. I haven't had to drive that early in a looooong time, or for that long! It was a great meeting though. We cut it short too, because the District Leaders were invited to come and participate in some leadership training. Elder Davis and I gave a presentation on invites to church, and we received our new focus for the next transfer or two: We Are ONE in ZION. I loved it! We want to become more united. I loved something that President Felix said: "It is good to establish the Church, but it is better to establish Zion!" The Spirit was very strong there. We left, and got home around 6:00, and had dinner with the Fowler's! That was fun. Sister Fowler's daughter, who was single when I left, got married while I was away! And her husband works with Azlan. I don't know if you remember, but Elder Beus and I found Azlan, and he ended up getting baptized in the YSA ward. Well, Azlan hasn't really been active for a while, and some recent events have brought him to desire to come back to church! So, we invited him to come to our ward! He lives with his mom now about an hour away, so we weren't sure if it would happen. 

Wednesday. We were supposed to get a new phone for us in our supply orders on Tuesday, but it was accidentally given to the Santa Barbara ZL's, and so we met them halfway and picked up our phone. After that, we planned Zone Meeting out, and went to Brother Hurst and tried to figure out how we can get a map of our area. Had dinner that evening with the Moses', and then gave Sister Kaunfer a blessing. They are a part-member family, and she went in for surgery today down at UCLA on her hip. She's been less-active for awhile, but requested a blessing before her surgery! 

Thursday. We did some Weekly Planning, and then talked about a Zone Goal that could go along with the focus we have with being one in Zion. We came up with a pretty sweet idea, focusing on inviting people to "Come to Zion," or, inviting people to church! As a Zone, we are going to be involved with PSI: Pray, Seek, Invite. And it's all going to be around inviting people to church! Had dinner with the Ojeda's that night, and prepped for Zone Meeting the next day! 

Friday. We left early to do some more prep for the meeting. While we were preparing, President and Sister Felix showed up and stayed for our meeting! One of the Sisters in our Zone hurt her ankle, and so President was initially coming up to check on her. It was a great meeting though. Everyone was giving great feedback, and the Spirit was definitely there! AND, everyone loved the Zone Goal :) After that, we went and did some service with Jeremy McNeil, a young man who left on his mission when I was here last, but had to come home about halfway through due to medical stuff. He served in Winnipeg, and he's heading back on a mission in July! We went and split wood at his house, and then I met our investigator, Kelly. She broke her neck about 3 1/2 months ago, and so it's been real hard to be able to meet with her. But, we set up an appointment with her for the next day, and then headed to dinner with Mindy Smith! She is awesome, owns a ranch in the middle of no where. She invited us to come and help out at her ranch the next day, something she calls Kid's Day. We accepted.

Saturday. We went out to Mindy's Ranch. So, I guess I should explain what we were meant to do. Kids come about once a month and they just ride some of Mindy's horses and have a ton of fun, and Mindy loves having the missionaries come and walk the horses around her stall for the kids. Gives us good publicity, and we got to talk with some people. Anyways, I got to walk this horse around in a circle and make sure it didn't kill me or the kid on it. It was a piece of cake. And it was especially funny when it decided to take a whiz in the middle of the ride. That kid thought it was so funny. You could probably see some pictures on Mindy's website. Not sure what it is, but her company is called Mindy Smith's Rocky Mountain Horses. After that, we went and taught Kelly the Restoration! Super awesome lesson, and she felt very comfortable with everything. She even said that it's something she truly wants to believe! Due to her health, we can only meet once a week right now, but she seems like she is sincerely interested in learning and growing! We had dinner with Karla Lazalde, a YSA member who lives in our ward who I knew when I was here last. That was fun, I miss YSA dinners. Then we went to Luisa's baptism! This was the girl who I conducted the baptismal interview for a week ago. Solid baptism, and the room was FULL of people! 

Sunday. The Bishopric forgot to announce Daylight Savings the week prior, and it showed a little bit at the beginning. It was a great Sacrament service though. AZLAN EVEN CAME AND STAYED ALL THREE HOURS. I love being able to come here and finding the people I taught or found and helping them out! Definitely one of the reasons I was sent back here. The youth speaker, Jayden, brought his friend to church too! Jayden gave an amazing talk on the fourth article of faith, and then went back into the congregation to sit with his friend. Jayden's mom came up to us after and told us that she felt prompted to invite us over for dinner and to have us teach his friend. Apparently Jayden asked his friend to join the Church while they were sitting listening to the last speaker. It was awesome! What I think made the difference though was that we introduced ourselves to his friend before sacrament started! So, long story short, we are teaching him on Saturday! Two weeks in a row that someone brought a friend to church! We didn't get to meet with Alex, she has MS and gets sick easily, but we are meeting with her this week! We also got a new Ward Mission Leader, Matti Kilpelainen! He is awesome, and we are really seeing the Work pick up like never before! Had dinner that night with the Hullstine's. He is the Stake President here, and they are just an amazing family! It was fun to meet with them, and President Hullstine is coming to our lesson on Saturday with Kelly! 

So, to answer Mom's question: yes. I love being back in my old ward! It is an amazing time here, and we are truly seeing miracles come as a result of our faith and diligence. This next week is looking like we are going to start seeing some fruit from our labors! And, to answer Dad's question, I have already been seeking out some of those formers that we taught when I was here last! No success yet, but we will keep on trying! 

I have been thinking a lot this week about how I can do more, what I can do to become a better missionary and create more opportunities to "invite others to come unto Christ." I love this quote from Neal A. Maxwell:

"We can and 'ought to be content with the things allotted to us,' being circumstantially content but without being self-satisfied and behaviorally content with ourselves.

Such contentment is more than shoulder-shrugging passivity. It reflects our participative assent rather than uncaring resignation.

The Lord knows our circumstances and the intents of our hearts, and surely the talents and gifts He has given us. He is able to gauge perfectly how we have performed within what is allotted to us, including by lifting up some of the many surrounding hands that hang down. Thus, yearning for expanded opportunities while failing to use those at hand is bad form spiritually.

What we could and have done within our allotted acreage, therefore, is known perfectly by the Master of the vineyard."

We have been given certain "jurisdictions." With that, comes certain opportunities to do somethings, and lack of opportunities to do other things. Like Alma, we may desire that we were angels, being able to declare the gospel to EVERYONE. However, like Alma, we need to come to understand that we have been given "a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay." If we cannot do what God has already asked us to do, why should we be asking for more?

I love this Gospel, and I love this Mission. 

I love all of you! I hope you have an amazing week, and I hope I have Emerson's email right....


Elder California Harvey

Elder Harvey and Elder Davis
Canadian Corner

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