Friday, 17 March 2017

March 6, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st Ward

#DeJaVu #WelcomeHOME!

Gosh, it's been such a gooooood week! 

It has been an interesting "adjustment" to my "new" ward! It's been a lot of fun to see old faces, and to especially serve with an old friend in Elder Davis. We are getting along so well, and we have been able to see so many miracles and blessings this week! 

I really appreciated the pictures of Emerson. He really has lost a lot of weight! He looks like a real missionary! I hope he is just through the roof excited, because he will see the best two years of his life unfold before his eyes, and before he knows it: poof! He'll be staring down the airplane.

It's weird to think I will be home in four short months. 

Hey, first off, no one told me that Rachel Gehman (Perez now I think?) moved into my mission! We have an Elder in our District who just came from the ward her and her husband moved into in San Luis Obispo, and told me she moved there! That's pretty cool. Not sure if I am gonna make it up there in the next four months though. 

Anyways, lets go through the week! 

Monday. We had one last activity in Westlake. Played some pool and ping pong, and then drove missionaries around like crazy all day. Had dinner at the Brems house, and then did some prep for transfers the next day! 

Tuesday started early. Had to be at the Stake Center by 7:30, and so we got all ready! I was real sad to leave the South of the mission, and to leave Elder Hunter. Him and I became really close friends- which isn't hard to do when you've been around eachother for 19 weeks! But, I got in the van with Elder T, and made my way back up to Santa Maria! We stopped along the way at some other buildings-that's just how the transfer train works- and finally arrived there at around noon! We did the typical things, shopping and unpacking, and I reminisced about being back in my old ward. It was so weird. But, we went and set up an appointment for this Wednesday with a less-active lady in the ward, and had some dinner. Then, we went and surprised the Hursts! They didn't know that I was coming, and so I will attach a video with our triumphant entrance. It was hilarious to watch. 

Wednesday went well. We started with cutting some trees down at the Gonzales'. If you don't remember, Sister Gonzales is the one from Bowmanville. More on that later. But, it was hard work! We went out again and saw some more of the less-actives. This ward is really good at giving us things to do during the week. Went for dinner with Brother Rust, who used to be the Ward Mission Leader, but isn't anymore. We are supposed to be getting a new WML this Sunday, according to Bishop Merrill. We took a lot of Wednesday to talk about the area and start organizing our area book a little better. Just trying really hard to align our will with God's!

Thursday was Weekly Planning time! We did some more planning, and then we got a text from some other Zone Leaders that said that one of their member's friends wanted a Book of Mormon in our ward! So, we went immediately to deliver the Book! We got there, and it turns out that she wanted to Book for one of the people she ministers to in a jail! But, we ended up giving her her own copy as well, because she was interested in reading it a little bit. Later that evening, we had a lesson with Patrick. He was baptized in January. Elder Beus and I were some of the first missionaries that had contact with him, and now he's progressed so much! It is so neat to see. We taught about the Restoration, and the Spirit was so strong. Patrick talked about the feelings he had when he was baptized, and about some personal experiences he has had with the Book of Mormon. He truly is converted to the Gospel. 

Friday was District Meeting. I am sorry to say Mom that our District Leader is from Taber. I plan on talking about corn with him on exchanges. Should be fun! We had a good meeting on planning and such. After lunch, we went and did some service for a lady who is the mother of a less-active. It was decent, just helped her clean some fans because she is too short. Then we went and saw D'Arcy, another less-active, but she has a lot of health and family issues that keep her from coming to church. It was an amazing visit, and she shared some amazing stories! I loved it. Had dinner with the Gonzales family. So, it turns out that they know the Chisholm's as well, and apparently they will be there for Laura's wedding! So, we need to make sure to go. Because I would love to see this family! We had empanadas.

Saturday we went tracting a little bit, with little interaction with people. We have set a goal to go tracting everyday, we just have to! Only way we can thrust our sickle in. We also went and saw the Simkins family, someone that just moved into the Ward from Orange County. They are great. Then went for dinner with Brother Rust, and went to a baptism in Santa Maria! After that, I was able to interview a 17-year-old girl, Luisa, for baptism. She was very prepared and very converted. I could tell it was a special moment for her, and I felt the Spirit very strongly. It's so much fun to be able to do these kinds of things! 

Sunday was an amazing day. So many familiar faces. I don't know if I have said it before, but Bishop Merrill reminds me a lot of Dad. And it was funny to see his reaction. He introduced me to the Ward by saying "It's a rare opportunity we have to welcome back one of our Elders who previously served here." I don't know why, but it made me insanely happy. I just love being back! Sister Dalebout brought her friend to church, someone who she met at the gym and is blind, and we plan on teaching her on Wednesday! She loved church, and already said that she's gonna be coming back next week! That night, we had dinner with the Bendixens, and then we went to a youth fireside where they watched the Face2Face with President Eyring and Elder Holland. It was great! I don't know if you've seen it yet, but at history.lds.org they released a new first vision video, one that combines all nine accounts of the event. We just watched it, and I LOVED it. An amazing presentation. 

This next week looks like it will be a fast one! MLC tomorrow, Wednesday seems stacked, and just a lot of things leading up to another P-Day! It goes by so so so fast. Ack. 

I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants yesterday, Section 75:

"2 Hearken, O ye who have given your names to go forth to proclaim my gospel, and to prune my vineyard.

 3 Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with your might—

 4 Lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you.

 5 And thus, if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life."

And I also LOVE the scripture that Mom sent:

" But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee."

I am a minister and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, as is Emerson. I declare to the world that the message which I share through the Holy Ghost is true, and I shall never deny it. I love this Gospel, this is the Lord's work, and we are His church! 

Have a safe morning tomorrow! We'll be leaving around the same time! I have a 2 hour trip to Oxnard tomorrow! 

Sure do love you all! Thanks for everything!

Love,

Elder California Harvey

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