Monday, 1 May 2017

April 17, 2017 - Arroyo Grande 1st and 2nd Wards



I was really looking forward to Monday.

It has been such a hectic week! But, it's been such a good one. Not a ton of finding success, but we've been teaching a lot. Which is something I am not used to. I have gotten so used to dogging it out every day knocking doors that having two or three appointments every day is just weird to me. It doesn't feel like you're doing a ton of work, but you are! And we have some pretty awesome people that we are teaching right now. Just need to find the time to find! 

Congrats to Jameson on his first tooth coming out! So glad that the Tooth Fairy was able to come :) Whenever I think of the Tooth Fairy I think of The Santa Clause 2 Tooth Fairy. Glad to hear everything else is going well back at home! I got the itinerary for the YSA Conference. I think I would rather stay with you guys and do things with you! I don't know, just thinking about it is that I am going to be SUPER weird. And I think it'll be weird to see you all again for a few hours and then be gone for a weekend. Thanks anyways, I really do appreciate the thought :) 

So, the weeeeek!

Monday. Last day with Elder Davis. I FORGOT TO SAY THIS IN THE LAST EMAIL. Sunday night. Get a call from a kid named Noah. He said "I have read the Pearl of Great Price and the Book of Mormon, and I am interested in joining your church." So, we met with him on Monday morning, after we moved some beds around for the new TriPan in our Zone. Noah is amazingly prepared. HE TAUGHT US THE ENTIRE RESTORATION. It was something that I was sitting back and just thinking "This isn't happening right now." Basically, he told us he is gung-ho about joining and being baptized, and gave us a glimpse into his family situation and such. It was an awesome visit. We had dinner and a fire that night with the Hursts.

Easter basket from Alex
Tuesday. Transfer day! Always a fun time. We played some wall ball while we were waiting for the train to come. Got to see a few good friends of mine. Elder Alder, Elder 'Iongi. It was fun. Picked up Elder McLawhorn, and we went shopping and unpacked and such. Had dinner with Brother Rust, and we tried to figure out our new area a bit. It's interesting, being in two areas now, but it's fun! 

Wednesday. We went and tried to see some people in the AG2nd Ward. Not much luck, and then Noah called and wanted to meet. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he told us "I want to be baptized as soon as possible." 😑.....😐......🤔.....😯.....😮.....😨.....😯.....😐.....😑.....😀!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE WHAT. So, we set him with the date of May 6th, but he also said he wanted to attend the YSA Ward, so we made plans to do a pass-off lesson. Went out that evening with Matti, our AG1 WML, and then had dinner with the Fowlers and Elder McLawhorn met the Hursts! 

Thursday. Did some Weekly Planning, and then we saw Margarita. Good lesson, talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a lot about Priesthood Authority. She's a tough one, but she's starting to understand and she desires to know which church is true. Had dinner that night with the Kleve's, a part-member family who went to Conference! It was fun. I was meeting with them a little bit when I was here before. They are great, just not really interested in church. Don't know why they went to Conference then, but yeah. We had correlation with our AG2 WML, Brother Leavitt, at night and he seems to really like us. He is a really genuine guy, and has a genuine love for the people here and the Work that we do. I love it. We gained his trust 100%.

Friday. Had District Meeting in the morning, and President and Sister Felix decided to drop in on ours! It was fun, but President found out that I have been able to learn how to play piano, so it looks like I am playing for MLC tomorrow....ugh. But that's okay. Hopefully I know the songs they chose. Went and did the pass-off lesson with the YSA Sisters and Noah. That was funny. The Sisters were in awe at Noah. Truly a huge miracle, and he's going to do a lot of good. Went and helped out Sister Hulme with some gardening and such, and then had a lesson with Cruz. It was good, we talked about the Restoration and then Sister Sola made us orange chicken for dinner. Nothing much happened after that, just trying to help Elder McLawhorn figure out the new area. It's a bit overwhelming for him, but he'll get the hang of it! Just a LOT of area to figure out. I remember how I felt with Elder Snyder trying to learn our huge area. Not good. But, while I am on this side-note, Elder McLawhorn and I are like best friends. I love him to death. He is super hard working, and all he wants to do is find find find. Which is good, and we also have like everything in common. It makes it fun :) Truly a blessing to have at this time. 

Saturday. We went tracting for a couple of hours. Set up a return appointment for a guy named Steve that I had found a few weeks ago. Then, we caught wind that Brother Hurst was going to be doing yard work, and he doesn't have the best physical health right now. So, we dropped by and did it all for him. Hehehe. It was a good thing. Had dinner with Bishop Stasell in AG2, and it was really good. I have known him before, so we seem to have his trust. Him and his wife are fun, and I am really excited to work with him! Had a lesson with Alex and Mireya that night, James had a toothache. Taught about the Sabbath Day, and Alex loved it (like usual). She said she has fallen in love with the Church, and that they are working to be baptized next month! Just have to handle a few things first. 

Sunday. Two Wards. It was a great Easter Sunday actually, and I loved taking the Sacrament twice! Good programs in each ward, and yeah. Nothing too amazing happening. Alex, Mireya, and Cruz came to church! We need to find some investigators in AG2 to bring to church. Had dinner with the Hursts, and we got to dye some eggs and such. Great family, I really do love them a lot. 

And that's all! This week should be fun. MLC tomorrow, exchanges with the Assistants on Saturday. 

I love my Savior. I love this Gospel, and I love the Work that I am engaged in. I read this talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard this week entitled "How Is It with Us?" Here's a quote:

"While it is true that extraordinary strides are being made throughout the Church, the enormity of the task before us is overwhelming. Simply stated, we have a ministry to all of our Heavenly Father’s children on both sides of the veil. In that context, we have barely scratched the surface of our calling. True discipleship, therefore, precludes any complacency. The Lord expects us to continue moving the Church forward and even to accelerate our pace toward the literal fulfillment of Daniel’s prophetic vision of “a stone … cut out without hands … that … became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:34–35). To do this more effectively, each one of us needs to follow Nephi’s counsel to “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. [For] if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Ne. 31:20). The power of the Holy Ghost will fill our hearts and minds as we look to the Savior for answers to the many challenges of life.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, it is important that we each know for ourselves that Jesus is the Christ and that He has restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith the fulness of His everlasting gospel. As we press forward in His service, spiritual experiences will increase our faith, and we will find great joy. Our understanding of the essential doctrines and eternal truths that have been restored will become a firm foundation of our faith. And as we come to know and understand these true doctrines for ourselves, we will discover that there is also a great need for us to share our knowledge and beliefs with others while always maintaining their friendship and goodwill."

This is a very daunting work, but it is also a very rewarding work. As we endure to the end, clinging to the Holy Ghost and to our spiritual experiences like the iron rod, we will be able to have the Lord magnify our efforts. As long as we try and keep trying and keep improving and keep trying to deepen our discipleship, we shall be buoyed up by "Him who is mighty to save." There is nothing more sweet, nothing more powerful, and nothing more essential than Jesus Christ and the Redemptive and Enabling POWER which He brings into our lives. It is because of Him that we are even here, and what an amazing message of peace it is to know that NO MATTER WHAT, I have a Savior right behind me. 

I love you all! This is the true and restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Elder California Harvey

Elder McLawhorn didn't know I was videoing....

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