Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 17

Hello friends and family!
I have been learning a lot about what it really means to be a missionary as it comes to the last couple weeks of my training and ya know what I have realized more than anything?  I have a LOT of weaknesses.  I have a LOT of things to learn and I am never going to be able to learn it all.  We are constantly learning new things and finding ways in which we can improve but we always seem to fall short. But ya know what?  We don't have to know everything! We don't have to be perfect!  In the hands of the Lord, it is the most humble and submissive servant that is the most effective tool in the hands of the Lord!  When I think of prophets like Joseph Smith or other prophets in the Book of Mormon and Bible who do not have gifts for speaking or writing and then read the things that they wrote or the things that they spoke unto the people in this time, it is hard to believe that they even had weaknesses! It is hard to think of them as humans! But they all had weaknesses that made them humble and submissive to the will of God.  I have always thought that these weaknesses that these prophets had were just for us to believe more easily that they were prophets because it is obvious that they must have had the help of God to do such great thing, but I have come to realize that it is not just that! Their weaknesses are what make them humble.  Their weaknesses are what make them strong. In Helaman chapter 12, it talks about how we, as human beings, are nothing.  We are even less than the sands of the earth.  I was always a little depressed by this thought.  But upon studying this a little more this morning in my studies, I realized in the verses that followed, it was saying that we are less when we are not submissive to the will of God! The sands of the earth are greater than we because when God commands the sand to move, it moves!  Now imagine how great WE could be! We are a lot more than just sand and if we could let the Lord guide us in the things that he would have us do, just imagine how great we could be! 
I am feeling super nervous right now because in about a week and a half I will be ending my training, getting a new companion, and I will be thrown into the real world of missionary work without my mom (that's what they call our trainers here :)! So I've been pretty nervous because I know that I have so many weaknesses and still have sooo much to learn but this thought that really if we give our will up to God and humble ourselves in his hands, we can be GREAT! So I thank God for the weaknesses that he has blessed me with in order to help me to be humble :)  Tell Brother Chronis that now I understand what it means to Stay Bleu and I am working on that every day!!
I love you so much and thank you for all of the emails!! I LOVE hearing about everything that's going on over there!
No pictures this week... sorry! Next week!
--Hermana Harvey

Monday, November 17, 2014

A great (16th) week, with a visit from Elder Nelson!

Hello friends and family!!
So I realized that I don't usually talk about the little things that happen in my days that are funny... like when we are doing contacting in the streets and something funny happens... so I have a few stories to tell today about those things :)
We were walking to our meeting with the ward mission leader this Saturday and we were almost to the church building, going up this hill to the chapel, and this man stopped us and said "Hello! I'm Jesus Christ!"  I looked over to Hermana Paxman and she was just smiling at him and nodding her head and I thought... "does she understand what he just said?" Then the man continued with "Yes... I am Jesus Christ... and you are spies from the United States."  I though for sure by now Hermana Paxman would say something or at least look at me to let me know what to do but when I looked at her she was still just smiling and nodding her head!  So at this point I thought... okay... she doesn't know what's going on so I said, "no, actually we're here as missionaries to share a message about God and Jesus Christ." (which I now realize probably wasn't the best thing to say to a man who thinks he IS Jesus Christ) and he responded with "No, I am the only man who can preach about Jesus Christ be cause I am he!  The prophets of old testified of my coming and here I am!"  So what is our response to this bold statement? Of course, "Oh! Mucho gusto!" then we said we were sorry, we have to go to a meeting and we walked away.    Funniest thing ever!  And we don't even think he was drunk! He didn't smell like it.  So that was fun! :)
Then we were walking to an appointment the other day and this little boy came up to us (we think he was about 9-10 years old) with his arms high up in the air and said "Hey! Remember me?!"  We responded honestly saying that we didn't (because we know we would have remembered this little character) and said that he had probably talked with other missionaries.  He said yes and asked us if we would come to his house to read from the word of god with him (and that he has a book of mormon) and talk about how our message can bless the family because the family is very important to him.  But he also said he's very busy these days so he gave us a strict schedule of when we could meet with him.  Haha! So cute! Can't wait to go talk with him and share with him how the gospel can bless his family and read the words of God! :)   Oh, and he also said that when he's big, he's going to help us out and become a missionary just like us! Ahh! ¡¡Mi Corazón!!
So this week we had the chance to go to Osorno and hear from Elder Nelson!!! He was here!! In Chile Osorno!! I couldn't believe that I got to meet him right before I left for the mission and then got to hear from him again here in Chile!  I wanted to tell him that I was in the Lancaster stake when he went there when we went up to shake his hand but I lost my nerve because no one was saying anything other than "Hello, how are you?" and I didn't want to take up too much of his precious time.  But it was awesome!! And his wife was there too and she spoke.  Just want to let you all know that she is amazing!! I absolutely LOVED her talk!  She talked about how every second of our lives here is important and one of my favorite quotes from her talk was "The Savior is coming tomorrow. We just don't know which tomorrow.  So what are you going to do today to prepare for tomorrow?"  I love it because it is so true! Another thing that was interesting was that I was able to understand Elder Nelson and his wife while they were talking and also the translator!! It was pretty interesting but a little confusing at times because I was having a little bit of a hard time focusing on just one of them! But it was useful when I missed something that he said and I could just listen to the Spanish version :) 
So, más que nada, this week has been a huge spiritual high with lots of fun moments!!
I love you all so much and loving hearing from you!! Thank all for writing!! It really means a lot to a missionary!! :)
An awesome head-dress thingy that our ward mission leader had from a wedding he went to :)
Out of the window of the bus on the way to Osorno to hear from Elder Nelson!

Monday, November 10, 2014

My first baptisms!

Hola Familia y Amigos!
      This week has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions but more than anything, I have learned this week that the Lord is always part of this work.  I had great faith in this fact before but now it is even more obvious.  At times it may feel as though there is no possible way to do all the things that the Lord requires of us but I find comfort in the scriptures in knowing that "the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the things which he hath given them."  This is so true.  There are Many times in life that we just feel as if the Lord has given us too much.  That we have received just too hard of a task and that it is just simply impossible.  I have felt that way multiple times this week but as I have read in the holy scriptures and turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer, I have found that he can strengthen us in those moments that we do not think that we can continue and if we are focused on the joyous moments that we can bring into the lives of others and the way that we can be of help to those who are in need, he will lift us up and give us strength beyond that which is possible for any human being.  The Lord is with us at all times and in all things and this gives me the motivation that I need to make sure that I am with him, that I am working on His side, at all times and in all things. Having the opportunity to be a part of this work in bringing others to the knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a huge blessing and although it may be hard at times, I am receiving many more blessings than difficulties.
     We had intercambios (I think the word is exchanges in English...) this week and I had the opportunity to stay in our sector and guide the way to all of our appointments and lead the discussions and más que nada take the lead.  And if you know me, you know that I am AWFUL with directions and get lost at the drop of a hat so this was quite a challenge for me.  Just have to say that this was another way that my faith was strengthened in the fact that the Lord helps us in every moment of this work because we never got lost! I was able to guide us through our sector and lead the discussions and everything! And we had no problems!  It was amazing! And I also had the practically perfect example of Hermana McNeil who is one of our hermana leaders for our zone.   She is pretty much the perfect missionary and I was strengthened so much by her example!  I learned how to have much better contacts in the streets and how to make sure that each and every person that I talk to understands the purpose of why we are here and the joy that we can bring into their lives.  It was so great!  I want to be an example to each and every one of my companions in the way that Hermana McNeil was to me! 
      Javi and Coni were baptized yesterday!  After lots of things going wrong and the chance to work very closely with our ward (which was a true miracle!) and talk more to their parents, we were blessed to be part of this amazing moment in their lives to make this covenant with God!  It was so great! And Dad will be happy to hear that I have been practicing singing and us four hermanas in the ward performed a special musical number in the baptism. ;) This is the beginning of an amazing new life for these girls!!
      I love you all so much!!!!
--Hermana Harvey

We made books for the girls to record special events in their lives in relation with their new lives in the gospel! We have moments such as their baptism all the way to their sealing in the temple with their husbands! ;) So exciting!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 14

Hello Friends and Family!!
    This week has been great! Especially Halloween! First of all, it was super fun to see that the kids actually go out and do Trick or Treating here!! Or Dulce o basura ;) soo fun! So as we were out working there were a bunch of little kids in costumes banging on fences for candy" ! ;) so cute!  So that was super fun! And also this day we just had the spirit so strong in our lessons! I don´t know what was different about Halloween but we just were able to teach with more power and conviction and we had a member couple in one of our lessons and we invited our investigator to be baptized and he said that he was not ready yet and that he had a lot he needed to do to get ready before he would commit to anything and we were talking about the importance of acting on the things that he knows to be true and how if we do not act on our responses that we receive from the Lord, he will not continue to give us more knowledge and answers to our questions and as we were talking about this, this man that we had with us (who converted to the church about 5 years ago and now is a very strong and active member) bore his testimony on the importance of acting on the responses through sharing his experience with converting to the church and the spirit was so strong when he was speaking!  Still he said that he is not prepared to make this change in his life right now but I could feel that his heart was softened at least a little bit more through the testimony of this member! There are so many blessings that come when you have a member in your lessons! It is incredible! So family, friends, if you have the chance, I would like to invite you to go out with the missionaries! They NEED your help! Trust me... We as missionaries can Not do it alone! 
      We've been doing a lot of preparing this week because two of our investigators are being baptized on Thursday!  Javiera y Constanza! I am sooo excited for them!! Their parents are less-active members and they are 11 and 9 years old! The missionaries have been teaching them for quite a while and now if finally the time!! They are so ready and soo excited for their baptisms!  Whenever we ask them any questions at all about the gospel their response is ALWAYS to go to church on Sundays and be baptized so that they can be "limpiasita" or clean (in a cute way) . haha I love it! AHHH! So exciting!!  I hope you all have a great week!
--Hermana Harvey
Our district right before our last transfers!

Had lunch with Familia Canales and this was our "ensalada" a tomato stuffed with ground beef

Javi and Coni! the two girls who are going to be baptized on Thursday (sooo exciting!) with pictures of the world that they drew because we were talking about the creation!

Chile at sunset in our sector!

I made the cinnamon rolls! They were delicious!!

My companion and I pretty view from up en el campo.  We went up here for a lunch appointment and the member who we ate with took the picture for us!