Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 26, 2015

Herro My Fammery!! Wercome to my favorat term of the werk! It was a busy one!

Tanner Galloway, you are an inspiration!! You never give up, do you? Tallahassee is very lucky to have you going there!! Actually, I'm pretty sure that everyone else from my district in the MTC was going to Tallahassee too! One piece of advice that I have for you is when you are out in the field (or to anyone and everyone else when you feel this way no matter where you are in life), some days you will feel like you are completely and totally alone... You are very easy to get along with you so might not have this problem but some missionaries have companions that they don't always get along with. This makes the work very hard and sometimes you wonder if it's worth your time. But just like in the story you told at your farewell by Elder Brown, God puts us in situations and with certain people to see how we will react and to help us grow. When this time of loneliness comes (hopefully it doesn't but just in case it does) remember that God loves you and knows you better than you know yourself and He will NEVER EVER EVER allow you to go through any trials or troubles that you can't handle. Faith in God includes faith in His timing and decisions. If that doesn't help you a ton, then think of your farewell and luncheon. You had so many people there that you actually ran out of food! That's ridiculous. That's a lot of people. And every single person there supports you 110%! They know, just as I do, that you are going to be such and amazing missionary and will help so many people to come closer to Jesus Christ. Knowing that people are hoping and praying for you every day and night really helps you know that you are not alone. But probably one of the most important things to remember when you feel like you're alone and unsuccessful is you are never alone. Jesus Christ suffered and died for you personally. That includes every single pain, every trial, every temptation, every setback, every door slammed in your face, every person yelling profanity at you for representing our Savior, and every night you lay sleepless in bed wondering if you it's worth it, Jesus Christ knows and has experienced everything you will go through. The sooner you understand this and then use this knowledge to help you grow, the more you will be able to help those around you to grow and come closer to Him too.

We had a Mini-Missionary with us for a few days this week! Brother David Weller is a 26 year old from Tucson. (At 26 years old, 6 feet tall, and about 190 pounds, he's not very mini though!) He grew up in the church but fell away for a couple of years. But about a year and a half ago, he made his way back and decided to serve a mission. He sent in his papers and will be going to Seattle Washington near the end of February. Missionaries who have their calls (maybe even just people preparing to serve missions) can do a mini-mission from a just a few days to a week or possibly longer. It is a way to kinda get your feet wet before completely jumping into a mission. Something he realized though from just a few days in the field is so much of a mission is self-propelled. You can tract down an entire street and have every door slammed in your face and you still keep pushing forward. You don't have the mission president hovering over your shoulder making sure you are working all day. You don't have the Zone Leaders coming into your apartments checking to make sure you are being obedient. All of it is on each individual missionary and his desire to keep pushing forward. He said it was an eye opener but a good one! He will be more prepared now that he's semi used to having people yell and swear at him for doing the work of the Lord! Haha. But he was super awesome! He came with us from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. This was super good for Elder Deyarmond because I let him take the lead most of the time and it was just like taking over the area and training for him. He's such an awesome missionary already!
(One of the greatest district's ever! (Left Front to Back) Me, Elder Mitchell, Elder Deyarmond, Sister Goodwin. (Right Front to Back) Elder Farnworth David Weller, Sister Walter. (David was a mini-missionary for a few days with us))
We did a lot of service this week. And when I say a lot, I really actually mean A LOT! We started off at the Froehlich's building them a new door for their shed. The one's they had on there blew off and she really wanted a sliding barn door style for it. She found some ideas on pintrest but didn't really know how to combine the different things she liked on each different pin into one final project. This is where Elder Deyarmond and myself come into the picture. She didn't want to spend a lot of money and luckily had found 4 lightweight doors that remind me a lot of barn-style doors. So we came up with a plan made it happen with just those 4 doors, two 8 ft. pieces of PVC pipe, a few 2by4 boards, and some "O"ring screws! I wish that I had my card adapter but I didn't bring it with me... I'll attach a few pictures next time of it! but it looks super awesome and it was super easy! She was very appreciative of course and loves it! :)
The Froehlich's: One of the greatest families in Sierra Vista!

The next project we did was cutting wood for Debbie. Her and Clint are doing very well except they are cold. They don't have a heating system in their house except for their fireplace and without wood, that doesn't do a whole lot of good. So we went with Sister Froehlich, brother Weller, and Hereford Elder's to a non-member's home that the Froehlich's know in Hereford to cut down some trees. I was thinking like big, tall trees like we have in Utah. I forgot that we are in Arizona and everything here that isn't dead, tries to kill you instead. We cut down 2 decent sized mesquite trees. Mesquite trees have thorns though. Maybe thorns isn't the right word. Spines? Needles? Very thin knives? Take your pick! The lady who's property we were on was wearing thick cowboy boots and she accidentally stepped on a branch we had cut down. The needle went THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF HER BOOTS!!! They are sharp!!! And to top it all off, her chainsaw wasn't working... So the other 4 Elders got to work with some hand saws while I fixed the saw. I took it apart and cleaned it out and tried to figure out what was going on. I couldn't get it figured out till I looked at the safety bar in front of the top handle on the saw. I was told that if it was pushed forward that the saw would work. But if it was pulled back towards you, it would stop the saw from working. So after about 45 minutes of working on this saw, I look at the inside of the safety bar. Turns out, the saw was never broken... The sister who's home we were at got the directions mixed up and so instead of it running when the bar is pushed forward, it runs when it's pulled back towards you. She had it pushed forward the whole time and that's why it wasn't running... Once we got that figured out, the work quadrupled in time. In just a few hours, we had 2 big truck-fulls of wood for Debbie and Clint! Once again, no camera card adapter for pictures but I will attach them next time! :)

Well, I must be off! Good luck out there Tanner!

I love you all so much! Thank you for your wonderful emails and all your prayers!

~Elder Kyle Harris

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?
A stick

Hello Hello Hello!!! It's already the 20th of January and I have 141 days left!! That means that in 3 days I start the Doctrine and Covenants Challenge! What you do for that is you read a section a day from when you have 138 days left till you go home. In just over a month, I'm going to be in single digits! Time to start packing my bags and living out of my suitcase... :P I'm not super trunky, just mildly. Enough that I don't want to come home yet but I'm super excited for it!

What a great week! Im very happy to hear that everyone is doing well at home too. I love hearing how your week went and what you guys did. It makes me feel like Im not missing out on too much back there. But at the same time, you are missing out on everything that is happening out here! And to help out with that, let me tell you about what happened this week! :)

I'll start off with the most interesting day. Thursday night to Friday night I went on exchanges with Elder Micah Wise. Elder Wise is from Washington and loves to sing and dance! And he is really good at it! Like, he should be on Broadway! Actually, funny I should say that, he did sing on Broadway! Yup, Elder Wise started off his Broadway career singing in the musical "The Book of Mormon". Yes, I agree that it wasn't a good place for him to be in seeing as how all the play does is make fun of our church and our beliefs. But you have to start somewhere to get higher. He left that musical as fast as he could and was able to get into the musical "Les Mis"! Much better, don't you agree? Anyway, he is a very happy and lively person and super random. We stayed up till like 1 a.m. talking and laughing! Not the smartest idea because the next day we were exhausted... But it was actually a relaxing day! Well, kinda... Elder Wise has been having lots of pain on his right side behind his bottom 3 ribs. He says that it hurts to even breathe but didn't feel like it was something he needed to call sister Passey about. But Friday morning he was in a lot of pain and felt it was necessary to call. She asked him to do a few things like stretch and jump up and down and after like 5 minutes of doing these things she says "Elder Wise, I think you have appendicitis... Go to the E.R. right now!" So we go to the E.R. and wait... and wait... Since none of you have been to the Sierra Vista Hospital, you have a better chance winning the lottery than you do getting seen by a doctor within an hour of getting there. To quote Jim Gaffigan, it "makes you look forward going to the DMV!" So we are sitting in the waiting room and there is a t.v. on with some C.S.I. kind of show playing and we are just making fun of it the whole time! We can't really hear what's going on so we just made up what was going on and what was being said. It was spectacular! Well, except for the fact that we were in the hospital. While we were there waiting, Sister Passey calls Elder Wise and says "Alright so we are getting everything set up for your surgery. You are going to be there for probably 2 or 3 days so we are going to have to work out having a companion with you all night." and so on. The only thing is, neither of us thought it was appendicitis! Your appendix is like right above your hip on your right side. His pain was up behind his ribs and in the front. So we told her to hold off till we had been seen by a doctor. After and hour and a half we were called back and they gave him like 5 bands around his wrist. I got one too! It is bright yellow and says "Fall Risk" on it. The nurse said that everyone that goes back into the E.R. needs to have a Fall Risk bracelet on so that everyone knows you are a fall risk or to warn people that you could be a fall risk for them. If everyone needs one on, shouldn't you just know that everyone back there is a fall risk whether they are wearing a yellow bracelet or not? It took about 30 minutes before we were finally seen and the whole half hour that we were waiting, we were joking about jumping through the curtains and yelling "FALL RISK!" It sounds super lame but being a missionary, you learn how to keep yourself entertained because our entertainment options are limited. Elder Wise got x-rayed and he was fine on that photo. Funny story, President Passey, our mission president, called and asked Elder Wise if they had given him an ultrasound to find out what was wrong. And he wasn't joking, he was completely serious although we are pretty sure he just meant and x-ray. Elder Wise looked at me, muted the phone and said "President just asked if I had gotten and ultrasound. Isn't that what they use to tell what gender your baby is? Should I tell him that I'm having a boy or just pretend that he said x-ray?" Haha! After about another half hour the doctor said that he didn't know what was wrong but that he was sure it wasn't appendicitis. He said he was going to just treat the symptoms he was feeling and go from there. He said that he thought something was enflamed and so he told elder Wise to take Notrin or Ibuprofen religiously for the next few days and see if it gets any better. If it didn't feel better in 3 or 4 days, he was to come back in and they would look harder at determining the problem. We are in the hospital and he is going to be paying you them to find out what's wrong with him. Shouldn't they look harder to find out what's wrong anyway? Not in like 3 days? I guess it's working though cause he hasn't had to go back yet and it's been like 5 days. But we still couldn't leave yet! We had to wait another half hour for the nurse to bring in his papers to sign so he could be released. 3 hours in the hospital just to say "You should just take some Ibuprofen and see if that helps." Not a complete waste of our time, just mostly so. We actually had to cancel 2 appointments with investigators and a service project. But at least he is feeling better!

And then on Sunday we found ourselves back at the E.R. We were at church greeting people before sacrament meeting and the lady that was supposed to pick up Debbie, our investigator, didn't have Debbie with her. She came up to us and said "Elders, I stopped by Debbie's home but her son Clint said that she fell off of her couch this morning and hit her head on the ground. She was bleeding everywhere and so he called 911 and an ambulance took her to the E.R." Debbie hasn't had the best of luck recently.... But it's all because she is progressing and coming closer to finding the truth!! She even has a baptism date for heavens sake! Of course satan is going to be working hard on her! A few months ago, she had an aneurism. Then a few weeks ago she was attacked by her dog. She has over 50 stitches in her forehead and they had to put her dog, who she raised since he was a puppy, to sleep. Now this. So after sacrament meeting we speed over to the E.R. to see how she's doing and give her a blessing. When we show up, we were immediately helped (which is a miracle in it of itself) and are taken to Debbie. As we were walking, the nurse says "She's doing great. She even has her dismissal papers signed already. We are just trying to help her blood pressure get to normal now." Sure enough, Debbie is just fine. She hit her cheek bone just below her right eye but there was no cut and no blood. She didn't bleed at all, even when she fell. I don't know what sister Stebelski was talking about when she told us there was blood everywhere but there wasn't, luckily! She was released shortly after we left and we check up on her later that night. She was actually looking better then than she had in weeks! The scar on the top of her head where the aneurism happened was almost completely gone and you couldn't even see the scars from her dog attack, just redness where the stitches still located. She has a 35 year old son named Clint that lives with her. He didn't like us meeting with her at first cause he isn't super religious at all. But with all of the help that we have been giving her with getting her firewood and cleaning her yard and going and visiting her at the hospital, he has really warmed up to us. He doesn't show it to us but he does to Debbie. In fact, he has even been asking her about what we are teaching her and says that he might want to join us sometime for a lesson or two! So we'll see what happens with that!

Elder Deyarmond and I couldn't be doing any better! We are such great friends, we laugh all the time, work hard, work well together, and this transfer couldn't be going any better! So don't worry about us! :) But we are doing great! Promise!

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time today because we have a packed schedule! But this week I've really been studying into like trials and hard times in life. I have come up with a scripture chain to help me and really anyone else when they are going through hard times. Because we are human, we always ask "Why?". "Why are we put through hard times? Why is this happening to me?" So lets talk about why?

          Alma 32:12-13 says:
          12 I say unto you, it is well that ye are cast out of your synagogues, that ye may be humble, and that ye may learn wisdom; for it is necessary that ye should learn wisdom; for it is because that ye are cast out, that ye are
          despised of your brethren because of your exceeding poverty, that ye are brought to a lowliness of heart; for ye are necessarily brought to be humble.
          13 And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy; and he that findeth
          mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved.

So one of the reasons is to compel us to be Humble. And that humility leads us to repent. And at the end of verse 13 it says that if we repent and endure to the end, we will be saved. But not just saved. This is reason number 2 and it is found in Hebrews 11.

          JST Hebrews 11:40 says:
          God having provided some better things for them through their sufferings, for without sufferings they could not be made perfect.

Sufferings, trials, and hard times are given us and allowed upon us because it leads us to perfection. And perfection comes as we live with our Father in Heaven in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. This is what CAN come if we handle the situations we are put into correctly and with God's help.

Now we know "why" next is how do we handle or overcome these obstacles?

          Alma 36:3 says
           3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their
           trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.

Trust in God. Trust is SOOOO important to our Heavenly Father. Just as a child trusts his parents with everything, so should we trust our Heavenly Parents. And Alma 50 shows us how we can show we trust in Him.

          Alma 50:22 says:
          22 And those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered at all times.

By keeping His commandments, whether times are hard or not, this shows our Heavenly Father we will always trust in Him and serve Him, not just when it's convenient for us. There are 2 words I love here: "Delivered" and "All". Delivered unfortunately means that we will have to go through hard times and that we can get out of some of these trials by ourselves sometimes but that we will get out much sooner and much easier with our Father's help. And the next word, all, is definite. It literally means we will be delivered out of EVERY hard time that we have to go through. It does not however mean that as soon as adversity comes our way that the Lord will deliver us out of it. There are lessons to be learned and changes needed to be made in our lives with everything we are put through. But going back to Hebrews 11:40, we will become perfect someday as long as we continue to trust in the Lord.

I just saw this quote in a members home and I want to share it with you. The author is unknown but the quote says this:

You were given THIS life because you were strong enough to live it.

I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers and support! Especially in behalf of Debbie. We can't do this work without your help and those prayers are extremely helpful! I LOVE YOU!!!

~Elder Kyle Harris