Monday, December 26, 2011

Some fun pictures

New Area Elks Grove Ca

Jarediah is in a new area and we believe this will be his last. He will be coming home on April 5th, 2012. Following are some of his recent post.

Even at the moments of wonder and confusion, there still exists the calm assurance that everything will be fine and that God will bless us to be successful. It is all very interesting and wonderful to me. There are many changes taking place in me and I am becoming a very centered person that just accepts things as they come and overcomes them piece by piece. It is truly wonderful. I remember back when I would get frustrated and not be happy, but now when I go through things in life it is a lot easier to bring myself to remember God and see that it is probably because I need to change something about me. I truly love the great blessings I am having at this time and I am so happy that I decided to come back to the Lord and to follow in the way that he wants. I am so happy Mom. That part about my siblings pitching in almost moved me to tears. Something has always been different for me in regards to the family. It is like why I didn't bring a picture of the family. Something about how sacred my family is to me that I wish to keep them only in the confines of my mind and not share them with the rest because I would only want to keep that image of who they are to me and the feelings that I have for them. In Tracy I truly learned how to love and how to be a kind person to all in all circumstances. I have learned how to love unconditionally and more deeply on a level that can only be explained as spiritual. Haha my companion doesn't know, but I have some presents for him. I had 5 extra shirts that I am not going to need so I decided to give him 4 of them and wrapped them up and hid them from his sight so that he would not know about them. I also wrapped up a tie I received from my first companion in this mission, and also I made him a card that lists off 100 things that I admire about him. I know he is going to have an explosion of happiness when he sees it, because there is no way he could ever suspect it or ever know it. I am excited for Christmas and not because I plan on getting anything, but because I am so excited about what I am giving to someone else.

Also we will be having a baptism on the 25th, Christmas day. I am so excited because this is my first baptism since when we baptized Ramon back in March. I am excited because I know that this baptism is going to open up doors for others that before hand have not been up. So with that I will tell you about my week. On Monday we went and taught an amazing family that we had a family home evening, and an amazing miracle happened with that. We had planned to see the movie Joy to the World, but were not able to find the movie anywhere. I felt however that the Lord would take care of us, and when we got to their apartment, we felt impressed to check the trunk again. There wedged nicely between a couple other movies was a newly wrapped Joy to the World movie. That was not there before! I know that God had placed it there because that movie was what the family needed to see. It was so exciting and they really felt the spirit as we were sharing the movie and then for the first time the family got to make snowflakes together that they could decorate the house with. It was just so exciting and they were so happy and had a lot of fun. As we taught others we saw great blessings as we taught another couple that before hand had been having some great problems in the family even to separation, but when we got done talking to them they felt even more calm and apologized to us for their recent behavior as of late. We taught another man that recently had an accident and he was more than open to the idea of hearing the gospel. All in all it was a wonderful Monday. Tuesday we had a family home evening with another family and we ended with a snowball fight. This we did with marshmallows and the idea was for them to throw it in each other's mouths. Since there was two couples in the home we had a little bit of a competition and everyone was laughing and having great fun. We taught a man that was from Guatemala and he was a man that didn't talk to us much before, but as we got talking about Guatemala and the things going on he got really interested and we had a good message with him about the atonement. Wednesday we taught a man named Tim who was retired because of medical reasons, and because of that he was caused to look in great need for the spiritual aspect of life. We had a really wonderful lesson with him and set up a time for the missionaries to come back. We then right after were looking for a dropped investigator and we found his whole family. It was truly wonderful and they asked us to come back another day. We then taught a lady from a Caribbean Island and it started off as a small battle but soon became a testimony meeting where we prayed in the end. I was told by Elder Luttrell that I was a little bold in my prayer and might have offended her, but I knew I said what I felt I was supposed to say. In the end we were called over to talk with our new less active who is blind and we had a great lesson with her about the gospel and invited her to the party on Saturday. On Thursday I went on an exchange with the new missionary Elder Hernandez and it was quite the adventure. We got lost a couple times but all in all had a wonderful day. As we did some role playing on teaching The Plan of Salvation and I was able to share some great experiences with him about effective teaching tools. I was grateful for the things I had learned throughout my experiences that will bless others much in the earlier stages of their missions.

We taught a lady named Laura and we taught her about baptisms for the dead. It was pretty intense, but the Lord guided our words and in the end she accepted to read the BOM and pray about Joseph Smith. We taught Stacy who is going to get baptized this next friday and she is really excited. In the end we taught a family named La Cruz and it was fun to see the great things going on with them. They have a little girl that was walking around in a walker and it was pretty cool to talk to them about eternal families. We had three member lessons. It was wonderful. On friday we had a wonderful planning session and taught the family that we had found earlier in the week. They had many questions and what looked like it was going to end up in a bible bash, soon became a great discussion and they were really interested in our message in the end. On Saturday we were greatly blessed to begin teaching Maria. She really wanted to learn more and as we taught the Restoration she said that she knew that it was true and that she was interested in being baptized. As we were leaving we were passing the house of someone that we hadn't been able to find before and decided that we would try and find her and we found her! It was so wonderful that God blessed us to be able to find her. We found another lady later on that was playing with her daughter outside and allowed us to share a small message with her. She wasn't too interested in the end, but we know someday she will accept the message. We went to the Christmas Dinner we had 25-29 people that were not members that came to our activity. It was so wonderful and the activity was so awesome. I know our investigators felt the spirit greatly and we excited about Christmas with the great program that we had. We prayed that all who came to our activity would come to church the next day. Yesterday we had 3 that ended up showing up, but the best part is Maria, in whom we taught the other day, set a day for the 25th of this month to get baptized. It is just so exciting. We taught a man named Sai who is from Fiji and we had a hard time teaching him because of a slight language barrier and also a lack of desire to listen, but I know he felt the spirit in some small way. A small seed that someday will be able to be harvested by another person. We taught Raquel at the church and got them (her and Carlos) really thinking about getting married and making preparations for a marriage. We hope that they seriously contemplate this great blessing so that many generations to come can mark the moment that the Gospel fully began to bless their family. The last person we were able to see what Joseph. He was an indian man that we had taught before and we went to his house to do some Caroling and he asked us to come into his house. We shared a message about the birth of Christ and we know he felt the spirit. He is meeting with the English Elders and we know that he is going to get baptized. I am so grateful for the many blessings that are coming into our lives and I know that they are taking place because the our diligence, faith, and the Lord's great mercy and love for all his children.. With love,
Elder Harmon

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finally Arrived in Sacramento

After a long 3 month, Jarediah was able to finally go back out to the mission field, he is serving as you can tell, in Sacramento, Ca. His has been there for a week and here is part of what he has to say.

My foot has taken a few steps backward and decided to act up, but slowly I am making progress with it again. It is nothing serious but as we predicted it has a mind of its own and is stubbornly getting used to all the walking I am doing.
As for this week, this week has been a real challenge for me as I have been fighting a lot of feelings, missing my old mission, getting used to new mission ideas and rules.
yesterday was a real breaking point for me in which I was able to finally break through the ice. I have felt throughout the week like a stranger in a strange land, and even though everyone really likes me, I still feel out of place.

Since the breaking point I now feel a lot more confident about myself, and I can see the spirit flowing in a lot more. It has been hard for me to really see the spirit until now, but I know he was there the whole time. I really felt it when I was set apart, but after that it was like it became stagnant, and I felt a little alone for a bit.

My companion Elder Stoddard is from Georgia and he has been in the mission for 22 and a half months. That means after this next transfer he will be going home. President told me I might only be with him for about two weeks, which is kind of sad, but I know that my next companion should be pretty good as well. The missionaries so far are a lot more obedient in this mission, and they seem to be of higher spirits as well. So as you can imagine it is a lot greater of an atmosphere. The people are so very strange and have their very strange ideas. Can you imagine that there were stranger idealed people then the Guatemalans? Being here makes me really miss those fun, funny, and great people. I do know though that the Lord has placed me here for a reason. It is amazing or what that at a time I come into the mission another elder gets his visa at the same time to go to Brazil. It was quite inspiring to see the lord work miracles the first day that I get here.

I am so grateful to the Lord for the blessings he is giving me. I feel like now that I have broken the ice I can pick myself up and start running (spiritually) with the spirit, to reach out to those who are in need.

Elder Harmon

Friday, November 26, 2010

Transfer to Senah, my area is called Chijolom

First I am not in Coban technically, but a part of the map called Senahu, and my area is called Chijolom. As you can see in the map it is in the deep mountains. Yes, I have a water purification kit and I use it. We have a bucket that has a filter in it and I drink filtered water so alas mother yes I will be as careful as your little boy can be. My ear has healed as far as I know but I dont know sometimes it makes weird noises that I dont like but I presume that it has indeed healed, and if not completely I know it will heal so I am not worried about it. As for the how to say the language. It is Ke-k-chi haha no t.
My companion Elder Legua is from Brigham City, Utah surpisingly enough considering to everyone else in the world he looks like he is from Peru so instead of trying to argue with people about where he is from he just says he is from Peru lol. He is a cool guy and was a soccer player before his mission. He can speak spanish and english fluente and he is working really hard on his kekchi and is actually a lot better at it than he is willing to admit haha. We, I am happy to say, are getting along just great and things actually are going pretty good for us. He helps me in the best way that he possible can, and answers all my questions about how to say stuff in Kekchi. I do not know very much about coban only that is it populated with many many different languages and cultures. As for up here in the mountains the main source of people are the kekchis and whoever else manages to come up. It is my FAVORITE type of weather, the colder kind so for that I am absolutely loving it up haha. Although it does not snow here as far as I know, Elder Legua and I are hoping for snow although they say it doesnt, but I did have a dream once that it snowed in Guatemala so I will keep you posted when I know more.
As for experiences I have had this week, it has been a really fun week for me and I honestly have no idea what happens in the lessons about 98% of the time, and often just look blankly at people when they talk to me because I have no idea what they are saying. Kekchi is a very complicated language and I can see why only those with the spirit can learn this language. To put it in perspective spanish is a breeze and a half compared to only the beginning of understanding Kekchi so lets just say it might be quite a little bit of time before I understand completely. However, one experience I had was very neat for me. My companion was teaching and I was practicing saying in my head a part that I had been trying to memorize, and during 10 seconds of my companion talking I understood what he was talking about. I was very shocked and then went back to not understanding anything. It made me really grateful to the Lord because I know only through him that I understood even the smallest part of what my companion was saying.

Elder Harmon

Elder in San Andres, Petan, Guatemala

The other day we were teaching an inactive member and as we were something caught my eye. I looked and I saw the gate that was outside the house and it was chicken wire. What caught my eye wasnt the gate itself but the memory or flash of some kind of memory that came attached with it. As I looked it over in my mind I saw myself chasing a little kid who was running and laughing and having a great time. I was a little bit later in my life as far as I could tell, and the feeling that washed over me was amazing. I felt like what I would have guessed would have been what dad feels when he expresses his love for me to others and how proud he is of me. I felt really the love of a father for his child. When I came back out of this flash of memory it happened just in time for me to testify to our inactive that we loved him, and that his father in heaven also loved him. I felt the spirit really strong and was really impressed by this. As I reflected it later, it gave me an even greater desire to learn how to love someone even more then my current capacity, and I thought a lot about how I had grown in my love for my companion despite our bouts of disagreement. This week has been a really good week for us and we have 4 baptism dates for investigators, and one of them is a family. I am so excited for them and to see if they will continue to accept the challenges and blessings that are waiting for them. This week has been really exciting and dang this change has been going by so fast. I cant believe that already I am in the sixth week which means that next week it is possible I might have a new companion, which makes me kind of sad because I am just beginning to get along with my companion right now. This week I have also gone to petencito which is a zoo in our zone. (thus explaining the pictures with animals) It was really cool to see all the different wild life.

Elder Harmon

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Area San Andres Peten, New Adventures

Happy Happy Am I!!

Might I say though that I have gone from one of the most dangerous areas to one of the absolute best in the whole mission. I now reside in the mission area of San andres, Peten. Eight hours from my last area. I have a new companion, His name is Elder Degraw and he is a very logical person.
I am seeing a lot of the blessings coming. Recently while teaching I have really felt the spirit helping me and guiding me as to what to say and here in Peten we teach A LOT more haha. Recently we had a lesson with a man named Adam and he was relatively uninterested in our message, but I tried really hard to keep him active in our lesson, which was really hard, and I began to use an analogy about the gospel that one, I have never use before, and two was really simple. This is with Air, hunger, and thirst. I talked about how without having the gospel is like our bodies without air and we begin to die in our soul, and how hunger is like knowledge and understanding, and water is like blessings, and I applied it through the spirit.
It was really cool and even now I cant really explain it exactly, which makes it so cool that the spirit helped me do it in spanish. Another experience I had was yesterday where we were talking to a guy and he asked me where god came from. Well...I didnt know the answer to that, but the spirit guiding me as to what to say. So the spirit whispered to me to tell him that right now our minds cant understand the principle of infinite which is why we learn the simple things first, and then when we meet before god he will teach us the things more complicated. Oh mother you should have seen the flabbergasted look on his face, and it was so neat to know the spirit guided me. I am really starting to know when the spirit talks through me to other people, and it is just really awesome to feel the spirit so strong. Even though I know right now that I am weak I know the lord will make me strong.
I begin to really recognize that I need the lord more and more just like the song of I need thee every hour. Being here on a mission is really beginning to put that into perspective for me, and the importance of listening to the spirit. I am trying really hard right now to put all things into practice so that when all falls I will have the spirit to guide me in all things. My spanish by far is not perfect at all and I struggle a lot to say certain things, but I know the lord will help me to be an instrument in his hands, and I will be sure to try my hardest to share my experiences more.
I have a testimony of the great work that I am striving to do with the help of the lord and that I know he is guiding me. I know these things of an assurety in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Elder Harmon Update

Jarediah isn't able to write on his blog anymore, so I am putting in the post that he gives me.

Well nontheless we have three dates of baptism in our area for a family that came to church on sunday. Well lets see what to say hmm. So I am glad to hear things are going good at home even though the details of good are very tiny. Anyway in other news I ran into a sister here in the mission who knew bj in highschool and says she was one of his good friends. I dont know her first name but her last name is Mitchell. She is the same age as bj and here in the mission and says she is going to try and write him a letter. She is really enthusiastic that she knows him and hopes he is doing pretty good. Maybe if bj can find her in the yearbook he could write her a letter. He can send it to the same address as me here in Guatemala if he wants to write her.
Anyhow things in guatemala are pretty good with the exception that a lot of people die in my area everyday due to gangs and stuff, but oh well what can you do right? Maybe it will help people wake up and realize that they dont have all the time in the world like they think that they do. I really like this new area we have. I have a really high hill in my area that when I stand on top I can see the whole area of alameda and into other areas far into the capital, it is really cool. I have attached pictures of me (an update), my companion (yellow tie in the one) and my new room and study room in which I live haha. As you can see it is a mess, advantage of living with a somewhat messy companion haha and having a companion that had a companion that left a ton of stuff when he went home. I have a slight cough that annoys me now and again but other than that things are pretty good.
Elder Harmon