Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Finally made it back!! (3/12/18)

Hey guys! I hope you all have had a great week. This week has been awesome for us! It felt so great to be back in Wakkanai with all the people I have come to love so much!

This week we were able to meet with a lot of our friends and had a lot of great discussions about the gospel. It was great to see how these people have come to learn more about Jesus Christ and their Heavenly Father while I have been here. We also met with a few less active members and got to see their testimonies start to rekindle. It was great when we showed up to one less active member and he instantly asked us to come over again to teach him this last Friday! He has such a sincere desire to know God and to feel his love. Before we could even think to ask when to meet again he had already set a date for our next appointment! I absolutely love being on the Lords errand. I know that God loves each and everyone of us and is helping us walk back towards him. He is right by our side every step of the way! I hope you guys all have a great week and are preparing for General conference! I can't wait! Oh and this week is transfers so I will be sure to tell y'all any changes.

Elder Harvey

Here are some pics of some dessert we made for a ward pot luck.  

This was my breakfast.  Take out the granola and that's what we had under the chocolate. It took way more time than first anticipated. 10/10 will not make again as a missionary. Though it was delicious the yogurt was plain yogurt with strawberry or blueberry jam mixed with raisins kiwis and banana. All in all it was a hit. Might do it again after the mission.


Did I mention that it snows a lot here?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Stranded! In another land (3/5/18)

Hey everyone I hope you all have had as interesting a week as I had!  The last time I wrote you all I was on a train down to Asahikawa.  Today I'm writing to you on a train from Asahikawa. This last week because of the two typhoons that hit Hokkaido all the trains going up to Wakkanai had stopped for the entire week! I have been stranded down in Asahikawa this whole time. It was the first time I really felt "homesick" badly here in Japan. Not for Massachusetts but for my beloved Wakkanai! Today I finally get to go home!

The week started off really well with Zone activity. The really awesome part about it was all you can eat half cooked meat and just meeting up with a bunch of friends. The next day was Zone Conference which was also really amazing! I learned a ton about testimonies and faith. Another big theme of the week that I learned was to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts. I have really come to know that the Lord has a perfect plan for us and knows the whole playing board. It was a little tough this week not being able to go back to our area but at the same time I knew that the Lord knew better than I did. As I held trust in that I felt way less stressed about it and I could feel the spirits confirmation that the Lord loves his children and does everything for them in a perfect timing.

This week, despite our futile trips to the train station, we could not go home. So instead we just ended up spending the week proselytizing in Suehiro, which is the Stake center area for Asahikawa. It was really great and I felt I talked with a lot of people that the Lord was putting in my way. It was amazing to see the work that would have otherwise not have happened had I gone to Wakkanai being fulfilled before my eyes. Truly I felt that the Lord works in mysterious but correct ways to the succoring of his children. I even met a member that was in the same mission (London England) as someone from my school (Wesley Andrews)! During my 4 years at that school there were only 4 other members besides myself.  It was crazy to see just how small the world is!

I also got to attend sacrament meeting in Suehiro which was pretty nice. It was interesting to be at a sacrament meeting as a missionary where I was only visiting. Certainly, and hopefully, a once in a lifetime experience.

I hope you all can continue to see God's influence in your lives. I know that he loves you as one of his children. He has come to know you personally and has forged a bond of love that is very deep. He cares for you and is continuously calling you to help you find that bond of love. I know that his plan is perfect and that he will not lead us wrong when we follow him.

I love you all!
Elder Harvey

Pictures from Zone Conference

Another crazy week in Wakkanai! (2/26/18)

Hey everyone I hope your guys week has been awesome! I spent most of this week being sick but we still got a lot done this week! We visited with all the members this week, they have been super nice to me and really helped me out with my cold. We really feel that the members here are super strong!

We have been able to meet with a lot of people this week too! We have also made new investigators out of a members friends! It's great because they all hold a lot of interest in the Bible. They have even been meeting with the Jehovah witnesses. Though we really felt they are super prepared to hear the message! One more interesting thing happened this week too. A members friend Sister Kumagai's friend who is really close to baptism, has been listening to the Book of Mormon!
Also her husband found and is getting a bit more interested in the church. Only problem is, is that he can't hear. An obstacle that somehow we will overcome. This week we are really close to doubling sacrament meeting attendance again! The normal is 8 but we got 6 people to church this last Sunday! We also had some one come from the stake which brought us to 15! Really great none the less!

I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys!

Elder Harvey

Awesome half week! (2/19/18)

This has been a crazy week! It started off great and then came to a kind of abrupt stop haha. I got a cold this week which is why everything came to a halt, though thankfully it isn't influenza!

This week it has been snowing like a madman! Literally walked through thigh high deep snow! I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere sometimes and the reality of the country side really hit me when we found ourselves sliding down a hill of snow onto a street. Though it has been really fun!
We had a yakiniku (grilled meat) party with some members on Monday which was really fun! Except part way through our trek (I.E. 7ish minutes into a half hour trek) we realized that I forgot to take my cat medicine so we had to turn back. Thankfully it gave me a chance to change out of wet socks and boots into dry socks and boots, by the end of the trek they weren't dry anymore though haha!

Tuesday we found ourselves at some various lessons which was really awesome! We really have some great people who want to be freed through the atonement of Jesus Christ! It's really great to see how people feel when they come to a realization and belief that Jesus Christ can really heal them and help them through life's trials. We also had some other great days but me having a cold put a damper on things. Though one great accomplishment is that we were able to get Book of Mormon CDs to people who can't read! It felt like such an amazing accomplishment to be able to provide these people with the thing they have been looking forward to for years or months respectively! In all a really amazing week!

I hope you guys can see that the miracles in life truly and greatly outweigh the bad in life. Heavenly Father loves you all and knows you by name. It truly is his greatest desire for us to be happy. I'm so thankful we have experiences in life that let the truly joyous moments in life just be that much more brilliant and beautiful to us.

I love you guys!
Elder Harvey

Wakkanai the land of the CRAZY! (2/12/18)

Hey everyone! As usual it was another week of crazy miracles left and right! To put it simply I have felt blown away all week! There`s been blizzards, influenza is infecting everyone, lot`s of cats, saw some foxes randomly, and we doubled sacrament meeting attendance yesterday.

This week we really have been focusing on getting appointments with the people we already have.  A big problem here is that missionaries have not really been pushing for appointments here. As such we have been very busy this week teaching lessons to investigators and to less active members.Though the biggest thing I wasn`t expecting was all the cats! It seems like everyone here in Wakkanai owns a cat....or four.
We had a lesson with an investigator named Era. She has had the Book of Mormon for a while and has wanted to know more but people really haven`t asked for a time it seems like. So we get to her house and go in and I find 4 cats and a dog. Luckily that morning I had an impression that I needed to take my allergy medicine. I quickly understood why. In all though it was a really good lesson and we got a follow up lesson. :)

We also have taught quite a few other people which has been really awesome. I never realized really just how bad I am at teaching until I came here. Haha. I have already taught more lessons in this area that I have on average for my other areas which is amazing! This past Sunday we had an amazing church service! Last week all the regularly attending members plus my companion and me made 8 people. This Sunday (with the help of a promise of food afterwards >:) ) we had 16 people in attendance. We were able to get 5 investigators there and 2 people from the stake. We also had a less active member promise to come who did not show up, though we were given a miracle to reach our goal by having a member from Obihiro show up just in time. It was absolutely crazy! And also really tiring haha! When all the investigators left the Stake President and a sister in our ward called me over and gave me the referral of her husband.

Also another crazy miracle of the week is that an investigator that I was teaching when I was in Moiwa (my first area) just sent me a message that he is getting baptized! I was so ecstatic to hear that and almost leaped for joy, though I did shout!

Although I thought I was coming to the frozen over wasteland of Wakkanai, I have been finding more and more just how on fire it really is! By the time i`m out of here the whole whole place will have been razed over!

I love you all and hope you all are seeing your own personal miracles!
Elder Harvey

Transfers (2/5/18)

Hey everyone this week has been super crazy! SO much has happened since I have last written so I will more than likely skip some stuff and make no sense in the process. The biggest things though were the meeting on Monday, transfers, and everything regarding to going to a new area!

So to start off I will begin with Monday. We had a seriously intense meeting with Sister Oscarson and Sister Eubank!  (General Young Women's leaders from Salt Lake.)  I learned so much about faith, finding, and patience. It was great to hear and learn from these amazing women's experiences. One of my favorite is like how God doesn't work like a vending machine. You can;t just put in a coin of faith and expect a *kuchunk* Miracle to pop-out. You have to keep putting in those coins of faith continually, and hopefully getting a bit more gracious with the amount you put in, and in God's own due time he will *kuchunk* give you a miracle. After the eating we had a dinner with a new convert/part-member family which was really nice!  I'm going to miss them a lot! Pictures are on Facebook.

Tuesday we had our transfer calls and District Training Meeting. It was a great meeting which was largely focused on who Jesus Christ is and how we can teach simply about him. I learned a lot and the spirit was really strong. We also found out where everyone was going. The sisters, My companion Elder Burton, and Elder Yagi all stayed in Eniwa. Elder Kikuchi went to Toyohira and I got transferred to Wakkanai! Definitely a big shock when I heard that one. I really thought I would stay in the city, or at least a city-like area. I spent the rest of this day saying bye to members.

Wednesday: I got to meet with my favorite Investigator Kairi san 1 last time. I grew so close to him and we became such good friends. In just two weeks he has made it to Alma 20! He is so great! I spent the rest of that day packing and saying bye to various investigators and members. I was also up until 1 AM helping Elder Kikuchi pack X)

Thursday: Spent this whole day traveling. Legitimately though, I started traveling at 10:30A.M.  and made it into the apartment by 9 P.M. Pretty much went to Sapporo Eki to pick up my new companion Elder Gonzalez (He's from Idaho and only 50% Spanish heritage) at 1:30 then we hopped on a bus up to Wakkanai at 3 and made it in by 9. Very, Very , long bus ride! Though pretty comfortable if i do say so myself.

Then everything got really crazy! Though I'm out of time so I will be very brief. Wakkanai was nothing like I expected it to be at all! So many people, SO many investigators! This place is on fire! Everyone here is really nice and tons of things are happening! For example we have an investigator who is a Japanese dance teacher who invited us to this really nice party. She said that a lot of important people would be there. Little did we know that she meant REALLY IMPORTANT people!
Like all of the CEO's of the big corporations in Wakkanai and the Hokkaido Assemblyman. She introduced us to all of this people and they were all losing to her. She is a very Strong lady. Anyway a ton has happened that I haven't even begun to write about, like the branch which has 6 attending members, or really a lot. I love you guys so much!

 Above - Brother and Sister Oscarson

Gave this to Kairi san!  (Above)  He loves this show.  :/

  Me preparing for Wakkanai (it's COLD there!)
 The last time I saw Eniwa church.

 VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE! Even though I have never in my whole life have I danced these dances before or even seen them for that matter, I was forced to dance in front of all these VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE!
 Other dancers

 Everything the light touches is my kingdom!
The view outside my window this morning

Love you guys!
Elder Harvey

(Message and picture sent by Sister Oscarson to Elder Harvey's parents)

Look who we just spent the last hour and a half with! He looks great, loves his mission, and sends his love!