Monday, December 19, 2011
It has been an amazing week! Elder Benner and I have been working hard and we picked up 3 new investigators this week! The first one I think I mentioned last week, his name is Joe Norarro. He is a very inteligent person. He is mid 20's and studying nutritional science at San Jose State. He is very Cathloic but has some friends who are members and has been studying the church for a long time. And the cool thing is when he studies the church, he uses church resources like lds.org and other things rather than whatever crap he finds on the internet that other people think we believe. I am so grateful that he is smart enough to go to the source. He is also in Moroni chapter 4 so he is almost done with the Book of Mormon! I really think that he is ready for the gospel, he just has some hang ups on some things that don't make the most intellectual sense to him. He disagrees with some of the chapter headings in the bible and says that the church's interpretation of those chapters is wrong. And also he believes that the scripture that talks about if your brother sins against you talk to him about it alone and if you still have a problem then bring like 3 witnesses and then take him to the church and let the church sort it out, he thinks that scripture conflicts with the apostasy because if Christ intented to take his chruch off the earth then he wouldn't have said that. He just has some minor issues like that. But I still think he wants to belileve it.
Anyway, the second one is this guy named Jose that we met on the street. He asked us some questions about repentance and told us to go and do some research and come back with something that would specificially help him. So we did and it was an awesome lesson. He really respects us and what we do, but when we asked him if he wanted to come to church, he said he wasn't really a church guy, but I'm pretty sure we will be getting him to come soon.
Then our third one is an Indian lady named Sandyha. She was a referral from the sister missionaries but when we stopped by we talked to her for just a second on her doorstep then she said her husband was gonna be home soon and asked us to leave so we think something might be going on there. We have an Indian couple in our ward that is happy to come with us to teach her, but we need to talk to her about her husband and things like that. But thats all the people we are really teaching.
I mentioned about Mike and Norma before, the less active lady and her boyfriend that are living together. They told the Bishop that they decided to get married and just take the social security cut, but then when we met with them on Thursday they said that they are just going to do a "formal promise ceremony" which they are positive that the church will deem perfectly acceptable. I don't think they will, but its up to the Bishop, not me. But becides that, not much else is new.
I finished Jesus the Christ last week (which I think I may have been inspired to read because there are a lot of things about the Great Apostacy in there that I think will really help Joe). Reading about the Savior's life, especially His suffering in the Garden and His crufixion has been the most spiritual expirence of my life, and I encourage everyone to read it. It might take a long time. Its a long book and the language can be kind of hard to understand, (I had to read each paragraph 2 or 3 times for it all to make sense) but if you keep a dictionary and your scriptures handy, its possible and it is such an amazing book! Anyway, thats all the time I have for today. I love you all!
Elder Spencer Grant Harbold
Monday, December 12, 2011
I hope you all are doing well. I've had a few experiences this last week. The first one is that Elder Benner and I had two referrals from the church. One wanted a Book of Mormon, but when we took it to him he just said he was using it for an english paper, so he didn't want to set up a time for us to go back. We left him with our number so that if he has any questions for us he can call us. I hope that he feels the spirit while he is reading out of the Book of Mormon and calls us, but it didn't sound like he was interested in religion at all. There was another guy named Joe who wanted a Restoration DVD. His friend asked him if she could put his name down for one at the Oakland Temple and he said yes. We have our first teaching appointment set up with him tomorrow at 6 so I'm really hoping that this one will be good.
I don't have a lot of time today but I do have something cool to tell you guys. At BYU Jeff had a roommate named Chris Jones who is in my ward, and I went out on splits with him last Wednesday night. It was really funny, I introduced myself to him and he said, "Harbold, do you have an older brother named Jeff?" Of course I do and he told me that they were roommates. It was really funny. He and his wife Brittany are really cool. But anyway, thats all I have time for tonight, I hope to hear from you all soon!
Elder Spencer Grant Harbold
Monday, December 5, 2011
This week has been awesome! We helped the part member family that we had Thanksgiving with put up Christmas decorations because they are both in wheelchairs. We had lots of good lessons, but didn't really get as many contacts as we should have. But its going good, we are still looking for referrals from the members, but they usually only give us less active referrals because out of the 500 people in our ward, only about 120 are active. So we have a lot of work that way but not really any investigators right now. We have the part member family, the McNiels, and another investigator named Mike. Sister McNiel is progressing pretty good, but Mike is living with his girlfriend, and they couldn't get married because he was getting a divorce that hadn't gone through yet, but it finally went through last week, and then they decided they were gonna wait to get married until his girlfriend turns 50 so they can get social security. I'm not quite sure how that works, but I do know that she is only 47 so if they go through with this he won't be able to be baptized for 3 years, which makes me wonder if he really wants to join the church or not, because they don't really keep commitments or anything. Oh and his girlfriend that he is living with is a less active member. So anyway, that's how its going.
I looked up Grandpa and Betty's community last week and they are in my zone but not my area. My area is the Cherry Glen ward. But I'm hoping that I can get put in the Willow Glen ward at some point. That would be pretty cool. My area is a car share area with the Dry Creek elders who are the ward right next to us. So we get the car tuesday-thursday and they get it friday-sunday and we basically do all our p-day stuff together so that works out good. When we don't have the car, we either walk or use the light rail trains, which are basically Trax, because we get bus passes to share every month with Dry Creek. In my apartment its just me and Elder Benner. I like it. Its a pretty decent setup. Elder Benner's last companion, Elder Dixon was kinda messy, and he went home the day I got here. When he left it was pretty bad so Elder Benner and I spent our last p-day cleaning, so it looks much better now. Dad, our mission office is that church that we went to. I drive past Andrew Hill High every time I go there. Its pretty cool, people get kinda surprised when I tell them that my Dad went to high school here.
Did you guys watch the Christmas Devotional last night? I hope you did cause it was awesome! We watched it at a family's house where the parents are very active members but the 2 daughters are from the Dad's previous marrige and their mother won't let them be baptized until they are 18 so thats too bad, but they still come to church and activities and stuff. I can't believe its been 2 weeks already and I also can't believe that its only been 2 weeks. It feels like I just got here, but it also feels like I've been doing this forever. Its funny, I thought it was gonna be different and kinda hard doing nothing but "church stuff" all day every day, but its actually really cool. Personal study time is always my favorite time of the day. I wish I had 3 more hours to do that. So far I'm about 200 pages into Jesus the Christ and I'm in Jacob in the Book of Mormon. Reading the Book of Mormon now is so much diffrent from when I read it before I came out here. I love reading it so much! Not that I didn't before, but it seems like its way more meaningful now then ever.
Oh and Happy Birthday a few days ago Mom! Hope it was a good one for you! What are you like 48 now? Jeez, you better hurry up and have a ton of fun 'cause you only have 2 more years until you are old, and having fun becomes too hard for you. Grandma sent me a really nice Christmas card and a letter and her letter was really funny, she put in it that she is staying out of trouble because she can't move fast enough to get into trouble. I really thought that was funny, but ya thats how I've been. Dad, thanks for all the news updates and things, I really enjoy those, Im really glad that the DOW is up 1000 points, thats awesome! Mom, yes please tell me who won the Sing Off and anything else you think I might care about except anything about new episodes of Psych and Burn Notice. If you were planning on sending me a Christmas package, could you maybe include a big like comforter blanket or something? Its just been a little chilly at night, even though its been around 65 or 70 during the day. Thank you all for your support and let everyone at church know that I really appreciate them thinking about me. Oh and Mom, when you put Hurrah for Israel, in my first e-mail, you spelled it hoorah, which made me crazy and I just really wanted to correct you on that. But thats all I have for now, the mission is going good and the days are flying by. I hope to hear from you all soon!
Elder Spencer Harbold