Monday, August 12, 2013

Lesson learned: Don't pull the front tire break...

Date: August 12, 2013
Area: Simi Valley
Companion: Elder Hall

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, another week has come
and gone.  Before I left, I would always hear everybody say that time
goes super fast when you're on a mission, but I never believed them.
 However, now I see how fast time really goes when you're in the Lord's
work, and I don't want to let any second pass me by.  Thank you all for
your letters, they brighten my day so much!  It was nice to get a letter
from Mom, Dad, Aubree, Grandma and Grandpa, Cameron, Alexis, the
Lomeli's a few weeks ago, and Carolyn a few days ago.  Letters mean
soooo much to missionaries it's insane!  So, thanks.

This week, a lot of our investigators were out of
town, and so it seemed like the days went a little slower than usual.
 This week, we visited a less-active man in our ward named Ben.  He was
ordained a priest but then got into some trouble and was sent to prison
for 7 years and is all tatted up.  When we dropped by, he surprisingly
let us in.  After we got talking for a few minutes, he told us that the
only reason we got in was because of the tattoo on Elder Hall's arm.  I
asked him if I came alone if he would let me in or not, and he said I'd
be screwed.  A tender mercy from the Lord, I guess.  Anyways Ben works
for a pest control company in Ventura and he said he's worked on a few
projects for Justin Bieber and Sylvester Stallone.  So cool.  He told us
some missionaries in the past told him he wouldn't be able to go
through the temple with as many tattoos has he has, and I just wanted to
punch them.  I hate it when people get told things like this, because
quite frankly, it scars people.  There's nothing more beautiful to see
than a person in the temple covered in tattoos.  It means someone has
changed their life and used the Atonement.

Megan is the bomb as usual!  On her way to North Dakota on Monday and Tuesday,
she would text us every time she saw a temple in UT or ID (about every 2
minutes... :P) and she would just freak out!  She told us that she
would get all tingly and get goosebumps and that she would just get so
happy inside and that she couldn't wait to get sealed in their someday.
 The prospect of eternal marriage is a big favorite of her's.  She said
"It may be just because I'm a girl, but I love that!"  We quickly
explained to her that we couldn't wait to get sealed in the temple for
time and all eternity either!  On Tuesday,
we had an off and on 4 hour lesson with her over the phone!  She was
going through Montana at the time, so the service would always cut out.
(Satan uses every method he can to postpone the work) but it was great!
 She has read all of the introduction, and she read all of 1 Nephi.  She
called us and told us, "Elders, I'm a little confused about Lehi's
Dream and I have some questions about it.  He saw 9 things and I just
want to get what they mean."  Boom, boom, boom she told us everything
Lehi saw!  Elder Hall and I were bouncing off the walls!  We are in love
with this girl!  (Well, you know what I mean...)  We gave her
scriptures to back up everything we said and she is just absorbing it
all like a sponge.  We made her a little box with pictures of the temple
on it and we're going to give it to her tomorrow.
 She's bringing us presents back from ND to so we can't argue with
that. :)  Speaking of presents, Wendy's family (the one I talked about
last week) went to Hawaii and their 16 year-old son texted us and asked
what we wanted from Hawaii!  Yes, we're getting pampered...we're getting
sandals that are only available in Hawaii.  Don't worry, we'll pay him

Also!  We went to a garage sale this week, and I got
nice, gray pinstripe suit for $5!  Not only that, but it fits me
perfectly!  I'm going to go to a lot more garage sales from now on....I
got so many compliments about it at church yesterday.  Studilicious. :P

Wow, so much more to say.  OK, so on Saturday
we were talking to Chuck at his work, and out of the blue, my tire
deflated.  I wasn't even moving, but alas, it deflated.  Luckily there
was a store nearby and they replaced everything.  They tightened my
front brake REALLY tight, and we rode off.  That night after dinner, we
were going to go up to see a lady me met last week, and as we were
crossing the intersection, the light turned yellow and so I hurried to
go faster.  I made it to the opposite side of the road and the light
turned red.  I pulled my front handle brake too fast, my front tire
stopped, but my momentum kept going.  I flew UP AND OVER my handlebars
and landed on my stomach.  My elbow was bleeding like crazy, I got some
roadrash on my legs, and twisted my wrist but everything else was fine.
 My handlebar bent 90 degrees and the end of it was touching the neck,
but that could have been my arm!  I was so grateful I was OK.  An old
lady was stopped and when I got up, she said "Take your time honey!"
 Then a car full of teenagers sped by and rolled down their windows and
pointed and laughed at me, but whatevs. :D  Once in a lifetime
experience!  YOSO.

This week, we were setting up some new convert
lessons with Emily, the girl that was baptized the first week I was
here, and across the street was a little old Cherokee lady that was
working in her yard.  We asked if she needed help, and she approached us
and said, "Who sent you guys, besides God?"  After a brief pause, we
said, "No, just God."  The next day, we came back with a priest in the
ward and dug trenches for her and helped her transport plants and lots
of other exciting things in her yard.  I have developed a love for
service.  Before I left, I'm not going to lie, but I was a little
reluctant when it came to service.  Big surprise, I know.......but now,
I've changed so much.  When I get back, I want to spend so much time
serving others that I have no time for myself.  I don't always have the
necessary skills to serve in a full capacity, but I will learn so that I
can.  That's one thing that I would thank Elder Hall for.  We've served
so many people out here it's crazy.  We were called to SERVE right?
 What is the purpose of life other than to make life's journeys of
others easier?  I would say that that is one thing that has changed
about me as I've been out.  I will serve others from dawn to dusk if I
needed to, because that's what being a disciple of Christ means.  After
all, King Benjamin proclaimed, "When ye are in the service of your
fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).
 I'm sorry for selfish attitude I had, but now I'm a new man.  You can
count on me.  I grasped the meaning on a deeper level from a line in my
patriarchal blessing that says:  "Your service as a home teacher, and as
a future missionary, husband, and father is and will be enhanced by
your faithful, diligent, loving service." I swear to live up to this
promise from the Lord. 

I love the Lord.  I love His children.  I love all
of you.  I love the examples each of you have set for me, and I'm
thankful for the loving service which has been given in my behalf.

Until next week, 

Elder Harper

1 comment:

  1. Tracy Monney:

    My favorite word.... Studilicious

    My favorite story..."who sent you guys besides God?" "Just God." Love it.

    Favorite line... What is the purpose of life other than to make life's journeys of
    others easier? So profound. Would have been great for RS lesson last week.

    Sad about bike crash. Glad he is ok! How old is Megan? What happened to Michael?

    He sounds great! What a wonderful missionary. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a fabulous week.