Monday, September 9, 2013

My last week in Simi Valley

Date: September 09, 2013
Area: Simi Valley
Companion: Elder Hall

Well, the subject line says it all.  I'm getting transferred out of Simi Valley.  Elder Hall is staying here; I know there's going to be some serious miracles that will happen here in the coming weeks and months.  I'm glad that I was able to be a part of it and help the work move along.  I've made so many friendships and connected with people on levels that I never thought possible.  I don't remember if I mentioned this, but a few weeks ago we delivered some "Mormon cigarettes" to Bonnie, Chuck's wife.  It's pieces of paper rolled up with scriptures or quotes on the inside, all put into a homemade cigarette box.  She's loved them!  I used the two quotes that you sent me, Mom a few weeks ago and it's helped both me and her so much.  Well anyway, today we are going to deliver another thing like that.  Bonnie struggles with drinking as well, and a couple of weeks ago after one of our lessons, we stole an empty bottle of whiskey out of the trash.  (I promise it's better than it sounds...) We got home, washed it out, tore off the label and made our own to put on it.  The bottle says, "Be filled with the SPIRIT of CHRIST and you shall not thirst".  We put in cool quotes and scriptures, and wrote personal messages to her and put them in the bottle.  We got the ward involved and we have about 80 rolled up pieces of paper with messages of encouragement from just about all the elders, relief society and high priests in the ward.  It's so cool!  I've attached a picture of it as well.  We're delivering it to her tonight, and I can't wait to see her reaction!  I've also grown to love Chuck so much as well.  He has the biggest heart of gold.  It'll be hard to say those goodbyes today and tomorrow.

My new area I'm going to is Atascadero (AKA A-town)!  It's on the northern end of the mission, and an elder from my district just came here from there and he says he loved it!  Atascadero is more farmland than city, and I'm super stoked to see more of the mission!  My new companion's name is Elder Canzona, and he's only been in the mission field a couple more transfers than me, so it will be cool.  As always, I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!

Over the past 12 weeks I've been here, I've gained a greater love for the Gospel.  My testimony of missionary work has increased so much, and the whole way of how I think about missionary work is different.  Thanks to Elder Hall, I now see missionary work as not such a big deal.  It doesn't have to be a big, ginormous effort.  It can be as simple as inviting someone to come to an activity.  I can't wait to see what Atascadero has in store!  I'll keep you posted!

Til next week,
Elder Harper
Spirit of Christ whiskey bottle for Bonnie

1 comment:

  1. Tracy Monney:

    I LOVE THAT STORY! Scripture quote cigarettes and a bottle of inspirational and encouraging messages from the ward---brilliant! What a great missionary!

    He is so humble, it is touching how much he loves his companion and the people and also how excited he is to go to the next area.

    His testimony at the end and his whole letter last week was so powerful. I felt the Spirit as I read and could tell that he KNOWS these things to be true. He is a great servant and continues to bless many people in tender and creative ways. Thank you for sharing, I love to read his letters.