December 30, 2013

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Dear Family,

Happy NEW YEAR! and happy birthday Ashton. You are now going to be a 19 year old. Don’t get too comfortable cause before you know it you will be 21. It was good to talk to you all at Christmas time and see your smiling faces. I will see what I can do about orchids mom. I haven’t seen many, or at least I haven’t paid attention to them. Ill ask the members if they know of any place with them.

Elder Sukhan and I are getting along great. He is such a great leader and has the desire to get better. He helps me to not just do the same thing over and over if its not working, but helps me to change and get better. We are both pumped for this next transfer. He is super bold too; talking to everyone he lays his eyes on. Its loads of fun.

We saw lots of miracles this last week. The first is that after 1 year and 11 months, an investigator of ours felt so bad that I had a dirty, duck-taped, D.I., secondhand backpack, that she went out and bought me a super nice ‘the north face’ backpack. It was a blessing. That old one was detracting people away from us with its smell. The second one was that this last week we had a couple baptisms in the district and I feel it was a huge miracle. It is a lady and her daughter that have been learning for a year and a half. They have gone through sets and sets of missionaries, and the sisters were able to make it happen finally. I asked them how they came into the gospel and they said, “It was you! you gave us an english card at fashion island in bangapi” Come to find out, my companion and I in my greenie area taught her the first few lessons! And then a member came up and told us that she was a great missionary even before she was a member. She helped 6 people get baptized in the time she was learning. All of that- 8 people – came from just one english card. It was a super cool experience and a tender mercy from the lord. It let me know that blessings come if we work. It may take until your last area to see it, but they do come.

We also had a cool experience contacting. As we went out after teaching a lesson to contact before english, we invited a member to go with us. We didn’t find any one that was interested to get baptized, but the blessings STILL came. The member that came with us gave us a super awesome referral who now has a date. We learned from that experience that what the lord expects is for us to work. If we work, we will receive blessings in the lords way. Its a great time to be a missionary.

Elder Harley

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December 15, 2013

Dear Family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICAH! I am glad to hear that Micah has found a love for skiing. He can be my ski buddy someday when I eventually have to go home.

I have an experience that will give you a visual of what Thailand is like. On Friday night we were at the church helping with the choir when the branch president showed up with 5 nice looking turkeys for our Christmas party this next week. Some of the old members went out to help him out and they killed them, plucked them, and gutted them right outside the church. All the blood went into the drain outside the front door. They did it so naturally. All the little kids were scarred and all the missionaries were laughing their heads off. This is original Thailand. Those turkeys are going to taste so good.

We had a lot of fun going to all the different districts this last week to train. We are always super tired by the end of it because we have to travel so much, but it’s ok. We are focusing a lot on baptism in our mission. The Lord is hastening his work, so that means we have to hasten ours as well. It’s so exciting to find those that are prepared to hear the gospel, not just those we have to fight to get them to do anything.

We have been serving quite a bit lately and I have learned a lot. It’s interesting how we have to sacrifice in order to serve just as we would at home. We sacrifice time with investigators, contacting and teaching in order to serve. It’s a lesson that I am learning that I can take home as well, that is to sacrifice time with friends, family and work in order to serve. We have been helping out the branches with the Christmas program here and its a lot of fun. I feel the spirit when we sing those songs and helps my testimony. So in the end, service isn’t really sacrifice, it’s a blessing that we don’t see at the beginning.

love elder Harley

PS. next week we moved our pday to Wednesday the 25 so I will get on at around 8 am here. I leave it to you to figure out what time it will be there.

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December 8, 2013

Dear Mother,

It’s a winter wonderland over there, but its perfect weather over here. Every day feels like California weather. A nice 70 degrees or so. I hope everyone is healthy and happy. To answer some of your questions, I do know the elders in the video. The one with the glasses is going home with me. He is a transfer younger than I am but goes home the same time. I have seen Zach’s girlfriend. The sisters have taught her a few lessons. They say she wants to know about the church but hasn’t really made any commitments and still has some concerns with some commandments. She is a really nice lady though.

As for the contacting, it seems that we are getting more noticed because the rejections are getting more hard core. At the beginning, we usually got a nice that’s all right but now it’s becoming a more definite NO! But that’s ok because we know that its working and it’s what the lord wants us to do. This last weekend we had another person baptized off of inviting like this. All I said was “We all have sin and this is the way to get rid of it” and 4 weeks later he is baptized. We weren’t the ones teaching him because we gave him to the other elders, but it was a huge testimony builder that there are people out there just waiting to be talked to.

I love you all and wish you a white a Christmas.

Elder Harley

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Here is brother bens who got baptized on Saturday and our new style destroyer vests

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December 1, 2013

Dear Family,

What a wonderful week it has been. My bday wasn’t too special. It kind of snuck up on me and we had quite a normal Sunday. The best news was that we had a baptism on Saturday. That makes 2 years in a row that I got to have a birthday baptism! The sisters did buy me some doughnuts and hid a member in a closet with a bunch of balloons. He popped out, but I didn’t jump. We had thanksgiving, but it was at a white persons house who lives here (side note, the owner of the house we went to eat at, her name is rainy something, but she is the president of rainy flies, for fly fishers. She apparently is a big deal. Check to see if Jake knows of her. She makes flies in Thailand) it was good and we were able to stuff our faces with the food we could get, but I could definitely feel the difference. I think the thing that makes holidays special is the fact that we are with our families. That’s what makes it good.

We worked our tails off this last week with trying to get our goals. We had a goal for 7 at the beginning of the week, 5 were interviewed and passed but at the end of the week, only 2 were able to make the cut. We feel sad that we couldn’t help those people get baptized, but we feel satisfied that our zone worked as a team and made that effort to get there. But its not all bad news. The entire mission rallied this last month and we got 109 baptisms as a whole! (the average is around 50) It’s thanks to our fearless inspired leader President senior.
This last week we had a bad experience contacting, but it turned into a good one. We went out on Friday to our good fishing spot at central. We started fishing, talking with everyone. We got yelled at by 2 white people and rejected by numerous concourses of Thai people. We looked at each other half way through with sorrow in our hearts, but determined to keep spreading the good word. Rejection happened more that day than any other day of my life and afterwards both elder wood and I were a little shaken up. But the next day we called a couple of the few numbers we got and got an appointment with someone who wanted to live a pure life. She was awesome! we have met with her 2 times now and she has a date in a few weeks. We received the blessings after the struggle.
We also had a baptism this last week from someone we met 2 weeks ago at the very same place. He was prepared by the lord. I believe there are many more like that out there.

It’s a great time to be a missionary

Elder Harley

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November 24, 2013

Dear Mother,

Thanks for the news, but I do get to see a little what’s going on. That high speed train is all over the news here. It’s going to be wicked. Speaking of wicked, I have actually been to the mall that they talk about in the Christmas article. Its huuuuuuugggge! It reminds me of the great and spacious building.

It was an excellent week. We have been so busy and were able to get a lot done with the short time we had. We found lots of new investigators including one who we met last Friday. It was the last person we saw sitting on a scooter. I gave him a baptismal card and asked if he knew what it was. He said know so I told him and asked if he wanted to do it to. He said he couldn’t because he is Buddhist and I told him that he can change and so he agreed to meet with us the next day. He is 20 years old and is seeking for truth. He is one of the first kids I have met who realized that 99% of people are Buddhist only because their family way back to the fist king is Buddhist. He said that they don’t go out and seek for themselves. We then had the impression to teach the restoration and he was excited to learn. We gave him a date for next month.

We have had a super good experience with our investigator R. He was found 2 Fridays ago from contacting and he is so good. We challenged him to be baptized on this upcoming Saturday and he accepted. He says that God has answered all his questions through the Book of Mormon. He is such a humble person and wants God to be in his life. I think he will make a great missionary in the near future. The way he knew the Book of Mormon and everything else was true was that after we told him to go home and pray about it, he read all the pamphlets, part of the liahona and the Book of Mormon. He prayed and then opened up the Book of Mormon and pointed to the word “yea” but in Thai it indirectly translates to แท้จริงแล้ว (tea jing laew) which literally translates to “indeed its true” He was so stunned and took it as his answer from god. He has received more answers as well.

Yesterday was also mission tour where an area seventy comes and tours the mission. I was asked to conduct. I winged it but according to the mission president I didn’t mess it up to bad. We learned a lot about recognizing the spirit. It was Elder Wilson who was presiding and he is super smart he said he has read thousand of books, but nothing compares to Book of Mormon. Sister Dao helped a lot with setting up the food and after, they found out that her husband got in a car accident last week. He is still not a member, but he agreed to receive a blessing. We all headed over to her house with all the big guns. The spirit was pumping in her house with all of them; the APs, the mission president and the area 70 all in the same room giving a blessing. I translated for him and received some help to translate the great things he said. I hope that brother Komsan remembers the spirit he felt in there. Sister Dao got spoiled. that is the second general authority that has helped her since she was baptized just 2 months ago. I love that family.

Love,

Elder Harley

PS I will probably use the money grandma gave me to buy a suit so I can look sharp wherever I go.

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November 17, 2013

Dear Mother and father and siblings,

To answer some of your questions, I hope to come back here too. I have 1 more transfer after this so its possible I could stay here till the end. I would like it to be like that. I have used my piano skills a tad bit. I was the piano player in lopburi and yasothorn. I think I received some extra help for that. As far as humanitarian stuff. There is tons of stuff in chiangmai. I meet white people all the time here that are here doing something like that. One guy that has come to church for a little is teaching English for 6 weeks. That would be cool to do something like that. I am super stoked about Kayla’s success as well. But its going to be a sad day for her when I smash her hopes of victory over me to the ground.

This last week we were only in our area for 3 days. The rest of the time we went to lampang phisnulog and chiangray to train the districts in those parts. It was inspiring and every one is pumped to go out and find those prepared. We went out for about an hour with each district to practice talking with everyone. It was a success. 8 of us talked to every single person in a huge market with in an hour. It was a lot of rejection but the spirit was strong with us.

We had a really good experience contacting the other day. Elder Wood and I were at central inviting every one in the parking lot. He talked to a man named r and set up an appointment for the next day. They only had a 30 second interchange, but on Saturday he told us that he used to go to a different church but fell away. When he met us, he felt like god went to find him this time around. He has no concerns with word of wisdom or Sabbath day. He was one of those prepared. He came to church yesterday as well. We believe there are even more just like him and we are going to find them.

The race is coming to a finish and now its time to sprint. Don’t let the last mile be your slowest.

Elder Harley

PS. This last weekend was the famous loygratong. Or in English, the lantern festival. Chaingmai has the biggest one and it was wonderful. ill send some pictures. and we went to the tallest mountain in thailand. It was the first time in my mission that I was actually shivering.

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November 10, 2013

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Dear Mother and family,

What a week it has been here in chiangmai. The sad news is that our lady boy friend has discontinued his learning about Christ. He/she believes god hates people like him and wont accept that God is in charge. He won’t accept the truth. He knows its true, but he has told himself for so long that he is a woman that he has no way of returning back. It teaches me a lot about how satan works. He starts with small little strings that add up every day until it is almost impossible to get out. But being on a mission, I have seen Christ swoop in and get people out of their old ways and make them a new person.

More miracles have happened this week as well. I know it might be getting a little old but it’s just what happens out here. The first one was this last week when we received training at our missionary council about contacting. We are entering into a new phase of missionary work, and we must hasten it. The old way of contacting was to sit next to someone, ask them about there lives until they ask who you are and then you tell them and then you argue with them for 10 minutes about how this is a better path. Then they tell you they will try it and when you try to call them, they say they are not free. It’s quite a long and tedious process. But our new way, which elder wood and I have been thinking about for a while, and then confirmed on Wednesday is just the opposite. We are to ask people right from the get go if they want to go to heaven or not and that they have to get baptized to do it. We get rejected way more, but we can talk to so many people, and the ones that will listen will be prepared. This is revelation from the Lord and we have seen it working already. In just an hour and 45 min, 5 people accepted a date to be baptized. One of them has already been to a baptismal service and learned 2 times in 2 days. Its great and I am excited to continue making it happen.

The other miracle was another walk in. She learned with the sisters 3 years ago and she came back after she did sin for a long time. She says she is ready to obey God. She wants to get baptized in 2 weeks. She is in the other branch so we gave her over to the other set of elders. It was a miracle. I know miracles can happen when we expect them.

Love.

Elder Harley,

PS- the Christmas package is already here, but i decided not to spoil my Christmas and left it at the office.

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