Monday, October 28, 2013

Finding, Serving and ELDER RUIZ IS IN COLORADO!


Parker is amazing! No investigators, but we are doing a lot of service and talking to people. We are working hard and that’s what really matters! So basketball of last week was awesome!! It reminds me a lot about high school ball…so awesome. We have a guy in our zone that is 6'8 280 or 260 and just an amazing guy!! He dunked on me though :(((( but that’s okay I crossed him up!! 3 balls all over!! we have some pretty good ballers and athletes over here.. my companion is way into curling though…yeah.. Idk but he is probably the funniest guy in the whole zone! I love him. He really is a blast and a great missionary. I love being here in Colorado! I got some amazing news!

Villiami Ruiz or Elder Ruiz is now in my mission! I can't believe it! Elder Ruiz was a priest in my priest quorum back home. I have a friend from back home on my mission! It is so exciting! I love it! I can't wait to see him and give him the biggest hug! I am grateful for this. Can't wait to learn from him some more.

This week was very hard but it just all got made up by Sunday. Church is the highlight of my week and always will be that’s where we receive that revelation for that week I feel like. I love church, feel the spirit so strong on your mission at church and the sacrament is literally what I need at the end of every week!!!! A mission is so physically and emotionally tiring ha ha. Luckily, I have great zone leaders and missionaries surrounded by me that really help a new missionary up.

I went on exchanges again this week but with the district leader and that was really fun and it’s really cool hearing all the missionaries who have been out longer and their experiences. Okay, but this week we visited a lot of members and did a lot of service here. We knocked down a hill at this senior center and it was to stop the rain from being stuck at the building.. We got fed lunch there and this old man he was really old and he was cracking us up his name is George. He’s like, "what are you guys doing here" and we told him we are making the ground a little bit more level so the building doesn't float off and then George asked us, “Is that possible?” and we were like well that’s why we are doing it and George said. "I would love to see that" ahhahaha I died. Then the man who takes care of George told him to finish eating very politely so that he could take him home and he’s like, “who are you!?” and he said "I am your neighbor. I am taking you home." and George said "you know where I live?" and he said "yeah I do. Right next to me." and George said, "I don’t even know where I live." hahaha we were trying not to laugh because he was being serious about this whole thing but it was just so funny!!!!!!! gotta love old people. They are so wonderful to serve and just talk too.

It was a great and stressful week because we are trying so hard to find. I became very humble again yesterday. I was like what am I doing wrong? Just completely focusing on myself I guess the entire week, just trying to become a better missionary and so I just had a prayer in mind to heavenly father and in my heart and I am like “Heavenly Father what can I do?” Sunday in church is where we receive our answers. I know I do... The whole topic was just about service. I knew that was the answer. Don’t worry about anything else.. Just serve. The scripture was on DC 4. "Serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength." Two young men spoke on that topic. One was going on his mission to Alaska and he spoke a lot about what that scripture means to him and he said some great things. His farewell talk reminded me a lot of mine. He talked about the atonement and that he made some mistakes as well, I just love the atonement and Christ so much. That is just my source of strength and I know that is a lot of others people source of strength as well and some strength that are hidden that we need to give to them. A lot of people are tied down sometimes but it is the atonement of Christ is what sets us free and just makes life so much happier. A second chance to just love; charity. Christ is just amazing. I love having his name on my tag…

I love so many pictures of him and all these other things. Back to Sunday; the farewell talk was great; but there was a 12 year old boy whose heart was bigger than the world. He was very good at speaking. He spoke of his conversion story. He told a testimony of how the missionaries came to his house and asked him if he wanted to know more about Christ. He said yes and he learned about Christ and was baptized 5 weeks later. He said he felt a wave came over him and that he was forgiven and he was crying. It brought me to tears. Converts are such special people and I love hearing them talk. They are so grateful for the life they have now. I gave the closing prayer that Sunday and after I ended my prayer I went to the boy and I said to him, “Can I tell you something?” and he said, “yes”. I told him, "you are an example to us, and we love you." I don't know why I said it but I felt like I needed to say that to him and He smiled so much. It was amazing. He had the light of Christ in him so much and he’s going on to do great things. He brought his family back into the church.

I love witnessing miracles. And that of itself is a miracle. Reminds me of a scripture,"…Suffer the little children and come unto me, for such is the kingdom of God".  It’s in the New Testament. I know that to be true. That kid sets an example to all of us. I love this work and I love this people. I got to keep trying harder and serving better. I can't wait to become as a child again. That’s what I am working on. Humble, Love.

So that is my weekly update to you! I am now starting to learn sign language and play piano because there is a family in my ward that has a deaf daughter and she is going to be baptized soon. She is wonderful and 8 years old, so happy and full of love. So I want to be able to participate and not just use my words and then have them translate to her. I want to speak to her!


Elder Garrett Steven Harrington

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Loving life in Parker.! Hockey, Cookies & Chipotle all bring the Spirit!

HELLO EVERYONE! How are you all doing??(: This week I went on my first week of exchanges and I went to the temple and I got to play hockey and have some spiritual experiences but not with like, people investigating...
So I'll start with all the fun stuff. Hockey!! They have hockey rinks to play here just like pick-up games. It’s awesome. So I got to play some hockey in Colorado... The altitude can get to you soo fast hahaha. I was wheezing and just, oh my gosh… It’s crazy how much in shape you have to be to play sports up here. I am so glad to be in a beautiful place super close to the clouds. Hockey was a lot of fun but pretty hard. You have to be looking down all the time and in basketball they don't want you to look down because you are already going to know where the ball is, they want you to have that vision looking up; so I like lost the puck many times.  But I got to score some goals, and then me and the district leader missionary we kind of like ran into each other by accident so I threw down my stick and he started laughing and he threw his down and he pretended to take of his gloves and we almost went at it hahaha. Jk… We definitely didn't, but it was fun to be a hockey player for a day!
Tuesday was my exchange day.. I learned a lot that day about learning how to deal with a new companion and how much you love your other one when you leave them. You just got to be their friend… can't be someone trying to change the other, I didn't try to change him either I just learned that if you be their friend and be an example they will take what they need to take in... Just be a really good friend and I loved that a lot just talking to a new person. It is an honor to meet and know someone!
So Wednesday was temple day hahaha.  Funny story, I knew that I was going on exchanges; so I knew the elder that was going to be with my comp.. I set my alarm for 1:30 in the morning! We all had to wake up to go to the temple at 6 am. So I left and went to the other house and the alarm went off and it’s the same elder that I was playing hockey with (we were pretending we were going to fight! Haha) So he told me what happened.. He wakes up and is like freaking out. Elder Holmes is his name. and my companion is Elder Smith. So Elder Smith sleeps right through it but Elder Holmes is just like, “what’s going on?” So he takes the batteries out and chucks them and the alarm and then he saw me at the temple and was like you’re going to get it. ahhahaha Missions are soo fun!! I love doing pranks. I am going to get it so bad now though, I just know it. I am excited.
Then I got to meet with this family that hasn't been to church in a while. We kind of just got to know them and they are a wonderful family, just haven't been to church. They have three cute young boys. The father loves his kids and you can just see it. The mother works at a place for special needs children so I got along with her really well. We talked about my family and what she does. So we talked to them for a while and then we shared a scripture and asked them a question about Christ. The boy that was old enough to understand didn't know who Christ was, and so Elder Smith asks, “Can you explain to them who Christ was?” Then the dad talks about Christ to his son and I really felt the spirit there in that moment when the dad was explaining who Christ was to his kids. It was so cool. They haven't been to church in a while but it was cool to see their testimony come out again. I really love helping the people who haven't been to church in a while. They are such amazing people and I have a very special place in my heart for them now.
So the next day I think we went to do service at the Parker Food Bank and they always give us some food after we’re done working. I decided to get cookies and give them to the family that I was just talking about. So we knock and we see their littlest one has therapy, he has something wrong with his body. I guess he’s not strong enough... but it was cool to see that and how happy that family was seeing their little child improve, even if they need help. So we gave them some cookies and he got caught with the Spirit. He tried not to smile and say thanks but he smiled and said thanks for the cookies very sweetly. I love that family so much now for some reason and it kind of makes me think of Heavenly Father. He loves seeing us improve even with help. He just loves seeing us improve. I am so happy and after seeing that family face light up after giving them that, IT MADE ME WANT TO GIVE EVERYONE COOKIES!! hahah It was that great!

We do a lot of service in our mission. I love it. It really makes you appreciate what you have back home and have right now and what you want to give others. I stand all amazed and humbled. I am very happy. Finding is very hard though. We are still trying our best though and I hope something will come out of it.

We were at Chipotle, with the members I stay with, and their son. He served a mission in Guatemala I think... I have no doubt in my mind I was meant to meet this person on the mission. He told me about the atonement of Jesus Christ that I didn't even know was possible. All things are possible with Him, I know it more now than ever. It was so cool... He told me and gave me this speech in Chipotle; out of all places I didn't know I could feel the spirit at a food place, so strongly as well. He said some incredible things but something I learned is that if you go to Heavenly Father in prayer and you will meet who you need to meet for the gospel. I am really excited for this new week and I am ready. I know it’s going to try and hit me hard but I am going to hit it back harder! Also the cashier, randomly came up and started talking to us, he said he had a three week newborn baby and he wants to go back to church. He’s been having dreams and so we are trying to follow up with him. We gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet and we got his number. So we hope he is in our area! Working hard and loving all.

I got to go to Deseret book on Wednesday ^.^ My favorite store!(: I got pictures of Christ. I love pictures!! Send me some or let me know if you have any picture ideas you want me to take and I'll send you them. Send me your address if you want a letter!
Scriptures that I really liked this week was Alma 37:46, the part I like is that the way is prepared for all of us.
Now I am off to go play the sport they play in heaven. BASKETBALLL!!!:)
If you need or want anything, let me know (: letters.. pictures whatever!

Photo of Elder Harrington with Pres and Sister Toombs

Love You All!!!
Elder Garrett Steven Harrington

Tough Love in Parker…A Mighty Change Coming Up and a Baptism!

Hey everyone! :) This week has been really hard. We tried to find some people to see if they were interested. Everyone kind of just shuts you down. I don't think our brothers and sisters really understand that there is a nicer way to say you're not interested. We kind of talked to a less active person and his friend was there; and he had a really nice motorcycle. We tried to talk to him just saying hey nice bike and he just straight up ignored us. We weren't trying to convert him, just say that he had a nice bike; and you know there is a better way to say you don’t want to talk to us than ignore us. Then as we were biking away, the girlfriend who lives with the less active person said, “go convert them all” really sarcastically and I really wish that people understood why we are here. We tell people the truth like we just want to see how people are doing and they don't believe us. I feel like they think we’re part of a secret organization or something when we are really not. It really hurts us I think because we love them already just like Christ but they denied Him too. I have never felt so much like him before... but anyway, we can't let that get us down.
I guess you could say that this week was really my first week of the mission. We got 3 people that told us to come back and just a lot of things have happened. I now know that you need to change a lot of things on your mission. The way you pray, the way you talk, the way you act. I mean it’s getting hard now. I know I was a good kid before I came but now I need to do better than before and I am so excited to change myself and do that by losing myself and really develop those Christlike attributes. I am so grateful though that I asked for my friends’ talks at church because they came at a time when I really needed them. I read Brady’s Dad's talk; and it talked about peace and then I read Haley's farewell talk and it talked about the atonement and a mission. The missionary will use the atonement more than the people sometimes and I absolutely know that to be true. It was really just what I needed. I loved General Conference and the talks they give there but it’s just something else when you read your friends talk and it’s exactly what you need as well. It’s like you know that leaders of the church are called of God but your friends are placed by God. I am so grateful for friends and family. As you can really tell from this letter I have been extremely humbled right now and I love being humbled. I hate pride.
Our investigator that said yes to baptism, we haven't been able to contact them... :(
We had a whole bunch of meetings this week and it kind of took away from talking to people. And we only had four lessons this week because we tried to do a lot of finding and yeah… Our zone has a goal to baptize 42 people together. We have about 28 missionaries in our zone. We really want to help people and serve people but it’s really hard I guess when they don't need any help or want any help. We did have a baptism this week though. His name is Floyd. It was super awesome to see him come closer to Christ! He was so happy to be baptized. Seeing someone in all white is amazing. They are so happy and it just kind of fills you up with love.
As you know I like to bear my testimony at church so I bore my testimony at church and I was super nervous but everyone was super nice and they kind of said like thanks for your testimony. This week we hope to find more people and work even harder. We get to go to the temple this week and I cannot tell you how happy I am for that. I get to be in the Lord's House.
Sacrament means so much to me now. I really needed the sacrament this week and I felt stronger after taking it. I am overall very happy to be here though. I am trying to create a vision for myself so that when times get tough I'll just look at my vision and why I am doing this so that I can do this. I am not going to come home early I promise you that but I just do not want to suffer. I love this work and hope to hear from you all soon! Time for adaptions.
Serve with your Heart, as long as my heart is still running I am not going to stop.
Love you all! :)
Elder Garrett Steven Harrington
P.S. Add Elder Harrington on Facebook if you want to see pictures. My camera takes too nice of pictures so I'll just mail the SD card home to my parents when it gets full and they will upload them to Facebook. Colorado is so beautiful. You feel like you are in another world. I have never felt so close to the clouds before in my life. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

CO is like AV, except for snow... Super General Conference Sunday!

So good to hear from you all. I got my address now so that you can all write me! I would love letters! And I will write back asap :) That’s a promise! Soo this is my first week in the field! It is so cool! I love it already :) Colorado is soo much like home. The members are awesome. But there’s not as many people here which is pretty good. California is sooooo crowded. I am soo in the country now. Green fields and just houses very spaced out. It’s awesome!:) I am so happy to be here. I am in a very active place of Colorado for the church. So my focus is trying to get the less active back to church and find some new people that want to know about the church. 
We have three investigators. One already has already said yes to baptism. Her name is Alex and we’re trying to set up a date for her to be baptized. Then we have Chuck and Ginger. Chuck and Ginger are farmers! They have a huge ranch here and livestock, and its super awesome. We get to work on it every now and then. Develop a little cowboy in me. :) 
Hahaha. EVERYONE MAKES FUN OF ME BECAUSE I’M FROM CALIFORNIA!!! They think I am some spoiled little OC boy..  hahaha ahh its fun:) I love the members, they are great! I am on a bike, and my pants have gotten caught twice in the gear and I have little rips in the bottom of my slacks!!!  You got to tuck them into your socks so they don't catch. Haha I forget each time and it happens. This place is a lot like Aliso Viejo though. Very hilly, not very many people though. I knocked on my first door this week. It was great! I said, “Hi, We’re missionaries and he said, not interested.”  I thought it was going to be way worse but it felt awesome hahaha. My zone is pretty sweet. Such happy missionaries serving the Lord and we all get along very well. Each day is getting funnier and funnier with my companion. IT SNOWED HERE!!! WE HAD TO BIKE IN THE SNOW!! Haha it kept pelting my face when we were going down the hill and so yeah… I need ski goggles. That'd be legit. A guy in my zone looks like Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles. No joke. I'll send you a picture next week. 

So General Conference was super amazing and I loved every moment of it. I am so glad to be a part of that. I love President Monson. He is so great. We got to go to the chapel Saturday and watch it with the all the other missionaries and the spirit was there so strong. It was like Super Bowl Sunday but for missionaries, so it was like Super General Conference. If something said was so awesome we would all go "yaaa!!" very quietly though... I loved conference. We got super stoked for missionary work. I can't tell you how great it is to be here and that this is only my first week! I am loving it. When I got here I had a flat tire on my bike and then I just got one again last night so we had to walk our bikes home. It felt so weird. Well it’s time to work hard. I really can't wait to hear from you all again.

My most favorite part of conference though was the quote that President Monson gave at Priesthood session about the Savior.
"There's one teacher, whose life... foreshadows all others.
He taught of life and death, of duty, and destiny,
He lived not to be served, but to serve, not to receive but to give.
Not to save His life, but to sacrifice it for others, He described a love more beautiful than lust.
Of poverty, richer than treasure of this teacher.
He taught with authority, His laws were not inscribed upon stone, but upon human hearts.
He went about doing good."

I loved that so much as a representative of Jesus Christ, that’s what I need to do. It’s going to motivate me more than anything. I just knew it, as soon as I heard it. I love this work.

Love you all soo much (: 

Elder Garrett Steven Harrington

MTC was Awesome!, Parker CO is too!

HI EVERYONE!!! I am in the area now. I am in Parker Colorado. It’s seriously beautiful here. Being a district leader was awesome and I enjoyed helping out. Now I am just a fresh missionary right off the plane. I am super new and just trying to get adjusted to the area! I am really stoked. :) My companion is awesome. Trainer. He is kind of like “I am not your trainer” and stuff and he’s asking me to teach him too. It’s kind of cool, even though he is the senior companion. He is very humble and I love Him! Elder Smith, he’s great. Walking around kind of feels natural. I feel that I am supposed to be here, I don't know how but I am. I don't feel awkward at all. I'm just me with a name tag now that says elder. Ha ha It’s awesome! :) Its soo good to hear from you all too! It really is a treat to see emails back... I can't really write much but know that I love you all, and it’s weird how fast it is going by already. But I am learning a lot. My mission president is awesome! Super funny and super nice so yeah… MTC was awesome and now I'm in the field trying to build up some courage to talk to some people. I don't have much to say really right now to you all because nothing happened really yet. When I got off the plane and the people that work in the airport wear cowboy hat, pants, boots and a huge belt buckle. It’s kind of funny ha ha. The area is very green right now. I can't see much effects of the flood but the members and people are really nice. I am in a member’s home. The bed is sooo good omgosh. Ha ha ha its sooooooo comfy. There are three dogs in the member’s home too. two labs named Max and Daisy and German shepherd named Thor. If you howl at Thor he will start to howl too! It’s awesome! But I seriously cannot wait to teach. This is my second day in the area, emailing you. My p day is on Monday and once I get my address I'll let you know. I know you all want to hear a cool spiritual experience. Ha ha I have had a few in the MTC where the spirit just guided the lessons and I am continuing to learn about a mission. I'll share one quick experience:
We got a referral from a church member to teach. A person called Christian he is such a loving and caring guy. He’s a photographer and has book cases for an iPhone and laptop so he looks like he’s carrying around books! But it’s really technology and he just loves it and it made me laugh every time I would see them. But, anyway... He lost his son in a car accident. He was three. He was absolutely perfect; I wish you could see the picture of Alex. His sons name was Alex. He loved to play hide and seek and he was in the house and the door was left unlock and he ran into a street and a teenager hit him and killed him. I felt so much grief and sorrow. He was the cutest kid. I knew something was special about Alex when I saw the picture of him. He reminded me of my brother Austin in a way. So Christian was really sad and kind of angry. He asked me "if God loves Alex so much, why did he let him die?" and that right there had me stumped. I wrote it down and prayed about the question. I have learned on my mission that Heavenly Father knows the answer to all these people’s questions. You have to pray to get the answer that they ask because it’s a question that only Heavenly Father knows… well I did. I got the answer and when I did, I started to write it down. It was one of the heavenly answers. I knew that answer came to me from Heavenly Father. There’s no way it could have happened without Him. So when I got to teach him again, I read him the answer and He couldn't stop smiling. He said he felt the same way when he was holding Alex again for the first time. He felt like his heart was about to explode and he was warm and felt this amazing peace and comfort. We told Him it was the spirit but that is up for you to decide and he said. "I believe you. I want to know more and what to do so that I can be with Alex again." He was sincerely interested. I gave him the answer and he said, “…that it makes sense why it happened now and that I am no longer angry. I am at peace and comfort."
I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children. Missionary work is awesome and this is what Christ’s life was all about. He was constantly serving others, helping. Look what he became. He never really focused so much on him. I think that is what I need to learn more than ever now. Lose yourself in the work of helping others and serving others and then you will become what you were meant to become. I am happiest when I am doing what the Lord wants me to do and that is always serving others. I know that I cannot relate very well to others because I have not been through some of the things they have been through but I do know this, I can love them; with all my heart. You can succeed on love alone. I hope you all are doing good. Please write back!! I want to hear how you are.

Elder Garrett Steven Harrington

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Companions, Elder Smith Sep 2013 - Dec 2013 Elder Anani Dec 2013 - Jan 2013 Elder Farr Jan 2013 -