Friday, February 21, 2014

Week 23: Zone Conference of Heavenly Father's Love

It’s getting to that point where you are just like whoa what week is this? So if you want to remind me what week it is that would be awesome! :) haha but GUESS WHAT!

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME! No baptisms, no new investigators, but just a really cool spiritual experience about God being a loving Heavenly Father.

That's what really made this week awesome because I felt God's love a lot this week. And it was amazing. We had a zone conference with a whole bunch of other missionaries around my area. Probably about 60 missionaries gathered together and usually we just talk about how we can become better teachers.  And that is good to review, but it was the best to just sit down and talk about how God is a loving Heavenly Father with all 60 missionaries, and why this message is so important.
Zone Conference - Arapahoe District
I just loved that day. The spirit was so, so strong and it just felt amazing. I loved it so much because everything makes sense.  God is a loving Heavenly Father.  He has a body just like us, and we were made in his image.  But, he has a heavenly body, while we have an earthly body.  He loves us so much that he has given us this earthly life or earthly experience, so that we can grow and become like Him.  He loves us so much; He gave us a way to succeed in this earthly life called the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings peace, hope, happiness, love, and comfort into our life. He loves us so much that He has given us a way that we can communicate with him called prayer; and answers them.  And has given His only son to us, to you, a Savior, to know what we are going through in this life, and to help us to be forgiven of any mistakes we have made.  He loves us so much that He has a plan for us in this life that can give us a whole new meaning to our life.  And that we have a purpose for living and we can live with him forever and also with our family.  Forever.
How great is God! How great is my calling! How great is this work!  This is what I go out and teach every day to people that don't know this or have felt it yet. That God is our loving Heavenly Father. He knows us and He loves us individually and perfectly.  How great is this message. I can't tell you how great it is to feel this feeling of God's love as well.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy this.

I looooooved that zone conference!  It was just perfect on every level. I have come to realize that the will of God is the love of God as well. Because this will of God is always what’s best for you, and what you need!  Not what you want. I have come to also realize that sometimes what we want is just going to bring us pleasure and not that true happiness that we thought it would bring.  Pleasure only lasts for a moment.  Happiness can last longer than a moment.  And when you are aligned with Gods will you will feel God's love which will make you happier than anything you ever wanted. So this is what it comes down to the most.  What do you want? Your pleasure, or to feel God's love?
I know that God is a loving Heavenly Father and that He knows me.  Because I have experienced the will of God and it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Who knew that this is what brings me more happiness than going and playing professional basketball or just doing whatever I wanted to do?  All I know is that I am the most happiest when I am doing what the Lord wants me to do.

So, that is my weekly update for you and I love you all and He loves you :) Have a great day


Elder Garrett Steven Harrington

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 22: Morning works out, Wrestling Meet Greet Up & a Miracle!

What’s up everybody!! This week was pretty fun :)
We got to fix a washer! It was insane! And it was insanely cold! Everyone makes fun of me here because I cover my entire face. I wear ski goggles and a ski mask and a beanie. IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! We’re walking too! I am from California. I AM SUPPOSED TO STAY WARM! I tell them that and they just start laughing. But regardless of the weather, Colorado is soooooo beautiful. Mountains look so cool all decked out with snow and it’s just wonderful place to be here.
So remember how I said last week we were going to go work out with our investigator? Well we did. We worked out at 5:30 in the morning! It was insane!!!!!!!!!! Ha ha  So we did jump rope for a minute then went into a plank position and stick out our feet and touch them with our hands, alternating... did that for a minute. Then we did push-ups for a minute. Then we did burpees… Did that for 15 minutes. That was our warm up! Then we had like a two minute break, and me being the smart kid I am, I ate a banana before the work out… Then we did more of an ab work out and legs as well again. Then did this circuit of pull ups and bench and I didn't do the circuit. hahaha I  sat out before the circuit and I felt like I was going to throw up hahaha and I did! I ran outside of the gym and just pukedddddd. I just felt waaaaaaaaaay more better after that...
You know you get a real work out in when you puke... haha so now Raul calls me champ and then my ward mission leader calls me Elder Barffington. I am making a big time presence at Fox Hollow... haha But the work out was fun and we are going every Thursday now.  I am finally not sore anymore from the work out. It lasted all the way until Sunday. The altitude here is great and killer. haha I love it though. I feel very healthy here and that I can breathe!
So we were going to teach Raul but he needs to help out his parents. His dad is going through surgery so we hope that goes well.
Savannah went to church yesterday!! You have no idea how good that is :) Her parents have been very hesitant to her getting baptized. She has been going to Catholic Mass with her mom for the last two weeks and she came yesterday! She still wants to get baptized, but it’s just been a very sensitive situation so we are trying to help her out. We go over there every week to read scriptures with their family now and they are starting to really see that we are pretty similar and we are teaching good things! So hopefully soon… We will keep praying.
So we got to go to a wrestling meet this week too! IT WAS SOOOOO FUN! The members in our ward invited us to go to their son’s high school wrestling meet! And it was so awesome because we were supporting the school and we got our face in the community and showing everyone like hey we are normal people as well. We cheered on the school and the wrestlers and we got to meet some wrestlers. They were really nice and so we are planting some seeds and hoping to open some people’s hearts! We met a really nice family too, so we are going to go and try and meet with them sometime. I really have respect for wrestling now. Those guys work hard!
Then the same members, who invited us to a wrestling meet, invited us to this Chinese New Year party. It was a big one and again same as the wrestling meet! We met some awesome people and they asked us a lot of questions and they were very friendly and I think a lot of the people here are seeing that hey, Mormons are awesome and are really nice! They throw parties and do some great things! So we are doing our best to just try and meet everyone.
We also went tracting this week. I and Elder Farr have a hard time with tracting. So we faced our fears together. I really wanted to try a new tracting approach. haha I wanted to replace my fear with honesty and see what happens. I really wanted to knock on a door and say "Hi I am Elder Harrington! and I am extremely nervous to talk to you right now! whats your name?" hahaha I feel like they would be super confused if I just knocked on their door and said that. I hope it would lower their guard though and kind of see like wow. He’s a normal person. But then I would say "But I am confident enough because we are sharing a message about Christ and how much he loves us and how he can improve our life." I didn't do it though because I felt like it would have come across as pathetic and stuff, not confident. Takes away power, but we did go tracting and after you go tracting. You feel really good about yourself.
I don't know why but you just feel that you are pleasing your Heavenly Father because you are doing what he wants you to do even though you don't want to do it or you just feel uncomfortable doing it. I feel peace after I go tracting. So hopefully I can use that more of as motivation to go tracting some more, because I will feel peace. I am doing everything that the Lord asks of me. Just because I do that doesn't mean that everyone is going to accept my message but it does mean that they had the chance and that I helping the Lord and going through with this journey with him.
Oh and we had a miracle happen! :))))))))))))))))))))))) This is super cool!  A guy in our ward is a convert and he has three little adorable girls. They are amazing! 10, 9, and 7 are their ages and they have such a strong testimony! He was divorced a few years ago. He joined the church because he knew it was true and he needed to do it. The wife wouldn’t let the children get baptized, so after 2 or 3 years of the kids just wanting to get baptized. She finally agrees. They are now allowed to get baptized!! :) The girls are so happy and excited and we get to go through the missionaries lessons with them and prepare them for their baptism. It is soooooooo exciting :))))))))) SO ya! That's our week :)
I hope you had a good week as well :) Love you guys. GO GIVE THEM HEAVEN!


Elder Garrett Steven Harrington

Week 21: Bronco Day-not!, Savannah & Raul and a Hookalau!

AH! Broncos noooooo (ha ha I totally jinxed them. If the broncos would have won the super bowl did you know there would of been no school today for the kids in Colorado? Crazy! Ha ha they are that big in football! Needless to say this week was awesome!!:)
Me and Elder Farr did a lot of good things this week. It is starting to snow a lot more now.
I don't like the snow... ha ha I have not yet fallen though so that's good! So this week we met with Savannah again and her parents and it went really well. We felt prompted to go there one night and we went there said a prayer before we went in and it was very strong and powerful to be there. We bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and why we use it as well and we told her about a baptismal service and what we do for it and it was great! I let them borrow the Reflections of Christ book and we are now starting to read scriptures with them like once a week!
We also got to teach a lady named Faith! She is Catholic. She was brought up Catholic and we taught her the plan of salvation this week and it went really well. She was like, “wow”. She was very interested. She said that it was a lot of food for thought. And she really is starting to understand us and I think she is coming a lot closer to Christ now. She tried to guess my first name and she texted us "Godric Gryffindor" as a guess and I laughed so hard. Ha ha so now she calls me Godric. I think it’s so funny, but yet epic! She’s into movies. She is in her late 50s I think.
We also got to meet up with Raul! Raul is probably the coolest guy ever! He owns his own gym and we wanted to meet up with him again. So we go and see him and he was teaching a class. He was a little busy so we asked if we could help with anything. He told us that the dumbbell rack needs assembly… So we put it together for him. There were two dumbbell racks. The first time we messed up and Raul started laughing! Ha ha. You learn faster and better from trial and error! Ha ha its pretty interesting how that works.
So we finished building the dumbbell racks for him and it was super cool. He invited us to work out in the morning and take his class, so we are going to work out with him in the mornings. I am super excited for that. Raul was an MMA fighter and he knows all different types of fighting. So we might be doing a kickboxing work out with him and cross fit kind of deal. I am so excited! Raul wants to get baptized as well. Just he wants to do it when it is the right time for him. It’s really exciting to be meeting with him and teaching him. He is a great guy. He had a problem with alcohol and we promised him that if we read the Book of Mormon, he wouldn't have a problem or want to do alcohol anymore. He hasn't had a drink since. He has been sober ever since we started meeting with him. Great things are happening! Heavenly Father is amazing! He helps us so much.
So now about my basketball game… We played against President and the AP's, we lost. :( We won the first game 11 to 4 and then they won the last two! like 11-9 and 11-7 in the second game. It was so frustrating. I had to guard the 6'8 guy and it was hard. Ha ha I think I did a good job though against him. He tried to post me up a lot and he did alright there but he liked to shoot the threes as well and it is so hard to block that or contest his release point ha ha. Our President can ball too. He loves to do step backs. He’s good at them and we played good defense. We just missed some easy shots though. :( It was a bummer, but it was fun!
Now for the luau! The luau was super fun. We got to paint our faces and wear lava lava's. I really enjoyed the culture again. I am a part Samoan so it was cool! We did a hake and a Fijian dance. It was a lot of fun. I have some videos of it all. We practiced them last week about two times so in the video it doesn't look like I know what I am doing ha ha so I really hope my parents don't upload that one if you are my friends on Facebook ha ha. But yeah it was a lot of fun :) a lot of non-members came and they really enjoyed it :) so it was a success!

But anyway.. What I am currently learning about is fear. I think the biggest thing I want to eliminate when I come home from my mission is to eliminate fear. It’s a little scary sometimes to be on a mission and what you are doing but I want to really develop a lot more faith and trust in Heavenly Fathers plan. Eliminating fear would be so cool to do. So that is what I am working on right now, eliminating fear. If I eliminate fear it won't be so bad for the rest of my life. I am so grateful for this chance to serve and learn and it is getting better each day. Optimism is a key. A whole new perspective :)
So I hope you are doing well and I love you all! Hope you enjoy this update!


Elder Garrett Steven Harrington

Week 20: Good things going on, Going to wrong house and Go Broncos?

Hey everyone :) How are you all doing? I am doing pretty well! See what happens when Elder Harrington goes to Colorado? The Broncos go to the Super Bowl! Haha jk. I really hope that they win. I might have just jinxed them but it’s going to be cool! I wish I was in Denver area so I could hear the roar of the crowd. It would be awesome! Colorado people are really big football people. I don't think it’s because they are good this year but they are just really big fans of the game. It’s awesome!

 This week was pretty interesting, Savannah asked her parents if she could get baptized and it didn't go so well :( But we are praying really hard for her and hoping that all will go well.
We met with a lot of members this week too and it was really nice. It’s hard to believe this is my third week here in Arapahoe. It seems like I am still brand new to the area and I don't know everyone, but yeah. Good things are happening here.

We went to a former investigators house and we felt prompted to go there for some reason and it’s this older guy named John and his girlfriend Michelle. They live together, they are both around their 50's and he wasn't doing too well when we came to him. He really felt like he wasn't doing enough to make it to Heaven. He was kind of just going through the motions and He doesn't really feel the joy that he knows he should be feeling from doing those things. So we challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and we promised him that he would know what to do after reading the book. He accepted the challenge and so now we are going to go see him back again this week.
So that was really awesome :)

There was a funny moment that happened this week. We were going to go to dinner and we really weren't sure which house. So Elder Farr said "it’s this one", only it wasn't that one… Haha we walk up to the door and I see someone at the window right next to the door and then she opens it and I was about to like walk in for some reason and then she goes “uh, who are you ?”and we said " uh... WE’RE MISSIONARIES FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS! (: going around sharing a message about Christ" and she said "oh" and we said "sorry we aren't government and we aren't selling anything and we know it’s kind of weird that two guys come up to your door" and she said "haha yeah, well thanks but not interested." haha okay. So, it turns out the next house over is our dinner appointment.

Sometimes when we knock on people’s door they get really turned off, and it’s just really sad. Sometimes they will say, “Not interested, but I appreciate what you are doing” or “I appreciate the visit”. So next time when someone says "we appreciate the visit" I am going to ask them,  “Why?” because I really want to know why they say they appreciate it, and I hope they open up to us more or just get a conversation with them. Sometimes, I really just want to be their friend, I don't want them to just say, “Not interested” and we go our own ways. I still want to just be their friend. Some really don't accept that either but I think it is good no matter what happens. As long as we are working with all our heart, might, mind, and strength the Lord will do marvelous things.

So needless to say I am learning and working a lot. Every day is interesting and different. I am happy though and I hope you are all as well :) So two days ago we practiced doing the haka! haha It was pretty fun. We are putting together a luau for some people and that's where we will do the haka. So, I am pretty excited! Also today we are playing against the Mission President in basketball and his missionary assistants so it should be a fun 3 on 3. :)  I am super excited. They are a good team. The President is a really good player for being 58. He likes to foul a lot… haha then they have Elder Hoyt who is 6'8”. He is a beast and can dunk on us. So hopefully, we will play some MTC rules: No dunking! haha. I am most likely going to guard him. I am going to record it on my camera and send home my SD card soon. So you can all see our game of basketball. We got a lot of shooters on our team and all-around players. So I think it’s going to be a good game :) anyway. Love you all!  


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 -