Miracles & Symbols

Hi There! This post was meant to be published on Monday, but something bugged out and it deleted itself. Haha! Go figure.

Things here in Newport have just been great and I feel like me and Elder Billmire and the Elders in Waldport are coming closer together as companionship’s and as a district. I hope I can do all that I can to be a great District Leader for them. I absolutely loved being able to attend the District Leader training in Eugene on Tuesday. It a bit of a surprise because our Zone Leaders didn’t tell us about it till like, the day before it was supposed to happen, so we had to reschedule a few of our appointments. We spent the night at the Zone Leaders apartments so that it would be less of a drive for us in the morning. It was wonderful to receive instruction as a new District Leader on how to be more effective in working hard and becoming a better teacher. During the meeting I remember what Elder Hanssen would always tell me during meetings, “Be Anxiously Engaged! You have good comments! I want to hear what you have to say!” So I did my best during the meeting especially in those really awkward moments when a questions is asked and no one answers for like a good 5-10 seconds. I really feel that the effort that you put into something the more you will get out of it. So true! It was super awesome to see Elder Smith there as well! On our way out we took a quick picture together and we headed on our way. We’ve grown so close to each other it’s hilarious whenever we talk about how we are doing and how the work is in our areas. He’s great and I love him and miss him and I write him occasionally. Later that evening we were blessed to have dinner with members who live literally on the ocean front. We took some great pictures with the Sutterfield’s!

This week I have to be honest was really slow and hard. Nearly all of our appointments canceled on us because they were either out of town, on vacation, forgot, or doing something else. It was hard, but we were able to get a lot time in finding more people who are willing to learn more about Christ. This week I have to say thought was a miracle and a half because we received a referral from Mormon.org that someone would like us to stop by and give them a copy of The Book of Mormon and that they would like to learn more. So we were like, “Sweet!” But, they were way out in the boonies of our area and so we thought it best if we could set something either by phone or email before we hike out there and it be for nothing. So we tried the number and turns out the number was wrong even though we tried it several times. So we were pretty discouraged that we were unable to contact this person. But what’s incredible is that some how, they got our number! Miracle! They left a message and said they would love to sit down and get to know more about what we believe. We called them back and turns out that they don’t have any connections to the Church, like no family or friends. But they loved Mormon.org and they wanted to learn more! They even self referred themselves like 2 times because they didn’t think the first one went through. So that was our big miracle this week that we were able to get in touch with them and they are willing to sit down and meet with us this next week. I am super excited and I will share more about it next week. :)

I’ll end my email on this note that during Sacrament Meeting, they were singing a Sacrament Hymn, and as they were doing it there was no bread! So everyone went into panic mode because both Elder Billmire and I were sitting on the bench waiting to help pass the Sacrament. So, needless to say our Bishop kindly rearranged the meeting an allowed the first speaker for the day to give his address first and then we would have the Sacrament afterwards. The talk was given by a young man named Brandon who just recently returned from his mission. He was such a stud! He was testifying about his mission experiences and that the authority that missionaries are called is powerful and real. He literally did not have anything he was reading off of, he was simply going by the spirit as to what he felt inspired to share and touch our hearts with his experiences. He served in the New England areas in the northern USA. It was great. Finally someone was able to bring bread and were able to perform the ordinance of the Sacrament. It made me realize something very important. Why do we come to Church on Sunday? Is it just to mingle or listen to talks? No. We are there to partake of the Sacrament. The flesh and blood of our Savior. Symbolism of course but it is powerful in symbols. What would it be like if we didn’t? We would have to live with our sins for the rest of the week and possibly the weeks after that. How would it be to carry a bag of sins that forever builds up without a break to apply the Atonement and let go of the baggage we pickup each week? It was a powerful lesson to me that I am soooo grateful for the Sacrament each week. I also started bringing my study journal to Sacrament meeting so I can write down impressions that come to mind as I listen to the speakers and the Spirit testify of truth! It was great!

Well, I hope that you have an awesome week! Thanks for all your love and support!

All the best,

Elder Harper

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