Monday, December 30, 2013

The Gospel in Peru

Everyone should go see this video. It is a video about when Elder Cook came to Perú. My mission Shows up in the video, and a lot of elders that I know.

http://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/the-gospel-in-peru?cid=HPTH122613277&im=true&lang=eng


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Feliz Navidad!!

I had a great Christmas! I hope you all did too!



Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas!!!

Wow, I can´t believe that Christmas is coming up so fast! We had a Christmas dinner with President Harbertson and his wife on Friday, and a Christmas party here in the family group on Saturday.

Christmas Dinner with I wish President Harbertson and his wife
We went to Cusco, and played a fun game that is a family tradition in the family of Hermana Harbertson. We then had Pizza and a little bit of time to socialize with all of the missionaries. Then, we had a super amazing spiritual meeting in the chapel. It was a music and testimony meeting. All of the Zone Leaders and the assistants bore their testimonies, and in between there were a lot of great musical numbers. I sang with the other Elders of the Cusco Zone. President Harbertson played a beautiful song on the piano, and Hermana Harbertson sang. They are very talented. It was a really nice meeting. To Finish the meeting we heard talks from President Harbertson and his wife. Hermana Harbertson´s talk impressed me a lot. 

She got up, signaled for President Harbertson and said (with him translating): "I had a talk all prepared and translated to Spanish, but I decided that I´d rather look into your eyes and speek from my heart than look at a paper and try to pronounce words..." she then gave one of the most spiritually uplifting talks and testimony that I´ve ever heard. The spirit was super strong!

They then gave each one of us a gift. but I was super surprised when they gave it to us. They gave us a Book of Mormon! They told us that they knew that we already had countless Books of Mormon in our rooms, but that The Book of Mormon was the most prized possession that they had to give. They also gave us a colored pensil with 2 colors and challenged us to read the Book of mormon Marking 2 things: References to Christ and Words pertaining to Christ. I´ve already started.


Christmas Party in Izcuchaca
On Saturday we had the party here in Izcuchaca. It was a huge success. We had dinner, hot chocolate, and a talent show. It was a lot of fun!


I wish you all a very merry Christmas!!


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 16, 2013

I love you All!!!

I won´t write a lot today. It seems like I always write a lot, and I´m sure your eyes are all tired. Just want to let you all know that I am loving every minute here in Izcuchaca, and that I can´t wait for christmas. 

I love you all!! 


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 9, 2013

True to the Faith

Yesterday we had a long talk with the Relief Society President here in Izcuchaca. I learned a lot more about the history of the Church here in Izcuchaca, and the strength and Faith of Sister Sonia Mantilla. 

I will try to tell the story, but I know that I won`t do it justice. I wish we could have recorded her when she told us, and sent it. 

15 Years ago, the First Missionaries arrived in Izcuchaca (and Compone a little pueblo where sister Sonia lives). The Church started to grow very slowly. Brother Richardo Mantilla (Husband of the sister Sonia) was one of the first to embrace the Gospel. He started attending regularly every week in the Chapel/house of Izcuchaca. Sister Sonia was a little more Skeptical, but when she started to see the changes in her husband she decided to go to Church. The entire family got baptized, and became strong in the Gospel. Brother Richardo Mantilla was even called to be the President of the Family group of Izcuchaca. 

But then the Missionaries were taken out of Izcuchaca. I won`t tell you what happened, but lets just say that some bad missionaries did what they shouldn`t do. The Family Group of Izcuchaca was destroyed, and the members were told that they would have to travel to Cusco to attend Church. The members became bitter, 1 because of what the missionaries had done, and 2 because they felt that they had been abandoned by the Church. Ever Richardo Mantilla became bitter and vowed that he would never return. 

Sonia Mantilla didn´t agree. She understood the importance of her baptismal covenants, and tryed to do all she could to go to church... but it wasn`t possible. Cusco was more than an hour away, and it cost 2 soles to get there and 2 soles to get back. She went a few times, and Richardo got mad because she was using their money to go to church. He didn`t allow her to go. 

She didn`t go to church for about 5 months, but she felt absolutely terrible. she didn´t know what to do. Then one day, a man knocked on her door offering to sell her 10 liters of milk fresh from a cow. She felt impressed to buy the milk but didn´t know why. Later, she thought about a neighbor that knew how to make Cheese, and she asked her neighbor to teach her. She taught her, and she sold the cheese. She made 2 soles! 1/2 of a Sunday trip to Cusco. She started buying milk and making cheese and started using HER money to make the trek to Cusco every Sunday. 

Little by little she started making more and more cheese, and more and more money. Richardo couldn`t keep her from going to church, because she was using her money. The business started to grow. Now, a little more than 10 years later, she has 15 cows.  
Me, Milking one of Sonia`s cows

But more important, her Faith grew. Sonia didn`t miss one Sunday for more than 12 years. Through that time, her husband did everything he could to discourage her. He started drinking again, because of that, he started beating her, he yelled at her every sunday and tried to stop her from going to church, but she stayed strong.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year Sonia went to church. She grew and came to have a great testimony of the restored gospel.  She went to the Temple in Lima and received her endowment, and all of this time she had a prayer in her heart that one day Richardo would change. That one day Richardo would return to the fold. 

Three years ago the church returned to Izcuchaca. Missionaries came back, and the members started meeting in the Chapel/house again. The church is growing very very slowly. When I got to Izcuchaca 4 months ago Richardo Mantilla was still very inactive. Then, he started coming to the meetings on sunday, but refused to participate. We started working with him, and teaching him, and yesterday he accepted the assignment to give a talk on families. His Testimony is still weak, but he is starting the journey to return to the church. 

As I listened to the Sister Sonia tell this story with tears in her eyes, I couldn`t help but marvel at her faith and strength. She told us that her only dream is to go to the temple with her husband and see him receive his endowment, and then be sealed as a family. I look at the Sister Sonia as a modern day Pioneer. She has been through some very hard challenges, but she has remained true to the faith. 

I`m so thankful for the oportunity that I have to know people like the Sister Sonia. I was strengthened as I listened to her story. I hope you were all strengthened too. 

 

Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving

Family and Friends,

Sadly, here in Perú, Thanksgiving doesn´t exist. But I was excited to here about your Thanksgivings :). In this email I´m just going to list a few things I´m thankful for.

I am grateful for:
  • My calling and setting apart as a missionary.
  • My Companion (It would be impossible to be a missionary without one)
  • My Mission President and his Wife. They are the BEST!
  • My Sector. Izcuchaca. Being here has been one of the most trying experiences of my life, but I have learned so much. 
  • My Savior Jesus Christ.
  • My loving Heavenly Father.
  • Living Prophets and Apostles
  • The Restored Church
  • My Investigators.
  • A Hot Shower.
  • Food :)
  • Health
  • The Support of my Family
  • The Things I´ve learned in the Mission
  • That I am Literate 
  • For an education 
  • For Modern Technology (So that I can Write and receive emails :)
  • ...
There are soooo many things to be grateful for! I can´t list them all. 

Take a look at the First Presidency Message In this Months Ensign. It is Incredible.

Oh, just so you know, I am going to talk to my Mission President and see if I can call the Day after Christmas so that I can see you ALL!!

Photos: My Battle with the Fleas here in Izcuchaca

Love you all! 


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Companion

Family and Friends!

Well, This week has basically been a normal missionary week. I received a new companion here in Izcuchaca. His name is Elder Mazariegos (a little hard to pronounce). He is from Guatemala (Martha, I thought you might appreciate that), and he has 21 months in the mission. He will finish in 3 months... wow. He seems like a good guy, and I am sure I´ll come to know him well in the next few weeks. With Him, I am having a better Companionship study than I´ve had in my entire mission. So, thats really good. 

The work continues here in Izcuchaca! I love every moment of it :)!

I´ll send photos next week. 


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Logo de la Misión


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Logo de la Misión


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, November 18, 2013

BUSY week.

Family and Friends,

Wow, This was a Crazy and busy week. I am just going to talk about a few of the major events that happened.

Baptism of Stefany
I had my first (official) Baptism this week!! I know that is a little confusing, but in Sicuani Percy and Soledad were baptized (see my email from May 27). But the thing is that they weren´t really my investigators. They were Investigators of elder Neff and Elder Calderón. I just happened to teach them a few times. But Stefany was the first investigator that I actually taught from the start. She was a reference from Kevin (a recent convert), and she progressed really fast. She is really converted to the Gospel and has a great testimony. (See Pictures at end of email).

Elder Russell M. Nelson Comes to Cusco
I don´t know how we get so lucky here in Cusco, but Russell M. Nelson came and had a devotional with all of the members in the Stakes of Cusco, Inti-Raymi, and Sicuani. Just like 2 Months ago, Quentin L. Cook Came. Maybe the Apostels just like visiting Machu Picchu, and come for that. I don´t know. There were more than 2,000 members that came. That made me happy, because it shows the faith of the members here in Cusco.

He said a lot of cool things, and I learned a lot. The coolest thing that happened is that he gave his whole talk in English (with a translator), and then to end he said:
"I feel impressed to speak to you in your native tongue."
He then bore his testimony and gave an Apostolic Blessing in PERFECT Spanish. I don´t know if he actually knows Spanish, or if he spake in tongues, but in any way, it was a cool experience. The spirit was super strong. 

Good News!!
I weighed myself today! When I left the MTC, I weighed 111 Kilograms (I won´t tell you how many pounds that is because it is embarrassing). Today, I weighed myself, and I weigh 90 Kilograms. That means that I lost 21 Kilograms or 46 Pounds. I still have a long way to go, but I´m getting better! I will attach a photo from the MTC, and from now so that you can see the difference.

Love you All!!

Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Work of Salvation

Family and Friends:

Here in the Mission Perú Cusco, we aren´t allowed to say "Missionary Work." We say, "The Work of Salvation." I´m sure that you´ve all heard about the Work of Salvation, but what does is mean? Why? Let me Explain.

The Phrase "Missionary Work" gives the feeling that the missionaries have a work, and the members have another work. But that is not the case. We ALL are part of the "Work of Salvation."

"For behold, this is my  work and my  glory—to bring to pass the  immortality and  eternal life of man."

God´s Work and Glory is... "The Work of Salvation." and now, he is inviting us to join him in his work. How great is that?!!!! We Have been promised that if we bring one soul unto him (Save a soul...Salvation), we will have joy (D&C 18:15-16). So, Lets get to it! Lets get to work!

It is also important to note that the work of Salvation doesn´t only include people who aren´t members. It starts in the Home, our families, then it spreads to every creature (Mosiah 28:3). This also includes people who´ve already died. 

The work of Salvation goes well here in Perú! We are working hard, and having success. 

I love you All!!! 

Elder Jacob Harmon

Photos:
1&2: Lots of Food!!! :)
3-5: Missionaries! 
6&7: The Plan Of Salvation (Family Night)
8-16: Cuy (Guinea Pig) We eat them here :) Yum!
  • 8- Guinea Pig
  • 9- Sister Elsa Killing a Guinea Pig
  • 10- Guinea Pig
  • 11&12- Three dead Guinea Pigs
  • 13-16- Taking off the hair.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dear Family,

This week was fun because I was able to see a lot of traditions of Perú. For you, this week was Halloween. Here in Perú it was the Day of the Dead and The Day of the Living. Everyone went to the cemetery and cleaned the graves of their dead. It is almost like Memorial day in the States. The weirdest thing that I saw was that there were Priests (I won´t tell you what religion they were from, but I´m sure you can guess) that offered to recite prayers over a grave, but they Charged!! They charged money to say a prayer!!! It made me think of 1 Nephi 22:23

For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.

Sorry, I know that that scripture is a little strong, but That is what I thought of. :)

Kevin, a Young man in our ward gave us the reference of his Girlfriend, and she is progressing fast! We challenged her to get baptized the 16 of November, and she Accepted! References are awesome! Give them to the local Elders!

I love you All So Much!!

Elder Harmon

Monday, October 28, 2013

Learning Experiences

Family and Friends,

This week, we talked with the smartest man I have ever met in my entire life. He literaly reads books all day every day. I learned a great lesson. I learned the importance of balance. It made me sad to listen to this man and think of the amazing experiences that he has missed out on during his life. He may be smart, but he doesn´t has a wife, kids, or happiness. He doesn´t have a life. Although, I want to gain lots of knowlege in this life, I will always have a balanced life.

This week has been a little hard because of the hardness of the people in Izcuchaca. The people are very hard-hearted, and that can be really hard as a missionary. Sometimes I wonder: "Why don´t they understand that I´m hear to help make them happy? Why can´t they realize the importance of our message?" Sometimes I feel like Nephi when he said:

"...For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry." (2 Nephi 33:3)

I am trying so hard, and I´m doing my best to help these people, but sometimes they just don´t understand. But it is a good experience, because it gives me a great oportunity to learn to pray earnestly for others, like Alma:

"Now when Alma saw this his heart was grieved; for he saw that they were a wicked and a perverse people [...]

 And he lifted up his voice to heaven, and cried, saying: O, how long, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that thy servants shall dwell here below in the flesh, to behold such gross wickedness among the children of men? [...]

O Lord God, how long wilt thou suffer that such wickedness and infidelity shall be among this people? O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people doth pain my soul.

 O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people.

 O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me [...] yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ.

 Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them because of the iniquities of this people.

 O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.

 Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee." (Alma 31:24-35)

It is a  constant struggle, but I´m learning a lot every single day, and that is what´s important. I love you All!!

Oh, This week I also was caught in the biggest rain storm I´ve ever been in in my life! We didn´t even Have coats on because it was hot outside, but weather here in Perú changes even faster than it does in Wyoming (believe it or not). It started to pour! We ran to our apartement and were apsolutely soaked in less than a minute. It was litteraly like somebody was pouring a bucket of water on Izcuchaca. It was a lot of fun.

Elder Jacob M. Harmon

PS: I got the letters that you sent during conference! Thanks a lot. I will respond soon

Photos: This isn´t the day of the big rainstorm, but it is still cool.

Monday, October 21, 2013

¡Fotos!

1- The Family Group in Izcuchaca
2- Me and The Youth in Izcuchaca
3- Our Backpacks after a hail stormç
4- Our District 

Learning to love the Scriptures... and Studying.

Family and Friends!

All is well here in Perú. The Work Continues.

This week I would like to explain to you all something that has become a great tool throughout my mission. And, quite honestly, it was something that I struggled with before the mission. This is a constant study of the Scriptures. 

It all started in the MTC, when one of my teachers showed us a video by David A. Bednar. In this Video, I saw the way that Elder Bednar mastered the Scriptures. At first, It made me feel really terrible to think about the very limited knowledge that I had of the Scriptures. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I would strive every day to learn the scriptures better. Throughout my mission, I have learned To really love these books. The hours that I have to study as a missionary have become some of my favorite ours of the day. 

I would like to invite all of you, if your not already doing it, to more fully study the scriptures every day. If you are married, have personal study and companionship study :). The Scriptures are really incredible, and I promise you that you will gain a knowledge that will help you in every aspect of your life. 

I love the scriptures! I love the Book of Mormon! I love this Gospel!

Love,

Élder Jacob M. Harmon

Monday, October 14, 2013

Great Week

Hello Everyone! 

This week has probably been one of the best weeks of my entire life. First: Conference, next: Interviews with President Harberson, and Finally: Training from President Harbertson. I have learned so much, and been edified so much. I have a renewed desire to become the best missionary I can be. 

Here in Izcuchaca, we are working hard to become a branch. President Harbertson told us that it should be possible to accomplish this before the end of the year. I know that we can do it. We are super focused in the Less-Actives. If we can get them coming back to Church, great things will happen here in Izcuchaca.

Elder Becerra and I are working hard on a family that wants to get married. Rober and Cloudia and there 2 daughters want to get baptized!!! I am so excited! Right now we are helping them with all of the paper work so that they can get married, and afterward get baptized. I have never been so focused, and so excited about the work of Salvation! What a great time we live in!

Elder Jacob Harmon

Photos:
1- The Tree of Life :)
2- Little waterfall
3- Incan rocks. They are awesome!
4- Perú
5- Companions
6- Cool Rocks
7&8- Incan Ruins 
9- Toad
10- New District