Do you struggle?

For any one struggling at this time and wondering, does god really care about me? If any one is wondering during a time of distress or trial: “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers of desired peace?”. I invite you to ponder this in your heart.

This world is a home our father designed for us to learn and grow in. The natural consequence of watching a child grow is sometimes seeing the child get bruises or skinned knee, or seeing the child have a sad day, or maybe be in pain because of a poor decision they have made. We are Heavenly Father’s children. Like the love and desire to help that a parent has toward their child, God loves his children, We are everything to him. His desire to direct us to happier living and peace is his top priority (Moses 1:39).

Remember the trials we face are tests and usually the teacher is silent during tests. God does not abandon us in our times of need. He has taught us everything we need to know to pass our test and trial. Remember this test is open book. We have notes and tutors to help us along the way. We have a loving prophet who, I testify, is the voice of God to help us. We have the scriptures and the priesthood. Tools that allow us to receive constant advice and comfort from his spirit. Please remember to bear these burdens in life with patience and hope.

Our Father does Love us. Remember his son Jesus Christ, who gave the advice to the prophet Joseph Smith during his greatest trial. Found in the 122 section of the Doctrine and Covenants verses 7 and 8 “And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather backness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?”

Don’t give up on Him because He has not given up on us . In the name of Jesus Christ Amen

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Stop, Look, and Listen

Stop , look, and listen.

I have been told that countless of times . I have assumed it applies only to work or life circumstance. I have, however realized that the ability to stop, look, and listen applies in the gospel for the benefit of all of our spirits . Here are some thoughts on how we can use this principle to bless our lives and the lives of others in any situation .

Stop– The ability to take a moment and to consider our individual options in any situation that is placed before us . Remember when one takes that precious moment to think, will this decision effect me in any negative way? Will it effect the respect or spiritual safety of those I hold dear and love ? When we stop to consider the consequences of any choice we make, God will guide us through his spirit to keep us on a road toward happiness .

Look– The ability to see through the eyes of the savior . Every day we pass by people who are suffering, ill, or alone. We can look through caring, merciful, and loving eyes to those in need of service and kindness. It does not cost one cent to lift another in deed or in the things we say. The options to lift others are unlimited in a world filled with broken hearts. As we see others with spiritual eyes we begin to understand what the savior meant when he said ” But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.”

Listen– The ability to hear in our heart the things the lord tells us. I promise that each of us has received prompting from God in our lives. Regardless if we recognize his hand in those promptings . When apply the ability to stop and look and combine it with the listening to the promptings of good in our hearts, the Lord blesses and protects us. Through listening we can be a instrument in the lords hand to change the hearts of many people, including our selves. Give a ear to the lord and see how he fills it with things to do in his kingdom.

I promise this blessing, stop, look, and listen for the lord. You will see he is the master in charge. He will make your paths straight and will fill your life will true happiness . i testify of in the name of Jesus Christ Amen

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The Book of Harpole

Dearest Family,

Behold I Elder Harpole, having been adopted by goodly parents do write about my experiences in the wilderness of the Sunset stake. Behold I shall write of the Lord’s great mercy he has upon the children of man. It came to pass as we celebrated the weekly tradition of P day we did take our recent converts to see the new temple being built by the power of the Lord that they might feel of his spirit. It came to pass that they did feel the spirit and rejoiced. Yea and their names were A___ and T____ and they had joined themselves to the covenant even a week prior to seeing the house of the Lord. Yeah, and the P day ended and there was gnashing of teeth for behold the converts did gather their things and moved south into the land of Peru for a month.

I'm not in Peru, but here's a llama to send Andy.

I’m not in Peru, but here’s a llama to send Andy.

It came to pass that as we testified many great things unto the people of Provo there was one who did contend with us. A woman who was filled with the spirit of the devil and was very wroth with us. Behold she spake many false doctrines concerning Christ and his Gospel and even the coming of Christ again to the children of man. Yeah, she even said false things of the atonement, and priesthood. Behold, even as ye know that the Lord does live, that same God, yea the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did show unto me what I must do. Yeah, the spirit did guide me like unto the children of Israel crossing the red sea onto dry ground. I spoke with a trump of thunder, seeing no way to reclaim her heart accept by bearing down pure testimony against her. And it came to pass that I did speak the truth of the Lord and my mind was given perfect clarity on the things I must do and say, and I felt peace. I did teach many things and the woman left. For wickedness cannot prevail against the word of God yea and she was silenced with the spirit.

We then traveled to the place called Sunsetniah which translates to Sunset 13 ward. Where we did teach many people concerning the death and resurrection of Christ; yeah and the great plan of redemption made from the beginning. And it was well with them. It came to pass that the faith of one who fell away many years past did again accept Christ as his Savior and he did pore out his heart unto us and we did bless him. Now this man’s name was C___ J____ and because of the great belief that was in him, his family also came into the fold of God and did accept Christ. And now we see the promised blessing of the Lord when we are obedient will bring to pass the salvation of many souls.

And now we have done many great works in the name of Jesus. For behold my heart and my planner is full. Yeah, we shall go forth in the spirit to bring to pass the repentance of many sinners. For behold I know He lives and He had sent me unto this people that I may show unto them their iniquities that they may have a great repentance of heart and come back to the fold of God . Behold this is the testimony which is in me. And I seal it with the great love I have for you my beloved brethren / family.

Now behold I am Elder Harpole and I close mine epistle. That the Lord will find me spotless at that great and terrible day, Amen.

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Personal thoughts and successes

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was awesome for many reasons. However because time is short I will only be able to make a few remarks.

We baptized M. this week she is awesome and her family set a date to go to the temple. I never thought I would see the day that they made that commitment. It is a testimony to me that true love for people will help them change more than force or just teaching alone. This family has turned a new leaf and I am thankful to god for that change in their life.

A. was also confirmed and given the Holy Ghost this week. I know the Lord is helping these families change and find peace and rest in this life. R. is still on date for baptism and came to church for the first time with a friend.  I am so proud of her and feel so much joy because of the desire she has to change. She is going through a rough trial but the Lord is qualifying her to overcome these things and to have the capacity to accept his will.

Something I am working on in my life is accepting the Savior’s will and not my own. He truly does bless. I think the highlight of the week was doing service for the S family and finding a new family to teach named C. The S.s are an old couple who can’t do much for themselves anymore.

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I realized something this week about the idea of perfect brightness of hope. Perfect hope is not attainable in this life for most because it requires perfect faith. However the brightness of hope is attainable I believe.  I think when we make the choice to be positive, friendly, kind and to keep a smile on our face even in the midst of trial or stress we have a brightness with us and I think that brightness can allow hope to come in. So one can look forward and feel the comfort that the atonement and life of Jesus Christ brings as we trust him. I think I am turning over many new leaves and finding great ways to refine myself for our Savior through having a brightness of hope. I am growing that trust that things will be OK even when worldly circumstance would say otherwise.

A miracle happened this week, actually a few. So the first was A. She called me up and said that she was baptized and is going to the temple. I was floored. I saw her and had a good lunch. We caught up on many things. Second J. from Canada who wasn’t able to be baptized also called me up and told me she was getting baptized on Saturday. It was so wonderful. I even got to see my trainer Elder Gallo. He is doing very well at BYU. The last thing is J. is getting baptized after having to wait 15 years. He worked hard staying faithful and now is preparing to enter the waters hopefully this month. I can’t believe it because we worked and struggled so hard with him and others to see this day.

I know the Lord hears prayers and will answer in his own time and own way but he does answer. Finally S. got the priesthood, and is preparing to be sealed to his family for eternity. I could barely contain my tears when his sweet little wife L. whom he loves so much, wept because how long she had been waiting for this day. Even though she can barely walk because of Parkinson’s, she thanked the Lord for the great blessing her life has been and that she and S. could finally go to the temple. I wish I had a heart like that.

I almost forgot to tell you all, Sister I. got an answer and she has started to attend church now. She prayed for 20 min and said “after the months of deciding if this was all worth it because of the way I feel now there is no doubt this church is true and it was all worth it.” The I. family is set to go to the temple hopefully by Christmas. I love the Lord and his tender mercies.

So Pres Mccune has a birthday coming up and we are throwing him a surprise party. Since board week is here I hope this will be a chance to unload some stress from his life. He is such a good man and has a great abundance of love for the Lord.

 Another family that I am loving to pieces right now is the A family. They are good people and have over often. We share great gospel experiences, joke laugh, and have a good time. I think the one thing I live by most is the Gospel should be fun. I understand reverence but I am uncomfortable when people are so serious with their testimony. I can’t Imagine Jesus teaching without a big smile on his face and lightness in his countenance. The Gospel for me is fun and work is a joyful work. The blessings are also a bonus.

Also the O.family is so wonderful to us too. We played basketball this morning with Christen and yesterday after having ice cream with them for father’s day Camilla and Sabrina gave me  a big hug and said please come to Salt Lake to drop off Erich their older brother. I said I couldn’t but would see them soon. Erich and I have bonded a lot because he didn’t have the nicest missionaries when he lived in Mexico so when we took him out with us we became tight friends even though he is young. I want to be a good example for him because soon he will serve a mission and I want him to have hope and happiness when he goes.

I love you all and wish you the best. The Lord is looking after me and I am truly among men most richly blessed

Love,

Elder Harpole

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Laser Tag

My new companion is one I have had before, his name is Elder Langston. We haven’t stopped laughing all week. He is probably my favorite companion I have had in the past year. On P-day we all went to play laser tag. I destroyed everyone! First I played easy and I beat them by about 500 pts., however when they decided that both teams wanted to beat me in high score I was the last one picked. So I thought I could play normally or destroy every one. So I picked the latter of the two. I beat the 2nd place player by 5000 pts. It was a good p-day.

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The spiritual blessings I have gained this week are so great. We have taught more lessons then normal and our investigators are progressing. First we picked up a new family named L. We got to have a giant Nerf gun fight with their kids and it was epic. The mom is ready for the gospel to impact her life and is making those changes to become a follower of Jesus Christ. The dad is working through some stuff and we are going to love and support him until he is ready to come back. I hope by the time missionaries are done teaching and helping them that they will become an eternal family.

Thursday we had a great lesson with G. and A.  G. is doing great she realized her life was empty without the gospel.

On Sunday we were able to do a youth training and they are really advanced. I believe one of the greatest blessings in this mission are we get to help build and prepare future missionaries. We taught the conversion of Alma and the power of having real testimony as a disciple of Christ.  I love this area and the great changes in the mission. I cant wait to serve the lord more diligently this week.

Love you all. Have a good week

Elder Harpole

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Joseph Smith

This week was insane but awesome. For the first time since I came into this area I am not sick. The zone is changing and there are a few missionaries training in our zone and many changes in the mission.  Also this week our investigators are doing awesome. Elder Holli and I didn’t have a single baptism this transfer and I am actually happy about that. It made me stop and rethink how I am doing missionary work. I think because this is a successful mission missionaries count on baptisms each transfer.

I am now training a new Zone Leader named Elder Langston. I served out with him in Vernal so I am happy he is my new comp. I am finally un-sick for the first time in a long while. I am so excited because now back to hitting the ground running. This week a hard investigator opened up. She is a 20 year old girl who is unsure about the changes she has to make for the gospel. We now know how to more help her in her life to become ready for baptism one day.

The S. family opened up about their son who is in jail and we were able to teach them about Alma 32 to get them back to church and how to trust there son will be OK. I am seeing many of my converts making eternal covenants and I am so thankful to the Lord for showing me these tender mercies. The lord is taking care of this little section of his vineyard. I know I need to trust him more and the merits of his great mercy.

So I have been studying The Doctrine & Covenants like crazy. I have gained an even stronger testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. I have given over 35 talks since my mission started. This talk last Sunday I felt such a strong testimony of Joseph Smith burn in my heart as I testified. I am realizing how great this church and gospel is and how it teaches us in each of our individual lives.

I think my mission is to craft me as a disciple, the organization of the church is training for the eternities. The Gospel when utilized as a tool; is to build our lives on the foundation of Christ. We should be continually progressing and evaluating through Christ-like charity ourselves.

However even though we grow the Atonement of Christ will never be understood in its fullest in this life. How awesome is that?? I compared it to thinking about a million individual marbles.  A human mind can’t comprehend that many objects in their mind. My trust and faith in the Christ has grown because of this new and exciting aspect in my life. I can in confidence trust in the Savior through my weaknesses and that’s a cool thing

I love you all. I wish you the best this week. Oh read D & C 93 and think about temple covenants and priesthood and grace

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Advice

The biggest mistake I made was bringing a lot of useless stuff on the mission. Bring the bare minimum and the mission and Lord takes care of the rest. This week was slow. Seeing Pres Bednar was really awesome. Nothing new happening though. I miss you too. Hope Arizona is treating you and dad well.

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I’m really happy in the mission. We are seeing small growth in our area for sure.

Love Elder Harpole

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