Hello my friends and family,
So Conference was amazing! No better way to get pumped for the last week of my mission. Which by the way has been a very special experience. Before I came out here I had very little expectations as to what the mission would be like. I didn't know much about the gospel, the scriptures, or really anything. I still don't know that much about a lot of things. But two things I do know are that I love the gospel and that it is true. Everything about it, it's all true. And I owe that knowledge to my mission.
The MTC helped set the course for my mission. I learned a lot about myself and my Savior during those long six weeks. I loved the MTC. Looking back it went fast, but at the time it moved slowly. I made some great friends. Especially with my MTC companion, Elder Buchanan, who helped me learn how to be myself and to love the Lord. We are bros for life. Leaving the MTC was hard. I was not sure how things would turn out the rest of my mission. So it was kind of exciting at the same time. I would come to miss the hour a day or so that we got to play basketball with other missionaries from around the world.
Going to my first area is all a blur. I don't remember much of it. The first few days blend together in my mind. All I remember for the first few months is that I had no idea what was going on and I was just there for the ride. I was completely exhausted and fell asleep in every car ride for the first couple weeks. I started to adjust eventually. Luckily my trainer, Elder Wilde had things pretty figured out. He helped me learn how to missionary. After three months with him I received one of my best bros in the mission, Elder Gaburel. The seven weeks that followed were full of laughter and hard work. Leaving that area was very hard. I felt as if I was leaving home all over again.
After four and a half months in my first area I was asked for finish training Elder Fordham in Yakima. I was scared due to my very limited Spanish (aka none) and my companion didn't know much more due to the fact that he had only been out for a month or so. BUT the Lord did provide and helped us to be able to communicate with those we came in contact with. We worked hard and knocked lots of doors and spoke lots of broken Spanish. After just one transfer I then received Elder Miles and was asked to serve as a District Leader. We spent the next three months together and worked harder than ever. We knocked every door possible and talked to almost everyone in our area in Yakima. We learned that obedience and hard work do not always bring immediate blessings. We felt as if we were just scraping by, but still loved the work. We put in a lot of work with the members and were able to see lots of success as far as strengthening the current members there. As I left that area I again felt as if I was leaving home.
For the three months that followed I was in Moses Lake training a new missionary in an area that neither of us had ever been to. We call it being "doubled in" here in our mission. He quickly became another one of my best friends. Elder Veropalumbo and I put in some work, but nothing came immediately. I guess the Lord really wanted me to learn a lesson of patience in waiting for what I thought was success as a missionary. I guess I thought eight months was long enough. But the Lord always knows best. Moses Lake still has a part of me, but it didn't quite feel like home at the time.
After finishing being trained, Elder Veropalumbo was asked to train a fresh missionary from the MTC. He was nervous, which is understandable after only being a missionary for three months, but he was an amazing trainer. I was asked to go up to the promised land of Omak and serve as a Zone Leader with Elder Wunderlich. I love my boy, Wundy. He taught me how to truly teach people and how to take my mission to the next level. We put a lot of sweat and some tears into working with the Reyes family, along side some of the greatest members in the world, Sister White and Sister Detering. I learned how to love the people I taught and put my heart and soul into their progression. After three months together, Elder Wunderlich went to Yakima and I received the legendary Elder Allsop. What a guy. He helped me learn how to combine being myself as a missionary and being a missionary. The next three months consisted of some of my favorite memories from my mission. After six months in Omak it was heart wrenching to have to leave. It was honestly the last place I expected to fall in love with. Omak stole my heart.
I would then be sent down to Wenatchee and get to stay there until the end. Wenatchee has been a wonderful place of learning and growth. I think I have grown and changed more here than I did in all the rest of my mission combined. I have been able to work with lots of very special people here who taught me things that will set me up for the rest of my life. I served with three companions in this area. Elder Cannon, Elder Kiser, and the one and only Elder Nathan Allen Walker. Each of them taught me unique, but powerful lessons. I owe a lot to each of them. Elder Walker and I, he being my twin and pretty much the same person as me, had a blast and were able to work with and baptize a very special family, the Reynoso's. The Lord has great things in store for them. I'm sad to leave Wenatchee, but good things lie ahead. After serving as a Zone Leader for the last year of my mission, I have been able to learn things that will serve me well in the future.
It feels weird ending my mission. After putting your whole heart and soul into something 24/7 for two years, it would feel weird for anybody, no matter what it was. Looking back it only feels like I have been out here for a few months or so. I guess time really does fly when you are having fun. Or even better, when you are in the service of the Lord. What a special opportunity it has been to serve as a full time missionary in The Church of Jesus Christ. I am not looking forward to taking off my tag tomorrow evening, but I am excited and ready for the next part of my life. On my mission I have changed. I am still the same me, but different. I owe it all to the Lord, my wonderful mission president, President Lewis, my mission mom, Sister Lewis, all my companions, and the missionaries I have served around. But none of those would have done anything for me if it were not for my wonderful mother and father who helped me get to the point of coming on a mission. As well as all my leaders in church, friends, and family. I owe all of you. I love you and I will see you all soon. Some sooner than others, but still, see you soon.
I know with all my heart that the Gospel is true. As well as the Book of Mormon. It holds power that no other book does. I am a witness of its power and ability to make us and our lives better. No hay nada mejor. I know Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. He was human, as are we, but he was a man called of God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth with the power and authority of God. And through the ordinances performed in His church we are able to become more like him and eventually return to his presence with our families. "This is the way, and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God." In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
For the last time,
Elder Zev Harman
So this week was super good! Conference was great! This is all I'm going to write, but next week will be super long. I love you all and will see most of you next week.
Return Date: 10/10/17
Elder Harman is currently in Wenatchee, WA
Current Companion: Elder Walker