Monday, July 16, 2012

I've been hit!

Well this actually happened a few weeks ago but I am just now getting around to telling its tale.  We were make a journey towards the Chapel so that we could play some sports as well as a few games on our p day and we were waiting at a light to turn left.  There were 4 of us sitting in the car and I was driving.  Well I was looking down at my lap at something I had just gotten and everyone else was being boring in the background when out of nowhere I hear this THUD!  and the car shakes... My first thought was... man! I hate getting rear ended.... Well I look in my left side mirror to see who it was that hit me and sure enough there was a lady laying on the ground wiht a bullet bike on top of her... By this time E. Lewis was getting out of the car becuase he saw her hit our car and was rushing out to make sure she was ok and then time sped it. My mind was blown away that that had just happened.  A lady was driving her bike trying to turn right on the road that i was sitting on already.  Being her second time driving she hesitated on how much to lean into the turn and lost controll of her bike which led her over the median and graciously sliding across both my door and the left passenger door and then falling on the ground smashing her knee.  So graciously that there is a skid mark on the window of her helmet going across them. 
The cops get called and all of that stuff is taking care of and come to find out that my comp. E. Coates had seen the whole thing and just watched as she hit the car (I still bring that up ha ha!) but thankfully the only thing that was hurt on her was her knee and she was taken away into the sunset to get that fixed.  While exchanging info with the cops E. yates and his comp walk up and start tlakign with the cop and as we get  talking to him we become best of buds to the point that E. yates pulls him aside and asks to be handcuffed so that he can take a picture.  To our dissapointment the cop said he wasn't allowed to but it was worth a shot! The car is in for repairs now and it needs both doors replaced... Poor Black Pearl ( named by E. Yates)
ITs a short one but hopefully it was a good story!

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Latest Project

Well I managed to sneak my way into the office and design another thing for Sister Albright before she left.  Sister Albright once shared a story that talked about a spectator on an airplane watching 2 missionaries on a plan.  One of the missionaries was laying asleep on the airplane absolutly exhasted and his shoes were worn and beat up along with his suit.  While another one of the missionaries was, to put it simple, looking fresh.  I wish I could find the story and maybe if Sister Albright sees this she can comment what the real story is because I fear I make stuff up too much sometimes. 
Although this is not a very impressive design and not my best work I still like it and wish I had more time to fine tune it.  I wish I had a picture of the paper that we used to come up with the ideas for this so you guys could see the progression that I see happen every time I design something.  I have learned a lot of life lessons from watching the design process take place. 
I made two final products for this project.  The only difference was what the text said.  My favorite is the one that isn't show here but says "We Walk In Christ's Footsteps" 
I'll see if I can hunt down the story and share it. 
Much love from the east coast!

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Life without....

One of the most common things talked about when people get ready to leave for a mission is the fact that you are unable to text, watch tv, listen to music... I think to some it can be summorized as you can't live.  (as sad as that is to say).  But with events of this past week over a million people join me in this extreme lack of technology.  Friday night we had a crazy storm which downed trees and, I believe, killed 11 people.  As a result of this storm a million + people have been living without power which means that poeple actually go out and socialize and talk with their neighbors.  Facebook is no longer a means of communication but rather look at peoples faces.  I am still without power which can be hard for sure but I am blessed enough to have a mission president who still has power.  Allowing us to take warm showers and sleep in a cooled house that isn't humid as none other. 

With the power outage the librarys are a lot more busy which means that I have less time to update this and am actually out of time... :(   I hope all is well and don't worry about me we are just kicking it cave man style.


Found some more time... this is a common sight this week.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Up we go....

Well for P-day last week we decided it was time to take an adventure... My ward mission leader Brother Todd took us on a hike up old rag... One I would highly recommend to everybody.  I don't have much time to write an explination or to post all of the pictures... Just know that it was fun.

well this sucks....

Once a comp.... Always a comp.

Holding up the rock so others could travel under.  Olympian style baby!

Mngoma, Yates, and myself with our friend jethro clark... This dog was incredible!  Hiked the entire mountain and would actually give directions at times... We have no clue where he came from but he was our friend for the entire hike.

Victory!!! (this photo was actually taken half way up but I thought it looked like a nice victory shot)

Actual victory shot. 
 Love you all!  I'll work on getting more out and about.  Let me know what you think!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The truman show....

One of the classic conversations after watching the truman show is if , just maybe, our lives are like that of Truman... Where everybody is watching us go through our day to day activity wihtout us knowing any different.  Well the longer I serve on a mission I come to find out that that is the life of a missionary.  Constantly I get the request for information on just about everything about my life, which I freely give.  What happens next is what bugs me.  In an everyday conversation there is two sides.  Each person brings something to the conversation.  Well it feels like I give all of this detail and in return I don't recieve any insight into the life of the person I'm writing.  There have been excuses given that it is to keep me focused or I don't need to worry about the things of the world.  Did you ever think that being treated like a normal person is what keeps me going on my mission?  I've seen enough people who completely void themself of all personality when they come and serve a mission.  Dare I say, turning into robots happy to eat, live, and breath the life of the mission.  It is those sort of peopel that quickly tell you to leave them alone and that they want to focus on their mission.  Me on the other hand.... I am still a person, and I pride myself in such a statement.  I still have a heart and soul that cares deeply about the people that I left back home and wants to keep up with them so that when I return home those connections still exsist.  Was it not enough that I gave up two years of being surrounded by the ones I love.  Is it truly neccesary that I also remain clueless as to what they are doing in their life? how they are progressing and how their passions develop? 
I am told often that we (meaning the people my age) are at one of the most important times of our life.  Each decisioun that we make will decide how the rest of our life goes.  Here I sit 2000 miles away from those I grew to love making me no longer a part of their life only because they are worried that I might break some focus.  I thrive off of continuely maintaining my friendships from back home.  Friendship is one of the most valuable things I have been given in life and I plan to treasure it.   All I ask is that people not worry about me... I'm fine and can handle myself.  If I don't have time to write you one week I will the next.  Time is not as big of an issue as people make it out to be. 
I am no different fromt he Mat that left a year and a half ago.  I still long for friendships and care about what goes on in the life of my friends.   So my plea is to break me free from this show I'm trapped in.  Let me know what is going on in your life.  Let me know that you are still alive and kicking.  I want to hear the ups and the downs.  The hard and gritty of life or the happiest moments of your life.  I am a person no different from you and long for the friendship I once had with so many of the people I left back home.  My life will be an open book if you open yours to me. 
God has blessed us with personallities so that we may bless the lives that we come in contact with. 
I love you all! and I thank those who have kept in contact with me.  I have truly enjoyed renewing friendships lost and hearing about whats going on in life and ask that you continue to do so.  I have slacked off on blogging merely becasue I felt I was just feeding the fire.  People were able to "watch" my life and in return I felt like I was just talking to myself.   Let me know your alive and I'll worry about my end. 
My address is on the top left of my blog but I will leave it here just in case
Elder Mat Harb
5242 Lyngate Ct.
Burke, VA 22015
I look forward to hearing from you all!  You are in no way obligated to write me.  I just wanted to let everybody know that it is ok to write me and that I would love to hear from you. 

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back in the field

Well I have now spent my last time in the office and have returned to more relaxing work of serving in the mission field.  The area i was placed in is close to the office still but it definitely isnt the office :P I am serving in the Fairfax ward.  I don't have much time to write a long email because I sent a long email to my fam today and I have a limited amount of time on the computers here in the libraries. 

I am real excited to be back in the field again and plan to take off running as fast as I can.  I said that the field is more relaxing then the office only becasue in the office you are worried about something 100% of the time. I would wake up in the morning, read a chapter out of the book of mormon and head to the office at 9 and be attacked by work until 9 at night sometimes even later, pulling nights as late as 1 if there was a meeting the next day.  In the field you don't really have that.  The things you are worried about is how to find and meet with people and oonce you meet with them the spirit kinda takes over.  Also the work done in the field is 100x more rewarding.  Just last night we taught an awesome spirit filled lesson which left us driving home feeling like 100 bucks and that we were on the top of the world.  Not once did I get that feeling in the office.  Makes missionary work so much more fullfililng when you get that feeling.

My companions name is E. Yates.  He played lacrosse at BYU just before he came out and has become one of my best Friends on the mission which makes me extremely excited  to be his companion for the next 6 weeks.  I imagine in the near future you will be getting some rather funny stories from our time together as well as some amazing miracles happening. 

I'll keep this one short and I'll tell more of what I've got planned for this transfer next time.  We have some pretty good plans we are going to do for district meetings and such.  For now though... this is all you get.

Peace out and I love you all. 


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The end of a great birthday week

Well the week has come to an end but with the end of the week a new year has sprung forth for myself.   I was able to share a rather busy birthday week with my roommate E. Johnson who has his birthday on April 5th.  This was probably one of the craziest weeks I've had in a while.... for the majority of it I felt like a pretty high roller which is abnormal for a missionary... I was taken out to eat just about every day some day's twice a day. A few of them being a higher end restaurant requiring me to order a 24 dollar entree.... Crazy stuff I tell you.  I am sure that some of the pictures will be posted on the mission blog.  ( Along with a large portion of backtrack images of my time in the office.  Don't judge me by half of the looks on my face... these past 6 weeks have been the craziest I have seen the office.  I am either exhausted in the picture or I am stuffing my face because I didn't have time to eat before the day began.

I have many people to thank this week for making it a great birthday week!  Especially my parents.  They spoil me rotten even after I get a van towed and have to spend some more of there money ( they will be payed back no worries)  Just thought I'd take some time to give them a shout out that I appreciate them and love them a ton!  They put up with more then they deserve and they keep going strong.

These posts will probably start to slow down a bit because coming up here soon I am having a change of pace and can't make any promises.  Kick me every now and then to make sure I'm alive if you don't hear from me.

Happy Easter!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Who would have thought....

So I made an important discovery this week... Well maybe not all that important but a discovery nonetheless.  I learned that it is indeed possible for an E350 to be towed, I also learned that towing companies often charge by weight as opposed to just towing our car which means that not all cars are treated equal... I also reconfirmed that my sweet mom and paps love me still.

This week would definitely have to fall under the category of crappy week.  Mostly because I have been fighting something fierce which leaves my body exhausted to the point of accidently falling asleep on the office floor for a decent amount of time.  Another reason for the crappy week is it consisted of a good chunk of angry missionaries calling requesting me to do things.  I don't mind the doing things but the angry doesn't fly very far in my book.   If your gonna ask me to do some ridiculous task that you are too lazy to do you better darn well be happy about it if you ask me :P  Then on top of all of that poor old Natasha (my van) got towed late at night while I stopped to check up on a missionary who is going home shortly due to back problems.

Despite the crappy week it ended well with being able to watch conference with some of my mission buddies at the stake center!  All in all though I am looking forward to this week... not because something fabulous is going to happen (there are a lot of great things happening this week) but mainly the fact that it is a new week and that its not last week.

On a different note... I have been trying to get E. Bay to open his easter packages all of this week and the man wont budge... he just waves them in our face trying to rub it in that he got 2 easter packages and we have none! (by wave I mean leave them sitting on the desk but wave sounds better) I look up to the man for his self control for everyone in the office has teased him about not opening them and he has held strong.  Not going to lie it would make my day if there was some things contained in there that needed to be refrigerated or opened right away.   My family expects me to do the same with my B-day package... We will see how strong I will hold... I'm thinking 30 min.

Well its time to go play som v-ball


Monday, March 26, 2012

Sarah & Isatu

This past Saturday there was an awesome baptismal service held for Sarah and her daughter Isatu.  They walked into church one day and stayed for 6+ hours and accepted a baptismal date the first time that I met with them.  Their story goes on from there but that is all history.  Here are some pictures from the baptismal service. I, the favorite elder, had the privileged of baptizing Isatu, Elder Norris Baptized Sarah.

Now Fanta is a whole different story from her sister and mom.  She is by far the cutest little girl ever.  It took her a while to get her to warm up to me but now ever time she sees me she runs and screams to meet me.  Although whenever we tried to take a picture of her she would fold her arms and frown so E. Bay being the master he is was able to snatch the picture above of her which resembles how she usually is.  She likes to play the game of when your crouch down to talk to her she pushes you over and laughs.

It was a great experience all together and I am happy for both of them.  They have already seen the difference that it makes in their lives.

I hope everything is going well for you folks back home.  I continue to be out of the loop but keeps things exciting I guess.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How did I do?

This week was the week that my life in the office was supposed to slow down but it seemed to forget that it was supposed to :p.  There was only one meeting planned for the middle of the week that normally I don't need to do anything for but I managed to wiggle my way into a whole lot of work of which I am great-full for.  I had a heck of a lot of fun doing it.

 Well with leadership meeting this week we were trying to come up with a way to effectively show people where we are in baptisms for the month and where we need to be.  As well as get all of the Church leaders in the are on the same page as the missionaries... As you can imagine what will interest church leaders will most likely bore missionaries.  Old people just tend to enjoy practical boring things while half of the missionaries out here could care less what a bar graph says.  Well I was asked to just create a chart of bar graphs (not included because it isn't all that impressive or interesting) and then I started brainstorming with E. Johnson on how to get missionaries to look at this email because I know I wouldn't look at an email of just graphs.... let alone care or understand what it means to me. So one of the things that happens in the mission is a weekly email that contains what is called Zone Shout Outs. Which is the only email sent out that everybody pays attention to and so I got the thought... why not create something that includes both the zone shout outs and the main part of the information that we would like the missionaries to know.  Realizing that the main part is better then nothing this is what we came up with.
One problem we saw last year is that our goal was always in the back of our mind but no one took it to heart until the end of the year when they realized they might not make it. With this we are hoping to create this fire and motivation to occur each and every month because they realize where they need to be to reach there goal.

I would appreciate some opinions concerning the design of it.  This is my first design that has used strictly text, which is probably my weakest point of design.  The reason for the color choice is it matches the page of bar graphs in case a missionary does decide to look at the graph it is color coordinated. It is also designed to be able to expand as far as numbers changing and the geographical breakdowns (previously known as zone shout outs).  The top part is a map of the mission in case people were confused. The numbers surrounding the map are how many bapt that happened that week.  This was all designed in inkscape (free) for those who are interested.    Oh and it is also my first design that I have used the color yellow in... Proof alone that I am a changed man :P

Above is one reason why this week was busy.  This took up a day and a half of work and the rest consisted of a baptismal interview which meant going on an exchange... And of course that only caused more stress because we had a presentation somewhere else the next day that president needed us for but because we were on exchange we didn't get all that we needed to done.  Causing a lot of stress in the morning trying to exchange back while completing everything before the meeting started.  Needless to say it all worked out perfectly but it was rather stressful in large part to E. Bay.  He is truly a blessing to have as a comp.

Well I've got to go throw a program together for the Baptism tonight.  I will post pictures of it up next time.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Mormonism 101

One thing that has been a big push in the mission lately as well as just the mormon culture in general, at least in Virginia. Is this article that the church has just released which includes some FAQ that are commonly discussed as well as an info-graphic on some statistics concerning the church.  These are both something I would highly recommend reading and making yourself familiar with.

Here is the info-graphic that is contained on the site.  I realize that some that read this post wont bother looking and so I figure I'd put some enticement.  No shame in that right?

Much love from Virginia!  I have to peace out just thought I would post this up while I've got some extra P-day time. 


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Zone Conference Week

This week was a pretty standard 2nd week of the transfers.  Every transfer during the 2nd we week the mission holds zone conferences which is where the zones meet together and get trained by the APs, the Mission President, and the Zone Leaders.  Which means that the APs, the mission president, and my comp and I have to drive around each day but Monday and Saturday to these meetings which take place all over the mission...  As you can probably guess by the end of the 4th zone conference I start to have nightmares about listening to the same thing one more time... Its pretty bad.  To illustrate how bad it is I thought it was fitting to post this picture of my companion dying from his allergies ( we will pretend it is because of going to 4 different zone conferences)

But backing up a little bit to Monday.  On Monday we had the honor of going golfing with one of the senior missionaries who was just released this last transfer meeting from managing the finances of the mission. I wasn't able to get a picture with the senior missionary in it but here is me and E. Peterson and Johnson and Bay.  I didn't do as good at golfing as I did with bowling but I didn't do too bad... got a 48 on a par 3 course which is +21. Not really good at all but hey who cares.  All in all it was a fabulous p day and a great way to start off the week.

me, E. Peterson, Johnson, Bay
As far as my area.  It is going great! we should be having 2 baptisms coming up here in the next week and we are looking forward to that.  After this week we should have a little bit more down time to finish things up in the office and get out and knock some doors.  But it may have to wait another week because I've got a lot of work to complete to make reporting easier for the next office elders.

I feel I might be fighting something but it may just be a bad case of too much junk food.. I've gotten back on to my work out schedule which usually means that I stop eating junk food as well so that will be cured here coming up soon.  Can I just say I am way happy I don't have any allergies... after seeing my comp almost die from them just about everyday I continually shout out thanks for not having allergies.

I apologize for this post it is scatter brained and not very entertaining.   Didn't have much to say this time around.


here are a few good stories shared at Zone Conference.  I would highly recommend reading them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Out to get me

This week was exciting enough that is for sure... any more exciting and I just may have to quit my job and walk away :P (not really).  This week is without a doubt a lot more calm then last week but certainly contains a heck of a lot of driving.  The mission has been switching out their cars lately, buying new ones and selling the old ones.  Which means that we have to not only pick up the cars but then deliver them to the missionaries that are getting them.  All of which included me and my comp, but don't get me wrong I'm not complaining too much it was just a lot of driving... 

We picked up 4 new cars this week we got some more of the cruzes that i talked about last week (think i did at least) then we got 2 Subaru Legacy which are hands down the nicest car I've driven thus far.  It still felt like a sports car which I didn't like too much but it rode around super smooth and you just kinda felt like you could sit back and chillax and take it easy which is something I'm awfully fond of.  Still would prefer a more classy feel but absolutely loved driving these guys off the lot.  Kinda an addicting feeling driving a car off of the car lot... hopefully I don;t get too addicted to it because I don;t think it is a very good habit if I am to stay out of debt....

On one of these car adventures we ended up getting home a little late from picking an old car up after we dropped off the new one... Me not thinking very well decided I'd go straight to the apartment instead of dropping the extra car off that my comp was driving. Now normally that wouldn't be a problem... especially in Utah. But for those of you who have never lived in Virginia every stinking place to park in here is either painted yellow (meaning you cant park there) or it requires a parking permit.  I have parked a car at my apt before with no problem so i figured just one night would be fine... Sure enough the next morning  when we go out to take the car to get detailed so we can sell it it seems to have vanished.  One of those oh crap...... moments for sure.  We go to the front office and get the tow truck company's number and give them a call. Sure enough they snatched the little buger and its gonna cost 125 to pick it up. I was pretty darn ticked.  Although thankfully the senior couples that I work close with were kind enough to help us with a large chunk of the cost cause it wasn't our car but one we picked up for them it still was rather annoying.   

When we went to pick it up the office of the tow truck place was this  little trailer shack looking thing with the window about 6x6in and thats all there was to talk through and everything... I think that if for safety a company has to only have a tiny window so that they don't get the crap beaten out of them they are doing something wrong... maybe thats just me. I sure was as nice as i could be to the lady hoping she would drop the price a little bit but I think they have seen that trick before or something... it was a no go.  

Other then dropping cars of this week has been pretty normal... Involved lots of stake correlation reports which I am currently so sick of doing but thats ok.  I had an excellent exchange with my district leaders comp as well which doesn't happen too often cause of our busy schedule but we snuck one in. 

Overall I can say that this week was pretty good.  one of the senior missionaries out here has the motto of "life is good" I'd say this week complements his motto 

One of my ponderings of this week is trying to find one word to explain my life as well as my beliefs and theories... if any of you have some a word that has changed your life and inspired you to do better I would dare to go as far as asking you to share that word with me in hopes of getting inspiration.  I promise I wont steal it from you either. I thought about change as one but that one has already been taken ha ha.  

Blog Archive