These last two years of my life I have spent in the great country of Peru. I had set aside my life back home to take on another, a more spiritual and uplifting life serving the Lord. I now know that I have made the most important and influencing decision in my entire life.
I have always marveled at the way the prophets in general conference talk about their missions and I thought to myself before my mission, “why?” Now, I know why. There are no words that adequately describe how I feel now as I leave this country that I have grown to love. I have walked its streets and taught its people the marvelous plan of happiness. I personally have felt happiness like I have never felt before as I have helped the Peruvian people come to the knowledge of our Heavenly Father. I know that my father in heaven lives and blesses his children. That he is the God of yesterday, but also the God of today. He sanctifies us as we go about doing his work, and blesses us when we strive to do what is right. He never leaves us, he is always with us. I have learned that God is forgiving and patient with those that are not following the path of righteousness. He loves unconditionally and will always do everything that he can do to save us from sin. He sent his son.
Christ paid with his own life, the price of justice, allowing mercy to enter in and save mankind. I know that Christ lives. I know that his divine affection is full of anticipation and hope for our return to him. He waits for us to return, he waits to hug each and every one of us and to tell us that he loves us. How great will be the day when we can tell him that we love him. We can show our love by keeping the commandments that he gave to us. Christ did so much for us, even he gave his own life, but what are we willing to give in exchange? Will we get up early on Sunday to go to church? Will we pay an honest tithing? Will we keep the law of chastity? Will we love one another unconditionally? My favorite scripture contains a question that Jesus presented unto the Nephites. The question is simple. Christ asked them ¨What type of man ought ye to be¨ and then in reply said ¨as I am¨. We must endeavor to be like Christ. I have learned this lesson on my mission that a man is nothing when he is not in the service of God and his fellow man. Christ never stopped being our Savior. In the darkest hour in Gethsemane he still said, though the pain was unbearable ¨ not my will, (but) thine be done¨ Oh that I could say these words when I am sad and have lost all hope. Our Savior came to this world with a heaven sent mission of peace. He sent me to Peru to continue the work that he began when he walked with us. What privilege I have had to serve as the messenger of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
The Lord’s gospel is summed up in its simple beauty with five principles. It all begins with faith in Christ, then comes repentance, baptism by emersion, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and enduring to the end. I have taught this gospel to hundreds of people and many have come to know the true meaning of happiness and joy as they too partook of the fruit. The gospel has become for me sweeter, and all that is sweet and whiter than all that is white. Though I will miss being in Peru, I know that I have done what the Lord asked me to do. I know that one day I will see these people again. It will be a day of tears and a day of great joy. Though may it be in this life or the next I wait for that day with much anticipation.
I have thought about what I have really learned here on the mission and simply put, I have learned to have true faith in God. There is no other power in heaven or on earth that is more important than the priesthood. I have learned that we must cherish it and we must use it often to benefit our families. It is by this power that the family is not only a concept of earthly duration but an eternal blessing given to us from our father in heaven. I want to have an eternal family. I want each of us to always strive to keep the commandments so that one day we are all together in the kingdom of heaven. We can do it. We can keep the commandments. We will make it back to the presence of God. We will find the eternal peace we have long waited to have.
I have a family here on earth… they are so good to me… I want to share my life with them for all eternity… families can be together forever…. through heavenly fathers plan… I always want to be with my own family… and the lord has shown me how I can… the lord has shown me how I can.
I love all of you, more than I can express in words.
Elder Jaren T. Harris
See you tomorrow!
Elder Jaren T. Harris
See you tomorrow!