24 November 2010
Well it has been an amazing week for the Harris family and appropriately we have much to give thanks for especially this Thanksgiving!
Elder Harris called home yesterday to tell us his Visa had come. The overwhelming feelings of gratitude to our Heavenly Father are hard to describe. We only know that it feels like a small miracle. We were told by officials that it would be 6 to 8 weeks. He was humble and ready to take any assignment the Lord had in mind for him even if it meant going somewhere stateside. As parents we were upset for him but immensely proud of his attitude.
Elder Harris had the amazing opportunity to speak and bear his testimony to the Peruvian Ambassador just a week or so later. Some may think it was a coincidence but we believe not. He and those Elders, that were held back, had an important mission to fulfill. They needed to help the spirit touch the heart of the Ambassador and we believe they did. Someone mentioned their situation to the Ambassador after he asked why these missionaries were still in the MTC. He said he would check into the VISA problem. Three weeks to the day Jaren was originally supposed to leave his VISA arrived. We feel a need to thank those who prayed for him, fasted for him, and put his name on the temple rolls but most of all we feel the need to thank our Heavenly Father for blessing him for his faith!
When Jaren called us yesterday it was to say he would be leaving today on United Airlines from Salt Lake to Dallas to Florida and then onto Peru. Well severe winter storms came in. They left MTC at 3:00 am and arrived safely for their 6 am flight to find it was canceled. Another test of faith? Yes! All ten Elders in Jaren’s group were able to find seats on Delta airline from Salt Lake to Atlanta, then on to Lima, Peru. Remember it’s the day before Thanksgiving..high travel day..the Lord blessed them again!
Jaren had the opportunity to call us this morning and speak to us about his experiences in the MTC. It was wonderful to hear his voice, to hear firsthand how humble he has become and how dedicated to the Lord’s work he is. He expressed his love and gratitude for family and friends, the letters, and packages and quarters he received. He expressed his love for the Savior and his divine work. He told us of his renewed dedication to living the gospel to its fullness. He told us of his personal challenge to finish reading the book “Jesus the Christ” which he is about half way through. He challenged us as parents to attend the temple more often and to Aubrei, his older sister, to think about going to the temple. He talked about how wonderful his teachers in the MTC were. He discussed how he worked extra each day on his vocabulary so he could articulate better. He challenged his younger two sisters to study the Spanish language more and increase their vocabulary. He said he wanted to be the best he could be and be ready to spread the gospel to the Peruvian people. He mentioned how he was able to see his college roommate and best friend Carson while walking the temple grounds. He said they were able to sit together and talk about their experiences. He told us what a great opportunity it had been to be district leader for five weeks in the MTC. He told us how great the spirit was when he bore his testimony to the Peruvian ambassador. He said he felt blessed that he was able to listen to four apostles of the Lord and two seventies speak while he was there. He told us with excitement of a Sister missionary who grew up in his mission area of North Lima. He loved telling us how he asked her what food she ate growing up. How she told him she ate ants, worms, snakes and crocodiles. We groaned and he laughed. He was especially excited about the crocodiles. He expressed excitement and anticipation about seeing monkeys. He said he has an obsession about monkeys and can’t wait. He told us again and again his love for the Lord. He told us he feels like he knows the Lord Jesus Christ so much better now and wants to know more. He told us that he wants to live so the spirit will always guide him. He said he has had so many promptings that it is just amazing. He said he feels that there is something extremely important in store for him and he needs to live so the spirit will guide him. We are extremely proud of him and very humbled by his example.
Please continue to keep Elder Harris in your hearts and prayers as he labors for the next twenty-two months in Peru.
You can send him mail free through www.dearelder.com