Thank you for the opportunity to become closer to Christ. (For those wondering, we are following a 21 day program to get closer to Christ.) Mom challenged me to join and read along. As we read, we ponder how understanding your divine nature as a son or daughter of God affects our relationship with Christ and helps us to be closer to Him. We pray for confirmation that God knows us as an individual by name. I had a blast looking up the references and answering all of the questions. I spent some good time looking up references of when God actually says the name of a person, not when Jesus says their name but God himself. There are lots and lots and lots of times. Wow. Thanks also for sending pictures, wow, that was really cool. I like to see you guys from time to time too. Well, super odd, you all look… not saying that you guys are ugly or anything like that, it just that I am just so used to seeing Latinos that it was strange to see North Americans. You all look a little different than I remember, and the pictures that I have in the album. Wow, Saydi the most. Saydi is starting to look old. I think that it will be strange when I come back and see her again, taller and more... women-y. I would love to see some pictures of John and Aubrei and give me the update on how they are doing. Nice to see that you guys are all looking healthy... I miss you guys some times.
Well this week I had a few interesting events happen. I realized this week that the experiences that I am having on my mission really are like no other experiences I will ever have had.
Experience 1: We were walking in the lower market of Belen searching for an investigator. The lower market is dirty, smelly and they sell almost every kind of stinky animal meat you can think of. Well as we were walking through the market we stumbled upon one of the vender stalls of a member of the church. She was not selling meat, but was selling a variety of objects, for example q-tips, combs, toilet paper, matches, balloons, flash light or things of that nature. Ok, I don’t know what "nature" that is but ya, that kind of stuff. I had a piece of chicken in my tooth from lunch and BAM!! She had dental floss. Perfect! So we were talking with this hermana (sister) I asked how much the dental floss was. She promptly told me 1 sole. One sole is the equivalent to 33 cents. Yes, wow, not very much. We were about to leave in search of our original purpose when I heard her say “thank you, with this sole I can feed my family today… this is the first thing that I have sold all day.” Well I felt like she had taken a giant spear and pushed it straight into my heart. I turned right back around and spent ten more soles on things that I really didn’t need. The look of pure gratitude in her face was indescribable. I fed a family.
Experience 2: We were working with the ward this last Sunday to get references, or in other words new people to talk to. We received a reference from a Hermana (Sister) and Tuesday of this last week we went looking. We found a family. This is great because if you can baptize a whole family then they have more motivation to help each other stay active. We began talking to the parents and come to find out that they have a son that is on a mission right now, and they promised this son that they would investigate the church but they really didn’t know where to begin looking. Needless to say we began to teach them and invited them to church. We got through the entire first lesson and said the closing pray. We were about to leave when … the mother called us back. She told the rest of the family, her husband, her 20 year old daughter and her 16 year old son to leave the room. She wanted to speak to us alone. When they had all left the room… she began to cry. My companion and I now completely in shock didn’t know what to say. After some time she calmed down enough to explain to us that she had been wanting someone to put her 16 year old son on the right path… because he was starting to make some bad friends. She then excitedly told us that God had not sent just one person… but two. She then begged us to befriend her son and show him a more righteous path. I made a new friend.
What have I learned this week? That more and more the Lord asks of me He also provides me experiences that shake the foundations of my soul. I have to choose today to either build my house upon the sand or build my house upon the rock. Who is the rock? Yes, I know you know. I believe in Christ!
Con amor, Elder Harris