Monday, February 14, 2011

Agency, to eat or not eat Cake!


Well I am super happy that you all had a great week this week. For me this was the hardest week of my entire mission. Sundays are a day of either a ton of joy or a lot of depression. All week we go out and teach the gospel, knock on doors, contact people in the street. All the work that we do during the week is summarized and funneled into Sundays. What I am trying to say is that all of the investigators that actually come to church are sort of like a gauge of missionary success. Right now we are teaching 15 people consistently... last week we had 13 attend church... this week we had 5. I tended to question a little why. We worked so hard this week. We tried so hard to get people to come to church. Hmm... All in all, I learned a valuable lesson this week. That being, people still have their agency. Agency has always been a key part of the plan, if not the focal point.  Just think.. That first argument in heaven was basically over this debatable topic. Why did we come here to the Earth? There are two reasons, one to gain a body... and the other to experience "joy" Nephi 2:25. How do we experience joy without experiencing sorrow? This is the reason Adam and Eve needed to partake of the fruit, in order to bring opposition into this world. I now know with a little more clarity what it means to experience God´s love and sorrow. I honestly love my investigators, I think about them every day, I pray for them, I teach them, I counsel them. I sincerely felt sad when my investigators didn´t come to church. It’s kind of like a cake behind a glass window. I am on the inside, just a salesmen of this (gospel) cake, inviting people to come in and eat of its richness. My investigators are the people outside the window, on the street, not knowing what they are missing. I know the cake tastes great, I know what it costs and I know where to find it because I work for the baker. The problem is the cake is chocolate and everyone outside only wants vanilla. Sad because chocolate is so stinking good, it’s the best. Darn it.

From Dad’s letter
Today’s lesson was on the first vision and I found it interesting in JHS 1:20 that Satan knew that Joseph would pray that day. The first time Joseph says he ever prayed out load and the first time he prayed in the place that would later be known as the sacred grove. JHS 1:20 - It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy? This got me thinking about you and the great work your doing as Elder Optimums Prime and how angry that makes Satan.  Remember keeping all the mission rules not only do you have the spirit with you to guide and protect you but you also strike a blow to Satan, like smashing Megatron.

Dad that was super interesting about Joseph Smith, it leads me to this train of thought about Jeremiah. There is a scripture in the first chapter in Jeremiah that proves that we lived with God before this life. Look in Jeremiah 1:5. It basically says that God knew us before this life and if that is the case, we all knew each other. Thus inferring that Satan too knew what Joseph Smith would end up doing.

Wow, there has been a ton of rain. Elder Paiz and I are working really hard in our area because before the end of the month it will get closed down. Elder Paiz and I have two areas. Sachachorro and Venecia. All of the houses on poles are in Venecia or the other name for that area is called Belen. We won’t be able to walk in there soon because the river is rising. I cannot wait for you to come. I really want you to come to Iquitos... it is like nothing you will ever seen in your entire life. You will never experience all aspects of life in less than 5 minutes; rich, poor, old, young, cold, hot.

Con amor elder Harris

P.S. Facts:
Health: great
Weather: stormy with a chance of preaching the gospel.
Work: hard this week, but moving on.
Investigators: 15 Ages ranging from 11 to 68. All of them are either in a family or super old and solo. They all live about 1-9 blocks from my house. All within walking distance.
Church building: 3 blocks away.
Baptisms: No baptisms this week but next week yes, Hoping for three.
CD: I am sending you another CD today with tons of pictures. You should get it in like 8-14 days sorry. Did you get my package I sent you with dad´s present?
Food: Yes I have tried some interesting food. There is a ton of fruits here that don’t really exist outside a jungle environment. I don’t know all the names but we are going to eat them all when you come because I know what they look like.
Pensionista: so, so. She makes ok food; the one good thing about her is that she likes to make keke. or cake.
Companion: I LOVE MY COMPANION. A.K.A. (me, Jaren, in Latino form.) He is super outgoing, funny, loves to joke, talks about video games, basically me, but grew up in Guatemala and speaks Spanish.

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