Monday, April 2, 2012

The Cleansing Power Of Christ

Hey family.
            I loved the conference. I had a great time discovering inspiration in the messages that were shared.  I enjoyed the talks that were given by the prophet the most. He spoke about answering the questions of our soul, and finding peace in adversity. I really appreciated how the focus of all of the messages given, was for the family. I am so very happy that the Lord blessed me with an exceptional family. I think that I lucked out in a big way. I had many thoughts during the conference, most of them focused not on my future family but on the future of our family. I feel that the more that I learn of the gospel the more that I am deepening my own personal conversion. I have a strong yearning to come home with the tools I need to make our family resilient to the temptations of the Devil and allow my future family to be constructed in the prevailing principles of the gospel.  I know that what the prophet and the apostles shared were specifically for us, and as we educate ourselves through a review of the talks we can be uplifted in the spirit of the Lord. I never want to miss a single session of conference for the rest of my life. There is just too much spiritual knowledge to be lost; it is a sacrifice that I am not willing to make.
            I know that my redeemer lives, and what comfort this sweet sentence gives. As I have reviewed the conference talks, my love for Christ has increased. I know that he lives and loves all people. He has provided us with modern day prophets to guide us in these last days of tumult and turmoil. We must go on! I have thought upon the penetrating question that Elder Neil L. Anderson shared in his talk ¨What does Jesus think of me? ¨ I hope that he thinks of me as a worthy young man striving to do his best. I hope he thinks of me as a future father, worthy to bless his family with the priesthood that he holds. I hope he thinks of me as worthy of the mansions of his father. I hope he thinks of me as his true friend.
            The Lord blesses those that keep his commandments, but keeps them with love always in their hearts. This last week we had another baptism. A young man named Albert that is 19 years old. What a powerful example of courage and worthiness. Albert had serious problems; he has made many errors in his life, but OH HOW GREAT IS THE CLEANSING POWER OF CHRIST which has given him a new outlook. He lives in another part of Iquitos but works in my area. His job is one of simplicity. He had been contracted to watch a door all night long in front of an expensive dental office starting a 7:00p.m. To 7:00a.m. We found him through one of his friends that is a member of the church here in my area. After giving him a book of Mormon, every night that we passed by his door, we would find him there reading. I will never forget seeing him from blocks away pull his broken plastic lawn chair a little bit closer to the street light so that he could read the word of God. He is one of my Heroes. After the Saturday afternoon session we baptized him and confirmed him as a member of the church. When he stood up to bear his testimony, as is the tradition, the small baptismal room was filled with a warm silence. All he said was, ¨I feel good……. what more can I say.¨
            The Gospel blesses the lives of those that choose to live it’s principles fully, and gives them the reassurance of the spirit that what they are doing is virtuous. The spirit speaks to us through thoughts, impressions and feelings of love peace and happiness.  When he said ¨I feel good¨ I thought to myself, ¨THAT’S RIGHT YOU DO, BUDDY¨, because I too felt good.
            We this last week found a new family that we are going to teach the Ruiz family. We hope that everything goes well with them because the whole family accepted to get baptized this 28th of April. There are five of them and I am going to have to plan another wedding. Wish me luck. I will talk more about them this next week.
Side thoughts:
    Haleigh you are super cute. Don’t let anyone ever bring you down.
    Saydi you are a little fire ball, and I love ya just that way, don’t ever change.
    Aubrei, I wish the best for you and I hope that you are more than happy. Write to me.
    Mom, what would I ever do without you, thank you for always inspiring me. Never let down your beautiful smile.
   Dad… you are my best friend. I need say nothing more but that I miss you.

I miss all of you and I can’t wait to see you all again, to share experiences and love.

Elder Jaren Tage Harris  


Wedding, Baptism, and Reception In One Day!

Hey good family.
Well I felt like I wanted to explode this week. We finally got the Familia Guerra baptized this week. What a super tough experience. I think I know what you mean mom when you were writing me about the stress in planning a wedding. We had to organize everything. We had to divide the ward in teams to decorate the church, help her get ready, people to go the municipality to finalize the papers, and then someone to cook food, and the cake, and to get them from point A. to point B. and then we had to have music and lights. We had to get the baptismal clothing ready and the fount filled and then we had to talk to all of the invited guests so that some other day we can go out and teach them and then we went flying to visit some other people in the night time.
            We had the wedding at 11:00 in the morning in the district build, then we came to the church to start the baptism at 1:00 and then we had a small but lively reception until about 5:00 right after the baptism ended. Looking back, I am super happy with all of the work that we did in getting the family ready, but in the moment, I was super stressed out.  I just wanted everything to go according to plan. I think that I have learned a pretty valuable lesson. 1. That I am really going to have to plan my own wedding way ahead of time and I need to think of how I can help others work happily, and 2. I have to find a really good looking, spiritually strong young lady that will be able to pull through. I think that weddings are really happy and really stressful. Well I’m super happy to show you all of the pictures the day events. I will be sending some pictures little by little for next couple of weeks. Thank you for sending me the Easter package. I haven’t gotten it yet of course but at least I can say thanks.
            Well how nuts is that Garrett is back. I know that in 6 months, we are going to have a super crazy big party and we are all going to laugh together with lots of hugs and stories and then more laughter and then we will go to sleep. Then we will start up again the next day. Don’t wait up for me I still got a lot of time to go.
           I am going to do my best to achieve my goals. I am going to try to do everything in my power to get those people that I don’t know yet to the waters of baptism so that they can receive the celestial glory.
            Well anyway I am super happy right now I really love the mission a lot and I hope that everything is really happy at home right now.
            Now second thought:  I know that my birthday is coming up… don’t buy me anything… don’t send me anything either. We can just celebrate my birth a few days late when I get home.  A little cake from Sam’s Club and best wok as a family. I would love that.  Save your money.
Love Elder Harris