Monday, June 25, 2012

The Work Goes On

Well the work goes on and on and on….

I love this work, the thrill of the first lesson and the excitement when they understand. I love the powerful spirit that can be felt in the baptisms and the love and hope given from the new converted people. There is nothing like the work of the Lord to get the heart pumping and the blood and boiling, (but not in a bad way but in a good way.)  We were able to baptise another family of three this week. They were super fun to teach them because I didn’t have to do the hard part. These people were found by my new companion Elder Leiva and his old companion and had had a few lessons already. We just had to give them the rest of the lessons that they needed so that they could be baptized this week.

They have a really neat story. Their names are Rosario (mom) and Darwin (son) and Nayeli (Daughter). They come from a super catholic family that has basically banished them from the house. When my companion and his old companion started to teach this family, about the second lesson, their grandma caught on to what we were doing and came in to listen to what they were teaching and well….. It didn’t end very well. The little gray opened the door, then she started to attack the church, and they basically ended up destroying the Catholic Church with the doctrine of the True church of Christ. The catholic grandma had a fit with her 35 year old daughter later when they left, explaining to her that we are followers of the devil and that we have 7 wives and that we worship Joseph Smith. Her daughter didn’t want to hear any of that and started to meet my companion and his old companion in the church instead of in the house, so that they could escape the wrath of the little old granny.  That’s when I come in. We were starting to teach her the rest of the way giving the Daughter Rosario and her two kids a good testimony in the gospel. Then this week they got baptized.

Wow, I am super happy that you guys had a great time in the JUNGLE of Montana. I hope that maybe once in a while you thought, wow, this rain is what Jaren had to walk in almost every day when he was in the jungle.  I love the rain a lot, but even more now that I was a part of it for so long.
We are having a great week this week we are going to play a lot of Ping-Pong I think because we have a table right in front of our house in the church. The both of us really like to play, speaking about my companion and I.  So…. I am going to become a super Ping-Pong master. I will defend the truth with my Ping-Pong skills of justice. LOL

Hey I love you guys a lot……

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Heaven Would Not Be Heaven if my Family Wasn't There With Me!

Well they sent me back to Lima….
I guess that is what the lord wants from me at this time. They sent me to another Zone in Lima to be the Zone leader there. I think that my zone is going to be a difficult one. There are some big problems in the zone with the level of work that the missionaries are putting into every week. I hope that this will be an opportunity to pump them up.

I have felt like in my mission the Lord has always sent me to a place that has lots of problems so that I can find the solutions.  Like my last companion Elder Villegas would always say… ¨Elder Harris you are just a magnet for problems, but I can put my confidence in you that you will be able to work everything out.”

When I saw the apostles, I was really far away but I was able to see them because I am basically one of the tallest people there. (lol) They talked about the great need that all of the members in Iquitos have a current temple recommend, and that if they are all trying to achieve that then Iquitos in the next few years has a great big chance of getting a temple.  He basically told them that everything depends on them. That if they can start to double and triple the number of members that have current temple recommends then there is a sure chance of a temple coming to Iquitos. COOL BEANS

My new companion is from Chile… his name is Elder Leiva. He has one month more than I have in the mission so he will be ending his mission in September and I will be ending in October. He is a little bit odd… he likes to talk a lot, but has a very good heart and works hard in the field, so I am excited to work with him.  I knew him from before because I had talked to him many times at zone conferences. He comes from a good LDS family. He has been a member of the church his entire life and has 3 other sibling. He has two brothers and one sister. His older brother served his mission in Columbia so he is the second in the family to leave to go on a mission. His parents are converts to the church and are still going strong. He loves animals a lot… but not the normal stuff, he likes snakes and insects and bugs and frogs. He’s basically a less radical version of Steve Erwin.

My new area is called Magnolias…. I am currently living in front of the church… which is totally awesome. It is so easy to just run from the church to the house in like two seconds if I forgot something. I also am now serving in the Stake building. Just so that I can give you guys an idea of where is Magnolias it is right next to Wiesse… my old area… so that should tell you that it is way out in the middle of nowhere. My new area boarders my old area that I served in that is called Mariscal Caceres.  Mariscal Caceres is the ward that I baptized Noe. So I am excited to see if I can escape to see him for a little bit and ask him how he is doing.

It is official very cold here in Lima. We are passing through winter here which is really nice because I was really starting to get sick of sweating so much. Well that’s not super true. I love the jungle with all of my heart. So, I can’t complain too much.  I am excited however to have the opportunity to find new people here in Lima to baptize. It looks like this next week we are going to baptized 4 people. Then we have a few more lined up for the following Saturday. There is this true joy when everyone gets in white and the spirit comes at the time of baptism. I am sure that Dad felt that same feeling on this mission and every time he baptized one of us kids. It is a great feeling…. I tend to think about what Elder Holland said about the Celestial Kingdom ¨heaven would not be heaven if my family wasn’t there with me.¨

I really have been extremely blessed to have a loving Father. I know that I have been blessed because I can remember countless times on my mission having the voice of my father run through my head. I can remember the counsel that I was given and the many expressions of love given. Dad I will never forget the days of baseball and you being my coach, I will never forget the many times that you were there supporting me when I was in speech, I will never forget all of the times we snuck out of the house to have a boys afternoon. I cherish these memories with all of my heart.  I think that one of the greatest counsels that you have given me is to ¨always live in the present¨… meaning that I need to live in the now. That I should do the things that are asked of me in the here and now, not procrastinating, so that my future just falls into the place I want it to be. Basically living life without having regrets like ¨what if I would have done this….¨ ¨I wish that I had listened to….¨ ¨why didn’t I…¨.

I Love you Dad I miss you and I can’t wait to come home to tell you all of the wild stories of my mission, but don’t worry mom and girls I will share everything with you guys too.  

JUST KNOW SOMETHING SPECIAL….. I picked up something for all you guys in Iquitos…. But I got something super special for Dad. I know that he is going to love it. You will all just have to wait until I come home to receive the presents.

I Love you all ELDER HARRIS

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Leaving Iquitos


I have been taking a ton of pictures lately, of all kinds of stuff, here in Iquitos.  I am going through a small crisis because this computer virus that is floating around here is contaminating everything, everywhere.

I have, however, really big news.

I am going to be leaving Iquitos.

I don’t know where just yet but I know that I will be going this next week on Tuesday. I will be sure to take a lot of pictures of all of the houses of all of the people that I have ever talked to. Don’t worry I have already begun taking lots and lots of pictures.

Apart from that note above, I am pretty happy.  I will be leaving a great family behind. I feel sad because I know that I won’t be there but happy because that they are going to get baptized. I will have my companion send me pictures of the baptism so that I can see them.

I sent Aubrei a letter in Spanish, I asked permission. I think, she will think, it is funny because she will have to translate it with John.

About my experience here in Iquitos:

I have seen many very interesting things here in Iquitos.  From people that just don’t want to change to  people that accept the gospel before we even start speaking. I have talked with Catholics, Evangelists, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Jehovah Witnesses, Alpha and Omegas, MMMs, Advents of the 7th day  and Atheists… and I still know that the church is true, and it only get better. I have walked soaking wet in rain and soaking wet in the blistering heat (sweat)… with my companion or with a member of the church. I have seen good missionaries and bad missionaries; I have seen the blessings of the Lord in my life and in the life of those that I teach. I have seen insects that I thought existed in the Pre historic times, walked on planks between broken houses like pirates do. I have drunk more soda than in any another time in my life and I just keep getting skinner because of the heat. Here in Iquitos I learned another language, and I learned how to teach. I have taught families how to return to their Father in Heaven, and I have scolded Pastors from other religions.  I have never felt so strange, and so good at the same time. I am really going to miss these humble people.

My plan is one day return with my own family. I have made many promises to many people that someday I will come back to show off my wife and kids. I will have to make good on my promise.

As I have come to understand more of Gods plan, I have gained a sure security that I will one day see this people again. I hope with all of my heart and soul that one day with my family I return to the presence of my Father and I can find the families and the people that I baptized with him. How great would be my joy if I saw the very same people that I taught as faithful followers of Christ even to the every end of our mortal days.
I have thought many times about our family and what we can do so that one day we can all make it back to the Glory of God… and I have come to the conclusion that we just need to stay dedicated to doing the right. As we live our everyday lives if we continually thank the Lord in prayer, read his holy scriptures, go to church and partake of the sacrament one day the Lord will give to us all of the things that we have ever wanted and more. I cannot wait to come home to give every last one of you a big hug and a loving smile. My plan is to lead by example for the rest of my life. I know that no unclean thing can enter in the kingdom of God so I must be diligent in keeping myself continually worthy to enter in the Lord´s temple.

I think that is why I want to go to the temple so badly. I know that the family is worthy of the Lord’s many blessings if we can all continually make it to the temple. Service is a key principle in the Lord’s work.  We need to help out grandpa Murphy a ton to get all of the family history updated. There is much more responsibilities then just worldly jobs. I hope that when I come back I don’t get caught up in that down ward stream. The Lord should always be first in our lives; we must stand as witnesses of God taking up upon ourselves his name, remembering him always, and following his commandments.

I know that the church is true. There is no uncertainty, there is no doubt.

Elder Harris

I haven’t gotten the package yet… no worries it will come. I don’t know who my companion is yet but I will send a picture. I will take a ton of pictures of Iquitos no worries.