Monday, June 17, 2013

Letter June 17, 2013

Hey everyone! Things here are so great! I love my companions and the work couldn't be going any better! There are 12 people in District 24-B. Elder Harris, Elder Price, Elder Davidson, Elder Alder, Elder Parkinson, and Elder stokes are the Elders. And Sister Redd, Sister Morgan, Sister Bennion, Sister Chandler, Sister Dyches, and Sister Holmoe are the sisters. My companion is Elder Price. He just graduated from high school this year so he is a youngin, but I love him to death! His testimony is so strong and he is finally coming out of his shell and opening up to everyone!

A lot has happened in the 5 days that I've been here. It seems like I've been in here forever but I've only been here for 5 days counting today. But good news! I board Delta Air Lines Flight number 4769 next Monday morning at 5:30! I'm not extremely happy about the time cause that means only like 4 hours of sleep for the whole next day but I'm super excited to get out into the field. Elder Price and I have been asked to be Zone Leaders. It is actually really simple and we get to know all of the Elders really well. We hug all the Elders in our district and are examples in everything that we do. It is such a good learning experience.

I've been studying a lot more than I ever have before. We have about 3 hours a day of person and companion study. Studying with a purpose is so much more useful and important than just reading the scriptures cause I have to. I read D&C 4:4, "For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;" If you think of the scriptures as your sickle, it puts an entirely new direction to studying! You cant just read the scriptures and expect to get something out of it, you have to go into it with a question or seeking spiritual guidance. And I have been doing just that. Also as a district of Elders, we are studying all of Alma and trying to get through the whole thing before we go home. I'm on Alma 9 out of like 40 or 60 or something. But I have gotten more out of those 9 chapters than I have out of all the other studying I have done on my own before.

 My purpose as a missionary is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." We have had to memorize this as well as the words spoken by Joseph Smith describing the First Vision. We have already taught a brother named Henphey Magee. He is just our teacher pretending to be an investigator but it is simply amazing how well role playing works! I have learned how to recognize the Spirit and how to help others feel that Spirit too! The hardest part is planning for what he needs next. Most of the time that we go in with a plan, we don't teach what we prepared, but the lesson we taught turns out to be ten times better than the lesson we prepared because it fits him better. We are taught to "Teach people, not lessons." In other words, we don't just go in there and every lesson onto the table, but we teach what the person needs to hear. And we know what that person needs by following the Spirit.

You hear that the mission is hard and everyone is always tired. And its true! But its not physically hard at all. It is mentally tiring! There is a section in D&C where Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon had a vision and afterwards, Sidney fell on his bed exhausted. Joseph said that it was because the Spirit is very mentally tiring and its so hard to stay awake in my meetings. The food here isn't too bad but we eat dinner at 4 every day so when we go to bed, we are all starving! But we don't have microwaves or fridges so don't worry about sending me anything! If you would like to send me a photo album before next Monday, I would love to show you off to my district!

I really miss home and I really miss you guys. I pray for you every night and I can't wait to come home again in 2 years!

 I miss you all so much. I know that you support me and love me. If there is anything that I can help you with or if someone needs prayers, let me know and I will ask my district to pray for them as well. I love you so much and can't wait to here from you!

Much Love,
~Elder Harris

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