Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

We are working with a guy named Joseph R. He's funny and knows a lot of church doctrine. He is catholic but knows our church is true! He says he can't pray to know if he should get baptized cause that would be going against his church. We are having dinner with him tonight so we'll just see how things go!
There is so much missionary work both outside of the Church and in the Church. We have this program called the "Willing and Brief" challenge. We are asking members to pray for missionary moments in their everyday life and then to ask the person they are helping if they would be "willing" to hear a "brief" message about ___________. (Insert: Our church, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith... etc.) Surprisingly enough, we have had SO MUCH success doing this. People are talking to their friends and getting more referrals for us than anyone anticipated. Just this week, we had 7 people call us and say their friends wanted to hear more about our church! This is truly the Lord's work and I am so excited that for 2 years I get to be apart of it. There isn't anything better than bringing the Spirit and light of Christ into people's lives. So if I could leave you with a challenge, and I do leave you with this challenge, try it out! Heck, just invite someone to a ward activity or young womens/mens. It is so simple and most people wont take offence to it.
We did this thing last night called mini-missionaries. So we drove to the west stake and showed up at some random house. When we walked in, we were paired with a priest aged kid who was going on a mission soon then split up to go teach some lessons. I was paired with a boy named Jake P - I think. He has blonde hair and really blue eyes. He has his call to Manchester England and leaves in 3 weeks. I have only been out a month and a half but I was senior companion so that was a great experience for me. We walked to both our pre-set appointments (they were at members houses). I was really nervous how the lesson was going to go but it actually turned out really great! Both of them. Jake has such a strong testimony and the Spirit was definitely felt in both houses. We just taught them about the willing and brief challenge and used Jacob 5 to help out with the spiritual aspect. I am super excited for him to experience this amazing work.
We had some let downs this week. We have been working with Vincent and his pregnant girl friend. They have been progressing little by little and we were going to ask them to set a baptismal date. But when we pulled up to the house, Vincent was really on edge. He opened his door and told us to look inside.... The place was trashed.... Someone broke in and stole his clothes, his money, and beat his dogs. He knew it was the guy he let sleep over that previous night so he went over 3 times and hit him each time.  He wanted to go again. There iwas more, but I won’t go into detail now.  This was serious business. I didn't know what to say so I said the most heartfelt prayer and told him that he needed to pray and read the Book of Mormon. Alma chapter 14 is what I asked him to read. I told him that 2 guys had to watch the members burn in front of their eyes and they didn't do anything to stop it cause the people would get their just deserts in the next life. I looked him in the eye and the Spirit overwhelmed me. I told him that the Lord had something that he needed to hear and started to cry as I told him that the Lord would bless him if he would pray and read. I have never been so overwhelmed by the Spirit and never loved someone I don't know very well as I did Vincent in that very moment. It was such a great experience for me to feel that Christ-like love for him. He started to cry when he saw me crying and I know he felt the Spirit. I don't know what has happened since. Its been 2 days since I've been able to make it over there. I hope we get to see him tonight...
This week has been a tough one but I have learned a lot. In my scripture reading, I have read to Alma 32. I'm trying to finish it by next Monday cause that is transfers. I am not sure if I will get transferred. I have mixed feelings about it. I love Elder Hickenlooper but I want to experience other training and teaching styles. I trust that the Lord will put me where I need to be and so I'm not worried about it.

Much love,
~Elder Harris

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22, 2013

Hola! It is another hot summer day in Sunny Tucson AZ! Actually this week has been cooler compared to the past weeks that we've had. We had a monsoon this week!!! It was a downpoor for about 45 minutes and felt so amazing to play in!

We were about 8 miles away from our apartment and we could see the storm clouds rolling in fast! So we biked our bottoms off through the tormenting wind and made it home just minutes before the rain started. It didn't matter of course because just as the rain started, we both ran outside and took videos and pictures in it. We were drenched within seconds of being out there.

So yesterday at Church I heard a pretty awesome story and I experienced something awesome too. I'll tell the story first.

A guy in my ward was hiking up the mountain by us and saw the storm clouds were right overhead. He was really worried cause the rain was starting to come down and he wouldn't have enough time to make it to the bottom of the mountain. So he hiked just a little farther up and got to a flat area where 3 large car sized boulders had stacked on top of each other to form an opening just big enough for him to crawl under. He did so and waited out the storm then emerged completely dry. He hiked up a little farther then started his way back down. As he got around the same area where he hid from the rain, he couldn't find it. The 3 boulders had disappeared somehow and were no where to be found. It truly was a miracle.

Also at church, we brought our investigator Frank to church with us. We had 8 people committed to coming and only 3 showed up. But that is still 3 people more than we were expecting actually! So as we were listening to the speakers, Frank leans over to me and says "Do you feel the Spirit?" I responded that I did and that it was here every Sunday. He smiled and said he didn't want to miss a Sunday from now on! He leaned back against the bench then tapped my shoulder again. I leaned over and he asked, "Will you baptize me?" I looked at him with a surprised/excited/happy/confused look and said much louder than I meant to, "I WOULD LOVE TO!!" The Speaker kind of looked over at me then continued on with her talk. I couldn't get that question out of my mind the rest of Church and unfortunately I can't tell you everything that was said in all my meetings but I definitely could feel the Spirit all day. The only problem is I can't get transferred next transfer or else I can't baptize him. I guess as long as he is baptized then that’s all that matters but I was the one to ask him to be baptized so for personal reasons, I want to fulfill his desires and be the one to baptize him! :)

I don't need to buy a new bike luckily! A missionary that is going home this next transfer has one that he was planning on leaving behind. And since he was in a car area, he gave it to me! It is about a $500 bike and has disk brakes which is a really nice feature. Another Elder is letting Elder H use their bike for the rest of the transfer. I am not sure what is going to happen next transfer but I really hope that we stay in this area and get a car! I doubt the car will happen but it would be amazing! ;)

Elder H and I were up till 11:45 last night talking about the Book of Mormon and the storyline in Mosiah. I am actually understanding what I'm reading! And it is changing my life for the better! We are giving out the same invitation to all of our dinners and I want to give you the same invitation. The most powerful tool we have in the Church is our testimony. Someone’s testimony can convert people and make them want to gain on of their own. So my challenge to you is to share your testimony with someone. It doesn't have to be like, "I bear my testimony.... Amen." Even just letting someone know that you missed them at church or that you love them will fill them with the love of Christ and can rekindle that fire inside of them. Will you do that? I want you all to say yes out loud on 3. 1.........2.........3!!!!!! "YES!!!!"

I love you all so much! Thank you for supporting me and helping me realize that I can do this. I can't wait to hear from you soon! Feel free to write letters to me that way I don't have to wait till next Monday to hear from you. Remember that with God, nothing is impossible.

Write back soon!

~Elder Harris

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 15th

Hey everyone!!  I stayed in my room all night for the 4th of July! Isn't that exciting!? ;)

We met this woman named Wendy L. She is 41 and into heavy drugs and occasional drinking. She was baptized when she was 17 but since then has been through so much abuse and mental struggling that she fell away. She is on medication for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and has been in and out of mental hospitals throughout the years. Well on Saturday night we had 15 minutes left before we were supposed to be inside but we got the feeling to go visit her. We went in and just talked with her for a little and then she asked us to say a prayer with her. She also asked us to bless the house because she says she sees evil spirits every night. So we did so. I asked her immediately after to read the Book of Mormon. I explained that if she wanted to get better, get over her addictions, and come closer to God that she must read this book or she would struggle for the rest of her life. She accepted then we left. I wasn't sure why I said that but it needed to be said. Sunday morning came around and we gut up at 6:30 just like we always do. At 6:45 we got a call from her. She said she had never felt so comforted and never been so close to God before and she wanted a ride to come to church. We were blown away! She was turned off to the idea of joining the church again then she ended up calling us to schedule her a ride for EVERY WEEK that we are here. The Spirit really does convert people, not us as missionaries. Listen intently for the Spirit and the most important part of that is to follow it's guidance and council. You and those you come in contact with will be blessed more fully than your cup can hold. Look for those miracles every day and you will never lose the Spirit.

Because we got our bikes stolen, we try and contact as we walk places. Because of that, we have a baptism date for an investigator named Frank. He is 17, living on his own, and is a southern baptist. He is probably one of the only investigators I will ever have that always asks the right questions to lead into our discussion for that day. Its amazing! He is the Golden Investigator that ever companionship is looking for. I am really excited to see how he progresses.

Much love, 
~Elder Harris

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013

Hello Mother and Father! Things couldn't be going a whole lot better!!.... that is... unless of course my bike wasn't stolen...! I had it for 11 days and someone took it. So what happened was we were going around and visiting less-actives and we went to this one house. We set our bikes against the inside of the concrete wall and knocked on the door just to set up an appointment to come back. But the mother pushed us in and explained why she wasn't coming to church. It would have been a short meeting except she was from Africa so I didn't understand a single thing she said... So she had 2 of her daughters come in and translate for her and after about 35 minutes I remembered our bikes! So i ran outside and saw a bike that wasn't either of ours on the ground next to the empty wall where we had placed our bikes. Everyone including the less active family ran outside and looked for them for about an hour. The dad was on his way home from work when he saw someone walking down the street with a bike and helmet but he seemed suspicious. She the dad confronted him and the man dropped everything and took off! We hurried back to the house when we heard the news but it wasn't either of our bikes.. But somehow it was Elder Hickenloopers helmet! I don't think we are going to be getting them back... But President Killpack said that he would either get us new bikes or a car. I'm really hoping for the car cause it is so hot here! Don't worry about it though. Everything will work out. Besides, because we were walking, we got 3 new investigators in 2 days! So it really is a blessing in disguise.
I gave you the mission address cause I will be transferred eventually and it will be easier for you to send it to the mission office so they can send it to me than sending it to the wrong address. But my address is 405 East Prince Rd. Tucson AZ 85704. We live in sandstone apartments number 605. If you could send me a package that would be great. I am so happy to hear that the family is doing great! Last week sounded packed for you guys but I bet that it flew by! This week flew by for me too. Tell everyone that I love them and that I miss them. You are the greatest family I could ever ask for!
Love you with all my heart,
~Elder Harris

Friday, July 5, 2013


Pictures!!  Kyle sent us a few pictures we wanted to share. He didn't tell us anything about the pictures, but they are still worth sharing.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1, 2013

Tell everyone that I'm doing great out here. We have a baptisimal date for the 13th of July with an investigator named Roger. 

I had a miracle last night. So as we got home, our neighbor was outside. We greeted him and he said, "Oh you're mormons? Well i'm not religious and not really interested." then turned around and walked inside. About 5 minutes later, Elder H (I'll refer to Elder Hickenlooper as Elder H from now on) he was in the restroom and I had the feeling to go outside. So I did and our neighbor was out there again. We saw lightning right about us and I asked him if he thought it would rain. I explained I was from Utah and had never seen a monsoon before but I was excited to see one. Gradually we got talking about why I was here and the beliefs that we had in common. Elder H joined us around then and we had a conversation for about an hour! He told us he'd never talked about religion before but was kinda curious to know what we believed. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a Resturation pamphlet and told him that if he wanted to read more that he could come and knock on our door. He seems like a stubborn guy but he said will read the BOM and I know it will bless his life.

Things here are great! It is nice and hot and I'm getting nice and tan. The ward is pretty small but everyone really likes us! I talked in church a little yesterday and was surprised to hear that people thought I had been out for like 4 months, not just a week. So that is a relief that I don't act like a greenie! I am learning so much and loving each and every day that I am serving. The hardest part is definitely the other missionaries not being obedient. The rest of the mission is pretty easy other than that. I don't know what kind of bike I got but it was on sale from $499 to $299. I got a helmet and lock and it totalled to $402 which was perfect for my $400 budget. My Address here is 939 West Chapala Dr Tucson, AZ 85704. 

How are things at home? Anything new happening??  I can't wait to hear from you guys again! I love you all!

~Elder Harris