Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December 31, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!
Man, this week kinda just FLEW by! I don't even have very much to say! It seems like just a few days ago I was talking to you all on Skype! ;) Man that was absolutely amazing! I felt like I was right there on the couch with you all! I wish that I could have been there. But just as I have said over and over again, I love it here and this is where I need to be! The hardest part was having to say goodbye... I admit that I kinda cried that night but it was more tears of joy because I got to see you all. It was the best Christmas and Birthday present I could have ever asked for! Speaking of birthday, mine was AWESOME!! I showed up to church and didn't really tell anyone. (I think I told 2 people but they could tell that something was different.) Bishop somehow found out and asked me to come into Ward Council for a moment. I walked in and everyone sang me happy birthday! Then at dinner that night, our dinner made a cake for me as well and sang happy birthday! THEN we went to pick up the other set of Elders at their dinner. When we showed up, they were having a birthday party for one of the kids. Then Jones piped up and said it was mine as well. So they sang to me too! 

So this week was a great one!! We are finally seeing progress here and have 2 new investigators! The first one is Jane. Jane Sun is from Mainland China and is 33 (but she looks like she is 19). When we asked her what her belief in God was she said that she didn't really know but she wanted to find Him and come close to Him. When we asked why, she told us this story:
Jane is a teacher. She teaches Chinese here and when she goes back to China, she teaches English there. Well last year she came to California to teach. She lived with a Christian family who attended church every week. Eventually Jane tagged along and she loved it! When it was time for her to go back to China, she didn't really want to leave. She got on the plane and said a prayer that she would be able to come back soon. She also promised that if she was able to come back soon then she would do EVERYTHING that she could to come close to Him. Well here's the thing... Coming to America from Mainland China once in a lifetime is amazing. Coming to America from Mainland China twice in a lifetime is inconceivable. Coming to America from Mainland China twice in 2 years is impossible! COMPLETELY OUT OF THE QUESTION!! But yet, Jane is here, in Arizona and her prayer was answered. She went up to the Salt Lake Temple and got to tour Temple Square. She loved it so much! She met a Chinese missionary who taught her about the church in China and then taught her how to pray. Since then, Jane has been praying every day to come closer to God. So she called temple square and asked to learn more. They gave her the mission number who then gave her our number. That is how all of this came to be. We are now teaching her and she loves it all! She lives next door to a member so that is where we have had our lessons thus far but we are working on getting into other members houses with her as well. We would normally bring a member to her house but her host and hostess family doesn't want Mormons over there teaching. After just our first lesson, she asked us "If I were to join your church, where would I go to church back in China?" A very good question which I don't have an answer to. However, there just so happens to be someone in our ward that served a mission in Hong Kong. What a miracle! Jane is out of town down in Houston, TX till the 5th so we are going to set up a lesson for when she gets back. I am super excited for her!

Our other new investigator is Crystel. She is in her 30's and a single mother of 2 kids. We actually didn't find her. Our Zone leaders and the Assistants to the President actually blitzed our area and found her for us! We are going to call her today and set up an appointment for later this week, or possibly later today! I am super excited that this area is finally picking up. This is truly an answer to my prayers and I know that it is an answer to your prayers as well.

I listened to a talk to other day. It was someone’s conversion story. He was a member for 11 months before he served a mission. While he was in the MTC, he realized that there was something different there but couldn't put his finger on it. Suddenly he realized what it was. He and his companion counted up all of the prayers that they say in one day. It came up to about 14 with all of the classes and everything else they went to. Times that by the 3000 missionaries that were in the MTC. Then you have to add in all of the prayers of family and friends. Plus the prayers of all the people at all of the temples. All in all, there are hundreds of thousands of prayers going towards missionary work. It is no wonder that God's hand is really in the work and it is progressing so much!

I forgot I was going to talk about the hike I went on yesterday. We hiked up Sombrero Peak. It is HUGE!!! It is right behind our apartment basically and ever since I came to the area, I have wanted to hike it. Well, yesterday my dreams came true! It came out to be a 7 hour hike going up and back down. But I got so many pictures and a few videos of it all. You could see 360 degrees around you. It was gorgeous!

We are going to the Temple on the 16th! Try to go as well if you can ;)

Well I can't really think about anything else to talk about! I hope that all is still going well for you and I can't wait to hear from you again soon! I LOVE YOU!!!

~Elder Harris

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