Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21, 2014

Hello Family! I have some great news and some not great news! But before we get there, I want to talk about what happened this week!

We went through the Temple this week! IT WAS AMAZING!!!! I absolutely love the Temple! I felt the Spirit so strongly and I knew that it was where I needed to be. I heard something different that I had never heard before while I was going through. The guy for the recording said something to the point of "Always remember the names of those you go through the Temple for." I felt bad cause I hadn't remembered anyone else’s that I have gone through for. So I decided I would write down his name in my journal! It was just his first and last name. I was thinking later on Thursday night though and wondered if I knew him in the pre-earth life! Maybe I promised him that I would go through for him! I’m not sure but I do know that I have done my part to help him and he will be so grateful someday that I did that work for him! I just love the Temple! I fasted that day before I went as well. I prayed for greater patience with Elder Jones. And it worked! But I will talk about him a little later in my email!

So earlier this week we decided that we would go street contacting and try to get some new investigators! We had a LOT of success in my old area and I thought that maybe it would work here. It didn't work here.... No one here drives because everyone is rich enough to have a car! We ran into one guy who was just about to get into his car and he just looked at us and said, "You guys are just wasting your time out here. I don't believe in God." Then he got in his truck and zoomed off. I had two thoughts go through my head. My first was "If he knew that we were representatives of Jesus Christ, he wouldn't treat us like that. He would be so much more respectful!" (That one went away quickly though cause I remembered he doesn't believe in God...) My next thought was "How does someone get to the point where they don't believe in a God. Even if it is just some higher being, that is still belief in something. What causes someone to not believe...." And I couldn't figure it out. One guy we talked to pointed out that a lot of people say they don't believe in God but when something bad happens, they always seem to blame God for it! Now that doesn't make sense. You can't legitimately blame someone that you don't believe in. Anyway, the work here is super tough and we still don't have very many investigators. Jane hasn't contacted us still and that is super sad for me... Ben is our one investigator and he is pretty chill. He says that he isn't into "Joining" our church but is interested in learning about it! We are going to keep working with him though. I’m sure that he is going to want to join because he will know that it is true! I love how the Spirit can change people’s hearts if they let it!
So I hope I don't scare you too bad but I almost lost my Temple watch that you guys gave me this week... We don't have any miles left in our car so we walked EVERYWHERE! We tracted for 2 hours then walked home. As soon as we got into the apartment, I realized that I didn't have my watch. We looked everywhere in the car and in the house but had no luck... So we got in the car and retraced our steps. With no luck for 30 minutes, we realized that we hadn't said a prayer yet. DUH!!!! So we asked for forgiveness for not listening to the Spirit tell us to pray then asked for His help. We got in the car and the pulled off to the side of the road so we could look at the map for where else we had walked that day. As we pulled off, I looked right in front of the car and to my amazement, it was lying in the dirt unharmed and unscratched. When I picked it up, I realized that the pin that holds the strap on fell out somehow and was no longer in the watch. I worried for a little that I wouldn't find it but Jones bent down and picked it up! What a miracle for me to experience! I know that it is very simple and may not be all that great for everyone else but for me it taught me to Rely on the Lord. I can do this work out here all by myself. Well I can try. But without the Spirit, I will never succeed. How can I expect the Spirit to be with me if I don't pray for it's constant companionship? I CAN'T!!! I love the power of prayer! I will do better remembering to say those always, not just in times of need.

So Amanda did get baptized this last week! Elder Flake was able to baptize her! I also called her and told her congrats! She was so excited to hear from me! It was so great hearing about how she decided smoking wasn't worth it anymore. I know that this will bless her life so much and I know that she knows too.

So this is what I have been waiting for to tell you guys. The reason I had to email so late today is because it was transfers. And.... Elder Jones has been shipped off to the Gila Valley! I have mixed feelings about it. I am happy for a new companion but I will kinda miss his quirkiness... Only kinda. ;) However.... We got calls on Sunday night and I was told that I would be companions with Elder Evan Alder. I just sat in complete silence for about 15 seconds before the A.P.'s asked if I was still there. I said yes I was and that I had heard them loud and clear. Elder Alder is from Mesa, AZ. He was also in the MTC with me. He was in my district as a matter of fact. BUT we did not get along hardly at all. I don't even know why. In my mind I felt like he just tried to hard to be that missionary that everyone liked and always had to get the attention on himself. That really bugged me... When I told everyone who I was getting as my companion, EVERYONE told me how sorry they were and said they would keep me in their prayers. They also said that this would be another transfer of patience building. I didn't know what to expect. And honestly I got really stressed.... I didn't sleep for more than 3 hours Sunday night and didn't eat anything but a brownie and some milk all day Monday. When I saw him today at the transfer site, my stomach flipped, tied itself in a knot, then tried to come up through my throat. I felt so sick and was super worried. He saw me and yelled in the Chapel "ELDER HARRIS! WE ARE GONNA KILL IT!!" He ran over and gave me a hug that picked me up off the ground. President actually pulled me off to the side after the transfer meeting and told me, "Elder Alder has had a rough past with companions not getting along with him. But he is a great missionary. When he and his companions were being obedient, they got along great. That is why I put him with you Elder Harris. I know that you will help him stay obedient and I am not worried one bit! I know that you guys will get along great because you will be that example that he needs on his mission." WOW!!! wow... I looked at Elder Alder and everything changed... I realized that I had judged him off of what everyone else saw and what I had previously seen. But the Atonement changes people and the mission changes people! I have been changed so much (for the better!) so how do I know that he hasn't as well. I have been with Elder Alder for under 12 hours still but I can tell that we are going to much better friends that I had anticipated.  I don't really know what to expect from him but I know that he is a great missionary with good intentions and because of that, we are going to kill this area!

I love you all so much my family! I can't believe that this week is your due date Syd! That is SOOOO exciting! I know that you are going to be a great mother and David; you will be an amazing father. Calvin is very lucky to have you as his parents! Connor, I am sorry that you had to miss your talent show and that you guys lost in the tourny. But we were in the same state! That makes me so happy to think about how much closer you were to me! Gavin, I hope all is well with you! I hope school is going good! I got a letter this week from my friend Maddi and she remembered that you were getting to high school age. She told me to tell you not to be a lady slayer like your big brother! Just be friends with everyone and go on lots of dates! Don't single just one girl out! You will be much happier in the long run! :) I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

~Elder Kyle Harris

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