Hello Family!!! It is almost 1 o clock here so I'm sorry that this is coming in so late! This is Elder Wardell's last preparation day and so he told me that he wanted to sleep in till he woke up naturally. So I let him. I got up around 7:30 and read some scriptures and PMG and other random books. I have actually learned to love reading!! I love church history books and things about Joseph Smith and books on random topics like prayer and faith. But I think that I love the Book of Mormon the best! It always has something new about it. I will re-read a chapter like 3 times and get something different out of it every time! It is pretty much a magic book for coming closer to the Lord. I haven't had a chance to read "Everyday Missionaries" yet but I really want to. Everyone says that it is fantastic. I've also been told the "The Infinite Atonement" is a really good book too. The best part about being a missionary is I get to not only read these books but sometimes I can use them in my teaching and help other people learn cool new things.
Do they like the new house? Maybe you could send me some pictures of the house? :) I am super excited to be coming into a new house but I can't help but think that everything is going to be different when I get home. I mean maybe that will be a good thing but I am going to miss the Jones family and the Dorton's and the Peck's and pretty much everyone else. But maybe I will know some people from school or something in the new ward. I guess we'll find out in 11 months! I am almost into single digits for months left out here! CRAZY!!!!
The high-lights of my week aren't very amazing but I had a great week! We went on exchanges with our district leader this week. I was with his companion, Elder Cowdell. He is from Alpine and says that he might know Tanner Galloway. I don't know his first name unfortunately but he's a pretty cool cat. He doesn't like to talk very much at all actually but once you get him comfortable, he loves to talk! Anyway, as we were walking around, we passed a yard sale that one of his members was hosting. I saw some Protein and it was only $5 when normally it would be $25 or more! So I went over to pay for it and they told me just to take it for free. I tried to give them my $5 bill but they wouldn't take it! Elder Cowdell got one for free too! As we were leaving, I found a board game called "Who Wants to be a Celestial Heir"! It was only a dollar and so I picked it up and threw my dollar onto the table and told them I wasn't going to take it back then ran off so they couldn't argue about it. It is a really simple game. It is just like "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" but it's all gospel questions about the Book of Mormon and Bible. They are super simple but they have some pretty cool questions that I had no idea the Book of Mormon or Bible talked about.
We had 2 earthquakes on Saturday!! But guess who was asleep when they hit... ME!!! This was the first earthquake in almost 50 years and Elder Wardell and I were already asleep so we didn't feel it! The first was hit around 10 p.m. and it was a 5.something. The next one was around 1 or 3 a.m. and it was a 3.2 or something like that. Anyway, we are fine but I am kinda sad that I missed it! I guess I can say I've slept through an earthquake though. Lame... :P
Our new mission president came in today! His name is President Passey. I don't know really anything about him to be honest. We get to meet him on Thursday. President Killpack texted everyone and told us that the Passey's got here safely and that he loved them already. I am kinda nervous about it though. A new president means new rules and guidelines and new ways of teaching. How many mission presidents did you have on your mission dad? Just one?
Other random subject, the U.S. is still in it! I think that we play tomorrow, right? We have a member who texts us all the scores and such for all the games. I heard that Greece lost to Costa Rica in a PK Shootout, the Netherlands won too, and today France won. These are all pretty good teams. I am really nervous for what is going to happen in these next couple of games! I guess I shouldn't be too worried cause it has absolutely no effect on me, but it's kinda cool to think about how the whole world comes together for these games.
We have the Baptism this Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. I am super excited for Aaron Tohtsoni. He is part Navajo and pact Apache. At church yesterday, he told everyone about how excited he is to get baptized!! Shoot, I have to talk tomorrow about Baptism and the Holy Ghost. Dad, thank you for sending me some polished rocks. I am going to use the rock analogy and totally blow everyone's minds! ;)
Speaking of talks, I gave 2 talks yesterday. I talked first in the Fort Thomas ward. I chose to talk on Prayer and how we make our prayers more meaningful. There is a quote from the book "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven" by Grant Von Harrison that says "If your mind is not preoccupied with the thing you are trying to achieve, it is not a desire." This reminded me of the scripture in Alma 34:27 that talks about how when you aren't crying out loud to the Lord that we need to be praying in our hearts continually. Alma 6:6 talks about "mighty prayer" and I questioned how we can make our prayers more mighty. In a talk titled "Improving Communication with out Heavenly Father" by President Ezra Taft Benson, he mentions 5 things that we can do each day to make our prayers more meaningful.
1. We should pray frequently. We should be alone with our Heavenly Father at least 2 or 3 times a day.
2. We should find an appropriate place where we can meditate and pray. In other words, it should be a place free from distractions.
3. We should prepare ourselves for prayer. If we don't feel like praying, we should pray until we do feel like praying.
4. Our prayers should be meaningful and pertinent. Don't repeat the same thing in each prayer. Each of us would become disturbed if a friend said the same few words to us each day, treated the conversation as a chore, and could hardly wait to finish in order to turn on the TV or go back to sleep.
5. After making a request through prayer, we have a responsibility to assist in its being granted. We should listen. Perhaps while we are on our knees, the Lord wants to counsel us. "Sincere praying implies that when we ask for any virtue or blessing, we should work for the blessing and cultivate the virtue." (David O. McKay.)
The Bible Dictionary says that prayer is a form of work. If we aren't taking the time before we pray to prepare ourselves, if we aren't praying with real intent, if we don't act on the answers or impressions we get when we pray, then "...our prayers will be in vain..." (Alma 34:28.)
In Pima 4th ward, Elder Wardell and I were both asked to talk about how we are committed to our testimonies as full time missionaries. I talked about how the mission has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I've never felt so discouraged before. Commitment literally means, according to Webster's dictionary "to carry into action". So I gave 5 examples of people that were committed to their testimonies and the end result of them staying strong in what they believed. The first was Nephi. Because he stayed strong, they were able to get the brass plates, travel across the sea, and his sea gave us the Book of Mormon. The 2nd was Abinadi. He spoke out against Noah and because of that, we have Alma converted and he had sons that converted thousands and their sons converted thousands and so on. 3rd as the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's. They made the covenant to not take up arms again and because of that, thousands were killed. But because they stood strong, there were more people converted to the Lord than had died. 4th was Joseph Smith. He was tarred and feathered and beaten and thrown in jail and eventually killed for his beliefs. But he never doubted his testimony and now there are 15 million members that are apart of the true church. And the most perfect example is Jesus Christ. He sacrificed everything for us, even his life. Because he allowed himself to go though everything he did, we now have the opportunity to be with our families forever, to repent of our sins, and the list goes on and on. My mission is hard but compared to what these people had to go through, being a missionary isn't hard at all. Neither is being a teacher for primary or a relief society president or even a deacon. By staying committed to what we believe, even though we may not see the blessings that come from us living our testimonies, there will always be someone that will be uplifted because of our actions and the church will grow because of it.
I love this church. Everything makes so much sense! I love you guys all so much too. I hope and pray that everything is going great for you guys and that you can finish up packing soon. I love you.
~Elder Kyle Harris
p.s. Happy late anniversary mom and dad!!! and Happy early anniversary Syd and Dave!!!
p.p.s. Transfers are next week. I will email you guys on Tuesday. kk? :)