Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hello, Hello, and Hello. Welcome to this weeks presentation of "The Not-So-Mind-Blowing Mission Life of Elder Harris". I know I say this every week but It just seems like time doesn't ever slow down. Mom can attest to that too. From all her emails, it seems like life at home is just as busy as life out here! We are always running around and rarely have time to think about what day it is. I woke up on Saturday thinking it was Thursday. Like I legitimately got up and started making our progress record for the missionary correlation meeting we have every Thursday at 4 with Bishop Grant. Elder Gilson came in and just laughed cause he thought it was only Wednesday! We had to look at the Calendar and date on the phone to find out what day it really was! Talk about a weird way to come back to reality... By the way, this last Friday I believe was "Talk Like a Pirate Day". If you missed it, you better take advantage of it sometime this week instead!

Thank you all for your emails! I love hearing from everyone about their week and what's been going on. Let's start with Connor. You asked me a few questions buddy and I am going to do my best to answer them with interesting facts and such. You asked me what we do in our spare time. We don't have a whole lot of spare time. But when we do, we sometimes go out and mess around with the goats, read a book, or go over to Grandma Despain's and just talk and laugh with her! What is it like on a mission? It is honestly not a whole lot different than what you are used to at home. Except, your soccer practice and homework after school is like our studies every morning. And instead of going to school and being taught, we go out to peoples home and teach them. Obviously it's not about math or science but it's about Christ, why He came here, what He did, and of course about Joseph Smith. How often do we get fed dinner? Every. Single. Night. It is the greatest! It is like coming home to mom's cooking and always something to look forward too! There haven't been really any weird or interesting things I've eaten luckily. I had Menudo soup in East Tucson. That was actually pretty weird. In simplest terms, it is just cow stomach soup... They take the lining of the stomach and cut it up into small squares and put it into a soup. Kinda gross to think about.. But not extremely bad actually! They also have cow tongue burrito's that I'm thinking about trying but we'll see what happens with that. :P How many people do we talk to a day? Well are you talking about contacting about the Gospel or just talk to. We try to contact at least 10 people every day about the Gospel. You wouldn't think that 10 is that many but it is actually kinda hard to bring up the Gospel in a cool, calm, and collective way without being too forward or intrusive. Sometimes I just say, "I'm trying to think of a way to tie Jesus Christ into the conversation but I can't think of how to relate Him with _____________(whatever it is that we are talking about. I have actually had to use 'Flying Elephants' in that empty space...)." Then I just use that and go into their relationship with Christ. ;) How is soccer going? I heard you had a terrible ref for one of your games! I HATE BAD REFS!!!! Oh I get so frustrated at them.... Mom told me about most of what happened and I was getting pretty fumed just sitting here in over 500 miles away! Haha. I am super excited to hear some of your music! Will you send me a few of the songs or like intro's to the songs so I can show them off to the other missionaries? Please?! :) Lastly, how was your birthday?! What did you get for presents? Did you like the things that I sent you? I LOVE that soccer tie! I wore it every day of the world cup that the US played and then for all of the finals games I wore it too. I hope that you like it! I love you buddy! Thank you for your email!

Gavin, my stud of a brother. Life sounds just as busy for you as it does for everyone else in the family! Working at JDawgs sounds like a pretty fun place to work! Do you like your co-workers? What is it that you do there exactly? What happened to becoming a male model? I have been telling everyone out here that this is your goal! :P I can't believe that you are finally dating... I still think of you as 14 years old but now you can drive, date, and are in high school. You are a junior this year, right? Crazy... That girl you took on your date for a dance it looks like is pretty cute. What is her name? Are you single dating anyone in particular or just group dating a lot of different girls? I hope that it's the latter one! Remember, just because you are dating them doesn't mean you need to kiss them all!! You will have songs dedicated to you like "Heart Breaker" by Taio Cruz or something like that. Don't have lots of girl friends, just have lots of friends that are girls. :) You are still the manager for the girls tennis team? How are your own skills doing with tennis? Still good enough to be state champion like your older brother in soccer?! I say still cause you have been good enough before, I just don't know if you still are. Thank you for your letter buddy! I love you!!

Syd and Dave, you have the cutest son I have ever seen!! (That is, next to mom and dad's oldest son. I'm talking about me of course!) Haha! You are moving again? This is like your second or third time since I've been out! Is it just because you need more room for Calvin to move around and play in? I heard that the view from your new place is pretty much amazing! See if you can get a good picture of it and send it to me! What did your old apartment look like? I don't even know. Has Calvin started walking on his own yet? What about talking? His first words better be "Would you like to hear more about Jesus Christ?" Teach him those now and it will be easier to get him out on a mission in 18 years. ;) I guess that "Elder Harris" or "Uncle Elder Harris" wouldn't be too bad either! Where are you working now David? Or do you get to stay home and watch Calvin while Syd is teaching her class? Speaking of which, how is your class this year Syd? What is the theme of your room? Do you keep the same theme for the entire year or are you going to switch it out halfway through to kinda keep things interesting? I think mom said that you were the team lead for your team of teachers! True? False? Stressful? Easy? Do tell! I love you and hope you move in quickly and efficiently and stress free to your new home!

Mom and Dad, I love you guys so much!!! You don't realize how much I appreciate the time and effort you spent on me making sure that I was cared for and loved and safe all my life. I saw a Mormon Message about the role of a father and everything that he (and the mother of course) do to make their kids happy. Then it moved from that into our Father in Heaven and how much he really does for us too. It just humbled me a lot to know that you guys loved me all those years that I didn't know what to do with myself or with those around me. So thank you! :) How are your classes this year? What are your themes? Dad, why is it again that you don't have to go in till like 9:30 every day? That sounds like a pretty nice break! I can't believe that you are letting the boys beat you that bad at ping pong!! I have been practicing here and there out here too and I have definitely lost some skill... But my serve is still just as good as ever so that's a good sign! I'm glad that you guys liked my package. Did you guys get my package to Xander yet? Mom, I've had those necklaces and bracelets in my stuff since my 9 month mark. I have been waiting for a good time to send them home to you but decided that it would just make a nice random gift too! You don't have to wear them but I got a pretty good deal for all of those for about $15 or $20 or something like that. I love you guys so much! Thank you again for the emails. :)

This week was a pretty busy one but trying to remember everything that happened isn't as easy as it sounds. :P Tuesday night we went to the Fort Thomas building with the Sister Missionaries for a Relief Society Enrichment night. It was titled "Mission Possible" and was focused on getting food and other necessities for the missionaries in their ward. They asked us as well to bring the sisters. So of course I'm super pumped cause that means that we won't have to go shopping that upcoming Monday! We show up and eat dinner with them and then I realize that everyone is writing letters to other missionaries. I look over at the wall and see 7 names with addresses under their names. All 7 of them are missionaries that are serving FROM their ward and this enrichment night was all about THEM, not us. Haha! Talk about a humbling moment! We stood up and shared a message with the sisters then sat down for the closing prayer. The Relief Society President stood up and thanked everyone for coming then explained that most of the missionaries out in the field can't receive packages so the 2 big boxes full of food that they received were for us and the sisters to take home. That was another humbling experience. I learned how much I really think about myself and then when I put the other missionaries from that ward first, they did what I had expected them to do at first, but I wasn't expecting it when it actually happened! It made that moment a lot sweeter and a lot more meaningful for me!

Wednesday we had a crazy storm!!! It poured all night Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. They evacuated Cluff Ranch because of major anticipated flooding. They were afraid that the dam was going to break and wash all of Cluff Ranch away. We were also told that the river was going to flood and our house was on the other side of that river. No major damage would be done from the River Flooding but once it does flood, it doesn't go down for hours! And the worst part is the other road to get to our house was already flooded so we needed to decide whether we were going to continue working and sleep somewhere else instead of at home or sleep at home and stop working for the night. It was only about 5 in the afternoon and we decided to keep working and that the Lord would provide for us. Sure enough, He did. The river didn't flood but it was really really high! The highest it's been in over 20 years actually. The rain was VERY much needed and it was a HUGE blessing for everyone out here. Everyone except for the cotton farmers I guess. Well, kinda them too. The cotton looked really good this year and that storm could have potentially over watered and damaged their cotton. But that is what insurance is for. So they will get all their money from the insurance they would have gotten from their fields, then they will go out and pick the cotton and sell it anyway and make even more money. It was kinda a scary day to drive in actually but we said lots of prayers and the Lord protected and cared for us. :)

Thursday we went to the Temple!!! Reece Jarvis is a member we have been working with for 3 or 4 months now. He is 20, almost 21 and very active in the church. He went out on his mission but came home after only 3 months to finish some things up. So we have been bringing him out with us to do missionary work to make sure he was ready to go back out into the field. Well, he sent in his papers again and was told that he was leaving Monday to go back to Oregon for his mission!! I don't mean next Monday, I mean he left today! They gave him less than a week's notice!! So we talked to President Passey and he allowed us to go to the Temple one last time with Reece before he left. Last night (this being Sunday that we are talking about) he stopped by to say his goodbye's. We got some pictures with him and each gave him a tie to take with him out to Oregon. I am really going to miss him but I am very excited for him to get back out there and serve the Lord fully! The Temple was great of course! I received quite a few more answers to some questions I had and received revelation/insight on a lot of cool things in Moses chapters 3 and 4. :) Also on Thursday we went to the adoption for the Boswell's. They adopted the 4 kids that have been living with them for the past almost 2 years! It was such a great day for them and the rest of the family. There has been so much stress and anxiety and sadness accompanied with this adoption. But all of that is nothing compared to the joy and happiness and love that comes from being a family! It really made me appreciate how grateful I am for you guys being in my family! :)

Friday was just a normal day. Nothing big happened. I don't really remember what happened on Friday so I hope nothing big happened. :P

Saturday we went to a Less-Actives house to help them with their roof. They added onto their house but need to put shingles on it. So we went up onto the roof with them and shingled for about 2 hours or so! I loved it! I love being able to do manly service like that!! And of course, We had the Baptism of 10 year old Miss Tori Boswell!! It was so great!!! We had over 50 people there! It doesn't sound like a ton but we had people standing in the back because we didn't have enough room for more chairs! It was a long program though. You could tell that by the end of it, people were ancy to get up and get moving around, especially the kids. But still very spiritual and very emotional. Elder Charles (one of Tori's old missionaries that taught her a year ago that got transferred back to the Gila Valley) and I got to be the witnesses while her new father baptized her! Then Elder Charles and I turned around and gave the 5 minute teaching moment which basically means that while Tori and her father were getting changed, we shared a message (we chose the Restoration of the Gospel) with the people there. It was great to teach with a missionary that has experience teaching and loves being in front of crowds as much as I do. Elder Gilson isn't a bad teacher but he didn't do very much teaching in the Deaf Branch and didn't learn how to teach in English. So it was fun to be apart of that! I got lots of pictures that I will attach and send with this email. :)

Sunday, Elder Gilson started to feel really sick... He got a fever, super runny nose, sore throat, and a pretty bad head ache. We left church early and came home so he could get some rest. Once we got home, he got really really cold. We didn't know what it was so we just gave him some Tylenol and Melatonin to help him sleep. He asked for a blessing and I couldn't say no. But no one else could come and help give that blessing. This was the first time I've ever given a blessing on my own so it was a different experience for me. In the blessing, he was told that he wouldn't be healed right away until he learned the lesson that was needed of him to learn. He was also told that he would be given the gift of discernment so that he would know what it is that all of the people we are working with need. That is a scary line to me because that means that I am most likely leaving... :/

Transfers are this upcoming week. I don't know if I will get that package before transfers cause they hold mail the week before transfers. This also means that until I get my new address, please send everything to the mission office at:

939 West Chapala Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85704

Thank you so much for all of your emails and for the prayers in my behalf! I love you more than you could ever imagine and pray for you every night! Say your prayers, read your scriptures, and never lose sight of our end goal!

~Elder Kyle Harris

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 15, 2014

Hello and Good Morning!!! Time just keeps going faster and faster and faster and so on. I didn't even have time to think about this week before I ended up back at the same computer I email at every week writing to you guys! It's a good thing I write everything down and have a good enough memory to remember the small details. I think that is kinda one of my faults as well though, I remember all the small details that don't really matter to the story but I still try to tell them so that you can see the whole picture, and not just the main point. I've also realized that is how I like to learn about things. A lot of my books get into some deep doctrine. Speaking of books, if you really want to get me a new one, I would love "The Savior & the Serpent" by Alonzo L. Gaskill. I don't know how expensive it is so if it is too much, that is fine, don't worry about it. What we could do instead is this: I have my doctors appointments in Tucson about once a month. At D.I. they have a book section specifically for LDS books. And there are a LOT of them! If you want to, it would be cheaper than buying new books and sending them to me, you could just send me some cash or put some money on my card and I will just buy books out here. What do you think? :) Anyway, back to my learning patterns, Elder Gilson always tells me that some things I read about and question about are not going to help me be saved anymore than a false baptism will. But that isn't entirely true. I have a lot of questions when I read those books and some of them get pretty complicated. Like, if Adam and Eve were actually as "little children" and knew as much as "little children" then why were they punished for trespassing against God's commands? In D&C it tells us that little children cannot sin and if they pass away before the age of accountability then they will be saved through the Atonement of Christ and not be punished for their trespasses. The difference between a sin and a trespass has to do with intentions and knowledge. If you have no knowledge of the Word of Wisdom, you aren't sinning by partaking of alcohol or cigarettes, but you are transgressing because we know that it is harmful to us and it is a commandment, even though they don't know it. But it becomes a sin once you know about the Word of Wisdom and go against it anyways. Article of Faith number 2 says that "Man must be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression." So if he was like a "little child" and committed a "transgression" then the atonement should have covered their mistake of partaking of the fruit and they shouldn't have been punished. But their is a lot more that goes into it than what is being described and I don't have the time to tell all the details. The book "The Savior & the Serpent" is all about the Fall and what actually went into it and the little details that help the story make more sense. Elder George let me borrow the copy he had but he got it from the library and had to give it back. But from what I read in it, it describes how much they actually knew in the Garden of Eden, things they couldn't have known, and why they were punished even though it was a transgression and not a sin. It is an amazing book that I would love to finish reading. But it is just little details like that that I look into. I know the church is true and the doctrine is perfect. I know that we don't have all the answers but I like to and want to look into all the options I can before deciding there is no actual answer at this point. One more thing I am curious about that I don't have an answer to yet is did Adam and Eve have scriptures in the Garden of Eden? Were they words from the Lord directly like the 10 commandments with Moses or possibly revelations given to Adam that he wrote down from God? I noticed that it mentions it in the Temple video. I don't want to talk about the video at all but next time you go, listen for that and also notice that the commands to the 3 apostles to go to Adam and Eve are also for their posterity. Do they mean their children or are they talking about us being descendants and posterity of Adam, or both? Just so many things to think about!!

I don't know what happened out here but I am literally falling in love with books about the church. I have NEVER liked to read. I have always hated reading from text books and trying to gain knowledge that way. I have never really liked reading the books in any of my English classes because I didn't understand what I was reading or it just wasn't interesting to me. But with these books, I am gaining so much knowledge and understanding and I know that a big part of it is because of the Holy Ghost! This week, Elder Gilson and I have been listening to Truman G. Madson (Madsen?) giving his lectures about Joseph Smith the Prophet. In these 5 lectures, it talks all about Joseph Smith in every angle possible. Right now he is talking about the characteristics of what a Prophet of God needs to have and then gives examples of how Joseph Smith has all those characteristics. One of my favorite parts is when it is talking about his sense of humor and how he could be serious and then switch to joking in a blink of an eye. He was also into games and sports. One game is that you draw a line in the sand then have to jump from that line and see who can jump the farthest. Now-a-days I think we just call that the standing long jump. Well, one story tells about these 2 preachers who go to Joseph and try to stump him with scriptures and questions. Joseph Smith accepted their challenge and not only had scriptures to back up what he said, answered all of their questions perfectly, but then also asked them lots of questions that they couldn't answer. They stood up to leave probably feeling like they failed in proving him wrong. As they stood and walked towards the door, Joseph Smith ran in front of them, drew a line in the sand and jumped as far as he could past it. Then looking at the 2 preachers said, "Well gentlemen, you haven't bested me at scriptures, let's see if you can best me at this." Talk about a slap in the face!! He was such an amazing prophet. There are so many stories that show the kind of man he was and the kind of Prophet he was. One of the things that hit me though was something that he said. Joseph Smith basically said, "If you want to gain knowledge and understanding, don't go to books, go to God in humble prayer." I have gained so much knowledge from these books but it made me think about what things I could have learned that would have been of more importance and had a greater effect on my life if I had turned to my Father in Heaven in prayer first. This is very difficult for me though. I have a very hard time receiving answers to prayers if I don't have a question to ask. If I am content with my knowledge and understanding, I don't know what to ask for in my prayers to help me gain knowledge. I don't know if as I'm praying being taken over by the Spirit into a vision to give me knowledge I don't need yet. On the other hand, as I'm reading those books, it brings questions into my mind and new ideas that I had never though of before. I guess I could get better about asking those questions before I read that section of the book. Or maybe I could pray after I finish reading to make sure that what I have read is all true. I think the reason why we are supposed to pray and ask God for that knowledge though is because it will be the Spirit that answers us, not just a man and his opinion. Anyone can tell me truths and I will try to remember them but I will have a very hard time doing so. But when the Spirit testifies and teaches us about truth, it is literally engrained into our Spirits and we cannot forget it without trying to. So that is something that I am going to do this week is do better at including my Heavenly Father more into my studies and my questions so that I can know true doctrine and remember it forever!

This week was pretty good. We went to the Temple and I loved it!!! We went as a zone and had a total of 52 people in the session!! Elder George, my district leader, had some family names that he wanted to do in there and gave me one to do. Actually it was kinda funny how we got them. We went on the 11th which would have been Thursday. Well, on Wednesday the 10th, he told me that he had some names that he wanted to try to get printed off to take to the Temple the next day. On Wednesday we had Tori's baptismal interview, which I will talk about in a sec, and so went on a 3 hour exchange so Elder George could do that interview then print off those names. Well we tried all night to find somewhere to print these names but had no luck. The library was closed and no one had keys to the church library and the people that we talked to didn't have printers hooked up either with a wire or wireless to their computer. It was actually kinda ridiculous. So we exchange back and Elder Gilson and I get home around 9:30. Every night at 10 p.m. we have a mission wide prayer where all of the companionship's kneel down and say a prayer for the missionaries and the mission as a whole. Our district does a 3 way call and we pray together as a district. We give the person praying that night some names of people to pray for an what to pray for and they include those people in this prayer as well. Well after the prayer, Elder George says I need to be at his apartment at 7 in the morning to pick him up for the Temple. We needed to be at the Temple, dressed, and in the waiting room place at 7:30 for the session at 8. So we show up at 7 and he isn't there. We call and find out that he ran to the Library on EAC campus since they live right next to it. So we go and meet him there but he is just sitting on the benches outside the Library. The Library was supposed to open at 7 but it was about 7:15 and they were still closed. This wouldn't be a problem except we had to be at the Temple in 15 minutes. I swear, satan didn't want us to get those names printed off! Well to finish the story, they finally opened about 7:20 and we got the names printed off. We got to the Temple about 7:35 and all the missionaries were sitting in the waiting room at the entrance to the Temple without their Temple clothes on. The Temple wasn't quite ready for us yet. What a miracle for us! As we sat down, Elder George smiled and asked me to do one of his family names. I took the name and looked at it. The name of his ancestor was William Harris. Coincidence? I think NOT! But it was great! We saw the new movie and I absolutely loved it! Well, all except for satan. He actually reminded me of the elders quorum secretary in the Pima 1st Ward. He is bald just like satan in the movie and speaks so "matter-of-fact"ly and dully, just like satan does in the movie. It was hard not to laugh when I saw him and heard him cause I could totally see this member in this role! I loved everything else in the Temple though! Especially the actor that plays Peter in this new movie. :) If you don't know who it is, go back and watch again a little more closely!

We did a really cool act of service this week too. We have been working really hard with the Wittenbrakers, a now active family in the Pima 1st Ward. However, they are struggling to get on their feet with finances and food. So we decided to try to help them out. Every 2nd Wednesday of every month, we help out with commodities. People drive up who are struggling to make enough money and then we give them food according to the number of people in their families. We give out a lot of food and in lots of varieties. The missionaries also get free food for volunteering. Most of it is food that missionaries don't normally use though. In our apartment, we had 2 or 3 cupboards full of cans of corn and beans and tomato paste and about 15 small containers of peanut butter. So we talked to the missionaries in our district who also had cupboards full of this stuff and collected it all into boxes. We packed 5 or 6 decently big boxes with all this food and dropped it off on their porch so they would find it when they got home. They came to church and asked us if we did it or if we knew who did it. To make it more special for them and to help them know that more people love them than they think, we told them it wasn't us and didn't know who did it. I was worried about lying about it but then though of it like how parents tell their kids about Santa and the Tooth Fairy, the lie is to help them grow and this helped them grow with humility and love for both the ward members and our Father in Heaven!

Well I do need to get heading off! Thank you dad for all those pictures! I love that way of looking at pictures! I love you all so much and want you to know that I am praying for you!


~Elder Kyle Harris

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hello my most favorite people of all time!! I’m sorry that this is the 3rd Tuesday in a row that I am emailing you. I forgot to mention that yesterday was Labor Day and the Library is closed so we couldn't email. But tis alright! We still get to talk today! :) I don't think very much happened this week. I have been kinda sorta forgetting/failing to write in my journal recently. Actually, just for this week. But I wrote down in my planner the bullet points that I wanted to talk about! There are a few things that I remembered that I will talk about before my week. I remember Tyler Galloway was in an LDS movie or something like that and that is why he grew out his hair. What ever happened with that? Does the movie have the Church Logo on it? If so, I can watch it out here! Also....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe you turned 20 last week! ;) (usually we get brownie points for guessing lower with peoples ages but I don't think that is going to work on you...) Sydney is a very lucky woman to have you as her eternal companion. What did you get for your birthday? What didn't you get that you wish that you had? You should celebrate with a road trip down to Mexico, making sure that you stop in Tucson on the 28th of September... ;) I hope that you had a great party! I love you brother!

This week I happened upon Judges chapter 7. It is about Gideon and his army going up to battle against the Midianites. He starts off with about 32,000 people in his army but the Lord tells him that he has too many people in his army and that he needs to let some go so that the Israelites and the Midianites know that the hand of God is what gave the victory to the Israelites. So Gideon goes out and says that all those that are too scared or afraid to fight may leave. 22,000 people leave and that leaves 10,000 people to fight the Midianites. But the Lord again tells Gideon that his army is too big and needs to send more home. So they get to a river and get a water break. The scriptures describe only 2 ways the people drank. 300 men lifted the water to their mouths with their hands. The other 9,700 knelt down and basically just stuck their faces in the water. The Lord told Gideon to send the 9,700 men that drank without using their hands home. This left 300 men to fight the entire army of the Midianites. I received inspiration about how this scripture applies to us in this day. It is just like the Plan of Salvation. In the pre-earth life, we knew that we needed to come to earth to get a body and fight for God. However, there are those people that simply don't want to be here or give heed to the words of the Lord and his Prophets. These people are like those who go home without any hesitation and will receive the Telestial Kingdom. Those who knelt to the ground and drank without using their hands are like those who will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom. They wanted to be there and to follow orders, but they weren't doing it correctly, even when there were those people surrounding them that were drinking in the proper way. This is an example of those people who want to follow God but aren't doing it correctly, even when they have examples and missionaries and friends who show them the right way. The last 300 men are those who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom. I stopped reading so I don't know what happened next but I do know the Israelites came out on top. Those 300 men, when they return home will be praised and honored. We know that in this battle of good verses evil in our world, Jesus Christ is going to come out on top! And all of his followers will come out on top too. And when we return home to our Heavenly Father's presence, we will be praised and honored and glorified, crowned and kings and queens of the Most High God!

The next thing I studied this week was a simple story in the Bible. It is Mark 11:12-25. This is the story of when Christ curses the fig tree. The story starts off with Christ going to the Temple to cleanse it. He is with His disciples and is hungry. The scriptures say he saw a "fig tree afar off having leaves" and went to it to find fruit to eat. But there was no fruit... So Christ curses it. After they cleanse the Temple, they walk past the tree again and it has died and withered away. This was a very strange act for Christ to do, at least in my eyes. Did he do it out of anger and frustration or was there something to be learned from it? Well, it was definitely a lesson. As I looked into it, I found that at this time in the story, it wasn't fruit season yet, and Christ knew that? So why did he go to the tree expecting there to be fruit? Kinda strange, no? No, and this is why. Fig trees only put out their leaves AFTER they have put out fruit. So when the scriptures say that the fig tree was "afar off having leaves", it that meant that the fig tree was supposed to have fruit, or was telling the world it had fruit even though it didn't. This is why Christ cursed it, to show us as an example of the kind of people to look out for and the kind of people we should be. There are so many churches out there that "draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)" They don't bring forth fruit meet for Christ. Matthew 7:16 says, "Ye shall know them by their fruits." We can't tell people we follow Christ but only do so when people are watching. That isn't "good fruit". We must always show our fruit, our testimonies, all the time, not just at church or when we are reading the scriptures. Joseph Fielding McConkie says this, "To be indecisive about whether or not we are going to stand for Christ is to remain sitting." Don't catch yourself sitting on the fence, just stand on the right side.

This week, I've really tried to put those 2 lessons into my life and be that person that people recognize as a believe of Jesus Christ. And it has changed the way I react to situations, the way I treat myself and my companion, and even the way I think! I have had more patience, received more understanding on Gospel Principles, and built up my testimony more of this glorious work!

Wednesday we went and visited a lady named Sharon Buckmister. She is not a member of the church but her husband, John, is. However, John hasn't been to church since 1983. I remember telling you little about them in one of my previous emails. Just a quick refresher, Sharon had cancer and went through Kimo to get rid of it. The radiation made her hair fall out like it does with most people, but it also caused her jaw bone to deteriorate... She has gone through 4 surgeries now to replace her jaw. the first 3 they tried using titanium screws to hold a cadaver's jaw into place. All 3 times, the cadaver jaw was rejected and fell out. This last surgery she was told would be her final one for her jaw, whether or not it worked. This was the last one no matter the outcome. There is only a handful of doctors that do a very special procedure where they take the whole fibula out of your strongest leg and use that to replace your jaw. This is a very dangerous surgery cause the bone will die without blood circulation going through it. So they had to cut at her neck and through her bottom jaw and connect a vein for the new jaw. We went over for the first time about a month ago and gave her a blessing (that is what I remember telling you guys about in one of my last emails). A week later, she got an infection in that hole in her jaw where they drilled through for the new vein to go through. So she went in for emergency surgery where they had to re-open her neck and remove the infection. The amazing thing is the doctors couldn't figure out why the bone hadn't died during that infection cause it cut off the circulation to that bone for longer than a day. Sharon and John both agree it was because of the blessing she received! When we went back over, she was doing great! They warmly welcomed us in and let us talk with them for about 30 minutes. I don't know how open she is to the Gospel but they definitely know that there is a Spirit that comes when we are there and isn't there when we leave. I just hope that helps them come to have a desire to learn more!

Shoot, I am out of time... :( I just want to say I love you all so much! Thank you for the emails and for your prayers. I can't wait to hear from you on Monday! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

~Elder Kyle Harris

"God does not do for us what we can do for ourselves." - Joseph Fielding McConkie

" The Kingdom of God or nothing." - President John Taylor