Hello my favorite and most amazing family in the whole world!! (And the best friends too!) Welcome to this weeks email! :)
I don't really know what to say to start off. My mind is a little frazzled right now. It's weird for me to think that it is already my birthday... Christmas has come and gone and in 3 days it will be 2015!! I just bought a PowerAde at the gas station and it expires after I get home from my mission!
But this week was a great one! Elder Deyarmond is coming up to be one of my favorite companions! He's super funny and outgoing and loves to get out and work! We haven't been super busy though because the people we are working with were out of town for the Christmas holiday. Debbie is about 65 and loves to talk to missionaries! She was talking to missionaries at one point in the past but then dropped them cause she didn't believe it. Not long after she dropped them, she had an aneurysm and was in the hospital for a long time. When she got out, she called us up and said that she wanted to start listening to us and that it was a sign from God. She has been pretty sick this last week with a major headache and other things I guess so she hasn't been available to meet but we will be meeting on Wednesday with her and will start with the first lesson.
We are also working with a part member family. I told you about them last week. Jared Taylor is a single father raising 3 little girls. Vanessa is 9 (almost 10), Alessandra is 8, and Mira Bell is 6. They are the cutest little girls, especially Mira Bell! Their mother passed away less than 2 months ago. As we were praying to know what to talk to them about, I was thinking "The Plan of Salvation" the whole time but Elder Deyarmond felt like we should to the Restoration. So we taught the Restoration this week and we wanted to help them understand why Joseph Smith was needed and why the Gospel needed to be restored. So we played the game "Telephone" where you whisper one thing into someone's ear then it gets passed around and when it gets to the end, it's changed! Sometimes it's not a major difference but sometimes it was a very major change! The girls LOVED it and totally understood the point we were getting across. They liked it so much, they wanted to play another 4 or 5 times. :P They all came to church too so that's great! :) Next week we will be teaching the Plan of Salvation!
Christmas was FANTASTIC!!!! Talking to you all was absolutely amazing!! :) That was my favorite Christmas present!! Sister Froehlich let us use her phones to make the calls so if you want to text her and tell her thank you, I think that would be very appropriate. She is also throwing me a birthday party tonight! I didn't ask her to, she just took it upon herself being the amazing person that she is. She invited the McKnights, a great family in the ward, to join us as well. I am very, VERY thankful for the garments you sent me! Those were very much needed. :) We received LOTS of snacks and candy from members as well as 2 ties each! They are great ties too so that's always a plus! ;)
I saw one of the best things ever so far in my mission. Sean Connolly is a man that I've talked a little bit about in previous emails. But I talk about a lot of people so a refresher is probably in order. Sean Connolly is a 23 year old gent that I used to work with in East Tucson. He was less-active and dating a non-member who wasn't bringing him any closer to the church. He had so many questions and theories and they were all very interesting and pretty amazing actually that someone could notice the stars movement and relate it to the Gospel like he did. It was awesome to hear though! Anyway, not long after I got transferred, he moved down into Elfrida. Never heard of it? Neither has anyone else. He described it saying, "If you are driving and drop something on the floorboards of your truck and bend down to pick it up, you'll drive right through without even noticing." Talk about small town. Anyway, I've been hearing really good things are happening with him and he called me yesterday saying he was in Sierra Vista and wanted to see how I was doing. So we met up. Sean used to be 5'9" or so and weigh about 230 lbs or so along with a big ole', grungy beard. When I saw him, he had dropped about 30 lbs and clean shaven so close, it was "smoother than a baby's bottom. And smelled better too!" (The Little Rascals) He looked GREAT!! He said that he just gave his first talk in church and had moved from the dinky apartment in east Tucson that was smaller than the place we were living in over there, to a very nice 4 bedroom home in Elfrida! He had his mother move in with him and since then had brought both her and his aunt back to the church too! And best of all, he, his mother, and his aunt are all in the Temple Prep class and only have 2 more classes before they'll be ready to go to the Temple for their endowments!! Then he said this "Elder Harris, do you want to know what got me coming back to church? While I was in east Tucson, a missionary burned me a cd with 2 talks on it." I smiled and had to hold back tears as he continued. "Those 2 conversion stories you gave me, especially the Glen Beck one, is what made me want to go back to church. That cd and those talks that you gave me, saved me." Then he grabbed me with his huge bear arms and hugged me. I don't know how I didn't cry but I didn't, not in front of him at least. He says that he got his Patriarchal Blessing and in it, it talks about how his testimony can and will bless many lives, especially if he serves a full time mission. The old Sean Connolly I once knew in east Tucson changed into and is continuing to change into the Sean Connolly the Lord wants him to become. This is one of, it not the greatest miracle I have ever seen my whole mission. I absolutely love this man and I know that we will be friends for all time and eternity!!
I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ because if it wasn't, people like Sean, like me, couldn't have come as far as we have and as close as we have to our Savior and Redeemer. It is through His Atonement and the Priesthood authority that we are all able to change our lives around and become the people our Heavenly Father knows we can be. WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST!! This is the greatest blessing we can receive if we stay strong and true to the things we have been taught. I know this to be true.
I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!
~Elder Kyle Harris