Monday, February 23, 2015

Zone Conference

Hey Family!!
Well first, Happy Birthday Daddy!! I hope your birthday is filled with laughs, love, and smiles! I woke up this morning smiling knowing that it is my daddy's birthday! 

Well it's transfer time once again!! Luckily, this transfer I am staying and I am still with Sister Dominguez!! It is going to be a great experience to continue in Ponce and to grow more relationships with the people here. Our area really just consists of six streets so it is a great chance to try to contact all the people and to find all those that are ready for this gospel!

I am so excited because we have a baptism this Saturday!! Julio has had all the lessons and truly is ready to make this commitment with our Heavenly Father! I can't wait for Saturday!! He is the nicest man in the world. He always is making us smile. We have been working with him to invite all of his family to the baptism. He has three children that we have been working on trying to  send the elders to them, but they don't live in our area. His ex-wife has called him and he has passed the phone over so we can talk! Little by little, we have been inching our way to this whole family! Because our job is never complete if only part of the family is on the way to salvation. We were sent here from Heaven in families and I want to see us all return to our Heavenly Father in families. I am so grateful for my family and the blessings that I have seen all my life and especially in my mission to have an eternal family. I love you all so much and so glad that I have the opportunity for 18 months to bring others to the joy of being with their family for time and all eternity!! 

This week, we had Zone conference.. and Sister Harris had to sing a solo. Why, oh why, we will never know! But hey it wasn't that horrible. The song was weird but the lyrics were written by a convert's conversion. It was a great memory that I will never forget. Well, I actually loved the conference! It was so inspiring! We talked all about how if you dwell in your fear you can't accomplish this work. We all have a fear that holds us back from doing something. In the mission, it is more severe because it is another person's salvation that is on the line! So we need to talk to everyone, we need to invite all so that they can use there agency to accept or reject the path. It is something that we face everyday but with faith, we can fight! I loved it! 

Also another thing that our mission has started to focus on is family history! It has been great! I am so thankful for the time before I left for my mission making the fan chart with Grandma Harris and calling Grandma Murphy to know the information on that side of the family! It is amazing to see how much of an impact family history has for the people in Puerto Rico! Of course, families are always important but it is so much more important to know where you are from and the people that made it possible for you to be who you are! If any of the families have stories of their ancestors, I love to hear and read them!! It is always a strong spiritual experience to be able to share one of my families stories to strengthen another family! 

There are so many things that can hold us back but if we hold strong to our faith, we have the most powerful three people in the world to back us up! We have the Spirit to touch the hearts of the people, Christ to lead us on this path, and a Father in Heaven that is our goal and home! 

So I have some huge news!! March 10th I have the chance to meet Elder Holland!!! He is coming to Puerto Rico and we have a huge complete mission conference with him!! I am so excited to be able to see him and hear what counsel he has for our mission!!

Well I love you all so much and am so proud to be a Harris and a part of this family!! 
Con Amor Siempre
Hermana Harris

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Directly in our Path

Hey family!!! 
It has been another killer week! We have walked what feels like a hundred miles and talked to lots of people. Wow I must really be on a mission.

The biggest thing that is news worthy is I have to sing another solo. Please kill me now. Hahah I don't understand how I keep getting volunteered to sing. You all know my voice is is not terrific. But I got asked, so I, of course, excepted. This time it is for zone conference. Urg.. well wish me luck! It is this Thursday! Oh, another thing really cool is that Elder Holland is coming to Puerto Rico next month!!!!! I might get to meet him!! Super excited for that. 

Now to the progress of my investigators: JULIO!! Well, oh my, I have so much love for this man! He is so incredible sweet and has a sincere desire to know more. One thing that I loved is we were asking him the baptismal question in one of our lessons. The first question is whether you have believe in God the Father. I loved his response. "I don't believe in God, because you can believe in a lot of things. Believe in your mom, in your job, and in love. I think and know that there is a God. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for me." I loved that! We do have belief in a lot of things but to have a knowledge is so different! I know also without a single doubt that I was called to share the message of the restored gospel with Julio! I cannot wait to see him in the baptismal font in two weeks!!

This has been a very incredibly strange week. Hermana Dominguez got really, really sick with the stomach flu and was doubled over in pain on Thursday. We had to call the mission nurse to visit. The next day, we started off really slow to make sure she didn't have any bad reactions to the medicine and needed a bathroom. But wow, the day after was the most affective day of the week. It felt like literally Heavenly Father was putting the people directly in front of us. We found three more less actives. One of them literally contacted us in the street! We were walking by on the way to use the restroom in a nearby grocery store. He stopped us and told us all about the elders that used to teach him and how the members were very kind and that he has a lot of friends in the ward. It was a golden visit. We know exactly how to help him and what members to use to get him back to a strong member. Love how the Lord works! 

This week another great thing happened! We were sitting in the usual place in a park teaching July when we had this little girl sit down with us and start listening. It was very strange because we had no idea who she was. She started to kinda participate in the lesson! We continued but made sure we  started to include her and ask her questions. She is Gabriela and is 10 years old. She said she loves to read so we thought why not and we gave her a Book of Mormon. The next lesson with July, she came out with her Book. Oh, wow she had been reading! She even marked the scripture that she liked the most and explained to us why! Wow she is incredible intelligent! This week, we are going to try to have a lesson with her and her family to try to help them grow together. A child is able to be baptized but without the family can be lost from the flock very fast!

Well I love you all so so much and can't wait to talk to you all again next week! You all are always in my prayers!

Con Amor Siempre 
Hermana Harris

Monday, February 9, 2015

Not an Ounce of Doubt

Hey family!!
It is another week in the life of a missionary!!

We have been really focusing on one investigator and a load of less-actives this week! I don't know if I ever told you guys, but basically, the whole island of Puerto Rico is 50% less actives! Maybe not exactly but it really feels that way! So all the wards here look like branches, and the branches are a group of ten active people. The biggest ward on the island is the Metro, English ward but the members in the ward are constantly moving in and out because the majority are dental students. So the other wards here are very, very smal but the church has only been in Puerto Rico for about 30 years.

 I love it though because everyday the more people we meet, the more members we reactivate, is just another step to building the temple here! They have already bought the grounds we just need a stronger worthy membership to actually have the church start to build. I can't wait to hear in General Conference one day that Puerto Rico temple is being built. It will make all the walking I do everyday worth it! The members here, the ones that are active are so strong! I am so lucky to be able to work with them everyday to help in their ward. It is exactly what the members here need is to be able to attend the temple and receive the blessings. It sad to know that there are some members that have been members for a long time and have never seen the temple. It is so sad to think that for financial reasons that they are missing out of the blessings of the temple. The temple is one thing I really really miss about the CCM. I can't wait to return and at college be able to visit the temple every week! I am so excited to go with all of you to the temple when I get back! 

Well, we have been continuing to teach our investigator, Julio! Wow, he is the sweetest. He really day by day is growing stronger and stronger in his testimony. We have started to ask one of the baptismal questions every appointment. He with a not an ounce of doubt in his voice says that this gospel is true and that he knows it. It has been really strange teaching him. So not very strange, like he is a strange person but it just has come to us amazingly easy. When we teach him a new commandment or principle he never has had a problem. For example, the Word of Wisdom, most people always have a problem giving up one part either their morning coffee or their drink on the weekend. July said that he only drinks coffee on occasion and it will be 'no problem' to stop. We have almost been worried that something else hard is going to be a stopping block for him, but with every lesson, he just continues to say it won't be an issue. It is the first time that I have felt that I have met one of Heavenly Father's truly prepared children! It has been such a blessing to meet him and be able to see him grow!

Well family and friends, I just want to finish today with my testimony that without a single doubt I know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ which has been restored to this earth again. I know that Thomas Monson is a prophet of God and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that my Savior lives and he suffered so each one of us can return to our Father in Heaven one day! I know that the plan of Salvation is perfect; there is not a single flaw to it. It is through this plan that our Heavenly Father has provided a way for each one of us to return to him in the heavens with the knowledge that we did the best that we could on this earth. I know that my family is forever and that through the ordnances of the temple that we can be together if we each do our part! I love you all so much and am so grateful for your support in helping me serve my mission!

Con Amor Siempre
Hermana Harris

P.S. I promise next week my photos will be with investigators and members... I always forget my camera at the house.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Smile Through

Hey family!!

It was a crazy, amazing, loca, and a normal missionary week. Hahaha!!

This week did start out a little different then normal weeks. So our ward makes it really difficult to give the members the lessons. It really is something that we are slowly little by little working on in this ward. We have started to visit all the members to help them feel comfortable with us so they will introduce us to there friends.

 We were working in one of our normal areas where there is a little girl that is ten. She is a recent convert with her grandpa. Honestly, this little girl has the saddest story in the world but is a ball of love to us. Every time that we are with her she is always giving me hugs and telling me she loves me. So we had a heartbreaking moment this week. She lives in very bad situation with her family, and her house is horrifying. So this week one of the neighbors called Social Security. I am so happy for the little girl gets to have food, clean clothing, and a warm bed. But I am so sad to see that we can't continue to see her grow in this gospel and help her. I have truly learned so much from this little girl such as to take everything by stride. She has taken everything that they have thrown at her and still smiles and does everything she possibly can to show to everyone else that she wasn't suffering. I hope that I can be more like her when I have hard things that come my way. 

Another thing that happened with week is that we have had great success with our investigator July!! He has committed to a baptismal date on the 21st of February!! He really has been progressing so much. The first thing that changed was his prayers. His first prayer started by my companion helping him finish because he didn't know what to say. From then on his prayers started to get longer and longer. It is a grand blessing to see peoples lives change and see their faith in Christ develop! I am so so glad that I am here and have this chance to teach the gospel, the restored gospel to the people here. I have learned so much on how to make me a better member, future mother, and to draw me everyday closer to my Savior! I just want to say thank you to everyone of you that helped me get to who and where I am today!

I love you all so so much
Hermana Harris