Monday, March 30, 2015


Hey Family!!

Our week ended on a serious spiritual high!! Wasn’t the Women's Conference amazing or what?? Wow, I cannot describe how incredibly inspired are our leaders. I loved the videos, songs, and all the talks. It was amazing to think about how the family really is a point Satan is really hitting hard. I am so grateful for my forever family and the blessings that I have seen in my life from the gospel-centered home. In these past months, it has really been an eye-opener how important the family is.

So, we have an investigator named Sandra. Sandra is a mother of four. All four are 19 and older: one son and three daughters like our family. This past Black Friday, her son died in a car accident. Her son’s passing has ripped her life apart. It has been so sad to see how much more it has affected her life without the knowledge that she can be with her son again. 

Waiting for one of the Elders' baptisms to begin.

She has been visited by basically every religion, with all different points of view on where her son is now, and the chance of her being with all of her family again. Since the beginning and still now, we have been teaching her about the plan of salvation. She has so many doubts, but the one thing that I love about Sandra is when all of this happened, she did not once say that it was God's fault. She always has said that God is the answer, He is the peace, and the only one that completely understands her. She tries everyday to come closer and closer to her Savior and Father in Heaven. She knows that it is the only way she can see her son again. I cannot imagine the hurt and heartbreak that she feels. I do know that there is one that understands; he felt the same way. I know that Jesus Christ not only suffered for my sins and hardships but hers, too. I know that Sandra will one day feel better. It may not be this month or year, or even because of our help. Yet, I do know that she has one that is always there to help her feel better. 

The amazing thing with Sandra is we never actually plan to stop by. Literally never but when we do plan to stop by, she doesn't need us. The times that we are prompted are the times when she needs us. It has been an incredible feeling for her to know that whenever she is in her hardest moments, tears, and on her knees that is when the Father sends His servants. I am so grateful for the trust that the Lord has put into my companion and I that we have been the servants to help Sandra. She is always calling us her little angels or her adopted daughters, but really she is teaching us so much more and helping us more than she imagines. 

We were waiting for someone to open the church before the women's conference started.

Sandra always is telling us to tell our Mama's that we have someone that is a good person looking out for us. She says don't worry that she will always make sure that we are safe and have a home away from home. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to teach the people here in Ponce of the truth. Also, I am grateful to know for myself that this gospel is the answer to all your problems. I know without a doubt that I can be with my family for all eternity. It makes the days easier with you all so far away! I love you all so, so much and I hope you all know that I am praying for each and everyone of you every day!!

Con Amor Siempre
Hermana Harris

My Companion is amazing and surprised me!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Question & Answer

Hey Family!!
The week has been great! We have been really working hard to teach as many people as possible!! I am so grateful to be in Ponce and having the opportunity to teach and talk to all these people! 

I know I haven't done this in awhile so I'm going to answer all of Mama's questions!! 

Q- Since your ward is more of a branch, do you and your companion get fed very often by the members? 
A- To be honest, we only have two people in the ward that ever feed us. Every Monday and Sunday we get fed. The Rosa family feeds us every Monday night and we have FHE (Family Home Evening) all together. On Sunday nights, we are at Olga’s house, my favorite member. She feeds us always really good food! The rest of the ward is a little difficult so we don't get fed much.

Q-What you do eat at member's houses? 
A- It is still always rice and beans at the members’ houses. Occasionally, we have other things but there is always rice.

Q-What do you cook for yourself? 
A- My companion and I are always cooking together. We eat a lot of tacos, taco salad, eggs, and tostones (plantains)! 

Q-How much do you receive a month to pay for expenses?
A- $200 every month

Q- Does it cover everything? 
A- Yes! It just depends what we want to eat each week so some months it lasts longer than others. We always buy together to make it last a little longer.

Q-What are prices for fresh fruit and veggies there? Expensive or cheap? 
A- I would say about the same as back home, possibly some things are more expensive. If we are teaching someone, though, usually they always offer fruit from their trees which is usually lots of mangos, bread fruit, avocados, and limes. The same fruit you can find in the stores is really expensive.

Q-How much is a box of cereal for example? 
A- I always buy the really cheap brands that are about $2.50 but the Name brands are all about $4.

Q- So do you and your companion solely walk? Or any other way of transportation? Bike, bus, car?
A- Public buses do not exist. Our mission is a walking mission; we don't have bikes. We have cars but can only use them for district meetings and conferences. So basically, it just sits in our garage like a decoration. 

Q- Both, Dad and I have Puerto Rico on our weather Aps. It always seems to be 81 degrees. Is it super humid and moist? 
A- It totally depends on the day. We have days that are dry as can be and you feel like your skin is going to crack and then we have other days that it feels like you are breathing in water. It all depends on the rain.

Q-How often does it rain?
A- Lately, it has been raining everyday for about an hour then it is just boiling hot after. They say that we are in the rainy season. Ponce is one of the hottest places on the island because the city is so close to the beach. 

Q-Are you taking lots of pictures other than the three you send us?
A- Yes I am always taking pictures.

Q- Do you have room on the memory cards Dad got for you?
A- Ummm... I have about 30 pictures more to take and then it is full.

Q-Did you receive your St. Patty’s care package? 
A- Yes, I did and I absolutely loved it!! So here the only holiday they don't celebrate is St. Patty's day. It was sad! I had to explain to my companion all the craziness that we do for this day. She didn't believe me that Mama’s hair is always green that day of the year till I showed her the photo of Mama’s hair!! ;) 

Q-Can you believe that you are approaching your hump day?
A- No I can't!! I definitely have my days that it feels like I have been in Puerto Rico for forever. Yet, I feel like I just got here, too. I have so much more work to do; I can't believe that I am already to the point where it is half way!! It's crazy.

Q- It’s hard to believe Regan comes home in May and Oliver in June. It feels like it has gone by so fast for them.  Do you write to Oliver, Jake or Regan? Or anyone else?
A- I am writing all of them! I was also writing Aubrey until she finished her mission and still writing Marc! :) It has been great to keep in contact and know how the work is progressing in all of the other parts of the world! It is great be able to share stories and know that we all are working for The Lord to help build His kingdom! How great is the calling of a missionary!

I love the challenge to say three different thank you's in our prayers. I have truly gained a strong testimony of prayer! I know that our Father in Heaven is always listening and wants to hear from us. It is amazing the relationship that I have now with my Father. Before my mission, I was the one to fall on my knees only when I was in troubled times or when I needed guidance. I now hit my knees every day, have a prayer in my heart, and sometimes pray out loud for everything. I know that He is always listening. He wants to hear about our days, smile at the happiness, and hear our sorrows. I am so grateful for those days that are a little bit easier that I can give thanks for all the little blessings that I received that day! I know that on my mission I am not solo, I’m not alone, and this aspect has changed my life forever! I have a knowledge and a love for my Heavenly Father that will never go away!
I love you all so so much and hope you all have a fantastic week! Remember always to hit your knees for everything!!

Con Amor Siempre

Hermana Harris 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Elder Holland!!

Hey family!!
Well, I think I can say I had a better week then anyone!! I got to talk to Elder Holland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Wow, he is incredible! We all had mission conference with Elder Holland and Elder Martinez. First of all, it was amazing to get the chance to see everyone in the Puerto Rico Mission. I had the opportunity to see all of my old companions.  It was amazing to have all the missionaries in the mission together! 
Elder Holland was spectacular! He talked all about our futures, how we need to continue to make a difference, and plan now for our futures. It was inspiring to hear about how different he was before and after his mission. I want to be just like him when I get home. I want my mission to be the difference. I don't want to look back and say that my mission was just service I did for a period of time in my life. I want to say that my mission made me a better person, my mission shaped my future, my mission changed everything! He also told us that if we fall away from the church after our missions and pass by him in the street, we need to cross to the other side. He cannot handle when we lose the shepherds. A few sheep here and there, but never the shepherds. 
Elder Holland also talked to us about one symbol of the second coming; The Book of Mormon! He told us all about the blessings that we have received from this book. It is amazing to think that we have the knowledge and the evidence that Christ will come, and we have it in our hands. We have the answer for everyone. We just need everyone to actually read the book. If an investigator wants to know the truth all they need to do is read. If a less active has some excuse for not coming to church, they need to gain or regain a testimony of this book. Everything in Christ's church revolves around that book!
 Elder Holland's talk really impacted me and my testimony in the Book of Mormon. My goal now is to not only read the scriptures everyday but to find out how every page, every verse can help me today. I have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is holy scripture and that it was Joseph Smith who translated the plates that brought forth this great book. I know without a doubt that the prophets wrote each page with our generation in mind. It is just our responsibiliy to find the reasons why. 
It was an amazing opportunity to see Elder Holland in person. We all got to shake his hand, tell him our name, and where we are from!!! I know without a doubt that he is an apostle of the Lord! 

Well in other news, we have two investigators that are really progressing. It is a mother and son (Mariana 67, Emilio 45). We just happened to be contacting on the way to the Elders' baptism last week and met them. Wow, they have so many good questions. That in itself is a key that the Lord was preparing them. They both came to church yesterday and loved it. Mariana is a ball! We had a ward activity on Friday and she made the party. Everyone was laughing so hard! It was an amazing chance for them both to form relationships with the ward members before a serious church service. It really is incredible how much the members make a difference. The investigators can make such an easier transition from investigator to member when they form relationships. They really are entering a different world with different standards, different expectations, and different beliefs. With a friend at your side, it makes it less scary.

Well, I love you all so so much!! And I wouldn't be a missionary without leaving you with a challenge. I challenge each of you to start the Book of Mormon again. Really read it, as a family or individually. I know that it will make the days easier, the weeks faster, and the trials more bearable!
I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Con Amor Siempre
Hermana Harris

P.S. I am officially the insect killer in my house... spiders, roaches, and whatever else we find. Sigh... worst calling ever!! Hahahaha!! This spider was in my bag! I found it when we got back to the house after visiting a member. I really hope I had been only carrying it for 15 mins and not all day!! That photo is a normal 4x6 so the spider was huge!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

My Three Stars

Hey family!!
My week was amazing! The three stars of my week were Julio, Olga, and Hermana Dominguez!! 

From last weeks zone conference

For Julio, we have been visiting him as often as possible to be able to help him continue to understand the covenant he has accepted and to continue to help him grow in his faith. It has been amazing to see the difference in his attitude and testimony. It even seems to me that he looks different. This week, we focused on the Holy Ghost and the priesthood in our lessons. He had the chance to receive the Holy Ghost on Sunday. Wow! It was breath taking to see his huge smile after they finished the blessing and confirmed him a member of the church. That moment right there is what makes it all worth it. In that moment is when I felt closest to my Savior. It is when the joy of the gospel and the plan of God are brought into another's life that I truly feel like a disciple of Christ. It is so amazing to think that I knew Julio in the heavens. He told me there that I needed to come find him, that I needed to serve a mission to bring him this gospel. I am so grateful that I was prompted to make the choice to serve so I can find the people that I promised in heaven. 

This is Julio on his confirmation day!! :) It is amazing how different people look when all in white. 

Another star of this week was Olga! Wow, I love this woman so much. We call her our mom of Ponce. She has accepted Hermana Dominguez and me completely into her home. She lives in our same urbanization, with her nonmember husband. She has had a lot of trouble with not feeling completely included in the church because he is not a member. We visit her very Saturday or Sunday night when he husband leaves to go party with his friends. She absolutely loves it. She knows that we are there for her physically and spiritually for her to feel good. Last night, she opened up to us completely. It was an amazing feeling to know that she has the confidence in us to be completely honest. It was one of the strongest lessons in my mission. We told her all about the true love that our Heavenly Father has for each one of his children. He has a plan and a purpose for everything. He sent us especially to her at this time. We told her that all of the things that she does everyday to love and support her husband is making the difference. Yes, he is not a member but he accepts us into his home and he knows without a doubt that we are there because we have a great love for his wife. It is the little things that plant the seeds, little by little his confidence and interest will grow. It is so hard to see the difficulties in a part-member family. The best part of His plan is for families to be together forever!!

This little boy is an autistic boy of one of the elders' recent converts. I love playing with him and giving him candy. :D

My third star this week was Hermana Dominguez!! Wow, we have been a power house team together! There have definitely been times that we wanted to kill one another but it always works out in the end. She is amazing! I really feel like I have gained a life-long friend. We have become really close in the past couple of weeks. It is amazing to think that you can spend 24/7 with someone but if you don't take the time, you may not really know them at all. I have had the chance to really get to know her. She is a convert, but not in the normal sense. She was baptized at 8 but her family was less-active. She made the choice even when all of her family, with the exception of her mom, was against the church. She made the choice to find out for herself. She has one of the strongest testimonies I know. I am so lucky to be able to work with her. I know that our Heavenly Father sent us to this area for a reason, even put us together for a reason. I am finding out more and more everyday that we really truly needed to learn s from each other at this moment in our missions. My only hope is that all my other companions are just like her. Hahaha! I know that is a huge dream. :) 

This is my favorite member of our ward!! Heriberto!!

Well I love you all dearly and hope that you take the time the help the missionaries. I know that your lives are crazy but we are here living this life to return to our Heavenly Father. The missionaries really can't do it without the members!!

Con Amor Siempre,
Hermana Harris

Monday, March 2, 2015

For Eternity

Hey family!!
Well my week was FANTASTIC!!! I got to see my first convert baptized!! 

It was the best feeling in the world to see him completely accept our Heavenly Father's plan and enter into the waters of baptism!! We had the service this Saturday and the spirit was so strong. I had the chance to give the baptism talk. It was the best experience to be able to share this joy that i feel with someone else. After the baptism, in the final hymn, which I was conducting, he started to get red eyed and started to cry. That in itself was a testimony to me that this is what he needed. He felt the difference in his life from the things we have been teaching him. I want everyone here to have the same experience as Julio (July) but they need to be ready. I know that the Lord everyday is preparing more and more people to take upon themselves this sacred covenant and it is just my responsibility to find the ones that are ready now!

This is our favorite member in our ward!! Her name is Olga!! We are in her house every Saturday to keep her company and share our love.. and try to warm up to her nonmember husband!

It is so amazing to be able to serve a mission. There are so many things that I have learned that I will never be able to replace. I learn everyday more and more about the wonderful plan that our Father has for us! I am learning how to be able to be a good mother, a friend, a companion, and I am learning how to help not only in my own conversion but to aid others in their conversion. One thing that I am grateful for is the gift my parents gave me. I was born in the covenant, I have no doubt that I will be able to be with my family for time and all eternity. How great is that blessing!! I also know that my parents were the ones to lead and guide me to where I am today. You never forced the church on me. But it really wasn't an option to not go either. I am grateful for this because I was able to gain my own testimony. It is by this testimony that I have been able to grow and mature into the person I am today. I am so grateful for my mama and daddy that have always been there in my life through the thick and thin to show me the way. I will never be able to trade the friendship that I have with you both and I love you both so so much! 

I also what to thank my siblings! Aubrei, Jaren, Hannah, and Saydi, I love you all so much and am extremely grateful for your examples! Aubrei, even in the hardest of situations, you have always shown us that with faith you can always make it! Thank you for the strong testimony that you have always had. Jaren, I am so thankful for your example on always wanting to go on a mission. I will be forever grateful for your letters that I was able to read through high school to slowly but surely change my opinion on going on a mission! Hannah, I know that I don't know you very well but I know that my brother loves you with all his heart! Just keep each other happy and that will be the best gift you can give. Saydi, I am so grateful for the time that we were able to share together in school. You were always there when I needed a friend or advice. Saydi, I know that in this time, there are so many decisions to make in finishing your Senior year, but don't ever forget that the one person with all the answers is only a knee call away!

Thank you all for the love, laughs, and happy memories from each one of you! I love you all and can't wait to share the rest of eternity with all of you!

Con Amor Siempre 
Hermana Harris