Monday, April 27, 2015



How’s it going, family? How has your week been? Have you been reading and praying? 

I can't believe that I hit my halfway point in my mission this week! Chacho! That was the fastest 9 months of my life!! I can't believe that I left the house and was in the Dominican Republic only 9 months ago! Sometimes, it feels like that was just yesterday but then other days, it feels like a century ago. I have come so far in Spanish, in my testimony, and in my faith. 

In this past 9 months, the biggest thing I have learned is that miracles do exist! This week, I was studying in Mormon. I absolutely love this chapter because it gives us hope it gives us the knowledge that we have faith in a God, we have faith for miracles. I love that it isn't just blessings but that we can make miracles come to pass in our every day lives.

 “15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
 16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?
 17 Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?
 18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
 19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
 20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.”

 How amazing is it to think that we can have these blessings just by having faith in the Lord God. I have really tried to focus on this. One of the biggest miracles is my companion. On Friday, she started to get the biggest blisters I have ever seen on her foot. She has about 5 or 6 on one foot. So, we had to walk a lot slower so she could try to limp to relieve the pressure. Wow, literally I feel like she is a miracle in herself. She not once did she say “lets go home and sleep” or she wanted to wait for her foot to get better. She kept on working. We, of course, needed to take short breaks but she keep on pushing us to keep up the work!
One big blessing is that the people that we had planned to teach that usually are never in their houses were actually there! We also had the opportunity to teach two different people that seem to live in the street.

Another thing that I learned in my 9 months is that without my mission, I don't think that I would ever be as strong in the gospel as I am now. I am so grateful for the less-actives I have taught for their help specifically. I have seen the missionaries that have fallen, I have seen the testimonies that weren't strong enough to face a trial, and I now have the knowledge that with Christ by my side, I can really conquer all. One of the recent converts here has really been the greatest example. From the start, he really looks like a scary dude. He has a horrible background with drugs, prison, and doesn't have a solid home to live in. But with all these trials, he is the one person that I see reading everyday for several hours in the Book of Mormon. He wants to share the gospel with others. He knows that if he was able to turn his life around that anyone else can too. It is that kind of faith that I have gained on my mission. I know that whatever trials lay ahead if you simply put your faith first, the Lord will ease the pain. I will and everyone else can come out triumph on the other side. Just like Mormon said in chapter 9 verses 13-14.

“13 And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.
 14 And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.”

We can be happy forever! We can be with our families for the Eternities. We can choose to be happy. With all the different trials that come our way, if we just choose to be positive, choose to see the green hill on the other side, we will make it. Our eternal destiny is what we make of it. We really do need to choose this day who we will serve because if we choose Christ we can have the promise of eternal happiness. Mormon chapter 9 verses 21-30 states:

  “21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
 22 For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;
 23 And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned;
 24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;
25 And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.
 26 And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.
 27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things so ever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.
 28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.
 29 See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out.
 30 Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words.”

I love the inspiring words that are in the Book of Mormon. Truly in these past months, I have gained a love for the scriptures. I have no doubt that with the words of the prophets that we can find peace, we can seek the good out of every situation and we have all the truth! 

I love you all so much and hope that you choose this week to take the positives more then the negatives. Pick up the Book of Mormon again and start reading. It really is the answers to all the hardships you are facing. It has been the key to helping everyone gain a testimony, not only a testimony, but a conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ!!

Con Amor Siempre,

Hermana Harris

Monday, April 20, 2015

Full of Smiles

Hey family!!  

This week was amazing!! Honestly, it was a lot of hard work. We had a week that felt like no one wanted to talk to us. We walked a lot more then we taught. But you know what? It still was a great week! I love being a trainer! It is so amazing to be able to teach someone else. I am so grateful that my trainee is amazing also. It makes it so much easier!

One thing that was really amazing this week was one of our less actives, Sylvia. She is a less active of several years in our ward. To explain, when she visits her kids in the States, she goes to our church. But she loves her Baptist church here in Ponce. The thing with Sylvia though is that she doesn't remember anything. 

She doesn't remember why she was baptized or any of the doctrine. We have begun teaching her like an investigator. We truly saw a miracle in her this week. We were teaching the plan of salvation and she had mounds and mounds of questions. We were stopping at every little point to explain and make sure she wasn't lost. She wasn't asking questions to just ask she started to ask really pressing questions like she had the desire to learn. 

I really have gained a great love for her. She is so lost in all the different doctrines and teachings of every different church that she has trouble finding her own beliefs. We are really just trying to help her find what she beliefs so we can know from there how we can help her. We actually got her to assist in an activity this week so that is great success in itself. Little by little we can show her that there are people that love her and that we can help her to grow closer to her Savior.

Oh, another great blessing this week is that Julio received the priesthood last Sunday. It was so amazing to see the joy on his face as we entered our Gospel Principles class. I could just tell that something was different. He was so happy, with nonstop smiles. I asked him “Whats up? What happened?” At this point, his smiles were reaching his eyes and he was almost to the point of tears. He smiled even bigger then said “I get to receive the priesthood!” To see the joy that it brought to him, made it all the more special. It was so great of a feeling that I got to help him be worthy to receive such a sacred power, the power and authority of Christ. He also had the opportunity to use his priesthood for the first time this weekend helping the other sister missionaries at a baptism. It was such an amazing sight to see him be a witness at the baptism.

Well I can just say I love my calling as a missionary for Jesus Christ. Getting at half way mark of my mission I can definitely say that I have changed so, so much. I will never be able to give back to the Lord what I have gained and learned in this short time. I know without a doubt in my heart now that my Savior lives and loves each one of His children. I know that through the latter-day prophets we can receive blessings by obeying their teachings. I know that my heavenly father is waiting for all of my family to return to him in the celestial kingdom and I know that each day we can work to get there. :)

I love you all so much and hope you all have an amazing week!! Can't wait to see you all on Mothers day!!

Con Amor Siempre,

Hermana Harris

PS We had lots of fun posing for photos!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sister Pardo!!!

Hey Family!!

With all of the pressing questions, I might as well just start out with all the good stuff. First, my companion is Latin! She is from Columbia!! Sister Pardo is 23 years old, green and as greenie as it can get. She is amazing already and this is her third week in the mission; first week in Puerto Rico. She comes from a family of five, her dad works for the church and she is fluent in Spanish and English!! We get along so great! I am so excited to see what the next 11 weeks of training brings!

We are set to be companions for 3 months, so I am in Ponce until the middle of June. I have a chance to stay from there or get transferred. So one thing a little strange is that in the mission we call trainers Mamas and trainees Babies. It just makes it so much funnier that I am about to hit my 9 months on the mission when I received my baby. 

With training, it is a 12 week program of District videos (which is videos of missionaries for examples), reading the scriptures, and role play. My companion is game for all! I really feel like that she came pretrained and that she is teaching me, not the other way around!! It has been amazing this week helping her get the ropes. Even just the basics like our daily schedule, our area, and life as a real missionary. It is a little strange to be in the position of the teacher. I'm not gonna lie, its tough. The first day, I really had to evaluate myself as a missionary. I had to go through all the qualities I needed. I needed to evaluate all the things that I do each day so that I can get better at them. I needed to reassess anything that has caused a problem before and then think about how I can prevent it in the future. It was actually a great experience, I really feel like this gives me the opportunity to make me the best missionary yet! 

My companion is hilarious! We are always making jokes and having a blast in the streets. She is incredible in lessons, and she has so much gospel knowledge that I sometimes just like listening to her teach. That is one thing that I was very blessed to have a companion that speaks the language. I am grateful to be able to focus on what is best in the lessons and more of the structure then the language. It is definitely different than my training. 

My Spanish is coming along great! I understand basically everyone, the only people I don't are the people speaking Puertoricano. So that is the one thing where the language of the mission isn’t Spanish. The islands national language is basically Spanglish. Then there are Puertoricano words, and in Ponce, there is another set of words. I never realized how accustomed I had become to it until I needed to translate Spanish here to real Spanish for my companion!! Hahahaha! It was a good feeling! I always am working each day to learn the grammar and more words but that is a never-ending process. In the streets, I feel comfortable enough to talk to everyone! :) 

Well, I am so excited to have the chance to spend 3 more months here in Ponce. I feel like the investigators we have right now, really have the potential to make it to the waters of baptism and I am so excited at the chance to help them get there!! 

I love you all so, so much and pray for each of you daily!! I hope you all are praying and reading the scriptures because I know that is where we will receive peace, guidance, and a great knowledge of our Heavenly Father’s amazing plan for us!

Con Amor Siempre

Hermana Harris

Monday, April 6, 2015

General Conference

Hey family!!!

First things first, I have some pressing news!! I will be training a Sister!!!!!! I get my newbie tomorrow!! I am so excited and honored to have the chance to be trusted with a new missionary! As of this moment, I have no idea who she is, if she is Latin or American. I will find out when I meet her tomorrow in Guaynabo. Yes, I get to travel to my first area’s chapel to meet her. I am also very, very excited about that!! 

Well, with all this good news, I am truly sad to see Hermana Dominguez go. I truly am so grateful for the time we had together to learn and help the people here. I have definitely developed a friendship that will last a lifetime!

On a different note, was conference awesome or what??? Wow, It was such an inspiration and spiritual uplift. I loved each talk and was taking very fast notes to keep as much as I could at hand before I can get my hands on a Liahona! Hahaha! 

It felt like every talk was reminding me of each one of you! There were so many times that they mentioned the importance of the family. It really was the hardest conference to be so far from my family, but it was great to know that it’s okay because my family is eternal. 

First Saydi. Saydi, I literally felt like crying when Elder Holland started talking about the story of the two brothers. Saydi, to me, you are just like that little brother. You have always been the smarter, stronger one. I never have doubted that you are always there for me. Without you knowing it, there have been many times when I knew it was you who was helping me carry on. I have never seen you falter from a decision or stumble on your standards. You really are the best little sister that I could have ever asked for. 

Jaren, the talk that reminded me of you was from the Prophet. I will always remember the first time I went through the temple. I remember the smile on your face as you helped me and explained things to me. Jaren, I am so grateful for the example you set for our family in serving a mission. You were the one like the returned missionary in his story that inspired me. I will always look up to my big brother for guidance and am forever grateful for your testimony in this gospel.

Aubrei, the talk that hit my heart for you was from Elder Christofferson. I know that you have been through a rough past year. I know that through all of it, you came out on top. I know that through the experiences that you have had that you will be very cautious in the dating realm. Just always remember that marriage really is of God. I know that if you continue to prepare yourself spiritually, you will find the love and eternal companion that Heavenly Father has prepared for you.

For Mama, there were talks… definitely more then one. Everyone that talked about the family reminded me of how amazing my parents are. I, like Nephi, truly have been born of amazing parents!! The talk that touched me the most was by from Brent H. Nielson. Family is the most important foundation God has given us. It doesn't matter if they are in the church now or fallen away. Mom, I have loved your example throughout the years with your siblings. You have always been the example of the Father in the prodigal son waiting and just showing love. I will always be grateful for your love as a strong member. 

Daddy, the talk that made me cry was all about “I can't wait till daddy comes home”, by Linda Burton. Daddy, I remember those days when you always got off at 4. I remember waiting and receiving that great big hug. I can't wait for the day that I can give that hug again. You are an incredible example as a father. I know that each one of us have been blessed by your influence and spirit you bring to our home. You really have blessed us all with the priesthood you hold and the love you give each one of us!!

Well I love you all so, so much and miss you more then anyone else in the world!!

Con Amor Siempre from your daughter, sister, and forever friend
Hermana Harris

P.S. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter remembering our beloved Savior and the amazing things that He did and does each day for us!!