Sad to say this will be the last email I will ever write as Hermana Harris. Honestly, it has been a long journey but I can say without a doubt that the Haleigh Harris that left the airport 18 months ago does not exist anymore. The Haleigh Harris that is coming home has had her entire life changed all because of a person named Hermana Harris. I have learned in my mission that completely “losing yourself in the work” isn't just a phrase to stay focused but has a very literal side. When you turn your whole life over to him, you start to lose the natural man inside. I lost the silly little things that kept me from the Spirit, the bad habits of my childhood, and really learned how to be dependent solely on the Lord. In this moment, I really lost myself and became anew. Now don't get me wrong there will is plenty of the crazy sassy girl who left, but, now, I am a little more of Latina sassy. Hahaha! I really feel like I left as a child and will return as an adult.
I have seen how Charity is the key to life through the service to others. If we don't have love for all those who we encounter we will never see the struggles in the ones around us. I have learned in the mission to love every single person that comes along the path because everyone is part of our eternal family. One phrase that I have adopted in my life is that you have to love everyone, you do not have to like them, but when you show your love to them you will learn to like them, too. Everyone in this life just needs someone to show that they care, that they matter, and who better than Jesus Christ.
We have a message that really is unique to the world: We have a Savior that loves us so much that He restored His truth to this world again. Heavenly Father loves us so much that He answers our prayers. They both love us so much that we have been given the chance to be sealed together for time and all eternity. He loves us that He sent a young boy into the forest to find the golden plates. He loves us so much He sent us the Book of Mormon and the Bible to guide us in every step of our life. They love us so much They restored the Priesthood power on the earth so that we can take the Sacrament each week. Christ loves us so much He suffered a pain incomparable to anything we will feel so that each day we can get on our knees and cry for forgiveness. Heavenly Father loves us much so He sent us His beloved Son to come to the Earth to guide our way.
I know that He loves the people of Puerto Rico more than I ever could. I know that I put a smile on His face to know that I tried to show His love to them for Him. I know our Heavenly Father lives and loves us so much! I know that He provided a way so that I could come to Puerto Rico to save a couple souls, including my own. I know that I never would be the same if I hadn't made the decision to serve a mission. I have learned so many lessons that truly are irreplaceable. I have learned how to love, how to teach, to be humble, to serve those around you, how to be a friend, how to be a companion, how to be a member of this church. I can say that I am set and driven to have my mission continue to change me from this moment forward. Because like Holland said, if you go inactive after your mission, you better cross the street if you see Him. I am NOT crossing no street! I will face everything that comes my way with the testimony and knowledge that I have gained here in Puerto Rico! Now, at this time, I can say I have been strengthened like Nephi, tried to serve like Ammon, and shown my faith like the Brother of Jared. I know that everyday I can continue to become more and more like them. That is my testimony. I share it with you all in the name of Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior, brother, and friend, AMEN!
Con Amor Siempre,