Monday, December 28, 2009

Seventh Week: Learning form the Apostles

This week we had Elder Anderson and Elder Perry of the Twelve come to speak to us. It was AWESOME! Elder Perry is like your next door neighbor, and his family is just like ours. After he spoke, he came down and shook hands. I was like 3 feet away from him. I also almost bumped into him in the cafeteria. I didn't even notice he was there until I almost ran into him--I bumped into his body guard though.

This affected me in a big way. All the apostles are so different. Elder Holland is so on fire and Elder Perry is so patient and longsuffering. I learned that becoming perfect doesn't mean we all become the same. Our personalities are unique, Heavenly Father gave each of us the talents and traits needed to fulfill his purposes/our missions in this life. If we give up that to become something we're not, then we've lost the point. Heavenly Father needs you and he needs me. We've been sent down to this earth to fulfill a mission consistant with our eternal nature and personality. Elder Anderson told us that our premortal existance had arrange events while in this life. Heavenly Father needs the best me to fulfill my purpose and no the best someone else. I think that's why it's important no to compare ourselves with others. Either we will become content at feeling like we are better; or will try to hard to be someone else; or don't try at all because we figure we can't do it. I think comparison is something I'm struggling with right now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sixth Week: Sharing the Gospel

Once a week missionaries call on referrals. We chat with people online about the church. We also call to confirm people's orders for a Bible or Book of Mormon, etc. On my second call the lady who answered was so nice! She was actually the daughter of the person I was calling, but she was willing to talk to me so I took the change. I didn't know how to create a gospel discussion out of this, so I just asked her if she knew much about our church and if I could tell her more. I told her about Joseph Smith and the first vision. I asked her if she thought an instance like the first vision was possible, and she said yes. I told her how I had come to know that the church was ture. I told her about my mission call and she was excited to talk to me about that. I offered to send the missionaries to her house and she said that it would be fine. Her mother had just had a heart attack, and I told her that I would pray for her mom. I know that God led me to her at a time when she was ready to hear the gospel. I'm going to try and find the bishop of her ward, call him, and let him know about her just incase the missionaries can't find her.

I feel healthy. I feel more like me than I've ever felt like me in my whole life. Even though my day is planned for me, I've never felt more like an agent unto myself. I feel like I don't have to pretent to be anyone. I'm loving the mission!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fifth Week: MTC Mission Conference

The MTC is awesome. For our Sunday devotional we watched the 1st Presidency's Christmas Message. I really liked when President Monson said that the Spirit we feel during Christmas is the Spirit of Christ. I want that feeling all the time.

I guess each Fast Sunday the MTC has a Mission Conference. Wow! Powerful Stuff. Sister Clegg gave a talk about Mary (mother of Jesus) and it was awesome! The BYU Men's Chorus gave us a Christmas performance and it was great! Sunday's are amazing here!

Thank you so much for making me work the past few summers - and throughout my life. I know that the time I've spent working has blessed me in so many ways in addition to earning money.

Elder Costa of the 70s talked to us last Tuesday. He has a fire of a testimony! I learned that people who I come in contact with in Taiwan may not accept what I have to say and may not understand what I have to say because they are not ready. But everyone I talk to can know for certain that I know the Church is True! Like Elder Holland said (quoting someone else) "We could warm our hand by the fire of his faith." said by a boy in a rowdy Sunday School class talking about his teacher.

One of the cool things about the gospel is we don't have to be apologetic. We can invite, or even tell someone to repent and be on the Lord's errand - if His Spirit so directs. We can ask people to do hard things - like overcome addiction - and promise them bold blessings. We can put faith in gospel principles and know the end result.

Thank you for your prayers. Love you lots.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fourth Week: Snow!

Probably the most interesting part (of this week) was the snow and I'm sure you know about that already. It's funny though because my companion is from Sacramento, and I guess it never snows there. He, unknowingly, tells me all the interesting little things he learns about the snow--stuff I never really thought of--It's fun.

I got sick this week and I thought I was going to die. About wednesday I got a really bad sore throat and by friday it was REALLY bad and I started getting a fever and feeling really tired. So we went to the health center and they had just closed. The Elders from my district gave me a blessing. I'm feeling much better now.

Hai you shenme?... (one more thing)

Our companionship had two very awesome teaching experiences again. I feel very blessed. In one of them the missionary we were teaching played the part of a friend he had who was going through some struggles. We talked about how the Atonement could help him and we read Alma 7:11-12 (i'm pretty sure that's what we read.) anyway it talks about how the Savior took upon himself the pains, sins, and afflictions of the world so he could know how to succor us. Then as my companion and I testified and told our investigator of our love, the spirit was SO strong! For the closing prayer, the missionary gave a real prayer for his friend. Every one was crying.

Something I remember from President Eyring's last conference talk is that he said, "Love of God enables us to obey his commandments, love for others increases our capacity to obey." Think of how much love Jesus Christ has for us in order to to obey God's commandment to atone for the sins of the world! I think it was his love for each of us that allowed his mortal body to withstand the pains of the Atonement.

I know this church is God's true Church, and this gospel is the source of true joy.

with love,
elder harris

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Third Week: Gratitude

Ni Hao, (Hello)

The Lord is merciful (Ci Bei de). I'm glad that I can be here at the MTC doing what I'm supposed to be doing. My reason for being here keeps growing and expanding! Right now, I yearn to let people know that Christ's Atonement can heal them. This past week I've seen missionaries (including myself) change their minds and their hearts. I've seen and took part in giving a blessing to a sick Elder who was blessed to have his illness quickly pass and that he would endure cheerfully - both of which he did. Each day the Lord molds me a little bit closer to the missionary he wants me to be. The Atonement can heal us! The Lord's tender mercies are around me every day! I have a great companion! We have been able to teach with the spirit! I get to listen to two General Authorities this week (Tuesday's Devotional and a special Thanksgiving Fireside). I feel the spirit each day! I get to wear Jesus Christ's name (in a language that will allow me to share the restored gospel with 1/4th of this world) right next to my name! I have a family who loves and writes me. Oh how much this church is true. Wo ai Ye Su Ji Du fu xing de fu yin. (I love the gospel of Jesus Christ)

Elder Spencer Harris

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Second Week: Teaching Experience

You know you're a missionary when... have 5 minutes and you feel like you are wasting time. can feel Gods love for someone you are teaching.
...30 seconds late to personal study time is need enough to repent. know what 'quiet dignity' means. reference the Missionary Hand Book. try to "convert" someone in your district to rasberry lemonade.
...mail is a BIG deal!
...things like PS, CS, WHB, 3CB, TA, TE, 1M, and PMG have real meaning.

Anyway, my companion, Elder Summerhays, and I had a special experience this past Saturday at our Teaching Appointment (TA). We had to contact some people in a room, then prepare and teach them a lesson. Nothing could have prepared me for the experience we had. Our goals going into the lesson were to 1. teach to needs, 2. teach for understanding, and 3. teach like we would have a gospel discussion like a friend. Also, in preparation, we talked about certain doctrines of lesson 1 so we could teach with unity. Up to that point we had had a not-so-good and semi-good teaching experience at the Teaching Evaluation Center (TE).

As we taught, we stuck to our goals. I felt the spirit, especially when I recited Jospeh Smith's First Vision. When an important question was asked, my companion gave the same answer I was going to give!

Afterward, we went to evaluate how it went. Brother Hodges told us that our lesson was one of the best lessons he has ever seen, if not the best! He's been here for 3 Years!! He said that one of the investigators (a girl named Cassi from China) was so effected by it that she asked Sister Tanner to go get our teaher so she could tell him that it was the most she has felt the spirit with the missionaries and that even though we had only met her, she felt like she could talk to us like we were her friends.

Little did we know, she was a real investigator! She has a baptismal date, and she had been meeting with Provo Mission Missionaries. I'm sure she has helped out at the MTC before too. It was truly a humbling experience to hear this! I'm so greatful for the tender mercies of the Lord!

Love you all!
Elder Spencer Harris

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Week

Hello Everyone,
wo shi chuanjaioshi (I am a missionary)

Someone told me that the first few days of the MTC are like trying to drink out of a firehose--overload, and that's exactly what it is. Language, teaching, schedules, plans, etc. I kept worring I was forgeting something or in the wrong place. We didn't have any classes on Sunday. It was nice to finally take a breath and soak everything in.

The spirit is so strong here! Many times daily I feel that burning in my heart that I previously would feel about once a week at a fireside or at church. That burning mostly comes when we talk about people who are serching for the truth. I know there are people out there who are willing to change their lives when they hear the truth; they just know not where to find it. I hope I can take every opportunity to share the gospel.

My mom said she wanted specifics so here is my try: We have a blue card that is our lives--really. We use it to eat, get into our dorm, log onto the computer, buy stuff, wash our laundry, etc.

My companion is Elder Summerhays from Sacramento. He's awesome! We have the same strong desire to share the gospel, and HE LOVES TO SING TOO! He is a music major though he's only gone to college for a bit. We are the only two Elders in room 211. It's nice and not nice. No one else to talk to, but twice the closet/desk space.

Our Zone leaders are awesome. Oh and my companion is District leader.

Wow...30 min sure goes by quick! Um I love you. Next week i'll tell more. Thank you for the letters. is a great way to send letters.

bye. loves
elder harris
Huang2 is my xing. (xing means name)

MTC Address

Elder Spencer Brian Harris
MTC Mailbox #130
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Mission Begins

Thank you to all who came and supported Spencer last Sunday! We enjoyed having you there to share that wonderful day with us. We realize many of you came long distances....St. George, Cedar City, Ephriam, Logan, Nibley, Farmington, Bountiful, Riverton, etc. ....and had to wake up early to travel and make to our church by 9 am. Thank you! We feel blessed to have such wonderful family and friends who have been such a great influence on Spencer throughout the years. You are truly great.

We dropped Spencer off at the MTC at 1:00 p.m. on Wed. Nov. 11, 2009. He left with a big smile on his face; so excited to begin his mission. We are grateful for his enthusiasm to serve the Lord, but we also feel some emptyness in our home and in our hearts knowing we won't see him for two years.

We look forward to hearing from him regarding his first week in the MTC.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Spencer is speaking in church on November 8, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. The church is located at 1505 N. 124 E. Orem, Utah. You are welcome to come by and visit with him from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at his home.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friends and More Thoughts on the Temple

"We are only the product of our associations with other people. We should never be proud our haughty about what happens to us. The credit really belongs to someone else…We should always remember that." –Elder L. Tom Perry

This past week, and more particularly last night, the reality of my friends leaving to their various colleges and universities has hit me hard. It is a sad thing, to me, that they have to leave, learn, grow up, and do adult things without me. At the same time, I am proud of each of them and the choices they are making.

I am convinced that not many people in the world associate daily with the type of friends that I have, friends who have committed themselves to live by a high, moral standard, and for that I am grateful!

At this time of parting, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has influenced me for the better; there are a lot of you. We have shared stories, experiences, and testimonies. We have labored together to help others. We have joined in prayer for each other. We have confided in each other. We have mourned with each other. We have played together. We have biked, hiked, camped, cooked, and played racquetball together. And we have taken joy in each other's successes!

There is a light in your eyes. I am better because I knew you.

Thank you!

More thoughts on the temple:

I have been to the temple a total of three times. Since the first time, I have participated again in the endowment secession and also in a sealing secession. Each experience has been unique and special. I love the temple!

I have noticed some other effects of the temple that I didn't mention in my last post. These include subdued passions, a sense of freedom from worldly influences, and an increased desire to choose the right.

I would like to share with you a scripture that I found in my Book of Mormon study that conveys the effects I feel from the temple. (This scripture more particularly expresses those feelings of 'freedom from worldly influences' that I mentioned in my last post.)

The scripture is found in 2 Nephi 10:23-24:

23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

There is a great work going on in the temple, which thing I had never fully understood before I attended. I am surprised by the magnitude of temple workers and patrons that are in the temple; at every turn there are people, each one engaged in the service of the deceased. Daily, the prayers of thousands of temple patrons are offered in behalf of the missionaries, the youth, and for the names of people on the prayer-role in the temple.

It is no longer a wonder to me why there is so much stress placed on temple worthiness and temple-attendance. Just imagine the kind of world we would live in if all members of the Church lived with the temple as a focus in their life—living worthy to go to the temple, keeping the covenants they've made in the temple, returning to the temple often to seek divine inspiration concerning their struggles.

Blessings await those who attend the temple and who strive to live, with full purpose of heart, the standards and covenants of the temple.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Temple

Yesterday I went to the temple to receive my own endowment.

In the hours leading up to my temple trip, I became nervous, but when we entered the temple, I felt a certain assurance. My guide, Brother Brown, took me here and there with little instruction and no explanation. Eventually he took me over to the initiatory ordinance rooms where two other brethren who officiated in the ordinance took me back and began. As soon as the Washing and Anointing started, I felt the Spirit so strongly that any feelings of anxiety or nervousness were expelled. I knew in that moment that the temple and all the ordinances therein were sacred and that I was participating in events vital to my salvation.

As counseled by my Stake President, I listened very closely to the instructions and blessings that were being pronounced. The Spirit continued throughout the ordinance, and I was filled with wonder at the many marvelous blessings God grants unto all His children who receive the sacred ordinances and covenants of the temple and remain obedient. As I left the ordinance room, I was filled with gratitude.

After the initiatory, a member of the temple presidency gave me additional instruction and talked about the endowment secession a little bit. The endowment secession is very cool, but there is a lot of information. Most of the insights I’ve received about the endowment have come afterward. I cannot wait to go back and soak up all that I missed. And then go back again.

The most noticeable effects of the temple for me, both immediate and lasting, are clarity of thought and a more-defined purpose.

I understand now part of the reason why there is so much emphasis placed on temple-worthiness and temple-attendance.

The church is true: Temples are awesome!

Mormon Messages: Why Mormons Build Temples
Mormon Messages: The Blessings of the Temple

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Email to Family

Hi all,

This is Spencer.

You may have already heard through the grapevine about my mission call, but I wanted to tell all of you about it personally:

On Wednesday, July 29, I received and opened my mission call. The call is to the Taiwan Taichung Mission, and I report on November 11, 2009. This mission comprises the same area my mom served her mission (though it had a different name at the time) and is the same area that I lived while I was on my foreign exchange there. I'm very excited to go!

It's interesting how the Lord directs our lives huh? I thought my previous time in Taiwan was just a fun experience to look back on, but now with the perspective the mission call brings, I can see that God was preparing me to serve the people there. I have an understanding of the culture, I love the food, and I have a basic language-foundation to build on. What a blessing!

I'll keep all of you posted about the farewell date, addresses, etc.

Thank you for your love and support.

Friday, July 31, 2009


On Wednesday, July 29, 2009, I received and opened my call. The call is to the Taiwan Taichung Mission, and I report November 11, 2009!

Why Have My Family Keep a Blog About My Mission?

Recently, my cousin-in-law wrote a blog about a significant trial she and her family faced. I was so glad that she shared her experience in that way because I was able to take part in their experience with out any intrusion on their personal lives, and my faith was strengthened by her words. I want to follow her example, and I hope that my utterances can have a fraction of the effect that her words had on me.

I want to share my experiences with anyone—whenever and wherever—in a convenient way for them. By using this method, I will not have to create an email list, and those who lack real interest will not have to receive a weekly email for the next two years of their life. Additionally, someone who discovers my blog during my mission will have the opportunity to view previous posts.

Other reasons for having my family blog my missionary experiences include a talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard called Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet and some scriptures found in Mosiah 27:32, 37 about Alma and the sons of Mosiah concerning their missions: "[They traveled] round about through all the land, publishing to all people the things which they had heard and seen" "And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth."

I hope that by serving with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, I can bring many souls unto Christ and touch some hearts back home while I do it.