Monday, April 26, 2010

3 Baptisms & Stake Conference (posted by mom)

We had 3 baptisms on Friday. Brother and Sister Zhuang got baptized! Brother Zhuang is nearly 80 years old! He had to be baptized 2 times!!! I felt bad about that. The other was Sister Wu. They are all so good and so solid!

My companion and I found out we are staying together for another move call. I'm excited. We are getting organized and setting some good goals that will make us the companionship we weren't this last move call. We are focusing on teaching mostly.

This weekend was stake conference. Elder Watson came. He had all the youth in the stake stand up and told them the prophet loves them. I'm not sure if anyone else felt it, but I felt a wave come over the audiance, literally a wave. I felt the love the prophet has for these people. Think of the love God has for us!! I can't even immagine it!

I know this church is true. I'm so greatful for a merciful God. At stake conference I was suprised at how much I undersood! That's not me that's God! I'm so glad that I have the chance everyday to spread the good news!

I love you so much. Elder Spencer Harris

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Missionary Sunday (posted by mom)

The work is great. I'm learning and growing (but not as fast as I'd like). Consistancy is everything and I'm starting to learn that.

We are helping as many people as we can come unto Christ--that is our purpose. We had 12 investigators at church this week! WOW! I was shocked. Sunday is "Game Day" as my companion likes to say. The most stressful part of the week is when sacrament meeting ends. Everyone gets up--and we try to invite them to stay to the rest of the meetings, confirm them for next sunday, set up appointments, and introduce our investigators to people they need to meet. As we sing the closing hymn, I just pray the members will help us take care of all our investigators so we can get to each of them before they leave.

With all my love, Elder Spencer Harris (posted by his mother)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Conference and Finding Investigators

Dear Family,

I love you all so very much. Conference was great. It is a little different over here. We rest only 1 hour between sessions. I was excited because we had 9 people to church over conference weekend:

Lai __ --He is very golden. He said his mom will not be happy with him if he gets baptized. He's asked us about the opportunity to serve a mission (he is nearly to old to serve though.) He always comes to church! He is so willing to obey God's commandments! Lai __ is preparing to be baptized this Saturday.

Xu family --a golden family that was a member referral (sister-in-law + family) of the stake president of the gaoxiong stake where I lived when I was previously in Taiwan...small world huh? They are working toward baptism. I'm so glad they came to conference this week.

Wu family --a husband and wife who have really connected with the first councilor in the bishopric's family. The husband and wife both have health issues.(The first councilor is a great missionary, he carries around contact cards everywhere he goes.)

Hong __ --he is a long time investigator who seems to have become humble and now is willing to work toward meeting the requirements to enter that small and narrow gate that leads to eternal life--baptism.

The Zhuang family wasn't able to come, but they are still on the path toward baptism. The Mom has cancer and is living in the hospital this week for some treatment.

This past Thursday my companion and I only had a few appointments so we decided we would each try to break our personal records for adding investigators in one day. (That means they give us contact information, set up a date to meet, and set a baptismal goal.) My previous record was 14-- (I don't remember that, but that's what my companion said my record was). My companion's previous record was 17. That morning when we woke up it was raining HARD. We kept to our goal and went forth in faith and were successful. I added 16 and my companion added 27 -- together we added 43 New investigators! The Lord blessed us even in the rain. We also ran into 4-5 investigators and less active members, I know Heavenly Father blessed us to run into these people so that we could follow up with them and boost their testimony and desire. Also, on that day at lunch, we ran into an investigator whose phone had stopped working and he got a new phone and number (he lost our phone number). We were able to get his new number and have a small little lesson over lunch.

I love you all so much.
Elder Spencer Harris
--Posted by his mother

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chinese Memorial Day

Today we had a special activity. We went and helped clean graves for the Chinese memorial day. On this day the people Clean Graves (Sao Mu) worhsip (bai bai)and give food and money to their deceased ancestors. My conpanion and I cleaned up a whole area of the cemetary: swept the walks, pulled weeds, and cleaned the grave sites of those who don't have decendants. It was a fun service. The press came out and got some of it. We actually made a difference, it looked a lot better.

My companion and live at the mission storage appartment. We stay upstairs and the storage area is below on ground level. We have a big garage door for our front door, it's cool. I feel like we are leaving a base or something every time we head out. Since coming to TaiZhong, we haven't taken time on our preparation day to go grocery shopping so we have been eating oatmeal every morning. For our other meals we buy bian dangs on the street--they are a box lunch with rice, meat, and veggies. They cost less than $1.50 US and we can eat until we are full. It is a quick and convenient way to go.

I thought you might like to hear some rejections missionaries hear when going tracting:

No free time - - Mei3 you3 kong4
I'm busy - - Zai4 Mang2
I don't need it - - Bu4 xu2 yao4
I don't have use (for it)"--basically means no thanks - - Bu2 Yong4
Sometimes people invite us back to be nice but give us a fake number

The truth is none of these are good excuseses to avoid hearing the gospel; the good news!

There are many times I feel directed/prompted to do something and I get the distict impression that it is in answer to my prayers, and the prayers offered by family and friends back home. (it is sometimes a spiritual boost in the middle of the day, a prompting to talk to someone, a witness that something I read is true, and so on.)Thanks for your prayers in my behalf. I love you all so very much. Please keep the prayers coming and I'll keep praying for you too.

This week, we found out our baptismal candidate was already a member! I'm not sure what to think--I am happy he is a member though.

Currently we have an investigator named Brother Lai. He is in the Army--he is a big, strong guy, with a tender heart and a willingness to believe. We call to give him reminders and to follow-up like we do with our other investigators, but he is self motivated in coming to church, reading scriptures, and praying. (Missionaries call those behaviors "The Big Three" or "CPR"-Church attendance, Prayer, and Reading the scriptures.) I know if a person does these three things, God will direct their lives in the ways of righteousness. It is so easy to tell if an investigator has been reading and praying because they understand the doctrine. If they don't, they get confused about the simplest things pertaining to their salvation.

Thank you for the Conference Updates. I'm really excited. It seems as though the focus was families and parenthood--I think that's really good. In my last area there was a family that was previously really strong in the gospel, but all their children have fallen away from the church. We visited them a few times and they told us how proud they are of the freedom they gave their children. They did't set rules or teach them the gospel because they felt their children should learn things for themselves. I don't believe God ordained families so children could learn for themselves. I think parents have the responsibility to teach their children the gospel and show them the paths of truth. There is an eternal purpose to life and I'm happy that as a child I was directed down those paths of righteousness.

The church is true. I love you all, Elder Harris
posted by his mother