Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baptism (posted by mom)

Brother Xie got baptised this week!!

It is exciting to be a missionary and to help prepare people for baptism. Just a few weeks ago, my companion bore a sweet testimony about baptism. Our investigator asked "After I'm baptized, will my life be any different." My companion said, "I promise you that the difference will be like darkness compared to the sunlight." When he said that, I thought to myself, Probably the only thing I remember from my baptism is that right after I was baptized, I told someone, "I don't feel any different." I felt that nothing had changed. In hind sight I realize I was wrong! In the MTC, a general authority told all the senior couples, "Thank God every day for the decisions you have made in light of the gospel." Also a member in Taiwan said something like this, "From the moment we were baptized until now, everything that has happened has been a miracle." I love these two quotes.

There is no way to know how our lives would be different without baptism, but I can promise it would be a lot worse. Our souls would still be in infant stage. Our understanding and eternal perspective would be so basic. Because we were baptized, our daily struggles and trials can be consecrated and become the miaracles that make up our life.

This is the only true in living chruch on the face of the whole earth. Through baptism we've put ourselves on the only path to salvation--that is our Savior's atonement. With our baptism, we've invested in a one-way ticket to Heavenly Father's holy presence. This is my testimony. I am grateful I have been called as a missionary to baptize for the salvation of souls.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baptism & the Temple (posted by mom)

Brother Liang was baptized on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. (He is the one who started living the word of wisdom in one day!) He brought a change of clothes to his baptism and he also brought his tithing!! Wow! If every member had that kind of faith, this church would go places it has never been. Today he is going with us as a member friend to teach an investigator.

Xie (our 17 yr old investigator)got permission to be baptized! We are so excited for him, and he is excited for himself. He will be baptized this coming week.

Brother Yang's surgery was a success. He is still going to be in the hospital for a while though.

It rained a lot on Sunday. It was great because after church no one wanted to leave, so we kept bringing members into a classroom to talk with all our less-active members and investigators.

This past Wednesday, we went to the temple. It was a really spiritual experience. I remember walking into the celestial room and feeling God's love so strongly, so real. I am grateful for temples.

I love you all. Elder Harris

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Temple, Baptism, and Hope (posted by mom)

Today we get to go to the temple! That is why I am here at 4:00 a.m. writing you this letter.

Brother Yang was baptized this past Saturday. It was such a good experience. He overcame smoking, and now he and his wife are both members. He is having a surgery today(something with his brain). We got special permission to visit him and his wife in the hospital yesterday. When we got there they had just finished talking to the doctor. They looked really sad. I guess it's pretty serious. I think God sent us to be there at that time to give them hope. The gospel brings so much hope. In my journal, I wrote, "We talked to them about the hope of the gospel." Then I remembered we didn't talk about hope at all, but that is what we saw in their eyes as we left the hospital. They had found hope and solace as we talked to them about the gospel!

This Saturday we have three more investigators that will be baptized. One is named Liang--he is one of the elect. One is Zhuang, I don't know what happened, but he really changed this past week. He became humble and his hesitancy about baptism has turned to excitement. The other is Xie(He is only 17 and needs parent permission -- He is not too sure he will get it. We are praying for him).

Well, time is short. The good news is... The gospel is true! It gives us hope and an eternal perspective. I love the gospel! Oh how we ought to live our lives according to the knowledge we've been given!

I love each and every one of you--300!! Elder Spencer Harris

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Miscellaneous Topics (posted by his mom)

Thank you all for your prayers. I feel them, I really do. That is my testimony. I often have something happen followed by the feeling, that was in answer to a prayer.

We live in a big sky scraper. One day for exercise we ran to the top of our building, on the way we found a weight room! We made it to the 26 floor and the security guard was there. He let us go out on top to look around. Wow, it was cool, and it was really high.

We had zone conference this week. We always learn specific tools to use in teaching, planning, etc. This time we learned about helping people commit to obey God's commandments. We learned it is important to let investigators know that keeping certian commandments is hard but obedience will bring blessings. It works great; I have never quit smoking, but letting someone know I understand it is hard to quit gives them "face" and gives them a deeper resolve to stay with it.

Lately I have also learned that goal setting and planning are so important. Goal setting is actually an act of faith. It is also an act of repentance. Worthy, righteous goals and plans mixed with prayer allow us to utilize the Atonement and become who we need to be. I wish I had understood the power of goal setting a long time ago.

As far as investigators go right now, Yang will be baptized this Saturday, then the next week we hope to help Xie (a 17 year old), Liang (a man who quit all his word of wisdom habits in one day), and the Xu family. If they all keep progressing as they are now, what a day that will be!

Love you all!!!
Elder Harris

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pictures (posted by mom)

Sister Wu,
Sister Zhuang & Brother Zhuang

Brother Wu

Brother Li

Brother Yang & Brother Yan

Daily Miracles (posted by mom)

This past week has been a blessing week! Each day we come in the door and say, wow, today had even more miracles than yesterday. One of the biggest miracles was the Xu family made the decision to be baptized. They will be baptized next weekend!! They are so good. I feel like we haven't even helped them. I feel like they got themselves to baptism and the cool part is they've really taken ownership of their new life!!

Life is great right now. If I were to tell you anything about recently, it would be that I'm so excited about my new study journal. It's helping me learn so much!!!

With love, Elder Spencer Harris!