Sunday, July 25, 2010

Life in Douliu - Q&As (Posted by mom)

Greetings from Douliu. The people here are great, the food is great, my companion is great, the apartment is great, the ward is great, the bishop is great, and the district and zone are great. The apartment is really nice. We live on the 13 floor. I have no idea how the ants got up to the 13th floor, but they did...haha. This is the battle that we are fighting right now.

Many people have asked me questions so I will try to answer some of them.

How do we spend our time on Sundays: We go to church, then we do missionary work. We eat at home (curry rice).

How do we get our hair cut: Haircuts cost about 3 dollars in Taiwan, so it is really convenient.

Is it rainy: Yes, it's rainy.

Do the members feed us: Members don't feed us that often. I think it is avoided because if members feed us they go all out on everything!

How do we spend our time: Most of our time is spent at appointments with investigators and less active members, and contacting new investigators at intersections.

Are the people nice: The people are really nice. It's great. A lot of people reject the missionaries, but 95% of the time it is done with a smile.

Do we keep our apartment clean: Our apartment is really clean! My companion and I do a good job keeping it clean.

The bishop here is great, his name is Bishop Shen. He knows the situation of all the recent converts, less-active members, and our investigators. In order to be baptized, a person must attend church 3 times and meet the bishopric, so all our investigators know the bishop and the bishop knows them. Most investigators get the priesthood the week after they are baptized. Baptismal meetings are set up and done completely by the ward and it is usually a member who baptizes them.

The work here is really great. It took me some time to get used to the area. In the big city, I would contact really quick because everyone is in a hurry. When I first got here, I was really quick contacting people and after I finished they would stand there like, "Is that all you are going to say?" People have a lot more time here to listen. We had a lot of investigators at church this week. 3-4 are looking really solid.

I'm loving this work. I'm learning a lot. I love you all. Elder Spencer Harris

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baptisms and a Move Call (Posted by mom)

This week, I was in a tri-panionship with none other than...... ELDER GLUCH (my friend from Orem)!! It was fun, really fun. He kept me company as I packed on the day before move call. We had a great time and it is a memory I want to keep forever.

Our two baptisms this week went really well. The 11 year old is so solid. As we were meeting with him in the days leading up to his baptism, we asked him why Joseph Smith is important, and he, with out hesitancy, said "Because of the Great Apostacy." He has an understanding. I know the spirit has really confirmed to him the truth of the gospel and helped him learn because he was willing to read and pray. When he was bearing his testimony after his baptism, he said: "I'm really afraid of water, but as I was about to be baptized, I felt that God was with me."

The other baptism, Jiang, arrived just as the meeting was ready to start. Satan was working on him, but he came anyway. What a great act of faith. He has really found the comfort that comes from the gospel. The Elder's Quorum President has befriended him.

Every one's experience is different, --from the 11 year old who was really excited to be baptized and overcame the fear of water, to the 35 year old who just broke up with his girlfriend and put his faith in God to the point that he was willing to accept the ordinance of baptism.

Oh how I love this work!! God is a gracious God. He loves his children and blesses them according to His tender mercies.

I am now in DoLiu and am a senior companion, I wasn't ready for that. I am very aware of my own weaknesses. The Holy Ghost is going to be our senior companion.

My Junior companion is great. He is fluent in Chinese. His mom is from taiwan and his dad is a former Taibei missionary. He is from Orem too and went to Mountian View. He loves the people and wants to help them know the chruch is true.

I testify that it is through Jesus Christ that we can be healed spiritually. (And physically, for that matter.) This is what want to share with people. This is a truth that can only be felt and understood by the power of the Holy Ghost. When this happens a light comes to the eyes, a smile to the face, and humility is instilled in the heart. That is what a mission is about.

I love all of you. Elder Spencer Harris

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Elder Uchtdorf Visits (posted by mom)

President Uchtdorf came to our mission. I got to shake his hand. I also got to sing with a small group of elders. President Uchtdorf cried when he heard the song. He told the missionaries our life is a treasure hunt. Every once in a while he would say something like, find the treasure in learning the language. Or find the treasure in having a companion. I is interesting to think of life in terms of a treasure hunt. We have struggles, but there is always something to learn or gain from our experiences.

The two people scheduled to be baptized this week are not the ones we thought they would be. The first is a man we taught earlier who came back to church to find us. He has become very humble and really desires to be baptized. The other is an 11 year old boy who has a strong testimony of the truth and, by the grace of God, was lead in a round about way, to the missionaries and to baptism. He is reading the Book of Mormon. He lives near a family in our ward who are willing to bring him to church each week with them. This work is so joyful. I know that it is lead by God.

This past weekend, I found out a new convert in the ward is having a commandment issue. It is a sad thing. However, I know there is hope through the atonement of Christ.

I love you all. Thank you for your support. Elder Spencer Harris

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Missionaries (posted by mom)

People often tell us, "You're really xinku" (hard-working), and we like to reply, "We are really xingfu" (happy).

We met two neat people the other day. One basically self-contacted me, and the other, his friend, said that he had always wanted to talk with a missionary, but they had never stopped to talk with him. We met with them last night; they both believed that Joseph Smith saw God and Heavenly Father. They really understood what we taught. Most people don't get the point that we have a current prophet on the earth, but in the closing prayer, one of them thanked God that he had again given us a prophet!

Yesterday was combined district training meeting. President Bishop was presiding. The feeling was completely different, but still really good. He will do a great job. He is really humble. He has assumed the mantle. It's visible. (President Bishop was my branch president in the MTC)

President Uchtdorf is coming on Saturday. A group of us get to sing for the mission conference. I'm so glad I get to sing for a prophet.

Another cool thing is we found a less-active member. We were looking for an address, it led us to the middle of nowhere. We were on this little road in the middle of an orchard. We came to a house and come to find out, there was a member living there. His original house was destroyed to make way for a new park. He found this run-down abandoned place and started living there. We've met with him a few times and got him coming to church again. It's good because now the ward now knows his situation and help him out.

Our families are still progressing toward baptism. We are diligently planning, teaching, following-up, and doing every thing we know how to help them make and keep commitments and receive a personal confirmation of the truth. We have faith that they can all make it.

The church is true. It changes lives, brings true happiness, and allows us to obtain eternal life. I love you all. Elder Spencer Harris