Sunday, October 31, 2010

You Can Fly (Posted by Mom)

I remembered a line from Jacob 7 today..."Our lives passed as though it were a dream." I often feel that way. (but if you look up the scripture, we were unlike those people because we did not mourn out our days...haha.) Waking up, biking around a little town, meeting every kind of person, challenging and testifying, declaring the divinity of Christ, bearing His name, baptizing, coming home, planning, following up, and sleeping...It sounds like a dream doesn't it? I thought about coming up on my year mark and I felt like crying, I started missing my mission really badly. Then I rememberd a few things: firstly, 3 months of the first year were in the MTC, and secondly every missionary in Taiwan extends one month!

On Tuesday we had a Combined District Training Meeting. It was really good. I enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the other missionaries and getting some fairy dust from the assistants. "YOU CAN FLY!"

Right now we have two really solid investigators. One is a dad, Chen baba. The gospel has really helped him fill some void in his life. He loves coming to church and meeting with us. He really feels the need to obey the word of wisdom--especially to show an example to his sons. He shared with us some spiritual insights he had over the past two days. His sons and family were able to hear his spiritual insights and witness their father kneel and in prayer acknowledge their Father in Heavens existence. How cool is the gospel! A father leading a spiritual discussion, showing the way by example, and witnessing his humility and reliance on God by kneeling in prayer. He has discovered those things that give one moral authority. We are praying for him and have a plan to help him be baptized! He still has some doubts and misconceptions but if he continues to remain humble and search spiritual knowledge he will be 'shown all things he needs to do'. The other solid investigator is Chen xiaojie. She feels that God helped her quit Coffee really pain-free. She has a testimony and she understands the importance of keeping the commandments.

We have an obstical right now. That is, they are going to remodel the chapel--make it bigger. It's going to take a year to do. That means for the rest of my time and Elder Gillespie's time in Douliu we won't have a convenient place to meet with investigators and it also means that all our investigators will have to find a way to make the 45 minutes (by bike) trip to the next town on Sunday to go to chruch.

We are going to be praying, and working our hardest to get them there. We also are in need of a place to hold our Wednesday English class. I'm positive that God has a plan in mind for this area--chapel or not.


Elder Harris

Pictures: 1) My companion doing some street contacting. 2)Bruce's baptism, 3) some super big youzi pomello... it is Douliu's speciatly

Monday, October 11, 2010

Answers to prayer, and Brother Lin (Posted by mom)

I've been impressed lately with the way God answers prayers. I feel as though I've witnessed the mercy, grace, and power of God in the recent experiences of my mission. He is directing this work. All we can do is do our best, strive to hear and heed the promptings of the spirit, and trust in Him. Things have usually worked out differently than we had planned, but God has carried us through and his purposes have been accomplished.

Our experience with teaching Brother Lin is really teaching me the different way's God will inspire a person or answer their prayers. In the time we've been meeting with him, I've had the spirit speak words to my mind, I've had confirming impressions and feelings, I've had other people tell me exactly what and how to do something, and I've at one point not been able to attend our meeting with him because of a training in another City--but my replacement knew exactly what to say and was the right one to meet with him that day. Brother Lin passed his baptismal interview today. This man will be baptized before long.

We were so blessed at church this week. It was really fun to see people keep walking in. There were two members that brought friends, a good referral, and a girl who just walked in! The members really took care of them which really helps to make them more solid investigators.

Also this Sunday, an investigator who we've had a chance to work with before, but left to Tainan for school, attended in Douliu again. He said he was getting baptized this Saturday!! What a joyous thing!

We also tracted out a golden investigator in Gukung this week. It was a lady who believes in God and Jesus Christ but has never quite known how to practice religion. She told her member friend she has been thinking a lot about baptism. We had a good talk with her about baptism, we gave her a planner, and set up a time for a discussion. Right after our lesson she will attend institute with her new member friend.

God directs the show, conducts the orchestra, and writes the novel--but He requires a willing, seeking, humble heart.

Love you all, Elder Harris

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Baptism, Early Mornings, & New Investigators (Posted by mom)

Can I just tell you, I love being a missionary: This week has been a lot of fun. Tuesday through Thursday we traveled to Gaoxiong for a leadership training. We got up at 5:30 a.m. each day so we could get there on time. I enjoyed the training. There are so many great missionaries in this mission. Their language and teaching abilities are amazing! It was an honor to learn from them and have an opportunity to practice teaching with them. I felt I learned a lot.

On Friday, we took part in an early morning seminary activity. We woke up at 5:00 a.m. to it. It was a lot of fun, but boy after all those early mornings we sleep well on Friday night.

Most importantly, this past Saturday Lin Jia Cheng (BRUCE) was baptized! He came to our English class, and then to church. The gospel message just really clicked with him. He reads the scriptures and prays each day. Bruce rode his bike to his own baptism that his parents didn't even attend. That shows the kind of faith he has. The spirit was there.

This past week, given the time we had in our area to proselyte, I feel that we made a lot of progress. We had many first discussions. My companion found this boy who ended up bringing 5 other boys with him to the discussion. They are all super willing to come to the church and meet with us. Each time they came a few more boys show up with them. They asked us to meet with them every evening to read scriptures. They are 14-16 (some of them have a few bad habits, but they have quickly learned to be respectful in the chapel). I am amazed at their willingness to read and discuss the scriptures. They are pretty open about answering questions too. We are praying for them and hope they will come to general conference. I have a feeling if they come and attend, at least, the priesthood session, they will truly be pricked in their hearts. (We will get conference a week later than you do in America).

We also have a golden referral. Lin Jia Wen. A female investigator. Yes, in my area there no sister missionaries, so we teach girls. We have to have a Melchizedek priesthood holders with us, and we also try to find a female member to sit in on the lesson. It's like an army of people... (if an investigator cancels, the whole army has to be called and relieved of duty). We have a few female investigators right now so there is a lot of coordination that goes on.

I know this chruch is true. I know there is a sustaining power in this work. It enables the willing servant to complete all that is required at his hands. What a great blessing that is!

I love you lots.

Elder Spencer Harris