Sunday, May 29, 2011

Terrific Investigators and Mission Conference (posted by mom)

Right now we have some really great investigators!! It is really interesting how God prepares people to hear the gospel. I never get the feeling like I have prepared someone for baptism. I feel like we help them remember truths from their pre-existence, support them in living the gospel, and deal with the other technicalities. It is all about God and the Spirit.

Two investigators are preparing for baptisms. They have both really learned to rely on the Lord.

One of these brothers left his previous church because he started to see some things that he felt were not aligned with God's teachings; he also had been caught by the government for some things he had done wrong. At this time in his life, the missionaries ran into him on the street. He was so ready to accept this true, restored gospel and leave behind him a world of sin. We are really happy for him, and we cannot wait for his baptism.

Another, Brother will be baptized in the coming weeks. This brother is so prepared to hear the gospel. He has suffered from depression previously in his life, he feels the peace and joy that the gospel brings to his life. He attended a baptism this past week and told us that he can't wait to get baptized himself. When we met with him yesterday he told us that he had come across some challenges at work and that he felt that it was Satan trying to destroy his life. Elder Summerhays and I both knew 100% the answer we wanted to give. That morning we had heard a talk by Elder Holland about how trial proceeds or follows the blessings. He used the example of Jospeh Smith in the Sacred Grove. We read together from JSH 1:15-17 and shared with him our testimonies. The spirit was really strong and he said that he felt just as Joseph Smith did. That was a neat experience.

This past week we had a mission conference. We had over half the Zone stay at our apartment because we needed to get to the train station by 4am. I was impressed that the Zone went right to bed and didn't stay up chatting--I'm really proud of our obedient mission. Anyway, the visiting authority was Elder Jay E. Jensen. He truly is a master teacher. It was fun to have him teach us. It was a pleasant experience. He had so much control over the the teaching situation. He kept us involved and interested. I was very impressed.

Love, Elder Spencer Harris

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baptism (posted by mom)

Dear Family,

We had a wonderful baptism this week. Brother Zhong has quit smoking and quit chewing beatle nut to prepare himself to be baptized. It was a special event and the spirit was really strong.

It has been a fun first week as Zone Leader. A bit crazy though, with projects and events overlapping each other. Sometimes it's hard to know what to focus on. We are planning a zone activity, going on 2-3 exchanges a week, and planning a leadership training presentation.

Elder Spencer Harris

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Transfer, Zone Leader & Miracles (Posted by mom)

This move call I am being transferred to Shizhong and will be a Zone Leader. I'm excited and a little stressed about this new opportunity. I will be with Elder Summerhays, my MTC companion again. The sisters that came on with us from the MTC are now going home. It is an odd feeling to think that they are now ending their missions and will be flying home tomorrow. For me, I still feel like I have much to learn and much to do.

This last week in GangShan was a miracle week:

First, My companion, Elder Carter, contacted a man two areas previously, in Tanzi, who was sent as a referral to Gangshan. He was marked as no time in the referral system. When Elder Carter arrives, this man finally shows up in our phone to contact. So Elder Carter calls him, and the man remembers him. He invites him to church and he comes. We find out he lives near one of our recent converts. The lesson in the Gospel Principles class he attended was on repentance. I looked over at him and find him crying. He tells me, "I have such a peaceful, good feeling right now." He then tell me the story of his past life and how he just recently got out of prison. We talked about Jesus Christ and the miracle of forgiveness. Before this man left he told me he plans to place his life's burden on Christ forever.

Second, We stop by the store of a member referral and try to set up a time to meet with her but to no avail then she followed us out of her store. She asked if we could meet at a member's house, we said we thought that would be alright, but we don't know the member's schedule. At that same moment, the member pulled up on her scooter and we successfully set up a time.

Third, On our way to district meeting we got off at a wrong stop. I thought we had passed our destination. Amazingly I heard someone call out my name. It was a member I knew from a prevous area had served in Taiwan, he informed us we actually hadn't made it to our stop yet. He redirected us and saved us the mistake of going the wrong way.

Fourth, our recent converts, the Liu family, have a grandson who I've really wanted to share the gospel with for a long time. I think of his name often and wonder how we can work around his schedule. (He is really busy.) One time going to the chapel we came across his mom and set up a time to meet with them. We had a successful first meeting, and he was willing to set up a second time to meet.

"It's such a fine life, carrying the banner!"

Elder Spencer Harris