Saturday, July 30, 2011

Orienting the New Elders & My Testimony (posted by mom)

What a fun week we had here at the mission office. New missionaries came on this past week. We started preparing for them at the start of the week.

Then on Wednesday evening we drove up to Taibei and waited for them. Their plane got in at about 9 and we didn’t get home to Taichung until after mid-night. On the way home we have a devotional. We all introduced ourselves, and the new missionaries shared with us why they came on a mission and what expectations they have toward their mission experience. It was amazing to see how excited these new missionaries are. Their faith is so great! This group seemed particularly special—they had all overcome personal challenges and courageously chose to serve a full time mission.

On Thursday morning we went running with them and ate breakfast at President Bishop’s house. After a full day of training and eating out at some Chinese restaurants, we went and did our Dan Jones activity with them. At Dan Jones we go to a crowded night market, sing a hymn, and each take a turn standing on a soapbox preaching to the people there. (Alma 13:22) After the trainees have their turn on the soapbox, a more experienced missionary will take them around the market. It was neat to see these missionaries grow in excitement and self-confidence. Each of them came back to the mission office having found many new investigators.

Friday we run again with the new missionaries. Then later in the morning we have a meeting where trainees are assigned to their trainers. It was a lot of fun. The rest of Friday we spent delivering bicycles and luggage to the new missionaries.

As an AP we rarely have time to proselyte and find new investigators. That is one thing that I really miss, helping people come unto Christ and be baptized. However, I do love working with President Bishop and serving other missionaries.

I love this work. I feel that the doctrine of Christ is now a part of my soul. Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end—I know that this is the path to salvation. This is the foundation of eternal life and every person that enters this mortal realm must accept and live this gospel to return to live with our Father in Heaven. And what an exciting time we live in when the gospel has been fully restored. Eternal truths are now ours to learn, we can work towards exaltation through temple covenants and priesthood powers. We can work for the salvation of our posterity and our dead. This restored gospel is so engaging. I love a quote from Elder Maxwell on the subject:

"I am even more anxiously engaged in the restored gospel than ever because the restored gospel is so engaging. It really does get a grasp on our minds, and there is no end to the exploration that one can make of it. It is, as I said years ago, an “inexhaustible gospel.” To be anxiously engaged really does mean that we are engaged intellectually as well as spiritually, and life in the kingdom, as you all know, is also very engaging. So although some people at my stage of life might say, in effect, “Been there, done that,” not I. I feel instead this sense of anxious engagement in something that I have yet to take the full measure of. As I look back across the sweep of this century, I feel that very strongly.

This too is my testimony.
I love you all 300!
Elder Spencer Harris