Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Exotic Bugs

                                                                                            March 12, 2018


This week was fantastic! We have still been in the process of planting seeds which makes me really excited to finally get to growing and harvesting! But we have met some really amazing people this week and found several families where not all of them are members of the Church.
On Monday, (our P-day-or day off) we went on a hiking adventure as a Zone.
I love these missionaries that I have the opportunity to serve with!

Our English class Saturday was a huge success! We made some bomb flyers the other week and put them up around all the schools in our area (there are like 6) and Saturday 5 people we had never met just showed up at the church to learn English! It is a great way to help people know the church and all of you are invited if you would like to improve your English! Saturdays at 5 in Calle Bolivar

Other than that, the most exciting news is that Ivan will be baptized this week! He is really excited and we are happy for him too! It has been tough for him to get to this point, but he has really been doing his best lately and he is finally ready!
Yesterday in Church we were talking about revelation and I was asked by someone in the class if I had ever received revelation. Well, revelation is the communcation between God and His children. Well, has God ever talked with me? YES! And He wants to talk with each one of us! He does it through the Holy Ghost, which makes us feel peace, happiness, and a surety that what we are learning is true!
I received revelation yesterday as I felt the sweetest, most assuring feeling as we sang, "I Stand All Amazed." I know that Jesus Christ really loves me. He came to this earth and gave His life because of that love and wants me to live with Him again someday! There is nothing more amazing than feeling the love that He has for us and knowing that He truly is our Savior! If we do our part, each and every one of us can feel that.
Love you all!
Elder Harris

P.S. No exotic bug pictures this week because the computer I'm using is out of whack, but there will for sure be some next week so stay tuned.


Ye Shall Obtain

                                                                                                      March 5, 2018

 Hi Everyone!

I'm real short on time today but like usual, we had an extraordinary week!
First, a few pictures I want to share...
Beautiful setting - looking for the moon...
When they have a separate runway for
their sheep #justboliviathings

Yacuiba or Washington D.C.
We are doing lots of finding and the members helped us out a ton this week! Heavenly Father has prepared lots of people here in Yacuiba to receive us and we have been really blessed!

This week we found a Mo-tab CD that has one of my favorite songs on it: I Believe in Christ. My favorite line from this song says, "His voice is heard, ye shall obtain."  It is a beautiful reminder of the promises God has made to us and the fact that He never fails.

Well, yesterday we had set a goal to find 8 new people to teach. It was 8:00 at night and we had found 5 already when all of our appointments started to fall through! I was getting frustrated and discouraged and wondering why we couldn't just find these at home for once haha. We looked for a few people we had met, but no one was home. So at 9:15 we started the long walk home, a little disappointed because we couldn't meet our goal.

The whole time we were walking I was praying for some miracle to happen so that we could find three more new investigators. Well at the end of the street, we saw a family walking and decided to talk to them. They lived right around the corner and accepted a visit. We were able to share the first vision with them and Familia Sanchez are a golden family, a family of three.

It was a huge miracle for me and I know Heavenly Father ALWAYS fulfills His promises! Sometimes we have to wait patiently, but we should never lose hope because He loves us and our God is a God of miracles!

Love you all!

Elder Harris

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Beautiful View

                                                                                                               February 26, 2018
This week has been great! We have been busy as ever and the weather has been ideal so nothing to complain about!
Well, perhaps due to the title of this email you are expecting me to send some pictures of the nature. Boy were you wrong. This week we went to a new town called Bella Vista. It means, "Beautiful View," in English for those of you who are not Spanish inclined. Here in Bolivia it is a small town of about 2000 people. Felix and his wife Ingrid live there so we went to visit this week!
We are going to be working a lot with their family this week because we found out that Ingrid has several in-laws that have never been baptized. One of them is named Sinai (super cool name huh?) and went to church yesterday. So next week I will let you know how she is doing.
A part from that we have been trying to work a lot with the members, we have been also trying to find more people to teach! On Tuesday, I felt discouraged because it seemed like all of sudden we had no people to teach and no one was progressing. But I soon read a quote from President Monson that I have read 100 times before, but this time it was different: "Now is the moment for members and missionaries to unite!" As I read this, I felt that this was written just for me, in this specific place, in this specific time. It is amazing how Heavenly Father communicates with us through the words of His Prophets. Whether it be as we read from the Prophets in the Bible or as we read the words of the living Prophets today!
Yesterday we met Fernando, a 14 year old boy whose mom has been a member her whole life. We taught him about baptism and he read the story of Jesus Christ's baptism in Matthew 3. We focused on the last verse that says that when Christ was baptized, there was a voice from the heavens saying "this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." We asked if he would like God to say the same of him, and he quickly responded yes. We then asked what he would have to do so that Heavenly Father feels the same way about him. Fernando said, "get baptized," so we are excited to work with him these next few weeks and he has a goal for the 24th!
Familia Ibarra Martinez are doing well! Next Saturday, March 10th, we are doing an activity with the Branch selling lunch so they can pay for their marriage. They are such an awesome family!
I'm sorry I have no funny stories for the moment. I can never remember them Monday mornings haha, but I promise I am enjoying every minute!
This is such a special opportunity to help people follow Jesus Christ and this week I read a scripture in John Chapter 10 that was a powerful reminder of why I am doing it: 

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life.

If we want to be His sheep, we have to hear His voice and follow Him. And if we do so, He will give us eternal life. He has the power to do that because He was willing to pay the price to obtain that power, and all He asks is that we follow Him.

Love you all! Have a great week! 

Elder Harris

Maribel and Estefani's Baptism

                                                                                                    February 19, 2018
Hey Gang!
Carnaval was good, thanks for asking! We made fruit smoothies, ate achachairu, (the most beautiful fruit on the face of the planet) and read A LOT of scriptures. It was a good break, but we were really happy to be working again on Wednesday!
Maribel and Estefani's baptism was great and they were both very happy! Maribel felt the Spirit stronger than she ever had which was a huge blessing! She said that she felt something marvillous and indescribable and I was so happy she could feel AND recognize the Spirit that night!
One family we are working with is Familia Ibarra Martinez! Their three young children were baptized about a year ago and go every week, but the parents weren't baptized because the Dad has to be divorced from a previous wife before they can get married! But they fasted with us as a family last Sunday and we are working with the Branch to help raise money for the divorce and subsequent marriage! They have very little, but are so dedicated and excited to make their family eternal!

Other than that, we are working with a few great young people, one who is named Julian. We found him this Thursday and he is just awesome! You feel so happy and positive when you are around him and he learns the gospel with a thirst and excitement that I have never seen before! He went to church on Sunday and had accepted to be baptized on March 3rd, but sadly, yesterday he left for Peru to run track! We will miss him and it was a very short lived friendship, but we at least planted a seed with him!
Oh and transfers! Elder Perriton is leaving and going to Villamontes.
Picking up investigators for church just got 10 X better!
The Zone leaders won't be here in Yacuiba any more which will be kind of strange for me to get used to. But I still get to be District leader which is fun and my new companion is Elder Vasquez from Peru!
A picture of "the Crew" before our transfer. I will miss Elder Perriton!
I am pumped for a great transfer, Yacuiba is the best and it looks like March will be a great month for us!


Elder Harris

Carnaval Time

                                                                                                   February 10, 2018
Hi Everyone!

The crazy Bolivian festivities known as Carnaval start tomorrow! We will be inside the house Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, to avoid the craziness so I will not be writing on Monday. 

But all is well here in Yacuiba, the members are the best and today Maribel and Stefani will be baptized! Maribel is about 35 and has been struggling with the courage to make this decision for a while, but she is finally ready for a leap of faith! Stefani is a 9 year old little girl we have been teaching, her family was less active but they have been coming to church lately and supporting her a lot so we are really excited for tonight! There will be pictures next week no worries!

Hope you all are doing well! We'll talk next Monday and see what happens with transfers!
Elder Harris

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mission of Miracles

                                                                                                          February 5, 2018
Hi Everyone! Happy February!

This week I was reminded once again of why this mission is called, "the Mission of Miracles." We were blessed and guided in so many incredible ways and I wish I had time to share them all, but today I will just share a few!
On Monday we were knocking on doors for a few minutes. One 25 year old woman opened her gate and we started talking with her. She was polite, but did not appear to be interested in what we had to say. Suddenly, a young man walked up from the street and said Hi to us, and I soon recognized him as Ronald, an investigator I taught 9 months ago in Tarija! It turns out this was his house and he is here until college starts up again. When his sister saw that we were old friends, she quickly invited us in and we were able to teach both of them. This was our first big miracle and a huge testimony to me that Heavenly Father called me here to Yacuiba!
A while ago one of our investigators told us about his friend Leoncio who has Parkinson's disease. We finally had the opportunity to go look for him this week. We quickly found the house, knocked on the door, and a middle age woman came out. To our surprise, she told us she was a member of the church! She invited us in and told us she is from Tarija. I asked what part, and she said San Luis, the same area I was serving in. She told me her Dad was the Branch President of the church there and I said, "Your dad is Luis Diaz?" Luis Diaz was my branch president in Tarija! What is even more miraculous is that she has been less active for several months and days before she had prayed to God to help her return to the Church. We were the answer to her prayers! We are now teaching her father-in-law who has Parkinson's and I know we were guided to this family!
I have no doubt that this is the Lord's work and that He directs it each and every day! We were blessed to be instruments in His hands this week and there is no better feeling than being the answer to someone's prayer!
Felix's baptism was incredible on Saturday!
He was so happy and the baptismal service was unforgettable!!  
His wife Ingrid, who has been a member of the Church for many years, gave the closing prayer. At one moment she broke into tears thanking God that her husband had finally taken this important step for him and his family's happiness!
We are so excited for them and can't wait for one year from now when they will be sealed in the temple as an eternal family! 

We were blessed beyond belief this week, the members are helping us so much and I love this branch more than I can express!
Lots of progress, this week Maribel and Estefani will be baptized! Im really excited for them and especially Maribel for the progress she has made!
I love you all and hope your week is great! There are no such thing as coincidences, our God is a God of miracles!
Elder Harris

Doubt Not, Fear Not!

                                                                                                                January 29, 2018
Hi Gang!
This week was awesome like usual. Today we had a zone activity far away so that's why I am so short on time and rudely didn't respond to anyone, but please know that I read each one of your emails! That should count for something haha.
Enjoying hot chocolate after the rain

Yacuiba is great, it has been ridiculously rainy this week! Yesterday it did not stop raining and all the streets flooded so at about 8:00 p.m. we decided to stop proselyting, changed into P-day clothes, and hit the streets looking for service opportunities! We were soaked within 10 minutes and spent the night pushing cars that got stuck in the mud, but it was a great opportunity to serve.

Elder Perriton and I take time for a quick photo  
My favorite color is green...(Spanish Puns)
Felix is on track and will be baptized this Saturday! Pray that everything can go well with his interview and baptism!

Other than that we have been busy talking with EVERYONE and looking for more and more people to teach.

Just about out of time but this week I learned about an important commandment: not worrying!
 Two scriptures I read this week were a powerful reminder of the fact that our Heavenly Father doesn't want us to worry! The first one is Lucas (Luke) 2:29 and the second is D & C 101:16 - "All flesh is in my hands; be calm."

We need to trust in Him because there is nothing to worry about! He is at the helm and commands us not to be anxious and worry about the outcome. I know He loves us and I have also discovered that although everyone has trials, those who put their trust in God are always the happiest because they no there is no reason to worry! It will all work out!

Love you all, have a good week!

Elder Harris