Sunday, August 21, 2016

Continuing Revelation

                                                                                                                         August 5, 2016
Buenas Tardes familia!!! Como estan?

I hope everyone had a great week and you are all healthy and safe!

I am now over halfway through my time here at the CCM, which is exciting, but also pretty sad because I have made so many friends here.

We received a new District this week and it has been really fun getting to know them! They are pretty funny and some of them really want to work as hard as possible which is exciting to see!

Our District visiting the Mexico City Temple

We get to go to the temple on Friday, our day off. (Preparation Day)  

Beautiful fountain view of the temple

Not too many exciting things happened this week, and for some reason I can´t think of anything funny right now so I apologize in advance if this isn't the most entertaining email.

Quick story to start out: Every Saturday we have service assignments, where instead of gym time we help out with some job around the CCM. One time we helped clean tables and chairs, but last Saturday we got to help out in the comedor (cafeteria). I was given the privilege of cutting green bell peppers, which was easily the most exciting job there. One of the workers showed me the best way to do it and I got to work. I was about 3 peppers in when I started to feel really insecure about my pepper cutting. I was cutting really slow and inefficiently and decided I needed to ramp up my speed. About 3 dices later I cut my thumb open, and needless to say I did not cut anymore peppers after that. Later this week I saw peppers exactly the way I had cut them in one of our dishes for dinner and told everyone in my district that these were my peppers, but for whatever reason they weren’t too happy to hear this hahaha. But I am 100% there was no blood in the peppers so no need to worry!

View of city from the CCM

This week I also hung out with some of the latino elders more which was a blast! It´s always a fiesta for the Latino elders here, haha. One of them that I am pretty close with is named Elder Carrillo. I didn´t get a picture with him yet but I will send one next week. We have become pretty good friends and yesterday he gave me a Mexico City Temple tie pin that his brother had given to him, which was super generous of him and I was so grateful. Last night he asked me if I wanted to study the scriptures with him in Spanish. He ended up leading our entire district in a discussion of Helaman 5 - all in Spanish. At some point as he was testifying of the importance of the Book of Mormon and his love for the gospel, he told us his story. Elder Carrillo is originally from Colombia, and in Colombia his parents had a business that was super successful, so they were rich compared to the rest of Colombia. About 4 years ago he moved to Mexico, and his parents business did not have the same success it had found in Colombia. Elder Carrillo wanted to go on a mission but his family was now poorer than they ever had been and he didn´t know if he would be able to. Elder Carrillo worked for 2 years, earning $10 a month in order to pay for his mission. Obviously this would not have been enough to pay for an entire mission, but my friend Elder Carrillo gave all of the last two years in order to earn these two years.

This was such a humbling experience for me and I honestly felt so guilty afterwards. We live in so much wealth and have so many incredible blessings that we often take for granted. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to serve a mission and sometimes we forget how blessed we are. Hearing Elder Carrillo say all of this made me so grateful for every opportunity I have to succeed and all of my many blessings, both temporal and spiritual. He is an amazing example to me of sacrifice and having an eye single to the glory of God.

This week if I learned anything it is that we really can receive revelation at this time and in these latter days. So many amazing experiences on Sunday taught me this. The two facets of this principle I want to focus on are modern day prophets and apostles and prayer.

In our priesthood meeting on Sunday, Presidente Alvarez (one of the leaders for our branch) shared with us a story from L. Tom Perry. L. Tom Perry, who recently passed away, was called by God as a modern day apostle. He had all the same powers and responsibilities given to the apostles like Peter, James, and John at the time Christ was on the earth. Elder Perry was in Denmark, touring a cathedral or some other sort of religious place with some other apostles and President Kimball, who was the prophet at the time. There were marble sculptures of the original apostles around them, and President Kimball said to the person who was giving the tour “These are the original apostles (pointing to the sculptures).” And then pointing to Elder Perry and the other living apostles the prophet said, “And these are the new apostles which the Lord has called.”

Later that night we watched the Joseph Smith movie, which is EASILY one of my favorite movies of all time. It is an hour long film about the life of Joseph Smith, the prophet God chose to restore His true church to the earth. There is a scene in the movie where Joseph Smith heals men, women, and children who are extremely ill near the banks of the Mississippi. This made me think of Christ and how he healed so many people during his mortal ministry. I realized that Joseph Smith had that same power to heal and save that the Savior of the World has, and then I thought to myself, “Do we really have that power?” Do I, such an imperfect person, really have the power of the priesthood of God through which I can heal and bless God´s children? Immediately I received my answer: Yes, we really do! The priesthood of God really is restored to the Earth. We have a modern prophet and apostles who are called by God to act in his name. The heavens are open and we can receive revelation once again!

I also gained a stronger testimony of prayer this week. In sacrament meeting on Sunday, the district in our branch that left the CCM this week sang “A Childs Prayer”, one of my new favorite songs. I felt the spirit so strongly throughout, and especially when I heard the words in Spanish “Pray, he will listen” They then switched to singing in English halfway through and sang “Speak, he is listening” I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is true. Our Heavenly Father loves us. He hears every single one of our prayers. Not only does he hear them, He answers them. As we pray sincerely to express our gratitude to God and ask for His help, He will answer those prayers.
I know that we can receive revelation. Just as Joseph Smith did, we can pray to know the truth. We have prophets and apostles to lead us and guide us. Each of us can receive personal revelation by through the power of the Spirit of God. All we need to do is pray. If we don´t believe these principles and live based on that belief, we are missing out on an immense amount of knowledge and happiness! The Heavens are open! This knowledge has blessed my life in so many ways and I cannot imagine where I would be without it!

Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Harris

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