Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Unanswered Prayers

                                                                                                               Sept. 11, 2017

 Hi Family!

This week was marvelous!! We saw a lot of blessings and we are receiving a lot of help from the members!  But, first, I want to share a few pictures. 

 On Monday, our P-day (Preparation Day) we got to play soccer. 

Tuesday was Elder Valencia's birthday so people gave us cake all week!
Bolivian tradition is to put your face in the cake and contaminate it with your germs before everyone else eats haha.
 I have to say, for the first time in my life I was sick of eating cake.
 Happy Birthday Elder Valencia!! (The cake is pink because it was also their daughter's birthday, just so it's clear!!)

We also were in a trio with my Grandson Elder Limaico, (trained by the one and only Elder Cohelo) who will also be training this transfer! He is from Ecuador and we had a great day with him!
First trio in my whole mission which was really weird, but no one was seriously injured and that's the important thing.

 As for our investigators, we couldn't visit Familia Callejas this week. We are teaching a 15 year old girl named Raquel Amblos and she has been having so much trouble with going to church. Well yesterday she finally went and stayed all three hours. The young women did a great job befriending her and she is on track for her baptism the 23rd of September.

Javier has been having some family problems, so please pray for him that he can attend church this Sunday. He hasn't gone for the past two weeks!

Another family we are teaching is Familia Zambrana Nina. The husband was originally not interested and rejected our invitation to go to Church, but his heart has totally been softened and they are a really prepared family! More to come next week...

Last night we visited a less active man named Alfredo. Alfredo served a mission in Bolivia and later on was a Bishop, but had some problems in his life that caused him to move to Santa Cruz. His life has taken a turn for the worst in many aspects and he told us he kneels down and prays every day, but things go worse and he feels like  Heavenly Father doesn't hear his petitions.

As I listened, I thought of the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yesterday during the Sacrament I read the account of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in Matthew and learned something new: Christ asked his Father THREE times to pass this cup from Him. THREE times he made the same plea, yet the unimaginable pain, heartache, and suffering continued.

Did God not love Jesus Christ?

Did He not listen to His prayer?

Yet our Savior's petition was not granted. But did Christ lose faith in His Father? No, because He trusted that God had something more important in mind and understood that what He was going through, for some reason or other, was necessary, or His request would have been granted.

There is nothing wrong with asking for what we want when we pray. The Son of God did so three times! But when our request is not granted, we have to understand that it is NOT because Heavenly Father didn't hear our prayers. It is NOT because He doesn't love us. It is because He knows what is best for our eternal good, and true faith is trusting that His will is and always will be what is best for us.

I know He lives and I know He loves us. He does answers prayers! But when He doesn't, we have to continue putting our trust in Him and have faith that He sees what we do not see and knows what we do not know.

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Trust Him!
Elder Harris


Apple Pie and Old Men With Slingshots

                                                                                                            September 4, 2017
Hello all,

This week was quite unforgettable! However I slacked off a little on my journal writing so at the moment I have forgotten a few important parts.

Picture with Elder Hall and Elder Harrison
from my group this week at a Zone Conference.
Monday we had a great zone activity! Mama Olga made apple pie for everyone and we played ultimate frisbee in the park. Santa Cruz may be the hardest place in the world to play ultimate frisbee because the wind never stops here.

Tuesday we found a really choice family, Familia Callejas! Their 15 year old son Jorge went to church last week and he is really interested! The mom was also really prepared and she and her three sons accepted a baptismal date for September 30th. The only problem is the Dad refuses to meet with us because he heard some rumors about the church and he didn't let them go to church on Sunday. We fasted for them this weekend but please pray that his heart can be softened and he can feel desires to learn more!

This week as we were starting a lesson with Zacarias, our 75 year old, very hard of hearing investigator, he went inside and brought out a sling shot and a plastic bag full of rocks. His dog was apparently bothering him a lot, so he started letting 'em fly and it must have been quite the sight to see: An American and a Colombian in white shirts and ties practically yelling about the plan of salvation to a half deaf man as he shot his dog somewhat mercilessly. What a day to be alive!

Lots of answered prayers this week and we have been able to find so many new investigators lately! I love this area and I am really enjoying my companion too. Today was transfers and we will be staying together another 6 weeks which is going to be a blast!

This week I learned something new about the Savior. Jesus Christ didn't atone for our sins because it was His luck to be our Savior. He didn't do it because the lot fell to Him or it was His turn. He did it because He wanted to! I can only imagine the moment in pre-mortal life when He gladly offered himself to be our Savior! He was happy to do it because of how much He loves us!

I am so grateful for Him and His love for us. The choices we make every day show Him if we appreciate His sacrifice or not. I love this gospel! It is so simple and full of so much love! 

Have an amazing week!

Elder Harris


Javier and Mia's Baptisms

                                                                                                            August 28, 2017


This week was really rewarding! Saturday was the Javier and Mia's baptism and it was really special!
Here is a picture of Mia surrounded by her family. Mia is a lot more
photogenic than we are.   
We sang, "More Holiness Give Me," and I could feel the Spirit so strongly.

As I looked at these two children of God, I felt how hard they are trying and how great a desire they have to be clean and pure!


Javier with Antonio, member missionary extraordinaire.
Javier is the slightly shorter one without a tie on. 

They both went to church yesterday and Javier brought his cousin. Although Javier doesn't have the support of his family, he is such a strong convert and wants to serve a mission! 

Friday was"Festival Moroni," a big dance festival for the Young Men and Young Women in the Stake. It was great to see everyone from Guapilo there, and cheer on my new Ward.

Reunited with Bishop Teran, Daniel, and Lucas Vargas
Lucero won and it was really hype! Lucas told me he is going every Sunday and preparing for a mission! 

Let see what else is new...it is about 100 degrees in Santa Cruz today and it is supposed to stay there for the next week. So the next time you see a picture of me I may be dark brown and 20 pounds lighter. Do not be alarmed!

Not a lot of news a part from that, looking forward to Zone Conference this week. We also have been finding a lot of new unknown fruits in the supermarket lately, so if I make some new exotic fruit juices I will be sure to send pictures.

Love you all! This is the Lord's work and He loves each and every one of us!

Elder Harris