"Go Give Them Heaven!"

"Go Give Them Heaven!"

Welcome to my Mission blog. This blog will display any pictures or stories that I will be sending home via mail or email.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

When (Anonymous) was Baptized, down in the Font in Morgan (Hill)

The mission really has been progressing for me. A lot of reoccurring issues and fears are slowly being resolved and I am slowly feeling like I am getting stronger in the faith. Mornings are always rough, (haha, but when is it not for ANY missionary) but I always seem to be entering the mission field each day. I do feel that the Lord has been blessing me slowly and surely. I am so very grateful for the strength and love that I have. My relations with the Catholics in the area have been getting better (or that I am understanding their culture/religion better) and am hopeful that nothing will happen to change this. I love the people of Gilroy, they are really great.

So last Tuesday, Elders Seelos, Billin and Sisters Christensen, Tietjen, and I visited with a family (again names won't be used) who was eager to be baptized into the church. It was more than a miracle that we met with them. Their home felt unlike most of the homes that we entered. To me, it felt like a place of love and the Spirit. In explanation to this, the mother was born into an LDS family. She married a man and they were sealed into the temple, but a year later had their baptisms removed, pretty much canceled everything, and left the church. Much happened and they were divorced. That is the negative, I REALLY want to focus on this family in a positive light; they are great I am hoping to see them again. There are 4 children that the mother is raising: 2 daughters (17, 13-14) and 2 sons (11, 9). We weren't able to meet the daughters, but the sons were amazing. The 11 year old really wants to join the Boy Scouting program. I honestly have never seen anyone so desirous to get rank advancement before. The younger son is extremely intelligent. He was telling us about a book he was reading in class about Mother Teresa. Anyways, the family was amazing and really I couldn't feel much contention or anger in the home. A lesson was taught by the Sisters and all three of them committed to baptism. I think with time the boys will come to understand more about the church, but the mother is more than ready to jump back into the church. I am so happy for them!

The other great thing that happened this week was our Spanish sister's baptism. Elder Alonso y Prince (whom I work with, now, every Wednesday and Thursday. I am no longer in the mission office) prepared her for the Baptismal Interview on Wednesday, which she later had. Her service was on Saturday. It was really great. Her family was there and everyone was really happy. She was smiling the entire time. I really saw the Spirit of the Lord in her, and this was before the service even began! The service itself was entirely in Spanish, which was fun to participate in! I was surprised that I understood most of what was being said. Elder Seelos and Billin were there as well, I should have asked them if they understood what was being said. Elder Prince gave an amazing talk on Baptism and the strength that comes from being a member. Then, it was great watching her be baptized. She really glowed with the Spirit even more, and wouldn't stop smiling. She requested that I give the Confirmation, which I did. I have to say that it wasn't the best Confirmation that probably has ever been given, but I was grateful to the Lord and the Priesthood strength that I felt in the circle. My spanish is still coming back, so I really had to practice the beginning of the confirmation. I was amazed at how emotional it was. The Spirit was so strong that I started crying a bit. In the end, I give full credit to the Lord: it was the Lord's blessing to her, not mine, and it was still good. Afterwards, we finished. I am excited to visit with her this week for the post-baptismal lessons.

Again, another week begins. I am hopeful for the upcoming week. I hope that you are all well.

Take Care,

"Brelder" Justin Harris

Friday, March 14, 2014

"That Sounds Legit" - The Church is True!!

Just as an explanation to the title, Elder Seelos and I were teaching a boy about the importance of being re-baptized into the LDS Church by one with the proper priesthood authority. It was somewhat of a hard lesson since he was ill and not really able to focus. Elder Seelos was explaining the linage of authority in which a Priesthood Brother has, when the boy responded that it "Sounds Legit". You have to understand that this boy was about 13-14 and EXTREMELY intelligent. Just by how he worded his sentences, it was impressive.

Things have gotten worse. I really have wanted to come home. I feel pointless, like I can't really do anything out here worth while. When it comes to the reality of the situation, I am a member who wants to help the missionaries. I will never be a single proselyting missionary and the reality hit me really hard. I was feeling this way for quite some time, and then the light turned on. I was with the Spanish Elders (Elders Alonso y Prince) when I realized that I really am not out here for me. I am out here to be helping others to come unto Christ. I really love the people that I am helping the Elders teach. I have really told myself that I need to stay for them. Next Saturday is a baptism for the one woman whom we started to teach only 3 weeks ago! Again, I shouldn't say her name on here, but I am more than ecstatic for her. I have also grown to love the Less active family that we visit with each Wednesday. I really can't leave until he gets the Priesthood and they are doing well. They have become such great friends! So again, I am grateful for the Lord.

I really have no new updates...OH!, Elder Davis was transferred to Prunedale near Monterey. There have been a lot of accidents down there and the President needed drivers who can be safe while driving. Also, I hit the one month mark! Exactly four weeks today! I hope that my service has been good, but will be better in the future. I am excited to learn and grow more in the Gospel.

Take Care,

-"Brelder" Harris

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Onward Every Onward... AS WE GLORY IN HIS NAME!!!

This last little while has been a stress. The new missionaries came in yesterday or last night, and so it was really fun to meet some of them today. I am officially not the "new guy" anymore...even though I really never felt that way. Everyone in the mission is really nice and accepting. It might explain why California San Jose Mission is #1 in California. Haha, I don't know if that is true, but it sure feels like it! Our President is amazing, the missionaries are hard at work. I am so blessed to be here.

However, everything hasn't been super peachy as it seems. I would say that things have been really rough in the learning. I am noticing that with time contacting is getting better, but I still am having issues with my testimony and I am really getting shaken around by the Catholics. They are everywhere (and are super great people), but they can be on top of you in a second mocking your failures. I have messed up and am not perfect, and it almost seems that they are really judgmental about the Elders being perfect. Maybe I am over-judgmental about them. I think I will blame myself, not them.To be honest, there really are many humble and kind Catholics in the area and I really enjoy talking with them. The Mormons really take the hit in California and the Catholics know it. They are our biggest ally and we have run into several people who have defended our beliefs to others. So just like the LDS members, you have your extreme ends.

Other than that, The Adversary has really been a constant threat. He has always been making me remember past issues that have been resolved or random faults that make me feel bad that happened...years ago when I was weaker in the faith. I wouldn't mind an off button, HOWEVER I can say that my fear levels are slowly dying. Please thank everyone for their prayers. They are duly noted and felt every day.

Anyways, sad and boring stuff over. The Gilroy District is amazing. They/We aren't the top of the mission, but are definitely doing well. Last Saturday alone there were 7 baptisms and at least 3 of those were Spanish Baptisms. I did not attend, but I heard it was wonderful. With the Spanish Elders, we (aka They) have been teaching a woman who is more than wonderful. She is so willing and I hope and know that she is blessed by the Lord. Her whole family is LDS and she immediately committed to Baptism after the first real lesson that we had with her. On top of that, she went to church on Sunday (One down, two more to go). Elders Alonso y Prince set a date for March 22. I am so excited for her. I HAVE to be there when she gets baptized.

Let's see...other great stories to tell. Erm...while I think I will let you know that I was passed by a cop car on the Freeway. Yeah, going 65 mph and he passes going ABOVE the speed limit. Made me laugh. Oh! I helped teach a lesson with Elder Billin. He and Elder Davis met a man named <error: mission identity protection> on the street and he said that he was really interested in learning more about the Gospel. We went to his home and his wife answered the door (he wasn't home). She said that she wasn't really interested and may not be worth our time, but she WAS! Gosh, she was awesome, again I am disclosing her name. She was mentioning that she was apart of a bible study group, but just wasn't sure about things. She said there are so many churches out there, and she really seemed frustrated by which one was true. Sounds familiar? Elder Billin introduced her to the Book of Mormon. She seemed interested in it. I REALLY hope that she reads it and gets some of her questions answered. Again, she was a massive delight to talk to. She deserves answers.

Anyways, I am running out of time. I hope that you all are well. Today Elder Yearsley and I went to Seaside and Monterey to move some furniture in a few apartments. I was in heaven! Here are some of the pictures I took.

The Shore off Moss Landing

A Marina off Moss Landing

Bay view from a set of Elder's apartment

Fisherman's Wharf, Aquarium, and Cannery Row...too bad it wasn't Prep. Day!

-Brother/Elder "Brelder" Justin Harris