Saturday, January 25, 2014

Six Weeks! Three to go!

 Dear Family,

Well it is just past my 6 weeks mark here in the MTC, so you know what that means...... LESS THAN 3 WEEKS til I leave for Mongolia!  I am so excited!  The MTC has been such a great experience, and I am so grateful for all the lessons I have learned here.  In the past 6 weeks, I have really learned a lot about myself regarding the type of person that I am, and who I want to be.  The MTC is good for that.   It really humbles you, especially if you are learning a new language.  You really have to fully submit yourself to the will of our Father in Heaven.  If you don't, or if you try to do the "MTC Experience" YOUR way, you are just wasting your time, and more importantly, God's time.

This past Wednesday I received a whole new batch of missionaries.  To my pleasant surprise, we have 3 Americans!  Two of the new Americans are my companions, so we are in a TRI-companionship.  Elder Palfreyman is from Orange County, and Elder Lattin is from Virginia.  They are both going to Paris together, so that is pretty cool.  Elder Lattin was called to be my assistant Zone Leader, so it will be very nice to have him serving with me.  Let me tell you, I missed Americans!  I need not get used to it though, seeing that I will be like only 1 of 50 in Mongolia!

So I want to tell you that I love the Mongolian language!  This past week it finally got to the point where learning the language is no longer a burden, but a privilege.  It took me about 5 weeks to realize that, and that kind of upsets me, but I think everyone goes through that stage.  Recently a lot of principles that just weren't clicking, clicked.  That was such blessing.  We are pretty much finished learning grammar, and other such things regarding the basics of the language, so now it is just reviewing things we have already learned and trying to master them.  Along with that we have been learning a lot of fun terms, and things to say!  One of my favorites is to say, "How slow are you?" or "How dumb are you!"  Obviously it is said in Mongolian, so they are a lot funnier in a different language.  This past week we all set Daily Language Goals, and I have been very good at accomplishing my goals every single day.  I have seen the Lord's hand in my learning so much more prominent now that I have made goals, and I have stuck with them.  I know the Lord knows our hardships and our struggles, but we have to do all we can do to help ourselves FIRST.  After He sees our efforts, and that we are truly doing all we can, He will take care of the rest, and make up for the areas in which we lack.  This is His work, not mine, but we have to do all we can do in order to get the help of the Lord.  I know this is true because there will be times where I prepare very well for a lesson in Mongolian, and I go in and do great!   I leave feeling the Spirit so strong, and I am just so pumped afterwards!  Then there are times where I don't prepare, and I just go in and try to do it on my own power and hope the Lord will make up for the rest, and low and behold nothings happens.  I leave upset, and frustrated with myself, and consequently not feeling the Spirit.   If we don't prepare, and we don't do our own work beforehand, how can the Lord help us?  He has nothing to work with, so He can't.  The Lord wants to see our efforts, our trial and error, and our dedication to doing all that we can do on our own. When he sees that, He will help us in all that we do, and that is a promise that is found all over in the scriptures.

I set another goal to read the whole Book of Mormon one more time before I leave the MTC.  It has really been a blessing, and I am on track to finish the day we leave. This time through I have been looking for direct correlations to missionary work. Something that I have noticed is that missionary work is the oldest work in the history of the world.  It really is.  Think about it, Adam and Eve, down to Noah.  Every dispensation of time revolved around missionary work, everything else is just background noise to the most important thing that has ever happened or will continue to happen, and that is bring others unto Christ.  This time reading the Book of Mormon I really have learned things that I have never even seen before.  Almost every chapter in the Book of Mormon is somewhat about missionary work, and if not, it is about the fruits of missionary work. It is incredible that when you have the mantle of missionary all these things finally make sense, and they just pop out to you!  I challenge all who are reading this email to read the Book of Mormon.  It really will change your life.  Have a question in mind when doing so, and I promise you that the Lord will answer your questions.  I have also set the goal to read one page of the Mongolian Book of Mormon everyday while I am here.  I am not too far along, and I don't understand any words beside God, or Nephi, but I know that Heavenly Father sees that I am putting forth my efforts, and if I continue, someday I will understand what these verses in the Mongolian Book of Mormon are saying. I have faith in that.

Missionary Work is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I'm not trying to be silly, or cliche, but it is true.  The word that they use for Elder in Mongolia is "Captain."  So for the next two years I will be called Captain Harris.  I have been a captain of a Varsity Football team that was one of the best teams in Nevada, and that doesn't even compare to being called "Captain" as a missionary.  I am a captain for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that is the ultimate respect.

I Love you Mom and Dad.

Elder Xappuc

P.S. Thanks for the cinnmon rolls Ryan and Angela, and thanks for the care package Grandma Harris!  I loved them both!  I really appreciate it!  Also, thanks to the Jaussi's for the Krispy Kreme's!  It is safe to say that the 3 dozens donuts are already all gone! Thanks so much for that!

The new elders that came in on Wednesday.

My new comps! Elder Palfreyman and Elder Lattin

Elder Nolasco and I. He was my companion for a few days last week. He is awesome! I love him!

My District just doing funny pics!

More frivolity! 

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