Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Our Mission Conference

This week was a blast Mom and Dad!  Not only was I physically edified by a few trips to KFC and the amazing American food we were provided at our Mission Conference, but I was spiritually edified, and I had the prayers in my heart answered by leaders who have been called of God to take His Gospel to all Nations!  This past week was truly one to remember and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to learn by the Spirit from Elder Rasband, Elder Allen, and Elder Gong.

I will just start a list of what I learned in order to keep this email going smoothly.

 1. These three members of the Seventies are truly called of God. They have the ability to expound upon one small subject and allow us all, together, to be edified by the Spirit.  I was amazed at the love we could feel in that room as they spoke about Missionary Work, Missionaries, and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Father, our Heavenly Father.  Truly, Doctrine and Covenants 50:17-22 was made manifest at the Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission Conference.  Please look it up.  It's powerful.

2. Elder Allen promised us that if we missionaries would master Chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel (PMG), "How Do I Use Time Wisely," we will be five times more rich in our chosen profession that we would have been.  He is a called, set apart, member of the Seventy...I will trust him on that one.   Elder Allen also told us that Chapter 8 is the hardest chapter of PMG to master, let alone get a hold of.  He taught and emphasized the importance of planning, goal setting, and following up on those goals, with accountability.  Accountability for a missionary is put on the table every day during planning, and in your nightly prayers to the Lord, every week during the "Weekly Call-In" report to your District Leaders and Zone Leaders, and every 6 weeks when the Transfer ends and a new one starts.  I really have gained a testimony of Accountability, but being accountable for your work BEFORE being held accountable.  Elder Allen told us that too often missionaries wait until they are at the tail end of their mission to try to implement Chapter 8 into their missionary work, then they realize how much of a waste the past 18 months or so was. He begged us NOT to be that missionary, and that through implementing Chapter 8 into our lives, our very core and being of who we are, we will be able to hold ourselves accountable and be proud of the work we did on our mission and throughout our lives.  He told us that if we don't like something, WE can change it, but if you are content you will never change.  That really hit me hard. As a missionary you can get in this rut where you feel like everything is weighing down on you and you have to relieve that load from yourself, by yourself, in order to make changes and get the desired outcome.  Well things like this bring to me the Enabling Power of the Atonement.  All we have to do is be "yoked" to Christ, and He will pull our wagon, metaphorically speaking, not FOR us, but WITH us, ultimately lightening "the burdens which are put upon your shoulders," so that we "cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage" (Mosiah 24:14)."   For more enlightenment on this subject please read to Elder David A. Bednar's talk this past April General Conference about "The Load."

3. Elder Gong, the Asia Area President, really emphasized "Beginning with the End in Mind."  By doing this are we seeing every person we meet "in the White Clothes of Baptism and the White Clothes of Temple Ordinances?"  If that is not our outlook, we are wasting our time and the Lord's time.  Missionary Work is about Gathering, Enabling, and Enobling.  If the missionary, myself for example, does not enable an Investigator to work for the ultimate reason we are all here, then the Investigator will never be able to partake of the Enobling Power that God has provided His children while on this Earth.  It is all about our Vision, and how we truly see the work we are doing.  Realizing this sooner is better than later, that this is truly His work, and that only through Him and His Son's Atonement, these people will receive the necessary Saving Ordinances.   Missionaries truly do nothing.  All we do is "Try to connect our investigators with Heaven!" (Elder Allen)

4. Elder Rasband, Wow!  Where do I get started?   He is such a spiritual giant, and knows how to bring the house down.  I would like to just tell you the three things that he said he will be telling the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve when he reports to them on Mongolia.  1) The church here is Stronger and more Mature than he thought,  2) Every Leader In the Church here has been to the Temple, and  3) Mongolia has an incredible Mission President and Wife.  They are historic!

To answer your questions....Yes, we missionaries got to shake hands with Elder Rasband, Elder Allen, and Elder Gong!   We got to talk with them during the conference, as well.  It was all mostly group discussions.  Elder Rasband answered a question of mine personally, so that was awesome!   Being the Elder from Choibalsan who came bearing "gifts" from our small branch (the letters from the Primary children and that branch picture), got me a little special attention too, so that was cool.

All in all, our trip to UB was more than I could have hoped for.  We got there on Monday night and flew back on Friday.  My comp and I sat in 1st class on the way there!!!  THAT WAS GREAT!   We went to KFC right when we landed, then another time on Thursday!   KFC never tasted so good!   It was also nice to be with the other Americans for a few days.  It was great to see those who I haven't seen in over four months.  I finally met my dear friend Elder Huckvale!   We stayed at their house all week, and we became best buds!   He is a stud missionary, and I hope to be his companion someday!  We would be a dangerous companionship, with all the work that we would do, but I can only hope!   President likes me with Mongolian companions, so it will probably never happen.  I also got to see Elder Palmer from Henderson.  He is a Zone Leader now up north in Darkhan, and he is doing great!   Seeing my MTC group was a lot of fun too!   All the sisters are doing great!  Their mission is half over now.  I included a picture of us in this email.

Regarding the Work here in Choibalsan, President sent two sisters here to assist us, so that will be very helpful!    Also, I have become District Leader over my companionship and the sisters here.  Their names are Sister Tseverlmaa, and Munkhnasan.  Please pray for my District!   Being a District Leader already has put tons of stress on me.   Please pray for me.

I need to close here, but I want to say that the list of 3 things Elder Rasband will give to the Brethren truly gives us missionaries here Hope.  I just want you to know how hard the work truly is here, yet I am so blessed to be apart of it.  I am here doing exactly what I know my Heavenly Father would have me do, and I am walking in the way of The Savior here among the people of Mongolia.  It is my prayer that I can truly become the Disciple that He would have me be, so I can effectively do His work, the way He would do it, if He was here ministering to the very people I meet everyday.

I love you all.

Until next week,
Elder Harris

The plane we flew to Ulaanbaatar in. 

My MTC group REUNITED! It was great to see them. They are all doing great! They miss me, can you tell?

Elder Huckvale and I. He is the elder whose parents live in Ryan and Angela's ward in Eagle. 

My old district, before transfers. 

Ganbayar's 17th birthday party! The man in the green shirt is the seminary teacher. 

Tumee and Ganbayar. They are great young men, future missionaries for sure!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that Elder Harris actually, well, WRITES letters! Tell him thank you from me. At least I got some information from him about the Mission Conference. Elder Palmer is, well, a minimalist.