Thursday, April 30, 2015

A missionary has to do what it takes to get in the door…Literally!


This week, my comp (Elder Eternal Steel) and I continue to be doing great.  No problems, and there will never be.   My companion and I are so happy together!   He continues to be a huge blessing to me.  He loves to just talk with me about our investigators and our less actives, and our Zone, etc.   I LOVE THAT!   I love that he just wants to talk about our needs as missionaries and then seek for revelation on what to do!  It's awesome being able to receive revelation as a companionship, and not just alone.  So much stronger.   We both had personal interviews with President Benson this week and President totally dropped some great knowledge into my head.   I came home and wrote 5 pages from what I learned in my journal.  I will cherish those things forever.  All I know is that he is Called of God to be here in Mongolia at this time.  That is it!  He is the most chosen Mission President in the world.   I know this because according to Elder Rasband, our mission (Mongolia the country) has the highest opportunity for growth of all other areas in the world.  I love President Benson! 

We did two splits this week with other companionship.  One kinda cool story, I am on the phone with Elder Higgs walking to the door of a large apartment building with a door code to the main entrance door.   If you don't know the door code, you will wait forever to get in.  So as soon as I see a man come out, I dart as fast as I can to the door.  Well the path I choose was a bad one, seeing that I was dead-ended with the back of a car being butted up next to the building. Well nothing was going to stop me from catching that door, so I just took a huge leap (while on the phone) and cleared the back of the car, barely grabbing the door as it shut!  My comp was shocked and the Mongolian men standing around talking and smoking were just staring at me like they couldn't believe I just did that... It was epic!   HaHa.  A missionary has got to do what he's got to do to get in the door!

Yesterday Sister B…….. quit smoking!  She's been working very hard at it and now she just needs to stay strong.  She loves the gospel and wants it to be a part of her life.  She also loves my companion and I so much.  We are like her little brothers, she says.  We were over to her apartment last night and we just got her to laugh at us so much!   It was fun!  May 8th is set as her new baptismal date!  PRAY!   Also, we are also working with Brother Z's family in re-activation.   He is a Melchizedek Priesthood and a returned missionary.  He is the father who did the baptism of his 8-year old son two weeks ago!  His wife in next!

In Priesthood Meeting yesterday, I was asked to translate Mongolian for an American brother.  Please don't take this is bragging, but it was awesome to see how good my language actually is when put under pressure like that.   A couple of brothers who speak fluent English came up to me afterward and were very impressed and thanked me. That always feels good :)

Mom, I'm pretty sure I have gotten all your cards and pictures that have been sent recently!  Thanks so much!  I love to sit and look at night before I go to sleep!  You asked what my companion and I do as Zone Leaders.  Well we have many weekly responsibilities.  Daily, we make sure that all missionaries in our Zone (22 of them in all) are home on time and then report that to the AP's.  I know we are doing a great job and President trusts us a lot.  We also solve problems if they arise and can't be taken care of on the District Leader level.  We also go on splits with all the District Leaders in the Zone every six-week transfer cycle.  My comp and I  do at least two split a week with just whoever we feel prompted to split with, though.  Some missionaries are so confused because in the past, ZL's never did splits with normal missionaries….and we are doing that.  We just want to hit our seasonal goal of two baptisms, one retained new member, and one re-activation per companionship.  We know that we have the keys to do that as ZL's.  That is all on our shoulders.  We have really been working to train the DL's regarding their jobs and that they need to be stronger on their level in their District so that they can solve their problems on their level.   When problems can't be solved on their level, they are passed up to us.  The DL's have the authority on their level so we are working with them on that.  Our East Zone, which I am the ZL for, is in the East District here in UB, and we feel like we are going to be a Stake soon!  It takes so much work for a District to become a Stake, but we are working hard for it.  This coming Sunday is a District-wide fast.  We are fasting to become a Stake.   I know our prayers will be answered.  Out of the 22 missionaries in our Zone, we have many of the strongest in the mission...and there are no missionaries who slack.  We all work our tails off.  President has done that for a reason, and people in the Branches are talking about that too.  We are making progress here and reaching goals! 

Until next week, I love you all.  Stay safe.


Elder Harris

Some of my favorite members from Choibalson.

 My companion, Elder Hero Eternal Steel, is more powerful than Batman!

My comp....

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Gospel is Moving Forward Here in Mongolia!

Dear Family,

This week was awesome!  My new companion and I are doing great as a companionship, and our ZONE is doing awesome here in Outer Mongolia.  Elder Munkhbold and I taught 12 lessons this week and are reaching our goals!  We have quite a few people we are working with, so here are some of them:

Sister B.........: The investigator who lived in DC and London is progressing great.  This week we taught the Word of Wisdom and The Law of Chastity.  Both lessons were received very well.   Please pray for her. She is a great person and is doing great.  We don't want her baptismal day pushed back!

Brother Z............ and Sister B.............:  This is a great family, and we just baptized their 8 year old son T..............  The father served a mission in California back in 2001, and his wife is member of like 5 years.  The husband is a great guy and is so happy that his son was baptized.  

Sister B...........:  A less active member who is starting to come back!  She was baptized a year ago and then was just lost from that point on.  The members in her branch just didn't follow-up with her.  I hate when that happens, so please don't let it happen in our wards back home!!

My companion Elder Munkhbold (or if you translate his name....he is Elder Hero Eternal Steel) is the best!   He is such a blessing to me.   He just wants to work, and is so dang funny.  He supports me to be my best.  He always prays for me, and you guys (my family), and I really love that!   Honestly, he is the most Humble kid I have ever met, as well.  He is the National Mongolian Judo Champion 2 times running, and was on track to be in the 2016 summer Olympics representing Mongolia.  He threw that all away to come on his mission and was kind of like beaten down by his coach for deciding to go on a mission. He testifies to me everyday that he made the best choice in the world, and will never regret it.  His dream is to come back after the mission and win the title again, and then hold a Book of Mormon in his hand while he is on the 1st place podium stand!   He tells no one that he is the champion, although most people do recognize him on the street, and come and shake his hand and what not. This week we had like four kids on the street, who do Judo, come up to him and bow before him out of respect.  Too FUNNY!  All he said is that he was so proud to have them see him in a white shirt and tie, and not drunk or with a cig in his mouth.  President Benson has given him permission to meet with any wrestler, or judo person in the city.  He is a huge name with lots of recognition, and the President knows what an impact he can have on people.  A famous name in Mongolia wearing a white shirt, tie, and a missionary badge is such an amazing thing for the church here.  I'm proud to be his companion. Until next week.......

I love you guys!

Elder Xappuc

Elder Munkhbold and I at our baptism this week.

Me, Elder Papenfuss, and Huckvale.

Twins!  So dang cute!

I love the children I meet here.   You can see why!

My comp, Elder Munkhbold, goofing in my red PJ's!

Elder Munkhbold is an Aggie!!  

This was taken from my apartment window.

I gave Pap a bad haircut!  …..but I repaired it!   No worries!

Elder Huckvale and I.

My companion and I went on a 3-way companionship this week.  On our way to a lesson.

 Left to right:  Elder Erickson from (St. George), Higgs, Huck, Harris, and Pap. 

My sponsor. Ukraine Naraa!  She is the very best!  She even made a Birthday cake for YOU, MOM, for your birthday, and gave it to ME!! 

This is the cake Ukraine Naraa made ME for YOUR birthday, MOM!  

My MTC Group!!  Sis. Della Silva, Sis. Sneddon, and Sister Hansen…..and me!

Me, Sis. Sneddon, Sis. Hansen, and Sis. Della Silva at our conference.  They all have about 3 months left before going home.

 P-Day:   Elders Higgs, me, Huckvale, and Pap.

  P-Day:   Me, Elder Huckvale, Pap, and Higgs 

 Cute kids in a car shooting at us!  :0  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Happy and Busy... What More Can I Ask For?!

Dear Family,

This week was great! So here we go!

Transfers:  I got a new companion, and he is also a Zone Leader with me!  THAT IS THE BIGGEST BLESSING!  His name is Elder Munkhbold, age 26.  He has been out for about 6 months and is a stud.  Super mature and super funny and relaxed and also has such a strong testimony and knowledge of the Gospel.  We are good friends already, and he tells me everyday that, "Every time I see you, Elder Harris, I start to remember the $$ I lost in Vegas. The dealer told me to go all in, and funny thing is, he looked just like YOU!"   It is super funny.  He is also the Mongolian Wrestling Champion for the 65 KG weight class. Stud.

Baptism: We had an 8 year old baptism this week of a member family that we are working with in getting the wife re-activated.  Great family.   My companion and I taught all the lessons to the boy. His name is Timuugin and is a great kid. The baptism was great too!

Zone Conference:  Yesterday we had Zone Conference, an all-day Conference with President, the AP's (assistants to the President), and the STLs (Sister Training Leaders).  Our STL's are Sister Hansen and Sister Sneddon from my MTC group, so that is cool!  We prepared a great hour and a half lesson on using the scriptures more in lessons, something we need to do better at as a mission.  We also emphasized the need to always leave something behind when we leave a lesson.....a hand booklet, the Book of Mormon, homework, etc., and teaching unitedly with your companion.  It was a great lesson, if I do say so.  Sister Benson even came up and complimented us.  :)  Sister Hansen and Sneddon did a great job!  They are some of the best in the mission.  I love President Benson!  He is the most chosen man on this planet.

Investigators: We have B.........., who is great! We meet with her a lot!  She is working hard to quit smoking, so please pray for that!  April 30th is the date, and we will make it, I know it.  She loves the church, and told us she believes the Book of Mormon and the Church are true.  She came to three sessions of General Conference this past weekend and felt that everything that was spoken was meant for her.  We gave her a blessing Sunday for strength to overcome the adversary in her life.  Her lessons are always so spiritual!  I love being a missionary and an instrument in the Lord's hands, helping people like B.............. find the truth.

General Conference:  Well, what can I say!  It was great!  I just sat there and told myself, "This is all so true, there's no denying!"  My favorite talk was by Elder Holland.  The Atonement is so amazing.  I loved the story he told about the two brothers in Southern Utah.  I thought of my two older brothers who caught me at a most critical time in my life, and how they were right there to grab me when I took a huge leap of faith a few years back, and them not letting me fall.  I am changed forever by the blood of my Savior, which he personally shed a few drops for me.

The Church is true.  If anyone who reads this doesn't know this like I do, please ask, knock, and find.


Elder Harris 

Elder Harris in an area called Shar-Khad.

Friday, April 10, 2015

"Red Egg Holiday" and Happy Easter in the U.S.!

Гэр Бүл Минь,

So this weekend was Easter in America AND General Conference!  I'll bet both were great!  I look forward to listening to General Conference next weekend!!   Easter in Mongolia, like Christmas, isn't really known or recognized at all except by the Church.  In Mongolia, they call it the "Red Egg Holiday," haha.  There's definitely no Easter egg hunts or Easter bunnies or talk of Christ's resurrection.  Only at Church and among Church members is there recognition and celebration about the true meaning of Easter and The Resurrected Christ.

This week my mini-companion and I did some great work!  We found two new investigators who both have baptismal dates set for April 30th.  One is a 19-year-old young man named O......, and he is really good guy.  He is the younger brother of the wife of a really strong family we have in the ward.  He didn't believe in God but he is praying and asking....and receiving his answers!   I love when Heavenly Father answers prayers!   The other is a woman named B........  Her story is great.  She is 32 and has lived in America, London and Korea for the last 10 years or so.  She used to believe in God, but stopped believing.  She feels like she has a curse or something of that nature dwelling within her.  She has really been searching for help for quite a while.  In America and Korea she had met with counselors and here in Mongolia she has met with Shamans and Monks.  They all say she is fine, but she feels they don't understand what she's telling them.  So she stopped believing and two Sunday's ago decided to Google "Christian Churches."  Well, the LDS Church was the first one that popped up and so she came to church last Sunday.  She has heard of the Church and even went to church in D.C. like 10 years ago.  Anyway, we taught her two lessons this past week and they were so great.  At the beginning, we were really prompted to talk to her about Priesthood blessings and the power in them. We offered her a blessing and she accepted.  We continued our lesson and at the end we gave her a blessing.  The things that I was prompted to tell her, promised blessings and counsel, is 100 percent a testimony to me of how the Spirit works with missionaries.  I don't really remember it all or what I even said, but the Spirit was so strong.  We met with her the next day for another lesson that lasted 2.5 hours... haha, but it was great. We taught her the majority of the Message of the Restoration and her understanding, questions, and desire to know is just amazing.   So that she could better recognize the promptings to find her answers, she asked all who were present at the lesson (there were 5 of us) how we all individually identify and feel the Spirit in our lives.  That was really powerful for us to bear witness of the Spirit in our lives to her.  She then asked me if I could feel a difference from yesterday's lesson and today's lesson.  I was able to tell her that I felt that she was scared to start believing yesterday and afraid to put her faith in God's hand like we asked her to do, but that today she was not.  I told her that I feel that she is seeking the truth and the Spirit is touching her.  She agreed and talked about how she prayed and asked if the Book of Mormon was true, which was homework we hadn't even given her yet!  We had told her to read 3 Nephi, Chapter 17, and learn of the healing power of Jesus Christ.  She did that, then went to the front of the Book and read the entire introduction, and the testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses, Joseph Smith's Testimony, and up to Chapter 4 in 1st Nephi.  She then prayed and asked if the the things we taught her were true and if the Book was true and went to bed.  I asked her why she prayed to know the Book of Mormon is true (because we hadn't asked her to yet)?  Her reply was, "Because the Book told me too!"  She also came to all three hours of Church again yesterday and to the Saturday Easter Musical Fireside and to the Sunday Book of Mormon Fireside. She is getting her answer, she said. She is doing great so please pray for her!!  She has been smoking for a lot of years and she is working on quitting, so pray for that too!  Praying for people individually this week has been such a huge strength to me. I have literally seen the hand of the Lord bless those I have prayed for individually by name.  Everything that is touching Sister B........ is a result of prayer in her behalf.  I feel your prayers here for me on my behalf Mom and Dad.  Thank you and I love you so much.

This week Mongolia started a six month Book Of Mormon reading schedule.  Look it up on Facebook: Friends of LDS Church in Mongolia and  Check out the Facebook page though for everything that is happening in the church here in Mongolia!  The Easter Musical Fireside here this past Saturday was amazing.  I felt the Spirit so STRONG testifying to me again that He is Risen.  I truly love my Savior!  I look forward to the day (someday) when I will fall to my knees before him, then feel Him lift me and and feel His hug!   HE LIVES!  I bear witness.


Elder Harris 

Saying goodbye to my companion, Elder Bilguun, before he heads off the the MTC in the Philippines for 3 weeks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Oyunjargal's Baptism

This week was just a great week!   Last Wednesday my companion, Elder Bilgvvn, left for the Philippines MTC, and then I became a threesome companionship with Elder Higgs and Elder Browning until Saturday.  On Wednesday, some missionaries got invited to sit in a setting apart for one of the other Elders who went into the MTC.  It was really a great experience.  The Stake President, President Odgerel, set apart two missionaries, obviously all in Mongolian, and it reminded me of my setting apart a lot.  It was amazing to hear the promises given through revelation to two different missionaries.  Both blessings were sooo different, and as I looked at the Stake President while he spoke I could just literally see that it was not him speaking.  He was speaking the words that just came to him through the Holy Ghost.  It was a special thing to witness. 

I got a mini-Missionary on Saturday!  His name is KhasBaatar and he is 18.  He was baptized last June and is going on a mission soon! Papers are almost done!  He is a really good kid.....shyer than shy!  He is loving mission life so far, though. He is my third mini-Missionary now, so I am used to it!

Friday was Oyunjargal's baptism and is was great!  She came with her mother and boyfriend and little sister.  She is usually a real "wear black" kind of girl.  She calls it her "rock" style, haha.    To see her dressed in all white and see her smile and the pure happiness that was on her face was priceless!    She has made a huge changes in her life.  The testimony she shared afterwards was so sweet, yet so strong, and I felt the Spirit so much. She was so ready.  We pray that her mother will start to investigate the church again. She's a great lady and would make a great member. Please pray for her, Oyumaa Egch. 

This week, since I was in a three-way companionship, I was unable to work in my area, so I taught only one lesson all week.  Yesterday in church,  however, answers to our fervent prayers came and we found two new investigators, and tons of our ALA's (less actives) came!!!  This week will be busy!   On Tuesday, we will meet with Narnaa, the 23 year old I told you about who lived in Oakland and in London.   She is super excited to meet with us and she wants the lessons taught in English, haha.  She said she is "Mongol Hel Myytai," which means she speaks bad Mongolian.  Her English is amazing....haha.  She's got the slang and gangster talk down like she lived in it her whole life!

Mongolia had it's first daylight savings time in like 15 years this week....That was soooo dumb.   We have been so tired all week.  Hopefully, we can catch up this coming week.   I am learning so much in my Personal Study and it has truly become a holy hour for me.  I have studied a lot about Prayer this week and I've learned so much from 2nd Nephi 33:1.  Through faithful prayer, we will be given the Holy Ghost and only through the Holy Ghost can we, the missionaries and the investigators, be edified at the same time.  I have thought much about this lately and have set a goal to improve and increase my personal prayers.  

Well, it's time to go. I love you all.  Until next week,

Elder Harris

Oyunjargal's baptism with her mom and little sister.  They are great people.

Oyunjargal's baptism with Elder Higgs, Elder Browning, and I.

 This is Elder Higgs, KhasBaatar (my mini-companion), and I with one of our favorite families.   They are very strong members.  The father is the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric.  They have us over for dinner a lot and we love them.

 Yes, this is an octopus.  There is a great story to this picture.  It'll have to wait until I have more time to write.  Here is Elder Higgs, me, Elder Bilgvvn, and Elder Browning in our apartment.