Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Transfers happened….Blessed to still be with Elder Munkhbold!

Dear Family,

Hope everything is well there at home.  I’m great.  Like I mentioned in my last email, I was with two mini-missionaries this past week, but then transfers came out and I am back with Elder Munkhbold and we are staying in the Sansar Branch!   I am so pumped and blessed to be back with Elder Munkhbold.  He is truly a great example to me.  We both talked and we know that our work together is not done.  How awesome it is that we are back together! This week, with transfers, there was a lot of switching of companions.  With Elder Munkhbold gone to Little Lake this past week, and me spending a few days with another companion, we only taught two lessons in our area.  We can do better this coming week.  We have a ton of potential investigators, and an investigator that should be baptized next week.  I haven’t told you guys a lot about her, but she is great, has a strong testimony, is totally ready to be baptized…..all of the lessons are just not finished yet.

I’m excited to report that later this week (this coming Saturday), I will fly to Choibalsan to go on exchanges with the Elders there!!!  I will fly home on Wednesday, June 3rd.  I AM SO PUMPED to go back to Choibalsan!!  I will fill you in on everything next week.

Mom, to answer some of your questions about what we do on P-day…..Today Elder Munkhbold and I woke up and played basketball from 6:30 until 7:45, then we came home, showered, and did our personal study.  After that, we were so hungry!  Being hungry every Monday morning is pretty typical because by Sunday each week, we are out of groceries in our apartment.  So that being said, at like 9:45, we left to go get something to eat.  We ate at a little cafeteria place.  I got some rice with pork and a fried egg. It was pretty good, and only about $1.50.

Next, we went to the black market, and I got some gifts for dad.  Also Sister Della Silva sent me on a souvenir hunt for her at the black market.  She says she heard that I can talk people down in prices :)   So I got her a wolf ankle bone and a fang that is really pretty.  It has silver on it for girls for only 20,000 toogs.  Originally, the lady told me that it was 35,000 toogs for just the one.  Obviously not true!  So I talked to her and was just nice to her, and I got her to give me both for 20,000, which is super good.  Most places sale the ankle bone alone with no silver for about 15,000 to 20,000 toogs, and the fang is about 10,000 with no silver, so I got a great deal.  Next, I got dad some stuff, and in order to get the price I wanted, believe it or not…...I sang that “Smell of Milk” mother's song to the lady.  She must have liked it a lot because she gave me the price I wanted!  The two other ladies just sat there shaking their heads and smiling and said that no one has ever “sung” for them to get a better price!   It was funny!  But I got the deal I was looking for!  Later today, we are doing some service in the Mission.  We will help move some sisters in my Zone into their new apartment, and then my comp and I will move tomorrow to another place.   I will be next to Elder Huckvale, literally in the same building!  Later today, we will go to FHE at the Church with our investigator, and then teach her a lesson tonight.

My time is gone, gotta go.

I love you guys,

Elder Harris

Monday, May 18, 2015

Baptism Day for Bayrmaa!

Dear Family,

This will have to be quick, but I’ll make it informative.   Here we go:

Bayrmaa’s Baptism was great!   Bayrmaa is now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  She was so ready!  I am so blessed to have been her Missionary.  When she bore her testimony after her baptism, it was so sweet and so strong.  What a blessing it is to be a missionary and to bring souls unto Christ!

Regarding companions, well friend and companion Elder Munkhbold was sent out to the countryside this week to fill the spot of a missionary that left his mission, so I received a mini-missionary again!  Oyubold is his name.  Then today, another missionary left, so his companion Elder Huckvale, became companionless. That being said, President took my mini-missionary from me and put him with Huckvale, and I got a new mini missionary…..again!  His name is Dolgoon.  He is a returned missionary who has  been home for a while.   So this should work out fine.

Regarding the Work, we taught nine lessons this week. Two less than our goal, and we are down to just one progressing investigator now.   She is doing great, though, coming to church and working hard to gain a testimony.  We were burned all week with our ALA’s (less active members), but there is always next week!   We were able to meet with one less active member, A…………., this past week.  He is just a tough one.  We will need to get working better with his Home Teacher, and we will see where that leads us.

This week in personal study I read a lot about how the Spirit always strives to be with man.  I thought back in my life to a time when I didn't have the Spirit with me. That time was dark, sad, and full of regrets.  Most of all, it taught me a lot.  I KNOW I need the Spirit in my life.  Despite being a missionary, you see the difference in the Light in someone when they have the Spirit with them in their life.  When I made a large change in my life, people came up to me and told me that I looked different and that there was new Light to me. The Spirit that is with us, is also a Light and a Beacon to others showing that we are living right and we are following our Lord.  I am so very grateful for the Spirit this week and how, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I was re-united with the Spirit, and how it saved from personal apostasy.  The cool thing is... The ball is always in our court. The promise that was made to us through Baptism is clear, "If we are faithful, God will…..pour out His Spirit more abundantly upon us (see Mosiah 18:10), redeeming us from our sins as we repent (see Mosiah 18:9; D&C 20:37).  So the choice is always, and will forever be ours.

At a Fireside this past week, Elder Huckvale and I also had our opening debut as singers, and I thought it was pretty good!  The Fireside was fun, well attended, and very spiritual.

I love you guys!

Until next week,

Elder Harris

Happy Baptism Day for Bayrmaa!

Bayrmaa and I.

 We just made lunch for ourselves.

 My comp, Elder Munkhbold, and I by a river in the city (UB).

Just getting off the train, ready to go to work!

Elder Pap and I at the train station.

 Elder Huckvale and I…..Bound to be companions someday!

 We had a spicy food eating contest last P-day.  One elder cried, one elder (in the picture) threw up for 3 days straight.   And me... well nothing happened.   I am a man!  This story spread through the mission.  I am now known as, The Iron Stomach!  haha

We met with this famous actor in Mongolia.  He likes my Mongolian and laughed at all my jokes. We will see where our discussions with him lead.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I love these People, this Work, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dear Family,

First of all, it was great to Skype with you today!  Everyone looked so great and it was so much fun to see my nieces and nephews!  It’s kind of hard to believe that it was our very last Skype of my mission.

Well, this week was pretty busy with Choir practice (Yes, I’m singing in the choir), conferences, and concerts (BYU's Wind Symphony came)!  All in all it was a pretty successful week, though.  Our Investigator B……..., is progressing well.  We have been trying very hard to help her and she’s doing great, but it is 100% the Lord’s doing.  She has so much faith, and is so ready to be baptized.  I am so happy for her and feel honored to be her missionary.  She is someone I will never forget or stop caring about, regardless of whether she gets baptized or not.

My companion and I are still doing GREAT together.  I love him!   He loved talking to you guys with the little bit of English he knows.  He could tell that you guys enjoyed seeing him and talking to I’m, too!

Regarding missionary work this week, we only had time to split with American Denj this week.  I split with Elder Ericsson around to SharHad where I once had 3 investigators over a year ago.  We found them all, and lessons were scheduled.  It was good seeing my investigators again after so long.

I loved having the opportunity to share my testimony with you guys this week in Mongolian. It just felt great to share it with you all.   I loved having family prayer with you guys too….all the way from the other side of the world!  It meant so much to me!   I want you to know that I love these people here, I love this work, and I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I can't express how much I’ve been blessed in my life…..especially these past 17 months. 

Elder Harris

Mother's Day Skype

Everyone gathered around the computer!

 Marc and his companion, Elder Munkhbold.

 Ryan holding up the iPad so Marc could talk to Matt and see little Jake and Olivia!

Marc showing off his wolf's ankle bone that he and the other American missionaries wear tied to their leg for good luck!

Mother's Day Skype

Marc saying Happy Mother's Day in Mongolian

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Few Days in Darkhan this Week with Elder Khash Erdene

Dear Family,

So this week was a little weird.  On Wednesday, I got a text at like 9:00 a.m. that I am going to Darkhan.  Darkhan is about a 3-1/2 hour train ride north from Ulaanbaatar.  Elder Khash Erdene needed to go home to Darkhan and meet with Mongolian government people regarding his mandatory Army duties.  So President sent me with him up there to do it.  We left Wednesday night by train, stayed until Sunday morning, then we took the train back at 1:00 am, and reached UB at 6:30 a.m.   It was a great time! 

Dad, thank you so much for all the things you do for me.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity to wear the name “Harris,” on my missionary badge, in the Mongolian language, and represent first the Lord, then my family in the service of our Master. I am so proud to be a “Harris” and your son.  I love you Dad. 

Mom, so I’ll be talking to you guys on MY Sunday at 8 a.m. so everyone will be at Ryan’s house.  I hope that you can get Matt on Skype with another iPad and just have them face me or something. That would be sweet!  Thirty minutes only :)  I like that so much better.  Sorry…haha!   

Transfers are on the 21st of May.  I am probably staying in my area again.  That’s good, though. I love it here in Sansar.  We have tons of work so it is fun!  I think I won’t be going to the countryside again for a while.  Regardless of where I am, I will serve hard with any calling.  My companion and I continue to work so great together.  It is awesome.  He’s such a great missionary. Like I said, I don't know what will happen with this transfer coming up, but I just hope he stays in Leadership. He is a great leader!

Regarding our investigator, she is still very faithful.  This week we pushed back her baptism a week, so we will continue to work with her and see where we need to go from here.  Everything is okay, though!   Please keep praying for her, and miracles will come!

Kind of exciting….this week BYU's Wind Symphony is here doing a concert. Seeing white people was nice.

Well I'm tired. I'm Hungry. I'll see your faces face-to-face here in a few days!  Looking forward to our Mother’s Day Skype!

Love you guys!

Elder Harris

Elder Khash Erdene and I up north in Darkhan with his Mom and Dad.

The Mongolian National Arm Wrestling Champion now has us over for dinner weekly :) 

Cow in Darkhan...

This dog kind of reminded me of Toby!   haha….Not!

Doing some service for some of our members.  We dug up this family's planting area for potatoes to be planted. 

Sleeping on the train headed north to Darkhan.