Monday, December 14, 2015

My Last Letter as a Missionary

Dear Family,

As I have pondered on what to write about today, I have realized that nothing is as important to me as my gratitude and testimony that I've been blessed with over and over and over again here in Mongolia. The opportunity to come here, Mongolia, and be a representative of Jesus Christ, was only given to me by a loving Savior through His infinite atonement. The gratitude I have in regards to the opportunity to serve here in Mongolia among these people, the Mongolians, is something I truly I cannot express in words or in my final letter home.  However, it is something I will continue to try to express throughout my life by example "in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity," as Paul said to Timothy.

A mission is not about stories. Those are important, but for talks down the road with my family and friends. It is about things obtained spiritually. It is about habits and knowledge obtained.

As my time in the mission field comes to an end, I have reflected much upon my Heavenly Father and His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. I know that we have a Father in Heaven. He is perfect, and He loves us and knows us infinitely and perfectly. He knows His children. He made a plan of us. This plan gives us the opportunity to live with Him again for forever and ever. In this plan, there was a need for a Savior. One who would stoop below them all. One to be led like a lamb to the slaughter. One to tread the wine press alone. One to suffer in a garden for the sins, pains, afflictions, and shortcoming of all of God's children. One to be nailed to a tree, die, then three days later, walk out of a rented tomb, conquer death and prove that the grave has no victory. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Heavenly Father send His son, Jesus Christ.   He is Emmanuel, Jehovah, our Redeemer, our Advocate with the Father, but most of all He is our Brother. I know He lives. I know He atoned for our sins so we too, like Him, can conquer death, be delivered from our sins, and meet our Heavenly Father again in that great day (Alma 11:44).  I love Jesus Christ. I testify that He is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. I testify that His love is infinite, and forever with us. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

I can testify that Christ formed His church through priesthood power when He was on the Earth during His short ministry. That being so, it also fell into an apostasy, a time where God took his priesthood power from the world. In 1820, when the time was right, Heavenly Father restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth again in its fullness as so was the gospel in the primitive church containing "...apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth." He did so through Joseph Smith. Joseph was a prophet. He was called of God to do a special work. Through him the Priesthood was once again restored to the earth, never to be taken away again. John Taylor said, "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it."  I love that man, and  I testify that he restored the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days, The fullness of times. "Millions shall know 'Brother Joseph' again."

I can testify that families can be together forever through priesthood ordinances. Families are ordained of God. I testify that a family consists of husband and wife and is essential to Heavenly Father's plan for us returning to Him again. I can also testify that I know ..."God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to only be used between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife." (The Family a Proclamation to the World). Just as God places care and concern on how His children return to Him by giving us the commandment that “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13), He cares how His children enter this earth. "Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." I know this to be true.

I know the Book of Mormon to be the true, pure, word of God. Together with the Bible, we have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love Mongolia. Mongolia has truly become my home. The true blood of Israel is here. The lost tribes of Israel are here. My work here has not been anything less than truly gathering Israel. The prophet Zenos talks of this in the Book of Mormon. The love of the Father is real. I have been so blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve in the Ulaanbaatar Mongolia Mission. (Jacob 5:71-72)

I love these people. They changed my life. My family and I will forever be grateful for the Mongolian people. Хангай шиг сайхан xүмүүс. 

Family, I love you. I am so proud to be a Harris. This truly has been the best two years of my life. 

"And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God." (Alma 42:4)

-Elder Marc Douglas Harris
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission 2013-2015

#A Savior is Born!  Elder Harris and Elder Hatton in front of Genghis Khan’s statue in frozen UB, Mongolia.

 Elder Tsend-Ayush and I.

A selfie with President Benson!  A picture to treasure!

Brother Batbold and I.  Brother Batbold is our “everything” man here in the mission.  He has worked for the mission for 20 years.  He is such a great example to all of us missionaries!  I LOVE him!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Elder Harris! My brother was just called to this mission. He leaves in six weeks. We were wondering if you have any suggestions about what kind of heavy coats, pants, and shoes for him? We noticed you had a Carhartt coat, was that a good choice? Do you have any suggestions about heavy or flannel lined pants? What kinds of shoes and winter boots do you think would be a good choice for him? Was there anything that you wished you had had while you were on your mission? Thank you for your response!