Monday, March 2, 2015

9 days.....



My dear family and friends, 

I'm writing this email to some of the people on this earth that I love the most as my full-time missionary service in the England Birmingham Mission has nearly come to an end. The emotions I've had in the past weeks coming to an end of such an incredible experience are intense! As loads of you have had this experience, I'm sure you can relate to what I am feeling. As we've recited several times a week for 2 years, Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ. I've been focusing my efforts on god's children in the UK over the past 2 years, but I wanted to let you all know of the simple testimony I have strengthened while being on a mission. 

I know that god visits us in our times of affliction.  He understands, PERFECTLY, our pains and our weaknesses, and his number one priority is to help us to overcome them. I believe with all of my heart that The Book of Mormon is inspired scripture translated by the power of God. I know that Joseph Smith was FAR from a perfect man, but he was an absolute legend, and the only person who could have restored the gospel. He is the prophet of the restoration.  The Book of Mormon gives us hundreds of promised blessings, that according to our obedience, we will experience a higher level of peace and happiness than anything else can offer.  I love that we don't have to blindly believe that these promised blessings are true, but that by living the gospel principles, we will immediately feel the power of the atonement come into effect in our lives. I know that when we are praying, we have to be willing to change as a result of the answer we receive. Real intent is crucial in the gospel, because just as the savior did in the garden of Gethsemane, we will all to one day, submit to the will of our father in heaven. There are thousands of people that will do anything to tear down the church, Joseph Smith, Thomas S. Monson, etc. I'm grateful that we are not converted by facts. If we were converted by facts though, I would still be happy in this church. We develop a testimony as we read, pray, and attend church, but we become converted as we apply the things we read, and especially as we apply the things we feel! 

I hope that anyone who is ever struggling with their testimony, anyone who's never had a testimony, or anyone who wants one will feel comfortable talking to me about it in the future if that's something they want to talk about. It is something I absolutely love talking about and it's completely normal to have doubts, so it's good to talk about it :) 

My promise to any who read this, is that you will find more peace, happiness, and especially LOVE, as you apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your life. There is no gamble, it will always be the better decision! 

I'm so full of gratitude to the love and support that I have received over these past 2 years. Continue to write your missionaries everyone! Continue to encourage them to try their best and pray for them every day. 

I love you all so much! and I cannot wait to see you soon. 

Elder Samuel Harris

P.S. No doubt... THE BEST 2 YEARS!!



I found out this week I got accepted to BYU ahh! 

other than that, we found some pretty elect investigators this week! 2 of them we put on a baptismal date for the end of March. 

I had other interesting things happen to me this week but I would rather talk to you about them in person! it's nothing scary or bad, but just interesting haha I'll catch you up in 9 days. 

This week Elder Magda and I set a goal to get 80 potential investigators, which would be the best I've had on my mission. we're going to go for it! 

I love you so much! my testimony is still strengthening each day, and I really think some of the biggest miracles of my mission are awaiting me this week. until then, I'll email you very briefly next week letting you know any details about flight information. crazy to think the whole airport thing is going to happen. I'm so pleased and so grateful for the mission experience. I hope I am a changed man, and I hope I can somehow repay you both, mom and dad, for supporting me during this experience. I love you both more than you could ever understand. have a great week!

Elder Harris. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

We are waiting!!!!

If the videos of our new grandboys didn't get you counting down the days....then THIS WILL FOR SURE!!!! Its real...HE IS HOME!!! Stopped by for a hugs and kisses and a cry....All will back righted in my world in 10 short days...almost 9...
Sam....it's gonna be OKAY!!!!

Megs had Dan's parents and their spouses come to my house for dinner tonight...they fit us perfectly!!!! It will be years and years of more to love us and we them.

Lets just say its hard for me to think of anything else other than you coming....I LOVE YOU BABY BOY. The world awaits...but I swear...NO ONE like your MOMMA. xxooxx. Get your arms ready...there is gonna be some LONG hugging and holding...and I'm ready to start making up on the missed back scratches.

Sparkly and SHINE Lovey...SParkle and SHINE!!!!
Mom

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Meet the NEPHEWS!!!!!!!

http:http://youtu.be/WoyZigNrz9s          //youtu.be/p5P0pmqP0wU

Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy Birthday TO ME!!!!

Sam sent this from ENGLAND!!!! Megs is giving me 3...yes THREE Grandkids...and they are GORGEOUS and DARLING and FUN....

so much more to write..but right now my heart is near to BURSTING

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

CLAIRE ELIZABETH OTTERSTROM


Born on MEGAN's birthday...22 Feb 2015... 7 lbs. 12 oz    19 inches long.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Just one more...they are so Stinkin' ADORABLE!


Love from Sam 23 Feb 2015

Family!!

I learned a lot this week. It was a super trying week in many ways. basically our entire teaching pool dropped us (sent us texts saying they don't want to meet anymore).. as Elder Magda and I have been in Swansea together, we've nearly had 20 new investigators, which is great, but we've been having the toughest time helping them progress. We found ourselves finding in City Centre a lot and I was noticing that when I was finding, I was looking for students to talk to.. basically anyone in the age group of 16-30, because that is where I've seen the most success in my mission. I realized that I was finding the people that I wanted to find, not the people that god wanted me to find. Because of my experience and pride, I wasn't allowing the spirit to work with me in who to talk to.  Also, sometimes I'm worried about getting as much done in a time slot, that I'm not really taking the time to really connect with each person. I felt the scriptures apply to my situation as I read the story of Jesus and his apostles walking through the crowds on their way to heal the young girl. The woman touched his robe, he immediately stopped what he was doing to love her, to heal her, and to help her feel hope.  I'm extremely excited to apply this during our proselyting this week. Another thing that was quite funny was one day we were in the city centre for a few hours and Elder Magda said, "you know, we don't need to sift through a hundred to find the one, we just need to find the one and get on with it." I loved that. 

Zone Conference was great. We talked about planning and how to use our time wisely. President Rasmussen is an exceptional teacher and trainer. He has always been good, but he's improved a lot during his training from when I first arrived on the mission. I'm grateful that we have a mission president who is in his prime right now, and he really knows how to move the work forward. Giving my departing testimony was an interesting experience. I remember looking up to the older missionaries so much when I was brand new, and it didn't feel right that I was in their shoes. the time has simply gone by too fast. It was great to catch up with some of the mission lads and take some good pictures. 

The sisters in the district had a baptism this week! Her name is Anghared Cage, and she's elect. She has faced an insane amount of trials during this week leading up to her baptism, but she pressed through and took that leap of faith. Last night after her confirmation, her boyfriend called her and broke up with her because of her joining the church. the adversary is so real! but she is so strong and she mentioned several times that the gospel has made her much more happy then her boyfriend has. 

As we all know, we as Harris' are pretty emotional people. The rollercoaster of emotions has been hard to handle! All is well though. I am happier than I've been in my life, and I know it has everything to do with my decisions to live the gospel.

I was challenged this week to create a list of at least 100 things that I've learned on my mission, and experiences that helped me learn those principles. It's been great! I've loved creating the list and I look forward to sharing them with you when I get home. The thing that I would like to share this week is "God's plan for us is always better than our plan for us." So many times on the mission I've been stressed out because things are going the way I want to. right now for example with all of our investigators dropping us haha In EVERY SINGLE OCCASION, it has all worked out, in a much better way than I had ever imagined. We need to embrace our trials just as Paul did. Just as Alma and the sons of Mosiah did. There is always an opportunity to grow when we stay faithful during our trials.  He really does know the beginning from the end, so we need to trust that he loves enough to give us what will eventually help us return to him. That is our purpose in this life! Let's magnify it! I love you all more than you know. Hear from you soon :) 

Elder Harris