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!